Valus in Twenty
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    Valus in Twenty

    Valus in Twenty

    Much to Destan's chagrin I'm sure.
    This is the mixed up future of Valus through my mind.
    This builds on Funeris's thread:
    The Heroes of Marchford

    Story History
    The timeline for this story is set twenty years after the sourcebook,
    Valus ( written by Destan.
    Throughout my Story Hour here, you will see references to Funeris's thread of
    the Heroes of Marchford. Where that CAMPAIGN story is at present (5-23-05) is cutoff point in that nothing that happens in that campaign will affect what I write. So if you see someone alive here that died in the other one, it is only because of the cutoff not that they were brought back.
    While this one isn't based on any ongoing campaign right now,
    Starting one under it would not disappoint me. I might start it under Fantasy Grounds.

    Present day is in the Rhelm Year 158.
    Now until I get it going full stream there will be some jumping around in the years, as some of the background is revealed. Taking a cue from Funeris's Blade of Phoee story on that one.

    My little disclaimer:
    __it Happens
    I promise nothing in my tone of writing other than I will not hold back the bad stuff.
    So enough on that.

    Now my thanks.
    Destan - for creating the Valus
    Mike, Rick, & Ron - for being the fun-filled party they are.
    And then all the little people I stepped on to get this far in my life.

    Now on with the story.

    RY - refers to Rhelm Years from here out.
    The Valus Calendar is 12 months 5 heks (weeks) of 6 days each.

    RY 153, Amol 8 Evening

    Storm swept seas crashed into Gurang's Head, with the lightning filled sky the outpost made for deadly appearance. The sea surround crag had withstood the punishments for over a century, and coldly turned aside all the sea's rage that Evios might could throw at it. Many had occupied it's towers over the years, but only the current occupant generated so many rumors.

    As Rafa pulled the last of the lobster traps up, trying to beat out the worst of the storm. He glanced towards the Head, the lighting was already striking near the base, every time he looked at it his memory of his first visit there came rushing back.

    RY148, Jemm 23 Mid-day
    On a dare from the other boys after a day of sword practice, he had ventured out to the Head during low tide walking along the hidden reef. Many had talked of the secretive visitors the mage received but most did not try to hide their identities. Lord Allister certainly never did when he went out there, and he always returned. With his wooden practice sword he hurried out to crag, knowing he only had a few hours before he would be swimming back if he didn’t hurry. The dare was to make it to the crag, ascend it to the top near the entrance so everyone could see from shore, and then find something to bring back.
    He had nearly fell to his death several times as he had ascended the ramp up the side of the crag, each time wondering if he should turn back. “No” a voice would scream in his mind, they would do nothing but continue to make fun of you like always. Doing this when none of them would go through with even an attempt would win respect to overcome his heritage. Sure he heard their whispers, but they were always to afraid to tease him to his face.
    Waving to them from the very top edge overlooking the town of Carnelloe, he turned towards the large door setting to prove his worth.

    As he entered, he felt a shudder up his spine as the door clicked shut. Quickly he looked for something close enough to grab and get out of there, he couldn’t not shake the feeling of being watched.

    That’s when the haunting voice started, “Who are you Tiefling, to think you could come into my home!” An unseen hand grabbing him by his shirt collar, he could not escape it’s grip as it carried him down a series of stairs and over a gorge. Deep within the confines of Gurang’s Head, he saw the out line of some creature almost like a transparent man open a door and closing it behind him.

    As his eyes became adjusted to the darkened room with his vision slipping into a black and white he saw the figure sitting with his back to him, jotting notes in a book. Pausing, “Ah good you’re here, light those candles so I can better study you,” pointing to some candles on a shelf.

    As Rafa lit the candles he could feel the man in the robes staring at him, studying him. “Now answer my question and be quick about it..”

    “What question….”, stammering.

    “The one I asked you earlier you dolt, tell the truth or your family shall never see you again. Who are you? I know your from the town, I’ve seen you as I’ve passed through. I take note of all your kind when I see them.” Then under his barely under his breath, “even those I don’t see,” as he pats the hilt of an adamantine dagger.

    “I’m Rafa, son of Velnna….”

    “Do you know your father?”

    “I knew of him but what’s that have to do with ….”

    “I’m the one asking questions here boy. How old are you?”

    “Almost 13,” quickly adding, “Sir.”

    “I see your mother has taught you some manners at least,” as the light shined on the older man flecks of gray shined in his hair. Jotting more notes down, “well Rafa, why have you come to my home?”

    “On a dare, Sir. I was trying to gain some respect.” Almost defiantly looking back at the man.

    “I’m afraid those intimidation techniques are better left to your peers, than on me young Rafa. I don’t suppose you know the rumors of the children that disappear from here do you. I think my favorite is that the Mad Mage eats their souls, is that still the popular one.”

    “I’ve heard of that one,” beads of sweat forming on his brow. Rafa silently wondered now if most of the rumors were true. How crazy was this mage.

    Then the sound of plated footsteps sounded outside the door, before the knock even sounded, “Come in Tobias, I have the intruder here.”

    The door opened soundlessly, as an imposing figure in gleaming full plate armor stepped into the room. An aura of goodness engulfed young Rafa. “Is this your great intruder, that your alarms would call for me.”

    “No, Tobias, no, this young one’s blood is what triggered that alarm. He is plane-touched, and not of one of the good planes. But since you are here, please look into his soul and tell me what you see. And Rafa, I do hope for your sake that you don’t hold the same streak as those of your father’s line have.”

    Rafa cringed under the intense gaze of Tobias, “He seems to be of a better ilk than most I would say. If he has done no harm, I say let him go home and change his trousers.”

    “Have a seat Tobias, the others should be around shortly. You were always the first to show up when the alarms went off.”

    “May I leave, Sir,” Rafa hopefully asked.

    “It depends, and quit calling me Sir. I may hold the title of Lord Protectorate, but I lord over no one. Call me Magnus, “ with a half-chuckle to himself, “now what was your goal to prove yourself.”

    “I had to bring back something to prove I was here.” Rafa’s confidence grew as he realized that these men would not kill him.

    “Well I will give you two choices, as your time grows short to your swim home. You can declare yourself a loyal Rhelmsman and serve as I direct you, or you can grab one item and run like your life depended on it. Actually it might, depending on what you grab.” Magnus rose from his chair looking down at the youth from his imposing height.

    “What does it mean to serve as you direct,” Rafa questioned.

    “There’s hope for our youth yet Tobias, you are wise to ask that young Rafa, very wise. It means my orders will supersede all others you may receive from the King’s men, even those of the King. I need men willing to go to any length to protect Rhelm, even from itself. Would you be willing to do this? I will only hold you to this oath for five years, then I will ask you again. But know this in five years it will be for your life. Lord Tobias will bear witness to this.”

    “I will try to serve you as you want, but what can I do. I’m only 12…”stammered Rafa.
    Interrupting, “During the five years you will train in secret to hone your abilities, even those latent ones that no one has taught you to control yet. Also during that time you are invaluable to me as a listener. People say things in front of children all the time without realizing they are there. Now for your items to show your friends.”

    RY 153, Amol 8 Evening
    …Silently fingering the ever present ring on his finger, later tonight I reaffirm that oath for a lifetime now. Lord Magnus was weird even as mages go, but every time a method emerged from his madness.

    Rafa would never forget the debts he owed the mage, his mother’s illness cured by Tobias’s angel, teaching how to control his Tiefling powers, even given him the ability to blend in with that amazing hat. Rafa knew he would follow the mage’s orders, even those he questioned for the rest of his life. For as mad as the mage was he was the closest thing to a father Rafa had know.

    edited to clean up the paragraph spacing - Thanks Funeris
    Last edited by TheYeti1775; Monday, 23rd May, 2005 at 09:20 PM.

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