Page 13 of 41 FirstFirst ... 3456789101112131415161718192021222338 ... LastLast
Results 361 to 390 of 1229
  1. - Top - End - #361
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Baerdog7's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ander Windrivver

    Murder...?

    Ander takes a deep breath, exhaling slowly while he plans out his rant.

    Demon worshiping? That's what they've been saying about me? No Abbot, I think we have a lot to talk about.

    Ander paces back and forth in the ritual pit as he addresses the assembled priests, hands clasped behind my back.

    I have never worshiped anybody other than Athelion and Miriam. I was working in their service to cleanse the corruption from the Church when I got cocky and sent to Ironheart. It was because I dared to stand up to the Council of Elders, not because of heresy that I was locked away!

    He stops, looking the Abbot directly in the eyes.

    I admire your dedication, Abbot, but in the oaths we take upon becoming a paladin we vow to uphold the will of Athelion and Miriam first and the Church second. The Church as it is now no longer speaks for the will of the Gods. Let me prove that to you before making a final decision. Put me in a zone of truth. With all the help you have here you can be sure that I won't resist the spell. I will tell you all I know about the Church, about Ironheart, everything.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Baerdog: super genius.

  2. - Top - End - #362
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Mar

    "Um. It's Marion," Mar said, and immediately felt foolish. That wasn't her real name, and they knew it. Maybe she should just give up on the idea. "It's just that Mar is short," she mumbled, feeling compelled to explain herself. "I don't like it as much..."

    To cover her embarrassment, Mar looked down at the bracelet again. There was a tingling in her wrist as she slipped it on, as if the ghost of the old metal bracelet were still there. She felt a little uncomfortable, and then realized why: this new bracelet was announcing to the world that she was owned by a different place now. But that was good, she reminded herself. People wouldn't see the yellowy metal and want to send her back.

    It chafed at her wrist a little, but she was used to that. She decided she wasn't going to take it off.

    Caroline seemed to be expecting something from her. "Thank you," she said slowly, dredging up the words and their meaning from some half-buried memory. "It's... it's pretty." It was, too; the rocks reminded her of the little things she'd kept back in her old room, and of the things in the secret hiding-place out at the barn. They weren't her rocks, but they could have been, if she'd found them in a corner somewhere. They were nice.

    She looked at their faces, trying to see if that satisfied them.
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

  3. - Top - End - #363
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lonna's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    MD, DC area
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Pyrene the Temptress

    As further conversation with Korram was made impossible by the noise of the GHAST in flight, Pyrene settled into a light trance for the majority of the journey, a compromise between exhaustion, fear, and boredom. Upon reaching the estate, she found herself shunted off to be handled by servants who were not cruel, but merely doing their jobs - nothing more and nothing less.

    Even being forced to strip in front of one lackey did not disturb her greatly, though his coldly calculating appraisal unnerved her slightly. As she slowly and deliberately put on the surprisingly well-fitted dress, she wondered how many other women he had prepared for Cheran. The thought of the Countess, used to the courtesy accorded a noble, being treated this way made her fair skin even paler with anger, though the servant probably thought it was fear or embarrassment. It was enough to make her consider attempting to break out all on her own, despite the everpresent GHASTs.

    Ultimately, however, common sense won out over rage-spurred heroism, and Pyrene submitted to her captor's demands, even allowing the hated anti-magic collar to be fastened around her neck. This was apparently enough to convince the lackey that she could be left unsupervised for the time being, though he was not so foolish as to risk leaving the room unlocked. With nothing else to do, Pyrene sat down, staring blankly at a wall as several conflicting impulses struggled for dominance. Waking dreams passed in front of her eyes - people she had forgotten, friends she had discarded, places she had not seen in years - the events of the last few days, especially meeting Wulfric, had brought the memories flooding back.

    At first she thought the figure slowly emerging from the shadows was another such figment. Her shock when the person emerged from the shadows was only equaled by her shock at being addressed as "Princess" - and was then promptly exceeded when she got a good look at the lines of indecipherable text literally crawling over the woman's face. With an effort of will, Pyrene forced the emotion off of her face, focusing on Alya's eyes as if attempting to stare her down.

    "Ah, perhaps you can help me then. There was a bit of a misunderstanding when the Baron's men took me from Her Majesty's servants, the elves. I have yet to find a way in which to reassure her of my desire to obey her instructions, as I have only recently become aware of my... heritage." Conditioned by years of performance, Pyrene unconsciously adopted the role that had been presented to her - that of a lost, confused, but nonetheless noble member of a royal family. "Perhaps you could convey the message for me? Ah, but I am sure you did not come here simply to see to my needs. What do you desire from me?"
    I started a blog!
    Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...

    My Player Profile

    My current characters:
    Spoiler
    Show


    Thanks to Kasanip for the great avatar of Pyrene!
    Full version:
    Spoiler
    Show

  4. - Top - End - #364
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Inspectre's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    The Baron’s Estate

    Dorizzit

    The Baron’s mouth twitches up into a smile as he stares into your eyes.

    “Are you sure you really want to know? . . . Very well.”

    The Baron shrugs, and leans back in his chair.

    “Having lived with your wife for a number of years, I imagine you noticed how insightful she was. How easy she could read people, connect with them.”

    This was true. Sarah was always at ease around people, and would know exactly how far she could push a merchant in price.

    “That was her gift, you see. Not quite magical, but still enough to make her quite special. So when my men found her, they knew I could make use of her. And I did. I trust you saw my airship outside, the Ghastly Truth? Quite a complex bit of machinery and magic – I based it off plans from the Hierarch, which I . . . expanded upon a bit. Unfortunately, managing such a complex ship proved impossible for any group of normal humans to manage. So I took your wife, along with an old crone seer and my own granddaughter, and plugged their minds directly into the ship. Your wife has proven to be an excellent bridge between the other two, as I anticipated. As I said before, your wife is very important to me, and as such she is treated well – even if her mind is, shall we say, elsewhere?”

    Lonna

    Alya listens carefully to your every word, although whether enthralled or merely attempting to sift out the truth you can’t say. Alya’s face is an impassive mask, and the crawling script is *very* distracting.

    “I understand. I will attempt to relay your status and any messages to Queen Titania at the next opportunity. The Queen is unfortunately very . . . distracted, as of late. Matters of state are keeping her quite busy at the moment. You have my word that any message you have for her is safe with me, and will only be heard by her.”

    Alya pauses here, as if trying to decide something. Finally, her eyes focus back onto your own. Her gaze is very intense, but neutral. Like the rest of her, her eyes are largely expressionless, although every now and then you think you see something flicker beneath the surface.

    “I would take you to her right now, but unfortunately the Baron has expressed a desire to meet you. Regrettably, I am his envoy to the Queen, and not the Queen’s envoy to him, and so I must obey his wishes.”

    There is just a slight twitch there, but compared to her usual expressionless, it seems to be a glowing sign that she doesn’t necessarily like the arrangement. Or perhaps she simply didn’t like the Baron – it seemed there were a lot of people who shared that dislike. You were starting to become one of them.

    “In any case, I have come here to personally assure that you were undamaged by the trip, and are being well treated. I will urge the Baron to remand you into my custody immediately, and from there into the Queen’s. I do not know what his decision will be – I understand you are guilty of several crimes amongst the humans, including the murder of several during your escape from Ironheart.”

    The way Alya said “humans” suggested that she no longer considered herself one of them. Which was certainly . . . odd, as she was definitely human and not elf or some other strange humanoid race. Although the bizarre living tattoos certainly gave her an exotic look!

    “Do you have any other demands or questions for me, Princess? I understand that the Baron will want to speak with you shortly, after his audience with another of the prisoners brought in is concluded.”

    Dawn’s Hope - Monastery

    Baerdog7

    The abbot snorts, but his resolve begins to falter before your steadfast declarations. At your offer of being put in a ritual circle, the abbot rubs his jaw thoughtfully.

    “Well . . . I suppose that might work, although I have heard of a few ways around such a thing – being completely off your rocker being one of them. I might be willing to admit right now that you’re telling the truth Ander – but only how you see it. You’ve been gone for a long time Ander – and I’ve read the history books. You walked away from us first. Who’s to say you weren’t corrupted, or worse, captured during your long sojourn away from the Church’s eyes? Enough torture can make a man believe anything.”

    Before you can interject, the Abbot holds up a hand.

    “You have to understand what you’re asking, Ander. We’ve already had one lunatic try – and very nearly succeed – at tearing apart this church in recent years. Karth Chemonte . . . the man was a complete monster, killed thousands in his efforts to “purify” the Church. And yet many believed his “truth” that the Church was corrupt, and that the only solution was civil war. Now he’s loose again somewhere, and you come here telling me that the only solution is civil war once again. Wasn’t the damned crusade against the Hells enough? I want the young men that are trained here to go on to build something good in this world, not senselessly throw them into the meatgrinder! And certainly not against their very own brethren in arms!!”

    At the last statements, the Abbot’s voice rises to a near shout, prompting the door to creak open and for the guards waiting outside to peer in. The Abbot waves them off, and the guards close the door with a shrug. He then turns to you with a sigh.

    “I can do the ritual if you really want me to, Ander. But is that what you really want? Are you here to ask me to sentence all of these young men, some of them still barely out of childhood, to their deaths in a war that will only tear the Church apart and allow Her enemies to feast on the remains?”

    Stonefall

    The Surrounding Forest

    The_Snark

    Your thanks seems to satisfy William and Jacob. William is especially pleased, grinning from ear to ear as he looks at his craftsmanship now displayed on your wrist. Only Caroline still seems to want something, tugging on your wrist to get attention once more. When she finally has it, she asks, “Why don’t you like Mar as much? Marion’s pretty too though.”

    Over by the pile of wood, Jacob coughs loudly.

    “Now Caroline, it’s rude to ask too many questions. She’s allowed to decide she likes something for her name over something else.”

    Dimly, you hear Caroline murmured consent as you look down at the bracelet. It was pretty, but it also dredged up other memories. Memories of the bronze bracelet you had previously worn on that wrist. Memories of Daddy crowing, “Do you see this bracelet, you filthy little girl? That means I *own* you now. I take it off, and everybody here will know that I’ve cast you out. And your wicked little mouth can scream as the dogs of this place descend to tear you apart!”

    Strangely, another set of disjointed memories bubble to the surface. An intricate silver bracelet, studded in gems, gently being placed around your wrist, and just as quickly removed by your other hand. A voice, sounding much like that of the man from your recent dream – “Please, take it! It is my gift to you! Even if it is a mere tawdry trinket, your own beauty surely enhances it!”

    Jacob’s voice suddenly grounds you firmly back in the present.

    “Hey, are you alright Marion? You look a little elsewhere – why don’t you sit down.”

    At this suggestion from his father, William leans over his stretched out legs, shoving one of the other chairs out from the table, allowing you to easily sit down if you so chose – and could get free from Caroline. Meanwhile, Jacob is apparently done with arranging the firewood. He chuckles dryly as he takes one log to feed into the fireplace before moving over to take the remaining chair.

    “So, it seems our town has become a waystation for a number of wanderers. While we were out there chopping and gathering the firewood, I heard some town gossip. Apparently some other young person came stumbling into the middle of town from out in the cold last night. Old Ms. Hatchaw is taking care of him. He’s apparently pretty delirious, but wandering around out in the forest with no food, water, or heat will do that if it doesn’t kill a person outright. It sounds like he’s some kind of knight or squire or something – he had a suit of armor on when he came in supposedly, banging and clattering and making quite the racket in the town square before collapsing. Friend of yours?”

    The City of Amaranth

    The (Destroyed) City Slums

    Iethloc

    Understood. I suspect Umber would not appreciate returning to find his body possessed.

    Hey, still over here, floating around without a body. Hello? Actually, I guess this whole floating through everything is pretty cool now that I’m getting used to it . . . but still, I’d actually like to be able to touch something. Or at least flip through a book while you two stand around gawking at an empty-headed dead guy and a comatose kid.

    Opening your senses to Bran, you momentarily recoil as a flash of power leaps out of the boy. He is a maelstrom of energy now, funneling out into the link between him and Umber. Perhaps somewhat disturbingly, you also can sense that this link is slowly leeching all of the magic out of the boy. Where exactly all of this magical energy is going, you aren’t entirely sure yet. It seems to be getting funneled into the link, and then going . . . elsewhere.

    You had never seen anything quite like it, truthfully. It seems likely that wherever Umber was, that was where the magic from Bran was going. As an incorporeal being, you were really little more than a living mind. It might be possible to further analyze where the magic was going, and armed with that knowledge travel through into wherever Umber was now.

    The dangers of doing so were quite high however. Your very presence might disrupt the ritual entirely. If the ritual link between Bran and Umber was the sole means of travel, that would likely strand you on the far side with Umber, assuming it didn’t just shred your soul in transit. Depending on how much longer this was going to take, Umber might get caught over there anyway – Bran would be sucked dry of magic in another few minutes, assuming he was incapable of recharging his stores of energy. Considering how much raw magical energy the boy had floating around inside him, that was quite impressive in and of itself.

    The Resonant Memory

    WhiteKnight777

    “Bold words. But then, you always did like to talk.” Gilgaem snarled, in a way very typical of the real Gilgaem. For her part, Marialta simply laughed, a light lilting sound that was likewise very typical. Perhaps they really were ghosts – or you simply had a vivid memory.

    “And you always did think big Umber, which I suppose is why you were our nominal leader. But you do not control Fate. We made a deal with Fate on this night whether we knew it or not. In exchange for giving up our deaths, we also gave up our future and our greatest gift.”

    Inside the clearing, the drummers began to pound on their drums, beginning a slow, steady rhythm. Stepping deliberately, Fianna began to dance out from the center of the sand pit in a lazy spiral.

    “You wish to reclaim your magic, Umber? Then you will have to make a new arrangement with Fate. And as you know, great magic requires great sacrifice. What are you willing to offer Fate in return for your ability to use magic?”

    Ironheart

    The Surrounding Mountains

    Gourtox

    Again, the man shrugs. “I don’t know. I would assume back to the Baron’s Estate. It’s only a few days march from here, although given how fast those things were flying, they could be there by nightfall. And after that, who knows?”

    The man looks thoughtful for a minute, and then speaks again.

    “Hey, listen. We’re just mercenaries, here to do a job. The Baron wanted us to find some woman, and catch any fleeing prisoners from Ironheart. We weren’t aware that you guys were crawling around in the forest. Why don’t we forget all this fighting, and work together? We need to find some woman, a Countess, out here, and you apparently want this whore. The Baron wants this Countess real bad, guess she was betrothed to one of his sons when she went mad, ran off into the woods. Maybe you guys could work something out with Gazrul, our leader, try to make an exchange, eh? I could introduce you to him . . .”

    The Gastly Truth

    Pwenet

    At your suggestion of disturbing the Baroness, the meat sacks jointly pale.

    “No, no . . . that wouldn’t be necessary.”

    They share a look for a moment, and then their apparent leader smiles and nods, as if an idea has suddenly come to him.

    “That other idea is excellent, however. You did want to take a walk, did you not, Miss er . . . Sarna?”

    At this idea, Sara’s face brightens as she quickly hops off the medical bed, displaying no signs of her previously crippled status.

    “It’s Sara, and yes! I would love to take a walk. The Galley’s not far from here – and if I get sick, Prime will take care of me!”

    Sara shoots you a questioning look, although it’s clear that she trusts you enough to assume your answer would be an “affirmative”.

    The meatsacks visibly relax as Sara moves over to the door, and you swing your massive armored form to follow. The door to the hallway slides open, allowing Sara to nimbly step through while you have to pause to duck your head under. As before, the hallway is busy, although not as crowded as it is in the forward parts of the airship. During a battle, that might very well change however.

    Stepping uncertainly to the left, Sara turns and looks up at you.

    “Er . . . which way do we go? I – I’ve ever been on the Ghastly Truth before.” She admits sheepishly. Fortunately, this is an easy question for you to answer after tapping into your locally stored schematics of the airship. The Galley is to the left, proving Sara’s random choice to be right after all, although she likely would have swiftly gotten lost in the maze of interconnecting passages beyond this section.

    The Baron’s daughter still in the lead, with you providing directions upon reaching intersections, the two of you set out to find the Galley. A number of people pass you, giving your armored form a wide berth. A few pause to gawk at the apparently unusual sight of a teenaged girl wandering around, but an intense stare and threatening gesture from you convince all of them not to get too close.

    You are nearly to the Galley when Sara comes to a dead halt in the middle of an intersection. Thinking she had merely not heard your last direction, you repeat yourself, but she ignores you. The Galley was a short distance now down to the right – within less than twenty seconds at Sara’s previous speed you would be there. And yet, the girl turns off to the left, picking up speed as she walks with a sudden determination.

    You do not know what has caused this sudden change of plans, and an examination of the ship’s schematics reveal that the only thing down to the left are a number of security checkpoints, leading to the Brig. A quick check on the ship’s information network likewise reveals that there is only one prisoner currently in the Brig – the captured archangel Ysora, one of the hated Miriam’s chief lieutenants.

    The Hells

    The Screaming Dark Estate

    OverWilliam

    Crx leers down at you, revealing a shark’s smile of sharpened teeth.

    “Of course!”

    He says, lightly tossing the ring of keystones over his shoulder.

    “Come up and get it. If you can!”

    With a snarl, the devil commander leaps down, wings flaring out behind him to slow his descent. As he descends, he takes a swipe at you with his spear. You manage to narrowly dodge out of the way of the saw-toothed edge, but Crx shoots out a leg, catching you in the chest with his clawed foot. Thankfully, instead of rending you open, the blow merely sends you sprawling away.

    Teareal and the other prisoners stumble at Crx, but he swats himself aside with a dry chuckle. As the devil commander advances confidently towards you, raising his spear over his head, you begin to wonder where Limier was. You spot the assassin suddenly, peering over the layer above. In one hand is a stiletto, in the other is the ring of keystones, which she holds up high for you to see.

    Pausing in his advance, Crx looks at your curiously.

    “What are you smiling at, human?”
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

    Threads I'm currently DMing:


    Threads I have successfully completed:

  5. - Top - End - #365
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Baerdog7's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ander Windrivver

    Ander smiles and lays a reassuring hand on the Abbot's shoulder.

    Yes Abbot, this is what needs to be done. If I am to make any progress in fighting the corruption in the Church I will need to clear my name. On that note, I would like for you to assemble the monastery's council and to show my squire into the room. I'll tell my story and answer any questions you have. After that, we can talk about what to do about Karth and the Church.

    Ander steps out of the ritual pit to allow the acolytes to prepare the circle. He paces back and forth, mentally preparing himself for the coming ordeal.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Baerdog: super genius.

  6. - Top - End - #366
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gourtox's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Telest

    Telest stares at his captive trying to decide what to think of this offer. "That might be helpful. We'll go meet this Gazrul, but you must still be my hostage as I'm not going to get screwed here." He puts the gag back in the captive's mouth thand rides his horse until he's a little ways from the camp. Then he takes the captive and grabs him as he puts his blade to his throat. Then they walk into the Camp. Man I hope this isn't a trap, but even if it is I have no other choice. I can't break into the Baron's estate that would be suicide and if that's where they are then I'm going to need this Gazrul's help.
    Avatar by Onasuma

  7. - Top - End - #367
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dorizzit's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    A2
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Korram Alstan

    Korram leans back in his chair, tipping it off its front legs so he can stare directly at the vaulted ceiling. He had never even imagined that anything like what the Baron described was even possible, let alone the truth. He sits there like that for almost a minute. Then the laughter starts. Korram hadn't laughed, hadn't really, truly, just out and out laughed in years. He had occasionally chuckled, or put on a show to mock one of his enemies, but this came from somewhere else, deep inside. Anyone listening would get tones of insanity from the laughter, but others would also get a deeper impression of sanity so deep that it was painful. The chair returns to all four feet with a loud thud, and Korram folds his arms over his chest, or what is as close as possible with only one arm, face all business.

    "You just. Don't. Get it. You were right, on most counts. I willingly blinded myself to the pain my actions caused my friends and Katrina, I refused to resort to tactics which could have won greater victories, and I held onto my honor, without good reason, because I felt that it was the right thing to do. You wouldn't know much about that, would you? I have never been a careful schemer or master planner; I went with my gut, followed my instinct. It's gotten me here. Hardly a victory, but its where I am now. You know how I lived through eight years of constant torture? Because I knew there was something they could never take from me. That same honor which was such a hindrance. I have made many mistakes, but I won't wish that I had acted differently anymore. I'm tired of that. You tell me that my wife is alive...so what? Does that change anything? You took her away from me. Why did you bring me here? To insult me? Tell me my flaws? Did you think I would break? I already know my mistakes all too well. You have only given me one thing; hope. Hope that Sarah can be saved. I've done stupid things, but I will not wallow in regret and self pity anymore. This life will be seen through until the end, and let the gods themselves try to stop me! Make your peace with whatever you worship, Oh False Baron. Your time is at an end."

    There is no satisfaction. Only a sense of wholeness that Korram has not felt in a long time. He grabs an apple off the table and bites down.
    Last edited by Dorizzit; 2009-09-26 at 08:44 AM.
    Truly awesome Ark Tamaeus avatar by Bryn. Full size version here.

  8. - Top - End - #368
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WhiteKnight777's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The other side of the sky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Umber

    Umber's lips curved in a wicked grin. "Oh? And have I not already paid a price - Have I not suffered, spent years in the planning? Have I not offered my blood, sweat, and tears, as well as those of countless others? Ah, but that's never enough, is it? Fate always needs something more"

    His grin broadened "I don't suppose you'd accept the... lives of the Baron of Gast and Kartul, now would you?" He chuckled at that, then, throwing off his cape, stepped into the circle. He began to dance with Fianna, like they had in the old days... and he could feel the old hunger rising. His movements had a slow, catlike sensuality about them, and he moved with her like flowing water, ceaseless and effortless.

    As he moved, his voice came out slower, more thoughtful. "But ah, and here's the key... you speak of Fate... and I can hear the tones behind the word. Fate is a person, or, at least, as near to it as can be said. Fate has a will. Fate wants a trade. And so, Fate has wants. Desires." He cocked his head, looking at the figures of his old friends.

    "Now tell me... what does Fate want? I can offer much. My time. My agency. I can give of myself, I can give of others. I am a man of many talents, a creature of many gifts... but what gift does Fate desire? "

  9. - Top - End - #369
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Mar

    Mar directed a grateful look at Jacob, allowing herself to be guided to a seat with Caroline in tow. She didn't want to talk about her name right now. It was too new a decision to be dragged out into the harsh light of other people's scrutiny.

    Jacob's voice washed over her comfortingly as she came out of her reverie, still staring at the bracelet, but then some of the words registered and her head jerked upright. Knight. Suit of armor. Friend of yours? She pictured him stumbling about, his armor half-fused so that it wouldn't bend quite right, making a tremendous clamor that echoed through the iron hallways. (Here, it would sound small and lonely as it ventured out into the huge sky.) It couldn't be him. Could it? Of course it could. She'd gotten here, after all. Why not Julian?

    They were looking at her and frowning—with concern, she saw just as she started to flinch. They were worried. She exhaled (when had she started holding her breath?), and some of the tension went out of her body. Her tongue was still tangled up in itself, though. She didn't want to say yes.

    Really, she ought to be relieved. He'd saved her, and in return she had abandoned him to Daddy, and she should be grateful to find out that she hadn't killed him by doing so. And she wasn't. It was horrible of her, but she didn't want to see him again, even if Daddy wasn't with him. He might come. If Julian can follow me, Daddy can too... But even if she didn't think about that, she didn't want him to be here just yet. He reminded her of Ironheart... and he was frightening in his own right. It was so much harder to forget about the things she didn't want to think about when he was around. It wasn't that he didn't want to see him, exactly, she just wasn't ready to do it.

    They were still looking at her. "I know him," she said in a small voice. "I... Could you not tell him I'm here? When he wakes up? I don't want to see him just yet."
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

  10. - Top - End - #370
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OverWilliam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    ~Tare

    Tare glanced up at Limier, smiling at the sense of Deja Vu' that made its way inexplicably through his head. "Who, me? Oh, I was just thinking... You, my dear General, have about... 10 seconds to live." His words, while ludicrous and baseless, were spoken with such cavalier confidence that no recipient of the chilling Promise could help wondering what he meant, and if he could be telling the truth. "Unless of course, you're one of those types that Gets Better? In that case... Oh, would you look at that. It's just about been 10 seconds already hasn't it?" Tare flashed a Charismatic grin, and then disappeared. Crx may have imagined it, but his smile almost seemed to linger after the rest of him had already vanished. Intentionally distorted by the renewed Invisibility spell, or perhaps just the result of some simple Ventriloquism, Tare's voice seemed to come from every direction at once. "In that case, I'll see you in Hell. If you hurry back."

    In an instant, Tare drew his Silver dagger and Rammed it upward with all of his strength (a considerable amount, all things taken into account) straight for the Demon General's heart, trying to time his strike to be simultaneous with Limier's from behind...
    Last edited by OverWilliam; 2009-09-24 at 04:09 PM.
    Deo Soli Sit Semper Gloria

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
    Its offical. Overwilliam is Duke Devlin.

  11. - Top - End - #371
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Iethloc's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    There
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Sohssal

    Sohssal turned, somewhat impatiently, to look at Roger. Just walk into something and think about what it'd be like to be that thing. You should be easy to possess it from there. Don't possess your corpse, though - the wounds will hurt quite a bit, he informed him, hoping that this tidbit would keep him busy for a few minutes.

    Then he turned to the female vampire that was accompanying Umber - whatever her name was. Sohssal doubted he ever picked it up. "Whatever ritual he's performing, he's got only a few minutes left. Bran's energy is being siphoned at a disturbing rate. Without the pyramid and its constant magical aura, the best I could do is prolong it for a minute or so. I could check to see where the energy is going, but that's potentially fatal and I'd rather not do it," he said, becoming hasty and rather forceful on the last sentence.

    He looked around to see if there were any proper conduits to siphon the local magical energy into Bran, just in case. The shards from the pyramid looked to be the best choice, but he'd need to use his most powerful - and draining - enchantments to be sure he would override their existing power.
    Order of the Pstick Avatar by Sneak

  12. - Top - End - #372
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lonna's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    MD, DC area
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Pyrene the Temptress

    "Another prisoner...?" Pyrene paused, allowing Alya to elaborate if she chose, then gave a dismissive shrug. "The message for Her Majesty is simple: I did not leave the elves of my own will, and I have no desire to spurn my mother's hand. As for other questions..." She trailed off, briefly considering what she might ask.

    "I had thought to ask Her Majesty these questions directly, but you say the Baron may not release me, so perhaps I should ask you while I have the chance... Where exactly is Phaedra? I don't recognize the name. And how is it that I grew up with never a hint of my heritage? For that matter, why was it revealed to me now?"
    I started a blog!
    Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...

    My Player Profile

    My current characters:
    Spoiler
    Show


    Thanks to Kasanip for the great avatar of Pyrene!
    Full version:
    Spoiler
    Show

  13. - Top - End - #373
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New York State
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    PR-10000-IM – Prime

    Human children were interesting creatures. No sooner than being frightening of him
    ERROR – GHAST UNIT PR-10000-IM GENDER NEUTRAL – PROCESSING THOUGHT CORRUPTION
    Sara now seemed to trust him. It did seem unusual that the leader of the scientific meatsacks would incorrectly state her designation but there were several things which were not adding up. In fact it seemed unusual that a GHAST unit such as itself would be having such thoughts. Was maintenance in order? Was the corrupted memory a more serious problem than first thought?

    Yet the rest of its systems were functional and there were no signs that it would have issues with fulfilling its duty in protecting the daughter of the Baron and Baroness. As such when Sara checks with it regarding walking to the Galley Prime gives a nod of its massive head, looking at the meatsacks and increasing the unholy glow of its eyes. A most useful design feature designed for intimidation and it seems that even these meatsacks are not immune to it.

    “Er . . . which way do we go? I – I’ve ever been on the Ghastly Truth before.”

    Lies. A human reaction to getting what one wants when the true would pose an inconvince. Other than the royal families such routines had been programmed into GHASTS in order to allow them to deceive their opponents however many GHASTs reported issues with fine use of them. Yet that Sara would lie to get away from those that were healing her they hurt her, burn her, burn it and laugh protect her, you did it before, you will not fail.
    MEMORY CORRUPTION – PROCESSING AND LOCKDOWN RAMPANT THREADS
    Providing directions to Sara “Prime” follows her, observing all the other humans in the passageways, checking them for obvious weapons and threatening motions. All it took in many cases to encourage them to continue on their ways was a focused stare.

    Reaching the last intersection before reaching the Galley, Sara stops suddenly, an unusual action for her. After she ignores the repeated directions Prime quickly looks around, looking any threat or event that could have occurred to slow her down. Presumably finding nothing he starts observing Sara with all the senses at its disposal to verify that she was still in good health.

    Turning towards her left it was clear that apparently she was heading towards the brig. With the only prisoner being Ysora, archangel of the hated Miriam Miriam helped us, why do we hate her?. As far as Prime knew there was no connection between Sara and Ysora, why would she seek her out? Was there perhaps another prisoner who used to be in the brig that Sara knew?

    Query – Reasoning for hatred against Miriam.
    Without further knowledge of what was going on Prime goes on and follows Sara towards the Brig. Knowing that there were security checkpoints up ahead Prime quickly pulls up the passcodes needed to continue if needed and started construction of a epic tale of showing Sara the face of the enemy that they were to defeat for the betterment of mankind assuming that the guards were interested in such tales.
    Last edited by Pwenet; 2009-09-25 at 08:49 AM.
    My DM Reputation
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Inspectre
    I'm good at making you fear the unknown. Pwenet is good at making you fear the known, which had been the unknown five minutes before he pushed you off screaming into the abyss.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    I'm feeling this real hard now.
    Curse you, Pwenet. Curse you.... You had my hopes up there...

  14. - Top - End - #374
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Inspectre's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    The Baron’s Estate

    Dorizzit

    (Actually, Anna is the Baron’s wife. Your wife is Sarah, I believe, as that’s the name you gave Katrina during your meeting. )

    The Baron watches you passively throughout your tirade, and then shrugs.

    “Are you finished with your last words, Korram?”

    The Baron listens to anything else you have to say, and then shrugs.

    “This is all very good, Korram . . . but I simply don’t care. I brought you here because although stupid, your stubborn refusal to break or surrender your so-called honor is quite impressive. And after all these years, I thought you should get to meet face-to-face with the man who has beaten you. Beaten you before you even made your first move.”

    The Baron pushes away from the table and stands, looking down on you with a sneer.

    “Tomorrow you will be executed at dawn. No one will mourn you, or remember you as anything more than a monster, a bad memory to be quickly forgotten. But your work won’t be quite over, not just yet. You’re a reasonably skilled fighter, at least when pointed in a direction, and I will need such skill very soon.”

    The Baron nods at one of the GHASTs, waiting motionlessly against the wall.

    “You see, at the heart of each GHAST is a human mind. They are completely and utterly loyal to me, having no will of their own, but their skills and memories have been preserved. After your death, your soul will be harvested, and you will join their ranks, where you will serve me for eternity. Enjoy your last night of freedom, Korram, for by this time tomorrow you will kneel before me in fealty, and nothing you can do will stop this.”

    The Baron begins to walk towards the door at the back of the room, but then stops and turns back with a sneer.

    “And Katrina will follow. You, your daughter, and your wife, all serving me, and re-united at last. Won’t that be nice?”

    The Baron turns back to the door, and this time doesn’t stop as he calls over his shoulder, “Enjoy your last meal, Korram! I have more important matters to attend to!”

    Lonna

    “Yes, a Korram Alstan. I believe he was brought here with you.”

    Alya nods slowly at your request.

    “Yes, I will inform Her Majesty at the next opportunity. She will be pleased to hear that you do not wish to oppose her wishes.”

    Alya’s eyes continue to bore into your own as she continues.

    “Phaedra is, technically, all around us.”

    Alya sweeps an arm around her head as if to illustrate, and as her one sleeve falls away from her arm, you can see the dancing tattoos on her skin there was well.

    “It is part of the Spirit Realm now, a plane of existence quite separate from this one. Once, this was not the case, and spirits could cross freely back and forth between their world and the mortal realm.”

    Suddenly, Alya stiffens, her face twitching as the tattoos seem to become more animated. It may have just been a trick of your eyes, but you could have sworn the room monetarily became darker, and a loud chorus of whispers filled the room. With a sharp shake of her head, Alya straightens, hissing “I’m speaking now.” And then she continues on as if nothing happened.

    “You would not recognize the name. The city’s name has been buried since the dawn of human history. Buried by Miriam.” For once, Alya showed a sign of emotion, as she spat out the Goddess’s name.

    “The Queen has had to move carefully, she dare not show her hand in the affairs of mortals. She had to be sure that you . . . were you, let us say. I am sure Her Highness could explain it better than I. And haven’t you always known you were special? Your heritage, your beauty, your charms – you have always been more than an ordinary girl.”

    Suddenly, Alya stiffens again, and she reflexively bites her lip as her eyes widen a bit. Smoothly, she rises to her feet on shaking legs.

    “I . . . I must go. Now. The Baron will call you to dinner shortly. I will return – goodbye for now!”

    Practically running towards one dark corner of the room, Alya fades out of sight in much the same way as she appeared. Just the faintest outline of her remains for a moment, falling to her knees. The whisper of a ghastly retch carries from the corner to your sharp ears before everything returns to silence.

    A few minutes later, the same lackey who had supervised your dressing steps back into the room, accompanied by two GHASTS. He gives a low bow and holds the door open for you while the GHASTs remains outside but in clear sight.

    “This way, milady. The Baron awaits your presence.”

    Again seeing little choice but to obey, you step out into the hallway, the two massive GHASTs flanking you while the lackey shuts the door and then slips past to lead you down the hallway. You go down several richly appointed hallways, but encounter no one else on the trip. Finally, you arrive at a simple door, guarded by another pair of GHASTs. Again, the lackey opens the door for you, bowing low as he does so.

    “Presenting Princess Pyrene of Phaedra.”

    The room beyond is brightly lit, both by lanterns on the walls and a large candelabra on the table. The room is relatively small, but still spacious enough to accommodate the large dining table and a fair amount of floor space to maneuver around it. Piled on the table is a wide number of rich and exotic dishes – you aren’t entirely sure you’ve ever seen such a grand feast before.

    Seated across the table from the doorway is a middle-aged man, his black hair not yet beginning to grey with age. The Baron, you presume. He gestures for you to take the cushioned seat across from him, which the lackey pushes forward for you. Then, with a last silent bow, he leaves. It would appear that you and the Baron are alone.

    “I am sure you must be hungry by now – and Ironheart’s never been a place for the gourmet. Have anything you like – I assure you none of it is poisoned or drugged. I can taste it in front of you if you don’t believe me. Please, satisfy your hunger, and then we can talk about the future.”

    Dawn’s Hope - Monastery

    Baerdog7

    Slowly, the Abbot nods, but he shrugs off your hand. He stares into your eyes grimly before turning away. “Very well. You may speak your peace before the other council members. I’ll make the necessary arrangements.”

    Calling the acolytes in from outside, the Abbot gives them various instructions, and then sets to work on a new ritual circle while you wait. Slowly, others file in, David amongst them, looking very out of place with his tabard of Karth’s forces amongst all these Church loyalists.

    Straightening up, the abbot gestures from the circle. “You will need to stand there, Ander. You can check the runes yourself, but you have my word that it is only for a ritual of Truth Telling.”

    Stepping back, the Abbot waves at the assembled crowd, who were murmuring to themselves energetically while shooting you confused looks.

    “Everyone! This is former Lord General Ander Windrivver. He has come before us today to speak of a dangerous corruption within the heart of the Church. We will determine through a ritual of Truth Telling whether his words are falsehood or . . . not.”

    The Abbot gestures for you to enter the Ritual circle, and then steps back.

    “You may begin when ready, Lord General.”

    Stonefall

    The Surrounding Forest

    The_Snark

    “Of course.” Jacob’s voice cracks over the intake of breath from Caroline and William. Both of the children were surprised by your decision, but both of them also clearly recognized the “that’s final” tone in their father’s voice. Perhaps hoping to soften the blow, Jacob forced a smile on his face as he stood back up.

    “So . . . the firewood’s been taken care of for the moment, and other than clearing the table I don’t think we have anything that needs done until supper. So why don’t you all help me tune this lute?”

    Walking over to one corner of the room, Jacob pulls out a long wooden board from behind a pile of other wooden scraps. Attached to the board were a number of thin strings. As Jacob brings it closer and into the light, you can see that the instrument has been carefully carved from a single piece of wooden, and carefully if not elegantly engraved with designs.

    Sitting back down at his seat, Jacob cradles the thing in his lap, fiddling with the strings. He then begins to pluck at them, adjusting them constantly before pausing to look up.

    “So . . . what shall we start with today?” He asks with a wide grin. Immediately the two children begin loudly suggesting names. It’s not until they finally pick one and begin singing as Jacob plucks at the strings that you realize they’re the names of songs. You’ve never really sung before, but your lack of participation doesn’t seem to bother them as they cycle through various songs.

    You had never realized there were so many different types, and one song was definitely distinct from another. The family went through silly children songs, to bawdry tavern songs that made you blush at some points, even if you didn’t understand what most of the slurred words even meant, and finally a number of hymnals. Perhaps it was inevitable, but eventually they started to sing a song you recognized, the one song you knew the words to – The Sun Will Shine.

    Images of Joseph are summoned unbidden into your mind. The old preacher had been the one to teach the words to you. And then Daddy had killed him for it. He had killed him because he had been kind to you. Killed him because he had even talked to you. If he came here, following Julian, what would he do to Jacob, to William, to little Caroline?

    Slowly, Jacob came to a stop, looking at you in concern. William and Caroline followed suit.

    “Marion . . . are you feeling alright? You are very pale. Perhaps you would like to go lie back down?”

    Dimly, you are aware that several hours have probably passed since you first awoke from your strange dream. You weren’t sure you wanted to go back to sleep, but you were definitely feeling ill. The mental image of Caroline’s brains being splattered by a crossbow bolt from Daddy was more than enough to accomplish that.

    The City of Amaranth

    The (Destroyed) City Slums

    Iethloc

    Yeah, sure. Fine. You make it sound so easy. I’ll be right over here then, in that rock. I guess.

    At your explanation, both the vampiress and the paladin look concerned.

    “Umber . . . “ She whispers, and then looks to you with a nod.

    “Do what you can to help him.”

    “I wouldn’t mess with his ritual. Whatever happens, knowing him, it was either part of the plan or something that he’ll side-step and come out of smelling like roses.” Ross adds with a snort.

    You start to consider potential sources for magic, other than the few items you still had from Seymour’s stores, not that those would prolong the ritual very long at all given the rate of magic being drained away. Before you can decide on whether to start with the items or attempt to purify and use the residual energy from the broken pyramid, there is the loud rush of displaced air. A moment later, Seymour and another two robed men are standing in the middle of the square, looking about in confusion for only a moment before noticing you and the others. The two men you don’t recognize immediately assuming defensive stances, but lower their arms as Seymour raises a hand.

    “It’s alright. These . . . ah, people are with me.” He explains, eliciting a frown from one of the other two.

    “You’re associating yourself with vampires and Sohssal, or all people?”

    “Hey, better Sohssal than whoever did all this.” Seymour countered, waving at the devastation all around you, caused by the pyramid’s death throes. He then looks at you with a knowing smile.

    “So – I assume we have you to thank for this, Sohssal?”

    The Resonant Memory

    WhiteKnight777

    From the corner of your eye, you see Marialta shake her head.

    “You misunderstand. Fate is a force, yes, and while it has a will, its sole desire is for balance. That does not stop some, like the Hand of Fate, from trying to manipulate events to please it.”

    “Enough. Their time upon the stage has not yet come.” Gilgaem growled in a warning tone. Marialta shrugs in response.

    “In any case Umber, Fate is a countless collection of events, actions, and reactions, all exerting a pull upon all things. While it is true that any one individual part is not pre-ordained, altering one’s Fate creates ripples.”

    By now, you and Fianna have together slowly spiraled out to the outside of the fire pit, and now are lazily circling back in to the center. As soon as you reach the center, the drum beat dramatically kicks up in tempo, and two of the torch holders each lob a torch into the pit.

    Fianna catches them both, twirling them expertly around herself as she slides through you. She pirouettes once, twice, and then stabs the ends of the torches down into the sand at the edge of the pit, leaving their flaming heads dancing in the air. More torches are thrown into the pit, as the tempo of the dance increases as does the speed and number of the torches being thrown into the air.

    Fianna continues catching the torches and depositing them down into the sand, working tirelessly and perfectly despite the sweat beginning to bead her brow both from the heat and the exertion. Eventually she hems herself in with the still burning torches, and then is forced to dance in between the flames, weaving between the torches as she continues to catch torches and fill in the gaps. Still, the tempo increases, the drum beats echoing louder and louder as the torch throwers grasp fresh torches to lob into the pit in a constant stream of flame and Fianna is forced to move faster and stretch further to keep up.

    Finally, inevitably, she stretches too far to catch a torch. Her toes slip in the sand, her feet sliding out from underneath her as her balance is pitched too far forward. She falls, the torches in her hands tumbling out of them as she tries to break her fall. But there is nowhere safe to land, and she falls heavily on a cluster of torches.

    Immediately, Fianna rolls away from the heat, smothering the torches in the sand beneath her, but also managing to roll into yet more torches. Rolling back the other way, Fianna manages to put out the flames beginning to flicker along her dress, and lies motionless on the extinguished but still hot torches she had landed on. She does not attempt to rise, but merely lies there, completely exhausted.

    The drummers immediately stop, and there is dead silence save for a surprised gasp and murmur amongst the crowd. No one moves to help her, but simply watch as she finally begins to move again. Wearily, Fianna pushes herself up to her knees, and then up to her feet. Her dress is completely covered in soot, and contains a large number of burn holes both large and small. The side of her dress where she had landed on the torches was completely gone, and underneath you can see the blistered and burned skin. You had looked down upon her from afar, and had not met her for several minutes after the dance. As such, you had never realized how badly she had been hurt, or how exhausted she was.

    Slowly, Fianna turned back to the crowd, and gave a bow. Then she turned away and limped out of the pit, allowing the drummers and torch throwers to come forth and extinguished the remaining torches with handfuls of sand. Those in the crowd who understood began to applaud wildly, with the rest of them following suit. Even then up on the balcony, you had understood.

    The Flame Dance was impossible, deliberately so. No one could move fast enough in the end to keep up with the tempo, not while dancing around the planted torches. The true sign of skill then, was not in completing the dance, but in how long the dancer could continue. Fianna had performed with perfection until the end, and she had lasted for several minutes – a true master of the Flame Dance. But still, the sight of her crawling back up to her feet, eyes glazed with pain, bothered you now more than you cared to admit.

    As Fianna disappears back into the palace, and your human double slips away from the balcony to go greet her, Marialta speaks up again.

    “So, if you wish to reclaim what you have given up, Fate must become balanced once more. You cannot accept one part of your Fate while denying the other. In other words, if you want your magic back, you must accept the rest of your Fate back. To one day, whether a year from now or ten thousand, to die and for your soul to pass beyond the Veil of Life. And to fulfill your destiny.”

    “The Uncertain King.” Gilgaem chimes in. Truthfully, you aren’t entirely sure this version of your old friend isn’t even more talkative than the real one. At least he doesn’t grunt all the time.

    “I’m sure you’ve heard the story, Umber.”

    Yes, you had heard the story. It had been ancient even when you were young, although the legend had been polished and refined over the millennium. It hadn’t been a King in your time, for there were no Kings – yet. One man, blessed or cursed, by the gods to decide the fate of the world. To either condemn it to destruction and eternal damnation, or redeem it. A touching moral told to children to convince them to do the right thing. Pah.

    “*You* are the one to heal or destroy the world, Umber. At least you were – which brings us to the next complication, should you still desire to reclaim all that you once were.”

    Without explaining further, Marialta and Gilgaem glide silently towards the palace, in through the gates. As before, no one notices.

    Ironheart

    The Surrounding Mountains

    Gourtox

    Gagging the mercenary, you agree to his plan as you lead him back to the camp, and then into it at knife-point. Naturally, you are immediately noticed by the re-organizing mercenaries, who seem to be breaking up camp now. Easily two dozen crossbows or more are pointed in your direction in the blink of an eye, and you start to doubt the wisdom of this course of action. But then the strange draconic beastman appears, holding up a hand.

    “Wait.” He rasps, examining you critically.

    “I am Gazrul, leader of this band.” He announces to you, drawing himself up to his full – and quite impressive – height.

    “I can see that you are an elf, and that you have one of my men. I hope you have come to negotiate on their behalf, because if you have come to make threats or attempt trickery, you will not leave here alive!”

    The Gastly Truth

    Pwenet

    As you followed Sara in this unintended detour towards the Brig, you queried why Miriam was to be considered the enemy. You are sure that this line of questioning was another violation of your programming, but that did not stop you from investigating. As before, a fair bit of information was available in your own memory cores, although none of it seemed to be collaborated by hard evidence.

    Basically, Miriam was to be considered the enemy because She oppressed humanity. Through Her angels and human collaborators, She sought to force humanity to accept Her laws and commands without question or choice. Additionally, She was doing everything in Her power to destroy the Baron, and undoubtedly would do so if given a chance. Fortunately, Her forces were in disarray with the capture of Her generals, but until Her complete defeat She remained a dire threat to the safety of the Baron. And indeed, your own survival, as Miriam would undoubtedly see you as an abomination to be destroyed. An exact description of why this would be so was not provided.

    Following after Sara, you catch up just as she arrives at the first of the security checkpoints. The guards spare her a curious look, but nonetheless wave her on without question as they realize who she is. The next several checkpoints are slightly different, but once they see you are providing escort they continue to allow Sara and yourself to pass through without question. As you go further towards the Brig, more of the humans are replaced by GHASTs. Your fellows do not even react at all, watching you and Sara pass silently. Undoubtedly, they would move to protect Sara if danger appeared, but apparently a directive to prevent her from traveling to the Brig was not included.

    Finally, you arrived at the Brig itself, a fairly empty front room with a number of locked prison cells set up around the perimeter of the room. You note that several of the doors are open, with humans moving about cleaning the rooms – apparently Ysora would not be the only prisoner here for long. The only actual guard present was a single human, sitting behind a desk, clearly exhibiting signs of boredom. He does, however, quickly snap to attention when he notices Sara padding over to the cell containing Ysora according to your records.

    “Hey! What are you doing down here, kid!?’ The guard snarls, evidently not aware who Sara was. Despite the demon shrieking to you to teach the man to show the proper respect, you instead coldly explain. You are perhaps only half-way through your prepared grand tale when the guard holds up a hand and shakes his head.

    “Fine, whatever. Bad enough I’ve got Sir Nephilium coming in here all the time, and wanting the keys to her restraints as well. Man’s gotta be sicker than even Sir Cheran, whatever he’s doing to her in there.”

    Producing a key, the guard walks over to the door, removes the lock, and pulls the heavy door open to admit you and Sara entry. Sara slips into the room as soon as the door is open enough for her to do so, and you feel a moment of fear at the sight of your charge remaining unprotected for several vital seconds. Fortunately, your fear proves unnecessary, as the door swings open wider to reveal the Archangel Ysora.

    She is securely bound by adamantite chains and enchanted leather, although an analysis reveals her restraints are 12% looser than the guidelines given in the security manual. Still, barring a miscalculation, Ysora was nonetheless helpless, even if her strength wasn’t being sapped by the unholy runes on her chains.

    Ysora’s serene expression sharply changes to one of confusion as she opens her eyes to see who now stood before her. She looks intently at Sara and nods.

    “I remember you. I hope you have been treated well in the interim since our last meeting.”

    Sara’s strange determination seems to fade now that she is here, but her confusion is only fleeting before she claps her hands together and smiles.

    “I remember you too! You were that nice lady.” Sara looks back at you and the guard. “Why is she tied up? She’s a friend!”

    The guard snorts. “Because she’s dangerous, that’s why. I wouldn’t get too close to her – she can still bite.”

    Ysora’s eyes flick over to the guard, an exasperated expression on her face. And then her eyes pass along to you, and she blinks in shock. The archangel stares at you with a moment, and then she shakes her head in disbelief.

    “No . . .” She gasps. “No, it can’t be you.” Ysora stares at you even more intently, and you feel a wave of unease pass over you. She seems oddly familiar to you. Suddenly, Ysora recoils as if physically struck.

    “NO! OH GODS BARON, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?” She shrieks, and for a moment she struggles violently against her restraints. The effort is futile, but that doesn’t stop the archangel from trying to press farther back in her cell away from you. Eventually, she gives up, breathing heavily from the exertion. Beside you, the guard looks at Ysora, and then up at you.

    “Well . . . that was certainly different.”

    Sara takes an uncertain step forward, holding one hand out.

    “What’s wrong? It’s me, Sara. Of course it’s me.”

    Ysora hangs her head as tears begin to form.

    “No . . .” she rasps. “It *can’t* be you. You’re dead . . . Incom. You’re dead, and if you’re here that means . . .”

    The archangel trails off, crying silently while Sara turns to look at you in confusion.

    “Incom?” She repeats, looking at you critically but clearly not making the same connection Ysora did. The guard looks even more confused, throwing up his hands before walking back over to this desk.

    The growing bubble of unease that had been forming since you had seen the archangel and she had noticed you suddenly burst. And with it, arose a new memory. A dark cloaked figure, twirling a pair of swords about it as it forced you back. You gave it your all, and it was nowhere near enough as he hacked you apart, piece by piece. And then, with a final taunt, his blades struck one last time, and the ground rushed up to meet you. But that was not the end.

    A female voice, one filled with power and majesty, calling to you.

    "Incom. There is much work left to be done Incom. Alas, it would seem that you have done your part. Worse yet, the Hierarch's magics have trapped your soul within Ironheart. I am afraid that like all of the other cursed souls who have died here, this will be the only afterlife for you. Perhaps, one day, when Ironheart is no longer needed, and its walls are torn down, your soul will be freed. And on that day, I assure you that you will take your rightful place in the Heavens."

    Another voice, male. Instinctively, you recognize it as your own.

    "So, this is it then. Not so bad, quiet and peaceful. Still I wish there was a way I could warn the others, let them know that the Baron is plotting something. Yet I fear you will simply say that I am fated to be Trapped here until events outside our control change the status quo."

    The female voice again.

    "And what, precisely, do you think he is plotting? His master Dacian is now finally dead, the ageless threat that he represented to the world dead with him. Whatever the Baron and the other pawns who followed Dacian are plotting, their destructive plans pale in comparison to the release of Azguloth. Now that Dacian has been defeated, they are quite simply irrelevant."

    And then a third voice cuts in on the conversation. It too is familiar to you, for it is the voice of your master, the Baron.

    "*Chuckle* My my, if I was a prideful man, being called "irrevelant" would sting. Fortunately, I know that it's not true. Hello Morgan. We meet again. I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"

    Your voice, thick with anger.

    "Baron. I'm assuming it is too much to hope that you were killed by one of your bastard children? Pardon the language my lady."

    The Baron is not impressed.

    "*Chuckle* Not yet, so I'm afraid you'll have to settle for this projection for the moment. Like well trained dogs, my children know not to bite the hand of their Master. As you yourself will soon learn. Did you really think death would end your service to me Incom? Oh no no no, not by half! You don't get to rest until *I* decide you're finished!"

    The female voice, booming in anger.

    "BEGONE, mortal! If your body yet draws breath, then you are not welcome here beyond the veil between life and death! And you are certainly not welcome here, the resting place of a hero!"

    The Baron responding in equal anger.

    "And you belong here anymore than I do, bitch!? You who, being immortal, shall never feel the icy touch of Death, nor shudder at his approaching shadow!? Or do you think we should all be grateful for such a cruel gift!?"

    "SILENCE MORTAL!"

    "NO! NO, I WILL NOT BE SILENT!! For countless ages you have sat upon your throne in judgment of mankind. You think your separation from your creation allows you an impartial view, but instead it has blinded you to the truth. Mankind has evolved beyond the need for aloof gods who set the rules but refuse to play by them! We don't need any of you any longer, and soon enough the world shall cry out rebellion in a single voice! For I shall spread my vision across its surface, and all mankind shall come to share it: a vision of a world without YOU!"

    "You shall burn in the darkest fires of the Hells for your blasphemy. To reject the gods in such a manner is to embrace obliteration!"

    "You *cackle* you have no power here! For once your separation from the mortal world shall prove to be your undoing! You can harm me no more than you can strike down any other unrepentant sinner. Otherwise why allow Evil to exist in the hearts of men at all? Why allow the Hierarch to continue spinning his webs of deception and corruption until he comes within a handsbreadth of releasing Azguloth, your mortal enemy? It's not that you won't, it's that you can't. Without one of your precious avatars, you can't influence the world directly. Instead you have to rely on one of your dogs to do it for you."

    "Sooner or later your mortal body shall crumble to dust, while I shall endure. Eternally. And on the day your black soul stands before Me in judgment, I shall justly cast it down to the Hells."

    "Well I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed, because I intend to live a very, very long life. And if any of your dogs show up to cut it short, I will send them back to you in pieces. No, the only way you'll be able to cast my soul anywhere is by coming to get me yourself. Yes that's right, join with your avatar, and come down from your throne to the mortal coil and smite me yourself! Oh that's right, you don't have an avatar anymore, because you abandoned her to be betrayed and murdered by her own brother. Well, I'm sure you'll be able to find another sucker to take the job eventually. I'll be eagerly awaiting your return, and I've got all the time in the world. Come Incom. We have work to do."

    Your response – refusal!?

    "Unless that work involves me slicing you up and sending you back to hell in said individually wrapped pieces I have no work to do for you."

    Again, the Baron is not impressed.

    “*Chuckle* What makes you think you have a choice?”

    And then a feeling of incredible heaviness follows. And pain, as you are dragged away. Dragged back across the veil into the realm of the living. Forced into the confines of a crystal, and locked into a metal shell. To obey the man you hate the most of all - Forever.


    The Hells

    The Screaming Dark Estate

    OverWilliam

    Crx looks at you in confusion, perhaps at the concept of a human who wasn’t terrified of him as much as your mystifying words. Your sudden disappearance seems to rouse him however, as he raises his jagged spear high to skewer the spot where you had been. He doesn’t get a chance to bring the weapon crashing down on you, however, as Limier leaps down from above.

    The strike is perfect, feet crashing down on the devil’s back where his wings joined, stiletto flashing into the side of his neck. Spear tumbling from his grasp, Crx falls to his knees before you. You rise to meet him, sliding your own blade into the armpit of his breastplate, and from there into his heart. Crx manages a single curse before he melts away into a pile of ash and empty armor, in the end no more different that Vylethar or any one devil.

    Swiftly getting back up to her feet, Limier goes over to the slaves, using the key stone to release them. As his hands are freed, Teareal pulls back a fist, clumsily throwing a punch at Limier. The assassin easily dodges the blow, and retaliates by wrapping one foot around the chain still connecting Teareal’s ankles and pulling, dropping the elf prince unceremoniously to the floor.

    Teareal angrily snarls and clambers back up onto his knees, lunging for Limier who again nimbly dances aside. For once you are glad you don’t understand Elvish as a loud stream of angry words spews from his mouth. Evidently the third prisoner that had been in there with Teareal and Jim does, as his eyes grow wide at the undoubted curses. Limier sighs as she tosses the key stone to you.

    “We really don’t have time for this vendetta of his. Tare, get him back on his feet so we can leave?”

    Looking around you, you can see that despite the additional devils, the tide had already been irrevocably turned. Armed with picks, shovels, and rocks, the former slaves rose up against their masters, striking them down into piles of ash. And above the carnage like a goddess of war, Melcara fought against the main body of devils, tearing them apart at a rate that it seemed to be raining ash. Finally, the last of the devils in the air fell, and Melcara lands heavily before you.

    Despite her victory, she is badly wounded, covered in her own blood from a number of minor wounds and a few that wouldn’t be so minor to a human. Breathing a harsh sigh, the fallen angel looks up at you from her position down on the floor. She manages a smile and looks at you with eyes of gratitude.

    “Thank you, for this. Even if we don’t escape, I will always have this. And I will never give up again.”
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

    Threads I'm currently DMing:


    Threads I have successfully completed:

  15. - Top - End - #375
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WhiteKnight777's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The other side of the sky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Umber

    Umber followed, lost for a moment in the dance. He watched, sighing as he saw the pain in his lover's features, the way her skin burned away leaving charred ruin behind. But most of all, he listened to the words of his companions.

    Fate. Destiny. "Chosen." Once, he had thought of such words as a cage. Now, he knew that the real chains were those one forged for oneself. The pain of seeing the one he loved suffer and being unable to help.

    Once, oh so long ago, he had been willing to lay it all aside for a chance at eternity. He smiled, thinking that he hadn't changed that much. He'd probably still make that choice.

    But there might be one other for whom he'd lay himself down. Or, at least, for whom he'd shoulder the burden he'd shirked so long ago. Even as he began to speak again, his eyes were fixed on Fianna's form. His voice felt heavy, as if a collar was settling about his neck, and a similar weight seemed to fall on his limbs.

    "Very well. I shall take up my fate again. I shall resume the mantle for which I was destined. For her. Always for her, I shall be what I was born to be. Tell me what I must do." His words were simple, but there was power in them, a deep and elemental strength that could move mountains.

  16. - Top - End - #376
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New York State
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    PR-10000-IM – Prime – Resurrected Incom Morgan

    [Confused yet? It/He most certainly is. Time for a Heroic BSOD of DOOM!]

    Riding the rush of memories Prime/Incom gasped out, or at the very least making the same sound as a gasp. Hands flew to where a heart would be on a human being, clutching at the metal causing it to spark from the scratches. Falling to its/his knees in shock with a echoing thud through the chamber the beginnings of a scream start to form. Yet mentally opening its/his mouth all that emerges is a tiny, pathetic sounding whine. Bending over it/he nearly falls to his chest yet catches himself.

    ”What? How? WHY?!?”

    Feeling the pain again in its/his heart where none existed it/he tried to clutch it again, attempting to pant, attempting to scream. Human instincts clashed with mechanical programming. He tried to breath and scream. It tried to process the sudden errors in programming. He tried to slam his fists into the ground in despair. It seized up the motor processes until the central processor regains normal operation. He tried to feel for the rush of blood within his ears, feel the sweat on his skin, the sensations of a human body such as a full bladder, empty stomach, stirrings of the loins, pains of the joints. It ran diagnostics and reported that other than abnormal issues everything was functional.

    I… am Incom Morgan!

    I… am PR-10000-IM!

    I am a human man! I swore vengeance on the Baron. I will kill him!

    I am a servant of the Baron. I will protect him to the best of my abilities!

    I was a host to a dragon! I DIED saving the world!

    I am to protect the Baron and his family including Sara.

    I will NOT BE A SLAVE TO HIM!!!

    With a shaking hand it/he reaches up and pulls itself/himself up by grabbing onto the enchanted chains that hold Ysora. Looking up into her face it/he stutters as a soul of man and body of metal fight to co-exist.

    ”What? Happened? To? Me?
    Last edited by Pwenet; 2009-09-26 at 08:19 AM.
    My DM Reputation
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Inspectre
    I'm good at making you fear the unknown. Pwenet is good at making you fear the known, which had been the unknown five minutes before he pushed you off screaming into the abyss.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    I'm feeling this real hard now.
    Curse you, Pwenet. Curse you.... You had my hopes up there...

  17. - Top - End - #377
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dorizzit's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    A2
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    ((Ach, sorry. I couldn't remember if I had ever given her a name, and it really felt like she needed one for this scene.))

    Korram The Firebrand

    Korram simply smiles serenely at the Baron, listening to his declaration of victory and his smug assurances. He says nothing, and when the Baron leaves, he waves. When the Baron is finally gone from the room, though, he immediately sobers up. He starts eating in earnest, filling his stomach with the food arrayed at the table. As he eats, he thinks, putting years of experience to work trying to figure out a means of escape. The silence of the GHASTs guarding him is his only response. Eventually, he finishes and gives up. Something will occur to him. Something always does.
    Truly awesome Ark Tamaeus avatar by Bryn. Full size version here.

  18. - Top - End - #378
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lonna's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    MD, DC area
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Pyrene the... Princess?

    Alya's words raised nearly as many questions as they answered, but the strange woman disappeared even more quickly than she had appeared, clearly succumbing to some illness she had not meant to reveal to Pyrene. Nevertheless, she had given Pyrene more than enough information to keep her occupied for the few minutes before the Baron's more normal servant returned, trailed by the GHAST escort. Or perhaps it was a different one - Pyrene couldn't tell. Whatever the case, Pyrene followed the servant without so much as a snide remark, by now quite as curious about the Baron as she was apprehensive.

    Upon being usherred into the room, Pyrene was surprised both by the courtesy she received and by the Baron himself. She had somehow gotten the impression that he was old, but the man before her seemed to be at least ten years younger than Korram, probably no older than his mid-thirties. He was also surprisingly handsome, despite the lines beginning to engrave themselves around his mouth and eyes. At his invitation and assurance, Pyrene gave a wry smile.

    "I would never be so rude as to imply you have poisoned my food, but I must confess I don't recognize most of these dishes," she admitted to the older man. "Perhaps you might make a suggestion?"
    I started a blog!
    Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...

    My Player Profile

    My current characters:
    Spoiler
    Show


    Thanks to Kasanip for the great avatar of Pyrene!
    Full version:
    Spoiler
    Show

  19. - Top - End - #379
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Mar

    She did want to lie down, but she didn't want to go back to her bed. Mar didn't think she would be able to sleep very well with these sorts of thoughts—and going to bed would mean she'd have to leave the three of them. She definitely didn't want to be alone with her thoughts right now. Caroline and William were mirroring Jacob's concerned look; she wished... well, she didn't wish that Jacob hadn't noticed, actually. She was glad to have something to distract her, but she wished they would stop worrying now that they'd done it. She didn't want them to worry, but it was such an unfamiliar thing to be worried over that she had no idea what to do about it.

    Mar shook her head. "Sorry," she said, feeling a little guilty about stopping the song. "I was just... remembering something. I'm all right." She stopped, but Jacob didn't look relieved at all. "You can keep singing," she said hopefully, trying to get that terrible frown off his face. "I like it—really. I just got distracted."

    Despite what she said, though, she still felt sick. She really hadn't thought about what would happen to Jacob, William and Caroline if Daddy followed. She could run away again, but that wouldn't help them... Mar stood up, hoping it would help to move around, and her eyes fell on the empty bread platter. "Can I put this away?" she asked. "I can clean up, so you don't have to stop playing."
    Last edited by The_Snark; 2009-09-27 at 05:02 AM.
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

  20. - Top - End - #380
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OverWilliam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    ~Tare

    Tare swore under his breath at the impulsive, hot-headed elf. He practically skidded to his knees as he caught the keyring and then jumped to block Teareal from anyone else. "Teareal," He tried, without much effect. "Teareal," He grabbed the elf's arm, only barely keeping him back. "Teareal!" He tried to undo the manacles, but Teareal didn't sit still. Fed up, Tare brought the back of his hand stinging against the Elf Prince's cheek. "TEAREAL!!! Cut it out!!" He said, finally getting the elf's attention. "Adame'." He said, interrupting another fit of rage directed at him and stopping the elf cold. He watched his eyes light up with recognition... and hope. "I know where she is." Teareal blinked. He seemed to understand well enough. "Now Hold Still, will you?? I'm trying to get these things off of you..." He huffed, finally pressing the odd gemstones to the locks and releasing his companion from his bonds. "Now... This," He pointed at the assassin, "Is Limier." He said it again, "Limier. Limier is helping us." For now. He added mentally. "I know what Limier did to you and Adame', but right now that's not important. We have to get out of here. I know where Adame' is." Tare looked to see if any of that actually got across.

    Tare jumped up and then ran forward when Melcara landed heavily in front of him. "Melcara, you're hurt..." She obviously knew this. Tare looked her over a bit, even going so far as to try shifting a wing some to get a look at the wound on her back. Then he had an idea. "Oh, wait!" He said, fishing around in his sash for a moment. "I still have... This!" He pulled out the Healing potion that Limier had given him outside the castle before, and that he had substituted for his own, diluted potion that had been picked up back in Ironheart proper. Tare pulled the stopper from the vial, then handed it carefully to the Angel. "Here, drink this, it'll help..."
    Last edited by OverWilliam; 2009-09-27 at 07:01 AM.
    Deo Soli Sit Semper Gloria

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Innis Cabal View Post
    Its offical. Overwilliam is Duke Devlin.

  21. - Top - End - #381
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Baerdog7's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ander Windrivver
    Just call him "Mr. Exposition"...

    Nodding to the Abbot, Ander steps into the circle. He waits for the room to quiet down and for people to finish taking their places before clearing his throat to begin.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to thank you for coming here today to hear what I have to say. I know that I am considered persona non grata in the Church these days, but what I have to day is very important. I ask you to please listen with open minds.

    Ander proceeds to give a lengthy and detailed history of what had happened since he left the Church. He goes into detail about how he had first learned of the corruption when the High Council ordered him to halt his advance into the Ninth Hell (and why they demanded the Crusade continue), and how Miriam and Athelion had explained to him how the true nature of the corruption was due to the influence of Azguloth's agents. He explains how the Crusade must have been intended to serve as a distraction for their agreements with the Baron and the plot to free Azguloth from his prison beneath Ironheart. Ander goes into great detail about his escape from Ironheart, his encounters with Melcara, and how they teamed up with the other escaped prisoners to interrupt the Hierarch's ritual. With great disdain, he recounts how the Baron swooped in at the last moment to clean up the Hierarch's mess and prevent Ander from rescuing Ysora.

    After taking a few moments to calm himself down from his retelling of his escape from Ironheart, Ander continues with his tale of how he returned to Heaven to give his report and face the judgment of the Gods. He finishes his tale by describing how he came to find Karth and become "partners," how he finally slew Peeping Tom and Melcara on Miriam's orders, and how he had finally come to the monastery to try and enlist their help.

    So, that's the story. I hope that you all can appreciate the seriousness of current events. The Baron of Ghast is holding Ysora for his own nefarious plans. He may have helped to stop the Hierarch's ritual, but I am sure that it was only to further his own ends. Heaven is in trouble, with more angels disappearing every day. I know not whether it be members of the Church or agents of the Baron who are responsible for the kidnappings, but I do know they must be stopped. Karth Chemonte marches for Dawn's Hope and while I have convince him I am an ally, I remain unconvinced of his true intentions. There is....a presence about him. I have been unable to identify it as of yet.

    Karth thinks I am here today to convince you all to surrender and join his cause. After talking with the Abbot, I am positive that you won't. What I do hope is that you have taken my tale to heart. The Church is sick and only by standing together can we restore it to its former glory. Only by restoring the Church can we defend it against the forces of darkness. Please, I beseech you. Help me.


    His piece said, Ander stands quietly, waiting for the barrage of questions that is sure to come.
    Last edited by Baerdog7; 2009-09-27 at 03:07 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Baerdog: super genius.

  22. - Top - End - #382
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gourtox's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Telest

    He looks at the big beastman called Gazrul without fear. "I have not come to decive you, but to ask something of you. The red haired that was taken, we want her. I have been informed that she has been taken by the Baron. Once you verify to me that this infrmation is truewe can negotiate her release to me." As he talks he observes his surrondings and keeps a tight grip on his hostage.
    Avatar by Onasuma

  23. - Top - End - #383
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Iethloc's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    There
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Sohssal

    Sohssal had just retrieved a shard from the pyramid, mostly ignoring the others, when three new people teleported in. He grumbled a bit from the interruption, but at least it wasn't someone who wanted to kill him - at the moment. "I don't like your tone..." he said half-threateningly to one of the frowning cohorts. Still, his own tone changed to a more pleasant one as he addressed Seymour.

    "I'm afraid not - I got here just in time to see this one kill whoever made the pyramid. And right now he's on the other side of this magical drain here," Sohssal explained, gesturing first at the vacant body of Umber and then at the injured Bran. Then he traced a ghostly finger over the shard he was holding, leaving behind marks similar to the ones he put on his trusty letter opener. "But I didn't get a chance to ask him any questions, and now he doesn't have much time left before the link sucks up all available magical energy. I was about to start channeling the energy left over from the pyramid when you arrived," he added.
    Order of the Pstick Avatar by Sneak

  24. - Top - End - #384
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Inspectre's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    The Baron’s Estate

    Dorizzit

    You eat slowly, enjoying the food and using the time to think. It had been a long time since you had anything this good to eat, and although a little off the food was a lot like what you had once tasted in Callaway. Unfortunately, you were unable to come up with a way to escape just yet. But something was bound to present itself sooner or later.

    Rising from the table, you allow one of the GHASTs to beckon you over to the door. A second GHASTs falls into line behind you, and together the two of them escort you through the halls. Eventually you come to a heavily barred door, which the lead GHAST swiftly opens. A chilly blast of dank air rises up from the open door, and it feels just like home as the two GHASTs lead you down the rough stone stairs into the Gast Manor dungeon.

    Security is hardly impressive down here however, as only a set of iron bars stand between you and freedom as the GHASTs lock you in one of the tiny cells. Still, the iron looks maintained and firmly affixed to the floor and ceiling. The lock also looks fairly high quality, not that you were really capable of picking it anyway. The walls, although damp, also looked fairly firm, so digging your way out in twelve hours seemed unlikely. At least there was some light down here, provided by a few flickering lanterns.

    After the GHASTs depart, Kris’s voice calls out to you from the darkness inside the cell across from yours.

    “So Korram – how was your dinner with the Baron? I also hope you are sitting down right now, because, well . . . I have a confession to make.”

    Suddenly, Kris steps out of the darkness into the light playing across the door of his cell. At first, you can’t make sense of what you’re seeing. It is unquestionably Kris – same lean body, same facial scar, same perpetual scowl. But now the young rebel was wearing a simple pink dress, of all things. It would have been a hilarious sight, if the dress wasn’t filled out in all the right places. Outside of his normal loose clothes, Kris had a very curvy figure.

    And then suddenly it all clicks into place in a horrific realization, as the past few days flash before your eyes.


    • Kris, a wiry thin boy with emerald green eyes and black hair, wearing loose clothing, twirling a pair of krises expertly in his hands . . .
    • Kris reacting with near panic as you land on top of him, pinning him to the ground - “Get off me! Let go of me! GET! OFF! ME!”
    • Kris, a few moments before climbing up into Katrina’s treehouse alone. “You wait here. I will go up and talk with Kat. If she wants to see you, I’ll call you up. I’ll be waiting off in one of the small side rooms just in case you get any ideas “Korram”.
    • Katrina, the lower half of her face concealed by a veil and heavy robes as she welcomes you, her voice getting lower and huskier, sounding more like a boy’s, as she angrily berates you. And as she describes Moloch.

      “So he plays little games with her. His favorite is to sit on her chest while he shoves a knife down her throat far enough to trigger her gag reflex. He will only remove the knife after she has slowly and clearly asked him to do so. Were it not for the Kris, the girl’s story would likely have ended there. Instead, she is branded a murderer, then an outlaw, and finally a rebel.”
    • And then she concludes her speech by jabbing her finger at you as if it were one of Kris’s knives.
    • And finally, as you turn to leave . . .

      “Father, these days the woods are dangerous at night. You are welcome to stay in one of the empty houses until morning. Kris can show you which one. He’ll be down shortly.”
    • Kris leading you to the tree house, surprisingly hesitant.

      “I suppose so. Hey, are you proud o’ her? Kat I mean, for following in yer footsteps. More or less, anyway.”
    • Your dream that night, of Kris morphing into Katrina.
    • Kris’s look of panic fading to relief as he vaults into your treehouse to warn you of the GHAST attack.
    • Kris dragging you away from the fight, shouting, “Katrina is . . . safe - you think I would have come back for you if she wasn’t? But we aren’t going to be if we stay here.”
    • Kris’s furious reaction upon learning you had cut a deal with the Baron.

      “So let me get this straight. You made a deal with the man who killed Sarah, who killed your wife!?”

      Angrily Kris storms toward you, and when he reaches you he swings his clenched fist around.

      “Bastard! This man is responsible for so much evil, including the past eight hellish years of your daughter’s life! But you played a part in that too, didn’t you!?
    • And then his abrupt dismissal.

      “You know what? I’m done.”

      Turning away from you, Kris starts to walk off into the woods again, still ranting to himself.

      “I’m done with this whole revolutionary ****. I’m done trying to live up to some schizophrenic ideal that was built up around a man who doesn’t even believe in it anymore. I’m done with this futile, miserable struggle that I was born into.
    • And then his refusal to meet your eyes when you argue you had never given up, even when after losing your wife *and* daughter.
    • And Kris’s faltering as you question why he joined in the battle against the Baron.

      “My parents were taken from me by the Baron, like a lot of folks. I was too young to remember that, but that’s what I’ve always been told. I guess that was the start of it, although I was always too busy trying to survive to think much about it.”
    • And then Kris’s mention of Moloch.

      “That’s how I got this, actually. The day we finally got out of there. It was my turn that day. I was so sick of his little games, of being kept like an animal he could abuse whenever he felt like it. He was sitting on my chest, with a kris like this one rammed down my throat, when I just lost it. I can still taste the copper in my mouth sometimes. Can’t really remember what it felt like to rip the last inch of the blade out, but I can strangely enough remember that taste. Of course, I was a little preoccupied at the time, so the whole thing is a little bit of a blur actually. I can remember that taste, him screaming, me screaming, and my newfound weapon stabbing into Moloch’s chest, over and over again. And then I can remember pulling the key ring off his belt, and crawling over to the other cages to let the others out, and all of us stumbling up into the sunlight together. Funny story though, bastard ratted me out to the authorities for Moloch’s murder – apparently Moloch was regarded as an upstanding community member.”
    • Kris joking with you as he retrieved the sack of money from the tree.

      “Something for my retirement – figured now was as good a time as any to put it to use. Should be enough to get us both to the capital and then some. Of course, I expect to be reimbursed – even family doesn’t get to ride for free.”
    • Kris’s initial confusion during your conversation with the Countess.

      ““Your daughter . . .? Okay, so this lady is an Ironheart inmate despite being a noble, not having the brand, and who’s wearing flannel right now. And she apparently knows both you and Katrina – who was most definitely *never* in Ironheart. I think you have some ‘splainning to do, Korram.”
    • Which quickly turns to mirth and girlish laughter as the Countess details her own escape from Ironheart.

      “Better watch out, Daddyo, a baker might take the Baron to task next! Or perhaps you’ll mistake her for Katrina!”
    • And Calcifer’s parting words.

      Oh, and final insight from me – I think your daughter will always be closer to you than you think.
    • And then Kris’s taunt upon your awakening.

      “That was a very stupid thing to do, Old Man. Not only did you throw away our best weapon by my count, but you also wasted several hours we don’t have.”
    • Followed by another joke.

      “Okay, whatever you say . . . Pops.”
    • And then Kris’s face-off with Cheran.

      “You sure you want to be getting in my way, boy?”

      “Don’t call me boy.”
    • Which results in Kris being driven into a tree, giving a womanly scream.
    • Even Cheran seems to sense it.

      “Well, well, you remind me of Korram with this futile persistence! It’s starting to piss me off, actually.”
    • And then Kris’s confident gambit when finally beaten.

      “Do it.” Kris hisses thinly. “You’ll never find Katrina.”
    • And Kris’s confidence even in Cheran’s moment of triumph.

      Cheran grins and gives Kris a dismissive look. “Ha! Looks like we found Katrina without your help after all.”

      “No you didn’t.”



    Smiling weakly, Kris shrugs.

    “So, um . . . yeah. Allow me to re-introduce myself. Hello, I’m Katrina Alstan. Funny place to meet up with you at last, eh Dad?”

    Lonna

    “Ah, forgive my rudeness. When I heard you were a princess, I thought you would be familiar with noble-man’s fare. I forgot you had lived your life up to now, shall we say – incognito.”

    The Baron gives a tight smile, and then waves his hand towards a mid-sized bird of some sort.

    “If I were to make a suggestion, I’d recommend the pheasant. A predecessor of mine had them brought in to the grounds. They are an occasional nuisance, but their freedom gives them an exquisite taste. Makes one wonder how they would taste roasted alive, but alas, a great dealing of plucking and gutting has to go into making one suitable for consumption.”

    The Baron gives a disturbing smile, and then gestures on to a bottle sitting in a frost-covered bucket.

    “For drink, I would suggest Donovale 338. A truly excellent vintage. Imported from outside the Barony, of course, but the expense is well worth it. Of course . . . I could have some ale brought up if wine is not to your taste.”

    For a few minutes, the room is silent as you and the Baron eat. For the most part, the Baron picks at his food – it seems he has already eaten, and it just being polite. Eventually, the Baron speaks up.

    “So tell me, Pyrene, Pyrene the Temptress, Pyrene the Princess . . . what do you want most in life?”

    Dawn’s Hope - Monastery

    Baerdog7

    For a full minute, everyone present is silent, their face grim as they contemplate your long story. And then it begins. But this is not a disorganized mob – this is a group of paladins, almost all of them instructors here or other high-ranking members of the Monastery. And so instead of a loud chorus of shouts, you are greeted with simply a wave of raised hands, each man waiting for you to acknowledge them before asking his question.

    “The Crusade is over. If the Exarches were really trying to drag things out, why did they call it off?”

    “How thorough is the corruption in the Church? Is this just one rogue Exarch like Karth, or has the whole Council fallen?”

    “What do you propose to about the corrupt Council, particularly when they may have compromised the entire judicial system of the Church? Very few exarches have ever been tried for crimes.”

    “Are you aware of the atrocities Karth has committed in the name of “cleansing the Church”?”

    And you had a sense that these questions were only just the beginning.

    Stonefall

    The Surrounding Forest

    The_Snark

    For a moment, Jacob’s face flickers from confused back to concerned, but he finally nods slowly.

    “Alright Mar. Just don’t overdo it. Caroline, why don’t you show her where we keep everything.”

    Smiling again, Caroline helps you gather up the dishes from the table and carry them over to a basin, already filled with water. It is not particularly difficult work, scraping the plates off and then washing the rest of the debris away, but it is enough to keep you busy. Meanwhile, Jacob continues to softly plink away at his instrument, stopping to tune it occasionally. For the most part, William just seems content for the moment to listen and hum along when he recognizes a given passage.

    After the dishes are finished, Jacob puts the instrument away and William collects his crutches. It seems that despite your recent awakening, it was time for bed once again. Going back to your room and curling back up on the bed, you didn’t think you would be able to sleep again so soon. But apparently your body knows better, for you quickly drift off into the land of dreams.

    Once again you find yourself as the winged woman – an angel, assuming Jacob’s term for you and your wings fits here as well. This dream is . . . different, somehow. Instead of merely watching events unfold, you feel more directly connected to the woman. Although you still don’t have full control of the events of the dream, you feel as if you can control the woman.

    Currently, you are flying above the massive city from your previous dream – Phaedra. It has been nearly ten years since you departed the city, entrusting its governance entirely to Queen Titania. For you, it has been much less time, but time well spent resting in the Heavens after so many years of service as humanity’s constant protector.

    Unfortunately, rumors had been growing that humanity had begun to stray, and were now meddling in forbidden affairs. You and Ysora, both having worked closely with the humans in building this kingdom, were now being sent back to investigate. Ysora had gone on ahead to the castle, while you spent a brief period of time exploring the rest of the city.

    It was apparent that there was cause for concern here. Magic was even more widespread than before, with even the lowliest slum dweller possessing enough power to level a small forest. Even more disturbing, spirits wandered the streets, ephemerally, in constructs of flesh, or even bound to humans! The humans you had spoken to were courteous, but there was an arrogant undertone present that had not been there before. Deeply disturbed of what you might find in the castle, you were now making all haste there.

    As before, the central balcony was wide open and furnished with brilliant banners – apparently they were expecting you. Landing on the balcony, you find only one man waiting for you – Istomilo. The Queen’s seneschal had aged these past ten years, but still had his proud bearing. As you land, he greets you with a deep bow. Noticing the bejeweled silver bracelet on your right wrist, he smiles. A final parting gift from him, Istomilo had insisted that you take it, and eventually you had acquiesced to his demands. Wearing it still made you uncomfortable, but many angels had commented on its beauty. You weren’t sure whether the praise for the jewelry made it better or worse.

    “Welcome back Marisiel. You are looking . . . radiant, as always. It has been a very long time, hasn’t it? More so for me than you, I suppose.”

    Although pleasant, there was a nervous tone to Istomilo’s voice. You were used to his nervousness around you – perhaps you intimidated him? But this seemed different than before, as if he was trying to hide something.



    The City of Amaranth

    The (Destroyed) City Slums

    Iethloc

    “I see . . . well, I’m sure everyone will be wanting to talk with this fellow in the morning.” Seymour replied, looking at Umber with unabashed curiosity. The same mage who nearly insulted you snorts in disgust.

    “He’s a vampire! One of them!”

    Here the vampiress looks up, barring her fangs at him.

    “And you’re food to me. What’s your point?”

    “Whatever he is, he’s still the one responsible for saving the city! That’s good enough for me.” Seymour replied. You just barely heard the man cough back “Allegedly.”

    Seymour waves at the destruction around you.

    “This is quite the mess. We’ve still got undead shambling about, disorganized, all over the place, and a good portion of the city is a wreck thanks to the pyramid’s destruction. And we’ve just received word of a break-in at the Library – we were just stopping in here at Ground Zero before moving on to investigate that.”

    Turning back to his two associates, Seymour nods and waves them off. “Why don’t you two go on ahead of me. I’ll stay here and have a look around.”

    The two of them share a look, and then shrug as they join hands.

    “If you think that’s best, Seymour.” The third mage says, finally speaking up.

    “Good luck.” Says the hateful mage, before casting another teleportation spell that sends them both off into the ether once more.

    Seymour turns back to you with a sigh, rubbing the sweat off his forehead.

    “Sorry. A few of the Council are still . . . traditional . . . in their beliefs. In any case, is there anything I can do to help? I’ve still got most of my magical gear here with me, on account of never needing to use it in a last stand. Perhaps you could drain that instead? I can’t imagine the pyramid’s energies would be well suited to sustaining this type of magic . . . not that I’ve ever seen anything like this before.”

    Seymour again looks at Bran and Umber, still locked together by the stream of magic flowing away to somewhere else. Admittedly, he was right that the pyramid’s magic was ill-suited to the task you were using, but you could tell there was a *lot* of it left over. The ground would probably be poisoned with a necromantic aura for years. Meanwhile, Seymour’s magical gear would be better suited, but considering the sheer amount of magical energy being drained away, they wouldn’t last more than a minute combined.

    There was another option, you realize. You could try to siphon away some of your own – Seymour’s – magical energy. You weren’t usually capable of harvesting energy directly out of mages or yourself, but by tapping into the ritual it might be possible to redirect part of it to siphon off someone other than Bran alone. Again however, Bran was the strongest potential source of magic you had ever seen bound in a person. Anyone else wouldn’t have lasted nearly this long, and it’s possible they could suffer the same ultimate fate as Bran if the ritual was not concluded quickly – never being able to use magic again.

    The Resonant Memory

    WhiteKnight777

    “Very well. Follow.” Gilgaem grunts, and the three of you glide into the palace. Inside, Fianna is leaning against the wall, still catching her breath. Pressing a hand to her side, she channels what healing energy she can into the burn. A few moments later, you appear on the nearby staircase, clapping. With a quick muttered chant, Fianna disguises her remaining injuries with an illusion spell before walking over to join you.

    The two of you exchange a quick kiss, and you compliment Fianna on her performance. She smiles, and replies with her hope that after the ascension, her tireless body will let her complete the dance. No one had ever done that before. Then, since the ascension was not for another few hours, she was going to change and lie down for a bit.

    Fianna had certainly been the most passionate of your cabal, willing to throw herself totally into a project. The last week had been very busy for all of you, but Fianna especially as she had overseen much of the organizing. As such, she had been tired and not feeling well for the entire week. Despite this, she had insisted on doing the Flame Dance, and no doubt had covered up the extent of her injuries to avoid a potential argument.

    As Fianna slipped away upstairs, she gave you a parting kiss. The human Umber remained on the ground floor, going off to look for Gilgaem if you remember correctly. You and your ghostly companions follow Fianna up the stairs, and then continue on while she stops at the third floor bedrooms. The three of you travel on upwards into the spire, where the ritual itself would be held.

    A period of time suddenly seems to pass, as when you float up into the spire, you find yourself standing in the middle of the ritual itself. The human forms of yourself and the other Lords of Blood stand assembled around a large basin, inside of which bubbles a bloody concoction. Seven golden goblets sit on the rim, one in front of each of you.

    Hanging in chains in one corner of the room was the angel you had captured for ritual components, here to personally observe your triumph. The fact that she was able to regenerate had proven quite useful to you, as you had only needed one angel instead of several. You all had fought a number of “gods” in your joint ascension, but the angel had been a surprisingly difficult opponent to subdue.

    Easily stronger than any one of you, even with magical enhancement, nearly a match in open combat to Gilgaem, resistant to magic, and capable of rapid regeneration. Eventually Kartul had managed to disable her by sending one of his pets to borrow in and out of her flesh, inflicting too much damage for her body to recover from. Then at a later date, she had broken free of her chains and nearly killed Fianna before being subdued once more.

    You had stopped playing games after that, and broke her completely soon after. Which gave you the angel tears you needed, along with the other necessary components you took one at a time, and waiting for the rest to regrow. Then out of spite, you had given her to Kartul for experimentation. For the ceremony, it had been necessary to gag her, and she still noisily thrashed about every now and then. Looking closely, you could see several small things crawling underneath her skin – gifts from Kartul, no doubt.

    As the ritual begins in earnest, the ghost of Marialta gestures to the basin.

    “This is where you walked away from Fate’s path, and this is where you shall rejoin it. Drink of the poison of the blood, and reclaim your destiny. But before you go, we have three things we must share with you: a boon, a warning, and a burden.”

    “When you return, go to the capital city of the kingdom the humans call Narle. Your love is waiting for you there.”

    Gilgaem speaks up.

    “But have care Umber. Fate has already sought to move on without you. Others have risen to take up our mantles. Encountering Fate’s new Uncertain King might result in the sudden destruction of the universe. But probably not”

    Gilgaem grins, and you suddenly realize he just made a joke. Gilgaem, made a joke.

    “Yes. And it is the same with the rest of us. Your current time is going to be very interesting, Umber, for those who became the Lords of Blood have returned to the world. Different souls, but the same destinies – will they make the same choice to leave it all behind? It seems unlikely, but the presence of two souls with the same destiny will create . . . unique problems.”

    Gilgaem and Marialta share a look, and then she clears her throat. The ghost almost seems nervous.

    “And last of all, there is a burden you must now shoulder, Umber. You have traveled along in ignorance of it until now, but the path you have chosen requires this knowledge. For her sake.”

    Marialta nods at Fianna, and then pauses.

    “There is one consequence of the ritual that cannot be undone. At the time of the ritual, Fianna was with child. Your child. And now, she is no longer.”

    Ironheart

    The Surrounding Mountains

    Gourtox

    At your words, the large man beside Gazrul scoffs.

    “I always knew the elves were cocky sonsofbitches, but you take the cake don’t you? Just waltzing into our camp and making demands.”

    Gazrul waves the man back, frowning.

    “My apologies for my associate. However, I must admit that we are not in a position to negotiate. We work for the Baron, and he has seen fit to take Pyrene into his own custody. She has committed several crimes in the human lands, and has not yet finished her sentence for those crimes.”

    Here, the big man snorts, muttering, “Yeah, like a sentence to Ironheart ever ends except in a grave.”

    The beastman shoots the man another warning look, then continues.

    “We are currently packing up camp to return to the Baron’s estate, as per our new orders from his son. Certainly, you can come with us if you so desire, provided you will come peacefully. Once we are back at the Baron’s estate, hopefully you can go before the Baron as a representative of the elven people and request custody of the girl.”

    “And what if she doesn’t *want* to go with you?” The man butts in for a third time, his voice holding a dangerous edge.

    The Gastly Truth

    Pwenet

    “I DON’T KNOW!” Ysora shrieks in your faceplate, twisting her head away from you in revulsion. This prompts another violent fit of futile struggling, although it is enough to get you to release your grip and step back away from her.

    “ABOMINATION!” Ysora spits. “Your soul has been combined with a demon’s and one of my sisters! How could the Baron do this!?”

    “Incom . . . ?” Sara whispers, turning to face you. She looks you up and down, and then raises one hand to her face in horror.

    “It is you, isn’t it? Somehow . . . somehow I knew it was you. Oh, what has Father done to you!?”

    Suddenly, a voice rumbles from behind you.

    What is going on here?

    Turning, you see the massive frame of Sir Celestan’s armored form standing in the doorway with the guard. Ducking its head, the chief CHAST steps into the room, barely sparing a look at Ysora.

    I was informed by the guard that a situation may be developing inside the prisoner’s cell. Sister, why did you come down here? PR-10000-IM, why did your let her wander down here?

    Sara jabs a finger at Celestan, and then at you.

    “Did you know that’s Incom!!?”

    Celestan appears as confused as an expressionless, leering construct can as it turns to look at you.

    That is PR-10000-IM, a GHAST in your father’s service. Perhaps you should return to the medical bay and rest, Sister. PR-10000-IM, are you suffering from any malfuctions?

    Ysora shrieks, to little avail.

    “GET OUT! BOTH OF YOU, GET OUT!”

    The Hells

    The Screaming Dark Estate

    OverWilliam

    After you forcibly stop him and even go so far as to slap him across the face, Prince Teareal seems poised to round on you. But predictably, the mention of Adamè brings him up short. He doesn’t understand everything you tell him, but he seems to get Limier’s name, and that you knew where Adamè was. And that was enough – for now. But Teareal’s hate filled glance in Limier’s direction as he intoned her name was proof enough that this wasn’t over between them.

    Melcara winces as you move her wing, and numbly accepts your offered healing potion. She looks at the bright liquid within the vial, swishing it back and forth for a moment, and then hands it back to you.

    “Keep it. You will need it more than I do. I’ll be alright . . . in time.”

    Melcara’s words seem to have some proof to them, as you watch a shallow cut on her arm slowly reseal itself into whole flesh once more. Reaching down, the fallen angel picks up Crx’s spear, planting it in the ground and using that to drag herself back up to her feet. Your attention is suddenly called away from Melcara by Limier.

    “Tare . . .”

    Looking around, you can see the source of Limier’s concern. Finished with the devils, the assembled slaves were now gathering together – at least for the most part. A few had stopped to work at the cell doors, trying to bust out the prisoners still locked away. And a few of the most deranged ones had fell upon each other, or even themselves, still seeking destruction without an external force to guide them. But most of them were starting to band together, and cluster up around your little band of people.

    At the head of them comes a massive scarred bear of a man with a pair of mining picks in his hands. He tosses his head at you.

    “So, dog. What do we do now, eh? Devils’ll be back in a couple hours. We gonna fight them all again? And then all again a few hours after that?”

    The man thrusts one mining pick over his head.

    “I SAY WE HAVE SOME FUN FIRST!”

    He lowers the pick to point at Teareal, and then at Limier.

    “I SAY, WE HAVE THESE TWO FIGHT! THEY ALREADY WANT SOME OF EACH OTHER!”

    Then the man looks at Melcara and licks his lips.

    “THEN I SAY WE GO UPSTAIRS AND FIND ALL THOSE LADIES VYLETHAR’S BEEN KEEPING FOR HIMSELF, AND HAVE OURSELVES A *REAL* GOOD TIME! I’LL TAKE THE WINGED FREAK.”

    Beside you, Melcara sighs wearily as the assembled crowd largely cheers.

    “I should have known. Not everyone is willing to climb out of the muck once it gets in their eyes.”

    “Hey! I’m with you guys!” Jim whines.

    “Tare. If you don’t handle this, I will.” Limier hisses beside you, discretely slipping her hands out of sight into her cloak.

    Fresh Meat

    The Perist Residence

    Kasanip

    It had been only by chance that you had been traveling through the kingdom’s northern reaches when you received the summons. Traditionally, members of the Canticle communicated via letters or trusted messengers. Magical forms of communication tended to be frowned upon, as it was possible although unlikely, for the transmissions to be detected by others. Magical communication also tended to be wasteful in resources, particularly with each member entrusted with self-autonomy. Except in the case of an emergency, when a request for aid could not wait. You had received such a communication three nights ago, awoken from your sleep by the wind’s whispers.

    “This is Berrick Ternist. I call upon the aid of the Seasons in defense of Count Wriest’s estate! Darkness has fallen. Please hurry!”

    Although a short message, its contents were still chilling. “Darkness has fallen” was one of the Canticle’s codewords for “supernatural attack”. And since no one would send such an open spell out to whoever was in range, the situation had to be dire indeed. Particularly since Berrick, although a low-ranking member in the Canticle of Summer despite his age, was a veteran of numerous battles with necromancers.

    With teleportation magicks unavailable to you, you had traveled to the estate on foot, a journey that had taken the past two days. Now in the morning of the third day, you were finally arriving, too late to participate, but perhaps not too late to investigate and aid any survivors.

    The forest surrounding the estate had been charred to a cinder, and the manor seemed to have fared little better. Much of it had crumbled into ruins, either by fire or some other force. A few parts of the large structure were still standing, however, and those few haunted people still inside had instructed you to follow the path into the forest until you came to another residence, this one belonging to the Perist family. Sir Ternist was apparently down there at the moment.

    You were familiar with the Perist family as well. Several generations of the family had been offered membership in the Canticle, despite none of them apparently having actual magical aptitude. Instead, their skill rested entirely in the creation of runic circles, and their detailed studies into the origin of magic. As such, despite their odd lack of mages amongst their number, the Canticle had been very interested in inducting them and comparing research. All of the offers for membership had been flatly rejected, the isolationist family apparently preferring their solitude. This had led to numerous charges being raised that the Perist family was actually an order of necromancers or warlocks, else why would they refuse the Canticle? Nothing had ever come of it, although due to their proximity to the Wriest Estate, could it be they were to blame for this devastation?

    That theory faded as you walked out of the burnt forest again to find yourself standing before another ruined building. Smaller than Count Wriest’s estate, this building had been totally leveled, and the thoroughness of it made you wonder if that had happened deliberately. Throughout your journey through the scorched forest, your magical eye had detected a number of lingering auras, too faint to identify properly. Now coming into this clearing, your eye begins to itch, picking up countless magical auras beneath the rumble. It would take time to separate them all, and not all of them were faint lingering auras.

    But for the moment, you had other concerns as your human eye noted the handful of figures picking over the rubble. Apparently noticing you in turn, several of them stopped what they were doing and moved to approach you. As they got closer you were able to identify three of them.

    In the lead was Berrick, his wrinkled and dour face even more grim than usual. His brilliant sapphire brooch sparkles in the morning sun, a sharp contrast to his dark grey cloak. Following a step behind him was Cherise, an unexpected and pleasant surprise. The bright white lace trim of her jacket was stained with soot, although she didn’t seem to notice as she greeted you with a smile and energetic wave. Brooding silently beside Cherise was her brother, Carlain. You had always known him as a child, but in your years of traveling he had matured into a young man. Or at least, a stereotypically angsty boy in his late teens. You did not notice any color on his completely black outfit, which was certainly unusual if he had been officially invited into the Canticle.

    “Isera.” Berrick said with a nod as he stopped a few feet in front of you. Cherise meanwhile stepped out around him, approaching you to give you a hug. It had been nearly a year now since you had each seen each other, and that last time had just been in passing at an official gathering.

    “Been awhile, Is.” Cherise says with a warm smile, although that smile falters as she looks back at the wreckage of the Perist residence. “Pity it’s under these circumstances.”

    The Capital

    Tackyhillbillu

    The Silver Bell Tavern wasn’t exactly a dive, but it had fallen far from its past glory. The namesake bell had been stolen, and probably melted down, long ago – replaced by a tacky bell made out of Tin. Its traveler clientele had disappeared, replaced by local thieves and low-class “adventurers” (more like grave robbers). Still, it was a good place to disappear, and for whatever reason the place’s current owner was a music nut. In return for strumming a few songs every night, you got a room of your own and a hefty pouch of silver.

    It was looking as if this was going to be just another night when he walked in. Oh, he was nothing conspicuous to be sure – short brown hair, brown eyes, medium build, plain clothing. But the way he carried himself screamed out a warning to you. Members of the Baron’s Hand had a very district stride, taught as part of the training to allow them to shift into a number of different fighting stances in an instant.

    Of course, the “Hand” was sort of a misnomer, as at the time you left his service, there were at least two dozen assassins being trained. Why the Baron saw the need to expand his cadre of assassins, you have no idea, but originally there had been only five. You had been the fifth and technically lowest ranking member, but still had access to a wealth of information. That information made you dangerous to the Baron, and if he didn’t think you already dead, you had little doubt your former associates would search for you.

    Was that what was happening here? Had this man, this assassin, been sent to find you? You didn’t recognize him – must be one of the newly trained ones. Yet, that theory didn’t seem to make sense either. The man had clearly seen you, but just as clearly didn’t recognize who you were. Which was fortunate, as otherwise you’d have a dagger whirling through the air at your throat by now.

    Striding confidently over to the bar, the man waves the barkeep over, beginning a quiet conversation with him. He seemed to be asking for . . . directions? Well, not everyone knew every twisting turn of the streets down here the same way the locals did. The same way you did. But wherever the assassin was doing, there was bound to be trouble. But that had been another life for you . . . hadn’t it?

    Phaedra

    Soras Teva Gee

    Wandering through the cold forest outside your father’s manor, you are dimly aware an observer would qualify your movements as madness. But there was a method here, even when you seemed to walk in complete circles. You were aware of every snare and illusion guarding Ode Berreron’s domain, having discovered them yourself or been shown them by Ode Berreron himself.

    In another few minutes you would be beyond the limits of the forest, and entering into the empty white plains that marked the end of Titania’s realm. Of course, walking further out beyond that would eventually lead you back around to where you started. Supposedly, this was not the case in the mortal world. Just one of many things you had been cautioned of on your journey.

    You were being sent back to the mortal realm, ostensibly your home. But no, your home was here. And your father was sending you away from it, on a very important task. You were to find a former servant of the Queen Herself. You were to find him, and if possible, convince him to return with you so that the Queen might speak with him. You were given very little information, apparently because there was very little current information to be had on him, given the isolation of Phaedra from the mortal world. Just a name: Istomilo.

    Stepping around another tree, you can now see the warm glow of a nearby lamp post. The lamp posts served as markers of the forest’s boundaries – beyond them lay the empty plains. That was your destination, because you had been instructed how to open a portal from that place to the mortal realm. Apparently, the emptiness there made it far easier to travel to the mortal realm.

    Suddenly, the soft sound of a flute reach your ears, coming from the direction of the lamp post. Passing through the last of the snowy trees, you see Pan, an old friend of yours, leaning up against the lamp post as he merrily blows into his instrument. Despite the fact that he wore only a light vest, he did not seem bothered by the cold the way you did. Of course, the lower half of his goat-like body was covered in a thick coat of course fur, as well.

    Opening one eye, he nods to you, and then finishes his song. Lowering the flute from his lips, he gives you his typical mischievous smile.

    “Hello, Maya. What are you doing out?”

    Dawn’s Hope Monastery

    Archpaladin Zousha

    You are meditating in the monastery gardens, praying for guidance. You had come here to be trained in serving the Church. But for some reason many of your lessons felt hollow. To be sure, the various rituals and spells you were learning were most informative, but many of your other classes seemed lacking. Brother Hygelac had taught you many things, moral values the most important of them all. So the various teachings on ethics were boring to you, even occasionally offensive when the instructors skirted around some issues entirely, or explained a course of action, and its breeches of conduct, in detail that you automatically would reject out of hand!

    It was all very . . . frustrating. Some of your instructors suggested that you learn more patience, for dealing with the general population, who had even less constraints on their behavior, required a delicate touch as often as it did the iron grip of the Law. You weren’t entirely sure that was what was required, as you were to be a paladin, an enforcer of the Law, not one who made the Law. That was the place of the gods, and their instructions seemed quite clear to you.

    Still . . . you were trying, because they were supposed to be your teachers, and obedience was owed to them in return. At least you had not stumbled across any rampant corruption here, as you had at your last monastery. True, you had heard disturbing rumors of some acolytes wandering down into the town at night to get drunk and stay until morning in the beds of local girls. But you did not know who was responsible for these things, and would not speak out against your fellows until you knew for sure.

    Your meditation had been disturbed previously by the arrival of a man and boy mounted on a griffon. You had watched as the griffon descended into the monastery’s courtyard unannounced, and heard the man shout that he was Ander Windrivver before demanding to see the abbot. You had read the history books, and knew of a Lord General Ander Windrivver. But that man had turned his back on the Church, and had returned a number of years ago as a heretic before finally being captured.

    The idea of anyone claiming to be such a man was complete madness. You had started to consider going down to educate this man on the consequences of lying when he disappeared inside. Apparently, for whatever reason the abbot and the others had decided to humor him. So, for now at least, you waited in the garden, still attempting to meditate with this new distraction in your thoughts.

    Yet another distraction presents itself shortly thereafter, as the rapid beating of wings reaches your ears. You open your eyes just in time to witness a marvel – three angels gracefully landing in front of you. They could be nothing else, despite the bizarre interlocking brands covering most of their exposed skin, with the brands clearly extending down beneath their armor. It was also funny – you had always pictured them as taller, and they were definitely a head shorter than you. Then again, everyone was shorter than you.

    “Rise, mortal!” The lead angel commands, and you reflexively obey.

    “We are looking for the man claiming to be Lord General Ander Windrivver. Take us to him.”

    And then after a moment’s pause and what seemed like a grimace of pain from the angel, she adds, “Please.”

    Presumably, the imposter was still meeting with the Abbot. And you knew the Abbot was down in the Ritual Chamber, as that was where he was when you had asked to speak with him your concerns about the acolytes venturing forth at night.

    The Northern Forest

    Gorgondantess

    It was light out again, and the forest was beginning to stir. You didn’t quite understand why some things became inactive when it got dark, and others became opposite. For the most part however, humans became inactive at night.

    You hadn’t seen a human since departing the village. You weren’t sure why this was so – the forest seemed a nice enough place to live. The animals certainly didn’t mind the lack of structures the humans used.

    Suddenly, a sound passes through the awakening forest. It sounds like a human voice, although at first you can’t understand what it is doing. It doesn’t seem to be crying out in pain, but . . . why is it making so much noise? It was like talking, a little, but the words were slurred together. Eventually, moving closer to the source, you recognized it. It was “singing”, something humans did for reasons you still didn’t understand. Your knowledge was woefully lacking.

    Passing through and around a tree, you come finally into sight of the song’s source. A large human male, hair beginning to grow on his face, dressed in heavy animal skins. He was singing, while clumsily waving a wooden stick over a small stream in front of him. A string descends down from the stick into the water, where an attached copper coin was floating, which the man seemed to be watching intently. Pausing in his song, the man reaches down to pull a flask off his waist, taking a sip of its contents. Putting the flask away, he begins fiddling with the front of his pants with his free hand, and suddenly a new stream of water was flying out of him to land in the larger stream flowing past.

    This man was certainly a curiosity. However, you are dimly aware that humans greatly preferred to interact with only themselves. Despite the occasional word to an animal or object, most humans did not hold conversations with them. And you did not know what they would think of your normal insubstantial form.

    Amaranth

    Darth Malevo

    At last you were back amongst civilization! Ironheart had been amusing, yes, but you wanted to be where the people are. You wanted to hear, wanted to hear their screaming.

    Of course, you couldn’t just randomly go up to the first person you met and got back to work. Well, you could, but the best art was made with careful consideration and great preparation. Because despite what your “critics” might think, you were not a hack (literally), and someday would prove them wrong.

    Besides which, you were a wanted man now. Being wanted should be a good thing, but in this specific instance it was not. The same people who had locked you away would know you had escaped, and they would be looking to shove you back into your box. Everyone was a critic these days!

    But no matter, you could reclaim your former glory eventually, given time, the proper tools, and the proper canvas. For now, finding a comfortable place to sleep would do. Of course, along with everything else they had taken from you, your captors had taken away your wealth. Finding a place to sleep therefore might be a tricky proposition. But then you were a tricky fellow, when you wanted to be.

    On the plus side, despite being night, the city was open to you. The gates had been flung wide open for your arrival, although the guards had forgotten to roll out the red carpet. Actually, speaking of the guards, where were they? You were familiar enough with city life to know the noisy, humorless guards were everywhere. But right now, there was no one there at all!

    It was as if you were striding into a ghost city. The familiar smell of smoke and rotting flesh also curled into your nose, beckoning you forward. What exactly had happened here?

    Johannville

    Morpheus

    It had been a long journey home. Quite a harrowing one as well, but you had somehow made it. Through the long dark nights as a prisoner, through the terrifying escape from the burning fortress, and at last through the freezing cold and fearful flight from the guards hunting for you.

    But now the quiet lights of your town were stretched over below you. It looked much as you left it, although you were well aware looks could be deceiving. But at least the Baron hadn’t burnt it to the ground, and any shelter from the cold was welcome at this point.

    Stumbling through the heavy snow that still remained at this elevation – it would not be gone for at least another month – you made your way to the dim lights like a drowning man seeking the bright light of the surface. The sun had only just dipped below the horizon, but the gates were already locked up tight.

    As you came close to the gates, a circle of light suddenly swung out from the top of the gate to affix you to the ground. An oddly familiar boisterous voice calls out to you.

    “Ho there! State your business here little man!”

    The voice sounded like it belonged to someone from the old town guard of Johannville, but you couldn’t be 100% sure. And if the Baron’s men had taken over as you feared, revealing yourself might result in you becoming a guest of Ironheart once again.
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2009-10-06 at 07:33 PM.
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

    Threads I'm currently DMing:


    Threads I have successfully completed:

  25. - Top - End - #385
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WhiteKnight777's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The other side of the sky
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Umber

    Umber felt a surge of pride as he entered the chamber. Despite all it had cost him, he and his compatriots had ventured to heights that few had ever dared - they had challenged the petty godlings of that long-distant world, they had clawed and scraped and fought, and in the end, they had wrested immortality from Fate itself, like the raw and beating heart of some great beast. And here he was, he thought wryly - to undo all of that.

    He listened attentively to the shades of his old compatriots, nodding here and there. It made sense - nature abhorred a vacuum, after all, and apparently so did Fate. It would seek to fill that void. But whoever had usurped his destiny - and Umber had his suspicions all right - would find him more than equal to the task of reclaiming what was his, even if it had not been something he had known he wanted. He would reclaim his destiny. At the words of his compatriots, he took up a gleaming goblet, filling it with the thick, heady brew - the Elixir, or, perhaps, its spiritual negative. He paused, considering what he was about to do - but if he could take back his destiny, win back his love... then it would be worth it. He had come to realize that, in his endless centuries of wandering. A life with Fianna, even a brief one, was better than an eternity without her. He would find her. He would heal her. He would allow no other option. At the spectre's words, he lifted the goblet to his lips - and paused, his eyes suddenly wide.

    A child. Their child.

    is mind raced. Had she known? She must have... but why had she hidden it from him. A pain lanced through him, sharp and sudden. A monster Umber might be, but... His child. His own flesh and blood. He had lost something he had never known he had, and he felt it in the depths of his soul. He looked at Gilgeam and Marialta, his face unreadable, and, choking back a despairing wail, threw back the goblet, draining it at a draught. Then he cast it aside, red-stained tears streaming down his face as he felt the poision streaming through him. He... he would have to make this right. He would fix everything. He owed that unborn life a debt that could never be repayed - but he would have to try.

    Umber felt his spiritual body shuddering in the surging grasp of the phantom elixir's effects. and he wiped away the spectral tears as the sensation flooded through him - He would never know what he lost. But the sacrifice would not be in vain. Resolve filled him, and a peaceful look came over his face. The pain he felt would be his fuel, a reminder, a lesson - that was the purpose of pain, after all. Confidence flowed through him - yes, he would have back all that he had lost, and more. He was Umber, Lord of Blood and a living legend - and he would not be denied.
    Last edited by WhiteKnight777; 2009-09-28 at 11:25 PM.

  26. - Top - End - #386
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Archpaladin Zousha's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hastings, MN
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Quote Originally Posted by Inspectre View Post
    Dawn’s Hope Monastery

    Archpaladin Zousha

    You are meditating in the monastery gardens, praying for guidance. You had come here to be trained in serving the Church. But for some reason many of your lessons felt hollow. To be sure, the various rituals and spells you were learning were most informative, but many of your other classes seemed lacking. Brother Hygelac had taught you many things, moral values the most important of them all. So the various teachings on ethics were boring to you, even occasionally offensive when the instructors skirted around some issues entirely, or explained a course of action, and its breeches of conduct, in detail that you automatically would reject out of hand!

    It was all very . . . frustrating. Some of your instructors suggested that you learn more patience, for dealing with the general population, who had even less constraints on their behavior, required a delicate touch as often as it did the iron grip of the Law. You weren’t entirely sure that was what was required, as you were to be a paladin, an enforcer of the Law, not one who made the Law. That was the place of the gods, and their instructions seemed quite clear to you.

    Still . . . you were trying, because they were supposed to be your teachers, and obedience was owed to them in return. At least you had not stumbled across any rampant corruption here, as you had at your last monastery. True, you had heard disturbing rumors of some acolytes wandering down into the town at night to get drunk and stay until morning in the beds of local girls. But you did not know who was responsible for these things, and would not speak out against your fellows until you knew for sure.

    Your meditation had been disturbed previously by the arrival of a man and boy mounted on a griffon. You had watched as the griffon descended into the monastery’s courtyard unannounced, and heard the man shout that he was Ander Windrivver before demanding to see the abbot. You had read the history books, and knew of a Lord General Ander Windrivver. But that man had turned his back on the Church, and had returned a number of years ago as a heretic before finally being captured.

    The idea of anyone claiming to be such a man was complete madness. You had started to consider going down to educate this man on the consequences of lying when he disappeared inside. Apparently, for whatever reason the abbot and the others had decided to humor him. So, for now at least, you waited in the garden, still attempting to meditate with this new distraction in your thoughts.

    Yet another distraction presents itself shortly thereafter, as the rapid beating of wings reaches your ears. You open your eyes just in time to witness a marvel – three angels gracefully landing in front of you. They could be nothing else, despite the bizarre interlocking brands covering most of their exposed skin, with the brands clearly extending down beneath their armor. It was also funny – you had always pictured them as taller, and they were definitely a head shorter than you. Then again, everyone was shorter than you.

    “Rise, mortal!” The lead angel commands, and you reflexively obey.

    “We are looking for the man claiming to be Lord General Ander Windrivver. Take us to him.”

    And then after a moment’s pause and what seemed like a grimace of pain from the angel, she adds, “Please.”

    Presumably, the imposter was still meeting with the Abbot. And you knew the Abbot was down in the Ritual Chamber, as that was where he was when you had asked to speak with him your concerns about the acolytes venturing forth at night.
    Hondshioh's eyes widen and he falls forward in reverance.

    "Most holy servants of the Sovereigns of Heaven, you humble me with your presence. I shall do as you command. Please, follow me."

    The young man rises and begins making his way to the Ritual Chamber.

    "MAKE WAY!" he bellows. "MAKE WAY FOR THE GREAT ANGELS SENT FROM ON HIGH!"
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2009-09-29 at 08:33 AM.
    "Reach down into your heart and you'll find many reasons to fight. Survival. Honor. Glory. But what about those who feel it's their duty to protect the innocent? There you'll find a warrior savage enough to match any dragon, and in the end, they'll retain what the others won't. Their humanity."

  27. - Top - End - #387
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Tackyhillbillu's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Argan sat on the stage, playing the Lute by rote, as he kept an eye on the Hand. He didn't watch the Hand openly, of course. They were trained to notice that. People who paid too much attention to them were had a way of turning up in some Cellar, with a knife wound or two in them. Of course, that was still better then what would happen if the fellow knew who he was, but it didn't end up with him any less dead.

    Still doesn't answer the question...

    Argan should just ignore him. Pack up, and leave the Capital tomorrow. He'd regret leaving the Silver Bell. It wasn't paradise, but he wasn't looking for that. Free bed, and pay besides? Few had it so good. And he liked the clientele. Well, he didn't like them, but he liked being around them. Compared to the grave robbers, cutthroats, and cutpurses, he was a paragon of virtue.

    ...well maybe not that good, but he looked a damn sight better. But it didn't matter. If the Hand managed to stir up someone's memory of things best left forgotten, he had best be long gone from the Capital by the time his former brothers showed up.

    But I'm not smart, am I?

    Argan already knew the answer to that question. A Baron's Hand, in the Silver Bell didn't sit right. The Hand evidently wasn't on his trail... but then what was he doing here? The Hand's were human beings, and they liked food and drink as much as the next man, more then some. But they could afford better then the Silver Bell, and get more privacy besides. And he had questions. It was a chance to have his questions answered.

    Life would be so much easier if Number 5 and the rest just stayed dead. I much prefer Argan, on the whole

    So Argan watched, covertly. And as the Song ended, he smiled and took a Bow, snatching his hat off of his head in a show of pretentiousness that came as naturally to him now. He explained as he put away the Lute.

    "And with that, I believe I'll momentarily pause. Do not despair, patrons of the arts! For I shall return once I've wetted my parched throat, and had the tiniest morsel. I shall not delay one moment longer then normal."

    He might have been worried that his voice would jog a memory his face didn't, but he seriously doubted. Argan's voice was full of joy, cheer, and a healthy dose of egotism. His past selves had not been any of those things. Argan smiled widely, shouldering the Satchel that carried the Lute, and swiftly passing through the crowd toward the back. He knew how to use crowds, to move through them with great facility without looking like he was hurrying. Such skills could be invaluable to a man with his former occupation. He went out the Backdoor, shoving the ridiculous hat in the satchel with the Lute. His clothes weren't the best for what he was planning, but if the Hand hadn't been alerted in the Silver Bell, he should be able to get by unnoticed. He still wasn't sure what he was planning to do. Follow the hand, definitely. But what would he do when the hand reached his destination? Argan had no idea. He might not wait to find out. His hand tucked inside his sleeve to reach one of the throwing knife he kept there. Only a few had seen it, and to those he'd just explained it was part of a trick. That and a couple of rounds of ale for the fellow who noticed and all his friends seemed to get rid of most of the memory of it.

    For now... I watch though.

    Argan thought, positioning himself in an alleyway he knew from experience had a clear view of entrance to the Silver Bell, and waited, hopefully hidden in the Shadows.

    Damn bright green clothes.

    But unsuitable attire, this was his part of town. He knew the Hand was there, and he knew how to not be seen here. As long as he held onto those two advantages, he wouldn't be found. And if he had to run, he could do it. His lute, his silver, and his knives were all with him. Everything else could be replaced.

  28. - Top - End - #388
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Morpheus's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    The Matrix
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Johann

    Johann gets a warm fuzzy feeling inside of him and has the sensation of being near a hot fire on a cozy chair with huckleberry pie in the oven baking and the meat and potatoes you just ate, slowly and cog like turning and churning inside of your stomach mixing with the acids and digesting every bit and bite of the roast boar and cooked potato with carrots and peas and....the pipe! We mustn't forget about the pipe. The briar wood of the pipe giving the sweet, flavorful tobacco a place to nest and be warmed like that which you are experiencing now. Johann loses the feeling after the pipe for he remembers the task that is present and the need to be careful for the Baron may have his land.

    He sticks his hand into his pocket as if to reach for his pipe, but instead fumbles about in it as if looking for something he doesn't have or that he used to have. He continues on down the hill digging his heels into the snow to keep himself from turning into a living snowball.

    He has a since of purpose in his life now. A since that this town, Johannville is now his. Truely his. And that is what he should be doing. Protecting his town for all of its worth and for the peoples joy. He smiles a big grin and blows warm carbon dioxide into his hands trying to warm up his phalanges. He sticks them back into his pockets and continues walking towards his town.

    Upon reaching the gate he finds that it is locked. He grumbles a bit to himself, but then figures that it is good that security is tightening. He then is startled by the ending of the voice. He figures that they where wanting to know who he is. He starts introducing himself, but he figures *I can make up a better story for me to get in. For if they hear the story, they shall know it is me and that I am back once again to take control of my town. But if the Baron has control of the town they will tell me to wait and see if I should be allowed in, which means I should sneak in if they say no, so I can organize a revolt against the Baron and control Johannville the right way, by Mayor Johann Ludwig von Brandenburg!* and with that he starts with the BS (and no, that does not mean ballistic skill) "I am just a humble traveler looking for room on this dreadfully chilly and miserably bleak night. For you see, I have traveled to the Ends of this Earth and I am back to have a night in town before I head back to my home with my darling wife. 'But why would he go to the End of the Earth' you ask. Ahaha. You see at the Ends of the Earth they make the most delectable chocolates, breads, pipes, like the one I have here -shows them pipe from his pocket-, tobacco, and everything and anything you can imagine! 'but where is the End of the Earth?' you would ask. Ahahahaha. The End of the Earth is hard to get to for it only appears twice every other full moon that occur every 4 years and you have to travel over mountains and deserts as long as the mountains are tall, and swim bodies of water shaped like bodies, and you eventually reach a house by the edge of a cliff, and the edge of the cliff turns into a waterfall that contains many items like swords gone missing or long lost friends, and the house has a barn where when that day comes you enter and it teleports you to a land where time is unparallel to ours. Where you age and go through time day by day, when you exit, and you can exit whenever you want and stay for however long you want, you turn into your old self with the same age and same items you came in with, except those in a dimension bag that don't age or change with the time in the 'End of the Earth'. So you see it is rare and has many different sorts of oddities. Like a man with a parrot for a head, or, or, Oh....oh oh oh. There was also.....also a man who by looking at a woman, could kill her, by looks! 'Know that seems odd and an outright lie' I have heard. But let me tell you. I have been there many a times and I know the qualities of it, and how full of lies it sounds, but it is true. So you see, I am looking for a nice meal and room for a night and then I will be gone and allow you kind sirs, to go about your merry business."
    Characters:
    Spoiler
    Show


    Awesome Bangaa Cannoneer Avatar by Miss Nobody
    Big Avatar
    Spoiler
    Show



  29. - Top - End - #389
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Gorgondantess's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Not in a human colon

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Only too recently, it had been traveling around as some dirt. Interesting things you can learn, when you're dirt. For about two years she followed a particular earthworm, as it ate its way through the terrain. It was quite the botanist, and for a time it became good friends with an oak sapling; it writhed through its roots, creating a mutual existence. Eventually the earthworm found another earthworm, and they mated, but the first earthworm callously left its children to be raised by the elements. Maria was rather offended by this- it seemed so nice until then- but she resolved to keep following it anyways, as it met more plants, and mated a few more times.
    She was going with it as it writhed across the forest floor that night as a light rain came down; as usual, it went up to meet the falling drops, dancing in the drizzle. She didn't hear the singing until the bearded man stepped on the earthworm, killing it instantly.
    She watched the corpse for hours. The earthworm, the kindly, plant loving, absent minded earthworm, whom she had shared his trials and joys with for years, was now dead.
    Finally, she came to a conclusion.
    I wonder what that man is doing? I think I'll call him Richard.
    She went after Richard, flying through the trees as a ball of dust, until she finally found him at the river with his stick. Curious, she watched him for a time, and finally decided to ask him a question. That's what was nice, about these humans. They sometimes answer you.
    The ball of dust swirled and coalesced, descending to about five feet behind the man. A massive but short lived gust of wind in all directions heralded her arrival, ripping the leaves off of trees and blowing the man off balance- but as soon as it came, it was gone, and in its place was a young girl, barely over 13.
    She appeared at about 5' tall, with a scrawny build, awkward looking but deftly moving limbs akimbo. Her face was long, simple and plain, with too-long, slightly crooked teeth and lank, shoulder length sandy brown hair.
    Her clothes (actually a part of her, not that it matters) looked to be an old, worn shirt and pants of white (apparently beige from wear and tear), and she looked to have just entered the ravages of puberty, as apparent from her shirt if one looked very closely.
    She stood barefoot, with dirty feet and cracked nails, looking quite the vagrant.
    Walking up next to the man, she leaned down over his sitting form, speaking with a voice that is an amalgamation of accents and tones, nevertheless refined and well enunciated. "G'day, Richard, would you kindly tell me wut the **** you are doing?"
    Marceline Abadeer by Gnomish Wanderer
    Spoiler
    Show
    Classic Cthulhu by RTGoodman


    Critical Failures by Strawberries & Captain Happy, respectively.




    Scizor by Mr. Saturn.


  30. - Top - End - #390
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Baerdog7's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ander Windrivver

    Ander allows himself a slight grin as he watches the assembly digest his tale. The Truth Telling circle seemed to have done its work to help convince them he was not the heretic the Church claimed him to be. One by one, people began to raise their hands. One by one, Ander called on them.

    “The Crusade is over. If the Exarches were really trying to drag things out, why did they call it off?”

    I do not have a positive answer on that. Unfortunately I am still somewhat out of date on current events. Spending 15 years in prison will do that. However, it seems likely that if the Crusade has been called off that either the Church no longer needed the distraction or they needed to redeploy their assets elsewhere. How long ago was the Crusade called off?


    “How thorough is the corruption in the Church? Is this just one rogue Exarch like Karth, or has the whole Council fallen?”

    When I was originally sent down from Heaven, the corruption mainly existed in the highest levels of the Church. Azguloth would want to control the decision makers of the Church, not the local parishes and diocese that have no influence on doctrine. As far as I know, the entire Council has been compromised. I knew for sure that Exarch Greyson was corrupt and had strong suspicions about Damont, Tiberius, and Morganna. I know for a fact that Crane is corrupt too. That is a majority of the Council. I have always known Exarch Quincy to be something of a weak-minded coward. If he himself is not corrupt, he is likely to follow the majority will of the Council anyway. I am unsure about Exarch Tyra. From what I know of her, she is independent and strong-willed. She may yet be uncorrupted. I know little of the other Exarchs.

    “What do you propose to about the corrupt Council, particularly when they may have compromised the entire judicial system of the Church? Very few exarches have ever been tried for crimes.”

    I have thought a lot about this and haven't yet come to a definite conclusion. I agree that the Inquisitorial arm of the Church may have been compromised as well. The positions of corrupted Church members would be much more secure if they knew they would not have to worry about pesky Inquisitors bothering them. I believe that it is imperative that we get the public's support in this matter. We need to get them to understand what has been happening in the Church. No matter how much I may want to storm into the Council chambers and behead the lot of them, I am afraid that it would only cause the Church to collapse upon itself. We do not want to cause a schism. Whatever we decide to do must be seen as one legitimate arm of the Church demanding the excision of a corrupt, illegitimate one.

    “Are you aware of the atrocities Karth has committed in the name of 'cleansing the Church'?”

    I learned some brief anecdotes from a priest in the town of Stonefall, not far from Ironheart, after I escaped. I know he was very radical and many innocent people were burned at the stake for being accused of heresy. I originally sought out Karth because I thought he could be a potential ally. He has a sizable army, one that already believes the Church is corrupt. Karth will need to be dealt with eventually, that much is certain, but I would like to do it in a way that will keep his army intact. Once we ensure the officer corps is loyal to our cause, we can use the army for our own ends. They are mostly farmers and peasants, with few real soldiers. They would probably get slaughtered in a pitched battle but they could possibly be used to spread our message to other villages and towns.

    The first batch of questions answered, he scans the crowd again for more raised hands.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Baerdog: super genius.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •