Shadows of the Mercenary Part 7

Aeron eyed the ritual set up critically. Specifically the glowing bluish/purple orb sitting on the charred remains of an altar table. (Arcana 20) Using Blend’s description of what he had seen, Aeron concluded that the orb was obviously necromantic in nature, but was not part of the portal sustainment. The black pearl orb seemed to intercept and catch ritually slain souls upon their death. How this produced shadows was still unknown.

Aeron and Rumil recalled the lore and rumors that the Veil of Worlds was reputedly thin in this forest (Arcana 25 + 2 aid) and concluded that this area was “close” to the Shadowlands . This allowed the portal (presumably to the Shadowlands) to exist until closed. It also explained the ability of the druas druid to utilize shadowwalk , a powerful magic that normally would be reserved for arch mages and such.

While Rumil was not greatly familiar with the local human faiths in this area, his basic knowledge of the tenets of the Old Faith and Pantheonism iconography led him to believe that the stone altar and dais that the portal temporarily sat upon was designed not merely to lead a congregation from, but to also protect and secure the area. The symbolic caskets on either side bore the silhouettes of protective knights, guarding the central stone dais. (Religion 22)

Aeron and Rumil were also able to determine that there were two auras overlapping the dais and the portal area. A moderate red and gray aura, and a faint purple aura.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 May 05, 2014
Nitram patted the griffon’s flank, “Nicely done, my young friend. Let’s rejoin the others.” Nitram stowed his bow and secured the light near his pack so he could still benefit from it’s glow. He searched the druas for anything of value before securing their weapons in their sheathes. Grabbing one boot of each druas, he dragged them back to the cathedral and whispered to his companions, “Serre got the other two. We’re coming back in. I’m the one with the light so don’t shoot me.” Once back, the ranger brought Shylent back near the others in the basement. He gave Serre some dried meat and asked him to watch over the still snoring barbarian before bringing all the other bodies together and searching them. Once the mages were able to determine if there was anything magical, and the valuable items (including weapons and armor) were removed, he hid the bodies in some bushes. that should cover most of the non-storyline actions we normally perform IC :) I’ll leave the closing of the portal to the experienced party members.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill May 05, 2014
Aeron conferred with Rumil in hush tones before addressing the party, " The orb sitting on the altar table is used to trap the souls of victims and create shadows." Aeron threw a sack over the orb so he could lift it off the pedastal without touching it. Aeron then continued, “The portal behind us is a dimensional doorway to the shadow lands. If we don’t close it soon the denizens will cross over from the shadow lands into the Veil of Shadow and will overrun the border to Aelvinwode.” Aeron worked with Rumil to decypher the glyphs in the stone around the portal and raising the jade staff he called forth the incantation to seal the portal.

SkidAce SkidAce May 05, 2014
(Spellcraft 32 + 2) The deciphering of glyphs and symbols etched and painted on the floor around the portal and the dais provided great insight into the working of the portal. But it did not provide the knowledge needed for sealing an active portal. It occurred to the two magic users that there were potentially many solutions, but the most likely to be available to them in the near term were finding the ritual used to open the portal and reversing it. Or casting Dispel Magic on the proper area.

(Knowledge gained from the runes will give you a + 5 to either of the methods listed above)

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 May 06, 2014
or you could set it on fire…or bash it

the_app the_app May 06, 2014
Rumil searched the area and the dead mage with the intent of finding something that would aid in the closing of the portal (cast Detect Magic) He wasn’t sure what he was looking for, but he would imagine anything that radiated the same colors had to be worthy of informing Aeron about. Having never seen Aeron going through the divination gestures, Rumil asked as he searched “Aeron, I understand not traditional or schooled magic and the use of books – but do you not divine?” As he continued his search Rumil would call out anything that radiated magic in the area, on the dead mage, or even on the sleeping and potentially dangerous captives. “I mean, I can read magic and have used a scroll during my defender training – but mages have always been curious to me, as you memorize and study from a book each night.” Rumil continues this small talk while he moves about quickly…hoping to prevent the very thing Aeron layed out – the release of the shadows into the light.

SkidAce SkidAce 7 days ago
As Aeron wielded the jade quarterstaff he felt a reservoir of untapped power within it ,power that could be tapped when casting spells. At the moment, how to unleash that power and the specifics of how it affected spells were unknown. The staff had three auras, a strong colorless aura, a moderate red aura, and a faint green aura.
(Unknown, ghost touch , + 1 magical weapon)

Prior to the attempt to close the portal, Rumil and Aeron had determined the auras and function of several of the shadow mage’s other possessions. (Ring of Force Shield , Periapt of Proof against Poison , and a Ring of Protection + 2 )

SkidAce SkidAce 7 days ago
After Blend had finished checking on the other prisoners, he noticed a pile of supplies in the northeastern corner of the chapel, about the same time that Rumil had worked his way over to that area and had discovered several sacks and a half size flat chest. A cloak lay across the chest.

Rumil noticed a faint purple aura on the top of the box faintly shining through the cloak.

xLucix xLucix 7 days ago
Frederick stirred, or stirred as much as one could being rendered completely immobile. While most would begin fervently panicking after having realized that they were bound, gagged, and then blindfolded (not that an unconscious man would be able to see anything), Frederick’s training allowed him to skip that rather dull bit of business to be able to survey the situation at hand.

There was an intense heat to the room, and the scent of fire on the air. Not knowing who, or what, had caused the fire, nor who the owners of the voices now occupying the room were, he decided to take action.

This action consisted of mumbled, polite, commands for assistance, and a thumping of his boots on the ground.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 7 days ago
Nitram grabbed the greatsword that he dropped before dragging the bodies to the others.

AFCop AFCop 7 days ago
Blend looked the bruteman in the eye and held his gaze long enough to cement an understanding between the two, before nodding silently and moving on. After ensuring Servantes was alive, he proceeded to release the prisoner mumbling for help and thumping his boots on the ground. He, however, did not give the newly freed individual the chance for conversation. The pile of supplies drew his attention and he moved over to them to see if there was anything useful to be found and more importantly, if they bore the mark of the infamous Harbor Freight. Finally he moved to the glowing, cloak covered chest. It intrigued him. It was probably trapped, something nasty. He meticulously inspected every inch of the cloaked chest, trying to determine the best way to uncover its secrets. “You better step back,” he said to the eladrin without taking his eyes off the chest.

SkidAce SkidAce 7 days ago
grimoire_book_cover_by_chariotofeagles-d677081.jpgBlend managed to disable the inscription placed on the flat top of the chest by peeling several inked letters off, removing a few of the little quartz gems that sparkled like punctuation, and basically destroying the meaning of whatever message had been inscribed on the surface. (Disable Device 28, success)

The lid of the chest was not locked and Blend was certain that there were no other traps located on or within the box. Inside the box was lined with fine fabric, and contained a large leather bound book.

the_app the_app 7 days ago
Rumil did as instructed – stepping back and hoping that Blend was successful in his attempt to access this box of secrets. As he receded, he stopped long enough to inspect the lettering that Blend was about to tinker with, hoping to recognize a glyph he had not yet seen. (Spellcraft and Read Magic to determine if it is a glyph of warding – even though Blend is successful at disabling, may be useful in the future…DC check depends on strength of glyph)

Not wanting to be too near to the box if Blend’s efforts proved less than optimal, Rumil moved back to where Aeron was standing, watching as he inspected the staff and looking at the newly found magical trinkets. His elven curiosity for magic was getting the best of him and he hoped that something would come to him about the portal while he stood there. Like most elves, he was a patient person and willing to allow the answers to come in due time. He unstrapped the blade early provided and added it to the stack of magical equipment, shaking his head “Such great and powerful treasures wielded by such dark hearted and misguided souls. Who could be supplying them with such resources?”

SkidAce SkidAce 7 days ago
Rumil noticed that Blend managed to disable the inscriptions by moving his hands underneath the cloak. This thwarted Rumil’s attempt to discern what they were. Which was fortuitous, considering that he was able to determine afterwards that the wardng was some type of explosive runes . (Spellcraft 24)

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 7 days ago
Aeron took a moment to process Acolyte Rumil’s divinations of the area and enchanted items in the vicinity. Lord Nitram may want the periapt protection from poison, after his most recent encounter with sleep arrows. The ring of shield is most useful to Rumil or Blend as it doesn’t interfer with arcane casting or stealthy endeavors. The Ring of Protection is useful to all of us as we are all lightly armored. The jade staff is of unknown purpose and who knows what Merchant Blend is fishing out that strongbox. Aeron whispered to Merchant Blend, “The dark elf wizards jade staff purpose is unclear. It may assist closing the portal, but there are no scrolls or glyphs here on the altar that describe the opening or closing ritual. Any parchments in the supply pile that may help close this gate to the Shadowland before we are overrun with shades and worse.” Aeron awaited Merchant Blend’s reply from his inspection of the chest’s contents…with ever a watchful eye on the open portal that loomed before them.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 7 days ago
Aeron continued, “If we can hold the area until morning I can memorize a spell that may disrupt the portal, but that is many hours from now…and there is no guarantee the spell would work. In the mean time I can provide a spell that will allow us to remain awake throughout the night, so that we are not caught unaware.”

xLucix xLucix 7 days ago
Having been released from his various bindings, Frederick started to thank the individual responsible, but he and his compatriots had already moved on to more interesting endeavors. Cracking his neck, back and hands, Frederick took the time to finally get a look at his surroundings.

And had to do a mental double-take.

It turned out that, albeit accidentally, he’d made it to exactly where he wanted to be. The blend of religious symbolism and architecture was still a wondrous sight to take in, only slightly marred by the dead bodies and shadowy portal-like orb.

Frederick shook his head as he began to explore, not wanting to bother the group with the sharp weapons and powerful magics. They may have been journeying heroes with a grand purpose, menacing mercenaries with cold gold at the heart of their endeavors, or the darkest souls to ever set foot in this dimension. None of it mattered at that moment to Frederick, who could feel his quest’s fruition at the tips of his fingers.

Also, if they were the biggest bads this side of Xar-Taken, he’d most likely already be dead. Or an undead servant.

Frederick muttered to himself, “Next time, I think I’ll take the scenic route. Still got all my bits, though, so let’s see what can be seen

the_app the_app 6 days ago
Rumil nodded in agreement with Aeron’s suggestion, further adding “Unless you have the ability to quickly scribe a scroll or happen to be carrying one along for dispelling such magic, our only recourse is to continue an exhaustive search of the area or stand watch until you can prepare the magic. It is, unfortunately, not something I am able to channel.” As he stated this, Rumil redoubled his efforts to search the dead druas, hoping to find a book, scrap of paper, or other hint as to the nature of this portal and how it could be undone. It seemed unlikely that the druas was able to do this without some form of guide – although not all guides were of this world. Rumil took note of the newly awakened prisoners and kept his guard up – although most seemed more grateful to be alive than eager to kill and loot their rescuers. He made a mental note “Next time we are home or in a town large enough to support a mage, we must pickup a scroll or three…” He then prayed under his breath “Lord Corellon, grant me the knowledge I seek to close this blight and prevent the suffering of so many who call these woods home.” The search continues…

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 6 days ago
As all the druas were dead Aeron cast a quick spell to change his robes back to gray and remove the Spider Bramble symbol(Prestidigitation) . He then cast a more complex spell upon the companions to allow them to remain on guard throughout the night (Keep Watch). While in vigil he helped collect the druas mundane armor and weapons and provide them to the freed prisoners. “The dark portal portal that stands before us is dangerous and must be closed. If any of you remember details of how the jade staff wizard opened the portal or if the wizard was a referencing a scroll or book to recite the complex ritual…please let us know.You are all freed to depart now or travel with us in the morning.”

AFCop AFCop 6 days ago
Blend stepped away from the chest revealing the large book inside. “Perhaps there is something inscribed on the pages of this tome that may instruct us on how to close the portal,” he said to the wizard. “It is safe to approach now.” He then proceeded to move to the pile of supplies to see if there was anything useful to be found.

SkidAce SkidAce 6 days ago
The title of the book that Blend and Rumil had found appeared to be written in Draconic, as assessed by Aeron.

Frederick’s exploration of the immediate area led him to conclude that the stone altar flanked by the caskets of knights would have been the most likely place for the Book of Kells to be displayed. Sadly, that space was occupied by a inky dark portal to somewhere else. The central stone dais where a pedestal for the altar or a pulpit would normally be was overly large, nearly as big as the caskets to either side. And unable to be inspected any closer with the portal in the way.

Rumil’s very thorough search of the dead druas mage type proved unhelpful. There seemed to be nothing of substance, or at least anything that would help on the dark elf body. There was a silver key, that presumably worked on the lock on the flat chest, which as Blend pointed out, had already been unlocked.

Hours passed in research and contemplation. Eventually all the prisoners, including Servantes and Shylent, shook off the lethargy of the druas poison and roused themselves up and about. Cragthor seemed to suffer no ill effects, and was pleased when Blend found his greataxe among the supplies. Servantes was also able to recover his gear, as was Frederick. The other two prisoners were more quiet and subdued, seeming to suffer more harshly from the ill effects of the poison. They took up the arms and armor that Aeron passed out, but were for the most part speechless. All agreed to stay with the group, at least until the morning.

Shylent seemed to pace back and forth, adjusting to the scale armor she found her self wearing, and looking around at the group (especially Aeron) suspiciously.

Blend had accomplished a perusal of the supplies and came to the conclusion that the druas did not live in this ruined building, they had just set up their camp their for their nefarious purposes, whatever they may be.

SkidAce SkidAce 6 days ago
08 Jannissary (Winter) 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
6am, Moonday

The night passed uneventfully, with whatever druas that remained in the area presumably declining to engage the group occupying the ruins.

The portal, ominously enough, had done nothing extraordinary over the course of the night. Except shimmer and flicker a bit.

(Aeron and Nitram recovered some strength, now – 2 and – 1 respectively)

the_app the_app 6 days ago
Hopefully before the night twitters away, Rumil will offer his lord’s benevolence to the party. “Those that are wounded and wishing a little respite, my lord Corellon may see fit to aid you. Only say the word and I will channel his breath.” As Rumil awaited anyone to accept – he surmised that this would lead to a sticky situation if one of the recipients followed an evil path – for Corellon’s breath healed those with goodness in their heart and harmed those will ill-will. Can use Heavenly Fire 6 times for 1d4+1 of healing, while holding my sword – more for show and also to honor Corellon.

SkidAce SkidAce 6 days ago
The two speechless prisoners seemed wounded and injured, perhaps the reason for their slow recovery.

It was easily apparent that Frederick was intrigued by the cathedral and the architecture. The reason however was not as apparent. (Sense Motive 6)

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 6 days ago
Nitram spoke quietly to Rumil, “I believe the Merchant is the only one of us who requires healing, but your Lord Corellon might need a fairly open mind to see fit to grant him aid. I would – in a heartbeat – if I could. But….” Looking around at the wounded captives, he added, “These men were mercenaries under the banner of the evil god Anshar. You can ask them, but I would not be surprised at the results.”

xLucix xLucix 6 days ago
Frederick, having looked around at as much of the immediate area as he could, now began to look closer at the portal. Since it was right about where the Book would have been placed in the sketch that he carried with him, he wondered if the Book of Kells might have been embued with some kind of powerful magics. After all, in the old days, everything was imbued with magic. Books, coffee tables, spoons, etc. He chuckled softly, remembering the tale of Miki and his enchanted broomsticks.

Fables aside, he looked within his mind’s catalogs to recall what he’d learned about portals, both practical and mythological

roll Knowledge Arcana and History, as well as Spellcraft. Any information is better than none at all lol.*

the_app the_app 5 days ago
Rumil was grateful for Nitram’s council. He certainly did not want to expose Blend to his lord’s holy light – and while the mercenaries may be wounded, knowing that they followed an evil god would surely anger Corellon – leading to pain, not relief. With that knowledge, however, Rumil remained vigilant and wary of the mercenaries – newly outfitted with weapons – and took up vigil with his back to a wall, keeping both the group and the portal in his sights. “Corellon, what trials I face in my endeavor to better serve you. Is the world outside of our eleven kingdom so far gone and so corrupt? Or have I managed to join the one party hell bent on finding and destroying evil where it festers? I know not your will, but I will serve you faithfully.”

As he finished his prayer, he took to cleaning his equipment, removed and returned the borrowed cloak from Blend, and when the discussion of the newly found magical items came up, merely stated “I take only what the group offers freely and without contest, nothing more. I am here to better myself with knowledge and experience, not riches and trinkets.” He checked one last time to ensure he did not have anything still on his person that wasn’t his – including the ghostly longsword, which he proffered to Shylent – the original intended recipient, had she not been unconscious from the poison.

SkidAce SkidAce 5 days ago
One at a time over the course of the night, the still injured prisoners approached Rumil to take him up on his offer. They may not have been the best natured folk, mercenaries and all, but they were not evil. One of them was polite and respectful, while the other, still polite, was slightly terse.

SkidAce SkidAce 5 days ago
Aeron, after a quick glance at the book’s title, pronounced it to be a copy of Je’grubs Manual of the Planes , a fundamental treatise of the layout of “reality”.

This copy had extra pages inserted into it after the section on the shadowlands.

the_app the_app 5 days ago
As the mercenaries approached Rumil, seeking his lord’s assistance, he informed them “My lord’s mercy is unlike that which is granted to a priest. Do not be startled and do not move – it will only complicate matters.” With that, he reached deep into himself and called forth the Heavenly FIre innate to his kind and aimed it at those seeking relief.
Hands.jpg

xLucix xLucix 5 days ago
Ooh, shiny

SkidAce SkidAce 4 days ago
“Nice”

08 Jannissary (Winter) 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
630am, Moonday

The prisoners were grateful, and somewhat awed by Rumil’s channeling of divine power (well at least one of them).

Frederick’s recollection of arcane portals came up a little short. (Arcana 11). sure there were plenty of stories, but facts he could leverage in this situation? Bupkis.

Historically however, he felt a little more confident. (Arcana 22) Although teleportation and gates were a lost art to the world, there were many stories of the Wensharians at the height of their power traveling between worlds. Such as the Ballad of Linck and the Demon. Considering that the veil of worlds was thin in this area, Aeron was probably correct, and that was a portal to the Shadowlands in front of them. The Travails of Despina spoke not only of shadows, but also ghosts.

As far as the mechanics of said portal, Frederick was stumped. (Spellcraft 13)

xLucix xLucix 4 days ago
Having realized that, yes, this was a portal to the Shadowlands in front of him, Frederick knew he had two choices.

Choice one; he could leave this area, hopefully find his way out of the evil forest filled with dark elves, thorns and a general lack of civilization. And probably die.

Choice two: Join the group of mercenaries/heroes/demons/all of the above that had freed him and blessed/conscripted the mercenaries. Possibly find the Book of Kells in the process, and gain the kinds of tales that even the legendary bard Kalls could have dreamed of. Additionally, not only court Death but marry Her, raise a family with Her, and grow old with Her watching the universe burn down.

Choice three: Let’s face it, death.

With this well and truly rationalized, Frederick approached them in a hesitantly-confident manner, and asked, “So, your fellowship seems to be missing a bard. I’m a bard. You’re also all really interesting, and I would be interested in your interesting interests. Might I join you?”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 4 days ago
“I’m sure there’s someone in our party who would love a bard to sing his tales….”

SkidAce SkidAce 3 days ago
Servantes turned to address Frederick, glancing up an down at the figure of the bard. It appeared he was assessing Frederick’s combat potential. There was a slight pause, and then Servantes very politely replied to Frederick’s question. “Mon amie, rest assured we will endeavor to ensure your safety and safe return to whence you came. As I am grateful for my rescue, I can only imagine the trepidation you face at this moment.” Servantes indicated the leadership of the group and then went to attend to others, helping straighten gear and pack equipment.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 3 days ago
Aeron translated the draconic manual of the planes to the party, “The Material World is the center. A ghostly spectral realm is called the Ethereal, and surrounds the world. You can travel to the Shadowlands or the Faerie Realm via the Ethereal. You can also travel to a higher state of being called the Astral Plane, or the Astral Sea, by starting on the Ethereal.” Aeron then attempted to use the manual to close the portal.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 3 days ago
Aeron opened the manual of the planes on the altar and turned to the extra section on the shadow lands, he then called over to Acolyte a
Rumil and the unnamed bard that was freed from the prisoners. “Gather round you who thirst for knowledge. In this tome is the secrets of traveling between planes of existence. Let us work together to unravel this mystery.”(use magic device or spellcraft with 2 aid others + 4)

the_app the_app 3 days ago
Rumil, ever intent on learning of the ethereal, his link to his ancestral past, moved to Aeron’s side. While he was no master of alternate planes, he had one thing going for him – long life, and with time came experience and knowledge. He aided his fellow elf determine the magical properties (spellcraft) and its inner workings (UMD check, if possible), calling on his long hours of learning from the elders.

SkidAce SkidAce 3 days ago
Aeron, Rumil, and Frederick all stepped forward to attempt the ritual to close the shadowlands portal. Aeron dictated the procedures, and set up the two other would be ritualists at the base of a triangle he inscribed on the floor with the arcane materials they discovered amongst the supplies. This was a complicated and intricate ritual, and would sadly use up nearly 2/3 of the supplies left the the druas mage. Aeron’s position was at the point of the triangle, closest to the portal.

As Aeron took point, Rumil and Frederick began to chant the counterpoints and rhythm to the incantation. Once they had successfully set up the opening forms of the ritual Rumil, aid another 10, Frederick aid another 22, total + 4 to Aeron) Aeron , book on display in front of him, began the main closing chants.

The first segment of the incantation did not go so well. The negative energy of the shadowlands fought back, wearying the ritualists and causing them to fear imminent failure. (Aeron Knowledge Arcana 22 versus DC 28, 1st failure)

(2 failures in a row mean total ritual failed and each ritualist gains 1 negative level)

After the initial setback, the group smoothed out their handling of the arcane energies channeled through Aeron, and slowly, over the course of the next fifty minutes, the portal began to close. (Aeron Knowledge Arcana 32, 39, 30, 33, 29)

Finally, with one last resounding utterance, the portal was shut, and it dissipated as if it had never existed. All three of the ritualist felt bruised and drained, and Rumil even had blood leaking out of his nose. (Aeron 6 damage, Frederick 4 damage, and Rumil 10 damage)

(need a 10 or higher to aid another in rituals, Rumil just made it.)

xLucix xLucix 3 days ago
Feeling as though he’d been ridden hard and hung up wet, but not wanting to have the company he currently kept have any reason to doubt his fortitude, Frederick smiled and said, “Well, that seems to be that. Though it was somewhat less dramatic than a few of the tales had described portal closing to be.

His brow furrowed as he contemplated this, then adding,“A good thing, that. Maddened animal skeletons trying to bite our limbs off would not have been helpful.”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 3 days ago
“I wonder if I should have tried to help. I wonder if I could have?" The ranger thought to himself. ’Bien fait, Aeron! And you too, Rumil and Frederick." Nitram gave the trio a few moments to catch their breath. It did seem to take a long time to complete the ritual. He tried to compare the duration to the time they dealt with the demon in the stone or the time in the tower. He concluded they were doing this too often and the trend seemed to be that they would continue.

Nitram looked around at the slightly ragged, yet growing in number, group, “So. What now? Do we want to head back to Farhills? Or maybe we could find the rest of the druas and deal with them? There’s a possibility that the remnants of the mercenary band are still out there too; Blend, we can try to find out why that lieutenant thought she knew you. I’m sure she’d be grateful if we were able to remove her from these woods. As always, I’m open to discussing any suggestions.”

the_app the_app 2 days ago
Rumil now fully understood why his elders insisted he avoid magics he did not understand. Unlike trained mages, channelers used themselves as the conduit for the art they called forth. Their very being was what granted them powers over the fabric of the magical weave. And closing this portal, this gateway to other realms with far darker magical strings to pull at his core…well, it was just too much. He saw the other two and knew they too had suffered, so he offered them his lord’s healing fire. He would not use it on himself, for he knew such an act would not be within his lord’s plan. He needed rest, but was not sure he could with the magic that Aeron had placed on the group earlier.

After he waited for the two to request healing, he excused himself from the group, grateful that the portal was closed and that the darkness from the other side couldn’t come through. “I must rest. I am afraid this was a bit beyond my knowledge, but one I will always remember now.”

SkidAce SkidAce 2 days ago
08 Jannissary (Winter) 509 PE (Year of the Ravens)
830am, Moonday

Servantes commented to Nitram that he didn’t think they would have much luck finding the forest dwellings of the druas, scattered and hidden as they likely were. He also feared the group would make easy targets (as was seen earlier) if they wandered the forest. It seemed to him that their goal here had been met.

AFCop AFCop 2 days ago
Blend surveyed the motley group with a slightly indifferent eye. Some of them, including the magic users, were not ready to travel. However, time was not a luxury they had. They needed to move and get clear of the ruins and forest before the druas regroup and mounted a counter-attack. There was also a mercenary group with a vendetta out there as well. Belnd was not so sure they would discriminate in their pursuit of vengeance.

“We need to get moving. It’s best if we can get clear of these woods before dark.” Blend looked expectantly at the rest of the group, waiting for them to start moving.

the_app the_app 2 days ago
Rumil was in no condition to travel – the portal closure ensured that – but he was not going to hold up the group, if he could avoid it. If only his teacher was here to summon an elven steed to ride. Rumil had not yet mastered the art of channeling his energy to call forth celestial creatures – but he longed for it now…

He leaned forward, not yet willing to get up, and awaited the group’s consensus on departing now, as Blend suggested.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill 2 days ago
Aeron wiped a bloody tear from his eye caused by the difficult start to the portal closing ritual. “Well done Acolyte Rumil” Aeron then turned to the bard, “Well met troubadour, your knowledge of arcane lore reflects well upon your guild. I eagerly await your introduction. Your presence will be a refreshing change to these dark circumstances that my companions and I repeatedly find ourselves mired.” Aeron then addressed Merchant Blend and Lord Nitram, “How badly do you want to know the jade staff wizards home location. I can cast the mapping spell upon his body to show us the location that holds his wealth, but it is a grizzly ritual that will damage his body and likely shock the released prisoners.” (If no one opposes, Aeron will cast Treasure Map upon the jade staff wizard. Spinkling rare ungents upon his back and chanting in dark forgotten arcane words until a map to his hidden wealth appears on his back. Aeron will then copy it over on a scroll and present the case to the party…pursue the wizards lair, or flee back to Aelvinwode.)

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 2 days ago
Nitram looked at the released prisoners doubtfully. “It might not hurt to have a map to that location, but I’m not sure we are ready to engage it at this time…under our current circumstances. It’s most likely near the druas’ home, and it may be a little more difficult to conquer that area.”

SkidAce SkidAce 2 days ago
Servantes is not sure what Aeron meant by “grizzly ritual” but will not interfere initially, waiting to see what Nitram and Blend decide.

xLucix xLucix 2 days ago
Frederick tilted his head in respect to Aeron.

Thank you, sir. I look forward to being of use to your group. My name is Frederick Loresinger, and I am a Bard of the Varencic Scholars.

AFCop AFCop 2 days ago
“Perhaps another time. Now do you have a spell that shows us the fastest way out of here?”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 2 days ago
“Well met, Frederick Loresinger.” the ranger shook hands with the bard. “I am Nitram Tam, most recently of Farhills. We’ll do our best to keep you alive until we can escape these dark woods.”

xLucix xLucix 2 days ago
Shaking hands with NItram, Frederick smiled and said, “I appreciate that, though I will do my best to be useful. I certainly didn’t expect to end up in these woods, though I had expected some degree of trouble on this quest of mine.”

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 2 days ago
“Ah, and what quest is that?” replied the ranger, surprised that the loquacious bard was on a quest to these woods, but not so surprised that they found him a prisoner. “I wonder if he knew what he was getting into in these woods?” he thought to himself, nearly asking him.

Nitram attempted to determine the best way out of the woods for the entire party, conversing with the others about the map that got them here survival check to determine how far into the woods they went and the shortest path to the edge; hopefully aid another with the discussion of the previous map that I thought we had to get here. He asked the sprite for a little assistance know direction to determine true north Once Nitram had an idea of the shortest route out of the woods, he picked an object on the horizon to navigate by. assuming while this is going on, Aeron is getting his treasure map
Once everyone was ready to depart, Nitram pointed to the navigation object and let Blend lead the way.

ProfessorHill ProfessorHill a day ago
Aeron performed the ritual on the jade staff wizard. After long incantations, incense burning , and tracing sigils in smoke…a map appeared on the body of the fallen druas. Aeron copied it down onto a piece of paechment and revealed it to the companions. Aeron addressed the group, “I think we can infiltrate the druas capital under cover of daylight and discover why they are trying to open a portal to the shadow plane. Perhaps they are trying to escape the encroachment of Spider Bramble…or perhaps they are summoning denizens of the shadow plane for mutual assured destruction. If all goes poorly, I will cast the flying spell on Lord Nitram…he is immune to their poison because of the magic brooch and is the only one strong enough to lift us all to freedom. What say you?”

AFCop AFCop a day ago
“I say we retrace our steps to the wall, climb back over and then retrace our steps out of here. I think the ranger has enough skill to make sure we don’t get lost. Why are we even entertaining anything else? Let’s go.” Blend’s voice may have even risen slightly at the end of his statement, perhaps a rare sign he was getting agitated. He started making his way to the wall.

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 a day ago
“Thanks for the vote of confidence.” thought the ranger.

SkidAce SkidAce 17 hours ago
The map revealed the location of the jade staff wizard’s greatest treasure. (Technically it could have been right here (staff and orb) but that felt cheesy so I rolled randomly)

The piece of skin removed from the druas’ back revealed the forest area the party was currently in. Nitram was able to point out to Aeron the routes of travel that they had used to reach the ruins, and also could indicate where the path cleared by the pipes should be.

In the northeastern portion of the skin map was a large “X”, which appeared to be a secluded hillside valley along a ridge line.

Druas_Forest_Vicinity_02.png

SkidAce SkidAce 17 hours ago
Nitram felt, along with Shylent that the best route was back to the edge of the ruins and the wall, where on the other side the path that the pipes had made was presumably still there. After following that path, they should intersect with the eastern branch of the narrow path that the mercenaries had attempted to create, which would lead them most of the way out.

Assuming that there wasn’t another wizard capable of manipulating plants and thorns on a grand scale as the one you just killed.

SkidAce SkidAce 17 hours ago
Shylent was not in favor of traveling directly to the southwest through the dense and difficult terrain, and pointedly picked up a clump of the tough thorn vines, dropping them in front of Nitram and looking at him expectantly.

When Blend uttered his statement, Shylent blinked and turned to look at him quizzically. She then marched over next to him and and crossed her arms, nodding once.

SkidAce SkidAce 17 hours ago
Nitram’s sprite emerged from the amulet and pointed north , zipping back and forth a little in that direction to ensure he got the idea.

(top of the map)

mmartin_10 mmartin_10 16 hours ago
Nitram smiled, “Point taken, Shylent. I guess we’re going to retrace our steps and once we’re out of the woods – literally and figuratively – we can regroup and decide where to go.” “It looks like we may be able to circle around the outside of the woods to get to the ‘treasure’. Easier than going through.” Nitram followed Blend to the wall, waiting to see if anyone needed assistance in getting back over it. After gesturing to Serre, the young griffon leapt into the air and glided for about fifty feet before hopping off the ground again. He seemed fairly relaxed, given what had just occurred, but his eyes continued to scan their surrounding.

AFCop AFCop 15 hours ago
Blend climb the wall as he did before secured a rope and extended it down, keeping an eye out along the expanse of the ruins and forest alike as the group scaled the wall.

xLucix xLucix 14 hours ago
Frederick recited the tale of Baldrock the Swift, a somewhat unknown story of the second thief to steal the fire from the gods, as he climbed.

Shadows of the Mercenary Part 7

Unconquered Kingdoms SkidAce