|Piter de Colmar|
Piter thanks the Ogre for his healing, as he feels much better.
He sits and relaxes after having helped to strip all the goblins of their goods and their clothing, and placed away from the fire in two piles (one for goods, one for clothing). He takes his dagger and sterilizes its blade in the fire, then uses it to cut off some of the meat. Instead of eating it himself, he offers it to whomever is sitting near.
"It really is a shame... Horses are magnificent animals, and in better circumstances we shouldn't have to use them for food. Given our current situation, though, I have to say I'm happy to have this one as a meal."
Eventually, after everyone has had some, Piter takes some himself, enjoying the taste of roasted meat immensely.
As they eat, he relays a story about a High Elf, a Gnome and an Erudite who were sitting in a tavern relating stories of their homes.
"The Gnome said, 'Back in me pub in Ak'Anon, fer every four pints of stout I order, they give me one fer free!'
'In my establishment in Erudin,' said the Erudite, 'I pay for two pints of lager and they give me a third one free.'
'That's nothing' said the Elf, "In my pub back in Felwithe, you walk up to the bar, they give the first pint free, the second pint free, the third pint free -- and then they take you upstairs and you have sex for FREE!'
'Is that true?' asked the Erudite. 'Has that really happened to you?'
'Well, no,' said the Elf, 'but it happens to my sister all the time!'"
Going through the bodies you find little that would be useful, a total of:
Exploring the other part of the cave, that goes down, you find a wagon that looks like it was dragged here. Inside the wagon there are 3 backpacks that are medium sized, one that is large sized. 8 pairs of winter clothing that will fit the party, finely crafted, 5 pairs of long coats that have deep pockets. Dried blood is on all of the clothing, smoked deer meat is stored in a barrel, the hide itself has a few claws marks too it, as well as a half full barrel of whiskey.
3 pairs of masterwork long swords
2 pairs of long bows with two full quivers
1 polar bear cloak
1 Ax medium sized (goblin was wielding)
1 small scimitar
4 small daggers
1 short spear (medium sized)
1 spear (small)
1 glaive (medium)
6 pairs of tankards ( low quality)
1 spell book
2 sets of leather armor
1 chain shirt
1 studded leather
The skeletal remains of at least 12 humonids is piled in corner, along with 5 days worth of firewood. Because I like everyone so much: You all gain a deeper understanding of the evilness in the world, and how much evil you can bring to others..... everyone levels up! Now don't say I didn't give you any thing :)
Loki nods his thanks to Piter for providing meat to fill his belly, and he chews absently as he dresses in winter clothing, long cloak and his blankets.
Once satisfied that his thirst has been slaked, hunger tamed and warmth provided he lovingly explores the depths of the spellbook.
Loki sits cross-legged, with back to the wall, as close to the fire as he can get without giving up a tactical advantage and flips through the spellbook while resting to get his spell energies back (meditating).
On occasion his eyes flit up to dance about the room assessing the attitudes of the others, and the level of consciousness of their goblin prisoner.
"Each and every one of you accounted yourselves well in the escape from the slavers, and in the battle to secure this hide. You have my gratitude, for I would not be drawing breath without you assistance."
|Piter de Colmar|
Piter looks over the skeletal remains, and tries to determine how they died. He's fascinated by that, and looks for evidence of wounds on the remains.
Responding to Loki, he nods and says, "Yes, we work well as a team. I've worked with people who are afraid to do what needs to be done, and I can tell you it's frustrating. I'm glad none of you are like that."
Then he looks over the weapons, and pulls out one of the high-quality longswords. He picks up another one, and tosses it (in its sheath) to Zaruksis, to whom he also says "There's a chain shirt and some studded leather. If you'd like the chain, or the glaive for that matter, we can toss for them. Whoever wins chooses one, and the other gets the other."
He also picks up:
- chain shirt (but maybe Zaruksis wants it)
- the glaive (but maybe Zaruksis wants it)
- some winter clothes
- polar bear cloak
- one longbow and quiver
- one backpack
And checks each of them in turn, pulling on the bow, inspecting the arrows, and of course putting on the clothes.
To the group he asks, "Who here uses a longbow?"
Finally, he sorts the money into five piles: four piles of 6pp, 19gp, 4sp, and one pile of 7pp, 8gp, 14pp. "Each of these piles has the same number of coins and the same value. Everyone can take one pile. I left the copper, so if someone wants some go ahead and take it."
Loki works to determine the nature of the magical notations within the book (DC 5 + spell level to what the spell is described) wondering if this book belongs to one of his nefarious vocation. (take 10 if possible for future attempts).
Spellcraft: 1d20 + 12 ⇒ (10) + 12 = 22
The Teir'dal idly fiddles with the pile of coins that Piter set apart for him as he studies the spellbook.
"Does anyone know our approximate location? An island...a continent..." He leaves the words to dangle in the hopes that such sumptuous bait attracts a bite from someone in the know.
It seems that the spell book has some in the spells in the Necromancer school and some spells in the shaman school. Both spells are in the same writing which is odd to say the least, you are able to determine understand the first level tier and second level tier of the Necromancy part, the next tier seems to be too advanced for your vocation. The spell book is bound in ogre skin which might make Kur'Plugh upset, then again he might be enough of a nutterbutter to not care.
Piter it looks like the bodies here that the group did not kill, were killed by the goblins, blows from an ax, blades, and arrows are evident. You also notice that the bones have been gnawed upon, while some of the poor victims were still alive.
"Kur'Plugh, there are spells for both of us within the confines of this tome." Loki considers what chain of events could lead to both a shaman and necromancer to use the same spellbook, and quickly gives up lest mania follows in short order.
The necromancer eats his fill and ensures that his is at full capacity at all times. He had seen the others in combat and understood the power of these beings should it come to blows.
One never could fully drop their guard around the most mercurial of the races.
Kur'Plugh takes half of his coins that Piter laid out for him, leaving the rest to be divided up for the rest of the group, adding wood to the fire he starts to eat some of the deer meat, reaching his fill he drinks a tankard of ale. Spending a few moments he pulls one of the dead goblins outside for a few minutes, coming back with two severed hands he sits away from the group.
After some time he comes back with some bloody finger bones, and chucks what is left of the hands outside. He starts to dry the finger bones by the fire. Looking at the others that are wounded he growls and starts healing the groups injuries.
After healing the group he picks up the large sized back pack and dumps his share of the coins in the bottom, picking up the greatclub that just seems to fit him, he gives a smile. Looking over at Piter, draped in an polar bear skin cloak, he gives a chuckle, then says " That cloak might be a bit large for you, in fact it looks like you are drowning in it, here. " He tosses a long coat towards Piter, he sits down, looking at Loki he says " Well now, I'll look over it after you are down looking at it, the spirits will be pleased at more knowledge of this plane." He says with a wink, then goes into full lotus to meditate.
Everyone is at full health
Zaruksis catches the fine sword and gives a hissing laugh at Piter's suggestion of tossing for the chain shirt and glaive, confident in his scales and strength. "I think you will need them to survive, sssoftskin, and you seem useful. But I will take studded leather and the other longbow."
After stripping the goblin corpses of their gear, Cakkarak pauses and looks over the winter clothing. Selecting a simple, but servicable outfit, the monk wraps himself in what he guessed was rough fabric. It was hard to tell through his scales. After tearing a hole for his tail, Cakkarak pulls the trousers on.
Looking at the trouser that he had been wearing, Cakkarak tears off one of the legs. The Iksar monk slides his tail through and uses a few strips of cloth to tie it into place. Dressing quickly, Cakkarak bends over and plucks up a longcoat, sliding it on smoothly. The monk begins to take the corpses out of the cave. The iksar drops the first body off a short distance away from his small pile of gear that he had taken from the longboat. It doesn't take him long to get rid of the rest of the goblin corpses.
Returning to the cave, the Iksar looks at the small pile of coins and raises his eyeridges. Cakkarak briefly wonders if they will have a chance to make use of the wealth. Dismissing the useless thought, the monk glances over the pile of collected gear. Cakkarak thinks about Loki's earlier question as to there present location. He had no clue as to where they could be.
Tearing a chunk of horse flesh off from the spit, Cakkarak sits down on his pile of old clothing and eats methodically. The monk takes several mugs and goes outside.
Moving a bit away from the cave, the monk tightly packs up the mugs with snow. Cakkarak prefers water to ale. Fewer poisons could be slipped into water undetected by smell. He quickly returns to the cave. The weather was rapidly worsening, and Cakkarak was sick of being cold.
Right after everyone get's the last of the supplies into your new shelter the lightening strikes the shore, lighting up the whole sky. Everyone feels the impact even in the cave, then the sleet starts into, along with an almost gale force wind. Everyone hunkers down, the group is safe enough, if not a bit chilly even with the fire going. The goblin bodies are quickly frozen over outside, and anyone foolish enough to walk outside will need to make a fort save DC 18.
None had spoken up about where they might be, which left them all adrift in the same sea of ignorance.
They had been enlisted to capture slaves for the iksar gladiator pits, but had woken in chains. That left them off of the Timorous Deep, but whether they had washed ashore on any of a thousand small islands, Antonica, Faydwer or Kunark was anyone's guess.
As the storm kicks up Loki moves a bit closer to the fire. They could burn the wagon, but he would prefer not to until he determined if they were on an island or a continent. Mounts might be rare, but if he could gather enough goblin slaves...
Tired of the goblin's repose the necromancer works to rouse the bound creature.
He had questions.
The goblin is still passed out, while healed it looks like a lot of it's vitality has left it. The chains are wrapped around it's hands and body, the goblin will have no chance to escape tonight, if you wish to question the slave make a heal check DC 15 to understand where it is at in the how wounded it really is. It seems that after you had woken it up to make it your slave t couldn't keep it's eyes open, sleeping while standing is quite impressive.
The storm outside will go well through the night, and stick around all day tomorrow, luckily burning the wagon shouldn't happen unless it lasts for 6 days. There is enough horse meat to last until lunch tomorrow, at least 2 days of deer meat for most of you. Kur'Plugh will only get a day at best from the deer.
A watch order will be established, also before you go to sleep, Loki since you have been studying the spell book, please give me a will save, after you are done questioning your new slave. If the group wants to discuss any back story, now might be a good time after all, you are going to be traveling together for a while.
Cakkarak twitches at the crash of thunder, his cold eyes shifting to the cave entrance. At the sound of the storm hitting, there was no chance of the monk going back outside. The Iksar returns his gaze to the cave interior. He wonders how long the storm might last.
"I will take the next watch then. And in answer to your question, I do not know where we are," Cakkarak pulls his long coat tighter. "When the storm dies, we might be able to get a better idea. We did not have enough time to examine our surroundings." The monk's gaze falls into the fire.
Reaching down, he shifts a log to sit better, flicking a coal from his claw back into the fire, Cakkarak leans back.
"We should check and see if the longboat survives the the storm," Cakkarak rubs his healed wound, nodding to the Ogre shaman. "I doubt it will, but it could be worth checking."
|Piter de Colmar|
"My nighttime vision is by far the worst in this group, so I'll take the last watch," suggests Piter. He fingers his new bow and looks at one of the arrows. He wonders how hard it would be to find a poisonous plant here. Wherever here is.
"I don't know where we are, either. I have no idea how long I was unconscious, so we could be far from our homes. I sort of doubt even the goblin knows, but we can try him."
He thinks for a bit, then changes the subject. "Tomorrow I hope we get a chance to find some of our captors, alive. I would love a chance to talk to them and tell them the errors of their ways. But I agree, the boat is most important. Even if it is damaged, it would be better than nothing." He nods a small nod to Cakkarak.
Each of them had been turned on by the other slavers and put in irons, and the betrayal brought a wash of foul bile up into the Teir'dal's throat. If ever he had a chance to return the favour, it would be his most heartfelt pleasure to sup upon the jelly within their optic orbs.
"Where one goblin lies, so do a hundred hundred more. If this is to be our home then we should see to its defences. The wagon got in here and would make a wonderful 'door' of sorts if we rolled it in front of the exit and chocked its wheels. Those that are asleep could put up a barricade of barrels to defend yourselves from being set upon when you are the most vulnerable."
The thoughts are left to percolate within the other's heads. These were matters for those trained in blood and steel, not magic and death. He was a neophyte in such tactics.
Zaruksis is checking over the clothes when Cakkarak begins taking the goblin corpses out. "Wait! I need some bits." He uses his dagger to cut off the cup and string of flesh that he needs to make a sling, then uses spare wood to make a frame to hold them above the smoke of the fire for curing.
"No idea where we are, sorry," Zaruksis replies absentmindedly, as he constructs the curing frame. The busy shadow knight finally selects a set of winter clothing and a long coat, then grabs a tankard and samples the whisky for some internal warmth. "I'll take third watch."
Zaru nods at Loki's suggestion. "Good, but it would be better to put the wagon on its side. That way it's harder to move, and attackers would be more predictable, only coming over instead of also under. For the same reason, it wouldn't really be worth it to try to block off the entrance completely; any wall can be breached eventually, and so it's better to make it where a hundred goblins can climb over it two at a time, giving us an advantage that they might not bother to remove."
|Piter de Colmar|
Piter helps to move the wagon out to the front of the cave, after removing all the items from it. He's not sure if it will help, but it might slow a few would-be attackers down. More important will be to have an alert guard near the entrance.
The wagon will be put on its side, and so that it spans the cave entrance, just inside the cave mouth if possible.
After that is done, he goes back to his place by the fire, checks on the firewood, putting a torch next to him (opposite the fire), and tries to sleep a little.
Loki after your shift, you find spot to sleep that is close to the fire. The wagon is helping to keep some of the wind out of the cave, as you are falling asleep, you hear wordless murmuring in your ear.
Too tired to put off sleep you start to drift off into a void. As your eyes open you see an ogre writing in a book, you don't know how you got here, as you can remember is that you were running from something.
The ogre is sitting down on a well crafted chair, the chair is stained coal black. You hear a dripping sound and feel yourself move forward, as you approach the ogre you get the smell of blood and you realize that there is a pool of blood at the base of the chair.
You look up as the ogre stands up and turns around to face you, the ogre has his organs exposed, were the flesh should be. The ogre moves, his features blur, then grabs your face in his paw, and lifts you up.
You feel the edge of a blade enter into your chest and you feel the first layers of your skin start to part. As you start to scream you see the book on the table start to glow. The ogre whispers in your ear " this is my price, as deemed by the spirits that my work will live on past my life time."
He draws the knife to your throat, then jerks back, as another pair of hands pull him away from slitting your throat. You see another ogre wreathed in spirits throw him across the room. The ogre that is missing his flesh fades from view.
Kur'Plugh says " Grandfather says you were in danger, I asked the loa to bring me to you, Sazs be bad news for the untrained. You payed the price. Now awaken we have things to do.
Everyone who is asleep is woken up to Loki screaming, as blood starts to spurt from Loki's chest. You see Kur'Plugh chanting over him, his hands glowing with a golden light stopping the bleeding as quickly as possible. The book falls from Loki's hands, it's cover is now half ogre skinned, and now half dark elf skinned.
Loki gains the spell minor healing twice a day, as he now has found a way to infuse necromancy to stabilize a ceature,'s life force, and a scar on his chest in the outline of a book. The book itself is now a necromancers spell book only and the first 5 pages are a journal of Sazs the insane ogre mage.
The will save Loki was for an insanity check, you passed.
" Easy man, I didn't,think he had even existed." Kur'Plugh said after using all of his mana making sure that Loki didn't shuffle off the mortal coil. " Sazs, or Sazs'al ded is the tale of a Shaman who bartered with the spirits for power. He used the souls of other shamans, he died well over two hundred years ago. Some of his tomes were never found. It is rumored that if you can survive the madness that the tomes whisper, you can gain access to hidden uses with your mana. However each tome can only be used once, and only for whatever spells were penned. So this one was for Necromancy or another Shaman.". Kur'Plugh rumbles after double checking Loki's wounds he looks at the tome with a bit of lounging for the potential of the power.
Cakkarak eyes had snapped open at the sound of the dark elf screaming. The monk didn't stick around to watch the ogre heal the necromancer. Not seeing anything besides the others and the goblin, the monk quickly gets up.
Moving through all the nearby chambers to make sure that he hadn't missed a foe, he monk returns.
"Explain why Loki just turned into a blood fountain and who are you talking about." Cakkarak questions sounds a lot less like a question and more like demand for information.
|Piter de Colmar|
Piter awakens to the sound of Tier'Dal screams of agony. He jumps to his feet quickly and draws his sword. Noticing Kur'Plug healing Loki to ease the pain, he sees Cakkarak looking for the attacker and asks the Shaman, "Did you see them?"
As he waits for an answer as to what is going on he checks Loki's injuries to see how bad they are.
Jobiner stands in silent repose awaiting a threat to its only reason for existence. Eternal is its undead patience though it stands passively by while its master nearly expires.
Supple flesh yields to the advance of the cruel blade, releasing a wash of crimson tears. Though he grits his teeth, not wanting to give Sazs'al ded the satisfaction of hearing his cries, he can only accept so much flaying of tissue before the first agonized scream exits his throat.
Through a sheer force of will the young necromancer arrests his rapid descent into the depths of the scene before madness becomes his norm.
Stripped bare of skin and dignity the Teir'dal's fragile flame is protected from the cruel winds of 200 years ago by an unexpected ally.
Loki tentatively works his way unsteadily to a sitting position, with back propped against the wall, clasping Kur'Plugh's shoulder in silent thanks for his intervention. Gritting his teeth and with clenched fists he allays the other's fears as he lifts the edges of his blood-drenched garb to properly examine his injury.
"I have mastered the spirit of the tome, though it has extracted its payment in my very flesh. I imagine that none would be surprised that I would warn against touching it."
The last is said with a sardonic chuckle and a sideways glance at the dropped spellbook.
Loki cradles the spellbook to his rather tender chest, perhaps hoping that proximity will re-unite his departed flesh while watching their shaman to see if he had more information about this Sazs'al ded.
With newfound respect the necromancer flips through the spellbook again, paying especially close attention to the journal within the first 5 pages.
" Sazs, had written some ideas, theories in fact, on how to bargain with those that live just beyond our sight. The spirits that I commune with, are forces of the world and in some cases, powerful creatures that left enough of a mark or powerful enough to reach others. However I don't know as much as I should, I've had grandfather spirit here for as long as I can remember." Kur'Plugh touches his chest, then his head.
" After a while it can get hard to hear yourself think, in one case a spirit can take control of weak will person, or overcome one who is trained as well. Sazs found a way to tap into the power of the spirits, then drain them to fuel his Mana to heights not thought of."
Kur'Plugh sighs hearing not only his grandfather spirit, but another voice whispering to him, trying to tempt him to free it. The last time that voice had been heard his village had been burnt to the ground, shaking his head slightly he clears his throat.
" When a shaman grows in power and understanding, the spirits will demand less payment from him, as some of them grow off a shaman energy. Not enough to weaken the shaman, but they reach an understanding, and some require a pact. That only happens when a shaman reaches a spirit of vast power, of course this is how I was trained, it could be different for other shamans." Kur'Plugh rumbles trying to block our the other whispering that he can hear.
The journal entries are difficult to understand fully reading them makes your head heart, the gist of the theories require a sacrifice of some kind and Loki can feel the book beating in tune with his heart beat. Loki can also feel a very faint pulse, coming from a distance, you think that there can be other tomes that didn't get destroyed.
The journal describes great tomes of insight for Shamans, Monks, Necromancers, and Shadow Knights. Each Tome will have a test, as a spirit was bound into each of the tomes. That test varies on for each person, the Tomes of Sazs will bind themselves with a creature until that creature dies, then they will lie dormant for another to test them.
|Piter de Colmar|
"That book might have belonged to one of those back there," suggests Piter. "If it gives you power, that is good."
He looks around the cave, wondering if there's anything else he can do. Obviously Loki and Kur'Plugh had just undergone some transformation of some kind, but he would not be able to understand it. Unless... No.
"These spirits, they are the dead, then? Ones who have not moved on? I would learn more, as I have studied a bit about death, but not so much of what comes after." He looks to Kur'Plugh.
Cakkarak raises an eyeridge as the dark elf clutches the very book that he warned them against. Seeing nothing was amiss, the Iksar relaxes slightly. Being dragged out of his daily meditations was a tad annoy. The monk dismisses his annoyance with a exhaled breath.
The monk's calm gaze moves over the others that had survived the slave ship. The talk of spirits was interesting to pay attention too for a few moments. Cakkarak's own training didn't deal with spirits, aside from the monk's own spirit. Forging it as well as a monk's body and mind into a truly perfect weapon.
The Iksar monk glances at the dark elf's undead servant. It hadn't twitched when it's creator had been shooting blood out of his chest. Cakkarak wonders if it only responded when it's master was in physical danger.
"So there is no real danger then," Cakkarak says quietly. "Just the book itself, before it has been read. So, is it parasitic nature then?" the monk asks. "In a spiritual sense, rather then a physical sense."
Kur'Plugh Bristles at Cakkarak comment then pauses, thinking for a few moments, then says " That is one way to look at it, it can also be thought like a symbiotic nature, although some spirits do act more like a parasite. Piter to answer your question, yes and no some spirits are the remains of a soul, mindless and just asking to lend power to those that are able to tap into there plane. Other's can be the bastions of nature herself, some are smarter then all of us. The more powerful ones are able to attach themselves to other beings, lending guidance or just power. Of course the're some that mange to hold into more of their soul and thoughts, those are the ones that are the most dangerous."
Absently wiping the blood from his hands onto his chin, he looks around " Some of the spirits require an offering, like the bandage I rip from your wound, remember how it started to smolder. That was the payment the spirit wanted for healing you, a bit of your life force that was still attached to the object."
He sighs slightly " I imagine that their is now a connection that Loki can feel, almost as if he managed to tap into what I normally do. It looks like these Tomes are packing serious Juju, we could start to seek them out, they maybe able to give us an insight into something else. Plus I'd like to find the gnome that was pissing on us, I'd like to try and remove his heart while he is still alive." He finishes with a cruel smile, then sits closer to the fire once more going into a full lotus position, the smell of freshly turned earth starts to rise around him once he closes his eyes.
The dark elf listens intently to the normally silent ogre with ravenous attention. He goes over the words time and again until they have been memorized. He would research this Sazs on his own, of course, to ensure that the accounting was correct, but in the interim it was better than total ignorance.
Loki does not look up from the macabre tome as he speaks, "These first few reference books of great insight that are of interest to shaman, monks, and shadow knights." Fingers absently run along his newly-healed chest as he adds, "Though the toll that is exacted might be more than one wishes to pay." Ensuring that all understand the full import of his words he says, "It sought to steal my sanity and drag me down with it."
Leaning his head back against the cave wall he closes his eyes and focuses on the emanations that he senses. "I am in tune with the other tomes and can locate them for you."
Snapping his fingers he summons a ball of pure necromantic energy. Rolling the tendrils of semi-solid mana around in his fingertips for a moment he pushes it into his chest to heal some of the remaining hurt from the unexpected flaying he just experienced (minor healing).
Minor Healing: 1d10 ⇒ 10
The necromancer sighs as the sharp pain becomes a dull ache.
"Tell me of yourselves. If we would travel together to seek out these powerful tomes I would know of those that I entrust my life with."
Innoruuk be damned, he would overthrow the false god soon enough.
|Piter de Colmar|
At first Piter considers just going back to sleep, but all this has made sleep impossible for a while. He looks at the Ogre with new respect; this is no ordinary Ogre, and he would be wise to listen to the Shaman.
This business with the books intrigues him, and it is this which causes his current wakefullness. It sounds like their "Juju", or power, he assumes, may be quite significant.
Piter scratches his beard. He will have to bathe soon, he thinks. After a time of reflection, he replies to Loki. "I don't have much to tell about myself, actually. I grew up an orphan, in a city orphanage. I was trained as a Shadow Knight on an estate outside of Freeport by a great master and a great man. I have no vocation, though I was considering joining the Freeport militia for a time to gain experience in combat and leadership, but was offered a different opportunity with the slavers, one that appeared at the time to be quite lucrative. The rest, you know, mostly. I can ride, I can be quite convincing to those who have something they dearly wish to believe true."
The Iksar notes the look that the Ogre gave him when he spoke of the books parasitic nature. Cakkarak would keep future such observations to himself. Not making the large person angry was always a smart idea. Especially when said person could heal their injuries and increase their chances of survival.
At Loki's mention of the Book trying to steal his sanity, Cakkarak raises both eyeridges. And yet the dark elf still fondled the book like it was a lover. 'I will never understand magic users,' thinks the Iksar as he cold eyes glance back to the barricaded entrance way. Loki speaks of his desire to know those whom he travels with.
"A simple enough tale," Cakkarak takes a sip of water from one of the mugs he had filled with snow. "I was raised from the egg to serve. When the day arrived, it was deemed I had sufficent skill to learn from the order of Swifttail. The train weeded out the weak from the strong," the monk says simply. There was no doubt in anyones mind as to what happened to those that failed. Weakness is not tolerated in Iksar life.
"Upon coming of age, I was deemed to have earned my place within the order," Cakkarak says without any sense of emotion. It seemed more like he was reading an accounting ledger for all the emotion present in his tale. "Due to my drive, and in no small degree of skill, I began to raise in the ranks. This prooved to be my downfall, more then anything. Arrogance had begun to settle within my mind. I publicly spoke on matters that I should not have spoken about. Because of that, I reached further then I was able to and was... punished."
The Iksar stops, his tale appearently over with. The monk looks like he was going to add something, until he tosses a barely noticable glance at the other iksar. Cakkarak left out that he had spoken out against the slavish intensity that his people worshipped the Faceless. The monk views that the diety will do nothing but lead his people to further ruin. And the Iksar's relience upon slavery. The iksar themselves had thrown off the mantle of slaves. And turned around and began their own empire built off the backs of slaves. Only to have that empire crumple out from underneath the proud people.
After surviving the trial of the journey from their sinking ship to this frozen place, Zaruksis felt himself inured somewhat against the cold; it's still very unpleasant, just a little less so now. He also felt confident that he could duplicate what he'd seen the human Piter do, carrying an attack through from one enemy to another. He was continuing to get better, on his own, away from the oppressive structure of iksar society. Every hardship made him harder. This was his destiny.
Then, their first night in the cave, Zaru wakens gently to the pleasant sound of screams. His memory flits fondly to long hours spent disciplining errant slaves, but something's off. He gathers his thoughts as he observes his surroundings, and realizes that it's the Teir'Dal screaming, not the goblin. Blood is spurting from the dark elf's chest, as the ogre chants a healing spell, and the book's cover changes color to half the same as Loki. Cakkarak is already checking the rest of the cave, so the scaly shadow knight waits and watches quietly.
As Kur'Plugh and Loki explain what happened, and that there are other books like it for shadow knights, Zaruksis feels the beginnings of avarice stir in his dark soul. "I would have one of those books. Not right now; forewarned, I want to build up my mental defenses, so that I don't go mad. But soon." Then Loki asks for them to tell of themselves...
Each of the stories is devoured and categorized by the young dark elf. He waits for the other iksar to speak for a moment and then speaks his story to fill the void.
The blasphemous Teir'dal was nothing more than a commoner trained among nobility, despised for his lowly station and a complete pariah for his gifts. How anyone could curse the Prince of Hate and still be one of his chosen was inconceivable. Returning to his home city was an option, though if he made his presence known it was likely that one of the noble houses would have him assassinated.
This was why he had departed the city and taken any opportunity to earn coin for spells.
Bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (20) + 6 = 26 (critical success)
Loki places the garish tome on his lap and sits up straighter. "I am born of nobility. One of the ruling family of Neriak, and heir to the throne. My time aboard the slavers' vessel was a punishment for hubris. I had spoken out against my deity."
The necromancer's strange cyan-hued eyes gleam as he spits out his next words, "Innoruuk will fall! I will take up the mantle of godhood once he does." His eyes are fixed on a point far beyond this cave, and even this plane, as if he threatening his deity directly.
Teeth flash in the flickering half-light of the fire revealing the necromancer's madness in full.
Zaruksis grins at Loki's bold statements, before his smile falters at the lack of divine lightning or any other punishment for such heresy. Perhaps his travels had brought him to where even threatening a god was thinkable.
" I have no such ambition; only to return to Cabilis with enough power that I can ignore all of the nonsense of War Barons and Haggle Barons. It is silly, and I would have none of it, so I left to make my own way. I had a good career, then was betrayed, then fled a sinking ship to once again seize the reins of my own fate. And you know the rest." The squat, burly reptile shrugs.
|Piter de Colmar|
Piter's mind begins working, looking for the right pieces to fit into the new puzzle that is Loki. After Loki declares he is an heir to his people's throne, Piter is both amazed and happy, for being close to one such as that could bring great benefits.
Then the Teir'Dal announces that he will replace his peoples' deity, he himself! Piter can tell Loki really believes what he is saying! And thus, the disappointment sets in, for it is obvious that this 'noble' Dark Elf is as crazy as Felwithe fox. Perhaps the one madness from the book was unable to trump the madness already in his head.
He listens to the others, then he turns his back to the fire, lying there with his eyes open, his breathing steady, a blanket covering him. And one hand, warm beneath the blanket and almost between his knees, solidly holding his longsword.
Cakkarak listens to each of the survivors in turn, his cold green eyes lock on each in turn. It was an interesting group that had fallen together by the whims of chance. He wasn't nearly naive enough to think the gods had anything to do with it.
Loki's bold claim, was surprising to hear, to say the least. Shocked would have been a better way to describe the monk's state of mind at that second. His mind quickly begins to whirl, assimulating the news, not to mention the look on the dark elf's face. He seemed to truly believe his bold claim. 'Hmm, well I suppose a being has to be a little insane to work so closely with the powers of Death,' Cakkarak thinks to himself calmly.
The Iksar monk thinks over what each of the others had shared. It seemed that they all seemed to be outcasts within the roles that their people had shaped for them. Pieter not as much, but the human seemed a capable enough surivor. Not a huge surprise, given the little that he knew about the training Shadow Knights endure. The monk guessed that the training for other races was fairly close.
"I could see why your people wanted you gone. A royal member speaking ill of a diety might not go over well. I believe it upsets the delicate power struggle between religions and the leaders of the land," the monk says calmly. Shrugging, Cakkarak adds, "Of course, my knowledge on such things is minimal at best."
Cakkarak glances at Zaruksis. The monk was pleased to hear that the ShadowKnight had little interest in the Barons petty games. Their schemes served only to tear his people further apart. Perhaps he had an ally in the other iksar afterall.
Kur'Plugh stops his meditation long enough to tell his tale, " I was raised in a village until I was 7, then one day I woke up in to see my village a smoking ruins. After that I was trained by Granpie in the arts of a shaman, after I reached manhood I woke up to the tattoo on my face." He points to his face, now that you are close enough and have enough light you see it is a giant coiled serpent.
" The artwork I did to myself." He says with a hint of pride " After I had consumed a ritual brew, the spirit's guided my hands on this. A few years later I buried him and according to his wishes, I took his arm bone and put in pieces, and pierced my septum with one of his bones. He still guides me, although it does get tricky, now that he is no longer bound by flesh, to understand him at times. Since then I've been traveling towards a retreat for more training, of course the rest we all know, since the boat that is." He says with a grin.
Kur'Plugh's eyes close, and a few wisps of smoke rise up from his body, as if something else besides the fire was heating him. ' Good child, let them listen to you, don't tell them anymore, they don't need to know that you were the reason why the village was crater, not just ruins. ' Kur'Plugh hears the voice of his grandfather spirit while regaining his Mana.
The rest of the night passes with no other events, when the group awakes it is still storming just has fiercely as the night before. It seems like the gods are punishing this land mass for an event in the past, anyone who travels outside of the cave has to step carefully to avoid slipping on the ice that has formed over.
The boat itself is still intact from the buffering of the storm, however it has now fused itself with the rocks, it looks like after Kur'Plugh and the Iskar spend some time looking at the weather and with their nature knowledge, know that the storm will pass in the afternoon.
A frozen forest is a few miles away from your little shelter, Kur'Plugh spends some time reading a few signs from the finger bones he made last night. It looks like some game might be found an hour or so after the storm ends, he casts a spell and informs the group what direction is North, which happens to be towards the shore.
The goblin is awake finally ask away, give three intimidate checks DC 15 on the first one each successful check reduces the DC by two. If all three are successful, the goblin will not withhold any information and will be the best slave possible... and will have a lower chance at trying to escape. Stockholm syndrome will apply, and so forth, any information is good information right?
Cakkarak wakes easily, his training had turned sleep into a mental excerise rather then a waste of 8 hours a day. He awakes feeling mentally refreshed. His body was still stiff and sore from the healed wounds, and the cold tightened his muscles.
The Iksar begins a series of stretches that seem almost painful in nature. Limbered, the monk begins his morning drills. Muscles left unused or unstretched had an annoy habit of tearing. The coldness that had wormed it's way into the Iksar's bones hadn't helped.
For a bit he watches Loki work over his newest toy. The monk had seen spirits broken before, he doubted the goblin would over an real resistence.
Watching the storm, the Iksar monk slides past their barricade to try to gauge the weather. Cakkarak confirms his guess with the others that have a degree of knowledge in surviving in the wilderness.
This goblin had spent the rest of the evening and an entire night in slumber. Loki had found fatigue to be a factor, but he wondered if the creature was feigning a portion of its illness.
Cold cyan eyes probe for information from the roused goblin.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Tirelessly pacing back and forth in front of the goblin is the summoned skeletal minion. Between the staring of the dark elf, and the expectation of the necromantic pet suddenly launching itself at the goblin it must be a tad disconcerting.
Intimidate: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (20) + 4 = 24
There is nothing overt about the necromancer's threat, if anything his mein is pleasant as if he is speaking to a friend he has not had the pleasure of meeting for an extended period.
"Tell me of the area beyond the cave."
|Piter de Colmar|
Piter awakens early, gets up, and goes to the cave entrance. He doesn't like being stuck in here like a dog in a doghouse. He goes outside to brave the weather, briefly, and comes back in wet and with snow all over him, and laughing.
Over by the fire, he warms himself as Loki starts questioning the prisoner. "Let me know if you want any help," he says to the necromancer, in case he wants to do the good guard / bad guard thing. He takes out a dagger and cuts off some meat, and offers it to Loki. Eating food in front of a hungry person is sure to provide some fun.