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31
Game Log / Session 32- Master Margarath’s Magnificent Map of Malevolence
« on: February 02, 2014, 10:54:08 AM »
Session 32 Master Margarath’s Magnificent Map of Malevolence

The party entered the complex, went left, encountered and killed a group of skeletons, and then found a rotted linen tapestry (rm 52). This tapestry had on it Magarath’s map of the forest and the companions took it.

32
Game Log / Session 31- Chasing Faznar
« on: February 02, 2014, 10:53:29 AM »
Session 31 “Chasing Faznar”

Faznar escapes and gets chased by gargan. Gargan flee the valley.

More information/details is needed here.

33
In Character Discussions / Turning Stones
« on: January 30, 2014, 08:51:41 PM »
Turning Stones

The Forest Keepers had traveled this road from the Forest Keep to the Moradin Temple that housed the Garachi quite a bit in the past weeks. The landmarks were familiar and the paths held fewer surprises. It was still the wild though and they were too seasoned in these travels to let their guard fully wane. They had encountered difficulties before and could easily again.

The days leading up to this departure from the keep had revealed much. Melzak was still causing trouble seemingly in the name of Margarath, Durkenwold was under the heel of the Stonehammers, and two journals and Stroud Fireforge’s axe were recovered from the gargan valley.

One journal was written by Stroud who suspected a coup attempt by the Stonehammers and the other was written by Bardek Stonehammer. This one interested Zurn a great deal.

On the third days nightcamp Zurn spoke some of his thoughts, “Y’know, there be a few things tha’ been going though me head as I read this writin’ in Bardek’s book.” He looked over at Belwar. “Bardek be admitten’ his plot against your Da in here. He’s sayin’ how he and Urguth planned tha’ whole foul deed. He believes that Stroud was soft due to him not wantin’ to send kin into battle.”

Zurn looked at Belwars face lit up by the orange glow of the fire. Growing up a farmer Zurn learned about the delicate aspects of life and its tenacity. Being a cleric sharpened his empathy for that life. Zurn’s parents were still alive and talking of the assassination of Belwars father made him feel for Belwar and simultaneously appreciate his own parents even more.

Zurn continued, “In some other parts here Bardek writes aboot bringing tha’ kin back ta tha’ ol’ ways when they be friendly with…some gargan such as tha’ ogres, giants types, an even orcs. Thinks our kin were more respected by the lesser races? I wonder wha’ he means by tha’ ya think? Elves? Humans?” Zurn shrugged with his questions. “tha’ may be also why they wanted yer Da gone, he’d o’ ne’er gone with that dumb plot.”

Zurn spoke further, “They also be finding a temple to the Kharan’Jhul. An’ he be thinkin’ he’s a chosen o’ Moradin!” Zurn scoffed. “A chosen o’ Moradin an’ he’s flirtin’ with tha’ dregs o’ Vorntoque? I tell ya, tha’ dunna make sense. Moradin not be choosen’ someone daft enough to do tha’! I wonder if’n tha’ Circle o’ Squares being able to look like what you want it ta has something ta do with this delusion, eh?”

Zurn wasn’t entirely sure what was going on with this plot but he felt he was getting close to something. He just wasn’t quite there yet.

“So anyway, back ta this here journal. We have ourselves some solid stone evidence tha’ Bardek an’ Urguth planned your Da’s death. I canna imagine tha’ yer kin at Derkenwold are none too happy on the Stonehammer’s brutal ways right now. This journal may be a way o’ getting Derkenwold to turn on them and see them for what they be doin’”

34
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« on: January 25, 2014, 07:23:04 AM »
End of the Post?

35
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: January 22, 2014, 08:45:53 PM »
Cailyder found it hard to concentrate. Her thoughts were with Maragarn and what she knew in her heart was a significant loss though Maragarn had not said as much. Rather, more telling, he said nothing. She heard the drone, could feel the ritual and its power coursing through the crowd but she was not in the moment of reverie. Although she found her distraction troublesome to her responsibilities as a fire warden and found difficulty in setting it aside, she knew she must. The great cycle can appear to be cruel Cailyder thought but she also knew there were no accidents. Maragarn, she believed, was chosen for a special purpose. He had more to learn. They all did.

She watched the path of the chromatic fires arcing over the grove begin to reach for her end of the grove. It was her charge to bring them to the Kossuth fire and complete The Circle. The Circle had so much meaning it was hard to fully grasp its ubiquity and meaning. It was a truth of reality that could overwhelm, inspire, frighten, and comfort one all at the same time. Cailyder felt honored this year, more than usual, to bring the circle to a close.

She pulled two fire clubs from her sides and approached Kossuth. Across the way she saw Varshya singing her hymn. To her left and right she saw Eswarth and Mirriam keeping the method of the rhythms. Joining everyone in common purpose was Bal-Jhor’s pervasive drone. Before her at Mahiya’s bonfire was Shankaria, Ashe, and Maragarn. She decided that while her part in this ritual was to honor Mahiya, this year it would be dedicated to her forest brother.

Cailyder looked at both clubs admiring their craft in beauty while she slipped the haftloops around her center fingers so they could freely spin. They were bronzewood clubs crowned with heads that took the dancing shape of fire itself. They had been used in this ritual for many years and she was honored to have been given them. She lit them in Kossuth and as she did her four deer-like hoofs began to tap. She tapped to the meter of Eswarth and Mirriam. Cailyder then began to swing the fiery clubs to the progression of Varshya’s song. It was time for Cailyder to bring it to a full circle.

The clubs flared out as bright, red hued torches and she slipped into the moment. Her hoofs forged their own “song” to blend perfectly with other parts of the ritual. If Eswarth and Mirriam were the rhythms then Varshya and Cailyder were the harmony and rhapsody. Cailyder spun the beacons around her weaving a web of fire. It was as though red wisps were dancing in joyous rapture around Cailyder. It was hard for even the most astute to follow the motions of her hands and arms as she spun the torches about her. It seemed at times that even the fire had difficulty in keeping up with the dance.

Her hoofs continued to keep their song and her torches their fiery orbits. As she spun the fire she twisted and turned her lithe form. At times she would jump into the air (which was slightly above Eswarth head) swinging the clubs underneath her to flip them back into the hand from whence they came. It was a magnificent display of passion and also the true skill of the revered hybsil.

The fire stream of Kossuth flowed as water from the bonfire and reached its red, flowing fingers to the fire streams of Grumbar and Akadi. Kossuth was pleased this day.

Cailyder though danced for Maragarn.

36
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« on: December 24, 2013, 04:45:07 PM »
*(Ref. Session 12- Death to Dannobar) Book in what we can assume to be Melzak’s Room.
*(Ref. Session 19- Beloved) We’re told it was a book on human anatomy that was incomplete.
OOC: What ever happened to the book?


*     *     *

“We wouldn’t have to be worry’n  if’n we be knowin’ where he went off to.” Zurn replied. “Las’ we saw his sorry hide he wus asking fer a book* that we lifted from his place in tha’ caves…jus’ before we brought Dannobar ta’ peace.”

Zurn did not expect to be saddened so suddenly to mention the once wayward Dannobar. Though the priest had lost faith in Ehlonna she had not lost faith in him. To Zurn’s mind it was a story folks often hear about but until one witnessed such divine grace it was impossible to measure the lasting impact of forgiveness such as that. Ultimately it was Ehlonna’s mercy that lead to Dannobar’s redemption and that, in Zurn’s thinking, was the splendor of his matron deity.

“I be wonderin’” Zurn asked glancing towards Belwar “if’n it was losing tha’ big book o’ nasty tha’ got Melzak into deep demon dung with his Master.”

37
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« on: December 21, 2013, 09:36:21 PM »
“Ye bein’ a gnome mage of sorts yer lucky we dunna jus’ be separating yer head from yer neck truth be told…ne’ermind yer sqeakbox. The last gnome finger wiggler we had company with was a traitorous pain in the rump. Went by the name Melzak. Tha’ dunna ring any bells does it? Not seen him for a spell o’ time.”

Zurn had asked in a long shot that Faznar might know their old enemy. It’d been a while since he’d been seen and Zurn didn’t trust that he wouldn’t be seen again. Especially since Melzak and Dannobar knew each other and Dannobar had links to the gargan in this valley.

38
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: December 21, 2013, 08:38:29 PM »
Varshya could feel Bal-Jhor’s drone before she heard it. It came about as a tingle in her bare toes. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the ritual drone. Memories flooded her mind and passed through as birds flying among trees. So many came and went. They were memories of joyous times, saddening ones, angry ones, regretful ones. They blended together as colorful leaves in Rynnyx; blended together until they were one white light. Then nothing. It was just her and the warm feeling in the heart of her mind and mind of her heart. Her soul was touched at this moment and she had no sense of herself. She could feel the ritual taking her.

Her eyes slowly opened and she rose from her resting place. She moved with a posture of  fluid strength toward the green fire and loosened her clothes as she went. She was a steward of Istisha and shedding her clothes was symbolic of birth and rebirth. She whispered, “As from the water was I born, to the water shall I sing.” Her body was consumed in green light and quietly she began to sing in the brethren cant:

Mahiya is the life, Mahiya is the breath
Mahiya is our knowledge, Mahiya is our death
We rise above, we sink below
We unite as one, as one we know
Istisha we drink, Istisha will mend
Istisha is peace to our hearts will it send

The song started much as the drone did, quietly at first but picking up in volume as well as tempo until it found it’s own rhythm and pace. It was a beautiful but stark contrast between the two voices: Bal-Jhor’s masculine bass complimented by Varshya’s feminine soprano. Varshya alone sang the hymn and despite the drone being carried by the surrounding onlookers, it did not drown her voice. She stood at Istisha’s fire free from everything and lost in the ritual.

Yarlia in her training thus far had never seen Varshya so open. Her master had unashamedly shed her clothing in front of all of these people and was singing at a fire for all to hear. At that moment she felt inspired by her master’s unification of all that she was with all that was Istisha. She saw Varshya not just as a living spirit of her race but of Istisha itself. It was such an inspiring sight to her that Yarlia, while partaking in the drone, shed tears of revelation. She would never be the same after that moment.

Bal-Jhor could sense the peace that Varshya had found in the ritual and saw well the multitude of spirits that had surrounded her.

Across the camp at Mahiya’s fire Maragarn listened to Shankaria’s direction. He wanted to protest and refuse his part in the ritual. He hadn’t earned the honor this year. He wanted an alternative. He knew right well that Shankaria would hear none of it. The only way out for him was through. He realized that may have been Shankaria’s unspoken wisdom- one of many in her decision.

He nodded his acknowledgement of his part in the ritual. With sad eyes he looked to Shankaria for some release of the void within him. He wanted that emptiness to fill with something…anything to mitigate the ache of his loss. Time was too slow.

He could sense the wispy threads of darkness that began to tickle his thoughts like a snake’s tongue as he walked to the fire. Ashe watched as the satyr approached. He knew the path that Maragarn was going to take before anyone else did- including Maragarn. Ashe was once a legendary Swamp Seer and could sense such things. Maragarn would either be liberated or destroyed by his choice. There was no middle ground.

The drone continued to carry across the camp.

39
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« on: December 15, 2013, 09:10:43 AM »
Zurn shook his head a humming chuckled at the gnomes continued prestidigitation. No doubt that fate was one of a long list of things that Belwar would find to be an agreeable end for Urguth. Zurn measured Faznar as being the sort that survived by guile rather than raw tenacity. Both means had merit but neither were absolutes for every situation. Given that, this gnome could well make a strategic, and humorous, addition to The Forest Keepers. Zurn cinched another bandage on the slightly built gnome.

“So what’s yer plan from here? Ye got anoothah place to be goin’?” Zurn cast a look back to Belwar. “Suren’ we ain’t gonna kill ya it seems ta me tha’ the safest way of goin’ anywhere is with us.”

40
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« on: November 20, 2013, 08:21:07 PM »
Zurn smiled at the cleverness of the gnomes imagery of Urguth’s head on a pike fish. Although the little limerick probably wasn’t the best thing to say given the sensitivity of Belwars feelings towards the traitorous dwarf that was likely responsible for his fathers death he thought. It occurred to Zurn that Belwar never mentioned his mother.

He tightened a wrap on Faznar’s arm enough to stop the bleeding but not enough to stop the blood from circulating. He made it a point to seal in his memory to get more bandages at the keep when they returned since they were getting low on their supply. “I dunna think it’s a sharp idea laddie to be jestin’ aboot Belwar’s folks when matters come to Urguth. At least not th’now.” Zurn advised. He didn’t want to come off as being overly uptight but if it saved the gnome a slug to the mouth and spared a bandage or two then it would be worth it. He just wasn’t sure of Belwars demeanor given all that had transpired.

Zurn, wanting to analyze this gnome since the last gnome they knew wasn’t trustworthy, continued, “So ye dunna be knowin’ much on how ye got here exactly. Where is it ye come from in origin?”

41
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« on: November 13, 2013, 09:10:14 PM »
OOC: This thread is open to any that wish to partake

Zurn was glad that their new guest was relatively unharmed. Enough pain had been wrought by the foulness that filled this valley for too long. Worshippers of foul deity, no good things would have come the prisoners they had kept. The fact that this gnome was still alive could well have been testimony to the benevolence of the divinity that watched over him.

The halls were now finally clean of the wretched undead stragglers that remained around the shrine to Ehlonna that had now blessed the once defiled passages. Dannobar was now finally at rest and embraced in the arms of the forest mother. When the Garachi moved here, if they moved here, Zurn hoped that the shrine would be revered by them in some way.

Once the Garachi inhabited this place then the ancient temple to Moradin would be open and available. Restoring a temple to the Parton Father of Dwarves filled Zurn with sense of ancestral pride. Though he did not directly worship Moradin the deity was still close to him in other ways. He savored the thought of exploring the old temple. The wisdom that might be contained within those halls!

Now though he had immediate interest in other things- namely Faznar. He was interested in his story. As a survivor amidst the gargan he must indeed have a colorful tale to spin!

As the group set camp as they had so often done Zurn tended to the their wounds in turn. Currently it was Faznar’s time. He genuinely reveled in the healing aspect of his faith be it by hand or bandage. It also opened up the chance to get to know his party members just a little better.

“I dunna think’n we been introduced properly, eh? Although what’n be right and proper out here if’n this ain’t?” Zurn asked as he wrapped a cut on Faznar’s arm. “My name is Zurn. And who ye be an’ how in the old wise mountain did ye git yerself out’n here?”

42
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: November 13, 2013, 07:36:01 PM »
They walked towards the grove’s inner fires. Cailyder didn’t know what to say to assuage Maragarn’s despair. She wanted to take the burden of his pain onto herself. Over the years she had become resilient to loss since she witnessed it nearly every day. Losing a Vallenbrush she thought must be soul crushing. She empathized with him by imagining her Vallenbrush being taken. The very idea sickened her. As tragic as it was for her to see her homeland diminish to almost nothing, the emptiness of losing what essentially amounted to a child and parent must have felt all the worse. She wanted to burden herself with Maragarn’s pain but feared now that it would be too much to bear.

“The others are here?” he asked her.

“Aye, they are. Including an unexpected guest. A long time friend of yours I’m told- Ashe Clearwater.” She replied with an uplifting tone.

Maragarn snorted with a fond smile. “That old fox finally managed to wiggle his way into the festival, eh? If anyone could, it would be him.” He mused. “Although with all of the strange things going on I’m actually not fully surprised he’s here. Threshold has been a hub of activity lately.” Any conversation he had to take his mind away was good. He needed the distraction from the numbness and the growing anger inside of him. “Where is Shankaria? I want to see her before the drone begins.”

Cailyder pointed towards the central Mahiya fire. “They’ll both be attending Mahiya’s fire this year. Of course Shankaria wouldn’t have it any other way with the likes of Ashe being here.”

“The likes of Ashe…” he repeated. Maragarn glanced sidelong at Cailyder with a quizzical expression and asked “Had you ever met him before?”

“Well no…I hadn’t actually…” The hybsil replied. “…but something in me has known him for a long time.”

They came to the crimson fire of Kossuth. “I must stay here for the ritual. I’m leading the Kossuth Fire this year.” Cailyder informed him. He looked to her with a dependence in his eyes. “Whenever you need to, love.” She said with a sisterly affection. “I’ll be here for you.”

He nodded with appreciation and continued to walk towards Shankaria and Ashe. He wished the emptiness would be filled. He knew it may never be.

______________________________________________________________

He strode towards a destination. Branches snapped at his passing and leaves hissed under his step. He did not know where to or why for but on he went with compelling intent. He had gained confidence in the journey the further he went as though he was going home. If he were to be caught by his former brothers and sisters he’d be executed on sight. That notion did not bother him- and that bothered him. He was embarking on a journey literally and figuratively- striding towards redemption.

He felt he was in hostile territory though the only ones he would actually be hostile to were those that he once called family. How strange that he felt stronger now here alone running blindly through the forested wild than he had when he was surrounded with soldiers at his command. He was compelled- by what he did not know. What he did know was that he carried five berries in his belt pouch and that he would protect them at all costs.

He breathed deep and continued on under the canopy of leaves and pine needles.

43
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: November 05, 2013, 08:42:58 PM »
She espied her sisters and brothers dancing in the green glow of the water fire. Such abandon they had; such carelessness. “They are moved by the spirit of instinct Bal-Jhor…their primal reverie. Mahiya smiles upon them.” She explained despite knowing that Bal-Jhor knew well why and that he sought no explanation. “New experiences beyond the boundaries of comfort are indeed good for the soul- exhilarating even- which is why I take comfort seeing my disciples as they are at the fire. They all show great promise.” Varshya detailed. “I suspect that we shall all be pushed to our limits in the coming seasons. Then will the true nature of us all will be seen.” She warned ominously.

They arrived at the emerald fire and Varshya held her hands to it feeling it’s healing warmth. She looked up to Bal-Jhor who in the fire light seemed as a large green ghost and answered “I would be honored, as would Istisha, for you to begin the drone here. Life begins in the water and so to do we return to it to heal and cleanse our soul.”

44
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: November 05, 2013, 04:02:45 PM »
“Nothing I’ve not seen before.”she stated flatly and with a hint of derision. “Traversing the borders of the Tortured Lands and then the Wasteland of Archea is always trickey. Staying close to the mountains offers some relief from both of those wretched places if you can believe that. Usually it’s the mountains that travelers avoid for fear of the beasts that inhabit them.”
Varshya thought of her words after she said them and hoped that Bal-Jhor would take them not as an insult but as a matter of fact. With a lighter voice she continued, “However, that all pales in comparison to the eagerness of my acolytes at coming to the festival. The whole journey I was barraged with questions! In a good way mind you. They thirst for more and I can barely keep up with the brandy of knowledge.” She looked ahead as she spoke watching her young students. Their dance around the fire brought to Varshya thoughts of what her kin have been doing for millennia.

45
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: November 05, 2013, 02:12:53 PM »
Varshya could see the mottled Goliath approaching her from the distance. She had only a cursory knowledge of his kind as they usually held to the mountains and her kind to the forest. Their races did not often pass across each other. She wondered what brought him down from his peaks and how he ever was brought into the fold of Mahiya. It seemed to her that his culture would more likely to worship Grumbar or Akadi and that Bal-Jhor must be somewhat of an anomaly. Perhaps that is why he was here in the Grove of Needles and not among his primitive people she thought.

He had earned her respect though even if by proxy. He was no doubt talented in his own way and his friendship with Eswarth commanded deep regard. Also, he was here in the grove- not just anyone was allowed to enter the sacred shrine. Mahiya must have seen something in the goliath.

“Bal-Jhor” she said nodding to him “Seems the past year has been kind to you as you’re looking well.” She studied his natural skin designs to see if there were any patterns to be seen. Not wanting to be misconstrued as having other intentions she looked up at his eyes almost immediately.

“Ah yes…the calling drone.” She said in recognition of the tradition but more to cover her academic interest in his markings. She stood up and began to proceed to the Istisha Fire. Varshya at full height was still a Halfling height shorter than the behemoth next to her. “I trust your journey here offered wisdom and safe travels?”

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