Thursday, 21 February 2013
[Excerpt from Saerdir's personal log, written in his tidy, economical handwriting]
It's been two days since we fled Glass bearing diplomatic papers to Necropolis. It's been a challenging journey, spent in challenging company. Where to begin...
After resting for the night in Baldwick's only inn, we set off to bandit raiders of the imaginatively named Cave of Fire. I say "we"; we lost Prince Erik to a midnight fertility festival and subsequent revelry, and Ikki's restless bloodlust had him leaving ahead of us. Faced with two dull-witted guards, we were able to talk our way into the cave and into a meeting with the leader of the bandits. He called himself The Red Dragon, although in truth a human-dragon hybrid. We offered him his life. He displayed little interest in it.
I can't give a proper report of the events of the fight; despite my best efforts the bandits swarmed me and one of them landed a telling blow with his axe. For the second time, I owe my continued health (such as it is) to the druid Tallyn. I know I have become stronger since our flight from Glass, but in that moment, lying prone in that sweltering cavern, with the hybrid gloating above me, I felt as weak as I have ever been. Of course, the next moment saw me kill the braggart with a single spellstrike, so my ego may yet recover. Keissa's "kitten" killed the last of The Red Dragon's guards, after which the remainder of the bandits accepted defeat with an oddly unsurprised resignation.
We found Ikki in the room with the captive villagers from Baldwick. I took him for dead at first, and I think that he came as close to death as a mortal can. I don't know which is more disturbing; listening to him prattle madly about earning the favour of The Ravenous, or the notion that he does actually have the favour of one of the Six. Let us hope he is just lucky. In any case, he and I have been restored to full health by the healers of Baldwick. Given that, it would be ungracious for me to criticize the hospitality of the town; nonetheless, the mayor of Baldwick accepted the bandits into his village and promptly forgot his promise about offering us a reward based on the number of them we brought to him alive. We left shortly afterwards.
As I write this, we are currently camped in a forest clearing one day's ride out from Baldwick, half way between Glass and Gateway. Prince Erik is attempting to sleep off a hangover, and we have been given specific instructions not to wake him under any circumstances. Thael and I have completed our trances and are relieving Keissa and Suchi of their watch. Ikki is lurking unseen somewhere, as he enjoys doing. I am musing over the text that Hexidor's contact left me, along with the letter that gave me the name of my sword, Avernus. I am filled with trepidation, unsure
[Saerdir's writing stops here. The page is bloodstained. It resumes further down the page, in an untidy scrawl.]
Son of a bitch shot me while I was writing! What the hell!?
[The remainder of the text is written in neater script.]
There is more at work than just the necromancers that attacked Glass. Another faction, bearing hellish iconography and commanding assassins and fiendish wolves attacked our camp. We were able to interrogate one of the hired would-be killers, but gained little information from the man; his tongue had been removed, and a vampire overseeing the attack attempted to silence him further with an arrow before Ikki saw her off. Thael may have learned more from speaking to one of the hell-hounds, calmed by Tallyn, but the fiend seemed nearly as uncommunicative as the mute. Ikki claims they were sent to attack "the bearers"; I assume that he gathered intelligence from one of the fallen assassins, since I prefer that explanation to his claims of divine inspiration. Is this new faction aligned with the one that attacked Glass, seeking to prevent us from delivering our diplomatic missive? Or is there another agenda at work here? I fear this journey will tolerate no more weakness from us.
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
It is the day of the Great Hunt in the City Of Glass and six adventurers of various backgrounds await the announcement to start this festive event. Surprisingly though they are the only ones to arrive this year and find themselves feasting by themselves. Though this seems to concern none of them as they enjoy the grand meal given to them.
As they feast and make small talk with each other the Kings Advisor soon arrives, deeply concerned and annoyed by the lack of people who have turned up for this event. Even so he explains the rules and task of the great hunt, says the party will have to take guards with them for extra man power and offers them each a place to sleep for the night.
The Adventurers retire to their beds for the night, the Halfing Prince sleeping on the higher level due to his status. The Halfing Prince, Errik, takes it upon himself not to learn from his past experiences and begins to invite the various female servants to his chambers for the night along with Kisa. The females seem to have class though and rebuff him.
The party are awoken to screams in the morning and find the guards and servants under attack by undead. Thael, the Wizard, quickly makes whatever potted flowers nearby sprout out and entangle the nearest undead. Ikki and Saerdir then despatch of two undead attacking a young servant, allowing his escape.
Following the screams they enter the dinning hall again and find a Necromancer controlling a larger group of minons all of which have slain the guards, with only the advisor left to fend them back with magic. The party once again dispatch of the undead after a short battle and Saerdir demands to the Necromancer she surrenders. She does straight away and follows the command of the Elven Magus.
Kisa frowns at this and mutters to herself how in her village surrender was a great dishonour and a sign of weakness. Ikki, picking up her works with his keen hearing acts quickly on this and plunges his sword into the back of the Necromancer and puts her to a more permanent rest. This enrages the Magus along with the advisor who argue with the Rogue. He laughs exclaiming that there's no such thing as a trustworthy undead. While this happens the Wizard notices a mark on the Necromancers skin and peels it off with ease, hoping to keep it for deeper investigation and proof of the undead attack.
The Advisor turns to the party and says he will try to reason with the undead attacking the city. The party quickly argue this and exclaim it's a flat out stupid plan. After much debate he offers them a task to help possibly save the City Of Glass. He gives them a pact and tells them to travel to Necropolis and inact this pact, telling them to cease the attack on the City of Glass. If it turns out the attack is not from Necropolis they should then ask for aid from them. As he talks he makes mention of various passage ways out of the city which Ikki quickly picks up on and leaves through a trapdoor hidden under the carpet.
The rest of the party continue to argue with the elderly man and the task he has set for them. They debate various matters like wanting to see the Sickly King, wanting rewards, telling the man not to try diplomacy with the undead and so on. The debating ends after sometime and the party finally accept his quest and leave through the passage way that Ikki went through.
As the party travels the Druid, Talynn, notices the injury on the Magus and quickly heals it with his magic. The chaos of the arguing and battle making him unaware of his companions injury.
They finally reach the end of the passage way and find a shed full of horses that they can ride. The Halfling being too small for the large mounts decides to ride on Kisa's large kitten instead. During the travel more arguments between the party members break out. The Magus knocks out the Wizard and Halfling undresses him for some reason and his advances on Kisa are ignored again. Saerdir decides that the party needs some order and says they should draw up a standard Adventurers Pact between themselves which details some fair and just rules. Some of the party seem to agree to this but there is a general half-hearted nature to this all. The Corby says they should be called "Ikki And The Birds" but this is quickly disagreed with.
After much traveling they reach the nearby village. They are greeted and questioned by the village guard as to what their business is. Once again the party argues with them using all manner of ways with them. The Corby growing tired of the conflict reaches for his blade to attack the guards unaware. The Wizard notices this and sends him a telepathic message to hold his blade. Ikki being completely unaccustomed to his manner of communication falls of his horse and cries out for forgiveness from The Ravenous. Mistakenly thinking he was being spoken to by his creator.
Kisa finally speaks up and decides to talk to the guards and explains what has happened to the City. The guards offer them all a room at the village inn for the night. Ikki decides to sleep in a much more quiet and comfortable tree.
As they wake the party minus Ikki find the towns mayor, A tiefling, and begin to question him on various matters. After the usual argument and debate they agree to dispatch of the bandits that have been plaguing the city. The Mayor offers a much higher reward to them if they can take them alive or even get them to join the city as guards. Meanwhile the rogue has received the same quest from the town guards, promising simply to dispatch of them all and heads off before the group.
The party are given some weapons of higher quality by the mayor before they all set off and they then make their way to the caves where the bandits reside. Ikki already scouting the area and ready to attack with the party.
Talynn, Druid Elf, worshops Lor'mados, is neutral good.
Talynn has always been most comfortable in nature. He is highly inquisitive and gets a thrill from learning and seeing new things. He is very wise when it comes to nature (the land / weather / plants / animals etc), but can be a little naive when it comes to other people (hence low charisma). He isn't completely against technology, but feels it isn't needed and prefers that the landscape is left in a natural state.
Talynn grew up in a rural part of Heartland with extended family (aunts / cousins etc), he never knew his mother, she died when he was young. Talynn only has faint memories of his father, a mysterious, tall, strong elf in a long cloak and hat. Talynn has managed to find out a little about his father over the years from his Aunt, he is apparently a traveler / collector / hunter known to be sought after by some of the most known people in Arcadia when they want a certain item hunted / found or they want to travel to a dangerous or remote area. But it's also known his father is difficult to find.
Talynn idolises the father he barely remembers and seeks to travel to the far reaches of Arcadia and become as famous and skilled as him, and in the process discover new wonders. He also hopes to meet him.
Prince Errik is, in TJ's own words, good chaotic as shit. The guy is a small bundle of enthusiastic energy and quiet capable of out drinking men twice his size and out lasting women half his age.
He was once famed among his people as much for his generosity as his charm. However, slowly the royal court worked against him and after a year or two of fierce infighting he was found guilty of blasphemy, intoxication, inciting a riot and debasement of the royal throne (you don't want to know). And although most of the charges were fictitious he was confronted by the most serious and stone faced of all the civil service Grand Master Droff. It was too late and Prince Errik escaped he capital with his life, his trusted blunderbuss and his wit. Sadly some say there wasn't much of the latter left to take.
He finds it easy to befriend women but men seem to take an instant dislike to him - partly because of his success with the former but partly because he is still deep down a complete snob. At an early age he realized the disadvantage a halfling will have to live with - that of their height and comparative lack of strength. This cumulated in a bar fight where a half orc four times his size took umbrage to Errik working his magic with his wife. However, Errik learned a valuable lesson. No matter how big, no matter how powerful a man cannot possibly survive a blunderbuss shot to the head. Thus the love of guns were born. He is now never seen without Nigel - his long barrel blunderbuss that is ever inch as tall as him and ever ounce as energetic. Often found talking to Nigel some believe Errik has made his entire past up as an act of fancy....
Though in the deepest dark of night, when everyone else is asleep Errik can be found polishing Nigel. Whispering to his old friend his great longing - to return to his kingdom and once more take the throne - though not before having his merry little way with at minimum one women from every race in Arcadia. After all, it would be rude not to.
Thael is an Elf - specifically a Tower Elf. Unlike his woodland brothers and sisters Thael has never walked in the leafy shade of the forest - spending all of his life in the Arcane University. A training that, though unfinished, he believes to be complete. He has no need for nature and no great love for it's bounty of life - rather he respects the order that cities and civilizations represent. He has not yet made his mind up about Technology - though if it could increase the growth of Civilization then it could be a useful tool in the coming years. Thael always has one eye on the distant future and the part he will play bringing it to pass - for better or for worse.
His leaving of the University was much unexpected - given his affinity to cities and the higher forms of life. Though he doesn't talk much about his past he did once mention a book he read, long ago now. A book that detailed a powerful artifact somewhere in the more ancient parts of the world - if Thael is to be believed such an object would grant limitless power to the user. Such power could be used to civilize the world, once and for all, turning so much chaos into beautiful order. This "well of power" he refers to may exist - though exactly why and where are questions Thael knows not the answer to.
Thael is likable, there is no other way to state the fact. He is affable, enjoys talking to as many people as possible and has a certain way with people that put's them at ease. He has never cared for weaponry - sacrificing such training to pour his abilities into Magic - longing to gain more and more magical energy. One day hoping such effort will help him find the well.
Would the order that Thael so longs for bring him peace? Should said power be used in such a way - or even be used at all? The only thing Thael is sure of is that the mortal peoples of Arcadia represent the best life has to offer - he has no time for over sentimental love for the environment or the Gods. If the races are to succeed they must one their own terms - through strength, order and power.
She grew up surrounded by majestic kings and queens of the animal kingdom. Kisa was excited for the day she too, would finally show her true spirit to her village. Known only in legends, and mysterious sightings of man and felines working as one, the village kept to themselves. One by one, her friends had partnered with powerful and headstrong beasts. They tamed them, trained with them, and lived their lives developing with each other. The best felines grew to be the new leaders, something Kisa aspired to.
Her family had reasonable standings in the village, most of them with tigers, so it was expected Kisa would carry on the family name. Being the most headstrong of the children born, her family taught her the skills necessary to rise high.
When the day came to reveal her true spirit animal, the ceremony halted when it was revealed Kisa was able to only summon a kitten. She was mocked mercilessly, being likened to owning a pet people in cities chose. Her strong and fiery spirit was represented by the unrelentless playful nature of the kitten, and the colour of its fur. It was a very fluffy and bright orange.
That very day, she left town in search of strength and acceptance.
“The King's eyes are quick. I hope to be quicker.”
Ikki, The Rogue of the Winds
An impatient Corby who strives to fast above all.
Quick with a blade and quick on foot, Ikki strives to be the swiftest much like a bird in the sky. Born with a quick mind for languages like most of his race the body quickly followed and he found a talent for dodging, disabling and finishing tasks well within the time limit.
His wings were much smaller than the normal size race and couldn't carry him as he grew older. Has no bitterness of this though as he has more important things to think about.
He is fairly impatient and while he appreciates a good plan he can grow tired of debating. Gets the job done and usually takes delivery jobs.
His small home within the city of glass is filled with many books and scrolls as he tries to work out spells, legends and anything else that can make him as quick, if not quicker, than the wind itself. To walk on the wind is a fantasy he usually drifts off into when others argue among themselves.
While he dreams he never thinks to far ahead. Perhaps technology will make him faster? Magic will grant him speed? An artifact? A Deity? Wealth? All is unknown.