Page 7 of 41 FirstFirst 123456789101112131415161732 ... LastLast
Results 181 to 210 of 1229
  1. - Top - End - #181
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    The_Snark's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Mar

    Mar shuffled back a little, wishing she could cover up the mark on her arm. Jacob reacted like the guards and prisoners did back home when they saw it: they always stared a little, and then some acted like... like they were afraid, she realized. Not of her—that would be truly strange—but afraid Daddy would punish them. Because he would: he could punish them for talking to her, or for trying to punish her, which was something only he was allowed to do. She wanted to cover up the mark so Jacob wouldn't see and be afraid of that—she didn't want him to know to be scared of Daddy. But she wasn't allowed to cover up the mark; he said it kept her safe, and he was right. The guards wouldn't touch her when they saw it. But he's not a guard. As obvious as that realization is, it brings another with it. I don't need it to protect me from him.

    Mar slid a hand over her wrist uneasily, concealing the burn mark. "I, ah," she said lamely, realizing he was waiting for her to answer. It was very easy for her hand to grip the wrist tightly once she started, despite the nervousness she'd felt about doing it. The burn didn't hurt at all anymore, except when she imagined it. "... it just... it tells people... it's so they can tell who I am, I guess," she finished, and in the rush before she could freeze up again went on to say, "but only back home. Um."

    "don't think so,"
    she mumbled in answer to his next question, and started to edge back into the barn. Something stops her, though—she has a question for him. "W... is anyone else coming out here?"
    Avatar by Ifni. Thanks!

  2. - Top - End - #182
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Meltemi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Beneath an infinite sky

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ruya
    As the girl began to tire, overcome by the strain of her ordeals and depravation, Ruya shifted more of their weight onto herself despite the protests coming from her ankle, helping the girl continue onward. As she gave release to her sorrow and frustration, Ruya simply looked away. “I’m sorry I didn’t come sooner, that I couldn’t help your family.” It was a futile gesture, and even Ruya knew it. There was no way she could have restored the zombies that had been created from the girl’s family; none save the gods could truly restore the dead. There was no way she could have known to come sooner, to prevent Varlest’s torments from ever taking place - her divination would only answer the questions she knew to ask. Suffering was everywhere in the world, she was still learning, and everywhere, what little Ruya could do to alleviate it had only rarely been enough. “If you want, you can come with me. I won’t drive you away if you have nowhere to go, though it may be dangerous. My name is Ruya Perist. What’s yours?”

    After a little ways longer, the gatehouse came into view. Ruya knew the two of them would cut an odd sight, soot-stained and injured, particularly her companion. She still wasn’t certain about the constabulary of the city, but she couldn’t simply set it aside, and they did ostensibly have a duty to protect the city’s denizens. “Hello!” she called out. “Guards?” It was oddly quiet, she realized. She wasn’t the only one who had awoken to the danger: she could hear others behind her shouting, from the buildings or from near the fire itself. From the tone of the shouts, it didn’t sound like Varlest had been found yet, so it was likely he had already made his escape or at least biding his time. It was the fire itself that posed the greatest risk. The light of the flames had grown behind them, casting reddish smoke and ash into the sky, and fire was one of the greatest menaces to any city. Some places adopted an apathetic view of their poorer districts, perfectly willing to let them burn rather than risk involvement, but the silence from this nearest guard post felt somehow wrong.

    She stopped near a small alley between two tall buildings, shadowed from direct sight of the gate or the street. “I think something’s wrong. I’m still new to Amaranth, but shouldn’t the guards have come out with the first signs of fire?”
    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?

  3. - Top - End - #183
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New York State
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ardraket Oldn

    Listening to Vash go on about the prisoners Ardraket grunted slightly as he heard the name of his target. Looking over the notes in the book he nods as the description matches what he was told about his target.

    “I doubt it was for either of them. They are not important enough to justify what happened here. Something else is going on and there might be other parties at work here. I think our next step should be to check out the third level for my target before moving on with yours. Plus since I’m suppose to be guarding you, you need to lead the way here.”
    My DM Reputation
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Inspectre
    I'm good at making you fear the unknown. Pwenet is good at making you fear the known, which had been the unknown five minutes before he pushed you off screaming into the abyss.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    I'm feeling this real hard now.
    Curse you, Pwenet. Curse you.... You had my hopes up there...

  4. - Top - End - #184
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Falconer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Running the World
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Gazrul

    Gazrul glares at the elf. Fornicating with lizards? He'd show the honorless dog.

    He wiped a trickle of blood , rubbing it into the fur on his hands. He leaned in until his snout almost touched the elf's nose.

    "You see this?" He leans in close, to the point where his snout almost touches the elf's nose.

    "In my veins flows the blood of Gods, elf. his voice slowly grew louder, "I am a direct descendant of Gazrul the Red, son of the Dragons," (his voice was now a full-on roar) "the First Children of Meo-Karash, the Great and Terrible!"

    With a sigh, Gazrul visibly grew more calm.

    "Do you understand?"

    He turned to Vickers, half-smiling at his own outburst. "Do you suppose you can keep translating, my friend?"

    [After whatever reactions are necessary]

    "But, now, I am afraid that we have questions, elf, and that you have the answers we seek. My first query: who are you, what do you want, and most importantly, why did you attack and kill so many of my men?"
    Last edited by Falconer; 2009-05-24 at 05:53 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #185
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Inspectre's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Meanwhile . . .

    Ysora did her best to ignore the aches and pains of her various wounds as she again tried to meditate and establish a connection to the Heavens. She had learned a great deal during her imprisonment, and it was frustrating to be unable to share that information with her Lady.

    As so many times before, her efforts proved fruitless, her senses unable to extend beyond the confines of her cell. Apparently, the Baron had constructed this vessel out of the same material as Ironheart’s walls. Idly, Ysora wondered if the Baron had discovered a method of producing the material himself, or if one section of Ironheart had simply been stripped. Another mystery among the countless others that her new captor possessed. Still, what little she had been able to infer about the Baron’s resources before being locked away in this cell was chilling. Which made it even more important that her Lady knew as quickly as possible.

    Briefly acknowledging her discomfort by shifting as much as her restraints would allow, Ysora then returned to meditation for yet another attempt at contacting the Heavens. It was not as if she had anything better to spend her time on.

    This time however, her efforts were interrupted by the loud clanking of the lock bolts to her cell door being slid open. Slowly opening her unswollen eye to regard the door, Ysora was curious who was paying her a visit. The guards did not regularly check-in, for she had no need of sustenance and the guards were confident in the ability of her restraints to hold her. The only one who had shown an interest in her so far was the half-breed son of the Baron, Sir Cheran as he was called.

    Although physically interesting for his amalgamation of human and divine life forces, Sir Cheran himself was brutish and arrogant. He had released her for her bonds shortly after departing Ironheart, solely for the intention of fighting her on “even” terms. He had proven his false definition of that phrase after he laughed when she brought up that her narrow escape from death by ritual sacrifice had left her greatly weakened. He ceased laughing when she added that such a fight would be meaningless anyway as it would not win her freedom, and so she would not participate.

    Ysora kept to her word in the beating to follow, refusing to defend herself while calmly lecturing to Cheran. As intended, this only served to incite him more, and eventually she was beaten into unconsciousness. A moral victory, but a costly one given the extent of her injuries that she later awoke to. Evidently the unholy nature of her chains suppressed most of her regenerative capability, in addition to her other divine abilities.

    It was therefore with a fair bit of trepidation that Ysora watched the door open. To her relief, it was not Sir Cheran back for another round after all, but another of the Baron’s sons. His lanky appearance and unkept black hair gave the appearance of an uncouth youth, but there was also a caution about his movements that suggested a more experienced mind. He was alone, and after pausing to swing the heavy door shut behind him, gave a low bow, flaring his dazzling white wings out behind him. Unsure what his motives for coming here were, Ysora decided to try and immediately bring matters to a head.

    “If you are here to beat me, might I suggest you save yourself time by leaving me restrained – I will put up no more fight free than I will now.”

    To Ysora’s surprise, the young man grimaced as if he had just swallowed something unpleasant and took a step back towards the door.

    “Apologies. The polite man does not enter another’s residence without first speaking his intentions.”

    Immediately the man turned and opened the door, stepping back into the hallway while Ysora tried to make sense of his statement. A moment later, the door slammed shut again, and the lock bolts began to slide back into place. Desiring an answer to his strange conduct, Ysora attempted to call him back.

    “Wait! What did you mean by that? If I offended you in some way, I apologize!”

    Without ceasing all of the lock bolts slid back into place. And then strangely, they began to slide back out again. Within moments the door opened again and the young man tentatively stood at the doorway. Again, he gave a low bow.

    “Salutations, Ysora the Teacher. I am Sir Nephilium, and I have no quarrel with you. May I come in and speak with you?”

    Only confused further, Ysora simply stared at this strange man for a few moments. Any reply she would have made would have only been cut off, as without missing a beat the man then asks, “How was that? I could try it again if you like.”

    Hoping to stop the man before he could step out and repeat this whole process a third time, Ysora shakes her head.

    “No, that was fine. Quite good, in point of fact. And you may enter and speak with me.”

    At this Nephilium grins widely and steps fully into the room, swinging the door shut behind him.

    “Good. First impressions are important. Yet, so . . . difficult.” The man hissed out with a relieved sigh as he moved further into the room, plopping himself down onto the floor in front of Ysora.

    “I believe we have already met, beneath Ironheart. You were the one wielding the Herald’s Scythe, were you not?”

    At this Nephilium shook his head.

    “That was our first meeting yes. But wine sealed in a bottle cannot be tasted, only seen.”

    Although she wasn’t certain, Ysora thought she might as well try a stab Nephilium’s motivation for coming.

    “So since we weren’t formally introduced, you decided to come down here to do so?”

    Nephilium’s flashing grin proved her guess correct as he clapped his hands together.

    “Precisely! Not all praise is unwarranted!”

    As quickly as it had come, Nephilium’s smile faded, replaced by a look of concern. Awkwardly, he extended a hand out towards Ysora’s face. Reflexively she pulled away, but quickly realized the futility of that act and so consigned herself to Nephilium’s probing of the swollen flesh around her eye. A few moments later Nephilium pulled his hand back.

    “Cheran?” He asked, and hissed angrily at her nod. “He should not have done that. Father wished you to be treated well during our return home.”

    Ysora looked down at the chains criss-crossing her body and could not suppress a laugh.

    “This is being treated well? Does your father realize what he has done?”

    “Father always knows what he is doing.”

    “He is holding an archangel against her will. If he understands the consequences of that, then he is surely insane and –“

    “Sssshhhh!” Nephilium hissed, cutting her off by holding a finger up to her lips while holding a finger from his other hand up to his own lips. “Not all fools are foolish enough to speak their foolery.”

    Slowly, Ysora nodded, after which Nephilium stood up and began walking back to the door.

    “Excuse me. I shall return shortly.”

    Silently, Ysora admonished herself for acting too rashly, introducing the concept that the Baron was wrong too directly. As a result, she may have cost herself a potential ally, or at least someone who seemed displeased at her treatment. Time passed, how long Ysora could not determine. Nonetheless, she had given up on Nephilium’s promised return and returned to her efforts to contact her Lady when the door bolts began to slide open again. A minute later Nephilium was once again in the doorway, this time cradling a large bowl and a white garment.

    “A lady should be treated as such.” He growled as he pushed the door shut behind him with a foot. And, as if anticipating the argument that Ysora was not human and thus above such definitions, he added a moment later, “And any flower may be called a rose if the King wills it.”

    Approaching Ysora, Nephilium set the bowl down in front of her, allowing her to see that it contained a good amount of perfumed water and a soaked rag. He then held the garment up, allowing her to see that it was a white dress. Before she could point out that wearing any dress fit for a human would be difficult on account of her wings, he flipped the dress around to reveal that the back had been recently cut out. The son of the Baron was quite pleased as he laid the dress down beside the bowl.

    “Now you may wash up and change your attire! I took the liberty of mixing a healing potion into the water. Human healing magic is not poisonous to you, is it?”

    “No, it is not. In fact, I imagine it would be quite helpful given my regeneration is suppressed by these restraints.”

    At the mention of her chains, Ysora had expected Nephilium to take the hint, but instead he only stood there, looking at her expectantly. A few moments later, his face fell and he snatched the dress back up.

    “Do these gifts not please you? Certainly, I can remove them if you do not wish to make use of them.”

    As politely as she could manage, Ysora quickly said, “Oh no, that’s not it at all. But, I’m afraid I can’t really make use of them while restrained like this.”

    Nephilium simply looked at her in confusion, and so she rattled her chains as loudly as she could. “My chains? Do you think you could remove them, at least enough so I can use my hands?”

    Ysora was expecting this to be the moment that Nephilium revealed this all to be some sort of cruel trick, but instead he laughed and slapped his forehead. “Even the eagle doesn’t always see the tree when he is focused on the mouse.”

    To her surprise, Nephilium then produced a key, unlocking the chain that had held her hands up above her head. Her shoulders voiced their appreciation for the relief while Nephilium set to work on her manacles. To Ysora’s further surprise, he did not stop until she was completely free, even going so far as to undo the leather harness pinioning her wings.

    The greatest surprise, however, came after that. Pocketing the key, Nephilium went over to the door and sat down cross-legged in front of it, his back to her.

    “Nephilium must watch you carefully to ensure that you do not spend your freedom unwisely. However, you should have some privacy and Nephilium is a gentleman.”

    For a moment, Ysora simply stared at Nephilium’s back in shock, and then for another moment with the calculation of attempting to overpower him and from there make her escape. As if sensing her consideration, Nephilium sighed.

    “A gentleman does not hit a lady, and a lady respects his decision.”

    That comment reluctantly put an end to any escape attempt at this time, even though Ysora wondered if it would be her only chance. Nonetheless, she picked up the soaked rag and cleaned her wounds, wincing as those cuts and scrapes still open stung at the healing water’s touch. Then she remained the bloody torn rags that were all that remained of her burlap prison clothes and slipped into the dress. Despite being made for a human, the dress was almost a perfect fit, and the ripped open back accommodated her wings nicely.

    Ysora took a few last minutes to stretch and relax, and then cleared her throat loudly, causing Nephilium to look back over his left shoulder. “Thank you, Nephilium. I feel better now.”

    “Good, good!” Nephilium crowed as he scrambled back up onto his feet and approached Ysora, looking the archangel up and down with a critical eye. Apparently he likes what he sees, as he nods enthusiastically a moment later. Still, Ysora notes the sadness in his eyes as he adds, “The dress fits you well. A gift given from the past to the present.”

    Like all of his other expressions, the look of longing quickly fades from Nephilium’s face, and he gestures as the chains littering the floor.

    “Sadly, Nephilium must go now. And you must be put back the way Nephilium found you.”

    “I understand.” Ysora replied, doing her best to hide her disappointment that Nephilium had not forgotten about her chains the way he had a few minutes ago. Bending down, she retrieved the leather harness from the floor, handing it to Nephilium before turning around and folding her wings together. She could have struggled, the same way she could have attempted escape earlier, but since both attempts would be futile what was the point? Better to bide her time and hope for another opportunity when she was stronger and the odds were not so heavily against her.

    Although he was methodical in removing her freedom, Nephilium was not excessively violent the way her previous captors had been. Indeed, Ysora thought she detected a slight slackness in her chains that had not been there previously.

    Finally, Nephilium locked the last chain into place and stepped back to give another low bow.

    “Goodbye, Ysora the Teacher. Soon we will be home and you shall meet Father. Afterwards, Nephilium will visit you again, if he has the time.

    “I look forward to it. Goodbye, Nephilium.” Ysora replied quietly, still shocked at this first occasion of kind treatment she had been shown in some time. Her words earned one last smile from Nephilium as he retrieved the bloody bowl and rags, gave one final bow, and then left.

    Alone again, Ysora mulled over the events of today repeatedly as she settled in to meditation once more. Nephilium was perhaps the most unusual human she had met, but his conduct suggested that perhaps in time, he could become a friend. A most interesting, and for once hopeful, day indeed.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tur Villid watched the young elf known as Telest leave his tent, and only then did he allow himself to relax. But only slightly, for the old warrior knew one could never relax fully, for an enemy could always be waiting, watching for your guard to lower that extra little bit. Villid did not know if Telest was one such enemy, for the elf had an aura of mystery about him.

    There was something about the way he carried himself, a grace in his movements that suggested he was familiar with killing. He had also hardly blinked when instructed to kill every human he found, although that may have just been concealed glee at the thought of revenge against his former captors.

    It was also possible that Telest was simply a liar and traitor and he would soon be leading the Tur’s men into an ambush. But some of his own scouts had confirmed that the fortress appeared heavily damaged, with only a handful of the guards it usually had on the walls. This bit of good fortune was still hard to swallow, for the Tur had been expecting a viscous siege of the fortress and had prepared accordingly.

    With any luck, he could overrun the humans’ defenses in one swift stroke, and then press on into their lands, a feat not accomplished in generations. Then he would show the human filth the full fury of the elven people. Those who proved worthy would be taken as sacrifices, and the rest would be scattered in pieces across their scorched fields. It was a pleasant dream, one that had sustained Villid through decades of watching his people continue their slow withering away into nothing. Now that dream would finally come true, and it would revitalize his people into what they were meant to be - conquerors.

    Spreading out the maps of the human lands across his desk once more, Villid studied them carefully for the thousandth time. Sadly, the Tur knew they were inaccurate, the composite creation of hundreds of spy reports from those loyal elves who posed themselves as merchants or mercenaries upon entering the human lands. Still, it was all he had to work with for the moment.

    Suddenly, an unnatural chill passed through him, as a cold wind rippled through the tent. Knowing that this was a sign, Villid slid off his chair and knelt, offering homage.

    “Titania, your humble servant requests your blessing. Soon the attack upon the human lands will begin.”

    The wind whispered back a reply.

    Good. You shall have my blessing, but I require something of you.

    “All humans taken alive shall be sacrificed only to you, as we agreed.” The Tur replied, and immediately regretted his words as the air turned even colder, freezing in his throat. The wind was angry.

    No, that was already promised to me! I require something else! Be silent and listen!

    Choking, the Tur could only nod. Thankfully, the air warmed again at his sign of obedience, and he took a deep shuddering breath as the wind continued.

    There is a girl, not human or elf, who has escaped the iron halls. FIND HER. Allow no harm to come to her. I will contact you with further instructions once she is in your care. Do NOT fail me!

    “Of course. I live to serve you.” The Tur replied, and the wind began to ebb back into nothing.

    Good.

    Rubbing his sore throat gingerly, the Tur carefully picked himself up off the ground, and directed one of his silent assistants to summon his captains. The search for this girl would need to begin immediately, for his patron was not patient.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    “The Council will see you now.” The acolyte, scarcely more than a child, said with a low bow. Brother Adamus Crane favored the boy with a sneer before composing himself and following the acolyte over to the massive set of bronzed double doors. Carved into the doors in bas-relief was a scene of angels leading a group of humans up a mountainside. It was supposedly a depiction of the founding of the Church of Light’s first chapel. Despite their weight, the doors were perfectly balanced and with only a single sharp tug the acolyte pulled open one of the two doors. Without hesitation Brother Crane stepped into the room beyond.

    The Chamber of the Exarches. Situated at the top of the central cathedral, this circular room was where every major action undertaken by the Church was decided. Eventually, after endless hemming and hawing – Crane had no patience for the Council’s hesitation to settle on any course of action. No doubt whatever they had brought him here for would take all night.

    A pity he had been summoned here in the dead of night as well. The narrow windows ringing the entire room allowed light to flood the chamber during the day, which was only further reflected and refracted by the polished bronze floor and walls. Now only torches burned in their sockets, managing to only dimly light the room. Crane wondered if the Council had called this meeting at night out of irrational fear that it would be seen by the gods. As if the gods didn’t already know what the Council was doing, sending a divine assassin by the name of Ander Windrivver.

    In the middle of the room was an elevated semi-circle table and chairs. Here the Council was seated, all eight of them – Speaker Morganna and the seven Exarches of the Church. Boldly walking into the middle of the table as all supplicants did, Crane gave an exaggerated low bow, the better to cover his smile as Exarch Tyra exploded.

    “Adamus Crane!? What is he doing here!?”

    “I was summoned by you, naturally. As a loyal servant of the Church, I came as soon as I was asked, despite the late hour.” Crane answered with another smile as he looked up at Exarch Tyra. The female Exarch returned a scowl, and was about to speak again before Exarch Logan cut her off.

    “Brother Crane is indeed here because I requested his presence at this emergency meeting of the Council. His firsthand experience of the Ironheart Incident will undoubtedly be useful.”

    A moment later, Exarch Gustaf butted into the conversation.

    “Yes, I’m sure it will be. Thank you Logan. Now, um . . . what exactly happened there? We have read your report, but it is a little light on details.”

    “Hardly surprising, considering you fled Ironheart before the Incident even occurred. Are those details even true or did you just make them up?” Tyra muttered, earning her a black look from the portly man to her right, Exarch Quincy.

    “You should stay that sharp tongue. Brother Crane is our guest.”

    “I will not allow this coward to flummox the Council with his lies!” Tyra rejoined, matching Quincy’s dark look with one of her own. Given the way Quincy puffed up and the way the other Exarches bristled, Crane was sure a major argument was about to ensue. A major argument started over nothing but an insult. Discordant idiots.

    Disappointingly, Speark Morganna suddenly stepped in to bring the conflict to a swift end.

    “That will be enough, Exarch Tyra. Given your past history with Brother Crane, perhaps it would be best for you to step out.” She said in her always calm, level voice. Tyra looked properly chastised.

    “No, that will not be necessary Speaker. I apologize for my outbursts.”

    “If I may, Speaker Morganna, I believe I can clear Exarch Tyra’s contention up quite quickly.” Brother Crane added, despite his desire to revel in Tyra’s expression a few moments more. “It is true that I departed from Ironheart before the Incident. However, I kept in close contact with Brother Corwin via communication crystal, who relayed to me the events that were occurring. Naturally the details were kept brief, but I have added all of them to my report. Unfortunately, Brother Corwin has gone missing so I am afraid my secondhand experience is all that is available.”

    “But this report is accurate, then? The Hierarch is dead?” Exarch Greyson asked as he flipped through the report’s handful of pages.

    “Yes. So close to his goal, he never would have abandoned it, even to save his own life. And considering that we’re all still here, I think it’s safe to say he was not successful. So, ergo he’s dead.” Brother Crane answered, and noted a collective sigh of relief pass through the room.

    “With the Hierarch dead, our hands are free once more. I move to start a discussion on the possibility of reinstituting the Crusade against the Hells.” Exarch Damont stated, earning him a tsk of disapproval from Greyson.

    “The Crusade has been a never ending drain on our resources since time immemorial. The Hierarch did us a favor when he forced us to put it on hold.”

    “Besides, aren’t we still in danger? A number of powerful convicts escaped from Ironheart, did they not?” Quincy fretted, earning him a derisive pat on the back from Tyra.

    “Don’t worry. If any of those prisoners wished to do the Church harm, you would be the least likely target for them.”

    “Unless of course they just wished to see the Church burn, and would be perfectly happy with anyone’s blood on their blade.” Exarch Tiberius said, pausing momentarily for effect before adding, “My spies report a growing splinter organization in the outland communities. It would appear that Karth the Purifier has returned, even if he has not yet shown his face.”

    “Karth the Purifier!?” Quincy exclaimed, growing pale. Crane thought that this was as good a time as any to twist the knife.

    “Ander Windrivver is also likely on the loose by now. Bastard is too stubborn to be dragged down by a few demons.”

    “What!? Oh, we’re doomed. Two of the most dangerous heretics this Church has ever faced, and now they’re working together.” Quincy groaned, burying his face in his hands. “How did this happen!?”

    “We should have killed them both when we had the chance.” Gustaf growled, earning himself a snort from Damont.

    “And make martyrs out of both of them? No, sending them both off to Ironheart was the fair better solution. The world would have time to forget about them, and then ultimately when their memory had faded enough we could have discarded them.”

    “We would have missed out on Ander’s blood as well. Wonderful stuff that is, simply fascinating. A pity we were unable to obtain any of Marisiel’s.” Greyson added.

    “Hah. The Baron would have had all of our heads if we had tried. He made it explicitly clear that Marisiel was his and his alone.” Logan interjected.

    “We should have never given him what aid we did. Now the Hierarch’s dead and we have no one to help us against Ander and Karth!” Quincy wailed.

    Smiling, Brother Crane coughed loudly. “If I may interject here, I don’t think we need to worry about Ander *and* Karth. Certainly, they will both come for us, but they will do so separately. Having met both of them personally, trust me when I say that the two of them will never work together. As it is, we may not have to worry about them much longer.”

    “What did you do, Crane.” Tyra asked, eyes narrowing. Crane paused a moment, delighting in the expectant stares of the assembled Council, and then said, “I contracted the Assassins to deal with them both.”

    Immediately the Council was in an uproar, Exarches shouting at Crane and at each other. A few minutes passed in this way, until finally Morganna’s low voice cut through the din.

    “Silence.” Immediately the Exarches fell silent, like the good little lap dogs they were. Once quiet was again dominant in the chamber, Morganna continued. “Explain yourself, Crane.”

    Crane had been waiting for this moment.

    “Members of the Council, you are all idiots. While you have been prattling on amongst yourselves here, safe and sound, I have been on the frontlines. I have seen firsthand the dangers threatening our Church, and I can tell you that they have only grown, not diminished. Two of those threats are Ander Windrivver and Karth Chemonte, and imprisoning them did nothing but delay the inevitable. We have not beaten them, and they will not stop until we are all dead. Unfortunately, killing them ourselves wouldn’t work either – Ander would simply come back and Karth would become a martyr. So I turned to those who had more experience in dealing with situations such as ours. I was confident the Assassins would find a solution, and I still am. It is unfortunate that the Ironheart Incident occurred when it did, otherwise we likely wouldn’t even be having this conversation as both of our problems would already have been dealt with. Regardless, instead of wringing our hands, we need to roll up our sleeves because if we want to survive we will need to embrace far more “unpleasant” solutions.”

    A slow smile spread across Speaker Morganna’s face.

    “Well said, Brother Crane. Although a solution to Ander has not yet presented itself, I believe we will soon have the means to deal with Karth. Exarch Greyson, what is the status of Project Angelus?”

    Greyson looked up from his stack of reports in surprise, but was quick to respond.

    “We are still working on keeping the subjects stable, but their loyalty is now unquestioned. They will perform any task we set them to. Our . . . recruitment . . . teams are operating at 90% capacity currently.”

    “And have you implemented the soul crystals that Brother Corwin has developed?”

    “We are still working on that aspect. We should have that hurdle dealt with within another week.”

    “Good. We must redouble our efforts to complete the project! The Church’s survival depends on it.”

    All of the Exarches silently nodded at Speaker Morganna’s words, and then began to pack up as if readying to leave.

    “Actually, I have one last item I would like to discuss.” Morganna said, causing all those present in the room to freeze. Even Crane felt his stomach twist as Morganna’s eyes settled on him.

    “Brother Crane has worked tirelessly to serve the Council and the Church as the whole. He has proven himself capable of finding . . . unorthodox . . . solutions to problems, a skill which will only become more important in the time ahead. I also believe that he could serve as a breath of fresh air on this Council. Therefore, I move that Brother Adamus Crane be elevated to the position of Exarch.”

    “WHAT!?” Tyra exclaimed.

    “I second that motion.” Exarch Greyson replied.

    “Motion has been seconded. Let us put it to a vote then. Aye.”

    Gustaf – “Aye.”

    Logan – “Aye.”

    Greyson – “Aye.”

    Damont –“Aye.”

    Tiberius – “Aye.”

    Quincy – “Er . . . Nay.”

    Tyra – “Nay!”

    “The vote is six to two in favor. Welcome to the Council, Exarch Adamus Crane.”

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Deep within the center of his necropolis, Kartul worked alone. Although he was committed to his children, there were still some things only he could do. It was also pleasurable to work with his own hands, as he used to do so long ago in his laboratory.

    For the purposes of powering the central levitation device, any souls would do. But Kartul was a fan of the classics, and so lined up around the outskirts of the room were a dozen teenaged girls tied down to sacrificial altars.

    The room had been a cacophony of screams a short while ago, especially after Kartul slit the first one’s throat, but now it was mostly tomb-silent. The only sounds were the low hum of Kartul’s cocktail of arcane rituals increasing in strength, and the final girl’s soft sobs.

    Coming to stand beside the altar, Kartul looked down at pathetic wench with a mixture of disgust and pity. She couldn’t help being mortal. Weak.

    Reaching down with his free hand, Kartul ran his bony fingers through the girl’s hair.

    “Sssshhh . . . do not cry little one. Your sacrifice is more important than you could possibly understand. With your help I shall save this broken world. I shall forge it into something new. With your help I SHALL BECOME INVINCIBLE!”

    In one smooth motion Kartul then slit the girl’s throat, reveling in the spray of blood that he reluctantly could no longer taste. It was unfortunate that his tongue had withered away like his skin and other organs, but some sacrifices were necessary even from him.

    Within a few minutes, the girl was dead, her soul collected up into the rituals powering the necropolis. Turning to the levitation device he had developed himself, Kartul cast the final spell, activating it. A violent shudder passed through the floor, and then a loud rumble came from above as the necropolis pushed up through the earth that had once sheltered it. It was time for Kartul’s tomb to become his fortress.
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

    Threads I'm currently DMing:


    Threads I have successfully completed:

  6. - Top - End - #186
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Inspectre's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    The Ghosts of Callaway Camp

    Dorizzit

    “I suppose so. Hey, are you proud o’ her? Kat I mean, for following in yer footsteps. More or less, anyway.”

    Kris waits intently for your answer, and then nods. “Well, alright then. Good night Korram.”

    Left to your own devices, you then climb into the treehouse. After setting a loop of fire around the doorway to deter any unwelcome guests, you locate the bed and fall fast asleep. Your dreams are virtually nonexistent, but towards the end of the night they suddenly assail you with a vengeance.

    The last dream is especially vivid, Callaway burning to the ground all around you as the Baron’s men, dancing fire elementals, kicking open doorways and drag villagers screaming out into the street before burning them to ash. You can practically feel the heat of the flames on your skin. Kris is there, shaking his head at you. Slowly, he morphs into Katrina as he approaches you.

    “You’ve failed us Dad. You’ve failed us all.”

    The black shadows of wings then falls over you, blocking out the light from the fires. You turn, only to see not Seraph perching on the burning wreck of your home, but Calcifer in full elemental glory.

    “Wake up, Korram!” He crackles. “WAKE UP!”


    “WAKE UP! DAMN YOU!”

    Suddenly, the dream is real. You are lying in the treehouse’s bed, but you can smell the smoke and hear the crackling of flames. Even more alarmingly, you hear the clash of steel and the dying screams of the wounded.

    You are just leaping out of bed when you hear a crash at the doorway and a grunt of pain. You duck through the bedroom curtain into the common room just in time to see Kris somersault through the hoop of flames, cursing as he swats at the flicks of flame now dancing along one sleeve.

    “Korram! Korram, we have to – oh there you are.”

    For the first time you have seen him, Kris appears genuinely frightened. His mouth is drawn into a worried frown, and his eyes are haunted. You are just starting to wonder if Infernas has returned when Kris delivers far worse news.

    “The Baron’s men have found us. I don’t know how, but they have, and we have *got* to get out of here! Right now!”

    Outside, you suddenly hear a high-pitched hum, followed by a loud crack and then an explosion. Fragments of wood rattle against the side of your treehouse, presumably the remains of the treehouse next door. Kris winces and then gestures hurriedly at the circle of fire still around the doorway.

    “Come on! We’ve got GHASTs, and that little ring of fire isn’t going to stop them! We need to get out of here and run away as fast as we can, right now!”

    The Purifier’s Camp

    Baerdog7

    The young boy is shocked to be chosen for such an honor, but nonetheless eagerly accepts your offered hand and clambers up onto the back of the griffon behind you. The knight is at first confused, and then simply too outraged to speak as you lecture him. He simply glares at you as you ascend into the air and set out for Karth’s camp.

    The trip is long, and hard on both the boy and the young griffon, as both of them are clearly unused to spending so many hours of the day traveling. Still, the trip passes by fairly quickly and uneventfully as you fly steadily closer to the Purifier’s camp. The boy asks a few questions, but seems too awed by your presence to hold a deep conversation for long. Nonetheless, you learn that he was a young farmhand in one of the rural promises, drawn to Karth’s banner by the knight you had met with promises of glory and saving the Church.

    Eventually towards evening on the second day, you see the large plumes of concentrated camp fires ahead at the edge of the forest ahead of you. Just as you are starting to try and guide the griffon to land, a crossbow bolt whizzes past your ear. Looking behind you, you see two mounted griffons rising up towards you from the camp’s vicinity.

    “Give us the password or land your griffon immediately and surrender! You are trespassing here!” One of the two riders shouts up at you.

    “I don’t know the password! Only the knight knew it!” The boy says with an audible gulp.

    “You have until the count of five to comply or we will kill you!”

    (You can assume that the two griffon riders follow you down should you choose to land. Obviously they will be somewhat hostile and suspicious towards you, but dropping your name might convince them not to take you as a prisoner of war. )

    Stonefall

    The Surrounding Forest

    The_Snark

    “Oh, I see.” Jacob says after hearing your explanation of the burn mark.

    “Well, that food ought to last you a few days. No, I don’t think anyone will be coming around here. Maybe someone from the village on a hunting trip. Are you planning on staying long?”

    As he speaks, Jacob continues to edge backwards. After you answer his last question, he forces a smile and nods.

    “Well, I guess that’s everything then. Be seeing you.”

    Still watching you, Jacob backs up a bit more, and then turns and sets off at a looping gait through the woods. He looks back every now and then, until eventually he passes behind a tree and remains out of your line of sight.

    You are alone again. But this time with food, which is a thought that makes your stomach quite happy.

    (After you finished breakfast, what is Mar doing next? Is she staying at the barn or setting out for parts unknown?)

    The City of Amaranth

    The City Gates

    Meltemi

    “Delora Cryst.” The girl says in answer to your question of her name. A minute later, she seems to pull herself together again, wiping away her tears.

    “Thank you for all you have done. And as I said before, I have nowhere else to go. I will follow you wherever you go, regardless of the danger.”

    There is no response to your initial call out to the guards, and your danger sense begins to tingle even more. Ducking into a nearby alleyway, you and Delora peer out at the gatehouse built into the wall next to the gate. You do not see any guards standing in front of the gate nor up on the wall above. There is also no sound from within the gatehouse, but the door is open, a shadowy maw leading into the small building.

    “Yes, the guards should be out here. The gates are always closed and guarded at night, even within the city. And fire is a concern for everyone – they will often come out to help fight a fire, even within our poor district.”

    As you watch, the gate suddenly starts into motion, retracting up into the gateway.

    “Someone must be in there – the controls for the gate are within the gatehouse. Usually the guards out front will call out if someone needs to be let through on some sort of important business at night. I really don’t like this.” Delora explains.

    WhiteKnight777 & MrEdwardNigma

    Umber’s brisk search of Mellita provides nothing more – it would appear that the silver dagger is her sole weapon. With the cultists are dead, Ross quickly moves down the hill, turning back only halfway down to see if everyone else was following. Mellita verbally protests being dragged along by Umber, but otherwise does not resist.

    “I . . . I’m not sure I can betray him, Lord Umber. I shouldn’t . . . the blood bond between us is strong. Maybe if you convinced me you were just going to talk to him, lie. Anyway, I’m not sure that you aren’t too late . . .”

    Looking out over the graveyard from the slope of the hill, the group watches as one by one the rest of the glowing ritual circles fade out in rapid succession. A moment later, the earth shudders and groans violently, threatening to pitch everyone down the hillside. Near the center of the graveyard, a new hill begins to form, the ground raising up of it’s own accord into a peak. Then a black point pierces up through the top of the new hill, and the earth crumbles away to reveal a black stone pyramid. A massive black stone pyramid that continues to ascend out of the earth, until at last it is floating high overhead. From the large hole left behind, a great cacophonous moan arises as countless humanoid shapes clumsily pull themselves out onto the ground.

    “So Hans . . . that answer your question about why Kartul is bad?” Ross asks with a note of shock in his voice, staring up at the pyramid. Bran pales considerably, and looks as if he is about to throw up before he summons a shimmering shield of life magic around himself. Even Mellita appears surprised at the pyramid’s appearance. Umber, however, recognizes it, at least from the stories he had heard whispered over the millennia about his former comrades – the Necropolis of Kartul.

    Iethloc

    You quickly absorb Heath’s remaining wards and other protective magicks before they fade with his death. Although not much, it is still enough for you to recover a modicum of your strength. Seymour’s plan was a good one, assuming you could absorb magic from the necromancers as well.

    Will do. But do you really think a guy like this is going to keep incriminating notes all over the place? “Dear Diary, today I sold out my entire city to a bunch of necromancers. It was great fun!” Then again, considering this is a mage we’re talking about, he probably has them over for tea every day.

    Levitating Heath’s corpse, you riffle through his pockets. You find a number of items of note tucked into his overcoat. Several are potions, their magic still glowing faintly – healing potions. There are also several more vials containing a variety of substances, although most appear to be holding water. One of those large vials is empty.

    Probably holy water. I’ll take those if you don’t mind. That way I can peg the necromancers’ pets while you’re busy dealing with the necromancers.

    You also find a small symbol of Miriam, a wooden stake, several small cloves of garlic, and a small silver mirror.

    Looks like he was planning on running into vampires. Well, guess now we know what we can probably expect when we go meet the necromancers.

    You also find a small scrap of paper, written on in black ink with an elegant script.

    Usual meeting spot, usual time. Bring the specifications of the other Council members’ estate defenses with you. Come alone.

    And finally, tucked into an inner pocket on the jacket, you find several pieces of folded parchment covered in script. They seem to detail the other Council members’ estates and the defenses in place at each location.

    Well I’ll be damned, guess he does have incriminating stuff. Although really a random note and a list of defenses isn’t enough to prove he’s in bed with the necromancers. Still probably enough to get him in deep trouble, were it not for the fact that he was already dead. Hah!

    We should depart from this place soon. The necromancers will be expecting us in a few hours, and we need that time to examine the meeting point for places where Roger and myself can hide.

    Ironheart

    The Surrounding Mountains

    Gourtox

    Once finished with getting dressed, you briefly debate whether or not to flee from the camp. Deciding to see this out for now, you exit the borrowed tent and head to the meeting point. There you find Lucure and eight other elves, all heavily armed, waiting for you. Lucure nods at you upon seeing you approach, and motions for the other elves to follow. The lot of you immediately begin moving out of the camp, Lucure speaking quietly with you on the way.

    “It is good to see you have agreed to help us, Telest. I assume you are aware that the Tur has asked you to be our guide. Hopefully you can lead us back to the fortress undetected, and from there we can find a weak point in its defenses. Any humans we encounter are to be avoided or killed immediately – we cannot take the risk of prisoners slowing us down or alerting other humans. Lead on.”

    Slipping silently through the forest, you lead the small group of elves back to Ironheart. Unmounted, the journey takes you several hours, and the sun has set by the time you arrive. Ahead, the tall outer iron walls of Ironheart gleam in the moonlight. Numerous torches lit the top of the fortress wall, and you can see figures moving about or standing guard up there. Still, the guards and their torches are spread out, likely far more than they have ever been in Ironheart’s time as a prison.

    Between the walls and the treeline you are currently hiding in, there is a significant distance of empty field, covered in snow. Scattered here and there are bodies still, and the ground is covered in foot prints and drag marks from other bodies being carried off. This means that if you can cross the field undetected, the prints you and the others leave behind likely won’t be noticed amongst the others.

    Even if you do manage to cross the field, however, there is still the matter of Ironheart’s walls to be scaled. Made out of solid black iron, the walls of Ironheart are considerably smooth – you will need a ladder or rope to climb up. The elves have brought rope with them, and likely a grappling hook, but there is still the chance a passing guard will notice your rope as you climb up. The sound of your ascent will also likely echo off the iron, carrying the additional risk of guards hearing you and coming to investigate the noise. You are glad that you did not have these concerns before, as you used the stolen wyvern to fly over.

    Here and there along the wall, you also notice battle damage – large dents or scorch marks left in the metal, likely the result of the demon attack. It is possible that somewhere else along the massive fortress’s outer wall, perhaps on the other side, the damage is even more severe – enough that you could climb up with your bare hands or even a hole in the wall you could squeeze through. Such an entrance would be very useful information for the Tur, you are sure, even if it is sure to be guarded.

    “So . . . this is the humans’ fortress. Impressive – I wonder who was audacious enough to attack them – other humans? Do you have any ideas on where to go from here, Telest? If we could get up on that wall, we might be able to look down on most of the inner complex.”

    Falconer

    The elf flinches as you roar in his face, but otherwise continues staring at you silently throughout your rant. Vickers continues to translate your words into the elf language, and then finally falls silent. He nods at you.

    “Certainly, sir.”

    The elf continues to stare at the two of you silently as Vickers translates your questions, until finally the elf speaks once more. Even though you do not understand the words, you can sense the disdain in every one. Vickers pales as he mentally translates the message, and then turns to you to relay it.

    “He says that whatever you are, you will die with the rest of the human filth. He is only one of many, led by Tur Villid – that’s the elven equivalent of a general, sir – and that they have come for vengeance. Although he may not live to see it, we and every man, woman, and child living beyond these mountains will die. They will burn our fields, tear down our buildings, and wipe out every trace that we have ever existed. Those that survive will be sacrificed to the spirits of the land, the true gods of this world.”

    Wulfric chuckles. “Well, we’ll just see about that, won’t we? I say we send this fanatic idiot back to his so-called gods and go find more of them. Forget looking for this noble brat, if she was out in the woods the elves or the cold got her.”

    Lonna

    “Garthax does not know their tongue mistress! Sorry!” Came the raspy voice next to your ear, as the little imp’s talons dug deeper in an attempt to hold him steady on your shoulder.

    A few minutes later, the elf leader’s eyes slowly opened. Wordlessly, he stared up at you, then around at his bound comrades and the bloody remains of his executed one. Through it all he says nothing, and simply stares at you as you question him. Out of the corner of your eye you see Karl tense as the elf refuses to reply, and so you repeat your demands, more vehemently this time.

    This in turn causes some hair to fall in front of your face, which you reflexively tuck behind your slightly elongated ears before realizing that doing so allowed the elf a view of your mixed heritage. The elf’s eyes narrow then, indicating plainly that he had seen the evidence. A few moments later, he spits in your face before breaking into an energetic stream of broken human.

    “You mother is a whore! But you is worse – traitor! I am one of many! Tur Villid comes to burn all you!”

    The elf violently thrusts his head forward towards Karl and the Countess.

    “Him and her, they die in agony! But you will not. Elf do not shed elf blood, even tainted with human! You will live, as slave. Let me go, I kill them quick, and see you get fed. Otherwise . . .”

    The elf shrugs as best he can, letting the threat hang in the air. With a muttered curse, Klaus suddenly surges forward, kicking the elf onto his back and shoving his crossbow into the elf’s face. Dispassionately, the elf stares into Klaus’s eyes as his finger caresses the trigger.

    “You arrogant little prick!” Klaus growls, not delivering the fatal shot, but wavering on the edge. Finally, Klaus lowers the weapon with a curse, turning away and lifting a hand up to rub his face. He shoots you a look of concern.

    “This bastard has no reason to lie. Never heard of this Villid fellow, but I know Tur is a military rank, like a general. Which means he’s got an army with him, and soon enough after these four don’t report back more of them will swarm out like ants. Forest might already be crawling with patrols just like this one. Damnit!”

    Pwenet

    “Right, good idea. We’re not in competition here, might as well help each other out.” Vash looks over the records once last time, likely committing their details to memory, before closing the book and putting it back into place.

    “Alright then, let’s do this.”

    Leading the way, Vash opens the door to find the young lieutenant and the other guards waiting for him.

    “It is safe to come in now, gentlemen! I have cleansed the demonic taint from this room! Many more rooms to go though, so if you will excuse me, I will be off. I will also be taking this old boy will me, as he proved most helpful during the ceremony, and I have been looking for a good helper for some time.”

    “Well, alright then. May I ask where you are headed next?” The lieutenant asks with benign interest as he and the other men file past you back into the room.

    “Er . . . yes. Why not. We shall be descending into the depths of this place, to put to rest the damned souls of Ironheart’s prisoners.”

    Immediately the lieutenant became somewhat alarmed.

    “J-just the two of you!? The lower levels have been sealed off for now, as despite our sweeps and best efforts, some demons still remain and we simply don’t have the manpower to deal with them. I don’t think – “

    “Lad, have you ever seen what happens when a demonic link to the underworld goes ignored for too long?”

    “Um, no.”

    “Well, neither have I! And I have no desire to, so I need to get down there and cleanse those cells! Or, who knows what could happen!”

    “Alright, fine. But we’re going with you.”

    “I don’t think –“

    “No less than parties of five individuals are allowed into the cell levels now, and you will need clearance. Clearance which I can get for you being an officer. Now let’s go.”

    “Well, alright!” Vash replies, shooting you a knowing look.

    True to his word, the lieutenant and his men lead you down into the basement of Ironheart, where you encounter a large makeshift barricade set up across the hallway. No less than two dozen guards are set up on your side of the barricade, all armed with crossbows. Without preamble, the lieutenant speaks with the officer in charge of the barricade group.

    “We require light sources and passage to the cell levels. A few more men if you can spare any would also be helpful.”

    “Alright, I can give you three.” The officer replies, as three guards step out of formation and start lighting lanterns and torches. One of them hands you a hooded lantern, whose shutters could be controlled to focus the light into a narrow, and presumably farther reaching, beam.

    “What cell level are you going down to?” The barricade officer asks, prompting the lieutenant to gaze back at Vash.

    “Er . . . the third one.”

    The barricade officer gives a soft chuckle and shakes his head. “My men are staying behind then. Your funeral.”

    After handing off their torches and another lantern, the three guards step back into their places and resume watch. Meanwhile, another pair of guards strain themselves to push one section of the scrap metal barricade out of the way to allow you to pass through.

    With one last, hesitant look back at Vash, the lieutenant sighs and leads his men forward through the opening, you and Vash following closely behind.

    “I hope you know where on the third level we’re going. I don’t think we should dawdle once down there.” The lieutenant whispers back to you and Vash. Vash nods confidently, although you sense his resolve is a bit shaken.

    “Yup, I know right where we’re going.” Then he leans in to whisper over to you, “So . . . when are we going to tell them we want to go down to the Maximum Security Level, where all the “special” prisoners were kept?

    The Hells

    The Screaming Dark Estate

    OverWilliam

    By the time you have hopped up on the dresser and readied yourself for this next step of your mad plan, Vlyethar was already addressing the other side of the room. At the sound of your voice he whirls, blinking in surprise as you reveal yourself. Vylethar and the three ladies watch you silently as you introduce yourself. As you hop down from the dresser, Black still shies back a bit, while Brown marches forward.

    Her hands are balled into fists, and you are sure she’s about to take a swing at you this time. Fortunately, Lord Vylethar is there, extending an arm to block her path.

    “Not now dear. Maybe later.” He whispers into her ear as he runs his other hand through her hair. Brown immediately relaxes, laying her head on Vylethar’s shoulder as he puts an arm around her and turns back to face you. The remains of the hag’s soup do another leap in your stomach towards your throat and freedom.

    Lord Vylethar listens with interest as you explain the reason for your presence here, and seems to grow increasingly angry. Nonetheless, you continue on, forcing yourself to project a serene confidence that you didn’t feel. As you come to a conclusion, Lord Vylethar jabs a shaking finger at you.

    “I don’t recall ever adding you to the payroll. So Crx thinks he can just add new lackeys whenever he feels like it now? You and I are going to go have a little chat with him *right now* about this!”

    Just then Lord Vylethar’s attention is diverted when with a soft moan Adamè twists and slowly sits up in bed. Her eyes flutter open a moment later, and she looks around in confusion. Her eyes settle on you momentarily, and then sweep over to Vylethar. A slow smile spreads across her lips.

    “Well hello there.” She says quietly a moment later. “Tare, who is your friend?”
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

    Threads I'm currently DMing:


    Threads I have successfully completed:

  7. - Top - End - #187
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OverWilliam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    ~Tare

    Tare left himself open to the expected attack from Brown, as the identity he was now embodying would be quite used to it. When Vylethar held her back, he almost looked... disappointed. The emotion was subtle, however, and did not linger. Unlike the urge to barf, that lingered just fine.

    Tare took appropriate effort to appear frightened at the hoofed man's displeasure, and yet somewhat reassured by the fact that he had done only what he had been told. "I don't understand, your Lordship, I-- Hrm. Lord Crx..." Here he showed difficulty in searching for the word, "...Recruited me and a half-dozen others a few months ago. I don't believe he recognizes me personally of course, I am hardly worthy of notice, but I have been serving in... various capacities since then. I would hardly describe myself as being on any 'payroll'...my position is hardly so...gainful... But regardless, I am sure he would not act in such a way without your permission. He-- that is, there must be an explanation why you were not... aware, of... but... Why would he do such a thing?" Tare struggled to excuse his imagined 'employer', working himself around to arguing the exact opposite case by 'accident.' At this self-revelation, he looked quite distressed, and fearful if perhaps Vylethar's ire was unwittingly deserved.

    When Adamè began to stir, Tare responded with the same surprise that the others did, but with completely different motivation. "Yes..." He said, his thoughts a red-hot blur of controlled panic as he scrambled for a solution. "Yes, my dear, this;" He indicated Lord Vylethar, "Is Grandmaster Vylethar. This is his mansion, and his hospitality that has brought us... both...here." He said, with a sidelong glance at Vylethar. "Permit me to explain, Lord," He said with a hushed tone, as though trying to keep Adamè from hearing, though to himself he knew that her hearing was likely too good to be undercut in such a manner. "I mentioned that I was present when she was found? There is... a little more to the story. When she was first found, by myself and a few others, she was hysterical and raving, I know not why. Since we did not wish to harm her, she was proving difficult to... apprehend. When she saw me, though, and this is quite baffling to me, she immediately calmed down and started asking me questions and calling me by the name "Tare." Shortly after that she fell unconscious-- from the way she was acting before, I wouldn't be surprised if she didn't remember a thing that happened. I... do not... know the name that she calls me by... or her name, either..." He said, in thoughtful doubt, as though he wasn't entirely sure of either of those statements. "...She seems to think she knows me, though. Actually, one thing that I remember she said before she lost consciousness, something that caught me off guard, was that she thought I was dead. She... she said that she had watched me die. What could she have meant by that...?" At this point he is hardly speaking to Vylethar any more and is really thinking out loud, his expression highly troubled, staring into the distance like he was trying to remember something.
    Last edited by OverWilliam; 2009-05-30 at 05:46 PM.
    Deo Soli Sit Semper Gloria

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

  8. - Top - End - #188
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Meltemi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Beneath an infinite sky

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ruya

    As Delora’s explanation sank in, Ruya tried to judge the distance between them and the gatehouse. With the gate already opening, she decided, and her leg injured, she wouldn’t be able to make it before whomever or whatever was coming through could see her. With undead creatures like Varlest roaming the city, she couldn’t count on the invisibility that cloaked the two of them to keep them hidden, especially since it seemed now like Varlest was not working alone. He had not killed Delora with the rest of her family for some reason; he must have been saving her for this, so that he could be at his peak for whomever or whatever was coming through now. There also was the question of how Varlest had returned. Someone else would have had to bring together most of his ashes from the pyres that had been used to dispose of his creations, but why? She inched back slightly, still watching the gatehouse and now-open gate intently for signs of anything coming out. “Varlest must have other allies,” she said, giving voice to her thoughts. “This can’t be a coincidence.”
    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?

  9. - Top - End - #189
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lonna's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    MD, DC area
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Pyrene

    Pyrene realized what the elf was about to do an instant too late, rocking back slightly in a vain attempt to avoid the flying spittle. She wiped it away, but otherwise appeared to be frozen in shock as the elf ranted. Not until Klaus looked at her with something dangerously close to pity in his eyes did she pull herself together and gather her wits.

    "Well," she said with what was not quite a wry smile, "if that is how all elves react to mixed-bloods, it is no wonder my father took a human lover. Still, information is information, however it is delivered."

    Straightening slowly, so that Garthax would not fall off, Pyrene took two steps such that she could look down into the face of elf who had spit on her. "Unfortunately for you, I was raised human. My mother may have been a whore, but she at least taught me that it's bad manners to let someone die after they've saved your life. Besides, I don't much like the idea of becoming a slave." <*Goodnight*>

    As the elf crumpled into sleep under the weight of Pyrene's spell, she looked at Klaus, thinking hard. "It seems clear to me that your cabin is not safe anymore. Our only advantage is that the elves aren't looking for us specifically, we just happened to be in the invasion path. Is there any kind of refuge we could seek? Some nobleman, perhaps, who would shelter us from the Baron and the elves? Or you two at least - I doubt a branded criminal would be welcome. In any case, someone will come looking for these soldiers sooner or later, and I would rather not be here when they are found." She hesitated. "Particularly if they are not found alive."
    I started a blog!
    Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...

    My Player Profile

    My current characters:
    Spoiler
    Show


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

  10. - Top - End - #190
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WhiteKnight777's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    beyond the furthest star
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Umber

    Umber nodded as Mellita spoke, smiling slowly. Very well, so long as your master cooperates, I won't harm him... I just have a few pressing questions I need to ask- Umber broke off in mid-sentence as he felt the ground begin to shudder, the earth heaving as something great and dark and terrible rose up from the charnel depths beneath the graveyard, releasing a great blast of fetid tomb air as the zigguraut rose into the sky.

    Umber rolled his eyes skyward, sighing. He covered his eyes with his hands, shaking his head. Kartul always did have a fetish for drama. Umber said without a trace of irony. Well, at least it saves us the problem of searching. Bran, if you think you could manage a flight spell, it would be appreciated.
    Like dragons and/or allegory? A little writing project I'm working on. Check back for updates, and feedback is always appreciated!

  11. - Top - End - #191
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dorizzit's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    A2
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Korram Alstan

    Korram stirs in his sleep as the nightmares come upon him, starting to full wakefulness as the imprisoned Lord of the Inferno breaks into his nightmare. Korram thinks for a second, committing to memory Calcifer's ability to interrupt his dreams. He dresses quickly and moves into the main room, and nods silently as Kris explains what's happening. With a wave of his hand, Korram dispels the ring of fire and slides down the ladder. He turns, looking out at the scene of carnage.

    Instead of immediately fleeing the doomed encampment as Kris says, Korram instead goes on the attack. He charges forward while spreading his arms, releasing orange tongues of flame from his fingers which spear enemies all around.

    If it seems like the attack can be warded off, Korram keeps fighting.
    If the encampment is doomed, Korram keeps fighting until he sees and opening and flees into the forest.
    Truly awesome Ark Tamaeus avatar by Bryn. Full size version here.

  12. - Top - End - #192
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Iethloc's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    There
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Sohssal

    The demon mage let Roger take the holy water. Sohssal himself wouldn't have a use for it, anyway. Neither the stakes, garlic nor Miriam's symbol bothered him. Not many holy symbols could affect him without a holy man to back them up. The silver mirror however, almost made him cringe. He replaced it carefully in Heath's pocket, making sure to never look at his reflection. "Ah, these notes will be quite useful. I didn't expect him to be so careless," he said, suppressing a chuckle. After going through the notes, he divided the healing potions between Roger and Omega. Not having any stomach, Sohssal didn't have much use for those, either.

    "All right, unless either of you wants to loot this place, let's get going. We should stop by at my accomplice's place before heading to the meeting spot. I'm sure he'll find these notes useful," he said. As waited for any ransacking to be finished, he gulped down some of the surrounding magical energy as one last pick-me-up. Then he cast the teleportation spell once again, taking along Omega, the acolyte - and even Heath's floating corpse - back to Seymour's lair.
    Order of the Pstick Avatar by Sneak

  13. - Top - End - #193
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New York State
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ardraket Oldn

    Walking through the makeshift barricades Ardraket looked around at the expressions of fear and terror on the helpless minions that are guarding them. It was so sad that they feared the touch of the reaper, unaware of greater horrors that could befall them. With but a touch and a whisper of a knife their existences would be for naught, reduced from a living, breathing person to less than nothing, unraveled like a poorly made shirt in the span of time between eye blinks. Yet they still had purposes and Ardraket, even with his grisly art and skills felt that his talents would set of radars of greater powers if abused too often.

    Listening to Vash Ardraket grunted under his breath as his question. The guards are already shocked and terrified at this point, mentioning that they needed to go to where the “special” prisoners were kept might be enough for the newly promoted office to question these two strangers. Moving his lips slightly, barely uttering breath yet knowing Vash, should he be the least bit competent , will be able to read them clearly.

    ”Make a show, string them along, give them purpose to go down there.”

    The best motivator for those men would be to believe that they were doing a purpose, one with a clear time limit and might require their lives. Judging by what likely happened that might be enough for them to get to the cells in question in the pursuit of clues to their targets.
    My DM Reputation
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Inspectre
    I'm good at making you fear the unknown. Pwenet is good at making you fear the known, which had been the unknown five minutes before he pushed you off screaming into the abyss.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    I'm feeling this real hard now.
    Curse you, Pwenet. Curse you.... You had my hopes up there...

  14. - Top - End - #194
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gourtox's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Telest

    "I think we should try to scale the wall using a grappling hook if you have one. That is probably our best chance of getting in. We could look for an opening in the wall, but we may not find on or even get captured. Either way though we will have to cross the field though and night is the best time. In the end it is your call what we do." He waits patiently for the squad leader's reply. This whole time he is studying the wall and trying to count exactly how many torches there are.
    Avatar by Onasuma

  15. - Top - End - #195
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Baerdog7's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ander Windrivver

    Ander rolls his eyes and grumbles something under his breath as the sentries fly up to confront him. Not wishing to get his young companion killed (David, as it turns out he was called) or to get in an aerial battle on an unproven mount (Sunbeak, as Ander had taken to calling him), Ander guides the griffon to the ground and lands between his two would-be escorts.

    Evening men, no need to get hostile. I'm Ander Windrivver and I'm here to see Karth Chemonte. Now.
    Last edited by Baerdog7; 2009-06-05 at 11:17 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Baerdog: super genius.

  16. - Top - End - #196
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Falconer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Running the World
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Gazrul

    Gazrul turned to his lieutenant. "I concur. Our situation here has become much more complicated, though I am hesitant to abandon the search completely. Due to the elves, I suggest we get back out of this forest as quickly as our steeds will carry us. For truly, in all likelihood the elves have more of their archers and ambushers about. Barbaric and cowardly tactics, but nonetheless effective in the woods. But out in the open we have the advantage. If we want these elves to fight us like proper soldiers, we'll just have to make them."

    Gazrul tosses the communication crystal to Wulfric. "Tell the other men to exit this forest immediately. We'll rally at our initial point of entry. If they ask why, just tell them: ambushers.

    As the men set about their tasks, Gazrul then turns to the struggling elfish prisoner, picking him up as if he were a ragdoll. "I know you won't understand a word of this, elf, but listen closely: I'm going to let you live. But you'll soon regret it, if I have my way. You see all those corpses out there? Those were men. Men with families. Wives, daughters, and sons. And you and your filth murdered them in cold blood. You attacked them by ambush, on a level equivalent with assassins and savages. They, honorable men, were not even given the honor of an honorable death. Thus their blood cries out from the very ground for justice to be done. And it will be done, so help me Ancestors. The true gods of this world, incidentally." Gazrul, elf still in hand, storms over to his mount. He ties the elf to the saddle by his legs, leaving his head dangling only a few feet above the ground. Mounting his steed, he turns to Wulfric.

    "Have you relayed my orders, yet?"
    Last edited by Falconer; 2009-06-06 at 10:26 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #197
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Inspectre's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    The Ghosts of Callaway Camp

    Dorizzit

    Dropping the ring of fire and sliding down the rope ladder to the ground outside, you prepare to join the battle. Looking around, you can see that most of the camp is already on fire or otherwise demolished. Perhaps only half a dozen of the metallic angels you had seen at Ironheart, GHASTs are what they are apparently called, are currently present. Yet despite their numbers, the battle was overwhelmingly in their favor.

    As you watch, a GHAST leaps up into the air in a haze of bluish fire, zooming towards a small cluster of Ghosts guarding a ladder leading up to a burning treehouse as children hurriedly climb down it. A trio of crossbow bolts fired by the Ghosts glance harmlessly off the GHAST’s shining breastplate. Reaching the rope ladder, the GHAST neatly bisects the ladder, and one unlucky child, with a single slash from one of its bladed wings.

    Then it plunges down into the midst of the guards, landing directly on one and crushing him beneath its feet. Bloody blades mounted on each of the GHAST’s forearms then flash out, stabbing into the second Ghost’s chest and tearing him literally in half. The final Ghost turns to flee, abandoning the remaining children in return for his own life. He fails to preserve even that as the GHAST turns and raising one wing to point directly at him. From the wing’s tip emerges a ray of light, spearing the man through the chest and vaporizing him.

    You are preparing to unleash a torrent of flame at the construct to distract it from the screaming children when you are violently tackled from behind. A moment later, you hear the GHAST take flight once again, and the childrens’ screams cut off as they are incinerated by the cloud of fire left behind.

    “What are you doing!?” Kris hisses into your air as he jerks you back up onto your feet. “You can’t fight, you need to start running! Every man I have ever seen who tried to fight one of those things, every single one, died horribly within seconds. And last I counted, there were six of the damn things here. You can’t stop them, you can’t avenge the dead, the only thing you can do here is throw your life away. Katrina is . . . safe - you think I would have come back for you if she wasn’t? But we aren’t going to be if we stay here.”

    Kris begins to drag you away from the scene of slaughter, towards the dark trees beyond the circle of light created by the burning Ghost encampment. Uncertain whether you should remain behind to “throw your life away” as Kris so elegantly put it, or abandon all hope of saving anyone else in return for your own miserable life, you allow Kris to half-drag you towards safely. Unfortunately, you are almost to the safe darkness of the trees some distance away from the encampment when with a soft whine one of the GHASTs descends to block your way. It’s glowing blue eyes settle first on you, and then Kris.

    Koram Alstan . . . you are free to leave unharmed as per the Baron’s treaty. However, Kris is to be apprehended for questioning in regards to Katrina Alstan’s whereabouts. Korram Alstan, please step away from Kris so that you are not inadvertently injured.

    “Even if I knew, I wouldn’t tell you!” Kris grunts, immediately get go of you to turn and run back the way you had came. In a blur of motion, the GHAST raises one wing, beginning to track Kris.

    Repeat, Korram Alstan, stand aside. You are within the firing path, and may become inadvertently injured. You have three seconds to comply.

    The Purifier’s Camp

    Baerdog7

    Not wishing a confrontation with potential allies, you land as demanded. The two sentries follow you down, dismounting while still covering you with their crossbows. The one guard clearly doesn’t recognize your name, as he simply snarls at you.

    “Oh, is that all? For all we know, you’re an assassin. Karth might hear about you after your interrogation, but he certainly isn’t going to talk to you unless you’ve got important information about the Church!”

    The other guard reaches a hand over, forcibly lowering the snarling guard’s crossbow.

    “Easy now. I recognize the lad, so he’s at least good at convincing people of what he says. And I imagine he would soon regret it if he tried to kill Karth. Look sir, I don’t know if you’re really Lord General Ander, but I’ll go pass your name on to the higher-ups and see what they have to say about letting you meet Lord Karth. Wait right here.”

    The guard then hops back on his griffon and flies away, leaving you with the angry guard. Sneering, the guard points his crossbow back at you, and leans up against his griffon, awaiting his companion’s return.

    You are both kept waiting for that return for quite some time, until finally an entire platoon of well-armed guards arrive on foot. Near the back of the formation is the friendly guard, who steps forward to deliver a low bow to you.

    “Apparently Lord Karth has been hoping that you would make an appearance. Forgive our impertinence, Lord General Ander. This honor guard shall escort you to meet with Lord Karth right away. Your griffon will be well cared for in the meantime, and David shall return to his berth, if this is acceptable to you.” (Going to assume it is, or you come up with a reasonable alternative that they likely accept.)

    As one, the large band of armed men falls in around you, providing a solid wall of bodies that leads you into the camp proper. Men and women of all ages and sorts were moving about the camp even now at night, all wearing the tabard with the flaming fist.

    You are perhaps halfway to the massive command tent in the middle when a strong sense of evil passes over you, similar to what you experienced in Stonefall. An oddly familiar looking woman catches your eye just then, out in the crowd that has assembled to watch your procession. She looks at you with something akin to shock, and then ducks back into one of the nearby tents. You are sure to make note of which tent for later investigation, assuming your meeting with Karth goes well.

    Finally, you arrive at the command tent, where another large group of armed and armored guards has assembled. Standing in front of the tent opening is a tall man with fiery red hair, and three parallel scars running across his cheek. He smiles as you and the honor guard come to a stop in front of him.

    “Welcome, Lord General Ander Windrivver. I am Karth Chemonte.”

    Stepping aside, Karth motions for you to enter the tent.

    “I believe that we have much to discuss, you and I. Perhaps it would be best done in private, over a bottle of wine?”

    The City of Amaranth

    The City Gates

    Meltemi

    Beside you, Delora nods silently in agreement. As you watch, the gate continues to rise until it locks into its raised position. A minute later, you hear Delora take in a sharp breath as a cloaked and masked figure steps out into the street from inside the gatehouse. Although partially obscured by the cloak and mask, you are still able to make out enough of the figure’s body shape and face to identify it as a female vampire, her irises the same shade of crimson as Varlest’s.

    A few steps out into the street, the figure pauses to stretch lithely, almost cat-like in its motions. Then the figure breaks into a run, literally dashing up the side of a nearby building up to its roof and out of sight. Delora gasps in shook, looking up at the rooftops overhead in awe.

    “What . . . what was that!?”

    You had heard some vampires were capable of incredible feats of acrobatics, just as some gained magical powers or shapechanging. It would seem whoever Varlest’s new allies are, they are not limited to just one specific clan of vampire.

    Ahead, the open gateway stands dark, almost beckoning you forward deeper into the city. It would seem that the slum district of Amaranth had been heavily compromised by Varlest and his allies. But perhaps other areas of the city were still secure and capable of lending assistance. Or perhaps not, and you were simply wasting your time along with the risk of stumbling into another vampire as you almost did here. If the entire city was now compromised, it would likely be best to find a way to flee entirely, or at least a safe refuge where you could wait out whatever was to follow.

    Then you felt it, a subtle but disquieting twist of your gut that whispered to you something was very wrong. Instinctively, you turned around and peered back down the alleyway. There was nothing there, thankfully, but something was different. Perched in the night sky a short distance outside of the city was an ominous black pyramid, hanging magically in mid-air. This night was getting weirder and more disturbing by the minute.

    WhiteKnight777 & MrEdwardNigma

    “We’re going up there!?” Bran asks, swallowing nervously but looking considerably less pale now as he releases the shell of life energy. Ross simply grins and pats the lad on the head.

    “Easy now son. It’s either go up there, or deal with the undead horde.” Ross explains as he nods at the ranks of zombies and other corpse-like creatures assembling on the ground surrounding the hole that the pyramid left. There’s a considerable number of them, easily as many as were present at the final battle beneath Ironheart – Kartul most have resurrected most of the graveyard in his time below. Ross then shoots a glance towards Mellita.

    “We really going to take the corpse-kisser with us? I think we have a good idea where Helion is now, and she’s just going to go run off and warn him we’re coming first chance she gets.”

    “N-no . . . although I can’t act against him, I don’t have to help Master either. As I’ve said already, I have no idea where he would be in that . . . thing!”

    “Hah! And we’re just supposed to take your word on that, are we?”

    “Let’s just stop arguing! We don’t have time!” Bran exclaims, as he weaves a field of magic, granting everyone within the group the ability of independent flight. This includes Mellita, although she makes no attempt to fly away as the groups floats up a few feet up with their newfound freedom from gravity.

    Above, Kartul’s citadel continues to float menacingly, lazily approaching the city walls while the undead army gathers below. As the group watches, a number of small shapes detach themselves from the floating structure, flying off into escort patterns. Umber identifies them as gargoyles, stone statues imbued with the souls of demons to grant them a sort of life. They tended to be ferocious but rather dim-witted, obeying their creator’s orders without question. Whether they would be willing to offer escort directly to Kartul or would merely attack depended entirely on the instructions last given to them regarding visitors.

    Iethloc

    Dividing Heath’s possessions but letting him keep the silver mirror, you ask if any more ransacking needed to be done.

    Material wealth is largely useless to me.

    I wouldn’t mind taking a tour of this place to see where he keeps his silver and that promised Donovale, but he’s probably got the whole place trapped so I’d rather we just go.

    With the desire to leave confirmed, you teleport everyone including Heath back to Seymour’s teleport room. When you first rematerialize, Seymour is not there. A minute later however, he comes into the room from the only door, holding a half-full glass of wine in his hand.

    “Well, there you are! Back –“

    Seymour comes to a dead stop upon noticing Heath’s dead body.

    “Did you really need to kill him? I was really looking forward to him squealing after the Council was convinced of his guilt. But no matter, I’m sure they won’t have a problem with how this turned out as long as we have proof of what he was doing. You did get proof, didn’t you?”

    “Oh yeah. In fact, seems Heath was on his way out to meet some vampires when we dropped by.”

    Seymour ponders his information for a moment, his frown deepening.

    “Vampires you say. Hmm . . . that’s not good. Come on, I want to show you something.”

    Seymour leads you out of the room into a hallway, and then into a richly appointed sitting room where an opened bottle of wine was resting on a nightstand. Along one wall was a series of ceiling-high windows looking down on the city. You don’t need Seymour to point out the black pyramid ominously hanging in the sky beyond the city wall.

    “That thing just rose up out the ground a few minutes ago, from the direction of the graveyard. I’m willing to bet our necromancer friends have something to do with this. I was about to rouse the other Council members when you got back. I wouldn’t mind some more information to give to the Council, either about this pyramid or about the vampires Heath was going to meet. Something tells me the two are related – think you can investigate one or the other for me?”

    Ironheart

    The Surrounding Mountains

    Gourtox

    Studying the wall, you take stock of how many torches there appear to be. Spaced roughly evenly along the wall are perhaps five dozen torches, about a hundred feet in between each one. By climbing up near the middle of the distance between two of those torches, you will likely only have to contend with low illumination, but that may still be enough for the guards on patrol up there to see you. All it would take is one jumpy guard to shout an alarm to bring your mission to a halt. Still, trying to climb up would be better than wasting what hours of darkness you had left circling the place in the vain hope of finding an actual hole in the wall.

    Lucure evidently concurs with your assessment, as he motions the group forward a minute later. For the moment abandoning stealth for speed, your group races across the moonlit plain of empty ground to the base of the wall. Thankfully, you do not yet hear the guards call from above.

    Next, a grappling hook is prepared. Even with all the rope your group was carrying for such an eventuality, most of it will have to be used, meaning that only one hook could be used – you would have to climb up single-file, one at a time. Although you can not hear the rasp of the grappling hook as it is thrown, several hard tugs reveal that it has found purchase above.

    Grimly deciding to test your fate on the hook holding your weight all the way up, you lead the small squad, having the most experience with killing quietly. It is a long, hard climb, and your feet slip on the solid iron more than once, leaving all of your weight on your arms and nearly causing you to tumble to your death. Finally however, you make it up to the top of the wall.

    You can dimly see several guards moving about the wall with you, their presence occasionally revealed fully as they pass through the patch of bright light thrown by one of the torches. Below is another long clearing of empty ground, this one still littered with bodies and the remains from very large funeral pyres. Beyond that stands the second wall of Ironheart, and beyond that finally the actual fortress and the massive spires jutting into the sky above it all.

    Your attention is suddenly diverted as you notice a trio of guards pass through a nearby torch’s light, heading directly for you and the grappling hook. The elves are climbing up as fast as they can behind you, but there is no way all of them will be able to climb up before the guards arrive. You would either have to deal with the guards with the help of Lucure and the next elf in line, or would have to abandon the hook and run hide somewhere before the guards reach your current location. And whatever you do, it will have to be quiet.

    Falconer

    “Yes sir.” Wulfric replies, a curious note of caution? disappointment? In his voice. While your subordinate stalks off a short distance to contact the others on his communication crystal, you address the elf once more.

    Although you can’t understand the elf and he can’t understand you, you greets you with a string of harsh elvish words as you heave him up onto the back of your horse. You bind him tightly into place, confident that despite having an unpleasant ride he should not actually be dashed against any stones. You wanted him alive for what was to follow.

    At your summons Wulfric comes back over.

    “Yes, I’ve managed to inform most of the groups. I was unable to get in contact with one squad however – likely the elves already found them.”

    Wulric shoots an angry glance as the elf trussed up on your horse.

    “However sir, while I concur with your strategy, I have my concerns.”

    Leaning in close, Wulfric whispers intently to you.

    “Sir, by abandoning the forest we’re also likely abandoning the Countess to them. If they have as many ambushes as it seems like they do, some wandering noblewoman twit is bound to blunder into them sooner or later. She might already have, and is now dead or worse. Regardless, we’re not getting paid one copper until the Countess’s fate is invariably determined. Let me assembled a small team of our best trackers. We’ll sneak back into the forest mounted, and try to slip around the elves until we find out what happened to her.”

    Although there was an eager note in Wulfric’s voice, you are aware of his capabilities. In his time serving under you, he has grown into a capable commander, and he would not be putting this plan forward unless he was confident in his ability to accomplish it.

    Lonna

    The elf continues glaring at you as you wipe the spittle away and return his insults with a command to go back to bed. As the elf lapses into slumber once more, you turn back to Klaus who is even now starting to move about the room collecting objects, Rudolf trailing after him.

    “I’ve been living in the mountains for the past couple decades. I don’t have the foggiest who in power is even alive anymore, let alone who would be willing to shelter us. Right now, we just need to collect supplies, load up the sleigh, and get out of here. Back when it was just the handful of elves I’d have killed them all, but now I don’t care what happens to them. Kill ‘em, leave ‘em, set ‘em free, it’s all the same to me – still not going to keep my home regardless.” Klaus growled as he continued to pick up items.

    The soft sound of a door whispering open drew your attention back to the bedroom doorway, where the Countess was cautiously peering out at you and Klaus.

    “I was listening at the doorway.” She admitted, her cheeks starting to flush with embarrassment. “In answer to your question, I have a few ideas where to go. It all depends on what sort of lies the Baron has been spreading about me, of course. It is my right to go before the King himself, but that would require several weeks of travel to the capital. There are also several nobles whose estates are considerably closer, although their loyalty is questionable. Among them, I would put the most faith in Viscount Damont and Duke Volesin. Although young, the Viscount is a fairly vocal enemy of the Baron – I am sure he would have no hesitation in sheltering us. Of course, his influence is also rather meager, and considering the Baron’s lack of hesitation in assaulting other nobles’ homes, he may already be dead.”

    The Countess looks quite pained at this possibility, and holds a hand up to her face for a few moments before continuing.

    “Duke Volesin is fairly powerful, enough that I doubt the Baron would move against him directly at this point. Although he is neutral on the subject of the Baron and I have never met him personally, he was an old friend of my father. I am sure he would shelter us as well, and his estate is perhaps only a week’s travel from here. Most of his domain is also in the lowlands beyond the mountains, and thus out of the elves’ invasion path assuming they make directly for the capital.”

    “Well, wherever we’re headed, first thing we gotta do is get out of these damned woods, which are crawling with elves. Then we gotta get out of the Barony, and we know the Baron’s men want me dead, Pryene back in Ironheart, and –“

    “And to confine me in a situation worse than both, yes. Unfortunately, I suspect most of the Baron’s men will be able to recognize both Pyrene and myself, assuming our descriptions have been passed out.”

    Grunting, Klaus shrugs as he pulls out several long cloaks to add to the pile, handing one to you and tossing another to Amelia.

    “Well, we can help with that, at least from a distance. They ought to block out some of the cold as well. Unfortunately, I don’t know any clever tricks for sneaking past the elves outside, so we’re just going to have to ride like the wind and leave them eating snow. And pray they don’t think to drop trees in our path until we’re already past ‘em.”

    Tossing most of the assembled gear into a heavy leather sack and then tossing said sack jauntily over one shoulder, Klaus beckons both you and the Countess.

    “Alright then, let’s go outside. Pyrene, grab the crossbow – you shoot anything that moves out there that you don’t like. Countess, you bring up the rear, help keep an eye on the treeline while I get the sleigh ready to move. You two can also figure out where we’re going in the end, because one place is much like the other to me. Rotten elves, chasing me out of my damn home that I built with my own two hands.”

    Although he mutters considerably after that, only your sharp ears pick up the long string of curses and insults to the elves that would be enough to make anyone blush.

    Pwenet

    Vash’s only response to your mouthed words was a slight nod. From then on he made a show of it, occasionally waving one hand outstretched in front of him, as if trying to touch something. Once or twice he asked the group to stop, going into one of the nearby cells and mumbling prayer-sounding words. Vash’s efforts did not make the darkness any more stifling, but you could see a note of purpose re-enter the eyes of your guards.

    Down and down through the dark corridors you went, stepping over the bodies of prisoner and guard alike – evidently no efforts had been yet made to clean up this area. You did not see any demon bodies, but arrows and gouges in the stone clustered together suspiciously in the walls and floor now and then suggest a body once briefly rested there.

    Somehow, your little band makes it all the way down to the third floor without encountering any real danger, although a rat’s unexpected appearance caused several of the guards to jump back in fright. Ultimately the guards are able to direct you to Karth’s cell. Sharing a look with you, Vash nods and violently shivers.

    “Oh, yes! This is most definitely a center of evil resonance! It must be cleared out at once! Protect me while I cleanse it!”

    Motioning you into the cell with him, Vash kneels down near the middle of the tiny square and begins mumbling again. By the light of your torch, you are able to examine the entire cell, and notice quite a few disturbing things.

    First, all of the walls are covered in strange symbols that seem to have been painstakingly scrapped into the stone. There is a pattern to them that suggests a language of some sort, but it is not any with which you are familiar. Over in one corner, a small pile of scorched leather and half-melted chains sit. Likely, Karth was somehow able to break free of his bonds, and then destroyed them with intense flames. Or perhaps whatever freed him from his bonds used fire to do it. The cell door’s lock had been melted into useless slag, which seemed to confirm he escaped/set free by intense flames. How Karth was able to escape injury from such flames was a mystery however.

    Finally, in one corner of the room was a shattered piece of stone. One long piece with a rounded, scratched off tip was clearly what Karth used to make the inscriptions in the wall, but the other shards seemed to have a different purpose. In fact, you noticed that most of those other pieces had writing of their own on them. Although difficult, it might be possible to reassemble them. Hoping that whatever Karth had wished destroyed would be important, you begin to piece the shards back together.

    Minutes pass, and at several points the guards look in to question Vash. Each time, he answered that the evil here was strong, and that he needed more time, while shooting you a “hurry up” look. Finally, the tablet was whole once more, and despite the myriad of lines running through it, you were able to read the list that they formed.

    • 1) Summon Purifer as per the mad angel’s instructions
    • 2) Make pact with Him
    • 3) Escape
    • 4) Travel to Whitefen
    • 5) Meet with surviving followers
    • 6) Reform Army of the Pure
    • 7) Destroy the Church of Light
    • 8) Create the new Church from scratch
    • 9) Profit from my long struggle


    You are just finished with reading the list when you near the faint scrape of claws on iron, a moment before the cell door clangs shut. Of course, with the lock melted you are not stuck inside, but the clang of the iron door swinging back into its frame is still enough to make the guards all jump and Vash to look worried at the door. A moment later, an invisible voice cackles from the midst of the guards.

    “Uwheeheehee! Are you poor souls lost!? Because Caxle has found you! And now you’re all DEAD! UWAHAHAHA!”

    The Hells

    The Screaming Dark Estate

    OverWilliam

    “Grandmaster” Vylethar continues to frown as you explain your presence here, although you sense now that his irritation has been shifted away from you. His expression changes to one of neutral interest as you relay your false story of meeting Adamè. As you suspect, Adamè’s sharp ears are able to pick up your whispers, and the effect your story has on her is devastating. She breaks into sobs moments after your story reaches its conclusion.

    “Oh Tare . . . . Tare Tare . . .”

    Black doesn’t seem to react beyond mild anxiety, Brown with reserved pity, and Red with irritation. Vylethar gives you a hearty slap on the back before leaning in close.

    “I wouldn’t worry about it too much. You’re here now, and that’s what matters. If you will excuse me a minute – don’t go anywhere.”

    Walking around the side of the bed, Vylethar kneels down next to Adamè while reaching up with one hand to carefully wipe away her tears.

    “Now now, there’s no need to start crying just now my pet – you’ll ruin your make-up like that.”

    With one last sob, Adamè throws herself into Vylethar’s arms, clinging desperately to him. Reflexively your fingers curl up, turning your hands into claws, the better to wrap around Vylethar’s neck and start squeezing. Even with your instinctual hatred of him, you did have to marvel at Vylethar’s smoothness as he gently stroked Adamè’s hair until she finally relaxed and stopped crying.

    Then as if remembering something else, she roughly pushed Vylethar away. “Teareal! Where’s Teareal!?”

    Vylethar flashed his perfect teeth as he shrugged. “No idea, babe.” Surprisingly, he instantly regretted his words as the previously calm Adamè suddenly lashed out, flailing at him with her chained hands.

    “You bastard! Where is Teareal!?”

    “Woah! Calm down there!” Vylethar exclaimed as one flailing fist nearly connected with his nose. Then he managed to snag hold of the chain connecting Adamè’s wrists, and the brief wrestling match that followed was no contest with Adamè’s weakened state. Holding her wrists down against her chest with one hand, Vylethar stroked her hair again, although again he was in for a surprise as Adamè turned her head to try and bite him, while the bed sheets began to jump about as her legs flailed from underneath.

    “WHERE IS MY BETROTHED!?”

    Grimacing as he immediately released her and stepped back, Vylethar looked as if he had just swallowed something unpleasant and it had lodged itself in his throat.

    “Ah, okay, I get it now. My mistake. Listen, I’m going to go find out where this Teareal is. You just wait right here, okay? These ladies here are going to take care of you while I’m gone. You just lie back down and get some rest, alright?”

    Glaring at him, Adamè smoothed her veils and settled back onto the bed, staring up at the ceiling. “Fine.”

    His smiling expression fading to something considerably more dark, Vylethar turns back to you. Throwing an arm over your shoulder, he begins to guide you out of the room, while looking back towards the girls.

    “See to it that she has everything she needs . . . and that she’s no more trouble.”

    Once he has you out in the hallway, Vylethar turns you around to face him, placing both hands on your shoulders as he looks into your eyes.

    “So, Achbar . . . did you encounter anyone else when you found her? Any idea who this Teareal guy could be? I seem to remember Crx saying something about finding some more slaves, but honestly I wasn’t really paying attention to him at the time. Right now though, it’s extremely important that I find this Teareal guy. So . . . can you help me?”
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

    Threads I'm currently DMing:


    Threads I have successfully completed:

  18. - Top - End - #198
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WhiteKnight777's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    beyond the furthest star
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Umber

    Umber pondered for a moment, looking at Mellita. At last, he took one of his own nails and put a small cut on one of his wrists. He pushed it up against Mellita's mouth, feeling a rush of power and a sensual heat filling him as he whispered in her ear. "Drink"

    It wasn't a perfect solution, of course - the effects of the Lord's blood on lesser vampires had always been unpredictable. But it was also incredibly potent - and Mellita had already fed from him before, in Ironheart. That would, of course, have created the begginnings of a bond, a basis for this to build on now that he was making a concious effort to create one. He was unsure if it would break Helion's completely, but it might serve as a counterbalance, and would hopefully help if they encountered Helion - help, that is, to prevent him from ordering Mellita against them.

    When she had taken enough, Umber held her for a moment, looking into her eyes with his arms wrapped about her waist as the blood took hold within her. He could feel it, pulsing in her dead veins, a part of him. Then he pressed his lips to hers, tasting his own vitae on her tongue as he dimly heard Ross retch.

    He pulled back after a moment, smiling, and gently wiped a trace of blood from the corner of her mouth. "If we both survive this, Mellita, I will give you your freedom. This I give you my word upon. Now, let us go. We must speak with my old comrade and see what he is up to."

    He began to drift upwards, moving over to Bran to hover about him protectively while still keeping an eye on Mellita. "Oh, and everyone... don't worry too much about what words I might trade Kartul. I may have to talk fast at some point, and there's no need for any of you to worry about what I might have to say." So saying, he began to rise towards the fortress, his sword lose in its scabbard if the guardians should prove hostile.
    Like dragons and/or allegory? A little writing project I'm working on. Check back for updates, and feedback is always appreciated!

  19. - Top - End - #199
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dorizzit's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    A2
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Korram Alstan

    Korram looks around, aghast at the havoc caused by the baron's constructs. The implications of the power of these "GHASTs" are not lost on Korram, and his mood only grows grimmer as he realizes just how many the Baron must have to be willing to send so many on a mission like this. Korram snarls impotently as Kris drags him away, wanting to help but knowing there is no way he can.
    Well, maybe one...
    No.
    Calcifer, why...
    Absolutely not. I will only allow the use of Banefire in absolute life or death situations-
    This is-
    -Life or death for you, Korram.
    Dejected and refused, Korram docilely follows Kris out of the encampment, sneaking very quietly around the flames and wrecks. When they reach the outskirts of the encampment, they are confronted by a GHAST that blocks there way. It issues an ultimatum to Korram to get out of the way before pointing a laser wing at Kris. Korram thinks very quickly, and steps out of the way.
    Then he reaches up and twists the wing out of its alignment with Kris, and then grips it and spins up, planting his feet on the construct's back. Gripping the wing at the base, Korram superheats his hands and pulls with all of his might. The wing proves even more resistant than expected, but Korram manages to separate it.
    The action leaves him vulnerable, however, and the GHAST reaches around and grabs his leg, hurling him away and into a nearby tree.

    Korram Alstan. You are in violation of your pact with the Baron, and your status as dangerous criminal is restored. You will be terminated.

    Korram flips up and over the ensuing laser blast, landing and ineffectively trying to sweep the GHAST off its feet. He dodges back, favoring his pained ankle. He makes a mental note not to try that again.
    Dodging an overhead slice from the wing, Korram grabs it behind the blades, calling upon all of Calcifer's strength and heat in one burst that crushes the metal appendage where he grabs it. He begins to toss the wing aside, but then a wicked grin splits his face. Dodging a preternaturally fast fist, Korram brings the wing around and slices through the arm lengthwise before chopping it off at the shoulder. He leaps over a second punch and brings the blade through the creature's other shoulder. A follow through once he lands separate's the Baron's minion from its legs. Korram impales the GHAST's torso into the ground, and then speaks to the still-active head.

    "I broke no oath. I said I would return in six months, which has not yet elapsed, and I said I would not harm any of the Baron's men, which you are most certainly not. Do not impugn my honor!"

    Korram stands and turns to Kris.

    "Let's go. The others are probably coming."

    He heads off into the woods, setting a fast pace.
    Last edited by Dorizzit; 2009-06-15 at 01:45 PM.
    Truly awesome Ark Tamaeus avatar by Bryn. Full size version here.

  20. - Top - End - #200
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Gourtox's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Telest

    He taps Lucure on the shoulder and whispers, "Guards." He points in the direction he last saw the guards before drawing his bow and notching an arrow. He silently crouches waiting for the guards to become visible in the soft torchlight.
    Spoiler
    Show
    As soon as a guard is visible he will fire an arrow at its throat and if that is succesful fire an arrow at another guard if two are still standing the one tht is going to make the most noise. If that isn't succesful he will shoot at the guard that looks like he's going to yell.
    Avatar by Onasuma

  21. - Top - End - #201
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Falconer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Running the World
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Gazrul

    Gazrul nodded thoughtfully as he listened to his lieutenant's proposal. In light of the recent events, he had, perhaps, lost sight of what he and his men had come here for in the first place. Leave it to Wulfric to remind him of their purpose.

    "Wulfric, I find your plan to be most excellent. While I must see to the safety of the men at large, I thank you for reminding me of our goal here. I feel I... forgot somewhat, in light of the strategic changes here."

    Gazrul saluted his lieutenant. "When you return from your venture, I will see to it you are rewarded for your courage, as courage always ought to be. Now choose our best, so that we may both be off on our respective duties."
    Last edited by Falconer; 2009-06-15 at 07:13 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #202
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    New York State
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ardraket Oldn

    “Standard profit motive, why can these fools not be more creative.”

    Grumbling slightly as he reads the list of the plan Ardraket nods as he sees the route that his target will be taking. Yet the slight victory is short-lived as the voice crackles from the middle of the guards.

    Yet the first reaction of Ardraket is to stay still. Surprises were nothing new, and in his experience he found that staying calm and still for a moment provides an illuminating light to a situation. Throughout his life this moment of calm has evolved to be second nature. For but a bare second time freezes and he goes through in his minds eye the locations of the guards, Vash and the mysterious Caxle.

    As the Adrenaline rushes through him a hidden knife lowers into his hand. Echoes of the voice ripple through the chamber, with the diminishing sounds bouncing along the walls, providing a snapshot of the possible source of the voice. A quick blink across the guards reveals a possible location where someone could be hidden, and a path where a knife could fly through it and not hit the redshirts.

    Time returns to normal and his knife flies through the air, his hand a blur of motion as the knife rips through the air towards the possible source of the voice. The rest of him is a blur as he twist and lowers himself and two more knives appear in his hands, ready and willing to shed more blood as needed.
    My DM Reputation
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Inspectre
    I'm good at making you fear the unknown. Pwenet is good at making you fear the known, which had been the unknown five minutes before he pushed you off screaming into the abyss.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    I'm feeling this real hard now.
    Curse you, Pwenet. Curse you.... You had my hopes up there...

  23. - Top - End - #203
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Iethloc's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    There
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Sohssal

    "He was trying to exorcise me. I certainly wasn't going to let him get away with that!" he responded. However, he didn't raise any protests as Seymour led him to another room. Upon seeing the black, hovering pyramid, he tilted his head slightly. Then he tried to get a good whiff, and see if the pyramid radiated enough magic to be detectable even at that distance.

    "Investigating the vampires would probably end up at the pyramid before long...one way or another. Since I've got a free afternoon, I can get started on that immediately. However, I'll need to take Heath's corpse. I'll be able to convincingly pass as him while possessing it," he explained, gesturing at the levitated corpse as he finished.
    Order of the Pstick Avatar by Sneak

  24. - Top - End - #204
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OverWilliam's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    ~Tare

    Tare nodded, trying to look eager to help. "Certainly lord, I'm sure that-- erk..." He mumbled, as the invisibility field on his chest began to spread. He made a face, closing his eyes and breathing deeply; the field retreated back to just the hole in his chest. "Pardon me, Lord..." He reaches up to wipe sweat from his forehead. "Erm, Right, the... Elf--do we know her name yet...?--was found with another, a male elf around her-- errrg..." He muttered, the invisibility again spreading, this time slowing to a stop when it covered almost his entire chest. "Please, your forgiveness, Lord, but...rrg... Visibility is difficult for me to maintain for more than a few minutes, you see... I don't believe I can hold it back for much longer," He explains, making a small show of struggle, forcing the field back another few inches. At this point he seems rather out of breath, and finally, with a gasp of relenting against the inevitable, the invisibility field plunges back over his whole body, washing him away from sight. His voice remains fatigued, but is otherwise changed completely. Again his voice returns to the low, guttural rumble that it was before Vylethar entered the room before. "Apologies, Lord... it seems I had less time than even I thought." He shuffles his feet audibly. "I trust you know where the Slave quarters are, your Lordship? I will follow you, with your permission..."
    Last edited by OverWilliam; 2009-06-16 at 01:31 PM.
    Deo Soli Sit Semper Gloria

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

  25. - Top - End - #205
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Lonna's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    MD, DC area
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Pyrene

    When Klaus washed his hands of the elves' fate, Pyrene paused, gazing at them for a moment before shaking her head and helping the old man gather the things they would need. When Countess Amelia mentioned Duke Volesin, Pyrene felt a chill that could not be warded off by her new cloak, but she said nothing until they went outside. Then, while Klaus readied the sleigh, she asked Garthax to stand watch and turned to discuss their destination with the Countess. She launched into her thoughts with no preamble.

    "I think going directly to the King is too dangerous right now. The capital is too far away, and if you are correct we would have hunting parties from the Baron and elven scouts searching for us the entire distance. I do not think Duke Volesin would be as willing to protect you as you believe either." She hesitated. "Particularly if I am with you. Edward and Alphonse Volesin were working in Ironheart, and I am responsible for their deaths. More importantly, for you, I believe they were there of their own free will, though I gathered that they had not been allowed to return home since their arrival. The Duke's influence is worse than useless if he does not use it in your favor, and I fear he may well favor the Baron instead. Viscount Damont is a safer bet. He may have less influence, but we can be certain he will use it to aid you."

    Their destination decided, the small group of fugitives loaded into the sleigh and set off. They rode in silence for a while, wary lest they encounter more elves or the Baron's hunters, but they saw no one. Pyrene soon realized that either it had been later in the day than she realized when she woke, or else night came sooner to the mountains than it did in the plains cities to which she was accustomed, for after only a few hours of travel the light began to disappear. Klaus found a wide-mouthed cave deep enough to bring the sleigh inside and still give them plenty of shelter, declaring that they would stay there for the night. Though he would allow only a small, smokeless fire, the women were grateful for its warmth and sat as close as they could without scorching their new clothing. Once the watch schedule was established (Klaus had the first watch, Pyrene the second), Pyrene turned to the noblewoman beside her.

    "Countess, would you let me try a magic with you? She asked it with uncharacteristic timidity, not sure what the reaction would be. "Looking at the elves earlier, I thought of something the mage did, before I met you. I think, if you are willing to let me try, I might be able to see into your memory. Only, if it does work, I don't know how much of my mind you might be able to see at the same time. I don't... Most of my past is not very pleasant."

    Pyrene stopped, unable to say that she trusted the Countess, at least a little, or that she had never trusted anyone since leaving her home city. The noblewoman looked at her for a moment, then nodded and said simply, "What do you want me to do?"

    "Focus on one memory... back in the carriage you said that someone else might try to rescue you. Think about when you met him."

    Taking a deep breath, Pyrene gently touched the tips of the index, middle, and ring fingers of her right hand to the center of Countess Amelia's forehead. Summoning the magic within her, Pyrene focused on the other woman. At first nothing happened. Then, suddenly

    Pyrene was standing (or perhaps sitting - she didn't seem to have a body so it was impossible to be sure) in a vast, unlit room. All around her were small, roughly rectangular moving images, and Pyrene understood these to be memories. Without warning she began rushing past them, or perhaps it was they that flew past her, not stopping until one particular image hung suspended before her eyes. She realized that this was the memory she had asked the Countess to focus on, and that she could, if she chose, turn away and examine another memory. But no, Countess Amelia trusted her, and Pyrene refused to break that fragile bond. She turned her attention to the memory before her and

    Pyrene's world was made up of pain. Pain and panic. She was vaguely aware that she was babbling, that there were others somewhere beyond the curtain of blonde hair covering her face, but all her attention was on the pain and her frantic, fearful thoughts. Screaming pain in her dislocated shoulders and panicked knowledge that she had to get away, that she was helpless, that her torturers could come back and hurt her more, that they hadn't only because
    he wanted to do it himself, later, after she was-

    She was falling, the pain in her shoulders mercifully less, though she nearly screamed at the touch of the stranger who caught her. She could see nothing through the hair that had fallen into her face some time before, and her blindness increased her panic. Despite this newcomer's evident care for her shoulders, all she could think was that he could not possibly be rescuing her.

    "Now that's done... Who are you and why are you here?" The voice was deep, hoarse, but not unkind - or at least, not now. A slight accent marked him as coming from this very Barony, like many of her guards and tormentors, but had she heard this particular voice before? She could not remember.

    "Good lord, Korram, she's just had a panic attack, give her a moment. Whenever you're ready, miss," added a second voice, that of the man holding her, as he set her down on something that was warm, soft, furred, and, judging by the way it moved with her when she shifted, alive. This man's voice was higher, though just as hoarse, and he had a slightly thicker accent than his companion, one which Pyrene could not identify. If he was a torturer, he had never spoken in her presence before now.

    Now there was near silence, the loudest sound being her own rapid breathing. She smelled burnt flesh and vaguely remembered that there had been sounds of fighting after the guard had set her swinging. These would be escaped prisoners then; hard, cruel men who had cut her down only because she was female and they could...

    The images her mind presented were too horrible to dwell on, but the alternative was scarcely better, if they had freed her on
    his orders. For several moments she sat shivering, twiching and jerking every time she imagined one of the men had come closer, her mind fearfully repeating that whatever was going on, it could not be a rescue, that she was still helpless, at the mercy of strangers, that she needed to get out of here. At last the tension of not being able to see what was happening became unbearable, and with a violent motion that jarred her choulders, she managed to flip the sweat-matted hair out of the right side of her face.

    Pyrene's eyes widened as she saw the two men who watched her, seemingly wary but concerned, from a few feet away. One of the men was short, wiry, and unhealthy looking, with a prominent tattoo of a tiger on his branded arm. His shaved head, thin lips, and crooked nose might have given him a cruel look if not for his eyes, which were large, pale blue, and childishly peaceful. The other escaped prisoner was nearly as different as it was possible to be. Tall, lean, and muscular, she barely even noticed his disheveled black hair and grim red eyes, for her attention was drawn to his right forearm, which appeared to be... on fire.

    Her eyes narrowed and she chewed her lower lip nervously as she took in the dead elites and slight wounds on the prisoners.
    “I . . . I am not sure . . . that I can trust you. I mean, that awful man . . . he has sworn not to mar my body, but there are many tortures to inflict on the mind that leave not a single mark. I dare not hope that this is anything other than a sick game. I can’t afford to trust . . . danger lurks on every side . . . I have to get out of here. I have to!”


    Hearing the panicked note in her voice, Pyrene shook her head violently, biting down on her lip until she tasted blood. The coppery tang reminded her of the foul potion the guards had forced her to drink only minutes ago. Taking a deep breath, she shuddered a bit as her shoulders protested, then forced a smile onto her face as she looked back up at the men.

    “I am sorry. I think I’ve been poisoned. The guards . . . ever since they forced that vile brew down my throat I’ve been overcome with the greatest sense of unease. My heart is positively racing, even as it should be slowing in this moment of calm. My every sense screams at me not to trust you; my sudden inexplicable rescue at your hands suggesting that this is a trick, for who would know to look for me here? And I would not expect most prisoners, if that is what you would claim to be, to act so nobly in this instance. Even if you could overpower two guards such as these, there are many more and escape from this place is impossible. I have heard that only the worst scum throughout the kingdom is sent to this dark place, and so should I not expect two such prisoners to seek to inflict as much carnage as possible before being restrained once more? The fact that you are helping me rather than taking advantage suggests that you both are something more than prisoners.”

    She smiled again, this time in genuine amusement at herself, and at the slightly thunderstuck expressions of her companions. It seemed they had not expected her to doubt their intentions. “I am sorry, I seem to be rambling. Giving voice to my thoughts seems to be the only way I can keep my head clear of the fear. In any case, if you are guards in disguise, then you already know who I am and there is nothing to lose by playing along with your feigned ignorance. If you must know, I am the Countess Amelia Ashargrin. And I believe that my crime, if you could call it that, would be refusing to marry a certain son of the Baron of Gast’s. No doubt the Baron thought to ally our two provinces through marriage, and that I would be easily convinced after my father’s recent death. I refused to be manipulated into marrying that pathetic freak of a man, and thus angered him and his father both greatly. One night I was abducted from my manor, and several days later I found myself here. I was told that I could leave whenever I wanted, provided that I agreed to marry the Baron’s son. But I will not yield to abuse anymore than I yielded to the Baron’s less obtuse methods of coercion. So, now then, is this charade at an end or are you going to continue it by telling me your 'names'?”

    The big man nods. "I am sorry. I did not mean to pressure you. Let me see if I can answer some of your questions. My name is Korram Alstan, and this is my..." He paused. "This is Dima. We broke free at around the same time, and we are currently attempting to escape from Ironheart. We weren't specifically looking for you, rather we stumbled upon the connecting chamber and decided to investigate, as neither of us are bad people, despite our current surroundings. I was a revolutionary against the Baron. Dima was a thief. As for your belief about us being guards...we just killed two elite guards. And we both have abilities which can only be described as...unusual." He motioned with his fire arm, as if she could have missed it. "Do you require any further proof of our identities?"

    "Not just a thief," clarified the small man, Dima. "But a thief-in-law. I follow the Code." He slapped the tiger tattoo, like a salute. "No ordinary thief would have a tattoo like this. And anyway, you are also in this prison. We have no reason to trust you, either. You could be some kind of ... " He paused, searching for the right word. "Enchantress. Whether you're a dangerous criminal or not, all I know is that it's not right to torture people like they were torturing you."

    Pyrene smiled slightly at the attempts to reassure her, took another deep breath, and tried to organize her thoughts. “My panic is telling me that you killed two men
    dressed as elite guardsmen. And the Warden and his master the Baron most certainly employ individuals with . . . unique talents such as yourselves. I do not know if there is anything you can say or do that will put my mind at ease right now.”

    Pyrene let out a bark of laughter with no real humour in it, then grimaced as the movement translated to her already painful shoulders. “Nor, do I expect, is there anything that I can do to convince you that I am a Countess and not an . . . Enchantress. If we somehow accomplish the impossible and are able to return to my home, then I assure you that I could provide a great deal of evidence as to my heritage.”

    This was the wrong thing to say, as acknowledging the impossibility of the situation triggered another anxiety attack. Closing her eyes, she focused on taking deep breaths and forcing down the panicked, paranoid thoughts that wanted to burst out of her mouth, shuddering with the effort it took to do so. When she felt she had herself under control again, she opened her eyes with a sigh.

    "Now then, is it your intention to express your own distrust of me by keeping me prisoner? Otherwise I should very much like my hands to be untied and something to be done about my injured shoulders. Neither is helping me suppress the growing urge to run wildly about the room, screaming madly.”

    Korram left the room without a word, only to return seconds later, tying a sleeve of what appeared to be much abused leather over his flaming arm. I can't do much about your hands without hurting you," he explained, "but I can reset your shoulders...it will just be somewhat painful. Acceptable?"

    Pyrene swallowed hard and clenched her jaw, imagining the current pain magnified, but nodded. Korram approached carefully, in much the same way she had seen grooms approach a spooked horse. Gently but firmly, he took a grip on her right biceps and elbow. Without warning he lifted and twisted the arm, eliciting a shriek of agony, followed by a second scream an instant later as he moved to the left side and repeated the process. As soon as the job was done, Korram was backing away, even as Pyrene realized that the pain in her shoulders had subsided to a mild and easily tolerable ache.

    Smiling a little uncertainly at her unusual saviors, Pyrene felt a tide of relief and gratitude push back the drug-induced paranoia. "You have my gratitude, sir. I cannot imagine any guard showing such kindness or care. In spite of my feelings or the impossible coincidence of your sudden arrival, I shall trust you both with my life.”


    "That's enough," said Pyrene aloud, opening her eyes and stepping out of the Countess's mind as easily as if she had done it a hundred times before. Instantly the pain of the memory retreated, leaving not the faintest echo in Pyrene's own shoulders. A glance at the fire and quick question directed to Klaus confirmed that they had been sitting there motionless for just under ten minutes - approximately the length of time it had taken for the original memory to be created.

    "That was... interesting. I never would have thought Korram Alstan was the man you hoped to see. In any case, what did you experience while the spell was in effect? Did... did you see...?" Pyrene listened intently to whatever the Countess had to relate, making mental notes for the next attempt.

    "If you would like, I can try to show you the first good people I met in Ironheart as well," she offered, gently touching the Countess's arm.

    {{OOC: If the Countess agrees, Pyrene will attempt to show her the conversation with the Judge, particularly the part where they describe their crimes and how they became the Judge. She will also attempt to do this without moving her hand from the noblewoman's arm (to find out if she has to be touching the forehead, or if any contact will do).}}
    Last edited by Lonna; 2009-06-16 at 08:16 PM.
    I started a blog!
    Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup...

    My Player Profile

    My current characters:
    Spoiler
    Show


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

  26. - Top - End - #206
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Meltemi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Beneath an infinite sky

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ruya

    “Another vampire,” Ruya murmured, half-dazed herself at the physical feat and what it meant. A sudden feeling of deep-rooted unease came over her, and she felt every rune on her body ache faintly in sympathetic response. She turned to where Delora was looking at her with concern, but saw instead a massive black pyramid floating well above the city walls, stark against the night sky behind her. Delora turned to see what had so taken her attention, only to freeze, stunned, at the sight. Ruya found her voice first. “This magic...what kind of art,” she whispered. Shaking her head slightly, she continued, loud enough to be audible. “The vampire must have left the gate open to let something through. We should find the nearest guard post that isn’t at a gate, warn them if they’re still there.” She gave a second look to the mysterious object, wondering if she should go there instead. Whatever power was being summoned, it was obviously coming from there. Still, the vampires were already within the city, along with whatever help would be available to them. “We should hurry.”
    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?

  27. - Top - End - #207
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Baerdog7's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Ander Windrivver

    I'd lower that crossbow if I were you, Ander says to the rather surly guard left behind to keep an eye on him while the other goes to announce his arrival. Even at this range, your bolt wouldn't even penetrate my armor. Relax, I'm not going to attack you.

    Ander waits patiently for the other guard to arrive, following him quietly when he returns. Old habits reassert themselves as he walks through the camp, and he can't help but find himself mentally appraising it. He pays attention to how the tents are set up, the disposition and make-up of the soldiers, and any defenses the camp may have. Hopefully he'd be able to pick up on some clues as to just what kind of army Karth had assembled, and maybe some clues as to the personality of Karth himself.

    Ander is interrupted, however, as a strong sense of evil washes over him. What the...? Melcara? He wonders, noting the tent the woman ducked into for further investigation. For the rest of his journey, Ander actively scans the camp for other signs of evil and for any trace of Melcara or Peeping Tom.

    Karth Chemonte, it's a pleasure to finally meet you. Ander says, finally arriving at Karth's tent. A bottle of wine sounds lovely, and I also have many things to discuss with you. He follows Karth into the tent and takes whichever seat happens to be offer him. He sips his wine slowly, savoring the flavor and letting it run over his tongue and into every nook and cranny of his mouth. Now that is an amazing Donovale, Karth. You must have a knack for choosing wine. Now, why is it that you wanted to speak with me?
    Quote Originally Posted by PhoeKun View Post
    Baerdog: super genius.

  28. - Top - End - #208
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MrEdwardNigma's Avatar

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Belgium
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Hans von Ravenstein
    Hans gazed at his limbs in surprise as they seperated themselves from the earth. In all his life Hans had never felt this light. Normally he could barely manage jumping...
    He quite liked it, but wasn't about to get distracted.

    "I'm still not entirely convinced. Necromancy isn't such a bad thing, and building in a graveyard is slightly illegal, but no more than that. Let's not judge this guy on what he looks like..."

    "Warf!" Scruff said, and Hans gently patted the dog on his head to calm him. This whole flying thing was stressing his pet out.

    "Hmmmm, and why are we letting the girl live? She attacked us, and shows no regret. She doesn't even intend to help... I think she has served her purpose. If we're to clean up the world, why not start here?"

    Hans stayed quiet for some time as Umber fed the girl. He remembered his master's interest in vampire blood and noted that if he procured some he may yet use it to bring the master back. There was that, and about a dozen other options. Despite his slow exterior, his mind was racing.

    "In any case, I approve of talking to Kartul first. We can see where to go from there"

    Hans took flight to where the others assumed Kartul was.
    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 - #209
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Inspectre's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    The Ghosts of Callaway Camp

    Dorizzit

    Stepping aside, you suddenly grab hold of the GHAST’s extended wing, twisting it around and flipping yourself up over the armored creature to land on its back. The ray of light streaks harmlessly into the ground a few feet from Kris, and then up into the air as you wrench the wing around. Eventually you manage to bend the joint back far enough in a way that it is not meant to go to snap the wing completely off, but not without a price.

    It seems that both edges of the GHAST’s wings were bladed, and as it flings you off its back you find your hands torn and bleeding. Yet Calcifer is still with you, and your mangled extremities begin to repair themselves as you fling yourself away from the tree moments before the GHAST blasts it with his remaining wing beam.

    Again you tear off a wing, but this time allow the metal edge to remain embedded in your hands, fighting against the pain as you wield it like an oversized sword, cutting the GHAST’s limbs apart. The dismembered corpse crumples to the ground, and you notice that not only does it seem unconcerned with this, but there is no blood. There is no creature inside the suit – indeed, it seems to be made out of almost solid metal. The construct turns its head to gaze up at you with its glowing blue eyes.

    You have chosen to interfere in the affairs of the Baron. For this you have broken the terms of your agreement, and as such you shall suffer his wrath.

    Then something strange happens. The GHAST’s metal skin begins to ripple and melt, smoothly flowing back together before solidifying again, once again whole. The wing embedded in its shoulder dissolves into a wad of oozing metal, which flows along to its back, beginning to reform into a wing, while its missing legs and other wing slither back over to the main body. You had only seen anything like this once before – during the final battle beneath Ironheart, the fallen angel Melcara had been capable of impressive acts of regeneration. What you were watching now was vaguely similar in the speed at which the GHAST’s damage repaired itself, although you can’t recall the angel’s skin melting and flowing back together.

    A moment later, Kris is at your side, grabbing you by the arm and again leading you towards safety.

    “Come on! I told you these things can’t be stopped!”

    Behind you, the GHAST regains its footing before twisting both of its reformed wings around to point at you and Kris. You are just ducking behind the tree you had been making for before the GHAST showed up. There’s no way you can outrun the thing, given it’s ability for flight, even assuming the beams of light don’t cut you down first.

    Shoving you on ahead of him, Kris pauses by the tree for just a moment, grabbing a concealed rope that was tied around the tree’s trunk. In his other hand flashes one of his namesake blades, slicing cleanly through the rope in one motion. A moment later, an old log descends from the tree, swinging around and launching itself at the GHAST.

    Although not a perfect shot by any means, the log still slams into the GHAST’s shoulder, sending one arm flying and crumbling one of its wings. The bizarre construct collapses to the ground once more beneath the weight of the log, giving you precious more seconds to flee.

    Eventually, the sounds of slaughter and pursuit fade behind you, replaced by the quiet sounds of the forest late at night. Kris motions for you to stop, doubling over and leaning against a tree for support as he greedily sucks in air.

    “What . . . did it . . . mean . . . by . . . agreement!?” Kris rasps, his emerald eyes starring at you accusingly. “Did you . . . cut a deal . . . with . . . the Baron!!?”

    The Purifier’s Camp

    Baerdog7

    Looking about the camp, you can tell that Karth’s men come from all walks of life. Although a few are professional soldiers, most were farmhands or poor merchants, having never lifted a weapon in their lives. Still, they are slowly being trained by those more experienced, and you can see the sense of purpose in their eyes. Given time, Karth would likely be able to forge them into quite an army.

    After seeing what you think may have been Melcara, you extend your senses out again while moving through camp. You do not sense any other signatures, until you come within sight of Karth’s tent and then it hits you like a wall. The man is surrounded by a very strong aura of supernatural evil, although it is not like anything else you have sensed. It is very strange, for while it feels similar to the presence of the Hells, that aura is only part of what you sense, rather than the entire source. Almost as if the aura originated somewhere else, and then merely passed through the Hells, picking up the evil of that place.

    So alerted, you are cautious in your greeting with Karth, but nonetheless accept his offer of hospitality. His guards remain outside, leaving you and him alone. He leads you past a table littered with maps into another “room” of the tent. There another collapsible table sits with several chairs, as well as a small cabinet. Opening the cabinet, Karth produces two glasses and a bottle of wine, a Donovale judging from the label. He motions you to sit across the table from him and then uncorks the bottle, pouring you and him each a large amount of the wine. He raises his glass in a toast to you, and then drinks first, as if to show you that it is not poisoned.

    After a minute of savoring the fine wine in silence, you get down to business. Karth smiles at your question.

    “I should think that is obvious – to finish what you – and I, have started.”

    Karth slams his one open palm down onto the table for emphasis.

    “The destruction and rebuilding of the Church of Light, from the ground up. I know we both could no longer turn a blind eye to the godless mockery our glorious institution has become! I know we both fought against it, and I know we both lost. But together, perhaps we can succeed!”

    Karth leans forward, speaking eagerly now.

    “I have the men and the willpower, and you have the blessing of the gods! The Church already fears us. Imagine their terror if they learned that the Lord General Ander Windrivver marched at the head of the army of true believers!”

    Karth settled back into his chair again with a smug smile.

    “I know our goals are the same. What are you going to accomplish on your own? My army will eventually grind the Church into the dust, it’s just a matter of time. The people now know that they have been lied to all these years, and the true believers among them shall never cease rising up until the true Church is once again erected on the ashes of the old. But I know that if you are leading them, my men shall fight like mad beasts, and no one will dare question the legitimacy of my actions. So, what do you say, Lord General? Will you join us?”

    The City of Amaranth

    The City Gates

    Meltemi

    “But . . . what are the guards going to do against that?” Delora whispers back, starring up in awe at the hanging structure. Even from here, it gives off a palatable aura of magic as well as malice. Abandoning caution for speed, at least for the moment, you step out into the street again, gently pulling Delora along with you.

    You had to find some remaining authority within the city and warn them about this threat, as well as the compromising of the gates. After that, perhaps, you would go and investigate this strange new object in the sky. You were aware that flight magic existed, and although you had not developed a runic form of it, perhaps you could find some other way to reach the citadel. You suspected it was important that you go there, for it likely was key to whatever was about to happen within the city.

    “I think there’s a guard post deeper in the city, in the merchant district.” Delora offered, and so you found yourself making for the ominously open gate. You are just beginning to pass through the gate when half a dozen large figures burst out from the other side.

    In the moonlight, you can see silvery reflections dancing off their thick fur and long snouts. Although their dog-like appearance is somewhat frightening, as is their large collection of weapons, you recognize the humanoids as gnolls, inhabits of the desert that runs along the Kingdom’s one border. The gnolls react in surprise as seeing the two of you, and although they initially raise their weapons at you, they quickly lower them upon realizing that the two of you were just a pair of young women.

    “Identify yourselves.” The leader snaps, looking at the two of you curiously. “Do either of you know what is happening here?”

    WhiteKnight777 & MrEdwardNigma

    “I agree!” Ross mutters in response to Hans’s suggestion to destroy Mellita. Unfortunately, nobody else seems to pay attention to them as Umber opens up his wrist and offers it to Mellita. Mellita looks hesitantly at Umber’s offering of blood, but a moment later her hunger overcomes all concern. She drinks greedily, shivering violently while making a number of soft noises that sound like pleasure.

    “Vampires.” Ross grunts in disgust, going so far as to drop a hand over Bran’s eyes and turning him away.

    Eventually, Mellita pulls away, her blood-flecked lips pulled back into a grin.

    “That was – “ Mellita is interrupted by Umber’s kiss, and in the background Ross retches a bit.

    “I *hate* vampires.” He grumbles as Mellita nods at Umber’s promise.

    “I will put your gift to good use, Lord Umber!” Mellita vows, while staring at her right hand, turning it over and back as if she could see the new blood flowing through her body. Considering she hadn’t gone insane or spontaneously exploded into bloody giblets yet, Umber had to admit this was considerable progress over his past attempts at feeding lesser vampires his blood. But now it was time to press on.

    Lifting off into the air thanks to Bran’s flight magics, Umber leads the others up towards Kartul’s now-floating citadel. It is not long before some of the gargoyles swarming about notice the small band and swoop down towards them. With a mad cackle the lead ones descend upon the party, claws outstretched as they hiss, “Welcome, guestssss! Ssssstay a while! Sssstay forever!”

    As the first gargoyles reach the group, they fan out, each closing on a separate member of the group. With a snort Ross weaves to the side of his gargoyle’s clumsy dive, swinging his warhammer up and around to smash off one of the gargolye’s wings as it swoops past him. With a shriek of dismay the construct tumbled into a wild spin, plummeting helplessly down to the ground far below. With a sharp gesture, Bran dispelled the magic animating the gargoyle approaching him, turning it back into a grotesque statue that fell towards the ground with impressive speed. With considerable surprise, Hans’s gargoyle claws futilely at him, and then pounded into rubble a few seconds later before it can recover from its shock at encountering metal instead of flesh. Mellita’s gargoyle swoops aside as it approaches. “You may passsss!” It hisses at her, evidently recognizing her nature. Likewise, Umber’s gargoyle slams to a halt in front of him, although its reaction is even more violent.

    “Sssstop! Sssssstop!” It hisses, motioning to the horde of gargoyles closing in from all angles. As the horde slows to a halt, Umber’s gargoyle turns back to face him.

    “Lord Umber. The Ungod isss expecting you. You may proceed, but your companionsss are not welcome here!”

    Beckoning Umber forward, the gargoyle spreads its wings in a sort of salute as it swings to the side. The other gargoyles in the horde follow suit, clearing a path of empty sky for the vampire lord to ascend up towards the pyramid’s apex, where a balcony of sorts seems to have been added.

    Iethloc

    “Heh. Exorcism, hmm? Would that even do anything to you? I assume despite your incorporeal form, your soul maintains a connection to the physical world rather than the Hells.” Seymour’s voice holds a note of true curiosity for a moment, before his expression turns serious once more.

    “In any case, I’m sure the Council will have more pressing issues to deal with than sorting out Heath’s cause of death.”

    Extending your senses out towards the pyramid, your nose is awash with a cocktail of different magicks. It’s like standing in front of an open oven – even from here, the magical energies of that pyramid are strongly present. You suspect that you could subsist off the pyramid’s magical energies for a decade, if not more, assuming the magicks were stable enough to last that long. It is doubtful that even your intense hunger would be enough to consume the magical energy needed to cause the structure to wobble, let along fall.

    “Fine. Take his corpse since you still need it, but try to bring it back in relatively one piece for burial. Traitor or not, he was still a part of the Council.” Seymour replied to your question with a sigh.

    You know, we’ve dealt with some pretty crazy things in the past, but I’m not sure we want to jump feet first into this one. I’ve never even heard of any mage capable of levitating anything that big! And assuming the vampires are working for whoever is capable of that, maybe we ought to continue investigating them instead of walking up to the front door?

    I concur that we require more information on the pyramid, but it seems obvious the vampires are about to make their move. Going to a meeting where Heath was going to simply drop off information, and extracting any useful knowledge from those there for the drop-off, might take too long.

    “Well, I’ve got to get to contacting the other Council members. I’m sure any of them that are still awake are about to be doing the same. Get me what answers you can, as soon as you can.” Seymour said before exiting the room, stepping around Heath’s corpse with a slight sniff of disdain.

    Ironheart

    The Surrounding Mountains

    Gourtox

    Lucure nods at your whispered warning, turning and helping the next elf in line haul himself up onto the battlements. Then together the three of you release a trio of arrows at the oncoming guards when they pass into the next torch’s light. Two of the guards fall quietly gurgling with arrows in their throat, but the third elf’s shot is slightly off, striking the guard high in the shoulder instead. A pair of arrows released a moment later by you and Lucure strike true, hitting the man in the throat and face just as he is opening his mouth to scream an alarm. Instead, the guard numbly tumbles back off the battlements, falling to the ground just outside the fortress.

    “Nice shooting.” Lucure whispers to you as the remaining elves slowly clamber up the wall. While the last elf in line begins to coil up the rope, Lucure looks over thoughtfully at the inner wall. Looking at it yourself, you see that it seems to be even higher than the outer wall. Not an uncommon sight amongst human fortifications, but considering the outer wall’s already impressive height, it seems a tad excessive.

    The top of the inner wall is brightly lit, with torches spaced only about ten feet apart. It would seem the guards relaxed their defenses about the outer wall, but maintained them at the inner wall and beyond. It seemed unlikely that you would be able slip past the numerous figures you can see standing watch up there.

    Out of the corner of your eye, you watch one of the elves with you slip over towards the two fallen guards, checking to make sure they were dead and dragging their bodies out of the torchlight. He seems to recoil in surprise upon flipping over the second body, and this one he drags all the way back to the rest of the group.

    “Look!” The elf hisses as he rejoins the group, cradling the body in his arms. With a quick sweep on his hand, he removes the guard’s helmet, and even in the dim moonlight you can plainly see the pointed ears. “Elf has spilt elf blood tonight!”

    “An unfortunate mistake.” Lucure murmurs, momentarily bowing his head. “But he was a traitor to his people. Let us never forget that.”

    Suddenly Lucure freezes, as if a thought as occurred to him. Slowly, he looks over at you. “Telest, I don’t think we can infiltrate any further. There are too many guards waiting at the top of the inner wall, and too much light. The Tur wishes for as complete a picture of the fortress’s defenses as we can give him. Clearly, the humans employ traitors in their ranks as we have heard. Perhaps if the two of us don the uniforms of these two guards, we could sneak into the fortress that way? There is some blood on them, but at a distance that should hopefully not be noticeable! What do you think?”

    “What? No!” The elf who had recovered the guard bodies hissed. “Sir, that plan is unnecessarily risky! If you are discovered, you would be surrounded without help! Let us return and report what we have already discovered to the Tur, or press on and examine the inner wall more closely. Perhaps there is a hole in their defenses that we simply haven’t noticed yet!”

    Falconer

    Wulfric grins ferociously and nods, hurrying off to collect his band of men. As suggested, he takes your best trackers and woodsmen. If you had chosen to remain in the forest, you would have no doubt felt their loss keenly. As it was, you would likely be withdrawing from the forest onto the plains, and perhaps even all the way back to Amaranth. Your enemy’s numbers were unknown, and it may become necessary to level the battlefield with walls for your side.

    That would leave Wulfric completely cut off from any support, but you were the commander. You had to think of all your men, and not just a few, no matter how important those few were to you personally.

    As Wulfric and his men stalk off into the forest, you gather up the rest of your men and lead them back out through the forest. You encounter no more elves on your way out of the forest, although your travel is slow enough that you just barely reach the edge of the forest before night sets in. This turns out well enough anyway, as your men conspire to string up your elf prisoner from one of the nearby trees. You would have to have a detachment of your men take him back to Malohk for interrogation. Although he found torture distasteful, the old gnoll had a number of magical methods for sifting through a target’s mind, and perhaps he could learn something more than your threats had been able to gleam from the elf so far.

    As your men begin to erect makeshift tents and unfurl bedrolls, your communication crystal begins to hum. Expecting to be hearing from Wulfric, you are somewhat surprised when Malohk’s voice rings through the crystal. It is very faint and breaks up frequently, although this does not seem to be a problem with Malohk but rather the crystal’s magic.

    Gazrul, we … assistance! An army … has just … the city graveyard! I am … organize … local militia, but … sabotaged … city’s …! I … if … will … you in time, but … men … back … Amaranth! … will try … you … our status! I have known … you were …, Gazrul! It … an honor … with you! Goodbye, …

    With one last blast of static, the communication crystal fades again, Malohk’s transmissions either over or completely cut off by whatever was interfering with it.

    Lonna

    As you break the mental connection, the Countess has a haunted look for a moment, but she quickly relaxes as she looks around at the peaceful scene of the cave, Klaus sitting near the entrance wrapped in furs, Rudolf curled up in front of him.

    “Yes. I had heard only a few stories about Korram, but let me assure you none of them are true. He’s an intense, focused man, but there is such sorrow in his eyes. And when his daughter is mentioned – she’s all he has left, Pyrene. I really hope he’s alright. I kept expecting him to burst into the carriage until you came along . . . he’s probably dead or locked back up by now.”

    The Countess lowers her head at this pessimistic news, but looks back up at your question. Pity returns to her eyes as she reaches out a hand to you.

    “I’m not sure what I saw. I seemed to be floating, dreaming, although all I saw was an endless nightmare. The young girl I saw, abused and mistreated by rough men – that was your sister, wasn’t it?”

    So it would seem that memories are not so much shared but exchanged. While you were viewing the Countess’s memory of her rescue, she must have received one of your memories from your time within the Prism. Which gives you an idea, about the first nice people you had met within Ironheart. The Countess smiles wanly at your offer.

    “I would have thought nice people and Ironheart was an oxymoron, but my own rescue is proof enough I suppose. I would certainly be willing.”

    The Countess closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, preparing herself for you to reach up to her forehead again. This time, you instead reach out to touch her arm. The surge of energy that leaps between you, taking you away to the vast field of memories again confirms that a mere touch is sufficient for the exchange.

    You are following along behind Korram, still twitching nervously at every scream and clang that echoes off in the distance. Your heart continues to flutter in your chest, but not quite as wildly as it had earlier. Nor could it, for it was now wrapped in a vise of sorrow.

    Dima was dead, shot by the guards, and left to rot on the stone floor only a few rooms away from where he rescued you. No, you could not dwell on this horror, instead you must focus on escape. And remembering where you had heard the name of your new traveling companion, a man with black hair and piercing green eyes who was even more driven than Korram.

    He called himself Seraph, a name that triggered recognition in your mind, although you knew not from where and it was driving your paranoid mind mad. But it was something to focus on other than poor Dima’s fate, and so you slowly worked through all the possible sources.

    One from one of Father’s parties several years ago? No.
    One of the names on the infinitely long list of names you tried to force yourself to memorize upon taking over the Ashargrin County? No.

    Suddenly, the rooms you are passing through are no longer empty. A man hangs from one wall, most of the skin flailed from his back while two other men sit numbly behind bars. Somehow, the whipped man is still alive, and has the strength to cry out, “Mercy!” as Seraph passes. With a disturbing casualness, Seraph produces a dagger which he uses to slit the man’s throat. He then gestures at the other two men watching the proceedings with a mixture of horror and resignation.

    “We should eliminate the other two prisoners as well. They may involuntarily give the guards information about who we are and our passage through here.”

    Unable to take your eyes off of the flailed and now executed man hanging from the wall, you feel your stomach roiling. Fortunately, you had received nothing to eat in several days, otherwise you are sure that you would have immediately collapsed, retching your stomach contents onto the floor in a most unladylike manner. You had to do something . . . you didn’t think you could watch two others butchered in the same effortless manner. You had watched Korram and Seraph cut down a number of guards on your way through, but that was self-defense.

    “No . . . we can’t do this!” You feel yourself shout a moment later, trying to put your argument into more eloquent words, but your stressed mind was trapped in an endless loop, and unable to help you make a stronger argument. You reflexively cringe as Seraph looks at you with contempt, not slowing in his march towards the other two men. Your eyes swing over to plead with Korram, but to your surprise he is already moving, interposing himself between Seraph and the cell. He seems just as unsettled by Seraph’s conduct as you are.

    "No. Don't. Give me sixty seconds to work with them. I was a revolutionary, I'm very good at concise persuasion." Korram says.

    “It is entirely possible they would give information against their will. Can you convince them not to?” Seraph argues, but nonetheless the intense man takes a step back, crossing his arms over his chest as Korram turns back to whisper something to the two men.

    After that, he shatters the bars holding the cell door closed with several swift blows, allowing the two men to escape.

    "Now go." He commands, stepping aside to allow the two prisoners to exit the cell.

    The first prisoner stops to whisper something to him, while the second one walks over to one of the nearby braziers, pulling out a pair of hot irons. One of these he tosses to the first prisoner, who clumsily attempts to catch it, burning his hand in the process.

    The second prisoner then raps his fist against his chest and nods at Korram.

    “I was a footsoldier in the Baron’s army, once. I saw and did terrible things. But when I repented for my sins, I was thrown in here. I will not make the same mistakes again.”

    Looking away from Korram to Seraph, the former solider continues. “I do not know why you are here, and it does not matter. The guards will hear my death rattle before a word about either of you is spoken. I swear it, just as I swear to ensure that my . . . friend here does not either.”

    Bending up with the hot iron now uncertainly held in his hands, the other prisoner exclaims, “Hey, I didn’t agree –“Immediately the former soldier grabs the man by the arm, slamming him against the remains of their cell. He then holds the tip of his glowing iron a few inches from the man’s right eye, saying nothing. He doesn’t have to, as the expression on the cowardly prisoner’s face is enough to confirm his coerced agreement.

    Finally releasing the other prisoner, the man nods at both Korram and Seraph. “Good luck.” The two then depart, dashing out the western doorway to parts unknown. As the former soldier passes by Seraph, he nods at him again, muttering “Sir.” For his part Seraph says nothing, although he does not return the soldier’s farewell, instead silently turning away to wipe off his bloody dagger before sheathing it once more.

    “Let’s go.” Korram says, moving towards one of the several doorways leading out of the room.

    As if he knew the way, Seraph leads the group out.

    “Yes, let us continue.”

    He has just reached the doorway before he flings himself back into the room.

    “Three guards plus elite.” He hisses to Korram, and by extension, you. “Hide and then ambush them. Take one of them alive to show us the way out of here.”

    Again, your drug addled and panicked brain could not process this new demand placed on it, and you numbly looked around the room, trying to find a place that could shelter you from the incoming guard’s sight.

    “Hide!? Where!?” You exclaim in a panic.

    "Countess! This way!" Korram whispers back as he moves over to you.

    Taking you gently but firmly by the arm, Korram quickly leads you over to behind a large wooden structure set up near the center of the room. Judging by the manacles hanging from the top, it was used to hold a prisoner still in a standing position. Korram manauevers you behind it.

    “Don’t move a muscle.” He advises before diving back into the cell he had just helped to empty. The advice was completely unnecessary, for your fear was nearly paralyzing as you crouched down behind the stand to await the outcome of this latest battle. More fighting, more killing, more death. Would this be the time that you watch helplessly as Korram falls to the ground with a crossbow bolt in his gut?

    A moment later, an elite strides into the room. Somehow, he is alerted to Seraph’s presence, swinging around to face the warrior just as he leaps out from the side of the doorway. They become locked into a grapple, until finally Seraph swings him around and kicks the elite into a stand of cutting implements.

    “I leave the others to you, Korram!” Seraph shouts as he readies his sword and three other guards charge into the room, looking about confused. They don’t have long as Korram leaps out from his hiding place, delivering a flaming uppercut to the middle of the three.

    "Evening, gents," He says as he crushes one of the remaining guard’s swords in his burning fist. "Not that I actually know if it's evening, what with the fact that we're locked in a doom fortress. Still, it's been a long 'day,' so you catch my drift." Korram swiftly dispatches the other two guards, while Seraph engages in a whirling sword duel with the elite. They strike so swiftly that your eyes can barely follow the movements, and they seemed fairly evenly matched.

    At least, evenly matched until Seraph slams his shoulder into the elite’s chest, send him tumbling back into another piece of torture equipment, looking much like a large wooden table with shackles at either end. The elite rolls back up onto the table and down onto the far side, trying to put some distance between him and Seraph, but as he does Seraph locks one of the manacles around the elite’s sword arm. As the elite lands on the far side and realizes this, Seraph leaps onto the table, kicks the sword out of his trapped hand, hops down beside the elite, slams him into the table again, and then grabs the elite’s free hand and pins it to the table by skewering it with his own sword.

    The other thing is disturbing enough that you cannot watch any longer, although you can still hear them talking and the elite’s grunts of pain. Even that is too much for you, and you clap your hands over your ears, trying to will the horrid sounds away. It doesn’t help much, and you can still hear their voices.

    “Talk.” Seraph says.

    “Screw you –ARGH!” The elite responds.

    “Talk or lose the hand.” Seraph growls, then he seems to address Korram.

    “Nice work. Did you have any questions for our friend here other than the quickest way out of here?”

    "No, I have no questions for him."

    You then hear footsteps approaching, a moment before Korram appears around the side of the structure you were hiding behind. His face is grim, but it seems to relax a little as he looks down at you, and he tries out a gentle smile.

    "It's safe now, Countess. You can come out now."

    “Good. Can we get out of here now?” You reply, offering Korram your hand. To your slight surprise he takes it, gently pulling you back up on to your feet.

    Over by the table, Seraph is leaning in close to the elite, listening closely as the wounded man whispers something into his ear. When the elite is finished, Seraph pulls away with a grimace while the elite sneers defiantly.

    “My thanks to you.” Seraph says, before tearing his sword out of the elite’s hand. You try to look away, but not fast enough as Seraph grabs a handful of the elite’s hair, pulling his head back and slitting his throat with the freed sword.

    “We have what we need. Let us depart this place. This way.” Seraph says, allowing the elite to slump down against the table, his one hand still trapped in a shackle. Having little choice in the matter, you follow along, one hand held up over your face, and doing your best not to look at the bodies strewn about that you are forced to step over on your way out of the room. You can feel the bile tickling the back of your throat again, and you fear that you’re going to begin shaking and sobbing at any moment. But you know that if you do that you will be unable to stop yourself, and so you force yourself onward, desperately concentrating on the mystery of Seraph’s identity.

    So focused are you on your inner struggle that you nearly bump into the back of Korram as he stops, holding up a hand to Seraph.

    "Seraph, wait. Before we go on, I have to ask you: who are you? Several people seem to have recognized you, and you fight better than almost any man I have ever seen. So once more, I ask you: who are you?"

    Clearly impatient at this delay, Seraph sighs. “It would take too long to explain. We must hurry before they lock this section of the prison down. If you do not trust me, Korram, then I do not ask you to follow me.”

    "Very well. Another time, then."

    “Seraph . . . Seraph. That name sounds so familiar to me, and yet I can’t place it.” You mutter, more for your own benefit than anyone’s. Tugging at a strand of your hair in frustration, you start to follow Seraph once more. You pause by Korram’s side, looking into his conflicted eyes.

    “I don’t know if we should trust him, Korram. But he apparently knows the way out of here, and I would rather not stay in this terrible place any longer than necessary.”

    You and Korram then follow Seraph along in silence, passing through a number of other rooms, some still occupied by prisoners and others completely empty. Neither Korram nor Seraph pauses to deal with these prisoners, as it seems that you were in a race against time now. Not having any skills of your own that could free these unfortunate victims, you continue on without stopping as well.

    As Seraph begins to duck through yet another doorway, he suddenly flings himself back just in time to allow a crossbow bolt to sail past.

    “Elites. Three of them.” He grunts as he produces a crossbow to return fire.

    Hearing a shout behind you, you turn and see another five guards entering the room you and Korram had just left. They cannot help but notice you both, and immediately begin to move forward.

    "Seraph, hold off the grunts. I'll deal with the Elites."

    The two men immediately switch positions, and Korram leaps out into the doorway, shielding himself from crossbow bolts with a sheet of flame that incinerates any bolt fired before it can reach him.

    "Heh. I learned how to deal with you b******* last time."

    Although you cannot see what Korram does to the three elites, it seems to be effective as you can hear screams of pain from the other room. A moment later, an elite charges through the doorway, his armor glowing brightly as if it had been heated in a fire. He tackles Korram, pressing the still hot metal into his chest.

    “Stings a little, doesn’t it?” The elite growls, headbutting Korram and twists himself around to clumsily draw a dagger. “But don’t worry: it’ll all be over soon.”

    Looking back, you see that Seraph has already dealt with three of the five guards, but he could not possibly deal with the remaining two and help Korram in time. And Korram definitely needed help.

    It was up to you, you suddenly realized. You weren’t quite sure how you could help, being nowhere near strong enough to grapple with an elite guard. Then your eyes fall on the brazier full of glowing hot irons, and you think back to the two released prisoners armed themselves with them.

    Swiftly moving over to the nearby brazier, you tug one of the irons out, surprised a bit at just how heavy it was. Still, you manage to avoid burning yourself or dropping it, and hefting it, move over to the two prone men.

    Gathering your courage, you manage to growl “That’s right, it will!” at the elite before bringing the hot iron down onto his back. The elite grunts in shock, but refuses to lose his grip on either Korram or the knife. So you heave the iron back up into the air for another blow, only this time instead of hitting the elite, you slam the end down into Korram’s stomach!

    “Sorry!” You whisper with a grimace at the pain you clearly caused the man you were supposed to be helping.

    “Don’t be. I’m wouldn’t.” The elite grunts as he flails out with his free hand at you. You try to dance back, but move too slowly and the elite manages to catch hold of the hem of your dress, pulling you down hard on to the floor next to Korram. As you lie dazed on the floor, staring up at the elite as he prepares to plunge the knife down into either you or Korram, a handaxe thunks into the side of his neck.

    “I’m not sorry either.” Seraph calls out, followed by, “Are you two alright!?”

    A moment later, it seems that Seraph will be the one that it not alright. A hail of crossbow bolts fly through the doorway, several embedding themselves in the various pieces of torture equipment or his backpack, but one bolt firmly embedding itself in Seraph’s shoulder. With a scream of outrage, the man reaches up behind him and tears it out of his own back, holding it up for the guards to see with another scream of indignation. Then he throws himself down onto the floor next to you and Korram as another swarm of bolts fly into the room.

    “Seems we’ve made them a little mad: over a dozen guards on my side now. How’s your side doing?” Seraph grunts at Korram, and then turns his intense stare over to you. “Help me get this backpack off.” He commands, and you immediately move to obey, pawing at the heavy straps until finally it slips from his wounded shoulder. Immediately he begins to dig through it.

    “Not too many of these left. But now seems like a good time.” Seraph says as he pulls a pair of healing potions out. He drinks the one, and then offers the other to Korram. Judging by the shouting from the adjoining rooms, you were now surrounded and under siege by a large number of guards. And you weren’t sure even Korram and Seraph would be able to get you out of this situation.


    The memory ends suddenly, and for a moment you are confused until you realize that it is likely your own memory of meeting the Judge’s two personalities came to an end.

    “I . . . see. So not all servants of the Baron are twisted and cruel.” The Countess remarks quietly, before looking up, a question in her eyes. “Did they -?” The Countess falls silent, but you know the ending to the question – “escape”.

    Pwenet

    The sudden thrown is perfect, as the knife flies through a narrow gap in the cell bars, slicing through the air where the voice was coming from. The knife strikes something as it suddenly stops in mid-air, an eruption of blood following a moment you.

    “You . . . bastard! You . . . killed . . . Caxle!” Caxle shrieks a moment later, as a small demonic creature reveals itself from thin air, your knife protruding from its tiny chest. A moment later, the creature stops beating its wings, falling lifelessly to the floor. The body doesn’t even hit the floor before a gout of flame consumes the body entirely, leaving only an ash-covered knife to bounce against the floor. The guards outside the cell recoil in horror from the knife at the tinkling sound it makes against the floor.

    “Nice shot!” Vash says, genuine appreciation in his voice. Then he leans in close, whispering just loudly enough for you to hear. “I hope you have found something helpful, because after that display I think the guards are going to get really anxious if we hang around here any longer.”

    Vash then makes a grand display of flailing his arms about and shouting “Begone!” before falling to his knees. He then turns back to the guards, pumping his fists over his head. “It is done!” The guards even give a subdued cheer, before looking back towards the passage leading up to the surface.

    “But our work is not quite done yet! Deep in the darkness beneath this place rests the center of the disturbance! We must go down yet another level to reach it, to where the special prisoners are kept!”

    This time instead of cheering the guards simply stare at Vash in mute shock. Eventually, the newly promoted lieutenant finds his voice.

    “The . . . maximum security level!? Um, sir . . . I don’t . . . I don’t think . . .”

    “Look lieutenant, do you want this demonic infestation to come to an end or not?”

    “We would love to help you sir! But . . . none of us know how to navigate that level! Only elites ever go down there! It’s a confusing maze of interlocking tunnels that’s full of otherwordly creatures, and that was true even when the prison was actually operational!” The lieutenant blurts out in a flood of information.

    “Oh.” Vash says simply, but then from here you can hear the wheels in his mind turning. “Well . . . could we go find an elite that would know the way?”

    The lieutenant shakes his head, dashing that hope.

    “I’m sorry sir. I don’t think even an elite would know all of the passageways, they split up the information in case a prisoner broke loose and captured one of them. Perhaps if you had an idea in what part of the level this center is?”

    Vash gives a predatory smile at this news. “Why yes, I do actually! I have reason to believe the center is located near the cell of Ander Windrivver.”

    Here another surprise was waiting for Vash, as the lieutenant scratched his head in confusion.

    “The paladin? Are you sure? I would have assumed he would have been capable of dealing with any demonic corruption.”

    “Well, perhaps he was incapacitated before he could do so?” Vash asked with mixed anticipation and fear. Again the lieutenant shook his head.

    “No sir. Actually, I was there during all this. I saw Ander Windrivver leave the prison unharmed – apparently the Baron released him! Never heard of that before.”

    “Oh! Well then! I’m sure if the good paladin is up and about, he probably did deal with it before leaving. Um . . . shall we all go back up to the surface then?”

    These words were met with a loud cheer from the guards, and after prying the cell door open again, they lead you back up towards daylight, their spirits considerably lifted. As you follow along, Vash leans in close to you.

    “So they both escaped! Damn, I figured other than getting in and getting out, this job was going to be like stabbing fish in a barrel! Instead, now we’re going to have to chase them all over creation! You got any good ideas on getting out of here?”

    The Hells

    The Screaming Dark Estate

    OverWilliam

    Vylethar frowns in concentration a moment, and then turns back to the room.

    “What’s your name dear?”

    “Adamè.” Came the terse reply, carried on a note of scorn.

    Vylethar nonetheless nods in satisfaction.

    “There we go, alright. Adamè is her name, and Tearreal is probably the name of this male elf you found. I hope so, I suppose it could just be her brother or something instead – wouldn’t that be awkward?”

    As you make a show of struggling with your invisibility, Vylethar drops his arm away from your neck and takes a step back, clearly both interested and disgusted by the show. When you finally “give in” to the invisibility spell, Vylethar nods and motions for you to follow, taking the lead.

    “Alright, let’s get going. This male elf isn’t going to kill himself. Heh, of course, what am I saying? This is the Hells, so he very well might. Anyway, since you’re new here, I might as well give you the guided tour along the way.”

    Vylethar makes a sweeping gesture of the upstairs corridor while he leads you back towards the stairs.

    “Up here is my personal quarters, along with those of the ladies. There’s also a dining room and a few other areas, but none of those are particularly important. The ladies take very good care of me, so unless you come bearing news or I’ve summoned you, stay off this floor. Especially until you’ve got your . . . problem sorted out, the girls don’t need spooked unless I need them spooked, got that? Anyway, those three ladies you met back there are Madeline, Amanda, and Vivian.”

    As Vylethar begins to descend the stairs, he ticks off each girl.

    “Amanda is the skittish, black-haired one. She got involved in a cult when she was a teenager. They sacrificed her shortly thereafter – typical demon lies about “eternal life”, blah blah blah. By the time I pried her out of their claws, she was a complete mess. You think she’s easily spooked now – ho boy.”

    Vylethar ticks off another finger.

    “Vivian’s the red-head. She poisoned two of her husbands in order to get their money. The law eventually caught up to her, hung her in the center of town. She’s rather prickly, but a complete freak under the sheets, if you know what I mean.”

    Vylethar ticks off his third finger with a snort.

    “And Madeline. Madeline’s . . . interesting. She was a paladin, part of the Church of Light’s grand crusade against the Hells. She died down here, and now her soul’s basically stuck here. Forever. But, that’s good news for me, even if she is a bit of a prude.”

    Walking down off the last step, Vylethar gestured around himself at the hallway.

    “This is obviously the ground floor. You’ll probably be spending most of your time down here, unless Crx needs you down in the basement.”

    Vylethar jerks a thumb to the doorway leading out on to the balcony as he passes.

    “Out there is the balcony. You might occasionally stand guard out there. I don’t recommend you take a swim in the pool though.”

    As Vylethar continues to lead you down the hallway, he continues to describe the doorways leading off to the rest of the ground floor. A soft scuffle gets your attention, and as you walk past the doorway looking out to the lobby you passed earlier, you see Limier land in a crouch. He begins to head directly towards you, and by extension, out into the hallway that Vylethar continues to saunter down, describing his estate.
    I didn't actually intend to kill EVERYONE. It just sort of happened.

    Threads I'm currently DMing:


    Threads I have successfully completed:

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    WhiteKnight777's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    beyond the furthest star
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Flight From Ironheart IC

    Umber

    Umber looked around, weighing his options carefully. He doubted he'd get a better chance than this to speak with Kartul - even if it was on Kartul's terms. He gave Bran and Ross a smile, his eyes knowing.

    "I think this is as close as you all will be able to get without considerable difficulty. I think it's time I had a joyous reunion with my old compatriot. I hope to be back soon, but if I'm not..." He shrugged, as if it didn't matter. "Perhaps I'm a fool for it, but I trust you'll be able to handle yourselves. Ross, take care of Bran - and Bran, take care of Ross." he said, his smile widening into a grin as he gave the both of them a wink.

    Then, mustering all the style and panache he could - and it was a considerable amount - he brushed a bit of dust off his clothing and offered Mellita his arm in courtly fashion. Smiling at her, he inclined his head. "Shall we go, my dear?" he asked, motioning with a sweep of his arm towards the balcony and beginning to float forwards at a stately pace. "I'd hate to disappoint an old friend."
    Like dragons and/or allegory? A little writing project I'm working on. Check back for updates, and feedback is always appreciated!

Posting Permissions

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