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 Post subject: Re: D&D game
PostPosted: Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:41 am 
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*applies to one plot point revealed in previous game on 4/8/17*


Thay Attacked; Council Vows to Exact Punishment for ‘Evil’
Curfew is Ordered in Upper Nageog, but Fires and Looting Erupt

By Galryl of The Break of Day
27th of Morning Star (January), 1225 After Breaking


Archduke Gnodel, son of the late Archmage of the College of Magji Anabus Friebrand and brother to Head Councilor Audore Firebrand, who preached racial brotherhood and sought to put an end to Thay’s long-running rivalry with Reshan, was fatally killed in the city of Naqeog by assassins. He was assassinated while driving through the streets of the city that morning.

The mage is rumored to have killed his assailants in the process, toppling much of the city in a hellish storm of ash, smoke and fire, while his brother, Audore , aided him. There is no official count, but Councilor Canos of the Alaor province said dozens had perished – most of them the perpetrators, and in the immediate aftermath the attack is being considered the worst and most audacious occurrence in Thay’s history.

They were on their way to a reception at the city when a fireball was thrown. It did not explode until after Gnodel’s carriage had passed and the occupants of the next car. Count Hordim Dez and Col. Nazam Nanno, the Councilor’s aid de camp, where injured slightly. Among the spectators six persons were more or less seriously hurt.

Councilor Audore ordered his car halted, and after he had found out what had happened he ordered his soldiers to search out for the assailants. After going around the town for half an hour the two brothers started went to check on Col. Nazam who had been taken to a nearby healer after the outrage. As they reached the corner two dozen men attacked them. There was an amazing clash of steel and magic as the two groups fought, but numbers were not on their side. One blade struck Councilor Audore low down on the right side, while the another hit his brother in the neck near the throat.

The Archduke became unconscious almost immediately, with Councilor Audore falling to his knee a few seconds later, but not before casting a spell that felled the last of the attackers and bought time for help to arrive.

They were driven straight to the local palace, where the local Reshan healers rendered first aid, but in the case of Gnodel it was in vain. While Councilor Audore will make a full recovery, the head of the local healers could only certify that his brother was dead.

While the perpetrators were initially presenting themselves as locals, were arrested promptly and reportedly are born North Osatians. The leader of the group, identified as Val Surdursk, worked for only a few weeks in the local printing works at Nageog, before that he part of the North Osatian military. Both he and the murderer expressed themselves to the local police in most cynical terms about their crimes and offered no explanation for their actions.

The mayor of Nageog issued a proclamation to inhabitants denouncing the crime and declaring that the confession of the murderers proves beyond all doubt that the attack came from North Osatia.

The young man who swung the fatal blow is only thirteen. He swung at Gnodel’s head and must have been well trained for he apparently was aware of the well-guarded secret that the Archduke always wore an enchanted coat which no weapon could pierce. It was a family heirloom and has only been used once before.

Later details show that the assassins darted from their hiding place behind a house after the failed fireball and went straight for the carriage holding the Archduke. The fact that no one stopped the assassin and that he was allowed to perpetrate the dastardly act indicate that the conspiracy had been carefully crafted and that the archduke fell a victim of a political plot.

The aspirations of the North to unite the continent into a great Osatian kingdom is well known. The question on everyone’s mind is how this assassination was supposed to forward that goal?


Both Boast Deeds


Both assassins when questioned by police, with magical aid and without, openly exulted over the success of their exploit. The youth who slew Gnodel stated awaited the arrival of the archduke’s carriage where he knew it would pass. Simply saying “it was just business.”

Anti-Osatian Riots

The people of Nageog welcomed the Thay royalty with a display of flags and crests to show their willingness to forge ahead a new future. In response to the attack all public festivities throughout Reshan have been cancelled.

Anti-Osatian demonstations took place tonight in the vicinity of the attack, and the residence of several prominent Osastians were stoned. The demonstrations became so serious that troops were called out to suppress the disorder.

It was reported late tonight that several Reshan and Osatians have been arrested in Nageog on suspicion of having been implicated in the plot.

News of the assassination created a tremendous sensation throughout Eltabbar. The archduke’s oldest son and heir to the throne, Olemaex, is reportedly in the capitol with wife and little son and daughter to assume his father’s responsibilities


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 Post subject: 8 APR 2017 summary of events in game
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:11 am 
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(Summary of events of session held on 8 APRIL 2017)
NOTE: see previous post, of Doragons excellent 'from a different perspective' on the events directly concerning his family/homeland!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The day 'after' Sonlar did his epic Hadoken punch into the corrupted statue, turning it into rubble...
...Sonlar started having 'hallucinations' of a dwarven warrior maiden who identified herself as 'Haela Brightaxe', whom the party later managed to identify as a 'fallen out of favor' goddess of battle/revenge/reciprocity, who had taken a liking to Sonlar, as he was rocking some armour that had been DEDICATED to her...
...Belros started hearing his own Paladin god, KORD, talking to him...apparently, Belros' mind personifies his god as Randy Macho Man Savage (Canon! Totez Canon!)...

...Thru Sonlar's efforts (and with a little help from Belros), the site at the oasis had successfully been re-sanctified...but to the goddess Haela Brightaxe, whom Sonlar was now the first living 'follower of' in several centuries... ;)

...the newly re-dedicated holy site was used to destroy a potentially dangerous 'magical evil weapon' that the NPC Chico was carrying (a 'cursed' straight razor' that he had used many times to slit throats...Chico's NOT a goody goody.) ... and both the Paladin's patrons were pleased by the destruction of such an evil item at the holy site...

...Belros, with assistance from both Aiwendil, and Sonlar, and not a little bit of 'nodding approval' from the always watching god KORD, got his longed for FLY spell onto his staff...and proceeded to get airsick from flying around for hours...(cue party members dodging vomit from the skies...)

...Anabus received a messenger 'clockword bird' from his homeland...with the sad news if his father passing, and of the apparent covert aggression from North Osatia into his country...

...Anabus later that day/evening overheard Sonlar's new goddess talking not only to the simple minded Paladin...but also to HIM, as he was thinking about reciprocity and revenge...

...Anabus, NOT liking members of his party, tried to 'get rid of the ghosts' at the oasis, by casting a Pyroburst spell on the site...with very bad 'reflected' results...luckily for him, Sonlar had followed the angry Wizard...very lucky, since his reflected spell dropped him down to negative hit points...it seems trying to magically attack the holy site of a goddess of paybacks isn't a great idea...

...excellent RP'ing by all involved in the session...everyone's input is what led us down some rather fun gaming paths (Like the god KORD having Macho Man's voice...and Sonlar's goddess hallucination/visions being able to see Belros's visions of his god...and the parties reaction to the insane 'clockwork bird' messenger arrival and departures... ;)


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 Post subject: 15 April 'bizarre dragged to alternate plane' session!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:35 am 
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Was...was it all a bizarre hallucination? During the night, did Sonlar, Belros, Anabus and Olga really get dragged by gigantic insect minions, into the plane of Earth, sub-plane of sand?

...while there, did they really encounter a magical illusionary circus tent, filled with strange visions, even stranger clowns and a maniacal yet friendly ringmaster, and a gigantic artifact Calliope that was in fact a channeling device for the god of whimsical luck and chance?

...did they actually participate in a gigantic game of craps, with their very lives as the chips being played with?

...or was it all just a dream? If it was, where did that one horse wander off too, and why did Kyur'gan, while sleeping, eat his pillow and an entire leg of his bed while sleep talking about 'delicious cotton candy' and other snacks?

...and was it a coincidence that when everyone woke in the morning, after a relative restless night, that Ai'wendil and his loyal wolf companions Lyi'anna had departed, leaving only a vague note and some empty peanut butter jars behind...?


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 Post subject: Re: D&D game
PostPosted: Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:32 pm 
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9th day of Sun’s Dawn (February), 1225 After Breaking

That night, after casting his [Secure Shelter] spells so the party could have a relatively safe place to sleep the day’s events off, Anabus went looking for Kyur’gan. He found him passed out in the same chair he had been in the previous night, battered, sore, and stinking of farm animals. He stood looking at the feral man for a moment, at his strangely pale fingers clutching on a wine bottle, at his body and its blue, arcane-looking tattoos that made no sense to the wizard. He was trying to remember the man he had met in that Orc-filled cave so long ago, before the beast of man had become his friend.

He couldn’t.

“Come on,” Anabus told him.

They took three bottles of wine from the stores and stumbled out into the night. Not to long he would lit small lantern or cast a spell to illuminate the moonless night, but for some curious reason his dark vision had gotten increasingly better over the last few weeks. Instead they walked a few yards from the door and their softly sleeping companions, and sat on the rocky ground where Anabus poured full two delicate crystal goblets.

“To us,” he said.

They drank.

Seyron spread out before them, miles of crumbling stone and barren rock with the occasional vine or overgrowth with sleeping palms and bamboo, all dark now as if cut from black velvet, except where illumined by the pale phosphorescence of lucan mold or wispy yellow lightning bugs. It was difficult to remember that it was only a month and change into the new year. Here, near the coast, the temperature must be in the upper fifties. Then again, further inland the temperature was likely to drop to below freezing easily enough. Seyron was a large island, but it was also fairly flat and subject to quick temperature swings.

“There now,” the wizard said, refilling his glass. “Don’t you feel more alive?”

Kyur’gan blinked his eyes, very slowly. “Well, I certainly don’t feel like death,” he replied.

“That’s a start.”

A small moment passed.

“I was lucky,” Kyur’gan said.

“I know,” Anabus replied. “But …”

“What?”

“Well, I’m not sure. We certainly didn’t know the situation when you went running off after that wagon – still don’t know why you thought it was full of prostitutes – but doesn’t it feel odd to you that we basically just killed people doing their job? We don’t know what those beast-people were captured for, or where they were going, we just made a snap judgement and killed men and women doing their job for no better reason than we happened by.”

“…”

Anabus audibly sighs before adding, “You thought I was talking about you fucking that minotaur, didn’t you?”

“Did you see her? She was powerful, and pretty, and I didn’t have to pay,” Kyur’gan puffed out his chest, then winced. “Well, not pay with coin anyway. I swear it is going to take me a week to fully recover.”

Looking out at the darkened plains, and feeling a cool breeze wash over him, Anabus declared, “It doesn’t get this cool on Thay. It is always warm there, and bustling with people. Fresh food everywhere, either captured from the sea or conjured with spell. No one trying to kill us. No offense Kyur’gan, but I wish I was still on the islands.”

“No doubt. Then your father would still be alive and you would be hawking cheap swords to –“

Anabus had conjured a ball of fire without realizing it, his anger getting the better of him as his friends tactless words stabbed at the wizards heart. But rather than let the anger out on the simpleton, Anabus allowed the arcane energies to harmlessly evaporate away. Once the last light had vanished he continued, “It’s not that, you damned fool.”

He took another drink from his goblet and added, “There was justice in Thay. A sense of honor. Since the moment I stepped foot in Osatia on this damnable quest, I’ve had to face moral quandaries that would make our best philosophers scratch their heads in uncertainty. Save one powerful person, or a thousand innocents? Protect this group of people who read to blind children, or protect this group of people who heal sick badgers? No matter what we encounter, we seem to always have to make impossible decisions with no clear sense of right or wrong, and no idea what the consequences shall be.”

A long pause passed in silence as the two slowly sipped from their goblets.

“Kyur’gan Winterborn,” the wizard said abruptly. “Descended from the line of House Winterbrand centuries ago, and archrival to the House of Firebrand.” He leaned in conspiratorially, almost whispering, “Our two families are sworn to eradicate each other, did you know that?”

Leaning back, and speaking much louder he continued, “No, of course not. Kyur’gan is a nice, honest person who knows nothing of the problems of aristocracy. He doesn’t seek renown or wealth, well maybe wealth, or glory. He simply wants to do what is right, and stop the King of his homeland. It is a noble endeavor, one that is worth of song and tales. Why would he care about two ancestors having a feud that was lost to time and is now only remembered as a cautionary tale by small children? A fairy tale to teach us lessons in honor and the ties that bind family together.”

Kyur’gan looked at Anabus for a long moment, his eyes wide in the darkness. Then they slowly narrowed and grew sad as Anabus watched his friends reaction. Finally the big man said, “Food, drink, good times – why should anyone want more than that? It’s people wanting to ‘make a difference’ causing all the troubles in the world. People who think they know what’s better for everyone else, who believe they know what other people need but never bother to ask.”

“There is such a thing as right and wrong, Kyur’gan. Good and evil.”

“If you say so.”

Anabus realized he was leaning away from his friend and that his pulse had picked up. He took a breath and sat himself back next to Kyur’gan, pouring another glass for the two of them to finish the last bottle. Slowly he decalred, “I am Lord Anabus of the House of Firebrand, a son of Thay, touched by the eternal fires of the arcane, and my enemies shall burn.”

Kyur’gan shifted and held out his glass to be refilled.

“And lets have fun doing it.”


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 Post subject: Re: D&D game
PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:28 pm 
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A short entry in Belros Hawkwind's journal ...

Finally! Back on the open road, freedom at our feet - and in flight!

Once again, we travel, yet sadly never far away enough from the odious laws and customs of this strange land. Earlier today, we crossed paths with a group of so-called "knights" - actually slavers, of course - wearing the colours of a mercenary group previously encountered in South Osatia. This does not bode well for the war, for if mercenaries are working this far north ...

We handily dispatched the slaving party, and freed the slaves - a motley mix of humanoids ranging from goblins to gnolls. They expressed their gratitude in what I believe to be their kind's customary manner (which, rather amusingly, involved pelvic injuries to two of our party members.)

We continue, turning south down the peninsula as we work our way to the Temple of the Sacrificial Sun (or is it Son?), where we may find some clue as to what we have been searching for.


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 Post subject: 29 Apr Session summary (from the mind of Sonlar the Paladin)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:56 am 
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4/29/17

As Sonlar sat on the buckboard of the of the cart, driving it slowly around a grouping of gopher homes as the cool night air settled down around him. He briefly looked back at the group sleeping behind him, and slightly longer at the cloth covered corpse of Chico, laid away from the rest of his sleeping friends. He sighed and thought back on the previous few tiring days, and sighed again, rather deeply. The last few days, though he would never admit it to the others, were very trying, both physically and mentally. First watching Kyur’gan just recklessly charge at the group of slavers and trying to keep him alive, damn them, and having to grin and bear the orcish woman’s advances after the battle was over, though that didn’t end as poorly as he thought it would. He was just glad that everyone was alive and…well alive anyway. Sonlar then, bowing his head slightly, begins to pray to Heala, thinking at least he can talk to her over the past few days.

(As he begins to pray, Solnar starts to speak quietly to himself, recounting the previous day to his goddess)

“Now there was today, something that I will consider both a tarnish on my pride, and something that has made me deeply question just exactly who he travels with and what they’re associated with. The start of the day was not bad, working on the horses with Chico, Sun bless him, and making sure that they were in good health was interesting. It allowed me to get my mind off the last few days and try to know better the animals they were working with and the man whos’ life he had saved back in the previous town. That man was polite and knew what he was doing when it came to, as Anabus had called it, buttle. He was a decent man as far as Sonlar could tell, misguided, but good, and He hoped to try and turn him down the good path eventually in what seemed like would be three years together.

Another one of Fincklebooms metal chickens landed nearly on top of us again, just as one had near the new holy site. The damn thing had nearly hit the wagon, and only through quick work by Chico that the party avoided disaster as it landed. After the sand settled we found it asking for any of us listing our names off, to which Belros answered. It eventually spewed at us a message from the gnome himself, that he had a job for us to find a wondering man who had lost himself in the desert nearby and would pay us a substantial amount if we found him. Not shockingly, with money in the equation, we took the job, and the metal chicken started to shoot copper pieces at me until I dropped it, to where it kept that up for quite some time. So with copper in tow and with another job at hand, we headed west, looking for this man named “Theabold”.

Eventually we stopped at the watering hole that was pointed out by the dog-woman that Anabus later called a Gnoll or something or another, to rest and tend again to the horses. As we sat and rested near the water, we were pestered by this little bat-thing, that Anabus noticed through some magical thing or another. Of course, I didn’t want the others to see my annoyance, it wouldn’t be becoming of a Paladin of the Sun and more recently of this Brightaxe goddess so I kept my mouth shut. As it laughed and ate from our food reserves, I distracted it with that disgusting salted pork that I had no other use for, and it dug into it with rather disturbing ease. Belros got its attention and kept it occupied long enough with one of his many magical spells that I am still shocked to see cast by a man who calls himself a fellow paladin. It eventually, through blatant bribery with a shiny coin, told us that it had seen what could possibly be the man to whom we were searching for, and after a bit more conversation and realizing the man was near a poisoned water hole, decided to follow its directions.

Belros in his infinite wisdom cast that flying spell on himself and scouted ahead for us, and after a good while returned to tell us of a man dragging a broken cart, and several others gaining on him. Not wanting to waste any time, I told Belros to cast that wonderful spell on me so I could fly ahead to make sure he wasn’t accosted by these men. Thinking back in the cool air tonight, I am not sure as to why I

was so keen on heading there first, but my instincts told me I should, for the safety of this man, and that’s what happened. As I flew, I eventually found this man, who had for some ungodly reason found himself walking in a large circle, or at least that is what it looked like form the tracks in the sand and the five men who were approaching him.

As I landed, one of the five men, who I could see were covered in the usual garb one would wear in the desert, started to yell at me to not land, and the other man who was dragging the cart began to bow before me. It was all very confusing so I flipped up my visor to get a better look at them all. The cart man, who I then realized had a very odd mask on, seemed to act disappointed, then turned and yelled at the other who were infuriatingly going through this poor man’s cart and yell back as to why I shouldn’t land. Eventually, through many threats and more confusion, we both learned that there was this devourer, to which I vaguely remember that annoying bat thin mentioning, that would show itself if I landed.

I hovered several feet off the ground near the cart man, and this other, who seemed to lead this small band, came up to us to talk. Eventually he told us that we were in their land and that the cart mans’ cart was their now, as he had left it 20 feet away. As it turned out these men were goblins, which was of little shock to me, given we had run into a whole troupe not too long ago. I attempted to get them to give it back to no avail, and was ready to do what was necessary as I soon learnt they were cut from evil cloth, when the cart man tried his hand at getting it back.

The next few events that occurred to us were a mixture of both horrifying, annoying, and embarrassing. Me and the cart man, to which it was dawning on me was probably this “Theabold” fellow, attempted to get his cart back, with a bit of success to my surprise as he sweet talked his way back to it for only 15 gold. This Theabold decided to be very kind to these men, for some reason I could not see, and filled a barrel in his cart with water as a gift, shockingly enough, using magic. This had the

odd effect of scaring the piss out of the goblins, whos leader turned to me and shouted something about a devourer. Sure enough, the sands began to churn, and I flew over and grabbed the cart man Theabold to take him back to my friends, where it would be much safer, or at least I had hoped it would be.

As we flew back, I heard the mans’ cart being destroyed by something, and heard the screams of the goblins being attacked off in the distance. I briefly considered helping them, but I knew helping the one I had in my arms was top priority, and as such, flew to the wagon, and dropped him next to Anabus, who was looking oddly annoyed at something. This seems to be his usual mood so I didn’t give it much though, anyway we had more important things to deal with so it was soon forgotten. I turned in time to see the sand around where the cart was churning, then something begin to burrow towards us, and this was the time that aI noticed the large owl flying near some of my friends, who were getting ready for battle. It seemed to not attack us, and was focusing on something else, and as such, I ignored it. It was also at this time I realized that it was huge scorpions attacking the goblins, and I felt a pang of guilt for not helping them.

I didn’t get much of a chance to feel bad, as both the man Theabold and Anabus began to pelt the swarm with righteous fire, will sadly little effect, and having the very unfortunate effect of killing the goblins. It was also at this time that I prayed to both the Sun on high and to Heala to protect those around me and to bolster their abilities to fight, which seemed to have a nice effect. The scorpions began to advance on us as the borrowing thing began to get close, and just as Olga cast he rather disgusting tentacle spell again, it burst forth from the ground, the devourer.

Thinking back, I am very much glad to see that we, for the most part, came out form this unharmed, but it burns me intensely that we were treated in such a manner by such a foul creature, not to mention what it did to poor Chico. I swear on the name of the Sun and all that is good I will get vengeance for what it did to him. That said, it was a terrifying creature, probably the largest creature we have faced

together, a dragon, that was for sure, and fear seemed to extrude from it I am ashamed to say I was taken of guard and stricken by this fear for much of the encounter with the beast, which probably explains why I cannot remember it very clearly. What I do know is that if it were not for Anabus’ presence, we would probably not have lived through what occurred. That said, if I remember correctly, to know that this foul dragon was an associate of the company that was owned by Anabus’ family. I am still not sure what to think of this, and it disturbs me greatly.

As time went on and it became apparent that it did not want to immediately kill us, it began to shout into our heads that it owned this area, and that Theabold had been here for quite some time, just wondering in circles, which seemed to be accurate. Eventually, after apparently talking to everyone individually through their minds, and nearly attacking it with Kyur’gan, as the quite was driving me mad, it spoke to me, asking me of my armor, and why I wasn’t a Dwarf. Rather than piss it off, I told it of the occurrence at the now re-consecrated holy site, and of Heala. I also told of the annoying night we spend with the God Bess, to which he seemed “interested” in the coins we obtained. It was more a lusting after the coins, to which Anabus gave to appease this disgusting creature. I also vaguely remember something Anabus said about this thing attacking others, possibly related to the slavers we ran into, but it is a blur honestly.

Eventually, it told us we could leave, after Anabus politely told it we wouldn’t need it to take us to our destination. Honestly, I would have loved nothing more than to tell this creature where to shove its ride, but I held my tongue, oh sweet Sunlight I held my tongue. It invaded my mind one last time to tell me a cryptic message, something about my metal being tested at the temple we are heading to, and my faith as well, but it being the disgusting being that it is, I will probably not head its warning as it was more likely than not trying to deceive me. It was at this time that we found poor Chico, who had been struck dead by a heart attack at the dragons frightening aura.

It was heart breaking to think that there was nothing to do for him, that I used to hold the power to revive the dead in the palm of my hand. But I soon remembered the lessons that were taught to me, and with a heavy heart bundled the poor man in one of our blankets, so that we could find a proper burial place for him later.

Heala, if you are listening right now, know that I’m trying my best right now, that I have faith in both you and the life-giving sun. But I am deeply disturbed by the last few days, and it makes me question what we are doing, and who my friends really are. I know they mean well, but please, if not now, show me if what we are doing is truly righteous…”

With a sigh, Sonlar looked back up from his prayer, silenly glad he didn’t run the cart into any gopher mounds, and continued his round of watch and cart driving, wondering to himself if Heala was in the tub again, as he quietly hears a squeak and a splashing water in the back of his mind.

----------------------
(very nice write up from Sonlars perspective...thanks Brandon!)


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 Post subject: Re: D&D game
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 4:13 pm 
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13th day of Sun’s Dawn (February), 1225 After Breaking

And now here we are, Anabus thought.

They had made their way out of the desert as a sandstorm barreled down on top of them, and took refuge in an old fort they had stumbled onto. Once inside they found it was an ancient temple of the Four Sisters – guardians to those who need shelter. They had been intrigued by the temples puzzles, and terrified by its undead guests and various traps.

One such trap had nearly caused the party to turn on each other as Belros had been locked inside one of the various hidden rooms with a giant mechanical snake. His greed activated it, while Anabus fascination with the temples puzzles inadvertently locked him inside. Others arrived to save him quickly enough, but when he tried to save Sonlar his placed himself in harm’s way and took a mortal blow. This caused Theobald to place the entirety of blame on Anabus himself, demonstrated by the old man’s verbal harangued and attempt at physical battering.

After they calmed down they decided to finish exploring the fort as it was what Belros would have wanted, while the old man took care of the fallen body. Anabus hadn’t been sure what to feel about that.

To be truly honest with himself, he cared very little for Belros. The man was very annoying; constantly trying to sneak into Anabus’s spell book, showing off his spells for no reason instead of treating the arcane with the respect it is due, and didn’t seem much like a team player as he often chose to run after the nearest shiny object than deal with the threats everyone else faced. He died not from the snake attacking him, but because his greed sent him into a room without checking it for danger first.

Besides, Belros wasn’t a friend they came across like Olga, or someone in need like Sonlar. He was appointed to the team by Mankandah leaders. A spy at best.

But if that is how I feel, why do I feel so bad, he thought.

He had awoken in the middle of the night, body wracked with pain. His left leg was asleep, but the cause was obvious as he reached down and ran a hand over Olga’s head. She had fallen asleep there and hadn’t moved since. Anabus still wasn’t sure what he thought about she-Orc, and her advances, but he did at least consider her a friend.

The room he was in had been a study at one time, long ago. It had been hidden away by the fort’s puzzles, and so left unmolested by time and thieves, but otherwise there was nothing special about it. A wooden desk, standing mirror, a few old books, and little else. The rest of the party had cleaned it out without telling him they had even found it, and keep what they found to themselves. But that was fair, since he had found his own treasure when left alone. Instead he used this room as private quarters for the night so he could get away from them all.

He didn’t so much mind Kyur’gan and his general oafishness. Or Sonlar and his self-pitying humor. But when you put everyone together for so long in close proximity, acceptance of their universal tomfooleries grew trying. Even Olga exhausted him, especially today as she kept saying he was “possessed” and “not acting like himself,” but like a small child she was easily tolerated when asleep.

Anabus turned his head to look down at her, his eyes allowing him to see well in the dark as if it was day over a short distance. That in itself had been a startling discovery all those weeks ago. It wasn’t an ability natural to humanity, and it wasn’t a spell he ever cast or learned. But then came the other things, like his skin growing tauter and cracking. Paper cuts stopped happening, and even casual cuts took more effort to break the skin.

Something was happening to him.

When he began this quest for his people, not even six months ago, he knew only simple spells. Cantrips that any first year student would find simple. But in such a short period of time he had risen to such heights of arcane understanding that he could return to Thay and be accepted as a professor or take on Governor duties. It was unheard of for someone to learn and do so much so quickly.

His older sisters, firebugs like himself and the rest of the family, could barely cause a flame to start a campfire. Meanwhile he could destroy ships at sea or level towns. So much energy - so much power –ran through him now that he could feel is move under his skin. He didn’t set out to learn [Heart of Fire], it just happened when he studied one morning. Energy held on the inside manifesting as a physical effect to the world.

It took decades for those who are magically inclined to grow to his level of ability. And he did it in such a short time…

Anabus thought back to Kyru’gan. To the Winterborn curse that was placed upon him. That family was struck by it, and turned them feral. The stronger they got, the more feral they became. Perhaps the Firebrands were cursed as well.

His back grew more painful, and Anabus was forced to move. He sat up and gently lifted Olga’s head from his lap, replacing it with the pillow he had been using. His body was rigid, resistant, and he knew it had nothing to do with his sleeping leg.

As the moved around the quietly, Anabus removed his robes and placed the warm cloth over Olga. He may not know what to think about her, but he was still a gentleman. There had to be some civility, even in the middle of nowhere.

He bent and twisted his body, trying to get the blood flowing and shake the stiffness away. As he did so he could hear cracking. A few was simple bone joints popping, bringing with it a soft rush of enjoyment. Most however was a near constant crackling, similar to when a wet stick is thrown on a hot fire.

Slowly but surely the stiffness faded and the noise faded. Anabus looked down at his hands as he made a fist again and again, and in the darkness he could see it. His skin looked harder, rougher, and was cracking like dirt under the desert sun. It wasn’t obvious cracking, but it was still there. It didn’t hurt, but it was still unnerving.

What did continue to hurt was his upper back, near the shoulders. The pain was growing intolerable, and it was making him worried that something snuck into his bedroom and bit him. He stripped his shirt off in a hurry and moved towards the mirror. As soon as he exposed his skin to the cold air he felt relief.

He aligned himself with the mirror, looking over his shoulder the best he could to see what the problem was. Even in the dark he could see it clearly. Right on top of his shoulder blades were two objects. They moved with him, and opened and closed as he flexed…

Anabus muttered aloud, not believing what he saw. Panic set in as he didn’t understand what was happening.

“Are those…little wings?”


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 Post subject: update for sessions thru 8 JULY 2017
PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:23 pm 
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Holy catch up time! It has been a while since we did a write up of the sessions.
(Personally, I blame Felicia Day. Somehow, its that living Misty from Pokemon's fault...)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

- After the events at the Temple of the Four Sisters in the dessert region of Seryon (where Belros's
somewhat greedy nature led to his demise) the party was joined/added to their ranks the
ranged warrior known as DREN(Mace's replacement character), who joined up with the party to
continue onward to the city of ALNNAZIFA...

- Upon reaching ALNNAZIFA, somehow the party accidentally got 'seperated'...meaning Anabus left the city
to continue the journey to the Temple of the Sacrificial Sun/Son, while the rest of the party conducted business
in ALNNAZIFA...business that included meeting a new companion known as RUFUS (played by Gadrius)...
business that also included somehow the party getting roped into fighting in an arena...where KYUR'GAN
managed to critical fumble, then criticial hit and confirm it twice...resulting in him smashing his own
skull in...which led to the party having to spend their owed funds(gathered up debts owed to Fizzlebaum and traded
them to a local merchant able to ressurect the silly KYUR'GAN from the dead...and the party also got somehow
embroiled in stopping the illegal shipment of a rather large and deadly mimic monster...luckily, thru some
fast talking and excellent diplomacy by the higher CHR score having characters...the party then departed
the city, attempting to catch up to ANABUS...

- in the dessert enroute to the next city, the part fought a horrific, terrible beast
known only as the Guulvorg...luckily, thru their prowess and might, they overcame it.

- upon reaching the city of NORTLOV, the party commissioned a barge to ferry them down closer to the
Temple of the Sacrificial Sun/Son...and while enroute, the barge was attacked by a HUGE Dragon Turtle...
through the might of their arms and spells, the party was able to overcome the beast, but sadly, due
to a choice of 'hiding spot' by DREN, all of the parties (cough cough OLGA'S horses) were killed, and
much of the gear on the wagon was destroyed...though much of the cargo (cows) aboard the barge were
destroyed in the battle, the owner/captain of the barge was grateful to the party for saving his life...
(he had been swallowed whole)...specifically SONLAR was 'big damn hero' and crawled down the beasts
throat to save him...likely this man will tell the tale of SONLAR's heroics for decades to come...

- the party entered the dessert, traveling towards the Temple of the Sacrificial Sun/Son...and found it
to be VERY hot (so hot wearing metal armour outside could cause serious damage!)...and encountered during
one of their nights traveling a PURPLE WORM...which luckily fell to the parties might and prowess quickly.
Continuing onward thru the dessert, they party encountered...and wisely avoided...some extremely strange
flaming reptilian looking creatures...and then finally arrived at the Temple of the Sacrificial Sun/Son...
where they found ANABUS, who had recently arrived by his magical might! Joyously re-united, the party
did any introductions that were needed, then proceeded into the temple...

((There we go, all caught up to the latest debacle...er...adventure!))

--note: this catches up the adventures up thru the 8th of JULY efforts (aka, reaching the Temple)


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 Post subject: Re: D&D game
PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:21 pm 
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Dry wind cut across his sweat-soaked back as Anabus let the magic building in his hand relax. He wiped his face with the back of his arm and studied his Fire Elemental. He’d lost her attention again. Or at least Anabius assumed it was a her. With a sigh, he followed her gaze to a nearby dune where two infant salamanders had begun a duel. “Smolder. We don’t have time for this.” Anabus spoke softly and the elemental’s eye flicked back toward him.

“They are cute when they are small.” Anabus’s mouth was curved into a gentle smile and his red eyes danced with amusement. “All tail and full of energy,” he added with a wistful glance towards the creatures, his smile slowly fading as the Elemental stared back at him wordlessly.

The wizard stared back as he stated, “We need to work on your communication skills.”

“Smolder, we need to focus. The temple is nearby,” Anabus pressed, his voice thick with his frustration. He’d been working with Smolder for two weeks, trying to get better at his defenses, without much improvement. She didn’t seem to be taking any of it seriously.

The elemental’s back straightened and she raised her head up again with an expression that Anabus assumed was a suggestion of torture.

“I know you don’t want to go there, Smolder. It is hard for me to focus on something I hate as well.”

“But we have to, Smolder. Our friends might be there,” Anabus said, repeating words he had spoken a hundred times in the past week.

Looking at the Elemental’s blank face the wizard relented. “Fine. Then lets worry about getting there tomorrow and do something that’s actually fun today.” His smile returned as he stared at Smolder. The being of flame dipped towards the ground as she stepped closer. “Swimming? It’s certainly hot enough today. Although I don’t know where we would find a body of water large enough that isn’t toxic.”

His eyes scanned the horizon. “I miss that about Thay. It was always hot, but between the ocean breeze and the magic, there was plenty of water to keep you cool.” The Elemental seemed to stiffen when he mentioned water. “Oh don’t worry, I don’t think you need to worry about that out here in a desert. You should feel right at home here.”

“Hmm, my defense is appalling, and the attacks are weak. There are field mice with more focus than me. I should really train.” Anabus slowly shook his head as his smile faded. Damningly Smolder seemed to nod and lifted her arms once more to fight. “Oh, you actually agree with me on something? Fine. We will work all day if we have to,” he promised.

“I’m not like you, Smolder. I don’t have a warrior’s soul like you or as my brother preaches about. I don’t want to fight. I don’t want to kill, I just want to make sure I live.” Anabus’s voice rose as he spoke and the Elemental glanced around to make sure they weren’t being surrounded in the dunes. “What does this temple have that I need anyway? To tell me where the next artifact is? I already know it is on an island to the south. The island isn’t that big, we would find it eventually just by walking around. So why do I need to go there?”

Smolder turned back to look at him, her eyes locking on his own.

Defeated, Anabus softly answered. “Because the others are likely there. And they are not that bright and will most likely die in there,” he warned in a low voice. “Of course, I only really care about three of them. I don’t know where we keep finding more people.”

“We keep taking a thrashing. How noble is that? It would be nice to be able to walk into a place and not worry about getting hurt,” Anabus hissed. Angrily he ran a hand through his sun-bleached blood red hair to push it back from his face. “Well, come on, Smolder, train me to be stronger.”

Smolder slowly shook her head and bowed slightly to its master. As she did Anabus could see over her shoulder, and he narrowed his eyes and rose a hand in a gesture of peace. “Huh, is that a pyramid? Has it always been there? Maybe it would be best to train in the shade,” he offered.

As the Elemental gracefully spun around and followed her master’s instructions, the wizard continued to speak to himself. “This is why I like you, Smolder. You let me speak my mind. Not like the others. This is simple. I give an order and you obey. Not like Sonlar or Olga,” he grumbled, but his eyes never left his destination. “Come on, then. Let’s get over there.”

*

Laughter echoed off the massive smooth walls of the pyramid, its polished sandstone surface easily talking back to the source of the sound. Anabus made his way slowly around the immense structure and towards the towering door. He paused at the sound, scared of his own voice, and considered turning back to the road and maybe even spending the evening with the Salamanders. There was no sign of anyone else having been here, which means his friends hadn’t been here. Smolder had long sense vanished, taking her company with her, but he wasn’t lonely enough to summon her again so soon.

With a heavy sigh he shook his head and placed a hand on the unusually cold stone of the door. He didn’t know what compelled him to act next, perhaps it was the weeks of loneliness. Maybe it was that he had faced numerous bandits and beasts on the roads as he traveled here. Regardless of the reason, he put some strength behind his words and wished, prayed, “Make me stronger. No more fear. No more weakness.”

As he had expected, nothing greeted him. Only silence.

Then, without warning, a distant voice carried over the sand, “Anabussssssssssssssssssssssss!”

The wizard stood up straighter, looking over his shoulder in confusion, and exclaimed, “Olga?!”


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 Post subject: Re: D&D game
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:08 am 
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16th day of Sun’s Dawn (February), 1225 After Breaking
*following the events inside the ancient temple*


“Lisa’s” voice was like nothing else in the world, and Anabus shivered at the sound of it. That throaty, sultry voice spoke of every promised desire in all the world, and the fire within it whispered to him of passion that he couldn’t possibly imagine. At her inquiry, his eyes rose slightly from the maps and papers on the table, causing him to quiver, all but swallowing his tongue.

Anabus had seen beautiful beings before among the people of his homeland, but their beauty was almost like that of a statue. It was the beauty of a goddess who was out of reach, disdaining of those who might reach for them. Lisa was something far different. She was a demon of lust, made for temptation. The deep crimson skin almost the color of blood stood out againt the black leather of her boots, and her corset was made of the same black leather, fitted with gold trim and strategic cutouts. Her prehensile tail swayed behind her with a hypnotic rhythm, while her bat-like wings were dark as they extended behind her.

Anabus didn’t dare look at her face, though, knowing that looking on her beauty would leave him struck dumb for hours. Even the smallest glance of her black lips, flame-like eyes, and gold streaked black hair was enough to cause his pulse to race.

It took him a moment to gather himself, licking his lips. Finally, he spoke softly, humble before her. “What may I do for you, My Lady.”

The long silence was deadening to Anabus. The library was still, the two of them alone, but he didn’t dare look up, instead fixing his eyes on the maps. A few moments later he realized that she was standing next to him, her own hand resting softly atop his own.

She spoke slowly, ”Why have you come here?”

For the briefest of moments Anabus considered speaking one of the various fabrications he had prepared; to seek wisdom from the library, to lean more of the worlds past, to seek divine knowledge. In the end, he couldn’t. Wouldn’t. He had lied to nearly everyone he had ever known, but for whatever reason he felt compelled to speak the truth to this succubus.

“I seek an ancient artifact.”

“You seek its destruction?”

“I seek to use it to protect my homeland. To save my people.”

“That is quite a disturbing claim,” Lisa spoke slowly, then paused for a long moment. A hint of anger filled her voice, and he shuddered as she spoke, “I will help you.” Her finger rested atop his, massaging the map below them softly, “And…when the time comes, I will gladly help you rend their castles to sand.”

Hesitating for a moment, Anabus felt his dry mouth work out the words, “W-What is your name? Your real name?”

“Tishakillza,” was the last thing he heard before their lips met.

*** ***

Tishakillza cuddled into Anabus’s arms, sighing happily as the wizard held her, stroking her hair gently and killing the crown on her head. She could feel Anabus’s gentle affection and happiness, which helped calm her down after the pain and grief of the day.

They were still in the library, now sitting under a shelf of books while dozens of papers and tomes were strung around the floor. The energy in the temple was almost palpable to Tishakillza, pulsing all around her making her feel so very safe, and yet very vulnerable. It took a few minutes more before she finally spoke, her voice soft, “What would you do with the, artifact, if you got it?”

Anabus didn’t reply initially, and Tishakillza could feel the man’s own throughts were complex, as he tried to work out how to reply. The actual response when spoken was relatively short but contained a depth of meanings. “Protect those I care about.”

“That isn’t all of it, Anabus. I can sense your emotions somewhat, and I know that you are dancing around the point,” she scolded gently, pulling away to look the man in his eyes with a smile. “Please, tell me?”

Pausing a moment, the red wizard let out a soft sigh of his own before returning the smile with one of his own, brushing her cheek with a hand. His voice was just as quiet, as he gently touched Tishakillza’s forehead with one finger. “I’m afraid. I would never admit to the others, but I fear what will happen if we fail. I don’t trust the artifact in our hands, or anyone elses, but I would rather we…I…control it than anyone else.”

After a moment, he asked, “I wonder what it is…”

She scoffed quietly before speaking. ““I’ve seen it firsthand. I was brought before the emperor, an enemy in chains, but left him as a trusted ally only moments later.”

Excitedly, Anabus drowned her in questions; What was it like, its appearance, what did it do?

Answering quietly, almost dismissively, she replied, ““The artifact, as you call it, was used to unify the empire. It subdued entire countries and peoples under a singular rule. But even through I remember being placed before it, I can’t remember any more than that about it.”

“What happened to it,” Anabus asked, tracing a hand down her bare back softly as he listened.

She smiled in response. “I was sealed away around the same time that they began to talk about disassembling the artifact and hiding it. Why they wanted to do so, I cannot say, but preparations were taking place for years for exactly that purpose. I don’t know anything about the place the pieces were hidden, but I can tell you that they were designed to keep others out.”


*** ***

The succubus quickly moved to sit on top of him. The woman atop Anabus had deep crimson skin and an exaggerated hourglass figure, and was grinning in a way that showed two sharp incisor teeth between her purple lips. She had a beautiful face and long black hair, and he could just barely see the tail swaying behind her, along with the long, sharp-looking black nails on either hand. He swallowed hard as he realized she was wearing little more than that delicious smile.

“Does that satisfy your curiosity?” she purred, licking her lips as he stated in her golden eyes.

“No…no I had more questions.” Anabus took a moment to gather his thoughts, trying to quell his lust as he stared as her.

“I suppose…you are a tasty-looking mortal.” The woman took a deep breath, smiling as she grinned again, running a hand down his chest. “Heady with the smell of magic and corruption. Ooh…I could eat you right up.”

“Perhaps later? I would rather know why you are not like the succubae I have read about,” Anabus temporized, his heart beginning to pound still more rapidly at her words.

A little defensively she answered, “I am exactly like all other succubae, with the exception I was exposed to the artifact.”

“Ah,” Anabus replied, a little relief flooding through him. A part of him had feared that she was just putting on an act. “I suspect that means that what was done to you can be undone?”

She shrugged, chest lifting ever so slightly as she did. “I don’t know. I was given plenty of opportunity to run or seek a means of breaking what they did to me, but when I tried I just got distracted and stopped.”

Curisosty took over Anabus’s mind from that moment. Part of him wondered what reward one might receive from a demon for curing them, and was running through all the possible angles as he stared at her.

‘Domination spells might break the influence, but that would just put her under my control. Not necessarily a bad thing, but counterproductive. Protect from evil is known to prevent mind controlling influence, but it doesn’t break existing controls, just prevents them from being in effect so long as they stand inside the circle. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing, a clear headed demon might be more useful than one who gets distracted. If only for a short time.’

‘Wonder if I could convince Sonlar to help a demon’

As he looked at her Anabus realized he had been thinking to himself for a long time, and her eyes had grown slightly curious. “No matter,” he reassured her. “Can you tell me exactly what happened when you were exposed to the artifact? Any details that may help me break you of this influence?”

“There was a flash of light, and then everything I was told made perfect sense.” She looked him up and down once more, before purring, “You really do want to help me. We do have a few hours until the run rises. Time enough for…recreation,” Tishakillza spoke softly, smiling at him. “Tell me, Anabus Firebrand, would you like that?”

He stared at her for a moment, then smiled while sitting up slightly and reaching out. His hand slid down her sides. “I would be delighted.”

The demoness giggled, leaning forward to kiss him, deeply and passionately. The vigor with which she embraced him took his breath away, so much differently than from the first time. When she broke the kiss, her voice was throaty as she whispered into his ear, “Together, we shall rend the Osatian castles to sand.”


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