CERAMIC D.M. the final judgement is in! - Page 18





  1. #171
    Now that that's over and done with I can rest, relax, study for Poli Sci and enjoy my "Girls' Afternoon Out" tomorrow. After I get a look at Drawmac's entry, of course!
    I'm good, but I'm not THAT good....

 

  • #172
    Shadoe's Lady

    The Jagerhause Inn, like the rest of town, is a bee hive of activity. Patrons are coming and going with every blink of the eye. From my vantage point across the street it looks like complete chaos. I slowly make my way across the street dodging carriages, wagons, horses and people that pack the town this time of year.

    The inn is standing room only. I manage to make my way to the bar. A stout man with long black hair and three days growth on his face turns to me asking “What’ll it be?” gruffly.

    “I have no money and can offer only my services for a meal and bed.” I state quickly.

    “We’ve no need for extra help tonight. From the looks of ye that bard in the corner might be a good start though.” He points to a young human woman in the corner. I look over and see a young ebony haired maiden. A breeze blows in as the door opens waiving her hair. She is clothed in a dress that looks better fit for a brothel then for adventuring. She is sitting legs crossed, arms sprawled on a ledge and looking directly at me. (ironstuff10.jpg)

    I dig in my belt pouch scraping up enough money for a glass of wine. Osiris’s code permits wine but warns to not partake too generously of the vine. I order a red wine and then begin to make my way towards the maiden, cautiously.

    “Would you like a seat, or perhaps something more private would be more to your tastes.” She states in a deep but feminine voice as I step next to her table.

    “No offense milady but my code of conduct prohibits marital relations among those not yet married. The inn keep said that I might do good to talk to you as I have no means of paying for my nights stay or the stabling of my mount. So I came to discuss whatever it is that he might know which I do not.” I responded with as much stoutness as I could muster in the presence of such beauty.

    “Yes, I recognized the symbol on your breastplate. You are of an order of Osiris if I am not mistaken. I would prefer to discuss business in a more private place though.” She explains standing up and meandering towards the stairs.

    I follow her upstairs. Still not trusting her completely but seeing this as my best prospect so far I could not afford to pass without knowing the particulars. She leads me to the back of the building and into one of the large rooms generally afforded only by the aristocracy. Seeing that she had rented a room with four beds I instantly feel more comfortable but remembering my teachings I decide to reserve trust until it has been earned. She takes a seat in a green leather soft chair, offering me another. She begins speaking as I take my seat.

    “I am Silica and you are?” She queries.

    “My name is Lagiriand of Cilian, Paladin of Osiris.” I state in a formal fashion.

    “Well, Lagiriand of Cilian, Paladin of Orisis, do you mind if I call you Lagiriand? Not all of us share the elf’s lifespan you know.” She asks in a playful manor.

    “Yes Lagiriand will be fine.” I reply.

    “I have accepted a commission which has given me enough money to afford the amenities you see here and have ample left for supplies. The problem is I cannot complete the job alone. I came to the gladiatorial events hoping to assemble a party to help. I saw your performance in the games. I could find you a place in this party very easily.” Then she breaks off as if waiting for a response.

    “I will need some more information on the mission before I can make a decision on your offer.” I reply hesitantly.

    “A wealthy eccentric, Velerac, has been building his mansion underground for some time now. Recently the dwarven crafters came out and refused to go back. They discovered a nest of formains. From what they have stated it appears this is a scouting group looking for a suitable place to build a new city. The problem is Velerac believes they will find his mansion a suitable start and move in. He wishes us to eradicate the formains and assure that they will not return.” She trailed off, and looked at me as if expecting a reply.

    “That sounds like a noble mission as long as we only kill them if absolutely necessary. Do you have any more information on his mansion or on formains in general? I have not read about them, other then they are a large and advanced form of ant.”

    “The mansion is on the outskirts of Edyssa, which lies three days ride south from here. It is easy traveling along the river Essex. The beasts should be at bay due to the exodus of people from Koar but we may run into some hunting in preparation for hibernation right now. The mansion has a single floor above ground while below the surface are three layers of labyrinthine rooms in various states of completion. He has provided me with a map of his mansion.” She finishes while pushing the map towards me. (ironstuff7.jpg)

    “I am not worried by the beasts of the wild, they are a danger we must accept as part of the adventuring life we have chosen. I will take this commission as long as my pay includes my night’s lodging and stabling of Thilmore.”

    “Yes that will all be provided for along with a nice stipend when the job is completed.”

    After the exchange we both go downstairs and continue the hunt for two more party members. By the end of the night we have assembled the entire party. Nestel, a human wizard, joins us as he is in search of some ancient tomes rumored to be in Edyssa and Efermore, a cleric of Athena, joins the party in the hopes of finding people to convert along the way.

    I stay up late, as has become my custom, to time my morning prayers with the end of my nightly meditations. I find this an excellent way to awaken in the morning. Looking around the room I notice that the brilliant morning sun shining through the keyhole shaped window in the alcove on the eastern side of the room. The brickwork gives the alcove the impression of a temple. It is almost as if this was designed with morning prayers in mind. (windowmagic.jpg) Efermore joins me in the alcove as he partakes of his morning prayers.

    Once the rest of the party has awakened Silica goes down and orders a breakfast delivered to the room. When she returns she asks us to sit around the table, so we may have a group meeting before we embark on our quest.

    She begins the meeting with; “While I have assembled this party and this commission is mine this party is a democracy. I hold no more weight in decisions then any other member. Additionally each of you is free to leave the party at any time. All moneys found or paid to the group will be split evenly among us. I only ask that we do two things. We should elect a party treasurer and a party leader. The treasurer will keep a tally on all money found or paid so that it may be divided evenly when time permits. The party leader will make decisions when there is a deadlock among the members.”

    After nearly an hour of discussion it is decided that I will be the party leader. This decision was made based on both my god and my race. The rest felt that I would be the most able to make a decision based on the facts at hand and the greater good then anyone else. Efermore was elected the party treasurer as we all felt that a cleric would be the least likely to succumb to the temptations of greed and treachery. Efermore and I also decided that we would not attempt to preach to one another about our divergent religious beliefs. However, I get the feeling that at times this will become unavoidable.

    I have heard that certain religious orders protest the games, but as Koar prohibits protests during the games I have never seen one, until today. On the way out of town we notice a crowd gathered and decide to join them briefly. In the center is a priest of Bes protesting the games. These priests believe that war brings down the family structure and that war games make people feel more comfortable with war. This priest had placed a breathing tube into the ground then buried his own head as he knelt on the ground. He is wearing nothing but a loin cloth and kneeling a most uncomfortable position. (iron1234.jpg) After a minute we move on, for we have a long ride ahead of us.

    The trip to Edyssa is uneventful. We notice some fresh tracks but see no beasts along the way. Silica gains entrance to Velerac’s mansion by producing the writ he has signed. We are lead to his private study. His eccentricity is brought to the forefront by the design of his study. The room is square with an alcove that contains his “throne”. Oil lamps light the room. To the right of the throne is what looks like a safe. Behind the throne is a huge metal sculpture of a spider. The back-lighting on the sculpture makes it appear very ominous. The plaster and stained bean walls have almost no decoration and are not painted. Velerac is dressed in a fine suit and takes his seat on the throne to speak with us. (ironstuff6.jpg)

    “I see that you have assembled a party to help with the threat Silica. We did found a retired adventurer that offered to scout the problem for us. He has returned news that the encampment of formains is a small one consisting of four workers and a warrior, he feels that if the warrior is killed the workers will scatter and this area will be considered unsafe for habitation.” Velerac states.

    We all nod in agreement and he opens the safe revealing entrance into the lower levels. On the way down we devise a plan. Silica, Nestel and myself will fight the formains face to face while Efermore stands to the side and casts command on the warrior getting him to roll over onto his back. Once the warrior is in position I will slit his thorax with my rapier causing his death. Amazingly our plan works, the gods must be with us today.

    Velerac is true to his work and pays us handsomely. We make our way to the inn to rest after the travel and battle that worn on us all.

    (To be continued…)

    ----------
    end of entry

    No I can rest for my game tomorrow, when we all get to make up new characters thanks to a TPK yesterday.

  • #173
    ooppss, the top should read Shadoe's Lady vs. Drawmack

    Also, after reading Shadoe's Lady's story is good luck in round III milady.

    (No I am not surrendering, I just believe she will win.)

  • #174
    Good luck to both of us.

    Thanks for posting yours so I can quit checking the boards compulsively And my condolences on your TPK

    Now everybody else needs to get in gear
    I'm good, but I'm not THAT good....

  • #175
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    Speaker vs. Mirthcard

    I arrived at the elegant dinner party just as the soiree was entering a fever pitch of noise and excitement. I allowed my rented spectral horse and carriage fade into magical mist as I took stock of the celebrations. When I next needed them, the rental service had assured me, I had merely to blow through the silver whistle they provided. While I am more a fan of personal teleportation as locomotion, the long ride here from the teleport beacon in the city had given me plenty of time to review the actions I was about to take.

    The party was an all day affair, beginning around mid day and scheduled to end at the stroke of midnight. The estate was as effervescent as the host himself was, and I had plenty of room to wander about looking for a familiar face. I saw very few, as the crowd was composed primarily of highly placed nobles, with the remainder merchants or adventurers who had bought their way into societies higher echelons. Not the sort of people I normally associate with, all told. I was not totally adrift, as soon I found someone to talk with. Rather, she found me.

    “Sam!” I turned to see a young woman, dressed in a shimmering red mirrorcloak. “You made it, after all. I am so pleased.” She made her way through a group of sellswords and came to my side, taking the opportunity from my hesitation to plant a kiss on my cheek and a flower in my hand. “I had thought the existence of rock gnomes more likely then the chances that you would turn up here.”

    (Insert ‘rock gnome’ picture)

    I had to smile at the cliché, if only because my close friends would have made similar pronouncements of shock if they ever found out where I was tonight. “I would thank you for inviting me, Vanessa, but I still don’t know how you managed to drag me to this puffed up gala.” I kept my tone light to soften my words, and carefully placed the flower in the top buttonhole of my black suit.

    “Oh Sam. Try to enjoy it. You might even see a few familiar faces.” With that, and offering a parting smile, Vanessa faded back in the press of cloaks and finery. Leaving my alone once more. Swallowing a string of words that would have sounded unduly harsh in the posh company around me, I instead made my way towards the buffet table.

    While I had more then my share of complaints about the party itself, the food was more then welcome and came in a variety of flavours and shapes that caressed my toungue and left me wanting more. I helped myself to a plateful and after a momment’s examination of my surroundings, took to one of the quieter corners of the garden.

    I enjoyed my privacy while it lasted, which was not very long at all. A young man in glaring white robes and intruded, followed by an older gentleman in similarly pale dress. Sampling a finger sandwich on from my plate, I had a perfect view as the young gentleman—his head outlined by a fashionable continual light dweamer—flourished and held out a small scroll. The older man grabbed it and growled a harsh word, then stomped back into the press of partygoers.

    (Insert ‘robed man’ picture)

    Polishing off my plate, I followed close behind the two, intending to find a drink. Several waiters wound through the crowd, and off of one I plucked an elegant silver glass filled nearly to the brim with a rich looking red liquid that made itself right at home from the first sip onwards. So distracted was I in sampling the fluid that I was nearly knocked over by a fat noble barging towards the buffet table. I stepped backwards to avoid him, and was half-successful in my efforts to remain steady. My failure became apparent as my haste sent me crashing right back into the guest behind me, nearly spilling my drink all over him.

    It was fortunate that I was able to keep my glass steady, because that guest was the young man I had just seen earlier. While white is supposed to go with anything, a wine stain would have made an already garish outfit that much worse. “Sorry about that.”

    “Watch your steps with more care.” He spat back, and I instantly fantasized running into him again, with my fists leading the way. Instead, I nodded contritely and would have apologized again if the host had not at that moment called for everyone to enter the main party pavilion.

    If the lawn on which we had been standing before had seemed overdone, what we all walked into next was that much worse. The host’s great-great grandfather, as Vanessa had explained to me before the party, had once funded a hunt for one of the giant turtles of the sea, in exchange for the shell such a hunt would produce. After defeating the huge beast in a tremendous sea battle, the expedition had floated its carcass back to shore, and scraped the animal’s carapace clean of flesh. Now it stood in the noble’s yard, a conversation piece that little represented the creature it had once adorned.

    (Insert ‘Turtle’ Picture)

    I was tempted to find Vanessa and comment on this, but fortunately, for her she was in the middle of a conversation with the host himself, and I little wanted to hear his opinion on the subject. Instead I finished the last of my drink, and looked around to find another waiter to prey on.

    Instead, I found my eye focusing on the older gentleman who I had seen take the scroll. He was in peering around the pavilion in a nervous fashion. My curiosity aroused, and with little better to do, I made my way towards him. I was beat by a dark cloaked noble I did not recognized, who led him outwards towards one of the four balconies protruding from the four ends of the turtle shell.

    Night had fallen in the short interim between my confrontation with the first holder of the scroll and the change of party locales to under the pavilion. It was a full moon, and the white orb in the sky contrasted with the magical lights hanging from the arch that stood firmly astride the two ends of the balcony. Under the arch was a collection of tables and chairs that were empty for the moment. Towards this destination the two gentlemen swept, one in white and the other in black. I followed slowly behind, hoping not to attract their notice.

    (Insert ‘Arch’ picture)

    I need not have worried. So preoccupied were the two that they took little notice of the attention they had garnered. They strode to the middle of the arch and fell to animated discussion. Plucking the Vanessa’s flower from my buttonhole and idly playing with its petals, I attempted to look uninterested as I wandered within hearing distance.

    “Do you have the payment or not?” demanded the man in white, his arms crossed before him. He sounded flustered and confused a terrible combination.

    “The scroll of the dead first, and then I will give you your gold” the other figure intoned. The voice was not the kind that would suit a child’s entertainer. It seemed to slither from the dark figure’s mouth.

    As for my part, I shivered when I heard those words, and that was a mistake. Perhaps catching the movement from out of the corner of his eye, the black-cloaked man turned towards me. We recognized one another at nearly the same moment, and as shocked, as I must have looked, his wide-eyed fury was something to see.

    “You!” he said. “So, you managed to find me. It is unfortunate that you are too late. For the Scroll of the Dead will soon by mine. I count myself blessed, for now I can deal with you as I wanted to the first time we met.” So saying, he pointed at me and issued a word of power. I flung myself onto my back as quick as I could, and heard a hiss of sibilant magic dart through the spot I had just occupied. I heard screams from inside the pavilion as wizards of varying power felt the evil that had just been unleashed this night, but I knew none would reach me in time.

    I lifted my head painfully, and saw the dark man pointing at me, magic gathering on his fingertip. He smiled crookedly. “This may hurt a little. Good bye, Sam.”

    I smiled back, which must have put him off a bit, because he let me live a little longer. Alternatively, perhaps it was a sadistic choice on his part, to let the worm live knowing what doom awaited it. But this worm had its own surprise, and now was the time to employ it. “The party is just getting started.” So saying, I balled my right fist and crushed the flower I still held.

    The rest of my group had been waiting for that signal. The next few moments were more then a little chaotic, but I do remember feeling a great sense of relief, as the balcony was suddenly full of a teleporting response unit. No sooner had they appeared then an antimagic field descended on the black wizard, and the threat to my life was over. That fast, the situation had reversed. I helped myself up as the men and women under my command bound the two prisoners and confiscated the scroll.

    “You were right. The scroll is here, and so is Keelson.” I heard from behind me, and turned to see Vanessa. “And here I had thought the host was planning to get his grubby hands on it.” Taking the scroll from Del—one of the TRU members—she unrolled it, then handed it to me. “I would say the flower beacon worked fairly well, did it not?”

    (Insert ‘Leonardo’s skeleton’ picture)

    I looked the manuscript over to confirm that it was indeed the Scroll of the Dead—not a hard task considering that it featured prominently a skeleton and arcane writings—then raised my head to glare at her. “Very well, although I’m sure you enjoyed watching me parade around with a daisy stuck in my suit.” I tried as hard as I could to ignore her affirming smile, and turned to Del. One last order to give before this mess was all cleaned up. “Send a squad to scour the party for the third suspect. Just tell them he is a young man with atrocious manners, dressed in white, and,” here I smiled “with a rental’s silver whistle in his left pocket. I want that back, mind, so don’t let him get away.” I had planted the object when I had crashed into him, just to make sure I could find him again. Rental agencies routinely place locating spells on their keys, so even if the arrogant youth had left the gala immediately after I had seen him last, he would not get far.

    With that settled, I brought my full attention to bear on the two prisoners, both of whom were now under holding spells. Although I knew he could not talk back, I smiled grimly at the black wizard. “Keelson, it has been a long chase, but I’d say I have you now. You are under arrest for attempting to acquire an artifact of necromancy.” Nodding to my team members, I motioned for them to teleport the two away.

    The future held reports to write and forms to sign. Nevertheless, the present was pure bliss.

    I had to admit that the party had turned out just fine.

  • #176
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    I would have liked to work on it some more, but here it is. I blame myself for leaving it so late this time.

    I look forward to seeing what Mirthcard produces. Those were not easy pictures, and I certainly had a tough--but also enjoyable, in a painful fashion--time. How did you do?

    Cheers,
    Speaker

  • #177
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    Well done so far (just waiting for the last story).

    I think judging is hard, writing them must be even harder.

    btw I you feel I should comment more let me know. I judge largely on feeling, but if people want more explanation, ill try and accomodate.
    So many games, so little time!

  • #178
    Explanation would be nice. In a game like this we need to write to the judges and the more know about how the judges decide the easier that task becomes.

    I must say that I feel the three judges are a good mix. One who scores mostly on picture use, one who scores on style and scores on the feeling of the piece.

  • #179
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    Ill try and eleborate then

    Im not that eloquent when writing, but ill give it a try.
    So many games, so little time!

  • #180
    Originally posted by Drawmack
    Explanation would be nice. In a game like this we need to write to the judges and the more know about how the judges decide the easier that task becomes.

    I must say that I feel the three judges are a good mix. One who scores mostly on picture use, one who scores on style and scores on the feeling of the piece.
    my experience (from many art competitions) is that normally contestants are told who the judge(s) will be and little else.

    if literary competition is different i would love to hear about it

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