The Rise of Felskein [Completed]

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
<Note: New plan; micro-posts. Easier for me to get in. I'll see if I can get 3-5 a week.>

Session 20, Part 1

“What did you do?” Harold demanded, stepping in front of Kezzek as he walked up the gangplank of the ship.

Kezzek pushed him aside wearily. “I'm in no mood to discuss it right now Harold.”

“We killed a heap of Thornspills,” Kormak said. “You should have seen the mess he had already made of the street when I got there.”

“I'll have you know I was about to start important negotiations between the Crystal Towers and the Webdyns,” Harold said, following close behind Kezzek. “Bradic Webdyn had the word 'allies' on his lips and then you had to go start a Hold War.”

Kezzek ignored him and limped towards where the Black Carriage was strapped to the deck, surrounded by Suniel's followers. Shruka walked over immediately to examine his wounds.

“Hold Wars bad?” Kormak said.

Harold shook his head. “The Thornspills will kill everyone with even a drop of Webdyn blood for this. They're pretty much useless to the Crystal Towers now.”

“Aww, poor baby,” Kormak said, sticking his lower lip out in a pout and gazing wide-eyed up at Harold. “No awwies fow da Hawowd? Aww, poow wittle Howowd.”

Harold stared at the dwarf for a second then walked away without another word.

“So what do we want to do now?” Suniel said as he and Keeper walked up the gangplank. “I heard we're not especially welcome here anymore.”

Kezzek grunted. Kormak, still wide-eyed and pouting, looked up at Suniel and said, “da poow wittle Hawowd. Aww...”

Suniel cast a questioning look at the dwarf, then turned back to Kezzek. “I think we should see about the True Stone of Water.”

“That old thing?” Kormak said with a mock-dismissive gesture.

Kezzek grunted as Shruka tied off a bandage on his arm. “Lift up your other arm, let me see those cuts on your back and side,” she said.

Kezzek complied and looked at Suniel. “I don't like the idea of being a Dragon pawn, but it seems we need a bit of time to let everything at Port settle down anyway.”

“You mean the Hold War you started?” Kormak said.

They continued to ignore the dwarf.

“If it's as powerful an artifact as we're being let to believe, it would be worthwhile to know its whereabouts at the very least,” Suniel said. “Especially while we have a machine constructed explicitly for that purpose.”

“There is another primary purpose for my construction-” Keeper said.

Shruka tied a knot in a bandage hard and Kezzek yelped, leapt to his feet, and spun on her, his fists coming up. The ugly acolyte casually back-handed him. “That didn't hurt. You call yourself an orc?”

“Half-orc. You call yourself a healer?” Kezzek said, rubbing his jaw.

“Acolyte. Get back here you big baby.” She pointed imperiously back at the carriage chest he'd been sitting on.

“So it's agreed then?” Suniel said. “We'll get the turtle and see if we can't locate the Stone of Water?”

“I'm in,” Kormak said.

Kezzek glared at Shruka, but sat down again slowly. As Shruka returned to her ministrations, he nodded to Suniel. “As soon as this one gets done with me.”

“Great, we're in agreement then. Make it so!” Kormak said, as if it was his idea in the first place.

The others ignored him.
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

Crazy Eights

I think micro posts will work great, just don't burn yourself out trying to get in a ton each week. I think even a couple each week would be plenty. Thanks for the hard work thus far.

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 20, Part 2

After two-and-a-half days of uneventful travel, Kormak called from the turtle's head where he was on watch. “Might want to check this out guys,”

Suniel set down the spellbook he was reading and headed towards the dwarf, trailed close behind by the others.

“Those look like the pods that stuck to the side of the ship,” Kezzek growled. “I think we're here.”

“I think so too. Look, I think that Locath is waving at us,” Suniel said, pointing out one of the turtle's eye-windows. “Turtle, head to the surface. Open up once you're there.”

The turtle complied, angling up and rising slowly towards the shimmering blue surface. “I don't know if I'll ever get used to looking up at the surface,” Kezzek said.

“We are almost on top of the Stone, only a few miles away,” Keeper whispered in Suniel's ear. “I can almost taste it.”

Suniel gave the construct a questioning look, but Keeper was staring out at the water with the others.

A few minutes later, they were standing in the turtle's open mouth, staring out at a cluster of Locath that sat in the golden path the rapidly setting sun made across the waters.

“We come to speak with Underdakl,” Suniel called out to them.

The Locath bobbed and stared at them and their turtle.

“He may want to meet with us, I speak for the Crystal Towers,” Harold shouted.

“How do you know it's a he?” Kormak said.

Harold didn't reply, nor did the Locath.

“We bring him a gift,” Suniel said, causing the others to glance at him.

At that, the Locath looked at each other, then one raised a webbed hand in their direction.

“I think they want us to wait here,” Suniel said.

“Yeah, so they can find a shark big enough to swallow the whole turtle,” Kezzek growled.

“I don't think that's possible,” Harold said.

Kezzek snorted. “I didn't think they got big enough to swallow me, but that was until that last one almost did.”

Kormak squinted up at Suniel. "So, what's the gift?"

"I'll figure that out later," Suniel said.

With a splash, the Locath disappeared into the water.

“Turtle, close and angle down so we can see them,” Suniel said, stepping back into the turtle's 'neck.'

The turtle's mouth slowly closed before them. By the time it had angled to where they could see the Locath again, they were swimming straight down into the black beneath them.

“I guess they're getting permission from their boss,” Kormak said. “I can just imagine them saying, 'Look what we found! Can we keep it?'”

“Or, look what we found, how do you think we can take it?” Kezzek said.

“Well, all we can do is wait and see,” Suniel said, walking back to where he'd situated his things. “Call me if they return.


Four hours later, Keeper summoned them.

A Locath face filled one of the turtle's eye-windows. It made some bubbles as if talking to them, then pointed straight down and began to swim away. After twenty feet or so it turned and waited.

“I guess there's our answer,” Harold said. “It wants us to follow it.”

“To meet Underdakl,” Suniel said.

“Or to meet the mother of all sharks,” Kezzek countered.

They dove rapidly, leaving the moonlit surface behind as they plummeted into the midnight depths of the lake.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 20, Part 3

They descended for four hours, deeper and deeper into the lake. Kezzek could barely take it.

Aside from the Locath, illuminated by a glowing stone it had produced from a side-pouch, the world was a cold black weight pressing down on them from all sides. At times, the turtle's metal shell would creak or groan, as if it were about to give in. Kezzek paced back and forth, waiting for the sudden breach that would smother them thousands of feet below the surface.

"Look there," Suniel said. "Its a palace. Is it made of the same silversteel as the Landspear ruins?"

Kezzek walked closer to see. There was the strange feeling like they were falling in slow motion towards the glowing silver of a small structure, complete with an outer wall, strange, twisted towers, and a courtyard surrounding shining silver doors leading deeper into the palace. The whole thing was built against the side of what seemed to be an under-water mountain, rising up into the darkness.

He had to look away, his stomach roiling.

"Set us down in that courtyard turtle," Suniel said.

Kormak squinted and scratched his head. "You sure we'll fit?"

"Yes." Keeper said. No one questioned the construct.

Kezzek looked back as the turtle went still and slowly began to sink. They were floating down into the courtyard, silt and debris swirling about them. Then the turtle gently settled in to the murky bottom and was still.

"Here we are," Kormak said brightly. "Who all is coming to talk to the great Underdakl? You going to cast some sort of protective spell on us Suniel?"

"I'll stay and protect the turtle," Kezzek said, clenching his teeth at the thought of walking out there under that immense press of water - magic or no.

Suniel looked at him compassionately, Kormak questioningly. Harold never looked at him, already heading to the door.

"You're actually going out there?" Kezzek said, the thought inducing vertigo. He leaned against the shell wall for balance and slowly slid to the ground.

Harold shrugged. "Suniel discovered that anyone who walks through the turtle's mouth while under water can breath water like it's air and walk along the turtle's shell like it's flat land. We'll be fine."

"Better make sure there's a turtle here for you to come back to," Kezzek said. "You three go ahead."

"Four," Keeper said, expression unreadable as always.

"Turtle, open up," Kormak said.

Kezzek's gut's clenched, the image of millions of tons of water rushing in on them at once flooding his head.

Instead, the water simply stopped at the edge of the turtle's mouth, held back by some invisible barrier. The others stepped through and walked towards the silver doors of the palace, silt swirling about them like dark shadows brought to life.

"Turtle, close," Kezzek said, unable to bear it any more.

By the time it was closed and he could look out the eye-windows again, his companions were gone and he was alone.


Something wasn't quite right about the inside of the Palace's Hall, or the innumerable golden treasures and coins that carpeted it. Kormak's eyes were wide and even Harold was gazing about with pursed lips at the incredible wealth.

Suniel squinted at a golden goblet by his foot, then nudged it. It rolled, but... strangely. Then, suddenly, everything shifted and became transparent, as if everything was made of pale glass and he had only just noticed.

There was no silver palace; the turtle sat on the empty lake floor behind them. Where there had been the gleaming walls of the hall, there was the rough natural stone of a cave wall. Where there had been mounds of golden treasure were crude carvings of coral, shells, with only the occasional metal gleam of gold or silver or copper amidst the rest.

"It's an illusion," he whispered.

"It's a what? It can't-" Harold began. Then he tilted his head to the side, squatted down for a second, then stood and nodded.

"What's an illusion, that giant fish-blob thing that's floating towards us on that golden dais?" Kormak said. He whistled. "That's a neat trick, where'd he find hot naked human women down here?"

A bloated, massive fish-like thing with a row of eyes running up the center of its 'head' swam towards them, the transparent forms of what it probably wanted to look like naked women walking beside it and stroking its slimy sides.

Floating beside it, wrapped tightly in a tentacle was the largest blue sapphire Suniel had ever seen - the size of a man's head. It seemed to have an ever-changing whirlpool churning inside it and Suniel could feel eldrich power radiating from it and filling the room.

"That is an aboleth," Keeper said, in as much of a whisper as Suniel had ever heard from him. He nodded to the massive gem. "And the True Stone of Water."

Suniel took a deep breath, struck suddenly by the bizarre and dangerous situation they were in. They stood in an illusionary palace thousands of feet below the surface, breathing only by the turtle's blessing, surrounded by a fortune in imaginary wealth, and staring down an abomination with the most powerful artifact he'd ever seen - an abomination that ruled an under-water empire and had maybe millions of Locath at his beck and call.

Choose your words carefully Suniel, he told himself. The slightest wrong word here could kill us all.

He bowed deeply, hoping the others would follow his lead.

Instead, Harold took a brazen step forward, head held high.

"I am Harold Trisden, Free Agent of the Crystal Towers," he said. "We have come for the Stone."

Suniel winced and rose slowly, a spell of warding springing to mind in case they had to fight for their lives.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 20, Part 4

“What he means to say, is, well...” Suniel said.

I will not give it away, unless you have something to trade.

Its voice was inside Suniel's head, like filth dribbling inside his skull. It was among the least pleasant things Suniel had ever experienced.

What would you give for it? The constructs?

Harold glanced at Suniel with a quirked eyebrow and questioning shrug. Suniel frowned at the archer and shook his head.

Apparently it's communicating with us all telepathically
, Suniel thought.

“We will not trade our constructs.”

Why do you disturb me here? Do not waste my time surfacelings.

Harold leaned close to Suniel. “Do you think it can read our thoughts? It's speaking into my head,” Harold whispered.

“Why, are you thinking of killing it?” Suniel whispered back.


“Then I don't think it can read your thoughts.”

“It would murder all of you,” Keeper whispered.

"That's reassuring," Kormak said.

Well? I grow impatient. My scout said you bring me something. A gift.

“Yes, the elf has it,” Harold said, gesturing towards Suniel.

Suniel thought quickly. Feeling in his robes with his hands, he found a small, heavy wooden chest. He pulled it out and glanced at it before extending it towards Underdakl. The aboleth floated towards him and extended a tentacle to pluck it from Suniel's grasp, leaving a thin coating of slime where it had brushed Suniel's hand.

“Don't know why he didn't have one of those naked ladies come over and get it for him,” Kormak said softly.

“Because they're illusions?” Suniel said.

“They're what?” The dwarf squinted.

“How do you think they're breathing down here?” Harold said.

“How are we breathing down here?” the dwarf countered.

Is this all you bring? The aboleth said in their minds. This paltry handful of gold?

It held the chest before it and up-ended it, sending the gold raining down amidst the coral carvings that littered the floor. It paused and pulled the chest in to examine it more closely, then looked back up at them with its row of bulging eyes.

You are with the Ashen Tower?

Harold's expression darkened and he took a step forward, mouth coming open, but Suniel jumped towards him and physically stuck his hand in the archer's mouth.

“It is a gift, a token you might say,” Suniel replied as Harold shoved Suniel's arm away and took an indignant step back.

Underdakl sat motionless, regarding them for a long moment. Probably deciding whether it's a good idea to kill us all right now to take Keeper and our Turtle, Suniel thought. Or whether that would bring the wrath of the Ashen Tower down on it.

If this is all you bring, go then, leave me. Disturb me no longer.

Suniel bowed deeply again. “As you wish great one.”

Harold simply turned and left. Kormak gave a deep bow and Suniel saw him swipe one of the coral statues as he did so.

“I think we could have taken it,” Harold said as they walked back to the turtle. “We could have the True Stone right now.”

“You're welcome to go back and try,” Kormak said.

“Bits of us could be floating about the inside of that cave right now,” Suniel said. “Turtle, open.”

“Cave?” Kormak glanced behind them at the illusionary palace doors.

“How'd it go?” Kezzek said as they walked into the Turtle's mouth.

“Suniel paid it a chest of gold not to kill us and we had to pretend we were with the Ashen Tower,” Kormak said. “Other than that, pretty well.”

Kezzek glanced at Suniel questioningly.

“I still had one of the small chests from Annandor's stash back in Northmand," Suniel said. "At least we know exactly where the Stone is at now, in case we need it later. Let's head back to Port.”

“I thought he was banished from Port,” Kormak said, pointing at the Greywarden.

“Well, it took us a couple days to get here, maybe that will all have blown over by the time we get back,” Kezzek growled.

“A Hold War just blown over?” Kormak said.

“That's where our ship is and it's on our road to the Crystal Towers,” Harold said. “Turtle, take us back to Port.”

The turtle pushed itself up from the settling mud, obscuring their view in a swirl of sand and debris. Minutes later Underdakl and the True Stone were behind them and they sat down to discuss what to do next.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 20, Part 5

“Where is everyone heading?” Harold shouted at a passerby on the crowded docks.

“No Gnomes left near Steamport any more, lots of open land!” a boisterous dwarf with a heft barrel on his shoulder called back. “Besides, every time they fight for Port, it catches fire.”

“I thought they weren't allowed to attack commoners,” Kormak shouted.
“They aren't, but it ends up catching fire anyway. You've got a ship, you should join us, tons of free land open for the taking!”

“There's an idea,” Kormak said. “Forget traveling to the Crystal Towers and tracking down artifacts for a dragon, let's just go start over! Make a new civilization that's all pretty and nice!”

They ignored the dwarf, as usual.

Suniel walked back up the ramp. “It sounds like the Hold War is set to start tomorrow.”

“They scheduled it?” Kezzek said.

“They're very serious about how and when they kill each other here,” Kormak said.

“Apparently,” Kezzek said. “So, what do we do now?”

“Well, they said you couldn't set foot in Port, they didn't say you couldn't float in the harbor,” Suniel said. “It's getting late, so I say we wait until daylight, sail East of Port, and hopefully just ride around this mess.”

“Ride around it?” Kormak said. “On what?”

“The turtle goes overland. I figured we could build something on top of it to put the Black Carriage on.”

“Why don't we pull the carriage behind the Turtle?”

“No, I mean the acolytes I agreed to take on from some other Black Carriage travelers I met here in Port.”

“Acolytes?” Kezzek and Kormak said at the same time.

“Yes, don't worry, Barodin and Trace will keep an eye on them,” Suniel said, walked across the deck to where the goblins, Guntl, and Shruka sat around the carriage, playing cards.

“Barodin and who?”

“Barodin is a paladin who agreed to join the Black Carriage. Trace is a minstrel.”

“A minstrel?” Kezzek said.

“They're surprisingly good at gathering information, I thought he'd be useful,” Suniel said.

“Maaaster,” No Tongue said, walking over and handing Suniel his latest carving.

Suniel took it and examined it. As usual, the little goblin's craftsmanship was amazing.

“Is that supposed to be some kind of mountain? Why does it go up and down?” Kormak said.

Suniel's brow wrinkled it as he looked at it. “I think this is the top, look there's a path running up it and little buildings carved on the top.”

“Well done little guy, you made a thingy!” Kormak said, patting No Tongue on the head.

“It looks kinda like the ones in the murals we saw. Remember, in that twisted building on the side of the Landspear? The floating islands.” Suniel paused and stared at the goblin as it grinned and did a little dance at his feet. “How would he know about that? Only the five of us even saw those.”

“Five?” Kormak said. "He counting Dog?"

“He counts Keeper as a person,” Kezzek said.

Suniel glanced back to where the construct leaned against the rail, staring out at the sunset. “Isn't he?”

“Honestly Suniel, I have no idea what to think of him... it... whatever,” Kezzek said. “Anyway, I guess we'll just settle in here until tomorrow,” Kezzek said.

Harold walked over from where he'd been staring across the busy docks.
“I thought I saw something,” Harold said. “Be ready tonight when I get back, I'm going to investigate.”

“Ready for what?” Kormak and Kezzek said in unison, but the archer was already jogging down the gangplank to disappear into the pre-exodus mob that thronged the docks, ready to sail their impromptu armada to recolonize the desolate lands that had once been the gnomish city-state of Steamport.

“This should be good,” Kormak said as they stared out at the city.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 20, Part 6

Several hours later they were still sitting about the deck. Kezzek was about to give up on the archer and go to bed when when Harold jogged up the gangplank.

“Follow me.”

“What, did you get lost in the city?” Kormak said.

“No, I found this,” Harold said, extending his hand. A large purple crystal sat in his palm. “Look familiar?”

Kezzek walked over and picked it up and an involuntary shiver went up his spine. The thing was cold, like it was pulling the life out of him.

“Where did you find that?” Suniel said in a low voice.

“One of those boats was unloading crates into a wagon, which I only thought was strange since they had straw packed into the wagon like whatever was in the crates was fragile. They spilled one of the creates a little bit into the straw and this one fell out onto a bag of wool sitting nearby,” Harold said.

He shrugged. “When the wagon left I picked up the crystal and followed the wagon. It sat next to a run-down warehouse for a bit, then a little bit ago they left town following the road south.”

“Wait wait wait - is that one of the crystals, like from the-” Kormak said.

“From the dragon and the beasts we fought before it, yes,” Kezzek growled.

“And like the ones that we found on Elorn's ship. They are creations of the Ashen Towers, designed to release unnatural vapors when they break that restore the dead to unlife,” Suniel said.

“Well, you'd be the expert on that,” Harold said bitterly. He motioned for the group to follow him. “Come on, we want to catch them before they get too far into the countryside. I don't know if any of you have been to the Freeholds before, but the countryside is a maze. They all build walls around their fields and houses to mark their territory, then knock them down when the territory changes, make their own roads so they don't have to use the other Hold's roads. It's a labyrinth.”

“All right, we're coming,” Kezzek said. He sighed as he picked up his quor'rel, wondering when everything suddenly got so complicated. Life had been simple and straight-forward before he'd run into that damnable vampire...


“Why do you need twelve guards in plate to protect a wagon?” Harold whispered. “I told you.”

“We believed you back at the ship,” Kormak said, loudly enough that the others all shushed him.

He rolled his eyes as the others glanced around the stone-walled, mud-roofed hut they were hiding behind like bandits.

“Those are Silver Knights,” Harold said. “They're some of the best mercenaries in the Freeholds. When we attack, we'll have to set up a careful ambush.”

“Attack? Didn't you just say they are mercenaries?” Suniel said.

Harold raised his hands and shrugged. “What? They're working for the Ashen Towers. They deserve what they get.”

Kezzek growled. “Maybe they don't know who they're working for. A lot of mercs don't ask questions.”

“That's their problem, not ours,” Harold said. “Look, we can't let those things they're moving get to whoever it is that wants them. What do you propose we do, just go ask them to stop?”

“Sure,” Kezzek said, walking around the side of the building before Harold could pull him back.

Kormak grinned and poked his head around the hut as the Greywarden strode towards the heavily-guarded wagon, hands raised.

“Hail!” Kezzek called.

A dozen weapons were drawn or leveled in his direction. This should be good, Kormak thought. Actually, this information might be important. This could be a good time to...

He scratched at the skin near his tattoo and looked around for a secluded place to have a moment of privacy while the others were distracted by the Greywarden's law-abiding sensibilities.
Last edited:

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Session 20, Part 7

“Halt, who are you?” one of the Silver Knights shouted. “Stop there.”

“My name is Kezzek Stone. I am a Greywarden,” Kezzek said, raising his empty hands. “What is your business here?”

“We should ask you that. We are Hold-sanctioned mercenaries. There is a Hold Purge going on so if you're not of a Hold or a merc, then it is your actions here that are illegal.”

The man took one step closer and motioned for his men to lower their bows and crossbows. “I suggest you walk away now or we'll be forced to uphold the law.”

“You do know you're working for the Ashen Towers, don't you?” Kezzek said.

“That's none of our business,” the Silver Knight said. “And I strongly suggest you make in none of yours.”

“Fair enough,” Kezzek said and turned to walk back to the others.

“That's it?” Suniel said. “You're just going to let them walk away?”

“I am. They have it right. I started a Hold Purge already, I'm done here,” Kezzek said, walking back towards Port. “Let me know how it all goes.”

They watched the Greywarden walked back through the fields.

“Maybe I can convince them,” Suniel said. He chanted, ran his hand past his face, and vanished.

“He do that often?” Kormak said.

“Not as much as he used to. He said he's mostly past such 'petty magics' again,” Harold said. “Whatever that means.”

Let's hope I don't have to use any more magic than this, Suniel thought as he walked towards the wagon.

“Silver Knights, know that you will be doing great evil if you fulfill your contract,” he said, standing a ways away from the wagon.

“Who'se that now,” the same man, probably their Captain, said, scanning the area around for Suniel. “How many interruptions do we have to put up with?”

“Call it what you will, but I implore you to reconsider.”

The Captain squinted and his main raised their weapons. “Step out where we can see you.”

“This is one contract I urge you to not complete,” Suniel said, walking quickly around them and moving further away as a white-robed figure in their midst began an incantation and looked in his direction.

“Why should we listen to a man who must hide behind magics?” the Captain said. He glanced back at the robed figure, who shook his head.

Suniel continued to circle around them. He stood further up the road when he spoke again. “I know you have no idea what you do, for as just men you could not go on if you knew. Your cargo is dark Ashen Towers necromancy. You do Thessalock's work here. Turn back!”

The Captain made a sharp gesture and his men unleashed a volley of arrows and crossbow bolts in Suniel's direction, one close enough that it stuck through Suniel's robe. He ducked behind a stone wall and moved again.

“I ask again, do not do this!” Suniel said.

“Bah, leave this coward,” the Captain said. “Move on men.”

Suniel watched impotently as the mercenaries and their wagon continued down the road. A few minutes later, Harold and Kormak emerged from behind the hut and looked around. Suniel banished his spell of concealment and walked to them.

“What now, oh great sorcerer? Did you make them abandon their woeful path?” Kormak said.

“I guess we follow and see where they're taking them,” Suniel said.

Harold grunted and put his bow back in his quiver. “Maybe we shouldn't wait that long...”

“Or that,” Suniel said. “Hopefully we'll find some other option.”


They followed until dawn.

“I'm going to talk to them again,” Suniel finally said, the weariness of the long night and frustration of their task finally catching up with him.

“Well, before you do, you might want with them,” Kormak said, pointing up.

High above, three black robed figures plummeted from the sky.
Last edited:

Crazy Eights

I am really liking the shorter posts, since it caters to my need for instant gratification. How are they working out for you, Iron Sky? Hopefully they took some of the pressure to write huge posts off of your shoulders. Man, now I'm really excited to see what baddies are going to fall out of the sky next time!

An Advertisement