Rel's Faded Glory III: Glory Reborn (FINAL UPDATE 6/22 - SHE'S DONE, BABY!!)

Cathal

First Post
Rel said:
(and if you think it's merely a matter of "poke him with the Bloodstone Blade" then you've got another thing commin')
Ironically, we actually tried that in a fit of "it's so crazy it just might work!" :heh:

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Riggs

First Post
Rel said:
Thanks, BSF. Now it just remains to be seen whether they can put together a plan to defeat Bale...


(and if you think it's merely a matter of "poke him with the Bloodstone Blade" then you've got another thing commin')


So, since we were faced with a blood dude, we decided to arm everyone with styptic swords and band-aids and some of that bactine spray that hurts like a mother... and well I don't want to ruin it.
 

Riggs

First Post
Hizzy Bizzy to Rel

Don't look now, but instead of updating here, Rel is sitting at home relaxing just because it's his birthday!!!
The nerve of some RBDMs is astounding.

So jump on his back and give a few swift kicks to our 80* year old RBDM! At least we might get another update out of him!

Happy Birthday

* + or - around 50 years :p
 

BSF

Explorer
Rel is celebrating a birthday? Well, it was yesterday for his time right now, but I still have almost 15 minutes. :)

Happy Birthday Rel! Congratulations and all that fun stuff.
 


Rel

Liquid Awesome
Thanks for the birthday wishes, guys. As Riggs implied, I've been enjoying a bit of leisure time for the last few days and my wife is preparing to sweep me off on some secret, whirlwind adventure for the day. She's being very mysterious about the whole thing and I'm starting to get excited about what's going to happen. I'll let you know how it turned out assuming the entire thing isn't X-rated.

Hopefully you won't be hearing from me. ;)
 



Riggs

First Post
he's probably grouting the downstairs bathroom :)

Just kidding. I know Mrs. Rel, and she isn't the RBDM so it's probably a very good deal.

He'll be in such a good mood for our gaming session tonight it will be like this:

"roll for Search"
"a 4"
Ok well the trap is poison, roll em"
" a 2, wait, 3"
"Ok well it's a slow poison, roll again"
"a 9?"
"Alright, well anyhow, the door opens and the BBEG liche walks out and asks you what you are doing there?"
"Ummm, recovering the artifact of Swizlstik?"
"And ridding the land of evil!"
"Ok thanks Paladin, um well he explains how he's really just tired from all that transformation stuff and if you'll go away he'll hand you the artifact and promise not to hurt the town."
"sweet!"
"Huh?"
"Yeah, he says 'Here you are, now off you go, and mind the pit trap at the front door...see you!'"
"what about my poison"
"Oh yeah, he cures you too."

"umm, pizza anyone?"
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
I'm happy to report that I had a very pleasant weekend that included a trip to a local winery, some <censored>, a picnic and walk at a local lake, then I got to buy a new computer game before we saw Star Wars again after which we went to spend the night at a Bed and Breakfast. It had a big jacuzzi tub where we took a long, hot <censored> and a bath. We had a dinner at the appropriately named "Satisfactions" after which we went back to the B&B for <censored> and <censored> and a long nights sleep before <censored> in the morning, breakfast and heading home. Then my wife let me play my new computer game all afternoon and evening since I was too tired to <censored> any more.

All in all a fine <censored> weekend if I do say so myself! :D

And my ambitious goal is this: I'm going to FINISH the Story Hour by weekend after next (June 19)! Expect regular posts that bring us to our exciting finale over the next two weeks.


(clearly all that <censored> has given me delusions of granduer)
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
I can see that you're all waiting in silent anticipation for the flood of new posts to come pouring forth. ;)

My weekend was filled with a combination of non-stop child care while my wife was out of town in Virginia and my latest computer game addiction, Guild Wars (if any of the readership are GW players then we should hook up online sometime. The players of Speaks, Lazarius and Marius are all into it as well).

But I still remain true to my intentions to finish the story hour by the end of the weekend. Tonight is game night for us and I have a bit of prep to do for that so expect the first big update tomorrow.
 


Rel

Liquid Awesome
It had been nearly three days since the heroes had arrived back at Hrongar’s Hill and the place had been utterly transformed. What had once been a small collection of buildings sitting in the open atop a small hill in a big valley was now a fortification designed to halt an army and kill a godling.

East and west of the hill proper, the palisades had been extended and reinforced by the strength of the thousands of Legionnaires who had felled trees, dug ditches and generally plied the skills at fortification that they had drilled so long to perfect. And now their shovels and axes had been laid aside in favor of sword and pilum. They had done what they could and soon their efforts would be judged by whatever Bale and his minions could throw at them.

No less profound were the changes wrought upon the land by Speaks. A quarter mile out from the palisade stood another barrier, this one a thicket of brambles and creepers dense enough to halt all but the most determined advance. It stretched the entire width of the valley and was reinforced along the near side by a low wall of loose stones that had been constantly pulled from his Bag of Endless Rocks by conjured Wood Woses. On the far side of the thick wall were a series of wells that had been dug with magic, stretching all the way down to reach the Sweet Water of the Fodor Valley. These had been covered with mats of branches and grass to disguise them with the hopes of trapping the unwary among Bale’s army.

The near side of the thicket wall between it and the palisade was a complete and utter swamp. The Decanter of Endless Water had been running non stop for three days and the land was inches below the water. Only the earthen walls erected by the Imperials kept this from flowing down the draw on the east side of the hill and on into the Fodor. In another day the water would likely seep through the barriers and flood the trenches behind. But in another day they would not care.

Atop the Hill were gathered the leaders of this improbably army. Urdrax and the other chieftains stood shoulder to shoulder with Capito and the man he had appointed to act as general for the Legions. And always near Capito were his band of faithful, the Paladins of St. Cuthbert. They had flocked to his cause when it was discovered that he was the Right Hand of St. Cuthbert and they were never beyond the call of his voice that they might serve the hand of their lord in whatever way he commanded.

Lazarius Ramius, Imperial War Wizard, had been hard at work making certain that these men would be able to follow their commander into battle. A group of Hippogryphs stood in a small paddock that had once held pigs. They were securely tied around the necks and hooded to keep them from taking flight to hunt horses, which seemed odd since they had been horses themselves only the day previous before Lazarius set his magic to work on them.

Marius stood near the Chieftains and Commanders listening in on their plans for any signs of stupidity. He had a firm understanding that what was about to unfold here today was not to be a traditional battle and wanted to make certain that those in charge did not treat it as one. A short distance away stood Marcus who just couldn’t bring himself to be comfortable around Capito and his worshipers, particularly after what had happened to Albius.

And apart from everyone stood Cathal. In his hands he held the Bloodstone Blade, turning it over, running his fingers on the slate-like blade and trying to get comfortable with its awkward balance and heft. So very much was going to come down to this enchanted piece of stone and it was he who was going to be the one wielding it. He besought his ancestors and the spirits of their lands, “If I must do this thing then let me do it well. And if I must die doing it then let that death be one that aids my friends and tribesmen.”

His thoughts spoken, he let out his tension where it hung in the cold morning air along with a cloud of hot breath. The silence that followed was filled by the approaching footsteps of Speaks.

“It is time,” said the Druid.

“I know,” said the warrior.

“It is going to be a long day,” said the Druid.

“I know,” said the warrior. “Let us begin it.”
 



Henry

Autoexreginated
Good God, Rel, I thought YOU were the tactician! :) Was Speaks the one who came up with the concepts for the "no man's land," or was it a group effort?
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Henry said:
Good God, Rel, I thought YOU were the tactician! :) Was Speaks the one who came up with the concepts for the "no man's land," or was it a group effort?

That was mostly him. He sent me a lengthy e-mail in the days before this session wherein he detailed how he was going to use his spells and items to make life very difficult for Bale's minions. Actually his machinations stretched much further than that but I didn't want to bog things down in the million details of the prep for the battle.

One key thing that I did forget to include was that in the center of the new swamp was a small raised area where he used a Quall's Feather Token: Tree to make a Live Oak and that is the rally point for his dozen or so Awakened Trees. So when I start talking about that once the battle is joined, don't be surprised.
 

BSF

Explorer
Very nice setup by the players! Excellent description as well Rel. I am very much looking forward to the upcoming battle.
 

Rel

Liquid Awesome
Cathal and Speaks huddled close behind the Elf as he guided the Flying Carpet over the mix of fortifications provided by both man and nature below. The shimmering surface of the flooded valley floor was broken only by the small island that jutted barely above the shallow lake. A very small but very intelligent forest had relocated itself there and the Awakened trees stood sentry, willing to do their part against a foe who destroyed indiscriminately and did not spare even the land itself.

They crossed over the barrier of thicket and Speaks was pleased to see that he could not identify the locations of any of the pits that lay in wait for Bale’s army. Moments later Hrongar’s Hill and the fortifications were left behind as they continued north. Perhaps, if this risky gambit worked, those barriers would never be tested. Perhaps.

Several quiet minutes passed before they crossed one of the many rolling ridgelines that separated the valleys draining into the Fodor to find themselves looking down upon the might of Bale’s army. Their hopes fled like smoke on the wind.

Bale was alone in the forefront, trailing a bright, wide streak of crimson blood that stretched off behind him to the north, defying nature and decency in the way that it seemed to willingly flow up and over hills and ridges. It neatly divided Bale’s army into two trailing hordes that tumbled after their leader like the frothing wake of a large, fast ship. These loose mobs were in stark contrast to the neat rows and columns exhibited by the Imperial Legions they had just left behind but it made them no less terrifying. Creatures of every description had answered the call of Bale’s Blood and they rolled south to do his bidding, covering the land with a blanket of evil.

Masses of Orcs, the tribes who had not already been absorbed into the City of Endless Summer, surged alongside the Duergar Dwarves of Do’Kun Ghul. Dotted amongst them were the larger figures of dozens of Trolls, Ogres and a few Giants. Then there were the more bizarre forms of what were guessed to be the Neoghi and their Umber Hulk thralls, lumbering near the rear with great claws that nearly drug the ground.

Also near the rear were a struggling cluster of the strange “Fish Men” the party had encountered near the mouth of the underground highway beneath the Blackpeaks. These seemed much worse for wear having been out of the water for so long. A couple of handfuls of the Scorpion Men also dotted the ranks as well and there was a large, lizard-like biped that crashed along the left flank. And scattered all amongst the hordes on both sides of the blood trail were hundreds of the Blood Ferals, dashing aimlessly amid the crowds before diving and swimming in the bloody river at Bale’s back.

Rhys kept the carpet moving northwards, high above this evil army. Behind him, Speaks and Cathal looked at each other knowing that even without Bale at the head of it, this army might well crush the men and fortifications they’d placed in its path. With Bale in the lead there was no question as to the outcome. They gripped the thin edge of the carpet as Bale howled up at them, beckoning them to his call. But they had not been residents of the Blackpeaks for long and they had been out of the cursed mountains for nearly a week. The call failed to take hold of them and on they flew.

Once they were a couple miles further along, they found an open clearing in the next valley through which flowed the river of blood. Rhys brought the carpet down what he deemed to be a safe distance from the crimson stream and Speaks and Cathal stepped off and began to cautiously approach the Blood. Speaks looked at the Brigante, “Ready?”

Cathal nodded. The time for talk was over. It was time for this battle to begin and he was going to strike the first blow. He drew out the Bloodstone Blade and thrust the tip into the Blood.

A heartbeat passed, then two. Then the blood surrounding the tip of the blade began to turn grey. And the grey began to spread.

Speaks form shrank and his wings beat the air as he went aloft as an eagle. The Wild sang in his veins as he climbed as quickly as he could. At the top of his climb he winged over and spared a downward glance to see that the stone was racing both north and south of the clearing below. The magic of the sword sought out blood and petrified it wherever it could be found. Speaks followed the trail to the south and crossed the ridgeline, once again bringing Bale and his army into view.

His eagle eyes looked below to see that the stone had crossed the ridge and was now running downhill toward the termination of the river of Blood even as it continued to recede behind the reborn godling. Bale was fast.

But the stone was faster.
 

Jon Potter

First Post
Rel said:
His eagle eyes looked below to see that the stone had crossed the ridge and was now running downhill toward the termination of the river of Blood even as it continued to recede behind the reborn godling. Bale was fast.

But the stone was faster.

Beautiful! I'd feel optimistic for our heroes if you hadn't already said this:

(and if you think it's merely a matter of "poke him with the Bloodstone Blade" then you've got another thing commin')

Actually, I'm still feeling optimistic, I just realize that it's foolish of me. :\
 

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