Alloryn wakes up in complete darkness. She can remember being chased, and being captured but she doesn’t know how she got here. She tries to move and finds that she is not bound, but then realizes that there is a metal collar around her neck. Also, she isn’t wearing her clothing anymore, but has been changed into some sort of uniform.
Trying to summon mana to create some light brings terrible pain to her head, overwhelmingly so. She knows what she is wearing now - one of those collars used by the empire to control mages. This is a nightmare to Alloryn for these collars essentially put whoever has a certain ring in control of her magic. In fact, if used with other forms of manipulative magic, it can turn her into a will-less slave of the master ring wearer.
The room is spartan. There is the bed you lie upon. All the windows are boarded and nailed shut from the outside. The walls have no doors but there is a door in the floor – which is locked from the other side. She is trapped.
There is one other thing in the room. A sword. A sword lies on the floor, near the bed. As Alloryn approaches it, the collar sends waves of pleasure through her body. No doubt to touch it or hold it would be sheer ecstasy. But is that what her captives want? Why would they leave a sword for her to defend herself? Did they expect her to take her own life? Why not just kill her themselves?
Mysteries contemplated in the dark.
But Alloryen was not one to sit idly by and flounder. Reaching forth and feeling the pleasure running tendrils down her back, she knew all too well what it could be. A trap. A terrible and horrible trap. With her magics, she may have sensed it, worked against it, perhaps even bent it to her will. But without her sense and strength, she would be become bonded. Her fingers almost laid upon the hilt before she snatched them back, rubbing them in some phantom pain, wishing it was pain she felt.
What does it want? And why this collar? The empire's wares..in the hands of this demonic lord? This does not make sense in the least! Unless... Some memories flashed to her mind. Of the lady Gwanele...of Antonio...of the dreams. She felt choked knowing it was only a matter of time until her fate was learned. Do they wish to use me? Twist me into one of their own for some purpose of war? That sword would never let me kill myself. Yet...why? Turning her back on the sword, pulling vainly at her collar, she did yet again the one thing she hated above all things.
"What would you do mother?" She had to escape, had to find a way. Biting into her lip until it bled, she reached to the bedding. Yanking away the blanket from the matress, she wound it up to throw over the sword. With her booted foot, she shoved the blanketed blade as far away as she could.
"Consider where you are. So if the door is on the floor, and windows boarded, I am up high. Which means a ladder is below. It must have some form of latch." Laying on the floor, she tried to check every board. If there is space to peer between, she fought for it. With care, she checked the latches and boards of the trapdoor. She did not expect to find a way out from there just yet.
If the floor proved worthless, Alloryen had other thoughts. Of covering the trap door with the bed, searching the ceiling. If nothing above proved out, then time to check the window.
Time, she knew it was not on her side, but she had to try. "I have escaped my own home many a time. I should be able to do this. Hmm...perhaps I can get a nail or two free. Does this uniform have a buckle..." All the while, she tried to ignore her itching fingers.
Posted on 2006-11-20 at 12:57:50.
Edited on 2006-11-20 at 13:01:44 by Yanamari
Raven Resident Finn RDI Staff Karma: 65/3 975 Posts
For a moment there, the situation looked really bad. Kilgim could see from Jal's pain-distorted face that his prayer of healing would not come in time to save the man. As the stout cleric launched himself into a desperate rush to reach the magician, Jal used last bits of his strength and managed pull out a potion before falling into the darkness.
Fortunately for the mage, Kilgim was close enough to catch the priceless vial of healing before it hit the ground. Fortunately in more sense than one. Had it been someone else but a trained healer, Jal might have ended up healing just enough to keep breathing and only end up drowning in the potent liquid poured down his throat to quickly. Using the magical drink was also faster than summoning the needed power for a healing spell, especially when the dwarf was already holding it in his hand.
Magical healing is wondrous process, especially the pace it takes effect with. And Jal was strong in heart and mind too. For someone else it would have been impossible to back from death's door so quickly and gather enough strength and power to cast yet another spell. And that was fortunate too - this time for the the sorcerer's savior. For knowing the urgency of the human's need for help, the red-bearded dwarf had abandoned all care and left himself fully open to the mantis warrior's attack.
Then as suddenly as it had begun, the fight was over. Kilgim turned his attention from Jal enough to nod his thanks to Arien, who had in minutes turned from the knight in shining armor into a grisly sight with all the blood and guts sprayed all over him. The cleric couldn't help a grimace of pain as he as he turned back to face Jal and thank the mage. The acid was still working its way through his skin and tissue and would do so until he took care of it.
Still there were more urgent matters to be tackled than his own condition. The acid was not lethal, at least not yet. His friends were more in need of Clangeddin's blessings. With a heavy sigh not aimed at Talas, Kilgim smiled at the mighty gladiator as he approached the two of them with another potion of healing. “You come to my rescue, as well, friend Talas?” Jal smiled sheepishly, lifting a hand to indicate that the big gladiator should save his potion for a more urgent time; “We can tend to healing soon enough. I think that, now, rest would be as effective as a potion.”
Kilgim gave Talas a nod too. "Aye, the lad's right. Save yer potion fer more dire a need. Me spells should be enough t' take care o' our friends fer now." The bald cleric took a measuring look at his companions to judge who needed healing and how much. It was not an easy task to do, but luckily his tutors had taught him how to do it and how pray for lesser amounts of Clangeddin's power to cure minor wounds when needed.
Jal would still be needing his attention, that was for sure. The potion had done its job very well indeed, but it had not been enough to mend the body completely and revitalize the mage. Unfortunately that was not all the damage the group had taken. Despite the smile on the girlish features of the boy's face, it saddened Kilgim to see Dapple in such a shape. Though he put up a brave apperance, the kid was not in a good condition either.
Then there was the ranger as well. It didn't really surprise Kilgim that Char was badly hurt too. Not because he thought the man unable to defend himself, quite on the contrary. But because Char seemed to share Arien's mindset in a way. He too rushed into combat trying to keep his friends from harm at any cost. The dwarf was glad to be surrounded by such good men. He'd seen far far worse ones in his life before.
Trying to concentrate on the prayer of curing, the dwarf found himself unable to push the burning pain out of his mind. The acid had already done a nasty work trying to make its way through skin, muscle and bone. No matter how much he wanted to help out the others first, Kilgim wasn't able to. His mind was strong as anyone's, but the agony was getting too much to bear. The tattoeed cleric faced a dilemma. He might be able to bite his teeth enough to manage a simple spell of healing to relieve his own pain, but then he'd have less energy to help his friends.
As it often was, the answer was standing right in front of him or in fact presented to him by the mountain of a man, Talas. "Say, laddie. Would ye care to lend me a 'and an' some of yer potion? Seems t' me, that me'll need some 'ealin' first meself before takin' care o' our friends 'ere. Now if ye'd be so kind an' 'help this armor off me, please."
The potion should do the trick, Kilgim figured. After the gladiator had helped him remove the chain mail and breastplate, he emptied a waterskin on the wound on his left shoulder to wash away most of the Ankheg's acid. Then he nodded to Talas. "Now, if ye could slowly pour some o' the potion on the wound. Not all mind ye, but perhaps a third or so. Only enough fer it t' start healin''..."
When the exhausting process of praying and healing was finally over, Kilgim turned his attention to the brothers. His first spell had done the trick and the dwarf was glad to see the children unharmed though visibly shaken from the attack of the strange creatures. The battle-hardened priest gave them a wave and something which could be interpreted as a smile and took a few steps to stand beside one of the mantis warriors. The look on his face turned grim once more as he dropped on one knee and poked the Thri-kreen with a mailed fist.
Kilgim Blackaxe shook his head in silence, stood up and cleared his throat to catch everyone's attention. "Creatures like these 'ave never ventured this far north before. At least stories o' such on Iron League lands 'ave never reached me ears nor Dwan's me thinks. To me knowledge, Ankhegs an' Thri-kreen should be tryin' t' find their meals in the lands far south from 'ere on another continent. The weather's too cold fer them in 'ere... We need t' get a word t' Dwan and soon, but we can't use the pigeon."
Rubbing the twin-axe tattoo on his brow, Kilgim's green eyes settled on the brothers. "Young laddies. Me thinks meself and the Iron League are in need o' yer 'elp. Would ye be willin' t' carry a letter t' me cousin Dwan - the leader o' the League an' ruler o' the mighty Freegate? Ye'd be paid well o' course. Dwan might even be able t' arrange yeselves a place t' live an' even some work. How'd that sound t' ye?"
Waiting for their answer, Kilgim did his best to smile warmly though he knew he might be sending the kids into the lion's den. Dwan would probably be able to help them in return for their services, but Freegate had its dangers. Ain't the best solution, but seems t' me it's the only option we've got., he thought and started rummaging through his backpack for this writing equipment. EDIT: Darn, knew I forgot something. The spells: 1 CLW for Jal, Dapple and Char each. Then the last 2 to who need it the most, which I'd imagine are Char and Dapple? Or since the ranger downed a potion, then Dapple and someone else?
Posted on 2006-11-21 at 07:35:27.
Edited on 2006-11-22 at 03:42:33 by Raven
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3792 Posts
Helping restore Da full Moon
The burly ranger closed his eyes to fend off the stinging, throbbing pain from his wounds. He stood over the corpse of the creature he’d just killed, his magnificent, strangely curved swords dripping with the ichors torn from the interior of the bug’s carapace. He’d just caught Dapple’s acrobatic execution of the last stand—leaping—thri-kreen and Char took advantage of the moments following to compose himself. He’d taken worse in his lifetime, but it never made the fresh ones any easier. Taking a deep breath, he heard his companions murmuring some paces away and knew they were about the business of cleaning up the mess they’d just caused. Tucking his magical blade underneath his right arm, completely ignoring the gore still on the weapon, the ranger slipped his left hand into his belt pouch and fumbled around for one of the three potions that he’d been keeping for some time. Finding the vial he lifted it to his lips, used his teeth to uncork the thing, and then drank the sweet liquid slowly, allowing it to tumble across his tongue. He felt the healing effects take root immediately and didn’t move for a couple of seconds but to drop his hand to his side and enjoy the tingling flow. It may not have been enough to fully heal, but it was all he’d allow himself for the time.
Replacing the empty vial to his pouch, the ranger returned his attention to his companions. There’d be a need for sentries to keep an eye on things while others dealt with the dirty task of searching the dead and dealing with the wounded. The healing potion had been necessary to prepare himself in case that was the first wave. Taking his sword in hand once more, Char wiped the blades clean in turn on his cloak hem, then rolled the hem in the dirt and brushed it as “clean” as he could with quick, determined strokes. Rising up once more, the ranger surveyed the rest of the group, having missed the ruthless coup de grace Talas had given to one foe and hearing Valentine’s advice Char tilted his head slightly as he walked over to where Dapple searched a body. He wondered if such creatures could speak the common tongue. Were their “mouths” capable of making the sounds?
As the ranger reached the rogue’s side, he slipped his swords back in their sheathes and fished out another healing potion. He’d seen Da’ Moon take a few hits and having felt the bite of those polearms himself, he knew she must be going through some serious mental exercises to keep her injuries hidden as well as she was. Standing next to her, he casually peered down at where the others had gathered and tapped her shoulder with the vial.
“If’n yer t’ keep up da act, dis’ll ‘elp make it easier.” He didn’t know if she had potions of her own, he didn’t care. He did know that Da’ Moon still chose to keep her gender secret and he considered her a friend. As such, he’d help her keep as much attention off of her as possible. All the while his crystal blue eyes continued to scan their surroundings, making sure that they wouldn’t be ambushed in such a fashion again. He’d learned something that day about battling these bugs. Something he wasn’t likely to forget anytime soon.
Posted on 2006-11-21 at 19:56:06.
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 346/54 6053 Posts
With the last of the cretures dead or disabled, and the most urgent of the party's wounded tended to, Arien finally alowed himself several moments of uncontrolled shuddering as an outlet to the revulsion he felt with the ichor spattered on both his armor and his exposed skin. Ruefully, he mused that it would take quite a bit of polishing to get the enchanted metal clean, and the material staining it didn't help matters any... but it couldn't be helped. That would be a task for when they made camp, however; for now, there were more pressing matters.
When Talas slew one of the disabled monsters, Arien made no move to stay his hand. There was talk of communication with the mantis mage, and while the creature was obviously intelligent, Arien sincerely doubted that it had the capacity or desire to communicate with humans - and that was assuming that it could somehow speak an understandable tounge, which he doubted almost as much. Still, there was no harm in letting them try, the knight supposed.
The wounded mage seemed almost frantic for a moment as he stares at things no one else can see. Arien considered that the mage was possibly mad, but he had been an effective comrade, and had known about the boys' ambush. No, more likely the man had some sort of second sight. The knight decided that if that were in fact the case, the odd conversation with the air was perfectly reasonable.
After confirming that the boys were uninjured, the knight checked with his comrades. He had been personally lucky; his companions had, for the most part, not shared his fortune, and the knight whispered a quick prayer of gratitude to Heironeous.
"Let us conclude our business here quickly, my friends," Arien spoke. "I would be loathe to linger here, lest our battle attract more of these creatures." Provided no one objects, he continued. "Once we are fit enough, we should escort the boys to their home, so that they may collect what they need. Once that is done, Kilgim's excellent proposal of Freegate seems like the best choice of action for you four." his eyes narrowed. "And see to it that you stay out of trouble!" he ordered. "The gods have given you a second chance - use it wisely."
Having no need of medical attention, Arien will assume a defenive position, and keep an eye out for any further threats.
Posted on 2006-11-22 at 00:02:36.
Edited on 2006-11-22 at 00:03:43 by t_catt11
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3792 Posts
Whether Dapple accepts the potion or not.
Char heard the words of his companions and after Arian had given direction he frowned a bit. It was possible that this band of bugs were, as Kilgrim had said, far from their domain. He knew enough of the ankheg to know this to be the case, but what were the chances that they were the only ones? The boys had, after all, said that they'd been attacked at their homestead and that's where their father met his end.
Ignoring Spellbinder's strange mutterings and distracted actions was something Char felt he'd never become used to. The very actions that the man took were disturbing to the natural order of things as far as the ranger was concerned. So, he focused on those that he knew as he addressed the party.
"Thar be a couple o' tings I tink we should be tinking o' den." Char took a couple of steps away from Dapple and scanned the horizon for Northwind. "Should we go t' da lad's farm, der should be silen' an' stealthy recon perform'd 'fore we all go dancin' along da edge. An' der be no reason da lads 'afta return t' da place der pa was slain. I say should da area be safe, a selec' few o' us go in, see t' da burial o' the lad's pa, grab der provisions, an' den deliver a rou' fer da lads t' ge' t' Freegate followin' Kilgrim's suggestion.
"Wha'e'er da decision, we move dis party t' rockier groun' soon."
Posted on 2006-11-22 at 00:23:53.
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
"woof" "with passing hand gesture
The battle is over and as far as you are concerned, the good guys won. The bug brigade is safely dispatched and you have all made it out alive. Now for the clean up.
Kilgim uses his divine magic to soothe the wounds of Char and Jal. He offers his aid to Dapple who merely shakes her head and walks away. The same reaction she has to Char’s offer of a potion. She chooses to use her own with no help from others. The dwarf shrugs at Dapple’s refusal – knowing she had always been a reclusive type. He uses his magic twice on Jal, bringing him back to full health. The other two blessings are used on Talas and himself, bringing everyone back to fighting ready. Talas checks on his horse, who is hurt but the spell of the mantis has wore off at least. Talas feeds to his horse the potion of healing – although magical healing is not as effective on animals, it does seem to help poor Magma.
Adrian holds the Mantis mage hostage to question it. It chitters away madly at its captives until the magic spell is used. Even then, it doesn’t help much. The mage struggles to get free, crying out at its captive.
“Trifles, trifles, light as air! We have questering for the lady. Lonely took the lady, but we construct our own uncivilization and exclusified anykind. We can not disrecall the paindemonium of the assassatoir and the untellable things that follow. Yet the lady calls.
“We are called by the lady. Venturing desperoically forth into unfathomed fathoms. Group veripick to assumove the Lady. Trifles, trifles, light as air.”
Beyond that, the creature makes no sense. Once the end of its usefulness and your patience is reached, one of you quickly dispatched the creature. (ooc: If you want something more, let me know but he ain’t making much sense)
Dapple goes over the bodies but finds nothing really of interest. Their armour is great, if you are a bug. Their weapons are made for small hands and four of them. They have no valuables beyond that with is on the mage. He has a magic staff which paralyzed Talas’ horse. He also bears a necklace that looks like a compass. Only it doesn’t point north, it points in the southeast. (who is taking these?)
Luckily, the Ankhegs have provided you with somewhere to dispose of the bodies quickly. The hole is already dug for you so tossing their remains within is an easy task. But the Ankhegs are too big and heavy to move, plus, their armour is highly valued. In his letter to Dwan, Kilgim mentioned the ankhegs remains and that the finders fee for the shells should be given to the boys. (100 gp each shell)
The route to the boys’ farm is in the direction you would be going, and the farmstead is not far from where they had fled. The building is destroyed, but they do manage to find some of their possessions and parts of their father to bury.
The mission weighs on your minds, and you don’t want to lose a day escorting the boys back. Jal, in that eerie knowing way, claims that the threat from the bugs is gone. Although many of you are beginning to suspect as to where Jal’s knowledge comes from, others are not so sure. In the end, Phil makes the decision for the boys to go to Freegate with Kilgim’s letter and that it is a journey they will make alone. As much as he appreciates the offer, it is important to him that they stand on their own. Besides, it is less than a half day away from the city, and not that far from areas of rocky lands. You stay along enough to help bury their father, and then you part company. Some of you give the boys some coin to get them started, others merely watch them leave.
It is now mid-afternoon, and you put must speed to your horses in order to gain some of the time you have lost. Talas chooses not to ride Magma out of fear of injuring him further, so he runs on foot. No doubt, the Gladiator has magic aiding him, for he keeps up the pace with the horses quite well. The battle has warmed some of you to each other, and friendships are born anew.
It is just as sun is going down that you reach a Waymeet – those structures built by the Iron League as shelter and defense for road travelers. It on is a large stone building, 20 wide and 60 long, some distance from the pathway. There is a stable area on one side, roofed with pens, but also with shuttered windows so you can keep an eye on your animals. Reinforced oak doors are on either of the short ends of the building. The door squeaks loudly when you open it, giving a sign of its lack of use. Inside, there is a single room with a large fireplace/cooking hearth in the centre. A well with a pump is in the corner, which is still operational, although noisy at first. Usually this place would be stocked with firewood and oats by the lord of the land – but since there is none, the supply bins are empty. It is shelter, it has a stone floor, a roof and that is most welcome. There is just enough light left in the day to hunt if anyone is inclined to a hot meal.
OOC: Potion use:
Talas - 1 potion gone (to heal horse)
Dapple – 1/3 of a potion gone
Char - 2/3 of a potion gone
Adrian – 2 point (Armour, Colour Spray)
Jal – 9 points ( Colour Spray, Magic Missile X2, C. Languages, 5 point loss due to unconsciousness)
Posted on 2006-11-22 at 12:08:19.
Edited on 2006-11-22 at 12:25:10 by Alacrity
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
Aftermath and looking ahead
The first bug revealed little of interest to Dapple’s search, but she hadn’t really expected much. No sign yet that they had been sent by a force other than their own urges, but that meant nothing. She muttered a reminder to herself that she felt nothing (her leg protesting otherwise), pocketed the odd trinkets and moved to the next downed creature.
She noted Char’s approach but didn’t let that distract her. At the tap on her shoulder, though, she flinched away, a reflexive action like a horse shuddering to dislodge a fly. She looked up sharply at his whispered words, and a flash of … (surprise? Concern? Fear?) flickered over her face before her expression closed shut again.
“Save it, Char, it will be needed later,” she rasped back quietly, rising from her crouch and moving a few steps to the side. “But, “she continued, looking away as if the words cost her,”thanks.”
Kilgim’s offer fared no better, with a simple shake of the head and the statement that the fighters needed their strength more than she did. “Rest is all I need, perhaps the gods will bless us with some tonight,” she lied evenly.
She used the distraction of the mage interrogation to slip one of her own potions out and take a few sparing sips, enough to ease the stinging ache from sundered flesh. I am nothing, I feel nothing, I am nothing, I feel nothing…. Words and potion washed away the tension, and she blinked quickly to fight the natural sleepy reaction to healing.
She watched with detachment as the party fussed over seeing the boys safely off to Freegate. She considered how to get word to Fast Toes to watch over the lads, but then concluded that there was little point: her influence in the underworld of Freegate was still too slight.
Getting soft, little monster? Let your guard down and they’ll betray you, like everyone else… you made your own way in a meaner world than they face, and no-one stretched a hand to help you. Let them find their strength, or fail on their own !
Tasting ashes on her tongue, Dapple slipped away to retrieve her horse, finding Char’s easily enough on the way.
The ride to the waymeet passes quickly enough, with Dapple wrapped in her cloak and keeping her own counsel. She stables her horse with quick efficient movements, taking care of its needs without treating the beast like a pet. When discussion of the evening’s plans are raised, she states quietly that she will gather firewood, having no skill at hunting (and fully expecting Char would volunteer anyway).
Posted on 2006-11-22 at 18:38:26.
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3792 Posts
While the others interrogated the creature, Char took Northwind and made for higher ground. He was more interested in getting a more magnified knowledge of the lay of the land than he was in finding out why the creatures were so far away from their homeland. He had already surmised that there would be little chance of communicating with them, but had never counted on one of the mages having access to Comprehend Languages; a spell he was entirely unfamiliar with. So, having accepted Kilgim’s healing and using a little from his own potion to top him off, the ranger mounted his war horse and took the stallion for a little gallop. His eyes were constantly at work, piercing the shadows of rocky outcroppings, filtering the patterns of the leaves; he hated the fact that they’d been ambushed, especially when they were the ones who had tried to establish an ambush to thwart another ambush…
With the lay of the land better surveyed, Char returned to where the rest of his party was already at work dumping the bodies of the thri-kreen into the holes their ankheg companions had so handily made ready for them. Dismounting, he quickly looked about for the thri-kreen mage, frowning at the absence of the creature, but choosing to remain quiet. The ranger helped clean the area, fully aware that the remains of the creatures would attract scavengers and that would make the road more deadly for those who came behind them. He continued to remain aloof, riding ahead of the party after having received directions from the boy’s they’d just saved, and leading the others to the farmstead. Once there, he found purchase on the roof and with bow in hand watched for any sign of trouble while the others went about their business. When all was said and done, the ranger watched the lad’s departure from his perch before returning to the ground and mounting Northwind once more, intent on leading the party to the waymeet. Again, he remained quiet, internally processing what had occurred and who likely had murdered the creature. It mattered not to him that the thri-kreen had attacked them, or that it was alien in its appearance. It was a living creature and Nature had obviously not discarded it from Her bosom, so it should be given the respect any living creature deserved and someone in the party had killed it out of hand. As night began to purple the horizon, the ranger had concluded that if he allowed the thoughts to fester in his mind it would eventually poison him as a carcass in standing water destroyed the purity of it.
As he approached the waymeet, he dismounted Northwind and gave the command to stay, then proceeded on foot, quietly and using the natural shadows of the land to make sure he remained unnoticed should anyone be present. He held his magical bow in hand, an arrow to the string, but after making the rounds and popping into the structure with string drawn to cheek, he relaxed and returned his arrow to quiver, whistling for Northwind. He met the others and quickly, but simply, confirmed that they were alone, before leading his horse into the stable and tending to his needs. Once finished, the ranger snags his bow, slings his quiver once again, and confirms everyone’s suspicion that he was going to go hunting, heading off into the woods at once.
(OOC: Successful or not…)
Upon returning to the waymeet, Char shared a quiet meal with his companions at the conclusion of which he rose, fastened his cloak about his neck and slung his quiver once more from his shoulder.
“I’ll be on da roof, takin’ watch,” was all he said as he made his way to the door, making sure that the path he took did not put him within proximity with Jal. The Spellbinder still set his skin crawling. Thar’s somet’ing unnatural ‘bout dat one, Char-lad. Climbing to the thatched roof, the ranger finds a place to settle that allows him a good view all about with minimal movement and attempts to blend in with the shadows as much as he could so that he’d be the one to see the approach, but not necessarily be seen out of hand. His intention is to remain there throughout the night, sleeping lightly as one in his profession is used to doing, so that his companions may rest in peace.
(OOC: I’ve marked the potion use on my character sheet… Char has no need of either item found on the wizard thri-kreen).
Talas reached the side of Jal only to find the dwarf Kilgim had reached him first. Upon Kilgim’s request for a drink of his Healing potion the ex-gladiator hesitated not one minute in turning it over to him.
With a drink taken and Kilgim able to heal once more, the remains of the potion returned, Talas saw that his new friend Jal seemed to be in good hands and as such did move to check on Magma. With the remaining 2 doses of the Healing Potion poured down the horse’s mouth and Magma though not fully healed yet better then before, Talas did make his way over to where the rest of the party was questioning the bug mage.
In a few moments it became clear to the ex-pit fighter that nothing useful was to be gained from the bug mage and when it became apparent that no one was sure of what to do with it, that Talas strode forward and in a quick motion drew Serenity from its sheath and in one strike lopped off its head as not to see it suffer.
Turning to the others to await their reaction he did then asked.
"So what now do we continue or take the boys to Freegate."
For the next few moments the discussion on the childrens fate is talked about. Jal, in that almost scary eerie way of his, claims that the threat from the bugs is gone.
In the end, Phil makes the decision for the boys to go to Freegate with Kilgim’s letter and that it is a journey they will make alone. With a number of coins freely given by all, the boys are set on their way, their father buried and at peace.
As it was that they still had some way to go this day and Talas himself fearing Magma’s health decides not to ride Magma further, so he runs on foot. With the magic of his boots of Speed aiding him, he easily keeps up the pace with the horses quite well.
It is just as sun is going down that they finally reach the Waymeet – A series of structures built by the Iron League as shelter and defense for road travelers. Before the party of 7 is a large stone building, 20 wide and 60 long with a stable area on one side, roofed with pens, but also with shuttered windows as to allow a close eye on the animals. Reinforced oak doors are on either of the short ends of the building meet them as they move forward and as the door is opened a loud squeak tells of a long time between uses.
Inside, there is a single room with a large fireplace cooking hearth in the center.
A well with a still working pump is in the corner. As with door the there are yet more signs that this Waymeet has not been used in some time as the supply bins are empty. But for now no matter the state of it, it is shelter, with a most welcome roof.
For this night the 7 will call this place home till once again they depart with the coming of dawn....
(OK AL On my character sheet I do not have any Potions Of Healing listed but I think you gave us each two correct not sure at the moment thanks)
Posted on 2006-11-25 at 18:15:07.
Edited on 2006-11-25 at 18:17:33 by TannTalas
Jal’s weary gaze also panned the surrounding landscape in search of the missing horses – the way he felt right now, the very thought of having to walk more than a few yards exhausted him. Despite that, though, the mage was eager to be away from this place and, if it came to it, he would force himself to walk the entire way to the keep to do so. The talk among the party now was of interrogating the thri-kreen mage, sending the boys on their way to Freegate, and, thankfully, moving the party to safer ground… Jal was in favor of at least two of the three.
If it had wanted to talk to us, Wynter suggested even as Spellbinder glanced in the direction of the bug still pinned under Valentine’s boot, I don’t suppose it would have attacked first, my love.
“No, Wynter,” he whispered as he approached the others gathering around the bug and called to mind a formula to make the thri-kreen’s speech understandable, “perhaps not…”
The interrogation had not gone well. The thri-kreen wizard seemed to gibber little more than nonsense – though Wynter reminded him that nonsense was often used to mask other, more important information and he would be wise to keep the bug’s words fresh in his memory – and, when all was said and done, Talas had dispatched the creature with a quick stroke of his blade. With that done, the others all made ready to escort the boys back to their homestead, tend to Charles’ burial, and send the brothers on their way to Freegate… Jal, however, found himself wondering about the thri-kreen’s staff and, before seeking out his own horse and joining his compatriots, stooped to retrieve the thing. As his fingers closed around the staff, the urchin-mage also noticed the strange, compass like amulet that had once hung around the bug’s neck. “Plenty of time to study both of these later,” he yawned, spying the mist-gray mare near the forest’s edge. Slipping the amulet into his pouch and clutching a staff in each hand, Jal retrieved the horse and joined up with the rest as they set out for the boys’ homestead. Soon after, with Charles’ body committed to the earth, his sons provisioned, endowed with a letter from Kilgim (and a sum of coin contributed by the entire party), and sent on their way to Freegate, Char lead their own party onward in the other direction.
The sun was beginning to set when they reached the waymeet and, though he had nodded off in the saddle once or twice between the farmstead and here, Jal was still tired and very grateful for what appeared to be a safe place to spend the night. After the horses were stabled and tended to, each member of the party set about tending to the duties of the camp. Char, who seemed to make certain to avoid Jal as much as possible, had slipped off into the woods to hunt for dinner. Dapple had disappeared at some point and returned just as silently bearing an armload of firewood. Everyone, it seemed, knew what their part was in the pitching of camp except for Jal. He offered to assist where he could, of course – he could at least get the fire going on the hearth, if nothing else – but otherwise, stayed out of the way of those who seemed more keen on how these things should be done.
You still need rest, my spellbinder...
((OOC: Jal will help with the camp where he can, of course, but I imagine that he’ll seek out a quiet corner and much of his time will be spent resting, studying/examining the staff and amulet recovered from the thri-kreen mage – use of an identify spell, here, if necessary – and, possibly chattering quietly with Wynter if the others seem content to “leave the odd little mage be”… He will reply if spoken to, however, but he is very wrapped up in his thoughts about those "dark hands" that were reaching for Wynter and figuring out the bug-mage's gear... ))
Adrian, much like the others, held little hope for anything productive to come from the interrogation. But, it was worth the attempt, especially because certain members of the group found it appropriate to put their paws on seemingly everything not nailed to their foes' corpses.
Valentine lifted his foot from the throat it rested on, leaving only a few seconds for Talas to swing his sword, dealing a fatal blow. Jal scooped up the bug-mage's gear. He'll figure it out Adrian thought. Of course he could have identified it, but let Spellbinder waste his mana. Adrian had to worry about dinner.
When they do finally arrive at their place for the night, it is about what was expected. A roof... and well that was about it.
For the first time, Adrian relaxed. He set his backpack down, and loosened the rope around the top. If anyone was watching, they would see the sack rustle a bit before the head of a tiny rodent popped out the top.
Noting a few glances, the former Red introduces the miniature chipmunk as his pet. "This is Killer. He mostly sleeps in my pack, but has his moments."
When the subject of dinner came up, everyone volunteered a task. Still not quite interested in being a part of the group, Adrian decided instead to take his empty clay bowl and place it in front of him. He pulled a mystic looking studded spoon from his pack and placed it in the bowl. Within moments it was filled with an oatmeal-esque gruel. Adrian seemed content to simply munch on it, speaking when spoken to or when he notices his magic can be of assistance (such as starting the fire).
Killer also seems happy to take a mouthful of the gruel, but soon after decides it better to scamper off and look for something more organic.
"He'll be back..." Adrian muttered to nobody in particular.
Posted on 2006-11-27 at 13:23:45.
Edited on 2006-11-30 at 19:31:44 by Admiral
t_catt11 Fun is Mandatory RDI Staff Karma: 346/54 6053 Posts
rooming with a Killer...
With the boys safely dealt with, Arien can turn his thoughts back to the mission at hand. He does find that killing the mantis mage weighs heavier on his mind than he might have guessed... the thing was, after all, intelligent. But what is done is done, and there is no use dwelling on a somewhat ignoble end to a noble quest. The boys are safe, that's all that really matters.
Eventually, the waymeet is reached. The knight finds these simple accomadations to be as wonderful as the finest feather bed in some nobleman's home - after all, he is on the road with trusted companions in a quest to remove a threat of evil. What more can he ask for?
The mood of the party is more somber than Arien might have expected, but then, many of them are injured and tired. Adrien introduces his comapnion - a familiar, Ally used to call them - and the mismatched name cannot help but cause the knight to smile. Once the creature leaves to forage, Arien turns to his tasks.
Nauraly, the knight will care for Winston first of all; the horse was cerainly invaluable in the day's scuffle. Next, he will eat, and finally, he will spend a great deal of time cleaning and polishing his armor. He will gladly stand any watch, knwing full well that spellcasters need their rest, and that he himself is hale and hearty, and well able to watch over his sleeping companions.
Posted on 2006-11-29 at 11:33:58.
Alacrity The Tired RDI Staff Karma: 291/33 6219 Posts
This night, the knight, all is not alright.
You settle into the Waymeet. Char goes hunting for food while the others prepare for the night. A fire is lit, firewood gathered, water is brought up though the squeaky well and all of you have a chance to wash the ick, goo, guts and road dirt of yourselves.
Sunset, the pseudo-dragon returns to your group, now that the danger has passed, and that now familiar craving for spicy sausages returns with her. There is a brief tense moment, when Sunset sees Killer, and the ancestral urge to hunt comes to the drake, but years of abuse and living off scraps has made Sunset a meek hunter at best. A quick but loud discourse from Killer is more than enough to scare her off to hide within the cloak of Dapple, giving off vibes of spicy sausage neediness so powerful that you all have to avoid her for an hour.
The ranger returns just as it is getting dark with four good size grouse that he has caught. The birds are cleaned, put over the fire to cook, some spices and herbs offered from Jal, and soon the smell of the meat is making all your mouths water.
There is quietness to the group. You have spent your first day together and already meet a foe quite powerful, and with a foreboding danger. Why are they here? What were they looking for? What or who was “the Lady” the mage had spoken of? Dinner is prepared and eaten with minimal conversation. (DM’s note – feel free to back post after dinner conversation)
Jal looks over the Staff and amulet of the mantis. Close to the end of the day, and feeling very curious, he uses his magic to identify the items. The staff of similar to a wand of Paralyzation, and retains some charges. However, there is no way a human mouth could pronounce the command words to active it. The amulet is another matter. The magic is vague, alien to Jal. It is made to find a source of magical power – which is the direction you are heading. Beyond pointing in the direction of the power, it has no other properties.
Char offers to take the watch for the night, to let all rest and takes position on the roof of the Waymeet – the best place to spot any danger. The rest of you get the feeling that Char wants to have the time alone, so take advantage of the offer.
Char spends a quiet evening on the roof keeping watch. No dangers occur during the evening from without. Later, Sunset joins him, curls up between his crossed legs and shares some mental imagery of mean squirrels, warm places to stay and really spicy sausages.
But not all passes well in the evening.
Arien is shining his armour. The ick and goo is all over it and it seems to withstand the toughest of polishes. As he scrubs, he sees a reflection in his shield – His sister Alloryn standing at the door. Arien turns surprise to see she is not there. Ignoring polish and armour, he steps around his sleeping companion to run outside to look for his sister.
It is dark outside. Very dark. Almost too dark. He is blinded by the saturation of the night, but he knows he saw his sister here. He looks around then turns back to the Waymeet to grab a stick from the fire.
But the Waymeet is gone. The building, his friends, his sword and armour are all gone. It is pitch black and he can not see where he is going. He struggles with the buckles on his Imperial uniform, hoping they can be used as a weapon or a way out of the darkness. But why am I wearing an Imperial Uniform?
There is a flash of red light from beneath Arien’s feet. Its sheer intensity blinds the knight for a moment, and then he perceives what is below him. A vast hole in the ground has opened, and from deep within demonic creatures are crawling upwards. But below them is Alloryn, being dragged downward by something – Arien can’t see its face, just that is has an immensely large green arm with six claw like fingers. A deep voice laughs at Arien from below.
“She’s mine now Knightling!”
Arien awakes with a start. He is in the Waymeet, it is late and his companions sleep all around him. It was just a dream, but he is sweating and all tensed up. Any chance for more sleep coming to Arien is now gone into the night.
Dm’s Note – I’ll stop there in case anyone wants to post more for the evening. Otherwise, the morning moving out post will be Wednesday.
Posted on 2006-12-03 at 11:10:02.
Edited on 2006-12-03 at 11:10:34 by Alacrity
Bromern Sal A Shadow RDI Staff Karma: 142/11 3792 Posts
Uncomfortable Silences and Good Meat.
The hunt went well. Enough food, if portioned, to feed all within the company and a tasty catch at that. Upon returning to the waymeet the ranger takes a moment to stop within the shadows of the undergrowth he’d escaped into. He scans the area about the rest stop and doesn’t move again until he determines that it is safe to proceed. Stepping through the door, he is immediately hit by a familiar sense of spicy sausage. There had been a time when spicy food of any kind made him blanch, but since sharing mental energies with Sunset, the ranger had found himself sharing a fondness for the meat. Casting about with his eyes he eventually spotted one of Sunset’s wings protruding from Dapple’s cloak. She was hiding…
Striding across the room—again, avoiding Jal—Char dropped the birds near Dapple’s feet and in one, smooth motion, dropped into a cross-legged position behind them. He set his bow down next to him and withdrew his antler-handle knife from its sheathe at his waist. Without any preamble, the ranger began to pluck the fowl.
“Wot ‘appened wit’ ‘er?” he asked Dapple after a moment, jerking his head towards Sunset’s lumpy form beneath the cloak. He didn’t like it when he felt the little pseudo dragon had been messed with. Ever since finding her in that horrible laboratory, he’d been very protective of her. He continued to pluck at the birds, but from underneath his low brow his icy blue eyes darted between the two mages.
Alloryn had been different; haughty, but different. These two were cryptic. Where Alloryn had been a noble’s daughter from the first day he’d met her, she’d also been Adrien’s sister and the camaraderie Char had developed with the knight had quickly helped sooth whatever grievances had been contrived between the mageling and the ranger, eventually developing into a sort of friendship. Jal Spellbinder was an unnatural enigma that sent shivers down the woodsman’s spine while Valentine appeared to be the epitome of a magic-using type as far as Char’s experience with them went. Sunset could very well be remembering her “stay” at the laboratory when she set eyes on either man.
Posted on 2006-12-03 at 21:00:31.
Vanadia Den Mother RDI Staff Karma: 111/12 1188 Posts
By the fire's glow
The mood around the fire was quiet, and Dapple didn’t mind that much. Between fitful sleep the night before, the battle and the healing afterwards, the little rogue was tired. Apart from giving her daggers, gloves and boots a thorough cleaning, Dapple waited patiently by the fire to see what fare would be offered.
The Red, Adrian felt otherwise, and proceeded to feed himself a colorless ( and to Dapple’s sensitive nose, odorless) paste. The food was even unappealing to the little chipmunk (a companion, perhaps) that traveled with him, though the name made a grin flicker briefly on Dapple’s tired face.
“Killer, heh. Don’t worry, little fella, I know small things can be deadly, too.” Dapple’s comment to the chippie was interrupted by Sunset’s arrival, sausage craving and all. Dapple’s stomach growled painfully, and even Adrian’s gruel started to look good. Before she could distract the dragonet, Sunset spotted the chipmunk, and Dapple was abruptly reminded that this was no domesticated pet. The miniature drake ruffled her frill to full size, and hissed menacingly as she bobbed her head back and forth hypnotically. Unfortunately, Killer was no pushover, and he chattered back in full chipmunk battle mode, the squeaks and whistles reaching into the upper register of Dapple’s hearing. Cowed, Sunset abruptly ducked her head and darted into the darkness of Dapple’s cloak, where the rogue could feel the lithe little body shaking with anger and fear.
Striding across the room, Char dropped the birds near Dapple’s feet and in one, smooth motion, dropped into a cross-legged position beside her. While Char set his bow down next to himself and began plucking the fowl, Dapple eyed the dead things dubiously. She was city bred, and not used to seeing her meal presented to her so recently alive. If she didn’t need meat so much to keep oversized muscles on slender bones, the sight would have turned her off dinner
“Wot ‘appened wit’ ‘er?” Char asked, jerking his head towards Sunset’s lumpy form beneath the cloak. He continued to pluck at the birds, but from underneath his low brow those icy blue eyes of his darted between the two mages.
Char, you’re a soft touch beneath all that hair and growling, she thought to herself, briefly amused. First me, then Sunset. Like to look after wounded creatures, do you? She was warmed briefly by the thought before a chill hand gripped her soul once more. I think not, little monster. You’re damaged goods, worthless! Forget that at your peril!
Dapple shivered, and remembered that Char still waited a response. She shook her head, looking down to where Sunset hid, avoiding the clear gaze of the hunter beside her. “No, nothing really,” she said flatly, her voice barely rising above the hiss of the fire. “A spat between Sunset and a chipmunk over who was dinner and who was not. Sunset lost the argument.”
She reached a hand down her side to where the dragon huddled, offering a gentle touch as reassurance. Sunset chose to nibble on the finger, mauling it with mock ferocity. Dapple winced once when sharp needle teeth sank too deeply, and gradually urged the dragonet back into the open with waggling fingers to attack and wrestle.
Posted on 2006-12-04 at 20:03:17.
Edited on 2006-12-04 at 20:04:53 by Vanadia