May 24, 2009 00:23
April 23, 2009 00:08
As the party was cleaning up their camp and preparing themselves for the long hike out of the Mournlands, a quiet rumbling noise was heard in the distance.
Garrison quickly picked up his sword and started running towards the nearest dune to get a better view of what was making the noise. And right behind him was Deerdal who had his crossbow loaded and readied.
As they reached the top of the Dune they saw the source of the noise. Off in the distance coming straight towards them was Failin in his Elemental Cart.
“We figured you already had left. How did you even find this place?” Garrison asked Failin as they loaded their items on his cart.
“Hmm..yes that. well..” Failin answered as the rubbed his chin and shifted in his seat of his cart. “I slipped out the map you had in your bag, while this one…” as he pointed to DeerDal ”...was sleeping. And i made a copy for myself. I figured if you didnt succeed I could come back when things were a bit ‘safer’ and see what I could find.”
“Hpmmph.” Deerdal snorted as he secured the last of their items on the cart.
“Well do you know where the Lady Elaydren is Failin? We have to get her news of all that is happened and the schemas we found” asked Garrison.
“Yes we have a meeting place in Rhukaan Draal. Get in and I will take us there.” Failin quickly responded.
“Ok but first…” Garrison continued. “Lana and Bisk, I do not know where our paths will take us after we get to Rhukaan Draal. But I am thankful of your presence these past few days and if you would like to continue with us I would be most honored. But of course if Rhukaan Draal is the end of our time time together then I wish you the best of luck.”
“I cannot speak for Bisk, but I would like to see more of the schemas and the magic that surrounds them. And I quite enjoy improving my skills in the battles we have had so far. So yes I will follow you.” Lana spoke.
“Yes the same for me. As I have no other place to go or tribe to follow.” Bisk snarled. “And Im quite enjoying this freedom and I am curious to find out what other cuisines are out there.”
“Great!” Garrison responded. But then turned his head towards to Ironwood. “Walker Ironwood. You have been a great companion these past few days. And I know you are tied to this land and have a mission of your own..or so it seems. So I will understand if you must stay.”
“Hmmpprtzzz. Stay?” said Walker Ironwood. “No. This is not my fate. The tress have always told me of all of you and that I must end up going with you.”
“Across this land they have already started spreading their seeds and are becoming what they were always meant to be. I am to come with you and to continue their work. Hmmptzzz.”
“Great. Fine. Good to hear you are all coming and going to slow us down more.” Failin spit. “Get in then and let us go. Ive had enough of this.”
“Ok fine let us go then.” Garrison smiled as he realized how much his life had changed in the past few months.
Back in Rhukaan Draal with the events of the last few days swimming around in their heads the party hardly noticed all the looks people gave them they walked from their Elemental Cart to the meeting place with Lady Elaydayn.
It wasnt until Deerdal ran to pull Walker Ironwood away from a tree that he was talking to and Lana called over to Bisk who was picking through some fresh berries at a nearby vendor, did Garrison realize how strange of a crew they might have come across as.
When they entered the tavern where Failin lead them to, they saw the Lady sitting in a corner alone with a plates of food and ale waiting for them.
Walker Ironwood, who wasnt too accustomed to being indoors asked if he could remain outside. To which Garrison said, “Yes, but Deerdal can you go with him?”
And the odd duo walked out the door.
“So tell me of your travels…” Lady Elaydren said as the remaining members of the party and Failin sat down at her table.
After sharing all their stories and giving her the Schema’s they found. Lady Elaydren sat quietly to take it all in.
“So it is true that they know.” She said to herself. “They talk of 3 schema’s. So they must have found one of them. Time indeed grows short for all of us then.”
“Well!” she continued. “Here is your reward as we discussed.” As she reached in her bag and threw out a pouch on the table that landed with the CLANG of many coins inside.
“2000 GP just as we discussed. Thank you very much. You have helped in more ways than this money represents.”
As Garrison grabbed the bag of coin he said, “You are welcome my Lady. We still have a score to settle with whatever attacked us out there and Im curious to see how we can help stop this evil from getting the other schema’s.”
“Well Adventurers.” the Lady continued. “I know you have done more than enough for us, but if you escort me back to Sharn I will pay you another 1000GP and pay for the transport via ship. And from there we can find out what we do next.”
“Hmm. Back to Sharn?” Garrison pondered. “It seems my destiny keeps bringing me back there. Let me talk to my friends and see what they think.”
“Very well.” The Lady bowed her head. “In the meantime. Please eat.”
March 17, 2009 22:32
After the party woke up in the same Rotating room that they entered the Whitehearth facility in through, they decided to use their new keycharm in one of the other rotating rooms.
They use the Orange key and sneak down the hallway where they hear a large scraping like stone on metal through an open doorway. They send Deerdal and Lana to explore and they hear some creature. So they decide to go back and get the rest of the party which is waiting in the Rotating room. After a bit of discussion they decide to try to sneak up on the creature. Twalker casts light on a coin and gives it to Lana to throw down the corridor when she gets close. As they are walking down the hallway Twalker, in his animal state, bumps into the wall and makes a huge “CLANG”!
Upon hearing that the large hidden creature starts to ROAR and make sounds as though its coming towards the party. So Garrison starts to run ahead and while passing Lana who is at the front of the party he grabs the coin from her hand and tosses it into the dark room. As it flies through the air into the dark room Garrison sprints closely behind it. And as he enters the room he sees the beasts and its eyes.
He immediately stopped and prepared for battle. But Bisk sensing that something was evil in the room started running and shifting behind Garrison as well, so when Garrison stopped Bisk slipped in front of Garrison ready to attack.
However the creature was ready and attacked Bisk. As they exchanged attacks with the beast they realized what it was. It was, or at least used to be, a wolf. However, through mutations and experiments it had became a beast covered in metal and stone with teeth made of black obsidian stone.
After a bite from Twalker the wolf was distracted and Garrison raised his sword and its blade went from the top of the beasts neck all the way through and knocked its head clear off.
After exploring what they realized was a kennel they found some potions and ring and a brooch.
The party went back and followed the tunnels to another Rotating Room where they used the orange keycharm and came to a strange room. However while walking down the corridor from the Rotating room Garrions starts to ask questions about the brooch and ring that was found in the Kennel and Bisk says she found them so she keeps them which leads to an argument, which only gets solved by neither of the two budging.
Finally they decide to explore the strange room. As they enter they notice that sound is muted here and that the strange mirrored walls are almost hard to look at because of all the light that is reflecting off them.
As Lana is examining the room she looks up and see a mass of colors and light attached to the ceiling that she recognizes immediately as a color spray spell. At the same moment an arm-like mass of the color spray darts out and heads for Garrisons head. However, he is quick enough to react and slices sideways with his sword and cuts the arm off.
Bisk, who is up the corridor a bit brooding over her fight with Garrison, see the quick movements through the doorway in her peripheral vision and reacts with cat-like speed. She sprints towards the door which was currently being slightly block by Twalker who had moved into the room in its bear like shape. As she gets closer to the door she starts a slight skip-step and leaps with one foot forward towards the back of Twalker. As her foot lands on its back she continues her momentum and uses Twalker’s back as a spring board and launched herself in the air with her sword already moving in a over slice. And she connects with a fury to the blob-like material.
Her sword sliced clear through and let her continue her leap through the air where she landed and rolled into a ready attack position. However, this blow was enough and even as she was still in the air the light in the room started shifting and shaking and the sound all came rushing back in.
As they were getting their bearings, Garrison asked “What was that?” to which Twalker replied “the magic woke up”.
After their victory the party continued to a room adjacent to this one. When they entered their was a large Mirrored Ball in the center of the room, which after they examined they realized was some kind of Scrying object pointing to some room filled with an intense heat and light. And in this room they also found a red keycharm.
So the party quickly went back to the Control Panel that needed a red keycharm. However, when they arrived they decided to try the orange lock first.
Which was a mistake. A Bad mistake.
When they entered the Key, the room as usual, started rotating. However this time it screeched to halt and what was once the bottom floor opened abruptly into a dark pit. Not having much time to react everyone tried to grab for anything they could. Lana, Garrison and Deerdal were able to stablize themselves. But Twalker and Bisk were unable to grab something and slid down and through the dark hole.
Bisk and Twalker hit the cold water with a bang. And Twalker sunk to the bottom of what seemed a small underground pit of water while Bisk swam to the top and yelled up to the crew in the room. After a bit of back and forth they came up with a plan.
Lana freed her hands and cast “Tensors Floating Disk” and sent the newly created gold shimmering down the hole and brought back up Twalker and Bisk.
As soon as the duo were cleared of the trap hole Garrison took the red keycharm and placed it in the control panel. This caused the trap to close and the room to start rotating again.
Once it was finished it opened up on a new tunnel.
So the party dried off, rearmed and headed down the tunnel which at the end was a door. Upon checking the door they felt a slight heat and opened it with caution.
Upon entering the room they saw a huge machine made of long dragon-like heads and dragon shards. At the end of each mouth was the same glass like substance that covered Rose Quarry and above it was a large retractable dome. While on both sides of the machine were large pyres of fires. Which turned out to be Living Fire elements that attacked the party with a fury.
However with a few swift and smart moves they destroyed both flames. After reviewing the room and concluded that the machine was the cause of the glass-like encasing that covered all of Rose Quarry. While in a crystaline chest they found two copies of the diamond shape schema they were looking for and the actual Xen’drik creation pattern that used the schema.
While trying to decide what to do next, Lana found a level that she recognized and realized would open the retractable dome. So she went ahead and pulled it, which caused a overwhelming cracking and screeching that sent everyone but Twalker to their knees covering their ears.
After it finished they were given the treat of fresh air and sky. So they regrouped and pulled themselves to the surface and back outside.
Once back outside they started discussing their next move, when they heard:
“Well done adventures.” Which they recognized immediately as the same voice they heard from the robed figure they met on their exit from Rose Quarry.
As they looked up to see where the voice was coming from, the same robed figured was walking towards them while from out of the shadows of the terrain around them came 6 Emerald Claw soldiers with crossbows aimed at them, 4 human-like skeletons with pieces of flesh hanging from them and scythes in their hands and another robed figure, this one a female.
“Its futile to fight us” The voice continued. “Give me the third schema and I will let you live. Oppose us and I will take it from your corpses and raise your worthless bodies to server me!”
Looking back no one was certain who made the first move. Deerdal says it was Garrison, while Twalker said it was the ground that attacked. But the only thing that was certain was that they survived the almost impossible ambush. And they had the schema’s, the creation pattern, a good amount of treasure and had brought Twalker back to consciousness. The only downside was that the robed figure that spoke to them teleported away and that they had a long trek back to Rhukaan Draal.
February 13, 2009 22:47
“Take us there Failin, or your debt to Lana will be paid back in flesh!” Demanded Garrison as Failin rolled his eyes at the idea of taking the 3 adventures through the Mournlands to the Whitehearth Facility.
“No. You cant threaten me, when without me you couldn’t even get back to Rhukaan Draahl without ending up as gobli-stew”. Failin spit out as he pushed through Garrison and Deerdal to continue working on loading his cart. “However”, he continued ”...since I may have a small debt to Lana, I can take you to edge of the ‘Dead Grey Mist’...For a price of course”
So with a bit more of haggling, resting and gearing up Garrison, Lana and Deerdal boarded Failin’s cart towards the edge of the Mournlands.
After a few hours humming along on the cart Deerdal spotted something on the horizon. Slight and unclear at first, but slowly he came to realize , as did the others, what they were seeing. Spanning as far left and as right as the eye could see, and as high up as the clouds rose a thick and somewhat undefined wall of pure greyness.
“The Dead Grey Mist” Deerdal whispered to himself louder than he realized, as Failin’s cart pulled up the walls edge and abruptly came to a stop.
“End of the line. Hurry get off.” Failin yelled as he stood up in the cart and started giving the adventurers a look of impatience and pity.
And just as quickly as the stopped and unboarded, Failing was gone, without even a word.
“So what next?” Deerdal questioned as he walked slowly up to the Mist and squinted his eyes as he tried to see his best through it. “Strange” muttered Lana, as she waved her hand in and out of the mist. ”...its as though its magical, but not. When i place my hand through it, I can make out the outlines of it, but I feel as though I can no longer believe I have a hand.”
“We go through.” Garrison finally answered as he checked all his gear and checked the sharpness of his blade along his thumb.
“Good idea. Ok, Ill go ahead and see if i can get through. Give me the map we found from Rose Quarry and I will try to find us a way to there. Hmmm…” he paused. “Lets setup some codes, I trust this Mist less than the Evoker here.”
“When you hear a long whistle that means to come and find me. In fact, if you dont hear for me, for 5 minutes, come find me.”
So Deerdal, with map hand, entered the Mist. And as though he walked through a curtin of water, he was gone.
After the time was up, Garrison looked at Lana and said “I have to go find him. You stay here and wait for us.” and he started packing his gear.
“No, I said I will help you out and I will.” Lana flatly protested. “Besides, I must studied this Mist first hand.”
“Ok then.” Garrison conceded. “But we will tie a rope to each other so we do not separate.”
And off into the deadness they traveled. Tied together, and resilient to whatever was ahead of them.
Silence. Deadness. Distance. Absence.
None of those words could quantify what Lana and Garrison felt in the Mist. It was as though no sound or feeling existed. And any sounds the duo did make felt at once both close and far away.
For hours it felt like the two walked and stayed close, trying to listen for the long whistle of Deerdal.
Then it came. Slight at first, but steady. The long whistle they had been waiting for. So Garrison and Lana and hurried towards the source where they found Deerdal at the end of.
After a happy but quick reuniting Garrison tied the remaining rope to Deerdal and they continued.
Finally they broke through the Mist and entered what was once Cyre. However, this was not the Cyre they once knew. Once known as “the jewel of Galifar’s crown”, Cyrne was a place a beauty, arts and wealth. Now it was little more than a wasteland. A barren horrible place filled with the aftermath of war and destruction.
However, this war looked as though it just happened yesterday, not 4 years ago. The bodies and damage they passed looked fresh and recent. The group experienced a sense of time that seemed not to move.
They pressed on.
And after about an hour of quiet walking while they took in the strange mix of recent carnage and desolation the newly reunited party came across a scene where one of the battles must have been heavy because of the amount of dead bodies and machines.
As they approached the battle scene Lana noticed a movement among the dead bodies. As she realized what they were, or at least what they used to be, she yelled out “wolves!” and Garrison and Deerdal jumped into action.
And out from the bodies appeared 3 of what once were wolves but were now little more than than skeletons.
Garrison was the first to react. He took the lead as only natural to his fighter ways. With a quick but certain slash he took the closest skeleton/wolf down. Being inspired by this attack, Deerdal made a sprint from behind Garrison to the wolves with the plan all mapped out in his head. He would run, jump then roll through Garrison’s legs and give a quick but sure stab to the wolf on Garrison right.
However, he didnt plan on the ground being so uncertain and Garrisons legs closing just a bit. So half way through his jump while he was coming down to roll, Deerdal noticed the inevitable. He slipped on the earth and banged into the back of Garrison’s legs with a brain-numbing thud.
But luckily this didnt phase Lana, she was already in the middle of casting a powerful Magic Missle spell and let her hands reign fury upon the skeletal body of one of the wolfs.
It collapsed in a singed and broken state of death.
The last wolf put up a small, but quick fight and after a few melees, was returned to whatever demon possessed it.
After a quick surveying of the land they continued.
The trio passed through lands and scenery that would be hard to report back about it. From large spikes of Glass shards to half destroyed bodies that seemed to be still alive, or at least filled with souls. Finally after what seemed like hours, but garnered no change in light they came across what was known as The Stagnation
The stagnation, was as they always had heard, a lake with a beach of complete desolation.
The trio passed in silence as the air was thick and the smells were almost overpowering. They all hoped it would be a quick passage through here.
On the cusp of the “beach” and land they noticed that another patch of mist was ahead of them. So the adventures stopped, uncertain what was ahead of them, and continued.
In the same order as before they pressed through this patch of mist. Which this time seemed to be quick. However, as they broke through the mist, it felt as though days and nights had passed.
And they all saw what they didnt expect.
Life. Trees. New. A forrest.
Taken aback by this new site, especially after seeing what seemed like an eternity of death, the adventurers slowly approached this lively glade.
As Deerdal readied his weapons and approached the edge of the glade, he realized what was familiar to him about the trees. These trees ahead of him were made of pure Ironwood. It was a whole forest of them. And they seemed to be alive and growing.
“Strange” he whispered out loud. “These trees are ironwood. Why is there an ironwood forrest in the middle of all this desolation?” He pondered.
“Wait here. Im going to go through and investigate. I feel as though something is in here that we may not know of.”
So Deerdal continued on his own and stepped through this forest. He noticed at his feet was grass and foliage. Things he had almost had forgotten had existed in his short stay in Mournlands.
Deerdal froze in his tracks. He knew the sound of battle from anywhere. Slowly he posed on a tree an observed a skirmish between a few strange figures.
So he ran back and informed the others. They all decided it was best to slowly approach and observe. So they did.
After a quick walk they all heard the sounds then with a few more minutes, they saw it.
A moving skeleton in full armor, a warforge and a strange animal all locked in combat. Neither giving way to the other.
“Karnath” Garrison said under his breath. “What?” questioned Lana.
“Thats a Karnathian uniform the skelton has on. And it looks like a Karnathian skeleton warrior that fought next to us in the Last War.”
“Why are they here?” he wondered.
“No time to think on that. they spotted us.” Deerdall yelled as he rushed in on the combat.
Garrison and Lana, as though without thought, followed their fellow into battle, unknowing and uncaring of what dangers they faced.
The trio attacked all, as they were unsure who are what was going on. And after some smart hits and attacks they fell the skeleton and the warforge.
Lana’s spell of “Sphere of Flame” engulfed the remaining animal-like figure as it turned towards them.
In a quick, and unexpected move, as the flames were dying down around the figured it made a hard but solid grab for Deerdals throat and started to life him from the ground.
As Garrison and Lana ran towards the pair to help out Deerdal, Garrison almost stopped in his tracks as he watch Deerdal’s feet leave the ground and the animal figure change from a 4-legged beast to some human-like form.
“Hold.” The form gasped out as its body straightened more and more and is it rose Deerdall twice his height above the ground.
“Why do you attacked the forest?” it continued. “The forest is here to grow and to survive.”
Confused Garrison yelled “Put him down!”
Thump! As Deerdal hit the ground.
“Oye. that hurt.” Deerbal said as he rubbed his rump and slowly stood up.
“Who are you?” Garrison asked as he moved closer to Garrisona and the finally morphed wood-like figure.
“I am the forest” said the figure in slow, monotone and aloof voice.
“What does that mean?” Deerdal asked.
“I am the forest. Some around here call me the ‘Ironwood walker’.”
“Well what were you doing with those beasts?” Garrison pressed.
“They were destroying us. I protected us.” The wooded figured answered. “The trees informed me. So i came and protected us.”
“And I see that you also protected us.”
“No. Were just passing through. And we must keep going.” Garrison muttered.
“Wait.” Deerdall snapped as he pulled out the map of Whitehearth. ”’Ironwood’ or whatever your name is. Do you know where this is?”
“Yes. I have traveled there. The forest asked me to.”
“Really?” Deerdall said. “Can you take us there?”
“Hmm. Zmmprthh. Yes. The forest said I must. So I will.”
And so the party rested in the grove and learned more about their new companion. From what they could gleam, it was some sort of warforge. But nothing like they had ever seen. Covered mostly of a body made of ironwood and aloof as though it was a leaf falling from slowly a tree limb.
In the morning, or at least what felt like a morning, they regrouped and continued.
Following a strange scouting mix of Deerdal and their new warforge companion, the party trekked along.
The scattered dead bodies and signs of war kept Garrison so deep in thought on their march, so that when Lana, Deerdal and the warforged had stopped he didnt realize why. So he focused more on what was ahead and it took him only a fraction of a second to take it all in. They were now on the edge of what was once a massive battle scene.
Slowly they pushed through. They passed corpses of all shapes and sizes, again looking as though the battle happened yesterday. Most of the soldiers were a mix Brelish infantry and Cyran Archers. And in the middle was what looked like a gigantic siege machine.
They also noticed what looked like signs of a different battle, maybe one more recent. A mix of elves and halfings were closer together. With eachothers arrows and swords in the others bodies. And other strange marks were upon some of the bodies…some kind of giant claw marks.
“There must have been a more recent battle.” Deerdal commented. “And these halflings. They are from the Talenta plains. What are they doing all the way out here?” He asked as he started looking through the bodies.
“Wait.” Lana said in a voice little more than a whisper. “There is something moving. There.” An she pointed to a mound of corpses near the center.
“Mooooovvveee!” She yelled, as the mound of corpses and weapons she pointed to, began to shift. Rising up from the ground on eight crab-like legs, a giant crustacean with four eyeballs rushed at the party looking hungry.
Luckily Lana had seen the beast and the party was able to parry the monsters quick strikes. And Lana, had already readied the words and hand movements of a spell.
From her hands like bright fire flew three bright balls a flames. They all scorched the air intertwining on their way to the target and hit with screeching pain done to the beast.
Deerdal moved in from behind the crustacean and delivered a massive blow to its unprotected rear. While the Ironwood Walker unleashed a power none of the others were ready for.
He ran towards to crab in almost a perfect like motion and as he got closer he started to bend down and use his front arms as another pair of legs as his skin and shape shifted to resemble a horribly strong beast.
This new shape leaped in the air with its newly grown fangs aimed right for the area where the eyes connected and it bit with all its might severing 3 of the 4 eyes from the crabs body.
The noise was almost unbearable. A screeching high-pitched yell emanated from the crab as it swung around confused and spitting blood. After a few spasms it collapsed in death.
“Wow.” was all that Deerdal could say as he watched the Ironwood slowly turn back into his human form.
February 13, 2009 01:34
“I think I can sneak past the gaurds and look through the town for the schema and I think I saw a larger structure off in the distance” Deerdal said to Garrison as the climbed up and down dunes to return to Failin’s Elemental Cart to steup camp and discuss their next steps.
As the duo climbed up the backside of the last sand dune they noticed a small cloaked stranger sitting on it talking down to him.
After realizing that this was just another person Failin owed money too, they approached the scene and learned that the cloaked figure was an Evoker named Lana. Upon convincing Lana that her debt from Failin could be paid many times over by traveling with the duo she agrees to go with them in the morning to Rose Querry.
During their turn at look out in the chilly desert night air Deerdal and Lana heard a scraping against the stone. Naturally intrigued by their Gnome and Halfking instincts the awoke up Garrison to go investigate. Slowly and silenty they climbed up and over a bank of dunes in the distance and saw 3 mindless figures, highlighted by the moonlight, walking on the edge of Rose Querry; which Garrison and Deerdal recognized as ice covered dwarf zombies.
Without hesitation the 3 unlikely adventurers rushed down the dune to strike on their prey.
However, this prey was a little more resistant than our adventurers would have like. And while dodging and parrying the slow but steady swings from their enemy in the moonlight, the clanking of steel on layers ice came to the attention of 2 emerald claw knights.
In his anger of this battle taking too long Garrison attacked and slayed the two oncoming knights with a two brilliantly placed slices of his sword. This mix of determination and sword skill is one that could only be attributed to his natural comfort with his sword and training during his years serving Karnath.
With a quick examination of the fallen bodies Lana found a magical ring of feather fall and not much else. However, in his annoyance of the seemingly endless parade of emerald claw soldiers that he seems to find around every corner, Garrison takes the blood of one of the fallen knights and writes on piece of parchment “Im coming for you all” and sticks it to the dead knights carcass.
Deciding to finish out their sleep and to let their new friend Lana have time to memorize her spells the adventurers rest through the remaining night.
At daybreak our adventures regrouped and set out to explore the strange ice-covered town of Rose Querry to find this second schema Lady Elaydren had requested.
Upon entering the town the travelers moved quietly through the rubble and broken streets until they came to a small graveyard that butted up the backside of what looks like it must have been a church because of the symbols of the Sovereign Host that were left on its walls. As the approached the small graveyard they noticed a lone ice zombie wondering around listlessly. Quickly they charged at it and shattered its shell and body.
Slowly the adventurers traveled through the graveyard to the front of the church. As they came closer to the front they noticed a building that could nothing but a foundry directly across from the Church.
Hearing noise from both the Foundry and the Church our adventurers decided to search the church first as it seemed a smaller venue to fortify. Upon entering they see in that the roof has half fallen in and has covered most of the alter and seats. They also see evidence of recent excavation work…and in the corner 2 more ice zombies in the process of what can only be called digging.
So our heroes divide and quickly conquer their 2 foes. As Garrison tried to wrap his head around why these brainless creatures would be digging and looking for something, Lana comes across a beautiful ornate golden Chalice which she recognizes as the wondrous Ollarda’s of the Sovereign Host’s Chalice. A chalice that is said to bless and cleanse whatever liquid is placed within its cup.