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  1. Top - End - #31
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Falconer's Avatar

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    Sep 2007
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    Running the World
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    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Gazrul listened intently to the Baron's words: it seemed that things had suddenly become far more complicated than he had first thought. A faint smile formed on his face. "At least now we're not being paid to simply stand around."

    An idea was rapidly coming together in his head. Almost the instant the Baron finished speaking, he asked, "My liege, might I see a map of the area immediately around Ironheart?"

    ((ASSUMING GAZRUL IS SHOWN A MAP))

    Gazrul stared at the map, transfixed. He gently ran his clawed fingers over different parts: Amaranth...Ironheart...the small villages and woodlands surrounding both... "Soldiers," he thought to himself, "at every gate in Amaranth. That's where most prisoners would head. Anyone who wanted in or out would have to have their arms checked, first. Patrols through the streets. Normal prisoners would simply be rounded up and put in a stockade or other temporary jail. The more powerful ones...I do not know. I'll see what the Baron can tell me about them. And for the capture of the now-primary target, the Countess: she's nobility, and soft living usually does not equate with woodcraft. She's probably lost in the forest somewhere, trying to get back home. That, of course," Gazrul savored the thought, "means... we get to go hunting. I'll lead several groups of my trackers and hunters into the woods, and we'll fan out. Upon discovering the Countess and capturing any criminals she may have brought with her, we'll...er...What will we do?"

    Gazrul turned to the Baron. "My lord, what do you intend we do with the Countess after we have found her? I understand she is to be kept safe and out of harm, but...what then?" He briefly turned back to the map, and tapped his finger on Amaranth. "And also, my liege, are there any particularly dangerous convicts that my men should prepare for on their...guard duty?"

  2. Top - End - #32
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Cpt. Soup's Avatar

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    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Abbie bobbed her head toward the guard in reply. Abbie edged closer to the tarp and summed up the nerve to duck underneath it. The smell was truly wretched, worse then before, she supposed the smell was as much from death as it was the filthy state of the former prisoners. She worked quickly to wrap herself in two of the cloaks the kind man had spoke of. Covering her mouth and nose with an end of one, she took a final clean breath of air before her plunge. Abbie burrowed under the mound of corpses feet first. She carefully dug her legs in deep, pushing aside bodies to make space enough so only her head was sticking out of the back of the cart. The image of a maggot came to mind as she tugged the cloaks more tightly around herself, she entwined the cloaks around her imagining herself as one, it wasn't a wholly abhorred thought. Abbie shivered against the cold that bleed from the corpses into her. Abbie gritted her teeth and tried to keep from shaking, if the canvas quivered at the wall, that would be the end of her.

    Abbie made a sound to the man confirming that she had settled herself as best she could. When he let the canvas flap close, she worked to breath carefully through her mouth. She had a high tolerance for smell but the accumulation of stenches piled around her was unbearable, she was considering letting her nose numb in the cold as the cart creaked into motion.

  3. Top - End - #33
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Jun 2007
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    New York State
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    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ardraket Oldn

    Watching the two men with a careful eye Ardraket nods in the key places in the conversation. The men appeared to be shell-shocked still, which is probably why they were out doing manual labor. Besides serving as a distraction and a much needed public service it would give them a chance to come to terms with whatever happened.

    On the positive side it appears that the attack has wrecked their communications system, hence why they didn’t instantly demand his orders for they were probably working in the blind as much as he was. This would be good in the long run for it would far easier to enter an establishment in which chaos reigns.

    “I’m doing some recon with my squadron of men seeing how far the cleanup operations will take us. Make sure to inventory the bodies, I’ve noticed several with gear and potions that could come in useful if another attack takes place.”

    Looking past the two men towards the rest of the group Adraket examines them, seeing how they look and how they are action. Turning back towards the leader of the two men that approached him he nods again.

    “Tell me, how are the men taking what happened here? Is there anything that needs to be clarified before I move on?”

    With luck the shell-shocked man would give more information on what happened along with the current status of the prison. Such information would provide a vital service in accomplishing his mission.
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    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.
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    I'm feeling this real hard now.
    Curse you, Pwenet. Curse you.... You had my hopes up there...

  4. Top - End - #34
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

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    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Mar

    She couldn't put into words what she was hearing, but she knew she'd heard it before. At home, Daddy punished her for making noise at night, and so she did her best to lie still in her room, even when she was hurt. There had been nothing else, so she had grown used to falling asleep listening to the sounds she could hear: sometimes it was only Daddy's voice and footsteps, but when he was gone she could hear other faint, quiet noises, people walking outside Daddy's office and other noises she'd never tried to imagine. It was usually better when she didn't try to guess what the noises were. The one that she'd always been able to hear, barely, when nothing else was making a sound, was like the noise she heard from the seashell. She thought of it as the sound of nothing moving, but this was louder than what she remembered. Like the sound the air made outside as it moved.

    It wasn't exactly a nice memory, like her brother or the warm barn, but it wasn't a bad one either. Mar listened to it for a minute before putting the thing down, very carefully. It was heavy, and she didn't know if it could break or not.

    She picked up one of the pebbles, fingering it. It wasn't like the blue glass rocks; it looked smooth, but it had little edges she could feel, and see now that she knew to look for them. She thought maybe that was why she liked them. They were more interesting to hold. This one was grey, with little white spots in it, and just the right size for her palm.

    She drew her wings up about herself again, leaning against the wall and curling up inside the feathers with the rock still clutched in her hand. She was only a little sleepy, but it felt good to be not moving. It was even better when she started to feel less cold, because then she could remember being here while it was light and warm. She wasn't actually warm, but it was better than nothing. She could remember being happy that way, too.

    She drifted off, into drowsy memory and fitful sleep.
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  5. Top - End - #35
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Inspectre's Avatar

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    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    The Estate of Baron Demetrius Gast

    Falconer

    The Baron smiles and nods at your request. “Of course.” The Baron claps his hands once, and immediately one of the servants has opened the door and is standing expectantly in the doorway. Evidently the Baron’s dismissed servants had not gone far.

    “Bring us a map of the Barony and surrounding countryside, if you would.” The Baron commanded, and less than a minute later a large map was being unfurled across the table between the two of you.

    The hard, forceful look enters the Baron’s eyes again as you ask what is to be done with the Countess. “You are immediately to bring her back here. My son would doubtlessly want to see that she is unharmed. Also given my current string of luck, I’d rather prefer for her to be close-by where I can keep a personal eye on her safety and care. Remember Gazrul, finding the Countess and bringing her safely back here is your utmost priority, and I will supply you with whatever I can that you think you would find helpful for such a task. As for the escaped prisoners, most if any of the prisoners that your guards find will be dangerous, although nothing that they should be unable to handle. I’ll leave it to your best judgment on how to handle any that your men do capture, but understand that Ironheart as a prison is almost certainly over. It will take years to rebuild the necessary infrastructure. As such, you have full authority to oversee the punishment of any captured prisoners – including summary execution.”

    The Baron pauses for a moment to allow the extent of your authority to sink in, and then continues. “There are a handful of prisoners that are known to have escaped, all of whom are incredibly dangerous. Most of their intentions are as yet unknown, but none have proven hostile towards me so far and frankly that is enough. Once my sons return, I will have my men prepare dossiers on each of them so that you will know what they look like and their known abilities. I would recommend avoiding them, but certainly if you have the opportunity to capture one of them then do so. There are two prisoners in particular that I want absolutely left alone however.”

    The Baron leans in closely. “The first is a man known as Korram Alstan. A number of years ago he was a dangerous rebel who wrecked untold havoc upon my barony’s people. A dangerous sociopath who, much like the Countess, fixated on me as the cause of his woes – he thought that I had killed his wife.” Here the Baron gives an easy-going smile, although there is an undercurrent of emotion there that as usual you can’t discern on the Baron’s face. If you had to assign a label to it, you would likely call it amusement.

    “In any case, despite his escape he has informed me that he has no intention of continuing his mad war. In fact, he intends to travel to the capital to handle some business there, and then has promised to return to the Barony and surrender himself once more into my custody. I don’t know if he can be trusted, but he has taken his word very seriously in the past and so far now I wish to humor him rather than cause unnecessary conflict.”
    The Baron’s eyes narrow for a moment, as he affixes you with an intense stare.

    “Secondly, should you encounter a strange young girl with a “2” burned onto her arm, you should ignore her. In fact, it may be better for you to run the other way. I already have a . . . mutual friend looking out for her, and I don’t think he would appreciate any outside interference.”

    Apparently satisfied, the Baron leans back in his chair once more and his serene expression returns. “So, do you have any other questions for me Gazrul, or is this meeting adjourned?”

    The Ruins of Callaway

    Dorizzit

    Despite your screamed command, Calcifer does not in fact shut up as you vent your sorrow in a massive burst of flame that incinerates what little remains of the ravaged village.

    Yes, YES! *This* is the Korram Alstan that I know! Not the pathetic shell of a man I’ve been inhabiting since our escape! Harness this rage Korram, remember it! It was this rage that drove you to fight against the Baron, what motivated you to bind me into your flesh. And it will be this all-consuming fury that will guide you on after our pact is finished and I am gone from here. You allowed yourself to give up and allow the Baron to win once already. Are you really going to just roll over and surrender a second time!? Have the sacrifices everyone around you has made to get you here and now going to be all for nothing!!?

    And yet, despite Calcifer’s rant, you still feel nothing. Everything you had ever loved was gone, and nothing you could do would bring it back. Leaving the scorched earth that had once been your home behind, you begin to walk back the way you had come. You had only traveled perhaps an hour, however, before you are accosted.

    The people suddenly leaping out of the forest to level crossbows at you were very good – you had not heard their approach. There were six of them, two standing in front of you, three coming out of the forest behind, and one perched up some distance down the road in a tree. Still, their clothing was ragged, and they all looked haggard – seasoned veterans of an extended peasant revolt. You had seen many of their kind in your own time as a rebel, and had led just as many into battle against the Baron’s forces.

    Sneering at you, the apparent leader of the group jabs at you angrily with his crossbow. ‘We’re the Ghosts of Callaway, and you just made a big mistake in coming here! You’ve got five seconds to explain yourself before we kill your sorry ass and leave it for the crows.”

    On the Road

    Iethloc

    Understood. Omega replied, as she is momentarily obscured by a whirling kaleidoscope of color as a result of your illusion spell. After a moment, the colors solidified, and standing before you was a gorgeous young woman, with long black hair and azure eyes.

    I believe that this is a fair approximation of what I looked like before my transformation.

    The acolyte burst into a coughing fit, studiously looking away from the new Omega. “So, uh, we all ready to go then?”

    Yes.

    A moment later, you began your teleportation spell, linking hands with Omega and the acolyte to bring them along with you. As the spell completes, even your incorporeal form feels the familiar yet still unpleasant falling feeling associated with teleportation. An instant later, and the feeling passes, and your eyes adjust to their new surroundings.

    You are now indoors, in the midst of a room dimly lit by candlelight. On the floor is a large mystical symbol, the anchoring point for a teleportation circle. The circles tended to make it easier for mages to blink out of existence and reappear in a known area. They also tended to shunt any incoming teleportation magics to them, making it easier to defend a residence from unwelcome teleporting guests.

    Indeed, even as you finish becoming aware of your surroundings, a shimmering bubble of force energy erupts from the floor, surrounding the teleportation circle and cutting you off from the rest of the room. For others, a serious impediment. For you, the appetizer to the banquet that is about to commence.

    The force bubble also has the effect of startling awake the old mage who had been kneeling before a smoking brazier at the back of the room.

    “Oh, damnit. That’s the third divination spell this week that’s been ruined because some jackass teleported in unannounced. I really ought to separate my teleportation and ritual rooms.” The old man groused as he rose to his feet, groaning as he worked out the kinks in his back. Approaching the bubble, he peered inside, and his mouth tightened into a grim smile.

    “Well, if it isn’t my old friend Sohssal! How’s the lack of a body treating you these days?”

    Now close to the bubble and with his face illuminated by the light of the magic, you can see that it is indeed Seymour Crast, an old friend of yours from when you were just starting your search for immortality. Although considerably older than you remembered, at least Seymour’s wrinkled face was pulled back in a smile rather than a grimace or a sneer. You had chosen Seymour because there was a slight chance as a former friend that he would simply give you what you wanted rather than obnoxiously try to kill you.

    Stonefall

    The Village Proper

    Baerdog7

    If the young priest was visibly disturbed when he realized your burden was a corpse, and that you were lying it out on the main altar, he was outright distraught when you mention Ironheart. Growing visibly pale, he backs away from you and makes a sign of warding.

    “S-stay away from me, heretic! Deceiver! Your filthy lies and brutal methods are not welcome here, Purifier! I will not aid an enemy of the Church in slaughtering innocents!”

    In conjunction with the priest’s rant, you can sense two evil presences nearby: one very strong, and one either very weak or some distance away from here. Neither is within the church however, and only the strong one is approaching. A moment later, the front door to the church again clatters open, revealing a tall woman in a guard’s cloak. Although her appearance is slightly different, you recognize her immediately as Melcara.

    Melcara looks around nervously for a moment, and then her eyes settle on the priest, who is desperately gesturing her forward. “Please, help! T-this man is Karth the Purifier! He’s going to kill me if you don’t stop him!”

    Melcara shoots you a confused glance as she moves farther into the church, one uncertain step at a time. When she’s about halfway between the door and you, she stops and shakes her head.

    “No good sir. I can assure you that this man is not Karth the Purifier, whoever that may be.”

    The priest visible sags with relief, although he clearly is not completely at ease as he mutters, “But you did say that you were from Ironheart . . .” An angry grimace crosses over the man’s face. “Whoever you are, do you have any idea what you have done!? If the Baron finds out an escaped prisoner came here, he will tear the town apart looking for you! You have put every member of my congregation in terrible danger just by your very existence!”

    The priest walks over to one of the nearby pews, slumping into it and cradling his face in his hands.

    “If I tell you what you want to know, will you please leave?”

    “We will consider it.” Melcara answers, shooting you another questioning look with a shrug.

    Running his fingers through his hair, the young man looks up.

    “Alright, these past fifteen years have been tumultuous and yet also momentous for the Church. Perhaps the two most important events have been the ascension of Exarch Morganna to Speaker, the first woman to be so named, and the heresy of Karth the Purifier.”

    You knew that the Speaker was considered the voice of Miriam and Athelion on earth, the highest ranking official within the Church. The Council of Exarchs was the Speaker’s own voice, handling all of the top-level administration and day-to-day affairs of the Church of Light. You knew at least one of the Exarches had been corrupt, but had believed the Speaker at the time to know nothing of the evil festering within his organization. Now with a new Speaker in place, anything was possible.

    “Speaker Morganna’s ascension to the position took place about ten years ago. About a year after that, an Exarch by the name of Karth went mad. He claimed that there was corruption throughout the Church of Light, and that a reckoning must be held. The entire organization must be purified by fire. Oh, it was madness, but many people believed it anyway. And these followers would take their fellows who disagreed, and bind them together in a human pyramid before building a funeral pyre around them. Such terrible loss of life, and in such a horrific fashion.”

    The man shakes his head, slowly losing the horror in his eyes.

    “I was just a teenager back then. My own parents nearly burned me at the urging of one of the Purifier’s acolytes. Thankfully, I was able to escape and run away, and the Purifier was defeated soon after. It is said that the Council determined it was too dangerous to hold a public execution, so instead the Purifier was sent to Ironheart.”

    The priest looks up into your eyes.

    “There, I have answered your question. Now will you please leave, whoever you are? I hold you no ill will, but you are placing everyone here in danger every minute that you stay.”

    The Surrounding Forest

    The_Snark

    Clutching the pebble in the palm of your hand and with your wings wrapped tightly around you, you drift into uneasy sleep in the little alcove above the barn’s floor.

    Even though it was dark inside the barn, you knew the hand holds so well you didn’t have any trouble scrambling up into the loft. Once there, you removed the board that concealed your buried treasure and removed the chest. Then reaching under the neck of your dress you pulled out the key, slipping it into the lock and popping open the top. Again by feel you located the conch shell, pressing it against your ear as you lie there, listening to the sound of the ocean mingle with the quiet chuffing of the horses below.

    Father was drunk again, and as usual his friends at the tavern had gotten him riled up. You hated it when he got like this, but there was nothing you could do. So instead of listening to his seething rants you simply left, walking out into the night and heading out to the barn at the edge of town.

    Most of the town’s draft horses were housed here, but since it was a short distance into the woods it had also been an attractive playhouse for the town’s children. Many of the children were too old for such games now, yourself included. Now you came here to comfort yourself with memories of a past, happier time. And of course to look through your treasures again, which had remained your secret since you had discovered the little smuggler’s hole years ago.

    Suddenly, the door to the barn creaks open again, startling a few of the horses. Someone else was here, and as that person began to clamber up into the loft you quickly dropped the conch shell back into the chest and closed the lid. As you were removing the key it fell out of your hand down into the hole. You didn’t have time to pluck it back up, so you simply lowered the chest down into the hole on top of it and then quietly fitting the board back into place.


    The sudden creaking of the old barn door, along with the quiet sounds of exertion as someone attempts to push the door open further startle you awake. Fearful of what might be coming, you peep down from your concealed location down into the main part of the barn. You watch as a young girl several years younger than yourself squeezes into the floor of the barn, grinning in triumph.

    “Caroline!” A boyish voice calls from outside, and a moment later a boy about your age appears in the doorway, having much more difficulty than the girl in squeezing through the door’s gap. “Come back, it’s not safe here!”

    The girl simply giggles as she stumbles into the middle of the barn, skirting around the mound of snow. ‘What do you mean?”

    The boy swallows nervously, and whispers, “I saw bloody footprints outside. There might be someone in here!”

    This causes the girl to freeze, her eyes darting around in fear but failing to find you. “Really? You aren’t trying to frighten me are you William?”

    The boy nods and then shakes his head. “No, there’s really footprints out here leading inside! Come see for yourself!”

    The City of Amaranth

    The City Gates

    Meltemi

    Standing right next to the door, you are able to hear the first snippet of conversation between the two men as they move deeper into the house.

    “You got the stuff?”

    “Yeah, Jones to the rescue again! That old alchemist had just enough . . .”

    Their conversation fades out, and you quickly begin to move away from the door towards the windows, circling the ground floor of the building. Fortunately in this poor district of the city, glass is too expensive and so all of the windows are empty holes in the wall, covered by thick curtains in the winter. Doubly fortunate is that the night is seasonally warm, and the curtains are all open allowing you unrestricted sight into the building.

    The first window to the door’s immediate left reveals a side room, another robed man kneeling on a mat and quietly reciting a passage from the scroll in front of him. Like the writing on their robes, you are unable to decipher the words softly being uttered, but they clearly have power – at least, that is, until the man’s concentration falters and he stumbles over the words.

    “Damnit!” He groans, a moment before another cowled figure appears in the doorway leading back to the rest of the house.

    “Hey, come get something to eat. Long night ahead of us – we’re not immortal, not yet.”

    The kneeling acolyte shakes his bald head. “Nah, I don’t think I can eat. Not tonight. Besides, I keep screwing up this ritual!” The man angrily shoves the scroll away from him.

    “Hey, easy now, not so loud. You’ll do fine when the time comes, but don’t say things like that so loud. Anyway, the Master is coming upstairs in a couple minutes – he’ll give us our little pep talk about the consequences of failure, and then we’re starting. So whatever you want to do, do it fast.”

    The acolyte in the doorway then leaves, and with a sigh the kneeling man picks the scroll back up and continues reciting its contents.

    Although it would be interesting to see this spell in action, you know that such a thing will not happen here – this is just practice on the part of the incompetent acolyte. So with a sigh of regret you pull yourself away from the window and continue circling the house.
    The next window unfortunately is not around the side, but at the rear of the structure.

    Interestingly enough, in the dirty alleyway behind this row of houses, winding staircases snake up the sides of the buildings to lead up to the second and third floors. Presumably, this was an attempt to allow residents on the second and third floors access to the streets without having to go through the first floor residence.

    On the first floor, there was a window looking out into this back alley, as well as a small door positioned right next to the staircase leading up to the second floor landing. Peering in through the window you catch a whiff of roasted fowl, as a cluster of a dozen cultists hurriedly finish up a meal at the large table in the middle of this small kitchen. Several doorways lead off to the rest of the first floor, but it is the door off to one side of the room that catches your attention.

    Most likely the door leading down to the building’s cellar, it was quite likely that it had since been converted to a far more nefarious purpose by the cultists. And if what the cultist in the other room had said was true, they might be going down there shortly. Entering the kitchen itself would not be difficult, as with your small statue you could likely fit through the window in front of you relatively quietly. The real difficulty would be in evading physical contact with the dozen cultists milling around in the crowded room, and somehow sneaking downstairs after them.

    And what of the floors above? Looking up from the ground you can see that they likewise have windows, although nothing solid outside of them for you to stand on. Curiously, you can see from the ground that the curtains on the third floor window have been drawn shut.

    WhiteKnight777

    You sigh in irritation as a small needle jabs down into your hand, no doubt still coated with something nasty that would have put a short end to a mortal man. Fortunately in your case, the needle was less than an annoyance as you broke it off and pulled out the bit still embedded in your hand. What was more annoying was remembering too late that you had had this last trap installed after the other ones, figuring that one more guarding the largest portion of the cache couldn’t hurt. At least it had been an insignificant poisoned needle, and not one of the scything blades you had installed elsewhere – that would have been considerably more annoying.

    Near the entrance, Bran sat on the floor, a small mote of dim light dancing in the air above his head and surrounded by a barely visible bubble of life energy. The boy couldn’t be blamed really – even your dulled arcane senses were quivering with nightmarish anticipation. Something wicked was on its way to Amaranth, and it would be arriving here quite soon.

    “Umber.” Bran whispered. “I haven’t felt dread like this since that man, the Hierarch . . . Umber, I’m scared. And – oh! Oh no! What is -” Bran is unable to continue before he convulses wildly, howling in agony. You are able to see the cause of his distress immediately, as brilliant lines of fire begin to race across his skin, searing it black. The lines begin to take on shape, runes of some sort.

    You are very grateful that you had been disabling, and not simply avoiding, the traps scattering about on the floor of the tomb, as Bran writhes uncontrollably about on the floor. You are able to reach the lad in only a few leaps, and manage to prevent him from swallowing his own tongue as he continues to seizure, the lines of fire searing runes all over his body. As quickly as it had come, the mysterious event stopped, leaving thin trails of smoke to rise from the runes. You did not recognize the magical tradition that these runes belonged to, particularly as they seemed to be a random hodgepodge of traditions.

    A moment later, Bran groans as his eyes flutter open. The boy is clearly in a lot of pain. “Umber . . . the dragon. They did something . . . to him. I can still feel him . . . barely. I have no . . . control . . . over his life force. It’s . . . stable?” A note of confusion enters Bran’s voice.

    Before you can press the injured and rune-inscribed boy further, there is a loud banging from the tomb’s door. You really never could catch a break – someone outside had evidently heard Bran’s cries. The result of spitting in Death’s face, you presumed: the bugger really just flat-out refused to admit defeat.

    MrEdwardNigma

    Old Elrik handles your money carefully, counting and recounting it several times in confusion. Eventually though, he shrugs and slides the gold coins into the cash box beneath the counter.

    “Thank you for purchasing at Old Elrik’s!” He says, and then looks up at the ceiling in concentration at your question, not even bothering to look at your picture of the master.

    “Well, it was a young fellar. Black robes, bald head – he comes in here from time to time. Must have been a couple months now though, very good repeat customer. Very polite. Any friends of his is a friend of Elrik!” The shopkeeper declares at the end of reciting his surprisingly thorough memory of the night’s previous visitor.

    Although the description vaguely matches your master, it unfortunately was not him: your master likely had escaped from the prison only a few weeks ago, not months. You also couldn’t fathom why he would have stayed here in the city for months, purchasing alchemical components when he could simply journey home in that time.

    Elrik also provides clear directions to the nearest blacksmith: two blocks further down turn left, go to the end of the alley, turn right, and follow the street to the end. Thanking the Elrik for the supplies and the information, you leave the shop. Sure enough, at the end of given street is a small blacksmith shop.

    Run by a gruff dwarf eager to close up shop for the night and hit the taverns, your business at the blacksmith’s is concluded quickly and with a minimum of conversation. Now armed with your acid, metal shavings, metal plates, and handful of other ingredients for creating a vial of sleeping gas, you set out for the graveyard.

    During your examination of the city from afar, you noticed that there was a large plot set aside for burial just outside the city, with a small gate in the wall next to this area. Although it takes you a few minutes to get your bearings within the city and navigate to that section of the wall, you eventually find yourself in the right part of town.

    It seems that within the city, there was also a more elaborate place for burial of the dead, which was separated from the rest of the graveyard by the gated wall. Why humans did this segregation of the dead, you did not really understand, but it was something you had seen before. In any case, it seemed likely that the master would be working outside the gates in possible, not wishing to be disturbed by any late night mourners coming to visit the expensive mausoleums within the city.

    Fortunately, the gate between the two sections still appeared to be open even now, and you began to make your way through the rows of large stone tombs, Scruff nervously trailing behind you and beginning to whine. You were not sure what the source of your companion’s worry was, but you did notice that an abnormal number of mourners appeared to be present here for this hour, many of them dressed in black robes.

    It was not until you came across a trio of the figures pounding loudly on one of the tomb doors and shouting that you become convinced something truly strange was going on here. Apparently noticing you as well, one of the three figures steps away from the door and waves at you angrily.

    “Get out of here pal. Nothing to see here!”

    Ironheart

    The Fortress Basement

    Cpt. Soup

    With some effort you manage to get yourself down in amongst the corpses, wrapping yourself in several of the offered cloaks beforehand. It is with even more effort that you struggle to avoid gagging at the thick smell of carrion lingering beneath the tarp all around you. Painfully aware of what an untimely fit of retching and coughing could result in, you work at remaining silent as the cart slowly sways into motion as the guard shouts and cracks a whip at the snarling lion.

    For several minutes the cart creaks slowly forward, turning now and again as it navigates the corridors of Ironheart. Eventually it comes to a stop, and you can faintly hear a conversation taking place in the world beyond the tarp. The conversation is level and relatively quiet – you think you even hear a gruff chuckle at one point. The cart then starts up again, and a loud blast of wind rattles the tarp overhead, signaling that you are now officially outside of Ironheart.

    But not completely safe just yet, as a few minutes later you hear an angry shout from somewhere behind and to your left.

    “What the blazes do you think you’re doing!?” A gruff voice calls again, now much closer and just as angry as before. The cart quickly slides to a halt and you can hear your guard friend trudging around to the back of the cart to meet the interloper.

    “I’m taking this cart out to pick up some more bodies. My sergeant said this cart wasn’t full enough.”

    “What!? The current drop-off point is right down by the gate! Just unload the bodies there and then go out! We can’t afford any of these carts breaking down!”

    “Look, my sergeant says the cart isn’t full. And he’s not a very patient man, so I’m just doing what he tells me to.”

    “Yeah, well your sergeant isn’t here. I’ll be the judge of whether or not we can safely pile any more bodies on there. Open it up!”

    You hear your friend sigh, and the tarp begins to rattle as your friend slowly unties the rope holding the tarp down over your head. Thankfully, you were down in the midst of the bodies, so it was possible a cursory glance would overlook your living face amongst the dead.

    The Surrounding Mountains

    Gourtox

    You do not have to wait long before the guards indeed come. In the lead are a trio of baying hounds, which promptly begin to slow after cresting the hill. They are clearly following your scent, although they are starting to have difficulty now that they’ve reached the spot where you took great pains to conceal your trail. Hopefully, it would slow them long enough for you to have time to aim your first several shots.

    Behind the dogs come their masters, a quartet of guards on horses. Unlike the dogs, the guards are not preoccupied with tracking and instead are scanning the trees hoping to catch sight of you. Of course, they were expecting you to be at ground level, not above them preparing to rain down death.

    Slowly the guards move closer, following the dogs as they gradually close in on your tree. For the moment, these three dogs and their four mounted masters are the only ones in sight, although in the distance you could hear the whining of several other horses as they are urging into a gallop.

    Ever closer the guards draw, and finally they are within easy throwing distance of your knives. It is not until the dogs are actually underneath your tree and whining as they feebly try to climb up it that the guards realize what has happened. One guard looks up, and locks eyes with you, his mouth starting to open either in shock or to cry out a warning. Too late.

    Lonna

    “Well, he’s either here for that, or just to cause general mischief. Imps are never anything but trouble.” Klaus grunts, scanning the ceiling even as he relaxes his grip on his crossbow. “Still, so far as he doesn’t cause me trouble, I suppose I’d be willing to consider a truce.”

    The faint fluttering of wings and a sharp jab of several needles into your bare shoulder give Garthax’s presence away an instant before he reappears, perched on your shoulder like some sort of hellish parrot. “But . . but . . mistress!” The imp whines, instinctually digging his tiny talons into your shoulder a little bit more as he attempts to balance himself. “He was doing bad things to you, I saw it! He stripped you!”

    “So you wouldn’t freeze in your soaked clothes. If you really want the ratty things back, they should be relatively dry by now. Or I could loan you some of mine I suppose, though they would be a little big.”

    Klaus’s grip on his weapon tightens, and Rudolf starts alert. “However, first I think we need to decide what should be done with you. Maybe this lady is the Countess Amelia and maybe she isn’t, but she certainly doesn’t have a prisoner’s brand on her arm. You however miss do, which means that you were a prisoner of Ironheart. And since no one escapes from Ironheart, I can only imagine quite the manhunt is about to begin combing these mountains. Why should I let you loose on the countryside and not instead turn you over to the guards for some sort of reward?”

    Here the Countess interjects. “Mr. – Klaus, was it? Certainly, you could overpower the two of us and drag us both back to the prison. But there is no guarantee the guards would in fact reward you for our capture. As you said, no one escapes from Ironheart, and since you now know that to be a lie you might very well find yourself in a cell next to us. Furthermore, I don’t think that if you are seriously considering the idea of turning us in, at least not yet. If you were, we wouldn’t be having this conversation at all, and the two of us would have woken up in much less civil accommodations, and likely restrained. And finally, I can’t imagine Captain Klaus Kriggle, First Warden of Ironheart, wants the Baron to even know that he’s still alive.”

    For a moment, Klaus is stunned into mouth-agape silence, but he recovers with a chuckle. “Well, perhaps you really are the good Count Ashargrin’s daughter after all! Personally however, I prefer Commander of Ironheart Garrison, as I was really only its Warden for a single day.” Klaus’s mouth turns briefly up into an angry sneer. “The Baron saw to that.”

    Pwenet

    “Hmph. If we get attacked again, we’re completely screwed.” The second of the guard grouses, earning himself an elbow and a loud cough from the leader. “We’ll be sure to check the bodies of the guards sir. None of the prisoners have anything I’d imagine. Same with the demons.”

    The man looks out over the snowy plain of bodies and sighs. “And damn, there’s a lot of demons. Didn’t seem like there was an end to them a couple days ago. Came out of nowhere, started killing everybody. We’re lucky the Baron’s sons showed up when they did. Now it’s just clean-up work for the lot of us then we’re out of here.”

    The guard shakes his head. “Well sir, there is something I and the other men don’t understand. Maybe you can’t explain it either, but damn, I’ve been a guard here for eight years. Not my fault a whole bunch of demons decided to come out of nowhere and wreck everything. So why are we being asked to abandon our posts after the cleanup is done? We’re just abandoning the fortress entirely? That doesn’t make any sense to me or the other men sir.”

    The Cave

    DJDeMiko

    Carl’s eyes shine in the dim light of the cave – he seems to be crying. “Thank you . . . thank you.” He grunts, wincing and shivering as a wave of pain washes over him. Then hardening his resolve, he pulls himself in close to your ear. “Alright, the map said that the treasure was buried in the basement of Saint Justin’s Cathedral, located in the capital. Back then the place was just a small chapel, and there was a mausoleum beneath it. When you get down there, look for the tomb marked “Sir Augustine Peregrim” It’s in the coffin.”

    With a gasp, Carl falls back against the stone floor, struggling for breath. “Take care of my mates for me. Find that treasure, and live gloriously!” If Carl was going to add more, he was forced to break off into a loud hacking cough. He waves you off, and groans, rolling over onto his side. He then seems to lie still, although you can still hear his labored attempts at breathing, until finally they begin to slow.

    The Hells

    Outside the Screaming Dark Estate

    OverWilliam

    “I felt the same things. Even had to kill a couple demons on my way back down to the Torture Chambers. Nasty little beasts.” Limier comments nonchalantly as you move around to the rear of the forest. Here the trees have been cleared away somewhat to widen the clearing around the base of the hill that the Screaming Dark estate was built on. The cliff face was at its steepest here, nearly vertical and so there were none of the dangerous-looking thorn bushes growing here. There was, however, a thick carpet of dark blue and purple flowers growing up in the clearing, coming to an end just before reaching the point where the cliff began to rise out of the ground.

    “Deathshade. Its pollen is highly toxic, usually fatal to most humanoids that breathe it in.”

    Limier shrugs.

    “I’m immune of course, but that doesn’t help you. Let’s see, I may have some antidote here somewhere.”

    Limier begins to conduct a survey of the glass vials tucked into the folds of his cloak and inside loops attached to his leather armor. As he does so, he continues speaking.

    “So, as I was saying, I experienced the same thing you did. I have no idea what was going on, unfortunately, but it did look very much like we were being invaded by the forces of the Hells. In a rather unorganized fashion, too: there were demons and devils of all different sorts, taken from vastly different environs that they usually segregate themselves into down here. Which means either somebody was trying to open a portal to a specific spot, and got the ritual wrong, or some crazy mage just wanted to inflict the maximum carnage possible by opening portals all over the place. Aha!”

    Limier pulls out a slender vial, holding it up between gloved thumb and forefinger so that you could see the murky purple liquid inside. Behind the mask, Limier was clearly smiling in triumph.

    “So Tare, how good are you at climbing?”
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2009-04-24 at 05:09 PM.
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

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  6. Top - End - #36
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WhiteKnight777's Avatar

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    Umber

    Umber sighed . He'd always privately thought that Death was a woman - and she was one who didn't take no for an answer. But as lovely as she undoubtedly was, he thought he'd postpone their final fandango for another night.

    Damn it all - he'd known that bloody dragon would be trouble. He'd thought he was doing it a favor, saving it the agony of the Baron's enslavement - though by what the boy said, he thought it likely that that incorporeal bastard had probably got his armored claws on the wretched beast by now. He cursed softly, picking Bran up as if he weighed nothing at all and moving down the hallway as rapidly as he dared. He put his hand on the boy's forehead, finally stopping as he had to use all his power of will to concentrate on the mental link, attempting to calm the boy's mind with his own will, speaking directly to him, soul to soul.

    Calmly now, lad. Everything is fine. Cut the link. Sever it, immediately. Overload things on his end if you can, but if you can't do it safely, cut yourself off completely, now. Your life's not worth it. We're getting out of here as soon as may be. With these words, he focused one helping the lad accomplish the task.

    As soon as that was done, he'd try to get down to the burial chamber. If it hadn't collapsed by now, there was an emergency exit to a the city's outskirts - Umber never built anything with just one way out if he ever thought he might need another, and he'd made sure that no one knew about it, save him. Memory modification was surprisingly easy, given the right rituals.
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  7. Top - End - #37
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Dattan

    Dattan finds his way back to his bed-rock and attempts to sleep. In the morning he gathers up the tired thieves.

    "Carl died in the night," he says looking at each of them, "but before he did, he told me the location of the treasure. I'm taking his share and I promised that I would still cut you all in, a promise that i will keep. I want all of you to consider for a moment though, where we are now, where we came from and where this sort of life might lead you too. It's clear that most of you are not very good at this lifestyle. So if you still want to make a try for it, and risk ending up back in a place like that or like dearly departed Carl . . . . Well, either way. make up your minds. I'm in charge now and we need to find food before we concern ourselves with treasure too much."
    Annoying Gamer says - Hollywood is sooooooooo unoriginal. Hey, check out my dual wielding drow Drazzit!

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  8. Top - End - #38
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    Pyrene

    Pyrene winced as Garthax's claws dug into her bruised shoulder, but she made no move to shrug him off. Nodding to confirm Klaus' explaination to Garthax, she was about to accept the offer of clothes when the conversation abruptly took a less pleasant turn. Fortunately, the Countess replied before Pyrene could say something impulsive that might have set Garthax on the attack again, and an instant later Pyrene was left gaping as their rescuer's identity was revealed.

    A small spasm in her injured leg jolted her out of her shock with pain that caused her to instinctively draw a hissing breath through clenched teeth. Now that she had had her attention drawn to it, her right thigh was one massive ache, mirrored by the smaller one in her left hand. Together, the two nearly drowned out the miriad small pains and stiffnesses of the bruises Alphonse had inflicted on her - nearly, but not entirely. Swallowing hard, Pyrene fought down the instinct to cry out and spoke very evenly.

    "If we have established that we can all trust each other to a certain extent, would it be possible to dress my wounds a little more... professionally... than I did? Clothes would be good too, but at the moment I am more concerned with not passing out. I took a couple healing potions, but there's only so much they could do, and I was trying to save the rest. I'm not sure how long ago that was."

    Pinning the blankets to her chest with her left arm, Pyrene leaned back against the headboard carefully, gently prodding Garthax to climb off her shoulder and sit in her lap. Once he was there, she instinctively wrapped her right arm around him protectively, barely aware that she was doing it. This new position was less stressful on her wounds, so her next words came more easily as well.

    "I'm afraid I had to cauterize the bite in my leg - was it yesterday that you found us? Anyway, that was before I had met the Countess, or Garthax even, and I don't think I did a very good job, though I managed to stop most of the bleeding and the healing potion afterward probably helped. I'm babbling aren't I? I think I'll stop now."

    {{Either the blood loss or the pain is messing with her head - take your pick. Regardless, this is a shameless plea for some healing. Pretty please with shocked allies on top?}}
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  9. Top - End - #39
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    Ruya

    Ruya looked at the third story window with some interest. On this warm night, for someone to close their window to the night air was unusual. Still, she could see that the cultists were almost finished with their meal, and it was likely that they would return to their work the moment they finished. Carefully watching, she waited for them to return, that she might follow and see for herself what they hoped to do.
    Ruya Perist, Flight from Ironheart
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  10. Top - End - #40
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    Hans von Ravenstein

    The hulking golem came to a slow stop.
    “Get out of here pal. Nothing to see here!” one of the men said.
    "It is interesting," Hans said, "How whenever humans say that, there is usually something worth seeing"
    "Warf!"
    "There's nothing scary about a graveyard, Scruff. It's just a bunch of dead humans, they can't harm you... Not unless they've had visitors"
    The golem turned his gaze to the tomb.
    "The dead don't open when you knock" he said, without any further comment.
    "I presume you and your men are after trespassers. Defilers. Graverobbers"
    Hans was beginning to think it might be his master sneaking around the graveyard and hiding in tombs. He never could resist the lure of cold meat and rigor mortis. On the other hand, his master would go for the graves of the poor. Those who went for the large tombs were usually after the rings on the dead's fingers, not after the fingers themselves. Still, any frequent graverobber might have encountered his master, and he had little enough leads as it was without these men lynching one more.
    "Did the culprit perhaps look anything like... this?" Hans said, revealing Victor's portret.
    "Warf!" Scruff barked at the men. The dog seemed uneasy.
    "I guess he doesn't seem familiar" Hans mumbled, putting away the wanted poster. He looked at the tomb again. That graverobber wasn't coming out by himself until those men were gone, he knew that much.
    "Stand aside!" Hans said, pushing the men away from the door quite brusquely.
    "You there! Inside!" Hans yelled, one fist pounding softly on the stone, which still gave quite a resounding blow.
    "I need to talk to you. Just talk. These men will leave you alone, you have my word. I understand if you don't believe me and don't want to open. I'll do it for you"
    Hans grabbed the stone door at both sides and pulled. There were loud cracks and sounds of stone shifting as the slab gave way and was pulled loose from the rest of the tomb. Hans tossed it aside and bent forward deep enough to allow him access to the smallish tomb. He went in, his bright red hat scraping into the ceiling.
    Last edited by MrEdwardNigma; 2009-02-11 at 01:44 PM.
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  11. Top - End - #41
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Korram the Firebrand
    And Calcifer

    Korram raise his eyebrows in surprise as he is jumped by the rebels. As the two in front emerge from the forest, he takes a step back, only to realize that there are three more behind him. He quickly takes stock. Lessee, that's...five? No, six with that sniper. Korram almost ignores their actions as he contemplates his best course of action, but when the leader issues his statement, his dead calmness is lessened, his black thoughts illuminated with an emotion he thought lost: hope. They must...no...could be survivors. Probably better to get the whole story before I rush to conclusions. He smiles at the leader.

    "Actually, I have a different idea."

    Korram erects a barrier of intense heat between the group and the sniper, a heat shimmer the only evidence of its existence, far enough away that the Ghosts won't feel it.

    "How about we establish who's in control here."

    Korram springs into the air, tilting back and snapping out a kick, striking the crossbow from the hands of the leader and disintegrating the bolts from two of the crossbows behind him with carefully aimed rays of crimson fire. Korram twists and lands on his feet, then charges at the legs of the third rear assailant, tackling the man to the ground. Rolling with him, Korram strikes the man on the side of the head, carefully aiming the blow to render him unconscious. He stands, carrying the man with him as a shield. Korram ignites his hand, and places it close to the man's face.

    "I'll applaud you for managing to sneak up on me; that takes skill, I'll admit. But I've faced down things much scarier than you underfed bandits, and I'd appreciate it if you didn't move. I'd rather avoid inflicting any permanent injuries. Let's start with a round of introductions; I'll go first. The name's Korram. And you?"
    Last edited by Dorizzit; 2009-02-14 at 07:28 AM.
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  12. Top - End - #42
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    Telest

    Here they are. he thinks as the guards approached he tenced waiting for them to enter his range. [I]Just a little closer.I] They get closer until they right under his tree. He hears the sounds of the horses and thinks I better do this now. At that moment the guard notices him, but it is too late as one of the daggers is already heading toward his throat. The dagger hit him in the throat and he falls off his horse by a combination of surprise and the dagger. Then he quickly throws the rest of the daggers at the guards aiming for their throats. He successfully hits two of the guards, but the third having seen his fellow guard fall raises his shield just in time to block one of the deadly missle flying toward him. Unfortuneately he drops it in time for the second dagger that was aimed at him to hit him in eye.Dang, I almost got them all. he thinks watching the two guards fall of their horses and as the third guard blindly fires his crossbow while trieing to keep control of his horse. The wild bolt hits one of the dogs that had been occupied with barking at the tree. The other dogs stop barking as they look at their fallen brother. They also watch as the stranger they had been tracking jumped from the tree and sliced the guard as he tried to reload his crossbow. Walking toward the dogs Telest yells at them hoping to scare them off and it works. The dogs run away into the forest. Telest then turns his attention to the one remaing horse. The other three had run away when he jumped from the tree, but this horse was still encumbered by the body of the dead guard. Quietly he walks over to the horse trying to calm it. He calms the horse and removes the guard's body. He is about the mount the horse when he remembers the other guards crossbows. Putting his sword away he grabs one and a couple bolts before he mounts the horse and rides away.
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  13. Top - End - #43
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    ~Tare

    Tare frowned. Invaded? That was... odd. I mean, what could there possibly be in Ironheart of all places that could be even remotely valuable to anybody down here? He wondered, then shrugged. It probably wasn't that important anyway.

    "Good enough, I suppose. It's odd, I've never heard of Nightbloom before. Indigenous to these regions, is it?" He asked nonchalantly. "I do wonder, is this the sort of poison that you want the antidote in the blood before the poison, or would I have a minute or two get get the thing swallowed after breathing it in?" Tare of course, though nowhere near as well-versed on the subject as the Assassin was sure to be, had dealt with both in passing. He spoke as he moved to the cliff, sizing it up for handholds and vantages. At first he stood in front of the cliff, but after a moment or two of inspection, he moved over to the Left side, preferring it for some reason.
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  14. Top - End - #44
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    "Well...there is a piece of equipment that would prove invaluable to my plan, your honour. In these lands I have on occasion seen a kind of crystal or gem that magicians have enchanted so that people might communicate through them. On our hunt for the countess, the ability for my men to communicate with one another quickly would greatly boost their effectiveness. Other than that...I believe I am finished, my lord."

    After listening for the Baron's reply, Gazrul rises and gives a smart salute.

    "If you will excuse me, your lordship, I would like begin relaying orders as soon as I can."

  15. Top - End - #45
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    Sohssal

    Seeing Omega's "new form" didn't affect Sohssal at all; he had given up such things when he left his body. It had been so long he barely even recognized that she was beautiful at all. He cast the spell without making any comments.

    After arriving at his old friends home, Sohssal would've grinned if he still had a mouth. "It's been going marvelously, but recently times have been rough...to say the least. I really need to feed right now, so, if you don't mind..." he said, and, without waiting for Seymour to say anything, absorbed some of the energy from the force bubble, enough to take it down temporarily but not enough to destroy the enchantment; he'd leave that much for a friend.
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  16. Top - End - #46
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Mar

    She thought the noise was part of the dream at first; the realization that it wasn't jolted her abruptly out of sleep, heart pounding. She could see the door opening—that meant they could see her—she flattened herself against the wooden floor, hoping whoever was coming in hadn't seen her already.

    She was afraid to look—looking meant they could see her—until she heard the voices. They were... little, was the only word she could think of. Little people's voices. She stretched out carefully to peek, and she'd been right. Like my brother. Their size was all that kept her watching. They were smaller than her; she didn't think she could remember anybody, aside from her brother in some of the dreams, who had been smaller than she was. Not smaller like this, anyway. Fear was mostly forgotten, for a little while, as she watched and listened to them.

    Until she realized the footprints they were talking about were hers. They could see her! Anyone could see where she was: Daddy or the guards or one of the monsters from home or Daddy—

    Mar started to shift backwards, wings spreading again, and then another realization shot a jolt of apprehension through her: she'd been lying down, so they couldn't see her, but she'd forgotten about her wings! They could have seen those. She spread herself flat on the boards again, listening through her again-thudding heartbeat. It wasn't so bad, she tried to convince herself, since it was only children here to see her, but still...
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  17. Top - End - #47
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Ander Windrivver

    Ander rolls his eyes as the priest skitters away from him in fear. However, his mind snaps back to attention at the mention of Karth and Morganna, as well as the approaching evil.

    Listen up, Father, and listen well. When Ander speaks, the magic of his cloak bolsters his voice, compelling the hapless priest to listen to what he has to say. Like my associate has said, I am not Karth the Purifier. Though I have come from Ironheart, it's not the Baron's men that you have to worry about causing you trouble. He and I have an...accord, of sorts.

    Ander walks off into one of the storage rooms behind the altar, raising his voice to that he can still be heard.

    I don't know if you knew this already or not, but Ironheart was never intended to house mortal prisoners. It was built to imprison Azguloth.

    He walks back out to the main chamber, a large burlap sack in one hand. He walks by Melcara on his way back to the altar.

    I sense two evil auras in the area, he whispers into her ear. One is strong and getting nearer, the other is either weak or far away. I'd like to you see if you can find out what they are. Get Tom to help if you can.

    Speaking once again to the priest, he steps up to the altar. For the past several centuries, Azguloth's Hierarch had been attempting to destroy the great seal binding Azguloth in order to release him. Ander continues to speak as he begins to strip Incom's corpse of its armor; the once-enchanted sand serving as his prosthetic limbs spilling out onto the floor. A few weeks ago, he almost succeeded. If it wasn't for myself and several other Ironheart prisoners, this man included, the Dark God would have been freed and the material plane would have been destroyed.

    Ander takes the pieces of Incom's armor and puts them in the sack, tying it closed.

    But the danger isn't over yet. Though the ceremony was not successful, the seals binding Azguloth are severely weakened. The key is in the proverbial lock, but has not been turned...yet. I need you to gather the reagents I need in order to perform a teleportation to the Heavens. The Gods themselves need to know what I do if the mortal plane is to continue to exist.

    He walks over to the lectern, flipping pages in the Holy Book until he finds the required scripture for a Heavenly teleportation. I'll need holy water, one pound of powdered silver, a half pound of gold dust, incense, and a stick of blessed chalk. Those are still standard reagents that all parishes are required to have on hand, correct? Good. No go. Something is approaching.

    With the priest, hopefully, scurrying off to gather the reagents, Ander draws his sword and pokes his head outside to check on Melcara.
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  18. Top - End - #48
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    The Estate of Baron Demetrius Gast

    Falconer

    At your request, the Baron nods. “Certainly, we have a number of those available. Inform one of my staff as to how many you’ll need exactly and they will be provided to you. I hope that your hunt is a speedy and successful one.” The Baron then pushes himself up to a standing position and moves over to the door, opening it and holding it for you.

    As he follows you out into the hallway, one of his servants runs up to him. “Sire, the Gastly Truth has just arrived. Your sons are already on their way here, and evidently Lady Rose is with them.”

    The Baron sighs and rubs his eyes. “Send a detachment of guards up to Lady Rose’s room. Ensure that it is ready for her, and instruct the guards that they are to provide her with whatever she needs, but to also take whatever steps are necessary to ensure she doesn’t leave.”

    The servant gives a quick nod and then hurries off, while the Baron regains his composure and favors you with a smile. “A baron’s work is never done. Good day to you, Sir Gazrul. I trust you can see yourself out.”

    A moment later, the double doors that you had used to enter the estate yourself are thrown open, and a large group of people stride in. At their head is a quintet of winged humans – you believe the human term for them was “angels”. Although if you remember your studies of human myths, angels were all supposed to female. These were all male, their wings a multitude of dark colors although each individual had only one solid color. Cradled in the arms of the black-winged angel at the rear of the formation was a human female, who seemed to be in some form of distress given her anguished sobbing.

    The Baron walked over to meet the five of them, and although you were unable to hear their conversation, you do hear the greeting that the female (Lady Rose?) shrieked upon seeing the Baron. “Murderer! You did this! YOU KILLED MY SON!”

    The Ruins of Callaway

    Dorizzit

    You swiftly disable the group of bandits, knocking one of them unconscious and holding him hostage. For their part, the other bandits cautiously got back up to their feet, keeping a grip on their weapons but not taking any hostile action. None of them seem impressed by your introduction, although of a few of them begin smiling.

    You find out the reason for their amusement a moment later, as you suddenly feel a blade slip into place against your neck underneath your chin, while at the same time another bladed point presses into your back in the vicinity of your right kidney. A moment later a boyish voice begins to speak from behind you, the person close enough for you to feel breath on your ear.

    “You managed to take care of my lads, and that takes some skill I’ll admit. But I’ve faced down things much scarier than a wacko that can conjure fire, and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t move. I’d rather avoid inflicting any permanent injuries. Let’s start with a round of introductions; I’ll start. The name’s Kris, I think you can probably figure out why. And you are apparently Korram. Not Korram Alstan, I hope. We hung him last week, although he does seem to come back from the dead with annoying tenacity.”

    Here the other bandits give a nasty laugh.

    “Now then, why don’t you let go of my lad there, and we can start negotiations on why I shouldn’t just slit your throat here and now, hmm? Because the only people stupid enough to come down here these days are the Baron’s men and charlatans claiming to be Korram Alstan, or both.”

    (I apologize for the “lawl, pwnt” nature of these guys, but Kris is meant to be your new Badass Friend. You just have to convince him that he wants to be your friend first. )

    On the Road

    Iethloc

    Seymour sighed as the force bubble collapsed, although he did watch the process with undisguised interest. “Yes, I suppose maintaining your incorporeal form does require a great deal of magical energy. Unfortunately while I would love to supply you with however much you need, I am in great need of it myself. You see, Amaranth has become infested with necromancers.”

    “Corpse humpers.” The acolyte sneered, earning an approving smirk from Seymour.

    “Yes, corpse humpers. Unfortunately this seems to be a great deal more serious than a few apprentices with personal issues. My divinations suggest that the lot of them are colluding towards some joint goal, possibly the largest raising of the dead this land has seen in quite some time. I have no idea who these necromancers are though, nor where they came from or even when they plan on paying a visit to Amaranth’s graveyard. I was attempting to divine just that when the lot of you arrived.”

    The fate of this city holds no interest to us. We will take what magical power we need and then we will leave. Omega interjected, her bluntness causing Seymour’s face to flush red.

    “Now, see here – “ Seymour began, raising a hand, but then suddenly he stops as if considering something. “Hmm . . . maybe we can help each other Sohssal. You aid me in finding out what these necromancers are planning, and once I know I won’t need every drop of arcane power I can muster. Which means I can give however much you need, and then you can be on your merry way. Hell, maybe you’ll even find a few necromancers to drain, although I can’t imagine necrotic energy tastes very good.”

    Stonefall

    The Village Proper

    Baerdog7

    Although the priest listens intently to your words, all of the remaining color drains from his face and his legs give out, causing him to crash unceremoniously onto the floor. “A-AZGULOTH? The Forger of Oblivion, The Harbinger of Ruin, The Lord of Corruption!? AZGULOTH!?”

    The priest holds his head in his hands, clearly digesting these words while you gather a sack to hold Incom’s armor. As you whisper to Melcara, she returns a nervous smile. “Actually, I suspect I’m the strong evil you sensed. Perhaps . . . er, Tom was it? – is the lesser evil.”

    By the time you have finished stripping Incom’s armor, the priest seems to have recovered his composure. He uncertainly gets to his feet, raising his clasped palms to his mouth in contemplation.

    “Yes, certainly. I’ll get the needed reagents immediately. I don’t understand however. Everything we have been taught, everything the holy texts have said, is that Azguloth is an ongoing and constant force of evil in our world. But now you tell me that is not the case, nor has it been for quite some time. Somehow, I believe that you are telling the truth, which leaves me wondering why have the gods lied to us?”

    Leaving that question hanging in the air, the priest leaves to gather the reagents. He returns only a few minutes later, holding the required reagents in his arms. He offers the armload of them to you with an uncertain smile.

    “Perhaps, while you are up there, you could inquire as to why the Valkyrie has kept this truth from us?”

    The Surrounding Forest

    The_Snark

    Terror hammering into your chest, you watch the ground with great apprehension. Even though it was only children, that just meant that someone bigger and scarier could find you too. There was something intriguing about them though, and so you did your best to keep an eye on them even as you began to scuttle further back out of sight.

    Suddenly you becoming aware that your wings had been raised up off your body, perhaps in a reflexive attempt to keep them out of your way while you were moving about. Whatever the cause, you feel a shiver of fear pass through you as you realized that even from the ground the children could have seen your wings. Hoping that they had not, you hunkered down even more tightly against the floorboards, pressing your wings down tight against your body. As you move, the ancient floorboards creak dangerously underneath you.

    The children despite nervously looking around while edging towards the door do not seem to catch sight of you. They do, however, hear the creaking of the floorboards.

    “Wh-wh-who’s there!?” The girl cried, while the boy pushed her around behind him. “Whoever you are, s-show yourself!” The boy shouts, his voice also shaking although not quite as much as the little girl’s. Both of them appeared ready to run screaming in terror.

    The City of Amaranth

    The City Gates

    Meltemi

    Deciding to wait and see where the cultists would go after dinner, you remain by the window, cautiously watching them. Despite a few of them throwing glances out of the window, none of them noticed your presence. A few minutes passed in this manner, before the cellar doorway was violently thrown open.

    A moment later, and yet another cowled figure appeared in the doorway. This one was clearly their leader however, for his robes were ornate, trimmed in gold and stained a dark red rather than black. He looked over the assembled cultists for a moment and seemed about to speak when his gaze passed over the window.

    Immediately he stiffens in surprise, and you knew that he had seen you. Worse still, he apparently recognized you.

    “You!” The figure spat as he gestures, sending a flick of flame that explodes against the window sill. You would have been singed if you had not already pulled back and were starting to consider your options for flight. Inside, you can hear the harsh, cold voice cracking orders.

    “You imbeciles! We have an intruder in the alleyway outside! Find her and bring her to me, alive!”

    WhiteKnight777

    Bran winces as you pick him up, but otherwise doesn’t complain as you carry him across the tomb and down into the lower level. The pain from his injuries seems to recede slightly, and he relaxes somewhat with your efforts to calm him. At your suggestion, Bran shakes his head slightly. “The connection is already gone. I can only just barely feel Akor now. I have no control over the magic, that searing pain completely cut me off from it. What happened back there?”

    Unsure yourself as to what you just witnessed, save for some sort of feedback through the former mystical connection between Bran and the Bran, you don’t answer him immediately as you search for the switch to open the secret passage. It was time to get out of here, now that you had gotten what you had come for.

    Fortunately, the passage is intact, if a bit musty. You spend the next few minutes traveling down the dark passageway in silence, Bran’s mote of light still drifting along behind you. Soon enough, you come to what would normally appear to be a dead end, but was naturally only another secret doorway. This one led out into the lower graveyard of Amaranth outside the city walls.

    This doorway would be a bit more difficult to open however, as you hadn’t wanted any nosey treasure hunters to stumble upon your secret passage by accident. So you had put the door at the bottom of a grave, and then filled said grave in with dirt. Fortunately, the door was designing in such a way that when it opened a large amount of dirt would rush into the new void, more or less opening a tunnel up to the surface with a minimum of digging. It would still definitely be a sight for anyone watching, should there in fact be anyone stupid enough to be wandering around in the graveyard at night beyond the safety of the city walls.

    MrEdwardNigma

    The three men are clearly unnerved by your calm commentary, and especially disturbed by your master’s picture. They quickly back away when you move through to the door of the tomb, pounding on its door. When there is no answer inside, you grasp the heavy stone slab and tear it from its moorings.

    As you do so, a large heavy blade scythes out, clanging harmlessly against your ankle. The tomb was evidently booby-trapped, but the graverobber had either known about this one or was adroit enough not to set it off.

    Momentarily glancing behind you, you can see that the three cowled men have disappeared, leaving only Scruff to watching you nervously, even going so far as to whine occasionally. He does not seem to want to go into the tomb.

    Peeking inside the dark structure, you can see a few places where bricks were pulled out of the walls and several more obvious traps were hanging, disabled – evidently the graverobber hadn’t had time to put everything back into place. Of the graverobber himself there was no sign. However, you do notice that this is not the full tomb: a small passageway seemed to lead down to the lower level where the body itself was stored. Perhaps he was hiding down there?

    The Surrounding Mountains

    Gourtox

    (These guys are just mook guards so it’s no big deal, but in the future I would like you to cut back on the results of your actions – the guards all dying and the dogs running off into the woods, for example. Like I said, no big deal this time, but in the future there may be things that I know and you don’t that would invalidate what you says happened. Make sense? )

    Equipped with your new horse and weapons, you set out again, now much quicker than before. Of course, you now have a choice: you could try to make a break for it out in the open at a fast gallop, or you could continue deeper into the forest, which would greatly slow you due to having to take a winding path through the trees – but which would also continue to give you cover and would slow the guards down just as much.

    In the distance from several points around you, loud hunting horns sound – the method of choice that the guards seemed to be using to communicate. Given that all of them had just gone off at once, it seemed likely this was a status check, and not a “come here” distress call. You had cut down all of the guards too quickly for that, so at least you won’t be immediately swamped with guards. But the other groups were bound to be suspicious when they didn’t hear a horn call from this area. Whatever you were going to do then, it seemed obvious that you needed to be about it quickly.

    Lonna

    (Shameless is right, although I suppose that’s apropos for Pyrene. )

    Both Klaus and the Countess favor you with concerned looks as you slump back against the bed’s headboard, cradling Garthax in your lap.

    “You’re looking a bit pale as well, miss.” Klaus replies before standing up from his chair with a loud groan. Despite the stiffness of his back, the man still leans down to pat Rudolf on the head, whispering something into the dog’s cocked ear. He then straightens up again and nods.

    “Right then, I’ll go get some clothes and bandages. You two just stay here and relax.”

    As Klaus exits the room, you can help but notice that he walks with a heavy limp. Was that going to be your ultimate fate as well? Your leg hadn’t been too stiff during your escape, but now that the flood of adrenaline had stopped your leg was simply a stiff mass of pain. You also realized that the area around the cauterized bite and your hand were very warm, which you had heard once was a sign of infection.

    “Pyrene.” The Countess said loudly, waiting for you to turn your head to look at her before continuing. “I don’t think I got the opportunity to do this during our actual escape, but thank you. I shudder to think what would have happened to me if I had been brought aboard the Gastly Truth. I only met my husband-to-be once, but that was enough to take his measure. He is an out of control monster, and I’m afraid he won’t stop looking – for both of us now. You have put yourself in grave danger for helping me escape, and for that you have my eternal gratitude. When – if – I get back to my estate, you may name your reward and if it’s within my power I will give it to you.”

    If the Countess was going to continue, she is interrupted by Klaus barging back into the room, swaying as he attempts to balance a mass of clothes, several long strips of clean cloth, a large bottle of whiskey, and a small wash basin.

    “Ah, there we are – urgh!” Klaus grunts as he drops the whole bundle down on the foot of the bed, wincing as his back audibly cracks. “Damn old bones aren’t worth much these days, but they’ve seen me through some ugly scrapes so I suppose I can’t complain too much.” Klaus says with a chuckle as he takes up several articles of clothing and tosses them to the Countess.

    Then picking up the bandages, wash basin, and bottle, he shambles around to your side of the bed. “Alright miss, let’s see what we can do about your injuries. We’ll start with your hand I suppose.” Klaus drops the bundle on bandages in your lap, sets the wash basin down on the bed next to you, and hands you the bottle.

    “I brought the whiskey mostly for disinfecting, but it might help with any pain this causes if you took a couple swigs too.”

    The Cave

    DJDeMiko

    The group bursts into murmured discussion upon your announcement that Carl is dead, although it quiets slightly when you add that he told you the location of the treasure. They listen intently to your offer, and then the group breaks into murmured discussion again. Finally, Richard, the de facto leader of the group speaks up. “You are absolutely right Dattan. But you’re going to need help getting that treasure too. Especially since that’s the home of the Thieves Guild, and they’re not going to appreciate someone pulling a job without the Guild getting a huge cut. So you’re going to have to find people outside the Guild to help you anyway if you don’t want the Guild to catch wind of it.”

    Richard motions to the other men. “All of us went into this with Carl because we’re all tired of living down in the gutter. If we can pull off this one job, we can all live like kings for the rest of our lives!”

    Murmured agreement from the other men.

    “We screwed it up last time, but this time we’ve got you. We all suffered in Ironheart – we’ve paid the price. Now we want our reward, because otherwise all this.”

    Richard gestures at the cave you were currently squatting in.

    “Will have all been for nothing.”

    Shouted agreement from the other men.

    “But you’re right, breakfast first.”

    In the far-off distance outside of the cave, you can suddenly hear the baying of dogs.

    “****! Are the guards turning the hounds loose on us already!?”

    The unified front of the men collapses with this news, and suddenly everybody is shouting and scrambling about the cave, clearly unsure what to do now.

    The Hells

    Outside the Screaming Dark Estate

    OverWilliam

    “It is an uncommon flower. Interestingly enough, it was originally cultivated by mages from the Eastern Desert, hoping to create a breed strong enough to survive in harsh climates. Instead they got a deadly flower that could only survive in harsh climates. Evidently the barren soil of the Hells is to the plant’s liking.” Limier said with a sweeping gesture at the field, which did contain a fairly sizable patch of the dark blooms.

    “I’d also advise you to take the potion now. As far as I know the antidote would still be effective at any time, but once the pollen hits your lungs it’s likely your throat will constrict so tightly that it will be impossible to choke the antidote down. Fortunately the potion should inoculate you to the flower for a few days. I also have another vial of it for the Prince should we decide to extricate ourselves this way.”

    After ingesting the antidote, which had a thick, chalky taste, you carefully walk across the clearing to the cliff face. As you go, thick grayish clouds of pollen waft up from the flowers crushed beneath your feet. Limier follows a moment later, leaving behind clouds of pollen and crushed flowers as well. Fortunately, there did not appear to be any guards looking down from the top of the cliff.

    Hoping that your gut feeling in choosing the left side of the cliff was correct, you start the climb up to the top. Fortunately the cliff face is very rough, leaving plenty of hand and foot holds. Unfortunately the cliff face is very rough, and you can feel the sharp rocks biting into your bare hands and feet. It is not quite enough to cause you to lose your grip, but it does slow your upward progress considerably. About halfway up a large gash ran across the cliff above you, creating enough of a ledge that you are able to clamber up onto it and cradle your stinging palms.

    Limier, not having a ledge but having the advantage of leather gloves and boots, does not seem significantly slowed and continues upward past you. This is both a good and bad thing as it turns out, as apparently the cliff face was guarded. As Limier was just shy of the top of the cliff, a devil guard appeared at the edge, evidently attracted by the sounds of his climb.

    As Limier let go of the cliff with one hand, that appendage immediately disappearing into the depths of his cloak, the devil began to open its mouth in to shout an alarm. An instant later, it was forced shut by a stiletto flying up into the bottom of its jaw, driving its mouth shut and pinning it that way. Unfortunately other than silencing the creature this only seemed to anger it, and it leapt off the cliff face down towards Limier, spreading its wings to turn its fall into a swoop.

    The impact of the devil into Limier did not dislodge the assassin from the cliff completely, although it did knock the half-drawn stiletto out of his grasp, sending it tumbling down the cliff face. Swinging around in mid-air, the devil sank the large talons on its feet into Limier’s back, wings beating furiously as it attempts to pull the assassin off the cliff.

    (By the point Limier is fighting the devil, you could have resumed your cliff. So, you could still be lying on the small ledge, in mid-climb, or even near the top yourself. Whatever the case, you are in a position to help Limier out . . . if you desire to do so. )
    Last edited by Inspectre; 2009-02-14 at 09:35 PM.
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  19. Top - End - #49
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    Ruya
    As the leader stopped, staring at her, Ruya froze. She had taken but a single step back when a tongue of flame lashed out at her. Falling back with a yelp, she felt the obscurant spell flicker sharply as her concentration fled. Scrambling back to her feet and forcing the energies about her to maintain themselves by speaking the activation word again, she took off out of the alley and into the street that she had taken here, racing as fast as she could away from the house as she heard the door slam open and the necromancers rushing out. She continued to run through the deserted, unlit street, heedless of her direction, even as thoughts raced through her head. That person had appeared to recognize her, though the cowl covered his face too well for her to see his features. Not only that, but he was clearly an unusual person if he had been able to resist her spell well enough to actually aim at her. As she thought, she began to slow slightly, turning to see if the necromancers had followed her - they hadn't even been able to see her before, but if that man was leading them, he alone would be enough to direct them.

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    Last edited by Meltemi; 2009-02-14 at 10:13 PM.
    Ruya Perist, Flight from Ironheart
    Teira Feiwright, Lost and Clueless

    I am me, you are you.
    We’re totally different, separate persons.
    But even so, what if we have just one thing in common?

  20. Top - End - #50
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Ardraket Oldn

    Listening to the guard rant about his orders Ardraket smiles sympathetically. In many ways he was glad that the organization was unable to acquire the uniform of a elite for it would mean he would be expected to have answers to questions he would be unable to answer. At least this way he would be able to blend into the mass of confusion.

    "Your guess is as good as mine, they have not been forthcoming with details as to our new orders. In fact I was starting to make my way back from my scouting run to check into the new policies being put into place. Continue your work and someone will be along to give you additional information as soon as possible."

    Assuming that the men had no further questions Ardraket would then start making his way away, following the tracks towards Ironheart and hopefully some answers as to where his target is.
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    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.
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    I'm feeling this real hard now.
    Curse you, Pwenet. Curse you.... You had my hopes up there...

  21. Top - End - #51
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Pyrene

    Accepting the whiskey with her uninjured hand, Pyrene took a small mouthful - as much to clear her mouth as to dull the pain - before passing it back. As Klaus set to work on her left hand, Pyrene gently nudged Garthax out of the way, then looked over at the Countess.

    "I wouldn't have gotten out without you either," she said, speaking with the deliberate pacing of someone who knows they are impaired. "And I know what that mage would have made me do - he was going to make me torture and kill my sister. I figure that made us even. Then you and Garthax saved my life when you could just as easily have kept running, so as I see, it I owe you. If you really want to thank me, please, protect Ariella - save her from the life I've lead."

    Pyrene's voice grew intense as she mentioned her half-sister, though that may have been response to Klaus' handling of her injuries. Looking at him, she added, "And while we're discussing debts - thank you. You could have easily left us to die out there."

    {{Edit: Did Pyrene hear what Klaus whispered to Rudolf a minute ago? You, know, enhanced hearing and all that?
    Second Edit: Oops, didn't mean to leave Garthax out of the 'thank-you's.}}
    Last edited by Lonna; 2009-02-19 at 10:28 AM.
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  22. Top - End - #52
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    Korram the Firebrand
    Is having a bad day

    Korram's surprise at the amusement of his enemies is dispelled in an embarrassing and humbling manner by the stealthy Kris. The insult is compounded when his assailant jeers at him, imitating his words mockingly. He glares at the snickering bandits, but complies with Kris' orders, borrowing strength from Calcifer before chucking his unconscious hostage at his antagonists. Despite his mortal danger, Korram can't seem to conjure up any emotion other than pure annoyance at his predicament. After the horrific events of the previous day, his helplessness at the hands of a common road bandit is vexing in the extreme.

    "Oh yeah, that makes sense. You guys hang around a destroyed village just waiting for people to come along so you can mug them, and I'm the wacko?"

    One of Kris' comments give Korram pause.

    "Wait, there are people pretending to be me?"

    (Eh, don't worry about it. This is really interesting; I'm curious to find out more about these people.)
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  23. Top - End - #53
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    WhiteKnight777's Avatar

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    Umber

    If the vampire had still breathed, he would have sighed with relief as they exited the tunnel. No garuntee that it would stop their pursuer, as strong as he was, but it at least gave them something of an edge.

    Umber paused for a moment, considering. Bran's presentiment about the unknown threat fast approaching them was troubling - but he needed supplies, and as far as it was to the nearest city that might carry what he needed, he thought it less risky to try to get what he needed now an move quickly. With this in mind, he looked over at Bran.

    All right, Bran. If you can walk, that would be best. We're going to get what we need, then get some fast horses and get the hell out of this place. he said with a confident smile, patting Bran reassuringly on the shoulder. So saying, he began to look for the nearest point of ingress into the city. From there, he'd find a shop where he could get what he needed - such places were known for keeping odd hours, so the lateness of the night shouldn't prove a problem.

    Despite the dangers they had encountered, he was feeling far better now. He'd belted the sword about his waist, and handed a long knife - very close to being a shortsword - to Bran, warning him to be careful with it. Both blades were of exquisite manufacture. Umber didn't go in for decoration on weapons - that sort of thing was ostentatious, and it made one forget the base truth: That a blade was to kill. It was a tool, not a toy for some foppish cretin.

    Despite the lack of ornamentation, however, the weapons were beautiful things. Simple, elegant designs, perfectly balanced and kept free of rust by the alchemical oils they'd been coated in within their sheaths. Made over a century ago by one of the finest weaponmakers of the age. Umber had liked the man. He'd had a remarkably steady head on his shoulders, and a level of dedication to his craft that was truly outstanding.

    Umber had also concealed about his person several pouches of coins and gems - most of the coins were high-value - gold, platinum, even a few of electrum from a kingdom nine centuries past in the far south where they'd been used among the wizard-aristocracy of that land, now lost to its own hubris, with only a few who even remembered its name.

    Thus prepared, Umber sought to re-enter Amaranth, just hoping he could find what he need before whatever nameless doom it was that Bran had sensed arrived in the city.
    Last edited by WhiteKnight777; 2009-02-15 at 12:51 PM.
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  24. Top - End - #54
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Dattan

    Dattan thinks quickly, everyone was hungry and poorly rested from sleeping on the rock, but it was better than being trapped in the cave as the dogs neared.

    "Quick," Dattan says loudly trying to regain some sense of order. "We move fast, we keep ahead of the dogs and will have to leave food for later."

    (assuming the men follow) Dattan leaves the cave, continuing to move away from the prison at a very brisk trot. If they hear the dogs closing he will break into a run for as long as he and the men are capable.
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  25. Top - End - #55
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    Sohssal

    "Now, now, Omega...an ally is a more important asset than a full stomach," he commented. Normally, Sohssal wouldn't place so much important on other people, but being very low on magical energy, and being a demon spirit in the middle of the city that could potentially be detected and exterminated at any moment put him in a rather humble position. Besides, staying on good terms with Seymour meant he could get a long-term source of magical energy.

    "I should be able to last long enough to choke down a couple necromancers...their energy will taste foul, but it will nourish nonetheless. I just need to know where they are...any magical defenses they have will just be more food," he said.
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  26. Top - End - #56
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OverWilliam's Avatar

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    ~Tare

    As the apparently just-alert-enough devil guards appear over the top of the cliff, Tare uttered an exotic curse... And for a split second wondered in awe at the workings of his own brain, that at this moment, of all times, he was actually wondering if given their current choice of locale it might not be that exotic around here at all.

    He pushed his new spur of the moment mind-over-matter mantra about to its limit, trying desperately to gain ground up the cliff face despite the now quite fiery retorts of his hands and feet, leaving an ever widening trail of blood up the thorny rocks. As the first Stiletto sailed up so did Tare; he had to concentrate not to accidentally tug on his magical ability and rely solely on physical prowess, or whatever of it he could salvage... the last few days had been like a meat tenderizing mallet. When the devil latched onto Limier, Tare froze. Tare swore again as he Knew what he was going to do. Not even thinking-- a dagger appeared in mid-air, somewhere inbetween him and the devil, though unfortunately this one was not silver. Tare would have crossed his fingers, had it not been for the certainty that doing would doom him to a nasty fall, hoping against hope that the dagger would find its mark in the devil's groin. This... is an astonishingly bad idea. Or that's what he wanted to think. Without having time to wait and see--surely that would have been enough time to let himself realize in shock what he was actually about to do, and that simply wouldn't work--

    Tare threw himself from the cliff.

    It wasn't a fall; there was no flailing of limbs (or very little, relatively speaking), and Tare just barely managed not to panic. Time slowed down, just on sheer volume of adrenaline, as Tare ploughed into the devil's leg, hissing as the creases and edges on his armor bit savagely into the thief's arm on impact. Tare clamped down on the purchase with temporarily superhuman strength, and prayed that his dagger had made the journey better than he had and that the explosion of pain just where he needed it would have shocked the devil into releasing enough of its hold on Limier that the Assassin would remain perched on the cliffside... The way he now fully comprehended how very, very much he should have.
    Deo Soli Sit Semper Gloria

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

  27. Top - End - #57
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gourtox's Avatar

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    Oh, I thought we posted the best possible outcome and you then decided what actually occured, but anyways the cutting back shall begin!


    Upon acuireing his new horse and crossbow he decides to head deeper in the forest, but before he is able to he hears the hunting horns. Immediatly he heads deeper into the forest and keeps a sharp lookout for guards while moving as fast as he can.

    Those guards will be here soon to check up on their friends. I guess that I should stop thinking and keep concentrated, but I can't help thinking of Vira and the baby. The baby. I haven't thought her and the baby lately. The baby is probably born. I'm probably a father! He realizes this very quickly and is now more eager to get home.
    Avatar by Onasuma

  28. Top - End - #58
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MrEdwardNigma's Avatar

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    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Hans von Ravenstein

    "I just want to talk, Mr. Graverobber!" Hans shouted at the disappearing footsteps in the distant dark, but to no avail, except that he sent some dust flying. The golem looks back over his shoulder at Scruff.
    "Oh, they ran, did they? Why do they always run?"
    It was frustrating to have kind of appearance that drove a man to flee as fast as he could, while lacking the speed to follow and explain that you're actually a really nice guy. At least Scruff was still there. The golem wondered if the dog would have stayed with him the first time they met if he hadn't been wounded. If he'd been able to run back then, would Hans have any friends now? His mind wandered on and moved to the girl. She was beautiful, and only had two things in common with Hans' only other friend: she couldn't run away, and Hans loved her. Sometimes he found himself wishing she'd be ill forever, so she would never leave. He found himself thinking that once she woke, she'd probably think he was a monster too. His hand fondled the bright red hat, almost crumbling it. No, he couldn't think like that. He'd just end up all alone, if he assumed there was no good in people, no understanding. She'd just have to look into his eyes, and she'd know. Hans neglected to remember that his eyes were just two big gaping black holes and might just be the scariest part of the whole assembly.
    "C'mon Scruff" the golem said, picking up his dog under his arm, "This is a dangerous place, stick close to me"
    Hans descended, deeper into the grave.
    Avatar by the illustrious Dr. Bath.


    The essence of a riddle is that it states facts by means of a combination of impossibilities~Aristoteles

    Help me run my very first campaign.

  29. Top - End - #59
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Cpt. Soup's Avatar

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    I do hope I'm not kicked.. Well time to check OOC thread then.


    Abbie froze up momentarily, the rustling of the tarp made her heart hammer. she'd never been really frightened before as much as she was now. To think that a single slip up here might spell her end, they might not even bother to take her back to Ironheart! Just stick her where she was and probably the man as well and push the cart back along. Abbie forced herself back into the matter at hand. She eased the cloak back into the cart as softly as she dared and let her body go slack, her head lulled against the rim of the cart. To think of all that precious time wasted in that place, to fail here at her one chance at redemption was unthinkable.

  30. Top - End - #60
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

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    Mar

    She froze as the wood groaned under her, but it was too late. Both of the little people cried out, hearing her. She stayed still and mute, wishing she had just stayed still and not tried to see them, wishing she could take back that movement that had made the noise, wishing they would decide it was nothing. They didn't; there were several long seconds of tense silence, as she tried not to breathe loudly.

    There was something strange about their voices, but it took her those seconds to realize what it was. They sounded afraid, which was only odd because what they were afraid of was her. That was so odd she hadn't quite registered it yet. Maybe they would run away... and maybe they would tell other people, who would come and find her and... she didn't really know what they might do, but she didn't want people to find her. It was only because they sounded little and afraid, but Mar moved again, shifting back a little and producing another creak, which in turn produced a gasp from one of them.

    "I-" she started, and ran into a problem: she didn't know what to say. It was hard to think—she didn't want them to run and tell other people, but she had no idea how to keep them from doing that—what was she supposed to say?
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