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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
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Related thread: Hidden Corruption: Aftermath
GM for this game: t_catt11
Players for this game: Raven, Bromern Sal, Eol Fefalas, Reralae, breebles
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    Messages in The Corruption Hidden Beneath the Surface...
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Raven
Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 71/3
1084 Posts


We shall prevail!

Another door, another magical trap. Whomever was behind this all clearly didn’t want any visitors, at least not living ones. Cedric had been taught a prayer that helped him reshape small pieces of wood, but the door ahead of them was way larger than anything he would be able to modify… unless… Unless he directed the magical power to a smaller area around the hinges! Yes! Despite of the gravity of the situation, the thought brought a smile to the young man’s face.

Before he had a chance to suggest his idea to the rest of the team, Gib’s deep and experienced voice suggested a more… traditional way of opening the portal: a rope! The smile on Cedric’s voice froze for a heartbeat and then came back again, wider. Of course! Why hadn’t he thought of that? So much simpler and would save his strength too. The cleric liked to idea and nodded eagerly to Gib. “Yes. That’s a great idea! But how do we get the rope in place without disturbing the trap? Is it safe? And... and as I'm not very skilled in combat, maybe I should take a place behind you guys ready to assist you if needed?”

Despited of his question, Cedric felt quite useless. He had his trusty staff, but he knew from their earlier fights with the undead that it was not very effective and his old sling was not much better. Stones against walking corpses that were impervious to pain? Yeah right, what a blessing that would be… If only I could do something that would help the others fighting the shamblers… 

The cleric looked at his friends who didn’t seem to be too worried about the monsters behind the door. They definitely didn’t even consider running away to save themselves. Only one thing mattered now and that was getting Kith and Davena safe and away from the claws and jaws of the gigglers. 

Cedric had no doubt in his heart either about what they should do next even if he didn't really know what use he would be in the fight they all knew would come any moment now... Right here, right now, he was a warrior of Light; a spearhead of Solanis’s attack against the evil in the tunnel. He was the herald of the Sun who would help the righteous warriors beside him strike down the servants of D’hurgen. There was no doubt in his heart. 

Wait… Radiant Father… Your Light could be a blessing. Your might could sharpen the edges of our swords and our daggers. I am the vessel of your Power, my Lord; the conduit of your kindness and love. Use me, oh Father.

“Friends…”, Cedric’s voice was soft, but surprisingly strong. There was no lack of conviction in his words, no fear in his soul. He was not asking for permission nor commanding, but what he said was not a suggestion either. “Prepare for the onslaught behind the door and the once you are ready, gather around me.”

When the rope had been attached and the ranged weapons readied, the young man faced his companions with the confidence of a much older and experienced clergyman, with the kindness and love and empathy he had seen in the Abbot’s eyes so many times. Standing in front of the group was a young priest, barely a man, in his worn and faded yellow robes and he was a man who was ready to die in order to save his friends. Despite of all the hideous sounds echoing in the tunnel and from behind the wooden door, Cedric was calmer than he had been in weeks. He knew his place in the order of things now. He now knew who he was and why.

“Oh Radiant Solanis, Shining Lord, the bringer of Light and the master of Mornings, hear me now like you have heard me so many times before. We stand before you united in our diversity. We have come together to put a stop to the evil spawning in this temple of doom and to save our dear friend Kithran and our new friend Davena. Give us your blessing in our undertaking. Give us your love and help us destroy the monstrous beings who aim to defile the World and shadow your Light. Bless us, oh Father!”

With the prayer done, Cedric gave a bow to his companions, gripped his staff tight and rolled the words of another prayer on his tongue. 



Posted on 2019-10-25 at 07:33:41.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 361/54
6782 Posts


door, door, door

Garn snarls in barely contained rage, but swallows his retort and falls into line, weapon gripped with white knuckled intensity.

A rope is produced and carefully tied around the door's handle with great care.  At one point, Ch'dau is certain that his fur, at least, brushed the door's surface, but nothing happens. 

Cedric lays his hands upon each of you, sprinkling a small amount of holy water as he calls for Solanis' blessing.  When he is done, you can swear that you feel a little more certain of yourselves and your chances, no matter the evils you may face.

At a coordinated moment, Ch'dau jerks on the rope, ripping the door open.  There is a dull THUD noise, and flames explode from the door casing in a sphere.  Both Ch'dau and Gib are close enough to receive minor burns, which while unpleasant, at least gives the satisfaction of knowing that anything on the other side of the door received the same treatment. 

And indeed, the chamber on the other side of the door is packed full of zombies - a good ten or so shamble immediately into the doorway at the bidding of a black robed man near the back of the room. 

It is clear that the party has the advantage here, as the zombies appear willing to force themselves through the door one at a time, giving the group ample chance to deal with them in a controlled manner. 



Posted on 2019-10-25 at 12:48:51.
Edited on 2019-10-25 at 12:49:59 by t_catt11

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
RDI Staff
Karma: 456/28
8104 Posts


DEAD meat!!!

Ch’dau hadn’t failed to notice Garn’s displeasure, nor the fact that the monkey-man had choked down words of his own… When this is over, the big cat thought, perhaps carelessly turning his back on the man, you and I will have our reckoning. Until then… He let the thought finish without words and, having heard suggested strategies from the rest, complied with Gib’s, which seemed to be the wisest and most straight forward.

In the securing of the rope to the door-handle, the kazari had, at one point, felt his fur brush against the door and, in that moment, tensed, bracing for whatever might come. However, nothing happened and, for that, he was grateful if still anxious to do away with the wooden blockade. Cedric’s call upon his god had soothed him a bit; made him more confident in his outlook and surer that, whatever might come, he was ready to face it. So it was that, when the rope was given to his hand and the signal was given, Ch’dau didn’t hesitate to pull with all his might. As the portal tore open, a dull thud, a flash of light and heat, and the smell of scorched hair followed. It was disorienting and uncomfortable to be sure, but, at the same time, he took some small pleasure in the knowledge that the abominations on the other side of the door had suffered it’s effect as well. Even as the ends of his fur still burned and the spots dancing before his vision sought to escape, the Silver Cat growled and brought his weapons to bear, stabbing and slashing at the rotting foes that pressed the doorway.

Even as he hacked away at the relentless rotters, the kazari caught sight of the ebon-robed man beyond them… likely guiding them… and, though he would have dearly loved to have shoved the zombies aside and had his way with the still living monkey, he thought better of it when he imagined what Gib might have to say about such a reckless charge. Instead, and between swipes of his own blades, Ch’dau called out to those behind him; “A priest of the Dead One! I will bring you blood, friends! Be ready!”

With that, Ch’dau’s tactics changed from simply hacking away at the dead before him to, when the opportunity presented itself, taking hold of one or two and slinging them out into the hallway behind him as he tried to force his way through the portal and make more room for the fight.

((OOC: There ya have it. Not abandoning “the plan” just making a slight modification. Given our marching order, I figure that, if Ch’dau starts hauling the random zombie or two thru the door, the others in the line will be more than capable of dealing with them and, at the same time, he’ll free up space to move further into the room. If/when he makes it through the doorway, he’ll move to one side (preferably his left) in order to open up space for ranged attacks from his cohorts and continue his hack and slash business on the undead while still trying to move toward the priest.))



Posted on 2019-10-25 at 19:22:16.

breebles
#1 Kibibi
Karma: 38/1
1237 Posts


Despite All Her Rage

The room is quiet as Charl leaves, save for the light rustling sounds of Davena settling Kithran back down into place. She can feel the blood pounding in her head and she believes at first it is a continuation of the rage that had coursed through her just moments ago, but as the silence begins to break with the sounds of maniacal laughter, the anger gives way to fear. The creature enters the room and it is a moment she had been dreading since she had fallen the night before; that cold, pit in her stomach, that panic she had only pushed through because her friends needed her. But now . . . .

The thing looked at her, ichor dripping from its incisors, and an ungodly grin plastered to its face. Davena speaks to her of the pain and suffering, death and the loss of one’s mind and one’s self, but all of those are preferable to this thing, to what that witch intended to do with her.

"I will release you from the hold now," Davena continues, and Kith’s fists yearn to break her jaw, "Once more, I will offer to answer any questions that you may have."  She pauses, her expression grows hard and cold again. "I would advise you to stay where you are, however. If you move, the ghoul will bite you - and you will receive your first punishment after. If you were not aware, you will be unable to move or resist, but you will feel absolutely everything. Do you understand?"

With an uttered syllable, agency is returned to her body, and she lets herself bask simply in that for a moment, unsure of how long she will be granted such a gift.

The giggling erupts then and the creature seems barely able to control itself, sending Kith toward a spiral until Aranwen’s words force themselves into her mind. They fight to press back the darkness of panic lining her mind before it truly sets in, you are not there, you are here . . . but here is pretty terrifying, Ara. She shakes her head, No, I am here. Do not look there. I am here.

Kithran composes herself, despite the fiend, and makes herself look back up at Davena. Davena, who had just bore witness to Kith’s weakness. Davena, who would command and watch Kith being brutalized by this creature. Davena, who Kith would do her best to stall for as long as possible.

“Alright, okay. Yes, I have questions. But first, do you mind removing that thing from the room? It is clearly difficult for me to concentrate with it in here. You’ve mentioned wishing me as much comfort as possible at this time, that is all I am asking for. He is more than welcome to come back in for the rape.”

Davena smiles patronizingly. "Kithran, that ship has sailed," she replies. "I gave you the opportunity to discuss this respectfully, and you foolishly chose to attack me in a pathetic attempt to escape."

I still punched you in the face.

Her face hardens. "I could bind you if I so chose.  I could hurt you so very, very much. But I am a reasonable - if firm - woman. So I am allowing you a final chance to conduct yourself in a more... civil manner."

She glances at the ghoul. "However, I am no fool. While I doubted that I could trust you, I wanted to give you the chance. This creature will not harm you as long as you comply - you have my word on that."

Kith manages to suppress the scoff that threatens to escape, but her expression gives her away. Davena chuckles. "You doubt my word? When have I ever lied to you? I told you that we were investigating the undead - we were. I wanted to know which fool had brought a large group like that out to attract attention to our efforts. I told you that we slew the priest, and we did - Garn cut the fool's throat, and the man was grateful for the mercy. I told you that none of the priests had shared the knowledge of the curse of the door with me... why would they?"

She shakes her head, beautiful blonde hair floating as she does so. "No, the creature will not harm you as long as you comply. If you try to get up, he will bite you. If you try to run or attack... well, it will be a more painful outcome for you."

She pauses. "As for a 'rape' - my dear. I am here to give you a great gift. This creature will not be involved... not at first, anyway. There are preparations to make for this momentous event. I understand that you are frightened, child... anyone would be. But you need not be afraid - provided you make no more foolish choices."

“You’ve met me, Davena,” Kith glances again at the ghoul, but returns to her captor, forcing as much malice as she can out of her voice and expression, “I am foolish by design, but you have the word of a shifty thief that I will stay put,” for now, “though I should mention that I quite enjoy being bound, so if you must, you must. Please don’t tell the clerics.”

Davena allows the corner of her mouth to raise in a ghost of a grin.

"Be that as it may, child, I've no wish to be struck again... and truly, no wish to administer the necessary punishment after. So for now, at least, the ghoul will remain."

Kithran’s eyes want to shift back to the ghoul, but focusing on Davena allows her to center herself in rage, rather than fear. I am here, I will break her jaw, I am here.

“I apologize for the crassness, Davena, it is the only armor you’ve left me with, and as I will shortly be out of my mind, I am wont to enjoy it while I can.” Don’t look at it, I am here, “My first question is only, why? What is all of this for? Is it simply your lord’s intention to rule this wretched plane? And you, what is your prize for being such a loyal servant, and finding the only creature in all the land capable enough to bring about this, this . . . this anchor?”

The blond woman pauses for a moment before responding.  

"What do you know of the gods, and of how they interact with the world?" she asks the rogue, who shrugs in return.  "As you are surely aware, the gods exert their influence in Audalis through vessels such as myself and your friends, Gib and Cedric. And yet... mortal vessels are a rather limiting factor, as you might imagine."  She pauses another moment.

"A deity may, in fact, manifest directly here in the world, using the form of an avatar. But doing so requires a great deal of focus and energy, and puts the deity in question at great risk; should that physical form be destroyed, it would cause them serious harm.  Furthermore, while manifesting in such a way does give them great power in a focused area, it forces their influence at large to be diminished, as they are less able to give necessary attention to their entire domain."

The blonde woman smiles, though the smile is very cold and empty.  "Long ago, when the idea of the world was young, the gods came to a binding accord to never fully manifest in the physical realm, for doing so had catastrophic effects on reality. A cleric's acts are the ripples made from casting a pebble into a pond... the avatar's acts are a boulder tossed into the same pond... the full might of a god is a mountain top cast down from on high into it.  And yet..."

She stares wistfully for a moment or two. "Even so, were a god to so manifest, they could bend reality to their whim. All other powers would be forced to bend the knee - if they were to survive at all. Yet the agreement was binding; no matter the desire, no matter the reason, no deity can directly manifest here. It cannot be."

The smile tugs at her mouth again, this time, seeming genuine. "Unless there was another way. You see, if a god's very essence were combined with the reality of this physical world, then this anchor would allow them to bring their full glory into our world." She pauses and looks at Kithran meaningfully. "This, dear, is where you come in."

"With the aid of certain rituals, the dead can feel the urge to procreate. Of course, this is not possible... except, with proper preparation, it is possible to bind their issue to the living. To bring forth a being of both death and life. To create... an anchor for my Lord."

The blonde woman's beautiful face is caught up in an expression of rapt devotion as she seems to marinate in the idea, but to Kith, for a brief moment the elation on her face is reminiscent of the uncontrollable joy of the ghouls.

"As for my prize? Kithran, you miss the picture. Certainly, my Lord will reward me handsomely, but I long ago gave my life to him wholly. My entire purpose is to do my Master's bidding. I will confess, however... I am more than a little envious of you. I can serve, but you, my dear... you will be the MOTHER OF A GOD. What greater honor can a woman have?"

An aneurysm, “Indeed, yes. I would jump up and join you in praise, but alas, I am not allowed.” She grinned and continued in her prone state, “These ‘preparations’ you are to put me through before your lord plants his massive anchor in me, what do those entail? And what exactly are those things anyway? Were they made to giggle like that? Are they the only conduits in which your lord may . . . complete the forming of his anchor?”

Davena's expression sours a bit at Kithran's sarcasm, and the blonde woman's tone is ice.  "You would do well to hold your tongue when it next decides to mock my faith. If you drive me to punish you, child, the price I extract from you will be more unpleasant than even your vivid imagination can conceive of. Once I act, I will even the ledger for every offense," she pauses to touch a finger to her lip with a faint smile, "so you would be wise to operate within my grace."

“We’ve established my wisdom already, Davena.” She shrugs, “There is only one way in which I am not destroyed here in some way or another, and since they seem to be taking their time,” she pauses for a quick glare toward the door, “then torture or melting my mind will do.”

The priestess ignores this, glancing instead at the ghoul beside her. "These 'things' are simply ghouls. They are intelligent after a manner, though the transformation into undeath destroys much of their mind - ergo the giggling. They revel in pain and chaos and fear, have a taste for the flesh of the dead... and are quite insane. Those slain by them become ghouls themselves, which is convenient for the church."

She pauses to consider the query.  "I am not certain if the rituals would work with other undead.  Skeletons... well, they obviously lack the equipment necessary to carry out their part, as do zombies in many cases.  Zombies are also mindless, and as such, cannot feel the arousal necessary."

She muses for a moment. "Many of the more powerful undead are skeletal in nature and thus again are unsuitable. A vampire might potentially work, I suppose, though those creatures have their own agendas and can be troublesome to deal with."

Davena shakes her head. "No, the ghouls are simply the best choice. Quite dead, yet still with the ability to think, still well enough preserved to typically be able to perform the necessary duties, can be aroused well enough... and are still easily controlled."

The emptiness left by the priestess’ moment of pondering is filled only by the endless giggles of the ghoul, and Kithran scrambles for more words. She has plenty of questions, but as the time passes she can feel Davena’s impatience to begin whatever it is she has planned for the thief grow.

"As for the rituals themselves…” Davena continues, “there are incantations to be spoken over you and your... partners. You both require preparation to enable the joining of life to death in this manner, for without it, the joining will fail."  She pauses meaningfully. "We can continue to try again and again until it takes, of course; keep that in mind if you plan to try to disturb the incantations. Our ghouls lose many parts of their minds in undeath, so if you so desire to give them practice in these matters, by all means - go ahead and interrupt the rituals. A month from now, two months from now... you may be more amenable to cooperation."

“Do you think you will live that long?”

The blonde woman's face is a terrifying mask for a moment or two, but she relaxes back into a more serene expression.  "My dear, I can appreciate the need for bravado, to show some sort of control over the situation. But you have no control. You need to accept this; it will make everything far easier on you."

"Before we proceed," she continues, "there is a test I wish to administer." Kith struggles to keep back her sneer, but the priestess holds up a hand to forestall any protest. "It will not hurt you in any manner whatsoever, I promise you this."

Davena reaches up and removes the necklace she wears. "Did you know that my mother was also a priestess? A powerful priestess, in fact - of Miellyah, of all deities." She chuckles musically. "This trinket is, in fact, a relic from her work." She holds the pendant up for Kithran to inspect. It is a rather simple silver necklace with a grayish stone set into the pendant.

Kithran leans in slightly to inspect, though veers away as the the ghoul twitches in her peripheral vision. She looks looks back up at her captor, “She sounds kind. My mother left me. It would seem both of ours have failed us.”

Davena nods, and Kith is unsure if she caught the slight, "She was indeed kind. She helped many people, gave of herself selflessly. But she had no real power; she could not protect herself - or me - from those who wished us harm.  Her weakness cost her own life and my freedom; so yes, she did fail me. But fate had a plan for me, and it has worked out rather well."

Davena returns her attention to the necklace.

"The stone here glows white in accordance to your fertility," the priestess explains. "The closer you are to your ideal time for conception, the stronger the glow will be. Once the seed is successfully planted, the glow turns golden." Davena smiles. "I always thought it to be a rather silly device, truly; what woman cannot simply track her moon flow? But as it turns out, the flow is not predictable for some women, and some lack the sense to listen to their own bodies, so the stone is tangible proof for them, I suppose."

Davena pulls her blouse up, exposing her belly, then places the pendant against her skin just above the navel, but nothing happens. "I watched my mother do this dozens of times, studied the glows when she did it. Of course, as you can see, it does not glow at all for me - I may as well be a man, for all the good my womb does."  Her expression has fallen, appears slightly... sad.  

"I once was in your position, child," she explains, as she pulls the pendant away, letting the blouse fall back down. "I once carried the Dark Lord's seed, even delivered a babe. But the connection was not strong enough, and it perished. I was left barren, so this has become my life's work. If I could not mother my god, I could see to it that He was still born. And now, I have found you."

She smiles gently and holds the pendant up. "Raise up your skirts, Kithran. I already know that you are close to the appropriate time, but I would like to confirm exactly how close." She glances at the ghoul, then at the priests. "No harm will come to you if you comply. If you do not, the creature will bite you, I will read you anyway, and you will then be punished. The end result will be the same; your choice is how painful the path must be."

Kithran felt a wry smile touch the corner of her mouth despite herself, “Davena, as you wish, of course, but people usually buy me a drink first.” She keeps her eyes on the trinket as she pulls up the putrid gown the witch has dressed her in.

The priestess allows her gaze to drop, feasting it on Kithran's nether regions for several long moments before returning her eyes to meet Kith's. An undeniable smirk decorates Davena's face. "Perhaps later," she states casually. "We will have plenty of time to fill, after all."

The suggestion feels more like a threat, and Kith narrows her eyes, “I am flattered, truly, but I must decline. Aranwen would be very disappointed, and there is not much less in this world I would wish for myself than her disappointment.”

The priestess shrugs and Kith presses on, “Hypothetically, if your Lord’s anchor womb should, say, fall out of a window,” she asks, watching Davena’s expression turn impatient, “would that bring your plans to an end?”

The priestess reaches forward with the pendant as she answers. "Naturally, your death would prevent the birth of the anchor, which would be a shame. But if you perish, we will continue the search; another suitable vessel will be located eventually. The Devourer is infinitely patient, and will bide His time until the conditions are right. Of course," she fixes gazes with Kithran again, "it will be difficult for you to locate a window here underground. And you will have an assistant on hand to ensure your comfort and safety at all times; you are far from the first young woman initially unhappy with her fate." A falsely sweet smile decorates the beautiful, scarred face as she touches the pendant to Kithran's belly.

The pendant is cool to the touch, though it momentarily causes a tingling sensation in Kithran's skin. The false smile on Davena's features is rapidly replaced by a large, genuine grin as the stone begins to glow intensely white. 

"My dear, your time is upon you," Davena speaks breathlessly. "The potion you drank earlier will help extend the window of opportunity, but the glow tells me that the timing is literally as good as it can be."

The priestess glances over her shoulder as she removes the pendant from Kith's skin. "Charl, tell Ranus to start his preparations at once - it is time," she speaks, and Kith tries to control her breathing.

The dark robed man bobs his head and turns to leave.  "At once, Mistress!" he answers.

Davena glances back at Kithran, a genuine smile on her face.  "Pull your skirts down for now, dear. It is time to prepare."



Posted on 2019-10-26 at 02:05:16.
Edited on 2019-10-26 at 12:53:35 by breebles

Reralae
Dreamer of Bladesong
Karma: 135/12
2332 Posts


Time

From her placement at the back of the group, Aranwen watched, her fingers clenched white around the hilt of her blade. She watched the zombies enter the hall, only to be cut down by Ch'dau and Gib's efforts, before more took their place. While it suited them to continue this at minimum risk to themselves, Aranwen could only see it as a delaying tactic. 

"There's naught to be gained by staying on the back foot," Aranwen called forward, "We need to make an opening, that we can together take more of them out by our combined efforts!" 



Posted on 2019-10-26 at 12:42:40.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 361/54
6782 Posts


time after time

As the front line fighters begin to engage the zombies through the narrow doorway, Cedric holds aloft his holy symbol and calls on Solanis to intervene.  The god of light and life is listening, and his power causes all but three of the zombies to turn and flee!

The tide ofo the battle instantly turns, with the kazari easily cutting down a zombie in the doorwayand pressing forward. 

The black robed priest sees the folly of making a stand here, and elects instead to turn and flee down one of the two hallways that branch off of this room.  A clang can be heard, as if from a metal door or gate being slammed home behind him.

Short work is made of the two remaining zombies, and in moments, the chamber stands empty.

This is junction type chamber with open hallways to the west (the direction the evil priest fled) and north.  To the east is the open wooden door the party just came through.  There is little in this room save one wall sconce with green flames. 



Posted on 2019-10-28 at 14:50:34.

Reralae
Dreamer of Bladesong
Karma: 135/12
2332 Posts


A hunch

Aranwen nodded with satisfaction seeing the zombies shambling away. She placed a hand on Cedric's shoulder, "You see?" She offered softly to his ear, giving a gentle smile, "Do not doubt your worth; that you can call on Solanis' blessing and radiance is no small feat, and it takes a strong connection to bring such miracles forth. You can do this; you already have."

She looked forward, towards the western passage, then the northern.

"I may not know the details of this place," Aranwen mused as she recalled, "But in any fortified location there necessitates passages to bypass other defenses and dangers that would otherwise slow an attacker, while letting a defender retreat. Does this match your memory as well, Gib?" She asked.

((Presuming the affirmative))

Aranwen nodded, "I suspect our robed adversary made good a retreat by one such passage, with the hope that a gate would suffice to force us down the other," she continued, before giving a smirk to Ch'dau, "Shall we prove them wrong, dear friend?"



Posted on 2019-10-28 at 22:06:25.

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
RDI Staff
Karma: 456/28
8104 Posts




At Cedric’s call upon Solanis’ might, a good number of the zombies under the dark priest’s command turned and fled and the feral grin on the kazari’s face split wider than the shambler in the doorway. Ch’dau shoved the thing out of his way even as it fell and waded into the room beyond the door with deadly intent.

With most of his minions having turned at Cedric’s prayer, the priest of D’hurgen turned and fled as the party pressed into the room.

“Coward!” Ch’dau roared at the retreating priest’s back, even as the last of the undead fell to his companions’ blades. That frustrated snarl went unanswered but was punctuated, instead, by a heavy metallic clanking from the hallway into which the dark priest had fled. The Silver Cat’s immediate desire to chase the D’hurganite down was curtailed, though; first, by the sight of yet another corridor that led from this room and, next by Aranwen’s voice.

"I may not know the details of this place," the bladesinger said, her golden eyes assessing the west-leading passage and then the northern, "But in any fortified location there necessitates passages to bypass other defenses and dangers that would otherwise slow an attacker, while letting a defender retreat. Does this match your memory as well, Gib?" She asked.

((Gib’s reply))

Aranwen nodded, "I suspect our robed adversary made good a retreat by one such passage, with the hope that a gate would suffice to force us down the other," she continued, before giving a smirk to Ch'dau, "Shall we prove them wrong, dear friend?"

“Yes, Kahtun,” the kazari nodded in return, already stalking in the direction that the priest had fled, “yes, we shall!”



Posted on 2019-10-29 at 09:35:18.

Raven
Resident Finn
RDI Staff
Karma: 71/3
1084 Posts


Red cheeks!

Ha! My God is stronger than your god! 

Cedric’s first thought after his, or more the Radiant Father’s, success in turning the zombies was more than a bit childish. Being a young man, though wise for one of his age, the cleric’s behaviour was some times impulsive. He took a quick look around to see how everyone had reacted to his thoughts... and let out a silent sigh. He was really glad he hadn’t said it out loud. The smile, however, stayed on his face as he watched the warriors swiftly cut down the remaining shamblers. 

During his studies, Cedric had read about great clerics who were powerful enough to outright destroy undead beings with the might of their faith. Heroes like Piotr the Prudent or the ever-so-sunny Sanna, a former Sendrian torturer who had seen Solanis’s light and instead of killing people had dedicated her life to healing and saving souls. There were numerous other tales of the greatest of the Radiant Father’s servants, but Cedric couldn’t afford to reminisce more about them right now.

As Aranwen laid her hand on his shoulder, it almost made Cedric jump. He’d been too concentrated in the turning attempt and too deep in his thoughts to notice the silently moving Syl. Her soft voice from the soft lips very close to his ear made the young heart in the priest’s chest beat faster and red rise to his cheeks. She could probably feel his inexperienced body flinch ever so slightly under her fingers. There had been no women in the abbey and there had never been a girl in the lad’s life either. Yes, he’d had his innocent crushes like every teen boy, but such a soft, female touch even without any hidden meanings almost made him weak in the knees.

Cedric quickly cleared his throat and nodded. “Yes, ahem, I... it seems you’re right. The Blazing Lord seems to be pleased about my actions and the direction we have taken... Yes. Thank you.” The attempt for a bow was funny at best. It was clear the young cleric had very little or no experience in such manners. He forced his best professional expression on his face and nodded to Aranwen. “But.. you know… they may return at some point. Unfortunately I am not yet strong enough to stop them completely.”

As the next actions were discussed, Cedric stayed back in the shadows trying to be as invisible as he could allowing the more battle-hardened people to decide what they should do next… and also to hide his blush.



Posted on 2019-10-30 at 06:52:54.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 145/11
4055 Posts




Moreno studies the room and their options with a critical eye, acknowledging Aranwen's statement with a nod of his helmeted head. He is reticent to face a potential dead end at an iron gate, or overwhelming reinforcements that the fleeing cleric may collect. Well aware of the press for time they are under, the warrior priest draws in a deep breath, "We should at least check beyond the door. Leave no enemy at our back if possible."



Posted on 2019-10-30 at 17:29:24.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 361/54
6782 Posts


get 'em, boys!

The party gives chase to the fleeing priest, Ch'dau leading the way with blooklust pumping in his ears.  You hurry down the more narrow hallway until the group comes to an iron gate blocking the way.

The greenish glow seems slightly brighter beyond the gate.  The hallway beyond the gate opens up into a larger chamber with filthy, blackened straw scattered here and there on the ground.  A broken, stained wooden table stands just inside the room; it may be wise to not dwell on what caused the stains. 

Further in, you can make out a series of smaller iron gates on both sides of the chamber.  Most of the smaller gates stand open, though one or two are closed. If you listen closely, you can make out the sound of weeping from further in, and you are certain that you hear a cry of pain at least once.

Upon further inspection, an interesting fact leaps out at you - the iron gate that blocks your path appears to be slighly adjar.  It would appear that in his haste to flee, the priest neglected to secure the latching mechanism properly. 



Posted on 2019-10-31 at 09:44:22.

Eol Fefalas
Keeper of the Kazari
RDI Staff
Karma: 456/28
8104 Posts


Curiouser and curiouser

As eager as he was to find Kithran (and, perhaps, wreak some vengeance on D’hurgen’s minions along the way), Ch’dau found himself pausing just this side of the iron gate despite the fact that the thing stood ajar. A frustrated growl rumbled in his throat and his eyes narrowed as he glared into the squalid chamber on the other side. The strange, green light that bathed these chambers and tunnels had bothered him since first they had set foot in this unholy place. Seeing it glow slightly brighter, now, in the chamber past the conveniently unlatched gateway, the kazari realized at least one reason why the emerald flames bothered him so.

He turned his head to glance back at Midge. “Something is amiss with the light, here little one,” he chuffed, gesturing vaguely at the room ahead, “I cannot say what or why, but it seems to me that it falls over the place in a way that does not match the torches. I do not have the mind for magic that you do, my friend; is there anything you might divine from this strangeness?”



Posted on 2019-10-31 at 13:01:33.

t_catt11
Fun is Mandatory
RDI Staff
Karma: 361/54
6782 Posts


let there be light!

The cidal wizard frowns at Ch'dau's query and shakes his head.  "It is clear that the light here is not entirely natural.  I could burn a spell to detect the truth of it, but the fact is, my own two eyes tell me that the torches are at least somewhat magical.  I've seen magical lights before - it's not a large trick to creat elight, after all - but none exactly like these."

Midge twists his mouth a bit.  "The fact that the light doesn't entriely focus around the scones is more evidence to the fact that they are somehow magical in nature.  But where and how and why?  I cannot say, my friend."



Posted on 2019-10-31 at 13:34:55.

breebles
#1 Kibibi
Karma: 38/1
1237 Posts


Pride and Punishment

Davena leaves Kithran alone for several long moments, though the ghoul remains, grinning and softly giggling to itself, directly by her bedside. Hagan also remains by the door, though the expression on his face has shifted from a completely neutral one to a clear leer. The odious priest obviously enjoyed seeing Kith exposed, and is making no secret of the fact.

Kith kept herself from rolling her eyes and smiled instead, “Hagan, was it?” She bent her knees up so that the gown fell back to her waist, “Would you like to help me with something?” I just need to strangle you really quickly. She knew there wasn’t much she could do with their ability to chant her into paralysis, but perhaps, if she could just cut-off the source of the chanting . . . .

Footsteps rose from beyond the door before Hagan could decide whether to take Kith’s bait or not, and she winked at him, lowering her legs again and straightening the gown, “Perhaps after the rape.”

The door opens to readmin the beautiful blonde woman, who now carries a silver goblet containing an unknown liquid. 

"Here you are, my dear," Davena speaks in a pleasant, soothing tone as she offers the beverage to her captive. "This will help cleanse you, help give you strength for what is to come."

Kithran tentatively raises herself to her elbows, “Do you mind if I sit up for this? Would you prefer to funnel it down my throat instead?” Davena waves away her concern and Kith sits up on her knees, holding her hands out to take the goblet. The priestess moves to set the strange drink in the thief’s hands, but it slips through her fingertips.

The goblet crashes to the ground with a dull thud, spilling the contents all over the ground. The leering Hagan blanches, his face visibly paling at the insult.

Kith shakes her head at the wasted goblet, “I may be a sticky-fingered thief, but even I can’t account for the clumsiness of a grotesque death cult bitch,” she grins up into Davena’s darkening face, “Is there anymore, or shall I just leave then?”

Davena's face forms into an icy mask of terrifying fury. Kithran is no secret to angry people, but the look of pure murder on the blonde woman's attractive features is awful in its intensity - especially as she exudes a very clear aura that she is more than capable of executing those feelings.

Instead of lashing out, though, the priestess takes a deep breath, and her expression morphs into one with more than a little sorrow. Davena shakes her head.

"Kithran, I am so terribly sorry that you have chosen to behave like this," she speaks.

“I forgive you, child,” Kith continues to taunt, but Davena’s resolve has already set, and she continues without acknowledment.

"I am truly only trying to help you here, but I suppose that you simply cannot see that yet." The priestess cuts her eyes to the ghoul and nods almost imperceptibly; it instantly snarls and lunges forward before Kith can scramble far enough away, sinking its fangs into the rogue's arm. As she has sadly become familiar with, the clutch of the grave radiates through her body and into her heart, and momentarily, Kith is fully paralyzed.

All Kithran is able to control is her breathing, and even that has become erratic as Davena sighs heavily and gently lies her back on the bed. "As I warned you before," she explains as if reminding schoolchildren of a simple lesson, "I will even the ledger for each offense you have offered."

She speaks over her shoulder. "Hagan, remove the gown and fold it on the table, please," she requests. "It will not do to needlessly sully ceremonial garb with the unpleasantness to come."

The leering priest grins lecherously and moves eagerly to comply. "Of course, Mistress."

As the lackey does as he is told - with fingers that roam and rest a bit more than is necessary - the priestess reaches to her belt and withdraws an odd implement. It looks something like the handle of a sword, yet is fashioned of dull gray rock. One end is rounded, and larger than the other.  She holds it up for Kithran to see. "This," she indicates the implement, in a tone as if discussing a rolling pin, "is a remarkable implement bestowed upon me by a member of another clergy - that of Salerna." She pauses, arches an eyebrow. "Are you familiar with the goddess of pain, darling?  Your mother's people call her Nwalma'arwen - Lady of Torment."

Darling? An old face flashes through Kith's mind and she forces it away. Not in this place.

Davena gives a hard look to Hagan, who cowers away, carefully placing the folded gown on the table.

Davena moves to the end of the bed. Then calmly, without apparent outward malice, the priestess slides the implement slowly along the sole of Kithran's foot. Instantly, the rogue's eyes go wide with agony.

The sensation is like hundreds of burning needles jammed in, twisted, then ripped out of the flesh in a different path - again and again. The skin sizzles in every spot it is touched; blisters form, then split open within a matter of seconds, leaving a weeping wound behind. 

"That, dear one," Davena pronounces calmly once the entirety of the bottom of the right foot is laid open, "is for striking the Priestess of D'hurgen in His temple. Such insolence really should not be tolerated, but I tried to show you kindness due to the difficulty of your situation."  Her expression is incredibly earnest as she continues. "Truly, child, I wish that you did not force me to do these things to you. I want only for your happiness and well-being as you accept this great blessing."

After a long pause in which Kithran's chest heaves in silent agony, Davena slowly applies the device to the bottom of the left foot. Once again, unthinkable agony radiates up the rogue's leg as the skin sizzles, blisters, ruptures. "This is for blaspheming the Dark One's faith - and in His own temple, no less," she explains. The priestess' lips are pursed tight as she concentrates on the unpleasant task. 

Kithran silently implores the gods for the respite of madness to take her, but none choose to offer relief. They bring her to the cusp of delirium, but do not take her sanity, and it feels as though they are all punishing her as well. She is alone in every sense but for those inflicting this pain on her.

Now, both feet weep blood as the priestess moved to the prone rogue's side. Tears flow freely from the young woman's eyes. Davena reaches over and wipes them away, and Kithran wants nothing more than to rip those hands off for touching her. "There, there, dear, she murmurs. "I know that it hurts, I am so sorry that this must be."

Davena then moves to wipe the sweat from Kithran's brow; as she does, she touches the stone wand to Kithran's hip, then slowly slides it up, across the ribcage, coming to a stop just short of the breast. The burning agony seems far worse than before, and the rogue feels her body try desperately to move, to react... but all she can do is lie there and accept the agony as the skin on her side is blistered and split open.

"That, darling," the blonde woman speaks when it is done, "was for blaspheming the rituals, and for rejecting the boon I offered you. The Dark One rewards those who are faithful, but those who work against His awful glory must pay for their sins. I wish that you did not have to suffer so."

Darling? Exhaust from the pain threatens, but refuses to fully embrace her, and instead the voice of her mentor from lifetimes ago echoes softly and flittingly through her wavering mind, Darling . . . .

The ghoul, excited by the goings on, has slowly moved to Kithran's feet. Its long, dark tongue flicks out and into the blood oozing from her wounds. "Stop that!" Davena demands, and the creature falls away instantly, cowed by her command. "Touch her unbidden again," she declares, "and I will rend you limb from limb." 

If an insane undead creature can be cowed... this one is.

Davena allows Kithran to suffer for several interminably long minutes before placing her fingertips beside the young woman's torso wound and making eye contact with her. "The ledger is now evened," she explains. "You have paid for your mistakes; I will give you relief now."

The woman bows her blonde head and chants softly under her breath, then touches Kithran's wound, which closes up rapidly, leaving no real trace behind. The sensation itself is disquieting, to say the least; the rogue can feel the cold of the grave permeate her body, feel the dull certainly that it is only a matter of time before her mortal shell rots away. Yet somehow, these accompany a deep power that stitches the broken flesh together as if it had never been sullied.  The pain from the side wound melts away, though both feet still scream in unthinkable agony. 

She looks up and smiles at Kithran. "There you are, child. Hagan will mend your feet, then dress you."

Davena gives a hard look to the priest.  "She belongs to the Dark Lord, and to me. If you sully her in any way, you will beg for death's release."

He bows his head in fear. "Of course, Mistress! I will obey, Mistress!"

The priestess bends to retrieve the goblet. "I will prepare this again; perhaps you will be more inclined to listen to reason when I return." She glances at the ghoul with a hard expression.  "Come with me, creature. I will bring another with more restraint."

With that, the priestess and the monster exit the room.



Posted on 2019-10-31 at 17:25:46.
Edited on 2019-10-31 at 23:37:03 by breebles

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 145/11
4055 Posts




Narrowing his eyes at the eerie lights, Gib finally sees what Ch'dau is referring to. Curious, he wonders while immediately diving back into his education to see if he can recall anything that would be helpful. Nothing...

"There are no traps ahead, as the Battle Lord has not shared with me such visions," the priest informs the group in a quiet bass. "But there is potentially more that I can ask of the Mighty General."

Holding his sword aloft, Moreno presents the holy symbol emblazoned upon the crossbar and firmly prays, "Honored General, god of Courage and Battle, your servant asks for the gift of discernment. Grant that I may know what evils lie in my path for your glory and victory in your name!"

(OOC: casting Detect Evil.)

Verdigris eyes flash silver for a heartbeat. Therassor's divine power seeps into the forest green of Moreno Enderedre's irises lacing them with dancing tendrils of his god's favored color. Focusing on the left side of the chamber before them, Gib concentrates, mentally seeking any confirmation of the evil that undead will emanate. After enough time has passed, he turns his attention to the adjacent space until the whole of the chamber is covered.

--------------

"Why doesn't our lord god's favor allow us to determine the presence of a person of evil intent?" Gib looks up from his scriptures, the soft Ertainian winds rustling his coal-black hair.

"Do not attempt to put the power of Therassor in a box, Acolyte," Captain Faelsian chides. "A person devoted to evil develops much more of an affinity for evil the longer they seep their soul in it. The prayer you study this day will reveal individuals who have devoted their whole souls to evil for a great deal of time, but most aren't quite that dedicated.

"You'll find this prayer more useful in situations where you suspect true evil waits in ambush upon your field of battle."

Moreno furrows his brow and considers the implications. Next to him, Acolyte Stehvans shifts his prayer book on the small wooden stand set at his knees. "Like in the Battle at Indigo River?"

"Yes," their instructor points a crooked finger at the boy from Targos, "exactly like at that battle. Would you care to elaborate, Acolyte?"

"Thank you, Captain," Stehvans shifts his stubby legs and rises to his feet. Gib knows him to be an awkward boy and looking at him now in the spring's pale afternoon sun, he wonders how he's going to fare fighting for the glory of the God of Righteous Battle. "Brother Lieutenant Samas Ethrigal, in service with the Thundering Stallions brigade, came across a sentry who was lookin' a bit confused. The sentry had thought he'd seen some movement in the deeper shadows of the night but there had been some time passed since and he'd seen nothin' for the first sighting. His hackles were up, though. He couldn' shake the feelin' that somethin' was right under his nose. 

"Brother Lieutenant couldn't see nothin' but he weren't about to leave the field untested. He prayed to the Mighty General this prayer and sure 'nuff, he was gifted with the Sight. He seen—"

"Detected, Acolyte," Captain Faelsian corrects with a note of dissatisfaction in his voice. "Detected. Make no mistake, soldiers. You'll not see the evil which Therassor grants you knowledge. You'll sense it, feel its existence."

"Yes, sir, Captain," Stehvans swallows and attempts to regain his place in his story. "Well, uh, the Brother Lieutenant, he, uh, detects a great deal of evil. He was able t' give warning that saved the Thundering Stallions from an ambush by a priestess of  Sharlys." Spitting his disdain for the goddess of pain, the acolyte awaits permission to sit again while standing at attention.

Captain Faelsian rolls his jaw as he walks right up to the chubby young man. The priest's pointed beard nearly touches Stehvans' nose when he stops. 

"You will never again show such disregard for the powers of any god or goddess, Acolyte," he snarls. "Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, sir!"

Frowning, Gib seeks to draw attention away from his poor friend and retemper their instructor. "I remember the tale, sir. Were these not just zombies that were detected hidden by some kind of darkness? Why were they detected? They are mindless creatures, are they not?"

Still staring the quivering Stehvans down, Captain Faelsian waits a handful of heartbeats before turning towards the bearded questioner. "Undead are directly connected to the Negative Plane—a subject of study for priests of much higher rank than you lot—and are thusly innately attuned to Evil."

Nodding, Gib turns his attention back to his book and pulls the quill from the plain, copper inkwell set in his portable writing desk. In the margins he writes, Undead will always be detected through Therassor's Power granted by this prayer.



Posted on 2019-10-31 at 18:51:10.
Edited on 2019-10-31 at 19:26:41 by Bromern Sal

   


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