Roleplaying > Adventurers-Upon-Return

Homecomings (Chap III)

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<OOC>sorry fellas, this one is slightly delayed. Post will be up this week! Remember, unlike the other group, when we pick up with Vee, Dujek, and Kadarin, it will be 3-4 months after the monastery affair!



VEE { Meeting the near-legendary Professor Agaroy Zelmundt, in the bowels of the monastery had excited Vee Keykold to no end. After rescuing the irreverant explorer, Vee had spent many hours in conversation with Nimz' renegade son. Zelmundt, happy to be rescued, but devoid of basic human manners and politeness, quickly reverted back into being a maddening curmudgeon, but not before catching Vee up on the his latest exploits and theories into the Great K'tonian Mystery. It seemed the professor was calling it quits in his old age. He intimated to Vee that he was ready to retire from a life of tomb-raiding and library research, and wished to travel to the capital of the Empire, to spend his golden years in luxury. The professor joined Vee, Kadarin, Dujek, and Moruz on their journey east, but within a week, bid the companions an abrupt farewell, and caught a river barge heading south to Jantir, leaving Vee frustrated, but with a priceless clue to the never-ending puzzle of the antediluvean society of the K'tonians. Unable to return to Nimz himself, the professor bade Vee to head for the Clocktower City, bequeething his entire reasearch to the young scholar in absentia. Zelmundt divulged to Keykold the information which other scholars would have killed to possess. Zelmundt told Vee the secret of finding the professor's hidden research, squirreled away in one of the countless, nameless clock towers of the fog-shrouded city. Many scholars had searched for Zelmundt's missing research over the years, but now Vee Keykold, Adventurer-Upon-Return, knew the exact location of Zelmundt's hidden cache of knowledge. Bidding farewell to the professor, Vee talked his companions into accompanying him to his place of birth...Nimz. They continued on their way east and south, leaving behind the Great Escarpment, and re-entering the lands of the Empire.}

DUJEK { Dujek for his part, travelled mostly in silence, resigned to his fate with this group of companions. The necromancer's head injuries had not improved, and thus his temper and outlook rarely brightened. Most of the time, Dujek was lost in deep, silent conversation with the mercurial Koschei. Other times, Dujek experimented with his growing powers, often disappearing for hours on end, exploring some burial site, examining a rotting corpse on the road, or some other similar and less than wholesome activity. Dujek was obsessed with Death...and particularly lately...its avoidance. Death had always fascinated Dujek, but now escaping death was paramount to his thoughts as well. The necromancer suffered from recurring, blinding and painful migraines, though strangely, his spell arsenal was unaffected by this debilitating condition. Nonetheless, Dujek searched for relief wherever he travelled, and eventually grew excited at Vee's mention of "The Articifer" of the Living Mechanics College, an erroneously named, famous surgeon and grafter, who catered to the types of injuries Dujek had suffered. With renewed interest, Dujek agreed to accompany Vee all the way to Nimz.}

KADARIN { Kadarin perhaps changed most of all, as the three mages made their way across the lands of the Empire. When Kadarin first met the Adventurers-Upon-Return he was a quiet and shy youth. Lately, as his mysterious powers, no doubt connected to the strange albino boy always at his side, grew considerably, so did the young man's ego and confidence. Kadarin spent most of his time perfecting his craft, and helping Vee master his new found latent magic-using abilities as well. When he was not delving into the secrets of magehood, Kadarin pondered his life's goals. With the spectre of his insidous uncle now past, Kadarin also wonderd what had caused the man's madness. Did it run in the family? Would I too lose my humanity as my power increased? Was this the ultimate price of magic? These were just some of Kadarin's thoughts....many others came unbidden to the slowly 'awakening' sorcerer. He even spent time researching some of the peculiar items, which he managed to acquire back in the monastery.

While the foursome stayed one night in the mid-sized town of Tollenweicz, Kadarin boldly hired two mercenaries to accompany him and the other mages in their small group on their travels. Protection against the various "nuisances" of the roads less travelled, Kadarin told Dujek and Vee, though if truth be told, Kadarin simply enjoyed having henchmen around, another nod to his new found in the stories from his childhood, which told of various mages and their bodyguards, so now did Kadarin feel the urge to build his "magely retinue". After all, the companions had more than enough gold....and the roads were dangerous.}


It had been three days since the companions bade farewell to Moruz. The stoic warrior, like Agaroy Zelmundt had before him, caught a passing river-barge heading south to Ssembra. The Ouzquin Dremorix decided he would catch a ship heading out to the open ocean and eventually his distant, desert homeland. Vee, Dujek, and Kadarin shared a bittersweet supper with the warrior they had called 'friend' for many months. Many vows and allegiences were exchanged, and promises of future paths crossing, though the three remaining Adventurers-Upon-Return doubted they would ever see Moruz again.

They had travelled quickly, (in no small thanks to their leaden, magical foot), and now three days after leaving the turgid river behind, and four months to the day, since they had left the monastery, the three continued west, crossing over into the Empire proper, and heading even further west, where the foothills of the great mountains, men called the Monoliths, began to spear the lands, and the Empire's rural western wing unfloded before them.

Vee knew these lands well. Though Nimz was first and foremost a highly civilized city, a center of higher learning at the very least, it lay tucked far in the southwestern corner of the empire, nestled as it was, among the imposing Monoliths. To reach the Clocktower city, the companions would have to make their way along the pastural lands of the Empire's 'Low Country' and slowly climb to the many towns of the mountain passes, traversing the rural highlands and making their way through the somewhat feared Judgelands....there was a reason Nimz stayed somewhat isolated all these years afterall.

That night, the three companions (and Mouse), and their two new bodyguards, came upon a farmer's stead, and humbly bought room and board for the night. No sense in causing trouble, when trouble typically found them, Kadarn thought. He would save his gold for this grand city, which Vee kept talking about, the mage decided.

By Keykold's calculations, it would be another four or five days until they would enter Nimz, for though the distance between this farmstead and the Clocktower city was slight, the terrain was anything but, from here on out. Using his charms on the old, well-off farmer, while Dujek and Kadarin looked about the barn, Vee managed to rent three of the man's mules, in order to begin the climb toward Nimz on the morrow.

And so the Adventurers-Upon-Return settled in for the night, sharing bread, beans, and a capon, with the farmer and his son. After some time, once he grew comfortable with his guests, the farmer withdrew a jug of aged, lavender mead from his cellar and presented it to the companions.

<OOC> Kadarin's Mercenaries are two men from [30 Mercenaries], Eager Czolba and Delsordo the Grappler</OOC>

What sort of homecoming would it be, Vee wondered. Atkinshire and Hollyoak were less than a day's hard ride from Nimz, and if he didn't run across Gemma in nimz, he could seek her out there. A moment of caution cooled his ardor, the Lord of Atkinshire likely still had a price on his rogueish head, and the guards would undoubtedly remember him. This wasnt a nest of bandits, Gemma would know half of the guards by name and he certainly couldnt hack his way in to 'rescue' her. She had quashed that foolish notion well before the Duke discovered their affairs.

The sun had started to rise, and with it came the thick banks of fog cast off by the Monoliths. Each was more of a pillar than a mountain, steep sided and tall, half as narrow as most mountains. Most of the monoliths had already been explored by hunters desperate for any chaff or midden overlooked by other explorers. The difference between a crucial and valuable discovery and a chink of broken pottery was splitting hairs in Nimz, no shards were ever overlooked. He had done the same once, scrabbling through the Monoliths, hunting for those scraps of the Legacy. More than once he had found things, but nothing that ever was of any noticable value. His head pounded from too much of the lavender meade, but he couldn't resist, outside of Nimz the stuff was unheard of and impossible to get. Most also considered it an acquired taste.

So many things to do, but the first thing was to find Zelmundt's clocktower. Once he had that horde of K'ton and her legacies secured, he could then worry himself with further explorations of magic and the debauchery he was accustomed to. He looked at Kadarin as he was giving instructions to his new soldiers of fortune, his hand strayed over the pommel of his dagger. No love was lost between Nimzians and mercenaries, most of the people of Nimz remembered when a mercenary company under one self-proclaimed Overlord Havvik turned. Legacy plaze had been looted, half a dozen clock towers burned, and several hundred Nimzians were slain or injured. Czolba seemed like just the sort of merc who had ridden with Havvik, fresh faced and eager to kill. Vee could still remember the face of the red-haired bandit, Pickles, and the expression on his face when he died. Then there was Glordren, and before him Aethelstan...though that one had come back from the Beyond. Scary stuff really.

Vee was ready to be on his way.

Yes, the persuit of knowlege in the city of Clocktowers did hold much appeal to Kadarin.  The two sell-swords should help - he'd seen death come far too quickly and he had no wish to visit that particular kingdom early.  Every sword would help.

The two were quite different - Czolba was nearly rabid in his zeal, but that could be useful at the right time.  Delsordo struck him as more reliable, so if the worst happened, Czolba would charge in while Delsordo would screen Kadarin and the other mages.  With their shared afflicition Delsordo and Mouse had a strong rapport.  Perhaps the Artificier could replace their tongues? Maybe we could work out a volume discount thought Kadarin, a wry smile crossing his face.

Funny, all three - perhaps four in time, spell-casters ended up together.  The prize Vee described drew them all.   

And then there was the blessed/cursed wand - it seemed to both save lives and destroy them.  Chaotic, but it had power.  He knew that it possessed but one charge left and if that was used, the wand was forever destroyed.  Perhaps he could find the technique to infuse it with additional power in the great city.


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