Iobaria: The Fallen Empire

Game Master Corerue

A group of Mercenaries set off with their Mercenary company into the dark lands known as Iobaria. Braving the fallen realm and what dark history lies therein to make their mark, make some gold and perhaps become heroes...

Ambushing the Raiders!


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Rhavenna:

You feel that whatever caused Aradacemorn to relax came from deeper within the fortress...

You also feel something was off with the woman, a slight tremor in her hands as she looks at you. Fading only when she tries to act tough with Tidus. It becomes apparent when you shake hands.

Aradacemorn was in bad shape, now that he was uncoiled the severity of his injuries were laid bare. The greataxe embedded in his head being the sorest sight of all, but he was riddled with crossbow bolts and other deep wounds. Apparently the dead weren't the pushovers he had assumed back in the armory.

Tresi nods, looking over at you as he responds, running a soothing hand over Aeria's head feathers. "We focused on this area primarily, didn't want to leave you all unattended. For which Aslan did mos of the watching with Tidus. We only ventured below to look for supplies and restore the natural order. Quite an impressive fortress, a lot of dormant power here." Tyg shifts and Tresi nods. "Yes, yes. Something doesn't feel right. What that is we don't know Tyg."


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

"There's something deeper inside, something.....positive I think. The reason Aradacemorn just relaxed. Even unconscious, as protective as he is he trusts whatever it is." Rhavenna replies glancing over t Tyg and giving him a nod.


Damn you Corerue.

Bluff vs Rhavenna's sense motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (13) + 2 = 15

Bluff:

The slight tremor that ran through her were hard to banish, she was near them and her body was responding like it should. She was trying hard to not literally quiver under Rhavenna's gaze.

She pushed down her instincts at the mention that something still lurked within the fortress. After shaking Rhavenna's hand firmly. She turned and moved to equip her armor, which took sometime and once she had donned it anyone who could read sylvan could easily read the runes that covered the armor in a stylized yet purposeful way.

Sylvan - Orod'aran:

Mountain Lord or Commonly known as Lord of the Mountain.

As she worked to strap on her armor she looked between the others, including Rhavenna, nodding to the wounded centaur as she spoke. "I will check again." She was furious that her nose had let her down, how could anything avoid her detection...

She straps the large blade on last once the armor was secure and begins heading out of the well lit room.


Rhavenna / Aslan

Tresi, the Elder and Tidus look to Rhavenna at her sudden statement. Tresi spoke first, seeming to believe Rhavenna without question, leaning forward and speaking softly to the stag, Tyg. "Tyg, go and check with her." His calm remained as he continued to sit with Aeria, stroking her head feathers gently.

The Elder shoulder his blade, looking completely at ease but also fully prepared for combat as he spoke to Aslan. "Give a shout if you find something, I'll come running."

idus looked from Rhavenna to Aslan before coming to a decision. "I'll go check to." He sets his hands on his blades as he looks back to Rhavenna. "Be back soon."

The odd three man team started to depart, Tyg leading the way with his broad rack of horns at the ready. Dipping his head many times in a full display of aggression, despite no enemy being present.


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

Sense Motive: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (3) + 11 = 14 Are you %#@ing kidding me??

Something was....off.....but the pounding in the head and ache in her muscles made focusing hard for the normally perceptive ranger. As Aslan dons her armor, Rhavenna's eyes widen as she read the Sylvan runes masterfully etched in the metal and leather. There was definitely a tale to be heard there.

As the warrior woman dashed of to investigate, Rhavenna looks for her own gear, hoping they's been able to gather it when they found her.

As Tidus joins the exploratory group she finds herself mumbling under her breath. "Be careful"


Rhavenna

Haha... I hate when that happens.

Tidus smiles, drawing and wielding his blades before heading after the other two.

Tyg looks at Rhavenna one last time before heading out ahead of Aslan and Tidus in search of whatever Rhavenna had sensed. The sound of their movements echoes for sometime as they search the upper floor first, thoroughly, before heading deeper.

Based off PM's

From then on it feels like ages after the last sounds of their feet on stone had faded. The Elder and Tresi were tense, Tersi had finally calmed Aeria. Having wrapped her back up in the furs he was now ending to your injuries until you heard something strange. Even Tresi pauses in what he was doing to look towards the noise as the Elder stood and drew his greatblade.

It was like a dragging sound, along with heavy clapping sounds. It kept getting closer and closer until a horn comes into view. Tresi's breath's out in a rush one word. "Tyg..." He steps forward as the Stag collapses just outside of the room. As soon as he hits the floor the entire room you are standing in seems to grow cold. But now everything slowing down, Tresi looked to be hardly moving and the Elders breathing seemed to cease.

Their surprise was plain to see as their eyes go wide as something steps around Tyg's fallen form. Dropping Tidus by Tyg's head, his drawn blades still clutched in his unconscious hands. Looking like a mass of shadows, boiling over each other, their form barely perceptible. A shadow hand rises and Tresi falls slowly to his knees, his eyes appearing to have fallen asleep in place. The Elder didn;t make it more then a few steps before another raised hand dropped him as well. Slowly sagging to his knees before a large, angry form staggered up behind the shadows. A form you quickly recognize...

Aslan, though not her usual combative self, staggered into view her massive greatblade shining blood red, the runs written on it giving off a glow like a blazing bonfire. Her eyes were rolled back, only the whites and the angry scowl on her face as her pure rage drove her forward. But the mass of shadows evaded and her blade sparked off the stones instead as the shadows seemed to dash to the side. Her movements were faster then the others but she still appeared to move too slowly for the darting shadows. Before she could recover she was disarmed, a look of shock, rage and panic crossing her face before the shadowy hands grasped her head. In the moment she grabbed the hands, hers easily dwarfing theirs, her body seemed to shudder and her muscles bulged momentarily before the shadow shook her. Hard. Affixing her attention to where its head should have been as it spoke.

"Drasskul Dak Na Skajul Sha Tag'Nul! Dsaka Da Kaj na!" The voice came out like a serpents lisp and at its words Aslan's eyes roll forward. Her rage forgotten as if she were transfixed by the strangeness of what held her head. It dragged her to the ground, repeating the words like an odd chant and with each repetition Aslan's resistance faded more and more until her eyelids fluttered and the shadows set her head against the stones. Closing her eyes with a single hand.

As soon as she was down, the world sped up again, though the light in the room seemed not to reach the shadows flickering form. Appearing as if the entire area around it were dimmer, like staring into a void. Save now the shadows didn't do anything, they were just there. Everything it had touched though appeared to be sleeping and quite soundly.

Mai and Livain

There is a response for you two further back, will reference it in later posts so you don't have to dig to far.


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

Was I able to gather up any of my weapons or no?


Whoops, you are fully armed and armored, this scene was over the course of an hour. The fortress is quite large.


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

As the normal flow of Time seemed to resume, Rhavenna quickly moves to place herself between Aeria and the shadow creature cursing herself for having been so wrong. Here's bow already drawn and aimed at the creature she shouts "Whatever the @$&# have you done to them? Don't take another step!"

Readied action to fire if it advances


I hate you so much right now. Not even... ugh.


Rhavenna Will Save DC 19: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (16) + 3 = 19

The shadows seem to focus on you intently now, surging, moving more wildly until your shout brings the unnerving feeling of a piercing gaze. The wild surging of the shados start to fade and in the depths a pair of piercing eyes become visible. Like molten gold they sine brightly in the darkness. "Do not be afraid..." One shadowed hand waves towards the form of Aslan, Tyg and Tidus. Then to the Others finishing with Aradacemorn. "They are only asleep... This way is easier..." As it moved its hands the eyes looked away momentarily but now it was focused on you once more. "Can you see?"


Hates a strong word, don't blame me for your poor rolls :P Aslan


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

"Y..yes." She replies, her eyes flicking over her sleeping companions, her body relaxing slightly, though not quite lowering her bow.


The shadows weave and flow again, The darkness fading some at your response. "Good... Good..." The shadows weave their way over to Aradacemorn, deftly avoiding a claw as the dragon spasm's at its approach. It continue to move slowly, the eyes still locked on your own as it makes its way eventually to Aradacemorn's head.

It pauses for a moment, seeming to assess your comfort level before reaching for the greataxe handle. "Sleep hastens healing... Wounds were deep... Movement not good... Dragon was in dang... So were..." It removes the embedded axe with the ease of pulling a freshly sprung weed. Aradacemorn lets out a growl in pain but again a single shadowy hand on his head lays him back down with ease. The same chant sending him back into oblivion. "You." The eyes had only glanced down when trying to calm Aradacemorn but with that last word the golden pools snapped back to you.

The shadows now wielded the great axe with a single hand, despite the size of the giant weapon. Once Aradacemorn was sleeping again the shadows set the axe down and gently rolled his head to the side. Making it look like the weapon had fell out on its own. The shadows crafted a scene, moving back to you and gesturing to the others the voice came again. "May I?" The eyes tilted then, as though it was waiting for your word.


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

If this thing wanted to harm them, removing the axe from Aracedemorn would be a very bizarre first step. Letting out a tense breath she nods. "Yes. Go ahead."


Rhavenna

It moves around you, the shadows seeming to run across you as it steps close. Though it doesn't hurt it does however feel strangely cool. The shadows flit about and the wispy hands emerge only to adjust everyone's positions. Lifting most of them with a floating platform of shadows that moved them with the ease of lifting a feather.

The Elder was sat back in gentle repose against one of the burning braziers. His weapons removed and set beside him.

Aslan was pulled up to lie near where the Elder was as well, her sword resting in its previous position and appearing to have fallen asleep in her armor.

Tidus was moved back to a spot similarly close to where you had been laying before, his swords back in their sheaths. Though one of his blades reacts violently to the shadows approach, it was his third blade. The one you'd never seen drawn, which now was leaking an oily darkness when the shadows approached Tidus but again a soothing chant seems to calm the obviously magical blade.

Tyg was the strangest... The lispy voice said something that you couldn't discern and slowly Tyg rose to his feet and moved as the strange shadows directed. The stags eyes were open but were vacant, save for a blank stare until he was directed to lay down near where Aeria was.

Tresi was laid against Tyg, the shadow platform washing over the Stag but not affecting his sleep state.

Aeria was never moved but the shadows floated within arms length, flitting about like it was kneeling near her before touching Aeria's forehead for a brief moment. It rose and seemed to be inspecting its work. Finally, its work completed it moves back to you, the golden eyes looking at you once more, though now mere slits instead of great golden pools.

"Better, now all rest... Peaceful, comfortable and safe... Save for you, Dvezda..." It walks around you slowly, the shadows once more reaching out, seeming to leech off your heat but not in a painful way. Finally the shadows withdraw and the strange mass of writhing shadows was back to where it was when you permitted it to adjust your friends. The golden slits that made up its eyes expanded slightly. "Questions... Ask and answer... back and forth... Do you desire Power?"


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

"To protect my companions.....to defeat my enemies, yes. But not at any price."


The shadows begin weaving something together, something that was at the moment translucent with an undefined shape. The golden eyes alternate between Rhavenna and what it was creating. "Good... good.... Now, Question."


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

Rhavenna watches the creature intently. "What....What are you?"


Rhavenna

Just saw your post. Apologies for wait.

As the shadows spoke, the eyes started to lose their luster, the golden pools turning ashen and dark shades of grey. "That Which Is Lost..." It states this most 'matter-of-factly' before continuing to speak, as though your question had sparked something of interest to it. "... separated from true body... having crossed the emptiness... drawn to this World... and unable to return..." It's hands start to split, two pairs, four, eight and finally sixteen. All working on various parts of the shadowy item it was rapidly creating. "Most do not see... seeing only their Fears... Horrors made Real, Present... Always do they strike... Force me to fight... You see truth... you are the first... you are special... So much time passed... so much time lost... and I am tired... in need of rest... much longing for home..."

The eyes remain ashen as they turn back to you. "To protect your companions... admirable but ultimately flawed... Could[/i] you..."[/i] Its words carried weight this time and magic as you felt your sense started to heighten, your heart literally leaping into your throat.

1d20 + 3 ⇒ (4) + 3 = 7

The shadows coalesce into something else... flooding your senses to the point you could smell the blood under your hooves...

"... watch them die?"

Rhavenna:

... the entire fight was lost. The mercenary forces were broken, facing down gigantic horrors that slathered and frothed at the mouth as they picked up fleeing Blades and crushed them between their massive teeth. The mercenaries shrill cries cut off when chomping jaws split their heads from their necks. With blood drenched saliva they descended on those that still defied them. Tidus, the Elder and yourself. Your lance was already covered in viscera from the many strikes you had dealt out to these malformed giants. The Elders face was blood covered, having taken and dealt out his fair share of death to the enemy as well and Tidus, Brave Tidus, was battered but still holding his own.

A multitude of giants surrounded you, the last batch of resistance, these particular ones seeming more interested in fighting then cleaning up the fleeing stragglers. Tidus and the Elder seemed not particularly keen on waiting for the giants to form up and instead charged the still weakened flank. Though their charge was brave it was ultimately doomed to fail, the enemy had strength and reach over these doomed men. The Elder was impaled with a tree, which was crafted into a pointed wooden spear. The giant content on pinning him to the earth and the Elder proving not so easily felled.

Tidus took a blow from an axe the size of a tree, slamming into the front of his helm and splitting his helm open with a gut-wrenching sound of grinding metal. The giant yanked its massive axe from the earth. Blood pooled at Tidus's feet, his muscular body trembling as he staggered forward listlessly before collapsing face down in the blood mud at his feet. His blades fall from his hands as the giants raise their weapons to strike the final blows. Several have moved in behind you, hemming you in as a whisper came over your shoulder.

"...f...oc...us..." The words spoken like the speaker were out of breath or straining to speak.

With that the scene starts to unravel, the shadows fracturing as your mind reigns in this nightmare scenario. You blink several times as you search your mind for an answer. Only finding that; The voice was completely unfamiliar to you, but you were certain beyond any doubt it was a friend. How you knew that was startling... You simply know.

Your sudden return to reality brings the now ashen eyes to stare at you, wide in surprise as you seem to resist again. The hands pausing momentarily before continuing their work. The eyes had color starting to flood back into them again, bringing them back to a silvery pool with golden flecks shining in its center. "Good..." It's voice carried a sort of merry musing then.

Mai and Livain

Last Post directed at you both


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

The scene was overwhelming, almost literally as Rhavenna tried to shake it off, tears streaming down her face at the loss. She focused, trying with all of her might to reject the tragedy she'd just witnessed, to cling to hope and keep the fire of defiance burning in her heart.


The shadow creatures hands continued to move as your emotions ran high. A single wispy hand snagging a tear from your face and adding it to what it appeared to be creating. "I had companions, once... and a home, once... but we dabbled... with something beyond us... Until we were forced... to make a choice... and all was lost... Nothing remains for... I... but shadows endlessly wandering... forever searching... never finding..." IT eyes turned downward and its strange workings were nearing some sort of completion.

Rhavenna's will save: 1d20 + 3 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 3 + 10 = 25

Rhavenna:
The shadows twist and momentarily envelop you once more but this time you are calmer somehow, like you weren't alone...

The shadow beings words created a back drop of a grand ritual room and several items of unknown make. Items that you could easily feel were filled with dark power. Each of which was being destroyed, releasing bursts of their contained magical might into the aether. This ritual room was in the center of a cathedral, set in the heart of a fortress city that was like a massive castle. Whose citizens lived within its many walls, a city appearing to be under near constant siege by dark forces.

You witnessed their travels in a hurried fashion, seeing grand vistas and frozen wastelands as they gathered these items. Though those you traveled with were faceless and seemed smudged. In fact, everything was smudged somewhat. Though unclear but familiar, close but distant at the same time. The voices were discordant as if something permanently skewed their speech. Though you recognized one only because of their golden eyes. In all the travels they were quiet, patient and above all powerful in magical arts and a single weapon.

Each time they destroyed one of these items, they appeared more uneasy, faced heavier opposition and ever increasing challenges. They found that the risks involved were not only physical but meta-physical as planar beasts started to descend on them. It wasn't until the last item was shattered that the true terror was unleashed.

This terror was an abomination made completely from the shadows between spaces and shockingly wasn't smudged at all. Shadows completely made up its body, though that which was touched by light revealed a many tentacled face and hundreds of mouths with rows upon rows of teeth. This shadowy abomination towered over everything. It's size was gargantuan and its power for mindless destruction was as monstrous as it was. It destroyed the cathedral where the items had been shattered with one single burst of its dark power, shattering the divinely reinforced stones like they were made of parchment paper. In an instant killing hundreds of soldiers and innocent people that called the Fortress city home. The only one's unphased were the heroes including the one with golden eyes, who stood before the beastly shadow horror. Ready, like always, to do battle and to save their homelands from further harm.

However it easily batted them aside, wreaking havoc on the fortress city and decimating its defenders to the point that everything appeared to be lost. At that moment the one with golden eyes unleashed something unlike anything before, it was unclear if it was a spell or an ability.

....................................................................

The heroes had been returned to the restored ritual room and that soldier and innocent alike who'd died were returned to normal.

Everything was as it was. Except that their companion was gone. Their existence forgotten to all save for the heroes and those present in the ritual room.

....................................................................

Out of the nothingness that day the shadows reformed in a plane that blurred and bordered the material world. Though Azathoth was no more, his place was usurped by the one that destroyed him and they found they could not breach the planes to return home. Forced instead to endlessly wander through time, space and the dimension as Azathoth had once done before being imprisoned in those items they had so self-righteously been destroying.

The memory fades, the shadows hands had started to reduce in number, just as quickly as they had appeared, until only one set remained and continued to slowly rotate around an item that was far larger than before. Something that looked like armor. "To survive... first you need armor..." The item floated before you, spreading out so that you could examine it.

The armor it produced gleamed brightly in the light of the flickering flames of the braziers around you. This chainmail barding appeared to be made of a fine silver and gold links, it is so fine and light that it can be worn under normal clothing without betraying its presence. Though its shadow appeared almost formless and somewhat distorted, it was then that you noticed the shadowy leakage off the armor chain links. Though it was barely noticeable without really inspecting the armor...

Armor details:

Glamered Celestial Armor of Shadow's

This glamered +3 chainmail is so fine and light that it can be worn under normal clothing without betraying its presence. It has a maximum Dexterity bonus of +8, an armor check penalty of –2, and an arcane spell failure chance of 15%. It is considered light armor and allows the wearer to use fly on command (as the spell) once per day only at night when no strong light is present.

It counts as light armor for all intents and purposes and appears to be made of gold and silver. Though at its edges appear the faintest wisps of shadow, its own shadow appears somewhat distorted and hard to determine. This sort of shadow lacing gives the wearer a +5 bonus to stealth checks which are unaffected by any armor check penalties.

With its creation the shadows start to fade. "Use it or not... Your choice... But be wary... Ioberia... does not welcome you..." It looked at its diminishing shadows before the eyes returned to you. Filled with warm and a tinge of a deep melancholy that seemed to leech its way into your soul. "You have one last question..." It's voice was becoming clearer as the shadows faded, its form more distinct as it rose to as tall as you were its body being far more lithe than imagined with a long tail that ran behind it. But the shadows still clung to it, making it difficult to make out.


The shadows looked behind itself suddenly, its an entire form wavering like a slow ocean wave as it swept its gaze towards something in the darkness. It hissed in anger then. "No more time." It waved its hand and, shockingly, the air several yards away appeared to crack like fine glass before shattering loudly. Disappearing into thin air.

In that same instant its hands gripped the sides of your face. Its eyes boring into your own. Images appearing in the pools burned into your memory of places you'd never seen. It's voice was in your mind, like the whisper of a serpent in your ear sensual and deadly. "Devezda, Rhavenna, last of your bloodline. War comes to Ioberia again, a war of blood and darkness unlike any other. Do not be foolish in a land where death walks free and takes souls as it pleases through vile means. Though the darkness has light and shadows can be both ally or hated foe alike do not be easily cowed. For if you falter... You won't get another chance... Nor will the herds..."

Its eyes were warm, but terror welled up from within you as the pools turned to utter darkness. So bleak and devoid of life it felt as if your body were being pulled into it. Then you feel the raw impact of the undeads boot again, slamming down out of the darkness, again and again and...!

You sit up...

Awake and warm sweat running down your face momentarily before you get your wits about you...


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

Sorry looks like my post got eaten

Rhavenna closed her eyes, working to slow her breathing before opening them again.

Was it real? The shadow, the armor, any of it?

Opening her eyes she looks around, hoping to find her sleeping companions safe around her, but half expecting to find a battlefield swarming with enemies and littered with the dead.


Oh? If you had posted something feel free in reposting it in spoiler tags. The No more time can be an after that post sort of thing. I left it ambiguous for that reason. My internet issues at work continue but I am catching up haha.

Tresi, Tyg and Aeria appear to be where you last saw them. Further away now that you were back with Aradacemorn again. It appears Aeria and Tresi were talking, though the Harpy still clung to him. Tyg was surveying the room, snorting at things until he spotted you. His eyes lingering on you for a long moment before turning back to surveying its surroundsings.

The Elder was talking with your newest companion, Aslan, though their conversation was to quiet to be heard. Seeing Tidus's movement he looks over and smiles, before looking back to Aslan.

Standing nearby though is Tidus who brightens up considerably at seeing you waking up. "Glad to see your recovering still, by the time we returned you were back asleep along with old silver here." He arcs a thumb towards Aradacemorn good naturedly. "Though..." He pauses for a moment before shrugging. "We never did find what you had felt. Not that I don't believe you, mind. Just whatever it is, its a sneaky bastard." He brightens up as he moves over to a some items sitting off in the shadows and hefts them over a shoulder as he brings them over. "Found this while we were out and about last time... I was surprised there was barding here but Tresi assures me that dwarves have a sort of calvary as well. Hopefully it fits you, appears pretty sturdy and Tresi confirmed it was enchanted." The items he brings over is the very armor you had seen what had felt was moments ago.

Along with it he produces an amulet with a golden gem at its center, which reflects like it were molten at its core in the flickering fire light from the nearby brazier. The gem was held in place by a dark metal that had Sylvan runes engraved into the edge surrounding the gem. It read as followed: "Will of the Strong, to protect, even in the darkest place."


Aradacemorn gives a low rumble as he exhales mightily and starts to shift as he rolls onto his belly as his silver eyes snap open. Though he appeared greatly unfocused and unsteady as he brought his head around to look at everyone there. "Good, you arrived in time... There were so many flesh draggers and I was unsure of how many minotaurs minions were among them..." He rubs the gash where the greataxe had been stuck in his head and grunts in pained displeasure. "I underestimated them initially."

He becomes quieter as he notices a difference in numbers. "There are three missing..." He starts to rise when Tidus waves him off.

"Rest Aradacemorn, we searched high and low. Found plenty of blood to indicate one of them most likely... Didn't make it but two of the others are missing. But nowhere near here. With the storm, trying to find them is neigh impossible. So rest. We all need to, to catch up with Hawk at the very least."


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

Smiling at the sight of Tidus healthy and unharmed, Rhavenna lets out a breath she didn't even realize she was holding. Once again noticing Tyg's lingering gaze she raises an eyebrow before looking down at the armor.

"I...hmm....I'll try it on. Thanks. I'm glad you're okay."


The barding slides on with ease, like dressing oneself in the morning, the silver and gold chains have a dull shine in the fire light. The necklace though shines brightly the moment it falls across your shoulders...

Rhavenna gains a permanent +3 to her Will, Perception and Sense Motive checks.


"I can't wait to be out of this dank hole..." Aslan huffs angrily, sore from sleeping in her armor, something she didn't normally do. But their rushing to this tomb left her too tired to strip down. Besides that searching the entire place, again, had proven useless as well. "When can we leave Elder?"


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

Stripping out of her leather armor and barding and donning the new one with surprising ease, Rhavenna feels not only an increase sense of protection but an uplifting certainty. Resting a hand on Aradacemorn's side she smiles up at the dragon where he had lain coiled protectively all this time. "Thank you, for fighting as hard as you did, for keeping us alive against overwhelming odds."


Aslan

"As soon as they are strong enough and hopefully the storm will have lessened some by then." The Elder watched Rhavenna sidelong as she put on the items the group had found while searching. "Besides, we've lost some this time. Resting a weary mind is needed. So be patient." He looks up at Aslan then, a small grin spreading across his face as he asked. "When will ya tell her eh? She'll figure it out eventually..."


Aradacemorn nods at Rhavenna's words and gesture. "Someone had to crush the flesh draggers. Those abomination's had no right to grace these halls any longer, besides my motives were not all altruistic..." He rolls onto his feet and rises slowly, grunting in exertion after so long of resting in an awkward position. "It is good to have a home again..." He raises a claw and swirls it in the air before him, shockingly a small sack appears and he opens it quite delicately with his claws. Reaching in and removing an item from it, an odd looking opal. Its multifaceted surface glimmered dully in the firelight given off by the braziers nearby.

Sitting back on his haunches he waved his free front claw and the bag disappeared back to whence it came. He dropped back onto three legs and carried the opal to the most central of the braziers. Placing his injured head against it he started pushing the burning Brazier to the area between the two surface exits of the dwarven fortress. Back to the area where the undead had first appeared before the group. With or without help he places the brazier in the center of that room before dropping the opal into it.

He steps back then, sitting down and watching as the flames turned multihued for several long moments before settling to a nearly translucent white flame. This white flame was extremely hard to see but seemed to burn far hotter then before, so much so that after a few minuts the temperature in the room had risen considerably. The ice on the ground was steaming within thirty minutes.

That however wasn't Aradacemorn's purpose, it was what emerged from the brazier or, to be precise, what didn't emerge. Aradacemorn appeared to be talking to thin air, giving out simple commands such as Clean, Sort, Dispose and close but within minutes of him issuing such strange commands things started to change. Undead remains were suddenly being carried from the lower levels and taken outside the old fortress. The gates were opening and shutting constantly in the less inhabited side of the upper floor. Though the traffic caused a bit of a cold chill to waft in.

A clatter arose from deeper within the fortress, back down towards the armory you had passed through. Aradacemorn though wasn't surprised or concerned by these noises and instead nod his head at the increased activity.

"Good. By the time I return this place will be much more palatable. And you all are welcome to return here anytime. Granted I request you keep those that accompany you here in check." The last part didn't seem like a friendly reminder and more a warning as the injured dragon limped slightly back into the warmer room. "She would have liked this place..." He muttered to himself before transforming back into his halfling form. "Better..." He rubbed his sore right hand. "Now I don't need to walk on it at least."


"Shut your gob Faldirk." Aslan was deadly serious, staring back at the one eyed elder, both of them being in similar situation's sight wise. "I'll tell her when she figures it out. Tell her a day earlier then that and you'll have trouble. Ya g*$+&$ns nurse maid."

Seeing the dragon up and moving catches her eye and leaves her jaw hanging, especially since it was the first time she had seen a dragon. Though at the increased activity she grows a bit annoyed. "The hell did it do?"


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

Watching in amazement at the changes taking place due to whatever magic Aradacemorn had employed Rhavenna only vaguely notices something going on between Aslan and Elder Faldirk.

Sense motive: 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (1) + 13 = 14
Sense motive: 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (3) + 15 = 18


1d20 + 9 ⇒ (1) + 9 = 10

Rhavenna:

It's obvious Faldirk is enjoying testing Aslan's patience, the old man seems to be badgering her about something and Aslan isn't taking it too well. From his looking from her to you, you can't tell if it has something to do with you or if Faldirk is trying to sow confusion...

You were a fair distance away and other noises were drowning our their conversation some...


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

Between the disorientation, the hinting that there was something going on between Alsan and Faldirk that somehow involved her, and the intensity of Tyg's gaze when she caught it on her, Rhavenna's head was still swimming a bit.

Sighing to herself, she walks around a bit, getting her sore muscles used to moving again.


bluff: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (10) + 6 = 16

Seeing Rhavenna watching them Aslan grumbled angrily at the prying Elder."Damned Grenalf's, never knew when to leave something be." With that she stormed off, ignoring his smirk as she headed outside to stand in the snow. Reveling in the feeling of the blizzard.


Aradacemorn seemed content to watch the invisible workers on the move and ensuring they didn't wander. The Elder left Aslan to her thoughts and approached Rhavenna, walking alongside her for a bit. "We'll give ya both a couple days to rest, that way Tresi can heal ya and stay strong too. THe Maw is no joke and we may be passing it after Hawk and his troops break through. If we're lucky we wont run into any beasts."

He's quite as the tattered remains of clothing pass by, only to be deposited into a burning brazier. He smirs as Aradacemorn appears to be talking to air, then dirt and debris start shifting towards the frequenty moving outer door. "Once we are on the otherside of the Maw we either catch up to Hawk or we make our way to The Chapel of the New Dawn." He frowned slightly then. "I hope it is still intact, it was a trade station ran by Iomedaen Monks and knights but after seeing this place... I am unsure what we will find."


Aslan stood among the screaming winds, walking further then the doors and watching the storm as it blasted the hardened walls of the hidden dwarven fortress. Despite the white out she could see through the flurry and fury of the storm and nothing was moving.


Her hands were shaking, this was an unamusing feeling and was downright annoying now. She'd never felt this way before and even when she was in her element she couldn't stop shaking. "It's her fault. And now I can't even get my revenge and I am stuck like this. Damnit."

In a fit of anger she drew her massive great blade and proceeded to level a pile of stones several yards from the doors. Venting her immense frustration on the rock pile while the blizzards fury drowned out the noise.

It was several minutes before she walked back inside, sore and too tired to care about shaking muscles. Now she'd given them a reason to shake. Once inside she approached the now cognizant lizard, looking at him in open interest as she remarked. "I thought your kind preferred warmer places?"


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

"Whatever it is I get the feeling it won't be any easier to deal with that what we've had so far." Rhavenna says remembering her shadow benefactor's warning.


Aslan

"'My Kind' prefer all sorts of climates savage. I however survive well in Colder climates, my only preference is not living in crude caves. Aradacemorn, you are Aslan I assume..." He takes a deep breath, his nostrils flaring slightly as his eyes start to narrow, he glanced at Aslan warily."... I am curious why you are joining this group."

Rhavenna

The Elder nods in agreement. "It hasn't been easy for sure, but with Hawk leading the way the Maw should be mostly clear by the time we arrive."


Moving along ^^

Rhavenna:

The first night you find yourself dreaming, moving like a wisp of shadow among your friends before being confronted by the same shadowy creature as before. Its form much more diminished, but no less powerful. However it's eyes were grey once more, listless until the found you and the golden shine returned followed by its voice. "The Serpents Eye is my personal gift to you... You may ask of me anything within my power... Only once and I will accomplish it if it is within my ability... However, if it is not... Then nothing shall occur... I expect you will do interesting things... Good Luck and remember my warning..." There was no chance to respond, only to awaken as the shadow faded away again.

With the once infested Dwarven fort purged the group spends afew days resting and oddly watching the inner area of the fort change. Whatever magic Aradacemorn haad started was rapidly changing the once decaying fort into a much more livable area. The unseen servants were bringing materials, made up of the scraps laying around the place, for Aradacemorn to cast Continual Flame on. By the second day, most of the dwarven fort was lit. More of the same strange Braziers were brought out in the lower levels, ignited, and were now filling the fortress with a steady warmth.

By the second day everyone's injuries were healed and the snowstorm was starting to abate, though it was still howling around the dwarven fortress. The Elder seemed confident that everyone could get on the move again and Aradacemorn would continue to accompany you all until the Maw of Karth.

It takes a hard days march but you arrive at the Maw at nightfall, the site is heart wrenching. The body is littered with the dead, a titanic struggle between the mercs and monstrous forces happened here. However the dead are stripped of their gear, both sides, though the mercs bodies are marked by places in the snow. Crosses and holy symbols affixed to them. Hawk's charge left little time to mourn the dead perhaps.

Among the monsters are Cyclop's, Hobgoblins, Goblins and even brutish looking bugbears. What rakes at Rhavenna's heart is what the monsters had been holding within the Maw, which was a spirling, dizzying array of tunnels and small rooms. All of which were purged by the passing mercenaries, much to Elder Faldirks appreciation. However the room Rhavenna found was large enough to house her own, centaur prisoners. Among elfin and humans as well. All slaughtered before the battle, the monsters were taking no prisoners.

The Maw of Karth though looked like a monstrous feet with titanic teeth, upon which humans, centaurs and other sentient races were impaled and bled out upon in grisly rituals. It was a truly disturbing site.

Faldirk looks at all of this with a tired eye, unphased by it in the slightest. Tresi and Aeria are deeply offended by the site, Tresi looking almost angry for once. Aradacemorn gives a shuddering breath before collecting his mighty self and rising above the site. His rumble was quieter than before, the silver dragon sat in the snow outside the Maw. Intent on watching you all silently, his new scare across his forehead appeared still tender and pink as the silver scales grew up around it to replace the broken ones.

Bluff: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (2) + 11 = 13


DM Corerue wrote:

As quickly as it injured itself, it removed its claws from its arm and the wound started to close rapidly. Soon only the blood on its scales indicated that it had been injured at all. The blood though appeared to be darker than normal in the firelight, bearing a disturbingly similar appearance to harpy queen's.

As Livain's hand gently settles on its scales it looks down where she placed it and when it looked back at her it's easy to see it is unsure, confused as to how to respond. At her questions it answers simply once more. "I am Nothing... I have none. The Master call me things... But I do not know..." Its brow was furrowed as it tried to think and when it spoke it said two words in broken common. "Chia... Mera..."

At Livain's other words it shook its head before reaching out with its own claws to hold them on either side of her face. For its strength and size it was surprisingly gentle as it peered directly at her. "You are complete. Liv...ain and Mai..theen. Survivors and complete, not held in city of steam or by the Master." It had difficulty saying your names, its speech was more like that of a child's. It withdraws its hands, cloaking them back beneatj its wing cloak as it tilted its head. Much like a dog would when it didn't understand something. "Did Man own you?"

Livain peered deep into the creatures eyes and realized that she was in the presence of a fellow tortured soul. The words "Did man own you?" echoed through space and time sifting memories like wheat. The horrible things her master did for his own indulgence were too sinister to speak aloud. With a fragile voice she uttered in response, "Yes. I was no more than a tool at my master's disposal. I too believed I was nothing. You are not just "nothing". Her voice began to grow strength. "To me you are someone and you saved us. You are our hero, and our friend."


Aslan searched the Maw, unphased by the dead strewn about and the signs of a brutal battle. The butchered prisoners bring a low rumble of a growl from her throat. "F@%~ing animals... The horses aren't even this brutal." She draws her sword and stabs the first corpse that looks it was still in one piece among the enemy corpses.

She smashed its ribs with a *crunch* as its bones broke. She stomped it a second time before beheading it with a single swing of her massive greatblade. "I hope you rot in hell... Ya stinking piece of s~~@."

Seeing the Maw and the corpses around it had been stripped. She grunted as she cleaned the crystalized blood from the blade tip. She meets up with the others and looks at Aradacemorn suspiciously. "What's up with you? Just a bunch of beasts and mortals dying. Doesn't affect you does it?" Being as large as she was she wasn't afraid of offending anyone, especially now that she was in a foul mood.


Rhavenna / Aslan

The halfling's squeeky voice vanished after Aslan's cold comment offended the silver dragon. "Of course it does. Are you so callous and self absorbed woman?" The silver's form grew back into its true being, its silver scales shining in the screaming winds of the Maw. "Beyond this cyclopean abomination lies a land of violence. One nearly akin to the 'Wound, yet instead of screaming demons you have the worst beings imaginable. Insular hamlets more likely to kill and rob you then aid you. Monsters that would like nothing more to devour or use you as breeding stock." The Silver dragon glared down at Aslan, taller than she was now and unleashing his frightful presence. "Even my kind are not safe there. So of course it affects me. I lost one companion, more dear to me then life, and do you think I wish to see you all go? More then likely into a hostile land that doesn't want you?"

Livain

It was easy to tell it was pondering the meaning behind some of Livain's words. Digesting them slowly before it spoke. "He-ro... don't know this word... But... It sounds nice and..." It paused, gathering its thoughts as it spoke again. "though this one has no name. I was glad to help you." With its wings still clasped in front of it, it scuttled on its haunches towards Livain, looking somewhat excited as it did so. "Shall we find others? Help them to?"


Female Centaur Ranger (Skirmisher/Divine tracker) 4

"Self absorbed would be a kindness." Rhavenna mutters, anger clear in her voice. "To those of us who aren't callous bi+<#es, 'the horses' were people too, their deaths as much of a tragedy as any other.....more than some I could think of."


Aslan gave a shout, hands thrown up to the storm. "Finally some teeth!" She looks from Aradacemorn to Rhavenna, clearly pleased with their anger. "That's what we need. Don't cry for the dead, their suffering is over. Burn them, celebrate their life and move on."

She looks to Aradacemorn then, gesturing between the two of them as she speaks. "Then get your revenge, I plan too, unless you have means to return the dead then move on."

She brandishes her sword, stabbing it into the nearest frozen enemy corpse. Leaving it there as she approached Rhavenna arms wide. "I agreed to this because Faldirk asked me and I needed to know that you lot had Teeth. Now I do. Even some of my kind lie dead in there, too weak to escape these creatures." She turned back,recovering her sword and wiping the frozen blood off before sheathing it. "I'm callous because caring is what makes you vulnerable beyond these gates. Rare is it you find a person in that rotting carcass who won't stab ya when your back is turned. Though it depends on where you look." She looked over her shoulder then at Rhavenna, a smile crossing her lips. "Besides the last time I faced a Centaur, she killed me with a long lance... Though I wasn't myself at that moment. You remember don't 'Cha?" She pulls off the eye patch, revealing that she had both eyes in fact, however the other was not human.

"You killed me then, well... Almost killed me. Still, it hurt. A lot. It was the first sane thought in my mind in days. Then ya friends hunted me down and here we are. Now, shall we catch up with the merc's or stand here?" She was annoyed now that she exposed her overly sensitive eye t the blinding glare. It made her woozy being half way inbetween like this. Unable to change either way was really pissing her off.


Tidus looks a bit unhappy about what Aslan was saying and Faldirk had just exited the Maw when she pulled off her eye patch. The Elder sighed heavily and grabbed Tidus by the shoulder. Dragging the man unwillingly towards the caves. He called over his shoulder to Tresi as well. "Lets take care of the bodies inside before they fester next spring."


Aradacemorn looked at Aslan with narrowed eyes. "I knew you smelled wrong. Lycan and a bear type at that." He rises to his full height, towering over Aslan as he looked down on her. "I would if it would actually succeed, what I face though is beyond my ability. So..." He leans back then, sitting on his rear as he looks into the storm. "... she is lost to me now."

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