First let me voice my one, and only criticism. I dont like the physcial description of the blade, in that it is purple steel with glowing runes that writh about, and emitting the wail of tortured infants. This is a masterful post, but the description lacks the subtly deserving of such a weapon.
When drawn, young children will find themselves wailing. Their mothers will not be able to sooth them so long as the blade is drawn within their immediate vicinity (say 100 to 200 feet). Shadows cast by fires will take on the form of macabre plays of silent violence, massacres and slaughterings seen only in shade and shadow. Fires pop and hiss more vigorously when the blade is drawn. This way, it is the enviroment reacting to the drawn blade, rather than a moaning sword with wiggling squiggles.
Now for the praise. I was enthralled by this piece. I generally despize magical weapons as so few are done well, rather being Sword of +X superpower. I love the story, and read it twice just to make sure I didnt miss anything really good in it. Well done! Kudos. Go to Comment
I think that the congregation of the different nature religions for a great festival of nature has more potential than hunting down a defiler mage hidden in their midsts. See Echo's comment on the easy solution.
It would be more interesting to know why the festival has come into being, what occurs, why the people attend, and so forth.
Added some more information for the feel of the city, mostly the description of how the buildings have aged.
Some other things to add without editing the post again.
Smells - the city reeks of old wood, mildew and rot. There are alot of dark, wet places for the stuff to grow. Remaining foodstocks rotted and offered ample sustainence to fungus and such. Some buildings could be eaten with corpseweed fungus, making them dangerous.
Sounds - creaks and groans, settling stone, and the occassional crash as a load bearing beam finally surrenders to the forces of erosion and entropy. Some places while have more severe damage, sections burned out, others washed away by occassional torrential rains, and other bad weather.
Texture - The ruined city should feel gritty, but with a slimy consistency underneath, like picking up a piece of wood that has lain in the forest for years and what was once hard enough to crack a mans skull is now soft enough to crumble in the palm of your hand. Go to Comment
I liked the naming of the years, such as the year of the black pennet and such. It gives kind of a more medieval feel to it since most people would be less knowledgeable of numbers and wouldnt know 235 from 236 but would be well aware of the differences between the Year of the Laughing Skull, when the plague came through, or the Year of Sounding trumpets when the local lords held a great contest that came down to shouting matches between the hornblowers and heralds. Otherwise, a mediocre, but well historied item.
Hmmm...the Hermit King of Gondor...uh, Erma. The idea doesnt sit well with me. An absent monarch is a deposed monarch, no one rules in absentee unless A. they are so bad ass that no one has the guts enough to fill their shoes, or B. There are a lot of people keeping the seat warm as the expression goes.
The first option can be demonstrated in Transformers the Movie when Galvatron blasts Starscream into ash for the insubordiantion of trying to usurp his role after his presumed death. "Anyone else care to try filling his shoes?"
The second would be there being a power structure in place to prevent the Steward from usurping the throne, such as a chancellor, chamberlain, and Commander in Chief of equal, if different power to balance against one another.
Alot of the members here have a good deal of animosity towards the Dungeons and Dragons game. Some of it I share, but I have to look back fondly upon the game, for it was that game in the black box that brought me into the hobby so many years ago.
::raises a glass::
May your AC be low
May your THACO be high
My XP be plentiful
And HP never run dry. Go to Comment
he is still considered an aberration among the golden ones, they have developed a kind of Run away and hide Tao about their existance. I can see them being melancholy, and painfully nostalgic over what was. Very much passive, and non-reactionary, as described by their creator, Maximo. Go to Comment
I ran with the idea of the alligator in the sewer, role-playing out a mundane threat that seems to be greater than it actually is. If you want to have a John Carpenter-esque tentacled shit-monster boil out of a drain tunnel, rock on! None of this is set in stone, and was fully intneded to folded, spindled, crushed and mutilated until it fit whatever need.
It does seem anti-climactic, but it might serve well as a foil to treasure heavy romps with spell slinger bad guys and supernatural monsters. Danger can doesnt have to come from far far away, or from things not meant to be known. (wink wink, it still can maties) Go to Comment
Already got the ball rolling, besides most of the above listed shops are going to run exorbitant prices. The fantasy equivalent of $3000 dresses, diamond studded shoes, and the most expensive of fragrances. Theatres are a must, as well as reputable establishments for gambling, but it has to be tailored and immaculate, this isnt Vegas, you know. Thanks for the comment, I like the connotation of the Forbidden city, I was slighty fixed on an amalgam of Rodeo Drive, and Fifth Avenue. Go to Comment
Well, in theory a small amount could be placed in a miniature replica of the urn and used as a chilling device. But, the fire has a mystic aspect to it, as normal fire does. Where many accord fire with creativity, passion, and energy, cold-fire saps these things, so the people who had such a magical freezer would eventually find themselves lethargic, bored, and emotionally detached. Go to Comment
Another comment, before posting a vampire character, an author should be at least somewhat familiar with Bram Stoker and Anne Rice's Vampire works. I would say Anne Rice since she has produced a number of unique and colorful vampires that are endearing, if not as enduring as the masterwork himself. Vampires, despite being blood sucking parasites, should be tragic, or sympathetic figures, otherwise they suffer the ignoble fate of being pepped up zombies with a blood fetish