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Author Topic: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)  (Read 63768 times)

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Offline valadaar

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #125 on: November 28, 2006, 11:30:35 AM »
I hope there is no further excitment tonight thought Kadarin as he went back to the room.  It still smelled awful - the smells of ozone and burnt flesh still hanging heavy in the air, even with the window open to the outside.  Almost as bad as that bloody pit.    He had considered asking the innkeeper for a different room, but thought better of it.  The innkeeper would probably throw us on the street, if he had the courage...

Kadarin was careful not to disturb the other occupants of the room.  In any case, Kadarin made a point of locking the door, as well as inserting a few coppers to make it more difficult to open.  That lapse had nearly caused the deaths of both Dujek and himself, and probably Mouse as well.

Sleep came quickly. It's amazing what you can get used to...


   
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #126 on: November 28, 2006, 11:51:22 AM »
A bit of the hair of the dog took the edge off Vee's nerves. He didn't particularly like getting jumped by monsters in bars, and it had now happened twice. If he made it back to Ganse, me might see about staying at one of the other places instead. Preferrably some place that was quite well worn and old, without any sign of new construction. Kind of like the Springbolt Tavern in Nimz. The chairs there were said to date back to the middle of the K'tonian Hegemony, and the owner, Silas, predated the K'tonians but was regrettable taciturn when questioned about said fact. Most guessed that he owed them money and didn't like to talk about it.

His companionship since fled, Vee retreated to the bunk room the group had purchased for the evening and found a semi-comfortable spot among the lumps in the mattress. Perhpas one day, he mused half asleep, that he would open his own tavern, when he got too old to go gallavanting off into caves and such.


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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #127 on: November 28, 2006, 10:53:15 PM »
Talia talked with Loiha for a long time, well into the night.  Finally, she passed out in her friend's tent, getting the most restful night's sleep she'd had in a long time.
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #128 on: November 28, 2006, 10:53:49 PM »
"I'm still not exactly clear on what your organization's goal is," Aerex said for probably the fourth time.  All he had heard for the past two hours or so was the woman's class warfare and anarchist rhetoric.  It was wearing thin.

The woman, who had only identified herself as Kess, sighed and shook her head.  She was middle aged, Aerex guessed a little over forty, with sharp features and short red hair with gray streaks.  Standing beside her, hunched over in the tiny urban lean-to, was her unnamed body guard, a bald man with tattoos up his arm.  "How exactly did you say you found us?" she asked.  "I'm beginning to think you don't know why you're here yourself."

To a degree, she was right.  Aerex had followed a lead given to him by an old merchant friend.  Apparently, there was an underground movement that planned to eliminate corruption from the city.  He managed to track down a contact in the organization who had him meet in a tiny alley, where he came across this Kess woman.  Thus far, he had gained little more information than what he already had.  "I think you know why I'm here," he said cryptically.

Kess folded her arms.  "Your investigation of the city's corruption got you sacked," she said plainly.  "The Captain couldn't allow a good connie to get in the way of his business."

Aerex's eyes narrowed.  "Word gets out fast, huh?"

"That's how life is in Jantir, Matare.  I'd expect you of all people to know that."

Aerex sighed.  Maybe he didn't belong here at all.  "I'm no anarchist."

"Of course you're not," she snorted.  "You were trained by those elitist noble-serving pigs who run the guard.  They're just a tool of the state to oppress the peasantry, keep them quiet and entertained so they don't start questioning why they're in hovels.  Once we eliminate the Dynast and ignite the worker uprising-"

"Just stop!" Aerex said bluntly, waving his hands emphatically.  "Do you people even hear yourselves?  You're talking about overthrowing a four hundred year old system of government and society.  Do you really think everyone will join the 'glorious revolution' and do as you tell them?  What's to stop another Dynast from taking poewr?"

Kess leaned forward, the light from the oil lantern reflecting her angular face.  She looked angry.  "You're so blinded by your upward mobility you can't see the truth right in front of you.  Once the dictatorship of the proletariat eliminates the bourgoise, the people will take according to their needs and work according to their abilities.  There won't be need or want for a state or Dynast or any class system."

Aerex shook his head.  "No, no more rhetoric," he said, cutting her off.  "You're making a faith out of rebellion.  Do you really think any of this will work?"

"Well we can certainly try," Kess snapped.  Jorgan's voice echoed in Aerex's head again.  Kess leaned back.  "Look, I'll put it in terms you can better understand.  The way I see it, there's two ways of making change: working in the system, and working out of the system.  You led an investigation, got all the right leads, named all the right suspects.  You were right about everything, from the street sweepers to the Dynast's court.  And look how it worked out for you."  Her eyes narrowed.  "Your way's already been tried, Aerex Matare, and it failed.  I'm just trying to do it my way."

-----------

Aerex silently slipped out of his inn room's door.  He made sure to change out of his usual constable attire, wearing his plain undertunic instead of the buttoned coat.  A torn spare bed sheet was wrapped under his arm; it would have to serve as a disguise.  His heart raced slightly, though not as much as it would have a few days ago.  He was getting used to action.  Stay cool, Matare, he steadied himself.  The constable crept up to Vorodon's door and gave two short raps.
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #129 on: November 28, 2006, 11:42:55 PM »
Aerex and Vorodon

Two tired looking guards stood post outside the barracks gate, which led into the rectangular courtyard, adjacent to the town wall. The guards were average looking in every respect, one tall, one taller. The rest of the guards, those that weren’t patrolling Ganse’s lonely, dark streets in pairs, were either still fighting late night “carnival crime” outside the walls of the town or sleeping. Captain Koli and Lieutenant Hepple Farax, as Aerex had discovered while gathering information earlier, were supposedly two guardsmen who were definitely sleeping by now. With rank came privilege.

The two guardsmen at the barracks gate bounced from foot to foot, keeping their circulation going in the cold, night air, clanging the butts of their halberds on the pebble-stoned street. That was the only sound Aerex and Vorodon could hear as they approached, still hidden in the shadows of the twisted streets.

Aerex looked up and Vorodon looked down at the little insecter. Matare was staring at the line of third floor windows facing the street, in the decrepit looking barracks building and connected structure of guardsmen living quarters. Two guards, Aerex thought, and not many more awake or coherent by now. Hell, if those bandits had ANY brains, they would have taken over the entire town by now! The investigator furrowed his brow. Something about that thought made Aerex even angrier than he already was.

Light, fluffy snowflakes began to fall from the sky quite unexpectedly. Winter was almost in Ganse
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #130 on: November 29, 2006, 12:05:43 AM »
Aerex's breath was visible in the cold night air.  Two guards, a wall, and a few yards were all that separated him from his quarry.  Best not to attract their attention if at all possible, he thought.

"We'll have to be very careful, Vorodon," Aerex cautioned the Volgotoi in a low voice.  "Farax is in that third floor room.  I'll need to sneak by the guards.  I don't want any of them hurt, most of the guards here are good men.  If they happen to see us, you'll have to make a distraction.  Nothing fancy, just go and converse with them while I'm moving in.  But don't let them see you if at all possible."  Aerex looked again at the brick building in front of them.  I'm crazy, he thought suddenly, suppressing the urge to laugh.  It was probably true, but he would have to worry about that later.  Taking the torn bedsheet he brought with him, Aerex wrapped the cloth around his head and tied it, leaving a space wide enough for his eyes.  The haphazard disguise would probably be enough to keep his identity secret to passing eyes.  Now or never, he thought grimly.  Aerex gave a final nod to Vorodon, watched the guards' pacing, then snuck toward the wall, keeping low to the ground.

(ooc: Hide in Shadows and Sneak checks, please)
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Offline Dozus

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #131 on: November 29, 2006, 10:43:47 PM »
(OOC: rolled by GM: success!)

Crouched by swift moving, Aerex tucked and rolled as he made the last yard across the dusty street to the wall.  The guards apparently took no notice.  Nice work, he congratulated himself, adreneline rushing through his system.  Now the next thing.  One step at a time, Matare.

Staying close to the building, hiding in the shadows, Aerex stood and faced the wall.  He looked up: three stories above him was the lieutenant's window.  A few snowflakes melted on Aerex's face as he sized up the brick wall.  Cautiously, he placed his hands a few feet up the wall.  The aging mud brick was almost soft in his hands, like air-dried clay.  It's a wonder Jervoe didn't take this town years ago, he thought.  Between the crumbling walls and lackadasical guardsmen, Ganse was a town for the taking.  Perhaps it was to their advantage that there was little to take.

Focus! his conscious snapped.  Aerex cautiously grasped the wall, finding holds in the grooves between the brick and mortar.  In a quick motion, he tugged with his arms and hopped with his feet.  His boots struck the wall with a dull thud, the rough leather soles managing to grip the structure's exterior.  Easy does it, Aerex encouraged himself.  Slowly, he began to climb.

(OOC: GM roll: success!)

Hand over hand, foot over foot, Aerex scaled the ancient structure.  Some of the brick crumbled beneath him as he climbed, but the building was so old what fell turned to dust rather than gravel, making his ascent silent.  Reaching his goal, Aerex tentatively placed his hands on the window sill and peered into the room.  His eyes quickly adjusted to the darkness.  Farax was asleep on his bed, a moderately decent cot, with his chest bare and sheets asunder.  At the foot of the bed, a topless woman was picking up clothes of the floor.  Embrassed despite himself, Aerex watched Farax as the woman finished dressing, picked up something from the night stand - coins, perhaps? - and slipped out the door.  Perfect, Aerex smiled under his bedsheet mask.  Now the real action could begin.

Aerex quietly positioned himself onto the window sill.  Perched at the edge of Farax's room, Aerex unsheathed his dagger and silently lowered himself to the floor.  With carefully placed steps, Aerex walked quietly to Farax's bedside.  The man's snoring continued, rhythmic and unabated.  Aerex's hands slowly lowered themselves towards the lieutenant's face.  Sweat beaded under Matare's mask.  Time it.  Inhale... exhale... inhale... and... now!

Aerex's hand landed solidly on Farax's jaw, clamping his mouth closed, while his dagger found rest at his throat.  The sleeping man's eyes shot open.  Aerex could feel him start to inhale sharply through his nose, preparing to scream.  "Make a sound and we'll cut you," Aerex hissed, keeping his voice low and gravelly to disguise it.  Farax's inhalation continued, but he emitted no sound.  "We should kill you right now, for all you've done," Aerex continued.  "You're lucky we're merciful."  Farax blinked, sweat quickly beading on his forehead.  He has no idea why I'm here, Aerex's mind raced.  "We know all about what you've done," the masked intruder growled.  "We know about Maegla, about Bross, about all the others.  It's bastards like you who give good cops a bad name.  We're sick of it.  Sworn to uphold the law, and you instead profit by abusing it?"  Aerex slowly dragged his dagger to the other side of Farax's throat, leaving a pale line of pressed flesh behind it.  Farax's eyes widened.  "You're pathetic.  You disgust us.  But as we said, we are merciful.  Listen carefully to our demands, and you may yet live.  Tomorrow you will resign your post and leave town.  It doesn't matter where.  Go to the mountains or to the East or to d**ned Jantir for all we care.  So long as it is far from all you've damaged.  You will never again contact Maegla, and never again will you abuse a woman's trust as you did hers.  You will not take another law enforcement position.  We recommend you find another career."  He inclined his head.  "You would make a good trash collector.  Never again will you return to Ganse or anywhere near it.  You will live the rest of your life working penance for the sins you've committed, and you will never break another law."  Aerex leaned in close, locking his eyes onto Farax's.  "Now, if you understand and agree to our demands, blink three times."

(ooc: Intimidate and any other checks that are required.)
« Last Edit: November 29, 2006, 10:45:45 PM by Dozus »
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #132 on: November 30, 2006, 03:36:12 PM »
The sun boiled hot overheat, relentless in it's punishment of the hard-baked plain of Menominee. Once it had been a mudflat, a tidal place of wading birds, singing frogs and crawling things of the water. Now it was a blasted place, left unattended by the gods, left too long in the oven. Vee wiped the sweat from his brow with a battered linen hankerchef, it was blasted hot, so hot the even the breeze had curled up and died in it's heat. He looked north, the mountains of Shimivat, the broken teeth of the dragon, rose far in the distance. If there was any place on Earth that was as desolate and hated by the gods as Menominee Plain, it was not on any map known to man.

'Come on Keykold, we're almost there,' Metcalf shouted from the back of his indrik, a bizarre native animal that had the body of a Nagoman giraffe and the build of a pachyderm, and the disposition of a mule. this was quite a bit from the comfortable university lecture hall, or even the leafy dorm he visited on occasion, when he wasn't being entertained by Gemma.  He took a drink of his water, it was now warm creeping towards hot and tasted of the metal flask it was being held in. He spurred his indrik on, and thankfully the beast felt like going in the direction of the professor.

The oasis was a relief, a mirage that didn't fade in the heat. Instead there was a vast pool of water complete with a loud gurgling. Vee looked and saw a magnificent brass and K'tonian metal fountain spewing water into the air where it fell back in a gentle shower. It was simply amazing that even after all these hundreds and thousands of years, the mechanisms still worked. He dismounted and walked to the edge of the water, and bent to drink from it. Thankfully it was cold and crisp, and had a clean taste to it. It must come from deep in the earth to be so cool even under the sun. to his left Matcalf and his indrik were also drinking the water.

Closer inspection showed the fountain to be less ornate than he expected, and looked more like a metal spar that had been twisted and forced upward though the broken soil. "There isn't any run-off, where is the extra water going?" Metcalf said, mostly to himself. "This looks like an irrigation pipe, perhaps the other end is still draining?" Vee responded. but his attention had wandered, there was a doorway, half sunken in the water, the markings on it were faded and badly eroded by the elements but the precise marks of the K'tonian language were readable. He slogged into the oasis and ran his hand across the surface of the stone, it felt warm, and smooth, the water washing the grit away.

"What does it say Keykold?" Matcalf asked, drudging up next to him. "It is a date, sir, in the K'tonian system. I think it reads something akin to Beltain, and the year is odd, 2154 by the K'tonian system, so it would predate the vault at Nimz by at least 139 years." Metcalf was visibly excited, most of the scholarly community though Nimz to be the oldest, but here was an older site...


Vee continued to dream as Matare and Vorodon made good their evening


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Offline Pariah

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #133 on: November 30, 2006, 10:48:25 PM »
Dujek slept through troubled dreams, chased by the demons of his past.

The window in the study crashed open, and running to look a much younger, scar-less Dujek ran to the window to see what happened.  All his books, the ones he’d paid so well for, in flames.  The tome and reliquaries of lost and esoteric lore, and his own, what he’d spent so many years searching for, burning now.  The windows in the rest of the house were shattering now, and through the now gaping holes Dujek heard the yells of the mob outside.

“Pytha d**n them all of their ignorance.”  He muttered as he ran into the room and grabbed his notes, and shoved them into his coat.  Running down the stairs into the inferno that the ground floor had become Dujek heard some of the roof of the derelict that he’d been living in for the past three years collapse.

With a kick and a thrash Dujek rolled over, changing vistas.

Two years in that town.  Dujek the Learned, he was.  A wandering sage, settling into the Thorp for a bit before he moved on.  Dujek had kept up his facade for two years now, without anyone realizing that he was anything more than that.  He’d helped the cleric with his potions, the local mage with his spells, anyone that needed it knew that they could come to Dujek.  That’s what’d been his undoing.

One of the local kid had come running in, screaming and holding his clearly broken arm.  Dujek’s house being closer than the temple apparently, but he’d run in on one of Dujek’s experiments, with the entrails of a recently dead upon the table, and various runes drawn around it.  Except, Dujek had been out at the time, looking in his study for the last piece of the incantation that he’d needed, so he didn’t know he had been found out.

Soon enough the guard was knocking at his door, saying that one of the kids had said that he saw guts strewn all over Dujek’s table, and if he’d mind if they took a look around, sir.  Dujek had panicked then, the only thing that doomed him, and slammed the door in their faces and ran upstairs.  Grabbing his things he’d gotten downstairs just as they were breaking through the door.  The incantations, the only ones he could think of, and suddenly one of them screamed as the entrails that had been sitting on the table burst to life and started choking him.

Dujek woke, well before light.  Slipping back down to the bar, he looked around for something to drink.  Grabbing something he walked to the window, and out into the night.  Heading down to the gates he looked out over the sleeping towns, the one hidden in its mouldering walls, and the one outside, set up on brightly colored wheels.  Looking to the sky Dujek waited for the sun to stain the horizon with the blood of its birth.
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #134 on: December 01, 2006, 03:37:21 AM »
The excitement of the eve had called forth heavy dreams, and Glordren's sleep was uneasy. Holding his pet coin firmly in his right fist, the knuckles white, while his mind was far, far away, amongst the snow-covered peaks of a mountain range called the Dreamcatchers by both elves and humans, though his people called them the Iron Faces, for their spirits were rich yet stern.

Within the bowels of Mount Ramdran the hell was loose, sounds of battle echoing through the stone-carved halls, along with screams of the dying, and explosions shaking the whole mountain violently. The world was shaking to Glordren as his mother carried him over her shoulder. A flash of fire blasted the tunnel behind them, his father emergin soot-covered soon thereafter, his beard singed. Throwing his broken goggles to the ground, he poked the canister on his back with the scorched muzzle of his weapon. The answer was a hollow sound "Empty, this one too" he uttered as he loosened the straps and let the whole contraption drop. It would belch fire that day no more. "At least they don't know it, fools. Time to leave, I'd say." He planted several mining charges along the supports of the tunnel, lit the fuses, and added but one word: "Run."

Thori, a royal hammerguard who had been separated from the rest of his comrades, led the way, muttering incessantly: "I should have died along them. A traitor am I, abandoning my king!" Nromdar just pushed him forward: "Fear not, fool, you'll get enough chances to die on the way ahead!"

Higher and higher the tunnel led them, until at last, the roof was pulled away and a great bluish-back spark-dotted dome was the only thing above them. "What a huge hall, father! Did you build it?" Glordren asked, eyes filled with wonder. "No, son, we are outside."

Scared he was back then perhaps even more than during the battle before - Glordren was on the outside he heard so many tales about, clad only in children's chainmail and with a toy hammer in his hand. The way ahead would be perilous, with all the strangers craving their gold and lives, marauders all over the land. Thori fell to his knees, cursing his fate.
That was when the sun leapt over the jagged countenance of the Iron Faces, bathing the world in golden light. Startled, Glordren asked: "And that great lantern?" "Tis the sun, boy. Cover your eyes."

Though dazzled, Glordren reached out with his hands, seeking to grab the light. "It looks as if made of gold! Let's go towards it!"


Many years later, in a place far far away, Glordren rolled over, and snorted out of his sleep. "Get you..."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 02:41:40 AM by EchoMirage »
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Offline Murometz

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #135 on: December 01, 2006, 10:34:44 PM »
Above (Intimidation check failed)


Hepple Farax remained perfectly still. Only the sound of labored breathing could be heard from the lieutenant, apart from Matare’s menacing half-whispers.

We, thought Farax. Too much “we”. This was a single assailant. Suddenly a wave of sensation coursed through Farax’s body. He knew the voice. It sounded like—

Though certainly morally challenged, Hepple Farax did not get to where he was in life, without a high perception and intuition.

(Of course some fools would say he didn’t get far at all, but they were fools after all!)

“Blink three times” Farax heard and seethed, his body trembling with malicious energy. Who did this little s**te think he was, Hepple’s thoughts burned inside his head. How dare he! So, the blind wench had friends. The knife felt real enough, cold point on his throat, but this man was no murderer Hepple decided, continuing his internal discourse.

“Blink three times”, the words echoed in Hepple’s mind, his blood churning. He would instead kill this man three times, Farax concluded. He would kill him, then get some local acolyte to heal the audacious nightraider, and then he, Lieutenent Hepple Farax, would kill the miscreant again...and then again.

Hepple blinked his eyes three times, slowly and subserviently.


Below

“Did you hear? A wolf crashed through the Kettle’s window earlier. That’s how we know winter is coming boys, the wolves grow bolder!” came the booming voice of Ort Baslo, as he approached his fellow guardsmen.

The two men standing vigil outside the barracks gate greeted the “Doglord” with a smile. Their shift was finally up!

“I heard it was a milk-white wolf,” replied one of the guards half-heartedly.

I heard were-wolf,” said the other.

Ort Baslo just smiled. “Makes no difference to me. And it makes no difference to Hannah and Becca," he concluded, looking down lovingly at the two huge, thick, black-bearded dogs at his side. The muscles on Ort Baslo’s arms strained against the pull of the twin chain-leashes. The Doglord’s ‘Dwarven Brawlers’ (Bouviers) were paragons of their breed.

The two halberdiers merely nodded and took off, heading toward the barracks and a well-deserved rest, but not before quaffing some warming mulled wine, they thought, as they disappeared into the night.

Ort Baslo took their place beside the gate. Both dogs, as if on cue, began to growl, peering and sniffing in the direction of a particular shadow-filled alley forty feet across the street.

“What is it girls?” Baslo prodded his beasts. “What do you smell?”

In response, the dogs continued their intimidating growling.

Vorodon was cold. His left pinky was numb. Snow settled daintily on his head and brow as he waited for the Insecter to return. The giant shook his head then froze in place as he witnessed the “changing of the guard.” The dogs had smelled him, the half-ogre grimaced.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2006, 11:07:30 PM by Murometz »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Dozus

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #136 on: December 02, 2006, 08:40:13 AM »
Aerex froze for a moment.  He blinked too slowly, a voice in his head said in shock.He's bluffing!  Was he?  No, no you're just imagining things, another concluded.  It's the adreneline.  Aerex didn't know which to trust.  But then, he didn't have a lot of options.  No matter what crimes the man had done, he couldn't bring himself to slit an unarmed man's throat.  It was too cold, too repulsive.  I'd be no better than the man I kill, he thought morbidly.

"Good," he finally hissed, abandoning himself to his conscience.  "Now we are going to leave.  This incident never happened.  If you suggest that it did to the Captain or the guards or anyone else, our patience and mercy will be spent.  That would be most unfortunate for you."  Aerex slowly manuevered back, lifting the blade off of Farax's throat a few inches.  "Now, pull the sheets over your head and close your eyes.  You will count to three hundred before you open them again - we assume you can count that high.  Afterwards you may open your eyes again, but do not leave this cot until sunrise.  When you do, you will leave Ganse forever."  The lieutenant slowly reached and pulled the sheets over his head.  Aerex released the man's jaw and pulled back the knife, stepping backward, backward, toward the window.  Farax didn't move.  Get out now, his unconscious demanded.  Aerex sheathed his knife, placed his hand on the window sill, and lept back.  He looked down, caught his hands and feet in the brick, and began to descend the structure.  d**n, I hope this works, he thought.
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #137 on: December 02, 2006, 04:26:38 PM »
--As soon as Aerex disappeared from view, the raging lieutenant leapt from his bed, and ran to the window before even donning his nightpants. Hepple watched, his eyes squinting, as the shadowy figure, scaled the granular wall of the barracks building. His first thought was too skewer the man with several shots from his crossbow, which hung on the wall of his room, but then Hepple reconsidered. He could alert the guards with a single shout, but no, the liuetenant decided. He suddenly turned, donned his clothes, and crossd his own room, exiting quickly through the door on the opposite side of the window.

Perhaps it was the falling snow, sticking to the stone, which threw off the nimble inspector, or his pumping adrenalin, but for whatever reason, Matare lost his grip and plummeted the last dozen feet onto the stones of the courtyard. He grunted and immediately looked around. He saw no one. His fall had been soft enough. Aerex breathed a sigh of relief, despite the pain in his limbs. He landed well, but his shins and elbows ached. Despite the fact that he could not yet quite make out the shapes in the distance, Matare could suddenly hear canine growling, coming from the gate. Great, he thought, that was my way out.

--Across the way, fifty feet from the building's wall against which Aerex momentarily huddled, Vorodon began to approach Ort Baslo and his Dwarven Brawlers. The dogs stretched the limits of their chains with unabashed aggression.

"Who?", came Ort's voice in the half-ogre's direction, shortening the more appropriate, "who goes there?", his eyes squinting through the snow flakes.



« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 04:29:46 PM by Murometz »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Dozus

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #138 on: December 02, 2006, 10:46:36 PM »
Aerex grunted as he stood up.  d**n crumbling rocks, he muttered.  His attention quickly turned to the commotion across the street.  As his eyes adjusted, he could see someone holding back two barking animals in the direction of Vorodon, or at least where Vorodon was.  It must be that doglord, Aerex thought; he had met him only once in passing, and had not before seen his dogs.  Marlowe, was it?  Barlowe?  Baslo!  Aerex's brow furrowed.  He'd heard about Baslo's fierce dogs, which had surely caught the Volgotoi's scent.  His mind raced.  The last thing he wanted to do was be caught.  Voro had not actually done anything wrong.  He could probably talk his way out of - Aerex changed his mind on that thought almost instantly.  He certainly couldn't just leave the honorable brute there to defend himself.  After all, this was Aerex's plan.  Making sure his knife was hidden well in his booth sheath, Aerex removed the bedsheet mask and tossed it in the corner between the wall and the barracks.  He stood, smoothed his hair back, and jogged out into the street.

"Vorodon, is that you?" he called loudly, waving his hand.  "Thought I'd lost you, buddy!"  He stopped a few yards from Baslo and his hounds.  "Evening, Baslo," he greeted, catching his breath.  "Anything interesting on patrol?"  He looked at the dogs.  "A fine pair, there.  I can see why they call you the doglord."  He looked back in the shadows, barely catching Vorodon's outline.  "Oh, your pups must have found my friend here.  I couldn't sleep, so I went down to the tavern for a snack.  Voro was down there, too.  Guess the whole werewolf incident spooked us both.  We decided to take a refreshing walk around town and I thought I heard something odd coming from the barracks, so I told Vorodon to keep an eye out while I investigated.  He probably followed a stray cat or something, eh Voro?"  Aerex stretched his arms back.  "I didn't find anything, though, it was probably nothing."  He glanced back in the shadows at the Volgotoi's silhouette.  He prayed Voro would follow the bluff, and that the hound master would believe it.

(ooc: Bluff check!)
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #139 on: December 04, 2006, 02:31:13 AM »
(A few minutes before…)

Quietly shivering in the dark alley, Vorodon patiently waited as the guardsmen were relieved by the new one with the dogs.  “This might be a problem…” thought the frozen warrior.  If only the Insecter had hurried!  They might have easily slipped away, unobserved by the slipshod watch of the tired guardsmen!

The huge warrior tried to hold still, standing vigil in the depths of the unlighted alley like some sort of monument to bad posture, but it was to no avail; the dogs soon caught scent of him.  More alert than the human sentinels they had replaced, the canines’ senses knew that something was hidden there.  Standing and snarling, their hackles raised, they growled at the darkness.

There was nothing to be done for it, Vorodon decided.  He would have to approach the man and act like he belonged there.  Pulling some spiced jerky from his pouch, he lumbered through the snow toward the sentry, a vacant expression on his face.

Sensing the movement, the hostile dogs jerked at their chains, eager to rend the approaching stranger.  Not to be outdone by Vorodon in the stupid looks department, Orst Baslo, the lone sentry, squinted at the shadowy movement as the drifting flakes got in his eyes.

"Who?  Who goes theyah?" called out Orst, his uncertain voice betraying his unease.

“Bross here now?  Want Bross come back for now” explained the giant warrior helpfully.  “You friend Bross?”   The dogs, sensing the strange scent of the approaching Volgotoi warrior, barked angrily as Orst reined them in.

Summoning from some hidden reserve of rural savoir faire, Orst considered the incomprehensible statements of the lumbering oaf before him.  Vorodon could see the man shifting the large wad of chew to a different location in his mouth before spitting out an impressive stream of the vile liquid. With the precision that Ganse’s guard was known for, it landed a mere two feet from the cracked cuspidor next to the guard post’s doorway.  After an eternity of rural cogitation, he finally spoke.

“Eh?”

Orst appeared to be on the verge of actually saying something, so Vorodon waited, trying not to notice the drip of icy water that his helm somehow diverted straight down the back of his tunic.

“Ah worked with him.  An’ who may YOU be, friend?” 

Trying to look as friendly as possible, the hill warrior replied, “Vorodon good friend Bross from Army of Duke.  He Army buddy me!  Good!”  Despite his friendly tone, Vorodon couldn’t quite keep a wrinkle off his brow as he digested the man’s statement.  “I worked with him.”  Did the man know something?

“Ya came here to find him, did ya?  Becca and Hannah don’t like ye much by teh by,”  the sentry observed with characteristic tact.

“Vorodon were to hope friend Bross home,” offered the massive half breed, trying to sense what the man thought of Bross.  If he were one of those who had attacked him or his wife, he would probably stew up nicely, Vorodon reflected.

Orst seemed to be thinking for a minute, then spit again, staining the snow even further from the pristine cuspidor.  Eventually, he offered the fruits of his wisdom.

“Home? Don’t knaow about that.”

Vorodon considered how best to cook the nitwit’s dogs while he waited for the man’s glacial thoughts to congeal.

“Thought he went north with that ‘Pro-Fessur' fellah,” Orst suggested. 

The man’s bovine stupidity seemed to be calming the dogs, Vorodon observed, but he suspected that the vicious animals were just waiting for him to get close enough to bite.  Concluding that bribery was the most likely way to win the rotten animals’ friendship, he began tearing off pieces of his jerky and feeding it to the creatures.  It was some of his best jerky, spicy and sweet, made with his father’s family recipe.  As he recalled, the bandit chieftain that had contributed it was a fat and indolent man.

As he tore at the dried meat, Vorodon noticed the Insecter approaching.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 10:27:33 PM by Wulfhere »
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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #140 on: December 04, 2006, 04:56:23 PM »
(Bluff check successful)

The several minutes Aerex had spent merrily greeting (and bluffing) the Doglord proved nerve-wracking for the inspector. Although he tried to not glance back in the direction of the barracks, Aerex felt his neck hairs stand on end as he anticipated Hepple Farax, frothing at the mouth, along with a dozen handpicked goons, bursting forth from the building and giving chase.

Vorodon kept right on sharing his jerky with Baslo’s dogs while Aerex spoke, nodding enthusiastically when Matare looked to him for confirmation.

What seemed like hours to Aerex were only a few moments, and finally Ort waved both men on their way.

Wulfhere--As the snow fell quietly onto the icy mud of Ganse’s darkened streets, two men made their way through the frozen gloom, each troubled by the night’s events.  One was small and lithe, the collar of his warm coat pulled up to shelter him from the damp snow.  The other, a massive figure whose bulky armor was covered with a frayed and tattered cloak, stumbled and slipped as he trod heavily on the ice encrusting the town’s rutted streets.

“Geeligir?” the large man’s deep voice rumbled in the rough language of the Volgotoi.  Something about his companion’s mood troubled him.  The small man practically radiated tension, and Vorodon didn’t know what to do about it.

“What?” his smaller companion asked gruffly, his muscles sore after the fall he had taken.  He didn’t much want to talk; even though the darkened streets were nearly deserted, there was always the chance of being overheard.

“Leftenant not hurt good persons more. No? Insecter no happy go,” Vorodon prodded.

“Vorodon, I can fill youse in later, when we’re outta this cold.  It all came together fine,” muttered Aerax as he considered that the half-ogre had a point.  Normally, wrapping up a case didn’t leave this sour taste in his mouth:  Something about the look in the lieutenant’s eyes bothered him.  The man was scared, of that he was certain, but there was something else there… 

In a perfect world, he’d never leave a man like Hepple Farax unwatched.

The hulking goliath refused to be silenced, however.  “No late still.  If when bad man leftenant hurt persons more, Vorodon make stop.  Good jerky?”  Vorodon tore off a piece of jerky and offered it to Aerax Matare. 

“One way or another, it’ll be settled when we come back this way,” stated the small investigator as he accepted the leathery strip of spicy dried meat. 

As the unlikely duo slogged back toward the Harpy’s Kettle, the snow continued falling.

Language Note
Geeligir:  A term used with casual friends, translating roughly as “Little Buddy”.  Larger friends would normally use the term, Geertok, which carries much the same meaning as “Big Lug” would in the Common Tongue.




Aerex and Vorodon eventually found themselves in front of the wretched, but now familiar and homey, Harpy’s Kettle once more.

Still no Hepple, no commotion. Where was he? No outcry had come from the window and no men had come out of the building, even though Aerex had given them ample time to do so, while stuck in chat with Baslo.

It was less than an hour to dawn. Soon, Matare thought, the Ouzquin Dremorix would rise and head north, along with the others. Surprisingly, as the pair neared the inn, they noticed Dujek standing and staring into the graying night. What the necromancer was doing out at this time was anyone’s guess, thought Aerex. The mage had not been quite the same since getting ‘brained’ by that gnoll club.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 07:39:55 PM by Murometz »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Murometz

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #141 on: December 04, 2006, 05:06:42 PM »
NORTH!!! (bejeezuzz!!)


It was their fourth day of travel.

Only Tristan the moody priest remained behind. The Trigiuan was pleasant enough giving out his ‘good-byes’, but grew recalcitrant soon after, withdrawing back into the inn as the Adventurers-Upon-Return departed with the rising sun.

The lands north of Ganse were a bit different from the wet and forested hills east and south of the town. A rugged land of huge boulders and crags, seemingly tossed about by an army of giant children. Few caravans traveled in this direction, and the roads were less paved, often meandering through jagged, rock-strewn gullies and fissures. Grasses, shrubs, and occasional gnarled and twisted miniature trees, fought a seemingly endless battle with the rocks and stones for space and room to grow.

The weather was at least mildly cooperative. The skies were clear and blue, the cold, crisp air, chilled the lungs with every breath, even as the deceptive late autumn sun blinded the eye. At least it wasn’t raining, Glordren thought as he walked, happy to be rid of the drenching downpours.

The companions made their way slowly but in fine spirits, trudging through the rough terrain, avoiding pitfalls and rocks, making their way around the larger, randomly tossed boulders and ravines. Some chatted, some walked silently, and yet others lamented the lack of mounts, despite the fact that this northern hinterland was an obviously poor choice of terrain for horses.

Why would Professor Agoroy Zelmundt come this way? The land was turgidly desolate.

Vallace the Whipmaster had mentioned a tower, a village, and a library, during his drunken ramblings. Vee felt energized as he paused to suck in a lung-full of cold air. What secrets do you seek, eh Professor? What have you found, or think you’ll find? I am on your heels Zelmundt! Vee smiled.



For an entire fourth day, the Adventurers-Upon-Return made their way due north, until finally the sun began its descent, and the air grew even colder. Birds flew overhead, but few signs of life presented themselves to the companions. It was a barren land, yet hints of habitation abounded, such as when Aerex spied what looked to be tracks of some large mountain lion, or some other puma-like feline, or when Jjuldae examined some scat and blithely announced that wolf packs proliferated in these lands.

What had struck the companions most however, and not for the first time, was just how far Ganse was from civilization, and just how quickly the lands around that speck of a town grew wild and inhospitable. Four days out of Ganse, heading north and slightly west, the Adventurers-Upon-Return were now approaching true wilderness. A vast, broken, haphazard, and granite-strewed terrain sprawled out before them.

Finding a campsite for the night proved simple enough, the companions choosing a relatively flat ground, beside a thirty-foot, thirty ton, oval boulder, sticking out from the ground like a beacon, and offering good protection from the wind, which had picked up, further chilling the travelers as darkness descended.

Jjuldae felt alive. The druid seemed to Kadarin as if he was some bird of prey. Jjuldae was standing some thirty feet away, with his back to the settling group, smelling the wind currents and staring into the graying skies, as if he was about to take flight.

Strange, thought Jjuldae. I feel strange, yet alive. As the druid glanced upwards he spotted an eagle, his totem, a white and gray osprey, gliding far overhead. What was this creature doing this far inland? Jjuldae knew that forty leagues toward the setting sun lay the sea, but this creature seemed lost.

The osprey shrieked and flew on, oblivious to Jjuldae’s queries.

Vorodon managed to get a bonfire going, with branches and dead stumps from the various stunted foliage haphazardly growing around and about. The half-ogre had also managed to find a bleached sheep skull, at least that’s what he called it, and used it as a head rest, reclining beside the firepit, awaiting his turn to guard.

Talia spoke with Vee as the two planned out the night-watch shifts. Out of the corner of her eye, Talia could spy Aerex casting more than the occasional glance her way. Was he smitten? Was that it? the Bladedancer thought as she continued listening to Keykold. She was also thinking of her father. The conversation with Loiha had resurfaced some old wounds, and Talia was now in a bit of a contemplative mood.

Dujek looked restless and seemed to be conversing with Koschei.

Kadarin handed the albino boy some food. The two had become inseparable, though Kadarin said little to anyone on the matter.

All was quiet as the companions settled in for another evening of sky watching, conversing, and thinking.

Moruz found himself wondering where in these parts a glassblower’s guild may be found. And more importantly, he wondered, why would it be here, in the middle of nowhere. He was told back in Ganse that the “Glassmaker’s Guild” was four to five days travel north. A few more days of travel perhaps, Moruz thought, as he gazed north, despite the darkening sky. In the distance, an impressive mountainous horizon had swallowed the setting sun. Those must be the perilous cliffs of the so-called Great Escarpment, the Ouzquin Dremorix pondered. But still, that impressive jagged scar, stretching across the land was another week’s travel at best

Before going to sleep, Moruz checked on the peculiar collection of substances he had found and purchased the night before leaving Ganse.
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #142 on: December 04, 2006, 05:09:44 PM »
Glordren

Glordren examined his scroll as he chewed the gristle off an overcooked rabbit haunch. The scroll of Akhanag-Marato was Glordren’s greatest possession, as well as the single most exasperating thing he had ever owned. The scroll came into his “ownership” quite by accident many years ago. The scroll itself was at least three thousand years old. Created, it was rumored, by a Naga and a Dwarf in unison. But no ordinary scroll was the Akhanag-Marato. Reading it as one would an ordinary document or treatise was impossible. The magic of the folio was such, that it could not actually be read legibly. Sages and mages had tried their luck over the years, finding no success at deciphering the bizarre magical nature of the artifact. Glordren knew the scroll was stubborn.

Normally, only empty, yellowed parchment pages filled its twin ivory-tube design. Empty, as if nothing was ever written or scribed on the scroll, a cruel jape indeed to the unknowing. When the scroll was in the proper “mood” however, truly wondrous words, images, riddles and even maps would suddenly appear on one or more of its pages. It was whispered among the dwarves who were familiar with this bizarre scroll, that every ancient, hidden tomb, crypt, and “treasure vault”, everywhere between the Southern Sea and the Endless Ice was somehow documented in cipher on the Akhanag-Marato scroll.

Glordren had carried the relic for the last twenty years. It was as difficult for the priest of Emrissa to read it, as it had been for the countless other frustrated, previous owners. But Glordren was nothing if not persistent. The dwarven priest always stared at and studied the scroll as he travelled, waiting for whenever some seemingly mystical gibberish would appear on the pages, quickly attempting to memorize the passage or “clue”, and jotting it down in one of his traveling journals. Glordren had compiled a massive journal over the last twenty years, featuring over one hundred riddles, thirty maps (mostly partial), and thousands of weird sayings and phrases. It was by studying his own discombobulated notes, that Glordren finally discovered the location and whereabouts of his first ever dwarven tomb! All knew that the Great Escarpment held many secrets. Most knew that somewhere near the nightmarish Waterfall of Madness, there was an antediluvean dwarven tomb. Few knew the tomb was also rumored to be a bastion of long-dead snake-worshippers.

After years of often maddening research, Glordren had at last discerned what he believed to be the exact location of the tomb. And according to his calculations, the hidden tomb was located only three or four days travel north from where the companions had camped this very night! Soon, he would explore the vault’s titillating depths. Soon, Glordren thought. Soon, Emrissa would bless him, and gold would pour into his meaty hands.

Now, as the sun was beginning to set and the rabbit meat grew cold, Glordren stared and squinted at something materializing on the scroll’s pages, forgetting his tomb-raiding dreams for the moment.

Onruldt’s Oubliette, the Smith-Prince’s Tomb

Glordren read the single strange passage as it appeared. A few seconds later the words vanished again, and the scroll went back into “hibernation”.

Something about the Smith-Prince sounded familiar to Glordren and he checked his bulky journal for clues. Flipping through the pages furiously, he finally stopped and stared once more, at his own drawing, beneath the words, “Onruldt’s Oubliette”.

The dwarf saw an image of a massive, cigar-shaped boulder sketched in charcoal beneath his notes, along with some comments...

“Marker of the Smith-Prince’s Tomb.”

“Onruldt’s Oubliette"

A single chamber only, his arms and armor lonely.”

Glordren slowly looked back and up at the giant thirty-ton boulder, which he was now leaning his own considerable bulk against. Impossible! Could it be? The drawing of the “marker” and the giant, natural stone he now leaned on, were identical in shape, down to every minor detail!

Glordren anxiously gathered his thoughts.

Your turn to guard first, priest” came Kadarin’s pleasant voice. “We drew straws. You get the easy first shift.”
« Last Edit: December 04, 2006, 07:40:52 PM by Murometz »
Authentic Strolenite™©®

Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #143 on: December 05, 2006, 01:45:52 PM »
Vee stared out into the darkness, then back towards the fire. His hands itched, not an itch like poison ivy, but the sort that comes from inactivity. In the last week he had almost died several times and now the lack of adrenaline seemed to weigh on him. Moruz seemed deep in his own thoughts, and Talia her own. the longer he looked at her, the more he saw that despite his initial preference for Loiha, Talia was certainly the better looking of the two. Loiha had a soft allure to her, Talia a harder edge. Gemma had always told him that a soft woman wasn't worth much, and that he should remember that if a woman would throw a hammer at a man in anger, just imagine what she would do if she were pleased with him.

He sighed, thinking of Gemma, but then he noticed Glordren and his scroll, and such things were quite dear to his curiosity. Vee sauntered over to where the dwarven priest sat. "What have you got there?" he asked.


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #144 on: December 05, 2006, 02:16:41 PM »
"A scroll of great holiness, friend" Glordren answered, still musing about the phrase and the strange boulder. "It's in tune with my faith for sure, and opens up many a riddle to the dwarven heart!"
Eyeing the gray monolith, he asked Vee without turning around,  voice flat as he was lost in thought. "A smith-prince be a Dwarven lord, aye? And an oubliette be a grave one is left in to rot, rightey?"

Approaching the monumental stone, iron-shod boots grating against gravel, eyes but narrow slits due to the chilling wind, Glordren drew forth his trusty mace and poked the stone several times, listening to its sound. "Liberate your secret, funny stone, tell me what you hide!"

The wide-eyed Vee in close pursuit, curiosity written in every of his features, Glordren poked him with his armored finger: "Ey, 'tis stone here be the marker of... something. Ancient, most probably. Interesting, very likely. You got those two eyes in your head, so use them to look for ... things. Unusual things. Stonework. Signs. Runes. Aye? Or a mountain of fire, or one that could have been it. What, why you standing around, go look! The earth here holds a secret!"

"A tomb hidden in the earth? No good place for hiding it from a dwarf!" Obliging his guard duty by surveying the surroundings especially diligently, Glordren poked every rock and rolled even a few of them aside, sometimes raising his head and looking for something to fit the larger picture. His left hand was in his pocket, fingering the holy coin. "Do you sense any of your brethren nearby, as beautiful and pleasant as you, as soft yet hard, and cool yet merry?"

This wilderness would not hide... whatever it was hiding in the first place.. too long from him.

"And if we don't find anything, I'll have the dancer girl climb the d**n rock to look around from there" he murmurred under his beard.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #145 on: December 05, 2006, 08:15:30 PM »
Lying on the most comfortable patch of earth he could find, Vorodon watched the bizarre antics of Vee and the Dwarf.  First, the dwarf was staring at the big rock like it was some sort of sign from the gods, then he and Vee started wandering back and forth, looking for something.  They couldn’t have lost anything, not where they were looking. 

After cogitating on this, it became clear to him:  Too much reading makes people crazy.
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
- Buckaroo Banzai

Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #146 on: December 05, 2006, 08:39:21 PM »
Talia dozed off soon after Glorden was given the first watch.  She'd had second watch the night before, and that always made her fall asleep faster.  Kind of funny, really.  She had known these people only a matter of weeks, some of them less, but she already felt completely at ease.  Gypsies could be insular, but she trusted them. 

She dreamed.

"Ilos, what do you want to do when you grow up?"  The two of them were lying on their backs in a grassy field, away from the caravan.  They were both small children. 
"I'm gonna be a healer like Isandra.  I'm gonna help everybody, and I'll get so famous they'll know my name in the capital."  He turned to look at her.  "What 'bout you?"
Talia shrugged.  "I dunno yet.  I wanna go all over the place, and see everything, not just the places the caravan goes to."  She picked some blades of grass and started braiding them together.  "I kinda want to draw pictures like papa.  He's really good at it."  She handed Ilos the braid of grass.  "Mama says this is good luck."
"You're my bestest friend, Talia.  When we grow up, let's go 'ven... 'venturling together."
"We'll go all around everywhere.  You can be the fighting guy, and I'll casts spells." 
"Aw, no fair!  I wanna do spells!"
She laughed.  "I said it first!" 
The two of the started wrestling around, laughing.


Talia smiled in her sleep.  It was good to have pleasant dreams again.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline Murometz

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #147 on: December 05, 2006, 09:45:04 PM »
--Vee and Glordren looked in earnest and searched the area for anything...unusual.

--Talia, Vorodon, Aerex, Dujek, and Kadarin slept. Moruz was sitting in a lotus position beside the dying fire, mixing what looked like various powders inside a small petrie dish in his lap.

--Jjuldae ignored the companions as best he could, still staring into the night sky, a good forty feet from the campsite. Strange, unexplained rapid burts of pain, coursed through the druid's body. Jjuldae had never felt anything like this before. Though he remained still, stoic, and silent, his back to his fellow travellers, the druid's joints and muscles felt as though they were being pierced by hot pokers. The pain was one step away from unbearable.

--Examining the giant stone, rubbing the smoothened, wind-tamed, granite monolith, Glordren finally noticed something unusual. Small, inconspicuous runes, directly at the dwarf's eye level, carved into the massive, gray rock. They were written in an archaic dwarvish dialect Glordren knew well.

"Here lies Onruldt, Smith-Prince of Ghanamak. Punished, but revered still. Locked inside an oubliette for all eternity. Enter not."

Nothing else could be found.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2006, 09:46:38 PM by Murometz »
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Triumph of the Dungeon Master!

Ah, how I have come to love that sense of accomplishment and victory that I get when I pull the wool over the eyes of a clever player character. What DM Triumphs have you had?

Some of mine:
1. Finally killing an incredibly powerful, lucky, annoying player's character.
2. Finally achieving a TPK (Total Party Kill)
3. Finally achieving a TPK using only traps
4. Finally working out how to make it so that d**n wizard doesn't steal the spotlight all the d**n time.

-Captain Penguin

Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #148 on: December 05, 2006, 10:20:07 PM »
It seemed an eternity before Vorodon could get to sleep:  He had been so exhausted that a strange manic energy had filled him.  Despite this, slumber had inevitably claimed him as he lay there.

The hallway was pitch dark, but Vorodon’s inhuman vision adapted in seconds.  The massive warrior found himself standing alone, wearing nothing but the gaudy kilt his mother had repeatedly forced him to wear on formal occasions when he was a child.  It seemed to fit him better than ever, a tribute to his mother’s grim determination that he not outgrow his clothing before it wore out.  Based on his hatred of the brightly checked garment, that would be never.

In his hand, he held an old friend, his stuffed tiger, Snork.  Snork also looked pretty good, all things considered.  One of his button eyes was a little loose, but as he hadn’t seen Snork in some years, he wouldn’t have hoped for better.

Down the hallway, he could hear something coming, an icy presence in the pitch blackness of the hallway.  In the distance, what sounded like an armored figure was approaching, a low hiss of frozen hatred echoing down the hallway.

Snork, reacting with the matchless reflexes of his species, instantly urged Vorodon to flee.  Displaying good sense remarkable in a stuffed animal, it dragged Vorodon down the hallway away from the unseen threat.

As they ran, the thing drew closer.  Even at the very edge of Vorodon’s vision, it was short, smaller than a man.  Its withered skin clung to bones that barely hung together as it loped along with dogged persistence.

The corridor seemed to go on forever, and every time Vorodon looked behind him, the thing had gained on him.

Finally, he felt its bony grasp dig into his shoulder!  Filled with battle fury, the giant warrior turned and grabbed at the thing’s bony head and slammed it repeatedly into the stone of the wall!


…and woke up, grasping the shattered sheep’s skull that he had been using as a pillow.  One of the vicious scrub plants that grew nearby had gotten under his cloak and was digging into his shoulder.  With a muttered curse, he rolled over and went back to sleep.
"Nothing real can defeat us:  Nothing unreal exists."
- Buckaroo Banzai

Offline Scrasamax

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Re: Adventurers-Upon-Return (Chap II)
« Reply #149 on: December 06, 2006, 02:29:18 AM »
The runes carved in the stone were dwarven, recognizing the angular form of the symbols was easy enough. Converting them into something readable, however, was something different. It didn't help that his own area of expertise was in K'tonian glyphs and cuneiform rather than any of the runic languages. He scowled, though it was one deep with though and barely concealed glee. He was certainly used to burrowing into the mother earth to force her to burst forth her secrets, rather than fighting werewolves, gnolls, and ghouls.

"Some sort of epitaph?" Vee asked, looking at Glorden, "And more importantly, what does it say?" Vee was ready...


Stout Lagerale of the Dwarven Guild
STR: 4 | END: 4 | CON: 4 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 4

Tentacle Tentacle Sanity Schmanity