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"You must find your faith, Sir Richard, or all is lost."

The words of the Necromancer Tahna-Lyn, as she prepared to bargain with the throngs of the undying. Her voice; sardonic, her demeanor; coolly confident.

And you did so, striding forth to meat the corrupted minions of the Overlord.

Perhaps this is Corean's lesson, & Madriel's as well; That ones works, especially in duress, define a Man. That Faith, as steel, must be ever tested & honed, lest it fail.

Your thoughts are free of the conflicts that have clouded them these past months in this, watching the fanatic monks you slew long ago turned to your cause by Kellinor's implicit endurance & faith.

Whatever missteps you may have taken before, this was clearly the right path. And your heart shines with it, knowing you played your part well & true.

Re: Headspace by BratovitchBratovitch, 13 Jun 2019 07:07

The mind is a whirl, as you pen your journal upon the shifting sands of the Ukrudan. Still under the light of the Last Watchtower, watching your companions, your lover, the Tireless at your command, & somehow even the order of fanatics turned to your cause…all within a span of hours.

Ever practical, you note the blue-white light that so fortifies the restless dead. The watchtower will need be eliminated or harnessed; another check on a lengthy list.

As is proper, Tahna-Lyn & yourself remain commendably professional, demonstrating the cool confidence & poise with which the Lords of Hollowfaust are known for.

Yet you have so much to tell her, so many questions. Every hour that you cannot confide your thoughts is a bittersweet torture.

Perhaps, when you reach the Scar, all will be revealed. Privately, discreetly, with all caution.

Perhaps indeed.

Re: The Sending by BratovitchBratovitch, 13 Jun 2019 06:57

Leaving the chamber, it is as if the world tilts about you. Your own words, fleshy words, which your rat tongue must struggle to produce…they come back to haunt you.

"Yours could be the hand that changes the world!" words spat with your passion & fury!

"My hand HAS changed the world."

The icy calm in those bottomless black eyes…

You know this to be true. An ancient thing, older by far than your entire race, that has faces Gods & Titans alike without fear…

Yet, when pressed, it only wished to see you make your choices with free will. Why? What game is it playing? What could it want? What sort of monstrous plans does it make?

To your chagrin, you realize that you are not yet wise enough to even guess. You may never be.

You throw yourself off the cliffs, plummeting into the cold waters of Kath Bay. The waves embrace helps clear the red fog from your mind.

The Elf asked if the Rat Queen had you in thrall…did she? How would you know? That they tempted & seduced you is without question, & true, you lustily wish to be seduced still more! Yet, they asked little more than freedom from the fleshy thrall of some human Master. Retrieve a thing that might make them free. Do not all living things wish to be free?

Reaching your lair, you think deeply, nose twitching in the absolute darkness of the cavern. The Elf said it could be done if you wish it so. She never mentioned a cost. It is not the Rat Queen you fear controlling you; herself but a youngling compared to Arafael. No…the Forsaken Elf has plans for you. She has changed the very fabric of this world before, & you suspect, with a combined sense of elation & dread, that she means to do so again.

For better or worse, you are caught in that plan like a fish in a net, & it is probably far to late to escape.Yet, for your people there may be a chance undreamt of. If the world is about to tilt & spill over, who better than the Slitheren to feast on it's remains?

Wheels within wheels…

Though it has never been your sisters cup of tea, you have come to enjoy the shadowed world of intrigue nearly as much as the dueling circle these past decades. Like an onion, every layer peeled reveals even deeper secrets, & with them, new opportunities.

The desert nomads under Khalid report the massing of the Sutak, with tenative but increasing support from Dunuhane. His people will not be able to hold them, & his savage deity, the demi-god D'Shan, will not be able to face the Overlord. The other tribes are polarizing even now, & some of them will no doubt side with Khalid…especially if they have holding to retreat to.

You will be most interested to hear from Aleith & her expedition to the Scar & Zamon.

The rats have been useful to both you & House Finn; to find there numbers compromised by Hazad Ta'Andi's upstart brat is a surprise…you recall the oily boy with diamond studded teeth well. Hamish Ta'Andi, wastrel son of the deadliest magician in Shelzar. Heir to the wealth of House Wahid, & secret member of the Cult of the Ancients, Belsameth's most infamous assassins. No doubt the cult provided this "artifact" the Slitheren crave so…if Hamish does indeed have the sway Tarstis implies…does that mean House Finn has been compromised? Or even House Mirth?

Assassinating the boy (Man now? How long ago was that encounter? You have no doubt it was Hamish who dispatched assassins for you & your sister a decade ago) would pose issues…now is a delicate time, & Wahid is a critical ally. While it's easy to imagine Hazad would welcome the removal of such a pertinent whelp, humans can run hot-blooded on matters of kinship. And few run quite so hot-blooded as Hazad Ta'Andi…

You must plan carefully & strike decisively if you would turn this situation to your advantage.

After a swift discussion by the learned Journeymen, the two wizards come to a consensus:

Lester LeStrange should carry the weapon,

a) His valor in facing the construct directly merits that honor

b) In spite of his great strength, it is unlikely he could wield the weapon effectively. Whereas, Richard De'Bronis might just be able to

A direct ride to Hollowfaust will be delayed until the out of sight of enemy forces; returning to the Scar, butter monks in tow, seems the best plan to all assembled.

Thusly, the group sets off. Lester, no stranger to possession, is cautious with the Stygian cleaver…yet no harm befalls him as he performs his arcane binding & straps the weapon to his ghostly steed.

Abarces & Tahna-Lyn have there own steeds, though the thirty odd monks do not, carrying only what meager goods they can gather. So it is the party fords the river, leaving the city of Zamon abuzz with what miracles were witnessed this day.

With the taciturn elven archer taking point, the party makes the best time possible. The monks, now outcast, prove both hearty & resourceful. This new hardship & pain is a penance, & they look to the Knight of the Morning Sky to lead them to a new dawn.

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by BratovitchBratovitch, 12 Jun 2019 23:10

The meeting ends with much to consider…possibly great gains, with even greater risks.

(See individual character threads)

Re: Arifel, Tarstis, And GM by BratovitchBratovitch, 12 Jun 2019 22:59

Lester interjects: “Time is indeed of the essence. If the blade is cursed, then I will bear it myself. I will perform the binding and ride directly to Hollowfaust. If the curse makes me hostile then you must kill me and leave the Axe behind.”

“You Journeymen and Lord Abarces must be on the road to safety before the Calastian legion arrives…”

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by Kain1219Kain1219, 17 Apr 2019 02:31

A fountain of blood spills from Jax’s throat as he slits it willingly at Sangas’ behest. It heals within seconds though and Jax grins “Now that’s more like it.”

He reveals the case of Titan’s blood to Sangas and points out the various commodities.

“These two are Mormo’s blood, belonging to the Barber… These next two are the blood of Gaurak, belonging to Tarstis, and these five, are mine… two vials of Kadum’s blood, two vials of Gaurak’s blood, and one of Mormo’s blood. By all means perform any experiments you see fit on the vials that belong to me, though keep in mind I wish to gain from there power no matter how it might shorten my life… I must aquire more power to expect to survive much longer in any case…. I will come to visit you again soon Sangas.”

“In the days and weeks following, Captain Jax trains his crew (with the help of Tarstis when he is available) making them able sailors as well as fighters… The captain works them hard, but also buys the entire crew (that did not draw ship watch) food and drink at the Wyvern’s Tail every second day.

Captain Jax Grin by Kain1219Kain1219, 17 Apr 2019 02:14

Tarstis cautiously approaches the the door way.
He watches in confusion and interest and waits…… perhaps this is a bad time?

"A moment if you would, Lester."

Althum's jaw clenches, as he looks over the assembled companions. "Would that I had the time to express the depth of my gratitude for what you all have done here. It is a debt I cannot repay. I thank each of you, deeply and truly."

And then he sighs. "I fear Kellenor as the right of it. We will need to move quickly. However, this is a murderous blade. Its danger cannot be over stated."

He kneels beside the fallen weapon, knees sinking into wet sand. The journeyman chants and waves his hands over the axe, careful to never brush against it.

Finally, he turns to his companions. "This thing is seething with hatred. It is still cursed. No hand should touch it, yet we need to move it. Perhaps a barrel and handcart, at the very least." He looks between the two holy men and his fellow necromancer. "I am open to further safety measures."

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by Mr SleepMr Sleep, 05 Apr 2019 23:37

Winding through the halls of Mirth Manor, you are informed that the Lady of Mirth is in the circle, no doubt practicing her deadly craft.

When you reach the larger circle chamber, the door opens of it's own accord, pushed by a Gust of Wind.

Upon entering, you see she already has a visitor. The man has the dark skin & weathered features of the region, & wears the flowing robes of the Desert Nomads. Twin scimitars drawn, he faces off with Arafeal's pitted mithral blade…yet no attacks are made.

Your whiskers, ever sensitive to subtle movement, detect a full scale battle between the two, being conducted through the air currents in the room. While gusts & dust devils rebound around the chamber, the pair continue to face off with grim determination.

Re: Arifel, Tarstis, And GM by BratovitchBratovitch, 05 Apr 2019 17:44

Within a day or maybe two. The fearsome rat makes his way to house mirth on his own…
Seeking the power and full forward mission of the house. Coming before possibly the most unsettling creature ever encountered with a most unsettling report…
with no idea of repercussions or response. He openly comes to the front door……………………….

Arifel, Tarstis, And GM by Linsinator54 Linsinator54 , 05 Apr 2019 04:45

“You’re prudence is wise Sir Richard, but I think in this case unnecessary… The Dwarf smith who forged these axes is… in service to Hollowfaust… I doubt it will harm me, especially once I perform the binding…”

Lester looks around at the assembled characters

“To clarify thoroughly, for those who do AND do not know, warriors of my Order have a way to bind weapons that they so choose to themselves. It is how I am able to summon my spear and sword at will… I will perform the same binding for the axe, I must expressly state, not for my own benefit, but to ensure that it is never lost or stolen… When I return the axe to Hollowfaust, I will end the binding.”

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by Kain1219Kain1219, 05 Apr 2019 04:42

- the response let alone acknowledgment of the ever soft spoken ancient being who was there to fight during the titan wars let alone the faith of possible trust to the path of Kellenor is nearing to the goddess’ Blessing of spells to be cast, in awe….

— “your history and guidance will always be held in upmost to me and those who care for what is left of this shattered world which sooooo needs to be redeemed.”
“Thank you for your approval to try.”

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by Linsinator54 Linsinator54 , 05 Apr 2019 03:48

Richard nods.

“This is no doubt the best course… But my question was actually intended to be a little more immediate… Can the blade be touched? Is Chardun’s influence still within it, waiting to corrupt any who would be so bold?”

He eyes the fallen construct wearily.

“The Slaver’s influence is great, and it was he who empowered the weapon to such a degree… I fear that the danger it poses is not fully absent, despite the death of its wielder.”

"May grace be with you Sir Kellenor, please do keep me abreast of your progress." She gives a languid nod/bow of the head.

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by Omen ThistleOmen Thistle, 05 Apr 2019 02:55

Lester solemnly replaces his helmet and bows. “It is my privilege to serve Hollowfuast and it’s guildsmen however I can. Thank you journeyman, you honor me with your words.”

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by Kain1219Kain1219, 05 Apr 2019 01:20

The "butter monks,' on their knees, heads bowed before Kellinor, return to the city for the last time to gather supplies for the path ahead.

Abarces defers to his daughter, who looks critically at the fallen creature.

"Yes of course…my father & I will also be returning home, as we are apparently exiles no longer, & my Mentor," she pats the gilded skull gently, "would no doubt wish to return to her rest. Truth be told, I can think of none better to bear this burden than you, Lester. Had you not struck with such courage, the cost could have been dear. You are once again an honor to your order."

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by BratovitchBratovitch, 05 Apr 2019 00:56

Lester, standing a full 14 feet tall like a horned giant, surveys the battlefield watching for any additional threats. With none forthcoming he relaxes, but suddenly seems to sway unsteadily. His form rapidly shrinks back to his usual size as he ends the spell and whipping off his helmet he falls to his knees retching the contents of his stomach on the ground. Barely audible he grumbles “Last time I use that trick…” and throws up again…

Wiping his mouth he rises shakily saying “The axe, if it is not a forgery, should be returned to Hollowfaust. If Lord Abarces and Journeymen Tahna-lyn and Althum have no objections, I will take it under my care, and return it to the city when I eventually make the journey.”

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by Kain1219Kain1219, 04 Apr 2019 23:45

After the aftermath of literally standing against the tide of darkness, deceit, and destruction with those who have the courage to prevent the further foulment and toxicity of our world….

Kellenor goes to the Lady Aleith…
“It would seem times are changing at a rapid pace. The month of war has given us new peoples who need guidance opportunity and purpose. I assure you as these worshipers of Madriel reform and rekindle their faith there is no better place to to do so than the scar. There they may find the beauty of life and compassion for diversity of difference, being a place of natural wonderment and healing a wound to be reformed stronger and wiser than was there before…”
“ Arifel has also granted permission to set up a temple to the goddess and gather acolytes, also as able defenders they would serve well as well. Sending spells if your presence is not readily available, shall be sent to you regarding the formations that take place to help keep it as harmonious as possible with the nature of the place as you wish…”

He then goes to Sir Richard—
“ brother of faith, I do feel your help in reestablishing the faith of these people will not only assist them but perhaps also you as you yourself are going through changes. Some would say “misery loves company” but I would rather believe “a leader’s strength is not made of might but the trust of those who support them” come…. help me heal them and perhaps even heal those doubts and sorrows that seem to worry you.”

The knight/priest then gathers the group of necromancers and dark knights, the paladin, the forsaken ranger, and together . those who come stand before the butter monks with Kellenor at the center.
He takes out the censor and holds It aloft

“ it is the second time in my existence the goddess herself has fit to spare my mortal life. She came herself to mercify Morlin Torchbringer and brought him home to reside within her in care. Bless him….”
“Not as he was a heretic, for he was truly devoted, but perhaps his balance of moral priorities may have been swayed to disproportion.”
“He has earned his place in the afterlife in the ever glorious light. Now where shall your legacy and equally devoted faiths lead?”
“Madriel has spoken to me of the imbalance of Molin so there is possibility the Order of the Cleansing Flame is in questionable favor as well. No doubt the intention of your faith is well placed. And she is ever merciful and unwilling to throw away life unnecessarily.”
“Will you, brothers and sisters of our beloved goddess come with me to a place with a history of wounds, with life surrounded by waste, to assist it to scar and heal and reform to a place of beauty?”
“I stand before you in good company. Yes we are different and not all agreed on all things. But our purpose is within agreement. The river swells and thins with the seasonal change. as do the severities of what is a holy ambition or a fiendish desire. The river may change course with the collapse of a mountain so to must our own morals be questioned and possibly altered with time and circumstance.”
“Madriel has sacrificed so much in the trials of eternal war to save us this world to reside in. Let us go forth and talk of the faiths of our orders, and converse over past, present, and future to together find the best path to walk through life.”
“If you will come on this journey, go and gather belongings, travel supplies, and tools to heal and rebuild. But mind you, we travel light and leave quickly. To the wasteland to blur our destination, and on to salvation.”

- He waits as they clear out. And to those of the party who are present…
“We must give them a chance to show their willingness to see the possibility of a more compassionate future. Else we are as bad as they with ignorant guidelines. oppression will always come after ignorant guidelines.”
“But stay vigilant, the loss or adjustment of faith can be traumatic. And trauma is often projected outward. But have faith. The goddess is with us.”

Re: The Zamon Aftermath by Linsinator54 Linsinator54 , 04 Apr 2019 21:54
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