"Well lass if ye say tis nay the dragon god as ye nay feel the power of her then it is so. Tis true that we have another quest ta finish and should focus our energy once more on the destruction of the sword. Ta that end everyone take the rest of the day ta gather supplies or seek council as ye will for with the dawn we set out once more." Cor believed that the amulet lent certain powers to Sirene but he was concerned by the thought of what powers it lent the dragon god. For now it seemed there was no ill effect but he would keep an eye open in the future.
For the party, still fighting at the general’s home, the arrival of Ulthok, Sirene, Valene and the two faerie dragon companions through her teleport doorway was anti-climatic. Cor moved to kill the last Imp only he could see and with its death the spell like hold over the rats was gone and within a matter of minutes so where the rodents themselves. With the battle over Arandur having killed the first of the Imps went to check it’s remains and was the first to see a blue symbol branded onto the Imp’s skin under its wing. Speaking up he brought it to the rest of the group’s attention.
'What say you of the mysterious sigil we saw marked upon the imps?' Arandur asked, pausing in his work, the cloth hovering an inch or two above one of the rapier's blades. 'Do you think it could be the mark of the Dragon Goddess herself?'
As talk begin of bringing it to the Dragon Queen to gain her reaction and thoughts, all such speculation was quickly dismissed by Sirene. With the new day upon them
“This is not the work of Kakaranatha,” Siréne began. “Hear my words and know them to be true. The Dragon Goddess might be treacherous and more dangerous than any creature we have ever faced, but she is not our enemy. Where there is light there must be shadow. We would not know the day without the night. That is the balance, and it is the will of the cosmos. It cannot be denied.”
"Well lass if ye say tis nay the dragon god as ye nay feel the power of her then it is so. Tis true that we have another quest ta finish and should focus our energy once more on the destruction of the sword. Ta that end everyone take the rest of the day ta gather supplies or seek council as ye will for with the dawn we set out once more."
With that the group once more retired to eaches room letting once again the remaining house guards to clean up the mess.
With the new day upon them they each set out to gather the items they would need stocked up on to restart their mission to destroy the sword. However when they returned and went to see the kings about resuming the quest, they were given a message that the kings awaited a visitor from the Dwarvin land of Erebor regarding a new way to possibly destroy the sword. As the wait went into a third day they were finally invited back to the castle war room for dinner and further discussion.
Grand Hall of Kings
Arriving on time and in their best clothing, Peri and Frag along also seeming to never stop arguing since she had awoken in a strange type of language, the remaining party numbering seven sat down at the main rooms long table. As food was served, introductions were made, and the the party finally met Alfginnar Ironclaw a Dwarven Knight and ambassador of sorts.
Then dinner was over and it was time to talk as everyone but the party, the remaining surviving kings, and the Dwarf Knight were left. The King of Shann’Tara as the senior of the surviving kings along with Callahorn’s, Cormalen, Mythgore, Bra’Dian, Minas Morath and Duraguzan was the first to speak.
“Sir Knight Alfginnar Ironclaw has traveled from Erebor along with a large dwarf army to both reinforce us and to talk to you about a way he and the King of Erebor think the sword could be destroyed. As has been told and supposed the only way to destroy something of its power and intelligence is at the place it was forged. However Knight Ironclaw and his King, King Kendric Har'a'Ginn, feel that the forge of KKazad-Dummay be hot enough, with a few added unique Dwarven spells, to melt it down and destroy it once and for all.”
Pausing he banged his sheathed sword twice upon the floor and the door opened and in entered Allanan and Althena, the magically wrapped sword within her hands. As a few of the kings and party members inadvertently recoiled as Althena laid the sword on the table Allanan smiled.
“No worries everyone, between my daughter and I, we have rendered it’s power to corrupt any one carrying it or close to it powerless while wrapped in this cloth. As such any of you can carry it without fear.”
“Thank you both for that” The Shann’Taraian king spoke “Please sit, a great choice must now be made." Looking to the Dwarf Knight.
Standing the Dwarf began to speak.
“Erebor has long known of the legend of the sword and how the Arch-Mage Allanan was said to have hid it away. However when he himself disappeared it had been thought that in truth Allanan took the sword, and himself, into the astral space. Clearly with the sword found by members of this very party and the Arch-Mage here in our time, it’s no longer a secret as to what happened to both.”
A pause, a drink of beer, and he continued…..
“Since we in Erebor heard that the sword had been recovered we have looked at what it would take to actually melt it down and destroy it. We knew our forge was hot enough but the magic itself protecting the sword was too strong. Now however with the return of Allanan and his access, now ours, to ancient spells we feel we can destroy it and save you a possible suicide journey into the heart of darkness…..Cirath Ungol”
(DM OOC: Ok going to pause here to allow player interaction with the Dwarf and King’s. Got a question please ask it in game for all to see. As I’m thinking there may be a bit of Q/A discussion, and please if you got something to ask or need to know, don’t be quiet, my next post will be in two weeks Sunday the 21st So till then I look forward to see how this discussion goes.)
Posted on 2019-07-07 at 23:30:41.
Edited on 2019-07-07 at 23:35:14 by TannTalas
Lothor sat through dinner and enjoyed the food and company. Any good soldier knew to take their rest and food when they could get it. You never knew what was likely to come next and this adventure had certainly worked out that way. And at least he wasn't left staring at walls by an imp. That last really gnawed at him. The attack had not been an accident. Who would have sent it? And why? He would remember that particular imp and if he ever saw it again he was sure to have a suggestion to make to it. Wing plucking might be too good for the little stinging, blinking, pile of expletive.
But that was yesterday's news. Today he needed to think about the sword. And that discussion was interesting. He had not relished atrip to Cirath Ungol. Was it suicide? Maybe. But it had to be done. Or did it? A second option seemed worth considering. But it didn't sound like they were talking about Erebor itself. The forges needed would be in Kkazad-Dummay. That was certainly not the same as Erebor. Most of the decisions for this task would likely belong to those with the magical skills to decide what would work, but he did have some questions.
He spoke up.
"Excuse me. At the end you spoke of "our forge" being hot enough. Yet earlier the second option was described as Kkazad-Dummay. So, are we talking about needing to get to Erebor or Kkazad-Dummay?" He paused for only a moment. "And what do we need to know about that location. If this is presented as a choice then certainly neither is easy. Who will be accompanying us on such a journey?" Here he looked at Allanan. "Arch-mage? The dwarves mention your magic as being involved in destroying the sword. Will you be a part of this journey? Do you believe this is possible?" Before finishing he shook his head. "I am a soldier. I can not say which method works or works best. Others here can do that better than I, but every soldier knows you need as much information as possible before making a move."
"It is good to see another dwarven face. Yer name seems familiar, might ye be a kin ta Magma Ironclaw? He and I traveled together once. As for the dwarven forge being a possible place to destroy the sword, what makes ye think it can be done there? A safer option it might be but one that is not guaranteed ta work." Cor waited for answers and cotinued to think on the subject. He would pray for answers from Odin before giving a final opinion.
OOC: Cor will cast augary and ask if the dwarven forge is able to destroy the sword.
As the dawarf knight, Alfginnar Ironclaw addressed the group with the new strategy of destroying the ill-fated blade, Arandur listened intently, the fine features on his smooth face creased in confusion. He had heard of Erabor, yes, the dwarven city was famous throughout the realm (OOC: I'm assuming lol), but never had he heard mention of KKazad-Dummay. Before the elf could make his decision upon which path to follow, he needed to know about this place which was hitherto unknown to him.
'If I may, mater dwarf Ironclaw,' he said to Alfginnar, 'what is this Kkazad-Dummay you speak of and why is it discussed with such fear?'
Lothor continued to contemplate the groups options. He looked towards the assembled kings and wondered if they would have thoughts on where to take teh sword. A king's thoughts had a tendency to become orders. And yet in this case he believed the group might be in line to determine their own choice. And if so, perhaps they would be determining a whole lot more.
But before it was decision time they needed information.
"Sir Ironclaw. Any option that avoids taking this item into Cirath Ungol must be given serious consideration. But what can you tell us of Kazad-Dum? What might we find there? What would we need to do? Given how things have gone so far I can't believe that it will be as simple as walking in and plunking it down. What awaits? Even rumor is better than nothing"
He waited a bit to hear what might come. "And who would be going? Will we need dwares to light this forge?" Here he nodded towards Cor. "We have one stout dwarf already. And from your words the arch-mage is needed. What or whom else?"
Lothor disliked taking the lead on something he knew so little about, but he hated sitting back and doing nothing more.
Leaving the carnage behind Ulthok and Valene made their way down the hall to the rooms. The moon shining bright through the window as the two entered Ulthok’s room. Valene lay the sleeping Peri gently on the bed then removed her backpack. Ulthok closed the curtains darkening the room. Pausing he smiled as he stood and listen the soft rhythmic breathing of the small Fairie Dragon. He could sense the peacefulness of whatever dreams Peri may have been having.
Valene wiped out the metal pie pan that Peri used as her bed. The Halfling took one her silk scarves and laidit in the pan. Gently liftingPeri she placed her in the small round bed. Peristirred slightly, sniffed the scent of Valene on the silk and seemed to purr contentedly.
Ulthok watched from the window, these were the two creatures that owned his heart and were now the closest thing he had to family. He crossed the and place a kiss on Valene’s cheek, “I am off to the kitchen, our little girl there will be in need of nourishment when she awakes and it has been a while since I have made her an apple pie… You should get some rest too. Perhaps I will order a bath sent up.” Valene giggled, “If you hurry perhaps the water will still be warm when you return.”
When Ulthok entered the kitchen the head cook and her girls had seemed to be waiting on him. “Master Ulthok we heard of what happened to Peri, ours hearts were broken for she was a joy to have sneaking in for treat when you were here before. “ They looked at him with anticipation, “Ah..well with the help of strong Fey magic I am happy to say she has been recovered and is resting. I have come to prepare her favorite apple pie for when she awakes.” The kitchen crew nearly danced with joy, “Oh Sir let us prepare it for you, we so missed her and it would our honor and pleasure.” The Halfling looked up at them and bowed graciously, “She would truly enjoy that…you are so much better at baking that then I..yes please do.”…Looking around, “ Would it be too late to have hot bath delivered to Lady Valene’s room? This ordeal has been wearing on her and bit luxury would be so nice for her mind and body.”
“ Ah..good sir there is a measure hot water available and I will have it and tub delivered immediately, you set yourself there at the table and my girls will fetch you some ale and a morsel of food while things are made ready.” With a smile and a wink.” I’ll prepare a small basket that you can deliver so the Lady may also enjoy a bit of wine and cheese as she soaks.”
Ulthok lifted himself onto the chair and there quickly was delivered a flagon of prime ale and a plate of sliced cheese, meat and bread. It was only then that he realized just how hungry he was. Finishing the ale, and a decent portion of the platter, a covered basket was brought to the table. “There you go good Sir..be sure the Lady is well served…I placed a small vial of lavender in there too for the bath water, it shouldaid in comforting and relaxing her mind and spirit.” As the kitchen girls giggled the cook shooed then back to their chores.
Climbing down Ulthok took the basket, bowed slightly and headed to Valene’s room. As he passed the serving men one stopped, “Master Ulthok..Lady Valene has us place the bath in your room. She said she want to keep watch on the little fairie dragon….have a pleasant evening sir.” The men discreetly returned to the other chores.
Knocking lightly before he entered Ulthok opened the door a bit and slipped into the room. Candles had been lit giving a warm glow to the room. Valene had just slid into the tub. A light steam rose from water as she lay there, eyes closed, and sighed. Ulthok placed the basket on small table he’d moved next to the tub. Opening it he found the vial and poured fragrant oil into the water. The sweet floral aroma caressed the fair Halfling maid. Valene breathed deeply, her breasts rising to the water’s surface as she arched her neck.
Next was the wine, a fine red liquid that he poured into a crystal glass. Leaning over the edge of the bath
he handed it to Valene, “For the Lady, compliments of the chef.”As Valene reached for the glass Ulthok smile as he gazed at her form in the clear water. It had seem to be ages since they spent time together.
Returning to the basket he remove the plate of cheese and cut it in thin slices. Drawing chair to the tub he sat himself next to her shoulder and proceeded to feed the morsels to the lady. Valene moaned with delight. There for the rest of the evening they enjoyed the simple pleasures.
There were stories among the staff that later, when the pie was delivered outside the room, that laughing and splashing could be heard coming from the room.
Siréne regarded the hall of kings with respect and the mantle of authority that was her own. The fey did not bow to mortal kings. Her gaze swept the room tracing the lines across each of the dwarven faces. Their suggestion was pleasing, freeing, and yet she could not fully accept that their quest would come to such an easy end. Magic did not work that way. Fate did not work that way. The Gods did not work that way.
As the others asked their questions, Siréne stepped forward with a question of her own, "None of us has any wish to journey into the depths of Cirath Ungol. However, will we do what must be done, we have been prepared to do this all along. Courses may change, but we must know why, we must be sure. What word do we have from the Gods? Are the heavens behind us? Too much rests on this quest to leave even the slightest shadow of doubt. We must know, we must have divine answers."
As the King’s and Allanan waited for the first questions it was Lothor who was the first of the party to speak.
“Excuse me. At the end you spoke of "our forge" being hot enough. Yet earlier the second option was described as Kazad-Dum. So, are we talking about needing to get to Erebor or Kazad-Dum?" The big fighter paused for only a moment. "And what do we need to know about that location. If this is presented as a choice then certainly neither is easy. Who will be accompanying us on such a journey?" Here he looked at Allanan. "Arch-mage? The dwarves mention your magic as being involved in destroying the sword. Will you be a part of this journey? Do you believe this is possible?" Before finishing he shook his head.
“Kazad-Dum is a dwarven mountain fortress within the kingdom of Erebor that houses our greatest forge much like Mt Doom is to Cirath Ungol. With the return of Allanan we believe with the spells he will grant us that we can get the forge hot enough to melt the Steel Maiden and destroy its magic.”
“No I will not, nor will my daughter, be going with you if you should journey to Erebor, however Knight Ironclaw will. I will be giving him a number of scrolls, three to be exact, that will contain the spells needed to heat the dwarf forge hot enough to melt the sword. It will be your task to both guard the sword and the scrolls if you decide to go there. However you do have a choice in that you could forgo that journey and what remains of your party continue on your original task, a journey to Cirath Ungol and Mt Doom and to destroy the sword where it was created” This from Allanan who faced Lothor, nothing but truth in his eyes.
"I am a soldier. I can not say which method works or works best. Others here can do that better than I, but every soldier knows you need as much information as possible before making a move. What would we need to do? Given how things have gone so far I can't believe that it will be as simple as walking in and plunking it down. What awaits? Even rumor is better than nothing" He waited a bit to hear what might come next.
“Will we need dwarfs to light this forge?" Here he nodded towards Cor. "We have one stout dwarf already”
Again the dwarf spoke, a nod to Cor in acknowledgment “As with any journey there will be risks, the Shadow King wants his sword returned and there is a good chance he will try to take it back before we reach the forge itself. As to how or what forces he will send I know not. As for lighting the forge, it is never out, as it is heated by a massive lava field under the mountain itself”
"It is good to see another dwarven face. Yer name seems familiar, might ye be a kin ta Magma Ironclaw? He and I traveled together once. As for the dwarven forge being a possible place to destroy the sword, what makes ye think it can be done there? A safer option it might be but one that is not guaranteed ta work." Cor waited for answers and continued to think on the subject. He would pray for answers from Odin before giving a final opinion.
A sad smile crossed the Dwarf’s face at the name. “Yes he was my father and though I have been told that he died in good company, I have yet to be told how he died. Perhaps after this council, whatever is decided, you would tell me how he actually died?”
As Lothor asked his questions, Siréne waited for a pause then stepped forward with a question of her own,
"None of us has any wish to journey into the depths of Cirath Ungol. However, will we do what must be done, we have been prepared to do this all along. Courses may change, but we must know why, we must be sure. What word do we have from the Gods? Are the heavens behind us? Too much rests on this quest to leave even the slightest shadow of doubt. We must know, we must have divine answers."
“We have cast auguries, divination and prayers but all we have received in return is that great danger lies in both directions.” This from the King of Callahorn “We sadly do not have more then that to go on”
The hall fell silent as both the party, Allanan, and the Kings awaited more questions, Having followed the conversation closely Althena had so far remained quiet seemed content to continue. It was up to the party if more questions were to be asked or to make the choice of Kazad-Dum or Mt Doom.
(DM OOC: Ok here’s my post a day late. Dragon-soul I did not include your question in my post as it had already been asked by Nomad and answered. Ok next post this Sunday the 28th.)
Lothor listened to the answers to his questions and shook his head. Was there really a choice?
"The forge is in the dwarven kingdom? The danger is what might attack us on our way there? So, we can either travel into the heart of enemy territory while the Shadow King undoubtedly hunts us. Or we can travel towards a friendly kingdom while the Shadow King hunts us. In either case we will be hunted. But one location seems gravely dangerous compared to the other. What am I missing? Will he expect us to head towards Erebor? Why? It seems until just recently everyone assumed the sword could only be destroyed in Cirath Ungol. It feels like I am missing something here."
Lothor waited to hear what the others had to say. On the face of things it didn't feel like much of a choice. Both paths were dangerous and hunted, but one went into the heart of enemy territory and the other did not. He also wondered about transportation. What would be available? What sorts of teleportation spells could be used to evade those chasing them? But with such thoughts he could not help but look at the archmage. Scrolls? The archmage famous in history for attempting to deal with this exact sword was going to hand off 3 scrolls and wander off elsewhere? What could possibly be more important than destroying the Steel Maiden? Yes, his new-found daughter was here. But given his past why wouldn't he see this task through to completion? It mad eno sense to the big warrior. Evnetually, after others had spoken he gave voice ot his concerns.
"Excuse me archmage. I can't help but wonder about those scrolls. You have travelled through time to deal with this sword. You have given much to the battle against this weapon. And yet now you would hand off three scrolls and go another way. Why?"
Ulthok listened to the proposal of the Dwarvs to carry the sword to their forge and there destroy it. Their forces would accompany them for protection and help. Powerful magic was assumed to be needed to enhance the forge to do the task. Allanansaid he would not accompany them there to supply that magic but would instead provide scrolls of magic to be read and thereby provided the enhancement.
To Ulthok’s mind to course to the Dwarven forge though through relatively safer lands would be a great challenge. The one that had created the sword now seemed to rise again and would not stop pursuing them until it was again in his hands. Also as word spread that the sword was found there would be others who desiring its power would also pursue. Though unlikely these forces would unite they would constantly harass the party until they were worn down. And even if they arrived with the sword it was still to be seen if the forge could be made equal to the task.
The other option was to continue as they had originally planned.Take the sword to the forge where it was created and there use those forces to destroy it. Never had it been implied that additional means would be needed to complete the task; only that they or at least one would survive to reach the forge fires and cast the sword into wince it came. The same competing forces would still pursue them; but he who made the sword would wait for them to deliver it to him. His thoughts would be more to their safe arrival,to then dispose of them and claim his prize.
It also occurred to the mage that if their one call for help would be most useful in the heart the enemy’s stronghold. Because if the stories were true the sword was created with help of Loki’s hand. His magic was tied to both the sword and the creator. It seemed to Ulthok that the one that threw down Loki would fear his rise if his minion regained the sword’s strength and power. That because the Dragon goddess was also a creation of Loki she could not destroy the sword, but she could and would help, if only to secure her own dominion.
Ulthok felt his thoughts needed conveyed to the party so that their questions to the Kings would bear fruit for travels to the core of the enemy. “My lords, if you will allow me a moment with my friend. “ The Halfling gathered the party around him and in whispered tones (more in case the goddess was listening so they wouldn’t break their word) explained his thoughts and concerns. When they had done he said to them, “My vote would be to continue as we had begun, go to when the sword made.”
(Out of character: Others can post their whispered thought s, I’d say that after the discussion Cor again take the lead with questions on what would happen if the party chose the original plan.)
Cor listened to the questions and answers. "This choice is too important ta make on the spur of the moment. Perhaps we should all take the night to think and pray on the choice and meet tomorrow as a party to determine our course and then return here to present it."
Rayden listened quietly, sitting slightly behind everyone to make room for Brutus, his head lying heavily on her legs was a familiar comfort. The elven Ranger/Cleric looked sadly towards her brother who seemed to be distancing himself since she fought against the rats. Had she done something wrong? Should she had just listened to her older brother and stayed in the room. Her hands found purchase on Brutus' head. Did he fear her now for the power she could weild? Did he regret helping her all those years ago when she was but a child with a wounded bear cub on her lap pleading for the older elf for help?
She could hear the questions being asked, she could hear the answers flow.. she just couldn't turn her thoughts away from how she could potentially loose everything simply because she didn't listen.
Brutus huffed lightly before he pressed his nose towards his elven companions hand, he could feel her tremble but as he couldn't figure out what was causing the turmoil, he wouldn't leave her side. Normally if she were injured, the great bear would go to the male elf to help her, but this time... This time the bear was at a loss on how to help her.
Arandur sat as still and stiff as a newly carved statue and indeed he appeared reminiscent to the sculptures adorning the edge of the room. His pointed ears alert, the elf Ranger listened attentively whilst at the same time pondering all that had been said and suggested by his fellow travellers. Having been rather late on this quest, Arandur knew little of the original task of which the others had persued, and thus was unsure of what thoughts and suggestions he could contribute to the group, if any. His emerald eyes slid over the others, the only movement that revealed that he was a living being and not merely an inanimate work of art displayed for everyone's amusement. Eventually, his keen eyes rested upon Rayden and he was instantly aware that she, too, was studying him, worry and concern furrowing her fair features. Arandur wondered what ill thoughts ailed her and he made a mental note to, if events allowed, approach the topic with her in a more private setting, lest unwelcome ears were present. Now, however, there were more immediate matters that required his attention. Arandur had never been one for addressing large groups and the one he now found himself with was large indeed-at least to him. The prospect of stating his thoughts and opinions whilst everyone's attention and eyes were fixed upon him was daunting indeed and this resulted in the elf hesitating and wondering if he would ever summon the courage needed to achieve such a task. His mind then drifted over what was at stake: the lives of those he loved, the lives of the many innocents across the land-and the fate of the realm itself. Arandur vowed to himself, then, that he would not risk allowing their quest to be put into jepardy merely because he failed to summon the courage needed to speak before his fellow warriors. A poor way to honour the name of his father that would be. So, inhaling deeply, he uttered in a weak voice which he mentally cursed himself for, involuntarily tensing as he felt all eyes upon him,
'If I may address the group,' he started in a small voice, then inhaled deeply to steady his heart which was steadly increasing its rapid beating inside his breast. Pausing to take a few more deep, calming breaths, he then continued: 'I do agree with Master Cor. The time for planning and strategising are needed before we come to a conclusion. However, I will say this: I opt we take the safer route for this quest will be frought with enough dangers and unpleasant surprises as it is. I would rather us take the longer but safer road than rush recklessly into the midst of our foes in an attempt to end this quest sooner. But I will leave the decision up to you.'
The elf nodded in a quick bird-like motion and swallowed in an attempt to moisten his dry throat, pleased that he had succeeded in saying what he wished to say without his nerve failing him altogether. He sat back deeper in his chair and attempted to make himself as small as possible to minimise being the object of scrutiny.
Posted on 2019-08-04 at 10:42:25.
Edited on 2019-08-04 at 10:44:53 by dragon-soul92
Before the party ended their time with the Kings Ulthok felt they needed more information on the option the go to the enemy lands. “My lords, we are given two options but we have little information on the journey to the origin forge. To head south and the cross the waters are there maps and guide information of what we could expect to encounter. Is there information on the evil lands? Are there secret approaches your spies have used that would aid us in that choice? Are there known dangers to avoid? Are there any magical or mighty items we could have to aid in our defense and journey? Allanan, you say you won’t go to the Dwarven forge but would you travel with us to the evil lands?” As the party member most likely to be in front as they traveled, searching out dangers and traps Ulthok wanted to be as prepared and aware as he could be. One way or the other the Halfling felt this would be their last journey, death stalked them and failure doomed them. He had no thoughts of a peaceful tomorrow, the only thing was now and the task at hand.