|Tordrek the Rusted|
As you finish off the remaining cultists near you, you look up to see a couple finsh off a poor knight before sprinting towards you, only to meet their doom as two Bolts of blue force, A green arrow made of light the size of a spear, and a charging Dalen meet them head on.
You then quickly spread out, finding what remains of the skirmishes and quickly turning the tide of the remaining battle. By a rough guess, over half of the knights that had been at the ceremony were dead, and a quarter still wounded or missing. The most surprising thing is just how many traitors had attacked tonight. out of a rough estimate of 120 recruits tonight, about 40-50 had taken part in this surprise attack. Not long after you gather up and subdue the few remaining cultists that were still breathing, Mia Fey walks back in through the large double doors. Her clothing torn, charred, and tattered. Her normally beautiful face wore a pained and exhausted look.
Thank goodness, you all have my sincerest apologies, This was not the only attack tonight, and I was forced to maintain belief in your abilities and training, though the toll is more than I can stand. Come, Let me tend to the wounded.
She presents her holy symbol and a mist of golden light spreads out from around her. As it touches you, you feel refreshed and your wounds close rapidly, leaving not even a scar upon you.
Channel: 7d6 ⇒ (1, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 6) = 20
Channel: 7d6 ⇒ (2, 6, 4, 6, 3, 2, 4) = 27
Please, all of you return to your old barracks rooms after helping to... to... collect... all the dead. All Knights within the city have been called to high alert and several will be posted around and in your barracks. You will all receive a briefing tomorrow, but, for tonight, the Headmaster has deemed your parts finished. Several of the other knights slowly begin to move about, collecting fallen comrades to line them in rows. Their faces either in tears, or nothing but a blank expression as the adrenaline leaves their system. Mia then walks to your group after speaking to another group of 6 knights.
I understand you 6 held your own extremely well, and aided in bringing this battle to a close, and in our favor. Please, get some rest tonight, I believe you have earned it and the Headmaster wishes to see you tomorrow, at the break of dawn. Things have taken an extremely dark turn, and I fear your work will be far and above what many are expected to do after only just finishing their trials. I fear that dark days are ahead. Not merely for our Order, but for the people as well.
She walks away towards another group and she asks them to bring the prisoners with her.
If you have anything you wish to do, feel free to do so, otherwise, if you wish to go ahead and skip to your meeting with the Headmaster in the morn just say so.
To make a note, it was around 10-11 when the fighting broke out, you'd normally be fatigued with that little of sleep, however, your deity reaches down and grants you a boon of stamina for your dedication and deeds. Congrats! You can RP receiving the "touch" of your deity however way you wish Lienhol. If you wish.
As Mia speaks, the gnomes smile slowly melts from his face. Looking around the room, ultimately his face ends void of expression.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Nodding an acknowledgment as she finishes speaking, the gnome looks over his companions. Turning to Artemis, he flatly states "Tonight, I seem ill equipped to laugh. Leaves me but one alternative I believe."
Considering his next course a moment, he states "I'll see you all in the morning." to no one in particular and wanders out of the hall.
I know times are hard in the slums, but to do this?! Traitorous things are only going to hurt all of us! Not just the order! Images of the evening flash through his mind as his feet carry him with a will of their own. Looking up, he notices he's found himself standing before his childhood home. Those were simpler days. Will I be able to return to that life when this is done?
Suddenly a blue arc of light shoots from the heavens and strikes the small man. He takes a deep breath. I have chosen my path and I will see it through. My companions will require my rhetoric to stay sane in these times to come...
With a renewed purpose, Posh head straight to his barrack and turns in for the night. His fitful sleep is filled with curiosity for the future.
With that, I'm ready for the morning meeting when everyone else is.
Alvin shakes his head, wiping the blade of his rapier clean on a nearby tablecloth, "Should never have been a necessity. There was clearly cause for alarm hours before the abyss broke loose here. But it seems our Order is more concerned with dazzling the impressionable recruits than ensuring we survive past graduation."
The half-elf gathers with the others, a growing anger on his face, "You can't expect me to believe the headmaster's abrupt exit wasn't related to the attack. Nor that they could have executed this carnage without the help of those whose pay-grade far exceeds our own. The show of wealth and influence here has made me far too trusting I'm afraid.", he shares a meaningful look with the others assembled. "From here I'd advise we limit that trust, tenuous as it is, to those who've personally raised a blade in our defense."
|Tordrek the Rusted|
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Sense Motive: 1d20 ⇒ 18
She knows when to look strong, good. That will serve well... I should learn it too.
She turned the the group she had fought along side giving a nod to Posh. "You have my thanks Posh. I'm alive still thanks to you and Lienhol. I give credit where credit is due." She said respectfully. "You heard her. Tomorrow at dawn we are to report to the Headmaster." She told them. "I hope to see you all on time tomorrow." She said offering a reassuring smile, though it seemed to dampen a bit with Posh leaving.
... So much for a team...
As Alvin spoke the look on Artemis's face turn to one of anger. "If we being to turn out backs upon those we should trust, we're most likely to find ourselves facing the traders alone." She told him. "The headmaster's exit may have had something to do with this yes. Or he was lead away so that those here would be easier to kill. Because that seems to be exactly what happened." She said as she held her hand out to the dead that lay around them. "Could there be a mole in our ranks, possibly, but it is more then likely we have become complacent..." She removed one of the katanas from her hips and looked at the Juno family crest upon it. It seemed to gleam sadly in the light, but the sight of it filled Artemis with a since of purpose.
She gave a respectful nod to Tordrek when his words chimed in. "We are the next generation of the Order of the New Dawn. It is through our actions that the future will be written, and I will not see this Order fall apart because we're too scared to trust one another."
Sorry it was so much... you hit a nerve with AJ... >.<
Lienhol stops his work momentarily to listen to Alvins speech. However, his face grows dark as the other half-elf carries on. Somehow, he manages to allow him to finish before interjecting in a low, controlled tone.
"I daresay you spit on the graves of the fallen in this dark time, brother, but perhaps you are simply misguided. Either way, I will not abide your rhetoric any longer. Know this: surrounding oneself with allies of convenience does not a long life make."
With that, Lienhol returns to his duties.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 + 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 11 + (3) + 1 = 29
Mia's arrival shakes Alvin from his study of the clean-up, etching as many details as possible to memory. Preserving what truth he could, for he had little doubt the exact events of the evening would quickly become distorted. Whether the product of hidden agenda's or merely a symptom of the flawed memory he often witnessed in others, truth invariably decayed faster than fruit left too long in the sun.
Frowning he sets himself to bury the girl beneath a mountain of questions, but looking in Mia's eyes, weary and humbled by the loss here, he decides to hold his tongue for once. Merely nodding as she both commends and dismisses the six of them.
Once she is out of earshot however he turns to Tordrek, "Don't let yourself be blinded by the horror unleashed here friend. I've pledged my loyalty to the Order same as you and I've no desire to renege now. But it's clear after tonight that serving the order means something entirely different to a good many people. We would all do well to remember that."
No need to apologize. I find these sorts of discussions to be a wealth of character development and solid roleplay :)
Alvin breathes deeply, spreading his hands with palms out in a calming gesture to those offended by his statement, "Peace brothers and sisters. It is not my intention to spit on anyone's memory. The deaths here were senseless and wrong by any metric. I simply have no wish to join the dead through the same complacency that led us to this dark night."
"I suggest we all heed our orders. Sleep, what we can manage, will likely sooth our nerves."
The young half-elf's mind races as he paces slowly back to his barracks and halfway through the night despite his attempts at sleep. There was so much more to all of this but Alvin lacked too many of the pieces to come to any real conclusions. The briefing would provide more he was sure, but the hours left till damn seemed to stretch interminably. Still he had to start with what he knew.
His memories of the initial attack were still hazy from the many spirits beforehand. But he had been there, he HAD all of it stored somewhere. Quieting his mind, Alvin slows his breathing, retreating within himself. The woman who led the attack, black hair, a power uniquely terrible. What was the inlay on her armor, had to tell a tale. But what?
Just remembered I still have these to make about the initial attack. For the record, Investigators have ALL the knowledges, one way or another ;)
Knowledge (History): 1d20 + 9 + 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (14) + 9 + (3) + 1 = 27
Knowledge (Religion): 1d20 + 4 + 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 4 + (1) + 1 = 25
Otherwise I should be ready to move on to morning.
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It is early morning. The sun will rise soon.
Lienhol sits alone in the destroyed ballroom, his back pressed against the wall. His eyes are half open, staring at some far off point in space. Nearby there are heaps of bloody bandages, testament to lives lost and lives saved. One bot (for he could have hardly been called a man) had bled to death from a gruesome stomach wound before the healers could arrive. That was hours ago. Lienhol had administered last rites.
The room is obscured by wafting smoke. Lienhol recognizes it as healy myrrh - a powerful holistic resin designed to aid the wounded. No doubt it had seeped in from wherever the healers had taken them. The screaming stopped hours ago - Lienhol could only hope that they had found proper rest.
Near the middle of the night Lienhol had come across the crumpled form of a cultist amidst a pile of slain brothers. His wounds were severe, yet he lived. Lienhol looked at him with cold eyes, yet still he dug this man free and brought him to the healers so that he could be saved. Part of his vows echo through his head:
“Life, although it may only be an accumulation of anguish, is dear to me, and I will defend it.”
Lienhols mind returns to the present. He had very nearly nodded off, but dawn was near and there would be more work to do. The first rays of the rising sun break through a nearby window, banishing the hazy night and striking singularly upon the weary champions brow. He rises to his feet, illuminated by the morning light, and whispers to himself his oath: "I am Dreadguard."
Ready for the morning line-up unless someone has something else they want to do in the evening.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (20) + 3 = 23
Grabbing a drink form one of the few tables that haven't been turned over. "To our honored dead, may their bodies return to the soil and their soul to the place of their gods," Rols drinks from the glass then smashes it on the ground. Looking to his new brothers and sister, those still standing and those laying slain, he sighs heavily and says, "we should get some rest, tomorrow begins the hard work."
Rols takes his leave to check on his horse then heads to bed.
Cast Goodberry before sleep: 2d4 ⇒ (2, 2) = 4
|Tordrek the Rusted|
Tordrek will follow Rols' example, raising a glass of ale before letting if fall to the ground, "To the valorous dead, may they rest easy and their sacrifices not be in vain." Tordrek stops to check in on an injured warrior, making a makeshift bandage out of a strip of his uniform. Satisfied with his work, Tordrek trudges off. This was supposed to be a joyous day, one where I could shed the pains of my past. Evidently not. But gods be damned, we're the new dawn of the New Dawn, and no power in this world can stop us.
Once everyone is finished with their night interactions...
The next morning, Posh gets up early and packs all his belongings. Stopping in the doorway, he looks back over his room. It's been a ride. I suspect I won't be back for sometime. thinks the gnome.
Upon arriving to the headmasters office, he waits patiently for his companions to arrive.
Once all are there...
"I must apologize for my actions last night. I've never seen such...carnage before. It hit me harder than expected. I promise that won't happen again." Smiling he adds, "I looked over some of my books last night and came across some information about that woman's tattoos when we have a free moment. Shall we find out what the headmaster has for us?"
Alvin wakes in a cold sweat, the screams of friends turned to ash still ringing in his ears. Pushing himself upright, the young half-elf sits a long while until shuddering breaths give way to even breathing. Gradually his fear is forced to make way for a sense of purpose.
With the grey of predawn just beginning to creep through the window, Alvin lights a candle in his small room and begins the familiar task of distilling a suite of extracts for the day, these decidedly more practical than his typical choices.
Once finished, he packs his alchemy equipment and the totality of his belongings into his rucksack. Whatever our orders, I suspect things will move very quickly today. Likely in the days to come as well.
Shouldering the pack, he blows out the candle and exits the room pausing only briefly to collect his odd branching spear from its spot behind the door.
Grief hangs heavy in the halls as he makes the trek to Headmaster Alaryn's office. He offers a grim smile to the first few brothers he passes but most don't so much as meet his eye. Alvin ceases his attempts shortly after. Preoccupied with their own mourning, they could hardly be expected to make room for the intrusion of others.
Reaching the office door, he nods a solemn greeting to posh.
As the others assemble he nods again, "Indeed. I've some knowledge on the subject as well but we can discuss it after. I'm interested to see how much is shared with us at this meeting. There is however no cause for apology. This last night took a toll on us all."
|Tordrek the Rusted|
Artemis had been up for almost three hours before dawn, giving her enough time for her morning run, practice, and a bath. She had slept, though she wouldn't call it good. She had always known battle would be hard, real battle that is, but seeing so much death... she wasn't sure she'd be able to sleep like she use to for nights...
She dressed herself in her uniform before her breastplate, and finally her katanas. Once she finished dressing she stood before a small looking glass and began to out up her long hair into her iconic ponytail, even with a few strands who felt rebellious in her face, as she did every day.
Finally she headed for the Headmaster's office. She would not be late, no, she would not allow it. When she found her allies there she offered them a smile and joined them. "It seems all but Lienhol got here before me." She said. "Posh, you have no reason to apologize. I believe that is the first true combat any of us have seen." She told him.
You are all beckoned to entire the Headmaster's office. As you enter, you see Alaryn sitting at his desk donned in a new breastplate. He has several letters, notes, and maps spread out on top of his desk that he has obviously been pouring over, a mug filled with hot tea sits on his desk as well.
He stands as you enter.
Ah, yes good. I hope you will forgive my lack of pleasantries. We are all pressed for time and that would only hinder us. As I am sure you are aware, more than your acceptance party was attacked last night. Several powerful merchant families were attacked, as well as our nations leading body, the council of nine. One has, as of this morning, been pronounced dead due to a vicious new poison. Please accept my apologies for last night, I have failed you as your Leader. He bows to you all, before straightening and proceeding.
I am sure you have many questions about the attacks, however, I can only tell you this. We are almost entirely in the dark on who it was that launched the attack against us last night. Their strikes were coordinated, well timed, and well executed. However, we believe that they lost much of their force in the assault and that they are likely on the retreat and in hiding. Archmage Vinnick and several others are working to track them down and uncover more about them. This however, will not be a task you are involved in. We must continue to aid the towns and cities as we can as well as hunt down this new enemy.
he looks through a few letters stacked on his desk before seemingly finding what he had been searching for.
It seems I must ask of you and your fellow brothers that we have left a great many things. The Mayor of Aldune has sent me a letter requesting immediate assistance in defending the town from an impending orc attack. While we cannot be completely sure the shamanistic tribes within the Deep Wood will indeed attempt a raid, I know the mayor personally and he would not lightly ask for aid from the Order. He also mentions in his letter about a strange sickness that seems to be spreading among the population. One which the local clerics and herbalists have not encountered before. I know you may desire something more akin to striking back at whatever organization lead last nights attack, however, I must ask of you to carry out your duties as assigned.
He pauses for a moment before messaging his temples and taking a drink of his hot tea. It is easily apparent he has not rested, much less slept, since the past night's occurrences.
Normally, I would not ask newly accepted knights to complete so potentially dangerous an assignment, however I cannot send out any more experienced knights. However I believe you are capable enough, you are each a knight of the Order of the New Dawn. Never forget what we fight for.
The journey to Aldune is several days on horse back. Remember to stop by the quartermaster to get any mundane items you think you may need for this mission. Horses and saddlebags will be provided to you to ensure you reach the town swiftly. If you have any questions now is the time to ask, you need to leave at once.
Leaning on the back of a nearby chair, Alvin listens to Alaryn's briefing in silence. The reassignment was disappointing but hardly unexpected, regardless of it's present state, the Order did have a great many commitments that simply could not be set aside. A profession of complete ignorance on the matter of the recent attacks was surprising however.
Narrowing his eyes, Alvin searches Alaryn's face for any sign the Headmaster might be withholding information about the Order's newly revealed enemies.
Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 + 1d6 + 1 ⇒ (20) + 11 + (1) + 1 = 33
As Alaryn pauses for questions, Alvin hesitates for a moment, looking to the others and noting Lienhol's seemingly simple acceptance. Gods, the quiet minds of the dutiful...
Clearing his throat, the half-elf speaks up in an initial attempt to maintain a suitably respectful tone, "Ahem. Excuse me Headmaster, there must be more you can give us concerning the recent attacks? One of the realm's oldest adversaries springs from the shadows after two centuries, as a fully realized rebellion, organized and wielding the full wrath of their God...and we know nothing? Truly?"
He clearly attempts to rein himself in somewhat, "I...I realize the need for discretion, but these cultists are clearly active throughout the entire realm.", but his exasperation quickly bubbles to the surface once more,"You must know it's more than likely this stirring among the orcs of Deep Wood is related? Those brutal nomads have provided the only constant rumors of large scale Aramosh worship for years. If we're to do our jobs we need as full an understanding of the situation as you have."
For anyone wondering, you haven't missed anything. Alvin is simply getting ahead of himself in his frustration.
At the mention of Aramosh, Alaryn raises an eyebrow.
hmm, A studious one. Your knowledge does you well. It is true, the woman that you saw, and some others throughout the events last night bear strikingly similar symbols to those of Aramosh. However, we cannot yet be sure if they are merely pawns to another organization, or the leaders of this one. It is highly unlikely that followers of Aramosh would be this organized, prepared, and calculating.
He looks you up and down, and lets out a sigh.
I suppose telling you to not go about asking question on this god and his following will prove pointless. So, instead I will ask that if you do dig around about this, cult, do so as a secondary issue to your assignments, and do so quietly, They may not know we have connected them to Aramosh, for their symbols and colors are extremely similar to that of Rovagug. We must keep from them all the information we can, while gleaning the most that we are able. As for your job, I've told you all I have been told. The letter came in two days ago, as I said I had intended to send out more experienced knights, however those plans had to be changed.
you see small signs, signs that even you might not normally notice flicker across Alaryn's face. He is impressed, but seems to be telling, mostly, the truth. If he is withholding information, it is likely because it is incomplete, or rather personal.
Sucking his teeth the freshly minted knight nods in acceptance. The Headmaster's response seems genuine enough and honestly more informative than expected. The lack of information was hardly satisfying but then again, few things were to the half-elf.
Seeing little else to be gained, Alvin bows slightly to Alaryn, "Discretion I can promise you. We will do all we can to see the New Dawn is well represented in this matter. I fear any weakness or ineffectiveness perceived from the Order in the days to come will only further swell the ranks of these deranged cultists."
Posh stands off to the side listening to the headmaster ramble. Is the order always so...so...superfluous? So set on what they are saying they ignore the method? The gnomes eyes glaze over as the headmaster continues to drone on.
Yes, yes last night was terrible....blah blah...save Aldune...sickness? hmmm...
Refocusing on the discussion, Posh interjects. "Would antitoxin or antiviral be of use vs this ailment?"
Glancing towards Rols as Alvin pipes up, he smiles. The investigator's mention of Aramosh causing an audible chuckle from Posh. "So you are more than a pretty face sir. Glad to see another studied knight amongst us."
"Misguided fools, sir? Perhaps. Nevertheless, as proven last night, they are not likely to listen to reason."
"Of course Headmaster." Artemis said with a nod. "We will head to Aldune." She said calmly. "With all luck we will find out what is happening, and maybe even stop it." The woman hoped that it would turn out to be something they could help with, but she wasn't a healer... at least she could help if there was a raid. "Would you like me to send reports on anything we find? Or just wait till we return?" She questioned.
Alaryn shakes his head at Posh's question. No, even the divine magic of the Light seems to be unable to fully cure or remove whatever sickness has begun inflicting the populace. I must urge you all to take care.
Alaryn looks at Juno as the others leave.
If everyone is ready, we can move ahead
Totally cool to move on after this.
You must have faith in yourself Juno, I see in you the greatness that has always ran in your families blood. Yet, you most also have faith in your brothers. For no one can stand alone. As for reports, there is no need to do so until your return. However, if you come across something that you believe is of utmost importance, and you are kept from returning with that information immediately then do send a report.
Do we need to pay for the items we get?
I would have grabbed 20 signal whistles from the quartermaster and purchased 3 scrolls of Lesser restoration from a paladin. :-P Afterwards, I'm good to move on
|Tordrek the Rusted|
You make your way on the week journey, stopping along the way at small inns a couple times. The rest you spend outside camping style. It is mostly uneventful, however as you find yourself on the last day of your journey a large storm blows in. Rain, and light wind buffet you. You had seen the city from atop a hill not long ago and estimated that it wouldn't be far to travel to reach Aldune. Eventually, you come to the city limits, many soaking wet, and shivering from the cold northen air. The wall, while only made of wood, is far more than a mere palisade. It is thick enough to allow two people to walk abreast, with room for possibly a third. You are hailed by an equally soaked looking guard.
Hold, what business do ye have traveling here? And in this weather?
"We where sent by Headmaster Alaryn of the Order of the New Dawn. The Mayor requested assistance so we came with haste." Artemis answered as she called out to the guard over the storm. "I am Artemis Juno, those here with me are Tordrek, Rols, Posh, and Lienhols." She added just before a cold breeze stole more of her warmth away. "Please, allow us entrance, so that we may speak with the Mayor."
And get out of this weather... we're soaked to the bone... maybe even the very soul.
Ah, thank the gods, come to sort out the growing sickness here have you? My niece been sick now for days, hardly eats or drinks and running a fever something awful. She's down at the church with the others what been sick.
The guard gives a brief nod, and calls out, the gates soon open for you to enter the town. The wall only encompasses the main downtown of the city, however numerous buildings line the roadway, and you can see a large two story Inn at the middle of a cross section of road. At the very center of the city lies the town hall, the second largest building in the area. Not counting storehouses. The other largest building seems to be a church, which is also the only building not made entirely of wood. There seem to be dozens of people seeking entry at this time.
Aldune is a large town, but still extremely small compared to cities like Sparo and Umber, being the end of a road, it seems to have but one Tavern, likely frequented by the local workers. As you get into the city proper, the storm begins to pick up and worsen further.
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"We need to report to the Mayor first." Artemis told her brothers as she made her way to the Town Hall. "If you all wish, go and get us rooms at one of the inns. I shall come looking after I let the Mayor know we are here." She informed them as she quickened her pace, the wind still biting at her as the rain came down.
When she got to the door she knocked loudly on the door. At least I'll be able to get a bit of warmth before heading back out into this storm.
I just noticed something... Artemis is in a team of all dudes! XD
Indeed. So many dudes in fact you seem to be losing track of them all. Or has poor Alvin offended you somehow? :P
Sodden and miserable, Alvin is non-the-less alert as they enter town. Making careful note of it's defences, the seeming readiness of the guards. The large gathering at the church reeked of desperation to the half-elf. If this sickness was as resilient as the guard had claimed, even those a practical nature had likely turned to prayer when conventional efforts failed them.
His response to Artemis was harsher than it needed to be, mildly annoyed by her slight at the gate, "I've no intention of sitting on the sidelines here, sister. There are far too many questions that need answering, and the sooner they are, the sooner i can figure this mess out. Inside, I'm sure the mayor will make time for us now, given the situation."
Actually that was totally my bad! >.< My apologies Alvin. I was distracted while writing and well, it paid the price...
"You are correct brother Alvin. I believe he will make time for us, and if he doesn't then we will have to convince him other wise." She tell him as she crossed her arms to keep herself warm. "Though honestly I am worried about this illness... We must be careful here and make sure we don't take it back with us to the capital."
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Shivering as they enter, Posh nods his agreement to staying together. Looking sideways to Alvin he interjects, "Oh! So glad we have your god-like abilities to solve the worlds problems. If you need anything from your entourage, just let us know."
Giving an over exaggerated bow, he continues "Let me warm up a bit and I'll perform such dances to befit a king's jester good sir." The gnome chuckles mildly as he winks to the half-elf.
"Standard methods would be good to start with. No exchanging of fluids... If it's warm, gooey, and not yours leave it alone. Beyond that, we'll of course need further information."
|Tordrek the Rusted|