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  #1  
Unread 24th of July, 2007, 04:35
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The Annals (Summary of the game so far)

Chapter 1:
Megamieuwsel the mage arrives at the border town of Brinnar (aka Krakus aka Karkas aka Karkus), a fortress city on the border of the Hyathen Empire. He promptly makes his way to the Dragon's Hangover, the town's premier inn. There he bumps into a number fellow adventurers including (but not quite limited to):

Cadogan Trahem, a (somewhat comical) blind mage
Gralhruk, a dwarf barbarian who had several months ago slain a pickpocket caught trying to slit his belt pouch
Cadrius, a fallen paladin of Hieroneous who is attempting to find his way in a world without god
Whonan, a mysterious psion

Karkus is attacked by orcs (known locally as tuskers), which the adventurers easily repel. Most return to the inn, where dinner is interrupted as Whonan receives a mental call for help from one of his sisters. The group rushes to their aid, drives off a wyvern and fights more orcs, eventually rescuing Whonan's three sisters and returning to the inn once more.

Last edited by Gralhruk; 1st of August, 2007 at 03:19.
  #2  
Unread 31st of July, 2007, 22:55
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Chapter 2:
Cadrius, Whonan, and Megamiewsel break their fast together in the common room at the Dragon's Hangover. During their meal, time is suddenly stopped for all in the room except Cadrius. He witnesses a woman cloaked and veiled in midnight blue enter and slay Gralhruk, who is frozen at a nearby table. As time jumps back into motion she flees, pursued by Cadrius and Whonan who manage to convince her of their good intentions by hiding her from the city guard. She identifies herself as Shade and claims that the killing was not murder, but revenge.

Shade and Cadrius accompany Whonan to his family's domocile, a place which seems to violate the laws of time and space. Unnerved, Shade sneaks away and Cadrius follows her. They wander into a wood which should not be and encounter various horrors and oddities before seeming to find their way back into the real world and the real forest outside of Karkus. Nearby, the monk Maeko is traveling toward that same town on a quest to retrieve a holy relic for her monastery - the Phoenix Song Nunnery on Jade Mountain, far to the East. She bumps into the hapless aristocrat Itches, looking to earn fame and glory so that he might ask for his love Lilly's hand in marriage.

Shortly thereafter, Itches falls into quicksand. His yell for help brings Cadrius and Shade running to his aid. The four of them decide there is safety in numbers and set off for Karkus. Along the way they are harassed by gnolls and pushed off course, not quite making it out of the wood.

Last edited by Gralhruk; 31st of July, 2007 at 22:59.
  #3  
Unread 31st of July, 2007, 22:56
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Chapter 3:
Their travel is interuppted when a stranger slays a hidden gnoll, which was apparently about to attack. The man declines to give them a name, claiming he has renounced his name until he completes his current mission. They settle on calling him 'paladin', as he is indeed a paladin in the service of Hieroneous. This is a source of some tension, as Cadrius once served Hieroneous in the same capacity and Shade - given her shady past - is none too fond of justice seeking types.

Paladin informs them that the church of Hieroneous in Enstad has become corrupted - one of the high ranking clergy turned his faith to Erythnul and managed to convert several of the others. Paladin stumbled on this treachery and was forced to flee or face certain death. He now seeks to bring these evil-doers to justice and restore the rightful order of the church. To make matters worse, this very morning his camp was ransacked by gnolls and he now finds himself without food, water, or any of his gear save the armor and weapons he wears. Reluctantly, the group extends an offer to travel together to town and Paladin accepts.

Cadrius tells the others he is scouting ahead and then abandons the group, unable to bring himself to travel with one of his old brothers. The others realize his intent and follow, discovering as they go that Cadrius has been captured by yet another group of gnolls. They infiltrate the gnoll prison - an abandoned copper mine that has been converted - and free Cadrius and Cadogan Trahem, who had apparently also been captured. Most of the group is all for leaving but Cadogan insists that they find the gnoll village and retrieve his belongings; the gnolls had unwittingly taken an important magic item he was carrying.

Despite grave misgivings, they group decides to do this. They end up wiping out the gnoll village and feeling pretty bad about it; Itches dies in battle, and they feel pretty bad about that, too. Battered and feeling - well, bad - the group returns to the ubiquitous Karkas. On the positive side (depending on how you look at it), Itches is welcomed to the afterlife by his love, Lilly. Apparently, she had died before he ever set out - he was delusional and it was actually her death that sent him off on his travels to begin with.

Last edited by Gralhruk; 31st of July, 2007 at 22:59.
  #4  
Unread 31st of July, 2007, 22:57
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Chapter 4:
The group of five is greeted at the tavern in Karkas by Nicos, a one-armed monk-turned-bard and Laronar, an elvish scout. Cadogan the blind mage begins to explain to the others that he is part of the Citadel, a group of mage-priests who worship The Triplets and try to spread the word that magic is not to be feared, that it is a force of good rather than evil. At this point he is threatened by Cletus (a local hooligan) and his two buddies, who - along with most people - disagree with this view and are very suspicious, even hostile, towards those who deal in the arcane. Cadrius follows the ruffians out of the bar and demands an apology. Things escalate and in the ensuing brawl things turn ugly; Cadrius ends up in a fight for his life, single handedly (and somewhat mercilessly) killing all three. He returns to the inn with noone the wiser. Upstairs at the inn, Blarth and Trak Plakk (brothers, though Blarth is a half-orc and Trak is a full orc) are staying down the hall from Paladin. The night passes uneventfully with two exceptions: first, Cadogan and Laronar sneak off before morning and second, Blarth's brother Trak disappears.

In the morning Sargeant Ysie Dem't (Nicos' father, coincidentally) shows up and starts asking questions about Cletus. It turns out that Trak the orc has been taken into custody and charged with the murder of the three men, and will likely hang for the crime despite a lack of motive or evidence. Blarth is generally threatened by the local populace because of his heritage. In frustration and desperation he reaches out to Paladin for help, who agrees. Together they discover that Trak is not being held at the prison after all, but at the temple of Hieroneous.

They return to the inn around lunchtime and find Shade and Cadrius still there, though Maeko and Nicos are out in town looking for leads on the artifact the monk is seeking. Also present is Ilastros - an eccentric, delusional unknown with multiple personalities and a 20th level ghost lich cohort (much to the consternation of the other players) - who attempts to befriend Paladin and is rebuffed. Paladin proclaims that he is leaving the group, having failed at his oath to to protect them, citing Itches' death as proof of that failure. Midway through his speech, he is stricken with a vision of Trak being assassinated in his cell and collapses. Blarth and Ilastros rush to the temple of Hieroneous while Cadrius attempts to revive Paladin; he succeeds and Paladin commandeers a horse and beats both Blarth and Ilastros to the temple.

At the temple, Paladin finds a Bloodwraith - a demonic creature that was once his brother Pavel. Paladin is no match for the fiend, but prior to being slain an evil priest appears and indicates that he plans to spirit Paladin off to the city of Tarin where he is to be tortured and turned into a Bloodwraith himself. Before he can make good on his words, both the priest and bloodwraith are driven off by the combined assault of Blarth and Ilastros. Blarth brings Paladin into the temple for healing, where Paladin mysteriously disappears. In truth, Paladin has been snatched by temple staff and brought to High Priest Kulper, who is also corrupt.

Cadrius, wracked by guilt, turns himself in at the temple of Hieroneous. Shortly thereafter, Karkas is rocked by an enormous underground explosion which sends the town into a riot*. Nicos leads Shade back to the inn via a hidden route (the sewers) in order to avoid the chaos on the surface. Along the way they stumble (literally) over Maeko who has been beaten and left for dead by those that stole the artifact she is searching for. They carry her back to the inn, where Blarth has been busy fending off would be looters and otherwise doing good deeds.

Cadogan is wounded by a crossbow bolt that appears from thin air and saved by Nicos' magic. Maeko is recalled by her monastery and sets out despite protest from Shade. Emisasries from the Citadel teleport in and tell everyone they are taking the unconscious Cadogan back to be among his brothers; despite protest from the others, they do just that. Trak and Cadrius are tried in a public court but during the proceedings Kulper is exposed as a traitor to the church. Fighting breaks out, with Cadrius facing off against Kulper. Trak intervenes, saving Cadrius and taking on Kulper and his cronies. With Blarth's aid they prevail, but Trak -mortally wounded in the combat - dies in his brother's arms. Yet another tasty riot ensues and Shade uses the commotion to aid Cadrius in escaping; they bump into Nicos along the way and he joins them. Depressed and somewhat lost, Blarth takes Trak's body out of the town for a proper send off. Laronar decides to search for Cadogan on his own, his efforts at assembling a team to do so having failed.

* The explosion occurred in an orc complex beneath the surface. Cadogan and Laronar were investigating the orc nest when the explosion occurred. Ilastros was entirely consumed by the blast, having coincidentally decided to do some investigating of his own.
  #5  
Unread 31st of July, 2007, 22:58
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Chapter 5:
Outside of town, Blarth burns Trak's body. The smoke brings Cadrius, Shade, and Nicos to investigate; they ask the floundering Blarth if he'd like to join them on their search for Cadogan, whom they believe is being held against his will at the enigmatic Citadel. He agrees. In short order they are accosted by Laronar, who is lying by the side of the road grievously injured after being attacked by orcs - forest dwelling brothers, apparently, to those that Cadogan and Laronar had attacked in the tunnels below Karkas/Krakus/Karkus. Unexpectedly, Blarth calls upon some inner healing power and saves Laronar - who, you will remember, was already on his way to find Cadogan - so they all join up and set out in search of the Citadel and the blind mage.

Cadrius and Shade share a brief moment of budding romance; both take pains to pretend the incident never occured. Blarth accuses Cadrius of being responsible for Trak's death. Cadrius explains that he had turned himself in part to save Trak, and that he and Trak had come to know and respect each other in prison (where they shared adjoining cells). Blarth accepts this explanation and presents Cadrius with a Silver Eye of Gruumsh - Trak's holy symbol, as his brother had wished. At that moment, Paladin's sword appears in the midst of their campire, then explodes, spraying blood. Cadrius picks up a fragment of the hilt; the heated metal burns into his palm a lightning bolt - holy symbol of Hieroneous, whose presence the former paladin briefly feels. Nothing follows, and after the commotion settles they set off for the wastelands wherein the Citadel supposedly stands.

Blarth discovers tracks; upon closer inspection it appears that a band of orcs (with a giant in tow) ambushed a wagon and captured those they found, bringing them deeper into the wood. As the group is puzzling out their next move, a bear walks into the clearing. It turns out to belong to Tiltowait, an eccentric gnome druid. Laronar and Nicos wait with the gnome and his bear while Cadrius, Blarth, and Shade go to investigate the orc camp and see about rescuing the prisoners.

The trio sees one prisoner, tied and apparently awaiting some torture or other, along with a number of orcs and the hill giant. They decide that the odds are against them, but they cannot let the prisoner die without trying to save him. Battle is joined and it turns out to be even more difficult than they had anticipated: there is a dark druid apparently directing the orcs, and he has with him two dire wolverines. The druid completes his ritual and the prisoner dies in horrible, sacrificial fashion. The three would be heroes fight a losing battle, acquitting themselves fairly well but failing to slay the giant or the druid. When it is clear they can't win and that there are no other prisoners, they break and flee. In order to give Cadrius and Shade a chance to escape, Blarth draws the giant after himself and receives some unexpected help from Tiltowait, who tells Blarth to move on.

Cadrius, Shade, and Tiltowait make it back to the clearing in (more or less) one piece. Nicos and Laronar are no longer there, having apparently gone on in search of Cadogan on their own. Blarth does not return, having gotten himself lost on the way back. Shade and Cadrius track him into the wastelands on their own, as Tiltowait refuses to enter there. They finally catch up to him a couple of days later. Shortly thereafter they are led into the Citadel by Nicos, who has gotten their ahead of them and already smoothed the way with the crotchety wizards, who claim that they knew the group was coming and that Cadogan is waiting to see them.
  #6  
Unread 1st of August, 2007, 03:19
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Chapter 6:
Nicos, Cadrius, Shade, and Blarth enter the Citadel where they quickly discover that the place is rife with internal politics and that not all of the wizards are friendly to outsiders. A beautiful red haired wizardess by the name of Gemoud takes a personal interest in the charming Nicos; Nicos returns her affection much to the annoyance of Shade, who makes her dislike of the woman plain. The group heads to the library, where they hope to be able to converse without being eavesdropped upon - Nicos having indicated that their rooms were likely under surveillance. Shade gets lost along the way and is apparently befriended by the wizardess Ysene, who actually uses a spell to charm Shade and secret the rogue in her room.

At the library, the bard proceeds to explain that Gemoud is a spy and suggests the group attempt to string her along in order to find out her purpose. The others agree to wait and see. Meanwhile, Ysene manages to convice Shade that Gemoud is indeed a spy, and explains that a magical cube that Cadogan had in his possession is a source of tension in the Citadel - this is, incidentally, the very same magic item Cadogan was adamant about retrieving from the gnolls, back in Chapter 3.

Apparently, the cube is an artifact which can be used to remove the wards from a prison that houses a powerful and destructive demon (as opposed to the weak and helpful demons you never seem to hear about). Ysene represents a faction that wishes to destroy the cube, whilst Gemoud represents a faction that would attempt to make some use of it. In order for anything to be done, the cube must be reunited with a special Runestone, which was hidden away in a remote dungeon in an undisclosed location. The two factions are at something of a stalemate, each watching the other, each unsure who will make the first move. Ysene attempts to enlist the band to retrieve the stone, as their departure from the Citadel will be easier to hide than if one of the wizards were to attempt to go. Shade refuses, but promises to mention it to the others.

Under the pretense of 'gathering information', Gemoud seduces Nicos but learns nothing more than how good he is in bed. Cadrius and Shade discuss the pros and cons of accepting Ysene's offer, and decide that it is safer to accept. They present this to the others and they agree. Nicos, Shade, Blarth, Cadrius, and (unexpectedly) an ex-mercenary named Ben are seen off in secret ceremony by Ysense and Cadogan, and set out across the wastes once more.

Last edited by Gralhruk; 1st of August, 2007 at 04:33.
  #7  
Unread 2nd of August, 2007, 22:39
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Chapter 7:
The group sets out North and West through the wastelands, taking time the first night getting to know Ben and pondering the reasons the wizards sent him. He claims to be an orphan who joined a group of mercenaries at a young age. All of them have since been slain, though Ben hedges about the details of exactly how it happened and how he survived. Day two brings a fight with a troll, the burning of which attracts the attention of one Surayon - an elven scout on the trail of murderous bandits, with vengeance in her heart. She introduces herself to the group and offers to help, as they all seem to be going in the same direction - safety in numbers, and all that.

Camp is moved to a new spot - a hollow at the base of a rock spire, which just happens to include a man trapped beneath the spire. The man is Xandir, a sorcerer/rogue, who wedged himself into a crevasse to escape the troll three days ago and got stuck. They free Xandir, expecting trouble but finding nothing more than a very thirsty, very dirty young man and his cat. He asks to join them, not wanting to be alone in the troll riddled wastes (understandably, given his ordeal).

The next day brings a march to an oasis where they can refill their water. Lying in wait are a number of badly mutilated and mostly decomposed corpses (probably adventurers) and two very alive dire lions. A brutal battle results in two dead kittys and several wounded Runestone seekers. They spend a little time healing up, but decide they can't wait by the oasis too long for fear of other predators.
  #8  
Unread 7th of August, 2007, 05:03
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Chapter 8:
The group holes up in the now vacant lion den and spends a few days healing, then resume their trek. They find the dungeon, bypass several traps, fight off some strange beasts and discover the real resting place of the Runestone, which lies beyond a decoy. Shade seems to have an awfully easy time navigating the way, almost as if she knows where they are going.

They start back for the Citadel, with Shade acting very possessive of the stone, going so far as to start an argument with Nicos when he wants to examine it. Sometime during the night, she disappears. The others follow a false trail for a ways and then correctly deduce that she has gone back to the Citadel with the Runestone. She makes it there first and hands the prize over to Ysene and is imprisoned for her efforts. The rest of the group gets there shortly thereafter and is granted an audience with four wizards, including Cadogan and Ysene, where Nicos recounts their tale. Before he has a chance to ask about Shade, Blarth realizes that the man who is supposedly Cadogan isn't blind.

This realization triggers a pitched battle, with the wizard's on the one side and the adventurers on the other. During the fighting Shade appears, having been released from her prison by Skathros, a mysterious thief who has the ability to disappear at will. Reinforcements appear for the opposing team and things look grim. Several dead wizards later, Blarth spots a secret door and drags a seriously wounded Cadrius into it. The half-orc returns to the battle, hoping to get the rest of the group to follow him out when suddenly Gemoud appears with a second (much larger) group of wizards. Ysene's group surrenders, with the exception of Ysene herself who siezes the cube and attempts to activate it. Nothing happens and Ysene is quickly subdued.

It turns out that Ysene and her group had been the enemy all along. They impersonated Cadogan in order to get the adventurers to retrieve the Runestone. A charm had been laid on Shade to return the stone to Ysene with all possible haste, which explains her actions and (possibly) her odd knowledge of the Runestone dungeon. Gemoud had been on their side the entire time, with Cadogan's blessing. Nicos and Gemoud exhange sarcastic witticisms, to hide the depth of their hurt at the way they deceieved one another, and then the group leaves the Citadel (and Cadogan) to do whatever it is wizards do when they aren't messing up the lives of lesser mortals.
  #9  
Unread 24th of January, 2008, 05:02
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Chapter 9
After an uneventful trek out of the wastelands, the group reaches the banks of the Chard river, the lifeline of trade in the region they now find themselves. After a brief foray to acquire a boat, they head downriver - well, all of them except Surayon. The avenging elf declines to join them, giving little in the way of explanation other than that her own personal vendetta leads her in a different direction.

Once they are back in relative civilization, Shade is compelled to seek out Skathros (her mysterious benefactor from Chapter 8) and see what he wants from her. Having glossed over her escape from the Citadel prison and also having neglected to mention Skatrhos entirely, Shade likewise decides to hide the real reason for her departure. Instead, she picks a fight with Nicos and leaves the group in a huff with none of them the wiser. Well, except Blarth, to whom she confessed - in a moment of weakness - that she was heading for the city of Tradeholm.

Blarth, unhappy with Shade's abrupt departure and the bad feelings it generated, nevertheless manages to keep her secret for a full day until blurting out, quite by accident, that she had planned to leave. Blarth and Nicos decide to follow her; Cadrius - busy wrestling with his own demons - declines to join them, feeling rather strongly that if she wanted to go that badly then it wasn't for anyone to try and change her mind. Ben stays with Cadrius, his reasons undisclosed, and the two continue their journey downriver for a short time before parting ways.

Nicos and Blarth get to Tradeholm and being looking for Shade, without much success. Blarth does succeed in finding that a significant portion of the locals are disenfranchised with half-orcs and is saved from having to defend himself by their stout innkeeper. Nicos meanwhile, got into a barfight and continued to experience a high from using magic to heal himself of his injuries.


Meanwhile, elsewhere in the city, Shade has been working for Skathros in the second most powerful thieves' guild in the city. One of her jobs was to provide backup while a woman was ransomed to the number one guild in the city. After the woman was handed off, Shade stuck around and helped her escape and receieved an arrow in her back for her trouble. It turns out the woman is Arjuna, a psychic trained at the behest of her father - the late Rynem, a powerful man with ties to the guild. Arjuna's teacher, Vywodor, tried to kidnap Arjuna after Rynem's death but she escaped, killing her mentor in the process.

With nowhere else to go, Shade drags Arjuna to the inn where Blarth and Nicos are staying, having spotted the two of them earlier that day. They talk briefly and all things are forgiven, after which Nicos heals Shade and agrees to keep an eye on Arjuna. Shade explains she needs to return to Skathros so he doesn't realize that she had a hand in helping Arjuna escape. Skathros brings her to the head of the guild, who turns out to be none other than Ricard - Shade's ex-boyfriend and the man who nearly murdered her several years ago.

He seems willing enough to live and let live and Shade is unsure how to accept this news, finding that her own feelings about him are mixed. Before she can leave, Skathros tricks her into killing him, with Skathros announcing that he knows the role she played in Arjuna's escape. Shade is trounced soundly by him but she ends up with the last laugh when she sets him on fire. As she stumbles back to the inn, she is accosted by Skathros' undead shadows and nearly killed. She is saved at the last instant by the combined efforts of Blarth, Nicos, and Arjuna (and, incidentally, the medallion of Hieroneous that Cadrius had given her).
  #10  
Unread 12th of November, 2009, 06:26
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Chapter 10:
The group (comprised of Shade, Nicos, Arjuna and Blarth) trots off for a not-too-distant city where they can recuperate while hiding from the vengeance of Tradeholm's thieves' guild. That city turns out to be Enderin, smaller than Tradeholm but still quite full of surprises. Once there, they split up with Nicos taking up residence in the city, Blarth staying with him occaisionally or sleeping at whatever temple he could find that would tolerate a half-orc for the night (and mourning the loss of his brother's armor in Tradeholm), while Shade and Arjuna took a room at the well-to-do (and off the beaten path) Copper Maiden.

After being unexpectedly attacked by a monk for no apparent reason, Nicos even more unexpectedly runs into the monk Maeko, who had left the group to pursue her own quest back in Chapter 4. Her monastery has been destroyed although she hesitates to explain fully. Meanwhile, Blarth hears about a secret temple to the orcish god Gruumsh and sets out to see if the god of his fathers would bring him some peace. After observing the standard rituals (and performing some requisite mayhem) he is admitted and stays the night there.

Shade, still not quite normal after her encounter with the Shadows, accompanies Arjuna to a meeting Nicos has called with Maeko and Blarth. There, Maeko explains that her monastery was destroyed while she was on her way back there, perhaps because of the ancient relic they were purported to have (which, in fact, was in Maeko's possession at the time). With no where to go, the remaining few monks were building a monastery here in Enderin but they have encountered considerable trouble thus far - nothing overt, but there has been vandalism and a number of merchants have been scared off from trading with them or supplying them materials. Shade leaves to do some investigating.

That evening, Nicos hooks up with a young red-headed singer by the name of Lynn at the Rat's Nest, where she had been performing. En route to her apartment, Nicos is shot with a crossbow. They continue on to her apartment, and after watching Nicos heal himself Lynn begs him to take her on as an apprentice, which he sort of agrees to (but not quite), all the while rebuffing his advances. The next morning, his mysterious would be assassin confronts him - a man Nicos doesn't quite remember, but whose sister he apparently slept with. The woman apparently killed herself sometime thereafter, in a chain of events that don't quite point to Nicos as the root cause in anyone's mind except his attacker. At any rate, the man comes quite close to killing our friendly neighborhood one armed bard, yet he is saved at the last instant by Lynn, who stabs the man in the back - wounding him gravely, but not killing him outright. They leave him to his fate and continue on their way.

The group (plus Lynn) reconvenes the next morning. Shade reveals the source of the trouble is Thunn Torver, a thug with a powerful merchant for a father - one Rilip Torver. They decide that perhaps they can settle the issue without a fight, being the peaceful folk that they are (yes, that's sarcasm).

Nicos, Juni and Lynn make a diplomatic mission to Rilip to try and smooth the situation over. Things do not go badly, but neither do they convince Rilip to reign in his wayward son. Further, Juni realizes a little too late that Rilip knew her father, and thus may be able to set the Tradeholm thieves' guild on them. They plan to scare Thunn straight instead; as a precaution, Shade and Juni move out of The Copper Maiden. As they are leaving they bump into Isac Moore, a priest sent by the church of Pelor to issue an ultimatum to Shade for stealing a document that belonged to them - a document she no longer has. At the meeting, Shade denies the theft (of which she has no recollection, thanks to a guild wizard removing those memories from her head) and denies having any goblin curse, which the letter also claims she has contracted. Contrary to her denial, Shade is suddenly siezed by a horrific wasting sickness, which leaves her left hand instantly necrotic.

During this time, Cadrius had set about looking for the group once again. He goes to Tradeholm and discovers they are gone, and after some conflicting emotions decides they don't really need him. Feeling quite liberated by this epiphany, he sets out on his own and for a short while is quite happy. That is, until he finds a village entirely decimated by some bizzare plague. It reminds him of the lost invulnerability he had enjoyed as a paladin and in all ways quite ruins his day.

Isac manages to stave off the effects of the curse for a short while, but it is apparent that the curse will consume Shade within the month if they do not find a way to remove it. This removal apparently hinges on returning a goblin reliquary (stolen along with the documents from the church of Pelor) to it's rightful owners. The group - minus Blarth - reconvenes (with Isac choosing to side with them, since he feels he himself was used by the church), and decides that with the church of Pelor and an angry goblin sisterhood of witches after them, they had best flee town. In another part of the city, Blarth had taken a detour to find Thunn and pummel some sense into him, so that he will leave Maeko alone. This he does, but retaliation leads to things escalating to the point where Blarth is obliged to kill the man, although nobody is terribly upset about that. Afterward, he heads back to Nicos' room at the inn where he bumps into Lynn, hastily packing up and she quickly puts him to work. Once everyone is together, they flee Enderin, not quite sure where they are headed.
  #11  
Unread 13th of November, 2009, 05:10
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Chapter 11:
Shade, Nicos, Lynn, Isac, and Blarth leave Enderin and head on a more or less southeasterly course through the wilderness. They spend an uneventful (if not quite comfortable) night in the wilds. Somewhere else, Cadrius overcomes his fear and horror, finding the strength to return to the ruins of the disease ridden village and spends the night preparing the dead and building a huge pyre for them, to send them to the afterworld with what respect and blessings he can offer. This done, he continues on his own solitary path.

The next day brings an attack of giant ants upon the main group, which they defeat in a pitched battle. None of them are killed, but most are wounded (and some painfully poisoned). Shade finds her humanity being consumed from within by the undead curse, a side effect which perhaps saves her life given the extent of her injuries. Shade reveals that her intent is to return to Tradeholm and ransack Ricard's mansion in hopes of finding something that will lead them to the wizard that removed her memories, and hopefully the scroll she stole from the Pelorites - who, as it happens, have recovered the goblin reliquary. The church of Pelor has claimed that they will trade the reliquary for the scroll - the reliquary being the source of the curse (which has, apparently, stricken those who handled it once it was stolen). With the reliquary, Isac (once a prisoner of the goblins himself) believes they can find a way to placate the goblin witches or perhaps remove the curse.

Once they get to Tradeholm, Shade, Isac and Arjuna head for Ricard's while Blarth and Nicos comb the city for grey jubai root (known to the orcs as dreamroot), which Isac claims he can use to slow the curse. Things seem to go smoothly at first - Shade, Isac and Arjuna's talents combine to discover a hidden encrypted ledger at Ricard's, while Nicos used his glib tongue to uncover the location of another secret temple to Gruumsh. Blarth, without even needing to resort to "convincing", obtained the requisite (and exhorbitant) quantity of dreamroot from the Half-Sight at the hidden temple almost as if the meeting had been pre-ordained.

Things rapidly devolve after that. Skathros appears in Ricard's library, and he has not changed for the better. He is suffering from an advanced stage of the curse that afflicts Shade, which makes him terrifyingly strong, frighteningly unkillable by normal means, and horribly decomposing in the most undead sense of the word. In the ensuing battle, he severely wounds Isac (leaving him for dead) and takes both Shade and Juni prisoner, locking them in the dungeon of an abandoned church. Shade and Juni escape with the help of Shade's monstrous deformity and set out to find Isac's trail, Juni's ESP granting them the knowledge that he is indeed alive.

Now outside the city, Nicos and Blarth wait for them to return - obviously, they don't. Cadrius chooses this time to return to the main thread (do yourself a favor and read subchapter 11b, wherein Cadrius acquires a groupie of his own - okay, she's a ward, not a groupie, but that just doesn't sound as fun). As luck would have it, the former paladin finds Isac floating in the river Rasputin-style and fishes him out. Isac, Cadrius, and Sarra (his aforementioned ward) return to Tradeholm for supplies and a short discussion which convinces Cadrius to accompany Isac on his quest, which he has partially explained to the warrior.

On their way out, they bump into a mob which has formed up to rid the town (or, more properly, the woods outside the town) of half-orc scum (sorry Blarth). Blarth, Nicos, and Lynn are trying to figure out how to conceal Blarth and disperse the tension when Cadrius steps up and cowes the mob with his no-longer-holy-bad-assness. Well, most of them are cowed, but the end result is that the mob disperses at approximately the same time that Shade and Juni show up, conveniently leaving everyone once again in the same place (yay!).

Isac outlines the requirements for the ritual and returns to town with Shade and Juni to prepare her for the ritual. The others gather the supplies from town and prepare a site for Isac to work his magic and hopefully halt the curse, which is gaining an ever greater hold on Shade.

Isac's ritual almost fails, but he sacrifices himself in order to free Shade. Skathros shows up right around then and with the effective application of salt and lead he is scared off; the group flees back to Tradeholm, leaving Isac's burning remains behind. Arjuna returns the following day with Shade trailing her and together they bury Isac's bones, but not before Juni collects his holy symbol as a remembrance.
  #12  
Unread 27th of April, 2010, 01:20
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Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Chapter 12:
Cadrius (and his ward Sarra) explain to Blarth, Nicos (and his groupie Lynn), Shade and Juni the danger of the zombie curse, and how it had apparently spread to several nearby villages - including Sarra's home village. Believing that his connections to the Church of Heironeious in the Hundred Duchies can help stop the plague, Cadrius procures the group passage with the last caravan headed into the Duchies before winter hits hard and they set out promptly the following day.
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