Chapter Five

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Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:35 am

Pimli extends his hand, the small gnome’s hair raising upon his neck and scalp. Mud sucks at the boots of the fellowship, as they gather around behind the mage, before an enormous portal archway.

*SLOOOOSH*!

Involuntary cries of surprise ring out from your fellows, as part of the wall gives way on the northern end of the cavern. Huge chunks of mud and rock come crashing down, a blasting cascade of water erupting forth and cascading across the stone floor.

You hold fast, the incessant spray of water blinding you as Pimli’s words and incantations are lost in the roar of water.

[…]

Mud sprays through Pimli’s hair, his robes soaked and sodden as Gimble provides support from behind him.

The young gnome can feel the weave in this place. Coursing through it more violently than the geyser that was dissolving this cavern by the second. The weave was merciless, and could be bent to no man - or gnome’s - will.

*SZZZAP*

A green flash illuminates the cavern, the portal blinking into life for a second. The emerald light sends waves of adrenaline through the fellowship, as they watch more and more of the cave begin to collapse. Water seems to rain down torrentially from everywhere, vast swells breaking this place into nothing.

[Pimli, Arcana (14), with Wis (9) supplemental check results:]

*SZZZZAP*

The portal blinks through again, dimmed through the hailstorm of mud that squelches down upon you. Valeria’s armour is coated, the paladin struggling to stay afoot as someone yells over the roar of water…

[i]”…Calimshan! Get on it!”

The gnome draws upon his focus deeply, feeling his breath tighten in his lungs as the incantation comes full circle.

*SZZZZZZZZZ!*

In an electric wave of brilliance, the portal blink into life, sustaining in a wild, crackling, mad way. It is the only way out of this subterranean tomb. And so, the fellowship steps through…

[…]
[…]
[…]

The heat is nearly unbearable.

Your eyes open slowly, the searing flare of the sun burning and blurring your vision. Mud drips off you in sheets, but you can almost feel it hardening by the second, caking onto your clothing and armour like clay.

Beneath your feet, the shifting earth is made of sand.

You stand in the midst of a grand desert, perched on the edge of an enormous canyon that spans infinitely off onto the horizon. It is early morning, and soft shades of pastel pink and blue light the horizon of jagged red mountain ranges. To the south, desert stretches out into a sea of dunes, sparse foliage of craggy, strawlike bushes dotting the landscape like tufts of hair on a thistle.

And it is hot. Chokingly hot.

The sun is barely above the horizon, yet you can scarcely bear the heat. Your armour feels like lead, sweat pooling beneath the straps and steel. Your chest heaves, trying to draw breath in this arid place.

It is a hell unto its own.

You try and move, and agony wracks your body. Your very muscles are stiff and sore, to the point that each breath causes you physical pain…

[Everyone take 1D10 necrotic damage, for the unquestionably rocky ride through the portal]

Pimli’s heart sinks. He knows that the portal he opened was split and unclean, and the connection he crafted dumped them tens or hundreds of miles away from the intended destination. He knew not where they were.

But he had saved their lives - for now.

Valeria’s eyes snap open, her hair matted and stuck to her face in a dried crust of mud and water. The beautiful reddish locks of her crown are coloured brown and nappy, twisted into an unflattering frame.

There is not time to consider her state of affairs, however. In the silence of the moment, the paladin looks on the horizon to the north, and sees an enormous group of horse-mounted riders galloping across the desert landscape towards them. Dust kicks up behind them in an enormous cloud, the silhouetted figures nearly a mile away.

The canyon descends steeply into darkness, just a few hundred meters to the west. And to the south, the sea of desert reigns…

==========================

Ok guys. You find yourselves in an unfamiliar, unknown desert of a place, suffering from magical turmoil through the portal, and at the mercy of incessant heat.

Your armour, for those of you in anything heavier than leather, seemingly baking you alive. You won’t last long in it (taking subdual CON damage every few minutes).

There may not be any time to deal with that right now, however, because a group of horse-mounted riders are baring down on you from the north. They are about a mile away, and will be on your position in 2 minutes or so.

If you’re wary of them…to the west, there is an enormous canyon. you can’t see from this vantage, but perhaps you can head that way and try and muster up a hasty descent where the horses can’t follow. Lots of risk there, of course.

Heading south into the sea of sand would likely see the riders upon you in moments (you’re not mounted). Still, if you wanted to creatively hide amidst the dunes we could perhaps make a case for it. Would be reaching though, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you were located.

The riders will be upon you shortly, if you’d like to confront them head on. Make sure you let me know how you’re standing, in what order, and what you plan on doing as they approach - if thats the way you want to go with it.

Godspeed.

MVP: Valeria. I like that, in the midst of a crisis, you can stay in character with that messy, messy mud.

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:39 am

[Damage 1d10]
9

The heat brought Cuss to his knees.  The cold, damp, thin, air at the heights of the small teeth were a stark contrast to the thick, sweltering, stickiness that engulfed him in an instant.  He felt as if drowning, and brought his muddy hands to his face to make sure it were not so.

He blinked, contemplating the passing.  The overwhelming darkness seemed to birth an infinite depth of consciousness that he could only hope to grasp.  His trying felt as if one thousand tortured souls tried to climb out of it through the inside of his skull.

He blinked again and knew he could not dwell.  The brightness flooding past his fingers gave way to a bleak landscape of sand and bare red rock.  The heat made the air dance like shadows of light.  The inside of his chest burned with each new breath.  

Dots casting up clouds of sand grew larger.

He rose and looked over the party, turning his head with his glance.  The were a weary, muddy, mess.  

He looked to his rear, and whistled when he saw the depth of the drop beyond the cliff.  His lips threatened to crack in the dry air from his effort.  Wherever they were, he felt trapped.

He turned to Brahm, helping the boy to his feet.  "Oiy, boy, me thinks its hotter than two ally rats having a go at it in an old wool sock, yeah?  Come on, get on up."

"Let me get you ya shirt and bandanna back.  I rolled em up in me armor here.  I think it'll make a good fit for ya.  Might be it will fit ya better than Daste's ol plain black wears on me, no?"

"Doan just stare at me boy, those riders are close.  I'll help ya get it on.  Now tell me, what kind of weapons do ya know how to use?"


[Sleight of Hand for speed to armor Brahm; rolled in lair.]
14

Cuss takes the symbol of Cyric and Emelious's Kraken's Fist from Brahm and stows them away in his pack, which he also recovers from Brham along with his long trusted old black faded gray travel cloak.

As the rest of the group gathers and starts to discuss the approaching riders, Cuss asks, "Might ya need me do the talking when they approach?"

Cuss will prepare and arm his hand-crossbows before stepping in front of the others to talk.

[Rolling Int to see what I might know about riders in the Calim Dessert.]
8
....

Cuss will help Brahm get up and exchange gear with him.  He will help the boy fit into his set of black studded leather than he is not wearing, and take his pack, his cloak, Emelious's Fist, and the symbol of Cyric back.  He arms his crossbows, and moves to greet the approaching riders.


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:39 am

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Pimli Prixus on Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:52 am

"Pimli! You heard the dwarf! Calimshan! Get on it," said Kellar frantically.

The gnome reaches out to the arcane weave which hold the portal twisting at it, tweaking the interwoven glyphs used to point the destination.

Calimshan

He pulls at a thread, pushing it into place, and reads the new location.

Not quite there

Mud and water dropping onto his tiny frame, weighing him down. He struggles to hold his concentration.

The magics surge in on him in a back lash. Staggering his moving and muddling the work that was been done.

*SZZZZZZZZZ!*

In an electric wave of brilliance, the portal blink into life, sustaining in a wild, crackling, mad way. It is the only way out of this subterranean tomb. And so, the fellowship steps through…

Once through the portal the heat hits him like a fist [1d10 Necrotic dmg: 3]

Pimli frowns to himself, the surge broke his concentration, now he's dumped them who knows where!

He walks from friend to friend, apologizing and using his power to clean the mud and grim off to at least bring some comfort to his friends.

"Well we're safe! that's a thing at least he says with a feigned grin.

=======================================
WHEN ALERTED TO THE RIDERS

Pimli reaches into his component pouch and pulls out the glass eye raising it into alignment with his own.

"Wohs em tahw I deen ot ees" the gnome says, seeking information about the riders about to come upon them. His vision leaps forward as the arcane energy focuses through the glass eye. Spying the world from a different perspective he gathers what information he can about the riders.

====================================================
Casts Prestigation on everyone to clean off the mud and water
Casts Clarvoyance towards the riders
Casting 3rd lvl divination spell restores a 2nd lvl spell slot
Preception: d20+1 =3
Throws dice roller across the room because it hates me lol


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:52 am

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:19 pm

The mud began rising up to Kellar's waist as he trudged forward to the portal. "Everyone get through! Move it!" Orbaugh jumped from his master's shoulder and went through the portal with a smooth glide. Eeeek! It hot! No time to worry about that now! Kellar made sure everyone made it through. He dove through after the last person. The disruption of his place in the universe made him arrive lower than expected. He landed in the sand, mid-somersault and slammed onto his back, kicking up sand with a THUD!
(Necrotic Damage= 5)

"All accounted for," he asked as his visor opened up. He saw the cloudless blue sky above them. Orbaugh came over to his master and peeked into view. The heat hit Kellar as he sat up. "Nine hells, this must be the first one. It is damn hot Orbaugh." Pimli came to Kellar as he stood up. He touched Kellar's armor and all the mud and sand and water was flushed away. Kellar looked at his armor and the beating it took. Well, I may as well try to keep myself cool... Kellar's golden scales shimmered into existence. (Blade Ward used). He then raised a hand summoned a javelin made of ice. He started crushing it with his hand and started sliding it into the next of his armor to keep cool. (Ray of Frost used).

"Anyone else need some ice? We're going to melt out here," he said. Kellar handed out ice to the others if they requested it.

____________________________________________

When alerted to the riders, Custer piped up. "Yeah, lead us off. I won't be the one to talk to the locals," he replied. Kellar shifted to the right of Custer and to the front.

Actions:
Kellar used Blade Ward (All Shiny!)
Kellar used Ray of Frost to be cool, and to help others stay cool.
Kellar is positioned to Custer's right and is at the front.
Orbaugh used his perception to see their number weapons.
Perception= 19+4= 23; Success?


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:19 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:41 pm

The sudden change in temperature throws Valeria’s equilibrium off balance, instantly bringing on a headache and brief dizzy spell that nearly causes her to fall face first into the sand. Sand? It stretched as far as the eye could see, heat waves rippling off of the golden-brown landscape. As her eyes took in their location in dismay, they also noticed a group of riders. “Oh great. Company.”

It is really starting to get hot. She wipes the sweat from her brow as Pimli goes around cleaning off everybody. “Bless you, sweetling!” Her mouth is already starting to feel dry, making the words come out as though her tongue is cotton. Too hot. The heat is rapidly becoming more than she can handle. I’m going to cook in my armor! She quickly begins pulling at the chainmail, hissing as the heated chain links burn her fingers.

“Anyone else need some ice?” Kellar asks a few feet away.

“Gods yes!” Val pants, gratefully helping herself in an attempt to cool down. Just the same she continues to undo her armor. “I’ll help you talk to these people, Custer. Give me ten minutes to get out of this damnable armor and I can have them eating out of my hand. Unless they’re women. But they could be gay women.” She stares at the riders in contemplation. The heat is getting to my head.

Necrotic damage: 1 (lol)

---

Actions:

Val will start the process of removing her armor
She will assist Cus with any persuasion rolls


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:41 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Thu Mar 03, 2016 6:01 pm

Gimble watches closely as Pimli revives the portal. "You've done it!" He looks back to make sure everyone is headed over and leaps in. An eye blink later, he finds himself in a sea of sand, at the very edge of a canyon. "Dear me, it's rather toasty out here."

A moment later, the rest of the party has come through, coated in mud and quickly baking in the sweltering heat of the desert. Gimble takes a moment to clean himself off, then uses prestidigitation to chill his robes. The old gnome smiles and lets out a relaxed sigh. "Much better. Pimli, I suggest you help Kellar with cooling his armor. A simple spell should be just enough to keep the metal from baking him."

Searching around, he spots Val in the process of taking off her armor. "I would not recommend you shed your armor, young Thaemor. Flesh does not take well to sharp steel." Gimble's tone is like that of a disappointed teacher. He mumbles his spell and taps a finger to her armor. A wave of cold washes over it, spreading until Valeria is sitting in a comfortable temperature controlled suit.

Gimble stares at the cloud of horses and men that is fast approaching. "Should we need to make an escape, I would be more than happy to provide a safe descent into the canyon." He gestures towards the chasm in the earth with palms open to the sky. His eyes light up after he finishes his thought. "Which reminds me." With a snap of his fingers, Gimble summons a small, brown elf owl. "I shouldn't forgot about poor Minerva. She was taking a few loops around the camp and could not join our adventures." The tiny owl lands on his shoulder and takes in the new faces around her, before turning her attention to the group of people in the distance.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gimble uses prestidigitation to clean off and cool his robes.
He spends the remaining active effects to cool off Valeria's armor.
Gimble recalls Minerva.

1d10 Necrotic = 10


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Re: Chapter Five

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:29 pm

Cuss tilts his head in puzzlement as he replies to Val's offer to help him talk to the riders.  "Gay women?  Is that the name of some lady warrior tribe you know from these parts?"  Maybe luck smiled on them after-all.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:05 pm

Val stares at the Halfling in bafflement. Does he really not know…? “Erm well no. A gay woman is just a lady who prefers the romantic or sexual company of other women instead of men,” She explains with a small shrug. “There are quite a few upsides; a woman is very knowledgeable on how to please another woman. And they smell better.” Val gives Custer a grin and pats him on the shoulder playfully.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:15 pm

His cheeks flush from embarrassment as he had not expect the conversation to turn to sex.  Stammering, he replies, "Oh?  OH. I, uh..."  Cuss looked away from Val's face and to the riders to hide his eyes from her.  "Didn't know you humans had a name for such things.  In Esmeltaran, we just let whores do what whores do.  No need to be calling them names, yeah?"
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:33 pm

Val bursts out laughing. "Did I embarrass you? My apologies. Also- they're not whores. Well some are. Just ladies enjoying a unique lifestyle. They've come to our temples before."
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:48 pm

Cuss turned back to look at Val with a shy grin, "So all whores are gay, but not all gay women are whores.  Oiy, me thinks I understand that, but what a lady likes in the bed chamber shouldn't be cause for a title unless it be how she hustles coin, yeah?"

He turns back to the riders, now very close.  The sound of their hooves drowning him out.  He shrugs, assuming the conversation over, and turns to greet the riders.  Distracted, he almost raised a hand to wave until he felt the familiar heft of his hand-crossbow.  He kept them both pointed at the sand to his sides so as to not appear too threatening.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:05 am

"That is not at all right! Oh Gods. We're resuming this later!" Val shakes her head at the poor, confused halfling before refocusing her attention on the approaching people.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:11 am

Gimble walks up to Val and gives her a smack on the shoulder with his cane. The sound rings out and reverberates the armor. "Hush your mouth, Valeria Thaemor. Custer comes from a different culture than you, and if you think you have the right to teach him what is "right" and what is "wrong" then I won't think twice to leave you in these foreign lands." He plants the end of his cane into the sand with a soft thud and fixes his beard with his free hand. As he squints into the distance, his eyebrows provide his retinas with cover from the glaring sun.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:35 am

Cuss turns to face Gimble as he smiles and swats at the air with one of his hand-crossbows. He meant it to be a gesture of dismissal, but with an armed crossbow, it may appear threatening. He says, "Oiy, Gimble, me thinks I appreciate ya scolding her, but doan go thinking I'm offended by whores or gay women. There are plenty of humans in Meiritin ever since the duke came and slaughtered a good half of me ancestors. Might be I've lain with one or two of both, no?"
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Pimli Prixus on Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:16 am

"Much better. Pimli, I suggest you help Kellar with cooling his armor. A simple spell should be just enough to keep the metal from baking him." The wizened gnome said offhandedly.

Hmmm that's right!

Pimli walks towards Kellar careful of his footing due to the sand drifts, feeling the heat bake up through the soles of his boots. "That ice won't help for long in this heat, bend down here so I can help" Pimli waits with a grind as Kellar complies with the request.

Slowly but surely the Gnome reacted up and touches the Dragoon breast plate. The metal burns his finger tips as they lay upon the armor, sucking in air between his teeth his casts his spell washing the breast plate in a cooling sensation. He moves to the Warriors grieves laying his hands one them as they chill beneath  his touch.  Finally he reaches up and gently places a finger on Kellar helm cooling it off as well.

He beams up at his friend, that blue streak of light that once saved himself and Emelious from captivity, it felt like mouths ago even though it was earlier this day. "I'm sorry my friend, that's he best that I can do. But it should help some"

He turns his eye back towards the approaching riders.

"I shouldn't forgot about poor Minerva. She was taking a few loops around the camp and could not join our adventures" Gimble said as the owl materialized and perched on his shoulder.

Skurr, return it looks like you may have a new friend Pimli reaches deep into his bond with the familiar, reaches in ans pulls. The Raven winks into existence and gently peaches on the young gnomes shoulder.

((Skurr missed master, where friend? ))

"Gimble, Minerva I'd like you to meet Skurr"

================
Cast Prestidigation using the 3 active effects to cool Kellar breast plate, grieves, and helm for 1 hour.
Recalls Skurr


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:04 am

Kellar awkwardly knelt by Pimli. The gnome began touching the various parts of his armor and immediately felt much cooler. "You're right, much better than ice," said Kellar. When the gnome was done, he stood up and listened to the discussion between Custer and Valeria. Kellar grinned and shook his head. Sometimes I think he's just pulling people's legs.

Custer wrote:"Might be I've lain with one or two of both, no?"

Kellar's head rolled back in laughter. "Custer! Hahaha, no that's not how it works. Well whores yes, but not those kinds of whores," he said. He walked over and ruffled Custer's hair and looked at the riders approaching. "We should get into character."
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:18 pm

The fellowship stands in the baking heat, sweat beading upon your brow as the sun rises brilliantly above the red mountain range to your north. Small patches of conifers peek out gingerly from the mountain range to the north, and so it is clear that you are not yet in the heart of the desert.

Kellar and Valeria feel the cooling wave of prestidigitation fortifying their cores, the fighters standing confidently in the sand. Behind them, Pimli, Gimble, Dwan and Custer hide in the shadows of their larger companions, while the mariner Artimus adopts a suitably cocky stance alongside his friends.

Osvald’s eyes take a moment to adjust to the light.

The riders ahead break out from the shadow of the mountains, their mounts kicking up a torrent of dust behind them as they bare down hard.

Now, you can see them.

[Kellar, Perception]

Fifteen - maybe more - horses charge across the desert badlands. Those of you with keen sight can see weapons strapped upon their backs and in their hands. Bows, axes, swords and spears, all held at the ready. Kellar can tell that these are an armed force - definitely not traders.

These are outriders, there is no doubt. As they close the distance, you can see a mixture of men and women, wrapped in lightweight cotton garb. Several wear turbans, while others ride with feathered headdresses or leather bandanas, to keep hair and sweat from their faces.

They are made for these harsh climes. They come from this desert.

[…]

The riders bare down upon you with crushing haste, and the familiar battle reflexes move your muscles in tandem.

But as they come closer, their pace slackens. The lead rider, a slender man with an elaborate crimson turban wrapped and draped across his shoulders, holds up his hand.

The man rests his hand on a falchion tucked into a sash that he bares across his hip. A dusky palomino mount beneath him drops into a trot, the remainder of his troupe fanning out behind him, circling slowly in a wide arc around you…

“Varakh Khoulati Shesh Sallad.” shouts the man, his voice masculine and bellowing.

He does not break his movement, looking down upon you from atop the beautiful horse.

“Travellers, forgive our rapid approach. We come in peace.” softer this time, as he approaches cautiously. Despite the gracious and casual greeting, you can see that his cadre have not lowered their ranged weapons. A woman draped in a continuous white robe holds her hands in the air from atop a light brown mare, clearly a mage.

He looks to you, waiting for an answer, and gauging your threat.

“I am Sim Radan Bal-Akka, Lord Justice of the Janessar. We are guardians of this land, and wardens of the Marching Mountains. We did not see your party cross through the Break of Terabin, or the trade way from the north…”

He pauses, and you can see his eyebrows furrow slightly.

“It seems clear that you are not Calishite. You are not fit for travel in the harsh desert of Calimshan. And yet, you did not cross from Tethyr. Who are you?”

Sim Radan Bal-Akka stops his mount, looking upon you for answers.

=========================



Ok guys, please formulate your response, as well as questions for Sim and his cadre should you have any so we can keep our pacing going here.

Also, let me know what, if anything, you’re doing to respond to the circling of Sim and his men/women. Are you lowering arms? Or do you intend to do anything hostile?

MVP: Obviously Cuss and Val. Gay whores. It’s what we were missing.

PS - Those of you that speak Calishite (if you can make a compelling case for why you would), recognize that Sim said:

“Varakh Khoulati Shesh Sallad.”
"Travellers. Not Sallad's demons."
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:17 pm

Kellar stepped forward and put his hands up to appear non-threatening. His visor remained open and he lowered the shimmering golden scales protecting him. "My name is Kellar the Quick, Dragoon. My companions and I just arrived via a portal. We were about to be crushed by a mountain, we activated a portal and ended up... here? Where is here exactly?" Orbaugh rested on Kellar's shoulder, panting. Master, it hot! Kellar shifted and extended his arm and showed that each of his companions were not aggressive. "We don't want trouble, we just want to find safe passage and figure out our next step."

Kellar looked at the others with a shrug, "Well, don't all talk at once. Maybe introductions are in order?"

Actions:
Kellar lowered his guard (Bladeward).
Kellar introduced himself.
Insight Roll= 11+1= 12 (Being truthful, non-agressive)


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:17 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:18 am

Custer moved to speak, but Kellar moved in the same step, raising his hands.  The tall human with blue skin, shiny armor, and a pseudodragon on his shoulder turned all eyes to him as he spoke.  Cuss's own eyes stared at him.  He didn't hear his friends words, though, as he were too busy trying to remember a time that Kellar had scorned him so.  

'Lead us off, he said, yeah?' he asked himself.  

Before he could answer himself, Kellar was looking towards them all, asking, "Maybe introductions are in order?"


Cuss jumped at the question, then spoke.  "Cuss.  Custer Thickett.  Merchant from Esmeltaran."


"Might these be the Golden Sands that brew that lager Orange?  That was always my favorite of the brews back home.  A pint or three, and some shade, might be this a vacation from being under siege by thousands of orcs and men lead by a blue dragon riding ogre mage, no?"

[Persuasion.  +8  I love your beer, where can I find some.]
15

Cuss nodded and smiled, then glanced to the group for the next move.


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:18 am

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Pimli Prixus on Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:22 am

As his friends begin there introductions Pimli bends down and runs his hands through the baking sand, the scorching heat and the grainy texture feel oddly soothing between his fingers. "Well, don't all talk at once. Maybe introductions are in order?" Kellar says to the group, the young gnome stands up and dusts his hands off on his jacket, he marches towards the riders.

He stops and inspects the horses, the strange curved blades, and the weird clothing, he has to stifle a giggle when he sees the clothing. "I am Pimli, the one that tried navigating the portal to get my friends out of that mountain.  This wouldn't happen to be Calimshan would it?" He smiles widely up at the riders.

[Insight check to catch any lies or half truths d20+4 = 7 ]

========================================================
Pimli plays in the sand
Pimli inspects the horses and equipment
Pimli introduces himself
Insight check
Melts dice rolling in a bonfire during the height of a Calishite afternoon.


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:22 am

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:45 pm

Valeria maintains a friendly stance towards the front of the group as Kellar, then Custer, and then Pimli introduce themselves. Once an opportunity presents itself, she steps forward and gives the leader a coy smile. “Yes, we are very ill prepared for this environment. You can imagine how those of us in metal armor felt upon appearing in a desert….” She chuckles quietly to herself before continuing, “I am Valeria Thaemor, paladin of Sune.”

She keeps an eye on the leader and his companions, studying their body language in an attempt to get a read on them.

Insight: 15


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Mar 07, 2016 2:45 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Osvald Hale on Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:49 pm

Osvald wipes his brow on his sleeve, then holds a hand there to shield his eyes from the glaring sun.

He surveys the vast, barren landscape to get his bearings before his eyes come to rest on the approaching riders, trailing a pale cloud of dust caught in the desert wind.

...

He looks over the group of riders as the others make their introductions. The lead rider seemed pleasant enough, but his friendly demeanor did little to distract from the weapons his followers held at the ready.

When it comes time for him to speak, Osvald gives a slight nod to Sim;

"Osvald Hale, Ranger of the Small Teeth. Pardon our unannounced enterance to your lands, Lord Jannissar--Our exit was a little... Hasty. I've heard of your Marching Mountains, but they are truly a sight to behold. Tell me, Does the Calim river lie west of here?"

=====

Osvald just wants to get his bearings and figure out where best to go from here.

Perception check to notice anything unusual in the distant surroundings.

...and of course it's a nat. 20. Here's hoping there's something worth seeing in the middle of the desert...


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:49 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:28 pm

Gimble keeps an eye on the group of travelers as the leader speaks. He counts the number of men, women, animals, and equipment to try and get a feel for what kind of mission they may be on.

Gimble trudges through the sand next to Pimli. "Gimble Nabisco Raulnor, scholar of Silverymoon." He takes off his hat and bows. Minerva hoots and flits her wings.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:28 pm

It wasn't a leap of faith that urged Artimus DeLonde through the Crackling green aperture of the portal, but nesicity. The walls melted with the unnatural influence of magicks.

“A failsafe"

The Mariner reasoned,

"Invoked by whom- Likely the griffon mounted Cyric" he deduced.

A look was traded between Osvald- of mutual hesitance of lunging to the emerald maw of the portal, and certainty that leap was exactly what would happen next.

The first step thought the boarder or the portal turned to a stumbled, a falling, one where there was not a sure up or down- and the heat- an unbearable scorching, seemingly beginning at the center of the man, radiating outward terribly...  

Then darkness- The test of heartiness too much for the weathered Mariner- having failed two trails of the flesh mere minutes before- the third bested him instantly.

Somewhere in his consciousness he registered the muted thud into the unforgiving heated sand-

When sense returned to his mortal frame- he was greeted with a mouth full of course, minuscule rocklette, filling his teeth.  His legs were spayed over his earth planted head, dangling hilariously over his body.  His frame forming a C-

Familiar voices were exchanging talk of heated armor and an approaching cadre.

Artimus DeLonde rolled gracelessly to his right a heavy thud sending sand in a plume away from his form. Heclamored to his feet in response to the excited voices making ready.

Gathering his bearings squinting past an impossibly bright, high noon sun, he took in the scorching surroundings- a sea of sand in every direction, braced by mountain and sea to the one side. The neutral sun betrayed nothing of the attunement of the lands. North escaped Mariner- an ally that marked the key of every map rare eluded the seasoned sailed.

Truly he was displaced-
Slowly the mariner worked to right himself- for he had been wronged- accounting for his gear, straightening his garb and moving his implements of battle to their place of ease and access.

All too quickly the mounted retinue was upon then and Artimus struck a pose full of famed confidence, not unlike a man too of full of drink replacing his wear-with-all with bravo waiting for his semblance to return.

Thankfully his compatriots spoke first-each with their own charm, and gave his vision a chance to begin to focus- and crucially his ears to hear.

The Desert, The mountains, the horses. Sim Radan Bal-Akka... Justicar--  Calimshan. It could be nowhere else.

The sudden certainty of his position was sobering.

Artimus drew his blade and fell to a knee, offering the length of the blade skyward in open palms. He began speaking in a tongue foreign to all there, but those atop sandy steed.

What escaped his mouth emerged in near perfect Calishite Alzhedo, the tongue of the dusky dunes, spoken more eloquently by the mariner than the common tongue that he butchered daily like the sacrificial lambs of TYR.

"A thousand apologies Sim Radan Bal-Akkar Justicar of Calimshan we unknowingly violate these lands- The words of Kellar the quick are truth- we escape here with only our lives. I present you the blade of Artimus Delonde- Merchant Captain of The Trois Pistoles a ship humbly accepted into Calimport many times carrying the rare and coveted goods of Amn and the North. Permit us join your retinue to your camp- and we will gift you tale of our adventures, There is much to tell- The Dragoon, Kellar has crossed blades with a Half D'jinn and Im sure will tell the tale for the asking"

The Cormyrian had found himself many times in these Lands and even took a Rigger, Baruke al Saud, from Teshburl onto his crew for a seasons.  The wonderous stories Baruke spun over wine and meats filled the lower deck with delights untold and fearful mystery Artimus listened closely - fantastic words of his ancient people and he practiced what he heard, learning the inticicies of their tongue. A act that had become an asset in his business. It seemed to have payed dividends yet again . He knew its people and their traditions- The freely offered blade a sign of respect- as was the address of Radan's full title. Its people respected those that traded, valuing even more those that smuggled illicit goods and knew their customs. Most of all ruddy people of the red sands relished tales of fantastical adventure and certain doom, a resource they had recently found themselves brimming with.

The Calimshites valued a good lie as much a truth- a tale as much as respect and title.  It was said Justicars could sense a lie like another man sensed the wind.  
He hoped his own words landed true.


====================

AO ruled that I would roll a knowledge check to see if Artimus travels gained him any knowledge of Calisham or the language- one natural 20 later we got this! I would have been good as a nat 1, much funnier to be sure.

Glad to be back guys


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:00 am

Sand gusts into your eyes as the morning sun crests pink and brilliant atop the Marching Mountains.

Sim smiles down at Kellar, looking to the group in turn. As the introductions are underway, the Lord Justice of the Janessar dismounts gracefully into the sand, walking towards you and extending his hand in greeting.

He pauses suddenly, his eyebrows raising as Artimus plants his knees in the sand, offering his blade. He nods, gripping the handle of the blade and planting it in the sand before the mariner.

“A half djinn? You’ve some tales to tell, no doubt. Thank you, captain Delonde. Your knowledge of our customs is humbling.”

Sim smiles approvingly, before turning to the halfling.

"Calishite ales are famous across the realms. But truthfully, this far north we've scarcely enough connection to the brewmasters to claim pride. Still, we've plenty enough of it in barrels at our camp."

Valeria stands, stifling. Sweat beads upon every limb, pooling uncomfortably in the plates and leathers of her armour. Her red hair is matted and dirty, falling haphazardly around her shoulders.

[Valeria Insight]

The paladin gazes across the troupe of outriders, narrowing her eyes against the glare. Her gaze stops upon the woman draped in white - clearly a cleric or acolyte of some sort. Her skin is dark, a feminine, graceful face framed by delicate linens.

It is her expression that stops Valeria. The woman’s eyes are poised in a smoky, flirtatious pose, as she looks the red-headed warrior up and down. This is not the sizing of a threat or foe - but a lustful, pining gaze like many Valeria had deflected in taverns and wheelhouses abroad.

But those were all drunk, sloppy men. The gaze of this attractive female was…disarming.

[…]

Sim listens as each of you introduces yourself in turn. He looks to Pimli, nodding.

“Yes, you are in Calimshan. This is the northern border, that runs along the Marching Mountains into the realms of Tethyr.”

He gives you a look of confusion, scratching at his chin.

“I was not aware of a portal that connected to these plains…. Marietta!” he calls to the woman draped in white, atop her horse. She looks at him as he speaks quickly in Calishite.

Those of you that understand:

[[What portal could this be? It must be found. Assemble a host of crusaders, with a relic. Before Sallad and his men do.”]]

He turns back around to the lot of you, nodding.

“I will confess, your arrival is most curious to me. You are all free to go, of course. But I beg of you, please return with us to our fortress at Faeressar. You will be my guests, and we can provide you lodging and basic supplies for your journey in the desert. In return, I only ask that you tell us of this portal.”

Sim nods at Artimus, smiling at his compliance.

“Yes, please join us."

[…]

Osvald listens in the heat, his body growing lazy with every moment spent sweltering.

[Osvald, Perception]

His eyes will not consent to the complacency that his muscles feel, and his sharp senses bring his gaze up to the Marching Mountains on the horizon.

The tracker frowns, his vision fixated on a soaring beast in the far distance. One less observant would not have seen it, and even if they had, knowledge of such creatures was required to discern at this distance.

A dramatic wingspan superimposed across the sky. It was a great eagle - a tremendously intelligent creature that lived in flocks with a dozen others. They are peaceful creatures, and naturally inclined towards acts of good.

They must have a roost in the Marching Mountains somewhere.

=========================

Val, hooked you up with that gay female you requested Smile

Ok folks. Just making sure you’re all on the same page, and planning on joining them back to their camp at Faeressar.

Feel free to make checks, etc. to find out more information on the Jannessar and their keep, if you’d like.

Also, next post rotation will sum up your approach - perhaps you can prepare some intentions for what you plan to do when you arrive - things you’re looking for, questions you would like to ask, people you would seek out?

MVP: Artimus. Beautiful post, friend. The customary gesture was wondrous.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:03 pm

Kellar waited for the others to go through their introductions. The heat was not as bad now that he had assistance from Pimli. Orbaugh curled up under the shield on his back to hide from the baking sun. Kellar closed his visor and kept the sun out of his eyes. The sweltering heat and sand made his skin miserable. "I will march up front," he said as he shambled forward. Any chance to get out of the heat and make contact with Andrianna would be nice.

As they walked, Kellar observed the riders and their armor and weapons. I wonder how they can be acclimated to this weather and still be in fighting shape after their ride? It seemed that most of their wear was of the lighter sort, offering defense against the sun rather than a weapon or magic. Perception= 11+4= 15; Success? (They're not hiding their formation or gear) Orbaugh peered out from under the shield and looked at the riders that Kellar did, offering his sight in determining how they fought. That reminds me, I should read the journal I found on Grol. It could come in handy... Kellar's mind sizzled for a moment and his skin tingled against his armor at the thought. Orcs...? Emelious.

Eeep!

The noise came from Orbaugh in Kellar's mind. Master! You... sting me? Stingling, yes Stingling. He shook his tiny head, jingling the chainmail coif against his master's shield. Kellar squeezed his hands and felt the electrical energy pulse through his body. Interesting. He relaxed his hands and the electrical energy faded. A faint hum stayed in his ears for a few moments before resting. It had to be Emelious, maybe Dwan too? I don't know. Kellar played back the battle in the chamber room against the orcs and the lieutenants and then it dawned on him.

The waves of thunder emitted from Emelious were blessed! Did that somehow pass onto me? He could only guess as he kept walking, playing the battle through his mind again and again as he walked. What could have I done differently? (Probably not throw Custer) The half-djinn was formidable. I should have pursued him. Or I should have killed Keisan outright. Dammit. The sun kept beating down on him as he marched. The thoughts of battle and how he ended up in a desert kept recycling in his mind. He took his mind off the journey to this point and walked closer to Osvald.

"I was sure you were orc fodder when you left. It is great that you survived," said Kellar as he scratched his visor, "To be honest, we are lucky we are here too. It seems that the lifts in the tower were more than a match for us." Kellar chuckled and grabbed Osvald by the shoulder. "Glad to have you back among us." Kellar waited for Osvald to continue the conversation before walking ahead again.

Kellar approached Sim (or other rider if appropriate) and asked, "Do you have shops or a place to barter? I have a couple items that I would like to barter or sell for new weapons, armor and equipment. Oh yeah, do you also have a messenger service available? It seems my heart longs to contact someone I have not heard from in a long time."

Actions:
Kellar walked near the front.
Kellar learned Thunderwave. (Shout out to Emelious)
Kellar talked with Osvald.
Perception for weapons and formation of the riders. What can I learn?
Kellar wants to shop when they arrive. Time to re-gear and prep for the harsh desert.


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Mar 08, 2016 4:03 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:24 pm

Val returns the woman’s gaze with an alluring look of her own. She scoops her hair over onto one shoulder so that it’s not a complete wild mess blocking her vision and turns to Custer with a wide grin. “The lady in white. That’s a gay lady. Don’t look at her and make it obvious that I’m telling you, good Gods!” She chuckles a little and strides over to the woman atop her horse.

“Hello. It’s quite uncomfortable out here in my armor; do you think it would be possible for me to ride with you on your horse? I don’t bite,” She gives her a playful smirk, “Unless asked too.”


More insight! 11


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Re: Chapter Five

Post  DiceMaster on Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:24 pm

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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Osvald Hale on Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:43 pm

The sun beat down as the party made ready to follow the riders to their fortress.

Osvald uncoupled his cloak, and shook out the mud as best he could, though the fabric was stained beyond salvage from battle and travel. Slinging his bow over a shoulder, he then casts his cloak over his head. His longbow acting as a tent pole, peaking the material of his cloak up off his back to shelter himself from the worst of the sun, and better let the desert breeze circulate. Even so, Osvald still loosened his armor and sweat beaded on his brow. This would be an uncomfortable march.

One of the riders chuckles in amusement at Osvalds crude method before spurring his horse onward.

Keen eyes peering from a slit of shade below his cloak, Osvald sights a distant silhouette... A great eagle? The mighty beasts stood nearly twice the height of a man, with a wingspan as wide as a castles' feasting tables.

Osvalds' father had been fond of reminiscing of ancient times when great heroes would take to battle astride such fearsome mounts...

The ranger falls into stride with Sim as the riders wheel about into a column toward their Faeressar.

"Lord Janissar, in the sky, beyond," Osvald points, arm emerging from the tent of his cloak. "A good sign I think. In the north, Great Eagles are renown as the vanguard of noble battles beyond measure. Do your people retain any contact with their roosts?  Our quest grows dire of late, and the risks are such we may find cause to call upon them again."

After the group has assembled for travel Osvald takes up position at the front with Kellar, as Sim leads the way.

The hulking blue warrior clasps Osvald firmly on the shoulder; "I was sure you were orc fodder when you left. It is great that you survived. To be honest, we are lucky we are here too. It seems that the lifts in the tower were more than a match for us." Kellar chuckled, "Glad to have you back among us."

Osvald smiles at his friend, "To be honest I was fairly certain I'd end up in a half dozen greenskin stew-pots by dawn, but here we are," Gesturing to the gleaming desert. "I fear for Olufsen; After we began the blaze at the stable, He stampeded the bulk of the enemies mounts to the north, away from the tower to buy us some time. We booth took a few good licks..." Osvalds eyes stare off at the mountains in the distance. "...But the old bear is one tough bastard. My heart tells me my uncle still lives. It's a grand tale, one I'll be happy to tell when we reach the fortress. Now, Whats this about 'Lifts?' Some foul incantation of Keisan I fear? and whats this of the Half-Djin? Still clamouring for all the glory yourself, huh, old friend?"

Osvald returns the gesture and claps the warrior on the back as the party travels, their trail shifting and disappearing fast, whipped into oblivion by the desert winds.

=====

Questions for Sim and Conversation with Kellar.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Ao on Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:28 am

Valeria looks up at the white-cloaked woman, who narrows her painted eyes. The look could be stern, or disinterested, or playful… the red-haired paladin cannot tell.

“Hsal.” she speaks simply in Calishite, turning around. Ever so faintly, the woman moves forward upon her saddle, leaving room for Valeria to maneuver herself atop the horse…

[…]

Dust clogs your nose as the horses trot slowly through the morning, desert sun. Carrion crows and half-beaks swoop from forests of thin, dusky trees with scarcely a sprig of foliage upon them. The craggy rocks of this landscape are exhausting to climb and descend, the outriders horses springing effortlessly over the terrain in contrast to your slow, clumsy approach.

Your throat screams for water, while your eyes blur in the mixture of sand and sun and sweat. Every quarter hour, Sim slows the cadre enough to provide you with water from their canteens, and shade beneath a makeshift canopy of staves and bedrolls.

“You are lucky we found you.” says Sim. “Another hour and I’d have more water in my skein than you’d have in your flesh.” The remark isn’t one of a braggart, or arrogance. From his face, you can tell that he’s fairly confident in his words.

He stands, motioning for you to do the same. Even Valeria can scarcely re-mount upon the Calishite woman’s horse… the heat and sweat have rubbed her thighs raw, and it is all she can do to hold loosely to the cloths of her benefactor.

You press on north-east, the marching mountains framing the rising sun on the horizon.

[…]

It is over two hours into the brutal march.

Your shins ache, feet blistered and frayed at the sand in your boots. Looking at the Calishites, you can see that they wear leather boots that lace up nearly to the knees. They seem to barely sweat, despite many of them wearing light ringmail armour beneath their flowing cloths.

Sim is speaking with Osvald, nodding when he hears the ranger speak of the eagles.

“Ah yes, we have seen their kind flocking above the mountains from time to time. Though I confess, it has been many months. We do not venture into the Marching Mountains often. It is an unpredictable place…which is perhaps humorous coming from a man of the sands."

Suddenly, Sim holds up his hand.

In military unison, the riders jump from their saddles, placing their palms on the backs of their horses necks. The beasts immediately lower themselves to the ground, causing Valeria to nearly fall from her perch.

“Sit low, fellows.” says the Janessar Lord, peering out over a sizeable outcropping of rocks.

Across the harsh red sands, the vague silhouettes of humanoids are walking through a shallow canyon. Nearly imperceptible at this distance, it is a wonder that Sim was able to pick them out at all.

One of his lieutenants, a stocky half-elf with a patch of linen over his left eye, slinks up to join him. You can hear them whispering. Finally, Sim turns around to address you.

“That is one of Sallad’s hordes. Come, look. I will show you.”

He points out over the expanse, and you can see perhaps a hundred humanoid figures moving in a slow parade across the red landscape. A wagon trundles laboriously behind it, an enormous six-axelled behemoth modelled in a crude, bulbous way.

“Those are not men. At least, most of them are not. Sallad is a necromancer, and his hordes run wild across the north of our land. By day, we track them. Not to defeat - they have nearly endless numbers, it seems. We’ve even watched some of our own rise from beyond the veil, bringing the martial secrets of the Janessar to bare against us even in undeath. No, we track them to salvage the unfortunates who find themselves at the mercy of their attack. It is why we ride… only horses are fast enough to outrun Sallad’s undead.”

He looks for awhile longer, and you witness the horde continue to shamble across the landscape for many minutes.

“It will not do for us to take the canyons. Mrassan, lead us back south, along the springs. It is safer this way. Tyr will protect us.”

Many of the outriders groan, clearly unhappy with the detour.

It seems you will not reach comfort for some time.

[…]

Worn to the bone, it is many hours of slow moving until the sun begins to set. Sim is merciful, slowing the caravan as much as necessary to ensure that you do not fall behind.

Still, it is hard to continue. Bones threaten to snap in half, and your skin has long ago rubbed through its outer layers to the bloody flesh beneath.

The bank of a brown, muddy river seems a mirage in the brilliant pink evening. Sim and his men do not light torches as they find their way down to the bank. The men kneel upon the clay, pulling bedrolls from their packs and rolling them out a short distance from the water. Four of them dismount, slinking to the perimeter and posting watch.

Valeria’s host, Marietta, jumps from her horse, waking Val from a near stupor. Her ears ring with vertigo and heat exhaustion. The white-cloaked woman frowns, grabbing the paladin and guiding her into the sand where she nearly collapses.

Silently, Marietta unhitches a bedroll from her horse, and passes it on to Valeria. She takes another for herself, heading towards the bank where she unfurls it apart from the group.

[…]

The moon rises high in the desert, a small campfire shedding its heat from within a small enclave of rocks. The smoke rises, broken, into the night sky.

It is filled with stars. Endless, and wondrously kissed by the peach streaks of the days’ solar rays.

Sim walks among his men, checking on each of the fellows in turn. Exhaustion cannot begin to explain the sensation that you feel, as nearly every inch of your body aches and burns.

“You walked well today,” whispers Sim, handing you a small bowl of piping hot soup. A chill has begun to set into the stale air. It would be refreshing, if your nose was not so choked with sand.

“Rest well. We will not leave early, so take time to compose yourself. Cover your bedroll in the hot sand and clay…the air will become frigid in the night, and you will not sleep well in the cold.”

Sim nods, heading off to his own bedroll….

====================

Ok folks, you find yourselves beside a stream, tucked handedly into a bedroll. I urge you to roleplay this, taking whatever liberties you’d like, and perhaps fleshing out some of the outriders and their personalities.

I did not speak to your questions Kell - Can you remind me at the end of your next post to answer them? They’ll make more sense in the next few rotations.

MVP: All of you. One HELL of a rotation.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Kellar on Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:37 am

Before...
Osvald Hale wrote:Now, Whats this about 'Lifts?' Some foul incantation of Keisan I fear? and whats this of the Half-Djin? Still clamouring for all the glory yourself, huh, old friend?"

Kellar smiled at the question. Lifts. Damnable things. "Yeah, we were moving through the tower and making our way upward. None of us could speak orc and control the lift. Some quick thinking kept us alive thankfully," he replied. It was funny in hindsight. "You and I have fought and killed many things. A lift was not on my list of things to kill. I don't believe it was a machination of Keisan." Kellar's shoulders lifted at the mention of the half-djinn.

"I didn't catch his name, but he could fight, and fight well," replied Kellar. Kellar moved his hands and changed stances as they walked with the caravan. He reenacted the fight he had with Alshaquiz. He showed Osvald where the blade pierced his armor. He pointed at Gimble and explained what happened to Grol. Kellar removed Anna's axe and proudly showed it to the hunter. "I didn't get to kill him like I wanted, but I do have the Clan Maul Axe... Anna's Axe," he said glumly. He went on to explain, "But when we arrived at Keisan's Chambers... get this," he pointed at Custer, "I threw him at Keisan like a cannonball. Hahahaha!" To be sure, the scenes explained by Kellar were slightly embellished, hell, they were deadly but he wanted to share the trials they faced during Osvald's absence.

Now...

The found a place to finally rest. The march was grueling. Even Orbaugh was exhausted (he didn't even walk). Kellar's visor opened and he looked at the caked sand and mud beneath his feet. Orbaugh dropped from Kellar with a soft plop! and began digging a hole in the sand to fit himself in. Kellar dropped to his knees and began pulled at the sand with his hands and worked until he had a shallow pocket large enough for him. He laid his bedroll inside it and covered it in mud and sand to help retain heat. Kellar and Orbaugh drank from his waterskin and ate a couple rations to replenish their energy and hydrate. Kellar positioned his pack near the head of his makeshift bed to be used as a pillow. He laid Anna's Axe to his right and he helped Orbaugh get settled in the sand. The pseudodragon laid down in the tiny pocket and waited for his master to cover him. He shifted and yawned as he was being covered. Orbaugh closed his eyes and was covered in sand, only his snout remained peaking out.

Kellar yawned and laid down. He covered himself in his blanket and covered it with more mud and sand.

Actions:
Reflecting on past events.
Made a place to rest.
Don't forget AO, Kellar is looking to barter, send messages, upgrade his equipment for the elements.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Gimble Nabisco Raulnor on Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:45 am

Osvald Hale wrote:A good sign I think. In the north, Great Eagles are renown as the vanguard of noble battles beyond measure.

Gimble's eyebrows swivel towards the craggy outline of the mountains. The desert wind ruffles the white hairs, but his pupil remain in steady, constant motion, sweeping the landscape for signs of the creatures. It takes a few seconds for him to spot one, followed by a quiet intake of breath. "Dear me, what a sight to behold. I've had many encounters with the small ones, but I cannot say that I have had the pleasure to converse with their grander cousins."

"Ah yes, we have seen their kind flocking above the mountains from time to time. Though I confess, it has been many months. We do not venture into the Marching Mountains often."

"Perhaps it is time to reestablish a relationship? The eagles have eyes sharper than any man and wings faster than any horse. Their aid could come in handy one day." Gimble's eyes gleam with almost a childish excitement. The long march seems to have affected the old mage much less than one would expect. A spring still resides in his step, and his throat reverberates with a catchy, light tune. While the others have begun to sweat and pant, Gimble remains dry and cool under the protective cloak of his magic. The cooled fabric quickly fights off the scorching rays of the sun. Overhead, Minerva flies in lazy loops around the caravan of adventurers. She keeps an eye on the landscape around them.

That is one of Sallad’s hordes. Come, look. I will show you.

Gimble lies down in the sand and looks in the horizon. "A necromancer." The words rush out of his mouth in awe. "One powerful enough to command a hundred? You have quite a mighty foe, Sim. How long has this "Sallad" plagued your lands?"

At the sight of the river, Gimble is revived with a jolt of new-found energy. His feet slash down on the muddy banks, kicking up small globs of mud and sand behind him. Unlike the others, his magic has protected the bottom of his feet from being rubbed raw during the march, though his joints and bones have begun to ache. He finds a dry spot near the rocks to set his pack down and rest. Minerva descends from the skies and lands on his bedroll. A quiet hoot and tilt of her head signals that Gimble should set up camp.

The gnome sits happily on his bedroll and enjoys the rest that has been offered to him. He refills his waterskin from the river and settles down with a pile of mud. Wielding a stick fetched by Minerva, Gimble begins to roll and kneed the clay while humming a cheery tune. He pinches and carves it into three shapes: a raven, an owl, and a large eagle. Bright eyes turn to Pimli as old, worn hands work on clay. "So tell me, young Prixus, what is your school like? It has been a while since I've attended an academy at Silverymoon, and I would like to know what they teach in a place like Imnescar these days. What kind of magic do you specialize in?"

As night falls and the fire is lit, he lowers the clay figures into the flames with a mage hand and sits there to enjoy the soup that Sim has handed out. Sitting under the stars, Gimble can't help but to begin documenting them and recalling the names of the ones familiar to his memories. The new cloak that he claimed from the towers shifts under the pale glow of starlight. The pattern on the fabric morphs and shimmers, changing to mimic the pattern of the sky looming overhead.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Pimli Prixus on Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:11 pm

The sound of crackling electricity fills the air the it's gone. A sound he's heard before, the sound of a friend. Emelious you fool you made it out and found us! the gnome thinks to himself as he looks around for his Half-Elven friend. hmmmm I guess you'll show yourself when you're ready. But I'm starting to get worried

He walks on

Pimli stares into the heat haze on the horizon as the march begins. Walking with the enthusiasm of his youth, he may be over 70 years old, possibly the oldest of his companions except for Gimble, but he is still just a young adult to Gnomish kind.

He walks on, almost dancing through the sand, raveling at the way the sand shifts to show the way of there movement before falling back in itself hiding there progress. He reaches down and picks up some allowing it to trickle down between his fingers with glee, he kicks at the sand now minding the blow back of the sand hitting him as he walks into it. He watches the strange riders, how they pearch in there saddles in a way that keeps the direct sunlight off there animals, he wonders how they can fight with those strange curved blades or how they can walk with the bellowing clothing they wear without tripping.

An hour on into the travel he notices the fatigue set in on Kellar. "Has the heat returned Kellar? He says with a large smile and reapplies the cooling sensation to the Dragoons armor.

"A good sign I think. In the north, Great Eagles are renown as the vanguard of noble battles beyond measure." Osvald said pointing out the large eagle flying on the horizon, Pimli could barely make it out over the dancing shimmer of heat. "A wondrous sight! and good luck from what I hear! But me I wouldn't trade in the loyalty of a Raven for anything" he gives Skurr a scratch between the wings. "They may be considered an ill oman, but they will do anything for those they trust. Isn't that right Skurr"

CAW! CAW!

He walks on, the joint pain doesn't stop his youthful enthusiasm, he's danced for longer without stop back at home.

The strange parade he's apart of comes to a stop, everyone crouching low to the ground looking towards something. Pimli walks up to the head off the line to see. He's not worries about crouching low, he's still lower to the ground then any of them.

“That is one of Sallad’s hordes. Come, look. I will show you.” Pimli follows the direction that the man is pointing to see the cluster of people shambling along with a strange wagon. “Those are not men. At least, most of them are not. Sallad is a necromancer, and his hordes run wild across the north of our land. By day, we track them. Not to defeat - they have nearly endless numbers, it seems. We’ve even watched some of our own rise from beyond the veil, bringing the martial secrets of the Janessar to bare against us even in undeath. No, we track them to salvage the unfortunates who find themselves at the mercy of their attack. It is why we ride… only horses are fast enough to outrun Sallad’s undead.”

"A nec..." he's about to say when  Gimble beats him to the punch "A necromancer. "One powerful enough to command a hundred? You have quite a mighty foe, Sim. How long has this "Sallad" plagued your lands?" Pimli looks at the older Gnome. it seems Gimble is as unaffected by this travel as myself, to bad we can't say the same for the others

They walk on, for hours, twilight rising on the horizon as the sun sets, letting the heat of the air and bringing with it the chill of the night. His enthusiasm is wavering, the sights of the desert got monotonous and he needs to empty some of that damned sand out of his boots. Thinking on this he almost walks into Artimus, they've stopped at a stream.  The desert men dismount and begin creating camp. Pimli sits down next to Gimble, pulls off his boots to dump out the stray sand. "So tell me, young Prixus, what is your school like? It has been a while since I've attended an academy at Silverymoon, and I would like to know what they teach in a place like Imnescar these days. What kind of magic do you specialize in?" The older gnome says to him.  Pimli places his boots aside and reaches into his pouch pulling out a pipe and a tobacco bag, he fills his pipe then offers the bag to Gimble, before channeling a spark to ignite his pipe. "I specialize in divination, from a young age I always wanted to know everything about everything. The school has taught me to put that to good use in seeing what is to come. As for my school, it's large with wings dedicated to each of the main schools of the arts. They teach us of the world, and the people, they teach us how to think critically, and they teach us how to get by without access to our skills if it's ever necessary. What about yourself Gimble? What did they teach you at Silverymoon?" He listens to the old Gnomes telling, swapping stories with his fellow wizard as he enjoys his pipe.

As the other begin to go off to sleep he packs his pipe full again, and pulls out the black cracked leather spellbook he got from his Captor Nerguhl. He flips through the pages trying to decipher the scratching scrawl of the Orc text so he can begin learning what magics it has hidden between the pages.

========================
Pimli walks
Pimli plays
Pimli thinks Emelious is still alive cause no one has told him otherwise
Pimli Smokes
Pimli swaps wizard stories with Gimble
Pimli starts trying to read the spell book he took from Nerguhl
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Osvald Hale on Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:40 pm

As the roar of the desert sun fades in the west, Osvald removes pack and weapon belts, dropping them on the clay bank. He removes his boots and wades out into the oasis; the tepid waters providing providing relief for his battered feet. Whispering the old words, his sores and blisters fade and knit together.

The riders sent out first watch and those remaining seemed comfortable enough in the relative safety of this oasis, so Osvald followed their lead and tried to let himself relax. It had been a hell of a day.

Calling out to Cuss, the ranger asks to borrow a sliver of the halflings soap. After a lengthy scrub, Osvald wades bank up the bank looking halfway human again.

Standing on the shore, Osvald stares up at the sky a long while, taking a few pulls from his flask, passing it around with anyone who joins him.

The two gnomes chat, merrily swapping tales--energies apparently undiminished by the sweltering heat of the day.

By their conversation one would think they were sharing a pint over a roaring fire in Waterdeep, not two who had just narrowly escaped death umpteen times and now found themselves a thousand miles from home in a mysterious land still frought with peril.

Pimli was his usual self. The other, Gimble shared his curious gnomish disposition, if perhaps a touch more... Inscrutable. When he had first reached Kiesans chamber in the tower, Osvald had thought for a moment the Harper's had somehow joined them in the battle. Very curious. Gimbles traveling companion, the warrior woman Val, bore a striking resemblance at first glance to Andrianna, though had proved herself to posses a great measure more guile and tact to garner a free ride on the white-robed woman's mount. Andrianna probably would've just knocked the Mage off and taken the horse.

...

A few of the riders share a sheep-gut skin of strong red wine and throw dice in the light of a small fire. The ranger watches wordlessly for a time before exhaustion catches him slumping over.

In a daze, Osvald digs out his own sleeping cavity in the sand, laying his cloak in the depression before climbing in himself to keep as much sand out of his gear as possible before unceremoniously collapsing into a dead sleep.

=====

Just flavor, no actions until morning after we take a long rest.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:24 pm

The sound of flowing water is nearly deafening. Pimli and Gimble focus their magic on a point trying to generate the portal. The portal appears to stabilize though the edges fray away into wasted magical energy. Dwan sprints at the portal, his feet struggling against the suction of the mud below the water line, then throws his body into the portal.

He feels frozen in the moment between the two locations, the rough energy of the portal tries to pull his body apart before he reaches his destination, something inside seems to fight against it. His limbs feel strained to the point of breaking, he can see the skin and muscles of his left shoulder tear away, only bones and veins remain. Maybe I am not meant to make this trip... he thinks to himself.

While his eyes are closed he feels a sickly stinging in his shoulder. He looks to see a red sludge moving out across his bone to connect with the muscles and skin of his arm. It pulls tight and a fiery pain causes Dwan to black out.

The fire remains when he comes to. It is a dull throb compared to his most recent experience and now it covers his whole body. He realizes that he is face down and he pops his head up and opens his eyes. The Desert. How did I- He looks around to see the last few of his group appear through the portal, Val and Kellar start removing their armor to prevent themselves from cooking alive.

Dwan starts to undo his chest piece. The others may think that he is joining in to get some relief from the heat, but he tries to get a good look at his shoulder. Its together, in once piece, but he can now see a red scar encircling the inner part of his shoulder. He quickly covers the scar and waits in thought while the riders approach the group.

Dwan gives a basic introduction and gives basic answers any questions that the riders may have for him. Those who know him well should recognize that he is in thought, most likely upset about something.

When they make camp at the river Dwan sits down and immediately digs through his bag to find a small package of vials. More than half are gone now. Dwan picks up the vial and drinks the contents, and places the remainder of the vials back in his bag next to The Red Plague. He then takes a few minutes to set up his bedroll and sit in meditation.

This needs to be done he thinks to himself with a sigh, and he walks over to the camp fire. Dwan takes out the bottle of alcohol that he procured from Keisan's chambers and takes a deep swig before passing it to Artimus then the others. He spends some time sharing his army stories.

As the night moves on the others start to open up a bit, even the mage, Baaqir, joined in and spoke about searching for artifacts in the Dwarf ruins in the marching mountains, then the time that he worked as a caravan guard on the trade route between Calamport and Memnon, which lead him on how he met with this group.

Did you find anything of value in those old ruins? I doubt those dwarves would have left anything usefult, or at least if they did it would have been looted long ago. Stories of the magic that those dwarves would imbue into stone were told to us when we were children. They could make giant stone statutes to defend their gates, Armor that would reflect this sun yet keep the wearer cool beneath, and hammers that could move of their own accord to hit children that don't do their chores.

He laughs Old stories... I have heard about a few from this desert which I'm not sure if its another tall tale or if there may be some truth behind it. Tell me, Baqir, have you heard of a healing woman named Mush-ra?

With that he fixes a stare on Baqir, while taking another drink to calm his nerves.

======================
Dwan catches up to this part of the story
Dwan takes 4 damage,
Dwan asks the mage Baqir about Mush-ra.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Custer Thickett on Wed Mar 09, 2016 2:53 pm

Cuss nods and smiles at Sim's mention of the lager being back at his camp, but he does not keep the leader's attention once it is assumed they would be traveling with this group to shelter.  His father had taught him that once a deal was agreed, further talk only increased the risk of its unfolding before being done.

As it were, Val served to turn his attention to other subjects.  That of gay women.  The dark skinned beauty was shrouded in fine white linens that would have made his Agata eye her with envy.  She looked to be flirting with him from her gaze in this direction, but Val turned him away before he could be sure.

"Don’t look at her and make it obvious that I’m telling you, good Gods!" She chuckled.  

He looked up at her to quip something clever, but she was staring at the woman.  With barely a glance his way, she strode over to her and joined her atop the horse.  The sight of the two atop the horse, different in nearly every way, would turn the eyes of most many times over during the trek ahead.

Cuss turned to Brahm, the young boy smiling levelly at him with a smug look of an knowing elder.  Cuss frowned and pushed him on the shoulder hard enough he took two steps backward before sitting down hard in the sand.

Cuss asked him, "What of it?"

Crossing the sands, they kept group with the others their height, and came to resent the gnomes for it.  Burning up inside black leather armor, Cuss and Brahm breathed heavy as they labored to stay upright into the cutting sand inside the dessert wind.  It bore deep little pockets of pain to any exposed skin, and while covering their faces and heads with their dark bananas brought some comfort from the microscopic assault, it also threatened to smother them to fainting.  

All while the gnomes seemed cheery, even possibly renewed by the pounding heat.  Often Cuss considered how he might trip one if they started to whistle, but a glance over the steep side of the dune reminded him another fall might be the end of him, even out here among friends and allies.  

Once while stopped, Cuss turned up a canteen to chug too much water too fast and ended up choking and puking most of it back up.  The waste brought scorn from the locals, and shaking heads from others.

As Kellar told and acted out the story of throwing him at Kesian, most of the group laughed while his blue friend mimicked tossing him.  Cuss stood up and tried to finish the story between labored breaths.  

"Aye, and I shot em here an here from atop that table, yeah?"  He said, pointing to the part of his chest holding his heart.  The crowd turned to silence, looking at him.  A local said someting in Alzhedo, which erupted all that spoke it to laughter.   

Cuss feigned understanding and laughed with them, but when he turned back to Brahm, the boy was again smiling at him.  Tiling his head, he asked, "What'd they say?"

Many miles later at dusk at a river, Cuss pulled his scarf down and his bandanna off to wash his face with soap from his gear.  He was joined by Osvald, who asked for a sliver of his soap.  Cuss used a dagger from his bracer to cut a piece for his friend.  

He stacked his over sized plain black leather armor, the stink of his sweat nearly overwhelming.  He sank his face into the water and held it there for a good minute before pulling back up for air.  

If only the water were cool, he might have felt refreshed.  

Without look toward the ranger, Cuss spoke to his friend as he worked the ache out of his arms with lathered lye.  

"Kesian should have fell from those shots.  Two right where the heart should be.  He came away from them to mount a manticore and escape.  I ran after him and mounted the beast right behind him.  It took off, soaring above the tower balcony with both of us on it.  I had one hand on his cloak, and reached around him with the other as he unclasped it.  I fell.  A good 5000 lengths above the camp I fell.  If not for Dwan's diving after me on a manticore of his own, your looking up might have been the last thing I saw in this life, yeah?"

Cuss paused the story to think of his friend's saving his life, then of Emelious losing his.  He rinsed the soap away then walked to his pack to find a dry shirt.  As he put it on he continued, "The laughing mask got away, but I came away from it with me life and his prize."

He glanced around to make sure none of the locals was looking his way, then unrolled the sack he found with Daste's other things, exposing the compass to Osvald.  "We need to deal with this, yeah?"

He turned the lip of the bag over the compass this time as he went to roll the artifact back up inside of it, but as he rotated his wrist to wrap, the fabric fell flat.  Cuss turned his eyes to what looked to be an empty bag in his hand, and said, "What in the hells?"

He unrolled it and opened the bag to look inside.  When he did, the inside seemed a massive container compared to the size of the fabric in his hands, and far down into the bottom of its volume sat the Compass, so far away it was half its size.  

Cuss looked back up at Osvald with wide eyes and pale sink as the panic of having possibly lost the item fades from his face.

After having shoved all of his gear into the bag, Cuss climbed the bank to find Artimus with Dwan and many of the others.  They are passing bottles and flask, telling stories and laughing.  

Cuss walks over to the Captain, and holds out his right hand in a gestured to shake hands.  He nods at it when Artimus looks at him.

The Cormyrian found Emelious' Kraken's Fist in the Halfing's palm.  Cuss closed his hand over the humans so as to hide the amulet from view.  He didn't speak, only nodded, and then took a seat in the sand beside Artimus.

He took a flask of wine in passing from Dwan, and listened to the stories of battle and hunting treasure.  It was a welcome departure from the events of late.  He couldn't remember the last time he had sat down.

Packing El Derro's ornate pipe with the last of his Halfling's leaf, his mind soon fades to the colors of the fire that burned Esmeltaran.  When his smoldering pipe sputters to its last, he falls asleep where he sits, slouched over his crossed legs.

Thankfully, Sim had him woken up to move into a proper sleeping hole before the night turned to cold.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:14 pm

The sultry sun taunted and rocky red glared.

The trek was arduous on the mariner, each step his digits rallied in formation to bolster the tenuous alliance between boot and sand. Tiny granule of earth broke formation in retreat with each pace he took, wreaking havoc on his already wobbly, beleaguered legs.

Tactically positioning himself Behind Kellar, and near the high quarter of one of the Chashite steeds. He steadied himself with a gloved when his stance failed him. At first the pale horse glanced back with a look of shock and distain which faded with the repeated act till a kind of annoyed surrender washed over the beast.

The sweltering heat was oppressive. It bent his vision as he gaze past the troupe and into the distance through one squinted eye. It too did threatened to bend the Cormyrian's strength  to its will. Deposits of flakey white powder emerged on his skin and encircled his dry mouth- two decades of seasalt rising from his bones, surfacing- gripping with chemical bonds to the escaping water as it was summoned skyward to its solar master. The one grace was the cool touch of his chain shirt. Wicking heat from his chest and its cold forged alloy resisting the scorching rays decended by the slowly setting orb in the sky.

His mind had become singular in its focus to continue to his pace. That sole edict to keep moving and a  stubborn commitment was all kept his form upright and moving. He'd scarcely heard the command from Sim to lower himself. The request only registering once all others had ducked down and he was the only one left standing. He had also only subconsciously registered the talk of the necromancer. Concepts to be parsed later.  In this state he had more in common with the dead that followed Sallad than a man possessing reason or discretion.

When they'd arrived at the muddy banked waters, Artimus fell to his knees on its meager shore- the last mile of their march seeming more a triumph than any other single victory of his storied career. Still knelt he struggled to free himself of shirt and armour and boot and glove and belt, each stuck to skin wet with sweat, dirt and blood- a historical account of filth - wiped away by the oasis as he waded into it.

The kind waters served to slowly revive his will and spirit. Bringing life to the zombified shell he'd become. He would spend the next hour floating on the surface of the edifice- thankful watching the white day descend into peach, sanguine, purple and indigo night.

“I’m glad you live Mon ami...” Artimus managed to offer to Osvald as the ranger scrubbed and bathed “...I’m glad any of us live”

The night descended, Artimus closed his eyes- his weightless body joined eagerly by a bruised psyche.

The excretion he felt was more than physical, his encounter with the green hedged demon - brief as it was had left him feeling like two pieces of Tytherian leather stitched together than pulled just stopping at the point of tearing.

He would speak to Pimili on the matter- Despite his childlike wonderment- the gnome had a almost offhanded knowledge of, what seemed to Artimus to be most bizarre and frightening. Questions for the morning.

Artimus mustered enough focus between bath and bedroll to take measure of the stars and make a bearing on his map. The notion of entreating dwan for a measure of herbacious gin banished in favour of  quick rest.

"De savoir où vous allez-vous doit d'abord savoir où vous avez été"
"To know where you're going you must first know where you've been"


Last edited by Artimus DeLonde on Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Valeria Thaemor on Wed Mar 09, 2016 7:55 pm

Val straddled the horse in relative ease, pressing up against her lady friend and grabbing onto her white robes. For the first hour or so of travel, she kept up a pleasant conversation, mostly about how her and her friends had ended up in the desert and how she and Gimble had been captured before that. After the first hour, the heat began to cause a strain on the red-head once more. The uncovered areas of her pale skin- her face and the part in her hair- were quickly burning under the constant exposure to the sun. Even with Gimble’s assistance, her armor was stifling and making her sweat way more than was attractive; She had to wipe her brow every few minutes.

Every stop for water was a blissful reprieve from the heat that ended all too quickly. She tried- and failed- to be conservative with the amount of water she drank at every opportunity, the burning in her throat drowning out reason and politeness until she had gulped down more than her fair share. All she could do was smile apologetically at the white-clad lady.

Half unconsciousness from heat exhaustion and barely holding onto the woman, the sudden halt and lowering of mounts nearly sent Val sliding from the horse, instantly bringing her back to attention. She shuddered at the undead group moving a ways away. Undead. I’ve always had an aversion to them…. As though they haunted me in a previous life.

At the mention of having to find another route, Val droops her head in exhaustion mingled with despair. The hopes of reaching a place where she could lay down naked on a soft bed with plenty of water and fresh fruit were instantly dashed. “How long will this put us back?” She asked softly, not really expecting a reply and not getting one.

For the rest of the ride, she drifts in and out of consciousness, eternally thankful that she’s mounted unlike the others, and eternally annoyed by the unaffected gnomes. Her eyes water from sand, her nose is clogged with sand, there’s sand chaffing bits of her uncomfortably (how it even got in her armor is beyond her), sand had become her mortal enemy where just a few hours earlier it had been mud.

She has to be pulled from the horse. She’s too out of it to even be embarrassed by her lack of coordination and needing to be assisted; she just allows the woman to pull her off and into the sand. Only when a bedroll hits her in the chest with a soft thud does she stir and glance around at the others. Only the river sticks in her mind.

Without any hesitation, she begins pulling off her armor and leaving it in a pile next to the borrowed bedroll. Clothed only in the thin under garments she wears under the armor, she makes her way to the banks of the river and sticks her swollen feet into the water. It’s not cold, but it’s better than nothing. With a small sigh she pulls the rest of her clothes off and wades completely into the water, uncaring of the others nearby.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see water in my entire life,” She says to anybody in hearing range. Floating on her back, she closes her eyes and just savors the feeling for a few minutes before finally beginning to rinse the sand and dirt from her hair, face, and anywhere else it’s clung to during the journey.

Once she feels clean again, she climbs out of the water, shivering thanks to the dropping temperature now that night is starting to fall. Throwing on her under clothes once more, she joins the others in some light chit-chat before setting up her bedroll and covering it with clay. Sleep comes easily to her.
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Re: Chapter Five

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:09 pm

Artimus found himself standing in a green meadow, painted with soft grass that extended in every direction before falling off into endles blackness.  A darkness that was dotted by the uncountable points of light that encircling a bright moon. Calm permiated this place.
He was alone - no, not alone, he felt another and he turned to see... Her.

She was naked, save for a cloak made up of swirling silken cloud and Indiscernible occlusion, a kind of glittering, gossamer veil. Her moonlit skin reflected the night and all the stars. looking up at her could see every subtle turn and soft nape. The shadowy cleft between her breasts and gentle burgeoning thighs. She was pure in her nakedness, and Artimus felt himself in stark contrast- dirty, petty and wrathful. Imperfect.

Behind his heavy clothing he felt waves of heat rolling off him like flowing of the tides. A force that rose as he met her black eyes, which seemed to hold in them, the whole of full moon. They danced and flickered to him the gleaming soft of the evening lunar aparitions.

Artimus could feel his form begin to melt, softly shifting and flowing. He could feel the confines of his moral body break open as he mollified into a pool of silvery metallic liquid settling around her at her feet.

She smiled with peerless serenity, and floated across the grey-green grass and rained tiny orbs of crystal dew. They landed Artimus whole again as did the dew, balancing on the pinnacle of each blade of grass.

Her mouth leveled with his own. Her lips appeared to be soft and colour of blue pines in the deep winter, her breath smelt fresh rain. When she reached out and touched his neck with her hand, Artimus knew the touch-. Her fingertips felt like pillars of light that passed through the tight tendons beneath his jaw and under his neck. The sensation spread warmth and profound relaxation throughout him like a blossoming fjord of incandescent azure light.

She spoke softly “You have done so much- and yet there is so much more that I would ask of you.” Artimus felt the weakness of his body again, the searing pain in his chest. His frailty unmasked.

Artimus’ closed lids did not allow him to see her nudge his shirt open. She ran her alabaster hands down his deep chest wound. Her power and sent quakes through his whole form. She pressed herself to his bare skin, her firm breasts against him. Her ebon hair dripped over her shoulder and framed her face in silk midnight, glistening stars trapped within the her locks.

Artimus put his hands on her, pushing away the gossamer and letting it drop to the ground noiselessly, shining in multiple colors as if made of thousands of dragonfly wings. She laughed, startling him—the sound like an echo off a mountain, a voice of a lover on the carried breeze. She tugged away every last barrier Artimus wore on his body and around his soul and flicked them into the shadows.

“Become one with me- I will extend you, - preserve you again. So you may stride longer in the realm of what is.”

When Artimus lifted a hand to touch her chin, she mirrored his movement. The sailor's fingers traced a path down her body: her neck, her collarbones, her perfect breast, her smooth stomach. As his fingers dove deeper, so did hers. He let her mouth linger close to his as they fell in slowly to the chilly grass where droplets of water speckled her ivory skin.

Behind his eyelids Artimus only saw glimpses of black separated by clouds of light… stars. And waterfalls tumbled and roared at a deafening volume in his ears. Flashes of blue oceans and green forests and dripping, ancient stone rooms that was forever underground.

Artimus no longer felt his broken body. His conscious had escaped and flown to all these different places, places he could not reckon and still was aware few others had ever tainted with their footsteps. Artimus felt himself as particles of light, melting into different substances: secluded ponds, silent skies, wise trees. Wherever he had gone, he knew she was still there beneath him because he could feel her like the thrum of hummingbird wings against his cheek.

The drum in his chest begged him to come down from this distant place, begged him to exist again in his original form before he pressed himself beyond comprehension and collapse into dust within her eternal loving hands. He might have left his body laying there for millenniums for all the uncounted moments he spent elsewhere, as his separated self became part of different substances within this world. Her world.

Slowly Artimus was descending and sinking, spinning down through purple clouds and diving through a quiet lake of black night until he fell towards the earth and plummeted into his body. His eyes took one last glimpse of their sanctum before closing and opening again, one last look at her. She was kneeling above him, Artimus was between her legs and she felt chill against his salty skin.

“Do not rest beloved the Demon hunts you still . – and if you fall, you will be lost to me for all of time Sailor, Son of Corymr.”

Artimus didn’t remember falling asleep as he opened his eyes to find dawn had eclipsed the night sky. He wasn’t sure if he was sweating or covered in morning deserts dew. The churning of his blood in veins-still ripe with the vigor of that other place. He could still see her unknowable eyes, deep pools that made him think of drowning blissfully.

The Cormyrian sat up , feeling more whole than he had the night before ... and there was something else.


Last edited by Artimus DeLonde on Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:53 am; edited 19 times in total
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Re: Chapter Five

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