5E The Rhyot Break - Chapter One: Endless White - Page 11
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  1. #101
    Zemryn's breath was coming in short gasps, sending puffs of white out with each exhalation. Her legs felt like lead, and her head was even worse. She bit her tongue to remind herself of where she was and what she was doing. Survival was the only goal.

    Atemi...Atemi...I can still see the bodies of my people littering your shrine. I have not forgotten!

    Following Bria's gesturing, Zemryn looked at the cave entrance through narrowed eyes. She nodded. "Atemi will provide, as she has already done by sending you. That is enough for me." Without hesitation, she headed for the entrance. If death found her, it would find her proud and unflinching.

  2. #102
    Admiring Zemryn's resolve, Gimlak follows.

  3. #103
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    Part II: Cellinol's Pass



    To see what comes, one must bleed-out all that came in the days before.
    To know the end, one must turn those dark eyes inwards.
    Seek this thing that all that followed, foolishly did ignore...


    St. Aranov, Keeper of the Limbs of Torrus and watchman of the West.



    The young woman who had led them to freedom, Bria, anxiously stepped ahead into the darkness. It was as though stepping into the mountainside itself, becoming one with black stone and ice-licked shadow. For a moment she paused, removing a small torch from her pack and attempting to light it with shaking half-frozen hands. From a spark a small fire was born, and before long a warming orange glow leapt across her face.

    Standing, she turned to those behind, those who'd fled, battled and spilled blood with her. Those who had made it here despite Korrud shouts, piercing bolts and ravenous wolves.

    Bria smiled to Gimlak, Faenala and Zemryn each in turn.

    "I think we are close. Can you smell it? Old soot in the air?"

    Just as she mentions it, her companions notice it too. Someone definitely had a fire lit down here in days gone by.

    "We need to be careful. I saw a few spots of blood outside on the snow, before we came in."

    Step by step, the party moves deeper and deeper into the old cave. A system of caves in fact, named Cellinol's Pass during the last century by the district's nearest villages. But they are many days travel from here. In some parts of Solov, even the nearest things feel oh so far away...

    Once, this place was a site held sacred to alpine people's hearts. Indeed, it is a land both as beautiful... and dangerous as any Solov god. Within a valley of steep black cliffs and an ever-frozen gorge, lie great walls of pockmarked stone, entrances to caves abundant. Caves which offer shelter in one hand, and great risk in the other. The remains of those who once became lost within stone's walls and endless caverns probably still remain. Locked in time by the cold within nature's own tomb.

    "Oh..." Bria exclaimed, coming to a halt and waving her torch about ahead of her. It was a cavern some fifty feet across, a tunnel leading off into the darkness to both left and right. In the center of the space lay the dark scattered remains of a fire and several soiled bedrolls.

    "They were to wait for us. They'd not abandon camp..."

    Map

    White = Valley / gorge area
    Blue Dots = Known cave entrances (the further into the black they are, the harder to access)
    Green Dot = Current party location
    Grey Lines / Blobs = Known tunnels and caverns
    Broken Grey Lines = Unexplored exits / passages.
    Last edited by 97mg; Monday, 10th December, 2018 at 03:48 AM.

  4. #104
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    Welkin and Rorik

    Two days ago...

    The silhouettes of a tiefling, a tall human, a dwarf and a short elderly man trudged through knee-deep snow with faces bathed in morning light. Edius, Wizard of Rowtil, Fae-Waver of Orinian found it hardest among those in the group. Kazis was far shorter, yes, being of demihuman stock, but the dwarven fighter and guardsman made up for it with brute strength and determination. Like a minature plow, the tough-fleshed fellow pushed on and on, though he took every opportunity to insult their current surrounds.

    "Blast'd snow! Always snow snow, best way to ruin a good mountain, bloody powdery... slippery and beard encrusting snow!"

    Edius, on the other hand, despite being tall, lacked much of the coordination required to make good pace through the frozen white hazards underfoot. He was a mage and scholar, not some adventure-freak! The old fellow bit his lip, grumbled under his breath and pushed on. It was he, of all of them, who knew the challenges nature would cast before them. It was he, the frailest who had led them here. There could not be any other way. For all he knew, he was the last, the final Wizard of Rowtil breathing. Options were for the lucky and better-equipped. Choices were for those who didn't carry a burden of knowledge, such as he did. Deep inside, Edius had already processed the truth... that this would be his final pilgrimage.

    They were half a day from the dark stone jaws that would form the entrance to Cellinol's Pass. Somehow, by some miracle, they would find what they were looking for. Answers. Answers that all knew would come at a heavy price.

    Kazis grunted loudly, twisting some hundred and eighty degrees.

    "I ear'd something!"

    to be continued...
    Last edited by 97mg; Wednesday, 12th December, 2018 at 04:33 AM.

  5. #105
    Zemryn's eyes adjusted to the play of shadows and light created by Bria's torch. She saw the remains of the camp, just as Bria did, and could not help but notice the state of it. Whoever the woman was waiting for, they were not there, and had not been for some time. Dark places of the earth, caves and chasms, could swallow life without a sound. How well Zemryn knew that!

    Did I escape the pits, the cold rock and stale air, just to once more leave the moon and sun behind? Atemi...as you lead, I will follow.


    Her stomach, deep within her, gave a spasm of pain. She gritted her teeth, stepping forward and drawing her two swords free of their makeshift scabbards. "Perhaps they will meet us further in? I will ask my goddess to give me warning of ancient evils, dead but alive, or spirits from other planes, that may inhabit these winding pathways of stone..."

    Going down to one knee, she placed the blade of one sword across her brow and the other in a backhanded grip behind her back. She closed her eyes, recalling the temple to her goddess as it was in the shrine of her birthplace. Gilded columns of stone and silver, the echoing songs of the priestesses.

    "Atemiri, ulaith dor Neveryn, tari'mi, tari'mi."

    Her senses spread out like the wings of an eagle, and she gasped inwardly at the pleasure of being close to her goddess, being overwhelmed by her power. She swayed slightly in a circle...smiling to herself.

    <Using class ability: Divine Sense>
    XP 97mg gave XP for this post

  6. #106
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    Welkin and Rorik

    It wasn't just "something" that Kazis's war-trained ears had heard. Sat in the darkness, Welkin and Rorik perhaps cant help but reform that recent day's events over and over within their minds. Of Edius, all that remains is leather and parchment. Two small books, one of which Rorik flips through, torchlight softly bouncing off the writings and surrounding walls. There is much to digest in these pages, and the wizard's hand is not of a style that reveals itself easily. It is almost as if old Edius still lives within these writings, still choosing the means and time, by which knowledge might unveil itself.

    "Dirrevn Faques makes no light mention of the loop and three within the text 'Alpinia en Rhyotes'. The man claimed to have seen the elusive nymph himself, though it would appear that the experience left his mind deeply... shall we say... effected, by the time he had hand upon quill once more. What follows can only be called theory, yet I support the claim that reference to threes is culturally ingrained within Solov's deeper past. What the loop is, I can only guess. Of the three, I might surmise that the nymph might be laid eyes on, via, perhaps... a trifecta of means..."


    Though the human and tiefling man might choose to rest here, they know too well that they dare not let darkness lure them into sleep. There are more than occasional bats, tiny long-legged spiders and deathly still air within these confines.

    Then, surrounded by quiet, a sound breaks through between their breaths and the light shuffle of a book's page turning.

    Voices. Voices from the old campsite where Welkin and Rorik had earlier been (location 4 on your private map)...

  7. #107
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    Zemryn

    Calm and attentive, opening herself to sensations only gifted through divine grace, Zemryn's mind empties itself of chaos, anxiety, fatigue and fear. Like rings upon a pool, waves rippling outwards, she is open to all that Atemi might show.

    In the past, such acts by the Paladin brought only small inclinations, or small clues as to the nature of surrounding life and undeath. Zemryn might gasp this time, as a soft-spoken woman's words whisper soothingly within her head.

    "My child, you will find no celestial aid, hell-birthed fiend, or walking death in places close. But remember, not all good, evil and corruption can be defined as easily as so. There is evil here... and where there is evil... there is good.

  8. #108
    Zemryn's eyes opened suddenly, and they were afire with the grace of a goddess. How close she was to the great Atemi! She stood up slowly, returning her swords to their scabbards. "My goddess has spoken. There is evil here, but it is not undead. But perhaps, with courage on our side, and sharp blades, it will soon be actually dead."

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