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Sunday, 1st May, 2005, 01:05 AM #1
Novice (Lvl 1)
The Blade of Phoee (Updated 12/08/08)
Translated from The Book of Phoee
And whence the mother came is of no import,
Her bright beauty caused the darkness to flee.
Her light, her love, the brightest cord,
Killed the darkness; melted the ice; created the Sea.
The last of the dying races,
Adopted as her own blood,
Given rule over all the places,
The power to do what they could.
The old peoples were reborn and spread,
Except for the human race.
But old rivalries returned, many now new became dead.
The last man, now god, refused his kind a place.
The Mother birthed a true god,
To quench the fires of hate.
A god from whence all the others trod,
A god once divided, continued to mate.
A pantheon of power was born,
Hatred slaughtered the last man
And still the adopted gave no heed only scorn.
From the ashes, darkness rose again.
Humanity was created in the fires of death,
Led by a malicious being bent by power.
By his hand, the other Gods released their last breath
And brought the world into its final hour.
“Dammit, stop laughing! Norsae was ripperd right out ‘e ocean! I could ‘ear Phoee cryin’. A painful wail it was.
“Then. Then, Cahsa turned on us an smashed ‘e ship. If’n the mage hadn’t teleported me out…I’d have…the rest of me boys…we’d all…
“Cahsa ate ‘em alive.”
-Danbury Smalls, Former Captain of the Lost Cahsa’s Wave and current drunk
What follows is a story set on the homebrewed continent of Norum da Salaex....
I have began the conversion between this thread and .pdf. The first .pdf with the Preludes and Interlude within is located on the sixth page of this thread, first post (You must have Adobe Reader 6.0 or newer to read). Enjoy!
EDIT: I added the .pdf of Chapter 1 today (9/23). Its on page 6 as well. Enjoy!
P.S. I’m not abandoning my first story hour to do this but sometimes, we all need a break.
Sunday, 1st May, 2005, 01:08 AM #2
Novice (Lvl 1)
She shifted quietly in the shadows of the manor, her presence unknown except to her employer. His hired men had not noticed her for the past fortnight, so quietly she moved. For all they knew, they were alone. Their crude jokes and mannerisms just proved their lack of awareness.
For hours and hours she sat in silence in the dark having to endure their stories about the most recent wenches they had the pleasure of having. Anastrianna knew better. These guards suffered from overactive imaginations. These men, and she used the term loosely, would not be able to pleasure a woman if given verbal, step-by-step instructions from a master of the trade.
In the shadows she remained, waiting for her benefactor to leave. Master Crawson was one of the more important merchants in the city of Nordaa Saam. And by important, Ana meant wealthy. He had hundreds of contracts at any one time, whether they be the production of arms and armor for the Empire or individual deals to hunt down antiques or relics. The word on the street was if it could be found, Master Crawson would be the one to find it.
Ana was a little more skeptical than most. She needed proof of his abilities, of his importance. Her skepticism was what caused this indentured servitude. Using the tools of her trade, she had broken into the manor she was now forced to guard. Easily she had bypassed his traps and tricks, seeking out his main vault.
When she found Crawson’s inner sanctum, she had been astounded. Gold and silver lied heaped in piles along with rubies and other gems of exquisite cut. On a pedestal in the center of the vault was a unique adamantine box. The box was perhaps a half-foot long by a half-foot wide and just as deep. Engraved on the top of the box were symbols the likes of which she had never seen. There was no edge to the box, almost as if it was a pure piece of adamantine. But, when lifted, the box felt light as if hollow.
That was when Ana’s astonishment doubled. The door to the vault slammed shut behind her. She spun, dropped the box and she heard the sound of its locking mechanism close. A quick examination showed no way to unlock the door from the inside, so she sat down on a pile of gold defeated.
Mere moments later, a metal slat opened on the door and two old blue eyes peered into the vault. Master Crawson had caught her in the act. Instead of informing the guard though, he offered her a way to pay off her debt. Now she was stuck indefinitely as a guard for the very fortune she had come to claim.
A soft click broke Ana from her recollections. The old oak door had closed, signaling Crawson’s leave. Quietly, the rogue slipped through the shadows to the lone guard left in the office. With a quick thrust of her hand, the guard dropped to the floor unconscious.
Anastrianna moved to the only window in the office and slid it open. She then secured a grappling hook to Crawson’s massive and heavy wooden desk. Next, she tossed a length of rope out the third story room.
She whistled and then turned from the window, heading to the vault. Using her lock picks, Ana managed to open the vault door just as three noisome half-orcs climbed through the window. She dashed for the box and slid it into her satchel, placing a steel replica in its place on the pedestal.
A sickly sound marked the death of the guard she had knocked out. The three half-ors plodded toward her.
“Shhhh,” she warned, motioning with her finger for quiet. “Grab what you can from the vault then get out.” The half-orcs started filling their satchels hand over fist with gold.
Ana reeled in the climbing rope and shut the heavy glass window. She checked to make sure the half-orcs were distracted. Ana smashed the window open and flung the rope outside. Three confused half-orc heads turned in her direction.
“GUARDS!!!” Ana wailed.
The half-orcs faces went crimson as they charged their ex-partner. As they reached her, the doors burst open and armored guards filed into the office. Crossbows rose toward the three crooks.
The lead half-orc smashed Ana’s face with his large, grimy hand before he leapt out the window. The second followed his leader out the window but the third was hit by a volley of bolts. He struggled for only a moment before his life flowed out of the many wounds.
Master Crawson strode into the room to find one dead guard, one dead thief, and Ana picking herself up off the floor.
“What happened?!” The old merchant demanded.
“Thieves, sir,” Ana replied. She wiped blood from her quickly bruising face. “I called for the guards as you instructed. I think they only managed to get some of the gold. I’m going after them.” She stalked toward the now shattered window.
“Wait just one minute.” Crawson peeked into the vault to assure the safety of his most precious treasure. Then the merchant turned back to the indentured rogue. “I’m not sure that’s entirely necessary, Ana. The box is still there. The other trinkets mean nothing to me.”
“That’s not what you pay me for, sir.” Ana grabbed a hold of the rope and flung herself out the window.
“I don’t pay you at all.” Crawson mumbled as he entered his vault.
Sunday, 1st May, 2005, 02:29 PM #3
I like this start because, yep, you strung me along. And the style was nice too. Looking forward to next update...
Oh, and your world building sounds great! Loving the idea of the god trying to wrest the continent out of reality.
So when do the Mindflayers turn up?
Sunday, 1st May, 2005, 03:05 PM #4
Novice (Lvl 1)
Thanks Your praise is very encouraging. Mainly because I don't think you've responded to my other SH which is DMed by Destan. Its always nice to hear from 'new' individuals.
I actually began building the 'world' in a d10 system about 9 or 10 years ago. And originally it was built for a modern horror game. When I made the switch to D20, the world came with me. I changed continents and delved deeper into the religious conflict of the world.
Mindflayers? What are they?
Sunday, 1st May, 2005, 03:24 PM #5
Well, haven't replied to the other story hour - i like watching new threads grow. How depressingly paternal.
I'd love to hear some more info on the world...
ps. Mindflayers? What are they? I'm not supposed to speak about it [Vacant stare].
Sunday, 1st May, 2005, 06:04 PM #6
Novice (Lvl 1)
Well...I suppose I could give you some basic info that the other players do know about the world at hand.
The King of Norum da Salaex, Toq Arma Dunn (Toq is pronounced Tock...and the rest is phoenetic), has been in rule for 576 years. He's human. He's also the first 'disciple' of Ara'kull, the current God of Men and has been blessed with immortality...or so the religious teachings say.
Toq was alive before the continent was ripped out of the ocean. He had been a great adventurer who was nearing the edge of his prime. Practically undefeatable in battle, again according to religious teachings. As age and as the amount of death he'd seen increased, he gradually became quite jaded. He turned from adventuring to wasting the wealth he had acquired in his youth on women and copious amounts of addictive substances. Slowly, his body wasted away just as his mind.
One night, Ara'kull appeared to the once hero. The Deity promised Toq power and fame. Toq had already had those however. It was the promise of purpose that stirred the warrior from his self inflicted decline. Ara'kull ordered Toq to gather a force to conquer the current Emperor. Then, Toq could rule over a peaceful Utopia built in the image of Ara'kull.
The ruler at this time upon Norum da Salaex was quite the dictator. It was known only as the Dark Lord and was said to hail from The Devil's Bog, a swamp in the southeast of the continent. I realize that the title Dark Lord is cliche...but eh. Perhaps the Dark Lord had a name..but if It did, it wasn't about to let that secret out. It is harder to fight that which you don't know or understand. Thus the ambiguity.
So, Toq built an army (human) and led them toward the capital city, Midloth. The path he travelled became known as The Path of Legends and is currently a major travelway. Along the route, Toq attempted to recruit the elven and dwarven races to his cause. They agreed to rally their forces and meet at Midloth.
Once at Midloth, the elves and dwarves never showed. Toq's army (a mere 5,000 men) were faced against an army of Orcs and Trolls more than ten times that size. Swearing a curse upon the other races, Toq charged into battle.
By the hand of Ara'kull, his men managed to survive long enough for Toq to challenge the Dark Lord. Both the Dark Lord and Toq were mortally wounded when the Dark Spire exploded in a surge of divine energy. They fell and their bodies broke upon ground below the tower along with rubble.
Ara'kull brought his full divine energy into the world in front of the hordes of men, orcs, and trolls that stood watching the climax of the battle. It is said his rage at the loss of his first disciple destroyed all the rest of the world. Although, many heretical religious teachings say Norum da Salaex was just removed from the world.
Then Ara'kull touched Toq, blessing the human with immortality. Allowing Toq to rule for...well forever. The Trolls and Orcs swore allegiance to both Toq and Ara'kull (preventing their extermination).
Elves and dwarves (and half-breeds containing either racial characteristic) are hunted down to this day and slaughtered after being tortured into declaring Ara'kull their sole God. Halflings and Gnomes are also mistrusted and usually forced into slave labor camps. In these camps, they are forced to breed like cattle. And like cattle, they become a source of sustenance for Trolls and Orcs. Humans typically refrain from eating any of the tainted races, despite their status as a delicacy.
Obviously, 576 years after that battle the kingdom is hardly a Utopia and more on par with a hell. Repression, slavery, rape, random and not-so-random murders abound. Humans are the gods of the land.
The continent has been divided into 13 territories (14 if you count the capital where Toq rules), each with its own Baron. The Barons answer directly to the King, but are permitted the power and ability to fight amongst themselves (be it for land, slaves, or whatnot). This keeps borders ever-changing and prevents the Barons (typically) from joining to try to take the Empire.
Additionally, there are two unclaimed portions of territory. One is a small island north of the continent and the other is the peninsula in the southeast. This peninsula contains the Devil's Bog, another swamp, and a small mountain range that are considered untouchable by most.
How's that for a little more background?
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