Defying destruction

Hendrack suddenly backhanded you with speed belying his tall frame, then he snatched the amulet around your neck and placed it in front of your eyes, “Discover your own answers, thief! With this!’ he hissed angrily, ‘you wear this potent amulet, so you would know more than I!” he pointed towards Norris “Tarry alongside these two, and keep them alive in what way you know best”

Agents of the Dark Moon Sons dwelt in caves and ruins in deep forests and near the sea.

Septul: “No, master, I’m afraid the gold death orb is of little use in the destruction of a theorpart. You can’t rightly destroy an artifact with another. There’s special methodologies which are lost to time. Some speculate the breath weapon of various dragons, like a Red will do the trick. Or, the heel of a God”

146 comments
Whisper
Whisper

(39*/49)
Whisper willed the potent charm power from his amulet over the Orc, "You served the master, serve me now and be richly rewarded!" 

OC: Should it not work, I guess it's fighting time or to try and manuever it for a slide down the hill with a little coaxing. 

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The wrymling is already tied up and too far out of range to hear your request.

Septul: 'Afraid not, master. The sun blocks me from entry'

Morga was covered head to toe with orc and goblin blood. She was squaring off against six very tall black orcs brandishing heavy two handed hammers, and a orc captain clad in black platemail. 

Kessa and Storm rose to their feet. Kessa leaped onto hers and emitted a war song battle cry, the sound of which seemed to have a heavy demoralizing effect on the surrounding skirmishers, and even their worg beasts. She then shouted furiously 'Baladraun! Baladraun! Erion Nyitiok nulguriz!' and then her brass wrymling descended out of hiding in the shrubs, tentatively it flapped its wings which stretched from middle and extended to its tail end and hovered into the air. It breathed a tongue of scorching fire on Worgs and Goblins, and Orcs consuming them. The flames were equal to a modern day flame thrower. 

Whisper casted a grease spell, and all of the orcs below began slipping and sliding downhill as a result. The lizard men Valtor conjured were slaughtering some of the Goblinoids who tried to bring them down with three to one ratio. Three of the Lizard men were torn to pieces by the armored Goblin's poisoned shortswords.

Storm began cutting a bloodied path to reach Kessa's flank, severing the heads of four Goblins with one single stroke, 'Argureth! To me! Partake in the slaughter of these scum!' when the copper wrymling flew to battle, it flapped and hovered mid-air and unleashed a stream of acid at a large burly black orc clad in thick platemail. The orc defended itself with its shield, which was instantly destroyed. The acid bypassed his shield and armor and melted his flesh underneath. Several Goblins were melted and died instantaneously.


Then, a hideous troll began clambering uphill. It tore through the ranks of orcs that foolishly got in its path. An armored burly black orc came upon you, it batted its shield with its meat-cleaver cruel edged sword and rushed at you with a shield bash, but you sprang over it with a summersault. The orc spun its blade in a 360 and struck you in the back (-10 hp dmg), laughing in mockery at your pain. "Master's son, weak fool! You die like the others now'

The Troll came upon Storm and swung its claws, deflected on the fighter's shield and it dipped low to deliver a lethal bite, which missed. In answer he swung his longsword and missed, then cut into the side of its neck opening a fount of its black lifeblood that oozed all over him. The troll bellowed, but was unphased by the deadly damage dealt it.

REACTION


Whisper
Whisper

(49/49)
Things had gone from bad to worse in an instant in Whisper's estimation as more of the battlefield was revealed to him.  He hoped that his nimbleness and acrobatics would allow him to send the trio of goblins rolling down the hill as live missles into the engaged or advancing black orcs.  Whisper's anger finally cleared enough for him to realize that his allies could help in turning the tide of this skirmish.  'Mighty dragon, can you return and assist Morga?  She's being hard pressed by goblins.  Septul, given the daylight would a trip here be a short one?  There's a black guard priest that no longer has a use for his soul.'

OC: Non weapon prof (Acrobatics) to trip,push,shove the 3 goblins down the hill into the orcs.  Possibly using his grease spell to keep all of them down there for longer.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Whisper materialized behind a trio of armored Goblin skirmishers, and you grabbed the last one on the shoulder for balance as you nearly fell over the side of the high knoll. The Goblin spun and swore something in gurgly goblinoid, swung and fell down as it tripped on a rock embedded in the ground, 'scrag bok nyigrig' it cursed, leaning on its short blade for support.


At the base of the Knoll, surrounded by a cadre of tall black orcs (10) you noticed a black clad human cleric there, armored in black half platemail muttering something to the orcs. The orcs came running up the slope, and Valtor conjured ten lizard men to materialize and they engaged the Goblinoid skirmishers and the worgs at his command.



Whisper
Whisper

(49)

Whisper spoke the words of power to activate the cloak clasp's teleportation, hoping to be moved to the top of the pillar where he could summon a swarm of vermin against the gathering foes.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

As you gripped the acid corroded amulet, the agony alone was enough to break a man. As you willed the dweomer into effect, your father gasped and cried out 'NO! Think of the knowledge and power I possess, learn from me I beg. You've earned my respect, son. Now you're ready to dominate the thirteen realms! With me as your advisor House Altradeaus will regain its vitality once more!" but then, Septul's body came out of the amulet and grabbed the old defeated man with a shrieking laugh "At last, mi'lord! A meal worthy of this princess of the dark!" she cackled excitedly then dragged him into the Shadus plane. The amulet repaired itself instantaneously. The acid damage dealt you faded, quicker as Ash casts a cure serious wounds on you, saying "You look uglier than an ugly orc my friend" he chuckled then added "The goddess of love can't work her skilled magic on one so hideous, so I restore your former self my friend"


Morga ran up to you and smiled, then turned and said 'Quickly, prepare yourselves. The fight with this fool distracted us, and we're down Storm and Kessa! Ash can you tend to them!?" 


Ash nodded, "I can, but not in the midst of a battle unless you can buy us some time" he prayed and brought into being a shimmering blue sword that hovered in the air over Kessa and Storm. The cleric examined them closely "It's a damned miracle they're even alive, somehow they stubbornly cling to life like a child to its mother, rather impressive!"


Morga was screaming furiously, and she ran up to a pillar then began launching javelins at Goblin worg-riders. A volley of arrows rained into the area, none of which found targets. Ash chanted and enveloped himself in a circle of white light as he protected himself with a sanctuary spell.


Ten goblin skirmishers dismounted from the backs of 25 worg riders. They were armored with black spiked battle armor, and wielded poisoned blades. Six pressed Morga, four ran toward Valtor who was casting a spell but all avoided Zor, demoralized at the sight of a drow lord. 


Zor caused crimson fairie fire to limn six goblinoids surrounding Morga. The Nyriddian leaped straight up and landed atop of a pillar with a laugh, she swung at one goblin who deflected her mace headed whip with its shield, recoiled her whip and brought it against Goblin skirmisher #2, denting its helm and crushing skull underneath it, blood oozed over the dead goblins hideous face.


Two worg riders came upon you then, the worg's backed you against one of the pillars. A timely sleep spell from Valtor rendered both rider's asleep, but the worgs were unaffected.

 





Whisper
Whisper

(21/49)
Whisper could no longer contain the hatred that burned wild within his mind and overwhelmed him.  "Your soul will not go to Orcus!"  He wildly screamed as he reached down and grasped the dropped amulet in one hand while extending out his other hand in a claw shape towards his dying father.  The man who had set in motion the deaths of so many of his family out of some twisted plot didn't deserve to meet the god of death.  He deserved to suffer and to pay for his sins committed against his family...   

OC: Try to send the soul to Septul/Shadus plane for knowledge/power/torment.  I know that fire damage does not heal but does acid?  Also feel free to inflict more damage for picking up an acid covered relic, it would be outrageously out of character to not want to punish one of the main people at fault for his families death's and struggles.  Awesome set of turns, super job!

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The flames engulfed Lord Altradeaus, but had no effect. He laughed a raspy, belittling laughter “You know what that felt like? Lace against my skin, that weak” he taunted. "Let me show you the true power of a true mage!" Then he unleashed a melf’s acid arrow upon you, showering you with a splash of corrosive acid (-18 hp dmg) you removed the amulet thats consumed by the acid globule. The dwarven sword resists the corrosive acids effects. "Your dependency on that amulet has made you soft, weak. You no longer relied on your own wit and craft, but on one of my own kindred. It was 'I' that lead you to gain the amulet for me" he snickered, "All has gone according to my design".
 

You managed to escape my traps and assassins, this gave me great amusement. Who would have thought that your mother would have done such a splendid job in your tutelage? She was clever to have hid you from my notice” he began chanting beneath his breath. when Morga’s chainwhip flew out and struck the vampire in the head thrice, cracking his skull inward, Lord Altradeaus fell to a knee under the flurry of devastating deathblows.

“Heh heh heh you stupid slut, you think you can crush me with your toys?” the vampire reached out a hand and grabbed her by the throat hoisting her up “Cease this foolishness at once, or the Nyriddian bitch will be destroyed. Not by me, but by you!” he gazed into her eyes and inserted a dire charm into the fierce hellcat. As he laid her down, she rushed in front of him defensively. “Protect me my child, your friends seek to harm me. I’m but an old man” he said with a smug grin.

 Ash came forth and clasped a hand on the vampire, praying loudly, rapidly “I call upon you mistress, to bestow life once again into this corporeal body. Render the unliving alive through your awesome might!”

“NO!!!! You fool! What insanity is this!?”

It was too late, however. Lord Altradeaus’s flesh turned from immortal to mortal. It was then that Zor struck, and Valtor hurtled a volley of magic missiles that smote the now human highlord. Zor’s sword flew at the old man, neatly splicing bloodied lines across the length of his backside. He smiled, then paused to laugh “Oh I wasn’t expecting this, this wasn’t supposed to happen. You have surprised me my bastard whoreson. All I wanted was to grant you this immortality, which I fought hard to obtain for our house. And now you’ve pissed it away and for what? Your lowly servants? Each of these you deign to call friend are unworthy to kiss your feet. Orcus will be most displeased as I promised him your cute little soul. It would have been fun to be immortal together and strike fear into the hearts of men, no?”

Valtor: “I hate to break this...whatever ‘this’ is up, but there’s a force of Goblin worg-rider’s heading our way!”

DECISION

Whisper
Whisper

OC: if the battlefield layout doesn't allow for this then give him some other defiant action to protect those he considers(ed) family.  The thought behind the approach was a column of dragonflame consuming most of the vampire's body, then there's one more flame charge + flaming sphere spell + potion of fire elemental and lots of acid cantrips to eliminate any trace

Whisper
Whisper

(39/49* Fire damage)
Whisper enacts the dweomer of his house sigil to teleport onto the ground at Lord Altradeaus's feet.  He hoped that a stab and dragonflame from such an awkward position would catch the vampire off guard and fully consume the bastard in damning flames. 

OC: if the battlefield layout doesn't allow for this then give him some other defiant action to protect those he considers(ed) family

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Lord Altradeaus: “Serve? Amusing thought, but no my confused son. This demi-lich you spoke of is Thanzig, a deluded fool. If he was of any value he would not be a demi-lich, for his body had been destroyed aeons ago during the Drenai dynasty. My point being is if he was formidable he would not have been rendered in such a lowly form as he is presently. I simply convinced him that I would go along with his plans for the north and conquest. Such things ultimately end in failure. Mortals inevitably rise out of the sheep to overcome opposition thought impossible. My own ilk thrive on secrecy and subterfuge, not all out conflict. Now enough of your delaying tactics, come here so I may bestow your true inheritance, everlasting life. Don’t fight me my son, I’m not your enemy” he paused for a moment, "I may as well let you in on a little secret, it's been my plan all along toward pushing that wretched bonehead to keeping your sweet little queen out of my hair. I needed a suitable pawn. Just as I set your greedy bags of puss siblings against you to thin out the weak from the strong. Out of all of them, you succeeded somehow. You certainly have your mother's blood in you, she always was a true survivor. Who would have thought a politically manipulative concubine could have the raw wit to thwart and evade her enemies so effortlessly? I really can't wait to bring her to me, after I've brought you to me!" 

As Storm and Kessa rushed toward Lord Altradeaus, or 'Galtar Altradeaus' as he'd been known in life he cupped his hands together and unleashed a devastating bolt of blinding lightening at them. Zor unleashed four tiny crossbow bolts at Galtar, each one detonated in a explosive splash of pure acid. Galtar made a heavy stone strike the drow in the back, knocking him forward onto the ground.

DECISION?



Whisper
Whisper

(39/49* Fire damage)
Whisper was at a loss of what to say initially at the appearance of the man who had played a part in bringing him into this world.  Now that the day he'd dreamed of had finally arrived what was to be said?  Stories that he'd heard of his father's hubris could perhaps be used to his favor?(Non Weapon Prof: Plans within plans) "The timing of this, our first meeting is a curious one father.  Given your condition and the time of day, it must be important business indeed that brings you all the way here from the depths.  Do you come at the behest of the demi-lich who boasts openly that he is your marionette?"  Whisper willed the suspended Morga to the Shadus plane as a guest, pleading with Septul to bestow upon her some enhancing spells for battle with the vampire.  "Or do you have some of the iron will and boundless ambition left within you?  Truth be told, and I don't tell it often given my line of work, I was planning on seeking an audience with you to strike up a business arraignment.  Why share power when you can have it all for yourself?"

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

The wyvern beat its wings mightily trying to deter the jet of flames flying at it, but it did nothing as the tongue of scorching dragon flame bathed it and it emitted a shriek as it died. Its wraith-rider dismounted, when Storm, Zor, Kessa and Morga moved to combat with it.

The wraith’s enormous morning star slammed into Storm’s tower shield and bashed the fighter asside like a ragdoll, he went flying through the air and crashed against an ancient remnant wall. With inhuman strength the thing twirled its weapon and brought it in a devastating twirl to snag Zor and Kessa. Zor dove out of its away, tackling Kessa with him and cracked into a dead tree instead. “You deluded mortals cannot defy the will of the former Lord of House Altradeaus, it is merely your affiliation with his living progeny that stays my fell wrath” it hissed in a raspy, evil voice.
Ash came forward, his holy symbol was floating in front of him to the farthest reach it could extend and glowering with pure white light that seemed to pain the wraith, “Back, foul thing. I banish you from this plane hence forth. My Goddess dispels you to whatever lowly hell will receive you” his mind was focused on channeling his dormant power, that faith fueled stuff from his soul blighted against the inky black wraith, “Your faith is weak, fool cleric!” the Wraith intoned, suddenly gripping Ash by the neck ‘Die’ it said with cruel malevolence. As the Wraith’s clawed hand drained the strength and color out of Ash, it convulsed suddenly as Kessa’s two handed spear tore out of its helmed visor and it disappated in a cloud of black oily smoke.
You sensed the Wrymling fluttering over the now dead goblinoid scout’s corpse. It was a Goblin worg rider, and the worg was also torn to shreds by the silver dragon. It devoured the two in a few simple bites, belching the Goblin’s undigestable materials out of its tooth filled maw. Foul tasting meat, that you heard the wrymling convey through telepathy.
Then, you sensed power fluxuating out of nothingness, and a round disc shaped portal ripped open in the curtain of reality. Out of it came forth a seemingly withered harmless looking man, clad in black cloak and hood. His fingernails were like glass and sharp, and he appeared to have gray mottled skin, strange yellow-orange eyes and a permanent sneer and smile somehow blended together. It crept closer towards the party, “My son, I’ve chosen you well as heir to my legacy. Though you art a bastard, you are still the fruit of my loins in life. Now, you shalt also be in unlife. Come, receive the dark power and be reborn. Shed your wretched mortality and together we shall rule the Inner Kingdoms as is our wont”
“Die fiend!” Morga roared angrily, rushing at the vampire. He extended a hand out and she floated into the air and was stuck there unable to move. Lord Altradeaus, your father simply sneered with contempt at her “So, this is your Nyriddian whore? She would make an superb candidate for the dark trick. I can bring her into this if it is your desire.”


REACTION

Whisper
Whisper

IC: the campsite:
Whisper drew his dwarven shortsword and prepared to bathe the wyvern in dragon flame.  To the hatchling he commanded, "The far hill has a black orc and a worg upon it who will bring many more upon us in waves.  Hurry to stop them from bringing word to its allies."

Whisper
Whisper

(39/49* Fire damage)
IC: the Shadus plane:
Whisper rubbed his chin and thought for a few moments on this latest development, he guessed that Constance was an alternate ploy crafted by the dangerous Alcar.  One of likely many alternates designed to achieve the end goal.  Settling on those thoughts he did not bother with speaking words that may be overheard by the wyrmling.  'Septul, it would appear that she is of no use then and is a gift to you.  Should anything remain of her corpse when you are done hang it around Alcar's neck as a reminder.'

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

As you rested, morning finally came.

Morga and Kessa were practicing their weapon skills with Storm, engrossed in mock combat. Ash cooked breakfast, Valtor was brewing something that reeked and wore a devilish expression, Zor studied his own wizardry. You noticed he was also admiring a new sword and sang as he twirled it in a beautiful resonant voice. Zor greeted you, then went over to Storm to tell him something.

After the party ate and drank a quick meal of roasted quail, bacon, beans, bread, fruit juice, coffee and brown tea, Kessa covered signs of the groups presence. Then, she hissed “Everyone get down, quickly!” when she pointed northward and pinpointed a shadowy dragon-shaped silhoutte. Mounted atop of it was a Wraith clad in the armor of a black knight. It circled and flew low when, from afar you spotted a lone Worg Rider scout.


The wyvern made as if it were fluttering off in the distance, then it dove and came darting towards the encampment. The wraith guided it and it perched itself on a battered wall, the Wraith's shrill voice boomed "I've come for Lord Altradeaus, your father wishes you to join him as his servitor. I condemn thou to eternal damnation" it withdrew a heavy morning star, large enough to split a hillgiant's skull in two.


"Like hell you will, cursed one" Storm bellowed, drawing forth his two handed gleaming blade wrought of ice. 


"Foolish mortal, I can't be harmed by your meager weaponry!" the Wraith taunted.


Storm moved and tore into the Wraith with his sword, and the Wraith rasped in agony, "What hideous weapon do you brandish against me, ye mere mortal thou!"


"A dwemer blade, you wretched spirit" Storm bellowed back. Ash came forward then, casting a spell angelic wings fluttered out of his back then vanished and briefly, armor surrounded his form. "Prepare for destruction, wraith!" he said calmly.


DECISION?

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul: aye, mi’lord, she is within.

Ash laughed, “With those two crazed hellcats hearts, you’ll be quite the busy little bee. Some advice my young mage friend just be yourself. Now take me for instance, I was quite content being the amiable whorehouse healer until you brought me on, and now look I’ve a whole new family I would’ve never dreamt of. An Elsmyrian and a Nyriddian, an alchemist and another assassin, two young houselords, and a trio of wrymlings to rear. Love will be the glue that binds us, pray it isn’t the thing which destroys us. We all know its the stuff of madness that defies all impossibilities” he grinned, handing you a tiny vial “I had Valtor make this for me. My own potent philter of love. Slip a bit into Kessa’s drink, or lace your tongue with it and kiss her. Hey, I might be an assassin no more but I’m still an assassin for love” he chuckled.

Septul chimned in: Master, if I may be so bold as to suggest your spells for the day:


1st)  Spook, Chromatic Orb, burning hands, audible glamour
2nd: Ghoul Touch, Invisibility 


you can store up to 3 additional 1st level spells into the amulet per day.

As you were relieved by Kessa, you dart back into the Shadus plane. Then, Septul lead you through several doors when you entered the dreamscape of Kessa’s doppelganger. She was human, with physicality that can pass for an Elsmyrian, and vaguely like Kessa in looks, but less attractive by a subtle degree. Septul: “She’s really a little cunt named Constance, the widowmaker. One of Alcar’s elite whores. Thought responsible for death of old rich farts and disappearing with their fortunes. Her ultimate fear is being poor, or associated with poverty”

Constance: “Who’s there? Hello? Thought I heard someone. Ah I can’t wait til we get this mission over with. Finally, I’ll be rich for real this time, once I put the poison in the queen’s chalice, I won’t ever have to work another day in my life. Alcar, you’re a true genius!”

Whisper
Whisper

(37/49* Fire damage)
"I would be lying if I said that thoughts involving both of those ladies, often at the same time, had not crossed my mind.  Frequently as a matter of fact!"  Whisper couldn't hide the smile that curled his lips while casting an eye back to the camp.  "Since I enjoy having my balls attached to my body I've no desire to rush foolishly ahead in wooing either beauty, and so here we are today with things as they presently sit."  Whisper shrugged and turned back to Ash his mood lightened considerably by the jovial assasin/priest.  Whisper smiled and moved away, meanwhile he silently addressed Septul's question on what to do with the captive woman. 'Septul, if you can bear her to the Shadus plane as a guest for the time being that would be appreciated.  Perhaps, she can be used to create an ally for house Altradeas if returned in one piece to whoever she's run off from?  If she is of no use then consider her a gift.  The drake and I will arrive there shortly for I need to prepare it to deliver a message to Lady Kyrillia, memorize spells, and if there is time I would aid you in tormenting the six while they sleep.'

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul appeared before you cloaked in black shadowy robes, cloak and hood, her face lathered with shadows. She smiled “my master is most generous” she kissed you softly on the side of your cheek, then she teleported herself before the startled brigands, who grinned at her as if she were nothing more than meat to be devoured. It was over in a few moments as she tormented and played cat and mouse with them, draining them slowly and relishing the damning realization that their life was nearly over. "Time to snuff the lights out of your eyes, my lovely prey" she purred. The last brigand she tore ripped his head off from his body and drained him completely, bathing herself in his blood. From afar, Septul whispered “What about this stupid whore prancing about? Should I bore her to the Shadus as your plaything? I see no use for her other than your toy. She’s the perfumed stench of a nobleman’s bitch. I would have her if you see no use for her?”

After a few minutes, a flood of thoughts, memories, and secrets rushed your mind as the drained lifestuff of the brigands was siphoned into the amulet. They’d just ambushed a grain merchant two miles away, murdered him in cold blood and was about to have some fun with the merchants passanger. The girl was desperate for transportation from Higkor to Stoink, and paid the merchant good gold. The merchant had two caravan guards who the bandits also killed, both were kids hard on their luck, and glad to have gotten a purposeful employment as guards. They were proficient with crossbows and axes, but not much in combat.

As you kept watch, the night passed by quickly. The weather was warm and moquito’s bit at you, but left no itch in their offensive wake. Ash caught you off guard, appearing in your blind spot. He casually strode close to a pillar and began urinating on it, turning to regard you “Valtor’s snoring roused me. Might as well take watch. Go over next to Zor at least he doesn’t make any irritable sounds. I never heard of an elf that snores!” he finished peeing and began a prayer to the Goddess of Love, “Prysila Oh mistress of the heart, empower your servant with thy gifts and enable him to persevere during all future troubles, lady of my life. Guide me in your infinite counsel, and keep me humble in spirit” he turned back to you then said "The mistress spoke to me in my dreams, she said you ought marry both Kessa and Morga, and great power will come to you. Although, I sense Kessa is the jealous type. Elsmyrians are Amazons they think themselves the equal of men, isn't that rich?" he laughed, "Better do something impressive to win her heart. Although, saving our collective hides isn't something to scoff at!" he patted you on the back with a laugh.

Whisper
Whisper

(37/49* Fire damage)
Whisper jarringly shook the shoulder that the wyrmling slept upon after deciphering what was occurring some distance away from the camp.  "Please wake the others, brigands are about and I know not how many there truly are.  Afterwards, I have devised a crucial role for you to play in saving the queen's life."  He spoke quietly moments after feeling the magnificent beast begin to rouse from its slumber.  He focused his mind inward to invite Septul to the prime plain.  'Septul, would you care to hunt down those who harrass the woman down there?  I'd rather not leave my vigil should other scum be about.'

OC: Here's to hoping that waking a sleeping baby dragon isn't like startling a sleeping cat on your lap(IE: Claws come out really fast as the beast figures out what the heck is going on)!

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Whisper tried to awaken, and in doing so drew the unwanted focus of the demi-lich. A clawed skeletal hand flew out at you, clawing into your chest. Searing pain filled you, “What have we here? A little fly in our ointment” then you were swallowed back into the shadus plane, and woke with a start on the prime material plane. Morga’s hand rested on your shoulder “It’s your turn to relieve Kessa, wake me when your round is over. Keep watch to the north by those pillars there, I’ve laid traps around the base of the knoll. Ash has a wyvern watch on the west, a glyph of warding to the east, and Valtor’s laid some trap to the south through those battered walls” the Nyriddian guided you to your watch point. Your silver wrymling flew onto your shoulder then, quite heavy despite its small size. Its eyes studying your every gesture, your every physical movement. Then it slept on your shoulder and became invisible there.

Morga handed you her spyglass “Keep vigillant, most of us are weary from our ordeal. Alcar was less gracious of a host than you would imagine” you heard the muffled screams of Alcar through the amulet, sounding like a distant cry for mercy. Septul was feeding on him slowly, just enough to keep him weak.

As you maintain watch, you spot a woman screaming and fleeing from six men that look to be brigands, clad in cheap leather armor and armed with shortbows, daggers, and shortswords. The woman is all but naked clinging to a tattered blanket. 

Whisper
Whisper

(39/49) fire damage

Whisper recalledfrom his position the first time that he'd seen the demi-lich within the dark ziggurat. The horrid death knight was likely the same one that the cult leader beneath Harby had spoken of. "This is like no other dean I have ever had." Whisper thought to himself from his hiding spot. "I hope to awaken before this becomes a nightmare!"

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator


You realized that as you became more proficient in wizardry, Septul has accessed into your lifeforce and unlocked some of your dormant potential. A thin, barely distinguishable layer of protective power enveloped your entire body now, which helped to thwart physical attacks made against you.

You seldom dream, yet tonight while relieved from watch duty by Ash, you nodded off into a light nap.

As you closed and then re-opened your eyes, you found yourself inside of a mid sized fortress. All of the interior looked blackened, decor was dust ridden and withered from neglect, caked with cobwebs and ancient dust. Then the sounds of approaching boots alerted you to noise and you ducked for cover behind a tapestry as two black orcs ran past your hiding spot. Just as they did, and you emerged from your place you bumped into two more who you realized could not see you at all. You disappeared right through them as they proceeded right along.

For some time you were exploring the innards of the keep, and quickly tired of it. When, some sounds drew your curiousity. You entered into a large, magnificent chamber. On one knee was a dark, ominous knight clad in archaic charred suit of spiked full plate, and glowering crimson orbs for eyes. The death knight knelt and a human skull on a pedestal hovered into the air, its dark sockets ignited with ruby red fire.

The death knight said: “Master, what is thy will?”

The skull spoke in a emotionless noncholance “Lord Nickodus, take your army south, and join up with the black imperials. Assure them the queen will be eliminated before long. Once the six complete their mission, you are to strike fear into the heart of Nyr, making straight the path to conquering that upstart realm. Well then, what have you to report?”

The death knight spoke: “We’ve apprehended the imps the black empire fools chased so desperately. As long as we have them in our custody, the imperium will serve you to the best of their ability. You were wise to snatch them from the enemy”

Demi-Lich: “Good, we’re now in a most advantageous position. What of our opposition?”

Nickodus: “the queen hath ressurected a new formiddable band to supplant the former Watchers. Instead of a secretive order of men, or a true knighthood she’s assembled a lowly band of insignificants to undertake her kingdom’s security”

Demi-Lich: “Tell me of them, I must know”

Nickodus: “They are formiddable. The queen’s whore, Lady Kyrillia has some talent for seeking out talent.  An Elsmyrian ranger, master of horses and fell with spear or scimitar. Nyriddian huntress of men, skilled with exotic weaponry, fearless and cunning. Houselord from Lor, who’s ignorant of his own lineage. One of ancient bloodlines with some taint of Drenai in him. Former elite assassin of the Black Imperium, now a cleric of love. An Elven alchemist, adept at making the black powder and other potent brews, also an assassin. Thief turned wizard from Jez’zur, with ancient blood in his veins, bastard son of Lord Altradeaus your most skilled enemy in his prime. Ironic that he now serves you willingly”

Demi-Lich: “Yes, quite so. Delicious ironies make for good theater. Once the six make it to the rmeeting point, I will teleport them into the royal citadel. Our spy within will smuggle them into the west wing of the royal keep. As they slay the queen, I will destroy them so Kyrillia’s champions take full blame. Have your spy make certain the queen dies with the stolen weapons we had stolen , and that the servants see the murder in full. Also, have the spy plant a suggestion that the arrested troupe be immediatly executed after a thorough confession and torture. This ought to instill a good parting of ways as they are sent to Limbo by the very queen they swore to protect. Then, their failure will be complete”

Nickodus: “It shalt be as you ask, mi’lord”

Demi-Lich: “Good, soon we will bring about endless darkness in these cursed lands once again, and we shalt preside over the sheep once more through fear and terror”

Whisper
Whisper

(35/49 Fire Damage)
"Understood, I'll keep my eyes open for such opportunities to use these.  Before we depart give me but a few moments for my companion to glean what she can from the area.  I'd also have you know that I would never turn my back on family willingly, especially not the one woman I've grown fond of."  Whisper smiled warmly at having finally spoken aloud his feelings for Morga.  He cast an eye about to locate the wyrmling, with the vision imparted by Septul concerning the courier who handed it the queen's letter he was concerned that the letter was a ruse.  'Septul, are you able to sense any undead spirits or living minds in these ruins?  This level of activity has me worried that we may be walking into a trap.'
OC: Is Alcar a prisoner in the shadus plane?  If so Whisper will instruct Septul to not worry about being too gentle with him.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul: aye, master. We both can at the same time for greater effect, though it will be challenging to ascertain the six’s sleeping habit. Undoubtedly, they take turns keeping watch and rotate turns. I will have to put you into a special sleep since you require none, even to memorize spells. When you appear in their dreams it will be as a vague apparition, a monster or a ominous being. It does not matter, the goal is to unsettle the prey. Once sufficient, and you make your presence known to each of their dream selves it will weaken the door to their inner selves. You may be able to even wound their physical bodies sufficiently if you generate sufficient fear in them. 

Kessa: *thinking* hmmm,  I wonder who that dark, handsome stranger with Whisper is. Just what we need, another possible traitor in our midst.


Kaldar pointed out several shapes near the ponies, when three baby wyverns burst out of the slain mounts. They hissed with menacing purpose, their barbed tails poised to strike. As the party devastates the first of the baby wyverns the others instinctively flee, half flying and running away.

“Wyvern country” Morga said, removing the wyvern’s head and handing it to you, ‘here, place this in your secret pouch you use to carry heavy things’ she smiled sheepishly at Kaldar, ‘hmm, looks like your friend is quite the archer, nice work Kaldar!’ she chuckled.

Storm interupted, “Morga, Whisper you two take point and scout ahead, use signal arrows to give us warning if anything is afoot. Whisper if you encounter anything out of the ordinary fall back and keep eachother watched. Kessa, you have the rear and cover signs of our passing when you can. Stagger behind a bit and use your tricks to signal us when required. Valtor, your mage eye will help us keep aware of any invisible enemies. Zor, shadow Whisper from a distance. The enemy seems to have some special interest with him, judging by Alcar’s use of us as hostages to ensnare him. No doubt they’ve discovered his birthright by now, and what threat it will present to them”

scouting: with Morga and Whisper the party is able to progress through wilderness with stealth, cutting a swath through grassy plains peppered with soft rolling foothills, and tiny flowing streams of clean water. Morga says to you: “Fortunately for you you ran across Kessa and not myself, I do not think I would have been able to stay my hand. I would not have been able to live with myself had I slain you thus”, she plucks out her spyglass and surveys the land ahead, giving you the scope where she points out some ruins of a once proud fortress-tower crowning a Gnoll, ‘There, the heart ruins. It’s four hours ride if we keep up this mad pace. We’ll have to camp there, lets go and get the spying done”

Once you both make it to the heart ruins, your wrymling returns to you having a new letter sealed with the queens royal Nyrian seal upon it. It reads:

Blades of Nyr,

I wish you well in your vital mission. I pray Wrath guides you true.

We’ve set a trap for your imposters, and will lull them into thinking their plotting is coming to fruition. However, we will capture them alive and interrogate them before I give the order to have them publically executed. Their heads will rest on pikes upon the Corealean bridge.

Get yerselves with all haste to Hommet, a hamlet 1 day west by way of Snake River. Seek the dwarf master Galnor Fury, who’s name has come up as a potential candidate for induction into your band. His deadly skills with weaponry and history of being a high protectorate of that beloved town will not go unrewarded.

Stay true to the way, and keep eachother guarded! You are all family now, to eachother as to me.

Yours faithfully,

Queen Everanteska


As the rest of the party drew closer and both of you completed scouting the perimeter around the base of the knoll, Morga dismounted and drew your eyes to sets of tracks, ‘orcs, and men working in tandem, six days ago. Help me, I will spend the next two hours setting some simple traps. Look, these other paths up to the top I will heavily laden with traps. Take these, be careful! They’re poisoned barbed darts. The toxin will paralyze or knock unconscious any who succumb to its effects. Valtor made this for me especially. Use this method, just attach these darts to a tree branch, use some chord to draw the branch back far enough to thwack a foe. Roughly 5-6 ft above ground so you’ll need a tall enough branch that can fit that height, and it will hit the face or neck”
 

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper gathered himself as gracefully as he could after his impromptu dismount, he paused and brushed the dirt and grass from his cloak and legs.  After cleaning himself off as best he could he looked about for the pack horses, hopefully they hadn't run off at the attack of the wyvern and one could serve as his mount as they pursued the six.  Harassing the six through their dreams Septul had said? 

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul answered in her surround sounding voice: Wyvern’s are stupid and hungry vicious things, why are you so surprised that there is one here faraway from settled lands? If I were in the world as I am, I too would assail a band of unweary adventurer’s too if to claim myself a tasty sweet meat treat.

Her awareness stretched across toward the six, disguised as they were. They were encamped and resting, and felt confident on the success of their impending mission. You couldn’t penetrate their minds, however. Septul explained: you can only read their surface thoughts, but these people have locked doors in their mind. You need special lockpicks to gain access to their inward treasure trove of secrets. Someone has trained them to resist telepathic intrusions. However, if you enter their dreams, you can weaken their resolve and unlock their secrets. One night would be all that is required, however some of them may thwart your attempts.

Valtor unleashes a chromatic orb into the Wyvern, which detonates in a cobalt colored explosion limning the creature in a layer of thick ice dazing it.

Kaldar fires two arrows into either of the Wyvern’s eye-sockets, which pierce the draconian beast’s brain. It goes into a frenzy and lashes out with its pincer tail that skewers your horse and kills it. As your horse falls on its side you leaped from the saddle.

As Storm came below the low flying monster he plunged his longsword into its exposed underbelly and spliced open its entrails which fell onto the ground in a slimy ooze, blood spraying his entire body in the process. The Wyvern fell  in a crash and it died upon impact.

Whisper
Whisper

(35/45)
Whisper leaned low into the back of his beast and scanned the battlefield for traps, something felt off in the pit of his stomach.  Unless the beast was starving why would it attack a well armed group on horseback?  'Septul, can you aid my vision?  There may be illusions or traps about if we follow in the wake of the Six.  Can you find any of the thoughts of those we track?  I apologize for not fully understanding that gift which you possess, perhaps an enlightened mortal mind could better grasp it? '

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator


Ash agreed to remove the curse for you, though he said he would need to pray for the power when the party had the time to rest.

Storm greeted you and said ‘I knew it couldn’t be true, that you weren’t a turncoat. I was right after all, Lord Altradeaus!’ he then turned to the others and tended to them. He returned to you then said “This is your families warehouse, just one and the least of them I’d wager. There’s 50 of your men posted here to protect the wares from thieves. At any rate, there’s an armory out back and a stable, we can take some fresh horses up the elevator there to gain the surface. We should move, we’ve nuff supplies for the road without having to stop at a town along the way. Kessa and Morga should take point, I’ll be behind them. Zor, Ash, Valtor bring up the rear. Whisper, I’d have you and your friend to guard our backs. Don’t break formation”

The chase was soon afoot. Kessa paused and came up to you to apologize, though she felt completely embarassed at lashing out at you as she did.

Kessa: “Valtor, we need your wizard eye in action. Send it forth to keep awares of anything out of the ordinary”

Valtor: “Easily done”

Zor: “Whisper’s wrymling is here, where is the queens letter? Let’s send it forth now. It is good that she be forewarned of this possible threat, just in case”

“The letter” Storm handed it to Zor, who handed it to you and placed it in the silver wrymling’s clawed talon.

Valtor turned to you, “You really ought to make your dragon your familiar, if you had the wit to do so which it seems you’re lacking, heh heh” he chided, “So yer a practicioner of the arcane arts now eh? Good choice. I’d never pegged you as particularly smart. Clever, but not smart in the ways of magic. Of course, any fool can learn the art, it is alchemy that holds the true power of magecraft my young foolish friend”

 Two hours of a slow march out, Kessa and Morga combing the area for signs of passage. Kessa dismounted numerous times, frustrated. She said "Our prey is cunning, able to conceal tracks and have left us a good deal of false leads. Any of which could easily lead us straight into a trap"

Storm: "If the enemy hired them, it wasn't the average yokels that frequent tawdry taverns seeking to off some miscreants for flimsy slights and a bit of silver. They're truly professional killers, hellbent on success of their mission. A mission I believe has been planned for months, maybe an entire year to see it succeed. We have no room for error, even setting a trap at the royal palace is useless if they don't know what to set the trap for. Valtor, any sagely wisdom to bestow upon us?"

Valtor nodded, tweaking his mustache "The six have a two hour head start, ample enough time to set a few boobytraps, set an ambush on any misleading false trails they've purposely set. Morga's skills will be most invaluable here, she is a hunter of men after all and a profiteer in her industry. What say you, Nyriddian?"


Morga spoke up then, "Ah, well now. Our prey are assassins, any misleading false trails with be set with traps to kill in the most efficient damning manner. We can circumnavigate these rather quickly. We cut across the Heathen Hills, camp in the ruins of Then, then gain the snake river by morning. We'll go by way of river and ditch these horses and swim our way ahead of the six, which I believe are purposely moving slow because they suspect we may give chase. With their heads over their shoulder's they will be caught unawares when we charge from in front of them!"


Storm: "Sounds like a beautiful plan"


Kessa: "Only one hitch, that's orc and brigand country. Keep your wits about you, otherwise we might be back where we started"

Suddenly the sound of wings flapping alerted the entire group, and none too soon as a draconic shadow blotted the rays of the sun overhead. As the entire party turned as one in that direction a menacing dragon-like creature came toward the group. It was a raging Wyvern with a telltale barbed scorpion stinger poised and readied to pierce any potential prey.


Zor immediately dropped a globe of blotting darkness onto the wyvern's monstrous head, and it emitted a reptillian shriek at the loss of sight of its intended prey, a horrid monstrous shriek that conveyed its monstrous appetite's annoyances.

"Have at thee!" Kessa crooned, laughing she leaped atop of her horse and pulled forth a spear,  threw it perfectly through the Wyvern's bat-like left wing, a second into its stinger, and a third through its right wing. The beast became enraged and tried to kill her horse but she rode away from the monster.

Zor: removes his longsword and dagger

Valtor prepares a spell

Ash casts a spell, when the entire group is illuminated with a white light thats briefly warm

Morga prepares to launch a javelin at the Wyvern

Storm charges the Wyvern and rides towards its underbelly

Kaldar extracts three arrows from his quiver and knocks his bow, 'The wyvern's skull ought to make a lovely trophy in your new keep, young master' he chuckled.



DECISION?



 

Whisper
Whisper

With his mind whirring to put together what he had just heard with what he knew, Whisper quickly began speaking while working through his thoughts.  "My lady, the information you have provided may have put more of the puzzle pieces together.  Hendrack, the hammer of Orcus, recently used a portion of the Shadus plane to accelerate the training of an elite army of Black Orcs, that army has since gone missing.  Hendrack also gave Morga and myself a fully empowered evil relic to bring to Stoink under the lie of it being needed to win the theopart from the clutches of the Dark Moon Sons.  I would wager that the real plan was for it to be taken from our corpses by the Six and used to aid in their true mission, killing the queen and giving her soul up to Orcus.  I've learned from another of Orcus's priests that they covet the queen's soul, they believe it could be used to create some new powerful wraith like creature."  Whisper reached a hand up to Ash hoping to be pulled up from his seated position, "Tell me favored one of the goddess of love, are the blows you hope to land upon my face or those you land upon your true foes called love taps?"

OC: General plan - Alcar to Shadus plane as a prisoner for pre-interrogation and transport.  If given an hours time he will move to reunite with the wyrmling at the inn and then meet the group as they are setting out in pursuit of the Six.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Kyrillia’s image materialized in the centre of the storage room.

You could sense that the house guards are stationed here to guard the warehouses of their perspective houses, that’s how they came to be here.

Kyrillia: “My chosen, it is good to lay eyes on you once more. Proceed after your imposters, quickly and eliminate them. However, one of them hath items the queen is demanding you gain at all costs. The glyph key, and a journal detailing their mission to date. She wishes for both. The glyph key is something the Lorian keepers desperately seek, and it may be that they’ve hatched some schemes of their own that runs against the throne.

Once you’ve obtained these items, proceed to the nearest port city and travel by way of river straight to the royal capital. And, do not bother seeking for the theorpart in Stoink, it’s not there. Royal agents have found its whereabouts, somewhere in the capital. Another false lead designed to mislead us into enemy traps!"

Kessa nodded, "Aye, fret not. These pretender's will taste Elsmyrian steel ere long!"

Storm said "These six, I sense hold some secrets which may prove to be of utmost use to our work. They can't be more than an hour ahead of us, why not let them think they've given us the slip? Kessa can track them over water! They shant evade our grasp! Ash, can you heal us?"

Ash: "Does this servant ever fail to do anything less?" he smiled, laughing, 'but first, Whisper I ought to club your annoyingly smooth face to a bloody pulp, I'm not sure if I could trust you much now. But then, I didn't trust you much before all of these hijinks from your impersonator there, the little creep"

Kyrillia: "bring Alcar to Corealus, the queen wishes to have him interrogated. Make sure no harm comes to him. She wants to make certain he stands trial for his many crimes"

Whisper
Whisper

(22*/35F|45) F=Fire damage
"Ash is likely right.  Morga and I learned that the Dark Moon Sons wish to trade or sell one of the three Theoparts in this very town and very soon at that!  Why run off to Corealus when word can be sent ahead to detain 'us' when 'we' arrive there?  Afterall the queen has other allies and forces who can be rallied to her.  We have the Six and the Theopart in our laps."  Whisper spoke up after he had risen to a seated position with a crate supporting his back.  He leaned forward and gently rubbed the lump on the back of his head waiting for his companions to make their choice.  'Septul, how did the the two houses guards get here?  I will send you Alcar as a prisoner, you need not be too gentle with that one!'

OC: The PC would vote for besting The Six and obtaining the Theopart but realizes that a 3/3 Thief/Wizard can not undertake such things alone.  Even with the wyrmling and Septul such foes would be too much so he will follow the choice made.  If there is time before moving out he will try to forge a Hendrack note and take it to Belfalas to have him remove the curse on the amulet while he is posing as Alcar.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

You received a unspoken nod from the amulet, and you felt intense hatred flow out of Kessa towards you. Apparently, Alcar disguised as you had convinced the entire party that you betrayed them into the hands of your enemies. The simple ruse was obviously an effective one.

The Gnoll was soon swayed into the custody of your will. The second Gnoll became agitated and thought you were punishing the first Gnoll for some unknown impertinence. The two Telemvor soldiers behind dropped to a knee and open fired with their light crossbows. The first Gnoll was struck from the back and the bolt tip pierced out of its chest, spraying your face with its blood spray. The Gnoll fell atop of you when you sidestepped and it collapsed head first to the floor.

"For house Altradeaus!" a second soldier bellowed, loosing a barrage of bolts that took the second Gnoll that you charmed. Before it could fall to the ground, a bloodied Kessa ripped out one of its daggers and slid around you, holding the blade tightly pressed against your neck. Kaldar made a move toward you and her then she pressed even tighter to convince him she was in charge, 'back away! Or this weasel gets it!' she snarled weakly. Then, with masterful precision she clubbed you at the base of your skull with the hilt of the dagger, rendering you unconscious.

When you woke, a stinging pain wracked your head. You were inside of a large room, filled with stockpiles of crates, wooden barrels, sacks, and sundry goods. There was heated banter filling the room, heated exchanges. Two units of soldiers were standing taut and at the ready. Kaldar was talking, and at his feet was Alcar Ablefingers. He had a arrow in his back, and he was hogtied, his face a bloodied pulp.

'So, it was this conniving bastard who deceived us aye?' Kessa was saying darkly, the threat in her tone self evident what she wanted to do. Morga stood by her side and joined in her speculative assessment of the revealed culprit.

Kaldar said "Put aside your rancor this instant, this lapdog is not our immediate concern. Get ye all readied within the hour, we ride for Corealus. This lowly agent was working alongside a greater faction who hide like cowards in the shadows. The Dark Moon Sons, what you called earlier as the Dark Brotherhood just another indirect name for their true order. They've dispatched a team of assassins who have been studying your habits, mannerisms, and even your fighting styles. While we were busy trying to effect your rescue, this team has left and is on their way by way of river that will take them right into the royal capital. If we can get one of your wrymlings to deliver a letter ahead of us, it would ensure her highnesses safety. Even if she has a decoy in her entourage, one can never be too dependent on security. "

Kessa: "Write the letter, my copper wrymling will make the swift journey. I've trained it to fly with speed and deliver such already, and I can communicate to it without the need of spoken words"

Storm: "We must move swiftly! And give chase to our imposters! If they somehow manage to gain the royal city, who knows what other plans they might have at the ready!"

Ash spoke up: "It could be a decoyed ruse designed to distract us, its been the habit of our hidden enemies of late. A worthwhile tactic thats been effective against us"



Whisper
Whisper

(18*/45)
'Septul, can you verify that the captive is Kessa by her thoughts or is it her imposter sent as a trap by Alcar?'  Whisper questioned of his companion as he reached out a charm from the amulet onto the gnoll who had spoken.  He hoped to turn it on the other gnoll and quickly overwhelm that foe before explaining away that he was in fact himself and not Alcar.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Kaldar smiled and clasped your shoulder tightly, 'eh, worry yerself not over some pretty dark skinned vixens, young master. My blades, arrows, and magic is sufficient for the drow, rest assured" he smirked a cocksure smile, then explained 'perhaps you're not understanding the nature of our fellowship, and it's perfectly normal that you do not. Every houselord has a second right hand, a counselor adept in intriguing, security, and strategy. Now some of these are the most brutal killers, others are talented in other things. As I told you beforehand, I owe your mother a sizable debt from a long while ago, and I swore to Jaqueline I would repay that back with interest. Now, let's free your friends and save the queen shall we?"

Septul interjected: "It was perfectly foolish to send the wrymling away as you did, when you did. It would have proven useful at this time. And now, there's no telling where it will end up. Everyone is scouring the realm for it! The more you deviate from your sworn task, the more you weaken your own future. It made no strategic sense to have sent it back to undertake some trivial errand in the inn"

Kaldar said "It matters little, my lady. I've friends in the Inn I've set to watch over the wrym child. Tis true, however. You hold a silver wrym in your care and you sent it away from you, when it was under your protective charge? What were you thinking? That has to be one of the most baffling displays of idiocy! Your own mistress will be extremely displeased by this little revelation. Bah, no matter. You hadn't Kaldar's wise counsel to benefit from." he leaned in closely, gripping your hand tightly 'listen, my young master you've a destiny greater than yourself, and you must set your thoughts higher if you are to gain the ascendancy of your future house. You need your chosen boon companions by your side. With them, you ought be able to face off against Alcar and defeat him. For the now, focus yourself and go rescue your allies. I will go and visit this Alcar and his drow whores"

Septul: I will bore you both to strategically sound locations. Now is the most ideal time to strike. Alcar is frantic and prepared to dispense his team against the queen. If we tarry much further, he will succeed. Go now!

When you materialized back into the prime material plane, you found yourself in a storage room full of crates, barrels, sacks, and the like. Kaldar was elsewhere, you sensed through the cloak clasp he was stealthily creeping along past several unweary drow sentries who didn't see a subtle shadow bypass their posts with brazen audacity. One by one they fell as he backstabbed seven of them and slit their throats with practiced precision.

As for yourself, you crept along and ran afoul of a trap as you neared the door a flaming missile flew out of the shadowy wall and struck you hard (-10 hp damage) piercing your armor and injuring your exposed flesh underneath.

Tentatively you shrugged it off and let the amulet's power alleviate the injury. As it did, you got to work on the locked door in front of you. Screaming on the other side of the door was heard, muffled.  Success! you picked the lock and stumbled on two elite Gnolls dragging along a bloodied to a pulp Kessa. The Gnolls stood still for a moment, then said 'master, we brings you the Elsmyrian bitch as you commanded. We roughed her up real nice, she no speak. Girl is very spirited and stubborn, she not reveal any useful thingies. Can we eats her now?"

Kessa summoned the strength to spit a spray full of blood and spittle on your face, an act of defiance 'you filthy coward, you aren't going to succeed with your laughable plans! You'll see, my companions aren't as stupid as you claim, nor as weak as you hoped!'

Sounds of battle clamouring throughout the interior of this warehouse, fresh battle erupting. Behind, a mixed squad of five Telemvor soldiers and ten Altradeaus rushing towards you, 'There, stop them! Rescue the Elsmyrian and finally, we've Alcar cornered. Get that foul devil!'

DECISION

Whisper
Whisper

"With Alcar Ablefingers and his drow mercenaries holding the Blades of Nyr prisoner I completely agree with you Kaldar.  We are being lead around by someone or something and Septul has plucked a name from Alcar's thoughts that might aid us.  'The Dark brotherhood'?  Is it a sect or group either of you have heard of?  Speaking of my friend Alcar, how best should we deal with his drow mercenaries?  I am no fighter so I'll gladly follow any suggestion either of you have?"

OC: If the PC is to regain the use of his cantrips I would have him learn 2 Acid Splashes and Mage Hand.  Should his companions actually be trapped in the diabolical trap Septul has sensed perhaps the acid could be used to create an opening in a door or at its base to circumvent Alcar's vile plan.  The mage hand might also play a roll somehow in disarming Alcar's trap.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Whether the letter wrote was a forgery, you couldn’t tell. You had no intimate knowledge of Hendrack’s penmanship.

Septul appears as you’re learning the device of your house. Fidgeting with it, you vanish and appear behind her suddenly. Kaldar sat on a chair and emptied the contents of a blue flask, then some superficial wounds on his arm vanished. He sighed for a moment, then said “Your loyalties to your friends is commendable, I pray it does not prove to be a weapon used against you. I’ve a feeling we’re moving into a trap, like a invisible being’s brains are working against us. A feeling I know all too well, and have grown quite sickened of”

Septul said: Master, whilst you’ve been romping around in the world of flesh, I’ve been spying on the priesthood of Lor from the inside. Interestingly enough, they believe you are a crucial part in some ancient prophecy currently transpiring on Scarlor. They refer to you as the ‘thief’ often, as a symbol signifying an important role in a divine drama. It is rather amusing these mortal scholarly types are so quick to embrace such events as the manifestations of their deity.

She showed you a visualization of her wanderings, feeding it directly into your mind. Killing a few clerics time to time, sneaking into forbidden archives, libraries. Reading minds of the ‘keepers’, elite clerics of Lor with more significant weight. Septul interjected: there are several doors in the forbidden library, the first is the thief. The second the warrior, the third the mage, the fourth is the paladin, and the fifth is the cleric. Through the thief door, there are numerous written reports concerning your involvement with chasing after the theorpart. Notes on your various strengths and weaknesses, as such:

‘It is vital to know Whisper’s strengths and capabilities to the fullest extent in the event he proves to grow too big for his breeches. So far, he’s been quite amicable, manageable so long as you nudge him along the designated paths. Eventually, he may find the glyph key for us and once he has he will have achieved what no other has in over a thousand years”

A report on the blades of Nyr:

The blades of Nyr have secretley been formed, by ordainment of the queen. We’ve secretley assessed their strengths and weaknesses:

Kessa: Elsmyrian ranger, horse master, and expert with the two handed scimitar, spear, glaive, whip, and composite shortbow. She’s been credited with slaying an Ogre with a single spear, or riding days without rest. Her formidability is augmented by quick wittedness, cat-like reflexes, agility that would make an Elf incredulous.

Morga: nearly a mirror to Kessa, the two could be blood sisters. However, Morga is naturally cunning, a master of ambush and rare exotic weaponry which has given her some advantage over her enemies. The fact that she is able to trick and dupe men into her biddance is also a rare weapon we have not underestimated. Despite her natural deftness with weaponry she favors the elongated chainwhip the most, which she brandishes with devastating effect. Her Nyriddian honed battle skills are terrible to behold.

Storm Telemvor: this fighter was specially selected by Kyrillia, a tactician with great mind, and a passionate heart his soul is the embodiment of a storm at sea. He commands respect from men of all walks of life, and his blood is the blood of highkings.

Valtor: this mage is an Elf of peculiar fastidiousness, a sharp eye and an inquisitive mind. He is also a gifted spy, assassin, and conman.

Ash: formerly a special black guard elite killer, turned cleric of the Goddess of Love. He is peculiar and full of eccentricities, yet he bores the potent power which rivals our own. He could be thought of as a special threat to our designs.

Zor: excommunicated drow exile, with significant swordsmanship skills. Nothing to fear from he.

Whisper
Whisper

He also looked over the lovely note from Hendrack with his skilled eyes (Non Weapon Prof: Appraising + Forgery) to determine how tough it would be to forge a letter instructing Belfalas to remove the curse placed on the amulet so that their assasin might wear it to complete the disguse.  Although the curse didn't seem to function when the amulet was worn below clothing and armor so even if it couldn't be removed the purchase of new clothing and perhaps a cover to place over the amulet would be a small inconvenience given the potent boon placed on the item by the evil high cleric.

OC: Idea for battle - side step out of the blackness, teleport to a drow archer, backstab.  Kaldar and Septul's involvement is likely to be needed as well.

Whisper
Whisper

(20*/45)
Whisper gasped and used a shaky hand to move his cloak aside and lift his elven hauberk up to expose the steady flow of blood and stomach acid from his most recent wound.  "You might have survived, I would not."   Whisper shakily replied to Kaldar as he let the armor go and allowed the power of the amulet to continue its work.  Through gritted teeth he instructed Kaldar on what he hoped to accomplish with this quick break from battle.  "From here you can control your body's movements on the prime plane, you can reposition it by feeling out with your soul."  Whisper then tried to determine if he could control the new cloak clasp's powers or if Septul would have to instruct him on how to activate it.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

An inky darkness peppered with an azure hue flowed from the amulet, engulfing both of you. You felt a tingly cold pierce your flesh, then it ebbed just as fast as it had taken hold. You were inside of the manor, which was endless in aspect of its interior. As you regained your composure and moved about you sensed Septul's presence in the vast garden, she was hunting one of her past victims and reliving the kill. This one was her first kill, a young female maid whom the corrupt high priest that effected her vampirism had fed. When she sensed your presence, the image of the victim dissolved into fine black dust and disappeared.

Kaldar seemed amazed and angered, then said "Why have you bore us here? We could handle a few lousy drow!" he said irritably, shaking his head in disbelief then sheathing his swords. A letter on a nearby table caught your eye, and you read it:

Whisper, ye thief from Jez'zur. Your stupidity has earned my scorn. I offered truce and you accepted, then dared to defile the honor bound truce with your madness. As such, I had your precious amulet cursed in secret to satisfy my requirement for vengeance against thou. When you wear it, it will emit an aura of good that is blinding to all who serve evil, and as such they shalt single you out for purposeful destruction. Do not seek to uplift this, no priesthood within the twelve kingdoms could hope to counter that which my master hath laid.

-Hendrack, Hammer of Iuz.

Whisper
Whisper

(19*/45)
Whisper willed both himself and Kaldar whom he was still touching to the shadus plane.  There would be bolts and blades coming from the other drow soon, not to mention the drow who had just cut into him.  The ability granted by the shadus plane to move their bodies on the prime a short distance might just save them from the initial onslaught by Alcar's drow forces.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

These dark she-elves serve Alcar Ablefingers, who was ressurected by the Dark brotherhood. They’ve been ordered here to lie in wait for you, however it seems they think you’re Alcar disguised as you in order to deceive your friends into thinking you’ve rescued them from captivity. A mere ruse before he intends to kill them all.

 I can sense Alcar nearby. He’s laid a trap specifically for you. In one room, several assassins disguised as the Blades of Nyr prepare to ride off on their mission to kill the queen. All of them have studied your friends mannerisms and style, even learning to use their weapons correctly. Alcar’s determined that they’re sufficiently prepped to carry out a successful attempt. In the other, your friends are being held. If you open the door to the room, it will unleash a poisonous gas that will surely kill them all. He will force you to decide which door to go through. Summon me, and I will gladly kill this wily fiend.

Veraina noticed how you aided Kaldar to his feet and looked taken aback, 'What is this?!' she scoffed, 'Alcar is not in the habit of aiding a lowly lackey to his feet! Kill them that's not Alcar!' 


A globe of impenetrable darkness blotted out Kaldar's vision, and negated yours as well. Veraina tore her longsword and slashed at you with elven fluidity (critical: -16 hp dmg) 'heh, not much of a fighter are you!?' she hisses.


DECISION

Whisper
Whisper

(35*/45)
OC: The PC will reply in common or drow, whichever tongue the female drow speaking to him used.
IC: "A treasure fit for a king you offer me my lady."  Whisper replied and then rose to his feet.  Whisper then asked of Septul as he slowly moved to aid Kaldar in rising, 'If you can impart any information from the minds of these drow raiders it would probably serve to keep Kaldar and myself breathing for a short while longer.' (non weapon prof: ettiquite?/acting?) on how to proceed once he has a few tidbits of information on what the heck just happened.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul: master, you needn’t inquire whether yay or nay I can read mortal minds, it is already something you can accomplish passively without askance. However, so that you do not go positively mad and overwhelmed I filter out the extraneous so that only the good parts cometh.

The soldiers thoughts weren’t of much use. They were regulated with this lowly but vital duty of safeguarding Lord Altradeas’s cache warehouse, a holding that contained an ample supply of spices, lumber, weapons, armor, and food+water. These soldiers kept vigilant against thieves, of which many had broken in to assess the contents of House Altradeas. They seemed quite pleased that the former Lord Altradeas was no longer. He was too erratic, mecurial, and eccentric for their liking. Yet, they didn’t like being leaderless either.

You entered into an enormous underground warehouse which was far larger than you would have suspected. Five minutes of journeying along, when the guardsman escort is shot in the neck by two dart-sized crossbow bolts. He collapses into a heap, issuing a sigh as he becomes unconscious.

Several crates, sacks, and boxes fell from above, slamming into you and Kaldar for -10 hp each. You hadn’t even felt the snag of the tripwire at your feet. You could see twenty drow elves all around you, all of them were female and clad as fighters. 10 hovered above upon a high shelf, 5 came from ahead and 5 from your flank. The ones on the ground level each bore a longsword and dagger. The 10 up above each taking aim with their hand held crossbows.

Before you had a chance to react, one of the drow females descended from above and came in front of you suddenly, ‘Oh, my sincere appologies Alcar. You look so believably human I’d thought you really were this Whisper you told us about. As you can see already my sisters are over zealous to please you in every capacity” she said the later with a flirtatious inuendo. Then, speculative scrutinizing.

plans within plans: it's very possible Belfalas wasn't told or kept in the dark about Ceranis's death, and sometimes news travels much slower through various factions and organizations.

Veraina the female drow elf before you seemed quite pleased with herself, and was contently smug. Despite ruffling your feathers, you easily read her thoughts. ‘Who would have thought a surface elf could be so ruthlessly cunning? He might have drow blood in those veins. With his vision and abilities, we’ll finally gain our rightful place throughout the seven kingdoms. His trap for this pesky boy might be a bit theatrical for my tastes, but he is after all a lowly male”

 



 

Whisper
Whisper

"Simply show us to the prisoners and then leave us so that we may extract the information the master requires.  It may take several hours or even several days to obtain the truths, the others care only about what is produced at the end of it all."  Whisper drew the hood of his enchanted cloak about his face and motioned for the man to lead on.  'Septul, are you able to read his mind and figure out who the others he spoke of are?'  He requested silently of his companion.  Something jolted his memory as he suddenly recalled the name Ceranis from the cleric Belfalas's thoughts.  Wasn't that a name that Lord Zor had spoken of a while ago as the leader of the Tharizdun cult?  How was he mixed up with this Orcus and Dark Moon Sons business?  Whisper guessed that he might be involved to get the theorpart, perhaps he had mislead the local Orcus high priest with some lies in order to hedge his chances of obtaining it?  Perhaps he was using the church of Orcus to keep the Blades of Nyr busy while he was going after the relic?  Right now his friend's needed his focus and so he brought that back to the matters at hand.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Septul: I do not know. I have no sway over these shades, they are not the living dead, master. The guard above, whose life has fed me considerably has several passwords to choose from: thunder balls, blaster, orcshit, rusty blade, crossbow, tankard, bollocks, flagon, mirthless, shield, and moathouse.

The shades stood passively, awaiting an answer. The Elsmyrian gripped her spear tightly, scowling, 'bah! Those two dumbshits above must have forgotten to give you the password. Go on forth, Belfalas already informed us he'd be sending in his fresh talent. Hurry along, past this door follow the stretch of passage then right, as far as it will go. Proceed"

When you bypassed the set of doors, Kaldar quickly closed them behind and held the handle for a moment as he casts a wizard lock on the door. He turned to you and said 'It would have been useful had you brought your wrymling with us" then the both of you progressed along until you reached a door where two fighters stood erect, their solemn faces regarded you without a hint of emotion. On their shields were the heraldic insignia of House Altradeas. The first guardsman quickly fished for a ring of keys and proceeded to unlock the door, beyond you could see the innards of an immense warehouse filled with wooded crates, materials, and sacks of foodstuff, barrels of liquor, the like. The same guardsman said 'Mi'lords, do you wish for an escort? The others have assembled in the main guardroom"

Whisper
Whisper

Whisper asked Septul silently when prompted by the shades for a password, 'Septul, does the dead man's spirit know the password they request to be maiden weed or is it something else?  Do you hold any sway over these shadow beings?'  Perhaps these things in front of him were some of the Dark Moon Son assasins that he'd heard tales of, beings that had willingly given portions of their souls to the darkness in exchange for a piece of immortality.  He smiled as charmingly as he could at the dark duo while waiting for confirmation from his companion.
OC: Could the equipment of both guards and the remaining corpse have been gathered up into the bag of holding to allow for some sort of equipment and arms for the captured Blades of Nyr should their regular equipment not be easily found? 

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

twippptttttt the twang of your short bow faintly whispered as the arrow pierced the burly guards left leg, penetrating his greave and bathing both in blinding white light (-3 hp dmg) the pair of guards are totally taken off guard, the advantage of surprise in your favor.

The 'smart' guard fell as Kaldar's second arrow pierced him through his neck, and he gurgled blood just as the second arrow nailed him. The arrows shot forth stinking cloud and grease and the burly guard slipped, tripped, and hacked desperate for clean air supply. Another arrow from Kaldar and the big man fell in a heap. When you came upon him he was still alive, his face beet red and you dispatch him quickly with a dagger thrust into his chest. He dies immediately, you sensed the shocking realization filled his thoughts. You were nearly brought to your own knees by the heaviness of the amulet, and once again that awful hunger that demanded a living sacrifice. You grabbed the man, hoisted him up and felt the power of Septul leap out of you. In her spiritual body she grabbed and brought the man into the Shadus plane, her fangs planted into his shoulder and he visibly stiffened, 'another fledgling slave of the Shadus plane' she purred in ecstasy.

"What horrible power do you possess?" Kaldar asked incredulously, when you stayed his hand from turning the fulcrum lever that activated the elevator. You noted an insidious trap, which many would not have. Had you turned the lever, six blades would have skewered you from slits in the walls. This was very much like one of the trick boxes in your circus days where swords were inserted and you were able to contort your body to avoid the effects. A simple dagger snip of a wire attached to the lever removed the trap easily.

"Good work" Kaldar said, comforted that the elevator grinded mechanically alive then continued to descend downward.  It finally stopped and the doors slid open. You entered into a black, dark chamber and a single double door loomed ahead of you. You neared the door when two beings burst out of the ground, a smug smile marked their peculiar faces. They were shades, once mortal but infused with shadow stuff, a horrifically evil process filled with tremendous agony. "Speak the password, or go no further" shade #1 hissed. It was a female Elsmyrian in life. Her male counterpart appeared to be a towering brutish Nyriddian.





Whisper
Whisper

Whisper retrieved his seldom used short bow from the bag of holding at his waist while also doing his best to stay within the shadows.(Hide in shadows)  The battle hardened sorcer slayer would be his target with the gifted arrow of blinding, he trusted that Kaldar's other arrows enchanted or otherwise would be able to stop the younger guard if not outright slay him before he could retreat to the elevator.  Whisper notched his arrow and nodded his head in the darkness, reasonably sure that Kaldar could see the movement and he trusted that the seasoned bowman could cover any scenario that might unfold.

graphalfkor
graphalfkor moderator

Kaldar softly guided you through the illusory door. You were able to read Belfalas's mind then, and he was lost in dark contemplation:

Soon, my brethren, all of our intriguing will culminate into absolute power. Once Ceranis's hired torturer's extract everything the blades of Nyr know, my team of assassins will be ready to be put into play. What more delicious irony than the queen dying by the very weapons she deployed against us? When she is alleviated of the affliction of life, she will rise as a queen of hell, a beautiful vampiress perhaps? Or a wraith mayhap. Orcus, my master grant me the undead horde your servant earnestly desires, and shed this flesh from me. Erase my name from the book of life so that I may continue your vile work on this wretched plane.


As you both continued on, Septul imparted a map that displayed your exact location in relation to the layout. You sensed two men ahead, guarding an elevator. They were clad in heavy body armor, half plate. The first bore a longsword, dagger, mace, crossbow, and military fork. His cohort, smarter but less experienced than the first was exactly outfitted, yet his weaponry was coated with paralytic poison. You also knew the first sign of trouble and he would leap into the elevator to retrieve reinforcements. The first guard was tough as nails, a veteran of six wars and strong as an ogre. He also wielded two bastard swords simultaneously. The sinister six hired him as extra muscle, and he was loyal unto them. He had a profound hatred for magic-users, evidenced by his signature weapon. It was infused with terrible power custom wrought to inflict special harm upon wizards.


Kaldar was non surplussed by the look of them, as he remained shrouded in shadows of the long stretch of corridor. He plucked three arrows from his longbow then, and chanted in a heated whisper and provided you with one, then said 'the first will emit a stink cloud, this second a grease spell, and this one you have now will unleash blinding light"


DECISION