Rael - The Heroes of Rin

Rise of the Runelords VI

The Final Chapters

.time to get reorganized, says Arondil to himself as he makes a little camp in a quiet corner of this place they’re in. Pantheris needs a while to pore over books, and books, and more books, and that always takes time…weeks, usualy.

well, Arondil has some things to think about as well, it’s been very interesting, the last part was anyway, this section is boring, but then greed usualy is, although he does think himself and his friends are sort of a greedy lot, well, he’s not that interested in the loot like his friends seem to be, good thing they have been finding those sacks or they’d need to recruit a porter to carry luggage, loot has uses, but in the end it buys things that get forgotten anyways (like his houses…arondil does wonder from time to time if they still exist…..they could even have become lairs to who knows what). Yes, the loots not that important but the Arondil does enjoy the battle, and he’s quite good at it. And it’s been such a large part of life these last many many years….some times arondil wonders what a few hundred years would be like without it……it’s not really that long of a time

The last little adventure was certainly interesting……It could have gone quite differently, Events were precipitated too soon and a better bargain could have been achieved for both sides, succubus or not, she was quite upset her daughter was destroyed, as most mothers would be. Maybe not orc mothers.
well, no matter the outcome, life is always about adjusting to the results of decision making. Arondil had never come across a succubus before, he’d heard plenty about them, the thing is he’d never imagine he’d hear one be interested in stopping the bloodshed, in fact out of all the creatures and people he and his friends have killed that could be the first time he’d ever heard that

well, on to business…..Arondil hasn’t cleaned out his pack in a long time, the top half is alright, but that’s really just clothes and day to day things, the bottm half is a mess, so much has blasted into him that there’s some things nicely wraped and other things and seem so much like a bundle of material a shopkeeper would use for packing valuables.

a clean pack and laundry and a ponder on events
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:33 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
This area of the complex is large. Large enough to train, spread out, and find some solace. Pantheris has taken over the Eastern section, with Jewels and Arondil as guardians for when he is too deep in research to remember to sleep or eat. Not that you need sustenance in a place like this, but stopping to eat is an important ritual; and sleep is essential.

A ritual that Calibash, Bleys, and his tiny wolfish warrior are reconnecting with. Ketteris has taken to preparing dragon-steak and the three of them meet once a day, like clockwork, to sample the cuisine of their upbringing. Calibash has learned to eat, and taste, the subtle tones of food again. Steak pies, casseroles, stews and all manner of halfling and human recipes have been prepared.
Some days too they have drawn out the others with the wafting scents of fresh broiled dragon steaks. Arondil, Pantheris, and Ju’alis are guests, not regulars, at the evening festivities of food, wine, and song. Although the wine has run out, there is still plenty of story and song to go around. At times they think the scents and sounds will spill into the rest of the complex and draw out wandering monsters. “Here beastie, beastie!” Bleys will call as when he has finished his cooking to signal the beginning of meal time. The main hallway is unnaturally long and no creatures will be lured into the Vaults of Greed.

This does nothing for the sense of loneliness and isolation. Five areas to explore next. What will it cost them? Each spoke on the wheel feels like a nail in their coffin. How far have we fallen to vice and how far can we go?
But the songs begin, the stories start, and the darkness is held back by another day.

Calibash has taken to marking the days with light spells, and casting accurate images of the stars as they would be at night. Thanks to the time-keeper, Ketteris, her wolf Jorsen, and Bleys drill combat at “first light.” Calibash calls the trio “Kerebus”, a reference to a three-headed hound from mythology.

Prayers and study make up the bulk of Calibash’s day, but fashioning ovens and other distractions seem important too.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:36 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
So much time to think for Arondil…..But finaly for the first time in his life he is finding clarity and is seeing a way for the pointless wandering to end. Granted, it was fun for a long time, but what had it really achieved. One goal to be forgotten while another picked up for a while, and still no closer to the destruction of Donja Myros. Goals like that need to matter, there has to be more to life than just hitting randomly at the world. The children need a better world to arrive to….or at least one without adversary that have been allowed to grow too big.

He’s cleaned hid pack…..so many broken and unknown things in it. He did find a few things from the past worth keeping.

He’s had an alright time watching pantheris with jewels, pantheris really does forget everything else when deep in study.

well, after months of rest………time to get serious. Finish up these dreadlords and then go for the Demon King. After some fifty years( maybe more) of adventuring it’s time to finish the job before it finishes him
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:17 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
hmmm, says Arondil, looking at the ticks on the wall…“there should be more I’d think”

“oh that” says jewels…..“we don’t need to eat here so pantheris doesn’t while he’s studying. That’s why the box never gets used”

“Not a good system for keeping time then” says Arondil….

“I suppose we’ll have to ask Calibadh how long we’ve been here”
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 7:44 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Ketteris removes her gloves slowly and lays them beside her cot. She wishes she could stretch out under the stars, feel the wind in her hair, ride across the plains one last time. She hugs Jorsan close; her last remaining link to life in this place, this stone coffin of depravity they call the Runeforge.

She feels each day as a hammer blow against her soul. Arondil is a shadow-demon; Bleys is a fire devil with his two hellish consorts; Pantheris and Jewels have always been dark and shifty; and, the metal machine is something unnatural. Her mind reaches back to the last few weeks with Calibash and Bleys. She smiles as she thinks of dragon-steak crepes. That has always been her mistake. She sees the good in people too easily.

She has seen Winter wolves go “nasty” before. That dark shift in their personality can happen quickly. Rage and violence run deep in the nature of the wolf, run deep in the culture of her people, and run deep in her. But sometimes the hearth-fires drive a winter wolf mad beyond repair and an evil creeps out. Cruelty, disdain, and madness take hold.

Her knife works its way through the top of her hair, cutting close, even drawing a little bit of blood. It takes some time, but soon her head is shaved bald and she is checking it in the mirror. Her reddish blonde hair is gathered into a neat sheaves — like wheat — and placed on her right side. She begins gathering cloth and sewing the padding carefully into her helm. On and off the helm comes after each patch is added, ensuring that the fit is good. When she has completed this task, she turns back to the final task of the night.

She binds the sheaves of her hair into shapes, twisting, turning and braiding until arms take shape; then legs; and finally she has completed her little doll. As she speaks the halfling words they seem to hum like a lullaby. Separated by everything from her life with her people, she had always wondered how Jorsoralion felt when he was lost in the wilderness. She didn’t have to wonder any more. She knew the feeling of despair all too well. After all, she was an oracle too.

Tucking her doll under her pillow, she laid down for a long deserved rest.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:15 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Jewels leans back against the cushions of the bench as she cleans her sword. She lets a self-satisfied chirp come out as she settles in, curling her legs up to meet her body. Three more keys to the exit.

Hammer of Wrath? Wasn’t it supposed to be a fire or something. She shrugs the thought off. Inconsequential.

We’ll need a different plan against the veils of pride, and she distinctly remembers thinking that before. Pantheris will come up with a good plan. He always does. She smiles at him from across the room. He is fiddling with some magic this-or-that. His workbench is cleared in the middle for his “important work.” Her eyes drift across the room and settle on two large urns and a jar with a pickled hand. She chuckles.

“No where the hell do you suppose he got those,” she says to no one in particular.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:36 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
That woman had a metal arm muses Pantheris; and it was magic. His mind runs through the possibilities. If an arm can be removed and replaced by a magical arm; a magical arm that can wear a ring; there is more magic to accessed.

He looks at her forearm on the workbench… Metal, strong and durable like Calibash. “Wrist, yes” he muses to himself. He can bind a bracer into the magic of the arm. He then thinks about changing the configuration of the fingers, so that more arrows could be loaded at one. “You wouldn’t want to interfere with casting.” he says to himself.

What he has learned of necromancy, and the secrets of transmutations, the power of evocations. It all is coming together for Pantheris. These fool wizards following one school over another, when combining them is the path to truly awesome power.

This place is brilliant, he thinks to himself. The power to craft a runeforge weapon is becoming clearer and clearer in his head. He is the secret to success in this place. For all their power and prowess; Pantheris is the only one who can unlock this place. He is the key to victory. He has seen the path to salvation.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:50 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil is at ease. His friends have understood that he is no different and he will walk this path for as long as he likes. He will use the power of the void for his own purposes.

He has the power to control his destiny and finally the knowledge to bring down those who oppose them.

The succubi are hiding somewhere, Vraxeris’ mirrors will soon be broached, Jord Imandus is without protection, and the abjurant halls have been conquered. Memory… the halls had something to do with memory.

This complex is nearly complete. Then they go kill some dreadlords/runelords.

Things are going spectacularly well.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:56 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Mvashti’s prophecy was about the Spires of Xin Shalast” thinks Calibash to himself. A warning that they will be impaled upon their own weapons. Although Bleys was nearly killed by a version of Arondil not a day ago.

The devils are a dangerous weapon. Dismissing them when we leave this place seems like a prudent step.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 9:00 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys half-starts from a dream. in the dream he was a warrior of fire and ice. His left hand burned with cold and his right arm with fire. He remembers calling himself Phoenix, the fire reborn, at one point. He stretches his right hand. The burning Ice-wolf.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:34 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
‘on second thought’ muses Arondil…….‘I have no idea if things are going spectacularily well’…….‘they are going though, and in the direction of getting done’…….’interesting though how things are working out"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:37 pm Post subject: lick the wounds Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil ponders……….

All of us are changing…….well, this is a forge after all

He does find it quite nice how he can kill things as dead as is possible……DK could be gone forever , and all the dreadlords, especially shadeer, that’s an itch that needs scratching one day.

If everything eventualy goes to the void, where did everything originaly come from?…..the void?

After all his adventures he does have a sense that everything is so much larger than the land of Rin….he even went to a place called earth at one time…..where there was a whole other set of stars, and helped people get from there to here.

Does Moo have influence in far away places such as that place called earth?
As well as the other worlds (he remembers his friend Maraklist explaining worlds to him long ago)

Arondil laughs……..so many possibilities…………and now, so many responsibilities……..He’s no longer a preist of henali, nor is he connected anymore, but she’s still the most inspiring of the whole lot.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:29 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Mavashtar turns his fiery gaze towards Arondil and nods an agreement. “It is best to keep you list well honed, like your blade. The weak don’t make lists of those they need to kill for they haven’t the stomach. The stupid make long lists for they haven’t the foresight. Me, I like to keep it to one or two names. So that it has purpose.”

He pauses to inspect the cruel black barbs of his spiked chain before continuing. “Myros is a demon… I hope we meet him together. I love destroying demons and I am pretty sure that you would have a talent for it too.”

Hundriel turns back towards Bleys, awkwardly, as the large horns on his head and face could clip his bat-like wings where they tower over his shoulders. “We really should start with those dirty little whore-beast demons. They would be good practice for us fighting together.”
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:12 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“huh” replies Arondil “I suppose you would know about Donja Myros. However til just now something never occurred to me…I’ve never been to Darkmoor but I’ve heard it is more of an orderly place than one would expect with a demon in charge. More suited to the diabolical as opposed to the fiendish. But then, until now both devils and demons were merely things summoned by others…..and really just obstacles. I’m starting to think there may be distinctions between the races………..oh well, my father got old and died before he could teach me the anatomies and habits of the outersider races.”

Still, I do agree, short lists are best….there will always be obstacles, but there’s no point adding those."

Arondil laughs as an old fantasy from his youth comes to mind….he briefly wonders why he’d fantasize about that as he was training, swinging that heavy oak bough around for days on end while his father relaxed and fished.

he turns to mavashtar and says
“After that short list is finished I have another list with just one name…… but so far that ones just for sport….biggest fish in the sea though”

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 6:12 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Mavashtar leans closer to Arondil. “I’ll help you with that one…before I am released from service,” and with a glance towards Bleys “or after, it does not matter.”

The devil rises to full height and draws his spiked chain, letting it clatter like a bell as it strikes the stone floor. “First you need to learn how to read a clip-back attack. You kept biting on the whipping strike… and as you saw that can bite back.” His smile was uneven but playful. Hundriel rises with him and they take a fighting stance opposing each other.

It was then you realize that once you are used to the red skin, giant black horns, bat-wings, and fiery eyes, the hulking devil is not un-attractive. His features are strong and dark.

“Demons are chaotic and unpredictable. They have no honour. Their weakness is in their chaos. They will attack mercilessly, but carelessly. Using this you can keep them off balance. Let them come, and let them fall.”
Mavashtar demonstrates the point on Hundriel, causing him to topple forward on the lunge.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:01 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil watches as the chain swings around hundriel…it constricts a bit as well wich would drive the spikes in a little deeper as the victims reflexes kick in…..and then the slap at the end of the whip action….a very effective attack, and then when the chain gets yanked after…..after watching from the third person perspective he starts to see a way to possibly foul such an attack. Well, it would still hurt but there’d be no chance to be toppled. It would really only require a double halfstep back at the right moment………

“could be you’d be interested in helping… I suppose it would depend on how you like your politics” Me, I like mine, well, interesting "

“I actualy don’t mind the whore beast demons …..too bad everyone was so paranoid at the time. Never mind, too bad everyone’s paranoid most of the time”
Rolling Eyes

“But, if they gotta go well they gotta go………I’m not going to make that call though”
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:46 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys began his adult life as a young monk wearing the red robes of Neutrality and travelling under a different name. When he met the Goddess he became changed, was deeply devoted, and even swore off fighting for some time.

At some point the path of the sacred fist became tame, and he pursued the wrath and rage of the werewolf lord. Feral and brutal, the werewolf brings chaos to a once acerbic and disciplined life. He has thought of returning to the path of Elodara and studying her ways again.

He knows that the devils are powerful allies. They can help them conquer this place and more. There are two questions in Bleys’ mind: “Is using them good? And, does it matter?”
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 8:58 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
A thought goes through Arondils mind that makes him laugh out loud as the bizzarrnes of the image renders itself in his mind.

Hmmm, he mutters to himself…“do devils worship gods?”
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:41 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Devils serve themselves and their master” says Pantheris.

“And not necessarily in that order…”
He pauses to gather his thoughts…

“I believe that their oath to the one wearing the symbol of wrath is genuine, but could Karzoug also wear the symbol of wrath?”, he says as much to himself as the others as he ponders the thought….
“He is the runelord of greed, but if he has defeated the other runelords, could he wear multiple symbols?”…

Jualis shakes her head and says to the others, “Is he talking to us or himself? Even after all these years even I can’t figure it out sometimes…”
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:49 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris walks to Bleys… “indulge me for a moment please Bleys…”

Pantheris concentrates on the symbol, and raises his hand to it.
He attempts to begin lifting the symbol to see if he can handle transferring this one even though it may be more powerful than others he has lifted.

(If the symbol begins to show signs that it can be lifted, Pantheris stops and leaves the symbol where it is, but he carefully notes the time and effort needed to lift such symbols…)
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:51 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“no” says Arondil….“krzoug has not defeated the other runelords….they slumber still”

“Interesting point about the devil’s though”…..Arondil calls over to Mavashtar:" Interesting question sir, if you’d care to answer… are devils born into servitude or do they have the freedom to choose the paths of servitude?…..if that’s private no need to answer… I’m just cursed with curiosity about the laws of life…and death…and the relatrionships between the two"
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:38 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Mavashtar laughs. “There is a great chain of being. The powerful are on the top and the weak are on the bottom. All creatures are born into ‘service’ of those above them. Service is not an act of contrition. Service is an absolute understanding of the moral imperative. Once you take all the creatures out of the equation you have no pyramid, just the concept, the structure of the law. This is God. Those who look for Gods within a being are fools. God is the law and the law is God.” he pauses for effect, changes tone, and continues. “And the word is with God and the word was God.”

“So,” he says as he comes over and settles in by the two philosophers “we perform service because we understand our place. You can rise through the great chain of being. Fear and cruelty are but tools that can be used to bind the weak to their station, and raise yourself to embrace your destiny. True service comes from violence, nothing else.”

“It is a greater good to serve a harsh and cruel master than to follow a kind and foolish one. The kind master only asks what is good for you. Devotion to a cruel master is accepting the pain and reality of your station in the world. The simpering fools no nothing of real service. There is no good in service of weakness.”

Pantheris crosses the floor to Bleys and lays a hand on the burning symbol of wrath. After a few moments Pantheris lifts an edge of the symbol, like a burning trail.

The two devils lean forward in unison to watch the proceedings. But, after a moment Pantheris releases his hold on the symbol’s edge and it settles back on Bleys’ forehead. Hundriel looks at the brand and then to Pantheris. His gaze flits to and fro like a serpents tongue tasting the air. Finally his stare settles on Pantheris. The wheels of comprehension are turning; the promise of salvation at hand.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:49 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“You can unlock this place Wizard.” Hundriel wryly observes. "You… we, " he pauses to correct himself, “are not trapped by the seven seals. You can break them. You have the craft.”

Hundriel looks at his long-time friend and remarks “You and I might get home yet.”
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:18 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“The kindly ones decline becoming masters” says Arondil…..Masters understand that the boulder must be removed before the ground will accept the plow, the weak and strong must both find their place in removing the boulder while the master finds the next boulder. I suppose you are right though, we are all born into servitude in some form or other. I suppose I just think it’s much more interesting when all beings have a choice in their servitude and their lives progress according to their good or bad choices

Hmmmm…..both ways still are pyramids though…..the orderly ones just survive a while longer and disappear quicker when they’re done….But I may be wrong, I haven’t lived a thousand years yet

As for home….All ends up in the same place eventualy so maybe it’s all home…………Still, it’s good to have a place to hang up the ol’ armour

tell me…is home a place with lots of cubes everywhere?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:33 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“There are no cubes where we are from.” replies Hundriel.

“We come from a world of fire and smoke.” adds Mavashtar.

“Ash, not smoke.” Hundriel retorts. “There is a difference.”

“Fire and Ash.” Mavashtar shrugs his shoulders and with a dismissive turn of his head returns his attention to his spiked chain; lovingly polishing the links.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:34 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil think’s a moment: "hmm, your kind must have strong lungs then…..maybe even 4 lungs……ash must settle somewhere…..could be I’ll end up visiting one day

Pantheris starts awake. He had nodded off for a moment. Slumped in his chair he has pressed back against the leather cushion and wedged his legs against the table… the entire posture betraying his feline heritage. The feline heritage that he has spent the last few hours desperately trying to forget.

He had tried to summon all the happy memories of Jewels, but unbidden in their place come shame and regret. Every transgression, every slight towards her, comes easily to his mind. He hadn’t felt like an outsider for some time now, but these feelings returned. Part elf, part cat; he never felt connected to his home. He never had a society. That is why he left. He travelled the span of a continent and a vast and nearly endless ocean. She had come too. She was no outsider. She had friends and belonged to a warm world of spices and music, mirth and joy. Yet, Jewels came with him to the abyss, to oblivion, to death.

Nothing is left of her. Marked by oblivion, consigned to oblivion, she has been erased for all time. All that is left of her is a shadow in Pantheris’ mind. A shadow that slinks in darkness, darker and emptier than he could ever imagine. Maybe she is still in there, somewhere in the dark. He won’t find her with light … only in darkness …
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:03 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“No, no, no. You have to understand. I don’t need to kill them all” gibbers Arondil. His head cocked to one side, staring at the wall, talking only to the voices in his own head. Voices that aren’t there.

His dark black eyes turn to point soulessly in the direction of his companions.

“I miss Jewels. She was…” he lets the rest trail off. “I miss Jewels,” he concludes.

He shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head again. “No, my plan is better. You have to let me do the plan. It will all work out better this way. You will see.”
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:47 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash leans forwards onto his staff. Flashes of horror jump into his mind: the smell of smoke and fire, the crack and sting of the chain, and Hundriel’s taunts and jeers still reverberate in his head. Impaled on our own weapons is what Mvashti had warned. Calibash is beginning to feel that now.

If we survive the Runeforge, what do we let loose on the world? We will waken the Runelords and have a plan for their destruction. Calibash has a horrible thought that flits across his mind, but he can’t quite pin down or express. What if the runelords are waking in an entirely different way than we imagined?

That is the thought that he is finally left with and it shakes him to the core. What if this whole thing is different?
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:14 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Ketteris’ shrill scream wracks through Bleys’ dream. He thrashes and gasps. His chest, clenching and heaving, sends thrumming blood through his veins. He settles for a moment, but then the crisp tasty smell of bacon wafts through his mind. But it isn’t bacon. The butchered meat of his companion; served with seasoned dried tomato, on a succulent wrap of cornmeal and bannock, the juices oozing out — the taste fills his mouth. He wretches. Bits of Ketteris come spilling out his mouth. He vomits again, spewing up more mangled bits of her naked and bloody flesh.
Then he hears a soft halfling song, played on a flute. The image of Ketteris abates and Bleys is in a wintry wood. Grass pokes through in the clearings, illuminated by motes of light from the sun. The voice fills the air. Foreign, strange, but beautiful beyond description. It is not a flute, but a voice… rich and hollow, complex and sweet. A voice unfamiliar but one he has heard before. Somewhere. He thinks of Mishina and sees her on the far side of the clearing. She is standing quiet listening to the voice too.

He is in her arms now. Mishina holds him and rocks him to peace. He cries against her bosom, breathing in her perfume, and rests for the night.

In the morning Bleys startles out of his dream. In the air a fragrance lingers. Mishina! His room is empty and dark, but his eyes pierce the dimness with ease. He is alone.

He gathers his wits and samples the air a second time, his keen scent picking up the subtle and real scent of perfume. Not Mishina… Delvahine, and the smell of a baby… a baby boy.

Pantheris withdraws into the grand library and the space he claimed for his research and study.
He pours over books, tomes, scrolls… anything he can find on evil outsiders.
But he also begins to search for information on the void… Conduits to it… Drawing power from it… Sending material to it in order to harvest the energy released…
Disintegration is not simply a result he muses… it is a process…
The mechanism has to be able to be manipulated…
A simple ray is just a beginning. A sustainable channel is the key. Portals of destruction. Annihilation.
He works on his vast knowledge on inter planar transfer and exchange of material and energy and how it may relate to the void.

He spends long hours of conversation with Arondil on the nature of the void, how even though it is annihilation, power can be drawn from it. He has learned much from his studies but hopes that Arondil can help with a few questions.

After Pantheris leaves, Arondil muses “that was strange, something is up with Pantheris. He seems… different.”
“Oh well…” Arondil shrugs. “It will all work out as it will”.

Pantheris returns to his research. He hopes that his friends don’t notice that many things that once were, are now simply… not there…
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 12:41 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris sits alone in his study. His mind summons images of the past. Stern and cold-faced he brings each detail back in sharp focus, lingers on it, and puts it aside.

Quote:
“We should poison their water supply,” adds a dark cloaked figure at the edge of the fire."

Pantheris turns a mithril dagger over in his hand as he remembers the events.

He looks at the blade again, pondering the deep connection between Arondil and the demon-king. The lure of fate, he muses stoical.

“No.” the one word slips almost breathlessly from his lips. It is not clear which question he is answering in his mind. The steel of his face betrays no meaning.

Quote:
I am not pure of soul as you are my friends Arondil, Calibash, and Bleys.


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Richard
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2015 1:10 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Fundamentalism, Pantheris wonders, is the extreme faith in a God or creed. This creed that the priests follow gives them the moral foundation for absolute moral action. Foremost, these priests will define themselves as good, and measure all others against their own infallible selves. Their intolerance is their faith; the more they profess goodness the less they seem to have.

What horrors will he find if he stares into the bright pit of Heaven? What childish hurts rule the courts of Hell? He turns the mithril blade again in his hand. He had never realized how good he had been. Good was not the absolute, the freak-show devotion that has fueled every holy war. It was the simple laughter of friendship. It was imagination and mirth, never holy and mighty. Holy and Unholy damage — two sides of the same diseased coin — that is why the weapons can emit both.

Wizards and runelords. Are wizards but enlightened priests? The indictment of the holy and profane alike. Yet, they became corrupt too. Pantheris gazes out into oblivion, looks honestly into the dark emptiness… urging himself to see past the fun-house ruminations of all the false prophets. With nothing out there, how precious was everything here, how glorious was laughter, how divine was beauty?

Why does he come to find it at the moment of its loss?

Pantheris goes over the past, over and over again he turns it over in his mind.
He is certain that something is different But he can’t put his finger on it.
He finds that he stumbles over what used to be easy memories of his friend Ju’alis. Finding frustration around each corner, he realizes that he remembers the two Devils they fought, but one is a clear memory, and the other he also struggles to remember.
“What is the difference…” he says aloud as he slams his fist on the table, his mind in a fog once again when he thinks of recent events.
He plays it back in his mind, again struggling to find memories that he was certain of not long ago. He finally recalls that Arondil dispatched the devil that he struggles to recall, and the other that he remembers clearly and easily was killed by Bleys.
Could that be it? Arondil speaks of sending his foes to oblivion. “Total oblivion…” he mutters as pieces fall into place.
He knows that Arondil has killed others since his conversion to a servant of Oblivion, but what were they… and when… These memories are impossible to recall.
“Oblivion…” he thinks of what he knows of the void, “if consigned to the entirety of the void and that is what is causing memories to fade… the very existence of those consigned to be erased… should it not be immediate?… And why are older vanquishes foes impossible to recall while more recent ones just a Struggle?…”
He straightens… “It’s this place… It’s effects on time may be causing a slowed temporal decay…”…
He looks at the void mark on his arm… he tries to remember if his friend had the same and after a time recalls she did.
Called to the void, he realizes that it doesn’t matter the method, the result is the same. Fading from memory. Fading from very existance.
Insight, realization, sadness… they all flood his mind together.

In the days to come Pantheris works on understanding the mechanism behind the void and its ability to erase existance totally. He starts the work over and over. Each time from scratch.
Each time with less certainty of what he seeks and why he seems driven to understand…
… each time losing focus on what he is actually trying to understand.

Sitting at his table, Pantheris finds himself completely at a loss as to what he was to work on.
“The rune forge…” he forces a memory to fill the void where there was one, “that is what I’m sitting here to study”. He knows that’s not the truth, but he thinks of his friends and how they are relying on him to know what to do when the time comes.
He recalls his debt to them for coming to his aid all those years ago. Had they not helped, he would have certainly perished. He stood no chance of facing those foes on the ice fields alone.
“Adventuring alone was foolish”, He says aloud as he gets to work.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 11:34 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris studies the relics that have been collected. He gathers them on his workbench and examines them. As he gets to the glowing essence that Ju-alis paid such a heavy price for, he pauses. He watches the colours swirls and remembers a time when she wore bright clothes, not just the black leathers of one who skulks in darkness, but bright robes in warm places; stealing sticky buns and sharing them on bright sunny roof tops.

“Why does the essence persist?” he wonders. “Will it fail and fade when all memories of her finally disappear?” He also wonders when that will finally be. He can go days without remembering her now. When the memories come back they are a blessing.

He sighs. With some sadness, Pantheris gets back to work on unravelling the powers of the runeforge and the nature of the artifact weapons. He puts away the vial and lets the memories of Jewels fade too. There is much work to be done.

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