Author Topic: 08.30.2132 - The Return Home  (Read 4027 times)

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Offline Johan

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2009, 06:06:48 PM »
These were crazy tidings indeed. Not a single answer, and more questions. With the utmost care he could muster, Temmit closed the tome and placed it back where he had found it. He needed to let the mysteries settle in his mind.

He then turned his attention to the contents of his father's satchel.
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Offline Dray

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2009, 06:46:12 PM »
The parchment within the satchel had yellowed with age, but Temmit found the sheets to be in good condition nonetheless. Each of the half dozen or so sketches were pressed flat from lying in its hiding place for so long.

The top rendering pulled immediately upon the emotional band about Temmit’s chest, but not only due to sorrow, but from utter newfound pride. The exquisite detail and artistry his father could attain with only a piece of graphite amazed him.

He stared at the sketch of his mother, his sister and himself for quite some time. At some point he broke from the spell and turned his minds’ eye on the task at hand, clues of his family’s past. Unfortunately, there was nothing to be found in this one.

He respectfully slid the family portrait to the side to reveal the next rendering of the pile, which he had placed next in a clear space amongst all the items on the floor.

The next sketch caused Temmit to make a low whistle in approving awe (once again) at the beautiful detail etched upon the parchment. The graphite on this second sheet depicted a Keep at the edge of a forested cliff with an open field before it. Within this open field were thousand of Karh’Thul advancing upon the Keep, and at the fields’ center a massive Karh’Thul two extra arms and a height that towered over its’ peers.

Although he had never been there, Temmit assumed it was Council’s Edge, the Keep of the Warden Council. This confused him though, for why would his father sketch a battle that never occurred? Ulstag was a thousand years ago, and in no part of Kaine Scripture or any history lesson lectured to Temmit was there an account of Ulstag leading demons in an attack upon Council’s Edge.

Temmit immediately wanted to dismiss the importance of the picture as a passing fancy of the artist, but some internal voice, like whispering smoke, nagged at him not to do so. He therefore started to scan the picture with the skills of an age 14’er from the House of Scribes.

The Keep, wonderfully detailed despite its small and far-away presence within the center of the sketch, sat at the edge of a chasm that divided the Keep from the open field. About the field was a nightmare of demons, most walking about and doing nothing of consequence (except looking evil). However there were two disturbing groups of Karh’Thul that were the exception. His father had sketched a dozen “KT” standing at attention in a circle around Ulstag. As if they were a special contingent awaiting orders. This was not a characteristic common to these wild demons, even though it was somewhat hinted at in the legend of the Battle of Millengarde. And since the story of Millengarde was regarded more as a fable of religion than actual history, this vision gave Temmit some concern.

“Or are you just being an artist of fiction Father?” he asked the empty bedroom.

The other group of demons was also not acting like typical KT….for they were building something. The mass of black bodies obscuring the construction from view, but Temmit did spy discern an obvious mechanical arm with a king of launching pad, indicating some mangorel device(?) One KT was even “directing” a few of the others who were lifting the back end of the machine, almost as if the KT was having them “point” it.

The idea of the KT being militarily organized and communicative in this way would have made Temmit laugh if he wasn’t so frightened the sketch’s life-like detail. It was then that Temmit picked up a minute detail that had thus far eluded him. The small glow on the horizon line behind and to the right of the Keep…it was NOT the rising or setting sun as he had first assumed. For the watch tower search lanterns were fully ablaze, the glow of the mirror-reflected fire spotlights scanning sharply the enemy down below.

So what was the light on the horizon?

(Feel free to email me with any out-of-game questions, or post them here, whichever is your preference).

Offline Dray

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #32 on: September 13, 2009, 03:56:42 PM »
a gentle ping

Offline Johan

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2009, 12:36:57 PM »
This, I think, is one of your best posts to date. There are so many things that older Temmit is aware of that would play out here, and there are many tantilizing tid-bits cast about so chaotically, it speaks of a great evil genious. Kudos, Mr. Dray.

Some internal voice, like whispering smoke...


A few of the spotty memories that he had experienced this day knitted themselves together with considerable alacrity - Temmit's father must have been on the Warden Council. His recollection of his father headed out in his snow gear corroborated that notion. But why would this be hidden from Temmit?

Because you were three, idiot. His inner voice answered him. Temmit chuckled a bit then; his inner voice had never insulted him before.

Something told him that this picture wasn't mere fantasy on the part of a bored but brilliant artist. Dozens of pictures that his father had sketched came into Temmit's mind, one after the other, ascending from early memory. Pictures of Temmit, Nalla, Mother, and Father. Other people who Temmit could see, but didn't know the names of - hunters, mostly - all of them had something in common: they were all scenes of things that actually happened, and of people who were known to Temmit's father. None were fantasy.

If he could take this image as evidence - the voice of a long-dead witness - then, the Karh'Thul weren't quite the same as conventional wisdom held them. But Temmit realized another thing: he really had no working experience of Karh'Thul (he bound his chest again). Everything that he knew about them was learned from school, taught by the same people who held the Battle of Millengarde to be fable and fancy.

The thing about conventional wisdom: it was always colored by the prejudice and bias of those telling it. And it would be a far better truth that Karh'Thul were anarchistic beasts who thoguht no further than killing what was in front of them as opposed to thinking, calculating, intelligent enemies. Perhaps he should read more closely the Battle of Millengarde, not to mention all other "fables".

Next picture. His inner voice prompted him.
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Offline Dray

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2009, 02:09:22 PM »
Thank you for the kind words, one of the greatest compliments a player can give a DM is “great evil genius”. Truth be told, it’s so fulfilling to give you a glimpse into the rabbit hole, now I just got to kick all you players into it…

...it is a deep hole.


Temmit scanned the demon siege sketch for almost an entire hand, looking for answers to unknown mysteries. He studied it so long that he committed the image to permanent memory. He found himself willing the graphite image to come alive proceed through its history and show him how the story ended, despite what horror he may see. But alas, it stayed in static form and did not obey the will of his fantasy. Finally, his curiosity broke through the obsession with this glimpse of horror, and commanded him to shift to the next page.

Gently shifting the Keep sketch to the side, he was again not disappointed on the next parchment with the exquisite detail from his father’s hand. The drawing depicted a scene that although simple, was immersed in one specific unique detail that immediate caught Temmit’s attention, his heart again raced at its portent.

(A detail I will save to the end).

It was another Keep (map forthcoming in post or by hard copy delivery), or more specifically, an estate surrounded by a square of four high stone walls. The view of the artist was from above, at its southeast corner (for sake of conveyance here), looking down into the courtyard shared by four buildings within its interior. A gatehouse was in the eastern wall which was drawn away from the artist to the right (leading north).

The walls were twenty feet tall and made of what appeared to be the same granite used in the Our Commons, they spanned hundreds of feet away to the artist left hand side (leading west) and almost as far to the right (again, north).

The gatehouse, sitting in the middle of the right wall, which was assumed the entrance to the Keep, was twice as high. It had what appeared to be an exterior door that led out onto the top of the twenty foot wall. It also has what appeared to be murder holes at the appropriate human height level around the structure at this level. Its flat roof (at forty feet tall) was made of what could only be Outlands wood, bordered by granite buttresses.

Northwest of the Gatehouse and within the courtyard, stood a circular tower that was ten feet higher and also made of the same granite. It had a few murder holes fifteen feet above ground (second floor) and windows about twenty-five (third floor), thirty-five (fourth floor) and forty-five (fifth floor) above ground. Its roof was also made of Outlands timber but formed an upside down cone at the top.

The largest structure was to the Southwest of the Gatehouse and Tower. It was a well built cathedral, again of granite, and had the footprint of a cross with its east and west wings spanning beyond the main structure. It appeared to be shorter than the first two buildings, but had a higher roofline with a massive steeple on its north end. It was simply built, but beautifully so. Stained glass windows were mid-way up the exterior walls with some form of human silhouette etched within the colorful glass.

Northwest again of the Cathedral was a two floor mansion, again with very high rooflines but apparently only a couple of floors (the cathedral having three). The mansion was also a beautiful work of architecture with a blend of Outlands timber integrated with granite. The east and west side of the first floor appeared to be covered porches with beams of Outlands wood holding up a slanted roofline above.

South of this mansion was the last building which by its architecture couldn’t be identified. It hosted a mixture of architectural elements taken from the Tower and the Cathedral and also looked to be only two floors high. This building was the only other one in the Keep that had a flat roof (like the Gatehouse) and made of Outlands Timber, with the same granite buttresses.

The buildings shared a system of flat granite sidewalks amongst well-tailored trees, grass and shrubbery. Small statues were about the large courtyard adjacent to these walks but the detail as to whom or what they represented was lost due to scale. It was very apparent that it was a lovely summer day by the evidence of many flowers in bloom. No one was walking throughout the courtyard, nor were they any guards posted on the walls or anywhere visible

What made Temmit’s heart skip a beat was that the entire building was surrounded by Outland Trees, giant behemoths with trunks twenty to thirty feet in diameter. A few of them were almost nestled against the outermost wall. It was then that Temmit knew that this place could NOT be in Safe-Haven, for everyone knew that the forbidden forest was hundreds of feet back from the Flame Barrier.

“What is this place Father?” he again asked the room.

Offline Johan

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2009, 08:20:05 AM »
Temmit started to wonder whether his father was, in fact drawing fantasy again. No one had been outside of Safe Haven in millenia, after all.

The first reaction is usually the correct one. He reminded himself.

He needed time to digest this thought. These thoughts. He placed the parchment with the outlands drawing on the first drawing in such a manner as to differentiate the two. He wanted them to remain in their order, but he also wanted to be able to easily find ones that were likely testaments as well as those that might as easily be fantasy.

This is kind of like piling 8.5 X 11 sheets of paper in different "directions". The potentially true drawings would be placed in portrait while those that might be fantasy would be placed in landscape.
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Offline Johan

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2009, 09:52:36 AM »
Dray? Other Dude?
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Offline Dray

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« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2009, 12:31:02 PM »
Okay, gotta check some notes when I get home today. I will post by this weekend. Thanks for your continued interest and patience.

Offline Johan

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« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2011, 06:45:20 PM »
Have you checked those notes yet? :)
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Offline Dray

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« Reply #39 on: September 26, 2011, 12:13:30 AM »
Yuppers! Stay tuned! At some point this week I will dust the notes off and repost. It's like riding a bike!

Offline Griznuq

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #40 on: September 29, 2011, 09:52:40 PM »
"It's like Riding a Bike"... You mean it's something you're not likely to do anytime soon? ;D
=]V[=

Offline Dray

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #41 on: October 04, 2011, 07:40:13 AM »
If he had dozens of questions before his homecoming, he had hundreds now.

The next page was a beautiful rendering of his sister Nalla leaning against the well out back. While an incredible piece of art, it only served to pull at Temmit’s heart-strings. “Hi Nalla,” Temmit said aloud as he flipped over her smiling image, placed her down in portrait configuration, and moved on to the next one.

The next one was of a distant view of the Temple of Kaine. Once again, his father’s artistic hand worked wondrous magic, for it was an incredibly detailed piece of sketch-work. Judging by the angle of the building, the adjacent and outlying structures, Temmit believed the viewpoint of the artist was somewhere near or in the school district; high up on the rim of the valley looking to the center of Safehaven. All the buildings familiar to Temmit could be seen in the bowl-shaped city. It appeared that the image was a portrayal of some summer day since a nearby tree was full of leaves and a bird was flying by, perhaps a dove, in the foreground.

Offline Johan

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #42 on: October 04, 2011, 07:58:45 PM »
There were so many lovely pictures in this little treasure trove, but some seemed to be screaming some not-quite-audible message to the youth.

He placed this image down and rose stiffly; he needed to move around. He also needed to get things prepared for the evening, as he noted that he had spent several hands in study of his father's belongings. It'd be night soon enough, and he didn't want to be without dinner or fire for the evening. He could get back to the pictures tonight, when there was nothing else to do anyway.

The reality was that it'd probably take the whole summer to decrypt these pictures anyway. Plus, he needed coffee.
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Offline Dray

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2011, 05:52:30 PM »
Moving about the cabin home, he again was pleasantly surprised to see that none of the family belongings had been stolen. After these many long years out here alone in the wilderness it didn’t make any sense, but he was happy with the fact regardless. He threw a pan of well water on the wood stove and in no time was drinking coffee, bags of freshly imported Nuthouse Blend now secure on the shelves. He smiled at Montey’s incredulous look when he said he needed three months’ worth of beans.

Gathering food took no time at all. A fresh patch of berries grew just east of his home. He dropped a line in a brook nearby and almost immediately caught a trout. Along with the last of the bread from Our Commons, he had quite the late afternoon meal. With food in his belly, Temmit had the energy to collect firewood and do some wood-splitting before the sun gave up the last of its rays.

He had the fire started and was completely cleaned up and ready to sit down to review the pictures awaiting near Dad’s chair when there was a polite knock on the door.

Offline Johan

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08.30.2132 - The Return Home
« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2011, 08:38:54 PM »
Question that I seem to have missed asking: while out and about, Temmit was going to look for signs that anyone other than he might have been about the previous night; the stuff missing seems recently so, and he's thinking that someone put a blanket on hiim in the night. Any foot prints?

When the knock came, soft, slight, and jarringly unexpected, Temmit had just raised his cup to his lips; the knock caused him to jump fairly out of his skin and spill a mouthful of the brown gold down his front.

He was on his feet before he realized it. He grabbed his sword, which stood leaning against the chair in which he had been sitting, and drew the blade clumsily from its leather scabbard.

"Who's there?" He asked hoarsely.
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