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This is Clydwell Keep. Here you can gather parties to venture forth into the Worldwound. There are many services available in the keep for crusaders to take advantage of. I will list them here in the first post, and also on the campaign info tab. THIS IS AN IN CHARACTER THREAD
1:These are the barracks. Crusaders staying in the keep are allowed to use them.
2:The eastern gate is flanked by two fifty foot tall statues, whose crenellated heads form the battlements of the two towers. Outside the wall is a pit full of cold iron spikes, and the drawbridge itself is magical. The small building just inside contains the mechanisms for operating the gate.
3:This is the smithy, operated by an ifrit named Muqaq Al'Vasiri. Here crusaders can purchase any arms and armament they may require for their journeys.
4:These stables are run by an elf named Willow Caerin. He's happy to provide lodging for anything from the mundane warhorse, up to the most exotic of mounts. For a nominal fee, of course.
5:This well is magical to ensure that any water drawn from it is always pure.
6:These are the latrines and bathhouse.
7:This is the infirmary, clerics of Iomedae are always on staff and willing to tend to the sick in return for a small donation to the church.
8:This is the cloister where the priests who serve in the temple and infirmary live.
9:This is an inn and common room for travelers visiting the keep. It's name is The Watchful Blade, and it's a generally clean and pleasant place. With many of the patrons being paladins and priests of Iomedae it's rarely home to any sort of trouble, despite many of the remaining customers being of dubious moral quality. This is a great place to meet and plan.
10:This is the keep itself, home to the Order of Holy Sentinels and the key Wardstone for the network that protects the border. They stand watch over the Demonscope, a powerful artifact that powers the Wardstones through the will and purity of the Holy Sentinels.
I'm just going to write a generic description of the induction process for the crusade, assume each of you had a similar experience upon arrival to the keep.
As you walk up the hill towards Clydwell Keep, you can see two impressive fifty foot high statues flanking the gate. They are identical representations of a man in plate mail armor with the symbol of Iomedae on the breastplate. He holds a longsword point down, the hilt clasped in front of his waist. The inscription near the base of the statues reads "St. Clydwell". Between the two behemoths there is an extremely sturdy looking drawbridge lowered over a deep pit full of cold forged iron spikes. The battlements above are swarming with white robed figures. Passing through the gates you come into what feels like a bustling marketplace or port. There are people, carts and animals everywhere, walking, talking, pushing, shouting, doing business and generally being quite busy. As you make your way through the crowds up to the keep proper you see everything from lordly paladins almost glittering with honor and charisma to greasy half-orcs who you wouldn't want to meet alone in a dark alley. Once you get to the keep you join a line of other hopefuls, slowly moving forward until you are assigned a group ushered into the main hall. The place is utilitarian and sparse, a large round chamber more than one hundred and fifty feet in diameter. You are arranged into a square formation in rows by some younger paladins. Then you are asked to kneel and an old man in the white vestments of a priest of Iomedae stands before you and says, "Today I honor you all by inducting you into the fifth most righteous and holy crusade of Mendev. In the name of Queen Galfrey, and Iomedae herself, I grant you authority to venture into the lands stolen from us by the worldwound. You are invested with the power to do whatever is necessary to reclaim said lands, and should you succeed, will be rewarded with lordship over them. Receive now our blessing." With that the younger paladins walk through the crowd sprinkling holy water on everyone and muttering prayers. When they are finished the priest speaks up again. "Rise now and go forth as holy warriors, sanctified and furious. May your blades strike swift and true at the heart of evil, driving it back to the pit from whence it came!"
The young paladins come forward and escort you out from the keep, telling you that should you succeed in retaking enough land to erect a wardstone (4 hexes) to return or send word back, and that they would send warriors and clergy immediately to begin construction. They assign you to one of the barracks and wish you good luck.
You can do whatever you want now.
The door slams shut behind the newest visitor to the inn of the Watchful Blade- a tall and wiry half-elf dressed in a dark trenchcoat, his hair white and his green eyes shining as bright as his smile. "Greetings, fellow future Lords of the blighted lands!" calls the elf as he bows deeply to the crowd. "A drink for you all on me! Tomorrow, we go forth to death or legend- but tonight, we will drink and live!"
The common room is crowded tonight, and nobody really pays attention to the half-elf until he mentions free drinks. Soon he's pushed by a crowd of men towards the bar, with them slapping him on the back and thanking him. The curly red haired dwarven bar tender gives Nathaniel a withering look, as she suddenly has an order for 30 drinks at once. It takes a few minutes but once everyone is served and goes back to their tables the woman leans over the bar and says, "That'll be one gold and twenty silver mister. I'll thank ye not to be pulling such stunts too often. I'm busy enough as it is." As she leans over with her hand palm out, her ample cleavage is on display. Nestled between her breasts is a holy symbol of Cayden Cailean. One of her eyebrows is raised giving her homely face an expression that seems to say, "Well?"
Jin sits in the corner, nursing his wine glass, which remains full despite him sitting there for.more than an hour since the ceremony. There is a 1/2 empty jug of water and a wooden cup there as well. Anyone bothering to watch would have noted the elf was only drinking water.
"Well, I am here my shadow, you prodded and persisted and we very nearly spent every last coin from my master's stolen purse. It would have been worse had I needed to eat and drink."
His sentient blade replied, But we did get here Jin and trust me, this is where we need.to be. What better place to be free of that Devil house than at the edge of the Abyss? We will find allies here and if you die at least it will be as a free man.
The elf merely grunts and looks out at the assemblage, he wondered if the stories that bought others here were as dramatic....
Back still aching from the slaps Nathaniel turns to the woman and, reading her face and her bosom, coughs embarrassedly. "Sorry, my lady... my sword doesn't swing that way..." Flicking two gold coins from his purse into her hands, the half-elf takes his tankard and walks over to sit down in front of the handsome elf sitting in the corner.
"Greetings, sentient. I take it you will also be one to venture out into the Wouldwound?"
Viorel entered the tavern closing the door behind him. After standing for a few moments near the entrance taking in the feel of the place, he made his way towards the bar leaning against the counter. The man was dressed in bright colors with jewelry worth several years pay for a common man. As the barkeep seemed to be serving someone else at the moment he turned sideways to the counter and looked around the people in here.
"Many religious people it seems, to be expected I suppose. Gladly there seems to be more than few of the mercenary nature also." Viorel thought as he pondered if any here would make a suitable companions.
"Greetings, sentient. I take it you will also be one to venture out into the Wouldwound?"
Jin looks up at the man intruding on his solitude, "Is this one of those allies you promised, my shadow? The man shows more...flamboyance than I'd like, Angel protect me"
You will not know unless you ask Jin. Speak and measure his worth
Jin half rises as the newcomer makes himself welcome.
Am I so obvious then? An elf in grey chain, surrounded by humans in shining plate?
"I was more thinking an elf sitting alone in the corner, knowing and speaking to no-one, hence either a stranger and thus a fellow sentient called to do battle unto the Worldwound- or a malcontent despised by all in the town. And a malcontent stupid enough to show himself to a bar full of drunken enemies wouldn't wear armor." The half-elf calmly takes a sip of drink. "My name is Nathaniel, comrade, if I may address you so. And yours would be?"
"Well his reasoning is sound at least, My shadow. Fine, we will start with this one it seems.What is that saying about the first man to approach you in a tavern?
That he is usually the last one with anything to say. Give him a chance though. Not everyone is incompetent or out to kill you Jin.
The elf considers his swords response and tried to look thoughtful, mostly to cover the fact.his response was delayed, since he was communicating with two minds.
Comrade?Perhaps. Much as the speeches and oaths spoken at the ceremony WERE stirring, I do not through my lot in with anyone. Most of the young Paladin's and fighters here would through themselves on the cold iron pit spikes out side to get close to a demon. I am willing but less... reckless if I may say without offending. But Nathaniel it is then. I am called Jin.
Nathaniel maintains a placid expression while he internally notices the delayed response. He scrutinizes the elf carefully to look for its cause.
Perception:1d20 + 12 ⇒ (18) + 12 = 30
If the cause is just, and the people sincere, a cause can be worthwhile. The whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. And you do not offend. In my experience, recklessness can be more than dangerous, particularly when based on good intentions... Jin, a pleasure to meet you.
Nathaniel reaches out to toast his tankard against the hug of water, then leans back in his chair.
Tell me, I may have missed part of the ceremony- is there anything other than our comrades' honor and goodness to prevent us from slaughtering each other for the honor of a Lordship? If it is the first man to erect a Wardstone, then this may turn into a deadly race... even if a group should form and agree to work together to erect it, the temptation to kill the rest and claim sole lordship would be present...
The elf looks at the wall, his eyes speculative, before snapping back to Jin's.
Perhaps I am wrong and too distrustful, and all will end well... what do you say, sir Jin?
Ari Mai listens to the chatter in the taproom from the safety of a shadow in the corner. His drink sits untouched on the table in front of him. One conversation in particular catches his attention so he disengages from the shadows, grabs his drink, and moves carefully towards the table.
Greetings gentlemen. It is good to see others of elven blood. I've missed the company of my own kind for sure. I couldn't help but here you bring to voice one of my own concerns regarding this endeavor. Indeed what would stop someone from killing the others? Out there things will likely get pretty lawless.
Ari Mai pauses for a moment to take a sip from his tankard.
I've thought about this a fair bit and I would say that there's probably plenty of demons out there, if rumor be true, to keep us all busy for a long time. We probably won't have time to start stabbing at each other.
|Tamas the Wanderer|
Tamas enters the bar, raising an eyebrow. "Oh my, look at all the fine warriors here. It's so nice to see so many people who are dedicated to the protection of their fellow man and the eradication of evil."
The duregar smiles cheerfully and walks over to the bartender. "When you get a moment, madam, I'd like two shots of whiskey mixed with two cups of water, and a slice of warm bread if you serve food here, please." He bows politely and then spots an odd-looking group in the corner.
"Good evening, gents!" Tamas calls, walking up to them with a smile. The duregar, though he appears unarmed and is wearing a simple white robe made of cloth, is clearly powerfully built. Around his neck is a beautiful amulet of clearly high quality and value. The same could be said for the belt around his waist.
Tamas extends one callused, muscular hand to the skinny elven chap. "My name is Tamas. What are you all drinking? Next round's on me!"
Nathaniel nods thoughtfully. "If we do not band together, we all perish... You have a fair point, sir elf. I must say I am a little more relaxed about this task now." The half-elf gestures at himself. "My name is Nathaniel, and that of my new acquaintance is Jin."
One of the 'skinny elven chap's turns and nods to the stranger with a smile. "A pleasure to meet you, sirrah. I would be careful about such an offer- I made it too, and received a glare from the suddenly-busy barmaid that near split me in two. Nathaniel be my name."
Another newcomer enters the bar.
It's an rangy human dressed in wide eastern clothes under which protrudes a breastplate. He is armed with an composite longbow in an quiver on his back and an dagger in his sash.
Hm, quite full here. It seems that this crusade won't lack at dedicated fighters.
The Human walks over to the bar. Madam, would you be so kind as to serve me a beer.
After he gets his beer, he looks around and searches for an with a free seat. Then he goes to the table with the strange group.
A dwarf and three elves. This can only become funny.
Greetings travelers. My name is Kenan. Is it suitable to take a seat at your table?
It"never ceases to amaze me. The readiness of strangers to invite themselves to a table to find others adventurers, are we all so eager to die?"
What motivates them should not bother you Jin, so long as their intent is just. Speak. You may actually find a friend.
By all means, take a seat. This is fast becoming the table for crazy newcomers with a.death wish. I find myself swept up in this place. Here but a day and I find myself and anointed knight in the shining crusade. A task which takes the noblest and lowest of humanity for the sake of coin and honor. Which motivates everyone at our table I wonder?
Ahem Ari Mai clears his throat
For some of us it is neither honor nor coin that drives us. I am here to find my sister, if she still lives, or some sign of her passing so I can at least grieve her passing. I will not deny I am at least somewhat motivated by vengeance though I am often told such a thirst is not easily slaked.
After a brief pause ...
Forgive me, for I do not mean to sound so righteous.
Nathaniel nods to Ari's words. "You do not sound righteous, comrade. I hope that you find your sister. May I ask why she would be in the Worldwound?"
Nathaniel leans back and looks pensively into his cup. "Myself... I seek power. Not out of lust, but out of more... curiosity. I've never had it before, and I think I might be able to do some good with it. And also... it would be good to have a home."
|Tamas the Wanderer|
Tamas blinks in surprise. "I see, so you all have your own reasons for being here. Well, my reason is simply that I believe defending the lives of the innocent is a noble and just cause. Also, to be perfectly honest, the idea of getting to punch a demon in the face is kind of awesome." He laughs and rubs the back of his head, embarrassed.
Nathaniel turns and gives a quick grin. "Oh, I could never disregard the amusement of delivering squishing lightning-flavored death to demons, sir dwarf!" The elf reaches around and taps the hilt of the two-handed sword strapped to his back pensively. "Always a pleasurable task."
Somewhat hesitantly, he looks between Tamas and Ari. "So... the two of you have no desire to be a lord and own lands? I take it then that should one of you be successful, you will be refusing the title?"
|Tamas the Wanderer|
Tamas raises an eyebrow. "Wait, they were serious about that part? I thought those guards were just pulling my leg, or saying I'd have some kind of strong influence over the lands. But really, if I punch out all the demons, I get to be a king?"
Frowning and stroking his chin, Tamas takes a long, thoughtful sip of his drink before gagging and slamming the mug down, coughing harshly. "Crap, forgot this was booze. Ow...my throat!" He coughs a few more times before rubbing his Adam's apple and clearing his throat.
"I'm on a pilgrimage to seek the answers to questions I have about life and death. I can take a break from that for a noble cause such as defending a kingdom, but for something as selfish and petty as a ruling title, no. As soon as I finish this job, I'll be moving on."
"Well at least they all seem crazy enough"
Perfect! No sane person would come here anyway.
"What does that make me then my shadow?"
Well at least we all seem to be on the same chapter, if not the same page. Perhaps it's time to 'get our swords out' as it were? I myself am after competent allies if I am going to risk life.and limb on this fools quest. There proper term for my trade is Magus. Basically I am a student of the elven traditions of spell combat. Unlike most wizards, I can wield sword and spell simultaneously and in some cases actually deliver certain spells through a weapon. Not as focused as a pure fighter or wizard but something of a hybrid. You all specialize in what exactly?
"Forgive me if I do not state completely what my powers are, sir Jin- I find that surprise is an advantage too great to deserve forfeiting easily- but suffice it to say that I use magic to enhance my ability to slice enemies in twain." The elf's hand unconsciously strokes along his sword handle as he gives a tiny smile. "Let's just say that while I might seem weak, my enemies quickly learn otherwise."
|Tamas the Wanderer|
Tamas smirks and nods. "Get our swords out? Well, if you insist. One moment, please."
Tamas will walk outside and search for a brick, a stone, or some other suitably hard, portable surface. He'll pick it up and bring it back into the inn, showing the group what he has found. Once all of them have realized exactly what he is holding, Tamas will slam the object against his head and attempt to break it apart.
Attack roll (To see if I crit): 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15
Confirmation roll if necessary: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15
Unarmed damage: 1d8 + 13 ⇒ (6) + 13 = 19
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like I managed to break it in one blow, since stone has a hardness of 8 and 15 hit points per inch of thickness. But hey, it wouldn't be impressive if it were easy right? I'm guessing I left some pretty hefty cracks in there though.
A halfling waitress brings the requested drinks over to the table just in time to see Tamas smash the brick against his head. She jumps a short distance into the air in shock, dropping the try of drinks. "Oh my!" she excalims, "So sorry! Let me just.." she gets down on the floor and starts picking up the pieces.
Tamas holds out his hand and the stone is broken in half. You may not have completely destroyed it into powder (0 HP) but it's certainly impressive.
The bartender glares at the group from across the room. Hands on her ample hips, a frown on her face.
Nathaniel mutters a curse and makes frantic "He's not with us!" gestures to the barmaid. He shoots a whisper at the dwarf. "So... you're a battering ram? Could be useful..."
I might not be able to shatter stone with my head and I'm magically like this stone our friend shattered, but I'm quite good with my bow and I ride the fastest horse on the planes.
Coming to my intentions. I won't reject a title if someone want's to honor me with such, but I'm not here out of selfishness. My people are nomads and they need land for their herdes.
Viorel had been looking the odd bunch for a while now sipping on his ale. After Tamas smashed the brick on his forehead he chuckled lightly.Definetly crazy enough people. He started walking towards the table clapping his hands few times. "A fine performance Sir." Viorel notes to the Duregar, before giving a small bow to the group.
"Pardon the intrusion gentlemen, but I could not help but overhear interesting topic. Allow me to introduce myself Viorel Ariaza. If my ears have not failed me, I believe I heard talk about search for competent companions?"
A squat dwarf clatters in in dinged and dented full plate. He squints a look around the common room and seems to aprove of what he sees.
"Hey Barkeep. Gimme something that'll curl my nose hairs."
"Sure thing." Says the dwarven woman, turning to pull a dark glass bottle off the shelf which is covered with red wax. She blows some wax off it and pours a couple fingers of the syrupy brown-red liquid into a square crystal cup. "Couple of guys brought this back from an ogre lair on the other side. They didn't know what it was, but spoke well of its efficacy." She puts the glass down in front of Torin and then says, "That'll be 5 silver."
A large powerfully built kellid-featured man with a red tint to his skin with what seems to be glowing embers for eyes, walks in, a huge blade strapped across his back. As he moves his head taking in his surroundings his long thick hair moves and exposes something along the sides underneath, ridges or perhaps horns?
"What is this?" he asked the air with a frown. "I saw many people coming in here and expected to see warriors girding for battle against the demonic horde. Is it customary to gain courage through drink before braving the Wound?"
Nathaniel sighs, then stands and bows to the new arrival. "It is customary to drink and be merry the night before you may die, sirrah. Tomorrow we shall slay and conquer, but tonight... tonight, we drink as comrades." Holding his tankard out to the arrival, Nathaniel gestures him over. "Will you join us?"
The man shrugs, "Among my people, there is no celebration until the Wound is clear and our lands are returned. But I am not among my people. If it is the custom, then I will join you." He then grabs a passing waitress. "Give me what he is having," he says indicating Nathaniel before joining the group with him. "I am Barek."
Walking into the tavern looking around My alot of my dwarven brothers here, wonder if any o me kin is around here? walking over to the bar Hello ma'am get me a glass o water please Slumps over the bar slightly a large spiked shield across his back he carefully looks around the bar noticing a table with a fair number of elves, and a dwarf this should be mighty interesting
Perception to hear conversation.
1d20 + 12 ⇒ (20) + 12 = 32
Hearing a few of them discuss thier specialties. mighty interesting indeed
Turns back to the barkeep you must understand I love ale as much as any one, but to partake before a fight, and after a long trip can be very 'ard on the ole body walking over to the table where several people are gathering 'ello everyone may I sit with you a spell? I am werry from a long trek as yall must be. looking in a pleasent enough mood as I take a sip out of my cup.
He looked up at the man with the giant blade who joined the table, commenting on the discussion. "Customs are fine and all, but weather if its mead, ale or wenches for sale. One does well to remind themselves why to keep themselves from dying before going to battle. I am Viorel Ariaza, well met Barek." Viorel then turned to look at the dwarf giving a smile before turning to the others not feeling it's his place to say.
|Tamas the Wanderer|
No one else has made a custom race yet? You guys are no fun!
Tamas chuckles a bit. "I'm not a battering ram. I am a warrior of justice and peace. A warrior of justice and peace with a thick skull."
Turning to the elf, Tamas nods. "I'm actually a duregar, which is a specific type of dwarf with a bit hardier resistances. My training with the monasteries have given me some clarity and calmness that helps guard my mind against magical intrusions. Also, I have a mastery over my ki, allowing me to use it in unique ways that may almost appear like I'm casting a spell. Useful to have, in any case."
Torin pays for his drink and fires it down his gullet. He totters a little as the fire of it burns through him and grimaces.
"That is the foulest thing I've had in my mouth, since that time I was swallowed by a Linnorm and had to chew my way out. I'll take another."
Hello ma'am get me a glass o water please
That's no way to live friend."
Ari Mai examines the newcomers trying to assess their worthiness.then he looks back at Nathaniel to answer his question earlier.
I was actually born here in the Worldwound. My parents were among the earliest folk to fight the demons that have poisoned this land. They were slain many years ago and my sister was lost to me. I was just a boy and I panicked. I fled to Ustalav where I lived off the streets swearing one day to return here to find her. As for my skills, lets just say I am good at putting sharp bits into the parts where it hurts the most.
Ari Mai leans over to Torin and says That stuff smells worse than the 'exotic ladies' down in Two Copper Alley. Though I'll not drink it myself, I'd be honored to buy you another round.
"Well my shadow, there are certainly enough here.
Yes. Choose your allies well Jin.
"Alright, but you know I am not good with people, let's hope they recognize mine and each others value."
Well forgive me for being so bold as too suggest first. But we have sufficient adventurers here for two groups it seems. I would be happy to align with a Warmage (Viorel), a crazy brick breaking monk (Tamas), our large barbarian friend (Barack) and....you friend, have the look of a holy man about you. (Torin). That would give two Dedicated warriors, a Magic specialist, a Cleric if I am not missing my guess and myself as the 5th wheel. For those who missed my explanation, I am a Magus. I blend sword and spell into a single fighting style, so I can provide, melee aid, spell casting and academic skill. A 6th may be prudent as well. If any of those I indicated are happy with that selection, please speak now.
Well I knew that was bound to happen. One with words, that'sme!"
Your pride has been wounded in the past as well Jin. You know how he feels
"Yes. I do.
Forgiveness, I was merely making as suggestion based on what I'd hoped would be a well balanced and versatile group. There is enough here for two adventuring parties, with more volunteers coming in quickly. You have some other group to propose or means of selection, please, speak.
Nathaniel shrugs his shoulders. "I am not offended. You are all fine fellows, and if you are representative of the rest called for this task then I should be able to find another party with ease."
I'd personally never go out into the Worldwound infested with demons without some kind of scout. An ambush from demons or even a competing party could prove ... costly.
after a brief pause Ari Mai continues
I'm not comfortable with both viable front line warriors in one group. Particularly if that same group made off with the only healer available as well. I'd be honored to call Nathaniel, Kenan and Rogarson my companions but I'd call that a bit squishy. Squishy with no healer is a bad combination.