Back in town

The mouthpiece was more utilitarian than aesthetic. When you placed it on, you realized several things immediately, also realizing that it was Septul’s subtle influence that brought instant awareness of these many fine details: the mouthpiece masked your breathing sounds confining them from within, it also seemed to generate clean air within it that bore a near flowery aroma. This cleaner air had an invigorating effect, sharpening your awareness significantly. Further, you could actually talk but it sounded nothing more than a whisper to the hearer, as Gwen observed. You realize you could remain underwater or in airless pockets for extensive periods, and be impervious to gaseous traps.

‘Suits you actually, makes you look more terrifying’ Gwen said with a laugh.

She slowly nursed a glass of expensive wine, feigning a frown ‘Oh what, you’re so eager to be rid of me so quickly?! You little bugger it’s another woman isn’t it!?’ she snarled dramatically, feigning anger then laughed, ‘Kyrillia’s cause? I’m not entirely sure what her cause is. Well, I’d always fancied wielding a proper brand. Me daddies a blacksmith fore his business ran dry. Bloody Elsmyrian steel nothing can compare to it. Tell me more about your adventures…’ she caressed your naked chest and fondled Septul quizzically, enamored with it ‘it looks fit for a king to wear, you devil you how on Earth did you ever aquire it? Forget it, i don’t think I want to know! Save the story for more…romantic setting’

When Gwen slept after a mere glass of expensive wine, you stole from the room through the window. You ran rooftop to rooftop, coming upon a distant tower you somehow knew was Thrag’s personal tower. Scaling it was not much of a challenge, when you gained height there were fewer handholds and the walls were smooth. As you studied the top turrets you realized it will require a longer time to properly gain it.

The climb was a pain in the ass, but you managed it despite its incredible difficulty. When you neared the top, you heard a distinctive whistling alerting you to a guard. Your spectral vision came to life and you noted the two stationary guards hunched over a game of craps, drinking and gambling. Both had a pair of guard dogs who were even more bored than their masters, lazing about uninterested in their masters uninteresting game of chance.

When your foot touched the ground, you snagged a tripwire that rang a series of small windchime bells nearby.

Guard #1: “What in the bloody hell?”

Guard #2: “Ah relax would’cha? It was prob that worthless cat, or the wind it gets pretty fierce up this high’

Guard #1: “Cat aint worthless, she’s a natural born mouser’

Guard #2: *farts obnoxiously loud* ‘well bugger off and go check it out, for fooks sake why do you think I got you this job! So I can take it easy!’

Guard #1: “Ah very well, have to take a shit anyhow. Mind the fort’

Guard #2: “Bring a bit o’ bacon and some fresh beer while yer at it eh?”

Guard #1: “Why yes mi’lord, a splendid idea. Perhaps I’ll bring ya back a cheap whore to fuck while I’m at it!’

SEPTUL:Lord Thrag is one of the more loathed of houselords for his various perversions. His weakness is women, as well as his intense greed. If you were to rob him properly many other houselords would lavish you with respect and admiration. It’s known he keeps a dungeon-harem where he takes his sex slaves and ‘breaks’ them in. Slavery is outlawed in Nyr, and highly punishable by royal decree.
While the guardsmen prattled, you moved towards an unguarded door facing the coast to the north. Within a few minutes, you had the lock opened and slipped through, just as a guard was slowly turning the corner.

“Thought I saw something” he muttered, then you heard the same guard fishing for a keyring.

“Damn it which key was it now?” you heard the man through the open window to the right of the door.

GUARD ROOM:

You stealthed inside of a tower guard-room, furnished with a wooden desk, a weapon rack, a cloak mounted on the wall, and some sort of log book on the desk with various notes written in it. There’s a single square shaped trapdoor in the floor with an iron loop for a handle as well as a rope ladder thats next to it. You struggled fiercely but managed to pry it open using your legs and pulling hard. Leaping through and closing it quietly you slipped into a circular passageway. When you landed the new boots you wore absorbed the brunt of the impact and doubly soaked up any damning sounds you might have ordinarily generated.

As you fell quietly, you spotted the back of a soldier walking away from you a dagger toss ahead. Another was coming your way from the opposite direction! You slipped into the shadowy section of the wall and stood perfectly frozen when the guard and even his shepard walked right past you entirely. Though you were motionless, the tip of your shortsword made a click against the stone wall. The guardsman drew his sword instantly, growling ‘whose there?!’ then, questioning his own sanity sheathed his weapon, ‘damned rats’ and continued along, ‘where’d that fucken cat disappear to?’ the guard said to himself.

As you followed after the guard you came across a door where a 3rd guard was posted and stationary. Meanwhile, the trapdoor above crept open and the ladder dropped. The guardsman from the roof slid down and walked right past you as you became one with the wall. The inky black cloak of Ash’s seemed to be a portable curtain of darkness entirely.

When the guard reached the door he barked a command to one of the other guards ‘go down to the kitchen and bring a bit o’ bacon, some beer and be quick about it! Oh, send one o’ yer little shit for brain ‘squires’ to fetch us a proper whore, we’ll pitch in for her. Go try the Banshee, ask for Numaress or Helena. Those sordid sluts seem to delight my cock rather than coin, heh heh’

The same guardsman returned toward the rope ladder,  turning ‘and be quick about it!’ then began climbing up the ladder.

One of the two hall guards said ‘come on with me, need your help fetching one o’ the barrels of beer from the winecellar, and I have to take a monstrous shit’

The two guards sauntered off leaving one at the door. The guardsman stood taut and alert, ‘nobodies going to get past Duncan!’

Septul had exerted her dominance over the man who was entangled in her infuence, you saw for a moment a red aura of crimson light surround the guardsmans head and he clutched at it in agony for a spell before succumbing to her will. The guardsman smiled and beckoned you over toward him, greeting you with a grin ‘ah, good to see you. Listen, go on in, have yourself a time. Don’t worry about a thing, nobodies getting past me. Just try to keep things down, though I somehow doubt you will you cheeky bastard! Mainly for me, or I might get jealous hahaha’

When you stole into the bedchamber, with a guard at your command you came into a luxurious, kingly loft fitted with a sea of plush cushions and exotic easternese rugs. There, laying lazily in a four poster king sized bed with her back toward you was a full figured goddess with long wavy tresses of dark coffee colored hair, and a body that would bring most kings to their knees. She was clad scantily save for a jeweled thong-like cloth and bra-top. When you dared draw closer, a black panther came out of the shadows and caught you off guard. The adult feline drew you into a corner with deliberate terseness in its poise, prepped to spring upon you at any given moment. The woman spun about, her gleaming eyes eying you with a cross of curiosity and bewilderment ‘just who in the nine hells are you!?’

WHEN YOU STOOD THERE HUNCHED BEFORE THE MENACING FELINE ITS YELLOW HOURGLASS EYES BORED INTO YOU, YOUR MIND GLIMPSED FRAGMENTED IMAGERY you knew were thefted from the raven haired woman’s mind. The panther’s name came to mind: Talon, this beautiful slave had named it. Lord Thrag had gifted it to her as a birthday gift, yet you somehow came to realize Thrag who worshipped women was ill equipped to pleasuring them. It was his habit to prevent some from obtaining love except through himself, or to inflict hideous torments on those he wished he could lavish ecstasy upon. Realization came that Septul, refreshed had an effect of siphoning the thoughts of the living, as easily as the amulet could consume their living souls.

66 comments
Whisper
Whisper

Whisper gritted his jaw at the vision Septul had imparted onto him, he would never be able to go toe to toe with the experienced fighter.  He also thought about Morga, would she object to an unprovoked attack upon Kordaz?  If Kordaz down the road turned out to be an enemy he knew that he'd have Morga's support for his attack.   Discretion dictated that he should simply follow Morga's lead and head out. 

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul: you could, if you will it. Ensnare him then, and bore him to the shadus as your new slave. Have a care, if you absorb him and inherit his skills, the houselords whom this master of sorts serves will discern your fighting style as Kordaz's whose mastery has gained some infamy among the various houses he plies his weapon skills. Be on our guard, if he thwarts my attempts to ensnare him he will surely move to kill you.

You saw the power flow out of the amulet, course along your arm and shoot out of your outstretched palm, liming Kordaz's head in crimson light. He grabbed at his head and roared angrily, 'NOW I'M MAD!' he roared, coming toward you unleashing five deadly accurate daggers into you, only one narrowly missing. You saw yourself swing your shortsword at him, then a crossbow bolt straight into your eye. A moment later you realized it was Septul playing out the battle in a possible realistic scenario.

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper did his best to repair the straps that had been cut by the precision dagger throws of Kordaz.  'Septul, this man has the skills that you suggested I try to obtain.  With the knowledge that I have gained during my recent travels I could apply that to learning from this man, perhaps training on the Shadus plane under his guidance?  If you consumed him much like you did Hedron I believe I would stand to learn some of his skills but not have to spend the days or weeks toiling under his tutelage, correct?  If you deem he should live could you charm him so that we could learn the truths and perhaps send him on an errand far away from our current course if he has been hired to spy or slay us?'  Whisper slowly moved away from Kordaz while waiting for a response from Septul, leaving behind a witness to their passage worried the young thief.  Especially a dangerous one...

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Kordaz replaced the safety on his crossbow, sauntered over and collected his throwing daggers, eying you with suspicion 'hell boy, these aren't skills you can buy with coin' he inserted the daggers into their sheathes and placed the crossbow over his shoulder, 'yer lucky I'm in a decent nuff mood, boy. I would've shot you first and let the sea have you if I'd been kinder' he took a deep swill from a leather wineskin, 'now, cut the crap with your cheap lies. Why you taking the back road to Lor? And where's the other one? I saw her. Come on out darling I know you're nearby. There aint no owls this close to the coast!!' 

Morga's shadow fell on the man and he looked up, her outline bathed in the sunlight. Kordaz eyed her speculatively, and made a obscene sniffing gesture as a dog might do towards her crotch. She crouched down and leveled a curved sword under his chin, 'question is, friend what're YOU doing out here?' then she kicked the sword-fighter in the nose, just enough to disorient him and force him onto his rump. When she leaped down like a cat off the boulder, she placed a restraining foot on his chest and pointed her sword threateningly in his direction. Kordaz smiled, fearlessly moving her blade out of his face and lifting himself up, 'what do I need of reasons to enjoy the view of the sea, sweetheart? I grow weary of cities, and civilization. There's only so much intriguing and debauchery a decent fellow such as the one you see before you could stomach before he longed for true adventure. Unfortunately the ship I served on was interdicted, captain was suspected of smuggling and royal agents seized her just yestereve. Lost a considerable amount of wares I was going to sell in market too"

Morga nodded, satisfied with the response and she sheathed her weapon. Kordaz: "Now that you know the why, why don't you explain why a Nyriddian and a thief by the look of him is being so secretive and stealthy out in the middle of the Nyrian coast? I pray for your own sakes you're not trying your hand at banditry, the queen's bounties on outlaws are terrific. Every charlatan and shitheel in the city calling themselves bountyhunters now'

Morga smiled, 'I know, but I'm a real hunter of men. But that's not what brings us here. Our business is our own, and you needn't query us for further insights. Good day, continue about your business. Oh, and your luck isn't all foul, you were fortunate MY mood was decent" she added, then looked towards you to move.

Kordaz said "be weary, then, pretty Nyriddian girl. You'll have some troubles getting into the city, it seems to be 'on edge' if you catch me drift. If you're going in from the south gate, ask for Rackhir the red archer. He's a decent man not trying to win the promotion, if you get my meaning. Tell him you're friends with the mighty Kordaz'

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper seemed to recall that the owl call either meant to seek out Kessa and Morga or that they had spotted prey which likely meant she was watching Kordaz Galborin.  The other signal that he knew of was the hawk's screech which he was sure meant that he had spotted danger for he had heard that one a few times atleast.  'Septul, is he close enough for you to ensnare him with your charms?  If not I'll respond to Morga with a screech and move to elude Kordaz's shot and retreat to the Shadus plane before I am cut down.'  "Kordaz Galborin?  Tales of your skills and abilities do not do them justice!  I seek a teacher and I heard that you seek coin."  Whisper shifted the focus of his eyes to the left and behind Kordaz and then brought them back to judge the man's response.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Morga nodded, quaffing the healing potion immediately, ‘you crafty devil’ she smiled, her beautiful typically stoic expression beamed brightly, then returned to the work at hand ‘use the animal noises I taught you, as we did in the black woods’

You crept up the left side of the boulders, the shadows were in plentitude there and the sounds of waves crashing ashore masked your footfalls noises. When you came closer to the Nyrian king’s statue, you noticed that Kordaz wasn’t there any longer. Then, six daggers flew out from the cleavage of two boulders. The first two tore into your belt perfectly, dropping it to the ground. The next four perfectly pierced your clothes and armor but didn’t touch your flesh except for a miniscule scratch by the last dag which scraped against your skin. Out came the hooded fighter, and he removed his hood to reveal a ordinary not unsightly man, dark stubble and slightly slanted eyes full of mischief and mystery, “that’s just a friendly warning, mate. Make any sudden moves and I’ll have to demonstrate with effect” he leveled a double barrel crossbow in your direction, fully loaded and switched the safety off “saw ya creeping along, trying to catch me off guard eh? Who paid you?” he asked, studying your face, ‘start naming names, these bolts are laced with some particularly nasty shit. Eats at your insides”

You heard an owl hoot from somewhere nearby.

Whisper
Whisper

(18*-? in the hour or two since leaving Southern Cross has the PC's wounds healed or were they made by magical weapons?)

Whisper gently pointed to the figure off in the distance, "The man up the road is a merc, handy with a sword and daggers.  Either he's looking for work or he's been paid and is waiting for his work to come to him.  If I were a betting man I'd bet on the latter."  Whisper handed Morga one of the potions of Active Healing, "Morga, here's a special lorian healing potion.  Drink it before wounds are inflicted and they will be much less severe.  It is how I survived Alcar's blows."  Whisper omitted the portion of the story that involved Septul and he looked for a route that might put him into the most advantageous spot.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The three of you were inside of the saddle when the groom, a young man of 15 or so came up to Storm with wild, excited eyes. Before him in the hay was a partially covered corpse of a very dead Hobgoblin soldier. The young lad was frantically trying to stammer words as Storm calmed him into focus “I took the thing by surprise, ser Storm! Ye Gods, I’d thought it was just a bunch of drunken off duty soldiers but it was a red eyed demon nearly got the drop on me. Mi’lord, remember that I took this creep out if your uncle should ask. Been a squire far too long!’
Storm smiled briefly at the young mans exuberance, patting him on the shoulder ‘very good, Kyl. I’ll do that, but first get three of the best steeds readied with a week’s worth of water and rations, then tell the Lord Commander to summon the auxillary forces to the keep at once. Be quick about it!’ the boy smiled at the prospect of being of some use to the warrior, then turned his eyes toward Morga: “You and Whisper ride ahead by ten minutes, I’ll trail behind. Keep to the ancient mariner’s road and avoid Kings road it may be watched by Kraybor. If I know his scheming mind he’ll have his spies watching the snake river and kings road heavily. Trust nobody you come across! If any act suspicious or hostile, attack at once under permission of the queen herself” the fighter turned towards you with a serious look in his gray eyes, handing you a small scrolltube “take this letter, it contains my detailed report of the going on’s from when we came under Kryillia’s employ to now, including our suspicions of Kraybor’s recent treachery. Do not have it sent by raven or crow, it will surely be intercepted. It must be given to her majesty personally or by a certain way it can be communicated without being manipulated” then he turned to Morga: “And guard Whisper with all your skill and might. Let’s pray our fellow’s are faring well on their important work in the capital. Now, let’s move!”
An hour of hard riding Morga and you kept a sharp eye out for any signs of threat, as Ancient Mariner’s road skirted alongside the coastal waters of the Sea of Planes. The churning sea waters crashed heavily against the rocky coastal waters, and the winds were violent and chaotic. You saw many Nyrian vessels riding the waves with skilled manuvering. The nearest vessel you caught glimpses of several crew falling off the railing of the ship, new crew quickly replacing their vacant posts with brutal efficiency.
“I hate the sea” Morga said, the mighty wind making her thick wavy hair blow like a flowing cloak, “Its temptuous call lures men to their swift doom” she said, “My people love the sea, a little bit too much”
Morga set a slower march as the road came to a winding snake cutting through a cluster of large boulders on either side. She said “stay close, keep frosty” ten minutes along the winding path she swiftly dismounted and guided the horses behind a boulder, crouching low and peering ahead with her spyglass. A large statue of a noble looking king stood two miles ahead, a longsword in his grasp. At the base of the statue sat a hooded man in a black cloak, who seemed to be napping. 
"Highly suspicious" she commented, "this far south of Lor, and far north of Southern Cross in the middle of nowhere. Bit out of the way for fishing. Okay remember, we're simple spice merchants from Impiltur, those lunatics are always everywhere selling their stupid spices so it should suffice as a believable lie" she looked to you, "You sneak up the path on the left of the boulders, I'll go in on the road to keep his attention. One person will seem less of a threat. If he makes any strange move, kill him"

As you gazed toward the distant man, he was outlined in a yellow light to distinguish him. You could see him perfectly now, and you even saw the hidden weapons he carried on him outlined in yellow.

Septul:

name: Kordaz Galborin
detail: former member of the society of problem eliminators, lives in Lor.
expertise: skilled swordsman, master of throwing daggers
other notes: currently a penniless mercenary seeking work to purchase decent quality armor, wife left him after gambling away their farm. Turned to heavy drinking, until he accidently set fire to the Gilded Goblin Inn and was thrown in jail for two years until recruited into active service in the queens army. Gained his swordsmanship skills in the royal army. Something of a reverse snob who disdains fancy titles, authority figures, and nobility. 

signature weapon: a saber he calls 'longthorn'

secondary weapon: a poignard called small thorn



graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The three of you were inside of the saddle when the groom, a young man of 15 or so came up to Storm with wild, excited eyes. Before him in the hay was a partially covered corpse of a very dead Hobgoblin soldier. The young lad was frantically trying to stammer words as Storm calmed him into focus “I took the thing by surprise, ser Storm! Ye Gods, I’d thought it was just a bunch of drunken off duty soldiers but it was a red eyed demon nearly got the drop on me. Mi’lord, remember that I took this creep out if your uncle should ask. Been a squire far too long!’

Storm smiled briefly at the young mans exuberance, patting him on the shoulder ‘very good, Kyl. I’ll do that, but first get three of the best steeds readied with a week’s worth of water and rations, then tell the Lord Commander to summon the auxillary forces to the keep at once. Be quick about it!’ the boy smiled at the prospect of being of some use to the warrior, then turned his eyes toward Morga: “You and Whisper ride ahead by ten minutes, I’ll trail behind. Keep to the ancient mariner’s road and avoid Kings road it may be watched by Kraybor. If I know his scheming mind he’ll have his spies watching the snake river and kings road heavily. Trust nobody you come across! If any act suspicious or hostile, attack at once under permission of the queen herself” the fighter turned towards you with a serious look in his gray eyes, handing you a small scrolltube “take this letter, it contains my detailed report of the going on’s from when we came under Kryillia’s employ to now, including our suspicions of Kraybor’s recent treachery. Do not have it sent by raven or crow, it will surely be intercepted. It must be given to her majesty personally or by a certain way it can be communicated without being manipulated” then he turned to Morga: “And guard Whisper with all your skill and might. Let’s pray our fellow’s are faring well on their important work in the capital. Now, let’s move!”

An hour of hard riding Morga and you kept a sharp eye out for any signs of threat, as Ancient Mariner’s road skirted alongside the coastal waters of the Sea of Planes. The churning sea waters crashed heavily against the rocky coastal waters, and the winds were violent and chaotic. You saw many Nyrian vessels riding the waves with skilled manuvering. The nearest vessel you caught glimpses of several crew falling off the railing of the ship, new crew quickly replacing their vacant posts with brutal efficiency.

“I hate the sea” Morga said, the mighty wind making her thick wavy hair blow like a flowing cloak, “Its temptuous call lures men to their swift doom” she said, “My people love the sea, a little bit too much”

Morga set a slower march as the road came to a winding snake cutting through a cluster of large boulders on either side. She said “stay close, keep frosty” ten minutes along the winding path she swiftly dismounted and guided the horses behind a boulder, crouching low and peering ahead with her spyglass. A large statue of a noble looking king stood two miles ahead, a longsword in his grasp. At the base of the statue sat a hooded man in a black cloak, who seemed to be napping. 

"Highly suspicious" she commented, "this far south of Lor, and far north of Southern Cross in the middle of nowhere. Bit out of the way for fishing. Okay remember, we're simple spice merchants from Impiltur, those lunatics are always everywhere selling their stupid spices so it should suffice as a believable lie" she looked to you, "You sneak up the path on the left of the boulders, I'll go in on the road to keep his attention. One person will seem less of a threat. If he makes any strange move, kill him"

Whisper
Whisper

(18*)
"Let us pause briefly at the other interrogation room for me to gather my equipment that was cast off in an attempt to fool the emissary.Then we should be off for Lor as soon as possible after warning Lord Dreygar while their efforts are focused on finding Alcar and myself within these barracks."  Whisper asked of his companions, indicating the room beyond the remains of the two 'Walkers' that he believed contained his equipment with a tattered and bloody shirt sleeve covered arm.  Perhaps he would gather the 'Walkers' staffs on his way past their remains, Valtor surely could find a use for one of them and they would fit within his cousin's bag.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Alcar laughed, ‘are you so certain that crossbowman was targeting me? From what I saw he shot at you and your friends also’ then he moved towards you suddenly ‘you’re right, I won’t make the mistake of underestimating you ever again!’ he moved in with a thrust of his sword (-9 hp) and his dagger stabbed deeply into you (-4 hp dmg) a triumphant smile on his elven features. You lashed out a hand when red light enveloped his entire form. He emitted a powerful wail then became an empty husk of black ash. The wounds he inflicted disappated and you were instilled with intense adrenalized eurphoria as some of his lifeforce flooded your being. Though none of his secrets and knowledge filled your mind.

Morga used her sword to lift the ring of keys from Alcar’s belt, and free herself and Storm. The fighter said ‘I’m not certain how he effected his escape. One minute we got him talking about all of his secret plans, and the next we were locked in here. He just disappeared like a fart in the wind!’

Morga: “quickly, lets make haste!’

Then, in the hallway outside as three of you ran out of the interrogation chamber, the two metallic ‘walkers’ came into view from the end of the corridor. Morga dove forth in a roll and came up to parry then slice her sword through the metallic skin of the metal foes. She checked another incoming blow from the green glowing staff, and tore the automaton’s head off with a x crossing of her twin curved shortswords, sending it flying backward with a whipping roundhouse kick.

Storm also took down the second metal monster with two furious blows of his longsword and a bash of his shield.

Just as it seemed the things were thoroughly destroyed, the first metal monster’s body crept forward and grabbed its decapitated head, reattaching it. The second one also seemed to ‘regenerate’ and slowly rose back to its feet in a few moments, the damage dealt it appeared to be ‘regenerating’ and both of these things made a peculiar laughing noise that sounded like joyless, emotionless hallow laughing.

“Damn you things to the abyss!” Storm roared. The first automaton unleashed an arc of green energy at the fighter who blocked it with his shield. The arc of green light tore into the metal men and thoroughly destroyed them. The green light in their eyesockets fizled into nothingness.

Storm: "Let's make haste to the stables, uncle Dreygar will handle the fools who've penetrated the lower levels"

Whisper
Whisper

(14*)
Whisper ejected the last of Alcar's daggers from his boot and grabbed it out of the air as it ascended in front of them.  "I had you dead on other occasions as well Alcar.  So I could ask you the same question."  He grimaced in pain at the heavy wound inflicted to his unarmored body.  "The rumble that shook the foundation of these barracks was your former associates breaching the cellars, they are not far behind me elf.  They have brought along a pair of acid wielding statues, 'Walkers' is what they called them.  They mean to finish us, recall the arrow to your neck?"  Whisper did not press any attack given such a disadvantage armed only with the dagger but if pressed by Alcar he hoped to throw the dagger at Alcar and then use his accrobatics and bladed boots to defend himself.  'Septul, has he been brought close enough to death's door to consume him?'

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

 Septul: simply will your body into a different position, and it will be so when you return to the prime.

YOU WILL YOURSELF BACK TO THE PRIME MATERIAL PLANE, A delirium overcomes you as you feel planar form being dragged into your physical body. Then, as Alcar's sword clanged against the stone floor you thrust your foot-blade into him (critical: -9 hp dmg) his sword tore into you (-18 hp dmg) with brutal effect, then Morga using her glaive throws the weapon between the cage bars and badly injured the Elf from behind. A few daggers from Storm and Alcar winced, seemingly wounded, 'I had you dead, boy how did you recover so quickly?' he asked incredulously.

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper's eyes widened at the hint from Septul that she somehow knew a portion of his fate or a possible fate that might befall him.  He took a moment to investigate his tattered pants and acid rendered shirt.  His wounds had been healed beneath the simple garments and he was thankful that he was not wearing his armor or carrying much of his equipment at the time of the raiders attack.  Hopefully the equipment remained untouched in the interrogation room that he had stashed them in down the hallway from where Alcar had almost claimed his life.  "Your advice is always sound and I will do my best to heed all of it Septul.  Once my abilities in the thieving arts have improved I shall seek instruction in the warrior arts from my companions, perhaps even bringing them here to accelerate the lessons learned.  It would appear that the raiders currently assailing Southern Cross are focused on silencing Alcar or myself forever.  Hopefully I can surprise Alcar when I return and then allow you to feast upon him as well as one or two of those raiders.  Understanding who is behind all of this and what is going on will prove crucial."  Whisper then focused on the outline of his body and where Alcar was in relation to it.  Perhaps he could use his acrobatic skill to lash out at his assailant with his bladed boots?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul: “Yes, and no master. Let me further explain: no other creatures or beings can willingly penetrate the Shadus plane, it is not a naturally wrought plane like the Ethereal or the Astral. Only the master of the amulet may enter here, and his ‘guests’ if you will. Suffice it to say, it does not mean that those who are sensitive to other planes of existence cannot discern your presence if you scry upon them, and though they cannot come here they may pull you to them! Though that in itself is highly improbable.

Alcar might not be able to be contained herein. He shall most assuredly discern the properties of this plane and be able to harness its own power to catapult himself from it. However you can kill him here rather easily. Though I would not vest much faith in killing him in the ordinary sense. From what I’ve discovered while perusing the Lorian archives he’s been killed ten times, and this is his eleventh reincarnation. How this is possible is unknown, for elves are not able to be raised from mortal death by divine power” she smiled cheekishly, ‘Ah, the God’s have placed him in your path for a reason. You’re no ordinary thief, but now a thief of lives. I’ve discovered a means of achieving his destruction, although it will require a visit to the city of Lor. In the slums district of Old City lies an ancient tavern called the Rusted Dagger. It is not an ordinary wine house, never has been. In its bowels dwells a man by the name of Tarandal Zormian. He can grant you whatever knowledge you require, or even destroying Alcar entirely, but he will request a task out of you which you must do exactly as it is stated. According to hearspeak, these tasks might be something petty and trivial, like delivering sweetbread to an old lady, or giving some city official a thousand gold coins stolen from a tax collector. Other times they are quite strange and harrowing, like discovering how deep the Targonian sea is, or assassinating a king”

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper's mind began to better comprehend what this alternate world was and some of its characteristics.  "Can others enter this place of their own choosing or by sheer force?  You mentioned powerful and terrifying beings like demon lords, can such beings find their way here?  Are their neighbors to this place that occasionally stop by?"  The young man had to forcefully pulled his eyes away from Septul's beauty.  He took in the sights of this place for a moment while thinking about what the beautiful vampire had explained.  "Do you think it wise to bring Alcar here?  Could he escape this place with his ability to travel the planes?"

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul chuckled, “I cannot loose myself because I and the shadus are one and the same. The high cleric wrought this world based on my own intellect, and verdant imagination. However since you possess me, the plane adheres to your will and obeys your commands. Since you suffer some confusion, it is better to explain it as such: it is a world that mirrors the prime material plane as it is modeled after the prime except it is crafted from a shadowy essence that can be shaped and molded. Also, you move by pure instinct not so much thought but more on desire and want. 

You can command the wall here to become a door, or to make a door vanish entirely and have a house, mansion, castella, or city materialize. For the most part I have layed out the Shadus to mirror Scarlor as it was from my memory as a vampire in physical form, its most likely changed considerably since those times.

You can see all that I know, visually. Like maps, scrolls, tomes, and retrieved information from the great library in Lor. Most of what I possess in knowledge are contained in chambers throughout the Shadus, and some cannot be accessed by me directly but only by you. You may bring friends and enemies here, friends to rest and recover from their wounds, to train and to plan. Enemies to die at my hands or by your own. Some you can simply lock away within the Shadus for as long as you deign. But you must have a care! Some who possess great power may perceive your physical body, even though it is hid and guarded and try to enter into it. Hence, in the prime material plane they would possess your body and your soul would be trapped here until someone took possession of the amulet, and you could possess that person. This is highly improbable, but some who were foolish had brought Ta’narri lords here who easily escaped”

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper took everything in that Septul very patiently explained to him.  He tried to recall any of his past teachers that might have taught him anything about this place.  It all seemed very foreign to him and difficult to initially wrap his mind about.  "How is it that you have not also lost your sense of self to this place Septul?"  Whisper found himself speaking the words out loud while his mind began to wonder if the action was entirely futile.  Just then the thief's eyes and thoughts both focused on the beautiful woman's smile which reminded him of her nature.  He had not found her a victim in quite some time and here he was with only a vague idea of how to escape this plane of existence .... <Gulp!>

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul waved a dismissive hand 'you're not dead, you silly fool, and you haven't lost me to that little fiend. You were dying, but I pulled you here. Your physical body is here in the Shadus healing. Time here passes far slower than in the prime. Do you see Alcar there, and your friends? They move like statues. Since your physical body is in this plane it is already healed on the prime. When you enter into your body there, you will be whisked back into the prime material plane. As such, since time's deadly hand is not so terrible herein you may journey here for extended periods to rest, recover, and regain yourself. If you're half as clever as you think yourself you'll know how to capitalize on this to your gain"

She lead you along and said 'come with me. You see, when you sleep your body is well protected from harm. The plane's properties will nourish you, as I mentioned to you previously you will begin to lack need of sleep, food, or rest ere long. It is a demi plane that borders the prime. With the amulet you can enter the shadus to gain access to places effortlessly" she wagged a finger in your direction, 'but tread carefully, many who have possessed me in the past have become too taken here and slowly preferred it here than in the prime. They would entrench themselves for years inside the vastness of the Shadus forgetting who and what they were, and soon became detached to the prime. It is a side effect of the plane, it wants to have you"

Whisper
Whisper

"I apologize for failing you and delivering you into the hands of Alcar.  I imagine that he will be a cruel master and that is a fate you do not deserve."  Whisper tried to communicate but he was not sure if he was speaking or thinking the words at the moment.  He had never thought that death would be this pleasant, an eternity spent in the company of a beautiful woman...

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

AS YOU BROKE OFF FROM THE TWO, AUTOMATON #1 struck you with its twirling green lit staff, its acid green light melted through your armor and burned your flesh (-7 hp dmg) the second animated thing smote you with another brutal blow (-7 hp dmg) its staff seemed to melt right through your armor and where it touched you all flesh melted before the acid green light. The first automaton used its staff to swipe the lever upward. You flicked a dagger at the first of these unliving things and it tore into the metal creatures neck (natural 20-critical) where a fount of some sickly green liquid gushered forth, dissolving some of its own metal armor-like skin. Despite this, you saw the metal of its being rapidly begin to ‘regenerate’ just as troll flesh might. The second automaton leveled its staff at you and out flew an arc of green light that blasted into you and tore into your being with gruelling pain (-4 hp dmg) “stop him he’s getting away!’ someone bellowed angrily.

Soon thereafter you were fleeing down the corridor, back into the elevator and the door closed just as a group of hooded men and hobgoblins were loosing crossbow bolts at you. The projectiles misfired, bounced off of the closing sliding doors harmlessly.

The doors opened up and you rushed out into a cool damp corridor where Storm had taken Alcar for questioning. When you got to the interrogation chamber, you found Morga and Storm locked inside of the cage. When you moved toward them something slipped a sharp shortsword into the small of your back (-20 hp dmg) “see you, sucker!” you heard Alcar’s familiar voice hiss. Potion of accelerated healing: (+13 hp restored) all you could sense and hear were loud footsteps approaching, the shouting of mens voices, Morga and Storm saying something. You felt cold, very cold, life draining out of you rapidly. Then you drifted into a deep sleep, and jolted into an awakened state. When you opened your eyes, it looked as if you were in some sort of dream-like reality. You were for as far as you could tell in the interrogation chamber except, everything appeared to be made out of a dark charcoal black colorless gray hue. When you got up, it wasn’t your physical muscles but your sheer will that moved your body.

Standing before you was a woman with a cowl low over her face, you couldn’t see her eyes or facial features until she removed her hood revealing the beautiful visage of a flawless woman of exquisite features, and you noted two telltale eyeteeth jutting out of the roof of her mouth. You were hovering in the air, floating, as if in zero gravity. In the room you saw Storm, Morga inside the cage motionless, and Alcar hovered over your body as if searching for it desperately but he was frozen still.

The woman said ‘Well well well, it looks as though you’ve unraveled one of the dweomers of the amulet’ she said in Septul’s familiar voice, chuckling. ‘You’re in the shadus plane, my master. When you reach close proximity to the gate that leads to the great beyond I’m able to bring you to me. As such, your corporeal body fades and is protected. Good, this means you have infused with the amulet faster than anticipated. Of course, you can come here at will now. When you sleep your body will be transported here as long as you carry the amulet with you”

Whisper
Whisper

With the bulk of the attacking force temporarily contained Whisper attempted to elude the automatons.  Since he only had his enchanted boots and short sword with him at the moment he dared not go toe to toe with these foes.  Not that he would normally but now would be even more foolish...

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

ONCE YOU MADE IT TO THE GUARD ROOM, you saw the left hand passageway was full of men in cowled hoods, flowling cloaks each outfitted with shortswords, daggers, crossbows, fifteen total with a squad of ten Hobgoblins. The door sealed shut, when you noticed glowing green lights flare out at you from the darkness. Your body reacted before your mind could and you leaped over then crouched low to avoid two dark beings, they appeared to be metal skeletons with glowing green eyes who bore staves that were filled with the same greed light. *clink clink* you parried the secondary blows with your shortsword and dagger with perfectly executed checks. 

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper blinked off the initial shock of witnessing some sort of assault on Southern Cross's city barracks being launched right in front of him.  Quickly surmising that this group was likely working with assassin from earlier he was scared for his health given his current situation.  Whisper moved his foot enough to send one of Alcar's daggers from his left boot into the air in front of him.  He snatched it out of the air and was on the move towards that lever as fast and silently as he could muster.  It seemed to be his best and only play at the moment... 

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The last bits of snake venom have been removed from your blood, you feel better now.

The Elf cried out ‘seize him!’ and several guards ‘pretended’ to give chase after you. The elevator bore you down towards a lower level. When the door tore open, you ran forth into the corridor. Up ahead, a lone guardsman at his post held a bullseye lantern. There was another passageway to his immediate left and he was peering down it intently as if studying something when he suddenly reached for his spear but it was too late, several arrows killed him instantly.

you strained to listen for a moment: detect noise: success:
voice: “Spread out, find the damn bastard. He looks like a pretty little scrawny rat, easy as stealing the underclothes off a cheap whore’

Another guard moved to shut the door by pulling a lever but shared the same fate as his friend, his desperation for nothing. ‘Lord Dreygar needs to hire better men, these bums die too easily, no sport’ another voice blurted.

You could see the outline of 15 men clearing a gaping hole in the end of a dungeon cell corridor, a hole that looks to have been the result of a sizable explosive force. The men were dressed in cowled hoods and armed with shortsword, daggers, and light crossbows. “Send the walkers forward” another voice intoned in a commanding way.

Then out of the side passage came two hooded and cloaked beings with pulsating green eyes and dark metallic skin. Both carried staves that bore an acid green radiance, and they were certainly no ordinary men. They resembled human skeletons vaguelly, they were automatons.  When one prisoner was crying out for release, one of these metal ‘creatures’ pointed its staff at the doomed prisoner, when a single green lightening arc lashed out and struck the man turning him into a pile of dust-like salt ash.

Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
Whisper took off running down the hallway, occasionally forcing himself to step into the lit portions or scuff a foot to make a bit of noise as if he was recklessly fleeing.  Finally close to the elevator he yelled out in Alcar's voice trying to sound as jovial as possible, "Let Lord Dreygar know that Alcar has escaped his clutches yet again!"  Fairly certain that the elven ambassador would over hear or had noted his flight down the hallways it wouldn't be long before the pursuit was in earnest so he paused only briefly inside the elevator to listen for pursuit before pushing a different button then what Storm had pressed to bring them to this location...  <>

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The guardsman growled ‘how dare you!’ he looked to make a move and reached for his sword but Storm growled at him ‘do as he says!’ the guard continued his angry stare then said ‘aye mi’lord’

Septul:  I would not fret so much, after you’ve worn me for a month you will discover you no longer need ordinary food, water, sleep, and never know fatigue or weariness. It’s one of the properties of the dweomer set inside of the amulet. However, I would avail upon you to pursue the path of the warrior, at least a minor investment into the art of the fighter. And, focus your agility and skill on a weapon of choice. I would recommend the throwing dagger. There are some thieves who could loose 8 daggers at a single throw and each would hit their individual mark. Such deadly precision power could be yours if you train hard.

The guards continued the act of pretense, and the Elf messenger sneered at the guardsman ‘Such incompetence! Is this how Lord Dreygar’s subordinates conduct themselves? I knew he had a force of raw green recruits but this is absurd. What if there were a drow uprising from the dark elf lands! You and your ilk would be wiped out’

You stood there in the shadows, and the visual overlay that Septul imparted was depicting the guardsman and enhancing his voice so you could hear it more succinctly, and you could see the Elf’s form in vivid detail including hidden weaponry, items, and what was infused with dweomers.

Then, a massive vibration of the keep’s foundation which felt to originate from below the tower. Then, six units of soldiers came jaunting down the hall in a militant formation, heading back toward the dungeons.

“Bloody hell!” one man cried out somewhere nearby.

The Elven ambassador looked aghast, ‘what lunacy transpires?!’ he asked the guardsman who informed him of Alcar’s escape, ‘I’ll hold your Lord responsible for Alcar’s escape. The Empress desired for his proper execution, he’s wasted enough good breath as is’

Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
Whisper slapped the nearest armored soldier in the face, the blow from the weak armed rogue brought a fierce grimace and a glare from the startled man.  "Run past where the ambassador is being detained.  Yell and cry out that the elf has escaped and raise the alarms.  Go now fool!  You other five bumble about the halls as if your looking for the escaped elf."  With his Alcar/elf disguise in place he told Storm and Morga in Alcar's own voice(Non Weapon Prof:Ventriloquism), "Give Alcar a good one from me!" and closed the door to Alcar's cell.  The young rogue retreated down the hallway in the opposite direction that the first soldier went to alert the ambassador and the rest of the guards.  'Septul, you are right about pushing past the exhaustion, I just hope my body holds up for a bit longer.   I'm hoping to lead the city guard and this elf fellow on a hunt through town for as long as I can.'

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

SEPTUL: you're tired? You can be tired when you're old and gray haired. There's a path before you, one of greatness and the other of lessers who grew tired too early in the game. Everything in a mortals world is tiring and hard, you must rise above it to prevail.

Suddenly, there were markings in the air before you and your eyes grew accustomed to the darkness perfectly. Septul somehow added some sort of visual yellow series of notations on whatever it is you were seeing, such as the distance to the end of the hall you were in, or the best possible path to moving silently with yellow outlined footfalls to follow, and outlines of shadowed gradations for optimum stealth. 

When you made it into the interrogation room, Storm and Morga were there. And a squad of six armored soldiers each with a spear observing the two lay into Alcar. 

Storm: "this chamber is laid with lead, so you can't use your tricks this time Elf'

Morga glimpsed you and said 'what're you doing here? Get to the ambassador's minion before its too late! Damn it'

SEPTUL: you should have assumed Alcar's identity, by now the ambassador's arbiter is growing impatient and restless, if not outright infuriated. He will tarry to confirm those suspicions then race back to the embassy. The ambassador will send word to his Empress and then, all hell may break loose. The Elven Imperium will set an example, even at expense of an ally.




Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
'Where the hell do I find one of those?'  Whisper responded to Septul's idea of a plan.  'When in the hell was I supposed to kill the bastard?  I doubt Storm would have stood by as I casually buried a dagger up to the hilt in Alcar's eye.  Sorry Septul, I'm tired and this whole thing is turning to shit.  I didn't mean to criticize your guidance.'  Whisper brought his equipment into the interrogation room and placed it behind the door.  Taking a sip of the olive oil he too then placed that on the floor.  He returned to the darkened hallway leaving the door slightly ajar and waited in the shadows, well aware that without his magical equipment his skills were nowhere near their peak.  'How about an escape and a chase instead?'

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Storm considered the request, then said “Nay, I fear not. That’s why I suggested you to engage the Elf arbiter yourself. You take him lightly, he’s not a fool to be easily deceived and preoccupied by distractions that would work on the witless. He’ll sniff deception just as quickly as you would a fat purse on a fat merchant foreigner. Most of the Lord Commander’s men are nothing but farmers sons and green recruits, who would faint at the sight of a green skinned orc. They’re good lads but not tricksters”

Morga turned to you: “keep the Elf busy, we haven’t time to waste. Every moment our enemies plans are further advanced!’

The pair ran off towards the interrogation rooms.

Septul: Storm is correct, you underestimate the Elves. You should have killed Alcar a long time ago! Now he needs to be interrogated within a span of mere minutes. He’s hiding something. Tell the Elven diplomat he’s died from his wounds, but you’d better produce a body that is convincing!

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper nodded his head in the gloom, "I could try, given a dark enough room I might be able to pull off such a ruse for a while.  Since your choosing the less than honest approach Storm, would you object to a few suggestions from this Jez'zur rat?"  Whisper began removing his armor in the darkened hallway well aware that Morga was nearby.  Replacing the daggers on the sides of his assassin's boots with Alcar's exquisite pair he stood up and reached for his pack.  From his pack he consumed a potion of advanced healing as he continued to work on his disguise.  When finished preparing the disguise he takes his bottle of olive oil and nods to his allies.  'Septul, do you think you could pry into the mind of this elven ambassador if he were in the same room or perhaps even charm him?'  He questioned his closest ally while asking his other allies for a favor.  "I could use both of your help as well in stringing this bastard along for even longer.  Can someone go to the ambassador and play the role of a self important scribe.  Give the ambassador the royal pain in the ass treatment!  Find faults with his forms, ask pointless questions, take him to meet Lord Dreygar by the round about route, discuss pointless topics...  All to buy us more time."  Whisper let the magical bag dangle in the air between the three.  "A magical bag, I used it to carry Alcar here as if he were no more then two coppers jingling around in there.  Should we become pressed for time we could hide Alcar in there for a later date and claimed he escaped yet again."

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

LORD DREYGAR nodded, ‘go right then turn left and up the spiral staircase. He’s in the first door you get to’

The Lord Commander resumed reading the stack of parchments on his desk and talking to one of his aides.

You strode through the passageways of the keep, glimmers of sunrays shone through slits in different odds and angles.

Septul: ironic, most thieves struggle to stray far and clear of this place.

You tried the door and it opened, Storm was seated at a table, where three large bottles laid, a loaf of hot bread, and he was polishing weapons then threw a dagger in the wooden doorframe next to you, deliberately perhaps ‘ah, well I’ll be damned I had you pegged for a professional killer’ he laughed and drank deeply of a bottle, uncorked a second and poured you a chalice ‘sit and drink awhile, Jez’zur cat. I don’t trust anyone I haven’t shared a cup or three with, and I hardly know anything about you other than you’re good at finding coin’ in his bed were two young vixens from the Banshee that you recognized, obviously spent. One made a move to rise and join in an invitation for fun, but Storm gave her a stone look and said ‘I didn’t mention you, wench’

He sighed, patting you on the back ‘I saw you in the square, you and Morga. Your two cousins died there, didn’t they?” he said this in a non-sarcastic manner but rather a sympathetic one, ‘Nyrian firewine, from my own vineyard. Made during the decade long summer of my birth. This, my wily friend you cannot filtch readily’ he offered you a fill and corked it as if it were precious.

Storm’s gray eyes bored into you, ignited with a checked fury and excitement, ‘I saw that crossbowman from afar, a sharp eyed half-elf, with a black eyepatch over his left eye and long silver hair, black armor and cloak. Stop and consider this my friend, he knew you and your mates would be out cutting through the plaza, and he waited patiently for you. Isn’t it fair to assume the ones responsible for this are watching us as we speak?” he said, then slammed his chalice hard on the wooden table and drew near, pointing a finger upward ‘and I’ve every blasted suspicion my foul uncle is behind this. Trade places with me my friend. Kyrillia need not know. She insists on you going instead, but this time she is wrong. You and Morga don’t know Lor like I do. What can you two do? Kraybor’s got the Black Scorpions in his pockets, and then there’s the Dark Moon Sons. You’ll never penetrate Lor without stirring the hornets nest. You’re but one thief, albeit a talented one. But what is that against the scorps? Their nefarious deeds are the stuff of legends”

Morga burst into the room. She was wiping down one of her bladed glaives, ‘I hurted the sonofabitch but he was faster than anyone I’ve given chase before, and he moved unlike any I’ve seen, fluid and agile. Gave him something to remember us by, sorry I thought I had the cur!’ she seated herself and helped herself to a cup, draining it rapidly then insisting on another ‘damn scum!’ she roared and broke the clay cup in her hand, heedless of the blood that seeped through her gloved hand.

Two soldiers knocked softly on the door, and tentatively entered 'pardon mi'lord Storm, the Elven prisoner is in interrogation room five however a representative from the Elven Embassy in Lor has come and demanded by royal writ and law to see and speak with the prisoner. He's in the ready room next to the first floor guard room. Should we allow him to see the prisoner?"

Storm eyed the man closely, 'are you out of your mind man?' he fetched one of the bed slaves and summoned her to him 'whats your name lass?' she gave him a feigned look of hurt 'Deadra' and Storm handed her over to the guard, but paused to wag a finger at her 'you'd better do your damndest and pour the feminine wiles thickly on this Elf arbiter, get him drunk and distracted as fast as you can. Do it for me love' the fighter slapped the girl on the rump and the guard quickly stole her away, shutting the door.

Storm looked to Morga, then you, 'do you believe me now?' he said to you, 'how convenient the Elven Embassy moves to thwart us from discovering something..worthy of our knowing! Come on!' he pulled through a curtained door and through a doorway that turned out to be an elevator that shot downward with a angry hissing steaming fury. A mere few moments later, and you were walking down a lengthy dungeon corridor. Morga: "What sorcery is this?" Storm laughed, 'Dwemer sorcery, my friend' Morga: "but that's impossible, the Dwemer haven't existed for over a thousand years!' Storm nodded, 'aye, but their secrets have endured and held in reserve for the noble houses of Lor' he grinned with prideful mirth then grabbed a torch and handed you and Morga one. 

'We must move quickly, the elven diplomat is a cheerless stone hearted arrogant politician. I've an idea, but it requires your 'talents' Whisper. Kyrillia confided in me that you have some skill with disguises. Can you make yourself look and act like an Elf? Specifically like Alcar? We need to stall the ambassador's minion long enough to bleed Alcar dry or we'll never be able to touch him, ever!"


Whisper
Whisper

Whisper watched as Alcar disappeared down the hallway being dragged by the pair of soldiers.  "Lord Dreygar, that one can travel the planes at will.  I hope you have a room that would prevent such an escape, else he'll avoid our questions and his proper fate yet again.  Now, which way to that room you mentioned?"  Whisper smiled, exhaustion evident on his face.  After a few steps in the direction Dreygar indicated he stopped and turned around.  "Lord Dreygar, I have a bit of advice for you.  You best not short Morga 10 gold ever again on a bounty."  

Whisper agreed to Septul's plans for Alcar and hoped to get the dangerous elf alone after a bit of much needed sleep.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul: perhaps, but they both like you. Enough of a seed to germinate into sweet romance, if you play your cards right. The Nyriddian fancies you, as does the Elsmyrian. Play on their feelings to compete for your affections. It's best to have those who serve you to serve you to the maximum height of their potentiality. Do so before another is able to steal their hearts, like Storm or Ash, or even Valtor.

Nyrul coughed up blood, and he fought to retain life “cousin, you must endure for the sake of our house” he grabbed you by the tunic and pulled you closer ‘remember me’ then he faded and died. You grabbed the bag he bore earlier and moved towards the Elf and inserted him into the magic bag, along with Inun until you discovered that she too was dead.

Quickly you made it to Dreygar’s keep. The Lord Commander bade you into his chambers and ordered the door sealed shut. When you produced a bloodied and near death Alcar, Dreygar motioned to his two subordinates ‘fetch the healer, be quick about it!’ the commander says ‘good work lad, this little bastard has a good deal of information we can certainly use. I’ll get him to wag his tongue ere long” he placed his arm around your shoulders and guided you along toward the door ‘my guards will show you to a room, if you wish to unwind if only for a spell. Storm’s just down the hall if you want to join him. Go and keep him company, he could use a good friend right about now. All of this recent news is a dark cloud over his shoulders. The news about hsi uncle is a blight on his honor” Inun you discovered was quite dead, the bolts that took her were laced with poison.

Septul: they served their purpose, if only for a very short while. Think of it this way: at least you didn't know them terribly well, it would have been far worse had you a deeper connection with them and then suffered the loss. They did kill off many of your enemies. The fate of assassins is often sealed by other assassins.


“This isn’t over” Alcar said feebly as he was being dragged gently by two of Lord Dreygar’s soldiers.

Septul: you'd better kill that one after his interrogation, or you'll never sleep comfortably. Get Storm to accompany you! Already the snake's scheming for a way to slip free of his current skin.

Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
Whisper ran to his cousin's side with all of his natural and unnatural speed.  'Septul, those same thoughts have crossed my mind.  I just have to tread carefully to ensure that is what happens because either of those fiery women would not hesitate to spill my blood if they felt slighted.'  The fragile rogue knew that he could not carry Alcar's body nor could he drag it all the way to the dungeon.  He skidded to a stop next to his cousin's prone form and with one hand he checked for life in his cousin while the other attempted to gather up the magical bag his cousin had used previously to contain Alcar.(Pick Pockets?)  "Nyrul, can you hear me?!?"  He'd gladly give his cousin a healing potion if that would keep the man among the living, he regretted not splitting the potions amongst them in Eldanar's shop.  Would the potions have saved his families lives?  How long did their powers last?  Too many questions to be answered in this chaotic time especially if their assailant had cohorts in the area.

OC: Future plan is: Gather up Alcar and Inun in the sack if possible and make it to Dreygar's dungeon.  If Alcar's not long for this world he'll gladly speed him along his way and then let Septul consume him.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

When your vision changed into Septul’s second sight, you saw the crossbowman in a bell tower of a church. His yellow outline revealed him clearly. You launched the javelin and watched as it turned into a bolt of lightening. The bolt tore into the assassin and electrocuted him, but then he ran off the north side of the bell tower and fell into a stack of hay below, leaped out and throws a dagger into a mounted watchman’s eye, shooting a second watchman and stealing a horse.

Morga was already mounting a steed nearby, and she bade you towards her ‘he’s heading for the north gate, grab Alcar! Get him to Dreygar’s tower. I’ll get this sonofabitch!’ she sped off like a bat out of hell, riding as fiercely as Kessa might.

Septul: she's a fierce woman, that Nyriddian. You'd do well to bed her, she would make a superior mate. With Kessa as a second wife, you'd have two beautiful and deady vixens with admirable skills. The Nyriddian is relentless and tough, quick to action and highly honed reflexes.

Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
Whisper pulled out the magical javelin Kessa had gifted him with as he huddled against the wall of a building.  He asked for Septul to give him the ability to see to the top of the tower.  The shock of losing his family members so suddenly hadn't set into the young thief's mind, he was worried more about keeping himself breathing for the time being and striking back at their attacker...

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Kyrillia: "Not at this moment, just get him out of my sight"

Moving Alcar towards Dreygar's keep, you spotted a flash of light reflecting from top of a tower to the north. Two bolts sunk into Alcar's body, the first deep in his stomach and the second pierced his neck, opening up his jugular. Then, a pair of bolts slammed into Inun and killed her immediately. She died before her body crashed to the ground a bolt in her mouth, and a second in her right leg.

Several townfolk scattered crying loudly, and people screaming nearby reverberated through the streets. 

Morga leaped and dove into you falling top of you and you both rolled into an alley. Nyrul ducked behind a stack of crates then, using a handheld mirror reflected light back towards the tower. Not checking whether that did anything of use, Nyrul ran and bolted off running towards the distant tower. As he cut through the marketplace, bowling over townfolk and general foot traffic, he was shot by two bolts followed by two more. His body lied in the middle of the street in the market plaza, still and totally limp.

Alcar, looking every bit dying or dead managed to get up and he sped off as fast as a gazelle might flee a leopard. Morga hurled a bola at him, the weapon wrapped around the elf's neck and he clutched at its strangulating strands and crashed into two bystander's who absorbed the blunt of his fall. 

DECISION

Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
"Understood.  Nothing will befall the elf before he's within Dreygar's dungeon."  Whisper replied as he continued to twist the short sword slowly in the air while looking Alcar in the eye.  "Want me to check him here for evidence before we set off for Lord Dreygar's dungeon?"  He sent his thought's to Septul, 'I say we let Dreygar's men work Alcar over a while and then we step in and you feast upon his spirit.'

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

[intimidation: failure] Alcar smiled, "spare me your threats, fool! Don't ask me to confirm your guesses, the Dreygar ruse was to keep you fools busy and out of the way of our affairs. Your amulet shalt be deprived its intended meal. Hmmmm, you're not half as stupid as these others, why don't you join with me? We can use someone of your talents. Unless you simply like working for the losing side?" 

"Enough! Take him to Lord Dreygar's dungeon for interrogation. We need to know what he knows. Whisper, make sure nothing from now until he arrives in Dreygar's dungeon befalls the Elf. Not until we're absolutely certain that we've bled him dry of all vital information. This is handed down from her majesty herself, so you know how important this is"



Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
Whisper had heard enough and had watched Alcar simply walk out of one too many punishments just to turn up four steps down the very same road he traveled.  Alcar's half lies did cause him to pause for a moment to try and discern truths from all of the bullshit.  His mind tried to fit together a bunch of the pieces to this puzzle that made no sense to him.  Whisper blinked his eyes and flinched slightly as a possible understanding of Alcar's schemes came to him suddenly.  "The Watchers were the only ones who knew these secret locations you say?  Wouldn't some of the old disciples of the God of Secrets and Knowledge also know these locations or at the least where to begin the search for such things?  The Dreygar ruse uncovered a tool you could use to find those lost locations didn't it?  A Lorian that could be manipulated into finding the secrets for you or allow you to scour their secret archives yourself to find the locations.  You bore witness to a fraction of Septul's powers not too long ago elf."  Whisper drew his short sword and advanced on Alcar.  "So your very much aware that your not needed alive for us to learn all you know.  I certainly ain't going to be telling anyone where you died and on what plane of existence it was trickster.  If your thinking of using your gift to travel the planes my blade and I will be right behind you Alcar, right ... behind ... you."  Whisper stated the last three words slowly as he twisted the short sword's blade in the air as if he was backstabbing a foe.  "Your choice: spill your guts or I will for you and then Septul will consume your spirit along with all of your knowledge."

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Bane said to you: “be careful, lad. Remember all I said. These foes aren’t the atypical lot, but if we work together on this their power will wane. In the morn, I leave for Corealus to have audience with her majesty. Afterwards, seek me out in the Hangmans tavern, near the docks in Lor in two days time”

When you entered Kyrillia’s quarters, she sat on a plush chair and the bedslave you freed was being groomed, her naked body slaked with oils and her hair braided by two girls. Kyrillia smiled, ‘you’re a rare feast for mens eyes, I could earn a sizable fortune with you in my care, girl. Hence forth you’ll be my handmaiden, and I cancel your debt to Lord Thrag” Kyrillia smiled at you and bade you enter ‘whats your name then, my sweet?”

“Trin, mi’lady’

Kyrillia nodded, ‘I’m sending you to our castella on Sograth isle, there you will live in comfort and security. Dress her and pamper her properly’

‘yes mistress’ one of the two girls answered meekly.

Nyrul produced Alcar out of his bag, the Elf’s eyes and face were contorted in a mask of outrage. Kyrillia’s dark eyes examined him for a spell, then she chanted swiftly and the bindings on his hand and feet slipped away. The Elf was a bit flabbergasted, but any thoughts of escape were replaced by a curiousity and fear, ‘What’s the meaning of this?’ he asked.

“You’re free to go” Kyrillia purred playfully.

“You toy with me?” Alcar shot back.

Kyrillia: “If you leave, whoever you work for won’t permit you to live since you’re nothing more than a blunderous failure. It’s been deduced you’ve worked for our advesaries, which is abundantly clear. You can tell us everything you can, or you can walk out that door and take your chances with your handlers. Personally, I do not think you would make it out the front door of this Inn unscathed’

Alcar smiled, ‘ah, its information you seek?’ he laughed sarcastically, ‘you sorry fools! You wish to know about my handler?! I have no handler! I take orders from Lord Kraybor himself, and you ought be afraid Harkonnian bitch. The tawdry triumphs of your motley crew of fools are all lambs for lions, and a special slaughter awaits them. Your words are as empty as your future. Do you even think for one second that addled brained crusty old fart of a sorcerer was of any significance? He was merely a dispensable tool who served a insignificant lesser purpose in the grand scheme of the masters plans. Since you’re so curious mi’lady I will tell you this much, a storm is coming that will wipe out all the sheep and the witless who think they can stop it from happening. See this?” he grabs a parchment off the table before him ‘I created these! You think the master would allow a ragtag bunch of meddlers to enter his secret counsels! Hahahaha. Indeed, I think I will walk out that door, as a matter of fact there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. It so happens it is deigned a punishable crime to kill an Elf on Nyrian soil, diplomatic immunity my dear. Even an exile falls under this protection. To malign an Elf would bring the wrath of the entire Elven Empire crashing down on your heads”

‘Tell her what she wants to hear, arrogant cur!’ Nyrul spat, bringing the tip of his longsword under Alcar’s chin threatningly.

Alcar, smiling smugly says “very well, since it matters not. While the witless cultists of Tharizdun seek the 333 gems, they embark on a fools errand. The gems are scattered across the multiverse in 333 different worlds so their finding, much less gathering would be an improbability unlikely event to ever transpire even if you lived a thousand lifespans, or set a hundred limited wishes to effect its harvesting. However, there are devices the old Gods who imprisoned the Lord of Darkness created that could certainly effect the chained God’s release. Thing is, the Watchers were the only ones who knew the location of these ancient artifacts and they’re all destroyed now. My master wanted them out of his way”

Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
"Thank you for your knowledge and insights Bane, none of us wanted to travel to Lor and be caught unawares.  Shall we all set out in the morning after we rest and break our fasts?  There should be plenty of time to catch up and swap stories on the way."  Whisper asked of the other three, no longer anxious to be off to Lor.  Any thoughts he had of slaying Lord Kraybor as he did Lord Thrag were quickly erased at learning of all the dangerous foes that might be working together.  No, after learning more he supposed the best course of action would be to capture one of Kraybor's higher ups and let Septul consume them.  They could then return to Southern Cross with the information Lady Kyrillia wanted and have fewer hounds chasing after them.

OC: Should all agree to go to bed he will ask for Nyrul to accompany him to Lady Kyrillia's room.  There was likely some explaining to do, a thief in a sack to hand over if he hadn't shifted worlds yet, and a certain scantily clad woman to inquire about...

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Bane cooled down and relaxed a moment, thoughts leaping to his mind. He sat and looked at you in the eyes while his brain worked, ‘Yer going against Kraybor? You’ve a pair of stones the size of an ogres, kid. I’ll give you that much” he gnawed on a leg of mutton hungrily, ‘Yes, you can count on the dark moon sons. They’re both fanatical cultists, but also trained killers. Their assassins tithe a portion of their soul stuff in unholy sacraments in exchange for powers of shadow and deception, eventually ascending to a full fledged shade, when they completely divorce themselves from human thought and emotion. When they attain this semi state of unlife, they no longer require food or sleep, and gain fell powers drawn from the demi-plane of shadow. Their priestly overseers are clerics who venerate daemons of significant influence in the lower planes. Instead of the typical hired killer who does a job for a hefty fee, these do it out of religious zeal” he finished the mutton leg and discarded it on a platter, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, "I'll bet you fifty gold the dark moon sons are the architects behind the black imperialists actions, if not the whole Tharizdun bit. Think about this for a moment from a Watcher's perspective, and we have dealt with cunning plots many a time. Why would Tharizdun's minions be so obvious and easily disrupted? While I'm certainly most appreciative you and your boon companions came like crazed furies to free me as you did, it all felt so...easy. Perhaps the events at the ziggurat were a decoy to absorb your focus?

The clergy of Lor are your best allies, and they make rich men out of thieves. However, they are too philosophical, too secretive and cryptic. You’ll never quite fathom the depths of their designs, despite how clever you think you are. A simple job can carry the weight of the world on it, and what seems to be epic tasks of incredible danger and intrigue was nothing more than a frivolous intrigue. If I were you, I would seek out a old friend named Galtrin Molsk, use his old title ‘The Black Axe’, though I usually called him simply ‘The Master’ and you’ll learn why if you seek him out. He was my master when I was but a young fool, trying to right every wrong for the sake of the realm. That old spy is the best damned fighter in the thirteen realms, so be careful what you say. If he thinks you up to no good he’d soon dispatch you to err on the side of caution. The Duke is loyal to the queen but is too heavily involved in statecraft to be bothered. Though if you were to do something exciting like penetrate his tower and steal into his offices he would be impressed enough to grant you an audience. He once was friendly to our cause if memory serves correctly. Oh, and one more thing. There is a masked hooligan who goes about town and preys on the corrupt, the greedy, and the violent. To date, none have been able to capture him, though once I faced him on top of castle red in old city. My task was to unmask him, at special request from the queen herself. He bested me in hand to hand, but his fighting style seemed varied. A hodge podge of styles interwoven to disguise the genesis of it. A bit of House Telemvor, a little of House Erodan, Succundus, and Arrowwind. I’m not a scholar of swordplay and I was fortunate he didn’t kill me that night. Though if I’d deigned to use my bow that duel may have had a different result. I didn’t wish to press it, after all we were on the same side of the fence. However, you can bet your arse you won't find a more powerful weapon against Kraybor if the black masked one is brought back”

Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
Whisper's worries about the identities of his cousin and half sister were laid to rest after witnessing the exchange between the three.  He had not even considered that there would be animosity between the two former watchers if they were to meet.  His wrists relaxed from their readiness to send a pair of daggers into his hands from his wrist sheathes.  He had judged that the quarters were too cramped to wield large weapons should someone be exposed as a fake.

"Backstabber, huh?"  Whisper shook his head and let the slight roll off his shoulders for the time being, it was apparent that the ranger was in a foul mood.  "I've learned that the same group from the temple is scouring the orphanages around Lor and have infiltrated the city watch.  When we start looking into Kraybor's business around Lor we'll be stirring up a hornets nest real quick between him and their authorities.  Since you were recently their 'guest' at the dark temple, I figured you would know a bit more about what kind of foes we might be running into."  Whisper paused for a moment to let Bane recall his recent past before finishing his requests of the ranger.  "Besides some thugs, a few black cloaks and maybe a black sect cleric any ideas on what to expect?  Do you know of any one that would aid us or that we should reach out to for information?  Anyone we should we avoid?"  

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Morga smiled, and the tip of her foot played footsie with yours and she gave you a wry mischievious grin in response to your hard look, ‘Yes, the northerner’s in his room, it’s room number 23 I believe”

When you went to make the appropriate introductions, Bane  allowed you to enter the room. Layed upon his desk 60 various colored arrows. Without looking at you or the others he said ‘So, you brought some company with you. If I had a care I’d think you were sent here to put an end to my life, heh heh” when he and Nyrul exchanged grasps of one anothers forearms neither made any visible gesture of acknowledgement. Bane said “Well, Nyrul I’d thought you died. Seems you succeeded in saving your own ass, then again you always had a miraculous talent at self preservation”

Nyrul nodded, ‘one has to when one was once a Watcher. The secret brotherhood had many enemies, far too many for it to have realistically dealt with”

Bane sneered at him, ‘Quite an excuse, oathbreaker. Had the queen ordered it I would have put an arrow in your jugular and gladly watched you die. Fortunately for you she was merciful and benign. Her ways are higher than ours it would seem”

Inun: “don’t make such threats, Watcher. Nyrul still serves Nyr in his own right, just because he’s not doing it your way doesn’t mean he suffers a character deficiency”

Nyrul: “Funny, I always looked up to you before now, ranger. I found your stupid ideologies infectious and honorable. Now I see that they’ve delluded you. Look at you now, sad and alone. Your order destroyed from within. Only the white bitch of the north as your puppetmaster. Do you not grow weary of being her witless slave?”

Bane didn’t visibly react to Nyrul’s words, instead mindfully absorbed in inspecting his arrows. He paused to look back at Nyrul ‘My loyalty to Sybil is what it is, and of little concern to you. What know you of the white lady? If you even knew her ways you wouldn’t prattle on like a perfect fools ass. The Watcher’s will rise from the ashes, its not the first nor the last they’d thought to have been destroyed only to grow stronger than ever before” he paused to look at Inun dead in the eye ‘and when they do, all of their enemies will live out their days in hiding and terror” the ranger smiled smugly, as if some deeper meaning he kept hidden were behind the words he spoke. He pointed a finger in Nyrul’s face, ‘what of you? A hired blade, who kills from the shadows for frivolous honors. Don’t presume to lecture me on my life’s path, assassin. Go about your business and tread lightly around me, use your stealthly skills to ensure no sound draws my attention. Ironic is it not? You who turned from rangering to take on the life of a killer, and I the killer who took on the mantle of ranger”

Inun: “Enough of this, you two squabble like a old pair of hags. Instead of inventing new problems, why don’t you simply play well. It’s abundantly clear there’s no room for rancour betwixt either of you”

Nyrul shrugged, ‘I care not, it a past life which he speaks. I am no longer the ranger I once was, that part of me was forever erased. Truly, it has. The Lords of Dis wiped my mind of my past, just as they did you Bane. “

Bane smugged, as if amused ‘well then you truly are the sadder creature between us. I had my mind purged of the violence done in my service to the throne. I do not, cannot fathom what darkness so bothered you that you would have need of the same ‘healing’ as myself. You were merely adopted by darkness, I was born to it”

Nyrul didn't say much else, 'so be it, last of the Watchers'

Bane turned sour eyes towards you, 'well? What is it that brought you to me? I do not have time to squander 'socializing', backstabber. State your business'

Whisper
Whisper


(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
Whisper nodded to Morga and gave her an unflinching stare while doing so.  Hoping to alert the dangerous woman to be wary for the time being.  "I understand the arrangement with the keep and will abide by it.  Say, is the fella Kessa and I dragged back from the temple still here?  I'd like him to meet my cousin here.  From what I know of each of them they would have much in common."  Whisper had not noticed Bane in the common room and would value the ranger and self proclaimed last of the watcher's evaluation of his long lost cousin seated at the table with him.  According to his mother's letter Nyrul had also been a watcher.  Surely they would have met, or heard of one another, or could identify one another with some sort of secret sign or something!  His gut was telling him something wasn't quite right about Nyrul and Inun and Bane's word would go a long way to alleviating his worries.  

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Eldanar nodded, wordlressly gesturing for an old crone to fetch him some flasks. When she brought it forth, he selectively picked various vials and flasks. The cleric placed six flasks, and four vials: “these six here are potions of rapid healing. Drink one of them, and when you are hurt the hidden power of the liquid will awaken inside of you and repair your bodies injuries from within’ his eyes became serious ‘whatever you do, do not allow these to fall into the hands of wizards or other priests. Their secret art is a recipe thats been in my family for generations’

‘Here, a potion of invisibility. A Nyriddian fur trader just swapped it with me for some fox fur rugs for my villa. Spare me your coin, your aid of my friend Jorrell is sufficient payment. Beside, I promised your crafty mother I would assist you what way that I could. She's helped me profoundly during my courtly duties in Tunis. Extraordinary woman, your mother”

Back at the Sundered Sword Inn, Inun and Nyrul surveyed the commonroom with accute eyes, even pretending not to see those they were truly watching carefully. The commonroom was filled with the usual lot, and none seemed out of place or suspicious. Morga was seated at a table near the hearth, unbothered by the heat it effected. She was counting coins and filling leather drawstring pouches. Two members of the Inn staff were dragging out the body of a dead pair of sailors next to her table, their heads bludgeoned and throats cut. Morga gave Inun a speculative look, smiling in a slightly sarcastic manner ‘well our sneak has returned from his adventures, and brought some companions as well I see’ she resumed counting ‘454, damn it Lord Dreygar you shorted me by ten gold’ she hissed, pocketing her monies ‘come and drink with your friend, and introduce your new ones’

“Inun of Tunis” the girl offered.

“Morga of the north” she turned her eyes back to you, “remember what our mistress said about outsiders. Do you vouch for these two?” she looked to you directly, “clear it with Kyrillia first.”

Inun: “there’s no need, brother of mine. The Harkonian woman we met two hours ago, and she approves of us. Though she wishes to see the fruits of our exertions alongside you and Morga. Something I’m certain you will both see fairly soon, I pray”

Morga: “Four is better than two, but I do not suffer those who cannot keep pace, or can follow our lead. And you and your mate there will do exactly as we bade, no questions asked. Then, and only then will you have gained the trust of Morga, a finer treasure you shant find in these parts”

Inun nodded, ‘you’ll hear no argument from us, aye brother?”

Nyrul: “sounds simple enough, and we’re anything but slow Morga. That you will soon come to discover”

Morga: “Splendid. When we are finished with our work in Lor, Kyrillia will have us move to our new home on Sograth isle. The laborer’s there are still finishing up the terms of their contracts. By months end, it will be inhabitable. Whisper, you’ll need to set asside monies to pool for our security forces at the keep. All of us will tithe 10% of our individual earnings each month for the costs of staff, servants, and guards. Lord Dreygar has volunteered two groups of his veteran guard, and Storm two more to maintain security while the laborer’s work on the construction project. Some brigands were using it as their base of operations since we left it abandoned, but nothing to be concerned about. Storm has offered us lodgings on the outskirts of Lor, his own country cottage villa. It will be..romantic, no?” she smiled devilishly towards you.

Whisper
Whisper

(-1 CON all other wounds healed)
"Given what was going on at the black temple a few hours up river it is possible that this grouping of foes is also at work in Lor scouring for children with certain birth marks."  Whisper observed as he had a closer look at some unlabeled potions the color of sunlight in a rack near a small window of the shoppe.  "I will see to it that we stop at the orphanage my friend, it ties in with the task given to me by Lady Kyrillia"  Whisper returned his focus to the cleric and his family members, "Since I will be setting out before I would even figure out how to begin brewing up any potions I have a hundred platinum on me and a sizable marker with Lady Kyrillia.  I'll need a few healing potions for myself and my family here along with a few potions of invisibility."  Whisper hoped for a safe place to discuss things with his family and to get some rest.  Perhaps when their business concluded with Eldanar they would head back to the Sundered Sword Inn.