The Blade of Phoee (Updated 12/08/08) - Page 11
  1. #101

    Chapter 2: Journey into Darkness Continued

    Lady Rowen’s eyes flickered open. Her sight and mind were both blurry, one from sleep the other from dream. A quick shake had roused her consciousness from the thick webs of her subconscious. Her vision cleared and she could see Cassock crouched nearby. Vivid streams of fading red backlit the priest.

    “What do you want priest?” Ana whined as she rolled over.

    “I want to offer you my thanks. If you hadn’t done what you did, I wouldn’t be here now. I thank Cael that you chose the right potion.” Cassock paused, glancing upward and watching the sky shift hues. “We’ll need to leave soon. I let you all rest as long as possible. But if we don’t leave soon, the trail may grow too cold.”

    And stood and lifted her traveling pack back over her shoulders. “Fine. Let’s get going then.”

    A quarter of an hour later, the party was delving back into the forest.


    As the next day’s sun rose above the low-lying eastern mountain range, the party stood on the edge of a smoothed stone foundation. White marble, aged by time and weather, stretched ahead to a tall white marble wall. A thick, short wall crafted from deep green marble, wrapped around the foundation. The green wall split roughly within its center, allowing a small stream to flow across the stone. From the center of the stream sprouted a large oak.

    The wall across the stone courtyard stretched ten feet into the air where it was swallowed by a vibrant green hedge. One carved doorway pierced the thick white wall. The opening was a gaping maw of darkness leading into a corridor overshadowed by the hedge.

    As a group, the party moved cautiously in the early morning sun. The hedge stretched away from the wall to either side. The party encircled the hedge, noting its massive domed height. The plants created a gigantic enclosure impenetrable by vision. They finished a walk around half an hour into the morning before sitting down upon the marble courtyard.

    “What’s that?” Gabrielle was pointing toward the green marble wall. There, etched in a faint white hue, two sets of script danced upon the deep green. Cassock and Anastrianna moved across the courtyard, bending near the writing.

    “I don’t know this writing,” Cassock pointed toward the flowing script upon the right. “This other though is common Saläexum.”

    “Yes, I know,” Ana stated. “The other script looks Phoeeum. It makes sense really. You figure a hedge like that must have some link to the druids.”

    “True. But see how it was been scored out. Someone was here after the druids.” Cassock turned to interpret the other writing. “Son-of-a…You can read this right?” The priest threw his hands up in frustration.

    Ana bent over and read the script.

    This den of false realities has been purged of its vile untruths. The worshippers of the false goddess Mialon have all been executed in accordance with our Lord Ara’Kull’s commandment. The hedged temple has been reduced to nothing but ash and cinder. This act of complete devotion was completed on the 20th of Luma, a Nor in the Arum [1], in the year 553.

    - Priest Tobus Matlick, Inquisitor of the First Order
    “Never trust a Priest of Ara’Kull,” sighed Cassock.


    [1]: 20th is the day; Luma is the third month of the summer (there are four) and is generally consider the hottest of the months; Nor is the fourth day of the week (each week having eight days; Arum is the current Ara’Kull-accepted term for the summer season.

    Just as a further clarifying aside, months have 6 weeks…and as of Ara’Kull’s rule, each year has 15 months (which accounts for the extra month within the summer season). Originally (i.e. before Toq Arma became King and therefore before Ara’Kull established his divine foothold), a year had 12 months of a varying number of days.

    I came up with a lot, a lot of information before I actually threw these characters into the game. I hope it improves the story.
    Last edited by Funeris; Friday, 26th August, 2005 at 04:31 AM.

  2. #102

    Chapter 2: Journey into Darkness Continued

    Mayor Gabriel Rowen poured over the paperwork scattered across his desk. He stifled a yawn, the day was early yet. The mayor knew he would have to tour the keep soon. His constituents were growing restless. They were aware of the departure of the only suspects and silently seethed with rage. Something would have to be done.

    Gabe glanced over the official report written by Captain Malabrandt. The report overflowed with racism and generalizations. These faults were balanced out with decent rationalizations and excellent ideas.

    The inhuman captives should be kept separate from the general population for their own safety and the safety of the townsfolk. The recently constructed keep provides a safe environment for the prisoners. This is where they are placed now and they seem to be handling their confinement relatively well…
    Well Captain, that was a blatant lie, thought the Mayor. He sighed and pushed the paperwork away. Leaning backward he lifted a mug and had a quick sip.

    Unexpectedly, the door to his rooms exploded open. The Captain rushed in, nearly stumbling over the piles of paperwork. Rowen stared at the Captain, his eyes focused on a black welt forming across Leiban’s cheek.

    “What happened?” demanded the Mayor.

    “Quick…come quick…” hissed the Captain. He clutched his side in pain.

    “Are you alright?”

    Quick!” screamed the Captain. Gabe leapt up from his desk and rushed toward the door. He grabbed his own, aged blade and headed for the exit. He pushed through the heavy door and came upon a horrific scene.

    Lying in a semicircle around the entrance to his abode, at least a hundred townsfolk lie dead or dying. Behind the corpses stood two dozen, heavily-armed soldiers. The guards stood at attention, black full-plate armor sparkling in the morning sun. Each carried a bastard sword and a variety of other, smaller weapons. Attached to one of arm, large steel shields reflected light from a silver symbol. Rowen immediately recognized the silver eye of the Inquisition.

    A short distance after the Inquisition stood the remaining townsfolk. Most hung their heads quietly; a few watched the spectacle warily. Hushed sobs and sniffles created a backdrop of miserable ambience. In the center of the ring, halfway between Rowen and the Inquisition, Tobus Matlik paced briskly.

    The priest had changed his white robes, replacing the cloth with pitch-black, silk robes. Upon his chest rested the silver emblem of the Inquisition. In his left hand, the priest held the Tome of Commandments [2]. In his right, a wand crafted of bone rested in an unthreatening position.

    Tobus! What the devil is going on here?” Rowen questioned.

    “Mayor Rowen,” the wicked priest began, “for years now, decades, you have subverted the will of Ara’Kull. You have ignored his commandments. You have constantly pushed your renegade agenda. And now, your people, those you are sworn to protect and lead, have been led to slaughter, by the very races you have tried to protect. The inhuman beasts you adopt and allow to go free have brought death to the innocence of this small village.

    “The Inquisition has been sent by our all-seeing God, by our divinely-powered King to restore the peace and order of this town. With his grace we will flush out the heretics, the demons and the devils. We will bring them to his attention, and watch them pale in comparison to his glory. We will watch their false truths burn beside their worthless existence upon the pyres.

    “And we will begin with this man. This beast-lover. This bringer-of-woe.” Tobus raised his wand toward the Mayor. Rowen raised his own blade, preparing an attack. Before the Mayor could move, a sudden pain spread across the back of his skull like lightning striking the earth. His eyes rolled upward, and he collapsed to the ground, losing hold of his blade.

    Captain Leiban stood behind the Mayor’s fallen position, a bloodied sap in his right hand. “I have command of this town, now?” He questioned, staring at the black priest Tobus.

    From behind Tobus, a figure stepped seemingly out of thin air. Its face was hidden within an obsidian mask. The mask, a twisted expression of agony, completely covered its head, even hiding any hair. Black robes fell like rain toward the ground, ending in a crimson hem. Around its neck dangled the symbol of the Inquisition.

    You have earned your…honorary position with the Inquisition,” the creature hissed in a voice somewhere between masculine and feminine, somewhere between living and dead. “But you will not assume control of this town until these Outsiders have been dealt with. Once I am assured of their capture, or death, then you will be Mayor.” The creature pivoted its head toward Tobus, a somewhat alien movement. “You know what I expect. You know what to do.” The creature stalked, more of a slither really, across the bloodied earth and into the Mayor’s quarters. As he passed into the hallway, the door slammed shut of its own volition.

    Begin the Inquisition!” Commanded Tobus. Leiban turned away as the first of the townsfolk were tortured.


    [2] – The Tome of Commandments is just one of the myriad of religious texts within the church of Ara’Kull. However, it holds the esteemed position of being the first tome of the church. It is also said to be the exact and unwavering word of Ara’Kull. In all matters, the priests (of the orthodox church**) must hold true to this one book (even if it contradicts any more recent tomes). As part of the clerical training of every priest of Ara’Kull, the initiates are forced to copy this book, in their own hand, word for word. It is whispered that those that screw up are admonished severely, if not painfully executed.

    ** - There are unorthodox sects within the religion (differing opinions that are found just like in every religion in reality). However these sects are persecuted just like non-believers and non-humans. One would be hard pressed to find an unorthodox clergy member.

  3. #103
    We're almost to a thousand views!!

  4. #104
    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    I know your home gloating that your off and I'm not for once.
    But my revenge will be next weekend. Half a day Friday, Monday and Tuesday off, with no plans on driving anywhere.

    So where's the noon update?

  5. #105
    I thought I said after noon, is it not afternoon now? Yes yes yes...gloat gloat gloat...but I'm just working here...have a meeting with my publisher in a

    As promised…here’s an update for today. I’ve got some actual work to get to this weekend…so I’m not sure I’ll get another update pumped out. But enjoy this one

    Update Rampage Continues….….INCOMING!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. #106

    Chapter 2: Journey into Darkness Continued

    Several days prior…

    Spinum Machaera [1] pulled the long, black hair backward from his face. With a motion, quick from years of practice, he tied it with a looped band of dragon hair. He wasn’t a foolish man; he knew the hair was probably just some thick horse or yeti hair from the north. Still, the claim of actually having a bit of dragon’s hair actually inflated his pride. And he could always test the hair in one of his experiments to prove the validity. And if the merchant had lied, which was most likely, Spinum would gladly add the bastard’s name to his list.

    The fifteen year old glanced over his most recent experiment. He pulled out his own handwritten tome and poured through the calculations scrawled in archaic script. Everything was exactly in accordance with his machinations. The young man smiled.

    He lifted the elegant, silver dagger he had purchased from that same vendor back in Leuwel, just south of the supposed Dragon Boneyard. The handle, a perfect thickness and weight for the mage, ended in a perfectly rounded skull. He drew the blade across his smallest finger, popping the protective organic covering of his skin. Blood formed a quick bubble and he shook his hand briskly, the viscous fluid splattering upon the small pile of bones.

    Spinum glanced again at the tome, searching for the correct words when yelling erupted in the distance. He sighed and tried to focus. His father and twin brother were sparring yet again. The shriek of metal kissing metal and the grunting of voices carried loudly toward the Myriam Range.

    His mind slipped briefly into theory and history. It was said that the Myriam Range, the low mountain range that climbed to join the Midloth Range was crafted by the hands of the gods themselves. Spinum did not believe in gods, unlike his father and sibling, both paladins of the goddess Myr, the Lady of Light and Life. But the myth surrounding the mountains involved the Dark Lord, the original ruler of all of Norum da Salaex not the false prophet now placed upon the throne, and the god of the dwarves, Rorgard. Apparently, the myths said that the Dark Lord had enslaved the dwarven god, forcing him to craft the mountain ranges that now surrounded the capital.

    Spinum imagined gleefully the power he could attain if he could enslave a god to do his bidding. But gods were just myths. It was more likely that the Dark Lord had enslaved the entire dwarven race to craft the mountain ranges.

    The problem with a world full of myth, Spinum decided, was the inherent loss of history involved once myth enforced its superiority. Spinum had had to search for months along the journey for the spells he now carried. He had purchased dozens of spells, all to no effect. They were frauds; myths wrapped nicely in a neat, arcane package and unable to assist his own development.

    Another screech of metal against metal brought Spinum back to the task at hand. He flipped through the tome again, searching for the words.

    Exanimus,” the mage whispered. “Excio.” The young wizard felt a drain, arcane energy passing through his body. Spinum nearly jumped for joy as the small skeleton shuddered and stood. A faint red light glowed within the squirrel’s skull. Its eye-less head searched around for a moment, before locating the arcane power which had raised it to near-life.

    “Now that I have the spell, all things will become possible,” Spinum stated smugly. As soon as the words left his mouth, the squirrel skeleton shuddered and became a useless pile of bone again. He growled. Then he grabbed his material and blade, dropping them all into his backpack.

    The sounds of battle again raged not near off. The mage stormed toward where he had left his family upon the road. As he approached, he realized something was wrong. The metallic clanking was too rapid for just his brother’s sparring. They must be under attack! Spinum prepared another spell and sped up, trying to remain as silent as possible. He loosened the halberd he had strapped across his back, just in case it would be necessary.

    The mage stopped behind a large maple, and glanced around. There were at least fifty guards surrounding his family.

    “Oh sh*t,” the mage grumbled. He was competent, but not that competent. His father and brother whirled within the circle of black-clad soldiers, defending as much as they could. Still, bloody bastard swords pierced their defenses and then flesh. His brother was clearly weakening fastest. For no apparent reason the circle of guards suddenly widened, drawing to attention.

    Spinum watched carefully, anticipating a possible opening for his attack. Out of nowhere, a creature stepped into existence. Spinum had no other word for the being. It was easily between seven and eight feet tall and dressed in flowing black robes, hemmed with a thick crimson line. Where a human head should have been, an obsidian mask twisted in a visage of agony perched upon its shoulders.

    It was not there and then it was, as if it had thought itself into existence. Spinum felt his prepared spell flicker and vanish in its presence. The creature paced a circle around his family before stopping with its back toward the maple.

    You worshippers of Myr, drop you weapons,” it hissed. “You shall be arraigned for your misplaced faith and then executed in accordance of our Lord Ara’Kull’s wishes.” The creature stretched upward for a split second and the sound of a thousand bones cracking echoed across the road. Spinum noted the silver eyes, emblazoned across the black armor. Inquisitors, the mage thought. Must be from Nordus Post. But I’ve never seen a force this large.

    Spinum’s father lashed out with his blade but a living chain exploded from within the creature’s robes. The chain latched onto the sword and ripped it easily from the paladin’s hands. Several other chains exploded from the false image of robes and grasped the blade, easily snapping it into slivers.

    Fine. We’ll do it your way.” The creature almost bowed in mock respect as one arm lashed outward in the direction of Albus, Spinum’s brother. A brief wreath of fire encircled Albus and then the young paladin was naught but ash. The monster laughed as Albus scattered to the four winds.

    Spinum’s father bellowed in rage and charged the demon[2], but the creature merely sidestepped and caught the paladin by his long hair. Before the mage’s very eyes, thousands of wounds opened across his father’s body, blood pouring upon the greedy ground. Spinum stifled a scream as his father, the only parent he had ever known, collapsed unconscious to the ground.

    Collect the child’s ashes,” the beast hissed. “I will resurrect him for punishment in the Town of Green Hills.” Just as suddenly as the creature had appeared, it vanished.

    As soon as the guards began to move, Spinum did the only thing a young man could do in the face of such adversity, he fled south.


    [1] Spinum Machaera [pronounced: Spin-um Mock-air-uh] is an NPC within the campaign. Apparently four players weren’t enough at this point.

    [2] Demon is just used for vivid expression. I will not state that this Inquisitor is or is not a demon for certain one way or the other. I’m a bastard like that.
    Last edited by Funeris; Friday, 26th August, 2005 at 08:41 PM. Reason: pronunciation clarification

  7. #107
    Waghalter (Lvl 7)

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    [2] Demon is just used for vivid expression. I will not state that this Inquisitor is or is not a demon for certain one way or the other. I’m a bastard like that.
    Yes you are.

    Once again another good one.

  8. #108
    Nothing like a good inquisition to get the pulse going in the morning.

    I really like the realistic gritty flavor of your campaign here, Funeris. The hatred exhibited by the main church to those not of their religion and race is classic.

  9. #109
    Thanks I appreciate the praise. Unfortunately, sometimes racism and religion goes hand in I take it to the extreme here. Not that I'm trying to make any political/religious points (I don't want to be banned )...but roleplaying does seem to be a bit of a social experiment sometimes. And while I play the role of Dr. Frankenstein, my poor players are subject to my chaotic (and sometimes lawful) whims so that I can create the best monster (whilst in the pursuit of truth, naturally).

    I didn't want my world to be some bubble-gum, lollipop, sweet and gentle world. What fun would that be anyway?

    Glad you're still reading.

    P.S. We broke one thousand views!!!! WOOT!!!!
    Last edited by Funeris; Friday, 26th August, 2005 at 08:39 PM. Reason: cuz we broke 1,000 views

  10. #110

    Well I had a request...

    I had a request from a friend to post the pantheon. So, attached is the pdf.

    For further clarification:

    Phoee : pronounced Fee, the mother of the pantheon. Supposedly found the world in peril and cleansed it allowing life to once again survive.

    Myrcael : pronounced Meer-kail, the first child of her blood. Represented only with a circular symbol (the sun). Myrcael's task was to light the sun so that life could thrive. To light the sun, Myrcael had to divide itself in two, Light and Darkness.

    Cael: pronounced Kail, the male aspect of Myrcael. The God of Darkness and Death(among many other things).

    Myr: pronounced Meer, the female aspect of Myrcael. The Goddess of Light and Life (among many other things).

    Pyrin: pronounced Peer-in, one of the four children of Myr and Cael. Pyrin is the God of Fire.

    Arel: pronounced Ar-EL, one of the four children of Myr and Cael. Arel is the Goddess of Wind.

    Cahsa: pronounced Kuh-Sah, one of the four children of Myr and Cael. Cahsa is the Goddess of Water.

    Gumcha: pronounced Gum-Kah, one of the four children of Myr and Cael. Gumcha is the God of Earth.

    Caevari: pronounced Suh-var-ee, the only child of Pyrin and Arel. Caevari is the God of Luck and to a lesser extent Chaos.

    Kaeruna: pronounced Kuh-rune-uh, the only child of Cahsa and Gumcha. Kaeruna is the God of Law and to a lesser extent Protection.

    Those are the Kin gods and goddesses. These are the divine beings born of Phoee. The gods/goddesses along the outer circle are the Embraced. These were once normal mortals and were elevated to divine status by Phoee herself. Each is the creator of a race or races.

    Mialon: pronounced My-a-lon, the elven mother. Also Goddess of the Woodlands.

    Rorgard: pronounced Roar-guard, the dwarven father. Rorgard is also the God of Tunnels and Mountains.

    Aryilough: pronounced Ar-ih-low, the mother of halflings and gnomes. Aryilough was said to be of both halfling and gnome descent. Therefore, she created both races. She is also the Goddess of the Plains.

    Guymardt: pronounced Guy-Mart, he was supposed to be the God of the Human Race. He declined to create the human race citing their fault in the prior destruction of the world. Guymardt was the God of Magic and Knowledge. He was the deciding vote of the Embraced council for governing the world. When he died, his body fell and broke upon the world creating Ara'Kull and the human race.

    Grukblud: pronounced Growk-blud, the father of the Orcs. Grukblud is also the God of Madness and Destruction.

    Fangtut: pronounced Fang-tut, the father or Giants and Trolls. Fangtut is also a God of Strength and Mountains.

    Nar'sra: pronounced Nar-sur-ah, the mother of Reptiles and the Yuan'ti. Nar'sra is also a Goddess of Fire and Trickery.

    So that is the pantheon. Obviously, not noted is Ara'Kull (except in Guymardt's entry). Ara'Kull claimed the title of the creator of humanity (even though he is technically just a powerful brother). Nar'sra was the killer of Guymardt (The God just didn't vote her way enough), so she slaughtered him. Guymardt didn't even raise a hand in protest. Pacifist to the end.

    There are other gods as well...demigods and lower level gods that just didn't make it onto my pantheon image. All of the smaller gods were in one way or another raised into divinity by the other gods. I may post some of their myths eventually...assuming I need a brief respite from writing up the campaign.

    A note on naming'll note that as you get farther from Phoee within the circle (the Kin pantheon), syllables and thus complexities of names increase. This translates roughly to the gods or goddesses themselves becoming simpler. Cael is a god of many things (one half of the domain list). Myr makes up the other half of that list. Phoee has access to all the domains. Caevari only has access to Luck, Trickery, Travel and Chaos. As you move further from Phoee, the god's/goddess' Divine Rank also decreases.

    On the ring of the Embraced pantheon, the mortals that were raised into divinity kept their original names. However, first name and surname were eventually combined to form just one name for the gods/goddesses. All of those elevated into godhood began at a certain divine rank, and it possibly has changed since the beginning.

    The Embraced gods/goddesses are the only divine beings with an Alignment as per DnD rules. The Kin gods/goddesses (including Phoee) are beyond Alignment, having never been mortal themselves. They're truly alien. As such, their clerics may be of any alignment.

    Hope that helps depict a clearer image of my world.

    Attached Files Attached Files

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