Bump. In the vein of the prior flashback post, I will figure something for Damian. I'd like to get back in his head from when he was young and idealistic, before they Everywhen, so it might be when he first got to the Order of the Silver Flame or maybe when he first got the order to fly to Izmir to help.
DM DRA wrote:
You must have enjoyed creating this post quite a bit.
Damian offers the noblewoman a polite military salute. "May the blessing of the Inheritor be upon you, Lady del Covas. I am Captain Damian Lamorak, which I am certain you are already aware of." His invocation of Iomedae seems rote and formal instead of its normal warm genuine style. He turns to Brook to excuse the brave young man. "You will find my armor and shield in the quarters. You've exceeded all my expectations thus far, so I have strong faith that this will be done. Please excuse us."
With a salute, Brook departs to fulfill his duty while Damian turns back to this woman. "How can I be of service today? Shall we walk?" He takes a similar stance to her own, mirroring her body language.
With their plans seemingly set - dangerous plans at that, skipping through Limbo in order to reach the Empire of Mists to find Kyras Erodal and seize the Magnifying Glass of Total Reversal - Damian seeks to improve their odds of victory. He seeks heads to the stables, where he knows that Keythan and Brook will be. He enters the well-kept (for a stable) enclosure, finding his squire sadly doting over the griffon. His own steed glares at Damian from a few feet away, while Brook tries to hide his reddened eyes. Damian looks at the boy for a few moments before speaking. "Brook, where we are going, it is too dangerous for you. You've assisted greatly, but the limits of your youth prove too much of a potential liability. I am not severing your service, know that, nor will this status last forever. I expect you to continue your martial training in my absence. I have made arrangements with the city's leadership for you to assist them until I return or send for you. In the meantime, I need you to take my armor and shield to the marketplace and find a worthy enchanter who can enrune them." He hands Brook a bag of gold coins - his share of the plunder from the volcano - to pay for it. "Wear your uniform to identify yourself, and ensure that it is ready before I leave in the morning. Also, please ensure that Keythan is prepared for the departure. Do you have any questions for me, Brook?" While still far harder than before his trip through the Everywhen, Damian seems the most open he has been since his return.
Damian is looking to upgrade his armor enhancement bonus from +1 to +2 for 3000g and his shield enhancement bonus from +1 to +2 for the same amount.
Damian's face grows still and silent when Min mentions the Lionhearts. "Those who follow the Lionhearts are doomed to share their fate. Send them in, but do not trust, do not aid, and do not rely on them." He is silent again for a moment, then looks at the map again. "Teleportation it is, then. Including the mounts that carry us, how many scrolls or wands would it require to make the trip as safely as possible? I will make the arrangements with our hosts."
Damian regards his troops with an intense stare. The weight of his conviction and magnetism has not lessened with his weariness. He shrugs off Aylaeth's touch, though there is nothing rough or disrespectful about the act. "Whatever it was that happened to me in the Everywhen, I know that there is little hope for victory on our part. We have a duty to fight as hard and as long as we can against this dark tide. There is a chance, however small and however unlikely, that we may be able to stave off our enemies long enough to give a chance for survival to the world, but there is no room for error. There is neither time nor luxury to question what has happened to me or to second-guess my orders." It isn't clear if that is intended more for Belsarious or for Aylaeth, or which he is more cross with. "We are going to the Empire of Mists immediately. After we have killed Kyras Erodal and secured the Magnifying Glass, we will seek out the remainder as quickly and efficiently as we can. There is to be no further discussion on this strategy, though tactical suggestions are welcome."
Damian snaps at Belsarious, slamming his fist on the table. "One lays in the sands, while another is held in the hand of the Red Dragonflight! Which of these do you think is more important? What happens if they use it again? Imagine this Kyras standing above Izmir or Stormfare, erasing it from existence in mere moments! And you prattle on about Katapesh..." He moves on over to turn his attention to Aylaeth. "I've seen how hopeless our cause is. A hundred, a thousand futures in which there is no victory. There is only a small, tiny sliver of hope that we can succeed, and it grows dimmer by the day. We must keep fighting to keep that hope alive and delay the doom of this world as long as possible, but there are few futures in which freedom survives. I choose not to simply lay down and surrender, but I accept the likelihood that this world is ultimately doomed."
Damian looks over the map, his eyes fixed on Lanzhu. He doesn't even look at Sophitia or acknowledge Maiathreen's suggestion. It's unclear to the others what he is thinking, or where he has been for the past few hours. The leader that they have come to know over the last few months seems as distant and inscrutable to them as any stranger. He taps the Empire of Mists with his finger a few times, emphatically. "We have intelligence that the Magnifying Glass of Total Reversal is here, and in the hands of an agent of the Red Dragonflight. He has already used it to kill - no, utterly destroy - the last, best hope we had for victory in this war. Should he unlock its full potential, this war is over and we have lost. We cannot wait weeks, or even days. These routes will be useful when we return, but Kyras Erodal will most likely be gone by the time we arrive should we take such a time-consuming route. He may be gone already." He rolls the map back up. "However dangerous, teleportation may be our only option. Even if we must step forward in the Everywhen again or teleport through the dangers of Limbo, no risk is too great compared to allowing the Red Dragonflight more time with the artifact. Min, do you still have the magical capability to make this happen, or must we petition for the aid of the dragons?" He says the last word - dragons - with outright derision and spite, far at odds for the respect and gratitude he used to show them.
DM Downrightamazed wrote:
Damian looks intently at the Warbanian mercenary, nothing but seriousness in his face. "As half-elves, their life span is far longer than ours." His face clouds for a brief moment as he considers the ten long years spent in the Everywhen, years that weigh on his soul but not on his memory. For an elf or a half-elf, that ten years would be a mere flash of time, but its loss pains Damian strongly. "Where did Kyras disappear, and under what circumstance? Even as 'Freelance,' would he take a contract with the Red Dragonflight, or would he have to be a true believer in their cause?" The Captain is not sure which one is worse: to be a true agent of the Dragonflight, killing and maiming in their quest for power, or simply doing their vile bidding for a paycheck?
Technically, Aylaeth shouldn't know that Kyras's last name is also Erodal. He was only identified as "Kyras" to the foreign witnesses of Na-Calanon's murder, and those who could supply his last name hightailed it out of there to chase after him. Tokine and the others never told the General his last name. Damian has discovered it by talking to the Warbanian mercenary, but that's elsewhere in the city. Last they spoke, Damian was under the impression that Kyras (no known last name) is a Warbanian acting as an agent of the Red Dragonflight.
Damian considers the odds of Bethany Erodal, a scholar connected with the Abominations, being sent to Lanzhu where one of the Abominations was used by a Red Dragonflight who possibly bears the same last name. The odds are too unlikely for it to be any other Warbanian named Kyras, and it likely meant that this Bethany Erodal was in league with the Red Dragonflight as well. He nods at the Warbanian mercenary. "Yes, I believe that is the one. Perhaps he has a relative named Bethany Erodal, as well. Do you know of either?"
Aylaeth Brely'an wrote:
Her brows forming into a frown at the manner of this 'new' Captain Lamorak, Aylaeth shows a rare streak of defiance and does not immediately leave when dismissed. Instead, standing her ground, she repeats her questions "Sir? About my questions regarding Mai and the Gnoll with information on an Abomination? And was well, your means of communication with, or receiving the information on this Kyras and the death of Na-Calanon so rapidly?"
Damian answers with unusual curtness. His face is grim, obviously dealing with the loss of Na-Calanon himself, though he seems to be upset from a tactical standpoint rather than emotionally affected. "I don't know if Maiathreen has succeeded yet. As for the news, General Vittoria felt it necessary to bring the news back by whatever means necessary. It is very disruptive to our plans, as you can imagine, and we must adapt militarily as soon as possible."
Damian takes in Aylaeth's research, especially the link between the researcher Bethany Erodal and Lanzhu. He strokes his chin as he decides what to do next. "If the Red Dragonflight used the Magnifying Glass to eliminate Na-Calanon - to erase him from being - they have found a most potent weapon. It is our highest priority to take it away from them before they can use it again. Na-Calanon was the only dragon capable of facing any of the three great red wyrms in single combat. Further thinning our ranks of the prefects and protectors will make this war come to a violent and bloody close. Aylaeth, please go find out as much as you can about this Bethany Erodal from Professor Sundine. You were on the right track. Min, you're in charge of determining how we are to get to the Empire of Mists as quickly as possible. Teleportation magic would be preferred if possible, though I know your trip through Limbo was fraught with difficulty. I will find as much as I can about our quarry from the his Warbanian brethren. I seek to leave as soon as possible. Dismissed."
With his orders given, Damian seeks out the mercenaries who came with him through the Everywhen. He offers a warrior's salute in greetings to the first one that he sees before immediately launching into questions. "Do you know of a Warbanian mercenary named Kyras? According to eyewitness accounts, he appears to be either half-elf or half-dragon. He may have last been seen in the Empire of Mists."
"Time is of the essence. Can we replicate the path through Limbo to safely teleport to the Empire of Mists? Aylaeth, I presume that you are well-acquainted with the Empire and its traditions. I do not want to alienate them, as they are still a potential ally - or at least still a neutral party." Damian's normal attitude of determined optimism has been replaced by a certain grim fatality, as if they are fighting an enemy that can only be stymied at best. It is a marked difference than the leader that stepped through the Everywhen, but he seems just as committed to the fight itself.
Damian walks into the library, only to find that Aylaeth left moments before. He catches up to her outside as she receives directions to a Professor Sundine's office. He politely waits for her to receive the directions, then asks her to come with him. Even when she informs him of the need to speak to the professor, he firmly insists and leads the way to find Min. The pair find him speaking to a beautiful young maiden. Damian introduces himself and Aylaeth to her politely, who responds with grace and excuses herself to look for Lin in the quad.
Damian bids Min and Aylaeth to follow him to a more secure location, settling on a small room inside one of the many small libraries that dot the city. With the door shut behind him, Damian informs them of what he has learned. "One of the Abominations has been located, but at great cost. Na-Calanon is dead. He went to the Empire of Mists to seek an alliance in the war from their Emperor, but he was ambushed and slain using an evil artifact, a magnifying glass of some sort. Na-Calanon was ancient and as powerful as any being in the Land, thus why I believe that this artifact was one of the Abominations. Aylaeth, has your research found anything about a magnifying glass with the power to kill an ancient gold wyrm by reversing its lifespan to nothingness? It appears that an agent of the Red Dragonflight, a Warbanian mercenary named Kyras, possesses the artifact. He may actually be a vessel for Kalaroth as well, though he does not possess all of Kalaroth's immense power. Unless your research has shown the current location of any of the other Abominations, we now know of one's location as of earlier today. We have an opportunity to not only recover the Abomination, but to strike a blow in the Red Dragonflight by killing this Kyras."
Damian seems cross at the request - if it can even be deemed a request. "You do not fight in the Crown Princess's army. You can care for the child as much as you see fit, but the battlefield is no place for a child. We have too much ground to cover and too many enemies to protect them from. There are many places here that can care for him until our mission is over and you can return to the child." He beckons over to Brook as well. "I'm afraid that goes for you as well. You've fought bravely and well, but we are going into true war. I want you to stay here and train with their troops until I return. You are also tasked with caring for whatever of these children Min here asks you to until as such time that you are relieved by him, myself, any equivalent rank, or when the child comes of age. Do you understand, Brook?"
Damian takes the tube and removes the note, reviewing it immediately and silently. Mere minutes ago, he would have likely read it aloud, but he reads and evaluates the words without so much as an utterance to the others. He grimaces tightly as he comes to the end of the note, and he looks up. He hands the tube and its contents off to Mai. "This charm, as Dantoor refers to it, is said to be capable of leading us directly to one of the Abominations. It is currently held by Felltouch. Maiathreen, use your skills to determine if this will do what Dantoor believes it will. He obtained it from a gnoll who lives above the bar named "Charna" here in Stormfare. If your research shows that it will do just that, find out where the gnoll obtained it, why he gave it up, and how to use it. Take your wife with you, and Belarious if you need him. If you can, find out which Abomination this might be. Aylaeth, you and Min find out as much as you can about the rest from what remains of the library's resources. You have your orders. Dismissed."
Damian takes in the sight of his allies with a steely gaze. When he stepped into the door to the Everywhen, he was a man in the prime of a soldier's life. When he stepped out, he was a man in the prime of a leader's life. Wherever - whenever - he was, the journey aged him far more than the physical. His hair holds streaks of gray, making him look even more authoritative, and there are wrinkles from many nights of a furrowed brow atop his forehead. His eyes, though, show the difference of whatever experience aged him. His eyes hold the pain of difficult decisions, compounded when not all of the children make it out with him. He opens his voice to address his troops, his voice even deeper and more weighty than it was before. "The order to step through was mine. The risk of staying any longer was too great. I knew the risks. The mission is too important and we cannot risk more to attempt an ill-advised rescue. The Inheritor, or Gorum, or whatever they worship will see them through."
Damian's words hold a hard edge to them, surprising coming from the man who just led a selfless charge for the lives of these very same children. He passes the bag of geckos off to Brook, who looks at his master with eyes filled with tears of joy at his safe return. Damian barely lends young Brook a glance, something that the squire looks profoundly crestfallen about. He barks out an order, not even taking time for pleasantries. "Aylaeth, I want a report in my hands regarding the whereabouts of the next Abomination of Marianasu as soon as possible. I want everyone ready to leave as soon as we know where we are going. We don't have the time to waste."
Damian gestures back to the room that he and the Warbanians came from. "The runes are being destroyed by a dragon native to this volcano, along with a number of elementals. It was the dragon's suggestion that we leave via the Everywhen. Should the destruction have adverse effects, I'd prefer that we be gone." Damian sighs with the decision's weight. "After our last experience with the Dragon Door, I'm reluctant to use a non-traditional method of teleportation. However, we may have little choice. Were Aylaeth or Min back by now, I'd feel more comfortable with teleportation magic, but their absence worries me greatly. If they are in Stormfare when we arrive, all the better. If not, Stormfare has the resources that we will need to find them."
Damian announces his decision to the group. "We travel via the Everywhen. This is dangerous, without a doubt, but we will be profoundly careful. Maiathreen will lead us through with his knowledge of the arcane and of the planes." He leads the group to go track down the door to the Everywhen and hopefully return to Stormfare with all haste.
Maiathreen Gyssearnith wrote:
Maiathreen gives a sigh of annoyance at the orclings refusal before standing up. He turns to Damian while shrugging his tunic back on. "Was there something you needed Captain? I'm assuming it wasn't just to break up a fight between our new wards."
Damian likewise ignores the orc child so long as there is no violence between the children. The nature of discipline, in his tradition, required it to be a conscious choice as a willing member of a group greater than himself. The Dragonflights ruled through fear and power, and he would not force the child - prisoner as he may be - to submit to his will beyond requirements to keep the peace. The Captain turns to Maiathreen to answer his question. "Min and Aylaeth have been gone for a while, longer than I expected. We know that there have been issues with teleportation, as we utilized the powers of the Dragonsingers to get to Ormir's castle. We have the option of using a door to something called the Everywhen to try to return to Stormfare. I need your opinion as an arcanist. Is this advisable and safe considering our number and charges, and is their absence something that should cause us worry?"
Damian bows to the dragon. It may not be able to see him directly, but he knows well the might and power of dragons extends far beyond keen eyesight. He makes a motion to withdraw to the Warbanians, leading them back into the room that the bonded pair of winged elves wait. Intent on asking Maiathreen about the length of time they should normally wait for a teleport with a return trip, he immediately stops when he sees the pair of children fighting. He holds up a hand to prevent the Warbanians from rushing in, though the warriors don't seem keen to break up what must seem completely normal to them.
Intimidate 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (9) + 12 = 21
It is not often that Damian resorts to shouting, least of all to children. However, he recognizes the ingrained need for strong leadership. He would not (and could not) be abusive to them, but he could certainly use his force of personality to cow them for the time being. He wades into the pair and roughly grabs each by the neck of their fouled clothing. "THERE WILL BE ABSOLUTELY NO FIGHTING EACH OTHER! This is MY unit, and I will NOT tolerate fighting amongst yourselves!"
DM Downrightamazed wrote:
Diplomacy 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (20) + 16 = 36
Damian responds in his mind, focusing his thoughts to return a message back to the sender. His magical armor keeps most of the heat from bothering him, allowing him to stand firm while responding. He motions for the Warbanians to step back so that only he remains. 'Great dragon, we are of little consequence compared to your majesty. We are humbled to have been of service to you in our vanquishing of the Red Dragonflight from this place. We share your concern for what they have done here, and seek to prevent them from using their dark tools for whatever ill purpose they seek. The great dragons who protect our homelands - Van-Seletharius in their case, Na-Calanon in mine, and Van-Galazzan and Na-Selene in the lands of our allies - demonstrate the magnificence of humans and dragons working together.' He takes a few steps back while bowing to drop out of sight humbly.
Perception 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (13) + 12 = 25
Damian hears the strange sound and is on his feet in a flash, sword at the ready. The Warbanians follow his lead quickly and very efficiently. He looks over to where the pair of winged elves have taken the children, but makes no attempt to speak to them. They are close enough that he can call out to them for assistance should he need it. He motions for the others to follow him silently, a task made difficult by their heavy armor. The mercenaries are professionals, though, and seem to perk up at the possibility of violence. He heads to the runic engine of this terrible place, trying to get a good sense of the tactical situation inside - if there is one.
Damian frowns at the scouting report, though his basic assumptions temper the disappointment of losing a potential ally. "It is not entirely unexpected. The Red Dragonflight has many allies, and more still flock to join them as they seem to grow in power. Hopefully our actions in defense of Izmir and the other free cities will stem the rush of weaker nations in joining them. Na-Calanon and General Merit will know soon of the Red Dragonflight's plans for these vile places when Aylaeth and Min arrive in Stormfare, and we will share the status of Maho when they return for us."
Damian strokes the unshaven stubble that covers his face. He is usually meticulous in his appearance, but the length of their mission and lack of the supplies in Keythan's saddle bags prevent him from shaving. "In the meantime, please try to help explain the possibility of hope to the children. I know that you both can connect with them kn a way that I cannot. Also, every hour or so, I need you both to scout for any attempt to reclaim this location. Fly out over the jungle and circle the volcano. If you see any enemy, return to report it and we will be prepared to repel them together."
Knowledge: History 1d20 + 0 ⇒ (11) + 0 = 11
Damian shakes his head with a bit of sadness. He has no knowledge of Wellrock or his son, which is unsurprising considering his focus on the knowledge of military and soldiering. "I'm sorry, I do not. We were not sent here, but rather came across it amidst a battle with the Red Dragonflight, after driving their main force out of the main part of this complex. Did you build this place?"
Diplomacy 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31
Damian raises a hand and salutes the ghostly dwarf. The military salute is more formal than a warrior's handshake and likely far more useful when dealing with ghosts. "We are the Skyknights of Izmir's Third Army. I am Captain Damian Lamorak, leader of the company. This is Aylaeth Brely'an. I am pleased to make your acquaintance. Are you of an order? If the Lionhearts, you are not the first of their number that we have met."
Profession: Soldier 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (12) + 13 = 25
Even as he greets their leader, he scans the other ghosts to try to learn more about the pair of ghosts Ada'an advised him were evil. Even dead, they will still act as soldiers and he prepares himself to react accordingly. There are additional tactical considerations when the potential enemy can walk through walls. If the evil ghosts are hostile, Damian prepares to act. However, he maintains the hope that their leader will hold them in check.