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Thread: Guildmage [IC]

  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Riley

    Valen's question sparks a vague memory in the halfling. "Well now that you mention it, I remember a ritual, Remembrance of Honor if my memory holds, that might be of use. It's a bit draining but we recall past honorable deeds or confess base ones in an effort to inspire ourselves or urge and enemy to good deeds. Maybe we can prod the dead to rest or at least honor the covenant of death and stay dead."

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    The only thing that smells worse than a ghoul is a dismembered ghoul but thankful after a few minutes rest your nose manages to adapt somewhat and the stench isn't entirely overwhelming. Getting it out of your clothes will be another matter for later.

    The northern part of the open chapel is free of the dead ghouls and makes as good a spot as any to sit and rest. With time and a closer look Jarl notices deep scratches on the stone floor and markings on the north wall. The gouges on the floor appear to be made by something heavy that was dragged there, possibly a large stone slab. The markings on the wall seem to be haphazardly organized and seem to be the remnants of words and images etched there, only to have later been almost entirely defaced. The few markings that survive are reminiscent of letters in old Hevian but they're too ruined and incomplete to make sense of it.

    The candles and incense left over from Flavius ritual serve well enough for dim light and for something to cover the stench. It might be a trick of the light or his head still reeling from the aberrants assault but Valen catches glimpses of tortured and silently screaming faces in the shadows cast by the candles.
    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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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Valen

    Instead of shock or horror, Valen reacts to the sight of the spirits with a heavy sigh. He still ached, but more than that he hated the idea of revealing anything of his past--especially the confessing fell deeds part--but he knew it was the sensible thing to do.

    "I suppose, since I was the one who wanted to speak with the souls in the first place, that I should be the one to start... A few years ago, I was caught in a space between spaces, if you will. I don't know how familiar any of you are with the Fey, the creatures of the secret places in the wild where even elves fear to tread, but there are worlds within worlds and one of those belongs solely to them.

    "At any rate, by my curiosity I became trapped in that world of theirs. I'll not lie, I admit I did...terrible things, things I'd never thought I'd do in our world, in order to survive. But!"
    he exclaimed as his mood brightened suddenly, "That's a tale for a less gloomy time, and mere background for this tale of heroism, in which I am but a part. After finally fleeing my tormenters I nonetheless despaired that I would never return home, and that's when I chanced upon a pitched battle between the eladrin--the children of twilight in that place, strange but not malicious--and their nemeses, the formorian giants, twisted in body as they are in soul. The eladrin knights had formed a circle 'round their wounded while healers tended them, refusing to surrender a single one until all had fallen. I could not help but be moved that even here, in that unearthly place, there could exist such selfless sacrifice, which in my state only moved me to cast my lot, my life, in with theirs. 'I will surely die in this forsaken place,' I thought, 'so why not have it mean something?'

    "Headlong I rushed into the fray, carving a fleeting gap in the formorians' backside through which their wounded might escape in a rearguard maneuver that would leave me exposed but guarantee at least some of them got out. You can imagine my astonishment when the eladrin's line shifted and encircled me as well. I would not be here had it been otherwise, but then all those who fought and lived have each other to thank, including those that died. Aranil. Immaril. Albanion. Quarion. Astrianna. Leshanna. Valenae... May they never be forgotten."


    With that, Valen again grew silent.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Flavius
    Alright, I've some tales from the war. Let's see... ah yes. "Always an even trade." I heard this line from soldiers innumerable times during the length of the war. The meaning of the phrase, I eventually learned, was that, without us Guildmagi, the shock troops were helpless against the magic of the necromancers. At the same time, we mages were vulnerable to the shambling hordes were it not for the shield wall of the soldiers. "Always an even trade," they would say, and it did make a peculiar sort of sense. But it struck me as odd; soldiers died by the droves in battle, while relatively few magi died. How was that even?

    He waves his hand as if battling away an insect. That is the required context. During the war, I began developing a spell; Soul Puppets, I like to call it now. It works on sentients, but the true beauty of the dweomer is that it allows me to twist necromantic enchantments with illusions to wrest control of undead. But it was still in the testing phase; I didn't know if it would work in the field. A few squads of marines and I were backed up a hill by the horde, while I tried to defeat the necromancer. It was hopeless; my magic wouldn't kill him in time to save us. "Always an even trade, mage" said the lieutenant. Baroy, James Baroy. He gestured with his hand, ordering me to flee while he and his men held the line.

    Flavius looks down at the floor. "Always an even trade?" I remember barking back. He brings his gaze back upwards, hardened. "It's not bloody well even if one of we high-falutin mages never takes a dive for you lot. Get your men out of here, I'll hold them," I shouted back, angry at how callously he'd throw away the lives of his men, particularly to spare me. I cast Soul Puppets, still in the testing stages. Fortunately, it threw the horde into chaos, and his men pulled out. My spell didn't last long, though, so I stayed to slow them down with ice magic. He sighs. That would have been the end of me, there. Zombie food. Maybe the Demon would've made me a Revenant Mage for his side. But next thing I know, Baroy and five of his burliest heavies and dragging me out of the thick of it. Baroy, Malgrae, Flitton, Stoneberg. None of them made it out. I still remember the Lieutenant's last words to me.

    "Always an even trade, mage." Like your saviours, Valen, their names are forever engraved upon my memory. Ssifisv Persvek Martivir, we say in Draconic. Rest in peace.
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  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Elise

    Elise seems to recover significantly from even the short period of rest that has been afforded her, but her voice is already noticeably rougher from the sickness the monster had afflicted her with. "Your tale reminds me of those I have dishonored," she comments to Flavius, "Though I feel I have always done my best for my comrades-in-arms. My greatest failing is to my family. My parents were - are - merchants from Petor, but my brothers took their parts of the business, and my sister gave them grandchildren, so I was never required to do anything for the family.

    "Still, though, they wanted something from me, to be a scholar worthy of my inheritance, but I did not like sitting in the libraries, and so I abandoned the books to seek stories in the world. I thought, then, that that would be enough to fulfill my parents' wishes, and maybe it would have been. I have not sought new stories since the war, though, and so I cannot say anything but that I have failed them.

    "Even worse, I do not know if any of them live now. My path has not taken me to Petor since the Demon was defeated, and all of their business partners in the north were slain, but in truth I have not even tried to learn of their fates. We must honor our kin, yet I have not. Forgive me, Aelar and Ella my parents, Peter and Thomas my brothers, Althea my sister, and little Bron and Elsa - I swear, I will find you again."

  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Riley
    Riley fidgets uncomfortably as the other's tales remind him of his own past misdeeds. "I'm not one to dwell on the past. Hell, I could fill a book with my past transgressions depending on your point of view. I just move on but there is one that still lingers with me." He says as he stares at the ground.

    "During the war I ran a recon crew nicknamed 'The Flock'. They were mostly made-guys from my Rum Society days, skulkers and rounders and the like. One day I get a new recruit, the nobleborn Edard Coover, esquire. He was fresh faced and all prim and proper. 'Sir yes sir!' and all that. A ripe mark ready to be plucked in any other circumstance." Riley pauses as a grin creeps across his face.

    "Well, needless to say he was not well recieved. The boys hazed him mercilessly and I didn't stop them. Hell, I joined in sometimes. I wasn't my job to babysit some nobleborn slumming for glory. Despite the rough treatment, Coover always did what was asked and took the teasing in stride hoping to one day earn their respect.

    One day on the way out from a stint behind, we found ourselves pinched in a ravine between a guard camp and a fast approaching patrol. The rocky cliffs left nowhere to hide and little time to weigh options. With capture looming we quickly brainstormed our options. Coover spoke up and said he had a plan, just follow his lead. With the outlook grim, I figured 'if we're going out, let the noble have his day.' As we quietly approached the camp, Coover grabbed a handful of rocks and ran through the middle of the Guard camp screaming and throwing like a madman. The camp emptied out after him. The rest of the crew made it through taking out a few scragglers along the way. Coover was not so lucky."
    Riley goes quiet as he stares down the darkness of the tunnel.

  7. - Top - End - #247
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    Jarl

    Keeping his peace as the others share their tales, Jarl works on finding the words for his own story. Settling on his answer, he draws his blade as he stands in the chapel, holding it out in front of him. "You know how I came by this sword? I didn't forge it, it is beyond my skill to make. One of my men, Korre, in the war wielded it, he had a knack for the arcane, though I do not believe it was his creation either. Back then I was but a young, inexperienced leader. Intelligent, but not as familiar with battle as I am now. But you all know how brutal it was, men we needed, and the battlefield became our teacher."

    "It was a hard day, we had been traveling for hours, moving from one hotspot to another. They were ready for us, ambushed us. Most of the men died before we really knew what hit us. Perhaps there were signs I had missed, hints I could catch now, but it was no good then. We were fighting for our lives and it wasn't going well. It was then I saw that Korre was no longer among the living, this sword at his side."


    "I took it thinking that I needed every advantage to what I could before I fell, that I would avenge Korre and then join him. But it was not to be. The blade...reacted to my touch, I could feel it's power coursing through me. I didn't know what I would be capable of and threw myself against the monsters. I ended up collapsing the whole blasted cavern. A few of our forces survived on the outskirts and rescued me, luckily only half buried and still alive. I kept the sword, somehow getting the feeling that Korre approved. Together we fought the Demon's forces, and together we won."
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    The faint faces that Valen saw in the candlelight grow in number as each of you speak of past pride and sorrow. Emerging from the darkness, hundreds of ghostly figures crowd around the circle you sit in. Most wear heavy robes of a similar, antique style while others are dressed according to what you imagine their station to be; farmers, clerks, housewives, and even children. There are few similarities among them, save for two. Each bears evidence of a violent death, dried blood and gore staining their clothes and each one stares in silence as the five of you tell your stories. Their faces are hard to read at first as they lack any emotional expression, but their eyes tell their own tales of sadness and grief.

    As you speak you can see a change come over them. Their lost eyes begin to regain some focus and their faces soften, some weeping while others stand silent witness to their history. As Jarl finishes his tale the candles flicker and the ghosts begin to lose their substance, what little they had. The dancing shadows on the cavern walls seem to draw the ghosts in until only one is left, a child. She stares at each of you with a small smile on her face, an odd congruence with the ghastly wounds done to her neck. She takes something from her shirt pocket and places it on the ground before she curtsies and fades into the shadows. The flower from the ghost girl is a rose, the stem and flower all shining with a faint silver light.

    For the first time since entering Frivale you feel a sense of peace, as if the genius loci of this chapel has release a large breath that it was holding in. Though the dismembered bodies of the ghouls remain they seem to be no more than parts of dead bodies, no longer held together by foul energies. The calmness lasts for a few moments and then is abruptly shattered as the temperature drops sharply and you feel a psychic presence descend into the room. The candles cease their flickering and burn completely still, even the heat waves frozen in motion. The shadows, however, continue to wave and actually increase in complexity until it no longer seems to be random movements but some form of pattern being cast against the stone wall.

    "Vos dimisit eos." A voice says from the darkness though no physical shape or form is visible. "Quare fecisti hoc?" Even without understanding the language you can hear the inflection and tone; curious but also commanding. The voice itself is filled with power and the other noises of the chapel - the creaking, groaning of rock under pressure, the slow drip of water from above - these all stop while it speaks.
    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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  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Valen

    Though he didn't understand the words, it wasn't hard to figure out the context--this could be the presence he felt here earlier, or perhaps even the "light" that inspired the cult's worship--so nodding his head slowly, Valen shifted in his resting place and stood to address the unknown entity.

    "Forgive me, I'm not versed in Ancient Hevian, but if you're asking why we did this, it is because their souls deserved rest, murderers and murdered alike," he said, then pausing to gather his resolve, continued.

    "I'm no theologian; I don't pretend to know the nature of the soul, I can't honestly say I worship any particular god, and I'm not even sure to whom it is I'm speaking right now. But I do know that all beings--even the immortal ones I've met--desire rest. Denying them the rest they earned, forcing the pain of life to continue on for centuries after death, is a cruel punishment ill befitting even the worst criminals. We merely gave them what they deserved. Do you not also seek rest, spirit?" he asked, plaintively and genuinely, looking around at the others in case they wished to add anything.

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    If it's allowed, I'll take 10 in Diplomacy, resulting in a 28; if not I'll roll in OOC.

    By the way, awesome imagery with that post, Chambers!
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    Flavius
    The gnome brings himself unsteadily to his feet, having sat down after his story. I don't know if you understand us, whatever you are, but you ought to know that we are here not only for these poor souls, but to lay this whole city to rest. If that is contrary to your designs, I suggest you step aside, or risk oblivion.
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    The shadows pause for a few moments and then resume their wavering, the pattern different than before. "You speak the language of the south and you have the power to perform magic. Fascinating. My colleagues would be much surprised and eager to study you." The voice says in common. "Though perhaps it is the gnome that led you in the ritual. Still bearing the arrogance of the drakes apparently."

    The candles flicker for a second and then freeze again. "It matters not to me that you've sent them to the next life. Their purpose had been fulfilled, though I am interested in knowing how you did so. I was unaware that the hillsmen had the capacity to perform such workings though it seems much has changed." A drop of water drips down from the ceiling and hesitates in mid-air, then slowly rises back up to the ceiling, soaking back into the stone. "If you seek to 'lay the whole city to rest', do so if you can. It is no concern of mine." Deep laughter echoes of the stone walls. "I have rested, hillsman, and am resting, and am no spirit. Perhaps if you can deduce who I am we may have a more fruitful discussion, but I doubt you will."
    Last edited by Chambers; 2012-09-29 at 04:31 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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    Elise

    Elise levers herself to her feet and slowly walks into the chamber's center. Int he language of dwarves, she whispers, "'Much has changed' and knows not of our people... It says it is not a spirit, but what else of Hevia could survive?"

    She regards the unnaturally-moving droplet and continues in common. "You say that you would be interested in knowing how we have released those trapped here, and you suggest that we might know more of you. You surely know of barter. Might we trade knowledge for knowledge, not-spirit of this place?" She speaks as she knows merchants do when trying to interest a customer, using the skills she learned from her father in her youth. "You know that nothing we learn can really hurt you, and may be able to stop losing other assets with what we give in return."

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    Skill checks!
    Diplomacy - (1d20+21)[31]
    Bluff - (1d20+19)[36] Hopefully convince it to give up information.
    History - (1d20+16)[26]
    Arcana - (1d20+14)[26]
    Religion - (1d20+9)[17] Knowledge checks.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    << There are many things not of our great land that have powers you could never comprehend, though it pleases me to know you think us supreme among them all. >> The voice says in dwarven. Jarl recognizes the accent as a form of High Speech that was once common centuries ago but is now only rarely used except for important ceremonies.

    "I accept your challenge, Speaker-to-Winds. In the interest of making it more interesting, I propose that we play a game from my youth. A children's game, of course, but you should be able to catch along. Two truths and one lie. We each ask questions of the other, and the response must contain two truths and one lie. The game is deciding which is which." It says and the shadows speed up, the patterns blurring together for a few moments as if some fine control had been relinquished. They quickly settle back down to their normal movements. "I'm quite looking forward to this; please don't disappoint. In the spirit of sportsmanship, you may take your turn first."

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    Arcana (Moderate DC - 22)
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    The effects in the chapel appear to be the combination of a number of spells, all woven together seemlessly. There are many rituals that alone one to view an area remotely and it's easy to surmise that if the speaker isn't here then it is employing some sort of srying magic. The pattern of shadows, sight, sound and gravity distortions are another matter, as they do not have the tell-tale signs of illusionary magics. Whatever is causing them, they are real.


    Arcana (Hard DC - 31)
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    The shadows and other ephemera of the speaker's prescence are indeed illusions, though of a higher caliber than most mages can conjure. They are woven with the very stuff of shadow, lending them a solidity and substance that separates them from mere figments and glamers. Its possible that even if one did know they were attacked by a shadowy illusion of a creature that their minds would die of fright as if the creature were real.


    History (Moderate DC - 22)
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    The records of Hevia before its collapse are sparse, the majority of them inscriptions on stone walls or buildings that have survived from that time. Some findings appear to suggest that the present day Kingdom was once the southern branch of Hevia, though they were a conquered people and were ruled by the mages, not mages themselves.

    There is plenty of architectural evidence in the cities of Petor and Frivale to support the idea that they existed at the time of Hevia but the known recods don't tell a complete tale of the cities societies at the time.


    History (Hard DC - 31)
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    The speakers casual dismissal of your capabilities leads credence to the idea of the Hevian mages ruling over the people of the south, assuming that the speaker is a mage from hevia. Its mastery of the ancient tongue makes that a safe assumption. If it were true it would have wide ranging implications for the Kingdom, raising more questions than it answers. Why weren't the southern cities blasted when the Hevians were smote by their god? If the Hevians did rule the southern cities, why hasn't more evidence of their rule been found in the cities?


    Religion (Easy DC - 16)
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    The tales that the people tell of King Lothel are one of both intelligence and humility. A man of many firsts; the first King of the Kingdom and first Mage, he was smart enough to realize that he could not lead his people down the same path that the Hevians had walked. Lothel created a code of ethics for himself and all mages to follow, one that taught service as the greatest virtue, not power.

    The hubris is plain in the speakers voice and it's clear that this mage has never heard the lessons of Lothel.
    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
    Still looking up at the ceiling defiantly, Flavius motionlessly contacts the others. Alright, let us hope he cannot tap into the metal communication effects of my amulet, he broadcasts to the guildmagi. What's our strategy here? We need to give him something meaty enough that this is a game, and he feels inclined to respond in kind. It can't be trivial, nor crucial. What can you state that would snare his interest, Elise?
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    Elise

    Elise makes a sound like she's thinking, putting a small smile on her face behind her scarf. Who knows if her opponent can 'see' through a thin layer of cloth like that? "Two truths and a lie, hmm? Hmm... Hmm..." I have no idea what I'm doing! I really didn't expect this to work! she thinks back at Flavius, slightly panicked. Um... Pride! He sounds really proud of Hevia! I can work with that!

    Having thought of something to say, the sorceress turns in a broad circle and spreads her arms wide."Here are your first set to work your wisdom on. First, know that my people know all there is to know about Hevia, and how it fell." A lie, she knows, but the proud not-spirit may think that she is as proud of her people as it is of Hevia and so believes it true. "We have learned from the lessons of your people and ours will not fall victim to the same mistakes." Mostly true; Hevia knew not of honor, but who knows what history will say of Vidalis? "Hevia's magics might bind the fallen, but the lessons we have learned give us greater power over them than your people ever had." Another lie, though it might be seen as true from a certain point of view; honor's strength has obviously defeated the bindings today. "Those are my thoughts. Can you see through the mists to what shines behind them?"

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    Skill checks again.
    Bluff - (1d20+19)[37]
    Diplomacy - (1d20+21)[38]

    ...Should I roll Bluff more than once since I'm telling more than one lie? Possibly. I shall do so, and if unneeded you can discard them.
    Bluff - (1d20+19)[36]
    Bluff - (1d20+19)[24]

    And yes, I did intentionally break the rules of the little contest Did you intend the other to abide by them?

  16. - Top - End - #256
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    The voice chuckles in the shadows. "One thing is true Speaker-to-Winds. Your speech is fair, even for this debased tongue we must converse in. You pose answers to an unasked question which I presume to be 'What are the differences between your culture and mine?'. The shadows flicker back and forth for a few moments as the voice considers your truths.

    "The first is obviously a lie, as you did not, and do not, know who I am, thereby invalidating your claim of 'knowing all there is to know about Hevia.' Furthermore you do not speak the High speech, another point against that statement being true. I deem your second and third statements to be wishful thinking. You hope they are true but they speak of the future, a thing that is difficult to predict accurately."

    "Well enough for a first attempt. Now it is my turn. Ask me a question and I will give you three answers."
    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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    Elise

    Elise begins to laugh softly, then coughs violently and swears in the abyssal language. <<Wishful thinking? Whose land lives and whose is dead?>> she wonders in the same tongue.

    In the language of the Kingdom, she addresses her opponent. "If you had wished to ask a question, you should have asked it before giving the first turn to me," she admonishes, "but you did not. We had spoken of trading knowledge of yourself for knowledge of how the bindings were defeated, so let us work towards that trade now. For our game, I ask this: you say you are not a spirit of this place (or at all), so from where do you speak?"

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    "Ah, a student of languages. Perhaps with time you may learn to truly speak. Still, if you would wish to learn more you should divorce yourself of your rough concepts of life and death. Consider what happens to life that does not die, nor death that does not live."

    "For your question, I give you answers three." The shadows pause for a moment and the forms frozen on the wall briefly resemble the procession of lights Valen saw in his trance, the points of light inverted into spots of inky darkness. "My body rests outside the city but my mind within. From my vantage I see only darkness yet know all that happens in the city. I speak from a place where the dead guard the dead."

    The voice sounds pleased with itself. "Now for my proper first question; I believe the servant of the drakes will have the answers I seek. What do the Wyrms think of this new kingdom of men?"
    The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai Me.
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    Default Re: Guildmage [IC]

    Flavius
    The gnome appears affronted by the voice's suggestion that he is a "servant". I speak as son and bondmate to dragons, not as their slave, whoever you are, he replies indignantly. Very well, I shall play your game. My people saw humans as little more than fodder to throw into the Demon's maw during the war. Now that they have survived that conflict, we aim to guide the development of their magic through envoys such as myself to ensure that the mistakes of Hevia are not repeated. The wyrms are both impressed and wary of the advancements in magic made by the short-lived humans in such little time, answers Flavius. He broadcasts something to his companions. The first was the lie, by the by, in case I've worried any of you.
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    "Perhaps the trade tongue has shifted in the years since I've spoken it last. I did not mean to imply slave. Has the word servant taken on such a connotation and lost its prior meaning? No matter. Your pride is well placed gnome, for the drakes ever were creatures worthy of respect."

    "Your answers are subtle, for I could easily see the drakes sending pawns to do their bidding, but I had not realized that they, and yourself, would be so bold as to declare their intentions among your allies here. Perhaps in the years past they have grown even more prideful, if such a thing were possible. However, I do not see how they could be impressed or concerned by whatever pale rituals the adepts of this kingdom could manage. I deem your last statement to be a lie. Does your group have a judgment on my answers?"

    The shadows creep down from the wall and slowly extend across the cavern floor like a dark stain spreading. They pause before reaching the group of you and small tendrils of shadow flick out like tongues to taste the air around you. "A dwarf is among your company...and a smallfellow? How unusual. Does your ancestral memory provide a spark of remembrance of myself, master dwarf?"

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    Someone else can ask a question of him if they'd like.
    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

    Valen had been pondering the patterns of shadows throughout the others' question-and-answer game, but seeing a particular pattern appear and putting that together with what he'd already seen and heard he felt it time to finally open his mouth (and he hoped he wasn't buying into the entity's arrogance by doing so.)

    "I have--judgments, that is, Mairbh-Dhraoidh*," he replied. "We have already met the dead guardians of the dead in this place, and have the marks to show for it. We also know of scrying magic, so it's not unreasonable that from your vantage point you would be able to know 'all that happens in the city.' Therefore, I surmise that your first answer is the lie: your body is interred in this mausoleum--hence why you would 'see only darkness'--and your mind is viewing us remotely in a non-material state. Based on the shadowy forms you're projecting, I suspect it's from within the astral realm, and if so then it's true that you are no mere spirit of this place but rather its creator, or involved in its creation certainly.

    "My question then--and it is our turn to ask a question, if you please--is why was it necessary to create doorways between the realms of the living and the dead?"


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    * "Druid of the Dead" in the Unseelie language, intended as a term for necromancer.
    Last edited by Scylfing; 2012-10-15 at 07:01 PM.
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    "Clever, hillsman, though you bestow upon me a title not used for many years, and not entirely fairly named. It pleases me that the art of Reason has not been totally lost among your people. We tried for so long to cultivate some sense about it among you but some things insist on taking their own time. Your base conclusion is correct, though you carry it too far. There are other ways to reach places beyond traveling through what you call the astral. As for your question, there are few things that are necessary, but some are enlightening. Perhaps you would prefer to rephrase it. But no matter."

    The tendrils of shadow reach out and play over Valen's head, never touching but drawing uncomfortably close. "Yes...you've some recent insight into this place. I felt your mind wander far afield earlier." The voice chuckles. "A strenuous and dangerous journey for you, no doubt. Were the visions you received worth it? I'm curious - from a purely academic perspective, of course. As for your answers, here they are: To walk from one point to another requires a body, but no living man may walk the paths behind the paths. Certain Conjurations could be interrupted. The paths are for the dead, yet they had no use for them."

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    Arcana - Conjurations. Of the five types Calling, Summoning, and Teleportation are the three that are most likely to be 'interrupted', either through a counter-calling, stealing control of a summoned creature, or by delaying or transporting the teleporting creature else (such as Anticipate Teleport).

    Side note: I know that the above is 3.5 but I think 3rd Edition has a better base for magical theory in terms of using it for Lore.
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    Flavius
    Your second phrase is vague, but, for being vague, is all the more likely true. Then comes the issue of walking, for taking the first to be true, it can be surmised that your teleportation dweomers had some unforseen chance of failure; only your first comment bears on the solution. I thereby judge your third statement to be false, replies the gnome. Though, of course, I leave my companions to render their own judgments. Have you another question of our party, Not-Spirit of Hevia? I am quite enjoying this game of yours.
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    Valen

    Valen crossed his arms and frowned in annoyance at the entity's intrusiveness and its "answers" alike.

    "Hmm. Perhaps I should have clarified that I was asking about necessity, as in life-or-death situations, fight-or-flight responses--why it was necessary personally to do this. After all, you have existed in your present state for years unnumbered, no doubt spent in contemplation and study, so I should've considered that word no longer connotes its meaning of immediacy to your mind--unless it really was done entirely for your own "enlightenment" as you say, in which case you truly are beyond my comprehension.

    "But, for what it's worth, I agree with my gnomish counterpart--the dead did have use for it, as we witnessed how the souls comprising the taint made terrible use of corpses to enter into our realm. Now, shall I give three answers to your question, or have you another you wish to state for the record?"
    Last edited by Scylfing; 2012-10-21 at 11:38 AM.
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    "Correct again. How refreshing. I have a question for the silent dwarf, if he would deign to answer. Does the Stone Citadel still remember the accord between the dwarfs and Hevia or have they chosen to forget their debt of honor to my kinsmen?" The voice says and there seems to be a hint of a smile behind it, as if it knew the answer ahead of time.


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    History DC 22 (16 for Jarl)
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    The Stone Citadel is the name for the ruling council of the heads of the various dwarf Noble houses. They serve the King but are empowered to make binding agreements between dwarf Houses - that was indeed their original purpose, to serve as a council of arbitration and cut down on inter-house conflict. Over the centuries they expanded their authority to broker deals between the dwarfs and non-dwarf races due to increased contact with other races, such as the giants, humans, and elves.

    Contracts and agreements were carved into stone and stored within a protected room within the councils chambers. They were binding upon the whole of the dwarfhold and every dwarf was expected to uphold the oaths as if he had sworn it himself.

    In 1250 BF (Before the Fall of Hevia) the Dwarves and Elves recognized the nation of Hevia and formed the Council of Three, a non-binding body that served to smooth relations between the three nations and to provide for easier diplomatic contact.


    History DC 31 (22 for Jarl and Elise)
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    The Stone Citadel and Hevia signed a secret treaty with each other. The Wizards of Hevia helped the dwarves use their stonecunning to create white metal artifice which gave the dwarves the magical might they needed to overcome the inherent power of the giants in the mountains. Though strong and primal, the power of the giants was raw and unfocused and was no match for the new dwarven artifice. The dwarves drove the giants from many of their ancestral homes and pushed them into the farther reaches of the mountains.

    In return Hevia gained the assistance of the dwarves in a future conflict, to be called upon to fight when the need arose. As history shows, the Hevians destroyed themselves before they called in their marker, though you know of no reason why the debt would not still stand.


    OOC: If Jarl doesn't meet the second DC then he knows the source of white metal artifice (the artificer, basically) as being dwarven, not from another source.
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    "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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    Jarl

    Jarl raises an eyebrow at the voice's question. "Must you play so obvious a game? The question is so simple as to have but three answers, and acknowledging any details of the accord would reveal the last option to be plainly false. So I will give the only answers one can. Yes, they remember and still stand by it. They of know it, but no longer hold it as sacrosanct since the fall of Hevia. No, the details of the accord have been lost in time, the Stone Citadel damaged in the war, the contract lost."
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    The shadows slow their wavering and the tendrils withdraw back to the wall. "At least some things never change, such as the dwarves finally developing a sense of humor and sport." The voice says with a hint of disappointment. "Some ploys may be obvious, true, but that does not necessarily make them less effective. I'd wager that your hosts are quite unaware of the voided debt the dwarves owe. Pity that there's no one around to claim it..."

    "And that brings us to the last exchange, for it is my turn to ponder and yours to answer. The smallfellow has been silent. Is he capable of speech or is he not permitted to? Nevermind, some other will answer. My question then." The shadows lengthen and crawl off the wall, creeping further around you all until the five of you are surrounded by swirling shade. "Why should I allow you to leave alive?"
    Last edited by Chambers; 2012-10-23 at 07:56 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
    Are we still playing this game of yours, dear friend? If we are, I suppose I owe you three reasons, but the only answer I can think to give is a question of mine own; what makes you so sure you can stop us? asks Flavius, a confident smirk on his lips.
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    Default Re: Guildmage [IC]

    Valen


    "I would not challenge an archmage, not even in his tomb. Do you not recall the report you told us of the desert sarcophagi?" whispered Valen, who paled even more--if that was possible--at Flavius' brazen response. He looked around at the moving shadows for a moment before giving his three answers.

    "You will let us leave alive because in your curiosity you wish to observe us further in our use of magic as we continue reclaiming this city. You still haven't learned how we cleansed the taint and freed the spirits to move on to the next life, and you won't know if you kill us. Besides, you're a decent fellow and would never do such a thing," he ended with a grin.
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    Default Re: Guildmage [IC]

    Flavius
    Though I would very much like not to fight this magus, if we do not show at least a little confidence, we've already lost the battle for this city. You must think of the mission, too; I knew one of you would play the game and give him proper reasons, replies Flavius through telepathy.
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