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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    The contents of the vial wash down your throat, bringing momentary clarity. The taste of iron, of salt. And deeper within, a black seed. There's more to this blood. A flavor of pain, of suffering that some reviled part of you craves. Liquid life pours into your stomach, and all that's human in you revolts - but the beast is larger, it's hunger greater in this moment. You've sated it for now. The voice and headache retreat, and you feel more yourself.

    The rest of you watch the Elf swallow down the bottle of blood. Japheth feels the deep need within him, while Devon and Billy's oversensitive smells practically drag their heads up to pay attention to the blood and its mesmerizing flow down his arm, it's wasted drip onto the ground. Even what you can't see, you can smell, practically hear the drops calling to you.

    The tall vampire watches you three with pity around his eyes. "I will do what I can, Elf. This I can promise. Isaiah, Japheth. Take them to the Tower. Blood will be readied for you there - it has been too long since either of you drank as well. Elf. If you have more blood to spare, share it with your fellow infected if they are overcome by their new desires, but I do not know what such blood may carry in it, so do so with caution. If not, you may wish to bind them. My loch is calm tonight, but it will still be a long journey over water."

    As Japheth's steed comes into being, Isaiah rises from his knee to pull out a knife and make quick work of the knots tying down one of the skiffs. He heads over to Devon, grabbing him by the armpits and dragging him onto the dock, towards the skiff. He mumbles quietly as they go. "It gets better. Lord Mardaq will help. He'll make it stop."
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  2. - Top - End - #62
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Arsnic nods.

    He pulls out a few more vials of blood, saving only 1. He hands each member a vial.
    After satiating your hunger, I'd like those vials back please. But for now...drink...
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Devon opposed no resistance to being dragged, though the only answer Isaiah got were some more groans.

    Then, after all the effort he was putting towards ignoring the thirst, he was handed a vial of blood. Right under his nose, the scent even stronger then when the elf had drank earlier. He could feel his pulse accelerating, and his resolve waning.

    Why? Why did he do it? It would have been so easy to just give in, but he was afraid that if he did he'd complete his transformation into one of those mindless monsters, so he tried to endure. Why did he have to make it even harder?

    He glared at Arsnic with hate, then his eyes widened in realisation as he noticed that it was the same elf who'd drank earlier, and he seemed in full control of his mental capacities. With the chains holding him back shattered, he snatched the vial and voraciousy started gulping down its contents.
    Last edited by Hyperbolic sine; 2019-06-17 at 04:32 PM.
    To the optimist, the glass is half-full.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    This extreme hunger isn't new to Billy, he was often on the streets. For blood though? blood. Blood. He stopped in the Earth. He could feel, not smell or see, but feel the direction of blood. He looks up and furiously digs even faster then before right up to the surface where the vials are being distributed. Leaping out of the ground landing on all fours before standing and looking at Arsnic. The hole he appears through quickly collapses behind him. His claws and fangs are far more noticeable, curled and sharper than before. Multiple teeth crossing over one another in his maw. Heavily breathing and extending his paw outward palm up.

    blood.

    If handed to him Billy will drink the blood hungrily and smell around for more

    Last edited by TheAxeman; 2019-06-17 at 05:15 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #65
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    The voice within your minds quiets down, the need for blood quelled for the moment. Isaiah waits by the skiff, two oars in hand.

    You unconsciously run a tongue over your new fangs. The voice is still there, just... controlled. You get the sense the bestial nature of what's striken you will return. Maybe it's the blood you drank, maybe it's the presence of the vampire in control of the rats, maybe it's a dozen other little factors. But what matters is that right now is that you're you, as much as you can still be you with an unholy need for blood.

    Spoiler: insight: DC 5
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    Your desire has more to it.
    Spoiler: DC 10
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    Why did they go mad, and you not?
    Spoiler: DC 15
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    Blood from a bottle. Blood from the vein. Are they the same?
    Spoiler: DC 20
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    You can feel the beast within you still. This isn't over.
    Spoiler: DC 25
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    It's waiting. The madness will strike you. Are you prepared?


    The goblin pipes up. "It's a long trip. I'm ready when you are. And... Feel free to ask a few questions. I feel like we owe it to you." he meets your gazes firmly as he states that, but leaves a sort of awkward silence hanging. Eventually, he clambers into the boat and will hand an oar to any who cares to help.

    Off the docks, the vampire watches you all, eyes black as sin unmoving. The tide of rodents continues to cleanse the street of life, and all the signs of what occurred here.
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Japheth nods silently as he sees what transpires. Realizing his steed wonít be needed to assist everyone in getting on the skiff as heíd thought, he dismisses it with a wave of his hand.
    He lets Isaiah give the necessary explanation, and lets his gaze wander listlessly over the water and land behind them as he rows.

  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Arsnic addresses Isaiah, My wife, is she to come with us? he leans in so as to not call attention to his words, keeping this bit for Isaiah only, She's bound in my basement...shes...infected. Can we get her?
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Billy gazes around. Looks down at his claws and feels his new fangs in his mouth. This, this is strange, but it doesn't feel wrong. The claws are sharper, longer yet no heavier. His teeth while longer and some fangs clashing are razor sharp. He sees the trend and gets on the boat, taking an oar and sitting down.

    So ah where are we going exactly?

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Isaiah looks from Arsnic to the sea of rats, then back to Arsnic. He inhales a hiss of breath between his teeth. "How long? It may be more appropriate to go back for her after seeking the immediate treatment for you."


    "We're headed over to the Tall Tower. Middle of the Loch. It's where the Lord makes his residence."
    He shrugs. The gesture looks unusually childish on him. "It's a couple miles over water, straight east of here."
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    You've said 'our Lord' several times, who or what is he? And what is it that makes him your Lord?

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Arsnic looks over at the tower in the distance, then back at the town towards his shop, then back at the tower.I suppose getting her may be trouble, but she needs some sort of treatment as well...treatment for...what exactly is this we have anyway?
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  12. - Top - End - #72
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    "Isn't it obvious?" a voice replied to the Tabaxi.

    After drinking the blood, Devon had wordlessly given the vial back to Arsnic and had not spoken since; Billy's question seemed to have finally made him break his silence. "He's a vampire, clearly. A powerful one."

    Then, he locked eyes with Isaiah. "My turn, now. Answer this: we were bitten all the same, so why haven't we lost our minds like all the others? Because the blood we drank wasn't fresh?"

    That also begged the question of just why the elf was carrying around blood vials, but that wasn't the time.

    "How long until we do, then?"
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  13. - Top - End - #73
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    The goblin nods seriously in response to both Arsnic and Devon. "Vampirism, yes. And our lord Mardaq is as strong a vampire as I've ever seen. Not that I've seen many mind you. I think if your wife has already been at it a while, one more night won't make a difference?
    But to answer your question, Err - sorry, I don't know your names. To answer your question, I'm honestly not sure. The source of blood is important. You can't be fully vampires, none of you are dead. Maybe it's the source of the blood you drank? Or maybe just proximity to the Lord? "
    He muses, the gentle lap of the waves on the boat sending him into a sort of lull.
    "If you do lose your minds again, at least it's out here in the middle of the water. You're not harming anyone that way."
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  14. - Top - End - #74
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    "That's not the issue." Devon muttered. He didn't care if he had to drink blood for the rest of his life. If he had to harm people, there were a lot who deserved it - and some who he'd need to harm anyway. The only important thing was that he remained able to do what he had to, and for that he needed to keep his sanity.

    But it appeared the goblin didn't have definitive answers. Hopefully this lord Maraq would. Devon fell silent again, focusing on examining his new claws and seemingly forgetting about Isaiah's roundabout inquiry about his name.

    Spoiler: Insight DC 14
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    As if. He, clearly, purposefully avoided replying.
    Last edited by Hyperbolic sine; 2019-06-18 at 12:31 PM.
    To the optimist, the glass is half-full.
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    To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    Might suffer occasional hiccups in posting rate. Apologies for the inconvenience.

  15. - Top - End - #75
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    Do our names matter? Are we going to become mindless machines hungry for blood?
    Billy isn't afraid of change. But the last time he changed the way he lived and fought was when he discovered the way of the four elements. This is clearly going to have a large effect on how he lives and fights. An unwelcomed change.

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    "Who's to say? But the Lord gave his promise. And I doubt anyone knows better than a vampire. I'm sure we can extend whatever effect you're under right now."
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Arsnic nodded.
    Is there anything we know about this form of Vampirism? Specifically, that is. Physiological changes, hematologic alterations, etc? I've been working on this for a little while...any insight may be helpful. Arsnic paused...and looked into the distance towards the tower. We have to learn how to cure this, my family is depending on me...

    Then, like a mosquito bite on his neck, an idea bit Arsnic and commanded his attention.

    Frenzy...frenzy. What do you know about the ingredient Frenzy? Is it at all relevant to any of this?
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  18. - Top - End - #78
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    The goblin looks at you oddly as you ask for specifics, and that gaze hardens by the end of your sentence. "Hema-what? Frenzy doesn't ring a bell. I'm a fighter, not a potion man." He turns away from you a little stiffly, looking out over the water.

    Seems he took something a little personally.
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Billy will stay mostly silent and maybe chime in if someone ask an interesting question otherwise he will row silently.

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Hematologic - Blood cell related. You see, if itís something as simple as an autoimmune, or viral like infe... Arsnic stops, realizing he may not be making much sense to the others. While heís typically indifferent to others not intimately involved in his life, Arsnic has been made aware in the past heís not so socially tolerable at times.

    Oh...ehh...err...sorry, my mind doesnít stop - itís a blessing and a curse at the same time. Sometimes I think out loud He scratches his head.

    Perhaps itís best we go ahead and get a move on. I think we all appreciate all the help thus far.
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    As you draw nearer to the island, the Tower continues to dominate your sight. The island is small in comparison to how colossal the Loch is, and the fact you could see the tower from the shore becomes increasingly impressive as Gorn dwindles to a series of twinkling lights and the shade of buildings on the harbor. The moon smiles down peacefully on the town, blood and viscera like some distant dream or memory under her gaze. As you look up at her - or down, into her reflection in the dark waters that stretch from harbor to island - in the silence, you feel the stirring of some primal anger in you at the fullness of her pale form, a memory of blazing pain and sanctified light. Whatever you've become, it's not entirely human anymore. The goblin's eyes look out across the water, twinkling in the gloom. The gentle breeze that comes with moving water dries blood soaked cloth and armor and leaves it stiff, but provides relief to your wounds. The same stirring of air ruffles cloaks and hoods and fur. The stroke of oars, their drip on the backstroke, repeats ad infinitum. With the calm lap of water against the hull of your little skiff carrying five half-men -three carrying their burdens on their sleeves - the hours of the night pass, the growing loom of the Tower the only change in a world of constants.

    Isaiah stirs, pointing out a direction in the dark, and you notice you've suddenly drawn much nearer to the rocks that form the shoreline. Some part of you worries at the waters that dash themselves with violence into the stones, but the Goblin serves as an effective guide. With his guidance, the rowers pull up parallel to the shore, and a crack in the face of the cliffs. Using the oars to push the boat rather than tread water, you navigate into the claustrophobic space. With a triumphant breath, a lantern at the prow lights the inlet, and the rocks fall away to reveal a calm cove with a few feet of docking that lead to a winding path up through tufts of tough grass and jutting rock towards the tower above. You disembark one by one, the rocking of the boat leaving ripples that bounce off the nearby walls, and wordlessly continue forwards. The last leg of your journey must be hiked.

    The island conveys a different feeling to you than it might have just a few hours ago. The aura of darkness that coats it is thick, almost palpable. But not unpleasant. In fact, you get much the feeling of sanctity you would expect to find in the presence of a powerful holy man. Strange, this blooming respect for the same aura that had you on the verge of fleeing in fear at the start of the night. At the edges of your vision, quick shapes flit about, your more sensitive ears catching the clicks of bats chasing their prey. The dull patter of paws stops you at one point, huge wolves loping across your field of view towards the far end of the island, visible from the height you've climbed. They spare you no glance, simply continuing on their way.

    Before long, you stand before the ancient stone of the Tall Tower. To the right, you can see the remains of what must have once been a great castle or keep. Ancient blocks of stone lie in heaps, moss and lichen clinging to them like old rags in the dark, dressing piles of masonry in nature's cloth. The tower stands alone, vines crawling up the dilapidated heights to shattered windows. Once beautiful architecture shines through, arcs adorned with carvings long since worn away to leave only flowing shapes and rounded edges. What must have once been the crown of the Tower has collapsed under the weight of years, half the roof caved away and taking with it the battlements, revealing pillars and rotted wood at the edges of your vision.
    The door tells a different story. Ironwood, difficult to burn and harder to cut. Planks from a tree that must have once stood at great height, it's age then reflected in it's age now, a testament against the years. Polished wood with a copper handle, burnished and glowing in the dim light from the sky. You find no time to knock. The doors swing open to greet you, no creak or strain in the movement. The hall within is lit by torches that stand in elaborate scones, casting light to a room of marble and oak, thick red carpet leading from the door to a series of steps, curling around ornate pillars with thick vertical grooves and tables carrying abstract metal shapes in their centers. Oak doors lead away to rooms out of view. The sight is dwarfed by your host. Lord Mardaq stands tall, a slight smile revealing curving fangs that touch large lips. He waves a hand in welcome, and speaks formally, voice cutting through the endless silence and bringing you crashing back to the present. His eyes, cut from the darkest night sky and cast in the likeness of man, inspect you all.

    "I know you have little patience, and I do not care to draw out your anxiety. Before you cross my threshold, answer me this. Your thirst can be controllable within the night, but there is a price to pay. Are you willing to sacrifice your lives to firmly grasp your futures?"

    His eyes bore into you. Can you read them?

    Isaiah watches his lord with unnatural fervor in his eyes. You've no doubt what his answer will be at least.

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    Count the ride as a short rest. Feel free to roll anything. I'll pm you appropriate info,or drop it in a spoiler.
    Last edited by Hypersmith; 2019-06-19 at 06:28 AM.
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  22. - Top - End - #82
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    OldWizardGuy

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    I guess that explains the blood vials. Devon thought at the elf's digression. He doubted something that could make corpses move could be anything but some kind of supernatural curse, certainly not something a doctor could cure, but he kept those doubts to himself; no need to crush a poor man's hope.


    As the group made their way towards the Tower, Devon took in the sights around him, pensive. His eyes had been trained to spot things clearly even in dim light, so he used to like full moon nights like this that gave him an advantage over most other races; the slight aversion he was feeling now was somewhat saddening.

    Still, it went without saying that turning into some kind of half vampire would cause one to shun anything that reminded them of the sun, and the way the island's aura felt now was yet more evidence that the transformation hadn't stopped. He wondered what solution this Lord Maraq had in mind; he wasn't sure he decided to save them simpy out of selflessness and/or guilt, but at the same time it appeared he already had some...servants? Vassals? As long as he would eventually be free to kill that person, he didn't mind swearing fealty to someone.

    When the doors opened and the Lord's actual offer was revealed, Devon was...well, not exacty surprised, since he figured there had to be a way to turn someone into the higher kind of vampire, but he grew even more suspicious of Maraq's motives; if he and that other were any indication, he was offering them a lot of power. Of course, perhaps he was misunderstanding what Maraq meant by "sacrifice your lives to firmly grasp your futures", or perhaps not but there was some kind of intermediate vampire.

    He didn't know, and Maraq's eyes revealed nothing, but in the end the truth was that it didn't matter; the alternative was dying or becoming a mindless beast (which was functionally the same as dying) before he could fullfill his promise, and to avoid that he'd even sell his soul to a devil.

    Devon took a step forward, falling one knee - perhaps unexpected, given his previous attitude, and certainly odd for a common criminal, but it is no secret that the Bloodmoons put emphasis on hierarchy and dealing with the bosses isn't unlike dealing with nobles; in that sense, Devon was used to showing respect to his superiors as much as a knight would, and the gesture came to him almost automatically, not as some kind of attempt at brown-nosing - then bowed his head and put a hand on his chest.

    "I am."
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  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Arsnic moved into the tower with wide eyes, scanning the breathtaking craftsmanship and eventually looking over their host. It was all very impressive...and dark. He was clearly intimidating, but his offer warranted serious consideration from Arsnic. He was certainly in no rush to dispense with his life, but finding a way to dissolve or disrupt this infectious rage was his first priority - there were more than 1 persons depending on it, and Arsnic was more than willing to sacrifice his life for the chance. After all, she had given up her life for Arsnic - in a sense. It was time to return the favor.

    Yes. I am.
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  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Japheth releases bated breath. He isn't sure what he expected, but this wasn't quite it. Even so, he knows what this entails, so he steps forward.
    "You already know my answer, sire. Thank you, for all of this."
    Looking back at Isaiah for a brief moment, he says over his shoulder, "I guess I'll see you in my veritable unlife, friend. As I stand now, before our transition, I thank you as well."

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Billy feels more safe here on this island, in this keep. That he had anywhere else. Whether it be the lapping of the waves, the hard earth beneath him or the regal vampire beckoning before him. He could smell the possibility. All he has to remember is the fur on his back comes first.

    Yes.

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Isaiah falls to a knee, a smile flashing sharp teeth at Japheth. "Don't think you're leaving me behind. I'm ready, Lord."

    Lord Mardaq raises a hand in greeting. "Then welcome to my home. There is much to discuss and do, and I would have you enjoy one final sunrise on your last day. But before such macabre topics, and before the... transition - I would like to enjoy your company, and make sure we are both aware of the other's intentions. I'm sure you've many questions as well. Don't be afraid, there is nothing to be gained in it."
    He begins walking off towards the far end of the room, and the stairs that lead further down. The doors quietly close themselves behind you as you enter.
    "First, of course, is the question of the attack. Japheth. You first spoke to me concerning men assaulting you and your kin. I believe these to be the same vampires that initially did so. An ancient foe of mine. Dolipir. A Vampire and his kin who believe they have the duty to rule over cattle. You. They have long attempted to recruit me to their cause as rightful ruler of this land around the Loch, and it appears they have tired of waiting. More recently, they have begun to transgress on my territory in attempts to provoke me."
    At the bottom of the staircase, another set of ironwood doors await. They fly open as he approaches. A winding staircase is behind them - Mardaq begins descending. The path ahead is also lit with braziers. Closer inspection of them shows they have not been lit for a while, there are no scorch marks on the walls. That, or the Tower is unusually clean.
    "They succeeded. I have decided to invoke my right of rule, and will contact King Twinklepalm soon. Vassalage in fine, as long as I retain my right to the lands, and to employ my own vassals. Seeing the events that transpired tonight, I decided I need this vassals sooner rather than later. And if it pleases you and me both, I would have strong willed, capable folk like yourselves. Diversity enriches the court, and it's past time the cobwebs were aired out."

    At the end of his phrase, a spider the size of a spread hand crawls out of his sleeve, which he pets with an absentminded finger. You've reached the first landing, and the doors repeat their routine. This floor is also lavish - the landing leads into an ornate sitting room, gothic furniture around two coffee tables of rich wood. Purple carpet counters the harshness of stone walls without windows, and the corridors leading away from the initial open space are lined with pieces of art. Mainly paintings of superb views, lakes and castles. swaths of desert and forest canopies. "These are the guest quarters. You will be staying here for the moment, or if you decide to remain among the living. Pick a room, there are more than enough. Place your belongings down within, and let us continue."

    He gently sits in an armchair laden with cushions to wait, or answer questions from any who have them. The sight is rather odd compared to his formal appearance.
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  27. - Top - End - #87
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    Default Re: Aldaroth - Kingdom of Gornalad IC

    The gears in Arsnic's mind turned as they walked through the lavished rooms. There had been a...a vampire territory battle...going on beneath the area's nose? These things of legend, thought to be rumors made to spook the children...not only do they exist but they've drawn lines between territory claimed by separate head-vampires. He wondered what...who who...had bitten Isara.

    He stopped for a moment in the room after the Master Vampire of the Keep had settled and finished his explanation.

    Is there...is there any way to reverse this? And on another note...

    Arsnic moved a little closer, so as to whisper hoping the others would not concern themselves. He had important questions for the Vampire that were a little more...personal.

    Spoiler: Whisper
    Show
    My wife...she was also bitten. Would you consider ending her torment as well? And...whats worse...she is pregnant. Have you encountered such a situation in your past...sir? I hope to help my family.
    Last edited by Tallytrev813; 2019-06-21 at 10:40 PM.
    Spoiler: Current Games
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    Aldaroth - IC

    Tales of Trollskull Alley - IC
    ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯ 𝄫

    Child Support - IC


  28. - Top - End - #88
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Hypersmith's Avatar

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    Default Re: Aldaroth - Kingdom of Gornalad IC

    Spoiler: ooc
    Show
    note! The Tower is very clean actually!

    "Clerics of the highest order can bring a man dead for quite a long time back to life. I haven't encountered a cure or reversal once the physical changes come however."
    Spoiler: Whisper
    Show
    "An...odd situation to say the least. I could turn your wife. But the process requires one to experience death, and that would kill your child. Vampires are infertile, due to our undeath - but I could provide blood for her, and keep her in her thrall form till delivery, in these rooms, or the dungeons if she is blood crazed. I would not keep your hopes up for the child however. To be safe."
    Last edited by Hypersmith; 2019-06-21 at 10:53 PM.
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

  29. - Top - End - #89
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Aldaroth - Kingdom of Gornalad IC

    Arsnic scratches his head,
    I suppose that's the majority of the questions I have. We can address other obstacles when the time comes, hopefully with your help. I'll go unpack my things and prepare.

    Arsnic heads to one of the rooms and begins unpacking his things.
    Spoiler: Current Games
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    Aldaroth - IC

    Tales of Trollskull Alley - IC
    ♪ ♫ ♩ ♬ ♭ ♮ ♯ 𝄫

    Child Support - IC


  30. - Top - End - #90
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Hypersmith's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Default Re: Aldaroth - Kingdom of Gornalad IC

    Spoiler: rooms
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    Each room follows the same ornate design and theme of the hallways and the general floor. The outer wall is curved, and the bed's head rests against it. Purple sheets on a much larger bed than any of you are used to, with some type of feather stuffing making it far softer than you could imagine. Truly the stuff of nobility. Each room also contains a small desk with multiple candles and matches, ink and paper, a small book of interest, a bedside table, a dresser with a bathrobe and towels inside, and an arm chair.

    Spoiler: books
    Show
    If you fancy picking a book up, each room has a different title.
    The fall of humanity (history book - more in depth look at the evidence of what lead to the spiraling downfall of the human empire that once spanned the continent)
    Fine dining. Quisine from coast to coast.
    A case study: Diloch, spirit guide. Tasha and the connection to nature.
    Queen under the mountain: The hidden drow matron.
    Last edited by Hypersmith; 2019-06-22 at 08:04 AM.
    The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
    And the message of the yew tree is blackness - blackness and silence.

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