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Gyorn Hrathen
2008-01-23, 04:47 PM
First Day of the Early Autumn Month (Forwyk), of the year 899 AP.

And it was in these days that six set out from Cayr to meet that which would alter our realms more drastically than the coming of the Prophet himself... I was a younger mage in those days, and had not the foresight to predict what would befall these six, but after much meditation, it seems to me it was, by the end, all for the best...
- From the journal of High Mage Shandas Leslerrin of Nar'Falas

Three weeks ago, the sky above the Elnish Vales exploded with a light that rivaled that of the sun...

From the twisting, fading light that played amongst the clouds, there came a fleet of speeding rocks, trailing fire and dust. Those that didn't break up and disintegrate found lodging in the wilderness of the Vales. One such hunk of rock, black and speckled red, found its way to the Tharacian Fangs, a series of hills crested by a large and gnarled mountain already steeped in its own folk lore.

The nearby town of Tharac, northernmost outpost of the kingdom of Cayr, has little more than a few aged militia men to defend it against any threat, thanks to the recent conscription for war in the south. In the towering capital city of Cayr, Lord Jormon Mondtman, the King Daelrem's Hand, and Sir Marac Gevelred, the King's Sword, have called an emergency meeting at the First King's Keep. The many-tiered citadel of the Keep has long been the seat of Cayr's court and is known for being hundreds of years older than the kingdom and the city itself.

Under its vaulted, gothic gates this day there wanders the most powerful individuals in the realm. The meeting is being attended by the two-dozen or so lords of Cayr (or their representatives), members of the more powerful of the trade guilds, dwarven Bishop Galfrad of the Church, as well as a delegation from the elven realm of Nar'Falas led by High-Mage Shandas Leslerrin (Winterleaf), who are visiting to negotiate an alliance against the realm of Felbrin.

Finally, there comes the adventurers. One well-established troupe, the Blades of Baralon, stand proudly in the back of the Hall of the Rose Table where the meeting is being held, alongside several dozen others. These others include Tphnn the aasimar paladin and bard, Ket the roguish druid, Lucien Fireheart the military-born warmage, Trakkard the Nar'Falan divine adventurer, Skand the taciturn hexblade, and Jerek Kuzul the tiefling bard.

After a few minutes of random discussion interrupted by the combative voice of Bishop Galfrad or the musical voice of the Nar'Falan emissary, the great iron, gold-decorated doors at the end of the hall are opened by two Knights of the Throne, who announce the coming of the King's Hand, Lord Jormon Mondtman.

The man is dressed in ceremonial half-plate with polished chain and a violet surcoat of velvet, embroidered in red and gold, embossed with the Cayran Star-and-Griffon pattern of the royal family. He marches to the head of the table, the King's Sword, Sir Marac Gevelred, to his right, another knight to his left.

"I ask you all to take your seats at the Rose Table, and in the name of King Daelrem, hear my words." At this, the lords, officials and others gathered in the hall take their seats, with the adventurers, servants and retainers still standing around the room. The incident so far is then recounted...

Three weeks ago, the rocks fell. Three days after that, word was received from Lord Fraen Rockferren of Tharac concerning a particularly large meteor that thudded into the Tharacian Fangs during the fall. A week later, word was received that the local Pantheon Church was in conflict with an old circle of druids that had been operating in the area for ages. The druids had been slaughtered.

(During this part of the story, the Bishop seems slightly perturbed at the King's Hand's openness about such issues).

As well as this disturbance, strange phenomena have been assailing the town and its environs, including freak landslides, fires, disappearances and strange shadows on the mountainside. The locals are growing more and more worried about the town's lack of protection.

Finally, five days ago, the famed adventuring troupe known as The Sundry Seven Swords, led by ex-knight Taral Brigdane and a Church cleric known as Malderon the Pious, set out without royal commission to investigate the town. No word has been received as to their arrival at Tharac, nor the arrival of the small merchant caravan they were accompanying.

"And so now," continues the King's Hand, "We feel it is necessary to commence with royal support of a formal investigation. Of course, with the lack of troops in the capital, it becomes necessary to rely on mercenaries, adventurers and private troupes... this is why you are here." He says, nodding to the back of the room.

The matter is then put to a vote, and most parties vote in favor of the investigation, save for the Bishop and representatives from guilds who are largely controlled by the Church. "Our devoted servants in the north," begins the Bishop in his hard dwarven tone "Will be enough to deal with any disturbances or conflict in the north. These fine... mercenaries would to well to stay here and defend the capital from any threat, from outside or in."

The hall then erupts in debate, with the elven delegation and the Hand the Bishop's staunchest opponents. As the arguments heat up, the King's Sword, a tall, middle-aged man with straight white hair and a severe face, stands to address those gathered. Those who do not pause to listen, do so once he begins to speak in his low, gravely tone.

"The Church holds no sway over matters of our defense yet, thank Pelor. We must keep in mind that our northern borders are vital should we be facing a larger threat than imagined. To quell this mystery quickly would be ideal. We cannot afford to stay insular within this city."

At this, the lady elf nods her approval and the dwarf Bishop sits back down, with the knowledge that his will is not absolute here. There is a pause, and then the leader of the Blades of Baralon, a sorcerer-soldier by the name of Darik steps forward. He is a young man, but is known for his sly wisdom.

"I have discussed this with my fellows, and we have decided to head the honorable Bishop's words and stay in the capital in the event that the war in the south goes badly, or that this issue with the star-rocks becomes more serious. We thank the King for his hospitality." With this, the Blades of Baralon bow and leave the hall.

"Finally," mutters the Bishop under his breath, "A human who shows some sense..."

"And what say the rest of you? Will you help us?" asks the Hand of the King to the rest of the gathered adventurers.

All eyes in the hall are on you...

((OOC: Alright guys, there it is. REMEMBER TO LINK TO YOUR ROLLS SO I KNOW THEY'RE REAL! Go crazy with sensory rolls, charisma skills, knowledge checks etc., and feel free to ask any questions or raise any issues you might have with the situation. HAVE FUN!!))

Arioch
2008-01-23, 05:12 PM
After a short deliberation, Skand stands. He tosses his hair back, making the marks on his face clearly visible. It is not clear whether this is a habitual motion or whether he is deliberately attempting to upset the Bishop with his "demon-marks".

"All this talk of help and danger is fine, but you have missed out something important: the money. How much does this pay?"

Jimblee
2008-01-23, 05:22 PM
Seeing his fellow adventurer speak, Jerek Kuzul decides to do so as well. He is of average height and build for a human, and wears clothes more befitting nobility than a blade-for-hire. His mustache is clean cut and defined, and as crimson as his below-shoulder hair. He would have appeared human before the court if it were not for two notable horns, unnaturally bright, green eyes, and distinctly sharpened teeth.

"Money is an issue here - more soldiers for more gold, after all."

SirGhandi
2008-01-23, 09:44 PM
Trakkard

The serene elf sits and waits as the first two of his fellow mercenaries for hire announce their intentions. Typical mercenary behavior. Although in troubled times like these, it is often hard to consider the greater events that are taking place around you. He tries not to let their course behavior color his first impression of them.

"Gentlemen, thank you for inviting all of us in these troubling times. Allow me to introduce myself and offer my services. I am Trakkard Raul of Nar'Falas, and my bow and sword are yours. I have followed the signs to this place, and I know that my fate has been bound to this mission. I will travel north, and help you to discover the secret behind these events. All I ask is fair compensation. As I serve Ehlonna, so shall I serve you in the completion of this task."

Gyorn Hrathen
2008-01-23, 09:55 PM
The Bishop's face contorts as the two individuals with the slightly infernal look stand to speak. The King's Hand, however, seems not to care about the look of the warrior and the musician.

After a brief hesitation, the Hand motions for one of the servants back by the large doors to come forward. The well-dressed and well-mannered servant procures for the lord a sheet of brown parchment. The Hand reads from it. "By order of the High Honorable King Daelrem, I, the Hand of He, am to offer, should it be required, a fee of two-thousand golden locs to any who undertake this mission in the name of the Crown and Throne of the Kingdom of Cayr."

He nods to another servant by the doors, who brings up several large bags of golden coins and plunks them at the head of the table, much to the suprise of the seated lords and guildmembers.

"Should there be more to this situation than mere investigation, the royal treasurer at Tharac will be instructed to further reward you. I trust these terms are suitable."

At this his gaze wanders across the adventurers gathered. He is judging all of you...

PocketRocket
2008-01-23, 11:09 PM
Lucian Fireheart

Lucian steps forward and makes a kind bow towards the Hand of the King and the rest of the gathering. As he leans back up his long blond hair falls back to reveal his piercing red eyes.
"Lucian Fireheart, of the valiant Fireheart family, whom has served Cayr for generations as knights and warriors alike, at your service. As a servant of this great kingdom, I feel it is my duty to answer your call and set out on this quest, if you so find me worthy." At this, Lucian falls back in line and looks at his fellow adventurers to see if they too will join in this quest.

Gyorn Hrathen
2008-01-23, 11:17 PM
At the elf's words, Bishop Galfrad sighs his contempt. "An elf who claims to serve one of the High Host, but heeds not the wisdom of the Church. Typical..."

As Lucian speaks, the King's Sword speaks again: "Ah, the youngest Fireheart. A fine house indeed. See to it that your kin are well represented in the days to come, young mage." With a nod, the Sword moves to leave the hall. "I have other matters to attend, my lord." At this the Hand nods and the Sword exits.

Jimblee
2008-01-23, 11:27 PM
Jerek Kuzul

Jerek tips his head back in observation of the events that follow. After the proceedings, he follows in their steps with a bow, though his is not without flourish, and an unending gaze at his employer. He licks his lips, and speaks carefully:

"I give you my loyalty, my service, and my life. My name is Jerek Kuzul, and I am no one but your servant."

He falls back in line, glancing at Lucian for a moment with the shadow of a grin, before awaiting for more response.

nyyarg
2008-01-23, 11:28 PM
Ket

"The Hand of the King is generous."

A rather dark-skinned man wearing armor that appears to be made of nothing more than a great many leaves steps forward. He bows slightly toward the King's Hand before continuing to speak.

"Please correct me if I am misunderstanding you, but it would seem you are suggesting that the slaughter of a benevolent circle of druids is directly tied to this meteoric impact, rather than what would seem to be the obvious root cause." Ket pauses and briefly glances at the bishop to see his reaction. "I would be very interested in investigating this matter, It pains me to hear that so many good druids may have died unnatural deaths."

TwoCents
2008-01-24, 12:28 AM
Tphnn

A slender young woman stood quietly with the other mercenaries. Wearing a mithril shirt and simple yet spotlessly clean garments, she waited and watched while the others spoke and bickered. She wore a serene smile and stood, hands folded over the pommel of her sword, as she prayed for guidance from Pelor

Before agreeing to participate -- especially since it means cooperating with Jerek and Skand, Tphnn will check with her Phylactery of Faithfulness to see if Pelor approves. I'm going to assume it's a go, since otherwise Tphnn has to go find another GM to bother

Tphnn bowed slightly to the King's Hand "I appreciate the kingdom's generosity, my lord. Even a paladin can find a use for coin, now and again." She stepped closer to the table and stared at the Bishop until he met her eyes, or dropped them in shame. "My lord Bishop. The Church is servant to the Gods in all things. The truly faithful may ask for the advice of men, but we must follow the Will of the Gods. Pelor wishes me to go; I go." She continued to stare at the bishop, waiting for a response.

Detect evil. Come on, you knew it was coming :smallbiggrin:
Also, Knowledge:Local to see if the Bishop has always been this hostile [roll0]

Arioch
2008-01-24, 01:53 AM
Skand

Skand scowls as the paladin steps forward. The markings on his face glow slightly, and his hand twiches over his sword, a slender falchion carved with markings that make the viewer feel slightly ill. He is dressed in a black shirt and trousers, having considered that armour was unsuitable for the occasion.

Eventually he relaxes.

"I didn't realise the Church would be sending its drones on this mission. I prefer to work with people who can think for themselves."

He seems to think for a while, his red eyes darting around the room as he considers each of the other adventurers in turn, especially the paladin. Eventually he returns his gaze to the King's Hand.

"Well, it could be worse, I suppose. She could follow Cuthbert. If you pay what you promise, I will do it. You know my reputation, and my skill. Do not think to cheat me."

TwoCents
2008-01-25, 12:13 AM
Tphnn waited for the bishop to respond to her statement. She did not react to Skand’s rudeness, but continued to stand placidly. After a few minutes, [OOC: or when the bishop was done speaking, if he did speak], she turned and faced Skand. Pulling off her helmet and tucking it under her arm, she revealed long red-gold hair tied back with a yellow leather band holding a small box to her forehead. Her eyes began to turn a gleaming silver as she stared coldly at the hexblade for long minutes. She finally spoke, “I hope you are not as inaccurate with your blade as you are with your words. You have made the same mistake as our good bishop. I am the servant of Pelor, not of the Church. I go where He sends me and I do as He bids.”

She made a gesture towards the table behind her. “You should not worry if they will cheat you, for you have already cheated yourself of civility, of courtesy, and of common sense. The money is before you; count it if you desire, but the terms of the offer have been presented. Take them or not as you will but do not waste more time with idle threats and posturing.”

Tphnn paused and looked at the others, her face softening towards a smile, “I have always believed that what is in a being’s heart mattered more than his aspect, even if his appearance is … pointedly … different. Nor is it right to judge someone before evidence of guilt is presented.” She turned back to face the table, dipped her head and replaced her helmet, and then saluted the King’s Hand. “I offer my services in this quest, Your Excellency.”

Arioch
2008-01-25, 01:50 AM
Skand's scowl deepens, and he lapses into silence at the paladin's words. He appears to be thinking.

After a while, Skand looks up and speaks again. The marks on his face are quiescent now. "I am not so foolish nor so arrogant as to doubt the power of a god. My doubt is in Pelor's servants, not his power. Perhaps you, paladin, will make a better case for piety than I have so far seen of the Church, for I have seen little from them but bigotry and hostility. I accept the assignment, Lord Jormon. When do we leave?"

SirGhandi
2008-01-25, 07:26 AM
Trakkard

The elf looks at the gathered volunteers, then glances back at the crowd of other "so-called" mercenaries and adventurers. Some converse quietly, but they all show their weakness and cowardice, as it is long moments, and still no others have stepped forward.

"Favor shines upon this mission. I see before the Lords of Cayr six brave souls. It will take all variety of talents and lifestyles for a mission into the unknown like this to work, and I cannot imagine a better selection."

The elf bows to the gathered lords, guildsmen, and clerics. He turns first toward Skand, and makes a personal introduction, and proceeds to Tphnn and the rest that are still standing.

Jimblee
2008-01-25, 11:17 AM
Jerek

He had watched the small confrontation between Tphnn and Skand with a level interest. He had encountered paladins before on his journeys, and found them to be incompetent, judgmental, and biased. They have been a beacon of all the prejudice he has faced in the years; the stern face of unwelcome to his fiendish blood. At least in symbol. It is a good thing this other man is here - he could use an ally in this troupe.

When Trakkard is finished with his statement, Jerek adds his own:

"So the Six stepped forth
and made their choices,
They would show their worth
and earn their riches."

The bard puts a fist across his chest and makes a small half-bow to Trakkard when he is faced.

nyyarg
2008-01-25, 09:33 PM
Ket

Ket looks around at the five others who had spoken up, those who, it would seem, he would be traveling with. After listening to the, um, spirited conversation between Tphnn and Skand, a wry half smile creeps on to his face and he lets out an almost imperceptable chuckle. Well, at least this should prove more interesting than traveling on my own. Not nessesarily better, but definately more interesting.

Ket makes his way over to Tphnn is standing. He looks her in the eyes for a moment before addressing her quietly.

I have seen a friend murdered in the name of Pelor for being a druidic heretic. Ket pauses for a moment to fight back a painful memory. You defy the church because it is the will of Pelor, and if I am to travel with you then there is something I must know. What is the will of Pelor regarding druidic heretics?

Gyorn Hrathen
2008-01-26, 08:17 PM
At the druid's words the Bishop scoffs as he moves to leave the hall with his attendants. "I assure you the Church does not take such action without reason... but I suppose you'll find that on your mission, now won't you?"

And to the Paladin: "It is simply not for laymen to interpret the divine. You, as a warrior of the gods, should know this." As the paladin channels her will onto the Bishop, she finds herself strangely unable to read into the priest's motivations and intentions. And as far as her memory serves her, this bishop has replaced the recently deceased Bishop Arnaker Morenred, and is known to be rather harsh in personality. He has, however, sponsered many large-scale public projects.

By the time Skand makes his quip about the Church, the priest has left the room in a flourish of white and gold robes, his hooded retainers close behind. At the mention of possible "cheating", the Hand of the King rises slowly and deliberatly from his seat once more: "And you, mercenary, will not presume to accuse this court or its honored officials of anything as unfounded as cheating you. We will pay what we have promised, and you will be the one scrutinized for any inability to deliver on your end of the bargain." After htis there is an awkward silence in the room for several seconds, nervous murmers the only audible sound until discussion begins again in a few seconds.

After more words pass between various adventurers and officials, the Hand speaks for the last time: "Well, if that is all, I will leave you to your preperation. We would require that you leave in the afternoon tomorrow. We will pay for your lodging for the night and my scribe will procure for each of you your payment. Do not forget the things we have told you, and I pray to Heironious that you are able to put aside your differences in the name of the realm."

((OOC: Okay guys, say anything else you'd like to, but what happens next is you are each given a bag of money by one of the Hand's assistants. You have the rest of the evening and most of the next day to buy things and prepare in other ways. If you want ot do anything specific with RP, post it here, but if not, we'll fast forward to leaving the city (don't feel rushed though!) Any buying and selling you'd like to do will be discussed in the OOC board for convenience/speed. Run magical purchases by me first in case of special rarity etc.))

TwoCents
2008-01-27, 01:01 PM
Skand's scowl deepens, and he lapses into silence at the paladin's words. He appears to be thinking.

After a while, Skand looks up and speaks again. The marks on his face are quiescent now. "I am not so foolish nor so arrogant as to doubt the power of a god. My doubt is in Pelor's servants, not his power. Perhaps you, paladin, will make a better case for piety than I have so far seen of the Church, for I have seen little from them but bigotry and hostility. I accept the assignment, Lord Jormon. When do we leave?"

Tphnn laughed musically, and bowed to Skand with a flourish. "Like many in an audience, you have confused the management," she said, pointing towards the council with a graceful gesture, "with the singer. I sing the song of Pelor to all who would listen, whatever the desires of innkeepers, tavernmaids, or churches." She added, "I will show no hostility where none is earned, and I have done nothing to warrant yours. If you wish me to treat you without fear or favor, then I ask the same from you in return."



Ket makes his way over to Tphnn is standing. He looks her in the eyes for a moment before addressing her quietly.

I have seen a friend murdered in the name of Pelor for being a druidic heretic. Ket pauses for a moment to fight back a painful memory. You defy the church because it is the will of Pelor, and if I am to travel with you then there is something I must know. What is the will of Pelor regarding druidic heretics?

Tphnn met Ket's eyes squarely as he spoke. She appeared confused for moment. "I am not sure what you mean. A heretic to Pelor? Do you mean a worshiper that had turned from good and embraced evil? Such a being must be corrected if possible, destroyed if not, whether or not he had any connection to the church."

Tphnn continued, "Do you mean someone who had forsaken Pelor for another god? I don't know why anyone would want to do that, but I know that Pelor is not a petty, jealous god unsure of His place. He would not wish someone destroyed merely for following another Path to Good. Nor do I understand why the church of Pelor would care about heresies among the practitioners of your faith, unless they embraced evil."

The paladin glanced at the back at the departing bishop and added, "Do not confuse worldly ambition for the will of the gods. Nor confuse the Church of the Pantheon with Pelor's will, for He cares for the well being of all good folk who need him, whatever their station or profession."

nyyarg
2008-01-27, 09:42 PM
Ket

Ket laughs softly at the paladins response, and quietly continues.

"I apologize for confusing you. In Felbrin, where I was raised, the church has long proclaimed that druids are heretics, to the point that the words heretic and druid have become almost synonymous. It is refreshing to meet a paladin who seems largely unconcerned with the will of the church. Most clergy I have met are well versed in all the edicts of the church but have never learned the scriptures. You are right to say that Pelor is not a petty, jealous God unsure of His place, but I fear the same can not be said for many of his worshippers."

Ket turns to face the others

"The Hand has spoken. We are to be traveling together, so allow me to introduce myself. I am Ket, a skilled woodsman from the south"

PocketRocket
2008-01-28, 07:54 AM
Lucian Fireheart

Lucian looks to each person in his newfound group and offers these words of advise.

"So much distrust and strife already. We must trust each other and rely on each other’s strengths to succeed on this quest. We must learn to accept each other’s differences and build up each other’s weaknesses. Like it or not we are a group now, and we will be victorious in our efforts.

Jimblee
2008-01-28, 12:42 PM
Jerek

Until now, Jerek had simply been watching the action. Something in what Lucian said, however, made his blood boil.

"Lucian Fireheart. That is your name, isn't it? You've been a warrior for some time, now, haven't you? And your father, and your father before that? It sounds to me like you've never had to deal with her type"

Jerek points a manicured nail at Tphnn, and pauses. The slight smell of ash can be caught by those closest to him. He lowers his finger, and puts back his omnipresent smile.

"But you are right. We'll be working together, and who can have bad blood on the battlefield?"

He puts the hand to his chest, and makes a small bow towards Tphnn.

"My most sincere apologies for my rudeness." Between his broad smile and exaggerated emphasis, it seems less than sincere.

PocketRocket
2008-01-28, 04:05 PM
Lucian Fireheart

Lucian looks at Jerek and his eyes fall to the ground in shame. "I am no warrior as of yet. I have seen my share of battles in my schooling, but in my family's eyes, I am NOT a warrior. At least not yet. This quest will allow me to place all of my shame behind me. I will redeem myself in my family's eyes. I am not weak. I Can fight alongside my father, and brothers. I CAN live up to my grandfather's name. I WILL BECOME A PART OF MY FAMILY!!!" As Lucian begins to get farther along in his rant, he starts hyperventilating severely. He is lost in his own shame and depression. Finally he snaps out of it and calms down, embarrassed at his behavior.

Gyorn Hrathen
2008-01-28, 09:19 PM
After the rather heated meeting at the castle, the adventurers go their seperate ways to whatever lodging they had procured, all at the expense of the Cayrian court. The next day is spent primarily in the market district procuring information and goods for the journey to come.

The day is slightly overcast, and Cayr's famous ravens seem to have a lot to squawk and cry about. As the party gathers by the northern gate to set off, three regally clad elves, each riding a strong-looking white warhorse and leading another, approach the assembled adventurers.

"I am Ladrin of the House of Sparrowsun, and I come baring gifts from the Lady High Mage. As a token of her support for your mission, she provides these elven-bred warhorses to see you along your way. They are able and wise, and have never steered a rider wrong." At this Ladrin and his two companions dismount, and Ladrin approaches the party on foot.

To Tophnn, he hands a letter. "Madam knight, I hope I am not presuming too much to ask you to deliver this to my friend Farleborne in Tharac? He is an ally to us and to the Cayrian court, and we have not heard from him in many moons. He is well known in Tharac."

"Farewell all of you, and may the gods of the road and the sun look upon you with favor. Mesan here will take back any of these mounts should you wish to provide your own transportation north."

WIth this Ladrin leaves with one of his companions, the third staying behind to collect any horses that may not be required.

(OOC: The horses are all standard warhorses from the DMG, but are very well trained and give any rider a +2 to Ride checks while being ridden. They are a famous breed among any familiar with animals, elves or nature in general.)

SirGhandi
2008-01-28, 09:20 PM
Trakkard

The elf strides up and exchanges small pleasantries with Ladrin, asking simple questions of news from Nar'falas. He ends the conversation with... "You must tell the Lady High Mage that she is far too generous. I'm certain that we've done nothing yet that warrants such a fine gift, but we shall take great care of these noble steeds."

"So, everyone well rested, I hope? Let us share tales as we travel, it will help to pass the time and perhaps lower the barriers that surround us all. If we are to work together, it would be useful to know what each of us has to offer."

"I've had my own share of adventures in my travels. Ehlonna inspires me to follow in her assigned role, and so I tend to the woodlands. There was this particular fall..."

(OOC: Obviously not going to drone on about backstory, but would take the opportunity to reveal the nature of my abilities as a favored soul and brag on my prowess with archery.)

TwoCents
2008-01-28, 09:40 PM
Jerek

Jerek points a manicured nail at Tphnn, and pauses. The slight smell of ash can be caught by those closest to him. He lowers his finger, and puts back his omnipresent smile.

"But you are right. We'll be working together, and who can have bad blood on the battlefield?"

He puts the hand to his chest, and makes a small bow towards Tphnn.

"My most sincere apologies for my rudeness." Between his broad smile and exaggerated emphasis, it seems less than sincere.

Tphnn stood smoldering, her hands clenched on the pommel of her sword. Carefully releasing her grip, she declared in a low voice, “I will not dishonor the peace by drawing blade here.”

Eyes flashing with anger, she turned to face Jerek. She clenched her jaw and spoke in clipped, metallic tones, “I am a paladin, sworn to the service of Pelor. I am a paladin, sworn to Good. I am a paladin, sworn to uphold Law. I am blessed with the blood of celestial beings. I know not which of these qualities you find so offensive, nor do I care. If your intent was to cause strife between us, know that you have succeeded. If your intent was to determine how much discourtesy Tphnn, Paladin of Pelor, child of the House of Eosobeo, will tolerate, know that you have found my limit. I have sworn to go on this quest; I will go. But I will trust neither my life nor my honor to your good will.”

She bowed low to Trakkard and Ket, and nodded to Lucian. “Good day, gentlemen, and may the gods guide you in your quest.” Tossing a grim smile to the two who so feared her company, she added, “May you find everything you deserve, and nothing you do not.”

At that, she turned her back to the others and strode to the clerk’s desk, where she returned the funds offered and asked to see a map of the target area.

OOC: Obviously a paladin is not a good choice for party unity. I think you can probably find a good alternate among the other characters submitted. Have a good time and game well.

nyyarg
2008-01-29, 01:46 AM
Ket



She bowed low to Trakkard and Ket, and nodded to Lucian. “Good day, gentlemen, and may the gods guide you in your quest.”


"I am saddened that you feel you must leave us. I was looking forward to fighting along side a knight of Pelor, rather than fighting with one as I have been forced to do in the past. But you must do what you think is best. May Pelor guide you and may Nature bless you." Ket bows to Tphnn and mumbles a quiet blessing for her as he watches her leave.


"I am Ladrin of the House of Sparrowsun, and I come baring gifts from the Lady High Mage. As a token of her support for your mission, she provides these elven-bred warhorses to see you along your way.

Ket thanks Ladrin and approches one of the horses. He stares deep into the horse's eyes. It is a strange thing...I am a druid, I am supposed to know all there is to know about animals. And yet, I know almost nothing of horses, much less how to ride one. Ket strokes the horse's mane and whispers to the horse, "What can you teach me of yourself, friend? Will you permit me to ride you?"

OOC: Attempting to bond with the horse...(not that I need to, I suppose. Just because it's fun :smallbiggrin: ) Wild Empathy [roll0]

PocketRocket
2008-01-29, 12:55 PM
Lucian Fireheart

Lucian looks deeply sad at the loss of the Paladin on Pelor. My advise was supposed to lead to party unity, not cause more strife, and make people leave. Even though Lucian is not young in age anymore, you can still see the youthful innocence in his eyes.

...

"I am sorry for my breakdown yesterday, gentlemen. I have much strife in my heart, but that is none of your concern. It will not affect me on the battlefield. I have been schooled in the art of war, and how to best use my magic to quickly turn the tide in a battle. Unlike a normal mage, I can hold my own in the midst of a fight. I will be on the frontlines with you all."

Arioch
2008-01-29, 12:59 PM
((OOC: Well, with Tphinn gone, that's the big party roleplaying spur gone, though we'll probably fight less. I'm going to conduct the private meeting with Jerek I mentioned over PM, and assumed it happened before now. Also, I have a horse already. Does Skand's general capacity to upset nearby animals have any in-game effect on the horses, or (sorry about this) Ket's Animal Empathy? The horse will probably be skittish, after all.))

Skand approaches, ignoring the cries of the ravens which upset many visitors. He assumes that they're protesting at his presence. He walks up to join his fellows, leading a light warhorse on a black rope. This horse, a black gelding, has red eyes the same colour as Skand's. Today, Skand is garbed for combat, in a dark red mithril blreastplate. His sword, as ever, is at his hip, flashing unpleasently in the sunlight.

Skand grins mirthlessly. "Seems the rest of us have more dedication than the Light-blinded paladin. I do not need the use of any of those mounts," he continues, gesturing towards the offered horses. "My Umbra will bear me with speed and surety. I have not encountered another horse that would bear me since, well..." His face darkens, and the markings on his face shimmer briefly. "Since...before. Those horses, however fine they are, would only take fright."

(OOC: Do I get the Ride bonus with Umbra? He's borne Skand for years, after all.)

Arioch
2008-01-29, 01:11 PM
"Unlike a normal mage, I can hold my own in the midst of a fight. I will be on the frontlines with you all."

Skand stares at Lucien for some time, his gaze steady. Then he speaks. "You seem very eager to earn the respect of your family. I know little of Cayran nobility, but I do not understand why their approval should be so important. If you wield the power you claim, the praise of others would surely be insignificant. Hm."

Skand appears to make a decision. "I do not propose to tell you my troubles, so I suppose I should not ask you of yours. We all have our...hah...inner demons. An apt expression. I have learned to respect the power of mages, and if you do not judge me, I will not judge you. Agreed?"

This is as close as Skand is likely to get to an expression of friendship or loyalty, especially with a relative unknown.

(Sorry for the double post. Didn't see PocketRocket's until after mine was finished.)

Jimblee
2008-01-29, 04:42 PM
At that, she turned her back to the others and strode to the clerk’s desk, where she returned the funds offered and asked to see a map of the target area.

Jerek kept his smile during the whole proceeding, though his eyes defied his feelings of worry. After she left, he made a small quip about aasimar women.

---

Jerek circles his new mount, patting its sides and eyeing it carefully. After a deliberate thought relating to the safenesses of the horse, he mounts it, and moves unsteadily about, not having much training with horses. He comes close to Trakkard, and listens politely and attentively to his tale, regularly filling his role with "Oh"s and "Incredible"s and all that sort at appropriate moments. When he is finished, he makes a small compliment to the elf:

"What fine mounts these shall be. Your people truly work wonders with animals. I have worked with your kind in the past, and they have all been great friends." He pauses a moment. "A shame about that aasimar woman. I feel awful about the way we treated her. I should hope it doesn't give you a bad impression about me!" He gives a mild chuckle about this and presses back on his smile. He holds out his hand for a shake. "Friends, eh?"

SirGhandi
2008-01-29, 08:57 PM
He gives a mild chuckle about this and presses back on his smile. He holds out his hand for a shake. "Friends, eh?"

Trakkard

Trakkard graciously accepts the hand of friendship. "Of course, as brothers-in-arms, we shall have to build a mutual trust, but even the greatest trust must start as an act of friendship. I whole-heartedly accept your friendship, and hope that we may work on the trust."

As they ride, Trakkard takes a few opportunities to practice his marksmanship, picking the occasional odd target. He looks a little feeble at it, the recurve on his bow does not suit his build at all, and it would seem that this marksman isn't quite what one would hope for, given the boasting that had been going on earlier.

Gyorn Hrathen
2008-01-30, 10:24 AM
Ladrin smiles at Trakkard. "Indeed the Lady is generous, but she sees much. It has nothing to do with what you have yet done. We wish you well."

The horse seems to be very responsive to Ket's communications. "I am Hedrevig the Wise. I will bare you as best I am able." The druid's abilities seem to awaken something more in the elven horse than is visible...

At Skand's assertation about the elven horses, Ladrin smirks: "In my home, warrior, it is a sin to slander the beasts as well as the men. They will not be frightened as other, lesser mounts may. But so be it. The horse shall return with us."

"Ah, thank you for such compliments, Jerek, was it?" Ladrin says. "The horse's name is Minwyr, and she is steadfast and strong."

With this Ladrin leaves as do the unneeded horses and the second elf.

***

The ride north goes easily for the first twenty miles or so, and the Paladin woman's tracks are easily visible. It is late afternoon, and the overcast sky darkens as the party reaches a crossroads. One path, veering slightly to the northeast leads into ever-inclining hills and the road that way seems to lessen in quality.

The path northwest proceeds through sparse farmland and old stands of pines and oaks. The first decision of the journey is at hand.

((OOC: Nyyarg's map should help here. As it begins to rain, Tphnn's tracks become harder and harder to track... the direction she took is not readily obvious without a tracking roll.

Skand: Sadly Umbra will not give you a particular ride bonus, but for unofficial things like tricks and responsiveness and stuff feel free to RP as if Umbra is very familiar and friendly with you.))

Arioch
2008-01-30, 02:19 PM
As the group rides towards their destination, Skand says little. He stays a little way away from the other horses, not trusting the assurances of the smug elf. He listens to the talk of his peers, but does not talk much himself. Occasionally he chances approaching to hold brif conversations with different party members, but steadfastly refuses to reveal anything about his past. He seems more relaxed with Jerek Kuzul than with the others.

When they reach the fork in the road, Skand wheels his horse around to face the others. "Did anyone bring a map, or are we just going to guess?" He asks irritably, apparently not accepting any blame for not bringing a map himself. "If we're guessing, I'd take the northeast road. Fewer travellers."

nyyarg
2008-01-30, 04:38 PM
Ket

Ket quietly rode along side Trakkard for a good deal of the trip thus far. Occasionally he would engage in small talk, and he briefly pulled out his bow to let loose a few arrows at random targets with him. But Ket spoke more to his horse than to anyone else, and chiefly he spent the time looking at trees or clouds or rocks or anything natural as if such things were intensly interesting and warranted careful examination.

In response to Skand's query, Ket smiles and responds "Indeed, it just so happens that I have a map in my pack." He pulls out the map and looks at it, while doing his best to protect the map from the drops of rain beginning to fall. "The map seems to agree with your guessing, Skand. The northwest path, while better maintained and ostensibly safer, would add about 20 miles to our journey. I would vote we take the northeast path." He shows the map to any interested party before placing it back in his pack.

"I am somewhat curious to know which way the paladin woman went, but her tracks have faded. I am not much of a tracker but perhaps I will have some luck" He clumsily dismounts his horse and examines the ground near the intersection looking for signs of Tphnn's passage.

I don't have the track feat so I automatically fail if the DC>10. I will roll a search check as well, as per the tracking rules.
Survival [roll0]
Search [roll1]

Jimblee
2008-01-30, 08:21 PM
Jerek

Up until now, Jerek had occupied himself with mild conversation, and small travel songs when the chatter died.

Jerek gazes up at the skies as they begin to pitter-pat the rain. He reaches into his magic pack, which at the moment is suspended upon the side of his mount, and pulls from it an ordinary, nonmagical parasol. It is painted, prettied, and slightly girlish, though functional in its duty of protecting him from the unpleasantness of precipitation.

He gazes around at the rest of his crew, then finally down at Ket, over whom he hangs the umbrella to better protect the map, although he saves a generous portion of the protection for himself.

"Are you sure we even want to be finding that woman? She did leave in quite a fury. She may be violent, after all, I've seen her kind grow to it instantly, and she is a part of the church."

He gazes down the path, squinting down the road at nothing in particular, then down at the map. "All this marching is getting the best of me. Lets shave off those miles and be done with it."

nyyarg
2008-01-31, 01:09 AM
Ket

Ket looks up in amazement when the rain suddenly stops and is quite surprised to find that he is partially under a somewhat garish umbrella. "I have found myself caught in countless storms over the years, and never once did I think to aquire a parasol. Although I do not share your aesthetics, I must admit you may be on to something."

"You are right, we should not try to intercept the paladin. I doubt that any good would come of that meeting, at least not at this point. I am merely curious as to which way she went. She has made her choice and must follow her own path, and we cannot let that path affect ours."

Arioch
2008-01-31, 02:20 AM
Skand grins grimly. "The shorter path it is, then? Two of our number have not voted."

"The northeast path may be more dangerous, but if I couldn't cope with danger I'd be dead by now, and some of you can probably say the same. The quicker we get to our destination, the quicker we can complete our...assignment."

Skand rides a short way up the northeast path and turns around, waiting for his companions.

PocketRocket
2008-01-31, 08:34 AM
Lucian Fireheart

At hearing Skand mention that two of his companions had not voted yet, Lucian snaps out of his inner thoughts. "Oh, sorry Skand. What was it we were saying? Oh yes! The northeast sounds like a brilliant idea. Haven't quite gotten used to horses yet. They don't really agree with my small stature, and never have been too good at casting spells on one of them, the whole bumping up and down thing isn't so good for nimbly creating spells. Ha ha. But yes I do agree with you gentlemen. Let us ride." Lucian seems flustered, hating himself for slipping into his depressed state. You are finally on a quest Lucian. Don't screw this up!!! Lucian smiles awkwardly to the group and once Ket is done looking at the trail, continues down the trail.

OOC: Sorry for the delay guys. Like my character I've been fighting some inner demons of my own the past couple days, but I'm back and ready to post.

Arioch
2008-01-31, 03:06 PM
"Oh, sorry Skand. What was it we were saying? Oh yes! The northeast sounds like a brilliant idea. Haven't quite gotten used to horses yet. They don't really agree with my small stature, and never have been too good at casting spells on one of them, the whole bumping up and down thing isn't so good for nimbly creating spells. Ha ha. But yes I do agree with you gentlemen. Let us ride."

"O...k..."

Skand starts to ride up the northeast path. A bird in a tree stops singing as he passes.

Jimblee
2008-01-31, 05:44 PM
Jerek

Jerek stares at Lucian after the outburst. During the few awkward moments afterward, Jerek bursts into laughter. He lets his parasol down as he grips his chest, letting the rain fall back onto the map. Should Ket decide to look, he can see bits of steam rise from his mouth as rain droplets fall into it, the distinct scent of burning wood coming out from his heavy breath.

He wipes what, perhaps, would be a small tear, though the heavy rain has already done its duty. He lifts the parasol back over his head, lets out, lets out another small giggle, and grins at Lucian.

"Oh, my friend, if I could tell jokes half as well as you, I would be twice the entertainer!"

He shakes his head, chuckles a bit more, and continues along their chosen path.

SirGhandi
2008-01-31, 10:15 PM
Trakkard

Intently trying to follow the tracks of the paladin, Trakkard was also late to voice his opinion of path. Giving up on the tracks in disgust, he turns to rejoin his compainions.

"It makes little difference which way we travel, destiny will see us complete our misison, as was made clear by Landrin in his parting words. The Lady High Mage has foreseen that we shall provide a great service, and she is not known to be wrong on such accounts. Northeast it is!"

Trakkard double checks his gear, making sure that his materials are staying dry as he travels. He tests his access to the quiver and haversack, just to make sure that both are ready at a moments notice.

PocketRocket
2008-01-31, 11:12 PM
Lucian Fireheart

"When was I telling a joke? Oh hey it's raining. When did that happen?" Lucian looks thoroughly confused at the whole situation, but rides on anyways.

nyyarg
2008-02-01, 12:23 AM
Ket

Ket climbs back atop Hedrevig the Wise and follows the group up the northeast path. He pauses to whistle at the bird that had stopped singing at Skand's approach, in an attempt to cheer it back up.

Wild empathy check to cheer up a troubled bird! [roll0]

Gyorn Hrathen
2008-02-01, 12:40 AM
Trakkard is in fact able to discern that the paladin headed up the northeast path herself, apparently on horseback. The rain clinks off of metal equipment and armor lightly. It isn't pouring yet, but it might before the end of the night.

The bird in fact seems a little calmed by the druid's whistle, and circles around the group for a few moments before fluttering off to find a dry haven to wait out the night.

(OOC: Alright guys, those of you who are not in fact elves are beginning to feel the weight of a half-day's ride (perhaps a little less). I'm going to need a marching order for general reference as well, so let's get that sorted out quickly. We'll do it in OOC thread I think. Once that's sorted out we can continue.)

Gyorn Hrathen
2008-02-01, 04:04 PM
The rain picked up as the party that set out from Cayr followed the rugged path deeper and deeper into the ever-increasing hills. Lightning begins to strike now and then, illuminating the steep hillside to the right and the steepening series of drops and ledges to the left of the path.

It is two hours to midnight when a lightning strike nearby illuminates something massive and sculpted set into the hillside to the right. As you begin to focus, it becomes clear that the thing is a humanoid statue roughly forty feel tall. The figure wears some kind of armor, but the head of the statue has been taken off.

((OOC: Let me know if you want to investigate. Illumination is bad in the night, but I'm assuming some of you will have lit torches etc by now. The statue is about 60 feet off the path to the right, standing tall against the hillside after a slight dip in the terrain littered with shrubs. After light-sources are established, gimme a spot roll each so I can tell you what of the immediate surroundings you are able to see if anything.))

Arioch
2008-02-01, 04:15 PM
Skand laughs manaically as the rain crashes down and the lightning flashes around him, and continues on with what, for some of the group, is the first smile they have seen on his face. He seems slightly deranged. There seems to be no apparent reason for this behaviour, at least not now. ((OOC: I might explain later.))

((Curses, I forgot oil!))

When the flash illuminates the headless statue, Skand immediately stops, Umbra rearing at the tug of the reins. Through the driving rain, he indicates for Ket to approach, and shouts, in a voice that can barely be made out among the storm, "Tree-hugger! What can you see?"

I'll make a spot check myself, but with no ranks it's not likely I'll spot anything difficult.
1d20=13 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1479335/)

Jimblee
2008-02-01, 04:37 PM
Jerek

Jerek clears his throat after Skand's Tree-hugger comment, though he does not comment. Jerek moves slightly away from their train formation to better get a look at the statue, and to climate any of their light sources which may interfere with his vision. Though he does not light a torch, he is blessed by his blood with the ability to see in darkness.

1d20 → [6] = (6)
(http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1479352/) He's got Darkvision 60ft. On-board roll didn't seem to work :smallconfused:

nyyarg
2008-02-01, 08:04 PM
Ket

Ket smiles in the darkness. 'Tree-hugger' is it? I like the sound of that more than 'Heretic' Ket moves up beside Skand and peers into the darkness trying to make out more than the indistinct outline of the statue.

"I believe I saw this on the map. 'The old watchers' or some such thing. As I recall, there may be five or six of them"

Spot check- [roll0]

Jimblee
2008-02-03, 10:17 AM
Jerek

He turns off his Darkvision, and moves back to the group while Ket speaks.

"The old watchers, you say? Can't say I've ever heard of them before. Do... Do they do anything?" He seems rather put-off by the statues, and frowns at them.

"There's something poetic in this whole scene, I just can't put my finger on it..." He reaches into his pack for his spiked chain. He clutches it to his lap like a talisman, though he keeps his umbrella up. Something about the name "old watchers" seems to disturb him a bit.

Gyorn Hrathen
2008-02-03, 03:15 PM
Ket and Jerek, between enhanced eyesight and a lucky glance, are able to see strange shapes, that could be runes or other letters, scrawled across the figure's stone chest. These runes are entirely foreign to any member of the party, and bear an jagged alien quality unlike anything you may ever have seen.

Aside from these markings, just as the party is about to leave the statue, Ket hears a scraping, like wet reeds scraped over stone, from behind the statue. Lucian, closer to the left ledge of the hill path, hears the falling of rubble just beyond sight range. There's no wind to push stone over, just the rain (dying down now) and the darkness.

((OOC: Just wondering about Lucian and Trakkard. Didn't get a post from you guys about the statue.

Search checks etc are fine at this juncture. Let me know what you guys want to do.))

SirGhandi
2008-02-03, 05:50 PM
Trakkard

Trakkard is quick to dismount at this uncertain moment. He mutters the words to cast bull's strength and then pulls out the bow, dreading the fact that it has to be exposed to the rain. He checks the horizon in the direction of the noise, looking for any hint of movement.

search roll= 4 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1481009/)

nyyarg
2008-02-03, 10:31 PM
Ket

Ket glances over at Jerek. "I only know what it says on the map, which isn't much. It mentioned that they were of mysterious orgin, but I..." He is interupped by a unusual sound. He leans in close to Hedrevig, "Did you hear that?" he asks quietly, apparently addressing his horse.
Ket swiftly dismounts and draws his daggers. He crouches down like an animal on the hunt and moves closer to the statue, searching the area.

The horse seems to be able to comunicate with Ket on some level so I figure trying to get the horse to make spot and listen checks can't hurt, especially since horses have low-light vision (and it would seem none of us lit a torch or anything :smallamused: ).
Wild Empathy (to communicate with Hedrevig) [roll0]
Spot Check [roll1]
Listen Check [roll2]
Search Check [roll3]

PocketRocket
2008-02-03, 11:21 PM
Lucian

Lucian slips down off of his horse when he hears the noise. He reaches down and picks up a rock off of the ground and begins to quietly chant at the rock. Almost immediately the rock begins to glow as if it were the sun itself in a 60 ft radius. Lucian throws the stone towards the sound to try and get a better look at what might be lurking in the dark.

Cast Daylight

Arioch
2008-02-04, 01:54 AM
((OOC: How far is the edge of the cliff? I don't want to charge stright off.:smalltongue:))

As Lucien's rock illuminates all nearby, Skand's companions may be surprised to see that the markings on his face have faded to faint pink lines. As the rain drips down his face, some turns red and vaporises in a tiny puff of steam. This may be the reason for his previous comparitive cheerfulness. However, with the possibility of an attack no evident, Skand is grim and unsmiling once again.

Jimblee
2008-02-04, 07:14 PM
Jerek

Jerek calmly places away his parasol, pushes himself off his horse. He whips from within a brilliantly crafted accordion - to him, at least, it makes music before touching his fingers. He keeps the chain at his belt - ready to draw in case something may come within range, but he would rather not expose himself at the moment. Its not that he's afraid - he'd just rather not fight if he didn't have to. Maybe if they needed him, he'd join in.

He stays close to the group, though not closer than a ten feet, always to the back.