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DM Zyren's Heart of Light

Game Master Zyrenity

An epic search for the Amethyst heptagon leads a party of fresh graduates through the northern reaches of Ustalav. Based in Karcau, the party visits places like the dark Castle Jarovich or the dangerous alleys of Carrion Hill.


5,101 to 5,150 of 8,248 << first < prev | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106 | 107 | 108 | next > last >>

As you reach the gates, a young guard stops you. His helmet is much too large for him and the pike in his hands is old and rusty and you doubt his weapon would survive the slightest contact with a rider or his beast.

Ho! Who are you and what brings you to our mighty city?

You are a bit surprised the boy does not know you, but his broad accent hints at the fact that he is from Sinaria's south.


"Well met, my good sir. I am Solaric Zekkaran, Priest at the House of the Vigilant Flame, and we are Karcau's Chosen! We return home from Carrion Hill on business for her Highness, the Countess Livgrace. How has our wonderful city fared in our absence?"


The helmet slids down right in front of the boy's eyes and a bit clumsily he puts it back into place. But while he is occupied with putting his helmet back he loses the grip on his pike which clatters to the ground.

Wha...what did you just say?


Male Half-Elf Wizard/9

[b]sorry but we so Not want to Spend to much Time in this. I guess the mentioned countess livgrace should answer any further question you might have[\b]

johenric intense to move on.


Male Half-Elf Wizard/9

[b]sorry but we so Not want to Spend to much Time in this. I guess the mentioned countess livgrace should answer any further question you might have[\b]

johenric intense to move on.


Solaric cannot help himself and gives the guard a few encouraging words.

"Stand up straight and pick up that blade, young man! You are an ambassador to the shining light of Ustulav! This is the beacon of hope for civilization in a dark and dreary wilderness. Remember, soldier, you are not only a warrior, but also a representative for this city. People come to this great city from afar, and you must remember who you are! Straighten those shoulders and stand with pride and vigilance. Now, please state your name, so I may have the pleasure of passing on my compliments to Captain Dumitru!"

Touch of Glory +3

Diplomacy 1d20 + 13 + 3 ⇒ (14) + 13 + 3 = 30


Female Tiefling (Succubi) Witch HP:57/57, - AC: 11/T:11/FF:10 - Percep: +15(Dark Vision) F: +3/R: +3/W: +8 - CMB: 3 - CMD: 14, Speed: 30ft, Init: +1 Witch 8

"Well at least there was no horn blowing this time"


Kirk smirks at the pathetic guard, and moves to enter the city with or without permission while Solaric is talking to the young man.


As you enter the city you suddenly realize that the clumsy conscript at the gate was no single case - dozens of fresh recruits, led by old sergeants march through the streets wearing old weapons and armours - there is determination but also fear in their gazes.

The proud town guard of Karcau is nowhere to be seen, only the elusive and fearsome Nightscarves stand together at street corners and watch the passersby.

Speaking of passersby: Many people seem hoard supplies, rations and other goods at their homes. Those of you with military experience feel that the situation resembles the one right before a siege.

The way to Swansong House is a bit slower today to give more impressions of the city :)


Male Dwarf 6 Fighter (Tower Shield)

Taking note of the rapid conscription of the old and young, Harl says,"Reminds me ahf the times afore the orcs make 'ier way into a village. Ya see the fear in the eyes and the unsteadyness in the hand ah these folks, Solaric. They all look a might bit like your young lad there.." he finishes gesturing to Flofer. "What do ya make ah it?"


Male Half-Elf Wizard/9

Johenric only realizing that something is going on in the town says

Our short term goal must be to find out, what is going on and why.


Harl Marrhammer wrote:
" Ya see the fear in the eyes and the unsteadyness in the hand ah these folks, Solaric. They all look a might bit like your young lad there."

"Indeed I do. In fact young Flofer, here, looks like he has more backbone than many of them. You would think they would feel safe back here behind the walls of Karcau. I wonder what is happening out there to prompt such military mobilization. This cannot be good. I eagerly look forward to meeting with her Highness, the Countess Livgrace."

"So, how are you feeling Flofer? At last we've made it to the great city of Karcau. This is where we all went to school. Well, most of us anyway. Harl and Johenric have shown up since we graduated, but this is our old romping ground. Although, it certainly has a different feel to it now. It's always interesting how your vision of life is so different when you are just a student compared to after you'v experienced life a bit. Hanging out with us, I'm sure you will experience something similar. It won't take long before you see plenty of action. So, my friend, have you been thinking about being my herald at the tournament? I could really use someone of your talent!"


Female Tiefling (Succubi) Witch HP:57/57, - AC: 11/T:11/FF:10 - Percep: +15(Dark Vision) F: +3/R: +3/W: +8 - CMB: 3 - CMD: 14, Speed: 30ft, Init: +1 Witch 8

"Well I suspect all the trained soldiers have been sent towardsthe areas outlying the Kronstein Ridge, and what we have here are the local farmboys and layabouts given the job of covering for them. Makes sense.
On the other hand, with such a bumbling force in place, crime and corruption easily finds root. Oddly enough, the hoarding people are doing to stave off the famines of war only serve to make them fat and juicy targets for thieves..."


Male Dwarf 6 Fighter (Tower Shield)

Harl glances over at Kirk and laughs, "Don't be getting yourself any ideas, boy. HAHAHAHA!"


Kirk smirks at the dwarf's comment, "These people are stockpiling necessities: food, water, blankets, firewood. Worthless things, compared to what my talents can afford." Then he shrugs, "Besides, stealing isn't really my thing: I'm much more the cloak and dagger sort."


I'll give Flofer some more time for a response.


Male Human Hellknight 4 Bard 3 HP:71/71; AC:32/27/12

Well, I am feeling just fine! You know Solaric, I think I will be your herald for this tournament! he says, springing a little on his toes.
...You may have to remind me of some of your titles and such though...yes. And I'll try not to insult too many of these slack-gut sow slappers this time. he adds as an afterthought.


Male Dwarf 6 Fighter (Tower Shield)

"Oh boy. You better have some time on your hands, lad. You get Solaric talkin' an' he is going to give you an epic re-telling of his accomplishments,HAHAHAH."


After a ride of about twenty minutes you at last reach the cliffs in the northern part of the city.

Like a pinnacle of beauty Swansong House rests here overlooking the rest of the city. Surrounded by rose gardens that always bloom this is by far the most beautiful place in the town, but this days it reminds you rather of a military headquarter. Envoys and soldiers rush in and out and the rose beds are partially trampled already.

As you arrive two guards scurry over to you and take your horses. At the gates of the you spot Dumitru talking to a score of Nightscarves, who look like they went through a series of fights recently.


Flofer wrote:
"You know Solaric, I think I will be your herald for this tournament!"

"Splendid! Splendid! That will be wonderful news! In the coming days leading up to the tournament, I will tell you the recent tales of how goodness overcome evil. These stories will be but the beginning of what is still inevitably bound to come. Step by step, little by little, gains are being made that will prepare for the coming of the light in a land of shadows! Thank you for accepting this most important task, Flofer. For indeed the stories will need to be told and courage will need to be inspired!"

Solaric puts his hand over his heart and sincerely nods his appreciation to the young nephew.

Harl wrote:
"Oh boy. You better have some time on your hands, lad. You get Solaric talkin' an' he is going to give you an epic re-telling of his accomplishments,HAHAHAH."

"I simply follow what my heart tells me to do and if my accomplishments warrant praise, then so be it. However, I do count myself fortunate to among such excellent companions! Iomedae be praised! For without all of your support, I could not accomplish what I've come here to do!" Solaric glances at Countess Victoria and smiles appreciatively.

As the guards come to take the horses, Solaric affectionately rubs Dart's ears as she likes it and whispers to her, "You will be in good hands with these folks, my dear. Enjoy your grain and your rest!"

Solaric then proceeds over toward Gregori Dumitru and listens to his words. However, when a good moment to interrupt comes, Solaric gives the Captain a hearty handshke.

"Well met, Gregori! How have you fared? I see you have your hands full at the very least with a lot of new recruits. It looks like the Nightscarves are also seeing a great deal more battle than when we left. We have just returned from Carrion Hill where I am pleased to announce Victory over an evil outsider known as a Yog Sothoth, but I see that I need to be brought up to speed on the latest developments here."

"I'm not sure if this is the time or place to have that discussion, but first I would like to introduce you to the Mayor of Carrion Hill's nephew. This here is Flofer Nighthawk. I have taken him under my wing and am showing him the ropes, you could say. I plan on introducing him to the lovely Countess Livgrace shortly. By the way, how is her lovely Highness doing in these dark times?"


Dumitru dismisses his men and returns the handshake with a smile

Good you made it back in one piece, Solaric. I just met young Pitr, but sadly he told me that he wanted to leave Karcau and built a home somewhere in the south...another good sword gone. You're right, we have our hands full with training conscripts while we should be further north fighting the darkness that is gathering beyond the ridge.

The worst thing is, we do not even know who our enemy is...something is driving orcs and barbarians southwards and like the waves of an ocean they're beginning to break at our sentries along the ridge. Our casualties are already mounting and still, I fear the worst is yet to come.

It's a bit strange to hold a tournament under these circumstances but the countess insists that it will lighten the people's mood...and I hope it will also steel our knights.


Dumitru wrote:
"I just met young Pitr, but sadly he told me that he wanted to leave Karcau and built a home somewhere in the south...another good sword gone."

"I am happy for young Pitr, for indeed we will miss his excellent blade and fine company. In fact, it was the young swordmaster who bested the Yog Sothoth at the very end. I will certainly miss him! So you say he is building a home to the south? I wonder if my words on commitment and the sacredness of a single relationship has had some lasting effect on him. Hmm? When all of our tasks are accomplished and a new realm of peace, justice, and goodness prevails in this land, then perhaps I shall take the time to go visit my good friend."

Dumitru wrote:
"The worst thing is, we do not even know who our enemy is...something is driving orcs and barbarians southwards and like the waves of an ocean they're beginning to break at our sentries along the ridge. Our casualties are already mounting and still, I fear the worst is yet to come."

"This is grim news indeed! I have a strange feeling that the evil that is growing is closely related to our enemy of old. For indeed, our task with the heptagon artifact is still currently unresolved. While the soldiers are needed to keep the evil at bay, we must direct the sword to the heart of the evil and smite it down before it has a chance to destroy all that we love and cherish."

Dumitru wrote:
"It's a bit strange to hold a tournament under these circumstances but the countess insists that it will lighten the people's mood...and I hope it will also steel our knights."

"Agreed! It is certainly strange to think about competing at a time like this, when evil threatens the safety of every commoner and noble alike. However, I have no doubt that the Countess, in her wisdom, knows what is best for her people. There is a reason she is loved by so many! We must not underestimate the need for high morale among the people. Well, Captain, once we finish the tournament, regardless of the results, we will then make our way toward the Kronstein Ridge and see if we can find the source of this evil. In the meanwhile, we will do everything we can to assist you with the troubles that may arise within the walls of this fair city. Besides, this will give me a chance to acclimate young Flofer in the ways of a knight. Well, once again, my friend, it is a pleasure to renew our acquaintance. You know where we can be found should the need arise. We must now proceed inside and have an audience with her Highness. Fare well, my friend!"

Solaric leads the others inside when everyone has finished their exchange with Captain Dumitru.


Male Half-Elf Wizard/9

Johenric just nods.


"Johenric, are you feeling alright? You've seemed very quiet since we left Carrion Hill. Have you been puzzling about the amethyst heptagon? I suspect before long we will be back on the trail looking for the next shard. I have not given up hope that you will find the answer to the riddle. I hope you know that your presence is still very much appreciated!"


Male Dwarf 6 Fighter (Tower Shield)

His ears perking up at the mentioning of orcs and barbarians, Harl pipes in,"Well Captain, in my experience an axe is worth three swords any day. I should be quite happy to be helping yer boys as sson as possible."


"Marrhammer, did you really say an axe is worth three swords? Ha! That sounds like my friend Danor "The Golem". But he's a lumberjack who lives north of Karcau. He certainly knows how to use his axe, but he's a mighty tree chopper! So what are you going to cut down with your mighty axe, Harl, birch or elm? Hehe. Three swords to Harl's axe. Hehe. Don't make me laugh so hard, my friend!"


Wishing Dumitru farewell you enter the refurbished Swansong House. Where once stood the white grand piano is now an oaken table with maps, miniatures and folders on it. Where once was the wardrobe now sword belts and hats rest. The kitchen looks chaotic at best and soldiers trample over the fine silken carpets.

The countess sits in the winter garden in a large wingback chair debating with several old men in uniforms and Aramis de Voisseur. The aristocrat with Galtian heritage looks daggers at Solaric as he enters and blazons

Oh beware, the black knight has arrived! I have to hide not to get crushed under his light elven boots, ha!


Female Tiefling (Succubi) Witch HP:57/57, - AC: 11/T:11/FF:10 - Percep: +15(Dark Vision) F: +3/R: +3/W: +8 - CMB: 3 - CMD: 14, Speed: 30ft, Init: +1 Witch 8

Victoria simply regards the men with a warm smile, inside she would like nothing better than to cut Aramis down to size, however to launch into such an act would only serve to weaken Solarics reputation.

She instead looks over to Kirk with a certain coldness in her eyes.


"Well met, your Highness!" Solaric bows deeply and gazes deeply into Sassandra's eyes. "Good day, Aramis, gentlemen. By the light of the Inheritor, we have returned victorious! I am delighted to present to you this letter from the Mayor of Carrion Hill and announce that we have slain a creature from the outer planes known as a Yog Sothoth! It could nearly have proved fatal for all of Karcau, but for your great wisdom in sending us to avert such a catastrophe, we may now rejoice!"

Solaric smiles and presents the letter to the Countess. He does so gracefully and cooly, careful not to let the brash knight get under his skin. This is not difficult for him, because the sight of the Countess Livgrace fills his heart with elation.


While the countess takes the letter with a warm smile, Aramis keeps on picking at Solaric

You defeated a yoghurt? Guess it was one of your relatives asking for the...

He stops abruptly as he notices the cold gaze the countess shoots him. The suddenly coldnsapped Aramis silences at once and looks away, while the countess raises and embraces Solaric and every other meber of the Chosen.

The mayor speaks most highly of you in this parchment. Without your help - so he writes - Carrion Hill would be a desolated and forlorn place now. In such dark times we need heroes like you, heroes who let deeds follow on words.

Now it's Aramis' time to look away...

I would like to invite you to my dinner table. It's a daily meeting at night where everyone has the chance to speak about the situation in- and outside the city. I hope you will be able to attend this meeting.

She exchanges handshakes with everyone, but she holds onto Solaric's hand a moment longer than needed...


Petite Fromage de Voisseur wrote:
"You defeated a yoghurt? Guess it was one of your relatives asking for the..."

Solaric stays cool under the annoying words of the knight, but politely replies, "Your incivility does not become you, Aramis. I expected more from you, especially one who has fought against the dark evil that comes from such hostile places."

Livgrace wrote:
"I would like to invite you to my dinner table. It's a daily meeting at night where everyone has the chance to speak about the situation in- and outside the city. I hope you will be able to attend this meeting."

Turning to the Countess Livgrace, Solaric replies, "It would be an honor and a privilege to dine with you tonight. We graciously accept such a kind offer."

"Your Highness, I would also like to take this opportunity to introduce you to the Mayor of Carrion Hill's nephew. This is Flofer Nighthawk. He has accompanied us since Carrion Hill and he eagerly awaits to make your acquaintance. He is quite a musician and looks forward to to hearing you grace us with one or your performances at the Opera House."


The countess beams like a child in a sweets shop and says

A musician - at last! A glint of hope amongst all these rough soldiers and warriors. Please, Flofer Nighthawk, sing us a little tune to raise our hearts!


Kirk shifts awkwardly away from the Countess at her embrace, not knowing what to do and gives Victoria a brief, frantic look as the moment happens, but then regains his composure once it passes.

He spends the rest of the brief meeting with Countess Livgrace subtly eyeing up Aramis, a multitude of coldly calculated schemes passing through his mind.


Female Tiefling (Succubi) Witch HP:57/57, - AC: 11/T:11/FF:10 - Percep: +15(Dark Vision) F: +3/R: +3/W: +8 - CMB: 3 - CMD: 14, Speed: 30ft, Init: +1 Witch 8

Victoria gives a comforting nod in reply, and then mentally joins Kirk in eyeing off Aramis.


Male Dwarf 6 Fighter (Tower Shield)

Being in a huff the entire day after Solaric's brushing off of his boast, Harl grumbles under his breath about three swords to be sure when Solaric introduces Flofer to Livegrace. Having had enough of the constant berating Solaric is subject to from Aramis, Harl leans over to Victoria and whispers, "Once the lady of the house steps out, Ima gve that fella a lesson in dwarven etiquette,lass."


Female Tiefling (Succubi) Witch HP:57/57, - AC: 11/T:11/FF:10 - Percep: +15(Dark Vision) F: +3/R: +3/W: +8 - CMB: 3 - CMD: 14, Speed: 30ft, Init: +1 Witch 8

"Well far be it for me to get involved in gentlemanly disputes."


Male Human Hellknight 4 Bard 3 HP:71/71; AC:32/27/12

Flofer, who has been staring around absent-mindedly, snaps back to reality.
A song! Yes, of course, your grace! A cheery tune, you said? he says with a clumsy bow.

Pulling out his lute, he quickly tunes it and grins nervously.

Perform, song: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (19) + 10 = 29

It's an instrumental...


Solaric thinks to himself as he watches Flofer's musical performance.

"How can somebody so inept at so many things be so remarkable at the lute! That is simply amazing!"

Solaric feels a great nervousness lift off of his shoulders (for his own word claimed that the young Flofer was a quite a musician) and lets a broad smile come to his face. However, before applauding at the conclusion of the piece, the dark elf waits and lets the last chord fade away into silence and he waits, holding that magnificent moment to see the Countess Sassandra Livgrace's reaction to the performance.


Kirk cocks an ear at the pretty melody, apparently surprised to find himself impressed with the performance.


The old officers, Aramis and the countess all follow Flofer's intricate melody with closed eyes. When the performance ends it is a bit like awakening from a very good dream. All are a bid dizzy, but the countess is first to speak

Flofer, that was just fantastic. So soft but still heroic, so powerful but still charming. You're a real master of the lute!


Female Tiefling (Succubi) Witch HP:57/57, - AC: 11/T:11/FF:10 - Percep: +15(Dark Vision) F: +3/R: +3/W: +8 - CMB: 3 - CMD: 14, Speed: 30ft, Init: +1 Witch 8

"Well we finally found something he excels at other than getting under foot." Victoria smirks, her eyes clearly recalculating value.


"I was telling young Flofer that his talents need to be used to inspire courage and hope, especially in these dark times that lay ahead. His music simply transports me to another realm where my heart is gladdened by the experience. Before long, I hope that many others in Karcau will be able to experience the music of Flofer Nighthawk. Perhaps with the tournament coming, the opportunity will be with us soon enough. I am pleased to say that I have asked Flofer to be my herald and he has graciously agreed."


Male Half-Elf Wizard/9

Johenric closes his eyes while he hears the Flofers music and his face relaxes. When the songs ends he is quite confused and from one second to an other his face shows again his well known seriousness. Turning to Solaric he says.

Solaric it was a long journey and I have to work on the mystics and riddles. I will go back to the Academy and work on the riddles the next days. Should my person be required, you know where to find me.

With this words Johenric first waits a few seconds and after he has taken one's leave of everyone he moves to the academy.

DMZ:
At the Academy Johenric is looking for food and drinks. Or if required he buys something on his way to the Academy. If the libary is still open (hours of opening), he chooses books related to the history of Karcau and reads it with a good glas of wine. Further he tries to figure out if scholars being a source of relevant information are available, in order to solve the two riddles with a master mind.

I assume Knowledge history is required?

1st Riddle
Where sun and moon collide, water forms fluids to solid stones and mist enshrouds the slopes of a crowned stone

Knowledge History 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (14) + 8 = 22
Prescience 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (10) + 8 = 18

2nd Riddle
The deeper you descend, the darker this place remains during all times. In winter with roof in summer with visitors. In its centre a place where the noble one lies in state.

Knowledge History 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Prescience 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (11) + 8 = 19


@ Johenric:

We will resolve your research in time. Searching through the library and working on the Heptagon will need some days. Once the time for collecting relevant books has passed you will be able to search for persons that might help you in gathering information.


Johenric wrote:
"Solaric it was a long journey and I have to work on the mystics and riddles. I will go back to the Academy and work on the riddles the next days. Should my person be required, you know where to find me."

"Johenric, I appreciate your dedication. You are the smartest man I know, but you will not be much good to me if you are completely exhausted. Now, please take care of yourself. I'm sorry to hear that the journey has taken its toll on you. Is there anything I can do? Perhaps a good night rest in your own bed will do wonders for you and the rest of us. Will you still be able to join us for dinner tonight with the Countess? I could really use your eyes, ears and intellect tonight!"


Male Human Hellknight 4 Bard 3 HP:71/71; AC:32/27/12

Flofer bows again at the end of his song, his somewhat too-long arms brushing the floor.
Heheh, So ah...yes. I think that went well! Um... Countess, is dinner soon? Flofer asks frankly.


Male Dwarf 6 Fighter (Tower Shield)

"Well I do appreciate the lanky lads directness. Perhaps Solaric might learn 'im a thing or two from the boy!" Harl says with laugh.


Flofer wrote:
Heheh, So ah...yes. I think that went well! Um... Countess, is dinner soon?

Solaric gives Flofer a direct look that says "Do not ask such things of her Highness. You will be fed when you are told!"

Appalled by the Mayor's nephew's lack of manners, Solaric eases the delicate moment with an uneasy smile and a comment to the Countess Livgrace.

"Please forgive the young lad, your Highness. He is a growing lad and is always thinking with his stomach!"

Harl wrote:
"Well I do appreciate the lanky lads directness. Perhaps Solaric might learn 'im a thing or two from the boy!"

Solaric smile at the dwarf's light hearted comment. "Harl, my friend, you know that words can often be more powerful than a sword. I just happen to try and accomplish a many great things with my words."


The countess also smiles at Flofer's growling stomach

Well, the dinner will be very late, but I think we still have some roasted turkey and bread in the kitchen. Please, just help yourself. I would like to see you all again tonight at one hour prior to midnight at the secret council chamber of the now empty academy Vizyalesh.


Countess Livgrace wrote:
"I would like to see you all again tonight at one hour prior to midnight at the secret council chamber of the now empty academy Vizyalesh."

"Very well, your Highness! Then we shall depart and attend to other errands. In the meanwhile, I will look forward to our meeting tonight. I bid you fare well, your Highness!"

Solaric bows and prepares to depart with the others.

Once out of the Countess' chamber, Solaric announces to the others, "I am going to return to the Temple and find a place for young Flofer to stay. Shall we regroup later this evening just prior to our meeting?"

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