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Author Topic: [Respite] - Factions  (Read 79753 times)

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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2008, 06:51:46 PM »
Rajani found the common room - dimly lit like most of the structures, and smelling heavily of woodsmoke.

It was only sparsely occupied. Two younglings barely old enough to know their letters sat in one corner, apparently playing with some oddly colored stones.  An impossibly tall man with pale grey skin sat in another, absorbed in reading a large, battered book.  A dragon-like creature the size of a small house-cat draped itself around his shoulders.

A slight woman who could have passed for a vampiress had apparently set up shop in the middle of the room.  Her spellbook lay wide open, and she had covered every available space on the table with  various parchments, scrolls and even a few clay tablets.  She did not look up, but instead was scrawling furiously with her quill - a brilliant yellow feather contrasting with her grave visage.

Sitting at the table nearby was a middle aged man - appearing more a prosperous merchant then a mage. He was watching her intently, and appeared to be mustering his courage to approach the woman, when he looked up at Rajani. He smiled broadly and made to stand up.
   
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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2008, 07:04:06 PM »
The night was lit by the three-quarters moon - its luminous face scored by the night-beast, though still hale enough to flood light down from the cloudless sky.

Kou'rha found that something was unusual in the nightsong - as if key players had not arrived.  He could not isolate it - the concert of frogs, insects and night birds was still wonderfully rich and complex, but there was still something missing.

While reflecting on this, he felt a presence appear. The feeling was so strong that it seemed his chin was grabbed and turned toward the Stoneflute.  A pale mist gathered about the flute creating a solid wall of dim light.  Onto this wall of light, images began to play, at first indistinct and nebulous, but then settling into crisp, clear pictures.

A great stone circle appeared, like a great ring laid on its side, and through this circle were pouring vast hordes of the outsiders, panic clear in their eyes. A massive figure - an Alun - of gargantuan size strode up to the mass and appeared to simply watch.  His features were familiar - his uncle. Next, a second Alun appeared - indistinct and robed.  The newcomer walked behind his uncle and produced an axe.  Without hesitation, he swung the blade into the back of his uncle's knee - severing the leg and sending him collapsing onto the horde of outlanders.  The force of the impact sent the mist billowing in all directions. 

The vision was over.


   
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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2008, 07:39:21 PM »
edit - Chronology kind of messed up here - you can still consider the next day not to have occured yet. This is an accidental preview...
Hagzeria arrived for her shift at the gate and heard Marya the Silver say yet again that this would be the last day this constant vigil would be needed.  Hagzeria took up her station scanning newcomers for dark auras and other tell-tale signs that would warrant further scrying. 

The gate opened and a new stream of refugees came through.  They all seemed to be of the same nation, moving with discipline and not scattering once they came through.

The numbers this time became a flood nearly immediately, and additional help for screening was rapidly summoned.  Additional guards and sentinels were also brought - for it was now known that these flood signified the imminent fall of a gate.

On the other side, events of truly incredible proportion unfolded.


The demonic hordes had devoured all other points of light on Harvarsis.  The final gateway was fortified by the combined magi of the world and its united force created a sorcerous fortress against the infernal host.  Again and again the walls were assailed, and each time the potent magics held and threw back the invaders, buying time for more to escape. 

And then it was that the demons threw their most powerful beasts against the magical defenses, and energies to incinerate cities flew, tearing great rents in the sorcerous walls - mages both young and all reduced to ash. But the defenses held.  Sensing the end was near, the magi threw forth a powerful counter-stroke - and time itself was held in abeyance.  The refugees, unaffected by the halting of the sands of time continued their streaming into the gate.  The spell, sustained by immense powers - for among the magi where a few remaining Gods and Godlings - finally ended and only a bare handful of refugees remained.  The end was now, and the demons closed in to devour the  magi who had time enough only for one more spell.

No one would every be able to recount what happened in those last moments, but in the surviving circle of magi, an enchantment of immense proportions erupted.  All of the latent energies and the very spirits of the magi, Gods and Godlings coalesced into a singular point that then erupted into a brilliant flash of energy. In a flash, the expanding sphere of pure magic slammed into the demonic horde and the earth itself, destroying all.  The demons may have brought the end, but on Harvarsis, they did not exist to enjoy it.

Even as the final magic lashed out, the gate collapsed near instantaneously, but not fast enough to keep some of the energy from exiting through. 



One moment Hagzeria was scanning the emerging crush of refugees, when the next she was dazzled by a blinding light which emerged through the gate.  Even as the light grew to agonizing intensity, she felt the passage of magic of tremendous power pass through her.

Others nearby saw a vast beam of light emerge from the gate and lance into the clouds above, parting them like a stone dropped in water.  High above the ground, the energy seemed to create sphere looking like a second sun, but almost immediately it burst and tiny trails of smoke hurtled down earthward.

Marya the Silver looked over at her friend Hagzeria, and screamed.  The young woman's eyes were gone, in their place were empty sockets with smoke gently wafting up.

« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 06:56:56 AM by valadaar »
   
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Offline Dozus

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2008, 09:52:19 PM »
Kou'rha gasped and swung his staff up to strike at the shadows.  Bewildered, he looked about, half expecting to see the axe-wielding assassin nearby.  It took him a moment to steady himself, to understand it was a vision.  What did it mean?  Who were those people coming from the stone?  Why were Alun there, and why had the man struck down his uncle in cold blood?  The questions clouded his mind, but Kou'rha knew of only one thing to do.

At full speed, he raced back to the village to find Tenrir.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2008, 12:50:51 PM »
Rajani smiled back at the merchant fellow, while she was interested in the working of the pale woman, those who studied the arcane arts were... touchy at best. It never hurt to make friendly with those who were wealthy, but in her last days in Endkelton, she had seen the rich became as base and mean as the lowliest beggar.


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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #30 on: August 26, 2008, 07:40:52 PM »
"Ah young lady - you are new here, which in this city of little pedigree itself is not unusual.  Let me introduce myself.  My name is Taryer of Starshadow, though of course starshadow is naught but a memory.  My other companions " - he encompassed the other occupants of the room with a sweeping of his hand - " are not the best conversationalists. What is your name?" He smiled at her yet again, amusement and other emotions clear behind his grey eyes.

The gaunt woman looked up at Taryer and Rajani, rolled her eyes and turned back to her work, relief also visible on her features.
   
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #31 on: August 27, 2008, 09:03:39 AM »
"I am Rajani, of Endkelton, but like Starshadow, it too is no more." Rajani said with a touch of resignation. "I am curious to learn of this place, beyond this refugee camp of a village. I will be honest with you, as I am with all, I don't really intend to stay here. The chances that anyone I know having made it through the portal are beyond slim. I have no reason to nance about." she laced her delicate fingers together.

"Aside from having been inspected by some sort of magic sniffer and a few brief words with a man Ionus and the High Garun, I have not spoken with anyone of this place. I wish to thank them for the sanctuary, and move on before the gathered refugees turn from grateful rescues to hungry wolves."


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Offline valadaar

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[Respite] - Factions
« Reply #32 on: August 27, 2008, 01:26:42 PM »
"Where, pray tell, are you planning to move on to?  As far as anyone knows, or speaks of, we are alone in this world.  Two large groups have left recently to found their own cities though we know not of their fates.

You have not looked about this place very much it sounds. Yes, this place is an overgrown refugee camp, but it is as populated as heavily as any city of my lands - more then 100 000 souls if the Council is to believed!

However, I understand your restlessness.  I am in fact organizing expeditions to explore the nearby region.  I'm certain we could use someone of your skills."

   
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Offline Scrasamax

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #33 on: August 27, 2008, 01:34:02 PM »
"An expedition does have a good sound to it, but you will forgive me if I do not immediately accept your offer. There are a few matters I wish to see to completion before rushing off. I still have business with this society of the art." she offered him a placating smile. "I would still not mind a bit of company. It is good to have someone to talk to who isn't screaming or trying to kill me."


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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2008, 01:48:46 PM »
"No rush, my darling. It is a rather late hour to start anything. " A smile. "On that note, I bid you farewell, for I have a rather busy day planned on the morrow."

With that, he turned and left the room.


   
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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #35 on: August 27, 2008, 07:30:53 PM »

Dimi saw that the barkeep looked like he might be in control of the situation, but he stood ready to act should the situation require it.

Toboran kept up the pressure and his opponent could not reach his weapon.  Terrisch reached down, picked up the dagger and threw it behind his bar.  "Sit back down or get the hell out!" he said to the  other man-at-arms who had been standing up to join the fight.

The men-at-arms stood upm, cautiously, and began to back away towards the bar door...

"You, we're gonna talk about things!" Terrisch scowled at the prostrate knight on the ground. "Let em up - I'll take care of 'im" he directed to Toroban.






   
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Offline Pariah

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2008, 08:03:33 PM »
Dimi hoped down off the table and tried to make his way towards the door, stopping only when he was sure he close enough to bolt should the barkeep decide he wanted to resume the forestalled brawl.
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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #37 on: August 28, 2008, 08:44:07 PM »
Toboran carefully got up, and backed away, fully ready to leave the man to the gentle loving cares of the tavernkeeper.
"And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, or the temples of his gods."

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #38 on: August 30, 2008, 02:55:32 PM »
After spending a bit longer among the others in the commons, Rajani retired to her quarters for a while. She shut the door and pressed her back against it, feeling the wieght of the last few weeks come crashing down on her like an avalanche.

She was safe, at last. The dangers of a new world and unsteady times were nothing compared to the phantasmagoria of screaming, pillaging, and brother turning on brother in a desperate attempt to survive a few minutes longer. It had been worse than hell, because somewhere deep in the theological underpinnings, Hell had a purpose. The last days of Endkelton had been a long-running massacre that bled into a slaughter.

She spied the room, her shoulders shaking as she felt sobs start to wrack her thin body. Knealing next to the bed, her fingers curled into the frayed and moth eaten sheets. Tears blistered down her cheeks as she wept. So many dead, so much lost, so little left to hold on to. Her family gone, her daughter, barely more than two years old, gone with the aunt and uncle who cared for her.

After a what seemed like a long time, she released the hard roll of material she had grasped like a drowning woman as she cried. Her hands were stiff and hurt, indeed she felt stiff and tired all over. She shuffled across the room and found a cracked ewer with some tepid water in it and a wash basin. She took these, and after barring the door stripped to nothing, and with delicate motions washed herself. A sliver of soap cut through the grime, and she shaved as best she could with a dagger given to her by a huntsman back in Endkelton. The blade was sharp, for the time being, but it wouldnt last. At last clean, after so long on the run, she felt somewhat better.

But she also felt a bit more haunted. Without the layer of dust and grime, she could see her ribs sticking out prominently, her belly rumbled distantly. Too little food, too long afield. She sighed and pulled her traveling robes on again after shaking as much of the dust and filth out of them as possible. Her things stowed under the cot, Rajani curled up on the lumpy matress and for the first time in what seemed like too long, she slept.


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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #39 on: August 30, 2008, 07:34:01 PM »
Terrisch grabbed Gevaris with his free hand and lifted him up to his feet, flail cocked back ready to pulverize him.

"Get out! Now!"  With that, he threw Gevaris towards the doorway that the other men-at-arms were in the process of exiting.

Gevaris looked back at Terrisch, and then at Toboran, hatred clear in his eyes.  He then turned and quickly followed his companions, leaving the bar.

Terrisch looked over at Dimi, smiled and said "You still gots to pay for that drink!".  He reached back behind the bar and picked up the dagger. He walked over to Toboran and handed it to him. "Guess it's yours now."




   
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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2008, 07:59:27 PM »
<Morning at the Hostel of the Mage Society...>

Morning came early to the residents of the Hostel - a frenzy of activity spurred by accounts of the flare of energy that had came through the gate.  None seemed to know what to make of the event, and there was some mourning over the fate of poor Hagzeria. She had apparently survived the blast, but was blinded and currently comatose.

Breakfast was served - a thin gruel improved upon by forest-gathered snake-berries, along with fresh fish, poached.  The common room - of which there were several in the hostel - was full of people all taking their breakfast.  The people were a wide range of description. Most were some flavor of humanity with clothing of many forms, but there were a few others - elves, dwarves and a few who appeared to be something else entirely.

Jhoric took this all in as he stood at one of the room's entrances.  His night had disappeared - he barely remembered coming to this building and probably would have difficulty finding his room later.  The days leading up to his escape here had been too frantic to get proper sleep.  Probably time to find a seat for breakfast.

Rajani had followed the others to the common room, and her night too, had been blissfully uneventful.  No images followed her into her sleep.  Perhaps this truely was a new start.  Could all of  those nightmare memories have been real?

One of the dwarves was sitting down, looking at the fish staring back at him from the wooden shingle that passed for a plate.  Its flesh was disturbingly colorful - so different from the pale-white fish that populated the underground lakes of his homeland, or did. Doubtless the demons would consume all them as well.

His last memory of his world was that frenzied battle at his clan's Citadel. Their line finally failed and his good friend Thenadral rammed into him and drove him into the gate.  Balin had survived, but his friend did not appear to make it through.  His last vision was a fiend - seemingly all mouth - moving up to engulf Thenadral before the lights of the gate obscured the event.

Now he was here. Wherever here was. 

« Last Edit: August 30, 2008, 08:01:56 PM by valadaar »
   
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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2008, 10:36:29 AM »
"Thank ye, good innkeeper", Toboran said as he took the proffered dagger. "Now, how about an ale?" He took a seat at the nearest upright table expectantly.
"And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, or the temples of his gods."

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #42 on: September 02, 2008, 07:41:48 AM »
After eating a bit of the colorful fish and the gruel, Rajani was feeling much better, despite being somewhat bland it was magnitudes better than hard rations. She sighed contentedly for a moment after eating the fish. After the evening beforfe she felt like she shed something more substancial than just a layer of road grime. After returning her shingle, she looked for someone who worked at the hostel.

(OOC - Rajani would like to find out about the Hostel, and what she can do to assist, so Gather Information check, PM me the results my good sir)


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Offline valadaar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #43 on: September 02, 2008, 12:07:16 PM »
Terrisch moved behind the bar once more and took one more battered mug down.  Going over to the keg he filled the mug, taking a little longer then usual.  He cursed out load.

"Well, that settles it. This is the last one!"

He brought the mug over to Toboran.  "Might be gritty. I'm all out. Unless ya want some of this crap someone calls wine."

This brought gasps from the bar patrons.




   
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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2008, 07:12:12 PM »
The party of woodsmen, along with their well-armed escorts, had traveled three hours through the heavy forest to get here.  The copse of trees that was their target was further away then they had thought, and so much taller.

No matter, the woodsmen went to work felling the massive trees, and Hargue the mage shrunk them to managable size.  "One more! - That one!" he said, pointing to a massive pine that the very clouds seemed to catch upon as they passed.  The woodsmen made ready to take down the tree - a full pace in width.
   
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Offline Pariah

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2008, 08:28:18 AM »
"I'm sorry about the trouble I caused you, friend" Dimi said as he made his way from by the door and back to the bar, "and now, finding out about your lack of ale, I do believe the gods are punishing me for my earlier outburst.

Sitting down next to Torroban, "And thank you, I would've been inconvinenced by a dagger in my back.  I'm Dimi, son of Yousif."
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #46 on: September 04, 2008, 12:13:30 PM »
After meandering around the hostel and meeting some of the various folk who worked there, Rajani found out what she wanted to know. A good person knows where to talk and where to listen, and she was delighted to find out that Taryer was an important man among the locals, and she sought him out. The lithe woman, no free of grime, and her face much less creased by fatigue and hunger, offered him a quick smile when she found him.

"Master Taryer, I have considered you offer from the other night, and I hope it is still available. I may not be of much use to swing an axe or carry a shield, but I can heal the injured, and tend the sick. I don't know that I need give you details of my deeds, as survival seems to be as good as any, but I have seen combat and treated the dead and the wounded."


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

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Offline Jhoric

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #47 on: September 04, 2008, 12:44:31 PM »
Jhoric felt content to stand in the doorway forever, just observing everyone as they went about their business. He knew, however, that this new life would not be so simple. So, he forced himself to go eat and socialize.

This was going to be awkward, Jhoric thought as he sat down next to a dwarf. He was very anxious, but managed to nod and slip out a "Hi," as he was sitting down. Now, to listen, reply, and try to eat this fish.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2010, 04:58:38 PM by Jhoric »

Offline Drackler

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #48 on: September 04, 2008, 05:22:12 PM »
"And I'm Toboran Redhand. I thought it best to leave the squabble 'twixt the squabblers, and not sneak up from behind a man, even a drunk one." Toboran said to Dimi, smiling slightly. "I am pleased by my new, shiny toy, though".
"And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, or the temples of his gods."

Offline Hrofgar

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Re: [Respite] - Factions
« Reply #49 on: September 04, 2008, 06:11:19 PM »
"Greetings. And how would you be faring today." he stiffly replied in his horse, grinding voice.

Balin really didn't want to know, but it was the polite thing to do, and he would need some friends in this new world. He continued to eat his fish which could do well with some good, dwarven mead, but he thought it unlikely that they had any.
Ph'nglui mglwnafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

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