Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
Realms of Twilight Demo
You and your companions have been working as mercenaries for the military of the Illurian Empire. Over the past three years you have been hired to perform a number of quests. Each quest needed a certain subtlety, discretion, or some other reason why the military itself could not risk its association. You completed each of these tasks with little complaint, and they have rewarded you generously for your efforts.
It has been several months now since your last task. You were beginning to wonder if you should
seek employment elsewhere when you were contacted once again.
As always a message was left at the Temple of Shadows, where the most pious of you always goes for the daily service. Under your usual seat you found a piece of rolled up parchment from your usual contact.
(The parchment is picked up by Iauran Norovir)
My fellow Disciple of the Dark Father,
It has been many months since we last spoke, but I fear we are in need of the services of you and your comrades once again. You have succeeded in quests that so many others have failed over the years, so now we call upon you to perform one in which failure is not an option.
As you likely know the tensions between the Empire and the nation of Valin to the east have been escalating for many months. It is unfortunate, but our relations have crumbled to the point that we fear an attack. As a contingency for just this circumstance we have prepared a weapon that can be used to fight against the Valinites, however it does no good to our forces in the east while it sits here in the capital. Our mages have for some unknown reason been unable to magically send it to Bevaris, and we simply cannot spare the soldiers to courier the item. Your task is thus to take this weapon to the High Command of Bevaris, and from there to whichever border fortress they require.
This task sounds simple at first, but as always in our dealings, there are complications. I cannot stress enough how important it is that the weapon reach Bevaris with all speed. And I fear that traveling by the winding road through the wastelands may take too long. If our spies are correct we can expect an attack within two weeks. By road it would take at least three to reach the city. You know the route you must take, though I must warn you: beware the nightlings, and the shadow creatures that roam the wastelands beyond the safety of the Emperorís pyramids. It is a most dangerous journey.
As always you will be well compensated for the task when you reach Bevaris. I would expect that the High Command there will have further instructions as to where exactly the weapon must be taken. You must make haste, and leave as soon as you are able. The weapon awaits you in the Temple of Shadows once you have gathered your comrades.
After a short discussion you decide to accept the task, for the Empire truly has compensated you generously for your past deeds. Iauran returns to the Temple the next day to pick up the weapon as instructed int he letter.
The alcove is illuminated only by the candles of the petitioners. The statue of Elarii, the Trickster stands before you, his arms out to his side and a sly and knowing grin across his face. You kneel before the god of deceit and bow as if to pray. Your mind does not seek guidance from the gods this day however. Your head bowed, your hands seek out the hidden compartment in the base of the statue that you have opened so many times before. After a moment you here the barely audible click, and slide the cover aside. Within you find the weapon the message spoke of and a letter identifying you to the garrison commander at Bevaris.
This so called weapon seems nothing more than a small box of polished ebony banded with rune etched iron. It seems heavier than one might expect given its small size, and there is a rather complex lock sealing the box from prying eyes.
Your quest has begun. And time is of the essence. War is brewing, and this item, whatever it is, could save many lives.
(OOC: I expect there will be questions. Please post those on the Q&A thread. I apologize for being 2 days late getting started, but now that we are, let us enjoy it!)
Posted on 2010-09-24 at 04:17:37.
Edited on 2010-10-05 at 23:09:00 by Steelight
As far as Sorgoth understood, the team was to meet at Lauran's house after he retrieved the item to be transported. So that is where he went. After giving the door to Lauran's house the secret knock to identify who was at the door, Lauran opened his house to the fellow Valshari elf and welcomed him in.
As soon as the door was shut behind him, Sorgoth used Valshari Sign to say,"I assume you have it. Is there anything in the instructions against opening the box to find out what we are transporting? I'm very curious to find out what we are carrying."
He then looked around the well kept house and greeted his other comrades,"The down time has been good to you all. I hope it hasn't made any of you soft", he said with a toothy grin that contrasted with his dark face.
Sorgoth continued,"I've been thinking that this trip just might take more than five days to complete. It may take up to a week, who knows? Should we make preparations before we leave or hope that the road provides? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, you know."
Posted on 2010-10-09 at 08:55:31.
Edited on 2010-10-09 at 08:57:14 by Tiamat5774
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Kitara giive a slight bow. "My persona' quest has kept me as sound on mind and body as as I can be. IT looks like the years have been kind to you as well but that is a trait of your race.. My life is not much more that a summer in yours,m but while I live I will make as much of it that I can. Others will grow and bloom after me and that is true of my race." Kitara offers philosophically to her host.
It is even a pleasure to see friends once again." She gives the slight bow as she looks up the remarkable golden eye regard Lauran steadily. Truly she was aptly name "Tigereyes" Her bright golden eyes had a darker ring around them and the black pupils stood out clearly. You knew you were being watched when her eye were on you.
"I do also admit to some curiosity as to what we carry with us"
Gosk just listened and waited as the group arrived one by one at Lauran's house. This wasn't the time for action. He was bored. He went through his different attack routines in his head as the others started their conversations.
Sorgoth spoke with a grin, "The down time has been good to you all. I hope it hasn't made any of you soft." The soft are the first to die by my blade. I don't plan on being one of the first cut down. Upon Sorgoth's remark Gosk stretches and flexes his muscles to show him how 'soft' down time had made him.
He started to pay attention to the conversation as soon as Kitara started talking. He liked her eyes. They were the eyes of a predator. "My personal quest has kept me as sound on mind and body as as I can be. IT looks like the years have been kind to you as well but that is a trait of your race. My life is not much more that a summer in yours, but while I live I will make as much of it that I can. Others will grow and bloom after me and that is true of my race." Everything that lives will die. Some just die sooner than others. Especially if they are in my way.
She continues talking to the group. "It is even a pleasure to see friends once again. I do also admit to some curiosity as to what we carry with us." I could care less as long as we get paid. Somethings aren't worth the trouble of knowing. She should remember curiosity killed the cat.
Iauran was holding the meeting with his comrades in his home. Earlier in the day he had retrieved the weapon and it was sitting on his desk. Sorgoth was the last of the group to arrive. When he entered the questions began. Iauran started to soak them in and formulate the answers. After Kitara's insight, he decided to speak up. He was a bit unnerved by Kitara staring at him, but he did not show it.
He stepped over to his desk and picked up the small ebony box to show to his comrades. "First of all what we carry is a weapon. I do not know what it is. There are no instructions not to open it, but I wouldn't attempt to try. I was able to discern the presense of warding glyphs on the box. They are very strong abjurations, but are beyond my expertise." He took a moment to set the box back down before continuing on. "We are going to be initially travelling through the wasteland, off the paths. If the stories prove true then the road will not provide for us, we will be the provisions, we will be prey for the creatures living there." Iauran's thoughts wandered for a moment to the horrors he had heard about the wastelands. "However, I do agree that with what you have said Sorgoth. I am guessing our trip will take about a week and a half, if we make haste. I recommend to all of you to get some extra rations. When we are done here we should all go make our purchases. We will meet at the gate to the city an hour later and begin our journey."
Iauran unstopped a decanter sitting on his desk and poured himself a glass of wine. "Would anyone else like a glass?"
Posted on 2010-10-11 at 06:15:50.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Kitara nods, She know full well Lauran would not offer them anything that would do them ill. Though she drank water mostly she could enjoy a small amount or alcohol without ill effects.
She went over what she had with her and what she might need for such a trips. Rations extra water first aid supplies, perhaps a potion of healing or too. Her knowledge of the waste was not extensive--so she asked Lauran. "What can you tell us of the Waste we will be traveling through.?"
"Sure I'll take a glass, I'd like to make a toast", Sorgoth said as he raised his glass,"Rest assured, my friends, I have your back, and I'm honored to know, that you have mine! May the wind be at our backs, May we be fortune's fools, and may fate smile on our mission with success!"
He took a sip of his wine and then said,"Now that's done, I would like to make a few suggestions. First if we must make haste, we'll need horses, but they can always be killed or stolen so buy only what provisions you can store in your back packs.
Second, there is the chance, regardless of how remote that chance is, that we are not the only ones who know of the weapon. We may just be the only ones that know of its whereabouts. The point is that the enemy that box is meant for may have spies in town to see how ripe the time for attack is, and if we go about shopping at the same stores or shopping together, that would draw attention to us that we don't want. So I suggest that we split up to do our shopping at different merchants and stables.
If we need a wagon, I suggest all of us chip in for it and one of us can buy it when one gets his or her steed.
Most important of all we should meet no closer to town than just outside the border wall, not right at the exit of the crystal pyramid where we can all be seen leaving together. The more discretion we use, the better off we are."
With that he finishes his wine and signs a "Thank you" to his gracious host.
Posted on 2010-10-11 at 07:02:06.
Edited on 2010-10-11 at 19:21:54 by Tiamat5774
Shenek had entered without saying anything and had immediately slumped into a chair. Now her eyes took in every feature of the box in Lauran's hands. Her own hands were as usual withdrawn into her sleeves. Now, unseen, her fingers twitched. There was thiefly lore that claimed that one could learn to trace a magical ward as if it were a knot, and therefor undo it. A preposterous idea, to be sure, but how could she know it wouldn't work unless she had an opportunity to try? She broke out of that trian of thought as the box was put away, checked yet again to make sure there was a visual path between her and the door, and began to consider the situation.
A large square of white apeared in her mind. She placed small objects on it-- pyramid, walls, soldiers. A dark patch stretched out towards the east, representing the Wastelands. A green arrow blinked over the carved wooden block that was a perfect copy of Lauren's house, including portions of the roof not visible from the ground. A red arrow blinked over the word "Bevaris" at the far edge.
Problem: get from here to there. No, get the object in their trust from here to there, that was the empire's priority. Obstacles? Dark misty shapes hovered above the Wastelands. Grinning, jointed wooden dolls crouched in hollows, their daggers dripping. Shenek frowned and the dolls shrank-- right, not regular humans, but those pesky mini humans, sometimes called hobbits or halflings. Except these so called "darklings" weren't just sly and tricksy, they were reported to be a deadly threat that daunted even the mighty illurian military. Normally that would amuse her, she had little love for the empire that had taken several years of her life merely for giving some spoiled fat cats an excuse to buy more shiney geegaws. But she also worked for that empire, so just now the darklings were in her way.
So, think of it as crossing a really big yard. With a hostile gang already in place and some seriously scary guard dogs.
She blinked. The model retreated as she focused on the room around her. She stood up and addressed the others without preamble.
"A wagon would only slow us down and increase the chance of detection. We need to evade as much as possible and we need to be able to keep moving even if we have to fight. If we are forced to stop to fight we risk being surrounded. But to plan a route we need to take advantage of the terrain. How much do we know about it?"
Then just as abruptly she sat down again. Then seeing the bottle that Lauren was holding she accepted a glass of wine with a grunt that might have been a thank you.
Couldn't channel Jeric so I've changed to Avriel Lightwander
Avriel twirled her black hair around her first finger and then released it allowing it to fall across her shoulder. The necessity of these meetings is why I hate group work. The problem with groups is they had to be coordinated and that required planning; Avriel was more of a spontaneous wing it kinda girl. She was good at her line of work. An adventurerís life had always appealed to her. Sleeping amongst the stars, learning and trading secrets, fighting for her life, and gaining power. Yes an adventurerís life was never in any doubt for her. Groups though were a very different animal. Groups required trust and sharing. Two things Avriel wasnít very good at. The way Avriel figured it if she needed someone to watch her back thatís what Yiríess was for. However the employer had insisted that a group effort was going to be necessary. As it turns out they were right it would have been a rough mission alone. Now this group had gotten together to pull off a couple missions and Avriel was actually beginning to trust them a little. Still pre-planning missions were tedious and boring. Avriel smiled as Sorgoth finally arrived. As members of the party went Avriel felt a small kinship with the Valshari for like her he too studied the arcane arts. Though his journey through magicís domain was very different than her own still he probably owed college dues as well. Thatís all of us we can now get this circus started.
ďThe down time has been good to you all. I hope it hasn't made any of you soft", Sorgoth said with a toothy grin that contrasted with his dark face. Avriel started self consciously. Is it that obvious? Avriel had put on about five pounds since theyíre last job. Itís been a rough couple of months. Iím sure Iíll lose it on the road.
Iauran stepped over to his desk and picked up the small ebony box to show to his comrades. "First of all what we carry is a weapon. I do not know what it is. There are no instructions not to open it, but I wouldn't attempt to try. I was able to discern the presense of warding glyphs on the box. They are very strong abjurations, but are beyond my expertise." He took a moment to set the box back down before continuing on. "We are going to be initially travelling through the wasteland, off the paths. If the stories prove true then the road will not provide for us, we will be the provisions, we will be prey for the creatures living there." Iauran paused again. "However, I do agree that with what you have said Sorgoth. I am guessing our trip will take about a week and a half, if we make haste. I recommend to all of you to get some extra rations. When we are done here we should all go make our purchases. We will meet at the gate to the city an hour later and begin our journey."
A week and a half with only minor problems along the way which isnít ever likely so Iíll need a fourteen dayís rations but I only have five days so Iíll need to pick up some more. I should have everything else so I really just need to pack. Avriel looked up to see Iauran offering wine. Sigh heís only being polite.
ďNo thanks dear.Ē Alcohol slowed the mind and was therefore foolish. Not that Avriel had actually declared that she doesnít drink. Though despite not having a drink of her own Sorgothís toast was comforting and his remark about avoiding attention while it should have been a well duh situation was something Avriel hadnít considered. Hmmm well I only know the one place and picking up nine days of rations does draw attention. That is troublesome. Nothing I can do about it though Iíll just have to come up with a cover story.
As the gnome made her presence known Wow I honestly missed her Avriel agreed with what she said except for the planning part. But thatís why weíre here isnít it.
ďWhat we know of the wasteland is they suck and theyíre not gonna be easy to cross.Ē Avriel sighed ďAs far as terrain goes I doubt any of us can visualize it in detail therefore unless one of you has a map perhaps we should have someone attempt to purchase one. The rumors of half crazed midgets roaming around if true would easily change any plans we make now though. Also I feel it is my duty to point out that massive spells like the one that made the Wasteland would likely have fading residue that could run the gauntlet of out right killing anything much as the original spell did or mutating things or driving them crazy. There is a reason most groups stick to the road, we wonít be in our element. A fact we can likely use to our advantage against any spies or interceptors but a distinct disadvantage against any residents that may have moved in. Thereís a lot of factors we simply canít imagine to properly plan a route through the Wasteland so unless one of you have journeyed out there or are willing to purchase a divination spell to enlighten us more I think the rest of the planning will have to be done on the fly.Ē
"Sorgoth, my friend thank you for the inspiring toast." Iauran said after listening to everyone. "Unfortunately, the same as most of you, I only know of the rumors of the wasteland. A dead area haunted by ghosts of the past. What living creatures do reside there are told to be deadly and experienced hunters. The terrain is harsh and unforgiving." He took a moment to review his thoughts before continuing. "Horses would be too expensive for us to obtain, and woudl probably only hinder us anyway. As far as I know there are no maps of the wastelands. I would recommend we get some poison antidotes. Any plans we do make to deal with the denizens of the wastelands would probably be useless. We just have to stick together and use our heads."
Iauran took a final sip from his wine and set it down on the table. He thought he had addressed everyones questions. It was time to get moving. "I second the recommendation that we each shop at a different shop. If questions are asked perhaps a good cover would be making a journey to Bevaris to visit family. This journey will be tough and in my opinion the travel through the wastelands should be the worst of it. Once we are through we should be able to travel along the road."
"If there are no more questions or concerns we should probably get going."
Posted on 2010-10-19 at 16:21:50.
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
The party parts ways, each going about gathering their own materials for their journey. There were many qustions about the Wastelands... but with nought but rumors to go on, as Avriel had said, it would be difficult to prepare.
A little over an hour later the group gathers once again outside of the sheltering pyramid. The outer wall still shields them from the powers of the wasteland, but once they set foot beyond, they all know that they will be on their own. In past adventures they have left the city through these very gates many times before. Each time, they had confidence in their path, and their goal. Perhaps that is why this time was so different. Their confidence in each other was absolute, but not a single one of them had strayed from the roads into the barrens of the Wasteland before. It would be an... interesting experience to say the least... if they survived it.
Having gathered all of the supplies they deem necessary they group heads towads the eastern gates of the outer wall. They gates are always kept shut, save when a caravan or other certified traveler is passing through, but a word from a Cleric of Steelight will allow passage without incident.
Before long the group is beyond the gates, standing on the road a short distance from the city. Visions of the terrifying rumors of this place dominate the thoughts of them all. It is said that the spirits of the dead are as real and as deadly as any living threat. They say even your own shadow, when empowered by the latent magic of the Wastelands can reach out and drain the life from you. And then there are the savage halflings that somehow hunt and thrive in this environment...
For a moment they all stop, considering the path they must take. The number of Illurian lives claimed by this region before the Emperor constructed the totems is beyond counting. A few miles distant, down the winding road, you see the closest of those very pyramids, standing its eternal vigil over the roads, and protecting travelers from the dangers of the wastes.
The white mone, Celine, rides high in the sky above you floating amidst the stars, a constant reminder of the urgency of your journey, and the weight of many lives on your shoulders.
(OOC: I have given each person 10 more days of rations free of charge. Any other requested purchases must be made in the Q&A thread before the next game update... which assuming everyone posts on time (DAKARTA!!) will be next Sunday. Feel free to keep the game moving in this thread in the meantime.)
Posted on 2010-10-20 at 01:54:52.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Kitara first examined her equipment and supplies makinga mental note of what she might need to purchase from the markets about town. She made sure to buy extra rations of dried meat, dried fruit, a bag of flour for stick bread, and a bag of mix grains for morning porridge a water skin and extra arrows. She also purchased and second water skin that she filled it and her other water skin with fresh water from one of the city's wells. In the afternoon Kitara when through her exercises with methodical thoroughness as was usually. Working on flexibility, strength and endurance and doing her mediation focusing inward.
Over the years of he childhood and during her training as a monk she had learn quietness let her learn more than talking achieved. She had taken not only to the physicals training but also the education of a monk as well. She was a sponge that absorb her new life after she had be taken for training after spending years as one of many orphans cared for the the Temple of the Goddess.
Her childhood had not bee an unhappy time but she was different than the other orphans from the area she had been found in. Her build and coloring and especially her eyes made her stand out and in a way isolated form the other orphans.. She was taller than them well built, black haired, her most remarking feature were her golden eyes. It had earned her her last name, "Tigereyes". Her own first name she had given them when she was found, "Kitara"They were a golden yellow with dark pupils and a dark ring around them to pointed out her odd golden irises. Her hair was jet black and she wore it cubbed at the base of her neck usually braided in a single braid. Her skin was not pinkish or brown but rather very fair with a tendency to tan easily.
Posted on 2010-10-20 at 02:57:58.
Edited on 2010-10-28 at 22:01:53 by Brianna
Sorgoth took stock of his purchases, to be sure he was satisfied that he was well supplied, and to an extent, he was.
His only lament was that he couldn't buy more poison. Drow were rarely seen as the fire of their kind had all but been extinguished. The Valshari were a descendant offshoot of the Drow. It wasn't easy to get the permit to carry and use poison, but with the Valshari penchant for smooth talking and persuasiveness, Sorgoth pulled it off and now has a vial of Drow poison, legally carried, for the coating of caltrops.
He made sure he had a few other adventuring staples, a few odds and ends, like antitoxin for instance, just in case of a poison mishap.
Once he was supplied and ready, he made his way to just outside the border wall to wait for the others. As he waited, he poured the Drow poison into one of the specially lined bags of caltrops, that way, as he traveled, the caltrops would move and jostle about in the bag and each one would be coated in the toxic liquid. Seeing how little he needed to buy he was the first to make it to the rendezvous point. Knowing he is just barely outside the protection of the city, he draws his sword and waits on his friends.
Posted on 2010-10-31 at 06:45:46.
Edited on 2010-10-31 at 06:47:46 by Tiamat5774
Steelight Sage of the Realms Karma: 44/9 1024 Posts
The gates close behind you and the locks fall into place with a resounding bang. The wastelands of Illuria now lie before you. These lands have been a source of fear since the founding of the Empire. It is said to be inhabited by wraiths, shadows and the savage little creatures known as nightlings. The number of Illurian citizens that have fallen to the wastelands before the Emperor completed the construction of the pyramid-totems is beyond counting.
A few miles distant, down the winding road, you see the closest of those very pyramids, standing its eternal vigil over the roads, and protecting travelers from the undead creatures of the wastes.
The white moon, Celine, rides high in the sky above you, floating amidst the stars. It is a constant reminder of the urgency of your journey and the weight of many lives on your shoulders.
Day 1: Wastelands
You have found the dry bed of a river that once flowed through the wastes. No water flows now, but it is more level and less plagued by cracks and broken areas than the majority of the land you have found. About half way through the day you spot thunderclouds on the horizon. Over the next hour those very clouds glide over the wastes, darkening the skies and blocking the light of the moons. Without a source of light for yourselves you are walking blind through the pitch black.
Lightning flashes through the clouds, followed by deafening thunder. Within moments the lightning intensifies and the frequency of the flashes increases to a dizzying array of light. The constantly flashing lightning and the brisk wind give the true feeling of a storm. The thunder makes hearing each other almost impossible short of shouting. The increased frequency of the lightning however, does provide some measure of light to move by. The angles of the shadows is a bit disorienting, slowing your journey or risking injury moving over the rough landscape. This is one storm that, thus far, seems bereft of rain.
(OOC: No further purchases can be made. The adventure is underway and you have officially entered the wastelands. Good luck.)