“Here,” Aelistae said quietly as she placed a small vial in Talus’ hand. “Drink it. It’ll stave off any curse passed on to you by the ze-illrin. Artanis and I will… well we’ll use these.”
“I don’t feel any curse.” He thought to himself as he stared at the container. “Maybe that’s what makes this so insidious, you don’t feel any different until you’re all furry and howling at the moon.”
He looked over to Xaris to see the gnome downing his assigned curative. “Best not take any chances, I suppose.” He mumbled as he pulled the stopper and downed the liquid spell in one smooth motion.
Talus always thought the sensation of a potion releasing its effects was an odd one. It made your throat and stomach tingle, like it had an itch, and drinking water after imbibing a potion didn’t relieve the tingling feeling either. You just had to wait for the magic to run its course and the sensation to fade.
“I didn’t especially feel afflicted before, and I don’t feel any different now… is there any way to know if it worked other than waiting for the next full moon?” Talus asked of no one in particular.
"Thank you very much!" Linnix says as she downs the potion in a single, fluid motion.
The liquid is just slightly thick, making the motion more difficult to accomplish, but Linnix, determined not to taste the potion more than she has to, manages it anyway.
"Bleh," Linnix grimaces, "They certainly don't make potions with taste in mind do they?"
She closes her eyes, trying to put the taste out of her mind, but also to try to feel the magic. She had never really thought of magic much before, and wasn't one to consider it, but she is curious. Vaguely, she can feel a slight... Linnix frowns slightly, at a loss of how to describe it.
Yes, that could be a way to visualize it. It is as though there is a mist within her body, with the vague sensation of feeling the mist. As quickly as Linnix defines it, however, it vanishes.
"Umm, how exactly did they work? Or can that even be described?" Linnix asks, opening her eyes.
“The potions made by a priestess channelling the power of her Goddess. Precisely how it works, or if it has worked, is something you’d have to ask a higher power…or a lower one,” Aelistae replied daskly to Linnix and Talus, as she tugged on the leather glove she wore upon her right hand.
“Sorry,” she added shortly afterwards with a shake of her head. “I…just have a lot on my mind.”
“I’d be happy to try and re-size of my old armour for you Xaris. When we make camp, I’ll spend some time on it.”
Aelistae had graciously bestowed the healing elixers upon those she thought most in need, while chancing failure upon herself and Artanis. She cast the scrolls and watched the magical writings, then the paper itself disintigrate into nothing. She stood there a moment, trying to figure out if anything had happened; but received no mystical chime in her mind stating her castings had been successful. Hopefully that just meant there was nothing to purge in the first place.
Purchases and exchanges concluded, it was time to make headway towards the keep once more, for the party still had many more hours of light in which to travel, and many of the same hours to pray that their endeavors had been true, and none would fall to the affliction of lycanthropy when he moon rose to it's apex once more tonight.
They traveled in a dedicated route for a few hours, before coming across a small stream, where small coy like fish swam back and forth beneath its silver waters. It was a peaceful image to break the monotany of the ride. Passing it over they continue on...
Silvara threw caution to the wind and inserted the silver candlestick into the relief in the heavy gold door. With a soft ‘click’ the item fit into the space, and a two inch gap in the door slid away on either side of the relief as Silvara and Zorana both looked on in bewilderment and wonder. When nothing else happened, Silvara reached in the space provided, gripped the candlestick, and pulled it forward like a lever, and a great grinding sound of hidden gears and machinery was heard, weights and balances working in unison to move the obstruction. The door gave way slowly, lifting up into the ceiling of the threshold, till only a faintly golden half foot thick line could be seen.
As soon as the door parted from the floor, a rush of stale air escaped and washed over the pair of women. Before them was a room that looked not to have been disturbed in many years. The room was massive, roughly thirty feet wide and sixty long. It would appear to have been some sort of prayer or ritual chamber, as the hallway was lined with floor sconces and pews on either side of a faded once deep red carpet leading up to a raised platform where five ornately iconic pillars of alabaster surrounded a central alter depicting a beautiful motherly woman who presumably once was holding a another stone figure in the form of a pieta, however the second stone figure was now only fragments of vandalized and destroyed stone scattered at her feet and on the floor, while in its place was a skeleton chained in a blasphemous mockery of the statues intent, the bones preserved from the lack of disturbance in the sealed room. While it is obviously a skeleton, closer inspection would require approaching it.
Aside from the skeleton in the center of the rear Alter, a handful of skeletons also sat in the pews, positioned in moments of prayer, boney fingers interlaced, or resting on the pew backs in front of them while their heads were bowed. There are six skeleton’s in total.
Before the alter stands a pedestal of black basalt, it seems out of place in this hall of alabaster and light wood. Upon the pedestal sits a black orb about the size of a large cannon ball; which emits a strange iridescent purplish light. Through torch and low light vision, the pair of women tries to detect any possible threats, but finding none, slowly advance into the room. As their feet cross the threshold, they are both battered by a chilled breeze which whips across their exposed skin and ruffles their hair.
Thinking the ghostly presence is possibly a warning, the women halt their advance, but it only took that single step across the once golden barrier for the room to react to their presence. In the darkened room the floor sconces flared to light in purplish blue flames every five feet down the hallway, before they circled the raised platform, illuminating the room in a purplish-blue glow. The orb atop the pedestal as well seemed to ‘awaken’ as well, and began pulsating a faint wave of absolute darkness out from its center, starting in a five foot radius but slowly expanding wider and wider.
It was then that Zorana was smacked with a massive sense of negative aura and energy, and her heart told her this object, whatever it was reeked with the stench of evil.
Posted on 2008-08-14 at 20:46:36.
Edited on 2008-08-14 at 21:00:28 by Kaelyn
For the first time since the expedition had begun, the traveling companions went an entire day without any conflict or danger. Dylan sang, Aelistae pondered, and Artanis traveled deep in the thoughts of her past, and of the changes she would make for her future. Others bantered or quietly rode along in the company of their thoughts, and soon daylight had been wrested from the sky as the blanket of night overtook it and soon the party decided to make camp. An unspoken tension hung as the moon, as full and clear as the night before began its climb into the night sky. Everyone knew the possible consequences of its ascent, but none wanted to speak of the possibility of having to turn on one of their own, and so with mixed glances of trepidation and doubt, everyone agreed to sit around the fire within sight of everyone else until the Moon had reached its zenith.
Bart tried to make small talk to try and pass the time, but nothing he could say seemed relevant in light of the night’s possible outcome.
“I guess Elesia was so much better at this than I.” He chuckled to himself.
“I.. I just want to let you all know, those new and old who have joined me in my vision, that whatever happens tonight, it’s been a pleasure; no an honor traveling with you all.”
The night went on and the moon rose higher, and at it’s crest, everyone exchanged tense looks, hands subconsciously moving closer to weapons or incantations being pulled to the forefront of minds. As soon the moon reached its apex, there was an eerie silence… and then Linnix howled.
In an instant, hands flew to weapons and faces turned in shock and horror to the lithe woman who sat there laughing and howling to the moon in a mock rejection of the fate which could have plagued any one of them. “Looks like the Lady truly favors us this night.” She said turning to the others, a smile splayed across her delicate lips. Bart’s scornful look melted at the realization that everyone seemed fine and well, and he could not help but laugh himself, and howl and then bark at the moon above.
“Let us all bark to the Bitch on the moon and let her know Shar has no power over us!”
The rest of the night passed smoothly, and in the morning after a delightful if not simple breakfast, camp was broken and the fellowship moved on once more, only a handful of days left until they would reach their destination.
(I’ll allow for some conversation here if wanted, and post again in a couple days)
Soft peels of laughter reverberated through the quiet spot in which they had made camp, and Aelistae was surprised to realize that she was its source. All the pain and loss she had experienced in the last few days had slowly worn away the simple joys in life, until even a smile had become a chore. But Linnix’s simple joke caused all that happiness that had welled inside to suddenly find a release.
“I’m glad to be here with each of you,” she managed to say after her fit of giggles died. “I never thought I would be led to such good people when I left the Promenade. But I was and I’m grateful.”
Aelistae rose, nodded her head to each of her companions, and strode away to be a lone for a time. And to give her thanks to her Goddess.
“There. I think that will suffice.”
Aelistae slowly unfurled the chain armour she had once worn, and had recently re-sized, before Xaris. The morning light illuminated the elegant, black metal links of the armour and the slightly less elegant job she had done in shortening its length.
“It may be a little tight in some places,” she added apologetically, “but then I don’t think Xyl’ssara ever thought a jlha’zen would be wearing the armour she made.”
"That thing is Evil incarnate." Zora gasps out as the wave to negative energy hits her. "It desecrates this temple."
More that that I fear the skeletons will be roused against us."
She looks to see how close the skeletons are compared with the wave of darkness enimating from the orb. If she can get to the skeletons she will try to destroy them before they are animated.
Posted on 2008-08-19 at 03:57:15.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
When Silvara pulled on the candlestick se had set into the massive door it pulled down like a lever and a great grinding sound of hidden gears and machinery was heard, weights and balances working in unison to move the obstruction. The door gave way slowly, lifting up into the ceiling of the threshold, till only a faintly golden half foot thick line could be seen.
Silvara looked in to the large room about five spans wide and ten spans long. TO her it was obviously a place of prayer or ritual. There was a Alter area at the far end surrounded by great ornately carved alabaster columns . A lovely statue of a motherly woman seated apparently holding something in her lap was desecrated by the destruction of what had been there and it being replace by a chain skeleton. There were six skeletons posed as if praying in the pews that filled the left and right sides on the room. but Silvara did not think they had died her like that, certainly not willingly. What was very out of place was the back sphere sitting on a pillar of almost black rock just before the statue.
Silvara cautiously steps in over the threshold and that is when she felt that strange cold breeze almost batter against her. Perhaps trying to keep them out, or warn them but whatever it was it was to late as she and Zoranna crossed into he room, the floor scones along the way lite up with an eerie bluish purple flame, and a purple glow surrounded the sphere and begins to pulse, expanding slowly outwards
"That thing is Evil incarnate." Zora gasps. "It desecrates this temple. More than that, I fear the skeletons will be roused against us."
“I agree this whole setup is not good.” Silvara says flatly to Zora. “I say we back out and shut the door and try to figure this out and make plans. That or we still step back and force the skeletons to come to us only a few at a time.
Silvara liked to be able to figure things out ahead of time she hated surprises and unknowns.
As Silvara and Zorana discuss how to handle this turn of events, and Silvara questions trying to seal the door, even though no means to close it can be seen; the woman both feel that chilling presence once more
this time it whips around them and takes on a spectral form, the flowing transparent figure of a woman clad in robes appears before them and though her expression seems as though she is yelling the warning; her voice is hollow and seems to come from a distance.
"There is no time, you must destroy the sphere... I cannot keep it's evil at bay much longer... in contacting you I have weakened... destroy the sphere.... save us..."
(please see the q/a)
Posted on 2008-08-19 at 15:08:46.
Edited on 2008-08-19 at 15:23:15 by Kaelyn
The night thankfully passing without incident, the group rising the next morning with renewed spirits and vigor, they made all haste across the open plains of Tethyr towards the north, where nestled between the forks of the River Sulduskoon and under the shadows of the Starspire lay their destination. For three days and three nights the party traveled, riding hard, and stopping little lest food or nourishment be required; until they would hit the river and travel along its banks to the east. Only once did they encounter resistance, in the form of a stray prairie cat, disturbed by thundering hooves while stalking a gazelle across the fields. It paced the riders for a few moments, but a hail of warning fire dissuaded it from continuing farther, and it lurked off back through the tall grass.
It was on the fourth day that Bartholomew pulled out his map noting the rising peaks in the distance matched with his information. The Starspire Mountains, the end was within sight. The riverside at their left, as they made their way east, Bart estimated another two hours travel before reaching the ford indicated on the map.
“We’ve been fortunate these passed few days, but I wouldn’t chance to bet that same good fortune means no other parties have beat us here, or that the goblin’s simply got tired of the scenery and retreated back into their caves. From here on out, we must keep more alert than ever before, for we are entering the heart of enemy territory, with more players present in this game than I’d care for.”
The riding order what changed from the open ride to one of strategic importance; with Artanis riding abreast Xaris atop Sunshine, the steed out sizing the gnomish rider almost five to one, the little barbarian bouncing along in the saddle at the forefront of the marching order. Behind them rode Linnix and Dylan in her cart, Tock working hard as ever to keep the pace set before him, the stubborn light horse never complaining as it pulled the largest weight out of the group. Beside them rode Bart, map in hand, Alice quietly trotting along the pace slowed to account for the lack of a distinguished road along the riverbank. Pulling up the rear of the convoy were Aelistae and Talus, their keen eyes keeping sight for anything out of the ordinary.
For another hour they made their way forward, until the signs of smoke rose out over the distance, and as the party neared, Bart’s instincts told him what was wrong before his eyes fell upon the scene. The wooden bridge spanning the ford had been burnt through, only the edges of the structure still remained, the waters of the Sulduskoon river flowing freely beneath the wrecked passage. As the party neared closer, they also spotted the evidence of a battle, and at least three separate forces were engaged here. Upon the earth were the corpses of a trio of goblins, their lives ended by sword and arrow wounds, crude weapons fallen at their sides. Aside them was an armored man in spiked steel, a vicious burn mark piercing his armor, and the obvious cause of death. His eyes lay back in his skull, a grimace of pain emblazoned upon his twisted features. Finally there lay a finely adorned stallion, it’s side split open from spell and spear laying dead upon the ground. The barding it wore still carried it’s gaudy appearance, with large semiprecious stones and colored glass ornamenting the silken fabrics. Functionally it would hardly protect the steed from harm, though it would certainly garner the attention of onlookers to the rider of such an ostentatiously garbed creature.
The dead soldier certainly did not appear to be the rider of the aforementioned steed, their attire clashed attesting to that, so perhaps the steed’s rider had fled to safety. All over the ground, dozens of hoof and footprints trampled the grounds, many leading to the now destroyed bridge.
“We’re too late.” Bart said much of his luster stolen from the statement. “Backtracking to another crossing would take days, and no horse can make the forty foot jump across.”
The river itself, as Bart deducts is roughly forty feet wide, and without the bridge, nigh impossible to cross without some industrious means. The river might be swam across, but certainly the horses wouldn’t make the depth of the river, which though clear in water, cannot be seen beneath the murky depths some distance below. It would appear a plan of action need be made.
Daisy pawed the earth nervously as Aelistae worked her way loose from her saddle. She fell to her knees and her blue-black fingers trailed across the blacker earth and the footprints upon it that so alarmed the horse she had been riding.
“Shi tar,” she whispered to the horse, in the language of the surface elves, “byrol caesi shor ces iar.”
She rose to her feet and let the earth fall from her fingers. It was clear to her that a battle had been fought here. The dead goblin corpses and the fallen armoured figure attested to that. But the burns upon the corpses and the ruined cinders of the bridge suggested something more than just a simple clash of swords had occurred.
‘A wizard?’ she thought. ‘Or maybe more than one…’
“We’re too late,” Bart suddenly muttered, interrupting her train of thought. “Backtracking to another crossing would take days, and no horse can make the forty foot jump across.”
For the first time upon the road the indomitable farmer appeared deflated. He visibly sagged in the saddle, and appeared ready to turn his horse around and start the long journey back, until Aelistae’s hand found his and squeezed it reassuringly.
“There’s always hope. If we can wait until tonight, the Lady will grant me the strength to repair the bridge.”
[OOC: Aelistae’s whisper to the horse is elven, and translates as ‘Be calm, nothing here will hurt us.’]
Two others out of three... well, perhaps the third one too
Linnix surveys the battleground, "It looks, to me anyway, that all the other players were present. Evidence of magic, I'd guess from that spellcaster patron's group, the knight, I'd guess from that blacksmith's group, and the horse from that jeweller's group."
Linnix tilts her head thinking, "Well, I guess the good thing is they're causing quite a commotion, and will drag more attention to them than to us."
She chuckles, "Actually, if we're lucky, they could end up just fighting with themselves and slowing each other down; being in the rear means we don't have to worry about that so much, especially if they underestimate us."
Linnix pauses, giving it a bit more thought, "Well, I agree with Aelistae; it'd be easiest to wait for tonight, unless someone thinks of a different plan."
Hmm, I wonder if I'll learn how to use a bit of magic at some point. Linnix thinks, It seems very interesting...