Crucible of Faith ~ Chapter 1




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  1. #1
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    Crucible of Faith ~ Chapter 1

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    cru·ci·ble

    1. A vessel made of a refractory substance such as graphite or porcelain, used for melting and calcining materials at high temperatures.
    2. A severe test, as of patience or belief; a trial.
    3. A place, time, or situation characterized by the confluence of powerful intellectual, social, economic, or political forces.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    This is the In-Character Thread for the Crucible of Faith Forgotten Realms/Planescape tale.

    Reference:
    "Fishing for Interest" recruitment thread
    "Cast List" Rogue's Gallery thread
    "Chat Room" OOC thread
    Last edited by Goddess FallenAngel; Monday, 31st May, 2004 at 02:18 AM. Reason: New link
    If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

 

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    Amara ~

    You have been traveling the Prime known as 'Faerun' for some time now. Although you know that this is not the only Prime plane, it is the one that your parents are from, so it holds a certain interest for you that the others do not. During your travels, you have heard a rumor that there is a large, magical, underground maze-dungeon known as 'Undermountain' underneath the city of Waterdeep on the SwordCoast. You decided to travel to this city to find information on Undermountain; unfortunately, after nearly a week of searching you have found little information on the subject. Wild guesses and unlikely rumor are easy to find, but none of them has had a shred of truth to them from what you can tell. The only thing that you can discover is that Undermountain is very dangerous, and just as unstable. You have also been told over and over that adventuring into Undermountain is suicide.



    You have also realized that a meeting of the Society of the Luminiferous Aether is taking place soon, and although it is not necessary for you to attend, you had just about given up on searching for information here and were considering returning to Sigil to speak with other members of the Society anyway. However, when you return to the inn room you had rented, there is a note waiting in your room (having been slid underneath your door whilst you were away). The note is as follows:



    "If you are still searching for information on new magics, factotum Sîrfalas, be in the Ethereal Pantheon tavern in this city tomorrow at sundown."



    There is no signature and you don't recognize the elaborate handwriting. However, the innkeep may know who had sent the note – at the very least, he may have seen someone.



    Quillia & Kosji ~

    Quillia had needed to restock some of the more exotic spell components for her art, and since your travels had taken the two of you near Waterdeep, it was decided to stop in there. The large, bustling city was nearly overwhelming at first from being in the wilderness for so long, but once you figured out the layout of the city it wasn't nearly as overwhelming. However, once you located a mage's supply store and picked up a few other items, it was nearing dark. You were just beginning to think about lodgings for the night when a stranger bumps into you. Turning, you see a female gnome dressed in cleric's vestments and wearing a holy symbol of Mystra.



    "Oh! I am so sorry!" she exclaims. "I was so wrapped up in this book," she waves the object in question about, nearly smacking a passerby who just manages to dodge out of the way, "that I didn't see you walking there."



    When Kosji pokes his head out of the familiar pocket to see what the fuss is about, the priestess exclaims in delight. "Oh, how cute! What is your name?" She looks directly at Kosji, obviously expecting him to reply.



    Pumbar & Xuxia ~

    The two of you (and Wigglesnout, of course) had been traveling generally north and west from Chessenta for the past year or two to places unseen before. Recently, you have joined a caravan of religious pilgrims bound for Waterdeep; the caravan had most of its guards killed during a bandit attack and it was doubtful it could have even made it to the next town, let alone its destination, without help. The leader of the caravan begged the two of you to stay on after you helped drive off the bandits, and you agreed to help them to their destination. Also assisting the caravan was a paladin of Helm, the human God of guardians and protection. The three of you have chatted many times during the journey, and you have found him to be an honorable and upright man, although a bit straight-laced for your taste (but then again, most humans are).

    After seeing the pilgrims safely into Waterdeep (amidst myriad and profuse thanks), Paladin Tiriak invites the two of you to have dinner with him tonight, as it is already growing late. “Please, I would appreciate the company – I do not always stay at the temple here, as the temple is often full, and I hesitate to take a cell there when I can assist my late sister’s husband by staying at his inn. I do check in at the temple to offer homage, but I should be finished by suppertime. Will you grant me the pleasure of your company?”

    Shariau & Ili’koa ~

    The two of you have been drifting like the wind across the continent, blazing new trails for travel and commerce and spreading the word of Shaundakur. One night, however, Shariau has a dream.

    In the dream, you are shown many different locations on Faerun, all of which you have visited; but they are not as they were. Instead of being free cities, they are all enslaved to some dark force, the inhabitants working day after day with slave collars about their necks. The slaves are of all races, and as one they cry out for release, for mercy – but receive none. As you watch, men, women and children are born, grow to adulthood and die without ever setting foot further than the city block they are restricted to by chains. Then the scene narrows, and you see yourself and Ili’koa as slaves, working to push a large wheel that turned a giant crank that in turn operated some incomprehensible machinery. Even as your mind registers the scene, Ili’koa drops from exhaustion – and is swept from the floor by a dark, shadowy hand, leaving you to toil alone, bereft of freedom.

    Then the dream changes, becoming clearer and sharper and somehow more… clean. Somehow, you sense that this scene is before the events you have just witnessed. You are looking down upon a large port city. Seeing the ships in the harbor, the layout of the streets, and the busy caravan route into the city brings its name to mind – Waterdeep. The view narrows and zooms down to one particular building in the city. The sign on the tavern is blurry, and the surrounding buildings and people out-of-focus, but the building itself is perfectly clear, burning itself into your consciousness. You will not soon forget it. With that, you awake.



    As your mind finishes the move into full consciousness, you realize that Waterdeep isn’t all that far away – in fact, you could make it there by sundown tomorrow – if you decided to go.



    Durindal~

    You have been sent to Waterdeep on the command of the cleric of Tempus (the human god of war) that administers to the temple where you have been training. His only reason for sending you was that it was “A test, to prove your loyalty to the temple.” You know that he, alone among the rest of the clerics in the temple, has never quite trusted you because of your background. Despite the proof of your ancestry, and your training as a paladin and templar, cleric Brandos has viewed you suspiciously since the first moment your mentor brought you to his temple. Still, you have treated him with the courtesy and respect due a high-ranking member of the clergy, and when he sent you on this mission, you accepted. You are supposed to deliver a confidential message inside a scroll tube to the proprietor of the Ethereal Pantheon tavern, gather his response, and return with it to the temple. As you were leaving, you overheard a cleric mention a “fool’s errand” that Brandos sent someone on, and the more you think about it, the more you believe that she was referring to this mission.



    You are only half a day’s flight from Waterdeep (four days from the isolated temple of Tempus you left) when you notice that the scroll tube cap is missing. Glancing inside the tube to make sure the message is still there, you think that the seal is broken on the letter, as if it had been read – but you never opened the scroll tube.
    Last edited by Goddess FallenAngel; Thursday, 27th May, 2004 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Durindal flying instead of riding.
    If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

  • #3
    *Quillia laughs brightly at the woman's delight in Kosji, and expertly scritches behind the pseudodragon's horns.*

    "I'm sure he'll get around to telling you his name in his own time. I'm Quillia, by the way. What is your name, sister in faith?" Quillia says brightly.

  • #4
    Kosji raises his head imperiously. He thinks to the priestess "I am the Stormblood, the Far Flyer, the Red Arrow with No Bow. I am not cute."
    "What do you want?"
    "I want to get the hell out of here!"
    "Oh, I'm sorry, we're fresh out of that. I'm afraid all we have left is untimely death!"

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    "Hello, the Stormblood! I didn't mean to offend you by calling you cute." The priestess exclaims to Kosji. Looking at Quillia, she leans in to whisper, "He is so adorable!" She grins and leans back. "My name is Miria. It is nice to meet you! Please, let me treat you to dinner to apologize for running into you two." She smiles at both of you. "And tell me how you came to worship Mystra! It is so different to meet another of my race who worships Her!" Taking Quillia's elbow, she steers Quillia to a nearby inn, absentmindedly (but narrowly) avoiding traffic.
    If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.

  • #6
    *Quillia is a bit bemused by Miria's fast offer, but goes along politely. If the gnome woman should become more than she seemed, Quillia had a way out. At this point in her life, a little healthy paranoid was good.*

    "I came to the worship of the Lady early, when my magical studies began. She's been a comfort to me at times when I became frustrated at my arcane musings," she says.

    Surely you're going to get used to the "cute" comment eventually, aren't you Kosji? Quillia thinks back to her familiar with amusement.

  • #7
    Amara gazes at the note in her hand, lost in thought.

    I've been straight up about my magical interests, but not my rank in the Godsmen. It seems I've made an impression with someone. Might as well look into it. Whoever it is might have the chant I need. On the other hand it could be a peel. Guess I won't know unless I go see.

    Her mind made up, Amara will head back downstairs to find the innkeeper.

    Once she finds him, she'll say, "Excuse me inkeeper, but I found a note under the door to my room. Do you or the others working here know anything about that? Have you seen anyone go upstairs lately?"
    Last edited by Cannibal_Kender; Wednesday, 26th May, 2004 at 06:10 AM.

  • #8
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    Durindal si’Tempus Half-Celestial Warrior of Tempus

    Durindal sat along the side of the dirt-packed trail, his wings tucked in against his body. His back muscles were very tired, as Durindal had flown most of the way – and currently rested by the road with his thoughts.

    ‘A fools errand . . . how, a fool’s errand,’ Durindal questioned rhetorically in thought. ‘I have been given a task, the question is was it by the clerics . . . or by Tempus himself. I would much rather be wrong that it was from the clerics and not from Tempus than the other way around. Still, a test from Tempus . . . .’

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleric Brandos
    “A test, to prove your loyalty to the temple.”
    As he had done numerous times during the journey, Durindal glanced at the scroll tube that was his task. It looked as though it had been opened. ‘But when?’ Durindal thought. ‘Should I read it?’

    Durindal knew the answer almost before he thought it. A confidential message – even if someone else had read it, Durindal wouldn’t, not unless he was told to. Durindal checked his back for something to cover the tube and keep the contents safe . . . then continued on his journey to Waterdeep.
    Last edited by Keia; Wednesday, 26th May, 2004 at 05:36 AM.

  • #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Isida Kep'Tukari
    Surely you're going to get used to the "cute" comment eventually, aren't you Kosji? Quillia thinks back to her familiar with amusement.
    Would you get used to being called "frail and weak thing like a lapdog? I think not. It offends my dignity, and I won't stand for it.
    "What do you want?"
    "I want to get the hell out of here!"
    "Oh, I'm sorry, we're fresh out of that. I'm afraid all we have left is untimely death!"

  • #10
    Pumbar listens to Paladin Tiriak's offer with a reserved, serious face. "Very well, Sir Tiriak. Xuxia and I shall accompany you for tonight's meal. We will meet you at your brother-in-law's inn at the appointed time."

    He bows seriously at the human paladin, and can hardly wait for him to wander off around the corner. Then, unable to contain his excitement further, he jumps up and hugs Xuxia. "Dinner! Did you hear that? He's going to buy us dinner! I always thought that Tiriak was a great fellow, didn't you?"

    Not fifteen minutes ago, Pumbar had complained about how straight-laced human Paladins seemed to be, and how it was so hard to act so reserved and serious all the time. Xuxia just giggled and agreed with Pumbar, getting caught up in his enthusiasm for what would probably be a simple dinner.

    "But Xuxia," Pumbar asks, his voice once again serious and thoughtful, "Do you think they'll have Halfling Berry Pie?"

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