The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    ylvathrall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Up at the statue, a cairn is quickly constructed for the girl's body, and funeral prayers said as best you remember them. The ghost appears next to the statue when you finish, her fingers tracing the words. Then she turns to you, and smiles a little...and vanishes, this time with more of a sense of finality than before.

    There's another mental shriek of rage as the ghost disappears, then the world goes white for a moment. When your vision, the shadows under the trees are just shadows in the setting sun, lacking the unnatural depth of before. The feeling of quiet menace in the air has lessened, though it isn't gone.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    After several moments of silence following the mental shriek, Dandolin looks at her compatriots, worn and weary. "We should regroup....try to rest up for tomorrow. We still haven't figured out what, or I feel at this point WHO, caused all of this.....I'm beat...."
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  3. - Top - End - #183
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    In4Dimensions's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    I agree” Azar mutters after seeing the girl’s spirit fade from view. “Perhaps we should fly back to town; sleep on some actual beds for a change?
    Chaotic Good, probably

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "I'm for returning to town, I should look after my girls," says Torson. "If you feel the danger is past, I'll let you rest the night and catch a couple hours in the early morning. It's all I need."
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    ylvathrall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Back in town, the shadows are just shadows, the silence just an absence of sound. The animals are scared, but quickly soothed, and beds found. Sleep is troubled by nightmares, but nothing as supernaturally intense as what happened the previous night. No undead come out from the forest in the night.

    The next morning dawns bright and cool.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

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  6. - Top - End - #186
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    TheYell's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "Morning," says Torson. "Suggest we split up and visit what houses we can, see what we find in there. Dandolin's right, we know too little about what happened here. First though, anybody else could use healing?"
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    As they settle for the night, Dandolin uses some of Savara's divine energy to heal herself back to full fighting condition. Wishing the others goodnight, she curls up onto of Steve, preferring him to the simple bed, and falls fast asleep, the wasp's gentle buzzing of sleep relaxing her tremendously.

    In the morning, Dandolin rises up with Steve. She acknowledges Torson, her weary mind slowly sharpening to focus. "I agree. We should decide how we divide up the town so we don't waste time. Steve and I can start with the northside and work down, why don't you take the east Torson, and Azar and take west. We'll meet up in the middle and go south from there."
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Sounds good to me” Azar says. “Torson, I don’t need any physical healing, but do you have the capability for mental healing? My psyche is still somewhat reduced from our first battle with those shades.
    Chaotic Good, probably

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    ylvathrall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    The exploration, at first, finds nothing but more of the same - cryptic messages, scrawled and scratched in seemingly random places, most of them repeating or evoking phrases that the girl's ghost said. Quiet please make it stop. LET ME GO. Why are you doing this? But nobody came. The black moon howls. I trusted you. Please I didn't mean to.

    But in the southern quadrant, after meeting up, something is different. There's a house where the walls, all of them, are smeared with blood, not writing messages, just big messy smears of blood in the shape of handprints. Then you find the bodies, in the bedrooms, an adult man and woman, and three children, all dead, all with their eyes torn out by fingernails, all with bite marks from their own bloody teeth. The house reeks like an abattoir.

    In the adults' bedroom is a small chest which is the only object in the house that isn't covered in blood.

    Spoiler: Perception DC 18
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    The bodies all bear a strong resemblance to the girl's ghost. Like family....
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Dandolin sigh, the bloody mess a reminder of the massacre of her people. "I think these may be that poor girls parents. Whatever caused this, the girl or whoever controls the shadows, at least allowed one nice thing for her. I don't feel the other children deserved it though." Noticing the chest, Dandolin points at it. "Torson, do you think you can check to see if that box is magical in any way? It's strange that it's the only thing not covered in blood."
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "Sorry, nothing yet to cure what ails you lad," says Torson. He gestures at the box. "By Arash! Let's see what's significant about this box."
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Yes, let’s,” Azar replies. “Torson, what do you see? Is it magical?
    Chaotic Good, probably

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "Nothing magical coming from it," says Torson. "Want to open it? I feel uneasy about this place." He glances around at the slaughter.
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Here goes,” Azar says, slowly lifting the list of the chest.
    Spoiler: Perception
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    (1d20+20)[24]
    Chaotic Good, probably

  15. - Top - End - #195
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    ylvathrall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Inside the chest, you see neatly folded clothes...and a false bottom. Pulling it up reveals several things. First, a battered, stained journal. Second, a knife, jet black from pommel to tip, but marked with traces of writing in the same runes you saw in the cave, which gleam crimson in the light of the morning sun. Third, stacks of coins, all neatly stacked and bundled. Not silver, but gold and platinum, more money than this family could possibly have had, more money than their neighbors probably ever saw in their lives. Each and every coin is fresh-minted and covered in script that doesn't look like anything you know, though it's different from that on the dagger - not Skellish mint, though, that's for certain.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  16. - Top - End - #196
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Azar’s eyes widened as he examined the contents of the chest. An old journal, a mysterious knife, and more money than he’d ever need? This was his lucky day.

    He snapped out of his thoughts, turning to face the other two. “So, what’d you reckon we do with all this? Ivar, can you tell if the knife has any magical properties?” As Azar says this, he carefully pulls out the journal, opening it to the first page.
    Chaotic Good, probably

  17. - Top - End - #197
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "Money be the root of many a trouble, and that's foriegn lucre at that," says Torson. He hefts the blade expertly, looking intently at it as he mutters "By Arash!"
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Spoiler: Ivar
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    The knife feels like magic and murder, bloodshed and darkness. It hungers for the kill, lusts for it, and the messier and more brutal, the better. There's evil in this dagger.

    Spoiler: OOC
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    Mechanically, a +1 unholy dagger.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "Be a weapon of dark sacrifice and evil intent," says Torson wryly, and spat on the floor. "Seen the like among the dark cults. Used in sacrificial cuttings."
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "We should wrap that knife up and take it with us. I have a feeling we may need it. At the very least, we may find a place to properly destroy such evil. The currency worries me. Does it mean that whoever caused this town to suffer comes from another kingdom entirely? Are they acting on their own or on behalf of said kingdom? We need more answers....let's keep looking, and if we dont find anymore clues, we can report back in with what we found
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  21. - Top - End - #201
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    ylvathrall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Searching through the rest of the town reveals nothing of interest beyond more markings reflecting the ghost's influence.

    Spoiler: Ivar
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    One of the markings is different from the rest. Scrawled in blood on the wall of the smithy, it reads: She will kill us, and we deserve it. I stood silent, but silence is the voice of complicity.

    Gods have mercy on our souls, for we dealt with demons, and the demons won
    .


    Looking around the smithy further, you spot a loose floorboard. It looks like it was pried up recently, then replaced.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "We dealt with demons and the demons won," mused Torson with a superstitious shudder.
    "Hey, what's with that floorboard?"
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  23. - Top - End - #203
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Shall we pry it up?” asks Azar. “I’m sure that we won’t find anything fun down there, but we should still take a peek.
    Chaotic Good, probably

  24. - Top - End - #204
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    BarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "It's our job to find out...." Dandolin tentatively says. Pulling out her lance, she prods the board with its tip, wedging it into the crack Torson pointed out. She looks to her companions, waiting for their acknowledgment that they are ready.
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Collins
    Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be if we met at midnight in the hanging tree


  25. - Top - End - #205
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    ylvathrall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Under the floorboard, you find...a long, simple sword, black iron, humming with magic. There's a note beside it, in the same writing as the message on the wall.

    I prepared this for the battle with the demons and their walking puppets. But I am too weak. I can feel her inside my head. It won't be long before I am called to their home, like the rest. I deserve this.

    I leave this for one stronger than myself. Use it well, in the coming battles, for even without her vessel, she will not be stymied now. There will be blood, by the end of this. Trust no one, and nothing. And remember:

    MAKE NO DEALS WITH THE DARK LADY.
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  26. - Top - End - #206
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Torson grows a striped orange fur and broad ruined nose. He seems more like a tiger than a man, his moves smooth and graceful. He picks up the sword and runs through a fencing salute with expertise.

    He wrought well, whatever his name was,” he says. “I'd be glad to wield this beauty, unless Azar would prefer it. Still be archer in the main. Would like to stow my armor and gather my cold-iron arrows from my girls, being demons we're against. And I do hope to meet this Dark Lady and correct her bloody ways. The gold puzzles me, and perhaps we'll be meeting the source of the payments. How do you two see things?
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  27. - Top - End - #207
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    Those ‘walking puppets’ the note mentioned may be the shadows that we fought earlier, or perhaps the werewolf skeletons. Would that make the girl the demon, then? That doesn’t feel right,” Azar says. “You’re welcome to the sword; you can put it to better use than I can.” Azar pauses in thought for a moment or two. “Which note do you think was written first, the one on the wall or this one?
    Chaotic Good, probably

  28. - Top - End - #208
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    "As a guess I'd say the girl was the vessel they wrote about," says Torson slowly. "Don't understand what went on here, and given the spread of the nightmares beyond Yazdal, need to stop it from ever happening to another town. Would hope we frustrated something by slamming that altar into the river, but I don't think we destroyed the sources of this evil. That money, it means somebody cared a lot to set this up. So I figure it."
    Empyreal Lord of the Elysian Realm of Well-Intentioned Fail

  29. - Top - End - #209
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    The rest of the day passes, without any additional finds of any meaning. That night, the shadows seem...ominous, but not the thick, syrupy darkness of before.

    Your sleep, though, is...troubled.

    Spoiler: Ivar
    Show
    You are standing in a forest, a rich, verdant pine forest. In front of you, a woman lounges on a throne carved from a living tree. She wears a black dress, low-cut, provocative. Her dark hair hangs in curls around her cheeks, with slightly tapered ears showing through it - a half-elf? Her eyes are a deep amber, and they burn with their own light, captivating.

    "Well hello there," she says, a low voice, sultry, rich. "How are things, handsome?"


    Spoiler: Dandolin
    Show
    You are standing in the jungle, a deep, wet part of the jungle. In front of you, a woman lounges on a throne carved from a living tree. She wears a black dress, low-cut, provocative. Her dark hair hangs in curls around her cheeks, with slightly tapered ears showing through it - a half-elf? Her eyes are a deep amber, and they burn with their own light, captivating.

    "Well hello there," she says, a low voice, sultry, rich. "How are things, lovely?"


    Spoiler: Azar
    Show
    You are standing in a town square, a place that should be bustling and yet is largely empty. In front of you, a woman lounges on a throne carved from stone. She wears a black dress, low-cut, provocative. Her dark hair hangs in curls around her cheeks, with slightly tapered ears showing through it - a half-elf? Her eyes are a deep amber, and they burn with their own light, captivating.

    You are suddenly struck by a feeling of deja vu, overpoweringly intense. You have seen her before, but...you don't remember. Not in the way of something forgotten, but in the way of something excised from your mind, a memory that was forcibly cut loose and burned.

    "Well hello again," she says, a low voice, sultry, rich. "How are things, handsome?"
    Please don't capitalize my name.

    I wrote an original urban fantasy series. You can read it for free at http://emrysvaughn.com/

    I'm currently writing an epic fantasy series, which you can read for free at http://www.brokenlandserial.com/

    Cho avatar by Noel. Thanks!

  30. - Top - End - #210
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    Default Re: Imagine Tomorrow [IC]

    I— do I know you?” Azar asks, a look of confusion and suspicion on his face. The woman seemed maddeningly familiar, and yet Azar could just not remember where he knew her from.
    Chaotic Good, probably

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