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    Guildmage





    Though the war is over, Frivale is not free. In their haste to chase down and destroying the fleeing Demon, the armies of Vidalis did not take the time to fully clear the city of undead. After the Demon was killed they returned to the city and found that while no undead armies stood within to battle them, the city itself seemed to be haunted by the spirits of those fallen and by things more corporeal. The army was too weakened to deal with the threat immediately, as the King had ordered it to spread out among the Kingdom to provide security during reconstruction. That left a token force to deal with whatever still roamed in Frivale, not nearly enough men to purge the city. Instead the commander of the King's forces, Major Rheinstat, cordoned off the city and established his command center at the head of the tent city that had begun to grow. Over the next few months thousands of refugees came back, hoping to go into the city and begin rebuilding it and their lives. Instead they found the city secured and forced to join with others like them in a massive, sprawling collection of tents to the south of the city. The Major doesn't have the men needed to make the city safe, nor enough to prevent fools from slipping past his guards into the city. Right now the screams from the city of those that slipped through and into Frivale are mainly what's holding back the rest of the folks, but supplies in the tents are low and the few caravans that have started running again don't carry enough to feed everyone.

    Major Rheinstat pleaded with the King to send him more troops and supplies. What he got was you.

    ---

    "Gentlemen, lady." The Major says, "Please, have a seat." He walks over to the small sideboard in his tent and pours some wine into a sturdy mug, then nods to his servant to fill the other glasses. "If you'd like a drink, Jans will help you." He sighs after he takes a long sip of his wine and then shakes his head. "I'll be honest, I didn't expect the King to send me almost half a dozen mages. I thought a few thousand troops perhaps, but it seems that they are not to be had." He sits down behind his desk and glances at the large map spread out on it. It's an old structural design of Frivale, showing the streets, buildings, sewers, and understreets in each of the four districts. There's plenty of red markings all over the map, crossing off whole sections of districts and rerouting streets to indicate safe passages.

    "This is the best we have, for now. Old reports from the siege and scattered tales from those fool enough to enter in and lucky enough to make it out." He says and takes another sip of wine. "I won't presume to tell you how to be about the Guild's business, but I know of some troubles that we faced during the siege." He grimaces. "It'd be folly to hope that they've taken care of themselves...but I think that if we have a chance to take back the city, you're our best one." He takes a bronze pin and sticks it into the map, one of the districts that is nearly covered in red marks. "That's the old necropolis. Use to be just a graveyard...but during the siege some of the Demon's creatures took it over. We were never able to approach it, let alone clear it. They always kept a strong guard there."

    He sticks two more pins into the map, one near the center of the city on some drawing of a tower, the other near the northern district among some tenement houses. "We've heard, and seen, strange things coming from about the Center. Though we think the Hall is still occupied, it's the towers around it that we're worried of. At night we can see lights and...flying things going into and out of them. Not sure what's happening there." He shakes his head and points to the other pin. "Some fools tried to sneak into the city by the north, and the one that survived to make it out told us that this neighborhood is crawling with half-dead things. Said it was like a charnel house, streets and buildings covered with blood and, well, other things that weren't quite dead. I'd suggest you speak to him, but he took his life not long after he came back."

    The Major leans back in his chair and looks at you all. "Honestly, I'm not sure what you can do, but hopefully it's more than we've been able to accomplish so far. We've had a hard enough time just trying to keep people out, no time to even think about clearing the city." He stifles a yawn and then finishes off his wine. "I know it's late, but I wanted to brief you all as soon as you got here. I'm sure you've got questions, and I'll try and answer them as best I can. Jans has got a special tent set aside for all of you. I apologize for the poor accommodations, but it's the best we've got for now."

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    The star on the right is pointing to the necropolis, the star on the left is pointing to the towers, and the star on the top is pointing to the tenements.

    Last edited by Chambers; 2012-04-06 at 01:25 PM.
    The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Me.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Flavius
    The gnome sits in collapsible chair with an air of dignity, his chin high and his back straight, one short leg folded over the other. The barest hint of a grin pervades his facial expression, and his short, well-kept hair is held in place by a simple gold circlet in patterns of ivy. His robes are road-worn, a pale, icy blue that matches his gloves, which seem to emit the barest aura of cold. His blue boots have a spiderweb motif, and a staff topped with a translucent blue crystal is slung through a holster across his back.

    Ho-hum. That sounds like quite a fix, sir. I agree, troops would be nice, but they're people too. Demon magic has a tendency to tear through troops like paper before we mages can put it in its place. Better, I think, that we're alone. Do you have the body of the fellow who committed suicide? I know some divinations that would perhaps allow me to see these creatures as he saw them, though I admit I haven't tried them on the dead, he says when the Major has finished the overview of the scene.
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    Elise
    The sole woman present, a dark-skinned half-elf clad in thick white robes, considers the map carefully. Her hood around her shoulders connects to a long scarf, also loose, and she leans against a thin staff of pale wood, topped with a small jagged crystal that makes it look almost like a primitive's spear.

    "I do not think that we should consult with the dead man, even if we could, Flavius. Any spirit that might be returned to him may be corrupted by our enemy's power; the Demon understood how to control the fallen better than any in the Guild."

    She points to the northern pin on the city map. "Even if they're infested more heavily than most areas, this neighborhood probably isn't one of the bases of operations. It doesn't seem to have anything strategic near it. Probably just the site of a slaughter..." She sighs heavily. "'Just' a slaughter. As if that's normal." She shakes her head and points to the necropolis. "If there are any who are producing more abominations within the city, the necropolis is probably where they're getting their materials. We should go there first. We can probably go straight over the walls, attack from a side they don't expect, and get out of the city again before any organized defenders can retaliate. An advantage we mages have over five hundred troops is that we move more easily, and that can let us attack where they couldn't."

    Finally, she indicates the south wall. "You have the south wall of the city marked up heavily. Why is that?"

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    "That won't be possible, I'm afraid." The Major says to Flavius. "Burned his body afterwards. I know the wars over, but there's a lot of...unnatural things that happen around here. Better to be safe than sorry."

    He nods to Elise and says, "We thought so as well. My soldiers don't like taking chances they don't need to." He glances down at the map. "The walls aren't patrolled anymore, save for our men on the outside, so you should be able to go over unseen. If you'd prefer though, there's a sewer entrance nearby that you could use. You'd come up close to the necropolis, in the next neighborhood." He chuckles as Elise asks about the south wall. "That's because there is no more south wall. It's just a line of rubble from gate to gate."

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    I think the History Revealed would work for a dead person, but you'd need the body. In this case the body has been burned. It became a common practice during the war to do so, and though it goes against the burial traditions of most people it was seen as a necessary thing to do.
    The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Me.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Valen Darkstar, Human Swordlock

    A stone-faced human male in dark clothing stands with arms crossed facing the map of Frivale. It was still strange, being back here after all these many years, and there was still so much left to do--but then he had so much to atone for.

    He kept his mouth shut and buried his feelings about the tenement housing to the north that Elise pointed out, but piped up with regard to the necropolis.

    "Mmm, I agree, the cemetery's likely key to their operation, but those towers worry me. If they've taken those, and it sounds like they have, that will make it hard to go about town unnoticed, and even harder to take it back," he said, then added after a thoughtful pause, "But if the Hall has friendlies, that could help with that when the time comes."

    He nodded at the Major's mention of the sewers, but if anything his expression grew darker.

    "Mmm. I'd hoped it wouldn't come to that, but I agree, the sewer would increase our chances of getting in unseen."
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    Flavius
    Elise, its not a spell that delves into the realm of necromancy at all. I find it unlikely our foes could subvert my casting. However, if there's no body, there's no focus for the dweomer, so its moot anyhow, says the gnome. Your plan to go over the wall is a bold one, but it has merit. If we just want to blast that necropolis a new skylight and wipe up all the greater undead running this town, it'll be hard, but we could probably pull it off. I haven't worked with all of you before, but I figure we've got the firepower to get the job done.
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    Riley Keagan
    As the Major briefed them, Riley stood at the edge of the table. He alternated between polishing and flipping his dagger in his hand as he listened. His brow furrowed at the mention of the towers. The halfling was confident he could move about with out notice but the towers could be a problem even for a small group.

    "If our goal is to reclaim the city, the towers should be taken first." Riley said, pointing his dagger at the middle of the map. "That way we have fewer eyes on us as we secure the tenements and necropolis. Besides, the towers will allow us to observe those areas rather than going blindly in."

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    Flavius
    Turning to his comparably statured companion, nodding. This is true. However, my concern, and I believe Elise's as well, is that reinforcements will simply arrive from the necropolis to reclaim the towers once we have departed. Unless the Guild wants to send more mages to hold down the areas we secure, we should cut off the undead at their source before leading a purge of the city.
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    Elise

    "Going over the walls will not be difficult; I can form a foggy pathway that will carry us. It won't hold too much weight and can't be too long, but it should carry us to the top of even two-story buildings. How high are the walls, Major?

    Elise shakes her head at Riley's suggestion. "The towers are too far into the city for a first strike. Until we have a better idea of what resistance we'll be facing, and how much we can take, we should stay near where we can at least retreat if we need to. Going in blindly to the heart of enemy territory, to avoid going blindly into the periphery, is not a good plan. The cemetery is close enough to the walls to attack without overextending ourselves and likely important enough to make it worthwhile."

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    Jarl

    Jarl stood back straight with his arms clasped behind him as the Major gave his briefing. The dark haired dwarf is clad in hide armor, and at his side he wears a fine sword, with runes inlaid into the handle. Taking his time, he considered the options before speaking himself. "I don't much like heading into what could be their stronghold first thing, but it is the most important target, and positioned so we shouldn't be surrounded if things go bad. I agree with making a fast strike from above, shatter and scatter them quickly. The sewers seem too likely to hold even more obstacles, ones more at home in the dark than most of this party."
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    Riley

    "If there's no one to keep the areas we clear secure, it's just a shell game. What's to stop them from retaking the necropolis after we move on to the towers or the tenements?" Riley says to Flavius and then turns to Rheinstat. "Major, do you have enough troops to maintain the areas we clear?"

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    Flavius
    But the necropolis is the source. I doubt there is enough intelligent undead in the rest of the city to coordinate a recapture of the necropolis if we hit it sufficiently hard. Even if we don't succeed in clearing it initially, a strong attack there will hamper the flow of fresh undead to other districts.
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    Elise

    "Agreed. We can simply render the necropolis unusable to the enemy, too; burn the bodies, collapse the tombs, whatever else it takes. Besides, if there are any of the Demon's apprentices who can raise fresh undead in the city, they'll be where there's bodies to use. If we can catch them and kill them, all of or problems become simpler."

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    Rheinstat frowns. "I'm not sure how I feel about sending in troops to start occupying the city just yet. We're short on men here, and frankly it's taking most of my manpower just to maintain order here in the tents." He shakes his head and runs one hand through his graying hair. "I've got just over a thousand soldiers to both guard the city and protect the refuges...which outnumber us at least five to one."

    "I don't know much about conjuring fog to walk on, but I suppose that's your area of expertise." He says to Elise. "The walls are about 25ft high, though some sections have been damaged. You might find a hole big enough to go through, or an area that's crumbled enough to climb over." He glances down at the pin marking the necropolis. "I won't pretend to know what's exactly going on in there, but I do know that it was heavily protected during the siege. Our soldiers never were able to break in, so whatever's there has got to be important."
    The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Me.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Valen

    "Hmm. Well I suppose that's it then; we strike at the necropolis, trying not to attract too much attention beforehand, and leave them crippled enough that they can't easily restart after we've moved on to the next target." He paused and looked over at Elise before continuing. "If your solid fog isn't too noticeable, I say we go with that. Jarl's right about the risks of going in through the sewers, and if we go over directly into the cemetery it may just let us bypass some of their guards."
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    Flavius
    I, too, want to avoid the sewers. Smelly, dank... The wizard shivers. My robes would be ruined. And the sewers are no doubt crawling with the most disgusting varieties of undead. Ones, as Jarl pointed out, will be all too at home there. I also think we should work during the day when we can; as hilariously fun as fending off Demonspawn in the middle of the night with zero visibility is, I far prefer fighting undead on a sunny day with birdsong in the background, he adds semisarcastically.
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    Elise

    Elise nods, somewhat relieved, when she hears the height of the city walls. "That's about the limit of how long I can make them, but we should be able to go over the walls just about anywhere."

    She turns to Riley and smiles kindly. "I think we have a plan. Unless you have further objections, I think we'll go over the walls and attack the necropolis in the morning."

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    Jarl

    Jarl casts an appraising eye over the gnome at his comment. "If you truly are worried about the condition of your robes, you're likely in the wrong group. You could still end up covered in blood and ichor before the job is done."
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    Flavius
    The gnome laughs. I spoke in jest, my friend. I may not like getting my robes dirty, but I assure you, I have annihilated more than my fair share of undead. A little gore or slime is not going to stop me or my Draconic magic.
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    Riley

    "I'd prefer the sewers for the fewest eyes on us but I suppose the fog will have to do. I hope whatever sentries they have are not intelligent enough to fund a sudden column of fog suspicious." he says with a look of concern still lingering on his face.

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    "A few shamblers probably wouldn't notice the fog, but there's more cunning undead around." Major Rheinstat says. "If you're headed to the necropolis first, I've got some things that might help out." He puts his drink down and moves over to a nearby chest. Opening it, he pulls out a worn leather bandolier with a few potions and odd crystal rocks slotted in it.

    He lays it on the table and says "The crystals are glowstones. Throw it hard on the ground and it'll crack. There's a resevoir inside that releases a liquid and when it cracks open it flares bright for a few minutes. It's more than just light though...seems to hurt the undead just by being near it." He nods towards the three potions in the bandolier. "The vials will protect you against the unnatural energy of the undead as well, though the protection doesn't last long." He pauses and then says "We've got more, but not many...and frankly I want to see if you come back before giving you all our supply. No offense intended..." He says and sits down. "...but we've got to make sure that what we do have is used effectively...I'm sure you understand."

    Spoiler
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    There are 3 glowstones, 2 Cryptspawn potions (level 15), and 1 Potion of Lifeshield (level 17).

    If no one has any more questions, then I'll move the scene to the tent they've readied for you and you guys can talk amongst yourselves and get ready for the next day.

    Bandolier
    Spoiler
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    Cryptspawn Potion Level 5+ Common
    Drinking this viscous fluid that smells of decay provides protection against the powers of creatures that live beyond the grave.
    Lvl 5 50 gp Lvl 25 25,000 gp
    Lvl 15 1,000 gp
    Consumable: Potion
    Utility Power Consumable (Minor Action)
    Effect: You drink the potion and lose a healing surge. You then gain resist 5 necrotic and resist 5 poison until the end of the encounter. You also gain a +5 power bonus to your next Endurance check against any disease of the potionís level or lower.
    Level 15: Resist 10 necrotic and resist 10 poison.
    Level 25: Resist 15 necrotic and resist 15 poison.

    Potion of Lifeshield Level 7+ Uncommon
    This lemony potion shields you from necrotic energy.
    Lvl 7 100 gp Lvl 27 65,000 gp
    Lvl 17 2,600 gp
    Consumable: Potion
    Power Consumable (Minor Action)
    Drink this potion and spend a healing surge. You do not gain hit points as normal. Instead, once during this encounter, you can use an immediate interrupt action to gain resist 15 necrotic against a single attack.
    Level 17: Resist 25.
    Level 27: Resist 35.

    Glowstone Level 10 Uncommon
    This fist-sized stone glows faintly and can be used to create a bright burst of radiant light that harms undead creatures.
    Consumable: Consumable 200 gp
    Property
    A glowstone radiates dim light in a 2-square radius.
    Power (Radiant, Zone) Consumable (Standard Action)
    Use the glowstone to creates a zone of bright illumination in an area burst 2 within 5 squares of you. Any undead creature that is vulnerable to radiant damage that enters or starts its turn within the zone is affected as if it had taken radiant damage. For example, a skeleton that has vulnerable 5 radiant takes 5 radiant damage if it enters or starts its turn in the zone. The zone remains until the end of the encounter or for 5 minutes, whichever comes first. Using this power turns the glowstone to dust.
    The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Me.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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    Flavius
    I understand, of course, sir. Do not fret; I've a spell that will do something similar to these potions for all of us, and for a similar duration. We should have enough protection for a single foray.
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    Riley

    The halfling stops flipping his dagger and motions towards the bandolier. "I'd consider myself a low priority for the potions. While they'd be useful, my armor grants some protection against unnatural energy already. I would take the crystals though. Once I'm in position I can make use of them, leaving the others free to use their talents to better effect."

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    Elise

    Elise looks at the glowstones and shakes her head, but regards the potions more closely. "I likely wouldn't have much of an opportunity to use the stones, so Riley can have them if he likes. I'd deal more damage simply with the use of my spells. The potions, though... I've met enough of the Demon's creatures who sap a soldier's elan vital to know that having protection against such assaults are important, and although I don't like to admit it I don't have as much life force as I might like. One of those vials might save my life."

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    "Use them as you wish." The Major says, and then nods towards his servant. "It's been a long day...Jans will show you to your tents for now. No need to check in before you leave...I trust I'll find out sooner or later." He says with a quick shake of his head, leaving you not entirely sure of what he means.

    Jans walks over and pulls back the tent flap. "This way, please." The tent city is a massive, sprawling, disorganized mess that is never really asleep nor quiet, but at night the mass of humanity settles down and as you follow Jans he leads you down heavily trodden pathways in the grass, tents sprung up on all sides, all shapes and sizes. Some are even in the path, and so it winds around them. All around are small campfires, burning low to conserve fuel in the face of the coming winter, groups of people huddling around them for warmth. Faces rise up and stare at you as you walk by, your clothes not covered with dirt and mud marking you as separate than everyone else.

    The tent is not all that far away though, and after only a few minutes walk Jans stops besides it. The tent is yellow and battered looking, the wind playing with the flaps, threatening to tear out the stakes at any moment. It's also small, no more than four feet high and five long. A pair of halflings might be comfortable inside. Jans smiles and says, "I know, doesn't seem like much does it?" Pulling aside the flap, he ducks down and walks inside. With the flap open you can see that it's much larger inside than it is outside, and it doesn't look like a tent at all.

    "Come on, don't let the cold air in." Jans says as you look about the spacious log cabin with half a dozen large bunk beds, each piled with furs and blankets and able to hold a family of four. There's a roaring fireplace with a well-stocked pantry and side board next to it. Close to the door, and you do realize that when Jans lets go of the tent flap, it's a solid wooden door that closes, there's couches and a foot table, along with a large desk. "Courtesy of Archmage Cedaris. He sent this along ahead of you. If there's nothing else you need, then I'll be heading back. He says and wraps his scarf up again, ready to head outside.

    Spoiler
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    So you've got a little extra dimensional log cabin space. It's got about anything you'd need if you were actually living in it, food, drink, firewood, etc. Being a guildmage has perks...but how does your character feel about having this exceptional place to live, while the rest of the camp is basically a refugee camp?

    Feel free to send Jans away in your posts, he'll go back to the Major unless you guys want/need something from me.
    Last edited by Chambers; 2012-04-13 at 10:51 PM.
    The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Me.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Shadow_Elf's Avatar

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    Jul 2008
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    Default Re: Guildmage [IC]

    Flavius
    Thank you kindly, Jans. Wish the Major a good night's rest, says the gnome, looking around the log cabin. The Archmage is a generous man. I doubt an Inquisitorial Team on mission would get such lavish quarters from the Council back home, he says, after Jans has left. If only Isabella were here to see this... she would love this cabin, he thinks, sitting himself down on the comfortable couch. I am going to commune with the Council and see if they have any insights to provide, he tells his companions, drawing out a small ceremonial dagger and meditating with eyes closed.

    Spoiler
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    Casting two rituals, Consult Mystic Sages (which I am refluffing as a consult with mages back in the dragon/gnome lands, I'll still make the religion check as normal) and also Memory of the Dragon to consult Flavius' mother. Both are free (the first because I use my Divination Mastery to eschew components, and the second because it is naturally free).

    Religion for Consult Mystic Sages: (1d20+25)[38]. Wanting to find out more about airborne undead and what they might be capable of in terms of intelligence, reporting/scouting and combat.

    Memory of the Dragon: Ask Solkara what she knows about methods for damaging materials so they cannot be used for necromancy (she might know very little, up to you). Also just update her on what is going on in the world outside the dagger, as Flavius does every night he can.
    My Homebrew
    Currently DMing: Heroes on a Sea of Swords - IC - OOC - OOC II - OOC III
    Thanks to Arokh for all the wonderful avatars! May his computer never crash and his mouse arm never cramp!

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Guildmage [IC]

    Jarl

    Jarl's skepticism about their sleeping arrangements turns to amusement when they get inside and he lets out a chuckle. "More than I expected to get. Thank you Jans."

    "Before we turn in, I'll take one of those potions as well, never can have too much protection against these things. Beyond that, if none of you have anything of to do to get ready for tomorrow, we'd best get some rest. We can go over the plan of attack again in the morning, then move out. Sound good?"


    And hopefully we can have everyone else out of this pit before long.
    Thanks to Elrond for the Vash avatar.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Dec 2007

    Default Re: Guildmage [IC]

    Valen

    Valen hadn't exactly been in the brightest of moods from their arrival to Frivale to their meeting with the Major, but a brisk walk through the tent city, seeing the destitution the people had been reduced to only darkened his countenance further. No matter how long it had been since he was here, no matter how hard life had been for him here, no matter how many fell deeds he had committed in the past--this wasn't right.

    After they'd entered the surprisingly spacious and comfy cabin-tent, Valen flopped himself down onto one of the couches and brooded. Still, he nodded along with what Flavius and Jarl had to say.

    "Yeah. I could use a crystal or a potion, either one's fine. Haven't had much chance to resupply after the war and all, so I uh, I don't have any special protections--or really much more than my sword and the clothes on my back," he said, rather too glumly he realized too late, so he straightened up--even if he still couldn't lighten up.

    "But hey, it is an undead slayer, so we'll be fine," he added, patting the blade resting at his side and smiling for the first time.
    Currently playing: Medinah v.2.0; Snapdragon; Mordant

    Thinkerforged avatar by Rowsen.

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Shadow_Elf's Avatar

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    Default Re: Guildmage [IC]

    Flavius
    The gnome awakes from his revery with the hint of a smile on his lips. I have some information that may help us in our mission. I am tired, as I am sure you all are, however, so I will keep it brief, he says cheerily. Councilman Brightsun gave me a basic rundown of the various kinds of airborne undead that might be occupying the towers. Worst-case scenario, it is wraiths; they have a degree of intelligence and are very hard to, ah, re-kill. If it is just flying zombies or reanimated airborne creatures, we should be able to avoid raising alarms rather simply, since those varieties of undead are stupid. However, if a Lich or other magically-flying undead is up there, we will have to move quickly - they won't hesitate in warning their peers in the necropolis of out attempt, he explains, giving the group a basic analyses of the airborne threats they might face. If there is naught else to be discussed tonight, we'd best all get some rest to be ready for our mission in the morning. There's little worse than crawling into a city infested with undead with no sleep!
    My Homebrew
    Currently DMing: Heroes on a Sea of Swords - IC - OOC - OOC II - OOC III
    Thanks to Arokh for all the wonderful avatars! May his computer never crash and his mouse arm never cramp!

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    Chambers's Avatar

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    Default Re: Guildmage [IC]

    Though outside the night is cold, inside the cabin is warm and quiet. The fire lowers by itself as the night goes on, but some magical energy keeps it from going out. The beds are large and soft and the night passes without event.

    You awake in the morning to hear birds chirping outside the cabin, a strange noise as you thought the cabin to be soundproof, cutting off contact with the outside world. Whomever opens the door feels the early morning chill and sees the sun still below the horizon, a red glow spreading up from the ground to the east. The birds are not heard outside though you can hear the sounds of the tent cities early risers beginning to move about.

    Inside the cabin the food that was in the pantry and sideboard last night, chicken, bread and soup, has been replaced with more typical breakfast fare.

    Spoiler
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    The bird sounds are the cabins way of informing you that it's morning. It's a magic alarm clock, of a sorts, as there's no windows to look out and the cabin is indeed soundproof. It's just before dawn, timewise. What's everyone doing?
    The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Me.
    "We have sent many to Hell, to smooth our way," said I, "and we are standing yet and holding blades. What more?"

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