Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
Continuing Where We Last Left Off
The return of CWWLLO!
New Party: name, gender, race, class, catch, player Arien Thedell - Male, Human, Fighter, Low wisdom (really), Olan Suddeth Char - Male, Human, Ranger, Grumpy loner, Bromern Sal Dapple Moon - Female, Half-elf, Fighter/thief, Sociopath, Vanadia Kilgim Blackaxe - Male, Dwarf, Fighter/Cleric, Cousin of employer, Raven Maximas Meridais Jarele - Male, Human, Fighter, Ex gladiator with a vendetta, Tann'Talas Adrian Valentine- Male, Human, Mage (Miltary Kit), Can you trust an ex-red corp?, Admiral Jal Spellbinder - Male, Human, Mage, Slightly schizo, Eol Felalas
Module 1 - Antonio, Orlando and Dawn
So it began …
Dwan Granitecrusher, leader of the Iron League and ruler of the city of Freegate had a dilemma. One of his most trusted vassals had stop sending regular couriers from the fiefdom. This is not normally an issue, usually trying to get regular reports was the problem, but Sir Antonio was different. He took duty and order to a new level and Dwan could set his clock by the arrival of the weekly courier from the valley.
But Dwan didn’t have the manpower to send a patrol to Antonio’s castle. It was in a remote valley, five days ride from the city and frankly there were other issues that needed attention.
To the north, The Imperial Empire was a constant threat. No longer the great power it once was, the Empire was slowly dying, plagued by in fighting, political plotting, wars on too many fronts and a neglectful emperor. Upstart military commanders within the Empire were thinking coups and the iron league was very wealthy. On top of all that, troops were deserting from the imperial military in droves, seeking the life of freedom and banditry instead of hardship and promises of eventual pay. Not just the usually troop desertions either, the grey infantry, but the elite guards (blues), the special forces (greens) and the mage corps (reds) were also running for the chaos. Dwan was swamped.
So he hired a group of sellsword adventurers to go to Antonio’s castle and find out what was wrong. There was Char – a ranger, Shona – a gladiator/warrior, Dapple Moon – a skilled rogue, well versed in the martial arts, Kilgrim – cleric warrior who was cousin to Dwan, Arien - a knight in shiny armour and finally his sister Alloryn, a mage with remarkable skill at invocation.
From the start, they met with strangeness. A female elf with black hair (Morgaine) and her large human male bodyguard (Tarn) stayed with them in a roadside camp. The man didn’t speak the common tongue and she was possessive of her long thin sword that she wouldn’t leave out of her sights. After that the party fought against trolls and ogres working together, and the trolls didn’t regenerate like normal trolls should. Further along, they found signs of what might be the cause of Antonio’s silence – imperial deserters had been in the lands, near the edge of the valley.
Once in the valley, the party was attacked by wolves that were strangely altered - bigger and fiercer than normal with strange almost human like hands. Then they reached a village of the valley to find what was left of a battle – between the imperial deserters and what appeared to be magically creations half man, half beast. Some were half wolf, other bears, dogs, cats and even snake. A small number of townsfolk were found hiding in the granary. They told the party about how the regular patrols from Antonio’s castle had stopped awhile ago. Then these deserters came and took over their town, but one soldier – an older man, wouldn’t let the younger soldiers misuse or torture the village people. Then, from the road to the castle came these beast-men with large wagons. They attacked the village, killed the deserters and then started loading all the villagers into the wagons – taking them off towards the castle. Strange days indeed, for examining the bodies of the dead beast-men, the party found that some didn’t die from wounds. They just seemed to collapse and die where they were standing.
The party continued onwards. They rounded a corner to see a pregnant woman being chased by a group of these beast men. They saved the lady who told them that she was Lady Dawn, the wife of Sir Antonio. She explained that a wizard named Orlando and a fighter named Javert had gained the confidence of Antonio and served at his court. Orlando had created a potion that infected men with the essence of beasts and had slipped it into the beer kegs on the night that the men were celebration Antonio’s and Dawn anniversary. Since Lady Dawn was with child, she did not drink, but the others began to change immediately – including Sir Antonio. Using evil magic, Orlando enslaved the minds of the changed men and took over the castle. Those that did not drink or were unaffected were taken to the dungeons. Unfortunately the formula of Orlando didn’t work, and many of the men began to die. The wizard made up more batches and feed them to the captives, only to have more failures – so he sent the beastmen out to gather up the townsfolk to try more formulas.
Lady Dawn escaped when one of the beastmen died while bringing her food. She fled the cell and used a secret passage that Antonio had built as an emergency escape route in case of siege. She was going to go for help but ran immediately into a group of the beastmen. The party can use the same passage to get into the castle, since no one else would know of it.
The party entered the passage, found a safe place to hide Lady Dawn and got into the castle. They freed the captive town folk and were attempting to make their way upstairs when they were spotted. A mighty battle ensued. Javert almost slew Arien with an explosive arrow. A mysterous woman, obviously a leader from some outside organization fought with Dapple. Shona was possessed by some evil demonic force inside the leader and turned against the party. Dapple discovered a pseudo-dragon, tortured and hidden in Orlando’s lab. She freed it (Sunset) and with the pd’s help, managed to free Shona from the clutches of the demon.
In the end the party was victorious, if only barely. The antidote for the beastmen was found and given out. The valley was saved and the party returned to Freegate as heroes. They were rewarded and many celebrations given in their honour.
Then fall came and Shona left the city. Unable to get pass the betrayal she performed while possessed, she choose to leave quietly in the night. The rest of the group wintered in Freegate until the spring thaw opened the roads again.
Alloryn, plagued by dreams and nightmares about a man with a demonic arm seeking her, decided that she would be best to head home – study more about magic before going out to adventure again. She bid her brother a fond farewell, promising him that she would take the well traveled road and keep with the well guarded caravan with which she had signed up.
Meanwhile, Dwan has received disturbing reports from his scouts. Imperial soldiers have been seen near an old abandoned guardhouse, a few days from the city. Even worst, some were Greens. Deserters? Or a military operation? No time to waste!
The adventurers that had served him well would be call upon again. As for those who were gone, there were other sellswords and adventurers in the city of Freegate. A call would be put out.
Posted on 2006-09-19 at 09:01:21.
Edited on 2007-03-08 at 15:48:52 by TannTalas
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
Silver Screen Moment I - Fate plays a hand
Alloryn Jessamin Thedell didn’t have a problem with lying to people. In fact, she was schooled quite adequately by her mother in the arts of fabrication and persuasion – as all good Cerjorn women should be, she would add. But there was something about lying to her brother that always felt wrong to her. Not that he was hard to fool, quite the contrary really; Arien would proclaim the sky was green if Alloryn told him so. Yet, any time she was forced to be less than honest with him, she felt a tightness in her stomach, a guilty pain deep inside, as if she had beaten a puppy or taken candy from a school child.
There was nothing to be done about it this time though. Guileless as Arien was, he never have let her taken this journey. Oh yes, Brother? I am off to traipse through the forest in search of this old fort and a man who has a large scaly green left, because I keep seeing them in my dreams. Be a dear and don’t wait up? No that wouldn’t have flown over well. Arien would be beside her now waving that sword of his in the air and probably setting have the forest on fire. Not the approach that was needed here.
The Mage pauses near some trees. She had put an invisibility spell upon herself before and had to remind herself that although unseen, she could still be heard if she became out of breath, and some animals would smell her sweat as well. Take your time Alloryn! You know he is there. No doubt it was not wise for her to be here, alone and seeking someone she knew to be dangerous, but she couldn’t shake to feeling, the urge to come here. It drove though her like a spike being driven into her temples. Even taking the road away didn’t help, within days the urge became overwhelming and she abandoned the merchants she swore to protect to come south again. They had many guards, I am sure they won’t mind one less and frankly Arkin was more interested in my physique than my magic.
Alloryn froze and forced herself to breath regularly. Someone had stepped on a branch near her. She was sure of it. Silently, she drew black swan from her pinned up hair, the thin long dagger gave her comfort in the stillness. She waited but nothing seemed to come from the trees or bushes. An eternity passed in the minute she awaited there, until the bushed moved near her. The soldiers emerged from the trees to the forest, both moving close to the ground, scanning it with intense focus. Their uniforms gave them away as much as their language – Special Forces imperial soldier – Greens.
“Deke, she passed through here recently. We are close.”
The other came right close to Alloryn, not realizing she was there. He examined the ground at her feet as she gave a silent prayer to Wee Jas to save her. “Damn! They stop right here.” He stood up and looked around staring through Alloryn, “Think she got wind of us?”
“Maybe, Deke. I stumbled back there. Might have heard.”
“This way then,” Deke pointed with his arm extended. Alloryn moved herself back as much as she could and thanked all the gods she wasn’t voluptuously endowed. The man’s finger was dangerous close to her. They have been tracking me? How?
“Hold on a second.” Deke said looking down at Alloryn’s feet. “Just hold s …”
Alloryn knew she had been found out. The dirt around her shoes had shifted as she avoided the intended grope. With a strength of will beyond what she though she could muster, she drove the Black Swan upwards and into Deke’s neck He staggered back as her spell dropped, causing her to appear in front of him as he fell to the ground.
“Deke!” the other man shouted. Alloryn pushed the soon to be dead man into the other man. He grabbed her by the hand but the blood on it caused her to slide out of the grip. Black Swan was knocked from her grip and into the bushes.
No time to retrieve the family Heirloom, She ran as fast as he could, in the only direct she had open - south. She wished that she hadn’t lied to Arien and would have done anything right now for him to appear. She started to gather the mystical energy of mana to her. Although running, there were some good spells she could use that required minimum incantation. She had always been a fast caster so they didn’t have her yet.
A sharp pain in her shoulder, caused her to reach up and grab it. A small crossbow bolt had grazed her across the flesh and caught in her sleeve. not a serious wound. I’m fine The was a sharp turn ahead, she ducked behind it and chanted as fast as she could. Just as the soldier came around the corner, she fired off a series of brilliant white missiles from her fingertips. They caught him hard in the chest, but he didn’t stop. He was upon her in an instant, grabbing at her hands. Another soldier arrived and grabbed her legs, then more were all around. She was tied and gagged without mercy. The soldier she had elude before slapped her hard, a ring on his finger drawing blood across her face. The other soldiers stepped in his way to prevent further harm.
“The Bitch killed Deke!”
A soldier with command insignas in his sleeve stepped forward. “How did Deke let this slip of a girl get close enough to him?”
“Ummmm. She was invisible at the time.”
“No excuse! Pick her up gently and bring her to the outpost. I’m sure this is the one Dalmer has been waiting for, and I, for one, do not want to disappoint the captain!’ He said with a wither gaze at the soldier. “Order were unharmed, Seiner! You’ll face the captain for this. Mark my words.”
Posted on 2006-10-01 at 14:27:35.
Edited on 2006-10-01 at 14:30:08 by Alacrity
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
And we are off
Dwan Granitecrusher, Head of the Iron League, and leader of the city-state of Freegate looked over the list of names before him again. The group that went into the valley had a few members leave them, as was the norm with adventurers and sellswords. He had hoped to patch up the holes with a few good men he had met and talked with in the last few days. Hopefully he had made good decisions but time would tell. Unfortunately, time was not a commodity he had in great excess.
He stood up and left the list behind, leaving his office and heading down the hall to the central dining area. His assistant Terrin, soon feel in step behind him. “Terrin! Get me the maps of the area in question,” He said, pausing hold the handle to the doorway, “and have the gentlemen meet me here in the dining hall.” He opened the door to see that the group was already in the room and the maps were spread out on his desk.
Dwan looked around the silent room. The knight Arien Thedell stood ready by the desk, in bright armour. In the shadows behind him was the young lad Dapple, always hiding from the light that one. The Ranger Char, with his odd shaped swords lounged in an easy chair positioned with its back to the wall. The northern nodded a silent greeting to Dwan, but his desire to be outside of the city shone in every sinew of his body. Dwan’s own cousin Kilgrim was also there and came immediately to clamp arms with Dwan. These were all that was left of the Antonio’s saviors.
Near the buffet was a huge muscle bound man in patchwork armour. His long blond hair and icy blue eyes showed him to be one of Sueli – the so called barbarian clans of the north. An ex-gladiator, taken as a slave and trained to fight for sport – Talas had no love for the empire or its people. Further along was a gangly youth with unkempt long black hair and arcane tattoos all over his body. If not for a demonstration of his powere, Dwan would have thought that Jal was a thief by nature. By the lad had arcane powers, that was for sure. The other spellcaster was the complete opposite – lean, physically fit with a body that many fighters would envy. Most wizards don’t carry bastard swords either – but Adrian was ex-red corp of the empire. Many of the reds were forced into service, more slave than conscript.
Dwan cleared his throat, “Come, Sit, and we shall discuss the situation you have been called here for first, then eat afterwards while I answer any questions you may have." Dwan motions you who are standing to the chairs around and takes a single high back chair to sits down. After you have all sat down, Terrin, the young dwarven assistant stands behind his leader and remains there. Dwan says to you "You know who I am and I have spoken to each of you individually, but since you will probably be working together for the next while, why don’t each of you introduce yourself and tell a bit about you. After that I will explain why you are here and what the problem is, fair?"
OOC: The game is open for posts now...
Posted on 2006-10-04 at 19:42:27.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 346/54 6052 Posts
He cuts a dashing figure in his shining platemail, with his fine cloak of gold-trimmed green flowing behind him. His glittering emerald eyes dance with an inner light, contrasted sharply by his well-kept shock of raven-black hair. After taking a polite sip of wine from his goblet, the young man smiles warmly and adresses the group.
"As several of you already know, I am Sir Arien Aston Thedell the third." Those that have traveled with the young man in the past might pick up on the hole in his introduction; this is possibly the first time in his life that Arien is without his twin sister, Alloryn. Even so, the knight's smile seems quite genuine, and though he is not a particularly tall man, Arien is full of the sort of confidence and energy that makes a person appear to be larger than they really are.
"What would you know of me? I hail from Nyrond, where our family's holdings are located. My grandfather was a mighty and honorable warrior, and I am proud to carry his name."
His hand drifts to the pommel of his sword. "I have found Dwan Granitecrusher to be good and truthful employer, and so, I am happy to be of service to him and the Iron League."
Adrian moved from the buffet and sat down at the table when gestured. It was finally time for his first paid position as a mercenary. Time to see what it was like fighting against what he had obeyed his entire life.
The man was not tall, but quite built, especially for a spellcaster. The tattoo on his arm is typical of one who served in the red corps, but it has a single scar cut across it. Apparently the lad has some resentment towards his past.
He looked extraordinarily average and forgettable, were it not for the hand and a half sword on his back. His hair was a light reddish brown, roughly shoulder length. Adrian's eyes sparked with the telltale sign of a magic user, the electric grey tint brought out by the bright white of his eye.
After Sir Arien gave his speech, Adrian took the initiative.
"I am Adrian Valentine, formerly of the red corps. I have since sworn to never lower myself to their level and hail magical energy from the lazyness of a library. My place is at the front lines, along with good men such as Sir Thedell here. I must admit, I am looking forward to a bit of unstructured violence after all those years of slavery..."
Stepping forward Talas decided to be the next one to intro himself, having been a famous Gladiator and a long running champion until his escape from the Empire, he was not sure if the others would know him and in the end really did not care either way.
"I am Talas Mohar’Jerale, fighter, merc, ex gladiator, and a lot of other names some of which ain’t so nice. If ya’s heard of me fine, if not that’s fine too, as I am a man of few words I won’t take up more of your time."
Stepping back he then awaited quietly the rest of the intro’s seeing no need to elaborate on himself, in the end his fighting skills would be testimony in and of themselves......
Posted on 2006-10-04 at 20:19:53.
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3787 Posts
Hey! Who invited them!
Relaxed in the comforts of the easy chair as he was, Char made no move to rise when Dwan and his assistant entered the room. He’d been calmly, and contentedly, reclining in silence while they’d awaited their host. His piercing blue eyes had wandered about the room registering artifacts of interest, taking in the people that shared the chamber with him, while darting away with an almost mischievous alacrity should they catch him looking their way. Arien, Dapple, and Kilgrim he knew, but these other two were fresh faces. He wondered for a moment how Arien would deal with his sister’s absence—they’d not spoken of her decision to leave since the event, but the ranger was willing to wager the knight wore that loss like a heavy cloak. He hadn’t had the luxury of family, but he’d certainly experienced the heartache of loss; though his had been much more profound, he could empathize with what the smiling warrior was possibly experiencing. Did this mean he’d be all cuddles and a shoulder to cry on? Char nearly laughed at the image that produced for him and shook his head, tossing about the curly strands of muddy brown hair that framed his face with the quick jerks of his head.
Dapple was another story altogether, locked away in her world of denial and shadow. During their last mission Char had discovered her little secret and despite some ribbing, pestering, and generally free-spirited behavior he’d eventually come to respect her decision to withhold that information from others. On more than one occasion since they’d been back, he’d shared in the effort to keep her secret, but it seemed to him that she still withdrew, still withheld herself from accepting that she might have found companions she could trust. Sure, they’d been through a lot in a relatively short amount of time, but Char felt that it was enough to show the mettle of those around him he’d spent that time with. He had even grown to trust Da’ Moon some.
Shifting his gaze to Kilgrim, the ranger offered a cocky smile while he scratched at his scruffy chin. The dwarf was a reliable sort who had saved their skin more than once with his piety. Since returning to the city, he’d been as eager as Char to break free of the walls and roam.
It was strange, perhaps, how much Char felt he reflected certain aspects of each of these individuals. Arien and he shared a sense of honor and a fierce rush in the face of battle. He and Dapple enjoyed the craft of stealth, though his was for the hunt and he was as yet unsure of what really motivated her. Kilgrim’s love of the Earth and his candid nature were very suited to his relationship with Char. All in all, the four had found a synergy that though it might be broken up by the occasional argument, ribbings taken too far, or differences in basic philosophy, they worked well together. Each had a place, and each filled the role admirably in Char’s opinion. Now, there was these two and the ranger was sure they hadn’t been invited to dine with Dwan for the sheer joy of it.
At the table Dwan made his short introduction and request which Arien was only too eager to respond to. Leaning back in his chair with his left arm draped across the table and his legs kicked out underneath it, Char smiled his lopsided grin at the enthusiasm his friend delivered his introduction with. Then, he cocked his eyebrow as the tattooed fellow spoke up—he’d been sure Kilgrim would’ve been the next to take the lead.
“I am Adrian Valentine, formerly of the red corps…”
Char’s heart raced for a moment and his eyes narrowed a bit, though the smile remained. He’d thought he’d recognized the tattoos on the man’s arms. Ach! Should’a known, Char-lad. Wha’s Dwan up t’ groupin’ us wit’ da likes o’ dat?
“…Fighter, merc, ex gladiator…” By th’ lock’ o’ m’ sweet mothuh’s ‘air! A bloody red corps an’ a bloody arena cat! Wha’ in da bloody nine ‘ells is Dwan sendin’ us int’?
Char suddenly realized that the others had finished their introductions and he, unknowingly, had made a sort of coughing noise in the back of his throat that had prematurely drawn attention to him. With an apologetic smirk he tapped his fingers on the tabletop for emphasis.
“Name’d be Char an’ thar ain’t much t’ know ‘ceptin’ I be from da Wilds, an’ such. Guess I’ll be da bloke tha’ takes ya ‘cross da mount’ns, meadows, an’ streams t’ wha’e’er place Lord Dwan ‘ere ‘as in mind.” With his grin turning merciless the ranger chuckles. “Da Wilds be a large place, see? An’ Imperials git all missin’ in such as dat real easy-like should day no’ be careful ‘roun’ me.”
He continued to tap the table for a second before shifting a bit uncomfortably and adding, “Dat be all now… someone else’s turn.”
Jal stood silently for a long time, his piercing, ice-hued eyes surveying the room from behind a wild, random veil of long, black hair as the others – most apparently already familiar with one another – took their turns introducing themselves. He caught bits and pieces of what each of the others in the room had said but he often found his attentions wandering from their speeches and drawn to other things. No matter, he thought as his gaze drifted over the maps that covered Dwan’s desk, Wynter will let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed.
He sighed softly as the mental mention of her name conjured a spectral image of the girl’s face before his eyes…she was smiling, of course, and her amber eyes sparkled with amusement as phantom sparks of eldritch light danced about her head and blew through the waves of burnished copper that was her hair. That smile could never go unreturned as far as the odd mage was concerned and so, after absently pushing a tangled shock of hair from his eyes, he grinned back at the ghostly girl. When he reached out a hand to touch her, though, he realized that her lips were moving…
I believe they’re waiting for you, Jal, she whispered, they want to know about you… where you’re from… what you’re doing here…tell them, my Spellbinder…trust... and tell them…
He blinked as Wynter’s visage faded from his sight and her voice faded from his mind. A sad, some might have said heartbroken, expression ghosted over his features and he withdrew his hand from the empty air where only a moment ago Wynter’s soft, warm cheek had been. “Oh,” he sighed heavily as he nervously withdrew the hand and hid its sigil scarred form within his tattered cloak. The rest were looking at him, now – some expectantly and some with looks of concern or confusion of some sort – and, letting Wynter go again, he offered an uncertain smile as he addressed them.
“I am Jal… Spellbinder,” he offered, “and I come from… from…”
“…from nowhere,” the scruffy mage completed the statement as the long strands of his hair fell back over his features and veiled much of his face from the world again. It was an odd thing to say, he was sure, but wasn’t it true? “Is that right,” he asked, apparently addressing none who physically sat in the chamber. Jal appeared to listen to nothing for a long moment, then with an enthusiastic nod and a bright smile, he regarded the assemblage of adventurers again. “Yes, yes! Jal Spellbinder from nowhere… I’m a… well… I… I have some skill with magic.”
“Thank you, Wynter,” he muttered. Still smiling, the mage returned to his inspection of the room, and spent the next several minutes whispering to himself.
Posted on 2006-10-05 at 13:28:27.
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
Dapple watched the room from her self-appointed place in Arien’s shadow, and stifled a yawn from within the depths of her hood. It had been a fruitless night for the young rogue; even one of Fast Toes’ lads could get bad information, and her night’s take had been a pile of cheap jewelry, paste stones whose scant weight gave away the lie.
Time for honest work, little monster, the acid voice within her mocked, and her stomach twisted. Maybe you won’t fail this time. Dapple’s throat knotted, and it was with restrained violence that she threw herself into a chair at Dwan’s invitation. Candlelight revealed leather clothing of mottled black and grey, bulky layers that gave no hint of the muscles beneath, but allowed free access to the daggers belted on both sides. A black hooded cloak further obscured the small figure, but after the others had spoken, the calloused hands of a fighter pushed back the hood to reveal a squarish face with a stubborn chin. Stony grey eyes glared from beneath pale blond curls, eyebrows and thin lips both drawn straight in cold, unfriendly lines. The snub nose had been broken once, and straightened without the care of a healer, a small bump marring it’s lines.
“Name’s Dapple Moon. Don’t matter where I’m from,” she stated quietly, dead eyes flicked to the odd mage who spoken so nonsensically,” as I live here now. Dwan’s coin spends well, so here I am.”
She looked over to Dwan and noticed with cold humour that Terrin was eyeing her like a hawk. Dwan may have accepted her at face value, but Terrin missed little. She pulled her hood back up and pushed her chair back from the table, regaining what little darkness the candlelit room would spare.
Posted on 2006-10-05 at 18:09:45.
Edited on 2006-10-06 at 07:32:44 by Vanadia
Talas was quiet as he sat and listened to the rest of the introductions, a strange mix indeed. To the ex-gladiator it was clear that a few did know the others and it was himself, the strange mage, and that damned ex-red corp soldier as the semi-outsiders.
A red corpie, god if I did not need the work so bad I would not have any problem walking away. Thrice damned Empire even here they find a way to torment me.
But even though this Valantina or Valatine or whatever he had said his name was, was an ex-red corpie, Talas needed money bad and for the moment would just have to deal with him if not like him.
So keeping his mouth and anger in check he quietly awaited more info from Granitecrusher.
Posted on 2006-10-06 at 08:52:40.
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 65/3 975 Posts
Good to see some action again
When Terrin came knocking on his door with an invitation to Dwan's meeting room or the dining hall as it was better known, Kilgim knew right away he hadn't been called to enjoy some new merriment or a proper dwarven meal. No, this was no social call.
Though there were a number of halls or rooms better suited for important meetings in the fortress of the Iron League, for some reason Lord Granitecrusher liked to hold them in the dining hall. Prolly just wants an excuse to 'ave another good meal today. The ol'fool. The bald dwarf scratched his orange beard and chuckled to himself as he made his way to the dining hall. He knew better than anyone that Dwan Granitecrusher was no fool, but a strong hearted and minded leader with great wisdom and sharp wits. Aye. Kilgim knew his cousin very well indeed.
Me wonders.., he thought as pushed open one of the doors to the hall. And as he did, the slight smile on his face turned into a wide grin. "Arien! Char! Dapple!", the tattooed warrior-priest called out in a very uncharacteristic and happy way as he entered the room and waved a greeting to his good frinds. He was late as always, but fortunately Dwan hadn't started yet.
Aye, should've known. Ol'Dwan still hasn't lost 'is touch. Still grinning like a fool, Kilgim walked to his cousin and took his arm in strong clamp. "Dwan, me cousin, seems to me ye've got some action planned fer us. Good. Me was gettin' bored with nothin' to do. Only as Kilgim took his seat beside the Lord of the Iron League, he really noticed the strangers in the room and the absence of another friend. About to ask Arien about it, he quickly changed his mind as Dwan began the introductions.
"...and I have spoken to each of you individually..." The hell ye 'ave, lad. Guess ye figured me'd be goin' head first into the dragon's den anyways if me ol'friends would. Ye know me too well.
The green-eyed dwarf wiped some sweat from his brow and unconsciously rubbed the blue tattoo of twin axes on his forehead as he listened to the others give their introductions. He couldn't help a chuckle as saw candle light flicker on the bright surface of Arien's armor. The knight seemed to be wearing his platemail everywhere he went. Some things never changed... Just the way he liked it.
Kilgim had left his own armor and gear to his quarters, which wasn't that far away from the dining hall. He'd already figured he'd be going on some mission Dwan had planned for him, but at the same time knew he'd have plenty of time to gather his equipment after the meeting.
Still, he was a dwarf and a warrior, and wen't absolutely nowhere without his namesake weapon - the Blackaxe. It was an powerful axe made of adamantium and bound with magic. As Kilgim listened to the others speak he constantly rubbed the head of Blackaxe and waited for his turn to come.
When it did, Kilgim stood up and cleared his throat. " Greetings to ye all, friend and stranger alike. Me name's Kilgim Blackaxe. As ye may or may not 'ave noticed, there's a sign of Clangeddin engraved on me forehead. Does that make me some sort o'follower? Aye, it does. I'm a warrior in t'body an' a servant o' Silverbeard in me soul."
With another grin he continued: "An' why am I here? Ye can ask that from cousin Dwan, 'cause he never told me." Shrugging Kilgim carried on after a pause: "Me thinks it's because we work well together... That is t'ones o' us who've been workin' together in t'past o'course. Then again, me don't think Dwan would've called in ye three unless he thought ye was good. Right?"
Posted on 2006-10-06 at 12:54:37.
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
Cue the Mission Impossible Music!
"Aye cousin. You are right and I deserved the rebuke. I have come to rely on you over these years that I forget I have to tell you my thoughts. I think you just know them."
Dwan watched the group introduce themselves, looking more for reaction of the others that the speakers themselves. There be some trust issues here, that be sure. Better nip that in the bud quickly.
“Let it be known.” Dwan spoke in his commanding tone that broached no argument, “That all in this room have earned my trust. Be it from saving Sir Antonio, dealing with those Brigands, helping out with the ogre problem, or providing us with key intelligence that we couldn’t have got elsewhere. Suffice it say that I wouldn’t have chosen you if I felt there was any chance of betrayal, so you should view each other in the same light.” Dwan finished his statement and stood up, “Terrin! Get me a drink, please.”
Of course, as he spoke the words, Terrin was already by his side with a drink horn filled. Dwan took the cup and continued, while Terrin quietly left the room. “A few weeks ago, we lost a scout patrol in a region south and east from here. They didn’t return as scheduled and after a few days, we feared the worst. I asked Gwanele to scout the area out using scrying and magic – there be many a beastie in the lands around us and I didn’t want to waste a patrol on a ogre hunt.” Dwan paused to take a drink, “Terrin! Go get Gwanele for me, will you? Terrin?” He looked around the room, “Where did he go?”
Terrin entered the room with a tall woman behind him. She was at least 6 feet in height, with long blonde hair tied up tight in a formal braid, curled and pinned behind her head. Her eyes were of vibrant green, and she was wearing a fanciful white robe, wrapped in many layers firmly around her body. Her beauty however, was marred by the grim expression on her face.
“Dwan.” She nodded to the dwarven leader, “You had need of me.”
“Yes, Gwanele. These are the gentlemen who will be investigating the situation. I thought it would be best if you told them firsthand.”
She nodded and looked around the room. The grimness did not ease from her face, but seemed satisfied she had your attention. She began, “Dwan asked me to look at the lands southeast for possible threats. When I did I found …” She paused and began an incantation. Before you a miniature illusion appeared of a rugged land filled with hills, valleys and wild overgrowth. In the middle of this badlands was an old Keep. The wall around it had crumbled away in places and the forest was close to reclaiming the land. Within the walls, there were two buildings, connected by a single corridor. The main building was a single floor structure with parts of the roof caved in. The other building was tall, at least four storey in height. This building was in better repair, although still suffering the ravages of time. Yet, there were signs of new work here; shutters were intact or new, stonework seemed repaired. At the very top level of the building, there appeared to be new construction as well. The windows were all boarded up with heavy wood planking, and reinforced with steel plates.
“This is what I found. This is an abandoned outpost from the days that the Empire held these lands. When viewing this area through my magic, I spotted four different Imperial soldiers on the grounds. Not your standard grey deserters either, these were Greens – the special forces of the Empire.”
Dwan piped in, “You all know them. Dangerous folk they be! They can kill a man without drawing a weapon, using feet and hands. Their hand-held crossbows are poisoned tip and need only scratch you to put you to sleep.”
“When I attempted to examine the ruins closer,” Gwanele gestured to her illusion, it changed slightly in that the scene went dark and the top level glowed with a green light. In the main building there was another green light, moving around. “This is what I found. Those familiar with magic will recognize this, but for those unschooled in the arts, these are powerful magic signatures. Very powerful indeed! Have no doubt they are evil in nature, though from this distance I could not ascertain more details than that. One of the evils moves from place to place, the other stays in the tower. Of the two, the tower is the most powerful, but the other is not without caution. However, the entire complex is blocked to me otherwise – which means there are mages present in the building. When we see Reds and Greens hiding on our doorsteps, we fear the worst.” Gwanele dismissed her illusion and stepped back so Dwan can speak.
“Your job is to go there, find out what the danger is and eliminate it if possible. If it is beyond your capacity to do so, then you must report back to me so I can send in the troops. There is a possibility that they are deserters, just holding up – but I wouldn’t bet a copper on that. Imperial soldier on my land makes me nervous and I would rather be able to sleep at nights.
“Now we have a layout of the Keep, as it was back when the Empire build them, so we can give you that if it is of benefit to you. We believe that you will find a possible entry point to the basement of the main building. There should be sewer drain that empties some distance from the structure.” He looks around at a few disgusted faces, “It should be over 100 years unused so it may serve as a passage, or it may not.
“You will be compensated for this with 500 durins (Gold Pieces) each for this mission, with 100 made available to you immediately for any personal expenses. If you do not have a horse, one will be provided for you. If you’d like a pack mule for the journey, we can provide that as well, however any horses or mules must be returned after the mission.
The easiest and fastest route to the keep is two days journey by horse, and then you will have to hike and climb another half day to be within sight of the building.”
Gwanele adds. “Each of you will also be given a powerful potion for healing. As well I have made available one potion of invisibility for whoever of your group would benefit the most.”
Dwan nods and finished his drink, “Any questions?”
Posted on 2006-10-09 at 09:17:29.
Edited on 2006-10-09 at 09:18:10 by Alacrity
"I have only one question, who leads us".
With that said Talas awaited the answer to his asked for question.
(OOC: As this Issue was going like crazy back and forth in emails I figured I would bring it out into game play so that it gets settled right in the beginning. Even though we all know who our leader is as players. )
Posted on 2006-10-09 at 18:38:24.
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!
Dapple listened to Dwan, hood turned towards the stocky dwarf, and repressed a snort when he spoke of trust. Trust was a rare coin in Dapple’s purse, and while Dwan, like any dwarf she’d met, had never steered her wrong, she wasn’t about to accept the others on his say so. She’d keep a close eye on them, as she did everyone, until they revealed their true natures.
Gwanelle entered with Terrin and Dapple turned her attention to the mage. While casually used magic still made her uneasy, she could appreciate the value of scouting an area from a distance, and “seeing” with her own eyes was doubly useful. She made note of the available cover surrounding the old keep, already plotting an entrance strategy, when Gwanelle spoke of Imperials…the hated Greens. Part of Dapple still made quiet mental notes, listening dispassionately, while another part recoiled. That part didn’t hear Gwanelle, nor Dwan; the sound of brutish, male laughter, coarse oaths and Sapphirine’s broken weeping filled her ears with a dull roar.
:RAGE! ANGER! FLEE!: Sunset’s whistle of distress pierced Dapple’s downward spiral even as the pseudodragon’s tail tightened painfully around her throat. Dapple gave a choking cough and reached up to her neck, gently disentangling the now visible dragonet from her shoulders. She patted the trembling grey creature, calming her own racing mind with her mantra of unbeing I am nothing, I feel nothing, I am nothing, I feel nothing…
“Sorry,” she rasped drily, coiling Sunset around her arm and looking to the big gladiator, whom she’d nearly interrupted. “Sunset here likes Imperial thugs as much as I do - no offense intended to present company, “she added sardonically with a glance to Valentine. Her tone made it clear that Valentine’s sensibilities mattered little.
“I’m not one for leaders, but I’ll take reasonable suggestions from someone who understands strategy and what we are up against. Speaking of which,” she whirled back to Dwan and Gwanelle,” why the hell aren’t you simply sending in the troops? Reds and Greens don’t just decide to desert together. If they are working together, someone’s ordering them.”
Posted on 2006-10-09 at 19:04:43.
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3787 Posts
Ah, The Little Dragon Rears Her Ugly Head
So tha’s where th’ li’l beastie be…
“Da’Moon speak true,” Char had also catalogued the landscape, though his distrust of magic went only so far as it was being used against him. “Th’ Empire’s own donna be simple hiders in da bush, no’ like a bushel day be.”
The ranger shifted so that he was no longer reclining in the chair, but instead leaning forward and pushing his unruly hair from his face. “I be in’rested in knowin’ th’ way th’ brook does tumble as well, Lor’ Dwan.”
He purposefully neglected to put in his two bits as to who should lead, for in his mind each had their part to play and when they went into the Wilds… well, it was like Eftari used to say, ”If’n they don’t follow, lad, then it be their own damn fault should they get lost.”