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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> Forgotten Realms: The Unsung Heroes
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GM for this game: Kaelyn
Players for this game: DarkAutumn, Jozan1, Tek, Dragon Mistress, Brianna, Sibelius Eos Owm, Reralae, Dwibius, Deucalion, Gamling
    Messages in Forgotten Realms: The Unsung Heroes
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Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


Fading into Darkness

Riding through enemy territory, apprehension grabs Linnix about the shoulders, its cold claws sinking into her skin. She had to be wary; she had to be able to tell where the enemy was. However, as the ride went on, Linnix could only look on in dismay.

Shapes in the distance, previously a bland grey to her eyes, began to be shrouded in a mist, obscuring their forms. The mist grows thicker and darker, like a blanket of fog that removes all sight. Except it isn't fog; it's darkness.

As the last traces of her vision disappear, Linnix sighs. Once, she used to be afraid of the dark, when she was very little. Over time she had adapted to it as she grew, before being forced to with her chosen 'occupation'. Still, when she was able to see through it, perhaps that gave her a different view of darkness. Sometimes it is something through which things hide, but if one can see through it, everything looks a lot more similar. Perhaps it's the shades of grey that everything appears as, but Caera's words rung with a hint of truth.

In the rays of the moon, uncoloured by the sun, everyone is equal, if not the same.
* * *

The torches along the side snap Linnix out of her reminisce, and while she glares at them as though she could once again see through the darkness, they go out. The implication is immediately realized by Linnix, and she pulls out her bow after bringing Tock to a stop.

When Aelistae's lights provide luminescence to the immediate area, Linnix raises her bow.

Perhaps we are the same, but I cannot let you hurt my friends. Linnix resolves, your aggression will be returned swiftly.
She fires at the closest gob/gnoll to her.


Posted on 2008-09-20 at 18:53:08.

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


A brush with Fate

Elendil was already using the last of her Healing Belt’s charges for the day, (Elendil 48/49HP) hefting a Gnoll’s axe when Brownyn, a safe distance away posed the question to the capture man in the cage. “Hello. Who are you?” She asked, and the man did little to respond other than to bundle himself up into a smaller ball as Elendil hacked at the cage, splintering it after a few good swings and clearing enough bars to allow the man to squeeze through with little effort.

When the figure stood, he was no longer the hunched over mass of cloak or man, but a tall lithe human with a deeply tanned complexion darkened still by the shadows cast from the hood of his cloak over his face. Dressed in studded leathers of dark browns and greens, the figure bears an empty bandoleer across his chest, stripped of the daggers it once held. His hands are covered in leather gloves bearing the print of a bird, a swallow across the back of each. His legs are garbed in a simple set of leather pantaloons leading to simple traveler’s boots which fall silently with each step.

As the man looks up at his would be rescuers, Elendil mentions the need to move quickly, but the man grabs her by the arm and holds her firm catching her eye. “You shouldn’t have freed me. Now I’ll never get near enough to Bolikar to kill him. I don’t know what you ladies think you’re doing playing hero but you’re likely to get yourselves killed out here.” The man gives a shrill whistle and released Elendil’s arm. From the skies shot a streak across the moon and into the clearing came a hawk, its feathers a rich brown save for the single golden tuft of feathers just above the tail. Swooping down in front of the figure, the bird dropped a set of keys, before landing on his shoulder, where he petted it affectionately.

“I could have gotten out at any time.” The man reiterates dangling the keys. “But what’s done is done, and this place is not safe. Let us make haste.”

With that the trio, along with buttercup hastened down the forest path away from the mine, and closer to the Keep, where they sought refuge off the beaten trail much to Buttercup’s dismay as branches and pine needles scratched at her sides.

The figure looked towards the two women, whose eyes showed they wanted answers, probably to more questions than he could answer, but he owed them at least a proper introduction. “Consider yourselves as having a brush with Fate, for that be my name. Fate Damascus, though certainly you ladies don’t look to be the types that belong in these parts. As his grey eyes fell over Elendil he wondered why the elf had left the Wealdath, lest she was one of their scouts, surveying the swelling of goblinkind so near their borders, but the other one, seemed more apt to be in a library or school than out in the foothills of the mountains with her joke of a pony.

“I am of the Black Claw Mercantile company, sent upon compensation to rid these hills of Bolikar, the head of this verminous body of filth. Knowing that combating his entire force would likely be suicide, I allowed myself to be captured to be brought to Bolikar for interrogation, torture or whatever the brute had planned. It was there I planned to strike.” Fate looked to the south where more Drums blared, and a second horn answered the first with a series of short sharp blasts.
“It would seem however that you and your companions have interrupted that plan. How many of there are you? By the sounds of things you’ve brought a sizeable force to contest Bolikar’s might?”


Posted on 2008-09-21 at 01:11:14.

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


Atharam & co.

Atharam interrogated the whelp of a goblin while Hawkrill and Seleyon were commanded to search the camp for anything of value in a brief preliminary search. As was expected of lowly goblins however little was found, save multiple clan markings revealing a trio of blue chevrons against a white field. What little coin was found was insubstantial, and the only item of relative quality was the axe the orc never managed to bring to bear. Hawkril did manage however to find a rough map of the area inked onto a scrap piece of leather, and he relayed it to Atharam after they met at the rendevous point. (Same map as on page 50)

Seleyon, after dispatching the goblin reappeared, carrying nothing save a scrap piece of parchment she pulled from the orc’s dead body. Upon it, it eloquent cursive far too neat for orcish hands to have written was the following.

Bolikar wishes more forces from the caves to strengthen your camp. You have 48 hours to increase your numbers by 30% or he who is blessed by the One-Eye shall be paying your camp a visit personally. Numbers are marginal for the next stage of growth. Keep raids pushing south, but do not engage militant resistance. We cannot allow the folk of the south to know our true numbers. Soon they shall know the fury of the “six”-clans combined force, and rue the day they ever thought themselves a force to rival mighty Bolikar.

K


Posted on 2008-09-21 at 01:24:31.

Brianna
Not Dragon Mistress
Karma: 105/32
2282 Posts


Bronwyn--Rescue Gone Awry

Bronwyn tried to get a good look at who they had rescued. Did she but know it it just made her eyes look owlish as she tried to see in the dark of the forest.

“As the man looks up at his would be rescuers, Elendil mentions the need to move quickly, but the man grabs her by the arm and holds her firm catching her eye. “You shouldn’t have freed me. Now I’ll never get near enough to Bolikar to kill him. I don’t know what you ladies think you’re doing playing hero but you’re likely to get yourselves killed out here.” The man gives a shrill whistle and released Elendil’s arm. From the skies shot a streak across the moon and into the clearing came a hawk, its feathers a rich brown save for the single golden tuft of feathers just above the tail. Swooping down in front of the figure, the bird dropped a set of keys, before landing on his shoulder, where he petted it affectionately.
“I guess that means we don’t get a thank you for our rescueing you.” she says a bit disheartened that her first rescue turned out to be a bad thing—at least for this man.

“You could bet back into the cage and I could mend it if you wanted me to.” Bronwyn interject sharply then she sniffs which totally negates the tone of her voice. She is not good at being commanding or demanding or anything like that.

“I could have gotten out at any time,” the man reiterates dangling the keys. “But what’s done is done, and this place is not safe. Let us make haste.” is all he says.
“Don’t forget Buttercup.” Bronwyn adds quickly. Elendil by some strange means finds her way back to where Buttercup is standing quietly with her head down lipping some grass though she cannot eat anything with that strap about her nose.

“Poor Buttercup, you are going to have to have that on until we are far away from here,” commiserates Bronwyn. Buttercup was her lifeline to her past, a simpler and gentler time without this constant threat of dangers all about her.

Bronwyn gives her stout pony a comforting pats her and then unties her lead rope and follows the others staying closed to them as they move.



Posted on 2008-09-22 at 07:29:56.
Edited on 2008-09-22 at 23:16:15 by Brianna

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


Tables are turned, and All Players should read along :D

As the lights went out, shrouding the oncoming enemy in a veil of darkness; the threats were barely illuminated save for fleeting moments as the moonlight washed over them as it peeked through the trees. In response, the adventurers rose to the challenge of combat once more, each taking to the call in their own individual way. Dylan, for his part, knowing his sight would hinder his effectiveness in combat chose to put his bardic talents to use instead, inspiring courage in his fellow companions. Many chose to dismount immediately in the time they had remaining, With only Linnix, Talus and Bart choosing to remain in the saddle.

Aelistae, with her natural Darkvision, dismounted from her saddle chose to aid the sight of her less fortunate comrades, calling forth four orbs of dancing light, positioning them around the head and tail ends of their convoy. Shining motes of light, giving off each the illumination equivalent to a lantern made all the difference in allowing those without her gift to better prepare.

Sight penetrating the darkness seemed to fade and return, fade and return to Linnix, who atop Tock had drawn her bow at the first signs of struggle. As soon as the first enemy came into the radius of Aelistae’s illumination, she fired, catching the goblin in the chest, and dropping him like a rock. This brought about a pause from the other goblin’s, each taking a stride backwards fearing losing their advantage of one sided vision, and there was a brief lull in combat (holding action), enough time for Intella to sneak off into the trees on the right, while Talus, previously endowed with invoked darkvision chose the closest threat, a goblin on the left, and plucked him from the face of Toril with a fierce eldritch blast.

Artanis and Xaris had both dismounted, drawing weapons and shields while taking a position on the outsides of their respected steeds waiting for the inevitable, while Bart remained in the saddle, trying to calm Alice’s nerves.

Intella had managed to sneak slowly between a pair of goblins on her right, taking note of the gnoll that paced forward just behind them. The goblins were testing their arms baring javelins preparing to simultaneously assail the line of targets wedged between them when Intella struck. Twin sianghams drove forward, but only one caught the surprised goblin with any degree of force, causing it to shriek in alarm and draw the attention of those around him to the brave little halfling.

Then came the assault, as a half dozen javelins came sailing out of the darkness towards the companions, but not a one found any gap in armor or place to rest in flesh, skin or horse hide successfully. That left only five unaccounted for enemies, the sole one on the left being the gnoll, his axe leading the charge as he laughed/howled like a hyena. The furry varmint rushed forward, breaching the barrier of light and reached over the cart to swing at Dylan, only to find the violinist more agile than expected, the axe only chipping a piece of wood from Tock’s cart.

In response, Bart atop Alice moved alongside the cart, with a thrust of his trident read pitchfork he placed a quartet of puncture wounds in the Gnoll’s upper torso, the creature grimacing in pain and sputtering blood in anger.

The Gnoll on the lower right charged forward as well, seeking to eliminate the witch who had brought forth light to spoil their surprise. His charge brought him easily before the priestess, but that charge was halted by the fine links of her chain armor as the Axe blade glanced down the intricate weave leaving a faint ring of sound in its wake.

The two goblins and the gnoll around Intella all moved to surround the diminutive lass, who quickly found her element of surprise shattered as javelins and a bearded axe all came for her. She easily dodged the goblins thrusts, her training bending her graceful form like a willow in the wind. Unfortunately a willow is no match for a well placed axe strike, and like the tree Intella’s body was hacked almost asunder as the axe came down in a decidedly unlucky blow, the top of the weighted axe clipping her skull on its descent, the blade stripping a solid inch of flesh and muscle from the halfling’s upper arm, exposing her clavicle, and sinew from crest to elbow. (Intella 15/36hp)

From the center of the ambush, Artanis could see the cluster of enemies, in the shadowed illumination outside the immediate vicinity of the dancing lights radius of effect. That however was all the brazen women needed, and with a cry of battle she took to the charge, rushing headstrong into the trees to savor the blood-rush of battle and feed the lust for blood of her blade. It only took a few long strides to take her into range of her first enemy, and with a single swipe of her finely crafted bastard-sword, the goblin found itself staring at it’s own body from the cold earth a moment before the severed head’s brain function ceased and the body slumped to the ground revealing Intella and her two other engaged opponents just opposite where she stood.

On the other side of the path, Xaris, much like Artanis took to the trees, for goblins were of his favorite enemies to kill. It was as though each one slain brought back some small portion of his family and friends that were slaughtered for a brief moment, or at least vindicated their death in some small way. His charge brought him to the first goblin he could find (about half way down on the left side as the upper two were previously killed) and much like a mirror of on the right, so too did Xaris fell his opponent in a single swing, his strike much less clean and tearing a bloody rend as it was pulled free from the slain greenskin.

End of Round 1

Beginning of Round 2

What had started off as a well planned ambush quickly turned into an all out struggle as the companions quickly took the fight to the enemy, breaking their ranks with spell, arrow and steel.

Aelistae, engaged in melee had every intention of showing her prowess in combat as much as any other; to remove any doubt that she was simply one for healing or a supportive role. After all, she was a sword maiden of Elistraee, a Darksong Knight, and her chosen weapon, the courtblade of the surface elves was as potent in her hands as the faith of her goddess. Bringing the sword back, the elongated blade trailing behind her, Aelistae subtly switched her handling on the hilt, and brought the blade skyward in a sweeping motion which had the tip grazing the earth until it flashed forward, and ended in a vertical position over her left shoulder, the gnoll’s blood trailing down the fine steel as it stared agape at its split leathers and torso from gut to sternum, the wound grievous enough end its life before the pain registered in the creatures small brain as anything more than a searing flash.

Linnix meanwhile took her time, waiting for another creature to pop into unobstructed view. Her patience was rewarded when her second arrow calmly claimed a goblin through the eye, her training at ranged weapons certainly showing this evening as another perfect strike.

Xaris and Bart, similarly had success on the left side of the path, clearing the field of any enemies with a slash and a jab, felling the last gnoll and goblin before them.

Dylan kept the pace going with his riveting tune, the bow running across the strings at a feverish pace, raising the momentum of combat as his comrades quickly seemed to turn the tide.

Intella, wounded, weakened, would not- could not afford to give the momentous pain a second thought for to do so would be to invite disaster. Instead, she cross-stepped, and lashed out at the gnolls throat, her form arched like a diagonal dowsing rod as her lead foot snapped forward, her torso and head arched back in extension as her arch crushed the windpipe of the much taller opponent, stunning it permanently as it died clutching its throat.
(I took a DM’s prerogative here, deigning since you’ve successfully dodged every goblin attack against you in two encounters, you’d deem the gnoll as a greater threat and need to be stunned)

Suddenly going from the favorable odds of three on one to being outnumbered two to one, the goblin nearest Intella’s morale, already shaken by Artanis’ decapitation of its comrade all but shattered when the tall woman with the sword that promised it only death approached. With a feeble lunge of its javelin towards the woman, the crude implement splintering upon contact with her breastplate, the goblin saw its life flash before its eyes, before Artanis’ blade ended it in yet another single strike. Hardly a challenge, she wished she had a chance to face off against a gnoll or some other more worthy adversary.

Talus, his darkvision allowing him clear sight of the few remaining goblins lined up a shot, and like a sharpshooter his dark bolt of eldritch might took the greenskin in the chest, bending him backwards by the sudden jolt of extra energy conjured forth by the warlock. (Critical ray lol)

A pair of goblins’ remaining, their cowardice their only saving grace took off into the night, running in different directions off into the trees calling out Bolikar! Bolikar ! At the top of their lungs. (All out Run Full round Action)

The path cleared once more for the moment, the companions had a brief reprieve to recover and regroup before they would need to move on again. Somewhere in the distance, a second horn blew, much like the first Aelistae and Intella had heard, though this one, received and returned in kind by a second blast further to the north could be heard by all.

NOTE TO ALL PLAYERS:
Suddenly, in response to the resounding horns, from the rooftop of the stronghold shot a multitude of lights, fireworks it would seem, that exploded into brilliant red hued flashes of light that lingered in the sky surrounding the keep, illuminating the area below in a crimson glow for 50 yards in any direction. The Keep was officially on high alert now, and something, someone, or perchance, a multitude of each had the goblin forces astir. Amidst the crackling explosions of the fireworks formed a massive face of a Orc with Ogrish features. In a rumbling voice it bellowed across the land in a rather surprisingly intelligent, and understandable dialect of common. “Return to the Keep my Minions. Return to regroup, where we will then march out in force, and stomp these urchins which dare defy the will of Bolikar, the will of Gruumsh! The time for humans is nearing an end, and their hit and run tactics shall fall under the mighty foot of the united might of the six-clans! Return to the Keep, from where we shall surge forth like a wave and sweep aside those in the north, south, east and west for the insignificant insects they are. Bolikar see’s all, as Gruumsh wishes it. Bolikar crushes all who stand before him!”


Posted on 2008-09-22 at 09:35:50.
Edited on 2008-09-22 at 09:38:19 by Kaelyn

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Elendil


As the man looks up at his would be rescuers, Elendil mentions the need to move quickly, but the man grabs her by the arm and holds her firm catching her eye. “You shouldn’t have freed me. Now I’ll never get near enough to Bolikar to kill him. I don’t know what you ladies think you’re doing playing hero, but you’re likely to get yourselves killed out here.” The man gives a shrill whistle and released Elendil’s arm. From the skies shot a streak across the moon and into the clearing came a hawk, its feathers a rich brown save for the single golden tuft of feathers just above the tail. Swooping down in front of the figure, the bird dropped a set of keys, before landing on his shoulder, where he petted it affectionately.

“I could have gotten out at any time.” The man reiterates dangling the keys. “But what’s done is done, and this place is not safe. Let us make haste.”

With that the trio, along with Buttercup hastened down the forest path away from the mine, and closer to the Keep, where they sought refuge off the beaten trail much to Buttercup’s dismay as branches and pine needles scratched at her sides.

The figure looked towards the two women, whose eyes showed they wanted answers, probably to more questions than he could answer, but he owed them at least a proper introduction. “Consider yourselves as having a brush with Fate, for that be my name. Fate Damascus, though certainly you ladies don’t look to be the types that belong in these parts. As his grey eyes fell over Elendil he wondered why the elf had left the Wealdath, lest she was one of their scouts, surveying the swelling of goblinkind so near their borders, but the other one, seemed more apt to be in a library or school than out in the foothills of the mountains with her joke of a pony.

“I am of the Black Claw Mercantile company, sent upon compensation to rid these hills of Bolikar, the head of this verminous body of filth. Knowing that combating his entire force would likely be suicide, I allowed myself to be captured to be brought to Bolikar for interrogation, torture or whatever the brute had planned. It was there I planned to strike.” Fate looked to the south where more Drums blared, and a second horn answered the first with a series of short sharp blasts.

“It would seem however that you and your companions have interrupted that plan. How many of there are you? By the sounds of things you’ve brought a sizeable force to contest Bolikar’s might?”

Elendil listened to the man. "Sorry I saved you," came her flat voiced reply. "Sorry too, to inform you, there is no army here, only Bronwyn and I. Though something has stirred up the enemy, it was not us."

Elendil then holds up a gauntleted arm and hoots, there is no sound of rustling feathers as the arrival of the hawk had caused. Instead a looming speckled grey and black shape appeared out of the darkness, spread his wings to break in the air and extended massive clawed feet to take hold of Elendil’s arm. He lands and shook out the feathers before closing her wings and looking at the hawk. At least the Eagle Owl was staying high and out of sling and bow range.

She stroked the bird’s head and gave a few scratches about the side of his head.

Suddenly the sky lighted in a lurid red centered about the Keep.

Suddenly, in response to the resounding horns, from the rooftop of the stronghold shot a multitude of lights, fireworks it would seem, that exploded into brilliant red hued flashes of light that lingered in the sky surrounding the keep, illuminating the area below in a crimson glow for 50 yards in any direction. The Keep was officially on high alert now, and something, someone, or perchance, a multitude of each had the goblin forces astir. Amidst the crackling explosions of the fireworks formed a massive face of a Orc with Ogrish features. In a rumbling voice it bellowed across the land in a rather surprisingly intelligent, and understandable dialect of common. “Return to the Keep my Minions. Return to regroup, where we will then march out in force, and stomp these urchins which dare defy the will of Bolikar, the will of Gruumsh! The time for humans is nearing an end, and their hit and run tactics shall fall under the mighty foot of the united might of the six-clans! Return to the Keep, from where we shall surge forth like a wave and sweep aside those in the north, south, east and west for the insignificant insects they are. Bolikar see’s all, as Gruumsh wishes it. Bolikar crushes all who stand before him!”

“Ha!” Laughs Eledil lightly, “If Bolikar sees all like the One-Eyed Bastard he speaks of, then he would have foreseen us.”

If nothing else, this decided the final choice of their direction. “We go straight south,” they had been going southeast, “toward the road, I can not afford any more injury, I have used up my Healing Belt.”

She estimates south and points turns to face Talon that direction. “South, stay close.” she tells him and she lifts her arm to help launch the big owl into the air. On silent wings he disappears through the trees the direction Elendil had pointed him.


Posted on 2008-09-22 at 21:53:01.
Edited on 2008-09-24 at 00:41:01 by Dragon Mistress

Ginafae
Kool Killer Kitty
Karma: 64/6
1685 Posts


'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' (she hopes)...

Aelistae stared wide-eyed at the night sky. The moon and stars had been eclipsed by a face formed from a thousand bursts of fiery light. It leered over the keep and surrounding countryside, its visage a cross between that of an orc and an ogre. And then it spoke.

“Return to the Keep my Minions. Return to regroup, where we will then march out in force, and stomp these urchins which dare defy the will of Bolikar, the will of Gruumsh! The time for humans is nearing an end, and their hit and run tactics shall fall under the mighty foot of the united might of the six-clans! Return to the Keep, from where we shall surge forth like a wave and sweep aside those in the north, south, east and west for the insignificant insects they are. Bolikar see’s all, as Gruumsh wishes it. Bolikar crushes all who stand before him!”
The drow priestess shook her head in disbelief, causing several strands of her silvery hair to fall across her face. She had never seen such magic or levels of organization displayed by orcs and goblins. She had always thought them too brutish, too beset by internecine strife to ever realize their collective strength.

‘Whataver this Bolikar is, he’s no ordinary orc. …Or perhaps there’s another power behind the throne and....’
The sudden appearance of Intella interrupted her train of thought. The diminutive halfling stumbled back to the narrow trail, blood streaming from a wound in her head and with her flesh torn horribly on one of her arms. Aelistae quickly swept her hair from out of her eyes and sheathed her sword before moving to her companion’s aid.

[Aelistae will cast cure light wounds on Intella, and will boost it with one charge from her healing belt, for a total of 3d8+3 healing. She’ll swap out ‘true strike’ for the clw. If there’s any healing still to be done after that, she’ll top it off with her wand of clw.]

“Don’t be afraid to come to me if you’re hurt like that again. I don’t know what you’re reasons are for being here, but you’re one of us now,” she whispered to the halfling.

“We should move away from here, and find out what is was that caused that first horn to be sounded,” she added to the others after rising to her feet. “If there is an enemy of the goblins and orcs there – even if it’s one of our rivals – we need to make common cause. I don’t think we can fight this Bolikar and his army alone.”



Posted on 2008-09-23 at 11:15:31.
Edited on 2008-09-23 at 11:15:59 by Ginafae

Deucalion
RDI Fixture
Karma: 70/16
582 Posts


Talus (Backpost)

It was as if he had been moving through a dream. When Linnix shot the fleeing half-orc, it was one of his family's servant boys that fell dead and it had been his laughing father that landed the blow. "You should try this, son, the feeling of wielding this much power is incredible..."

Hasty introductions were given as the group and its new member retreated back to the horses. "I'm Talus." was all he could manage to say, since the warlocks mind was still replaying how he came to be in this new land among friends.

Who knows how long Talus would have stayed in that zombie-like state had not the music from a violin ripped through the night air, pulling the man back to the present.

He was on his horse, Moon Dancer, in the middle of the woods and he could only vaguely remember how he'd gotten here. On either side of the path torches were being extinguished and it was obvious, even in his discombobulated state, that attack was imminent.

Talus quickly went through the motions to imbue his eyes with the ability to see in utter darkness. A goblin-hurled javelin nearly caught him in the shoulder as he finished the invocation and the warlock returned fire with much more deadly results, nearly doubling the wretch over backwards with the force of the blast.

Suddenly, from the rooftop of the stronghold shot a multitude of lights that exploded into brilliant red hued flashes that lingered in the sky surrounding the keep, illuminating the area below in a crimson glow in every direction. Amidst the crackling explosions of the fireworks formed a massive face of a Orc. In a rumbling voice it bellowed across the land in a surprisingly intelligent, and understandable dialect of common. “Return to the Keep my Minions. Return to regroup, where we will then march out in force, and stomp these urchins which dare defy the will of Bolikar, the will of Gruumsh! The time for humans is nearing an end, and their hit and run tactics shall fall under the mighty foot of the united might of the six-clans! Return to the Keep, from where we shall surge forth like a wave and sweep aside those in the north, south, east and west for the insignificant insects they are. Bolikar see’s all, as Gruumsh wishes it. Bolikar crushes all who stand before him!”

Behind him, where Talus could not see, the drow priestess shook her head in disbelief, causing several strands of her silvery hair to fall across her face. “We should move away from here, and find out what is was that caused that first horn to be sounded,” she added to the others after rising to her feet. “If there is an enemy of the goblins and orcs there – even if it’s one of our rivals – we need to make common cause. I don’t think we can fight this Bolikar and his army alone.”

"I fully agree with you," Talus responded, "We are in no position to fight those kind of numbers from here. And if that display was an indication of the magics this Bolikar has at his disposal, we'll need a much more detailed and thought out plan than just 'guerrilla raids'.

"We need to get away from that keep. Intella? Do you know the land around here? Any cave systems or something equally defensible nearby?"


Posted on 2008-09-23 at 22:06:49.
Edited on 2008-09-23 at 22:11:02 by Deucalion

Jozan1
RDI Fixture +1
Karma: 65/14
1539 Posts


.

Xaris lowered his sword, wiping the blood off onto the goblin, and then wiped off the goblins liquids off of himself. He looked around to make sure no more enemies stood, then sighed as the battle was over. No one was seriously injured, except for the newcomer that had joined them. This one was short like him, and he started to approach until Aelistae started to cast upon her, so he backed off, letting the healing commence. He looked around the sky as he sheathed his sword once more, and a brilliant light lit up the sky. An orc's face was all that he could see, almost like a constellation of pure evil. It spoke out, about rallying the goblins and withdrawing to the keep. A shiver flew down Xaris's spine, and he knew something had to be done quickly.

" I feel that we shall not let all of the goblins rally to the keep. Let us intercept some of them, cut them off and destroy them with their backs turned. It will only lesson their numbers, and we are here to take the keep, not run away from it."

Xaris unsheathed his sword once more, its blade lightly smeared with goblin blood.

" We should move now, give them no time to rally everyone."


Posted on 2008-09-24 at 04:00:06.

Tek
Jumpin' Jack Smash
Karma: 44/13
675 Posts


Last-Ditch Effort

Atharam’s grey eyes scanned the note that Seleyon had handed over to him. The writing style told him that it was not written by an orc. But then who could have composed it? Somebody having turned their allegiance to Bolikar? Perhaps it was composed magically? Or…he dismissed the chance for it to be a dark elf, a Drow. He’s only ever read about those creatures, but every account told them to be horribly wicked creatures devout in their faith to the Spider Queen.

He shook his head to clear that thought. “Reinforcements are being collected from the caves?” He looked at Seleyon. Do you know which caves these might be?” At this, Hawkrill moved forward and held up the map, a gloved finger placed upon a small dark colouration on the northern edge of the Starspire Mountains.

“Perhaps these, my lord?”

The knight nodded once, then hurried over to Raykel, saddling up in a swift leap that took hundreds of hours of practice to achieve. “We have no way of knowing how old this letter may be. If this is all the camp has to offer, they surely have not boosted their numbers, and this Bolikar may soon arrive, in which case, it would be ideal to launch an ambush. Fall back!”

He waited until Hawkrill had mounted Charger, and Seleyon had slipped into the darkness once more before he himself left the campsite, covering the flight of his companions.


“That goblin whom I interrogated told me that Bolikar is an all-seeing creature, blessed personally by Gruumsh One-Eye.” Atharam spoke in low tones as he and his friends knelt in the dirt, the map lying in the middle of their gathering. Seleyon had used an arrow tip to punch out the camp they had just raided, marking it off the chart. “He said that…he sees all. However that may become possible.”

Hawkrill made to speak, but was interrupted by a great flash of red light, repeating itself and accompanied by a booming vocal, declaring all forced to regroup at the fortress and prepare to march.

“Full-alert.” Seleyon said bitterly, the flashes illuminating her lovely features mysteriously beneath her hood.

Atharam gritted his teeth and smashed a mailed fist into the ground, leaving a small pit in the dirt. The squire beside him flinched momentarily. “My lord?”

“We weren’t fast enough!” The holy warrior snarled, glaring at the illumination from afar. “They had time to notify their base of operations before we could wipe them out. I should have fought that orc in single combat. It wouldn’t have had the chance to blow the horn, then…”

“You did your best, sir.” Hawkrill tried again, but was met with a steely leer from his leader. He then fell silent. He knew Atharam’s way of thinking, and that his thoughts were that every time he did something good, he could have done better. Thus, his ‘best’ was never achieved.

Seleyon broke the awkward silence. “Do you propose a new plan, sir?” She asked quietly, venturing to lay a hand upon Atharam’s to calm him. It seemed to do the job, and he sat back, lifting his hand to remove his helmet, and the other to push his hair away from his face. The young squire cast a look over at Seleyon, obviously envious of her ability to help Atharam collect himself.

He analyzed the map again. “Well, we’re too far away to attack fleeing battle groups on their way to the keep. Unless…”

Thrusting a finger against the map so hard that it pushed the chosen spot into the ground, he looked to his companions. “Are you ready to fight again?” He would not attempt such a risky operation without their well-being.

“Always, sir!” Hawkrill almost shouted, saluting Atharam and wearing a grin that expressed his desire for a second glory this evening. Obviously, their previous victory had bolstered his self-esteem, and left him craving more. Seleyon silently nodded her agreement.

Atharam lifted his finger, showing the eastern bridge. There were two camps on the eastern side of the river Sulduskoon. One which they had hit, and one more. Both needed the use of a single bridge to return to the keep. That was where they would strike, and attempt to harry fleeing forces. Or, at best, they could attempt to sabotage the bridge to make deployment of Bolikar’s army a little more difficult, and funnel another assault. The main danger in this plan lay in that it was very close to the keep, but Atharam’s proud nature dismissed that. This could be a chance to pound a nail into Bolikar’s coffin, and they mustn’t miss it.

Rising to his feet, the paladin dug out an oat cake from his saddlebag and fed it to Raykel, brushing fingers through the lush mane for a moment before setting out. He set his helmet upon the saddle, and did a quick once-over of the horse’s barding to ensure he would be well-protected.

“Sir?” Hawkrill spoke from behind. Atharam turned his head. “A prayer to Helm before we depart?”

He weighed it out in his mind. There wasn’t time to waste. They had to check the horses, their gear, and steel their resolve. But…he knew it would be wise. It was bad luck to break a ritual before combat. Stepping back towards them, they all clasped hands in a circle and knelt in the dirt, Hawkrill muttering a prayer for glory and strength to carry out Helm’s will. Complete, they geared up and mobilized at a rapid pace.

“Remember,” Atharam shouted overtop the clopping of hooves as they rushed forth. “If we can spot them, keep cover of the mountains until I give the word. When they’re nearing the bridge, we’ll rush out and assault them. They’ll be focused on returning to the keep, so mounting a defense will not be easy for them, and perhaps we can push them into the water, or damage the bridge in the process.”

“Yes Sir!” Seleyon and Hawkrill shouted in unison. Atharam smiled as the wind cooled his sweaty hair, though it still perturbed him that the elf could outrun Raykel if she wished.

“Seleyon, it will be up to you to analyze the situation before our attack, and determine where the fleeing groups are, as well as if the fortress is covering their escape. We must not rush in blindly. I will not have either of you hurt.” He said it not as a wish, but as a fact. Aside from his faith in Helm and service to the good folk of the world, as well as his warhorse, these two were the most important things to him. “Be careful, and do exactly as I direct.”

(OOC: They are rushing North, going to use the cover of the mountains to watch the bridge. If fleeing goblins from the northern camp are nearing, and attack will be launched [please notify me if this is the case, though!]. If they are already gone, then a plan will be hatched to sabotage the bridge.)



Posted on 2008-09-25 at 14:57:17.

Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


Let us continue on the path we have chosen

"Let's continue heading northward." Linnix suggests, "At least we can hope that the source of the horn earlier heard the one that sounded because of us, and we'll meet up somewhere halfway. After that we can see if we can piece together a plan then, using whatever information we can gain and provide, and if we don't meet up with those others, then we'll just have to do it ourselves, by ourselves."

"At this point there's not much we can do besides go on." Linnix murmurs, mostly to herself.


Posted on 2008-09-27 at 20:32:20.

Kaelyn
Dragon Fodder
Karma: 80/19
2264 Posts


All three parties:

So it was that the horn blasted by the Orc to rally reinforcements would serve a similar purpose, but not to those originally intended. Across the still night air multiple other parties had heard the single bellow of the horn, and sought to reach its owner, hoping they too were against the goblin horde.

With a blessing boosted by her healing belt, Aelistae bestowed restorative powers over Intella. (36/36hp) The main group sought to travel north, circle the stronghold and make their way east to the horn-blasts origin, and with the great fiery face of Bolikar in the sky beckoning all his troops to return to the keep, it would hopefully leave much of their travel unimpeded. As they rode, those with darkvision could spot lines of goblins, more than Linnix or Jozan had originally counted pouring through the trees and under the moonlit sky towards their master, and it was soon advised that they would spare picking off withdrawing enemies, for to garner the unwanted attention of one, meant the likelihood of garnering the attention of a score more. First, they would meet up with any potential allies, and then make a plan of action from there. As such, north they rode....

~*~

Brownyn, Elendil, and Fate traveled in silence toward’s the south, the sound of the horn alerting them to the possibility that help might be nearby. Another reason, was that with Bolikar’s withdrawing of his troops into a singular place, once they could afford a glance to know the roads were safe, perhaps Brownyn would get her wish after all, and they would simply leave without further incident, and get back on their way... Something in Elendil’s eyes however told the young waif of a mage that was somehow not what she was thinking. And Fate, well, the abrasive man had already made clear his intentions. To kill Bolikar at any cost, by any means necessary.

~*~

Atharam, map pressed firmly into the dirt by a steel covered finger had set the stage for an attack. Cut off reinforcements, and hold the bridge until it could be held no longer, and destroy it if need-be and possible. With their plans made, all three mounted their horses and made for the tip of the mountains, from which they could hopefully spot the bridge.

Indeed when they could spot the bridge from where they halted, the entire landscape illuminated by the glowing crimson face of Bolikar as he bellowed for his minions to return, and shouting promises of death to humanity and all who would oppose him. The bridge lay some 200 yards in front of them, roughly a forty foot span of 10ft wide wooden beams across the river leading to roughly 100' of open land which led into the eastern archway to the grounds of the stronghold . Even now, a stream of goblins, a few orcs, and gnolls and a smattering of animals were being led across the bridge into the den of evil. Waiting until the last had entered the grounds, Seleyon crept closer, though even her creeping took her at a speed faster than Atharam moved normally in his full plate, which only made the paladin cringe at just how fluidly the beautiful wood elf moved. As she disappeared around the mountain’s ‘tip’, Hawrkill spoke in hushed tones to his master.

“Milord, I do not see any archers, or ramparts, or parapets of any sort, though truthfully my eyes are not suited for such distance in these dim conditions.” Truth enough though, the walls of the compound only rose some 15' from the earth, with only four structures within the compound rising above the walls, indicating much of what was within was only a single story, or open ground. As far as Atharam could tell though, the squire’s estimate was accurate. It did not look like anyone moved atop the walls, nor were any of the stones cut as crenelation. It would be impossible from this distance to make out smaller details, but truthfully, this close, the stronghold, of the mighty and fearsome Bolikar did not look nearly as foreboding as originally suspected.

Seleyon returned a few minutes later, explaining that she had spotted no goblins coming from the direction of the other camp yet, and no sign’s that they had already passed by her position recently. Either they were delayed, or had already abandoned the camp that map indicated some time ago. Thinking the chance of being flanked eliminated, Atharam called the order to ride to the bridge, where perhaps they could sabotage the means of escape, or draw forth they head of this vile serpent of monsters for Atharam to sever.

~*~

As the heroes of Castle Tethyr moved northward, finally coming within visual range of the keep, they too noticed its apparent lack of many of the expected defenses. The walls were tall yes, but not extremely so, but no one paced the rooftops, and the walls themselves were in need of repair. In fact, there were small gaps in the northeastern side of the wall, where light filtered through from torches on the inside. A score of goblins could be seen gathered near the southern entrance, swelling like a tide trying to filter in through the south gate under Bolikar’s watchful gaze. It seemed, that there was roughly 100ft of land between the keep’s gates and their respective bridges, allowing some maneuverability outside the walls. Of course to the west, there was no such formal entrance, and open wilderness of a like size (100ft) clear of trees and foliage lay between the heroes’ cover of greenery and the slab grey stone walls.

~*~

As soon as Fate had led Bronwyn, and Elendil to the edge of the treeline to the north, they stopped as they watched a little less than two score of goblinoids and their offshoot kin, mulled about outside the northern gate, slowly filtering in through the portcullis and into an open square. “Bolikar is in there somewhere, as are likely many of his recent captives, would-be heroes who came unprepared or overconfident,” Fate said grimly. “It is in there that my destiny takes me; in there that I find my quarry. Your assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated, and rewarded by my trade coster, but I do not deign to ask you to endanger your lives for those of captured strangers, or myself. If you seek to bypass this whole ordeal, then now is your opportune time. Head west, then south, skirting the keep, a bridge will take you south over the river and into less dangerous lands. Either way, I must prepare to do what I was paid to do.” With that, Fate tightens his gloves, and raises his dark hood once more, blending in with his surroundings even more so than his natural skills provided. Reaching for his armor, he pulls out one of the studs from his leather, and from a hidden compartment in the heal of his boot he pulls a small crystal, sliding it into the hole where his stud was, between the folds of his leather in a thin space, before affixing the faux- stud like a cap. “I need your answer ladies. Even if you chose not to enter with me, you there, with your magics, perhaps a distraction to allow me entry?”


Posted on 2008-09-29 at 09:37:38.
Edited on 2008-09-29 at 09:41:59 by Kaelyn

Ginafae
Kool Killer Kitty
Karma: 64/6
1685 Posts


Stepping towards the unknown

The keep glimmered like a candle in the distance. A halo of fiery light emanated from above it, and its masonry appeared to have crumbled off its walls like wax.

Aelistae slipped from atop Daisy’s back and stood on the edge of the large clearing that ringed the keep. Her gaze ran over the unmanned crenellations and the seemingly inattentive inhabitants. But as she stood there and cocked her head in thought, it was something else that occupied the drow priestess’ mind.

The keep should, she realized, have seemed unimpressive to her. Her violet eyes had glimpsed the terrible beauty of the Houses of Menzoberranzen. Every wall there was covered in a thousand intricate shapes and free-flowing forms designed to strike awe and fear in equal measure. Her gently tapered ears had been serenaded with the simpler beauty of the Promenade. The whole temple echoed with song so pure that the memory of it was enough to bring tears to her eyes. In comparison, the few squat structures of the keep should have seemed rude and uncultured.

‘And yet it has its own honest integrity to it,’ she concluded. ‘Much like the humans that built it.’
Aelistae shook her head, dispelling the enchantment the keep had cast upon her.

“I think we should strike the keep,” she commented matter-of-factly as she moved to tether her horse to a nearby tree. “It may seem foolish, but it is better to strike now before they have gathered their strength and posted a watch upon the walls.”

“Besides,” she added, with a gesture at the north-eastern portion of the keep, “we should be able to make it past the walls there without any need for rope and without alerting the goblins inside.”



Posted on 2008-09-29 at 19:49:08.
Edited on 2008-09-29 at 19:49:50 by Ginafae

Reralae
Dire Dust Bunny
Karma: 121/12
1953 Posts


No time like the present...

"I agree." Linnix nods toward Aelistae, "There's really no alternative, at least that I can think of."

However, as Linnix looks onward toward the keep, something seems to be amiss about it. Were they so cocky that they didn't feel like setting sentries? No, that just didn't seem right, but, whatever it may be, it wouldn't change the group's course of action. Yet... what if...

Linnix shakes her head firmly. No, don't start with the 'what if's; that will take more time than is available.

"Does anyone else have any ideas?" Linnix asks tentatively, startled by how loud her voice seems in the relative quiet.


Posted on 2008-09-30 at 16:03:42.

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Elendil


Brownyn, Elendil, and Fate traveled in silence toward’s the south, the sound of the horn alerting them to the possibility that help might be nearby. Another reason, was that with Bolikar’s withdrawing of his troops into a singular place, once they could afford a glance to know the roads were safe, perhaps Brownyn would get her wish after all, and they would simply leave without further incident, and get back on their way... Something in Elendil’s eyes however told the young waif of a mage that was somehow not what she was thinking. And Fate, well, the abrasive man had already made clear his intentions. To kill Bolikar at any cost, by any means necessary.

As soon as Fate had led Bronwyn, and Elendil to the edge of the treeline to the north, they stopped as they watched a little less than two score of goblinoids and their offshoot kin, mulled about outside the northern gate, slowly filtering in through the portcullis and into an open square.

“Bolikar is in there somewhere, as are likely many of his recent captives, would-be heroes who came unprepared or overconfident,” Fate said grimly. “It is in there that my destiny takes me; in there that I find my quarry. Your assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated, and rewarded by my trade coster, but I do not deign to ask you to endanger your lives for those of captured strangers, or myself. If you seek to bypass this whole ordeal, then now is your opportune time. Head west, then south, skirting the keep, a bridge will take you south over the river and into less dangerous lands. Either way, I must prepare to do what I was paid to do.”

With that, Fate tightens his gloves, and raises his dark hood once more, blending in with his surroundings even more so than his natural skills provided. Reaching for his armor, he pulls out one of the studs from his leather, and from a hidden compartment in the heal of his boot he pulls a small crystal, sliding it into the hole where his stud was, between the folds of his leather in a thin space, before affixing the faux-stud like a cap. “I need your answer ladies. Even if you chose not to enter with me, you there, with your magics, perhaps a distraction to allow me entry?”

"As much as I hate the idea, a forest fire between the cave and the keep might deter the reinforcements from getting to the Keep." She wets a finger to test the direction of the wind, she would need to know where best to start the fires that she and Brownwyn would have to set.



Posted on 2008-09-30 at 17:04:39.

   


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