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Thread: Valus in Twenty
Tuesday, 6th September, 2005, 03:21 PM #11
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Its a quick short one today.
Funeris is hounding me to keep it up.
“No, I can’t not allow you to risk all you have gained,” Tobias’s scarred face flashing red with the anger and drink.
“You will and you must, Tobias. There is no other way, the evil grows again. This time, it grows from within Rhelm. I can not allow that, no matter the evil of those that lead it, I will not give up on my countrymen.”
“Now drink that damn whiskey I got you,” pouring their glasses full of the Druven Fire Whiskey.
“Your loyalty to this blasted country will get you killed one day, Magnus. Just like the children of Sacifea, that welp on the throne now would sooner see you burned as well.”
Chuckling as he sipped his drink, “If that is the King’s wish then so be it, but it won’t come to him giving the order. The common people would rise up against the thought of the new King moving against the ‘Heroes of Valus’.”
“So you say friend, you know as well as I do what kind of heroes we were….”
“Do not think about the past friend, you don’t have the power to change it,” and neither do I as of yet left unspoken.
“But I do come with good news tonight, Lord Greffan and Myra expect their first child soon.
Myra sat in silence as the Green Mother Lady Erigal’s anger unleashed itself upon the items of her desk. Crumpled in her hand an elegantly scribed note…
I send this package to you, as I believe this man belonged to you. It was rather unfortunate that he tripped that blade spell of mine. Enclosed in the accompanying package you will find his bones, I took the liberty of keeping the head though. It makes for pleasant conversations at times. You should hear the things it tells me about you and your church. I did go head and strip the body down to bone and individually wrapped each with care. When I’m done with the head, I shall return that as well, so don’t bury him too deep.
O’ and milady, please remind those that serve you that I do value my privacy, and not to drop in unexpectedly. Unless of course you would like me to drop in on you from time to time.
Magelord Protectrate of Rhelm
Sunday, 11th September, 2005, 05:47 AM #12
Novice (Lvl 1)
Upon the Weedsea
The elderly man pulled the cloak tight across his shoulders. Shivering, he sapped as much warmth from the fur-lined cloth as possible. The heavy and just-as-ancient plate mail strapped around torso, arms and legs seemed to leech the heat from his bones. He shivered uncontrollably.
Above, a crystal clear sky framed a larger than average moon. A pallid halo surrounded the body which had been tinged red for days. The fresh scent of snow assaulted his nostrils, but no precipitation had fallen yet. Probably tomorrow, the priest thought momentarily distracted by his surroundings.
He struggled to a stop, resting against one of the many sparse trees upon the Weedsea. The heavy metal, so long absent from his daily wear, had rubbed the withering flesh below it. He now felt warmth dripping against his torso and down his legs: his own fresh blood. A few quick words of prayer to Ceria and all of the wounds closed. The vitae which now sloshed back and forth would only cause fresh wounds faster.
For a moment he considered removing the armor, then thought better of it. He questioned whether or not the thought was even his own.
“I’m not that foolish, beast,” he hissed into the empty fields, the empty night.
Fitz sunk to the earth, reaching for a few rations. The cleric tracked about as well as any other priest which is to say not well at all. Yet, he had noted with certainty obvious signs of passage among the high stalks of wheat. The beast had bent handfuls here and there, an unnatural and mortal wrenching for the plants. It was these obvious signs Fitz, High Priest of Ceria, followed cautiously.
“I wonder how Magnus is doing these days.” Filling the quiet with idle words, the priest then filled his mouth with the dried trail rations he had brought. Years had passed since Fitz had given up the adventuring life. Years dedicated to the service of Ceria and spreading her words across the Valus. He had retired to the Weedsea to lead his home congregation, to marry and to raise the two darling sons he had been blessed with.
Never forget where you have come from, where you have been, a sage had enigmatically told the cleric once. By returning home, the High Priest had tried to follow the advice. He had given up on his self-appointed task of hunting the beast which had consumed several of his years following the adventures alongside Tobias, Magnus, and Motega. Fitz shuddered again. The chill was deepening.
Of course the words given by the sage were misinterpreted. The pem, never forthcoming, had meant to not forget adventuring. More importantly, he had meant not to forget the beast.
Fitz placed it where all things now past go; into the devouring maw of fading memories. And that was when the beast chose to strike. It wiped out his congregation. It roasted his children alive on spits, no better than a wild boar. Then, the beast raped and sodomized his wife, a priestess of Ceria, before beheading her. He had left his mark engraved upon her brow; a calling card, a foul memory, a tempting challenge.
The High Priest of Ceria, possibly the most powerful cleric of the Goddess upon the Valus, had nearly lost his faith. In a rage, he burned the fields around his home. The bodies of the dead burned as well. If life was to imitate hell, the cleric had thought, then the temperature better be right. While the fires burned he stormed into the house shared with the woman he had devoted his heart to. There, he destroyed everything within reach. Plates and mugs, furniture, all shattered and burned. In his rage, the priest stumbled across an old chest. He threw it open, vengeance preparing to rain down upon the contents. In the chest a dusty scythe and armor rested haphazardly, contemptuously glaring at the priest.
The meaning of the sage’s words smacked him in that moment upon his face. He hefted the scythe and donned the armor. Ceria, herself, was reaching out through this tragedy and instructing the High Priest to finish what he had begun so long ago. Finish the job, end the suffering, and reap what has been sown. Fitz left at that moment.
The beast had waited, not far from the flames. And the chase began. Five nights later, the cleric felt no closer to his goal. Exhaustion sipped bitterly upon his body and soul. Whatever exhaustion left, obsession filled. Life was a never waking hell of torment.
The priest smiled. He stood, keeping his back toward the tree and drew the scythe.
“You should know better than to stand upwind, beast. The stench of brimstone surrounds you.”
“I do know better,” the multi-toned, familiar and unfamiliar voice answered. Its voice was nails dragged slowly across the hardest steel imposed upon a luring yet sultry and familiar tone. “I merely wished to speak with you, before I killed you.”
The priest turned. Unnatural shadow covered most of its form. Blazing eyes glared from within the dark cocoon. He lifted the scythe, its old weight feeling almost intimate again. “Would you like to repent for your sins then, friend?”
The beast laughed mockingly. “Of course not. I simply wondered, do you still carry your faith? You have suffered so much these past few days…I had hoped that maybe some of Lord Tobias’ words may have struck home.”
Fitz grimaced. “My faith is as strong as ever, if not more so. I am sorry that you will not repent. Mayhaps Ceria will forgive you for your crimes anyway.”
“I won’t be meeting her tonight. No, tonight is the night when you meet your own Goddess. Tonight is the night when you realize your life has been wasted on false idolatry.” The creature stalked forward, leaving the shroud of shadow behind. Its form, one part human, one part wolf and one part fiend was twisted into an aberration beyond repair. Razor claws spread from its paw-like hands. Ragged fangs lined the blunted snout that smiled viciously.
“One of us will perish tonight,” Fitz conceded. “If Ceria is with me, I will not fall.” The priest lashed out, the silvery sickle of a blade touching nothing but air.
Sunday, 11th September, 2005, 05:50 AM #13
Novice (Lvl 1)
Well, I know the Yeti is going to busy probably for the rest of the month...lets hope this update spurs him into writing after he's finished with work.
And hey, if anyone likes my writing but hasn't checked out my other Story Hours, feel free to drop in (they're all in my .sig) [/end pimping]
Friday, 30th September, 2005, 08:18 PM #14
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
As I'm in a very good mood today. End of year done and all that, and a pay raise to boot. Figured maybe this would unblock Funeris as well.
RY138 Mord 22nd - The Dagger
Throwing more arcane powder into the fire, it’s intensity growing into a white hot flame, the young mage pulled the black dagger from it’s sheath. Feeling its bone handle shaping itself to his hand, he knew the magic was working its way to it even now ‘almost as if it wants more power’, thinking to himself. Silently praying to whoever listened that he had translated the Dwem text correctly, and the enchantments would take as intended.
As he started the incantations, he could see sparks from the powdered fire drifting with increasing speed to the blade just as the text described. His confidence boosted the tempo of his chanting increasing, the arcane energy pulling from his body into the blade. As the words of permanency started from his lips, an unexpected flash occurred. Trying he couldn’t control his chanting sealing the power within the dagger, it compelled the young mage to finish, more of his life energy drained away. Just as the words finished, he swore he saw something else enter the dagger. Exhausted collapsing in a heap at the side of the forge, the mage knew only darkness.
Feeling thick hand on his shoulder, “Master Burne are you ok?”
Feeling as though he had spent the night carousing with his friends going to every tavern in Realm. “What happened? I feel like I drank Druven Fire Whiskey last night.”
“I don’t rightly know, I came in this morning and the forge was near out. You were collapsed on the floor, here that dagger of your laying on…”
“The dagger,” exclaimed the mage, standing quickly and regretting it instantly as he steady himself on the workbench.
Examining it he could see the runes etched to the blade as they should be, but the handle had runes not of his design. What happened last night? Where did these other runes come from? The questions running through his mind urging caution, but heedless he could feel the blade begging to be picked up by him..
As his hand closed around the hilt, a myriad of images flashed through his mind. He could feel his senses sharpening looking for something, but not knowing what it was. Then a feminine voice in his head, asking who he was and where was she,. Not know what to say, Magnus quickly sheathed the dagger ignoring it’s protests.
“Sieb, thank you for the use of your forge and as promised your payment lies in that chest there.” Watching the older man reaching into the chest with almost childish glee, pulling forth a blacksmith’s hammer that gleamed in the torchlight, reflecting the light off its silver and mithril streaks.
“It’s beautiful, Magnus. I don’t know where you found it, but you can use my forge anytime you wish.”
“Take care of it Sieb, my friends and I may have need of your services with it soon enough. And my friend knowing you can be trusted is enough a reward for me.” Clasping the smith’s meaty hand, “Good fortune to you my friend. I don’t know when I will be able to return as today my friends and I leave for Lyndofare, for it is under siege again.”
Lyndofare I know that name.
What are you doing in my mind?
Your mind? You’re the one that put me in this thing.
I did no such thing…
You spoke the words of binding.
Yes you did, though you almost faltered destroying us both. You did manage it before your collapse.
Who are you?
I could ask the same of you, but I already know your name is ‘Master Magnus Burne’, the smith answered that one for me. You may call me Pydia.
What were you before the binding, Pydia?
Well I was a ghost, I had died in battle several heks ago while traveling the weedsea. Apparently my soul could not be accepted by the planes anymore.
Yes, some members of my order can not travel the planes. It happens over time, most don’t notice until after our death. And as you have seen we are drawn to the creation of magical items.
Did you alter my dagger’s purpose?
No, I’m very sympathetic to your purpose for it. And I plan on helping you as well…..
Friday, 30th September, 2005, 08:33 PM #15
Novice (Lvl 1)
Heh. Maybe if I stopped updating my own SHs more often...you'd have more written
Saturday, 1st October, 2005, 03:57 AM #16
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
Footnote to Italics
I had made a PrC for Destan's game, and one of the tenats was that after the 5th level of the PrC they could no longer travel the planes (even Etheral/Astral). Thus were barred from reaching the heavens. Some wandered the plane and were drawn to magical items during their creation process. I won't go into further details as they will come out in the story.
Wednesday, 26th October, 2005, 03:30 AM #17
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
The Apian Bargain
"It is agreed then, five years of peace right?" the scarred warrior scanned the thin man standing in the corner.
"Yes five years of your non-agression, I won't call it a peace as we both know that would be a lie." Turning back to the Apian warrior seated across from his desk, "You will be given a reprieve from Rhelm's forces for five years. In that time, if you do not succeed in taking over the Queendom, my might will come down on you and your 'fleet'." Noting the suprise in the warrior's face, "You seem suprised, do you think I don't look for threats outside Rhelm's own borders? Even now your Emperor awaits your return, what I believe he is but a day's sail from the Queendom. He really should get a new court mage, more skilled in arcane matters than in the tongue."
The mage's words brought a rare smile to the old warrior's face, "Many of my fellow generals would heartedly agree with you on that."
"Now that we have completed our agreement, perhaps I could ask a favor from you and your fellow generals," sitting back at his desk.
"And what would that be?" The old warrior's curiousity peaked in, "How could my men assist you 'O able defender of Rhelm'?" Noting his words didn't even so much as arch an eyebrow on the mage, how calm this mage was about all things. Even during the negiotiations of the past few days, ever polite, ever cool. Though, glancing at the two iron statues in the room, 'I guess one could be calm under their protection', remember his initial reaction to seeing the statues follow the mage room to room as they walked around Gurang's Head.
"The Bascilians have in their possesion three tomes in their great library. I want them," in a completly unemotional statement.
"And what are my 'friends' to recieve for their efforts?"
"Give the mage on your ship this," handing a scroll case across the desk. "He is compentent enough to know it's value, and to get the tomes I wish. For you and your men if they are required, perhaps the chest beside the statue would make for a good retirement for you," with a slight pause, "and your men."
"O and do tell him, to quit scrying on the Head after you set sail. I would hate to have something nasty happen to him for being too curious. Now a good day to you Field Marshall Maket. Rafa will carry the chest down for you."
Lifting the lid of the chest, quickly closing it. "Yes I do believe my mage will be able to get those tomes for you," extending his hand out.
"Good, tell your mage to teleport to town and seek out Rafa, he will bring me the tomes," clasping the general's hand.
Wednesday, 26th October, 2005, 06:11 AM #18
Novice (Lvl 1)
The Apian Bargain - Part Deux
Field Marshall Maket whistled a jolly tune as he descended the steep steps to the private cabins aboard the warship “Lady’s Vengeance”. Behind, he heard the grunt of his men half-dragging, half-carrying the gold-filled chest. The sounds of hard labor only increased the volume of the jovial seafaring tune. Time to retire, he thought. Greedily, his thoughts twisted around the pleasures he could purchase with his portion of the fee. The remainder of his life could be spent losing large wagers over pointless bets, while being fanned by a dozen concubines and eating his favorite delicacy, grapes. Oh yes, he thought, life would be sweet. No more war. No more long nights of sailing, of seasickness. No more slaughter, unless that was his pleasure. He smiled again.
Without any respectful pause, Maket kicked the mage’s door inward, nearly shaking it from its hinges. Crovin leapt up, his concentration shattered. The images within his scrying mirror quickly vanished into nothing but pale, white wisps of air.
“Dammit Maket, have some courtesy!” the old mage barked. “Knock next time. I could have been in the middle of a dangerous experiment. You could have blown the ship sky hi— ” the wizard’s words faltered. Behind the Field Marshall, four men dragged a massive wooden crate. The crate itself appeared crafted from ironwood with solid gold trim. Multifaceted gems caught and fingered rays of light before releasing the beams into an explosion of color.
“Shut up you grumpy, old sod.” Maket demanded with an unwavering grin upon his lips. “I have a job for you. And do yourself, not to mention the rest of us, a favor: stop spying on the Mad Mage.”
“He knows?” Crovin squeaked, his normally baritone voice skipping several octaves with nervousness.
“Of course he knows, you fool. And he has politely asked that you stopped, as opposed—” the Marshall let the words hang precariously, taking a sincere delight in tormenting the mage he had known for decades.
“As opposed?” Crovin interjected while moving toward the glamorous crate.
Maket snapped his arm out, easily catching and holding the feeble man. “As opposed to him just blowing you and this damned ship sky high,” he hissed. Still, the Marshall smiled and once terror spread across the mage’s face, he released the stone grasp.
“What is the meaning of this?” Crovin rubbed his withered palms across the chest, feeling the perfect craftsmanship of every rune, gem, and gilded edge. He lifted the latch easily, taking pause at the immense wealth that glimmered within its depths. “By the Gods!”
“This is our payment,” the Marshall began assured he had the mage’s attention before continuing, “for a task you must complete for Lord Magnus.”
The geezer slammed the lid shut. “Treacherous dog! Already you bow before the inferior Rhelmsman!”
“Hold your tongue, wretch!,” Maket bellowed. He reached into his satchel, grasping at the adamantine scroll tube. “In addition, he said this would be worth any trouble on your part.” The Marshall cautiously extended the tube, letting the faint cabin light gleam from the diamond encrusted metal.
Crovin grasped the tube, opening it and then delicately removing the parchment within. He laid it out near a candle, glancing quickly across and then more observantly. His eyes boggled outward, inhumanly. He nearly toppled back, laughing maniacally. When he finally calmed, he turned his beet-red face toward the Marshall. “And what is the task he requires? Are we to execute the Emperor himself?”
“No, nothing so diabolical. Lord Magnus claims there are three tomes within the Bascilian library which he would have. Once retrieved, you are to deliver them to his man, Rafa. Is this going to be a problem?”
Laughing again, Crovin re-rolled the parchment, carefully placing it within the tube which he then stored in a pocket. “By Saficea herself, he truly is mad,” the mage murmured. “It will not be a problem. The tomes are not guarded.”
“But it will be theft? Against the Emperor?”
“Bah. They will never notice. And it is quite the bargain.” Especially since I have already copied the tomes, he added silently. “And the money should more than buy any secrecy, if it comes to that.
“Just for clarification, Maket, I receive the gold and the scroll for this work?” Crovin’s lip curled into a greedy smirk.
“Don’t push it, mage. You receive a portion of the money.”
“And the chest?”
“Yes,” the Marshall sighed with exasperation. “And the damned chest.”
“Good. I will leave immediately then.” With a few choice words, the wizard vanished from the cabin. Maket slid into a chair, pouring himself a strong drink. Soon, he was lost within his daydreams of wealth.
Friday, 28th October, 2005, 07:39 AM #19
Novice (Lvl 1)
I'd probably place this one about 15 years prior to the current events of this SH.
Magnus grimaced at the sheer depth of the chasm. A painful wound upon the earth, a horrific scar of seething blackness that as far as myth was concerned stretched infinitely to oblivion. A rational mind knew better. While the crevice was large and deep, it did not stretch to some horrific realm of oblivion. No, it was just an oversized gorge that provided the best path for the hordes of Culites to well up from beneath and pillage the earth.
But damn it’s deep, the mage thought.
Along the southern edge awaited the rag-tag army the mage had managed to gather. Lord Alleister had proven his worth just with the sheer number of men he had found willing to fight, willing to die for a cause that was not completely their own in a land definitely not their own. Never would the mage think it cliché to make friends with strangers in a bar again. No, Alleister’s aide and ability had been proven reliable.
Of course, this day could mark an end to the relationship. Death hung upon the very moisture in the air, imminently draining the hope from all. If Magnus were to perish or more likely Alleister, it would likely prove an ill omen for all of Rhelm. Beyond just those two, many others below possibly had great roles in the fate of this battle and many yet to come. Below, Tobias and Illyx awaited the hordes from the deep. Tobias still wielded that giant of a sword. Illyx was probably preparing a number of surprises for the beasts ill-equipped for life above ground.
That druid was crafty. And he was another friend picked up in a tavern, ironically during the same tragic meeting with Alleister. Magnus shuddered, not willing to relive those preceding events.
It seemed taverns were the best place to meet friends though. Tobias, Motega, and even Fitz had all been found at a tavern.
“I need to get out more,” the mage decided, preparing his first spell of the assault.
The black tide rose from the crevice, thousands of dwem and drel, pouring from the gap. To the north, a swarm of Culites moved toward the crevice, seeking their brothers to lead in the rampage. The sound of metal-against-metal rang through the air, echoing ever upward—even to the location where Magnus hovered.
The Mad Mage sighed, relinquishing his invisibility spell. Fire rained from the sky.
There's your 402 word update Yeti!
Tuesday, 1st November, 2005, 03:00 PM #20
Waghalter (Lvl 7)
The chasm mentioned above, for those with the sourcebook or a copy of the Valus map this is located in Northern Val Hor, just South of Longsnow and North of Deepcove on the West coast of Valus.
The below map is provided by the publisher's website.
Last edited by TheYeti1775; Sunday, 6th November, 2005 at 11:05 PM.
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