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Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: of what is to come...


So, funny you should mention "what is to come". 

This game was always, always intended to be a stand alone adventure.  A one shot deal, the party stops the death cult and saves the world - or dies trying.

And then, Bree came along and wrecked it all by taking the twisted darkness and ramping it up exponentially. 

The party failed to stop the death god from being conceived.  Can they stop him from being born?

If there is interest, I will post a recruitment thread for Hidden Corruption 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Okay, the title is still in review. 



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 14:33:20.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: dang it


Reralae, I didn't mean to ninja you.  I can delete my post, let you post, add mine back.



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 14:29:39.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: it is finished


There you go, folks. 

A story ten years in the making.  A game itself than ran for fourteen and a half months (with a chunk of that blank due to my flaking). 

A tale that ended up in places I had never imagined it would - let alone COULD - go. 

Thank you all so very much for your fantastic play here. 



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 14:28:33.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: ...and I feel fine


22nd Pfier (Merday), 453 E.R.
Gates of the village of Crandel



"Tha's tha, then," Captain Malk stated flatly.  "Gods protec' us,"  The captain made a sign to ward off evil as as spoke, "and ye as well.  Wilf 'ere 'as some provisions fer yer trip; Mort winnae 'ear of takin' a single falchon fer tha lot.  Safe travels to ya."


The "monkey" Ch'dau had placed in command of the remnants of the town guard had done an altogether fine job overseeing improvements in the defenses of Crandel, and appeared to have grown to fit the role of Captain just fine.  They had apparently beaten back another incursion of undead while the party was underground, but in the weeks since, the roads had cleared.


As had the sky; the accursed mist was gone.  The sun was shining (quite brightly in late summer, as a matter of fact), the birds were singing.  All seemed well with the world.


Indeed, it all seemed like it could have been a bad dream, had the companions not lived it together.


Some might have considered Ch'dau lucky, as the big kazari had missed the collapse of the temple in his unconscious state.  Any hope of pursuing Davena had died when the ceiling collapse blocked the door she had escaped through... and then, things got truly bad. 


The shades released from the shattered repository had run amuck through the temple, slaying the living and undead alike in an utterly indiscriminate manner, with their touch melting the very flesh away while the victim died in agony.  The horrible wailing as they did so was the stuff to stand out in nightmares about that nightmare place; it is quite possible that no one would ever have been able to forget them.  By Shinara's fortune (or perhaps Solanis' favor, or Therassor's grace, or simple dumb luck), the shades ignored the party altogether, seemingly intent on - or content with - killing every cultist in the cave.


Of course, the earthquake itself had been terrifying enough; as the shades killed, the temple shook itself apart.  Some were spared death from the shades only to be crushed by tons of rock and stone.


Again, it was as if the party were held in the palm of a benevolent hand; no stone struck them, though they fell all around.  In the end, all exits to the temple had been blocked, the entire place had been plunged into utter darkness.  It took the better part of two weeks to dig fully out, though at least the clerics were able to obtain sustenance from their deities for the party while the work went on. 


Eventually, they emerged to the sunlight, but no trace of Davena or Kithran was to be found. 


One surviving cultist had almost gleefully told the tale during the digging, explaining the plan to bring the dark god into the world through the abomination of a baby created by a melding of life and death.  If Kithran had indeed conceived that night, the risk to the very world was very real... and very grave, indeed. 


It was unclear how many cultists died that night, or how many might have escaped; save the one survivor happy to tell his tale, the party encountered no other living (or undead) from the cave.


Unless, of course, some had escaped to Crandel and resumed normal lives.



********************************************



Kithran lounged, naked, in the afterglow of the special connection she shared with Davena while the dying sunlight filtered through the curtains.  The soft bed and fine sheets were just part of the perfection of this day.  The beautiful blonde woman, full healed from her injuries received that fateful night, smiled tenderly at her younger partner. 


Davena smiled, slipped her necklace off, and placed it onto Kithran's belly. Her crooked grin stretched into a wide smile as her eyes danced with delight.  Enthusiastically, she kissed Kithran in celebration.


The stone glowed a vibrant gold.






THE END



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 14:19:09.
Edited on 2019-12-10 at 14:26:13 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: say...


Wasn't there a breebles post here? 



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 11:50:00.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: fine


Fine, be that way. 

I do have a "the end, part two" post to put up.  I'd like to allow everyone else the existential terror of reading this one as well, though, if you don't mind. 



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 11:46:10.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: cheese...


You guys want an unambiguous ending or something now? 

Ya'll are so needy, you know that? 



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 11:40:20.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: it's the end of the world as we know it...


How had it all gone so wrong?


The companions had come to this place of horror to end the threat of the death cult.  Two of the party were literally channels of the power of righteous gods.  Two of them were skilled, powerful warriors.  The enemy had taken their friend captive, but fate had intervened, given them a chance to free her from the clutches of evil.  Surely, righteousness would prevail, especially in the face of discord between factions of the evil.


Yet here they stood, bloodied and battered, struggling desperately just to survive.  And their friend, their very family, casually wiped the blood of her betrayal off of her blade as she helped the leader of all the evil to safety. 


Ever true to his vows to life and to his own nature, Cedric passed on the chance to deal a killing blow to Davena, instead rushing to Ch'dau's side.  The mighty kazari lay in a huge pool of his own lifeblood, his eyes open and fixed, his form utterly motionless.  Despair squeezed the priest's heart with an icy grip as Cedric knelt in his friend's blood, praying desperately to Solanis for the boon of healing from the god of light and life.  The utter stillness of the furry form indicated that Cedric was too late, even as the young man placed his hands on the warrior's side, praying desperately as he had never prayed before.  Cedric knew that he could channel the power of his god to knit back torn flesh, to mend broken bones... but if life itself had fled, there was nothing he could do.


Then, he saw it - two shallow, rapid breaths.  Fish breathing, he had once heard it called.  The final, shallow gasps made by the dying, once the soul had come to peace with the end of life, but the body had not yet realized that fact. 


Cedric didn't know if the healing would matter, but he had to try.


The wound beneath the young priest's fingers responded to the god's influence and closed, the bleeding stopped.  For several long moments, Ch'dau lay perfectly still. 


And then, the furry chest began a rhythmic rise and fall.  Cedric looked to the face, and Ch'dau's eyes were closed.  The big warrior was unconscious... but alive.



*****************************************



The drama on the dais does not interrupt the fighting, which rages on all across the temple.  Davena's removal from the fight seems to turn the tides, and Garrack's followers begin to win the day.  The death priest has assembled a group of his most loyal followers and is pressing the dais. 


"Davena!" he cries as they advance.  "Your time has arrived!"


Kithran has helped the blonde priestess to her feet, but the older woman is having difficulty moving quickly.  One of Garrack's acolytes rushes in, only to be run through by the rogue. 


The cultist wizard shakes free of his hold, chants, and a curved wall of dark energy springs forth between them and the rest of the temple. 


"Mistress," he implores, "this will hold them for a few moments, but I have little more I can do to prevent their advance.  We must flee!"


The priestess nods, a thoughtful look on her face.  "Above all else, Ledon, I must ensure that the Vessel is safe.  She glances at Kithran, then to the crystalline container standing between the two bodies on the ground.  She then looks back to the mage.


"The two of us will flee," Davena explains in a tone that brooks no discussion.  "You will shatter the soul repository."


A look of terror passes across the mage's features, but a serene mask slips into place as he replies.  "It will be my honor, Mistress."



*****************************************



Gib slays the last of the cultists preventing his path, reaches his companions.  Aranwen slowly shakes off the funk.  Ch'dau still lies on the ground, with Cedric by his side. 


The cultists loyal to Garrack pound upon the wall of energy.  At first, it seems pointless to do so, but visible cracks begin to form, and they redouble their efforts.


The spell fails, the energy wall falls away to reveal the black-robed mage, staff in hand.  Kithran and Devena are nowhere to be seen, though a door stands open in the wall behind the mage. 


The mage swings his staff with all of his might at the crystalline container; as he does, Garrack screams "Noooooo!"


A crack sounds out as the stave strikes the skull on the repository.  A bolt of purplish energy flashes along the staff, into the wizard; in moments, his flesh literally melts from his body, with him somehow scraeming long after the physical ability to do so should have been ended.


The ground begins to shake, the altar splits in half as if struck by an unseen axe.  Huge pieces of the ceiling, of solid rock, begin to fall as keening, howling wails erupt from the broken repository... followed by dark shades of human forms that streak in all directions.  Everywhere they go, bodies fall to the ground.


In the chaos of death and destruction, the world comes to an end.


 


 


 


 



Posted on 2019-12-10 at 11:24:31.
Edited on 2019-12-10 at 11:44:26 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: I mean...


The "until the birth of the death god, who manifested and destroyed the world as we know it" does make that a longer sentence.



Posted on 2019-12-09 at 13:45:49.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: wrappage


Monday has been tough, but a post is in the works...



Posted on 2019-12-09 at 13:37:05.

Topic: Letters from Santa!
Subject: hah


I do this every year, am doing it again this year... though today is the last day to get a letter and have it routed through Santa Calus, IN for the postmark. 

If you have kids or know someone who does, please check this out (or send them the link)!



Posted on 2019-12-09 at 11:49:18.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: yup


Presactly.  And truth be told, it was better for him to not give details, anyway.  Let them believe they are rushing to save their suffering comrade.

Think about it; evil cultist mentality probably just leaves an ally behind if said ally had gone to the other side.  Why would he risk the party doing the same, when he needed the muscle to help overthrow Davena?



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 16:51:51.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject:


All correct points. 


And to be fair, he'd have confirmed she was alive, little more.  It wouldn't have helped his cause to let you guys know she was broken.



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 15:50:13.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: me three


I expected somebody to say somthing.  Never happened. 



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 14:29:31.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: cheese


You guys keep trying to expand my musical horizons!



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 13:29:36.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: lore...


I personally think that a Bladesinger who dies honorably in battle has not dishonored thier blade, even though it hits the ground.  To the contrary, I could see these blades beig held as relics, perhaps passed down to those worthy enough to bear them. 

To me, that's the exception to the rule.  If the blade touches the ground through your lack of skill, your lack of strength, your lack of fortune... then it is dishonored, and that is that.  If it touches the ground due to your death - particularly if you died well, for a good cause - then you have honored it with every fiber of your being, have you not?



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 11:47:01.
Edited on 2019-12-06 at 12:00:12 by t_catt11

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: dawww


What a good girl Kithran is. 



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 10:16:38.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: my, my...


Someone is angling for extra priviledges!



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 09:58:58.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: insight...


I completely understand why Gib is thinking/hoping there is some spell to be broken to free Kith. 

As you can see, it's not remotely that simple. 



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 09:52:03.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: it does...


It does help explain WHY Kithran was chosen, if that helps ease any of your minds.



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 09:43:14.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: caught up!


Okay, folks... the last of the flashback posts is now up.  We're up to date with how Kithran got to the point she is at, and as soon as we get a post from Raven, I'll move the game forward.

I know that was a TON of reading, so I hope I didn't bore you to death. 



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 09:39:47.

Topic: The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
Subject: flashback: the ritual



It is late evening, and Kithran finds herself naked and panting, lounging in Davena's bed. The spark that Kith kindled by making that first move quickly grew into a serious flame, and after only a few days, the former prisoner has found herself relocated from her "guest accommodations" to sharing the High Priestess' personal suite, where she has lived for the past two weeks.


Certainly, there is the odd punishment still, but these have been almost entirely of the very minor variety. Kithran has displayed such a willing attitude that the priestess has found little in need of correction.


In addition, the rogue is no longer viewed as a prisoner. She is free to wander the compound as she sees fit, free to take communal meals (or take them alone with Davena). She wears a standard issue simple dark dress, though Aranwen's sword is always worn on her belt as a symbol of Davena's favor. Indeed, most of the church treat Kithran with respect and deference; all in all, the life is relatively pleasant.


Davena's quarters are hardly lavish, but the furniture is sturdy and comfortable, and the bed - which she openly shares with the priestess - is both large and remarkably soft. All in all, Kithran finds that she now leads a fairly pleasant life.


The beautiful blonde priestess, in a similar state of flushed nakedness, grins her crooked grin. As she has done for the last few nights, Davena removes the pendant from around her own neck, then holds the stone just below Kithran's navel. Each day, the stone has grown warmer, glowed brighter; tonight, it shines like the largest star in a perfectly dark night. A look of joy touches Davena's eyes as her smile spreads.


"Darling," she speaks in a breathy voice, her tone full of emotion, "your time has arrived. You are fertile again."


Kithran smiles wide at the excitement in Davena's voice, "Oh? It very nearly slipped my mind," she chuckled, "I will admit that even after all of our talk on this, I am still a bit . . . nervous. Is that okay?"


Davena nods. "Of course, darling... of course. This is a momentous occasion... if you were not nervous, I would doubt your fitness."


She takes a breath. "It is time to prepare for the Ritual, dear one. Your destiny is at hand; you will receive the gift." Tenderly, the priestess stokes Kithran's hair and face. "I will be here with you for the entire journey."


Kith turns her face into Davena's hand and kisses her palm, "That makes me feel better. When will we begin?"


Davena smiles. "It will be best to do so right away; this gives your body the greatest chance to accept the gift during this cycle. It was one thing to put it off for a month in order for you to learn to accept your role, but I see no reason to dally further. If you are amenable, we should perform the Ritual tonight. Are you ready?"


The rogue bit her lip but nodded, "I am ready, Mistress."


The priestess draws Kithran in for a protective embrace. "I am certain that you have doubts or fears still." Releasing the young woman, Davena continues.


"You may wonder why I am so certain that you are, in fact, the chosen one." She pauses for a moment. "Have you ever heard of hybrid vigor?"


"I am fairly certain we may have just finished some hybrid vigor." Kithran's grin returns faintly through her hesitation. She would do anything for this woman. That Kith would see this ritual through to the end, she had no doubt. It was just those ghouls. She had tried and tried, but the fear they instilled in her, she just could not shake.


The blonde woman chuckles before continuing. "Quite. It is a term normally associated with plants or livestock, but it applies to people, as well. The idea is that, more often than not, hybrid offspring possess resilience not found in either parent species."


Her finger softly traces the point of Kithran's ear. "You, darling, are both human and Sylvari."


She frowns. "Humans seem to all too often burn out when trying to carry or nurse one of the Dark Lord's offspring. And Sylvari have such a deep connection to life that they cannot carry such a babe to term; their bodies reject the death aspect of the child." She pauses thoughtfully. "One night, after prayer, it occurred to me that a hybrid would be the ideal solution. I met you, saw how incredibly strong you were, consulted an oracle... and there was my answer." She smiles fondly.


"I suppose then that I have one thing to be grateful to my mother for," she pushed away the thought of the first one to leave her and smiled sweetly back at her beautiful priestess, "She put me in your way."


"That she did," Davena replies. The priestess rises and begins to dress. "I have preparation to do. I will fetch the ceremonial vestments for you; I trust that you will not pour out the chalice or strike me this time?" Her tone is firm, but her mouth wears that endearing, crooked grin.


Kithran groans and rolls onto her back, scrunching her face up at the memory before looking back up at the priestess sheepishly, "I shall try my very best to control myself this time."


"I appreciate your efforts," Davena replies the grin never leaving her face. She then frowns slightly. "Your part is rather simple. I will cast certain enchantments upon you to help aid in the process. When the time comes, you will simply lie back with your hips elevated to help facilitate the process, and accept the undead father of your unborn child."


Kith's face scrunched again, "Is there really no better way to phrase that?"


The priestess sees the look on Kithran's face, hears her tone, and takes the younger woman's hand in her own. "I understand that this part seems frightening, but I swear to you - the creature will not harm you. I understand that the idea is... unpleasant, that the creature will seek to sate its own desires alone. But truly, my dear... is that so much worse than men you have surely endured in the past, yourself?" Her face holds a bit of dark humor.


Kithran grins at the thought, "It was often the other way around, Davena," she tugs lightly at the hand holding hers, playfully trying to pull her back down to her, "I have since changed my ways. If you've forgotten already I'd be happy to remind you."


The priestess smiles widely. "You are incorrigible! Normally, the ghoul would bite or scratch to inflict paralysis long enough for the Ritual to be completed. I don't think that will be necessary in your case, do you? Besides, I was thinking..." she pauses meaningfully, allowing her hands to stray across Kithran's body, "my mother often taught prospective mothers that impregnation was easier if the women were fully aroused... and that if the woman achieved climax after the consummation, that the chance of pregnancy increased again. And these were the case, perhaps it would help you to focus on subjects besides the sire, yes?"


The darkness that had washed over her face as Davena spoke of the ghouls and their paralyzation quickly gave way to a very enthusiastic nod, "I think that would help quite a bit. Did you have any subjects in mind?"


Davena's smile grows even wider, if such is possible. "Indeed, dear one... I have an idea or two..."



**********************



Kithran stands in the main temple itself, dressed in the ceremonial white gown she first found herself in upon waking in this place; the only change is that she wears the fine sword at her hip. She has been bathed, her hair washed and brushed out, and sweet perfume has been applied to her skin. She has drank deeply of the silver chalice; the liquid was cool, sweet, and spicy... not at all unpleasant. The effects are rather intoxicating, in many ways like a fine wine; the rogue feels very relaxed, very at peace, with a slightly odd sensation of being disconnected from her body - yet at times, intensely aware of it. In particular, Kith can feel the warmth throughout her body; Davena made good on her offer of arousal, kissing and teasing and touching and bringing the young woman to a fever pitch just before leading her into the temple.


The room is filled with dark-robed figures, most on the lower ground, standing side by side, facing the dais. There are ghouls present, but they remain behind the ranks of the living. The attendees chant slowly, quietly, in unison.


Kith finds herself brought up upon the dais, led beyond the black stone altar itself. She cannot help but notice the large, strange device here; it is some sort of container fashioned of a crystalline material, with the device of a grinning skull carved skillfully into it. The skull itself is inlaid with silver, with large green gems set into the eye sockets. She is bade to kneel facing the device; soon, she is joined by two others also dressed in white vestments, who kneel on either side of it, facing Kithran.


One is a red-haired, milky-skinned young human woman of perhaps eighteen years of age. She wears a serene expression on her freckled face, meets Kithran's gaze and smiles warmly.


The figure next to her is a dark-haired, tanned man with a few flecks of gray in his hair and beard. He, on the other hand, appears to be completely terrified; his wide eyes dart this way and that, and his breathing comes in shallow pants.


Davena steps to the center of the dais and raises her arms, and the chanting falls to a whisper. "It is a momentous occasion," she speaks clearly, her voice projecting throughout the temple, "when we, the followers of death, have the chance to create life - a life that will allow our Dark Lord entrance into this mortal realm." Murmurs run around the room.


She gestures to Kithran. "Behold, the vessel that will bring our Dark Lord's anchor into this world!" All eyes turn to the rogue, but hers stay on the priestess.


"Of course," she continues, "such creation requires a price to be paid - in blood, both willing and unwilling. In the end, all life is devoured, these lives in particular will bring power to the vessel, will make her strong enough to bear the gift."


Davena draws her broad bladed knife, and another priest steps to her side, a wooden bowl in his hands. She steps toward the two kneeling sacrifices, and asks aloud, "are you prepared to go into that dark night?"


The young woman smiles widely. "Yes, Mistress! I am ready!" she replies, tilting her head back to expose her neck. Davena nods, steps forward, slices the young woman's throat open. Blood spurts from the grievous wound as the light goes out in the girl's eyes while the acolyte collects her lifeblood into his bowl.


Kithran's eyes go wide as the kneeling man screams, but a word from Davena silences him - though the terror in his eyes is plain for anyone to see. The rogue's gut betrays her in its instinct to speak out for the older man, but that happiness in Davena's eyes . . . she could not risk extinguishing that again. She averts her gaze and steels her gut against the sound of his pleas instead.


The acolyte allows the young woman's body to slump to the ground while he takes the bowl to the container, then pours the blood in. As he does so, the skull's gem eyes glow intensely green.


The process is repeated with the kneeling man, though Davena must expose his throat by grabbing his hair and pulling his head back. His eyes plead for mercy, but the pleas are ignored, and soon, his own lifeblood is filling the bowl. This time, when the blood is poured into the skull container, the gemstone eyes somehow glow a disturbing deep purple.


The crowd resumes chanting, with Davena leading it. The very air seems to grow thick and heavy.


Soon the priestess moves to Kithran's side, and takes her by the hand. "It is time," she whispers. "Be not afraid, darling - I am here with you."


Kithran is led to an odd piece of furniture that resembles a curved couch of sorts. Davena helps her to recline upon it; doing so raises her hips higher than her head.


The priestess moves to the skull container, thrusts her hand inside the mouth; when she draws it out, her fingers are coated with a dark, nearly black substance. She returns to Kithran; at a gesture, another priestess helps to hitch Kithran's skirts up beyond her waist. Davena kneels, draws several sigils on Kithran's belly with the blackish paste, then chants anew.


She looks up, makes eye contact with Kith, then nods before she stands. Kithran can see a ghoul following a priest up upon the dais and to her side. Kithran is unable to keep her breathing even as the thing approaches her, and despite her insatiable need to appease Davena, she wants to flee.


The priestess then takes her hand. "Look at me, darling," she whispers and Kithran does, and it helps immensely, "I am here with you."


It takes all she has not to glance back at the creature softly giggling beside her, but Kithran bites her lip as she looks up into Davena's sweet face. Despite her fear, the priestess brings her comfort, as she always had, through all of her pain and confusion and suffering. This would be no different. Davena would be here for her, comfort her, encourage her. The thought warms her, in spite of the cold she felt, and Kithran gently squeezes her hand, whispering, "I love you, Davena."


A look of surprise crosses the beautiful face of the priestess, but in an instant, it is replaced by a broad smile.  "I love you, too, darling," Davena responds.


And the ritual continues.



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 09:31:27.

Topic: Kith, the Cat, and the Khatun Q&A
Subject: geez


The play in HC is incredible.  The play here, every bit as much.

And this Q&A... just, wow. 

I wonder if these characters realize how real they are? 



Posted on 2019-12-06 at 09:10:22.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: whoa


Yes, that is, in fact, twisted.  Thanks.



Posted on 2019-12-05 at 17:15:47.

Topic: Hidden Corruption Q&A
Subject: well...


Meeeee-OW, my man!

*picturing Ch'dau with cool shades, big gold chains, feathered hat, etc*



Posted on 2019-12-05 at 17:12:22.

 
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