Rael - The Heroes of Rin

Oblivion War
The Fall of Rin

A hundred years ago Maraklist, Bleys, Calibash and Luke came upon a haunted iron tower. The people of the city avoided the tower… “not even fit to be a lighthouse,” they said. “The place will doom us all,” they said. Eager and brave, the four adventurers breached the tower and found the new denizens of the place to be un-remarkable. That day set in motion the events of today. The first chapter and the last have book-ends in a broken Iron tower.

A red light sparks into existence above the top of IronWind, splitting the sky like a red stroke of mute lighting. It dances like a trapped flame, a pulsing ribbon, a crimson wound on the soul of the world. Below the tower, two farmers make the sign of Omashis to ward of evil. Moments later, the horror of their failure emerges… the first ancient shadow dragon appears in the sky above them. Followed by another, and another, and another, until an impossible horde of dragons and devils fill the sky blotting out the sun. From their vantage beneath a cart of hay, they hold a faint glimmer of hope that the horde of evil will pass them by… until the dead come. Flashes of red light coalesce on the ground near them. Vampires and spectres, emboldened by the eclipse created by hundreds of dark dragons, arrive not far from the farmers. As the first soulless eyes settle upon the farmers, they recognize that their apocalypse is now. It would never matter how many more undead come through that portal, nor how many battles will be waged against this force. For Desmos and Thale the world ended at this moment. Their wives, their children, their friends, wouldn’t live long enough to mourn them. Their extended families, spread as far as Colmarch and Highbridge would die. Every trace of their family tree would be wiped from existence with a swift and decisive blow.

Prince Koran Gindrash would rally sixty thousand troops to defend Reddan. He would fight valiantly with priests and paladins, archers and mages. But the sun would not rise on Reddan. Within the first month of the war, the city would be gone for all time. A blackened shell that once housed the hopes of hundreds of thousands of souls would become in that day an ancient ruin, for some future folk to stop past and wonder at. Massive foundations, but no towers. Even the bones of the dead, will get up and walk from this place forever lost to history.

The march doesn’t end there. Crossing over a thousand miles of land, the army of the dead razes the land to the lowest stalk of grass. Nothing is left alive, for the corpses are useful for the coming battle. Dragons, devils, and the undead wipe the settlements out in the Westlands. The ancestral homes of thousands upon thousands of souls, Bleys’ forbearers included, are wiped from history as Marksman’s Lake is ravaged. Bleys had lived his life separated from his family and his kin. His brother had left him at the monastery after his parents died. There was a reunion to be had with his kin, but nevermore. His branch of humanity was gone.

The Vishron druid groves rally against the undead, using trees and animals, and the earth itself against the unnatural invaders. They too fall like brittle twigs against a roaring fire of hatred.

Meanwhile, far to the East — Arondil the Sword of Oblivion has landed his army of demons and giants amidst the Illorian tribes — an ideal place to gather more forces for his armies. The white elves — the Sindari — muster a useless resistance against the dark angel of destruction — Arondil. In the old tongue, Arondil means “child of light”, or “son of the light”. Nearly sixty years ago a prophecy was given… the child of light would come against the demon king, and that is what he was preparing for. The prophecy is fulfilled. Arondil is shadow — the child of light.

In the east the illorian tribes fall into line. Arondil destroys the leaders and takes his followers from amongst the tribes. His runelord of Lust, Sorshen, forever at his side has taken her rightful place. Wyrilla has fallen in battle to Pantheris’ flights of ancient dragons. Her essence is turned to dust as she is destroyed. Pantheris and Arondil give fleeting attention to the implications… of her shadow trail, of her turning to dust. Arondil blames the “stupid cow” for standing against his mighty army.

The mother of oblivion told Arondil that Myros intends to become a god by consuming souls in a mighty battle, eventually taking Arondil’s… a prophecy now fultilled. But outcomes still need to be settled, and that will come at Iconolder.

Stay tuned for chapter two of the oblivion war…

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The Tower at the End of Time
The Magician Revealed

The wind wails across the peaks, turning the snow-caps to white wispy smoke. Further below four figures look dismissively at the mountain. There have been too many mountains, too many dangerous places, and far too many climbs. They aren’t afraid of the monsters that haunt the mountain peak… if they are afraid of anything, they are afraid for them.

The swell from the mountain wind catches Bleys first — standing erect in the face of the frigid gusts he doesn’t flinch or protest as the air snaps open his shirt slashing down on his bare skin. His unblinking gaze flits over the frigid climb. Pale jade eyes betraying the last bit of his humanity. His shape is mostly human. Somehow over the years the monster crept into all of his forms: fangs, claws, and fur that never fully abates. Even the set of his jaw and his length-of-limb betray his lupin nature.

He knows that his nature is not yet set. Either he becomes an avatar of his deity; or a monster driven mad… Human is no longer an option. Not now.

“Two more days to the summit,” he announces to the group. He pauses for a moment to see if he can muster up some fear. A runelord waits on that mountain — an ancient Moradil arch-mage. The fear just won’t be summoned any more. Anger but not fear.

“Why can’t we just teleport up there?” complains Arondil. “I am tired of all this walking and talking.”

“It is a locus and will thwart teleportation,” Pantheris explains “besides, there may be clues and information along the journey. Keys to their magic.”

Arondil’s cold black eyes betray no emotion, but the curl of his lips and dismissive shake of his head make his meaning all too clear. “Whatever” he dully responds. He returns to his tent until there is killing to be done.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:23 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Night darkens the sky; all but the edges at first, but soon the pale orange glow of daylight is gone. One of the first stars of the night is Cassus, the wanderer. This star does not move with the constellations but often appears at dusk and lasts until dawn.

It is the custom of Calibash to greet Cassus like a friend. A predictable friend, for he knows the mathematics of his course and the strange patterns he will draw upon the sky. But even Cassus has secrets. Calibash wonders what patterns the star draws when he is below the horizon on the days when he does not rise. What betrayals does Cassus harbour in his heart? What vices does he cultivate in the darkness? Calibash knows that it is darkness that outlines truth. You know men by the shadows they cast not by the light that they shine.

Calibash is almost a mile from camp, wandering away from his friends to study the stars and scheme.

He tilts his head slowly from side-to-side to clear out the kink in his neck. The discomfort comes from the time his head was ripped off. He remembers the smoke and the flame vividly. The laughter of Hundriel and Mvashtar summons a sweat, a brief sheen on his metal skin, even in this frigid mountain air. Under the stars he remembers everything. The Mother of Oblivion is a trickster, a master of cruelty and obfuscation, nothing more. He struggles to understand her ability to blot memory… and reason. She is a false darkness. But their is a deep and living darkness that does not separate the stars, but connects them. It is like a fabric not a chasm.

Calibash lets his thought race across the cosmos and his perception moves through time, settling on a moment in both the future and the past. Not too far in the future he will meet with a dragon-elf from the past. Calibash will be the “Magician” — the one who unites the arcane and the divine; with the staff that “burns at both ends.” So long ago that seemed. But he had kept faith all this time. Calibash couldn’t help but be excited for it though. To see the same moment from two different points in time will be, or was, a blessing of untold enlightenment.

Broken, re-forged, and broken again. There was a horror to it as well. All that was to come. Horror upon horror. Especially when you consider that it may not be enough to turn the tide. At least he could protect the children. That was some consolation.

To that end, he crouches down to meet the level of the three large leopards who had answered his summons. Snow Leopards are generally small as the large cats go; but their stealth and winter adaptations are perfect for the task at hand.

“It has begun.” he says to them. “go and do what you were awakened to do.”

Calibash doesn’t have to hope that the few weeks training and the bits of magic he was able to teach them will be enough to get to the beginning; as he knows that they have already been there. What comes after is a mystery even to him.

“You are sending away your pets?” Bleys says as he steps out of the darkness his wolfish senses still following the trail of the retreating cats.

Calibash turns to meet his long-time friend. "Yes, Bleys. They need to be elsewhere. " Calibash steps back with his right foot so that his friend can see the arcane symbols drawn in the snow with a stick.

The gesture confirms what Bleys had been thinking. “You gave them sentience?” Bleys asks quizzically, stumbling over the sibilant s’s and c’s, that challenge his lupine mouth.

“Yes, I gave them GEND-TEN-TENDS.” Calibash quips. He brushes over the marks in the snow. He shifts to a softer tone, "I am glad you are here. Before we go back I want to pray with you for a while. I want to talk about the future. "
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:16 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
For hours the two priests contemplate the darkness, the stars, and the silvery moon. It had been years since they have talked like this… gathering wisdom under a dark sky.

Calibash’s tone shifts from the academic questions of Gemmenology to deep regret. “Our failure has been absolute dear friend. In spite of the Alar’ahai,” he gestures to his twin staff and Bleys’ silvery claw. “In spite of of ascension, we lack the power to stop the evil that we have unleashed. We are too few and too flawed.”

“You don’t think we can stop the runelords?” asks Bleys.

“Stop them?” Calibash shakes off the question for a moment. His eyes sparkling with the wisdom of the night sky, he recalls that his friend is not connected to the knowledge of everything and gives him a moment to catch up. Calibash continues, “We have risen friend. Have we risen to wage war? Are you the runelord of Wrath, or the Runelord Righteous Anger. Which one Bleys? The line is so fine, I can barely tell most of the time” He gestures again to the Alar’ahai — Ketteris – the silver claw. The weapon of a Runelord. “Will you punish the guilty? And, even if you do… will our war break this world? There are seven of us. Just like the seven Epiphanies… prophets of the end times.”

“Your words and warnings are disturbing but we still have hope. We can overcome, we always do.” After an uncomfortable silence hangs in the arie, Bleys looks up to the moon in the sky and becomes aware of the time. “We should get back to the others.”

Again, Calibash shakes his head. “No Bleys. They have gone. We are alone.”
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Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 12:39 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris adjusts his belt for the third time in a few minutes. He isn’t sure if it is a nervous habit or the practiced behaviour of a warrior readying for battle. It mattered to how his quiver hung; how the sword moved at his side; and the way his pouch of spell ingredients opened.

There was much regret and soul-searching at the path he must now take. However, there was nothing to be done. The only way to defeat the void was through the void. He would learn its secrets and return from the other side as master of it all. He would keep watch over Arondil. Unlike others, he had always seen power and knowledge as tools… weapons that could be picked up and put down. He was separate from the power he wielded.

He did allow himself an indulgent smile thinking of Conna again. She acted selfishly to prevent war when she betrayed them. She was smug and proud at avoiding a the death of her people. It was a little funny how wrong she was. She had stopped one warlord and would soon confront a greater one.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:56 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Away from Arondil and Pantheris, away from the inky-black cloud of oblivion, the memories begin to return: first as foes murdered without mercy, then Arondil’s conversation with the Mother of Oblivion. His mind is playing tricks as he begins to remember things that never happened. Bleys remembers a negotiation with Delvahine. He remembers a truce with Delvahine and her children. He remembers mis-trust and then something else. He remembers spending time with the creature, the woman. He remembers her smell; the way she was weary from battle. He remembers love and laughter; a whole set of stories. He remembers her redemption and their marriage; even the birth of the children and their names. Then he remembers death. How had these memories become warped?

Bleys lets out a scream. Both memories can’t be real. The one child was grown to four years old when it was killed. Murdered by his friends. They thought the crime would be forgotten; they believed in oblivion. It was nothing but a trick of memory. Now nothing makes sense. Bleys collapses down into the snow again. Weary beyond all reason, too weary to continue. Continue with any of it.

Tears in his eyes, Bleys looks to the moon and transforms into the wolf. Perhaps for the last time. He heads North into the snow, giving up on human direction. Bleys deliberately forces out all human thought, all the memories that no longer made sense. All the treacherous friends and loyal enemies begin to vanish. In wolf form the memories fade into a world of scent and sense. Bleys leaves the world on four paws.

In the future someone may search for the Silver Wolf to coax it back to sentience. Or, through the centuries it may prowl the top of the world a creature of hunger and loss. It can live there for a thousand years, maybe more.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 8:59 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
And then he was alone. Calibash traced his fingers across the sky, drawing the patterns of the stars against the daylight blue sky. In the snow he sees the paw prints of Bleys trekking off into oblivion.

He sometimes wonders why they brought him back to life. What wheels were still turning his fate. Calibash would have one more meeting — one more play before giving up entirely. The challenge ahead was dire. He would face the mountain alone — confront the Runelord Karzoug alone. The most powerful of the seven Runelords; and he must face him without his friends.

But he knew something that none of them else did. In the spires of Xin Shalast he would discover the Magician’s Tower — a place bridging time and worlds. On the door to the tower he would find three runes “Never or Forever.” That was the choice to all those who entered, enter the tower and never leave, or stay out. Calibash felt the weight of destiny across his shoulders.

Where his friends had failed he would succeed. He could succeed. Only he. The one who burns at both ends. The one who unites the divine and the arcane. He will deliver a message that will break the fellowship in the past, giving them a little hope for the future. The past and the future becoming one.

As he was considering a bleak and endless isolation; a butterfly lands on a branch in front of him. Reminding him that there may be joy and surprises yet to come.

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Arondil's fall to Darkness
The Lure of Oblivion

Posted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:50 pm Post subject: another saturday in the life of a preist of helani celanil Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
another saturday, helani’s day, the heroe’s feasts were cast and there was much merriment under a beautiful noon sun in the middle of the ocean on a boat headed to quite a nasty situation. in order to fill out the twenty odd other places in the feast Arondil invited the other’s in the crew and the group of adventurers who had come along on this journey to partake if they cared to. Bleys, calibash and Pantheris were still holed up pondering the items they had got from from their last encouter with these, well whatever they were and while Arondil was a little saddened he was a little glad as well. The friction between his followers and his friends was troubling and the lack of trust his friends had for his followers was troubling bothfor him and especially for his followers, the barb when the assassins said they would put aside thier poisons and acids and though they had argued the logic with his friends as soon as Arondil had told them that was the way it was to be they had agreed without question. Nevertheless Bleys had decided to simply remove all such items rather than except anyones word, with a chuckle Arondil remebered Bleys’ reaction he had years ago to a comment that Arondil had made to Elodara, wich, he was sure was taken by her as the compliment it was meant to be. …..

Arondil gave his head a shake, theological discussions were not for a priest of Helani, hers was the province of charm, beauty, the refinement of ones art marriage, be it between two people or two skills, and doing whatever it takes to enjoy another sunny day such as this one

Ah well, he had come up with some new ideas for his followers, he was sure now that they would noit work well with his friends, and since he had absolutely no desire to quit his association with his friends nor could he just tell his followers to just ‘go away’ he must come up with a new way to keep them alive.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:00 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
And now many years later, sitting under a tent on the slope of some unimportant mountain which at the top is some runelord, arondil draws a little sketch in the dirt, remembering this time when he was a priest of helani. He remembers all the arguments with bleys when he had attracted followers they chose to follow him, and they must have been aware of thr risks he remembers the unending arguments with bleys of exactly what the gods represent, with bleys always on with the gods representing some sort of choice between good and evil and arondil seeing them as avatars representing ideas rather than moral choices.

he continues with his sketching, by now he has covered much of the tent floor.

Arondil wonders about bleys, while he has lost interest in bleys’ s dream of finding the children in order to keep them safe hasn’t bleys realized that the safest place for the children is far away from their parents? Arondil still see’s Bleys as an old dear friend, a misguided human who’ll will probably go insane given the extremely long lifespan he’s wished for, but that’s alright, not even elves continualy adventure like their group has, they take breaks for some 50 years just to adjust to all that has happened.
But still, the runeforge must have been hard on bleys….the things that Arondil saw happen as a result of the choices bleys made…the things that could chew at a person, especialy one who’s been so vocal about moral things for so long.

Oh well, Arondil’s done with gods now….suddenly a thought come to him, the runelord were probably in power before the 16 gods existed, that would explain a lot, a lot that really doesn’t matter much anymore. The 16 gods are really just a part of much bigger picture.

No more jewels….that, makes arondil sad. She was a good adventuring companion….He wonders of he’ll ever see wyrilla again. Feel her claws digging into him to the point where he wondered if she might accidentaly puncture his heart, dragon claws are big.

He looks at his sketching…two crudely done army are there, very crude stick figures as one would see when done with fingers and dirt, but easily seen as separate armys. One side is wearing robes and the other side is bigger figures, monsters maybe, giants, a different breed anyway. He starts scrubbing the armies out then stops as he see’s how his hand is making each individual grain of dirt move and see’s how the dirt looks after his hand has passed over it. He wonders why he decided to make it a simple chaotic random jumble, he could wipe out his sketch in an enormous number of ways and still arrive at the same result, or any result. If everything outside the tent is like this picture inside the tent…made up of little parts, each little part or grain is quite useless and insigifcant on it’s own but it is also a necessary part of the whole picture…he carefully smoothes out the picture. The same result, both armies gone, but that twig is still here, that little pebble there, and both could be reduced down to little grains too if desired.

He ponders as lays down the sleep….I don’t want to make the same mistakes with MOO that I made with Henali. If Henali is just a small part of a much bigger picture then so to is MOO. If the void’s ’isn’t’ is equal to everything else’s ‘is’ then there’s no way there’s such a boring limit such as MOO. There must be more to the whole thing than some squid flailing about.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:34 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
yes, he would like to be with wyrilla again……there was someone who understand how to bring destruction down.

Arondil thinks of the things on his list that need to be removed for things in the world to go back to the pleasant pace he remembers from his past. He tracks back through his life to find where things went….off. He ends up at the point where they went through that tome…or was it a mirror?…that thing that enhanced their powers. And all to battle illorians who would be passing through that book with enhanced powers as well.

Could they not have destroyed that artifact?….Maybe, there was a chance that it could still be destroyed and the world returned to a state where magic was a lot more limited.

OK…that, and the demon King
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:49 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
He remembers that they trace to the Voltasia. The book and the stupid quest to save the dwarven smiths, were both from the Voltasia. Ridding the world of them may be a great kindness to the future.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:09 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
yes, but the stupid book can be used by creatures even stupider than the voltasia…must go first, then all damage stupid book has done…stupid moo, best way to cut things down when they get to big is to only allow them to grow so far in the first place.

remove voltasia, ignore book, just means more voltasia…..Oblivion is a garden, not a farm, stupid moo…..much better to work towards the day when all surrender willingly than to have to go farming…

Arondil has decided it’s finaly time to work on his big goal of eliminating the demon king. The children will coming in blackpool and not this part of the world, this part of the world is unimportant and best left to it’s own devices. He vaguely feels some regret at the damage he’s caused(releasing the runelords) but he is fine with putting that on the meddling of the voltasia.

He now needs to get an army…two armies…maybe best three. For that he needs to recruit from these lands which means he needs to break from his friends. Pantheris has agreed to accompany him, solely for the purpose of provided extreme magic power if needed beyond that pantheris is free to study as he desires, the journey through to chilliax and back could also help him in his pursuit of ‘death magic’, whatever that is.

Bleys and Calibash……Arondil feels some regret at leaving them behind. He didn’t ask them if they’d accompany him, it just didn’t seem right – Bleys is Bleys and calibash is good to a point of being precious that asking them to go along on a recruitment of hellknghts and such (the sort of army that would be needed to destroy DK) justdid not seem the right thing to do.

Arondil did however leave a letter with details on his own plans, use the portal and the towers in the mountains and darkmoor to catch the place in a vice and squeeze…he also left a suggestion and instructions on how to use the portal to go to ironwind and bring an army from the north to come south and ultimately pull back after and maintain a defence of the north while the remainders of the chaos destroyed each other.

Arondil has some very high hopes that everything will work out….he does miss the carefree years when the power levels in the world were more subdued…before that damned book and the voltasia ever became a factor in life.

well off he goes…the end result, a world that will have to work hard to hurt the children…because, there’s no godlike beings roaming up and down it
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2016 4:05 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil and Pantheris teleport to the Storval Plateau to begin raising their army. They start at the place that will be the beginning and the end of this journey, the Jorgenfist Fortress. They take nearly a week to subdue all resistance at Jorgenfist and begin gathering rune giants, rune-dragons, and others to their cause.

Now the worship of Arondil begins. A few also worship Pantheris, but less openly. While Arondil’s adulation happens in public in the bright of the sun, those who revere the cat-lord as a god do so in secret for he does not brook worship. Besides, he considers the giants and dragons evil — deceitful and devious.

Conna is broken and bloodied; but left alive to serve her new masters. A small force is left behind at Jorgenfist when the Army of Oblivion marches South. The injured are left to clean up the fields of the dead. They are not to bury the dead. This war is all too practical and no resources will be wasted. After the army marches South, the necromancers begin their work. That kind of work is unpleasant and un-natural, but it has value. Neither Arondil nor Pantheris has talent for Necromancy, so they use the leaders who do.

They learn lessons from their first campaign. If they engage directly they utterly destroy those they kill. You cannot make undead troops out of dust; so, Arondil and Pantheris decide that they will wade into battle sparingly. They will engage only the divine prophets of good — those who would resist being raised as spawn.

During the next battles it is a hard decision to keep. Arondil cannot resist the lure of battle, the exultation of blood, and the revelry that follows. The army has swelled. High in a tower of some city, with some name that must have mattered once, Arondil looks out across a bay. The warriors of the city are all dead or pledged, and the city lies spread out before him. Steaming like a fresh kill in the cold snow, the city smoulders. Women wail helplessly in grief or shame or pain. Arondil can’t help feel some regret for what is happening down in the streets, but change is painful. This is a necessary evil to fight a far greater one.

Arondil and Pantheris go below the streets of the next city to discover Sorshen, the former rune-lord of lust. They find that she is a beautiful Kelandil — which surprises them — but does not alter the plan. Her power is no match for Arondil and Pantheris. They make her submit. They subsume her followers and bring her into the fold.

They initially confront Chelliax with her aid. Arondil is loathe to be apart from her. She is skilled and powerful. However, he sends her on to the worldwound and hopes to see her again soon. They turn their focus back to breaking Chelliax. The ranks they fight are bolstered by Devils. Arondil and Pantheris face the leaders and destroy them utterly. The utter destruction that was promised is delivered. The new leaders finally understand that capitulating to the terms of the Army of Oblivion is better than losing everything.

Pantheris spends days poring over the details of the contracts. He eliminates and re-words the deal until they have secured a deal that is iron. Pantheris has seen the treachery of devils before. He does not repeat his mistakes. Instead he has grown and learned. He knows more about the void than ever before.

Just like the rip that formed the universe, there is a bright spark at the edge of oblivion. This spark he uses to fuel his power — to bolster his divinity. Each creature has at least a small spark — devil lords more of one. When you send it to the void it is liberated. This spark can be harnessed and captured. Arondil and Pantheris gather these during this war. Sometimes thousands of sparks a day.

The year is getting late, and Arondil and Pantheris prepare for the trip back North to Jorgenfist. They wish they could leave the army and go on ahead, but the power of Arondil compels and connects the army. They look out on what they have amassed. Two hundred dragons, three thousand giants, five thousand devils, twelve thousand beasts, and nearly forty-thousand men await the orders to march North. Arondil allows a smile. This army will crush through Rin, rip apart Southern Darkmoor, and bring down the demon king. He wonders how Sorshen is doing with the Demons. He then has a fleeting thought. He wonders if Bleys and Calibash will have anything to show for their year. Will they have raised an army too. He suspects not.

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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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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.

View
Rise of the Runelords V
The Sacrifice of Ju'alis

Ju’alis approaches the pool again and again the colours swirl to greet her approach. The pale nimbus of light illuminates her features with copper and magenta hues. Reflected back in the pool she sees her face. Her aging face…make-up and dyes obscuring the silver fur that now frames her whole mouth and whiskers.
Pantheris is so excited about all of this. The pocket-planes of existence in the room – Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Shadow; the powerful magic of the pool and the books. Ohh the books. Tomes and tomes line the outer wall. She wonders again what drives his ambition. They are on a splendid adventure together but sometimes it doesn’t feel very together. In the aftermath of those demons, there isn’t much together for her. Calibash is consumed with the study. Arondil makes her uneasy and Bleys has been hurt. He acts angry but he is hurt. Ketteris and her dog aren’t her cup of tea either. Too stoic that little one. She likes the fight too much. Ju’alis has lost her taste for blood. “Stickypaws” she used to call herself. She used to like that name on so many levels — cleaning blood from her hands; taking jewels in the night; an something else. She has always been good at taking; taking life, taking jewels, taking gold. Taking has defined her but it has lead her here. A place at the edge of reality where the only things she really craves any more can’t be taken. Friendship and companionship can’t be taken. Peace of mind can’t be taken, it just gets lost somewhere after you take too much. Youth can’t be taken, it just gets lost when you get focused on other things. Love can’t be taken, it just waits lonely by for its time to come again. She smiles as she looks at Pantheris. He does that funny rubbing of his nose when he sleeps as if he is expecting his whiskers to come in, but they never do. She smiles as she remembers the last good meaning of “Stickypaws” and sharing a sweet-bun with a young elf out-of-place in a land of spices and honey.

She turns her attention back to the pool that bathes her ruminations. It has been a quiet home for the past few weeks, and expects that there will be many more weeks spent honing skills and preparing for the next areas of this complex. Honing. They now know that the relic of this area is the water of this pool. The water that glows and gurgles when she approaches.

Greedy essence it is called. They could harvest it from any greedy creature but Ju’alis knew that would be evil. It takes part of the soul — drains it into the fluid and becomes a powerful component of the runeforge. She couldn’t take it from another creature. She had done enough taking. Glancing slowly over her shoulder to make sure that she is not being observed, she takes the golden jeweled decanter and dips it into the pool. Against all the warnings she lets her hand drive deep into the water. The water responds with flashing light and energy as it suffuses with her essence. She weakens as she feels her life force ebbing from her. Years of life tumbling into the water with ruddy currents; power and skill cascading away. Her energy glows and flows filling the decanter with sparkling liquid. The ingredient from the halls of greed.

Ju’alis wipes off her hand and examines her handi-work. It is not like the tomes described. It is not a golden liquid, but irradescent prisms of the rainbow. Her heart starts in her chest thinking that she has failed, but she sees gold within the fluid like a brilliant cloud and she knows that it has worked. Although, not in a way that the owners of the pool would imagine.

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Rise of the Runelords IV
Mokmurian is Dead

“Mokmurian is dead!” screams Conna. Holding up the lifeless puppet he would often use to command troops from afar.

“Those that killed him are in the library. I spoke with them, but Mokmurian commanded that I let them past and that he would deal with them himself. Now he is fallen. I will take my people back to the mountains. We don’t live in stone houses!” she says as her gesture sweeps across the massive castle of Jorgenfist.

Conna rose to be the leader of her people because she knew how to lie. Anything that she ever said, if you poked it long enough, some truth would bleed out. There was enough juice in her lies that each side could find enough truth. She could betray both sides, but neither, and go back home.

“What of the intruders?” Hisses the voice of Kidrichek, an ancient rune-infused dragon. It was once a red dragon, but the torture of the rune-magic has long obliterated that identity.

Conna looks down at the pit and shrugs. There is a long pause. Finally, she says "I imagine that they will use the small tunnels to escape. " She lets the betrayal hang in the air for a little bit before adding, " I am taking my people and leaving now. I don’t care the fate of those below. They killed Mokmurian. If you want to fight them… " After the pause she shrugs again.

Her people will go back to the mountains. Other tribes will fight for Jorgenfist and some will search for and fight the small company. Many will die, and no matter the outcome her people will be safer.

“Men and their axes” she muses to herself. She has a fleeting thought… with those who will choose to stay, and those who will fight, who will win? Who will win Jorgenfist? Will the small company survive? She starts to ponder the odds and then remembers that she doesn’t care.

She walks away knowing that yesterday they were perched on the brink of war. Today, with not one of her people killed, she is going back up the mountain — for generations her people will be stronger for what she accomplished today. Those tribes who fight will be weakened for generations. The sunlight bathes her skin and she smells the crisp air of the mountain. Her ancestors are proud.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 5:11 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil shrugs as he settles down for a nap

Sandepunt was fine but he’s almost forgotten why they are even there. None of much that has happened makes a lot of sense…..Oh well, keep swinging until it’s over…..when there’e nothing left that needs to be swung at then things might make sense.

hmmm, Conna, conna, conna……..was she anyone important?
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:19 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris muses that the old saying “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is one that he has never put much stock into.

His upbringing amongst the nobles of his kind taught him much of half-truths and twisting of truth to further the gains of those who strive to “connive” their way to power, influence, and personal gain.

As such he looked at the deal with the giant as simply one to more easily achieve the goals of the group. While Pantheris would not break the deal and the giant’s promise to honour the deal was confirmed with the use of his friends divine magic, he was not certain of the giant’s intentions after Mokmurian was dead. In fact, as is usually the case in his experience, he knew that the real challenges may very well come after Mokmurians demise.

In that sense, Pantheris feels that the giant only acted as he expected.

“Such is the world” he muses to himself….
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2014 11:06 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil laughs when he hears pantheris’ muttering…..“If they’re running at you and they’re ugly swing away….or blow them up”

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Ven Daer
The Gnomish Shortsword of Peace

Arondil had simply asked about Tenser’s emotion gems. And although they make up only three of the twenty-seven magical gems that adorn either the blade, hilt, or scabbard of the Gnomish weapon, the question precipitated a long explanation of the history of each gem; including the historical context of the wizard who fashioned them, and the society in which they lived. VenDaer takes great pride in the profound lineage of his myriad of gems.

The narratives were actually deeply entertaining in the first hours. VenDaer, able to perfectly mimic any voice he has ever heard, relates his histories in the first person perspective. Eventually, you convinced him to be quiet and let the casters rest. He agreed too easily with a cryptic “that won’t be a problem at all” to the request and serenaded a soft little lullaby until they fell asleep.

Then VenDaer could continue. He regaled their dreams with a riveting account of the dwarven civil war. It seemed when he said that he could not be silenced he meant much more than one would initially assume. His voice, any voice he wanted, not only could penetrate great distances, but bridge the barrier of sleep. The dwarven civil war, according to Vendaer, was resolved by their cousins the Gnomes who were able to re-unite them through love and humour.

Holding the scabbard, one of will could compel him to do three things — return to his scabbard, remain quiet, and attack. The third is the most difficult and against his nature. It is quite clear that the motivations of the sword revolve around peaceful negotiation.

It became increasingly and maddeningly clear that the sword was a problem. It’s powers seemed complicated and obscure — almost impossible to discern boast from fact. Activating powers was also maddeningly obscure, with some abilities be conferred by grasping the hilt; others by grasping the scabbard; yet others only available when the sword was “negotiating.” It would be fine to let the sword to it’s druthers, but all of its effective combat abilities must be compelled, at the right time, with the right phrases, in the right way.

Pantheris had mistakenly called the ability “dancing” and was educated about the difference with great humour. He also learned that Vendaer was adept at projecting images and illusions with great verisimilitude. In this case puppets. Vendaer was not suited to any one class: wizards could use it to broadcast their voice through any silence, rogues could use it to help them pick locks and find traps, bards could use it to broadcast song and relate history, barbarians could use it to augment their emotions and sustain their rage. Vendaer, though, is a pacifist and actively resists any use that causes harm to others.

In his head, in the fashion of Vendaer, Bleys had formulated an idea and named his idea. He was calling it “The New Journey” where he would take this sword back to the Gnomes wence it was forged.

Everyone knew three things about Vendaer. First, it was the funniest person they had ever met. Second, it was very powerful and had bits of some of the greatest wizards of all time. Lastly, it would get them killed if they didn’t get rid of it.

The wizards required an extra couple of hours sleep to make up for the disruptions in their dreams.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:24 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
arondil drifted off to sleep wondering how the gnome(who’s name he was just too tired to remember at the moment) was doing with the shop in that town close to the monastery which for some reason he could not recall having ever heard the name for wich was odd because he did banking there, had two houses there and the first branch of trading post there- the second was in the town with the big square pool through which maraklists and bleys’ broods of children would one day emerge..(shouldn’t they be keeping an eye on that?)

The swords wonderfull, but distracting, he thought……let’s sell it…..but not for money, all you can do with that is buy houses, and I’ve forgotten how many I’ve bought over the years
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2014 10:25 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
over breakfast the next day Arondil asked the group…..“how long do you think it”s been since the children were born? I’m not sure but I think it’s been at least 25 years…….maybe twice that. I eally cant say since we’ve been on ‘voltasia time’"

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Rise of the Runelords III
Glassworks

High atop the cathedral the lupine figure of Bleys stands as if a monument, a sentinel of the cathedral. His wolf-like form is framed against the silvery moon. He watches and smells. The sick sulfur has not abated completely. He senses the foul creatures are out in the night.

Low and carefully a storm-crow circles the town, with eyes that pierce illusion he watches for the creatures and the chaos they bring. Tired now from a day of circling above, he has reached the point of near exhaustion. His master may call him back soon. He hopes.

Patrolling the streets the Lions of Magnimar are on full alert. Guards are posted at nearly every street corner, while the citizens of Sandpoint huddle in their houses. Not sleeping, any of them, as visions of horror and death haunt their eyes.

Pantheris is looking over the wagons one more time. The wagons belonging to the Sandpoint Glassworks — fitted with smuggling compartments. Compartments where the Illorg lay in wait. What could command these things to act against their nature and remain hidden for so long?

Calibash reaches out his mind to touch the eyes above. Doing so he finds something peculiar. He sees guards in the cemetary placed in formation around a grave. Hemlock and Shelalu appear to be investigating the area, along with two Dwarves who were originally stationed in that zone when the attack began.

He is mulling it over in his mind. The Glassworks, the grave, the attack. Should they investigate tonight or keep watch. He reaches out the the minds of his friends. He hears their response to a statement he doesn’t remember posing.

“Act how?” replies Arondil.

“This moment?” asks Bleys.

“I’m tired.” responds Ju’alis.

“What shall we do?” floats Pantheris’ mind.
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calibash
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:39 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“My Friends, I believe the cemetery may provide some clues. It may be best to investigate something that is already found rather than to try to find something if you understand my meaning.”

Calibash concentrates on his eyes in the sky to get a better view of the graveyard, and then allows her to return to guarding the town from the sky.

“What say you all?”
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:35 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys weighs in and tells Calibash he agrees that the group should quickly investigate the graveyard then move along to the glassworks. Bleys remains on the church on guard until he is needed.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:39 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“‘yes, a quick look at the cemetary couldn’t hurt………….but we shouldn’t let ourselves get too distracted from the glassworks”

Phasjin, twisted and grotesque, crashes to the floor in a spray of blood. Blood that hangs heavy in the air — a mist that gradually and un-nervingly takes shape. Pulsating as a beating heart the mist booms out a command. A command so intense that it shakes the stone pillars of the room.

“Nualia my servant! Awake me now! My blood has been spent and spilled. I will fashion you your army, and I come to you now. Today marks the end of the Vir and Fey in Golarion! Heed my call and prepare the rite. Gather Tobyn’s bones..and I will give birth to an army or Illor. By the thousands they will wash over the cities of Golarion. Awake the mother of all monsters.”

The echoes of the voice resound in the air while the mist slips quickly out the far door.

Calibash pauses and turns to the group. “We must pursue at all costs. Lamashtu, the mother of monsters, has found a way to be reborn into the world.”
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:10 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Calibash speaks with the wisdom of Visor… we must pursue this evil, and thwart her plans.”

“We may have been able to handle a hundred Illor, but we cannot handle thousands.”

“We can come back and search for treasures later Jewels, much more hangs in the balance than a few baubles. Perhaps there are even greater treasures to be lost if we do not pursue.”

“Friends… pray for divine intercession…”
“Today we place our lives in the hands of the gods…”

Pantheris, who is not usually devout at all, pulls a small figurine of Yawrl-Yawrl from his pouch, and rubs it for luck as he heads for the door to watch the mist cloud while he awaits the decision of his friends.
He sends his wizard eye in pursuit…
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:13 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys stays vigil at his post.
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 2:25 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris’ mind races while he waits for his friends to agree on whether to pursue or not. He quietly thanks Yawrl-Yawrl for a dawning thought…

He says “Father Tobyn’s bones are obviously an integral part of this ritual that Lamashtu intends to complete.”

“Jewels, give a quick search of the room for any bones or secret hiding places where the bones may be.”

“Perhaps that is why the Illor were digging around in the cemetary, they need Father Tobyn’s bones for the ritual.”

“If the bones are not here then perhaps he may still be buried in the cemetary, and maybe one, some, or all of us should head there. Or at least we should somehow get a message to the town guard and the Lions to search for them.”

“Or, perhaps the bones are where the mist is heading…”

“Either way, as distasteful as it may seem, I feel we should destroy the bones to prevent them being used in this ritual.”

“We must act quickly!”

“Do you see anything Jewels?”
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arondil

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:54 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil sighs…I suppose we should follow this mist immedIatly, it is unfortunate about bleys, although I have heard of remedies for his ailments. Although I think that if we delay to rest now that mist will have gained too much of a lead to be trackable. Much has happened this morning in such a short time…..although I think it should be close to noontime. maybe a brief respite for some prayer could be in order for myself
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Richard
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:03 am Post subject: Knowledge Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Rites to Lamashtu would take place at the setting of the Sun. That gives us seven hours and eight minutes to find them below and disrupt the ceremony.”
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bleys

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 6:45 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Rich…are the bears able to be brought to the room so they are able to protect the statue from both sides of the door?

If not Shelalu looks at Pantheris and asks "would you have another amber spell that would protect Bleys in our absence Pantheris?
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Richard
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:51 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
[The bears would be able to come into this room easily. ]

“Taken a shine to the Human?” Replies Ju’Alis. She pauses. “Seriously, we should find a way of safely moving the statue, and maybe encasing it in a wall of stone. We can do that while Arondil prays.” An evil smile crosses her face as she pulls out a dagger…. “We could even make him pretty.”

She walks slowly over towards the statue, clearly trying to elicit a response from the “do-gooder” crowd she hangs out with. When she reaches the statue and rests the dagger lightly on its nose she realizes that they have called her bluff. No one is even looking up from what they are doing. She pats Bleys on the head and stows the dagger.

“He is more personable this way.” She blurts out. “No speeches or sermons…Can we at least keep the tongue stone?”
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bleys

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:02 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys stays vigil at his post…
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calibash
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:43 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash sometimes wonders about his sanity when he speaks without conscious thought of it, but realizes in reality he is a vessel.

“I can protect him some by not allowing any teleportation in the area. I’m concerned they could use him as leverage to get what they want by either threatening destruction of his body, or holding him for some ransom if we do get what they’re looking for. I don’t want to have to make the choice knowing what the choice must be.

It would be wise if we could protect him in stone, but I have not any spell to accomplish this. We could teleport him back, but again that would weaken us at the time we need our strength the most. Setting the bears as guards are an option worth investigating.

However, if we are going to the graveyard, we can fairly quickly place Bleys in the cathedral for safety with the guards watching."
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:44 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Shelaylu shakes her head. “Tobyn’s bones aren’t in the graveyard. The coffin was opened and empty. Hemlock and I investigated. There was nothing left.”

“The voice said ‘Nualia.’ We all thought she died with Tobyn. Perhaps she didn’t die in the fire as we thought.” Her voice trails off.

It was amazing to think that it all happened so many months ago. The long strategy sessions with Hemlock, and you have gotten to know the mayor too — Kendra Deverin, a pragmatic woman who is as plain in dress and appearance as she is with her approach to politics.

The citizens of Sandpoint know nothing about the treachery of Nualia, their heaven-born daughter who turned her sights on hell. Tracking down the Illor and performing raiding sorties has been a tiresome job. Long weeks of travel, and hunting, returning back to Sandpoint to re-equip, re-plan, and get a little rest. The road East, towards the Thistlewood and Thistletop is finally clear. Now you can let the Lions of Magnimar patrol this area…well they used to be Lions of Magnimar. A hand-picked crew of soldiers willing to give up their commissions and spend their days in the thankless job of ensuring that the area around Thistletop remains clear of trouble.

No longer dressed in their finery, they look like merchants on the road. They have wagons for the few beasts that they could take — wounded lions that were no longer fit for service. Excellent breeding stock though … and these men signed up for the long term. Their community is set up inside the Thistle wall, provisioned and supplied as a permanent outpost against trouble.

Your sights are on the West. There are Brakwater Illor in the Brinestump Swamp. You haven’t started to make your Westward plans yet, but staring out the window you notice the change of season in the air. A local, Tenvik, looks up to your window and calls out a greeting and blessing for the night. Your response is off-hand, distracted, and appropriate.

The season has changed. You don’t speak like a local yet, but you know the language. For months every local you passed would want to hand-clasp and talk. You even began to suspect and conspiracy to help you learn the language from each and every inhabitant of Sandpoint.

The snow is swirling down like great sheets of white. There has been a little snow, but this is the first big snowfall. It transports your mind back to a myriad of other places — places that have been your home. A snowstorm anywhere is the same. The town of Sandpoint glows with warm lights and fires to shelter all against the winter nights.

Perhaps the swamp can wait, it might be good to rest out the winter.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:02 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil would like a little rest…..it has been a while since there were no immediate concerns, it would be nice to work on a few projects he’s had in mind…..he’s been thinking of altering the sworddance to take into account for moves that are required in battle to avoid becoming an absolute gore covered mess……..the maidens wilee love it……..

Ah the joys of being a preist of Helani…..
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:09 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“What is it about Sandpoint that everyone wants to crush it?” asks Bleys, wondering when they will ever get a respite.

“What did the giants look like?” Arondil asks for the third time as he polishes his sword.

Calibash ignores him and continues on with the interpretation of his dream. I see them coming in two waves… a small group; but then an army. An army of giant snakes, and those Crystal Giants…" he pauses to look at Arondil, “the ones made of dark stone, crystal, and veins of darkmetal. If we don’t go now they will crush Sandpoint into dust.”

“And what of the Githyanki?” queries Ju’alis, acutely aware of the dangers of carrying their holiest symbol as a spoil of war.

“I saw them floating in the East in lands we have not seen. They are meddling in all of this, but I don’t know how.” Calibash is troubled. His gaze penetrates darkness, but his dreams were filled with a dark inky cloud that blotted out visions and prophesies.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:21 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Viser’s prophetic dream fades too quickly from all of their minds. There was more of a warning, everyone feels it, but no one can remember it.
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 4:41 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
(did we all have the dream, or just Calibash?)
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:37 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
[that was a bit ambiguous on re-reading. Replace the last post with this one]

The moments turn around in everyone’s head. Gathered around to listen intently to Calibash tell of his dream, they dart uneasy glances around.
The morning candle has burned down to a flicker; half-empty cups bear witness to a long conversion. A conversation that they only remember a fragment of.

Just that last bit remains. The glances around tell the tale as each person searches for their memory. A long dark cloud of amnesia has descended leaving a lingering panic.

What was the beginning of the tale?
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arondil

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:21 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
arondil puts his sword back in the scabard, thinks a bit and says sandepunt women are the fairest in these lands…I’m tired of magnamar, stupid mayor with his " could you people do me a favour here, and why dont you fight some monsters there", and never a thank you ……… lets go sandepunt for a bit, a little vacation, I’d like to see how it’s getting fixed up.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:22 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
And…why is the thought of githyanki in my head?…..I dont like the githyanki…..not beautifull, must destroy
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Richard
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:11 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
[You remember Jewels mentioning the Githyanki, but you don’t remember why you did.]

Don’t forget to check your Private message at the top of the screen. (Everyone)
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arondil

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:50 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil asks"why is everyone looking so worried?…..all we have to do is figure out what other kinds of giants are around these lands and we’ll already have halfway beaten them Very Happy ….I just realized, we’ve been fighting a lot of giants or very large sized things lately……well, I need some sunshine and fresh air……maybe I’ll take a relaxing prayer day today Cool "…..with that arondil goes outside to enjoy a day of being a follower of helani……………….and ponder some things Confused
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:36 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Do you remember nothing of Calibash’s tale?” asks Siesze.

She looks around the group. The Giants…[pauses] and the Githyanki [pauses] the runes… crystals..and the butterfly goddess? Her eyes follow Arondil as he leaves the room; scans Pantheris and Ju’alis who are standing close together, glances past Bleys and then rests her gaze on Calibash.

“The wolf. Do you remember the wolf?”

“You had quite a dream. You called it a True Vision. You spoke like you were possessed by something else. In a far-off and commanding voice.”
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arondil

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:53 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil hears this as he’s walking out the door, pauses for a moment then continues walking to enjoy the sun. The others hear him laugh as he says “Butterfly Goddess………she’ll be the real trouble, if theres any consistency to this strange adventure” Laughing Laughing Laughing
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:58 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Cleaning. Nobody thinks about all the cleaning.” mutters Arondil back at the Rusty Dragon — their home in Sandepunt.

The whole top floor of the Inn has become known as “Hero’s Heights” and has been set aside for the heroes known locally as the “skyborn”. The old Halfling woman Bethana is the only one who is allowed on the upper levels of the Rusty Dragon. Even the owner, Ameiko, leaves those rooms to the matronly Halfling elder. She cleans slowly, but thoroughly when the skyborn are away; when they are in town she also leaves them to their peace. A small lamp at the end of the hallway signals when they are in their rooms: a red candle means they are not to be disturbed; yellow means that they can be offered baths, food, and drink; when they are away Bethana keeps a white candle burning.

Spread out across the floor is a mass of gear, much of it singed by Dragon-fire. Hair and fur and leather smell awful when burnt. He knows that the cat-folk will not abide smelly gear so he is going about the task of sorting the gear as to what will be salvaged and what will be replaced.

“The lords forgot to change the candle” says Bethana as she slips her knife back into her sleeve.

The rest look up from what they are doing to acknowledge the old Halfling. Bleys in particular has always had a strange fondness for her, and he extends an arm to guide her to a seat on the bed.

“Perhaps some of Ameiko’s stew for dinner tonight dear mother.” Bleys says in the Halfling fashion.

“’And some salmon steaks.” pipes in Jewels.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:33 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
And we’ll need some laundry done, if anyone’s available…seems like forever since I’ve looked my best at breakfast
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:02 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Sziesze looks at her pile of burnt gear. Two bottles are fused together to make some kind of artistic neo-d�cor that is popular in Magnimar. Dragon Fire is hot enough to reshape glass… she needs to remix unguents for fire protection.
She looks at the mass of cinders that were her solvents, inks, poultices, creams, balms, and suspensions. Molten weapons and burned gear. the edges of her leather satchel look like the burned edges of paper — black, cracked, and flakey.
To herself she thinks will need a long time to re-equip to rejoin the pursuit of those rune-giants. To herself she hopes that we don’t have to. Turn around. Forget the giants. Leave the dragons to whatever cause they have and find a nice little adventure somewhere.
She glances around the room hoping to find that the others are thinking the same thing. That isn’t what she sees. They have all shrugged of the near-fatal encounter with the dragons as easily as tripping over a loose stone.

“We have to be more careful with the Dragons.” is what Bleys said.

Calibash nodded and said, “Yes better fire protection.”

“And a bit more mobility in our spells.” added Pantheris.

That was it. A few seconds of silence later — with nothing to add from the others — it looked like the whole case was settled! Now they are going about making sure their gear is solid and figuring out what is on the menu for dinner and what clothes to wear to breakfast.

Rubbing at her void-mark she realized that she was growing and learning. “I’m alive until I’m not,” Arondil had said to her off-handedly once. That was the lesson.

That was the moment that she let worry slip from her. She let go of the last bit of holding-on. The illusion of the future and the shadow of the past were now so completely un-real to her that they seemed like childhood stories.

A trip up the mountain to find the rune-giants was now as inevitable as it was inconsequential. It will have to be done when it is done. For the moment the world was music and smell drifting through the boards in the floor.
Across the street she could see a clothier. She knew the kind of dress that she wanted to find; and soft dancing shoes too. The quest at hand was tavern attire. She hadn’t been this at peace for many, many years. If she paused at that moment to think about how many, she would have been shocked. But the past is just a shadow and she wasn’t going to dwell on that any more.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:17 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
But Calibash spoke again.

Again, she was the only one who remembered the words.

“Arondil is on the edge of an evolution and must soon walk the lonely night.”

“Bleys carries a great burden. One he must put down or be drowned by.”

“Calibash must embrace the night and seek out the butterfly.”

“Ju’alis, with silence and darkness, can deal the final blow.”

“Pantheris will cut the arcane bond that cannot be undone with magic.”

“Siesze is the prophet.”

“These are the six fingers of the fist. There are seven rune-lords. The six-fingered will be out-done by eight. Learn your numbers or all is lost.”

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Rise of the Runelords II
First Adventures

Arondil quickly gets a practice long sword and circles around the lad. he pokes and jabs here and there, not to really land a blow but more just to show the recruit that he doesn’t really have to move and reach but is better off planting himself in one spot where he is nicely balanced and ……….another minute or two of this and he might just have to draw a circle on the ground and put something heavy, like a mule on the boys shoulders to help him keep his center of balance
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Richard
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:13 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
The lad begins to check his swings and keeps his feet under him. Unfortunately, the power and speed of his blows decline as his balance improves.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:13 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondli keeps pressing, forcing the lad to keep moving and keeping his balance. After a few minutes he stops the boy and as he’s regaining his breath he points to a few spots on the boys shoulders, elbows and wrists, spots that he knows will be hurting because they have never been used before. He takes the practice sword and displays a portion of the sword dance. He hands the weapon back to the lad and says"every day, practice". he looks at Hemlock and says “come, lets see this place of ink and scratchings”
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bleys

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:41 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
In his rather happy state, Bleys attempts to join Ameiko in playing the flute through any song he believes he can add value to (in his state…that means all of them)…
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Richard
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:05 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil joins everyone in Hemlock’s office — where he fills out his daily reports, assigns duty rosters, and keeps track of incidents in the city. For a place of ink and scratching it barely lives up to the name. Sure there is a large desk at the centre of the room with a lattice shelf that holds scrolls behind it, but most of the rest of the room is littered with broken practice weapons in various states of repair. A number of small silver cups fill a shelf on the side wall, along with various implements of sport — balls, bats, and bright cotton sweaters.

There are two large leather sofas in the room, one with a decidedly Hemlock-shaped indentation running the entire length. The table in front of it is made from the foot of a dragon. Crammed on the other side of the room is a table with four chairs. The table is inlaid with a marble checker-board. A tray by the bar holds a many sets of fine game peices, carved from wood and stone, inlaid with glass. Parts of the little figures are leafed with Gold or Silver. A well worn deck of cards sits in the middle of the table and various golblets, tankards, glasses, snifters, and flasks have found perchs all around the room. The bar seems well-stocked with spirits. Bright flags and banners hang on the wall with the cups, and a large painted carving dominates the wall opposite the desk. The picture must be no less than eight feet wide depicting a group of well-proportioned elven women dancing around a campfire. The scene has a depth of perhaps ten inches, but the effect of it seems much deeper. The campfire itself is lined with metal and is actually a sconce that can provide his “office” with light. A number of small cloths are close to this piece of artwork, used for cleaning the soot from the figures close to the fire.

Two large windows let in light from high above. The ceiling of this room stretching up about 16 feet. A few ornamental swords hang on the walls in the upper part of the room. Two doors lead out of this room, apart from the one you came in that leads to the training ground.

The old man has been speaking with Calibash about stars. They have settled on Dwarven as a common language that is spoken almost identically bar a few odd idioms. Calibash has come to the conclusion that you are either somewhere in the Southern hemisphere or on an entirely different world. In either case — as Deanni promised — a long way from home. The old man, Ilsoari Gandethus, has suggested that if you want to look at maps and sea charts, a gnome named Veznutt Parooh has a library called “The Way North” on the way North out of town. Apparently, Parooh is a long-time and dear friend of Ilsoari, who is fond to tell of their exploits fishing and gathering leaf in the woods. It seems that in his younger years Ilsoari was a much travelled hero who has tangled with all manner of creatures. Now in his old age he often relies upon his magic just to get around — strength spells to go collect herbs; teleport spells to go from one end of Sandpoint to the other; and “virtual walks” through scrying.

Conversations with Ilsoari take a long time, but you find him exceptionally knowledgable on a wide range of topics. He is, after all, a school teacher. After much time you have discovered that he calls the world “Golarion”.

Golarion contains eight continents amid its immense seas.

The largest of these is Casmaron, which spans much of the world’s northern hemisphere.

On its eastern edge, bordered by the World’s Edge Mountains, Casmaron expands into a large peninsualar continent called Avistan which plays host to a number of civilizations built upon the ruins of great past empires, such as that of the Thassilonians. One such Kingdom, Varisia, is where you find yourself now.

In ancient times, before the Earthfall, Varisia made up a large portion of the Thassilonian Empire. When the empire crumbled, so did parts of the earth itself, forming the landscape seen today. The runelords left powerless and slumbering, the remaining population of Varisia was left to create their own destiny. The result was that the Shoanti people began settling the north and eastern sections of the land while the ethnic Varisians, from whom the land takes its current name, settled much of the rest in their own vagrant way. Celwynvian was also abadoned near this time as the elves left Golarion. Janderhoff was established as a Sky Citadel at the end of the dwarven Quest for Sky.

Many years passed and the land and peoples became more stable, Shoanti battling giants and orcs while native Varisians wandered the land. Southern expansion and exploration of the largely wilderness region began in 4406 AR when Chelish colonists entered the land through Bloodsworn Vale. This sparked a war between the settlers and Shoanti which last nearly a century before the Shoanti were pushed back to the Cinderlands. The settlers then founded Korvosa.

Another upheaval occured upon the death of Aroden and the subsequent decline of Imperial Cheliax, a large part of the population left Korvosa and founded Magnimar (Magnamar) on the southwest corner of Varisia. These two city states have since been vying for resources, though not openly warring, while the Shoanti grow strong, and ready for war in the north.

Magnimar is located where the Yondabakari River empties into the Varisian Gulf. The city is surrounded by the mostly inhospitable Mushfens. The city itself is defined by two colossal landmarks which predate modern civilization by thousands of years or more. The Irespan is an ancient Thassilonian ruin, the easternmost end of a giant bridge which has now crumbled into the sea. This enormous relic stretched from Magnimar’s other most noticeable feature, the three-hundred-foot tall cliff which cuts the city in two known as the Seacleft. Sandpoint is nestled just North of Magnimar (Magnamar) along the coast.

Southeast of Avistan, across the Inner Sea is the largely unexplored wilderness of Garund. Whether one is scouring its northern deserts for lost relics of the Osiriani pharaohs or trekking through the near-impenetrable jungles of the Mwangi Expanse, Garund provides endless adventures for those willing to risk its many dangers.

A thousand miles to the east from the Arch of Aroden are the remnants of the once great island-continent of Azlant, which saw the rise of the first human civilizations. All that remains of Azlant today is a series of jutting crags and narrow, twisted channels; most of the continent sunk beneath the sea when the Starstone fell from the sky.

Past the treacherous obstacles of Azlant lies the expanse of the Arcadian Ocean and the lush island continent of Arcadia which gives the body of water its name. 4,000 miles from the shores of Avistan, little is known of this land but in the most ancient of texts and lore from long-fallen empires, though there are infrequent trade and colonization efforts from Avistan to Arcadia.

The smallest continent on Golarion is Sarusan, which lies amid the least traveled portions of the sea.

An immense frozen desert spans the northern pole of the planet, called the Crown of the World.

While much too cold and harsh-weathered for permanent and successful habitation, the Crown is most often traveled as a means of reaching the far-eastern continent of Tian Xia on the opposite of the world from Avistan.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:17 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Belor Hemlock, has been struggling to keep himself awake as you speak at long length in a language that he does not understand to the school-teacher Ilsoari. Eventually though, the old wizard tires, and after what seems an eternity the old man asks to retire to his school — the Turandarok Academy.

As much as he has imparted to you, he has gotten in return. Long narratives of history and places that have been faithfully recorded by his young students. Unfortunately, the students don’t speak Dwarven, so their teacher will switch languages and dictate notes to them. He will compare their notes back at school to see if either missed anything.

Ilsoari has extended an offer for you to come and learn the language of the locals at his school (2 GP each for the week). He thinks it should take you about six months to get quite good.

During these times Belor will refill glasses with spicy spirits. Calibash, half mad from keeping part of his mind on drunken dwarven songs, and the other half on long complicated histories, is also thankful for the respite. The hour is late and it is time to re-unite with Bleys at the Rusty Dragon. You also discover that there are at least two other taverns in town… you’ve got at least three nights of work ahead of you.

The swallowtail festival is twelve days from now… make that eleven.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 3:28 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
By the time you have joined Bleys at the Rusty Dragon he is dancing on the table with the very pretty Ameiko. He is playing his flute and wearing a beard made of otter fur. The two dwarves with him have stretched some leather over a cask of ale to make a drum. He has stuffed some padding down his front to make himself appear more dwarven. To which the dwarves are laughing to tears. They are convinced he looks like a dwarven woman, so they hoot, hollar and whistle all through the performance.

The rest of the patrons are also merrily entertained, but the crowd is beginning to thin. The raucous party has drawn a few spectators from around the town who seem content to come and laugh with the newcomers to town. Many folks greet you, but few speak Dwarven — your best common language.

Apart from a pick-pocket being detained by Ameiko and carried off by the local guardsmen (dressed in red and black) the evening is otherwise pleasant and without trouble.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:00 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Where do you go in the morning?
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:33 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys wakes up in the early morning and is somewhat heavy headed. He splashes some cold water on his face and torso to clear his mind. If there is a small yard or stable behind the Inn he will ask if it is ok to use the space. If so…he spends an hour in meditation and kata.

He has prayed, and has renewed his prayers.

Bleys lets the party know he will go to the church and seek council with the local clerics. The clerics in the party prob follow (Carlos cannot post).

Additionally, he asks the inn-keeper where he can find writing materials in town. He remembers last nights wonderful cooking…and has a new interest in learning the arts of cooking. He plans to find a journal where he can make notes about wonderful recipes. If the party is ok with it…he will assume the duty of cook for the party moving forward.

He will also keep a look out for a good set of travelling pots and utensils to heighten his ability to cook on the road. Later that day he will ask the inn’s cook if would share some recipes from the prior night…and asks if he knows of any that would be useful on the road.

Church first, cooking later. At church he will certainly attend any prayers, and will offer some if they will allow. He asks if he can provide service to the town in the form of purification of locations or people.

He also inquires and gets the clerical insight into what is happening around town, and how his group might be able to assist.

After a hellish (pardon the pun) couple of weeks, he is most content in being in a new town with friendly folk abound.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:51 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil goes with bleys to explore this town. He remembers what Deani has said on not missing the festival. He voices his concerns to the others about seeing magnamar as they were told they would get a good trade for thier accumulations and if that were to take 3 to 4 days for the traveling then they would not have much time before the festival. But for now he is content to see the town of ‘zandepunt’. He says"I suppose we should find nice clothes to wear for this festival" and keeps his eyes open for a nice clothing shop.
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:08 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris will prepare spells for the day, although not expecting trouble his travels have taught him to be ready, especially in unfamiliar territory.

He grabs a light breakfast, and then will head back over to speak with Ilsoari once again.

If Ilsoari is able, Pantheris will spend some time getting to know him better by sharing his background in magic and by sharing some of his most magnificent experiences with him. He will try to gauge what interests Ilsoari the most, and expand on those. He will ask him to share his background and some of his experiences as well.

After a time, Pantheris asks Ilsoari what he knows about the troubles in the area, and tries to figure out in his own mind what the association with Deanni’s request for help would be.

Before his time with Ilsoari is up, Pantheris asks if there is anywhere nearby for quiet study should he find free time over the next couple of days until they depart for Magnamar.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:11 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys thinks we would benefit from staying in town and perhaps go to magnamar after the festival. He wants to figure out what’s up in and around this nice town.

Last edited by bleys on Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:11 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Ju’alis will do what Ju’alis does…… Laughing Laughing

….but Pantheris asks her to try to stay out of trouble. Rolling Eyes Wink Very Happy
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:12 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
bleys wrote:
Belys thinks we would benefit from staying in town and perhaps go to magnamar after the festival. He wants to figure out what’s up in and around this nice town.

I thought Deanni asked us to be there for the festival. Question
We should be there.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:40 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
The festival is in Sandpoint…which is where we are at present no?
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:53 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
bleys wrote:
The festival is in Sandpoint…which is where we are at present no?

Yup, you’re right. I had it backwards.

Then I agree, we should stay here until after the festival.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:58 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“I suppose we can find things to do in sandpoint until then” says Arondil…..“by the way what do we have for funds?”
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:12 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys points to some of the gold we found in the dragon’s den and indicates “If we don’t have enough then we can barter for the handed sword…”
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:37 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“We better count and distribute the gold that we have.” says Ju’alis. “We are far from home, and I’ve noted that things are pretty expensive here. We’re not short by any means…but a little caution is probably good.”

There are two other taverns in town, the cartographer, a theatre, shops, businesses, residences, docks, a shipyard, the cathedral, and yes… a tanner and a tailor." She looks to Arondil when she mentions the tailor.

When everyone looks at her she shrugs her shoulders and quips, “I snooped a bit. I do think someone should take the old wizard up on the offer and learn some of the local language. Only a few people round here speak Dwarven, and that faey language they speak is pretty confusing.”

“Sure, I’m up for staying around here until the festival.” Ju’alis says with a grin. “Besides, they’ve never seen a cat person. I’ve been getting marriage proposals. I’m going to see if I can’t collect a few more before the day is out.” She winks at Pantheris, tosses her sack across her back, and exits the room.
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:55 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris reminds the group of the gems they obtained. (was it also at at the dragon’s den?)

(The ones Ju’alis pocketed without anyone knowing and traded for information were worth around 1500 gold, and the group collected about triple that iirc. So money should not be a problem if we’re careful)
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:57 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
While Pantheris is speaking with Ilsoari, he will ask about the language, and also about the possibility of trading for and being taught the spell “Tongues” if anyone around here knows it.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:12 pm Post subject: Bethana Corwin Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys starts his day at the exact same time as he has for the past fifteen years; he’s been sicker; more wounded; had more going on; but, he’s never had a harder time getting out of bed. It isn’t the drinking.. It is just for the first time in a long time he actually feels like it might be okay to sleep in. He knows it isn’t. He gets up and goes downstairs.

Bethana, a small female halfling, is tending to the kitchen and great room. She holds up large peppers when Bleys arrives. Until he peers over the large counter he can’t tell that she is motioning towards the stove. Bleys decides to come around the counter and nods — accepting the offer of breakfast.

He is wondering if she had anything to do with last night’s fare. He watches her work in the kitchen, and she seems un-impeeded by his presence. First she takes a bowl of rice from a large steel box filled with ice, then she beings adding spices and seasonings to it. As she prepares the rice, she chops up some vegetables and some fruit and begins simmering them in a small single serving pot.

Bleys leans in to watch what she is doing and she smiles. “Food-map from bald head of World — Ameiko man-fountain bring.”

She puts a knife in Bleys’ hand and directs him to the cutting board and hands him a long crisp orange vegetable. He begins cutting it. She kicks him in the shin (lightly) to get his attention and climbs up one of the many step-stools in the kitchen. It is obvious that she is not the only one who cooks here.

“Not battle. Vegetable not in armour.” She touches the knife. “Not battleaxe.” She takes Bleys’ hand in her tiny little fingers and positions it to the middle of the blade. She reaches out to adjust the grip on the vegetable with his ice hand and hesitates. Finally, she reaches across and curls his fingers underneath. She brings the knife to rest flat along the second joint of his fingers, at ninety degrees to the table, and guides his hand to chop smoothly and swiftly.

She shows him how to chop, cube, dice, shred, strip, and wedge before returning to her creation. Pounding the rice into a thin crepe, she drops into a simmering shallow bowl warming by the oven.

Whatever dish this it it has three parts — a red rice crepe; a seasoned vegetable stuffing (with puree, chopped, whole, and cubed vegetables); and a light white sauce that is a little salty.

In no time she placed the crepes in the pan, brazing on side only and wrapped up like little packages about half a dozen “vegetable presents.” Arranged them on a plate, drizzled them with a touch of sauce, added some fresh leaves and spices — and ushered Bleys into the eating room with utensils, food, and a glass of apricot nectar.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:11 pm Post subject: Ilsoari Gandethus Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris enjoys a fine meal in the morning and heads back to the Turandarok Academy. He is greeted by the students and shown into the school. Ilsoari is the headmaster of a school with around seventy students. There are three teachers at the school, and Pantheris is given a tour of the classrooms, lunch-rooms, and indoor playground.

He learns that amongst the students, almost half of them stay at the school — so it as as much an orphanage as it is a school. While the locals send their children to learn and often contribute money to their education, Ilsoari turns no child away. He made his fortunes long ago and has been using those resources (though dwindling) to operate the school ever since. The mayor and other notables in town, often contribute to the school or hold fund-raisers, so that the legacy of the school continues. Ilsoari jokes that when he is waked every morning the student sees his opening eyes as a minor miracle. Ilsoari fullly expects to die in his sleep one of these nights.

Trusting Pantheris, Ilsoari decides to continue the conversation in his “museum.” The lower level of the school is out-of-bounds for all the students, so the speculation on what is down there is beyond belief. This is in no way fueled by Ilosari’s cunning knowledge of Illusion spells and a gnomish sense of humour.

Once Pantheris is comfortably seated on a large dragonscale throne, their conversation continues. Ilsoari constantly uses minor summonings and magic to stay warm and comfortable — a state that at his age is increasingly ellusive.

Over cards, Pantheris and Ilsoari talk about magic, but the old wizard doesn’t seem much like swapping arcane knowledge. He has bequeathed his spellbooks to the senior student at the school — a bright young man exiled from Magnamar and almost murdered for having the misfortune of being born with six fingers on his right hand. Varisians, he explains, are a highly superstitous people. Ilsoari does not travel much, but knows plenty about Sandpoint.

Sandpoint was settled 42 years ago by four powerful families from helliax (a southern kingdom where devil-worship is the state religion). Probably and possible fleeing the draconian kingdom, they set up a Mercantile league. These four families, the Kaijitsus (glassmakers and jewelers), the Valdemars (shipbuilders), the Scarnettis (loggers), and the Deverins (farmers and brewers), sailed north to claim their land after securing the rights from the Charterhouse in Magnimar. Yet when they arrived, they found the place already settled by a large tribe of Varisians.

Refusing to be set back, the Sandpoint Mercantile League began a series of talks with the Varisians, promising them an important place in the new township. Unfortunately, after a week of talks that seemed to be going nowhere, an impatient man named Alamon Scarnetti took matters into his own hands. Rounding up a group of his brothers and cousins, the Scarnettis mounted a murderous raid on the Varisian camp, intent on killing them all and leaving evidence to blame monsters for the deed. Yet the Scarnettis, too drunk and overconfident, managed to kill only five Varisians before they were themselves forced to flee, leaving behind three
of their own.
The Sandpoint Mercantile League fled back to Magnimar, and in the months to follow were embroiled in the repercussions of Alamon�s assault. Magnimar�s Varisian Council demanded punishment for all four families, but the High Court arbitrated a peace between them, in no small thanks to the remarkable diplomatic skills of a young bard and member of one of the families accused� Almah Deverin. Not only did she manage to assuage the Varisians� call for blood payment, she also managed to salvage the plans for Sandpoint by promising not only to incorporate the worship of Desna into the new town�s cathedral, but to pay the Varisian Council a generous share of any profits made by Sandpoint businesses over the course of the next 40 years. One year later, the Sandpoint Mercantile League began construction on several buildings with the full cooperation of the Varisian people. In the 42 years since Sandpoint�s foundation, it has flourished. Although the initial term of the compact with the Varisian Council has passed, Sandpoint�s government has elected to extend the compact another 20 years, much to the consternation of a few locals.

Today, Sandpoint is a thriving community. Many industries, including fishing, lumber, farming, hunting, brewing, tanning, shipbuilding, and Kaijitsu�s own legacy of glassmaking, have flourished, luring skilled laborers from as far as Korvosa and Riddleport to relocate here. Yet Sandpoint�s location on the Lost Coast has also recently drawn settlers of another bent. As explorers and adventurers begin to piece together the fragments of ancient Thassilon�s influence over the region so long ago, the presence of Thassilonian ruins have acted as a magnet. The Old Light is no exception, and a few of Sandpoint�s recent arrivals are more interested in this ruin than anything else.

As a respected scholar of ancient Thassilon himself, he is often engaged to provide information about the ruins. He believes that the ruins were once capable of spewing fire down on advancing armies.

Over lunch, he recounts the tale of the “late unpleasantness” to Pantheris. It all started with a Varisian man named Jervis Stoot.

“When Jervis Stoot made clear his intentions to build a home on the island just north of the Old Light, locals paid him no mind. Jervis had already garnered something of a reputation for eccentricity when he began his one-man crusade to carve depictions of birds on every building in town. Stoot never made a carving without securing permission, but his ncredible skill at woodcarving made it a given that, if Stoot picked your building as the site of his latest project, you seized the opportunity. �Sporting a Stoot� soon grew to be something of a bragging point, and Jervis eventually extended his gift to include ship figureheads and carriages. Those who asked or tried to pay him for his skill were rebuffed�Stoot told them, �There ain�t no birds in that wood for me t�set free,� and went on his way, often wandering the streets for days before noticing a hidden bird in a fencepost, lintel, steeple, or doorframe, which he�d then secure permission to �release� with his trusty hatchets and carving knives.
Stoot�s excuse for wanting to move onto the isle seemed innocent enough�the place was a haven for local birdlife, and his claim of �Wantin� ta be with th� birds� seemed to make sense. So much so, in fact, that the guild of carpenters (with whom Stoot had maintained a friendly ompetition for several years) volunteered to build a staircase, free of charge, along the southern cliff face so that Stoot could come and go from his new home with ease. For 15 years, Stoot lived on the island. His trips into town grew less and less frequent, making it something of an event when he chose a building to host a new Stoot.
Sandpoint was no stranger to crime, or even to murder. Once or twice a year, passions flared, robberies went bad, jealousy grew too much to bear, or one too many drinks were drunk, and someone would end up dead. But when the bodies began to mount five years ago, the town initially had no idea how to react. Sandpoint�s sheriff at the time was a no-nonsense man named Casp Avertin, a retired city watch officer from Magnimar. Yet even he was ill-prepared for the murderer who came to be known as Chopper. Over the course of one long winter month, it seemed that every day brought a new victim to light. Each was found in the same terrible state: bodies bearing deep cuts to the neck and torso, hands and feet severed and stacked nearby, and the eyes and tongue plucked crudely from thehead and missing entirely.
Over the course of that terrible month, Chopper claimed 25 victims. His uncanny knack at eluding traps and pursuit quickly wore on the town guard, taking particular toll on Sherrif Avertin, who increasingly took to drinking. In any event, Sherrif Avertin himself became Chopper�s last victim, slain upon catching the murderer in a narrow lane�known now as Chopper�s Alley�as he was mutilating his latest victim. Yet in the battle that followed, Avertin managed a telling blow against the killer. When the town guard found both bodies several minutes later, they were able to
follow the killer�s bloody trail. A trail that led straight to the stairs of Stoot�s Rock.
At first, the town guard refused to believe the implications, and feared that Chopper had come to claim poor Jervis Stoot as his 26th victim. Yet what the guards found in the modest home atop the isle, and in the larger complex of rooms that had been carved into the bedrock below, left no room for doubt. Jervis Stoot and Chopper were the same, and the eyes and tongues of all 25 victims were found upon a horrific altar to a birdlike demon whose name none dared speak aloud. Stoot himself was found dead at the base of the altar, having plucked his own eyes and tongue loose in a final offering. The guards collapsed the entrance to the chambers, burned Stoot�s house, tore down the stairs, and did their best to
forget. Stoot himself was burned on the beach in a pyre, his ashes blessed and then scattered in an attempt to stave off an unholy return of his evil spirit.
As fate would have it, the people of Sandpoint would soon have a new tragedy to bear, one that almost eclipsed Chopper�s rampage. A month after the murderer was slain, a terrible fire struck Sandpoint.
The fire started in the Sandpoint Chapel and spread quickly. As the town rallied to save the church, the fire spread, consuming the North Coast Stables, the White Deer Inn, and three homes. In the end, the church burnt to the ground, leaving the town�s beloved priest Ezakien Tobyn dead.
All that remains today of the once-loved Stoot carvings are ragged scars on buildings and figureheads where owners used hatchets to remove what had become a haunting reminder of a wolf in their fold. The homes and businesses ravaged by the fire have been reconstructed, and the Sandpoint Chapel has finally been rebuilt as well. With the consecration of this new cathedral, Sandpoint can finally put the dark times of the “Late Unpleasantness” in the past.
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:14 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris, also trusting now in Ilsoari, relates the details of how they came to be in Sandpoint.

He then says, “Ilsoari, it is my experience that these evils, the likes of which Stoot committed and worshipped, many times have a habit of lingering on beyond being seemingly vanquished.”

“When coupled with us being behested by a divine being such as Deanni to be sure to be here for your festival, it leads me to believe that there is a possibility that something unpleasant may be about to happen at that festival. And it may be related to Stoot’s activities and demise.”

“I may be reading more into these events than is warranted, but caution and preparedness many times will win the day when things go bad. What are your thoughts on this?”
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:51 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“There may be merit in what you say Pantheris. On that day I will prepare my spell arsenal for trouble, not comfort. I will instruct my teachers to do the same.”

He mulls over this information and looks very concerned. “Do not panic the people with your ideas, but perhaps Hemlock should know as well. He can fortify the guard and be extra vigilant.”

“The dwarves from the mountains, and elves from the forests will be in the town that day. It is a grand holiday. From whence do you think trouble will come?”

“Hmm… Deanni you say… She is the dwarven defender of orphans and the adopted…the mother of charity and good spirit.”
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:58 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“I agree, and will not alarm the good people of the town. It is possible that nothing will come to pass, but vigilence pays off both in good times and bad.”

“Hemlock should definitely be made aware of the potential for trouble. It is his place and responsibility.”

“I will inform my fellows of what we have discussed. They have much to bring to the table should trouble show it’s ugly face at the festival.”
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:14 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Ilsoari thanks Pantheris and searches through his museum for a bit, eventually coming up on the item he was looking for. He draws them out of the wrapped piece of cloth.

He hands Pantheris 3 masterfully made longbow arrows (+3 brilliant energy). “If things do go bad, it would be best if you had these. Thank-you for being willing to help out strangers in need. I must get some sleep now. I am not as spry as you.”

As he says this you realize that you have spent the whole day discussing history, playing cards, learning a bit of Varisian, talking about magic theory, and keeping an old man company. It is now nightfall and time to rejoin your friends for a drink.

Pantheris wonders how the rest made out at the Cathedral.
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:40 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Richard wrote:

Pantheris wonders how the rest made out at the Cathedral.

…and he wanders back to the inn for a hearty dinner and some good drink.

Pantheris mumbles to himself, “I wonder if Ju’alis stayed out of trouble…”.

He let’s out a chuckle and a hmmph….
He knows the answer to that question. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:45 pm Post subject: Pater Abstalar Zantus Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
After breakfast Bleys, Calibash, and Arondil set out in search of the Cathedral. Walking out of the front door of any building in Sandpoint and looking around is sufficient to accomplish this task. The giant stone and glass cathedral more than just replaces the old church, it dominates the town.

Heading North to the cathedral the trio pass guards, dwarves, and locals alike. Occassionally they touch-into someone they saw at the Rusty Dragon — a strange greeting whereby the local will walk over and touch wrists for a moment — resting their palm on the pulse, while a brief greeting is exchanged.

Each person seems to only do it once per day. After that a nod, smile, or wink seems to be plenty. Wait…you realize that young woman really just wanted to wink at Arondil. Nods and smiles are customary. Winks are flirtation.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:04 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arriving at the cathedral they find a bustle of activity. Masons are putting the finishing touches on some of the exterior, while inside people are attending to all manner of jobs including moving pews, arranging cushions, hanging tapestries, and organizing schedules.

The various merchants report to the chamberlain, but he seems young for his new-found station and he flutters around Pater Zanthus frantically. The veteran priest taking much more of a role in the minutae of the event than is proper for a man of his station. He is dressed in unassuming clothes, bright cotton fabrics, and a silk vest — common garb for a Varisian male.

By his side a large red-headed dwarf occasionally comments on the goings-on. A visitor to be sure, but certainly the reason why the masons are still at work (or re-working) parts of the exterior. Chandj believes that a temple is a place of worship and should be built to dwarven standards if there is a dwarf within a hundred miles.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:19 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys looks around in appreciation of the dwarven workmanship and comments on how the structure will be appreciated for many a generation to come (fine work indeed!).

He bows to Pater Zanthus and introduces his colleagues to the group at hand.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:22 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Guys…are we doing the conf call tonight. 9pm?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:22 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
When he sees the trio he excuses himself from his current conversation, much to the relief of the “Master” mason, and greets Bleys, Arondil, and Calibash.

“Chandj I am. Let me introduce you to Pater Zanthus. He is the religous leader of Sandpoint. I think you are men of God, but your ways are distant. In eleven days time this cathedral is being consecrated not just to Desna, but as a cathedral to six Gods local to this region. He waves his armoured hand in the direction of the three large sections of the cathedral. To the south, facing Sandpoint�s heart, are the shrines of civilization: Erastil and Abadar. To the west, offering a view of the Old Light and the sea beyond, are the shrines of Shelyn and Gozreh. And to the east, offering a view of the Sandpoint Boneyard and the rising sun, are the shrines of Sarenrae and Desna.”
“But there is place for us here too, the blessings of Moradin can be given here.” He points to an altar in the front of the cathedral. A smaller, less auspicous area for prayer and reflection surrounds it.

“You will find Pater Zanthus a wise and thoughtful man. Accepting of all good religion and possessed of a diplomatic tongue. Gird your metal against conversion my friends, or he’ll have you chasing butterflies in the morning as worship.” He pats his hammer. “Moradin test me again.” He ushers you over to Zanthus. You are not sure if he likes Zanthus, or whether the dwarven sarcasm is biting deep.

Zanthus looks at the four priests in front of him and extends his arms wide. “Blessings, blessings, and blessings. Have you had a chance to sour them to me yet my old friend Chandj?” He touches-arms with each of you and calls you each by name. His dwarven is very good and you get a sense that he has known Chandj for some time. If there was sarcasm earlier, you surmise it was in fun.

“Tell me of how you have come to Sandpoint to celebrate with us…”
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:26 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Quote:
He bows to Pater Zanthus and introduces his colleagues to the group at hand.

Sorry, posts passing each other. Let’s pick it up from mine.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:29 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil politely bows to the priest as he is introduced. As he is finding the communication barrior quite frustrating he decides that maybe for a while he will just observe and see what’s to be seen…………he does wonder who is worshipped here in this cathedral though and politely excuses himself to go look around
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:36 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Feel free to look around.” Zanthus quips to the fading back of Arondil. He shrugs, smiles, and looks to the others. “He must really miss his sword.”

“Seriously, tell me of yourselves.”
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:56 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
(yeas posts passing each other…………I think you guys type faster then me Laughing )
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 7:03 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Smile Couldn’t resist. Smile
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:17 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bley’s tells the dwarf "It is a long story…we had cause to help a good dwarf with some assistance. She advised it best to wait here at present…and meet her in the near future.

“We are excited to attend the festival next week…but have some concern about the goings on in and around the town. Can you shed any light on this at all?”
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:51 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Chandj considers a response for many moments, but seems to dismiss all of them. When he does reply he seems to have discarded the entire thread of his consideration to start a new topic.

“We are all concerned with trouble stirring. Trouble from the somewhere elese, trouble from right here.” He points a thick finger at his heart. Stay a few more nights and it will visit your dreams. There is something out there, though. You know of our missing shield. They left the mountains to travel to Magnamar, but never got as far as Sandpoint. We came looking for them and found the troubles here."

“I don’t know if they are connected, but we saw trouble here and came to help.”

Pater Zanthus weighs in, “And a great blessing our dwarven friends have been. Giving supplies, food, armour, and weapons — without asking anything in return.” The priests voice trails off a bit at the end.

Chandj continues. "We make preparations for a festival, but the hearts of our seers, tell us to make ready for other things. Hemlock and Zanthus have been most wise in allowing us to prepare for trouble. Our prayers, however, cannot penetrate this nut of a little town. We cannot see the future with any clarity. Hemlock has gathered a lion pride from Magnamar — some of their finest warriors, dispatched to a small town on account of bad dreams and the warning of dwarves. I’ve been impressed with these two. "

“That we suspect trouble at Swallowtail, no one else must know. It will be an affront to the ceremony and that is no way to consecrate a cathedral. Keep your hearts light, but keep your weapons close.” He looks at Arondil’s empty scabbard. “I’ll give you a blade.”

“No need” replies Arondil. “I have one back in our room.”

Chandj smiles. “Come see me at the crack of dawn on Swallowtail morn. I have something for all of you. In the meanwhile we must find ways to prepare these townsfolk for trouble without bringing alarm. Speak with Vedahar at the White Deer. That establishment is where our shield is staying. For the moment, you have to excuse me. I see a problem with what that fellow is doing.”

Chandj leaves you alone with Zanthus.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:27 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys thanks Chandj for his wisdom, and turns to Pater Zanthus.

“Pater…does the town have a local militia? If so, who makes up said militia? I have thoughts about making the town ready without their knowing it. Perhaps we could rally the militia to prepare for a re-enactment of a local battle…or perhaps have a friendly challenge of “readiness and show of arms” that we could position as a challenge from the dwarven shield. In this way we could have them practice in advance of the festival, have them better prepared, and armed and ready on the day of the event?"

“In the meantime…can someone introduce us to the seer who knows of the ruins in town.” He also inquires if there is any assistance the cleric needs in preparation for the festival?

Once answered, he turns to Calibash and states " Clerical magic seems unable to shed light on the happenings to date my friend. Are we able to call upon you to ask some questions of Visor to see if he can pierce that which is uncertain? Perhaps we should return to our friends and parley on what we need answers to in the event you reach out?"

“I also think a walk into the woods would be beneficial in the near future…” He sees the gleam in Arondil’s eyes, laughs heartily, and pounds the big elf’s back as they head back to the inn.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:04 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil happily returns to the inn. This town seems quite nice however the problems seem disconcerting, there doesn’t seem to be any big visible signs of trouble……….maybe a few days of good rest are in order…and after all someone should just guard the loot at the inn…..socializing always goes better when one doesn’t look like a trader………… Also, among the treasure is a beautiful tiger statue that needs a good cleaning.

Yes, a few days of rest is in order
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 7:12 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Zanthus smiles as Bleys talks about a militia, but waits for him to finish before jumping in.

“Yes, that was Hemlock’s plan. In fact, he has gathered a dozen soldiers from Magnimar. The ruse is that they will be picking one from our twelve town guard to join their ranks…leaving a spot open. We have a militia of sixty-two able bodied men and women who are volunteer warriors. Not only do they have the chance of earn a spot on the town guard, but attract the attention of the Lions of Magnimar, in hopes of joining their ranks some day. On the day of the festival the sixty-two will be armed as if they were town guards — a ceremony to promote one of them will follow the festival.”
“As a point of fact, most of this is true.” He smiles. “Hemlock had already picked a guard to go to Magnimar to train with the Lions. It was a done deal. They have been drilling hard for many days to test the worth of the recruits. This expanded campaign and public test is the only non-traditional element. However, Hemlock is pleased by the results and threatens to do it again when he needs to fill a post.” Zanthus rolls his eyes.

“There is a Varisian seer in town — Niska Mvashti — who lives in an old manor house. The locals call her Madam Mvashti and she tends to the mystic traditions. But if your looking for information or lore on the Old Light, talk to Brodert Quink. He has a house right by the ruins. He knows more about ancient Thassilon than anyone.”

“As for the festival, we have things well in hand. I truly appreciate the offer, but I am sure you can do more good tending to other matters.”

“Thank-you so much for all your help.”
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:01 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys thanks the cleric and leaves the church. He heads back with his friends, and has lunch at the inn.

After lunch he leaves with those who would like to join him and heads to the White Deer to meet up with the dwarven shield. He would like to understand their plans and preparations. Bleys tells them our thoughts on going out into the woods to explore, and welcome their thoughts on doing so. Bleys also inquires if they know of a place we can safely store some items of great value until the day of the festival.

He suggests before leaving that perhaps Calibash and Pantheris would like to meet with Brodert Quink to better understand the ruins and any pertinent Thassilon history. There are some advantages to dividing and conquering.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:12 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris has been gone all day and you don’t expect to see him until evening.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:04 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash goes alone, and Bleys sees the dwarves by himself.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:37 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
and Arondil guards the loot…………
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 5:57 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Travelling from the upper town, to the lower town, and back to the upper town, Bleys enjoys the opportunity to to a lap of Sandpoint. The food was worth it. The White Deer is in the Northwest corner of Sandpoint, near the road North and across from the cathedral.

A pair of wooden life-sized deer, carved with painstaking care from white birch, stand astride the entrance to this sizable tavern and inn. The White Deer commands an impressive view of the Varisian Gulf to the north. The building is new, recently rebuilt after the previous inn at this location burnt to the ground in the same fire that destroyed the Sandpoint Chapel. The new building is a grand affair, three stories tall with a stone first floor and wooden upper floors with a dozen large rooms that can accommodate two to three guests each.

Bleys enters the taverns lower level and quickly spots a group of four dwarves laughing about the dwarven carpenter Aesrick. One of them was curious if he made armor from wood and the rest errupted in laughter. From what you can gather Aesrick, a dwarf, is the leader of the carpenters guild in town. Apparently a few minutes ago he had been in the tavern with his … sniff … woodcutting tools. The dwarves continue to guffaw.

Bleys introduces himself and shares a drink with the dwarves. After some time he brings up the topic of the “Lost shield” and brings the conversation into a more serious tone. Vedahar takes you alone to talk of the attacks.

“We found the caravan, that much is commonly known amongst my people, and what was left of the bodies were gnawed-upon bones and discarded bits of armour. Good armour and weapons, strewn about the path, leading the path away from the carnage. The ground was moist, so we have a good idea of what happened. About a dozen goblin-like creatures came upon the caravan. One or two of them attacked the shield, while the rest of them fed mercilessly on the rear-guard. These are the crushed and eaten bones that we found.
They took mithril and a load of iron, though we have no idea how they carried it.”

His voice goes hush. Some dwarves were left where they were killed, by claw. Only a few died right away. The rest were brought to the base of the ravine and appear to have been tortured over a period of days. Judging from the tracks, and our divinations, the creatures are able to locomote using short bursts of teleportation. The creatures give off an odor that I will not soon forget — a sulphurous stink. Their teleportation makes them hard to track by sight, but smell is another story. Our druid was able to find one of them. We came upon the ignorant little critter. He was lost in a rocky clearing and was oblivious to our approach. If he wasn’t moving and making so much noise he would have been hard to spot. His skin blending with the rock around him. He was circling the same large boulder and talking to himself in an language that was a bit like Orc or Goblin (where you come from Orcs and Goblins speak the same language). He was saying ‘When lost, the secret turn is left. Shh.. secret of wise ones. No bounces. Just turn left. Is this Swallowpoint?’ And he would laugh to himself with glee. When we saw the arm in his hand that he was snacking on, we flew into rage and attacked.

We shouldn’t have. With the element of surpise on this wretched little creature we lost three of our number before we retreated to safety. He would spew dark clouds of gas from his mouth and teleport out of sight. Attacking with lethal surprise from behind rocks and boulders, or trees, he was powerful and lethally cruel. Half of our group suspects that the little things are undead. If a group of these things is coming to Sandpoint…they will chew through us, the guards, and the citizens alike.

So, if you want to mess with them.. Shank’s wood is the place. We’ve been instructed to stay here. I for one, would love to see those evil little suckers pay for their crimes.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 6:23 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“At its height, the Empire of Thassilon covered an area more than a thousand miles wide, from the oceans to soaring mountains, over deserts and along rivers�a region vast in scope and natural riches. This empire�s figureheads were the sons and daughters of Xin, but they were almost powerless. In practice, Thassilon was ruled by the seven powerful runelords, maniacal arcanists who used magic to fuel their own decadence. It�s unclear from records whether the same seven extended their lives over hundreds of years or their apprentices took their names and titles upon their masters� deaths.” Brodbert reads from a dusty old tome.

“You know that there are several libraries in town. Although you have come to the right place now” He continues. “Many adventurers and eager souls are interested in the Old Light. I’ve written more about it than anyone. In town I am treated like an old fool; not given any respect for what I know. They have me living in a dusty, drafty, old house. It is not good for my conditions.”

“Have I told you about my knees? How they swell when the rains are going to come?”

“Yes.” replies Calibash. “You’ve mentioned it seven times and alluded to it on three other ocassions. Once when we were talking about the people who built the Old Light … what was his name?”

“How quickly you forget Calibash. The Old Light was fashioned by the Lords of Sin — Arcanist masters of rune magic and the rulers of the empire of Thassilon. The king Xin could not rule all of his own empire, so the Lords of Sin each had a territory. They built massive structure with the help of Rune-Giants — masters of all giant-kind. I’ve been trying to determine which runelord built the Old Light… and I’m getting close.”

“My research isn’t cheap though, and nobody seems willing to fund it. Perhaps you can help. I’ll gather some information for you but it will cost 10 GP a day for my services.”

“What do you wish to know?”
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bleys

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:21 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys asks for additional details on the creatures speed of movement, types of physical attacks (weapons or natural) and damage done. He tries to gauge how difficult it was for the dwarves to hit the creature. What effects the gas had on them. Additionally…did they manage to hit the creature…and to what effect?

Also…what was the nature of the torture at the hands of these creatures? Was a ceremony involved? And why the thought they are undead?
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 7:34 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“It struck with its claws, but like a thief, precise and viscous. It commanded its own shadow and when the shadow struck the dwarves became physically weakened. The smoke it breathed also weakened those within it. It would breathe, creating a smoke cloud, and teleport into hiding. It could teleport so often — every couple of seconds. Then it would strike. Its body was camouflaged and hard.. crusty, sort of. It had a big head and dark empty eyes. There were rows upon rows of teeth.”

“It would chatter and give away its position, but it moved so quickly and so often that it didn’t matter. When struck it would bleed. Briefly. I doubt it has a heart to pump blood. It was nimble though, agile and hard-to-hit.”

“The dwarves we found were mutilated. They would chew on a body part and cauderize the wound with flame, so the dwarf would not die. They sewed their bodies to tree stumps and brutalized them in unspeakable ways. There were things…growing .. inside them.” He goes very quiet for a moment. “They made sport of the she-dwarfs too. Removed their breasts and made hats. Hats.” He takes a swig of ale, visibly shaking, and mutters again. “Hats.”

He sits for a few more moments and then leaves; fixing Bleys with a look that says “do not follow.” He walks towards the edge of town — to sit; to be alone; to sharpen his axe.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:02 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys says a prayer for the dwarves who were tortured, and thanks him for the details provided. Bleys further inquires as to what the clerics have tried in order to better understand the threat to the town.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:26 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys strikes up a conversation with another group of dwarves who aren’t able to provide him with much information. After a few more hours it is clear that he may know more than they do. Bleys also strikes out on a secure place to store treasure. He gets the same curious response from a couple of them. “The only valuable thing that I keep is my word. The only treasure I have are my friends. I keep my hands busy when the sun shines, and I put down my toil and the end of a day.”

None of the group here are clerics, but Bleys suspects they might belong to some dwarven cult or faction. Chandj and Zanthus would be the only ones with more information about clerical divinations and that lead seems to have run its course.

Bleys returns to the Rusty Dragon to confer with Arondil and Calibash. Viser may be able to give some order the the constellations and make sense of some of this.

By the time he makes it back there he has spent another 6 GP on ale loosening the lips of dwarves. For the second time in two nights he has a spinning head, although this one is far milder than last night.

Ten days till Swallowtail festival. Bleys realizes too that a room at the White Deer is the same price as here at the Rusty Dragon. The Deer is bigger and better kept… trust the dwarves to find the best value in town. Just as he has that thought, he gets a wiff of the smell from the kitchen and decides that another night at the Rusty Dragon is probably best. The rooms are just fine.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:35 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil wakes with a start that night. Angry. He dreamed of this stupid little town and the weak-willed inhabitants scouring the streets like mewling little kittens. None of them can really take care of themselves. Now they expect us to help them. Whatever is going on is probably their own damn fault.

He wakes up with the unshakeable feeling that they messed around with something they shouldn’t have and now they are in trouble. Maybe it would be best just to leave them to it. They’ve brought this on their own fool heads.

He shakes of his anger, but it returns quickly as his dreams of the night return to him. That stupid little human woman — can’t be more than seventeen — flashing her breast-flesh at him as she bent over. She was flirting with him, enticing him. In his dream his hand slapped the stupid girl — she cried. She was pretty… and desirable. One more slap put her in her place. He can’t remember what happened next. Whatever it was, was her own damn fault. Stupid little girl!

Arondil sits upright in the bed staring out the window. He feels like going for a walk in the night air to clear his head.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:41 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys asks the cook if he is able to assist in the preparation of food…more to appease his troubled mind than in the actual cooking itself.

After dinner he confers with his friends…and outlines the seriousness of this threat. He asks his friends to contribute to the pool of questions we need Calibash to try to uncover.

He also weighs in on his belief that if it is believed that these creatures will attack the town…it would indeed be a slaughter upon the populace. As such…if everyone is in agreement he believes we need to be proactive…and bring the fight to them.

Lets see what Calibash is able to uncover. Depending on the results we may need to prepare ourselves for battle.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:57 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Ju’alis wants to know why the dwarves are here. They have contributed masterwork weapons and armour to the guard, assisted in their training, and according to a friend of hers — a noble from Magnamar named Aldern — even gave magic weapons to the Lions of Magnamar. They even secretly financed the Lion’s trip here. The royal legion would never have spared them unless the way was “greased” by a bribe or two.

Hemlock thinks that his influence won the day. From what she has gathered it was dwarven ale and dwarven gold that allowed the Lions to come to Sandpoint. They have spent a fortune in the past week.

“By the way, the Sczarni gang runs out of the Fatman’s Feedbag ( a tavern in mid-town) although a thug or two can be found at the Hagfish. The Hagfish is the favourite bar of the locals and has the best seafood. Some of the thugs are clumsy and drop their belongings.” She fishes out a large sack from her backpack and drops it on the table.

“Do you think that Sheriff Hemlock has a ‘Lost and Found’?”

I won’t turn down a fight if it comes to that Bleys.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:18 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Arondil thought about it and decides not to go out for a walk……..that was quite a disturbing dream, quite unlike anything he’d want to dream about, why he remembers very well when he saw the girl bend over, and wink. Yes, quite a charming girl. He then remembers what the priest at the church mentioned about some darkness visiting thier dreams . Ah well he muses, I think I’ve slept enough for tonight anyway, maybe I’ll take a nap when the sun is shining.
He lights a few lamps, then picks up a rag and starts to work polishing a tiger statue, because, well, it has a right to be as beautiful as it can be.
and as he does he quietly sings his little song…….link, link, shield, shield protect others, protect ourselves,…………..
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:28 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Once Pantheris gets back to the inn, he shares his findings with his fellows and learns of their research.

Greatly troubled by the mental images of the despicable torture the dwarves suffered, he has a restless night.

The following day, Pantheris purchases a fine bottle of wine from the inn and heads back to the academy for another council with Ilsoari.

If Ilsoari is available, Pantheris will present him the wine and pour two glasses for them. After exchanging pleasantries, Pantheris gets to the point quickly.

“Ilsoari, I have thought long on your comments from yesterday. My fellows have also learned much of the area and situation.”

Pantheris shares what the others have learned, but leaves out what Ju’alis has learned of the dwarves and their equipping the guard and lion riders. He also leaves out what Bleys learned of Hemlock and his ruse of recruiting for his guard in order to train and equip a militia. Instead, Pantheris simply says “We should meet with Hemlock as you suggested to determine if he is aware or prepared for any threat during the festival. I’m sure your council would be appreciated.”

Pantheris asks Ilsoari “What do you think the creatures that attacked the dwarves in the forest may have been? Have you ever run across anything like that before?” If so, he asks about their attacks, weaknesses, defences, etc.

“We have also learned about The Lords of Sin and the Old Light. Do you know if they still exist or if they are rumoured to?”. If so, he asks if there is any information about any activities related to them.

Pantheris pauses to refill their glasses while Ilsoari answers.

“We have learned much about the new chapel, and it’s harmonious multi-faith worship. I am a bit puzzled though how so many faiths get along so well. Is there any dicourse amongst the factions? For that matter, can you tell me more of Erastil, Abadar, Shelyn, Gozreh, Sarenrae and Desna. You had mentioned that the original families of Helliak who settled here were involved in devil worship. Are any still involved in this?”

He absorbs the information about the dieties and how worship of them meshes in the chapel, and asks Ilsoari more about the fire at the old chapel. “Has anyone ever found the cause or had suspicions about the fire and subsequent demise of the cleric Ezakian Tobyn.”
“Did Tobyn have any enemies in town, or anyone who may have wanted harm to come to him?”

Getting back to the threat, he asks Ilsoari “Has anyone complained about bad dreams?”, and if he is aware of this does he know of any one religion, group or family who has been spared these bad dreams.

“We have been guided to speak with a Varisian seer in town, Niska Mvashti. Can you tell me what you know of them?”

Pantheris offers to fill Ilsoari’s glass once again….
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Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:23 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris arrives at Turandarok Academy just before classes begin and finds Ilsoari talking to the teachers about their daily lessons. When they are done both Ilsoari and Pantheris eagerly retire to the “museum” for another day of conversation.

Quote:
“Ilsoari, I have thought long on your comments from yesterday. My fellows have also learned much of the area and situation.”

Pantheris shares what the others have learned, but leaves out what Ju’alis has learned of the dwarves and their equipping the guard and lion riders. He also leaves out what Bleys learned of Hemlock and his ruse of recruiting for his guard in order to train and equip a militia. Instead, Pantheris simply says “We should meet with Hemlock as you suggested to determine if he is aware or prepared for any threat during the festival. I’m sure your council would be appreciated.”

“Illorg. How do you prepare the lamb for the lion?” Ilsoari muses. “If I am right the creature of which you speak is the ancient progenitor of the goblins, orcs, gnolls, bugbears, trolls, and other foul creatures. Brodbert may know more about them than that. He is a sage who lives by the Old Light. We talk frequently at Chask’s place — The Curious Critter.”

Quote:
“We have also learned about The Lords of Sin and the Old Light. Do you know if they still exist or if they are rumoured to?”.

“They vanished from the world long ago. As with all things, there is always talk of them returning… prophesies, and warnings, but people pay no heed to prophesies since they failed. Since Aroden died. He was supposed to usher in the Age of Glory.. instead his priests were left without power. If the greatest of prophesies is proved wrong, how should we interpret the lesser ones?”

Pantheris refills his glass as he speaks. Ilsoari lets the glass float beside him as he speaks, turning it on end with his mind — mirroring his thoughts.

Quote:
“We have learned much about the new chapel, and it’s harmonious multi-faith worship. I am a bit puzzled though how so many faiths get along so well. Is there any dicourse amongst the factions? For that matter, can you tell me more of Erastil, Abadar, Shelyn, Gozreh, Sarenrae and Desna.

“These are questions for priests more than me, but I’ll do my best. Hmm… where to start. Erastil. He is a nature God, old deadeye, master of the wild hunt. He teaches of family and tradition; simplicity of word and deed. Abadar is the gold-fisted judge. He is the patron of traders and lawyers and civilization. As you can guess priests of Abadar and Erastil often come into opposition given their different world views.”

“Shelyn is the Goddess of love, beauty, and art — few oppose her teachings. Gozreh is the God of storms and nature, favoured by folk who make their leaving by the sea or on it. Desna is the Goddess of Luck, Travel, Dreams, and Stars. While Sarenrae is the Goddess of the Sun, healing, and honesty.”

Quote:
You had mentioned that the original families of Helliak who settled here were involved in devil worship. Are any still involved in this?"

“Ah yes, Chelliax. You will excuse my mis-pronunciation earlier. I am an old man.

“I don’t know if any of them practice the state religion. They may have fled because of the rise of Asmodeus in the South.”
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Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:36 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Quote:
Did Tobyn have any enemies in town, or anyone who may have wanted harm to come to him?"

“Pater Tobyn was loved by all. He had an adopted daughter, Nuallia, who was half-celestial —A radiant beauty who was loved by all. She too was lost in the fire, along with several young priests.”

Quote:
Getting back to the threat, he asks Ilsoari “Has anyone complained about bad dreams?”, and if he is aware of this does he know of any one religion, group or family who has been spared these bad dreams.

“Yes, the late unpleasantness has permeated the dreams of the town, and kept the jails busy with petty violence. I am sure all have been affected in their own way.”

Quote:
“We have been guided to speak with a Varisian seer in town, Niska Mvashti. Can you tell me what you know of them?”

She is a superstitous woman who may be as old as me. I’ve never had cause to quarrel with her."
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:49 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Thank you once again Ilsoari, it is greatly appreciated. The town is most fortunate to have you.
I will speak to Brodbert as you suggest.”

“Is there anywhere in town that I can study and work on some new spells, or create a potion or two? I’m not sure if I’ll have time given the circumstances of the threat to the town, but if I do happen to find some time, I would like to use it to study some of our more recent discoveries.”
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Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:28 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
There is a room here that you are welcome to use, but it is not that well stocked. Nisk Tander has a shop in town called Bottled Solutions — he has potions and brews available for sale.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:47 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
the next day around noon Arondil says prayers and settles down for a nap
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 04, 2009 9:44 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
That evening, now nine days before the festival, Calibash visits the white sandy beach to perform his prayers. In the hours before much discussion and sharing of information occured amongst the group. Arondil’s bad dreams, Pantheris’ short temper, and the information gathered around town all point to patterns. Like stars in the sky above it is hard to see the patterns. Two-dimension twinkles of light concealing a four-dimensional reality. The making of patterns, constellations, fortunes, and wisdom is the domain and pervue of wise Visier, Sage of the Heavens.

Calibash confronts the vast emptiness with humility. Twenty-one questions prepared and considered in the days before. Not needing to memorize, but seeking to contemplate the value of each question, Calibash has asked these questions a hundred times to himself. Now he turns to his God for answers.

Vast is the emptiness of my mind, but in the emptiness the twinkle of understanding grows. Illuminate the darkness not with a rude and pervasive sun that blots out the heavens with its brightness. Illuminate the darkness not with moons that congratulate their own beauty. Set in the infirmament above a path to wisdom with sublte points of lights that guide our minds like beacons. Viser somnalis ad astrum cogito vejinis astra credo, imago.

Will an attack on the town occur on the day of the festival?

Yes. The Illorg will be released upon the town, driven by malice, hunger, and hate. They are pawns of scheming minds.

Will an attack occur before the festival?

Unlikely. Unless directed the Illorg lack the ability to conceive, navigate, or execute a plan. Malicious and stupid they will content themselves to petty unorganized evil. They are a weapon wielded by others and will strike the town of Sandpoint during the Swallowtail festival.

3) Would further investigation into the town ruins benefit our quest to find out what threat threatens the town?

No. What is ruined does not relate to the troubles.

4) Would a quest to investigate the forest aid us in understanding the threat that threatens the town?

You may learn a little that might help you in Shank’s Wood.

5) Are there any within the town’s population that take part in the threat on the town?

Yes.

6) Are the town defences adequate in dealing with the threat?

Many will be slaughtered. Those who fight will likely die. Those who flee will be hunted for sport. Your foe is too mobile to contain. All must fight, therefore many will die.

7) Is the threat to the town related to the consecration of the church?

No.

8 )Is Skarl involved with this threat?

No.

9) will the uninterupted procedings of the festival free the dreams of the townspeople?

No.

10) did the sword we prevented asmodeus from getting have an intended role in what is going on in this area?

No.

11) would it be advantageous to attack the creatures prior to the festival

No. Little can be gained.

12) is the swallowtail festival just an occasion to mark a seasonal change/date on a calendar?

No.

13) If there is to be an attack on the town, is the date of the attack a pivitol point in time for those that plan to attack

No.

14) Are the attacks and threat related in any way to anyone who is unhappy with the extension of the compact between the Mercantile League and the Varisians and therefore an attempt to kill or drive the Varisians out of town?

No.

15) Are Jervis Stoot’s murders, sacrifices, activities, or final self sacrifice related to the threat, attacks or arrival of these creatures?

Yes. They are branches of the same tree, yet your question is a long way from the roots.

16) Are the Stoot bird carvings some kind of curse or other evil tool?

No.

17) Did Jervis Stoot continue on beyond death in some new form and is he now behind the evils befalling the town?

No.

18 ) Was the fire at the original chapel and the subsequent death of the priest Ezakian Tobyn related to the threat or attacks in any way?

Yes, the fire of the church can trace the spark back to a very old flame and very old hate. The hands that wield the flame have changed, yet they share a source.

19) Did Ezakian Tobyn have knowledge dangerous to some person or group WITHIN TOWN, and was he killed because of it?

He was killed in anger and hate. Such was his loved repayed.

20) Are the dwarves here SOLELY to protect the people of the town from the coming threat?

No. They seek to protect, but above all they honour their beliefs. They are emmisaries of generous spirit. There only purpose is to give. It is at the core of their spirituality.

21) Is there something valuable about the town or it’s location that is the impetus of the coming attacks?

Yes. The town has significance. The Old Light is not the only ancient site in town.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 7:59 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
That night Bleys said a prayer of thanks to Visor for the blessing of information upon his friend. He wakes up early after a thought infused night, and begins his morning routine.

He returns to his room, and sits down upon the hard floor and begins prayer. He prays to Elodara, and tweaks his prayers to include those that are most effective against the Illorg.

He goes downstairs and asks for food and drink to start the day. He is not interested today in the makings of this food.

He leaves the inn, and does a lap around the town (not with great speed) to get some air. He looks upon the town as he runs, thinking about where the other ancient ruins may lie. He is curious about the location of the church itself, and reminds himself to ask the clerics if church was built upon anything of significance.

Upon his return, he greets his colleagues at their breakfast. Once complete he asks them to return to their room for discussion.

“My friends, I see the need for urgent preparation.” He outlines a number of thoughts. Spell preparation that is intended to deal with the Illorg. Perhaps spells that are best suited to deal with the undead. Spells that counter speed, smoke, backstabbing, and teleporting.

In addition, he believes the group should return to their contacts in town, to further inquire about additional ruins that exist in town. He asks their thoughts on who they trust, and who we should share our new information with.

Bleys believes we need to either remove the innocent townfolk before the festival, or have a way to get them out on the day itself. Thoughts he asks?

He also asks for their opinions on how we can uncover those within the town with evil intent. If we are able to identify (and then question) these people, it will better prepare us for future challenges.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:04 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“Cancelling the festival?” Ju’alis mulls it over in her mind. Not being a particularily religous person she adds “That seems to make the most sense. Get the people out of town and cancel the festival. We can await the menance on the day and deal with them.” She nods at the simplicity of it.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:07 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
hmmm, cancel the festival…………
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 11:56 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Pantheris listens to Bleys, and nods.

“Yes I agree. It may be best to remove the lambs before the slaughter.”

“I’m not sure though if they will agree to it. It seems that it is a major event in their year, and they may resist. There is no harm in exploring this idea though.”

“It appears to me that some great evil is somehow held witin this area, perhaps in this other ancient site we have learned of. I suspect this lingering evil is what infects dreams, and affects moods. I also suspect that this has driven townspeople the likes of Jervis Snoot and those who burned down the old chapel to do evil deeds.”

“It may be corrupting the townspeople from within as we speak, and they may be their own worst enemy when the festivals begins. We may end up being forced to fight these smoke creatures AND the townspeople themselves.”

“We should return to Brodbert and fully fund his research, and ask him about an alternate ancient site besides the Old Light.”

“We should also visit with Niska Mvashti, the Varisian seer in town that Bleys has learned of. I feel that information will be our greatest ally in the coming days.”

Pantheris leans back in his chair and sighs, “A great challenge is coming friends, we must be ready.”

He pauses, then says, “Undead…. I hate undead.”
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arondil

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:48 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“I think we should find out the what and why the swallowtail festival is” says arondil….“I’m guessing it’s some sort of ritual that serves to balance something”…“who knows, maybe somethings buried under this town, and the main reason for the attack is because it’s the best way to get rid of big numbers efficiently, and thereby leaving the space clear for whoever to claim whatevers here”…“it might be interesting to hear a bit of the history of the original chapel too”
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:17 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
During that day Arondil finds out the following from Zanthus:

The Swallowtail Release is a holiday in honor of the goddess Desna, and is held annually on the first day of autumn. It serves to commemorate a legend in which an avatar of Desna fell to Golarion after a fierce battle with the goddess Lamashtu. She was discovered and nursed back to health by a blind child. To express her thanks, Desna transformed the child into a beautiful, immortal swallowtail butterfly so that he could explore the wonders of the whole world for all eternity.

To celebrate this event, priests of Desna release a wagon full of swallowtail butterflies in front of a crowd of believers. It is considered a good omen for a worshiper, if a butterfly rests on him or her for a short time. The day is spent in celebration and can include activities such as feasting, storytelling, and singing. In preparation for this event, larger temples of Desna often have enclosed gardens in which they raise swallowtail butterflies year round. In colder climes, where the raising of butterflies is impossible, faithful will sometimes substitute colored leaves or painted corn husks for the actual insects.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 2:21 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash has secured Broadbert to do research in preparation for the festival, but learns that the Chapel itself has older significance.

The location that bears the Sandpoint Cathedral served as a holy place well before any building was built. A series of seven stones present at this site has long held importance to the followers of Desna, who believe they represent the seven tower’s of their goddess’s palace.
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Richard
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2009 6:35 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
After a night of strategizing, everyone kicks in 20 Gold towards the sage’s research. Ju’alis’ bag seems heavier than everyone elses causing Pantheris to chuckle.

Embarassed by the oversight, Ju’alis shakes her head baffled for a moment. “But I thought we had three … I’ve been spending money all over … Oh.. the con-artists at the Feedbag.” Ju’alis nods her head. Still…“Are you sure we started with only two hundred?” She slips into the corner and mutters to herself for a while, genuinely perplexed. She does that when embarassed.

She’d been trying so hard not to “earn” any extra money. It is such a nice little town. If anyone is to blame it is the crooks stealing from the honest people! They can make a girl do bad things.

Besides, she’d think that organized criminals would be better “organized” not to put too fine a point on it. In her world cheating a dice is a mortal sin. Gambling is a pure art; part of the high-culture. Rigged tables and loaded dice debase the art form.

More than she started with? She weighs her cash bag in her hand again and sighs. Oh well, she can always give some to Ilsoari for his school. He’s been selling things from his museum to keep the orphans educated for years.
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bleys

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:23 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys says a quick prayer, and casts augury on the act of evacuating the town early before the festival begins.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2009 10:32 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
After a moment of silence Bleys looks up from his prayer with a heavy heart.

“Evacuating the town will cause more harm than good. It could go disastrously wrong. Perhaps our enemies will be alerted, or adapt to this tactic. I don’t know what it is, but we need another alternative.”
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arondil

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:09 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
meanwhile, up in the rooms of the inn surrounded by a nice pile of hard won treasure Arondil puts the final touches on what he believes is the most beautiful tiger sculpture he has ever seen.
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arondil

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:14 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
and he ponders" I wonder what Helani would want me to do with this?"
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:06 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys asks directions to the largest of the libraries, and makes his way there. He spends the morning seeking out books of interests (looking for content on significance of the church location and the seven stones, and also on the Illorg. He places any books of interest on a table before him, and with that he casts his prayers (comprehend languages and scholars touch) to read the content of all the books.

If spells are still available, he makes his way to another library to do the same…
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Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:06 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Bleys sets out across town to a small shop just to the North of the Turandarok Academy. Called the “Curious Critter” Bleys has little trouble finding it from the directions. From the outside the shop displays a large sign, freshly painted, of a sprite reading a book.

The interior has also seen some recent updates. Several large leather reading chairs appear to be newly re-upholstered and a magnificent glass display case sits in the centre of the room. Along the walls are a wide array of books and tomes, scrolls, and tablets.

One corner of the room is occupied by a human woman dressed in bright Varisian fabrics sitting in lotus position on the floor with three books piled around her. She has one book open on her lap. Apart from glancing up when Bleys comes in, she is entirely focused on her reading.

An old man, with dishevelled silver hair that forms a ring around his bald and glossy head, leans on his reading pillow. The entrance of Bleys has stirred him from his nap. The book he is reading is currently serving as a resting place for a small gray kitten. Looking around the store there are two other cats and a spiny groundhog-like creature tucked into nooks and corners. The best seat in the house is occupied by an old orange cat, curled into the felt and fabric lining the shops front window. The sun is warming his fur for his mid-afternoon nap.

Chask Haladan, the propreitor, tries several languages before settling on dwarven. His dwarven is oddly formal although his demeanour is calm and relaxed.

“Tidings of weal to a visitor. Prosperity to your family is hoped with sincere heart. I, Chask Haladan, elder of the Haladan family, welcome you to my store and avail my services to you in selecting books that will serve your journey well.”

Bleys looks around the room, noting that very few of the books have any kind of markings on the spine and no catalog is obvious.

“My name is Bleys. Thank-you for the welcome to your fine store. I am looking for books on the location of the church; books about Illorg; or books about the seven stones.”

Chask nods. For the next couple of hours Chask and Bleys go up and down the aisles of his store, opening up books to determine their content, and making it abundently clear to Bleys that the concept of a catalog, or reference index would be an entirely foreign concept to this pleasant old man.

During this time, Brodbert Quink comes into the store, stands in the middle of the room and unrolls a map of the store with copious notes, annotations, and guides. After he consults his map for a couple of minutes he walks to a section of the store and opens up a few books in succession. He tucks one of them under his arm and has a short conversation with Chask — likely haggling over price based on the tone.

Eventually, both men agree on a price and Brodbert counts out thirty gold into Chask’s hand. Chask puts the money into a bright red scarf and places it in a box behind the counter.

This gives Bleys ample time to wonder if Brodberts “map” of the store might help him…
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Richard
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:52 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
arondil wrote:
and he ponders" I wonder what Helani would want me to do with this?"

Arondil looks out the window of “the Rusty Draon” and sees a clothing store. In the window, framed in light, a most beautiful half-elven woman makes alterations to a festive dress. Working in the light probably gives her opportunity to see the detail in her work, but to Arondil it is a beacon. His heart skips a beat. He thinks she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.

…uh oh…
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:12 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Quote:
This gives Bleys ample time to wonder if Brodberts “map” of the store might help him…

Consumed by his own research, Bleys ignores the sage as he exits the store. He’ll have to run after him at this point.

Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:58 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Quote:
He thinks she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.

Arondil, unable to muster up the courage to go and speak with her, returns to polishing his tiger … buffing the cat … shining his pussy. Let’s just say that he is otherwise occupied.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:51 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash walks to his comrades, and speaks..

Forgive me my friends, for the unfamiliar stars in the sky have muddled my thoughts. I have regained focus and will do what I can in the time we have left to help us prepare for this powerful clash we are about to face.

with a new feeling of empowerment, Calibash begins to work away with a passion the others have rarely seen.

“We need to talk to Niska Mvashti” he says, “for a comment that Ilsoari made about his belief that the ruins were once capable of spewing fire down on advancing armies is something we can’t disregard. Niska may have more insight into this”. Although Visor told me that the ruins do not relate to the troubles, it may hold a possible benefit for assisting in a solution".

He pauses, looks into the sky, and speaks again.

“We need to find if any of the Dwarves have anything the foul creatures that attacked had left behind. If there is something that they have owned, possibly even some of their blood on a sword, I may be able to Discern their location.”

“I will also wander out to the edge of the woods tonight after prayers, and become one with nature to attain knowledge of the surrounding territory, where I will attempt to gain knowledge of the presence of unnatural creatures within the area.”

“And Bleys, if you need assistance in the libraries, I can pray for a scholars touch where I can read through several books a minute.”

Calibash mutters quietly…

“‘Keep your hearts free from sin: anger, lust, greed, sloth, pride, envy, and gluttony. These will undo your path.’ Remember this… this is important. Stay in focus and heed those words.”

And even quieter…
“Hmmm, seven sins… seven stones?”

Then louder to the group again:

“So much to learn, so little time. My apologies again my friends.”
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:07 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash, the bronze man, lifts the latch on the door and pushes it open. An eerie creak ensues. This large old manor house may once have had prominence in town. The strange old ways of Madam Mvashti appeal to the older, more superstitous, townsfolk. Reading cards, casting bones, and sacrificing animals represent a not-too-distant past in Varisia.

Across the dusty grand hall a few rats scurry to hiding. Mvashti’s voice comes from another room in the house. “I’ve put a candle on for you Calibash. When it starts to gutter it will be time. Until then come and keep an old woman company.”

Conscious of his weight, and the condition of the floor boards, Calibash keeps to the edge of the room as he follows the voice through a dining area and into a sitting room beyond. A fireplace dominates the sitting room — filled with lit candles or all colours, shapes, and sizes, the brick fireplace causes the cluttered room to flicker and change. Tokens, bottles, charms, figurines, and all manner of things clutter the room. Wrapped in bright scarves, Madam Mvashti curls into a large leather chair across from a bare wooden harvest table. She is small of frame and is curled like a cat into the back of the chair. Her knees touch and her feet are tucked beneath her — giving her a curve and sideways posture. Almost girlish and spry; surprising for her leathered skin, deep sunken eyes, and thin hair. She smiles. Both of her teeth are yellowed.

“If we talk…I may hear the voice of a God.” She pauses. “I’d like that.”

She gestures to a heavy wooden stool that she has somehow managed to move to beside the table. Tracks through the dust in the floor show its original location was somewhere on the downstairs level. A small side table sits beside the stool. On it an ornate writing set is arranged. Two pieces of parchment are tucked under a small rock.

At the centre of the table a candle burns. It is a long tapered dark-blue candle that appears recently lit.

“So true, Calibash. You bring answers as well as questions.” It is clear that the woman is hearing voices — or pretending to. In the silence that follows the woman nods her head several times and listens intently. Finally, she breaks out of her episode and speaks again.

“What gifts do you bring me in exhange for my sight?” Her milky white eyes gazing genrally in Calibash’s direction. “Gifts are very important.” She lowers her voice. “Gifts can change everything.”
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calibash
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:11 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash makes his way to the stool, he reaches into his bag and takes out some gemstones worth about 100 GP.

“It is an honour to meet you Niska”, he says. “you know why I am here I imagine.”

Calibash sits.

“Gifts come in many forms, whether they be baubles, favours, knowledge, friendship, or answers.” He reaches for her hand and opens it up.

“If it is payment you want, then we’ll begin with this” as he puts the gems in her hand.

“If it is a true gift you seek, then I offer you my trust” and changes to his human form. Assuming Niska can’t see, but can sense. He touches her hand again. “This is something I seldom share, except with those whom I can trust.”

“If there is something I can do for you however, feel free to ask”
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Pantheris

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:51 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
calibash wrote:

“If it is a true gift you seek, then I offer you my trust”

(Commentary from Rob:

Ooooo… that’s good. Smile )
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:01 am Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Richard wrote:
Quote:
He thinks she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.

Arondil, unable to muster up the courage to go and speak with her, returns to polishing his tiger … buffing the cat … shining his pussy. Let’s just say that he is otherwise occupied.

(funny, I did not notice that this had been posted)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:14 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“I accept both your gift and your payment.” she rolls the gems over in her hand. When she turns her hand over again the gems are gone.

The candle on the table begins to gutter. “Let’s begin.” she annouces. Holding Calibash’s hand, he can feel her pulse quicken as she begins to speak.

“Generosity, Serenity, and Wisdom are three virtues to fight seven vices. A time of conflict approaches. I see smoke and flame, blood and darkness, insects and death. Generosity is the key to protecting the innocent. Serenity can ward you from flame. Wisdom will protect you from fear.”

“I can explore three words for you before I must rest. Speak your first word, but speak it from your heart, not just your lips.”
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 10:47 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash thinks to himself…

“The citizens do not even know what is about to befall them. We have been destined to be their saviors.”

Calibash then takes a breath (he is in human form), thinks, feels, and whispers the word “Salvation”
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:22 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Mvashti breathes in the word and waits for the images to wash over her.

“I see an image of your friends — impaled by their own weapons in a place up the mountains. Spires in the clouds. Sooner though there is another image of dead townsfolk. You walk the streets and people avoid your gaze and go inside. The image is weak, like a dubious future. There is another future — weaker still — one where you are saviours of the town. You are on the path to the first future — that is sure. There is still time to turn it, but it is dwindling.

I see an image of a vast cathedral with thousands of pillars. Few of them reach the roof, of those that do only five are strong. There are a dozen or so that touch the roof but they are weak. I see a vast dragon witha burning symbol upon his chest — a rune — as he lands on the cathedral. The roof quickly gives way where the support is weak. The cathedral falls, yet five pillars remain.

You cannot protect them all; the roof is too vast. Strengthen yourselves and you will become weaker. Make yourselves weaker and all will be strong. If you give away your strength it will be returned to you three-fold. Generosity is the secret to salvation."

She goes quiet for a moment.

“Speak your next word.”
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:34 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
“That is a good word.” Mvashti replies after a brief silence.

As she enters her trance for a second time Calibash is slightly bewildered. He is sure he didn’t say anything.

“Lost. I see the ones that fled have gotten lost. They are your beacon. With no intellect, their malice will lead you to the spring. Not their home; they can’t find their own homes — but the fountain of the malice. I see a gibbering creature singing a song. I see burnt sand. Only if you are calm with the answers come. Only if you are still when you have the chance to act. Only if you choose Serenity will you find the Source.

Malice. You must find the source of malice — and the Illor will take you there. He will put you on the path. Only if you follow when you could choose to destroy."

You have one word left.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:29 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash looks down, trying to digest the vision, and contemplates a connection…

Suddenly, his face straightens out, gazing at Mvashti, he smiles. With a deep breath, again looking at the sky, thinking, feeling, saying out loud the word;

“Revelation”
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:30 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
She grasps Calibash’s hand firmly and a flood of voices rush in. His own voice, the voices of his friends, and the voices of the townsfolk rush in like a chorus. Speaking overtop of one-another like music.

Quote:
Vast is the emptiness of my mind, but in the emptiness the twinkle of understanding grows. Illuminate the darkness not with a rude and pervasive sun that blots out the heavens with its brightness. Illuminate the darkness not with moons that congratulate their own beauty. Set in the infirmament above a path to wisdom with sublte points of lights that guide our minds like beacons.

Nuallia lived as heaven-born, but died in fiery church with pater Tobyn. When blessings burn they draw hearts lower than blessings never given.

“Did Tobyn have any enemies in town, or anyone who may have wanted harm to come to him?”

He looks at Arondil’s empty scabbard. “I’ll give you a blade.”

“The only valuable thing that I keep is my word. The only treasure I have are my friends. I keep my hands busy when the sun shines, and I put down my toil and the end of a day.” None of the group here are clerics, but Bleys suspects they might belong to some dwarven cult or faction.

“Generosity, Serenity, and Wisdom are three virtues to fight seven vices. A time of conflict approaches. I see smoke and flame, blood and darkness, insects and death. Generosity is the key to protecting the innocent. Serenity can ward you from flame. Wisdom will protect you from fear.”

Over cards, Pantheris and Ilsoari talk about magic, but the old wizard doesn’t seem much like swapping arcane knowledge. He has bequeathed his spellbooks to the senior student at the school — a bright young man exiled from Magnamar and almost murdered for having the misfortune of being born with six fingers on his right hand. Varisians, he explains, are a highly superstitous people. Ilsoari does not travel much, but knows plenty about Sandpoint.

“Hmmm, seven sins… seven stones?”

They have never personally tangled with them, but eight strong warriors and a caravan of fine metal was lost a few months back. When Bleys responded with a blessings for the family of a full “shield” of dwarves fallen in battle, they tell the rest of the story.

“Hmm… Deanni you say… She is the dwarven defender of orphans and the adopted…the mother of charity and good spirit.”

Pater Zanthus weighs in, “And a great blessing our dwarven friends have been. Giving supplies, food, armour, and weapons — without asking anything in return.” The priests voice trails off a bit at the end.

Yes, that was Hemlock’s plan. In fact, he has gathered a dozen soldiers from Magnimar. The ruse is that they will be picking one from our twelve town guard to join their ranks…leaving a spot open. We have a militia of sixty-two able bodied men and women who are volunteer warriors.

“My friends, I see the need for urgent preparation.” He outlines a number of thoughts. Spell preparation that is intended to deal with the Illorg. Perhaps spells that are best suited to deal with the undead. Spells that counter speed, smoke, backstabbing, and teleporting.

“They vanished from the world long ago. As with all things, there is always talk of them returning… prophesies, and warnings”

Numbers and patterns swirl in Calibash’s head. The fountain of this evil — his wisdom has uncovered it. He feels a chill pass across his flesh and he opens his eyes with renewed clarity and vision. He remains humble in the knowledge that he has chosen his words well. He can see them now. Calibash sees Seven Runewells — ancient artifacts that feed … and the vision is lost. For a moment he understood everything. He struggles to remember more. Will the fragment be enough?

Mvashti lets him sit in silence for many moments. She knows he is struggling to remember. After almost an hour she breaks the silence.

“That is the way of visions. You may remember more later. Sometimes the visions come back.”

Later Calibash will remember the black Kraken, but not until it is too late. The mother of oblivion who will destroy everything. Of all the evil that they have faced and conquered it will be the evil that they pass on the road; the evil that walks beside them; the evil that joins with them; that evil will triumph.
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Last edited by Richard on Wed Jun 10, 2015 6:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:19 pm Post subject: Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Delete this post View IP address of poster
Calibash looks worn, and bows his head again.

“Clarity becomes rhymes and riddles, fragments and pieces. Am I to be the mortar that glues this all together?”

“The 5 strong pillars would be my friends and I.. the dozen others would be Hemlock’s party, the thousands would be the townsfolk.”

“This is a puzzle that contains many pieces, and most are missing. It will take my friends assistance and with our full collective thoughts and experiences, we may see enough of the puzzle to view the picture held within it.”

“I thank you Mvashti, and hope you felt like you may have heard a god speak this evening. I hope you prepare yourself for the dangers that await us all soon, and wish you keep yourself safe.”

“I must see my friends now, and begin to decipher this mystery”.

He takes her hand again with gratitude, and then begins to walk out. He turns back into his bronze self again as he reaches the door, and makes haste towards his companions.

View
Rise of the Runelords
Burnt Offerings 1

Stroking her soft red beard in contemplation, Deanni watches the conversation float amongst the group. The offer of her husband’s service sending their thoughts racing. Speaking in hushed tones, they ramble off ideas, talk about armour made from fine wire, like shirts that are woven. The conversation even digresses to speak about jewlery. After some time, her companion, the man of fur and fang — what was his name — flashes a glance and she nods. Smiling a bit at the inner joke her brown eyes flash with a touch of orange-amber.

She bows to the group. “The dwarven people are greatly in your debt. My husband wishes to reward you with a gift from his very own hand.” She pauses to nod at Arondil. “As it would have more meaning for you… he will gladly use the metal you have carried for so long in fashioning your sword. Yet there will be more than one gift for those stalwart friends of ours. Your gifts will be ready at the Swallowtail festival in Sandpoint — a place far from your home. It is a place that has experienced much unpleasantness of late. We have dwarven friends there — I know your gifts will be well recieved. You have attracted unwanted attention of late. Use this and your destination will be beyond detection.”

She pulls out a small bell and hammer and passes it to Pantheris.

“Go!” she smiles. “Make haste.”

Her friend nods to your group with a sincere smile. “You are good and brave allies. Truly. This is for the best..” He pauses, and puts a hand on Calibash’s metal skin.

“Be vigilant my friend. You’ve been blessed with more than just magics this day. You’ll be in the forge soon.”

Bleys begins to draw breath to speak… and is cut off by Deanni.

“You can trade and barter your paltry baubles once you get to where you are going. Magnamar is not far from Sandpoint — they have artificers there. But don’t miss the ceremony whatever you do. Keep an eye to what is going on in Sandpoint. Be mindful of the details.” Her tone is warm but firm.

Both Ju’alis and Calibash open their mouths to speak, but again Deanni anticipates and interrupts. Like master warrior practiced in the art of anticipation.

“Your gifts will outweigh the danger if you stay true. Keep your hearts free from sin: anger, lust, greed, sloth, pride, envy, and gluttony. These will undo your path.”

She looks at the bell and locks her gaze on Pantheris.

“Trust me. Do it now.”
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:19 pm Post subject:

“oh dear”, say’s arondil. “I suppose we’ll have to come back later to save those poor creatures who are trapped here that we’d agreed to help”
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:28 pm Post subject:

“We’ll take care of that for you. You probably shouldn’t come back here for a while.”
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 7:57 pm Post subject:

“thank you, I was getting worried they’d be forgotten”
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:03 pm Post subject:

Pantheris takes the bell and hammer from Deanni.

He listens to her words intently all the while examining the small objects.

Sensing Deanni’s gaze once again upon him, he looks at her, pauses for only a moment then lifts the bell ready to strike it with the small hammer.

He casts a furtive glance at his fellows….
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Cat box? Phhhfffttttttt, I’ll go where I please!

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:47 pm Post subject:

After a long pause Deanni turns to her feline friend. He raises his eyebrows and shrugs his shoulders, lifting his hands as if to say “I don’t know what they are waiting for either.”

Deanni looks back to the bell and exhales a long sad breath.
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:42 pm Post subject:

Bleys peers across at Pantheris and gives him an encouraging nod…

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:38 pm Post subject:

After only hesitating for a moment (which must have somehow seemed longer to Deanni ), Patheris brings the hammer down on the bell.
_________________
Cat box? Phhhfffttttttt, I’ll go where I please!

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:48 pm Post subject:

The hammer strikes the bell and Patheris feels the magic flare to life. Filling the space with the resonation of inter-planar travel Pantheris sees the energy swirl and ebb. He can see strands of it reaching out, looking for travellers to take. He easily controls the threads of magic, the resonation of the bell, and begins to extend them towards the targets…those that will join him on this journey. Looking around the private room he sees Deanni and her companion, a serving maid, Arondil, Ju’alis, Bleys, and Calibash. As with any interaction with Deanni, the dwarves are not present.

He chooses…
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And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:04 pm Post subject:

“here we go again” says arondil
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:35 pm Post subject:

Richard wrote:

He chooses…

Bleys, Calibash, Arondil, and Ju’alis (and himself)….
_________________
Cat box? Phhhfffttttttt, I’ll go where I please!

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:44 am Post subject:

The energy and vibrations swirl around, invisible to most. Pantheris works feverishly to guide the strands and sounds to the comrades. It is no easy task controlling this magic! And Deanni still has the charming happy-go-lucky smile. She knew it would be hard to control the magic! Pantheris fights down the anger and frustration so that he can master the device. Finally, the hollow sound fills the air and the tone of the bell permeates the bodies of all of his comrades and no-one else. As they wink into blackness Pantheris counts…one, two, three, four, and me… phew!

Waking out of a daze, a moment of unawareness, they look around them. The sweet smell of leaves rushes in from the trees behind them. It must be nearly autumn. Ahead on the road they see a quiet little costal town. Not too big, but a town for sure. Built upon a sandy pennisula, the town only has a few access points. Where they stand the road forms into a bridge that crosses a wide river. A large stone building dominates the near bank on the right hand side. At first it is easily mistaken for a guard house, with square stones and slitted windows. The smell of the brewery is unmistakable to Arondil’s keen senses who weighs the scents, removing in his mind the brine of the salt water (that is definitely an ocean beyond the breakwater of the pennisula) he comes to the conclusion that the ale brewed here “probably isn’t bad.” The last part he articulates. Too much time amongst the dwarves perhaps, that the seasoned warrior comments on the state of the ale, rather than the tactical situation.

Then again, it seems pastoral and quiet. Children play at the far side of the bridge, engaged at times by the guard in red and black garb who tosses their ball to them and warns them to mind the river bank. His weapons are propped against a post, close to his lion — saddle and all, who is basking in the sunlight of the day.

Looking up he sees the group, and turns his head a few times, obviously measuring distances between his weapons, his mount, the children, and the folks at the far side of the bridge. Calmly, he tousles the hair of a child, and walks to retrieve his spear and shield. The shape of his clothing reveals that there is armor underneath, but the kind is not certain. He stows the spear on his back, unhooks his lion from the post and walks out across the bridge. The unhooked lion stands alert, but does not follow him out onto the bridge.

This gives you ample time to survey the scene and get a sense of the size of the town. In fact, from his vantage high above, Calibash’s raptor has already reported the size and scope of the city back to his master. So, by the time the guard has reached the half-way point of the bridge. It is well known by the whole group that there are perhaps a dozen guards like this in the town with nine or so lions. The town has three entrances, a walled section to the north and a large cathedral in the North section where masons — many of them look to be feverishly completing the project. In fact the town appears to be overpopulated at the moment, with the masons having set up make-shift tents on the western beach.

The guard has paused at the bridge, letting his hands hang by his side — perhaps uttering a small prayer. He looks intently at the five veterans on the far side of the bridge. He cracks a genuine smile, after a moment, relaxes his stance and trots across the far side of the bridge to meet you.

As he approaches he touches his heart and extends his hand to Pantheris who is standing at the front. Pantheris has missed pretty much everything as he is wrapped in worried thought looking at a broken bell in his hand. The guard’s extended hand wakes him back up.

“Velkin ut des Zandepunt thame.. vedder hum es Veujen.. da hum?”
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And all of creation shuddered …

Last edited by Richard on Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:54 am; edited 1 time in total

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:49 am Post subject:

Quote:
Bleys, Calibash, Arondil, and Ju’alis (and himself)….

I had to ask.
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:23 pm Post subject:

Arondil points to the town……………and asks"sandpoint"?
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what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:38 pm Post subject:

Vujen points to the town and replies with a smile and nod “Zandepunt.”

Switching to some odd elven dialect, he repeats “Hello Sand-Pennisula town walkers-to. Named Vujen by my mother is happy if your names were known.”
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:06 pm Post subject:

“Religion-folk, few moons separate their comings and goings, when restored to stone the house of Gods drew close. Many mistake the light and days as equal, but equinox sits at middle of the belly of Rael, not at the balance of light and day. Paper-wings fly skyward when celebrations of new season draws religion-folk to speak words of honey-help to hearts of Vir.”

He gestures at the sky and the direction of the town again. Encouraged by the glimmer of understanding in your eyes, he plunges forth into another happy soliloquay.

“Eager stretches the return of friendship to those not met here on Rael. Heaven-friends in past we have been, as forgotten meetings remembered in heart but not mind. Heaven-touched hands and drawings of heaven-touched hearts adorned about mind-forgotten friends. My heaven-drawn heart looks not like your drawings, but I know your drawings are good… even though what part of heaven they are a picture of, I do not know.”

He raises a symbol made of gold a silver depicting a winged woman with outstretched arms and some kind of golden halo, sun, or flower behind.

“Flower of Sun peeking at bottom of world is a picture of Sarenrae.” He smiles as he holds it up for you all to see.

“Dez-na rides paper wings to heaven with changing of season soon. When half the smile of the moon goes away then Swallowtail wings ride soft zephyrs.”

“Gold heart in sun-peeking; books that reads the working of folk-mind,
and she-wolf who protects the silver moon — these are good pictures I know. What part of heavens do these pictures draw?”

“Trouble and dark-drawings bring me from Magnamar. Much unpleasantness of late troubles closed-eyes and open eyes alike. Safe in Pennisula of Sand you must be. Feet exchange fronts until protected by Vujen can your open-eyes and closed-eyes be. Drink and stomach-filling happens tasty with dance and song.”

You can tell he is eager to talk more, but forces himself to pause .. waiting for a response .. hoping that he has found a language that you share. Although he still sees the wheels of comprehension turning slowly long into the silence that follows.

He laughs a bit at himself and makes a funny face, raising his eyebrows and mouth — almost into an apologetic clown-face. He smiles again and gives you time to process.
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:18 pm Post subject:

Arondil points to each in the party as henames them….“bleys, calibash, jew a lis, pantheris and myself arondil” “we have come to sandpoint for the swallowtail festival”
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:25 pm Post subject:

He lightly touches everyones hand and speaks their name as he does so. When getting to Arondil he speaks "Myself, " pauses and adds “who is a Dil Arun”, obviously picking up on ‘dil’ — elven for child and ‘Arun’ — elven for sun or dawn.

“Thirteen dawns until the festival. Happy met, happy friends.”
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:29 pm Post subject:

Bleys looks at his magestic Lion companion, and gestures to him. “Your companion is magnificent” Bleys states. “May I meet him?”

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:07 pm Post subject:

He nods to Bleys and gestures for the group to follow him across the bridge. Calibash’s eagle and Bleys have both spotted guards now positioned at the far side of the bridge.

Obviously not wanting to pull the lion from his station, but glad to bring the group to his mount, he ushers the group onto the causeway and towards the town. He leads from the middle of the group, walking beside the party.

Two-thirds of the way he stops, lightly touching the arms of Bleys and Arondil.

“Alarm not your senses. My eyes were replaced when talking to new friends did begin. Vigilance ceasing is not prudence in dark-dream-days.” He gestures very subtlely to two guards who have taken up position in thickets at the far end of the bridge. He makes a large sweeping gesture with his left hand and points at some manor houses across from the end of the pennisula. His right hand, shielded by his back, makes a shaking gesture with thumb and forefinger apart.

“Hemlock, commander… Revani, mother-share woman..” he says quietly but still loud enough for everyone to hear.

“Let not the eyes in our backs be given sight to sword-kin. Forest smells of troubles… caution you know.. I see the propping of your chins and the travel of your senses. Un-mask not my sword-kin with start or startle.”

He finishes waving his left arm uselessly at the distant houses and leads you over to the lion. Large, even by lion standards, this male is a well muscled and lightly barded. A black and red tabbard runs across its back and the well-worn saddle is afixed with both a chest harness and girth.

The lion sniffs at the group, but greets Vujen with his tongue across his wrist. Vujen smiles and touches each of you in turn, saying your name slowly and clearly. Each time the lion leans close and draws a long smell.

“Bleys…Calibash…Jew alis… Panth aris …Myself”
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 9:08 pm Post subject:

Quote:
Myself
Okay.. I’m sure you would have corrected him by now.. but it was a bit funny.


And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:24 pm Post subject:

Bleys bows to the lion, and offers it his blessings of purity and good will.

He turns to Vujen and says “Your eyes shall worry not…we mean no harm and shall neither start or startle.”

Bleys closes eyes and smells deep as did the lion. The scent of his surroundings is taken in…lion and wolf alike.

“Pray do tell…what is the cause of your heightened vigilance and concern for the forest around you?”

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 2:47 pm Post subject:

“Setting across the sun of happiness, for the pennisula of Sand, have been murders, closed-eyed apparations, and return-not-homes. Great church once burned has now been re-made, but watch the woods we must. Travellers, even cohorts with strong lions, have disappeared in total to savage unhappy dwellers.
Captain-friend Hemlock called aid from Magnamar, but danger in the forest be. Shroud of darkness on should-be-happy days. Dispatched from Magnamar comes mighty huntress, lioness among her pride-kin, to sniff the trouble. We guard the home of sword-kin Hemlock, but much worry shuffles cards.
Sometimes on the heels of happy footsteps track danger and nasty beasts. Cautious we must be to make true that your shadows have not fangs.”

He walks around the lion as he speaks checking the saddle, straps, and gear. As he comes back around to the front he tethers his mount back to the post.

Now on the far side of the bridge there are three roads. To the right a road leading past the brewery that Arondil smelled early to a mill; straight ahead the main road travels into town and veers left; while a much smaller road to the left of you follows the bank of the river and turns towards the docks.

The children who were playing are down the left-hand road a bit on the front lawn of a wide house with a long porch and old wagon wheels adorning the side. Across the way is a mill. A sign near where you are standing points down the direction of the road and reads “Strom Strasse.”

“The Sun spun the seasons two full turns ago, and wild brain-evil made murder-sin common in happy little town. Called Chopper by many, justice came to him finally. But too much life-blood fell early upon sad ground. Murder-sin, burning, and dangers in forest, swamp, and mountain. Afraid these people be. Roar of mighty heaven-lions not loud enough to out-shout fears thickly lodged in minds of folk. simple folk of sea-road trades have not ears for dark noises during closed-eye times. Fire and blood make unwanted allies.”

A few townsfolk enter a large building on the central street. The building is four (perhaps five) stories high with a large sculpture of a metal dragon fashioned from old rusty plates. The condition of the sculpture tells you that it has been there for many years — various repair jobs and re-inforcements indicate that the landmark has received both the weathering of time and the caring hand of upkeep in about equal measure.

“Nuallia lived as heaven-born, but died in fiery church with pater Tobyn. When blessings burn they draw hearts lower than blessings never given. Sad for those of sea-road trade to not see that the sun peeks but for a sliver; the rain-drop splashes only once; all things of heaven, here on Rael last for but a moment.”
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And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:27 pm Post subject:

arondil asks"how much distance travel between zandepunt Magnamer?"
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:32 pm Post subject:

“Forty spans, not long.” He pauses thinking about something. “5 meals.” he comes up with.

Leaving you to wonder how many times he eats in a day.
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:52 pm Post subject:

“May we see Hemlock good Vujen?” Bleys asks. If so Bleys asks him to lead on in search of the commander.

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:44 pm Post subject:

hmmm……5 meals must mean a day and a half
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:51 pm Post subject:

“Language…Speak…better..find” speaks the guard emerging from the far side of the building. It is a very broken, thickly accented, and very strange elven.

“Vuejen das, funda punta wesh jogen geschwisterlich.” the older guard says to Vujen as he approaches the group. He touches Vujen on the arm and nods.

“Auf viddersoon…” Vujen pauses and switches back to elven. “Sun’s warmth return our friendship first remembered on Rael, long remembered in heaven.” Vujen touches his heart and touches each of you on the shoulder as he circles and returns to his post. This leaves you in the company of the older guard who begins walking.

He has a heavy grey moustache and thick eyebrows, not quite so well greyed — wild and unkempt eyebrows framing sharp hazel eyes. His skin, like Vujen’s, is olive — well used to the sun. His hair, like his eyebrows, is also slightly wild — poking out from his hat. Stiff black leather forms his hat with a wide brim at the front, and narrower brim at the back. Straps hang down the back, and the wear on the hat indicate that at times, often times, it has been worn underneath a helmet.

He is dressed in similar garb as Vujen, but not identical. Where Vujen had a scimitar of sorts strapped to his side, Hemlock wears a broad sword. Thick, heavy, and short — the sword is plain and unadorned. It hangs in a ring holster, revealing the whole of the blade. Oiled to a dull metallic smoke-colour the metal looks in good condition. It is easy to spot the metal breastplate beneath the threadbare red and black surcoat. Some parts of the coat have been carefully patched and sewn, but not for some time.

As you walk you pass a few people on the street. Sometimes Hemlock will nod or offer a greeting; other times will go out of his way to brush into the passerby… touching them with his hand or even pausing to hold their wrist for a moment.

Once such encounter is with Ameiko. A slender but muscular women of exceptional beauty stops and clasps wrists with Hemlock. He introduces you to her and they exchange a short conversation. She attempts, in about six different languages, to engage you in conversation. Eventually settling on the dialect of elven that Vujen had been employing successfully earlier.

“Hemlock commander will take you to the home of his ink and scratchings. When tire you of words and scribble-masters, visit my home of hearty soups and be entertained by dancing and song.”

She moves along all too soon. Obviously busy and eager to return to her work. She goes to the large building with the rusted dragon atop. She is not of the same ethnic origins of many of the others, darker skin, and different features.

It is now, caught up in the journey that you realize that you had missed something. When you past the Rusty Dragon Inn a few minutes earlier you heard songs and laughter, drinking and carrying on. But you also hear a familiar dwarven song — being sung in proper dwarven!

There was so much going on and it was so much part of the general din that you didn’t pay it much heed. But now you are certain. When Ameiko mentioned song and drink it just sprang into your mind.

Hemlock has moved you along the streets of town and onto a Main Street. You can see that apart from humans there are halflings and gnomes here. You wonder if you should keep going, because part of you wants to go back to see the dwarves. Communicating with Hemlock is difficult though, and he seems eager to get you to where he is going…
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And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:06 pm Post subject:

“Wait good sir” Bleys exclaims. “I think I recognize a voice…pray let me check”. With that Bleys gestures with his hands back towards the inn and indicates with his fingers “a minute or moment only if you please”. He indicates the group should briefly follow and heads back towards the inn.

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 10:20 pm Post subject:

Hemlock stands confused in the middle of the street as Bleys rushes back to the Rusty Dragon. Bleys turns the corner and disappears from sight. Judging by the speed at which he moves, he’ll almost be back there by now.

Hemlock straightens his coat and looks around.

Which way do the rest of you go?
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Arondil watches bleys run off to the inn thinks for a moment the tells the others"I think I’ll stay with Hemlok here and see more of the town, and this place of ink and scratchings….maybe he has a map I could see. "He looks up at the sun noting it’s position in the sky “I should be back at the inn in an hour or two, no more”
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:54 pm Post subject:

Pantheris takes Hemlock by the wrist in a friendly way much as Hemlock had taken others wrists, and says “Please let us carry on and not delay you. One of us will return to gather Bleys if he tarries too long. I am also most interested in seeing this place of ink and scratchings.”
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Cat box? Phhhfffttttttt, I’ll go where I please!

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 5:20 am Post subject:

Bleys waves at the group and continues on. Before leaving he asks Calibash to continue to relay directions to Bleys as they move away. Bleys will continue to communicate his observations to Calibash as he departs.

(FYI…Calibash’s computer is causing significant probs and he may not have access to the board. As such he may not weigh in for our discussions)

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:05 am Post subject:

Turning North past a large school or Academy, Hemlock pauses. Obviuosly frustrated by his inability to communicate with these people. These are the kind of people that he really does want to talk to when they arrive in his town. They are lightly armed and reasonably unassuming; except for the bronze golem; or the elf called “Myself”. The elf is recently missing a large sword from his scabbard and seems entirely unconcerned with its absense. Probably this is because his battle plan includes ripping off his opponents arm and weilding that as a weapon. Hemlock never seen an elf muscled like that; he’s not even sure he’s seen a gnoll muscled like that.
Also, if the wizard is powerful enough to have a golem companion that detailed he probably has some other tricks as well. Judging by the gear, Hemlock is coming to believe that the Golem is an actual person. In his head, since they arrived, Hemlock has been doing math — adding up the danger and properties of these strangers. Mulitplying what he sees by what he doesn’t — their lack of fear.
The quality of of their weapon is exceptional and they do all the little things right. They weren’t just comfortable around the lion, or his guard, but they were completely without worry. His newest bit of information that he is adding to the equation is the speed of their monk when he turned to jog back. He wasn’t running, but he got an idea of his speed. The effortless glide is a real give-away that high level monks never think to hide. A monk that fast is dangerous, very dangerous. Frankly, Hemlock semi-retired to Sandpoint, not expecting to find his equal in battle ever again in this quiet little town. Now across a language barrier he is feeling decidedly over-matched. He shrugs a bit. At least they are pleasant and well mannered for the moment. If he has to arrest them later, at least he has led a good a decent life.

He raises his eyes to the sky at the though. In doing so he catches glipse of the bird circling above and adjusts his mental arithmetic again.

He smiles and points to the school. Changing direction he …
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And all of creation shuddered …

Last edited by Richard on Thu Nov 26, 2009 1:22 pm; edited 2 times in total

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:45 am Post subject:

he skips over to the door and knocks. An older student opens the door quickly to reveal a large vestibule with coat racks, shoe hooks, cubby-holes designed for children and adults alike.

After a short conversation Hemlock lets out a long sigh, touches the child on the sleeve, and rejoins you. He shrugs his shoulders and says “Child-Church Master dead.” The casual way with which he says it leads you to believe he actually meant something else.. perhaps sleeping or not home as more likely interpretations than dead.

He continues down the way with you until he comes to what is obviously your destination. A large Garrison of stone across from another large stone building. Your first guess for the opposing building would be a town hall or courthouse. The barracks are unmistakable.

As he leads you in to the barracks, you enter into a large training ground. A drill is in session and about twenty young men and women in flannel and cotton are being drilled by two guards in uniform. Armed with wooden poles tipped with a leather bulb, the students are working earnestly. The stone floor is wet with sweat and exertion. As he is walking past on the outside (a path circumnavigates the room), he steps in to quietly correct a student. He pushes their elbow in to get a better defensive position and allow more strength on the thrust.

He has the student repeat the move a few times as he watches, then nods and passes on some encouragement to the student. He comes back to stand beside Arondil surveying the practice. They both have their eyes on a student at the far end of the hall who is over-reaching on the thrusts. Hemlock makes an open-handed gesture that waves Arondil towards the conscript. He might have found the shared language without the teacher after all…

Meanwhile, Bleys is in the middle of a pint and spirited conversation with two dwarves named Hevvik and Thormungdan. They have come to town with a spiritual leader named “Chandj” and about five of his comrades. They accompanied their leader because the area around Sandpoint became very dangerous of late. Cruel little creatures known as Illor have become active in the area. The dwarves had legends and stories of them, but none had been reported in the area for hundreds of years. In legend they keep to their territories and have very small ranges. They have never personally tangled with them, but eight strong warriors and a caravan of fine metal was lost a few months back. When Bleys responded with a blessings for the family of a full “shield” of dwarves fallen in battle, they tell the rest of the story.
They found some of the bones and the broken carts at the bottom of a ravine, smashed to bits. The gold and silver were left, but some mithril and iron was taken. Some of the bones were charred, but all were gnawed upon.

The conversation has now turned to which is fiercer in battle, a great bear or a lion. Hevvik has vehemently taken up the side of the bear with his ability to attack from many angles, great size, and powerful blows. Thormungdan has extolled the virtues of the lion’s natural hunting instinct, ability to pounce, and lethal bite. Bleys is unsure if he wishes to step into the discussion, but each dwarf will ask him for agreement on each point.

“Agree you not that the lion can circle more quickly than a bear?”…
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 10:19 am Post subject:

At the other end of the hall, by the door to Hemlock’s office, a very old man appears. Literally… poof! He is flanked on each side by a student. One holding a small stool, the other tucked nicely under his arm for support. A staff rests in the older child’s hands.

Hemlock sees the teacher and calls across the floor to him. Apparently he invited him into the office. The old man nods as the students and teacher slowly open the door and the old man wobbles into the office beyond leaving the door open behind him.
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:16 pm Post subject:

As Arondil watches the practice his ind goes bak hundreds of years to when he was young learning to fight. It was nothing like this with it’s forms and drills but rather just surviving another day of pummeling by a giggling old man intent on turning him into one giant bruise. Drills and such came later after he’d settled into the style of weapon that was right for him. He was watching one student in particular, the way he was fighting, he had a decent defence but his attacks were all wrong, but they could be quite easily adapted to a real weapon, not some little three foot poker. He saw Hemlock wave him over…if that wasn’t an invitation to expand a young mind arondil didn’t know what was. He walked over finding a practice weapon roughly the right length for tis conscript to use…….
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:53 pm Post subject:

Arondil reaches into a large barrel filled with padded weapon and draws out a padded version of a large sword. The conscript is well built, and probably in his early twenties. He is big and healthy, but has too much baby fat; arms round and strong, thick legs.. but not chiseled, not worked into a warrior.

Arondil looks at the student and puts the sword back. He fishes around another bucket and comes up with a very similar weapon, but tests it in his hand. It feels different. Hefty.. more weight at the end. The padding is thicker and heavier, but the weapon underneath has more mass — like a thick slug of metal. You couldn’t smash someone in the head with this, it weighs like a club — but a good practice sword for sure.

He walks acroos the practice area and stand directly in front of the student. Hemlock nods to the instructor and Arondil and the conscript are given some extra space.

The conscript meets Arondil’s eyes with the icy warrior stare of a tanner’s assistant. He hadn’t made it as a tanner and needed to make it here, earn the consciption. Here it was. The opportunity to impress. The odd elf looks dangerous. He extends his hand to accept the new practice weapon.

“Da kasse.” he says to Arondil.

Hemlock smiles and rolls his eyes a bit. The guards have ceased calling out the drill.
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 7:58 pm Post subject:

While Bleys extols the virtues of both the Bear and the Lion, he buys another couple of tankards and asks if they will join him in a bit of dinner. He asks them to tell all they know about the vile Illor, and asks for them to provide additional detail on the remains of the caravan…signs of magics, possible numbers of foes (tracks), signs of where the creatures came from and went to.

He then talks about the virtues of the wolf. Natural strategists with intellect and wisdom in abundance to be sure…

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:14 pm Post subject:

Quote:
buys another couple of tankards

What kind of currency are you using? The dwarves will take a look at it for you and offer to exchange it with local.

Ameiko, who you met earlier, brings three large tankards of Ale to your table. The dwarves accept your offer and ask what kind of food Bleys would like. The Dragon serves up spicy food they inform him. They have fowl, seafood, venison, and lamb.
_________________
And all of creation shuddered …

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:23 pm Post subject:

Before Arondil hands the conscript the weapon he demonstrates a few basic moves wich he figures will be a good introductory for this fellow who has the look of being guilt by labour that required more heavy lifting than anything else, with the right training and properly equipped this lad could become something terrifying…..like a large boulder rolling down a mountain. As he handed over the weapon he wondered to himself ‘I wonder what da kasse means?’
_________________
what we see we see
what is ugly is ugly
what is both we destroy

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:33 pm Post subject:

Bleys offers up gold pieces and inquire if this would be accepted. Re dinner…he leaves it up to the dwarves to recommend and order.

Posted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:54 pm Post subject:

The lad gets to work on the moves, practicing them with exuberance. Overreaching, overmuscling, and overswinging on each one… he is working up his breathing to a fast and frenzied pitch.


The dwarves nod at the gold, and the food starts arriving.

Plates of seafood— brazed and spiced — rolled into skewers with a lemony-orange sauce for dipping. Ale. A strange kind of wrap stuffed with mousse of mushroom and cheese. Ale. Duck, simmered in a light wine. Ale. A hot and spicy soup with rice noodles. Ale. Spiced chicken, vegetables, and hot beans, across a bed of rice. Ale. Dry rubbed ribs with a tangy sauce — arranged in a pinwheel with a battered deep-fried shredded vegetables forming a spider-web on the plate. Ale. Finally she brings out a large bowl of liquor with candied wafer-balls floating in it.

Bleys is now under a medium load and loses his wisdom bonus to AC.

The dwarves don’t have too much to tell about the missing shield of dwarves other than one of their party was involved in the investigation. She’d know all the answers to his questions, but she’s with the priests right now… doing religous stuff.

As the evening wears on the trio begin singing some of the most famous Dwarven songs in a very loud voice. Encouraged by the other patrons of the bar they go from rousing work songs, to baudy rhymes, to laments. Eventually, Ameiko, the patron of the Rusty Dragon moves over to the fireplace to begin her songs for the evening. The dwarves become quiet. Although the patrons of the bar adore Ameiko and her amazing singing.. the cheer of the dwarven trio is hard to match. For the first time in her many years as proprietor of the Rusty Dragon, Ameiko is not sure that the crowd quite want her on stage yet.

She settles on the stage with a mandolin and flute… and bursts out in a Dwarven drinking song! The tables begin to pound and the whole bar joins in… the noise carrying to every corner of Sandpoint.

She only knows one Dwarven song, and doesn’t quite get the pronuciation right, and the rest of the bar does worse. The evening blurs into a pounding of tables and singing and ale. Lots of ale.

At some point in the evening the rest of the companions arrive, but Bleys won’t remember when.

Ameiko makes up a room for everyone and helps the drunkards up to bed.

Food for three hungry folk: 5 GP
Enough Ale to get dwarves drunk: 6 GP
A room for 5 for the Night: 2 GP
Tips and Gratuities: 5 GP
A human monk with a fake-dwarf beard dancing on the table: Priceless

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