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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> The Shadow Cathedral
Parent thread: Shadow Cathedral Q/A
GM for this game: Almerin
Players for this game: Raven, Celeste, Phelan, Aleric Stevanson, Brundel, Boshaunn
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    Messages in The Shadow Cathedral
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Typing Furiously
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3012 Posts

The Shadow Cathedral

I am stretched on your grave
And will lie there forever
If your hands were in mine
I’d be sure we’d not sever
My apple tree, my brightness
‘T is time we were together
For I smell of the earth
And am worn by the weather

- Old Irish Poem -

The hills of Northern Ertain were green and luscious; full of promise of a summer that would bring with it a haze of adventure and romance. Sheep tankled their bells in the distance and insects frivolously buzzed through beams of light that played through the trees along the road. The cool air of late spring was slowly warming up as the afternoon relieved morning of its duty. Only a few flocks of clouds speckled the sky, heralding a perfect day that might’ve well passed into memory as the best day for travelling the country the group had ever experienced.

Travelling had become a second nature to them, but at days like this it was a pure joy. As their wagon curved a hillside path they noted a slight valley to the east. A small river snaked through it, its meandering waters sparkling like scales on a great wyrm. It was peaceful, almost idyllic.

Nobody said anything. They had all known each other for quite a while now, and lived through several adventures together. At first, being on the road from one quest to another had been tiresome, the journey filled with conversations, suspicions and even arguments. Life as a starting band of aspiring heroes, whether they deemed themselves such or not, was one of hardships and trials. Even if you excluded the slaying of monsters and uprooting of corruption.
Money had been short at first, making a giant tree the only affordable shelter from a rainstorm. But trees had turned into tents, and tents had eventually turned into a wagon pulled by two horses. On a day like this, the white hood of the wagon was folded back so that the sun could warm their faces.

There was no reason for conversation right now. Like a band of bards touring from one town to the next they minded their own business, content with how things were unfolding. Trust had grown between them, and though it was not always there, they were all content enough with each others company. They each had a special quality the others greatly appreciated, and if there was one thing that bound them as a group, it was that they completed each others’ shortcomings.
They had just left the city of Felarin, praised for its arcane markets unique in Ertain. It was a place where knowledge was power, where magic was almost tangible and could be yours for the right price. As stated before, they were now capable of paying the right amount of Royals, and most of them had succeeded in filling their needs and desires.

Now they were aiming for Daviena Castle, where, rumour had it, a problem had presented itself with a Fire Spirit refusing to return to its home plane. As king Jarom Strongblade was said to entertain the castle for a visit next week, people were willing to pay good money to have the creature dealt with.
As they passed the peaceful valley on the east, their eye went frequently west. Just beyond the horizon lay Sendria, an ever-smouldering blister of war at the heart of Antaron. Even from a safe distance its closeness could cast a shadow over a beautiful day like this. The very thought of what transpired in those lands and the evil lust for dominion that drove its forces could banish all joy. It seemed as if what dark clouds there were in the otherwise brilliant sky formed themselves from Sendrian soil.

But wait… they did. And those were not clouds of dark rain, but smoke and ashes that indicated a fiery destruction.

What was more unsettling was the knowledge that Sendria might be relatively close, but not close enough for them to see tails of smoke rising from its grounds. Whatever was burning was based in Ertain.

Turning from the road to pass through a few hillside meadows, they soon discovered the source of the smoke to be a small village towards the east. It was situated in a small valley of grassy fields where cows grazed and farmland where wheat whispered. From a distance they could see that the village was quite large, consisting of more than just a few farms and sheds.

Half an hour of fast riding later they entered the main street. Stone and plastered buildings lined the road and obscured whatever was burning. The smell of scorched wood hung heavily in the air, slightly spiced with a hint of meaty flavour. Their vision was hazy, as if the smoke was clinging to the cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, and shadows clung to the smoke in turn. There was no sign of life whatsoever as far as they could see.
Then they rounded the corner and found the town square.

A huge pile of wood had been gathered man-high around a wooden beam as big as a ship’s mast. An inferno of flames rose up from the pile, as high as the roofs of the two story buildings surrounding the square. Black smoke was vomited into the sky in bulging spasms, obscuring the sun and casting the town in a wicked twilight.

Aside from the burning wood, the town square was completely vacant. There were no people, or any other sign of life. The shutters of the buildings were all closed, and doors locked and curtains drawn.

But as they surveyed the scene they found that there was life, if only for the briefest of moments. Suddenly the flames around the beam parted by a gust of wind, and there, pushed against the wooden beam stood a black and burnt human body.
There was no telling if it was male or female, but to their horror they noted that it was still moving. Then the flames engulfed it once more, obscuring it from their sight.
Still, the image of the burning person was etched on their retinas.

Posted on 2012-03-14 at 16:43:13.

Aleric Stevanson
Regular Visitor
Karma: 10/0
68 Posts

Beautiful Morning...


Ark Morigan liked his naps. Maybe a bit of an innocuous statement, but important. Ark had never had much trouble napping on a moving wagon; he'd certainly slept in worse conditions. The wooden floor was clean and free of rot, there was an amazing breeze rolling through at just the right pace, and the sun made his hair feel warm against his scalp and feathery between his fingers, an orange-red glow behind his eyelids. He rolled over; ooh, grazing sheep. Big, fluffy, white, 'baa'ing sheep.

Ark smirked. "Ain't ever seen that back in Bayris..." he mumbled, before rolling back over again.

Fire spirit. That was the name of the game, this time around. Ark flopped onto his back. "Fire spirit..." The young traveler weighed the word with his tongue. The hilt of his sword caught his eye. A stout fencer's broadsword, by the name of Raz, for his father. His father, as it turned out, enjoyed chicken livers. Raz the Blade liked livers too, though in a different fashion. Ark himself had no fondness of livers, save when they lay pierced upon Raz's point. "Meh... Fire spirits," he mumbled, both to himself and anyone who may be listening to his half-conscious rambling. "No livers."

The young half-Syl flopped back to the deck, letting out a pleasant sigh. These were the moments he lived for; a wonderful day on the road, a warm meal in a warm room on a cold day, the view from the summit of a mountain. Good food, good drink, good friends and good times. Simple, harmless things. He gathered Raz, the basket-hilted, double-edged weapon hanging in it's scabbard from the single leather strap that Ark carried it by, looking up at the thin, wispy clouds moving by.

After a small moment of contemplation, he went looking for Anna; she was usually a laugh; at least more so than Marius, or Wenny. Wenny wasn't too bad. Polite, if totally and completely stone-faced; not a chuckle, not a giggle, not the slightest titter out of that one. Marius was just plain gloomy, not Ark's type at all. Still, loyal and trustworthy. Arvin and Chale weren't too bad; Ark had made it a hobby of his to try and get a laugh out of Arvin, and Chale seemed a happy-enough fellow, though he could be a bit morose sometimes. Anna was a riot, though. Maybe she'd help him shake off the post-nap tedium.


Later, at the sight of the bonfire, outrage was Arks immediate response, drawing Raz in a flash, a liminant blue aura following the magically-honed weapon. "What in the nine hells..." he muttered, as the stench of burning flesh and hair reached his nose. The rogue had no choice to back away from the blaze as he gagged.

Posted on 2012-03-14 at 18:06:59.
Edited on 2012-03-15 at 06:13:45 by Aleric Stevanson

Karma: 11/54
303 Posts

ring of fire

it was a pleasant day, though it was doubtful to last long as it never does when your in this line of work. "better enjoy it while i can" Chale said to himself. life was simpler when he wasnt an adventurer, but he couldnt think of anything else he'd rather do even if some of the jobs were rather unsettleing, like their current one. 'always fire' Chale thought to himself wishing he could forget, but he never could, not for long anyway.
Chale saw the smoke and frowned and gave the reins a flick, sending the horses into a sprint.
upon seeing the charred body, he went pale, remembering a crazed laugh and red and orange robes, then a click and a shower of flames. Then the body twitched bringing him out of his flashback. Before he could act, maybe even possibly save the person (or atleast ease him into death, as he felt was his duty as a healer), the body burst into flames again, filling the air with the smell, that Chale knows and hates.

Posted on 2012-03-14 at 21:21:36.

Karma: 138/3
1049 Posts

Fire Fiend Fries Friendly Folk

Shucka shucka shucka shucka.
The sound of the wheels against the hard packed dirt road was the only thing to be heard in the heat of the day. The group was silent, presumably reflecting on the trip to Felarin, basking in the warm breeze, or sleeping. The swashbuckler was perched on the side of the wagon with one of her boots kicked out in front of her. Anna’s eyes cast out to the flat plain before her, and she felt uneasiness as the new wagon rocked back and forth.

It wasn’t the impending doom of the new rumor that made her uncomfortable. On the contrary, a fire spirit inspired a new risk all on its own, not only with the ‘baddie’ aspect of it, but it also held a ‘Caution: Hot!’ allure to it as well. Hell, it wasn’t even the closeness to Sendria that worried her, though it had crossed Anna’s mind more than once. That was a thing of true nightmares, and every time her eyes crossed to the western borders, her heart fluttered with fear and excitement. Wars, demons, dark magic, fanatical citizens, and the promise that all the twisted desires a man could dream would be fulfilled. She longed to venture there, but only for the heart-pounding risk that it offered. It was like standing at the edge of oblivion and wanting to jump, merely for the exhilarating rush of the wind in the face while plummeting towards certain death.

No, the thing that bothered Anna was the lack of people; the endless expanse before them. Their stop in Felarin was a pleasant reprieve to the endless nights spent sleeping under the trees, waking up covered in dew with no manner of tea being able to warm the bones or the spirit. There were farms, to be sure, but this little valley still held emptiness for Anna. It loomed with an air of dreary, dead-end finality. Maybe it was because she could see for quite a ways without obstruction, seemingly hundreds of featureless miles, or the fact that there seemed to be more livestock than people. After traveling for a year or so, she thought she would have been used to the sight by now. Apparently, Anna was wrong.

You’re born amongst the cattle, marry young, have many fat babies, farm like your father, and die, she thought as her eyes found the youthful shepherdesses tending the flocks on the plain. What a rut to be stuck in.
As though it was extension of her own thought, she heard Ark murmur, “Ain't ever seen that back in Bayris.” She looked to the half-Sylvari and saw that he too was looking out towards the herds. Anna wasn’t sure if he was in a sleep haze or not, but his words painfully reminded her of home. It was true, you’d never see sheep in Bayris, or at least, one that wasn’t skinned and hung in display.

His mismatched eyes met her brown ones, and she winked at him, “They’d look a bit better if they were on a plate with a bit of mint jelly, eh Ark?”

The sky began to darken as they continued towards Daviena Castle. Annaliese pulled out her hood and cloak, expecting rain to surround their party soon enough. She thought about saying something about the cloth covering the wagon before she saw the source of the darkness. It seemed to billow up from the horizon. Smoke. Something was burning, and they were heading straight for it.

Anna sprung into the buckboard with Chale, snatching up her leather baldric and rapier as she went. The cart jolted forward as Chale twitched the horses into a fast pace. It seemed to take forever; the land’s rolling hills slowly creeping by as they speed towards the disturbance. Somewhere at the back of her mind, Anna was sure that it didn’t take that long, but all of this wide space threw her timing off. The village that came into view under the smoke drew closer at a painfully slow rate. Impatience showed across the swashbuckler’s face, and it took quite a bit of will not to jump the wagon once they reached the edge of town.

The entire village seemed to be shrouded in a sinister gloom. The smoke gave the sense that they were all in a heavy fog, and it seemed to Anna that the little houses and stalls loomed menacingly out of the shadows. Great. Not like I didn’t already smell like a campfire she thought, wrinkling her nose against the stench.

The main street turned suddenly, and they were thrust out into the open area of the community’s town square. Heat hit them in waves as they gazed upon the bonfire that had been built up in the center of it. Anna vaulted the wagon, landing on her feet with her baldric in her hands. She began to pull it over her head as she looked to the massive inferno before her. She caught side of a blackened body, and it looked like it was moving. The muttering from the party told her she wasn’t the only one to see the shape.

“And this started out as such a scorchingly beautiful day,” she sighed, drawing her weapon. Anna’s eyes turned immediately to the surrounding area and began to search for abnormalities. Though the blaze was at the forefront of everyone’s vision, things lurking the in shadows was what concerned the swashbuckler the most.

Posted on 2012-03-15 at 13:43:22.

Karma: 18/0
207 Posts

First Post!

It truly was a marvellous day and Mylos was enjoying every second of it. Days like these reminded him of his homeland the Brathunii hollows, there was often a clear blue sky and scenic views such as these. He hadn't returned there in around twenty years, and he wouldn't be going home soon. He would be shunned there he knew, for the Brathunii gnomes were a people without adventure. Few left the hollows in their entire a life and many would frown upon him for the coin pouch around his waist. His father who he had loved so dearly would be well aged now and probably would not recognise him, sat on a trundling wagon making its way across the rolling hills. A lute sat across his lap and he began to play, it was sorrowful song not befitting their present moods. Their was a valley to their east, it had a wavy river passing through and the thought of it made him shiver. The very notion of boarding a boat or trying to swim, which he could not, terrified him. He changed his song now and started to play the sailors folly, it was a better song in truth and appeared to cheer him up, knowing that he would never suffer a similar fate.

It was quiet, as always, and Mylos was starting to feel the slow touch of boredom setting in. He needed conversation and tried a few times to spark one, but the others seemed content to enjoy the glorious day within themselves. A memory came back to him, it was near the beginning, when they had all first started out on their adventures. Suspicion was rife with each not completely trusting one another. Mylos had taken the brunt of their accusations, his infatuation with coins had brought them to conclude that one day he would steal everything from them and they would never hear of him again. However, Mylos was a curious kind of money hoarder and he would never steal a coin he would win them fairly, for that was the best part of the game to him. Sometimes he would barter, saving him money, other days he would play a song for coin and maybe if he was desperate he would play tricks, using sleight of hand to win any such bets. Now however, the group worked well, each had decided to trust the others almost completely, and this is what happens when each member has saved your life over a handful of times.

What now worried Mylos was, the closeness to the horror of Sendria and a fiery spirit in a castle. He did not like danger, although it would appear danger liked him. He was a poor fighter only picking up a weapon ten years prior, he wielded two Kukri's, one in each hand, this was ungainly and impractical, yet he found himself thinking he looked more like a warrior if he did so. He was a poor shot with his crossbow, rarely finding the target and his armour was weak, worn and weathered. He was a poor match to a fire spirit, yet he had survived thus far, he supposed one more battle couldn't hurt.

Mylos had thoroughly enjoyed the stay in Felarin, it gave him a chance to sell all his goods which he no longer needed, for the best prices around. He could also buy from one merchant and then sell the item to another for far more expense. This was the game he enjoyed, not the ghastly horrors of fighting, yet there was no more sure and succeeding way to get money than adventuring and his coin purse seemed almost fit to burst. It had its cons as well though, he was always uncomfortable and seemed to have aches and pains throughout his entire body, the life threatening perils he always seemed to be in did not help either.

Clouds appeared to form in the far distance and Mylos did not enjoy the prospect of rain, he hated water, and raining was no different, if the wagon began to fill he would often panic about drowning. Mylos' sullen expression slowly began to change to curiosity as they neared the clouds, it began to form the wispy tendrils of smoke reaching for the blue sky above. The wagon began to pick up pace and he was nearly thrown from the back of the wagon. He regained his balance and shouted to the front “A little warning next time wouldn't hurt would it?” he sighed and peered into the distance, it was a village. When there was war there was gold. Without knowing it his fingers began to stroke the three rings that hung around his neck. The pace quickened further and the small fiery village seemed to approach quickly. He pulled out his lute and began to play A Town Ablaze.

As the town was within earshot he quickly stopped playing and pulled out his crossbow, he grabbed a quarrel with a slightly trembling hand and placed it in the bow. He didn't know what good it would be, rarely did he hit his target, yet it made him feel safer somehow. They travelled down the empty winding streets and Mylos' eyes began to water and his vision was hazed. The thick smoke that enveloped the town made the fear within him rise and the hairs on his body began to raise, goosebumps appeared along his arms and a shiver shook him. They turned the corner and entered the town square, this is where the main blaze stood in all its fury, the flames licking up the sides of the wooden beam, the fire fascinated Mylos and saw himself being drawn in by them. As he stood staring, smoky tears rolling down his face a shift of wind parted the flames and a body smouldered within, the sight was shocking but exhilarating and a morbid fascination threatened to overcome him.

No-one spoke, all of them shocked to silence until Ark broke it “What in the nine hells...” he exclaimed.

It was Mylos who spoke next. “This place is cursed we should not linger more than we have too. However, I think we should check the houses a witness to these crimes may be there, and also certain... plunders, if Alanus is good.”

The group was used to Mylos' greed however he knew he was risking their trust once again. He could not say why he loved coins as much as he did but sometimes he found them a way to get around his fear, diverting his emotions to something less craven. As he awaited an answer once again his fingers found the cold metal rings situated about his thin neck.

Posted on 2012-03-16 at 14:26:22.
Edited on 2012-03-16 at 14:44:38 by Brundel

Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 71/3
1057 Posts

First post in

Smoke. A faraway pillar of black smoke caught the witch hunter's eye as he let his gaze wonder across the horizon. It was too big and too dark to be from a stove or a fireplace and too small and concentrated to be a forest or field fire. Marius pulled Grey's reins slightly to slow it down and turned his eyes towards the smoke. No. The shape of the smoke was very familiar to him. During his decades in the service of Rydor hunting for all things evil he'd learnt a fire like that could mean two things. Either there was a farmhouse burning in the distance or someone had build a pyre. It was not a time for bonfires in Ertain now, so if the fire was burning on purpose, Marius Thulmann was keen to know what the purpose was.

The grim witch hunter didn't have to wait for his companions to reach him. Nor did he need to give them any explanation why he had decided the turn off the road. They would've seen the smoke too and were wondering the same thing as he was. The group had come fairly near to the Sendrian border on their trip, but certainly not close enough for the source of the smoke reside beyond it. Marius knew this area fairly well as he had crossed the border into and out of his old homeland more times than he cared to count. Sendria was not a nice place to be in and no one in his sane mind would venture there on purpose. Then again some had argued that Marius Thulmann wasn't quite in his right mind…

But the fact that they were still on Ertainian lands didn't necessarily mean the fire hadn't been started by Amerloc's people. The Seekers often crossed the border as if it didn't even exist. Rumour had it that the rulers of Ertain had sent official complaints to their Sendrian counterparts, but to little effect. More often than not the messenger had not returned with an answer or even if he had, the reply had not been of the desired kind. Marius Thulmann wasn't a man to shake easily, but the thought of the Seekers made him frown. His single encounter with a squad of Hawks had been bloody and the witch hunter had no wishes to dwell on its memory one bit longer. It was all in the past now.

Some time later their little caravan had followed the trail of smoke into a fairly large village. Riding down what appeared to be the main street, the witch hunter raised an eyebrow at its emptiness. He still wasn't able to see the source of the smoke, but from the distance he had pin pointed the fire into the middle of the village. Strangely the smoke was hanging low amongst the buildings. It was probably due to the lack of wind as far as Marius knew, but still the smoky street made him a little bit nervous. It was not easy to see to far, but even then there should have been voices or at least shapes of people in the haze. Unconsciously Marius lowered his right hand on the pommel of his heavy sword and pulled Grey slowly to a stop to let his companions pass while he was observing the surroundings.

There was a familiar odor in the smell of the fire. Flesh was burning and years of experience said it wasn't pork or venison… The sight that faced Marius and his companions as they rounded the last building to the square was something the witch hunter had been expecting to see, yet at the same time something hadn't. When it came to burning witches at the stake, Marius wasn't a first timer. For sure, a number of times he had been the one dragging the evil sorceress or warlock there. It was never something he had enjoyed doing, but sometimes the cleansing fire was the only thing that stopped the witch from coming back. And now they were facing a "purgatorius ignis" in this village in the middle of northern Ertain… And they were alone.

The fact that there was no one else in the square watching and celebrating the agonizing death of the evildoer surprised Marius more than the pyre itself. There wasn't even a fellow templar or a local clergyman present and that to him was unheard of. The thought was quickly cast aside as the flames made way to show a burnt body leaning against a blackened post. Usually, if the witch was not nailed into the wooden beam, she was shackled in order to keep her in the upright position through the whole thing. That way the suffering took longer and was even more painful. It was something he had always quietly objected to, but also something that was explicitly demanded by the clergy of Rydor. Apparently it was the only was to stop the evil spirit from coming back.

Marius pulled his grey stallion to a halt quite close to the fire, but yet far enough to keep the animal safe. He tried to get a good look at the person tied to the pole to get some indication who he or she had been, but then the flames engulfed the body again and it all but disappeared from sight. The witch hunter led his horse a little more to the side and kept his back to the pyre. The reactions of his friends were diverse, but also expected. He knew them all well enough to guess how each of them would take in the sight. Everyone in the group knew his profession of course, but this was the first time they were witnessing the fiery death of an evil soul together.

It was the words of Mylos that made Marius turn and face his companions. “This place is cursed we should not linger more than we have to. However, I think we should check the houses a witness to these crimes may be there, and also certain... plunders, if Alanus is good.”

The morose holy warrior took his customary time to reply, but shook his head slightly before he did. The greed was a part of Mylos and he couldn't help it. Marius couldn't care less about it as long as the Brathun didn't go around robbing innocent people. If the village was really empty and its people had left the place for good, then Mylos could have his way with anything that was left behind. But the templar didn't agree on them leaving as soon as possible…

"Cursed or not, dear Mylos, we will investigate the events that have taken place in here. And when and only when we are satisfied there is no longer any evil still lurking in this Rydor forsaken village, will we take our leave.", brother Marius said in his deep voice. The words came out well articulated as always. They weren't much more than a whisper, but despite the crackle of the fire, everyone heard them well. Yet, in no way was the witch hunter a leader of the group or anyone's master. His last henchman had died a few years ago in the hands - or fangs - of vampire gone wild. After slaying the bloodsucker Marius had decided to try a different kind of approach from then on. So far being part of the group had proved to be very successful. Of course that meant taking the wishes of the others into account as well, but he had long ago seen that they all were basically doing to the same thing even if for different reasons.

And everyone else had also come to understand that in situations like this, it would be foolish to try to turn Marius away. He would stay back in the village alone if need be until the matter was solved. The group needed everyone of its members, the witch hunter included.

Posted on 2012-03-17 at 23:03:13.

Veteran Visitor
Karma: 15/0
124 Posts

Post number 1

Arvin rode in his customary half aware state, his reigns were wrapped around the saddle horn and to all appearances the mage’s attention was completely focused upon the tome in his hands the close proximity of Sendria forgotten as he focused of studying. Huh, who’d have thought my travels, would bring me back to the city of magic?
As he strode into the library, Arvin could almost see his younger-self moving amongst the tall bookcases within the libraries vast hall. He smiled, as he thought of the time he had spent roaming the stacks, and slowly wandered in the direction of the chief librarian.

“Good day sir,” Arvin spoke giving the gentleman in front of him a slight bow, “I haven’t had the pleasure of touring your fine library, would you be so kind as to point me in the direction of the Planar tomes?” ~A little flattery never hurts, Arvin thought to himself with a mental shrug, Besides, it’s even the truth.~

After spending the day amongst the vast collection of knowledge contained in the library, and with a little help from some of the librarians, Arvin had finally found what he’s been looking for. It was the spell of Dismissal and he couldn’t believe that he didn’t already have it in his spell book. ~Teach me to leave the school without a way to rid myself of the summoning of others, he berated himself silently, just as well everything here is available for a price, He sighed and thought of his once full purse, but that’s what coin is for isn’t it.~
The sounds of the beautiful Swashbuckler, Anna, vaulting into the wagon’s seat brought the mage out of his reverie. He slipped his precious spell book back into its pocket in his belt, and once again took up his reigns. His eyes scanned the surrounding country side, not that he could tell one plant from another. He soon spotted the column of smoke in the sky and with a twitch of the reign altered his course to match that of the wagon.

Half an hour later, the party neared the source of the smoke. It was a small village that smelled heavily of smoke and slightly of cooking meat. As the party closed in on the village, the mage called forth his familiar, Cass. Arvin’s face assumed as slight frown as he concentrated on communicating with Cass, Cass, he spoke in the silence of his mind, take a look around the outskirts of the village, let me know what you find, and keep out if sight. Feeling and ‘hearing’ his companions response, Arvin reigned in his mount and dismounted leaving Rain ‘ground-tied’. Focusing his mental energies, Arvin cast a spell of invisibility upon himself and then followed the others into the lifeless town’s square.

The source of the cooked meat smell became apparent as Arvin’s invisible form strode into the town’s square. In the center of the square stood a bonfire, and as an errant gust of wind parted its flame the mage glimpsed the still moving body of the fire’s victim. His mind shuddered away from the implication of the pain that the burning victim must be enduring and extended his magical senses searching for any magical or other planar presence in the village.

((OoC: I’m more than willing to pay the listed rates for adding a spell for the addition of Dismissal to my spell book.))

Posted on 2012-03-19 at 02:41:33.
Edited on 2012-03-19 at 02:45:18 by Phelan

Aleric Stevanson
Regular Visitor
Karma: 10/0
68 Posts

Mint... Jelly?

"Oh, mint jelly? Dare I say it, dear Annaliese, that sounds positively luscious!" Ark was doing his utmost best to sound like a snooty noble, as he sat beside his fellow Bayrisian. "Kebabs, Anna! Spit-roasted skewers of meat and veggies! Onions, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes... Real food, made with love instead of pomp." The young theif 'mmm's in appreciation. "Oh, look at that, I'm making myself hungry."

Ark stretched lightly, leaning back on his arms. "You know, I kinda miss those days," he says. "Only time in my life I went jumping off rooftops just for fun, you know?" The odd-eyed rogue yawned gently, Smirking with the nostalgia.

Indeed, he had missed those days. Of course, back then he stole the kebabs instead of buying them, but it only made them taste sweeter. Of course, now that he was in position to pay, he had no reason not to, but the memories were still fond ones. In retrospect, near-poverty had been quite kind to Ark.

Posted on 2012-03-19 at 07:45:16.
Edited on 2012-03-19 at 10:35:22 by Aleric Stevanson

Karma: 18/0
207 Posts

Post 2

Mylos studied the man before him, he had rough features and a grim look upon his face. Clearly this was not the first time he had been witness to a burning at the stake, though Mylos had to say he was glad this was his. The flames still flickered and danced in the afternoon sun and smoke billowed from the tips of the fiery fingers atop the blaze, fortunately however the body did not show itself once more. The image flickered into his mind and he shuddered at the thought of it. He looked at the smoke warily, it could only bring more attention and he doubted that it would be friendly, years of travelling had told him that at least. No doubt another bunch of wary men would come and Mylos' tongue would have to talk them out of trouble or pay their way out of it, that was the preferred way. If it came to fighting his hands would shake and the thoughts of running would return and more often than not he would have to be the bait for some well set trap.

The group was silent for awhile after his comment he hoped they would not take it too much into their hearts. The awkwardness was at its peak and Mylos drew in a breath and opened his mouth about to speak once more and just as he did he heard the faint commanding voice of Marius.
“Cursed or not, dear Mylos, we will investigate the events that have taken place here. And when and only when we are satisfied that there is no longer any evil still lurking in this Rydor forsaken village, will we take our leave."

Rydor, its always bloody Rydor he thought to himself silently. The reply had not shocked Mylos, though it had annoyed him. He was hoping for a grab and run, not another extermination of evil. Sometimes he thought the group would be better off without the gloomy witch hunter with his pride and religious piousness, however those thoughts would quickly evaporate when danger loomed. Nevertheless they were here and a decision must be made and Mylos was not about to leave Marius behind.
“A noble and wise thought my friend. I am not one to argue with people bigger and stronger than myself and I doubt there is anything I could do to sway you. Therefore where you tread I readily follow.” Mylos smiled after he had said his piece, it was fake and the others would know this.

Mylos unloaded his crossbow, there appeared no danger. He had been told once that it weakens the string if a quarrel was left loaded for too long a time and he was loath to buy a new one, they were cheap but coins are coins. He put the quarrel back in the ammo pouch at his waist and slung the crossbow over his back. He looked around warily feeling a little more scared without a weapon in hand.
“I say we check that house first.” He said pointing at the largest building in sight.
“I intend to be out of here before nightfall and not to suffer a similar fate as whatever that thing was on the beam.”

His heart began to race, partly of excitement, even these petty commoners must of left some sort of treasure or goods behind, and partly of fear. Who knows what may be lurking in these houses, they may even be watching us now. Another shiver went up his spine and his hand returned to the three ringed necklace that hung about his neck. You're a bloody fool he told himself.

Posted on 2012-03-19 at 18:26:14.
Edited on 2012-03-19 at 18:28:17 by Brundel

Typing Furiously
RDI Staff
Karma: 177/19
3012 Posts

the white smoke

The sight of the coaled body as it spasmed against the flames had made an impression on the group, but not enough for them to abandon their capability to think. They looked around wearily, or in Mylos’ case, curiously. The roaring pyre was casting deep shadows between the buildings, and every crease could be a hiding place. Slowly they scanned every inch of their surroundings, weapons drawn. Arvin even cast a spell to see magical or unearthly beings but through all their efforts they didn’t see any movement other than the infernal dance in the centre of the town square.

The smoke was still piling up and clouding their vision, but though the intensity increased they found that they had no more trouble breathing than when they had entered the village. Their throats were raw, yes, but apparently enough oxygen remained in the air for them to manage. If anything, it felt as though breathing was starting to get easier.

Making sure as much as they could that no immediate threat presented itself the group began to move. They were shadows moving against the light of the flames, making their way to the nearest home. The door was not locked or bolted, and they entered a small hallway which lead into a modest but cosy living room. The smoke had not made its way inside, which caused a moment of relief.
The decoration style and the slight signs of deterioration hinted that this was the home of an elderly couple. On a table they found a ground down knife and a half finished wooden sculpture of a knight on horseback. A ball of yarn and some knitting tools opposed them on the table’s surface. A bowl of fresh apples lay waiting on the small kitchen’s counter, and in one of the drawers they found a purse with three silver coins and a handful of coppers. Upstairs a bed had been made for two, and the contents of a dark brown closet confirmed that two elderly people lived here. The question was: where were they?

When they left the house it seemed the smoke had intensified again. The blazing fire was blanketed in a grey haze and they could no longer see the other side of the town square clearly. They quickly moved on the next house.
It proved to be an inn, named The Boar on Rotation. It was of average size, with a bar and common room big enough to host about fifty people on its most crowded night, and an open stairway leading up to a first floor where clean, practical rooms waited for guests. Two of the guestrooms held small trunks, which carried clothes, some spices, a small dagger, two love letters (for Brian. Love, Theresa) and a pouch with 10 gold pieces.
Downstairs the tables held mugs of ale, a glass of wine, a bowl with bread and a piece of cheese and only one of the drinks had been spilled. Again, the only thing that seemed missing were the people.

Upon exiting the Boar on Rotation they stepped into a white world. Ashes covered the ground, and though the fire was still roaring and crackling nearby, its orange glow was dimmed heavily. They looked around the town square as best they could, but it was like peering into a snow storm. No more could they see the other side of the square. There was no cause for the smoke to cling to the earth as it did, and a feeling of unease slowly started to creep up their spines.

The next house they entered proved to be a library. Their previous visit to Felarin had acquainted them all with the concept of stored books. There was just no escaping them in the city of knowledge. In terms of what they had experienced there, this library was a pig stall. For a small town such as this however, the collection was quite good. There were four big cupboards all filled with old tomes, children’s picture books and fairy tales. There were even some handwritten manuscripts containing the old verses of a local poet who had died a few years back.
On the librarian’s desk lay a half eaten sandwich, wrapped in a cloth, most likely to prevent crumbs from getting in the books.

Back outside, the smoke was still building up. Their vision was limited to only a few feet in front of them. The fiery aura of the pyre was no more than a distant glow, hardly visible through the thick… fog? The white material could no longer be described as smoke. It was cold, and damp, and breathing was no longer a problem at all.

Just when the notion struck them, they heard a sound, coming from within the library. Following the noise they rushed back into the building, just in time to see an old man coming down the stairs into the book-filled room. He was ancient, wearing a long robe with grey bands of cloth hanging from his neck like a brocade scarf trimmed with silver thread. On his chest rested the symbol of an open book.
The old man eyed them with a haunted fever.

“What are you doing here? Who sent you? Curse the bellows and whispers of the fog. Curse you, demonspawn.”

He fumbled for a pendant around his neck and produced a silver symbol equalling the image on his chest. With trembling hands he held it up towards the group.

“Be gone from this holy place!”

Posted on 2012-03-24 at 19:31:15.
Edited on 2012-03-25 at 09:36:00 by Almerin

Karma: 18/0
207 Posts

I told you so....

Mylos looked around cautiously and drew his two Kukris, the weight of them in his hand making him feel a little safer. A voice in the back of his head reminded him that he was useless with them anyway, he shook it off but the truth still remained. It was a sobering thought, if a creature was to jump out on him he would be dead for sure, unless one of the others saved his meagre life, as they had done so many times before. The group all drew their weapons and fanned out, heading towards the nearest house, they approached the small wooden door finding that it was neither locked or bolted.

They entered and a small hallway outstretched before them, the smoke had not filtered inside the house yet and Mylos was grateful for the relief. The smoke had been hacking at his lungs and the smell of the body had caused him to choke more than a few times. Taking a few deep breaths he took in his surroundings. The décor was old fashioned that was for sure, there were old worn out tapestries and an odd smell to the place. He presumed an elderly couple lived here, or had lived here he thought. He sighed in relief, there was little threat from an elderly couple surely. It was what had forced them out, killed them or even what had become of them that he feared.

They ventured down the hallway and found a small adequately furnished living room. Little of worth here he thought, keeping it to himself this time. He saw a knife and a half finished model of poor quality, perhaps a rider of some sort. There was a ball of yarn and knitting tools, worthless. Moving into the kitchen there was a pouch of coins and a bowl of apples, Mylos eyed the coin purse hungrily and grabbed an apple tossing it into the air and catching it, he took a large bite from it, juice dribbling down his chin. After swallowing the apple he suggested that he look after the coin purse.

The bottom floor was empty and they began to steadily make there way up the staircase, cautious as ever Mylos hung back, not daring to go first. There was little of note up the creaking stairs, a bed and a small brown closet, the clothes within confirming that someone had lived here. A shiver of fear made its way up his spine, he had been expecting to find corpses, perhaps murdered in their beds, but this was worse. Where were they, if they had fled then he guessed he would fine but if they were dead where were the corpses? The group had dealt with their fair share of undead but never a whole village full!

Mylos finished his apple as they walked back out of the front door of the house, their search providing no clues, and was about to toss the apple into the flames when he realised he could scarcely make out the flames. The smoke had intensified. He threw the apple aiming for the red glow through the smoke. The group quickly moved on to an inn named the boar on rotation and Mylos noticed that the sign was apt. They walked into the averagely sized tavern, once again the door opened easily and the inside was much like any other inn they had stayed at, apart from this time there was no one inside. The tavern had a lot of similarities to the cosy house they had been in minutes previously. Everything seemed as normal, half filled glasses and half eaten meals, yet still no-one was there. It was strange indeed, as if the people had been plucked from their seats. The only sign of panic was one spilled glass.

Downstairs left no more clues than the home before, so the small company ventured upstairs. They found two guest rooms that had been in use. There were two chests, with little of note apart from the purse with 10 gold pieces and once again Mylos suggested that he carry them, obviously just for the time being. He loved the feel of gold in his hand and how sunlight glittered off of it casting golden light in all directions. His hand returned to the necklace of Alanus around his throat at the thought.

They ventured outside back to the smoke again. It felt different now, ashes littered the floor and the fire appeared to be dying, settling to a dimmed orange glow, though the crackling was still audible. Mylos' eyes returned to the rising smoke overhead, it would have been drawing attention for the last few hours thought Mylos ominously.

They walked next to a library, obviously smaller and less furnished than that of Felarin. Mylos' eyes had widened as they had walked into the huge expanse of Felarins library. His heart had pounded and he was excited to find scriptures from long years passed and spell tomes of incredible potency, yet he had found little of use, they had not stopped long enough for Mylos to fully indulge himself but he was glad for it, he lost coin for every hour he spent in that old musty place. Nevertheless this library was large for the town it was in. He noticed a sandwich rested inside a napkin on the table across the room, but again there appeared no owner to the half eaten morsel.

Before they closed the door behind them they glanced back to the square, the fire was barely visible and the smoke no longer clogged his lungs as before. It had a cold musky damp feel as he inhaled, this was getting very strange he thought, and yet another shiver rippled up his spine. He touched the necklace around his neck again praying for his safety.

As the door closed behind them he heard a creaking of floorboards and movement within the library. An elderly man steeped off the bottom stair and appeared shocked to see them.

“What are you doing here? Who sent you? Curse the bellows and whispers of the fog. Curse you, demon spawn.”

He fumbles with a symbol similar to the pendant around his neck and held it aloft at the group.

“Be gone from this holy place.”

Mylos was as shocked as the old man had been, yet he still managed a jape towards Marius.

“Well I did say.” he murmured to Maruius.

Mylos sheathed his weapons and replied to the elderly man.

“Ho friend, we have been sent by no-one. We saw the fire, as I am sure many others have, and came to help this small town.” Mylos said calmly, then his tone changed to a sterner one

“We need information and we need it now old man.”

Mylos hoped that the old man was sane, for so far he had proved otherwise. He did not take this man for granted, he had seen many others, much more frail than the old man, who had given them a close shave with death.

Posted on 2012-03-26 at 18:50:43.

Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 71/3
1057 Posts

Where are they?

The suggestion Mylos made was as good as any. Marius would've preferred to start with the house of the burgomaster or a temple or church, but picking the starting point by the closeness of its location was not a bad choice either. The one the Brahun was pointing at appeared to be a nondescript family house like most of the buildings in the town. The witch hunter took a look at the houses on either side of it and found no significant differences. The gaze of the blue eyes moved from window to window and met no heads popping in and out from the shadows to take a peek at the strangers in the square. There were no shutters in front of the windows and even the curtains hadn't been drawn. That seemed strange to the Sendrian.

As the rest of the group entered the townhouse, Marius lingered outside. Judging from what he'd seen so far, he felt quite sure the whole town or at least most of the buildings were empty. Had some evil entity or a roving band of raiders attacked the place, all the doors would have been barred, windows shut or tables and cupboards pushed in front of them to give cover. There were no signs of hastily built defenses in any of the houses. It was as if everyone had simply disappeared. Therefore the townspeople had all either run for their lives, were hiding in a single, most defendable place like a church or…. or they were all dead. Though Marius quickly dismissed the last thought as he saw nothing that would indicate any fighting having taken place.

While his companions were examining house, the witch hunter took a walk around the pyre. At first he thought the fire was already dying out and putting up a lot of smoke, but instead there was a strange thick fog rising and starting to hide much of the square from view. Though he was keen to learn the identity of the one burning, Marius was even more interested in any tracks he might find on the ground at the square.

He knelt down on one knee to have a closer look, but cautiously kept his left hand on the handle of his heavy sword. It was clear that there had been a large crowd there very recently, but the traces in the sand didn't tell tales of a battle either. A section of ground showing less activity seemed to come from the southern part of the town to the pole, but there was no following it as it too was soon covered by the tracks of the crowd.

Marius could well imagine the events that had taken place in the square. Everyone in the village had gathered around the square to witness the evil witch's burning. They'd probably been spitting and yelling all kinds of well deserved curses and ugly names at the witch as the town guards had dragged him or her to the pyre. He could almost hear the voices of the villagers and the high pitched scream of the devil worshipper. He'd witnessed it plenty enough times himself.

Standing back up, the grim warrior took his time to take in the details of the town once more. He tried to figure out where the villagers could have gone, but couldn't immediately spot anything obvious. The group would probably need to ride around the town later to see if there was a sanctuary out of view somewhere. The rest of the group returned from inside the house. Having concluded his examination of the town square, brother Marius decided to follow his friends inside the largest building at the square, the inn. It didn't take long for them to go through all the rooms and find nothing out of the ordinary other than the fact that the people were missing.

Next on the list was another characterless building which turned out to be the local library. It was a surprise for the educated warrior to find a library in a remote village such as this. It wasn't all that common to have a center of knowledge in a place so small. Books were rare enough and usually too expensive for just anyone to acquire. And more, farmers rarely had time to worry about history or science or immerse themselves into fictional stories for that matter. Whatever the reason for its existence, the library intrigued Marius beyond anything he'd seen in the village so far, the pyre included. Of course the collection wasn't too big. It was nothing compared the Royal library of Felarin or the secret book storages of the Witch Hunter brotherhood hidden inside the very same city. The selection contained mostly children's stories, local lore and some poetry, but Marius would gladly have spent more than a short moment with the books to see if there were any controversial volumes present. Now was not the time for it however. Noting the half-eaten sandwich, the dark-clad warrior followed the others outside…

… Only to storm back a heartbeat later, when they heard noises from inside the library they had just exited. An old man was descending the stairs from the second floor and he seemed to be very angry. The robe the apparent librarian was wearing looked just as old as the man himself, but was clearly of good quality and expensive. The look on his face was far from sane and his words made little more sense:

“What are you doing here? Who sent you? Curse the bellows and whispers of the fog. Curse you, demonspawn.” The old scholar fumbled the symbol of Jusarin nervously as if hoping the Magister would help him dispel the intruders from his dear library. “Be gone from this holy place!”

Marius raised his eyebrow at the last outcry. Holy place? Perhaps for you and your weakling god. Without your zealousness some of the most evil tomes in the world would have been destroyed centuries ago. Mylos spoke first, but the witch hunter ignored the gnome's remark as well as his greeting to the librarian. He gave the old man no time to recover himself and reply to Mylos. The witch hunter took a few quick steps to reach the elderly man, grabbed him by the front of his robe and pulled him closer. "Listen carefully, graybeard. You seem to be the only one still alive in this Rydor forsaken backwater village of yours. It might not be too far-fetched to claim you're the one responsible for the disappearance or even deaths of the others. So unless you wish to join whomever is enjoying the cleansing flames of the Lawmaker outside, you start making some sense. NOW!"

There was nothing in the witch hunter's voice that would reveal his threat to be an empty one. His companions were fairly sure he wouldn't go ahead and carry through the cruel promise… Probably. The stare from the unblinking bright blue eyes of Marius Thulmann drilled into the scholar's eyes and he seemed to calm down, but didn't let go of the robe. As he spoke again, the templar's voice was firm yet equally intimidating. "Do we have a common understanding?"

Posted on 2012-03-27 at 18:31:30.
Edited on 2012-03-27 at 20:33:52 by Raven

Aleric Stevanson
Regular Visitor
Karma: 10/0
68 Posts

Ash and Fire

Following his companions through the first house, Aleric kept his hand firmly around the hilt of his sword, his off-hand secure around the scabbard's throat, thumb resting on the basket-type hand guard, ready to bring the blade free at a moment's notice. He said nothing through their tour of the first residence, a grim expression upon his normally lively face. To be honest, there was little to joke about. A man staked and immolated in the town square put a rather fine damper on that sort of thing.

It was at the tavern that Ark gave voice to his first grievance. "It's almost like the night was in full swing," he stated quietly, his usually lively tenor dulled and sober. "And all of a sudden everyone just..." He made a waving motion with his hand. "Got up and left." The drinks were the saddest part of the scene; ales and stouts, bitters and lagers, pilsners and porters, wine and mead and spirits, mugs full to the brim, some with the head still happily waiting for a drinker that had somehow forgotten of them. A night of fun and camaraderie lost by some unknown clause, the walls that normally held warmth and happiness, good drinks, good food, and good memories between them, lay empty and cold while the fire burned not in the hearth, but in a macabre funeral pyre out in the square.

When they moved outside yet again, that was when Ark truly began to grow suspicious. "That... Isn't smoke," he said.

When they came upon the old man, Ark was surprised, but unthreatened. "Do I look like a demon to you, good sir?" he asked, striding up to the scene. Mylos was alright, but if Marius was trying to convince what seemed to be a borderline delirious elder-type that he, in fact, was NOT demonsent, he wasn't doing a very good job. "I know my friend here can be a little gruff," the rogue continued, resting an arm across the witch-hunter's shoulders. "But do you see any horns?" that was Ark's jokester, coming back to light. He couldn't help it, honestly. Sure, there's a corpse burning in your square and all your neighbors are mysteriously missing, and a heavily armed, in some cases rather shady, but one and all completely foreign group of strangers have shown up at your door, but at least they aren't ACTUAL DEMONS. His father always told him that life was so much sweeter when viewed so.

Posted on 2012-04-01 at 04:05:06.
Edited on 2012-04-01 at 16:37:14 by Aleric Stevanson

Karma: 138/3
1049 Posts

Anna ~ Lines that are crossed

How on earth are we supposed to find anything with all this damned smoke?
Buildings loomed in and out of view as the party began to search the area. The smoke gave everything thing a washed out hue, and the longer they moved about, the more unnerved Anna became. Houses spoke the same story as the streets: unexplained lifelessness. Their footsteps echoed undisturbed in this city of haze and apparent death.

Anna kept quiet as they searched for answers. In fact, they all did.

They ducked into the next house, and it was readily apparent that it housed the town’s library. Anna shuddered in relief. Whatever was filling the streets out there didn’t feel natural, and she was glad to be out of it. She thumbed casually through a couple of the books left out, and eyeballed the discarded lunch on the table. This building was no different than the rest. They turned to go back outside, and Anna wondered how much longer they would be blundering through all that mess.

Back in the street, visibility had been limited down to practically nothing. They all hesitated; Anna thought about voicing the opinion to tie themselves together, or at least hold onto a rope to not get separated. Like a bolt from the sky, an absurd thought struck her, Shouldn’t we be coughing from all of this smoke? She took a large breath in; the sharp taste of smoke still filled her mouth, but her lungs didn’t protest . In fact, it clung to the skin, cold and damp, like fog?

A disturbance sounded from the library. Someone’s alive! Anna wheeled around and followed the rest of the group as they rushed back into the building. An old man emerged from the stairs, and looked at them all with wild eyes.

“What are you doing here? Who sent you? Curse the bellows and whispers of the fog. Curse you, demonspawn.” His hands scrabbled to grab the pendant around his chest before thrusting it in their direction.

A Cleric? Monk?
“Be gone from this holy place!” he gasped.

Anna was in shock. Were they being blamed for all of this? She looked down and back around at the rest of her companions. Well, they did look rather demonic, most heavily armed and covered in grey ash. Gods, I could use a bath. She understood why the old man had greeted them in the manner that he did. Hell, she was pretty freaked out too, and had everyone she knew disappeared from unknown circumstances, would probably be calling on Shinara for help.

Mylos clicked his weapons home and approached the old man.

“Ho friend, we have been sent by no-one. We saw the fire, as I am sure many others have, and came to help this small town,” he said to him, adding in a gruffer voice, “We need information and we need it now old man.”

Anna had a difficult time not rolling her eyes. People wanted to be calmed, sympathized with, not be turned on immediately by complete strangers.Not the approach I would have taken, but maybe it’ll shock him out of this state.
Marius strode swiftly by Mylos and bodily grabbed the old man.

"Listen carefully, graybeard. You seem to be the only one still alive in this Rydor forsaken backwater village of yours. It might not be too far-fetched to claim you're the one responsible for the disappearance or even deaths of the others. So unless you wish to join whomever is enjoying the cleansing flames of the Lawmaker outside, you start making some sense. NOW!"

He didn’t let go, "Do we have a common understanding?"

“Marius,” Anna stated coldly, “You don’t need to accost every innocent we encounter. No one likes the situation happening outside, and you’re not making it any better by physically threatening someone.”

Posted on 2012-04-01 at 15:21:10.
Edited on 2012-04-01 at 15:21:49 by Celeste

Veteran Visitor
Karma: 15/0
124 Posts

damage control

As the party wandered from building to building searching the town, Arvin studied the figure in the flames thinking “Whatever is in the middle of that fire can’t be a normal human, we don’t survive being burned alive for more than a few moments.”
The mage watched as the party ventured into the first house. His invisible state giving him a feeling of safety, he watched as Marius lingered in the square examining the ground around the ghastly bonfire. When the party left the first building and moved to the second, Arvin rejoined their ranks and moved with them toward the next building.

The pall covering the village seemed to thicken more and more as the party lingered in the little village searching the buildings for some evidence of the event that had caused the villagers mass exodus. The Inn was much like any other small town inn and its common room had obviously been heavily occupied before being emptied, but there were no signs of a struggle and aside from the figure in flames the village seemed to be truly deserted. Ark spoke-up in the tavern voicing his thoughts, "It's almost like the night was in full swing," he stated quietly, his usually lively tenor dulled and sober, "And all of a sudden everyone just..." He made a waving motion with his hand. "Got up and left."

There was nothing the mage could say to that observation and so he kept his peace. The party left the Boar on Rotation and moved to the next building.

The next building held a pleasant surprise for the arcane caster, it was a small library. That’s odd, you usually don’t find libraries in small towns and villages. I wonder if there are any books that would be of use for me here? Arvin watched as Anna thumbed through a random volume on a table. He stepped to one side and allowed the others to pass by him as he prepared to cast a spell. Maybe, some poor sod-buster found a tome or a scroll of some sort and passed it on to the librarian.
Just as he was starting the incantation, there was a sound from the second floor and the party burst back into the library. Leaving the spell incomplete, Arvin turned to see what had caused the noise and saw the robed figure of an old man descending the stairs into the book filled room. He was ancient, wearing a long robe with grey bands of cloth hanging from his neck like a brocade scarf trimmed with silver thread. On his chest rested the symbol of an open book.

The old man eyed them with a haunted fever.

“What are you doing here? Who sent you? Curse the bellows and whispers of the fog. Curse you, demonspawn.”

Arvin was shocked by the appearance of life in this otherwise dead town and watched with growing alarm as the old man reached into his vestments for a holy symbol.

He fumbled for a pendant around his neck and produced a silver symbol equaling the image on his chest. With trembling hands he held it up towards the group.

“Be gone from this holy place!”

Mylos was the first to respond to the sudden appearance of the old man and sheathing his weapons responded to the robed figure, “Ho friend, we have been sent by no-one. We saw the fire, as I am sure many others have, and came to help this small town.” Mylos spoke calmly, then his tone changed to a sterner one, “We need information and we need it now old man.”

Before the man could respond to Mylos, Marius took a few quick steps to reach the elderly man, grabbed him by the front of his robe and pulled him closer. "Listen carefully, graybeard. You seem to be the only one still alive in this Rydor forsaken backwater village of yours. It might not be too far-fetched to claim you're the one responsible for the disappearance or even deaths of the others. So unless you wish to join whomever is enjoying the cleansing flames of the Lawmaker outside, you start making some sense. NOW!"

There was nothing in the witch hunter's voice that told Arvin his threat was an empty one. Though the mage was fairly sure he wouldn't carry through on the crude promise. The templar continued to stare into the scholar's eyes, but didn't let go of the robe. As he spoke again, the templar's voice was firm yet equally intimidating. "Do we have a common understanding?"

Arvin was more than a little shocked and angered by Marius’s actions and was preparing to let the self-righteous little Rydor worshipper know exactly what he thought when Ark stepped forward trying to diffuse the situation, "Do I look like a demon to you, good sir?" he asked, striding up to the scene, "I know my friend here can be a little gruff," the rogue continued, resting an arm across the witch-hunter's shoulders. "But do you see any horns? Sure, there's a corpse burning in your square and all your neighbors are mysteriously missing, and a heavily armed, in some cases rather shady, but one and all completely foreign group of strangers have shown up at your door, but at least they aren't ACTUAL DEMONS.”

The growing anger that Arvin felt was in no-way reduced by Ark’s casual banter and he was preparing to launch Marius a few miles out of town when Anna spoke, her tone icy, “Marius, You don’t need to accost every innocent we encounter. No one likes the situation happening outside, and you’re not making it any better by physically threatening someone.”

“This has gone quiet far enough,” Arvin thought and then called to his familiar, “Cass make your way back to Rain and continue to stay out of sight.”
Arvin stepped forward and spoke aloud for the first time since entering the village, “Marius, Anna is correct and your approach to the situation is quiet repugnant,” as he spoke the mage’s bearing became more regal and his tone became more commanding, “You will release that man and step away from him.”

and if you don’t my little witch-hunter, you might just find yourself miles away from where your standing…I do hope I don’t accidentally put you into a tree or rock when you get there.
“My apologies for my companions rude behavior learned sir, but one can never be too cautious when dealing with the unknown,” Arvin continued, his tone and manner still that of a noble’s, he now directly addressing the old man, “Now, if everyone would calm down perhaps we could begin to resolve this situation.”

Posted on 2012-04-01 at 16:51:13.
Edited on 2012-04-01 at 17:30:42 by Phelan

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