Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:29 pm

"Right, right." Merick tried not to stare at the stain of blood that still remained on Torvus' chest, even after the elf had taken great pains to wash it out. He gulped involuntarily when he thought back to the monster and how it tore through Eadwine and Torvus. That horse couldn't even be called a horse after what that undead monster did to it. The fact that the creature had still managed to slink away after Adrysse had zapped it was worrying. If there were any more of those things, a lot of people were going to die.

He shook his head to concentrate his thoughts. "I'm doing fine, Torvy. Doing fine." He nodded at the archers before leaning in towards Torvus' ear and whispering, "What do ya reckon? You think they're going to be okay? Do you think we're going to be okay? I don't like our chances to be honest and I've been looking for a way to get out of here if everything goes to shit. I heard somethin' about a place called Coward's Reach and I was wonderin' if you'd heard anything about it." Merick stepped back from Torvus and looked at his eyes intently. He could never tell what was going on in an elf's head; their eyes were so vibrant that it was like an entire world transpired just in their minds. It made understanding them so damn hard. "So, you heard anything?"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:16 pm

*************************** In Honour Siege Works ********************************

Forza leaned back slightly in his bobbing his head from side to side. He scrunched his face slightly as if he had just licked a lemon and let out a neutral monotone hum as he contemplated the answer. “Mmmmm, no… But I’m sure at least one of the dead old white guys I mentioned would agree with you. It an important aspect of the craft to be sure, but observation is arguably important in any activity, so well go ahead and lump that in with ‘common sense’.”

Forza lead forward and started Eadwine in the eye, to ensure he understood the importance of the final law of Alchemy. “Number four is ‘Us’ Eadwine… We are the single constant in every experiment, in every extraction and fusion. The origins we choose, the conditions we choose to work with, the dose was choose to use and so on. Through us catalysts can be held constant, exasperated, extrapolated, ignored, and extinguished and so on. You need to understand that the decisions you make and the way you apply your self during the Alchemy process will directly affect the outcome. Every Alchemist is different Eadwine. In short there are many paths to the same result. Two and two make four, but so does one and three, four and zero… You understand? If you…”

At that moment a ebony skinned Warden stepped into view. The sides of her head were shaved closely with only a wide strip of her hair in the middle platted in corn rows and tied back with leather. She was holding a scroll and had and air of self-awarded authority. Eadwine could see she was an Ashe. There were few of their people this far north, but it wasn’t unheard of.

“Forza, Adeline asked me to find you. Are you busy?”

Forza looked sideways are Marjani. Even to Eadwine it was obvious he was annoyed. “No Marjani, im not busy. I’ve only got twenty battle cannons to recommission in four days, what can I do for you?”

If was painfully obvious to the Ghenraen scholar that Forza was being sarcastic to his comrade. Even if the novice Alchemist wasn’t aware of the sheer amount of work ahead of them, in addition to Forza schooling the ginger apprentice, it would have been obvious the job was incredibly time consuming. The dark maiden’s response however shocked Eadwine however. IF it was not delivered with such conviction and sincerity, he might have thought it was an attempt at a joke. “Oh good! Adeline said she wanted every Warden equipped with at least two Lazarin potions and a cluster orb, two orbs if possible in fact. Gaylia said that the supply stocks must be kept in check, so you must give her a report on use and expenditure, the usual papers, you know the drill there. There is a report of several plague victims in the Northwatch Hospice, so they want you to take a look and deliver a report on recommended action as soon as possible. In addition, our resident Wonders’ Consortium member Desenia has requested you prepare the components she’ll need for the listed rituals on these scrolls.”

Forza’s brow tightened along with his upper lip and tone. “Is that all?”

Oblivious, Marjani checked over the request scrolls, restating the short version of each again ending her revision with. “No, that seems to be all of it. We might have had more for you to do, be everyone else seems to be a bit too busy: Just report to each of them when you’ve completed the jobs.”

Forza rolled his eyes and let out a sigh. He stood up and walked over to the Ashe reporter and collected the documents, muttering a concise response as he did. “Yep…”

He walked past Eadwine over to a free bench and unravelled the scrolls and parchments. Just as he had done when Eadwine informed Forza that he had little to no recollection of his Alchemy studies and experience in the field: Forza crossed his arms and rubbed at his face and neck, sharply inhaling through his nose, protesting in aggravated silence.

“Ah… is there…” Eadwine awkwardly began before he was cut off.

“Find Padrig and Marcel. Help them with the siege prep… Class is over for today. Knock off when they do. A Novice is no use to me tired and confused.”

Eadwine slowly climbed to his feet from the chair he was perched on. Sitting, even for a period as short as this did not do his knee (or lack thereof) any good. As he orientated himself, Forza spoke again. “Here, a sip of this after each meal.” Forza tossed his new student a tin flask. Eadwine looked at him accusingly. “It’s not alcohol, so don’t look at me like that you sheltered twit. It’s a remedy for the pain. It’ll take the edge off. Mind you, only use it if necessary: Most who don’t come to rely on the stuff. My blend’s origins don’t make that truth any less of a risk either.”

As Eadwine left he could here Forza muttering. “ I have forty-six in stores so id need to another fifty, Lazarin… thirty per foundation… twenty seven seconds on the extractions… then there’s the distillation… I can use the excess as a fusion catalyst…another fifty orbs… I need time to mould my rounds… eternal light…**!!@!!”

**************************** In Vigilance Tower ****************************

Sir Bellemy listened to Thorgrim. The aged dwarf had not said anything he didn’t already know. The dwarf was pushing for an aggressive defence. His proposals were already in place, though where he proposed cannons should be stationed, Bellemy had positioned his Ballista. The deployment of cannons in itself was an optimistic decision at best. Bellemy had few men capable of manning the cannons effectively. Moreover a single cannon required a six man firing team, and an entire gun line added three additional men for every two teams. This was a concept that paled against the Ballista which only required three to four men and only another two men for every two teams. Cannon munitions were also dangerous, and more so in the hands of inexperienced farmers. There was a potential for the defences to damage themselves mid battle before the enemy even breeched. Of course this was all pure speculation as the cannons were deemed beyond the scope of this siege as they were all suspended from service during the fall of the frosts. Still, it was good to know that the dwarf had the same logic and tactical skill as he. Despite his internalised grievances, the dwarf did arrive at the same conclusion. The old Knight hoped it was a demonstration of experiences and not thoughtless plagiarism.

“…How do we kill a Lich?”

Bellemy felt the meeting moving on prematurely. “I’m sorry Thorgrim, while it is appropriate for us to address such a matter, your stratergy as sound as it is, relies heavily on the battle cannons of Northwatch operating at full capacity. Unfortunately this is simply not the case. The lack of gunsmiths available to me, compounded by the frosts have rendered the cannons more dangerous than useful in these conditions, especially in the hands of non-proficient handlers. This is precisely why the defences have been…” Bellemy went to continue his reasoning, but paused when Commander Hothgar raise a hand with a smile.

“Actually Sir Bellemy, within my company is an accomplished Alchemist and gunsmith, Forza Fernetti. He completed his apprenticeship and alchemist levels under the inventor of the Warwheel Organ Cannons, six of which we have brought here in service to your cause. In addition, I am fully confident in Forza’s ability to recommission at least half of your cannons. A task he is already working on I’m sure. To offer reason in the face of two similar tactics, Thorgrim is right. We will lose courage. It’s not the question of when that we must ask, it is the how that we must focus on. Maintain your set defences on courage, and move your Ballista along Honour to Vigilance. Replace them with the recommissioned cannons. The Ballista will provide accurate heavy support to the cannon line and aid in their protection from threats. That said, the front line is not a token defence for show. The effort we make there will directly result in our success or our annihilation. The Wardens, with the exception of my cannoneers will join the courage defence and will hold the line when were withdraw to Honour. As for your Necromancer….”

The Commander flicked through the leather pages of his tome after he had finished. The Knight seemed to agree with the Warden’s proposed course of action, which he indicated to the others by nodding quietly. The Knight looked to Thorgrim, knowing that the dwarf had a point to make, he like all others the old warrior had met, would make one. Taking the opportunity while the Warden searched his pages, Sir Bellemy addressed Thorgrim's concern. "Coward's reach is gated at both sides and only Ghenraen officials know the exist's exact location. Even then, it is near impossible to breach a gate on a mountain side, and during winter they would, if they found it at all, cause an avalanche. However, i will not be the one to expose my defense to risk however small. Ill have Casandra scout the path and determine its security. She is the only proficient scout i have left and available. Do any of you have people able to aid her if we are to ensure test the security of Coward's Reach?"

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:51 am

Eadwine skulked out of the building angrily, pocketing the alchemist's concoction. He was furious with the Florin's incessant stream of condescending remarks, and now with his dismissal of Eadwine. Eadwine did not normally think of himself as egotistical, but now he was forced to admit that it rankled when people judged him incompetent in areas which he thought himself capable. That realisation rankled too.

He stumped along the battlement until he found Padrig and Marcel, then blankly followed their orders for the rest of the afternoon. All the while he was becoming more and more despondent. Marcel, who was wiry and tall but still quite young, tried to strike up conversation many times, but Eadwine kept rebuffing him until the apprentice gave up. Padrig too eventually just stuck to giving instructions. Together, they stacked ammunition, prepared cannon charges, shifted ballistae ammunition, stacked cannon balls, and so on; whatever needed doing.

During their afternoon break Eadwine looked angrily out of the small window towards the town on the edge of the lake. He had nearly lost his life out there, again. It was becoming too common an occurence.

Why was he here anyway? Blasted Forza! Eadwine was the best equipped to help the blasted foreign alchemist in the entire fortress of North Watch, and here he was, stacking cannon balls. It wasn't that Eadwine thought Padrig and Marcel beneath him; it was just that Eadwine had alchemy training but not seige weaponry training. Let one of the other untrained people here help Padrig.

Eventually the anger gave way to the black pit of self-questioning. Eadwine began to wonder if he was in fact a total failure. He had failed to be of worth to his family business, failed in his alchemical studies, failed to fight in the war he was drafted for, failed to protect his family, failed to use his brain during the fight back at the sawmill, and then failed to even remember a shred of his training when pressed! He thought of Charlotte and realised he had even failed at romance. Was there nothing he could do correctly?

This dark stew of self-pity mixed with his anger and simmered behind his mask for the rest of the afternoon. Eventually it boiled over, becoming a bubbling broth of self-loathing and fury. The latter centred on the Florin and his continual undermining of Eadwine's sense of worth. In a way, Eadwine came to blame the older alchemist for all of his current feelings of failure.

This poisonous mixture of feelings lead Eadwine to wonder how Milburga had ever been Forza's apprentice. Suddenly, as he was chewing over the bitter thought, Eadwine had a realisation. It doused the fiery rage he felt, and by knock-off time he felt much cheerier. He formulated a plan.

Eadwine apologised to Padrig and Marcel for his sour conduct, then followed them to the mess, where he picked up enough food for him and Forza. The young scholar then returned to the siege hall, precariously balancing two plates and cups.

Forza was busily scurrying around the hall and consulting scribbles on pieces of parchment and that strange little writing tablet of his. Eadwine stepped in, feeling somewhat defiant and somewhat confrontational. If he could demonstrate that he'd learnt some things, maybe Forza would let him help. Eadwine tried not to get too hopeful though, despite the rising bubble of anticipation.

He stood as tall as he could and walked across to a bench up against the wall. Setting down the meal with a clunk, Eadwine turned to Forza.

"Step one," he said in what he hoped was an unyielding voice. "Identify your known and unknown variables." He gave a pause, and hoped that Forza would catch on.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:55 pm

It was late in the afternoon and the First Alchemist had reached the summit of his calculations. A task made more difficult, as the extract origins varied as his stocks were consumed. Forza was now hunched over one of the workbenches with quill in hand: He was scrawling down the components and their quantities he planned to use over the next four days, provided no other requests were made. As he scratched away at the parchment with his black tipped feather a voice called out from behind. It was strained, but polite. “Step One… Identify your known and Unknown Variables”

Forza finished the line he was scribing and place the feather down before turning to face the student, still aloft his work stool. “Lesson two is not until tomorrow lad… But at least you haven’t forgotten everything.”

Eadwine chose to maintain his posture and tactful demeanour, holding out a meal as the temporary mentor stepped down from his stool. Forza wondered across to the masked youth before him and took the offering. “This was thoughtful” he said as he took a seat at a table, free of papers and alchemy tools. Forza put his feet up on the table facing the chalked mural of calculations, and spooned at the stew and rye brick now cradled in his lap. “Well take a seat Cap and finished your recital…”

Eadwine still channelling his diplomatic demeanour approached the table and took a seat. “Step Two, Identify how to find the latter…” Eadwine glanced at the Florin. The damned man seemed distracted, and Eadwine felt his angry bubbling again. “Step Three, Implement a plan” This time Forza bowed his head slightly in vague acknowledgment before taking in a mouthful of stew. “Step Four, Continually re-adjust as necessary.”

“Well that is encouraging…” The Silver warden stated calmly, his attention still on the panelled boards across from them. “But can you apply process? A man from any walk of life can recite a set of rules given the time to memorise them. Only in application do the rules mean something.” Forza still had not looked away from the board. He seemed to be scouring it for a fault that was not there. The cogs in Eadwine’s mind began to churn out thoughts and ideas. After a few awkward moments Forza glanced over to confirm his student was engaging the task: seeing Ghenraen consumed in thought gave the mentor some small confidence. The man wanted to learn, which was half the battle when too came to teaching. It was a shame the mentor appeared in circumstances of great duress. After a few moments Forza could see the lad was still deciding upon an adequate scenario. So Forza prompted him with an open question. “What was it like along the ramparts with the siege smiths and labourers?”

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Mon Jun 13, 2016 1:24 pm

Feeling torn for a moment Torvus looked around at the keep and then back to Merick, "No, I haven't heard anything, not yet anyway." With a shiver running down his spine and the weight of the last few weeks feeling like it might catch up to him, Torvus felt tired and not just physically. "You know it's times like this I wonder why I didn't stay in the woods, maybe head south for warmer weather. Come on, lets go get some food." Torvus gestured for Merick to follow and called to the wall to keep up the training.

Trovus wanted to keep moving to limit what anyone might overhear, he was sure that with morale as fragile as it was that overhearing the wrong thing could break someone. Speaking clearly he began "The farmers-archers, the Alaar-cuar are doing well; they've improved faster than just about anyone i've seen." A little more quietly he continued "Of course an undead army leaving no chance of escape will do that. They'll do their job well, which is to put as many arrows into the dead as they can before they die." Drawing closer to a crowd Torvus perked up again "Yes, my Alaar-cuar have come very far, of course they're not as good a shot as I am but what do you expect? The Vantesian military would be proud to have them in their ranks though."

Nodding to the provisioner Torvus took a small loaf of bread and hunk of cheese, splitting the modest meal with Merick as he ducked around a corner. "So it has occured to me that even without a leader an army of the dead is probably still dangerous. After we take care of the leader we may still need to get out, and while we're risking our lives on an impossible task, I don't want to die, especially after we succeed." Torvus pulled out a small, almost empty bottle of liquer that had been discreetly appropriated from a church, after the warband had cleared it of greenskins and then their risen dead. Taking a hearty swig he handed the bottle off to Merick to finish "Should have grabbed more of that, no one would have missed it, not since the temple fell anyway." Taking a moment to rub the stiffness out of his shoulder Torvus thought aloud "So Cowards Reach, probably shouldn't say that too loud, Nandor Alumen is what? A back door? A tunnel? Maybe a mine shaft? If this place were more elven then I'd guess it would be on one of the sides, hidden or disguised well. Maybe if it were dwarven it would go underground into tunnels, but for humans who knows? I think humans don't think vertically, they don't climb or dig like others, they just walk and anything in their way they move," Gesturing upwards to the north "Even mountains." Taking back the now empty bottle Torvus stashed it in his bag "Eat some cheese, these military types don't like it when their people drink." Finishing off the bread and cheese he continued "I think you should check the back of the fort, maybe in the towers, maybe not. But it's a good idea, talk to the others and make sure they're ready to pull back when the time comes. Careful how you bring it up with Thorgrim though, don't make it sound like a retreat, remind him that his people need him to fight Calen Helma, sorry Green Skins."

After finishing the conversation Torvus took a moment to compose himself, tried on a wry grin much like his brother, or like he used to, and returned to the wall "Shoot straight my Alaar-cuar! Yes, that is you, that is the name of Elven trained, Human archers! In your years to come you can boast that you have learnt techniques rarely seen outside of the Elven lands!" As he walked the wall and prepared for the next trip to retreive arrows, Torvus hoped that if anyone in earshot could speak elven that they wouldn't correct him or explain that Alaar-cuar was essentially just Farmer-archers.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:36 pm

As they began the slow descent down from the top of the wall, Merick listened and nodded as Torvus lavished praise onto the farmers and their archery. He felt encouraged by Torvus' words but that small ray of hope was dulled by the elf's quiet aside about their seemingly insurmountable odds. Merick glanced at the faces of the people that they passed as they walked down the stairs of the tower and his mood wasn't exactly improved. There was a distinct gloomy look that everyone seemed to share about the future although a few people looked almost cheery. No doubt happy about the arrival of the Wardens, Merick thought to himself.

Merick accepted the cheese and bread that Torvus offered and he cautiously licked the small wedge of cheese. It was salty and a little too squishy for his liking but he thanked Torvus nonetheless for his kindness as he followed him to a quiet corner. He munched on the food as he listened to Torvus' thoughts on the undead and the necromancer. Frankly, Merick had barely thought of what to do if he came face to face with the necromancer. He was pretty sure that his sword would do bugger all to the thing as the bastards refused to stay dead. That was Adrysse's problem.

"What's this?" Merick almost dropped his half-eaten hunk of bread when Torvus pulled out the bottle of alcohol. "I didn't think you'd be one to keep a spare drink on hand Torvy. Didn't think you were a thief either. Anyway, cheers!" After Torvus had taken his drink, Merick raised the bottle in toast and proceeded to down the remaining liquid. It was a strong brew, that was for certain. Definitely not what he thought Torvus was accustomed to drinking. Merick finished the bottle quickly and passed it back to Torvus after the elf had explained what he'd thought of Coward's Reach. A tunnel did make a fair bit of sense. After all, backing a castle such as North Watch into a mountain with no way to retreat would be darn near suicidal. "Always good to hear your thoughts Torvus. I'll look into it and try poking around towards the back wall and see if anything is around there. Seems to be the most sensible place and I doubt humans are stubborn enough to believe they'll fly into the sky if they get trapped." He poked his tongue out in jest but Torvus did not seem to be in a very joking mood. "I'll try and talk to everyone if I find anything."

Merick watched Torvus begin the long climb back to the top of the wall while he finished off the rest of his meal. The rear area of North Watch was more heavily guarded than the rest of the castle and Merick figured they wouldn't take kindly to him snooping around the place. He'd have to be careful. After scoffing down the last bit of cheese, he pushed out of the small corner into the hustle of soldiers, militia, and ragtag farmers getting ready for battle. It reminded him of Rochford in a way, although there were no dwarves around here. Well, none that he'd seen aside from Thorgrim and the old man didn't count. While everyone else was getting ready to fight, Merick was getting ready to run. He'd had enough of fighting monsters and creatures that could kill him and everyone else he knew sooner than he could piss himself.

He began walking at a leisurely pace towards the main tower that they'd been taken to when they'd first arrived in North Watch. Hopefully with everyone being so busy preparing for battle, few people would care about one vagabond skulking around parts of the castle. And with winter night falling soon, perhaps it would be even better to skulk around in the dark. Still, no reason to arouse suspicion and Merick proceeded to not cause any fuss whatsoever as he passed into the inner area of the castle. While the guards were tight lipped about this Coward's Reach, the mere rumour itself meant something must exist and Merick swore he would find it.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:16 pm

Thinking back on the conversation with Merick, Torvus hoped he hadn't spooked the mercenary with his honesty. Torvus' father had taught him a sort of practicality, one which he took to heart in ways maybe unintended. His mother however tried to teach him that his pragmatism wouldn't always be understood, directness could be taken for rudeness, and being sensible about your limitations might be seen as defeatist or at worst, cowardice. Torvus was none of those things, but he saw no reason to be blind in optimism, or ruthless in self reliance; in other words: be confident but have a plan to escape, and take care of yourself first but not at the expense of others.

And a thief!? Perish the thought! Torvus smiled to himself, he didn't think of himself as a thief he was just a mercenary. People lost that church to greenskins, it didn't belong to them anymore, not until they took it back or we did on their behalf. Sure they paid us for the heads, but they'd have paid that even if the heads were collected in the woods. It's not like he robbed the place, he just claimed a small reward for a job well done.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:17 pm

The sudden twist in the conversation threw Eadwine, so he answered with the first thing that sprang to mind. "Cold," he said simply. There was a short pause, during which he flushed a little behind his mask and tried to dissect the Florin's question. At least Forza was being civil now...

'What was it like along the ramparts with the siege smiths and labourers?'

Eadwine decided to pick out the key words. Forza had asked about the ramparts, and he had singled out the siege smiths and labourers as topics of importance. He'd also asked what it was like, which Eadwine supposed meant that he should assess the environment in general (that being the first of Forza's Four Laws, or so Eadwine reasoned). What were the other three again? Oh yeah: extraction, dose and 'us'. The young apprentice tried to not get sour again at the memory of the last one...

"Cold and windy," Eadwine continued after a moment. Forza continued eating. "The wind gusted fairly fiercely at times, which could make it quite difficult to aim a projectile weapon with any accuracy. I sincerely hope there is no rain or sleet in the next few days, because the resulting frost would cause absolute havoc out there. Snow at least may be removed without too much difficulty, save if a blizzard descends upon us."
"The apprentices and siege smiths work well together. Each knows how to run their engines, it seems. They've obviously given some thought to how to store munitions and powder; not such a problem for ballistae, but harder for the cannons. It seems they've set up alcoves every fifty yards or so in which supplies can be stored out of the elements. The powder that they have has been wadded into paper cartridges.
"Everyone else on the battlements---including me---was unskilled, but they followed the directions of the smiths. They're on edge but not panicked, and the fact that they can do something concrete to defend themselves seems to give them a measure of peace."

He paused again, wondering if this was an observation that he'd made of outsiders or if he had really begun speaking in third person.

"I didn't see anybody fire a weapon, but there seemed to be crews training on the ballistae. There looks to be around ten men per weapon---difficult to tell---and only one or two of those giving orders. Speaking of which, it was about impossible to hear anyone speaking from more than about fifty paces away."

Eadwine felt a growing kind of realisation: Forza hadn't dismissed him entirely. In fact, the crafty Florin had used this as a training exercise. Eadwine didn't know if he was happy or frustrated by this. Why not just say as much?

"As for the cannons; if they stop firing for long and then restart I fear they may crack under the differential thermal expansion." There, that sounded intelligent, didn't it?

Another pause.

"You were using me as a scout, weren't you?" he asked Forza in a guarded voice.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Fabulous on Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:06 pm

As Thorgrim, Sir Bellamy and Commander Hothgar discussed their tactics and strategies, Adrysse became more irritated and distressed as more time passed; if she was just going to get ignored than there was better things she could be doing. The priestess began to pace the room as the men continued talking between themselves.

"I get asked to come along to tactical talks just to be ignored, no one asks for my opinion or what I think, no one listens to my questions. Ugh. Why bother to ask someone along if you don't actually want them there. I have better things to be doing than standing here like a statue.
Those plague victims and the nurses at the hospice are relying on me to find some sort of cure. I need to talk to Eadwine about some sort of alchemical cure, and it'd be a better use of my time."

Rolling her eyes at her irritation towards the men, she remembered something that Hothgar had mentioned. Even though he was annoying, he had been helpful and the priestess was glad she had stayed silent and listened in on their conversations. He had mentioned that he had brought an alchemist with him, some guy by the name of 'Forza'.

"Maybe he could be of some help too."

Instead of letting the frustration towards the three men get to her any more, Adrysse swiftly and quietly left the room to go search for Eadwine and this 'Forza' guy to discuss a solution for the suffering plague victims.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:17 pm



Thorgrim nodded “Aye, Torvus the elf is my scout, he was the one to spot Cassandra in the field. Tho anything they can know about those wraiths to protect themselves before they go would be wise.”

Thorgrim saw that the Warden was going to be some time, so continued to talk to the commander about the siege itself.

“What else has already been set up? I’d not want to waste the day suggesting what has already been done, But to know the full scope is paramount between us three, if we are to insure a proper defence.”


Sir Bellemy seemed to agree. “Alright Master Dwarf.” The Commander began to indicate the various markers and tokens amidst the battle map. The map was made up of a to scale model of the fort, going from the mountain above the fortress to just beyond the town before it.

The commander wasted little time in reiterating the defences as they stood, and the situation at hand. As he did Thorgrim began to place down red pins in various locations. “Matters to be tended too” he explained. The hospital, siegeworks and secondary gate were prominent amongst those places marked. And Thorgrim was also able to ask questions as they processed, removing many markers after going into detail on the specifics of the defences.

Seeing that Hothgar was scrutinising his tome still, Sir Bellemy continued on the finer details of perperations. “We’ve gathered every spare brick, rock, pot or anything else of weight we can throw off the wall. We’ve even got loose bags filled with rubble and the children are working to melt snow into bricks of ice.”

Thorgrim nodded. “Ice, wise to use the weather. Might be onto something there too.. In this weather we could well coat the upper lip of the walls with brittle ice, Make it that much harder for the Ghouls to scale the walls. We shall have to rely on the siege weapons for the towers, so keeping them fully manned, at least for an opening salvo, before relocating the defenders to best counter the enemy’s formation would be the given plan then?”

“Yes it would.” Bellemy replied. “We’ve also placed pronged pikes along the wall to account for ladders, tools to break ladder hooks will be brought up come the fight, for now they are needed.”

“What about weather?” the dwarf continued.

“We have horns and banners, tho only the actual garrison is familiar with their use.” Hothgar took a moment from his studies to throw a glance towards the Knight, an unspoken conversation passing between the two old comrades, “And of course the Wardens.” Bellemy added “My officers will need to act as guides to the rest of the defenders, And other than that we have bundles of fire arrows in each tower to light up targets for the second wall, in the event we are attacked at night. The mountain covers us from the brunt of any major weather, rain might have been a problem, but we are shielded from the brunt of even blizzards.”

“Aye, the fortress is well placed. Good. We must assume that they will use such things, Let us hope their magic is not strong enough to make their own…”

The conversation drifted to supply lines and caches, munitions and stocks of food, the latter straining but the least of their troubles. Until they knew what the alchemists could provide, there was little more planning that could be done for the battle strategy, And the conversation was about to move on to how to deal with the wounded, medical supplies and stations when the Commanders noticed the Priestess sneak purposefully out.




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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:50 pm

******************* The previous night, deep in Maple Harrow ***********************

The dwarf's eyes were closed and his nose tilted skyward. Dorn sniffed the air; it was crisp and cold, but thick with the foreboding stench of death. The Slayer gripped his great axe and narrowed his eyes, his nostrils flaring as a malicious grin slowly formed upon his lips. The red maned slayer could feel his battle lust swelling, his adrenaline poised to unleash an unparalleled euphoria one could only experience when goading death.

Wylliam’s steps were betrayed by the crunch of new snow beneath each stride. The Drake came to halt as he reached Dorn; the two of them now gazing at the ruined temple some hundred metres away at the summit of a hill. Wylliam took the opportunity born of the brief pause to dust the forest debris from his heavy wolf fur cloak. Dorn had set a near relentless pace after having been caged in Blackwell for so long, which was reasonable, until they had had to leave the horses and make their way through the Harrow Woods on foot.

Wylliam shook the last of the twigs and bark from himself, analysing the ruined structure before them. The gothic temple was at least nine metres tall (taller if you accounted for the surviving spires): another physical echo of the fallen Cesdradin Empire. From the main structure extruded two wings, which the mage mused were once the Flamen sleeping quarters and amenity halls. The hill upon which the looming temple stood was a clearing; only at the foot of the slope did the dense woods begin, as if even nature itself dared not approach.

“Death lingarz ear…” muttered the slayer. “I can smell et.”

Wylliam could feel the temperature dropping as he could see they were rapidly losing light to the approach of night. “Well, let's stroll onward and find the true weight of Roth’s word...”

Wylliam’s suggestion was as much a statement as it was a question. When it came to matters where he might find himself facing danger Wylliam preferred to initiate negotiations aggressively, which is to say, let Dorn take over.

“A knife ear’s word neva carreed mech wet wit meh. Dat aint about te change by da word of the Long Beard Impaler,” Dorn said gruffly before spitting a phlegmy mouth full at the ground to further punctuate his opinion.

The two trudged on, climbing the steady slope. As they approached, they noticed a strayed wooden pew lying in the snow, fractured at its joints. A strange sight, dwarfed only by the sight of another lodged in a higher up section of the temple's wall. Wylliam gripped his spear and exchanged glances with his burly companion. The questing duo reached the high vaulted arches of the temple’s main hall; Dorn scanned the shadowy room beyond while Wylliam scrutinised the stone of the structure.

“I don’t seh enna thin…” The dwarf muttered

Wylliam removed one of his gloves and ran two fingers across the surface of the temple’s wall. “Well, I think I’ve found the cause of the stench…” Dorn looked over at the mage who was studying the substance on his fingers. “Blood.”
Dorn threw his watch back into the hall’s interior. The last of the sun’s cloud-smothered light fell below the tree line and swiftly cast the forest in shadow. As dusk turned to night, Wylliam held out his hand. From the centre of his palm a warm glow pooled and from it a light began to emanate; the light quickly rippled into a flame which slowly began to grow. The dwarf looked on quietly as the mage did as he had done so many times before. The slayer watched as the flames seemed to methodically fold and wrap around itself, eventually forming into a flaming spectre in the likeness of a small bird. Holding it as one would a dove, Wylliam whispered “Aduani – barbelle – Annari”, freeing the ethereal bird upon as he finished his mystic chant.

The bird flew into the hall before them shedding a brilliant light as it did, then perched on an iron candle strand protruding from an untouched stone column. The Slayer and the Drake cautiously stepped inside the hall. It was large and parts of it were sheeted with snow, aligned with the gaping holes in the ceiling above. It was quickly apparent where the seemingly random pews had come from. As the two stalked the central aisle of the auditorium they discovered what had placed, or rather, what had thrown the faithful’s benches.

They were big, at least a metre taller that Wylliam but with the same proportions of his dwarven companion. They looked both bestial and humanoid and were completely hairless. The creatures’ flesh appeared stretched and distorted over the wiry yet bulky frame of these hulking corpses. Sharp fangs and tusks reached forth from their jagged maws, while fingers and toes were tipped with bone like claws. One was by the east wing’s threshold, riddled with crossbow bolts. Another was among the remaining pews decorated with deep gashes and an array of bolts. Finally, the one the two seekers loomed over had also been peppered with crossbow bolts, and dismembered by blade. It was also apparent to Wylliam that at least two of the three were affected by offensive Aether Manifestations.

“This woulda been a worthy fight,” said Dorn with an eerie sense of envy and admiration.

Crouching before one, Wylliam unsheathed his dagger and used it to gently poke and prod at the corpse as he set about satisfying his curiosity.

“What'd'ya say they are?” queried the Slayer.

Wylliam gazed at the mark upon its forehead. A foreign inscription was carved into the flesh, and not something Wylliam believed was placed there by the deceased. “If this is what I think it is… My best guess is they are mutants.”

“Dey don’t luk like no mutant I eva fought,” called Dorn, kicking the corpse of another by the east wing.

“No, these gentlemen were not originally human…” said Wylliam grimly, now using his dagger to peel back the upper lip of the beast before him exposing a jigsaw of grizzly fangs.  

“Then what were dey?”

Wylliam pulled back an eye lid and inspected the eye of the creature. Locking eyes with the Slayer, he replied, “Im not entirely sure…”

************************ Two days ago at Rochford Fortress ***************************
“Withdraw to the Keep! The wall is lost!” Marquis could not believe it. His best laid plans and defences were not enough. In the face of the Ogriod’s sheer numbers, the defences had begun to crumble.

The wall was saturated in a tide of green hulks, delivered to Rochford’s stone aegis by siege towers. The Van’Tesian’s siege weapons had done all they could and more to vanquish the mobile wooden pylons, but again there were too many.

Marquis bowed beneath an axe, intent on removing his head from his shoulders. He drove his blade upward behind the rib cage of his foe provoking a torrent of blood. The Lieutenant heard a challenging roar and turned to see an orc charging with a crude great axe raised. The orc slayer recovered his blade from the depths of green flesh, drenching himself in the gore of war as he did. Marquis spun as his blade came free and paired his resulting swing with deadly timing; the charging challenger fell past Marquis carried by his own momentum, his throat torn asunder by a deep and brutal slash.

Marquis looked out in his reprieve, dressed in a glaze of sweat, blood and melting snow. From the sloping foot hills of the Cesdradin Heights came a seemingly endless avalanche of orcs. Suddenly he felt a sharp pain, followed by an internal ringing. Marquis buckled from the impact, and was thrown to the ground. Pure reaction born of instinct and reflex forced him to bring his sword to bear. The clash of steel and iron rung out and then hissed as an axe collided with Marquis’ guard and slid down the blade as he dropped the tip. The orc kicked the Lieutenant’s guard aside and wheeled the axe around for another blow. Once more Marquis timed his reaction and rolled to his side as the axe bit stone, sending shard and spark outward from the collision. Marquis rolled back and threw his shoulder into a right hook from his dire position. His fist collided with the orc’s seemingly iron jaw, swiftly followed by a jarring kick to the chest. Unlike the punch, the orc caught the kick and tossed it aside before lashing out are Marquis’ throat with a huge meaty hand.

The savage began to squeeze and press his weight upon the Van’tesian’s neck. Marquis’ body began to ache, cry out for the air it so desperately needed. It felt as it nails were being slowly driven into his head as his eyes began to roll back. Marquis desperately planted his fist into the inside of the orc’s elbow, assailing the joint with all the strength he could muster. He could hear his waning heart beat in his head between each desperate swing.

Duv Duv… Thud!

Duv Duv… Thud!

Duv Duv… Thud!

Marquis could barely raise his arm, his vision narrowing around an invisible bulls eye framed in a flooding darkness. Then suddenly air rushed back into his lungs. The weight was gone. Marquis rolled to one side propping himself up on one arm. He held his throat delicately as he gasped for air and search absentmindedly for his blade.

Marquis did not need to look to know it was his blade when he felt its familiar make in his grip. Prone, Marquis looked along the wall, to see orc bodies raining from the ramparts. Wave after wave of arrows lanced the green lesions from the walls with incredible accuracy. Marquis looked to find who had handed him his blade. Clad in midnight ivory plate armour, wielding a blade seemingly forged from a literal sun ray was a bald elf. His flesh violently scarred, his voice coarse and disturbing. Marquis was no idiot, and the Elf’s identity was confirmed when the infamous blood horn bellowed.

“No withdraw! Hold this line! I will personally rape and mutilate the corpse of any man that abandons this line!” The black elf roared as he beheaded a champion and kicked him from the wall’s height.

Marquis climbed to his feet and pulled a tin vial from him belt pouch; flicking the cap with his thumb he downed its contents in a single gulp. He felt an immediate wave of renewal wash over him as he stepped forward to the elf. At a glance, Marquis believed his forces were now bolstered by near a thousand new soldiers flying the Banner of House Le’Vain of Harken Wood. “Roth! You murderous bastard, you do not command these forces! We cannot hold this wall, even with another thousand men!”

Both leaders reacted as their peripherals announced the interruption of a orc berserker swinging an untamed great axe with murderous intent. Mannah stepped forward first, leaning backwards out of the path of the haft mounted iron butterfly before cleaving his blade through the orc’s armpit and arching his swing down behind his foe knees. The orc recoiled, spun and then buckled, collapsing in anger before Marquis, who promptly cleaved his blade into the orcs' sternum.

At that moment Marquis heard a fear-mongering roar that echoed up to the peaks of the looming Cesdradin Mountains. He turned to witness the flight of a monolithic beast of legend. Its wings beat the icy mountain air, assailing the lands below with treacherous winds. It roared again, claiming the morale of hundreds as a resounding voice howled from the deep.

“DRAGON!!”

The beast sailed to a flanking position, climbing to new heights as it did. Then at the peak of its climb the beast retracted its wings and fell backward into itself. As it fell, it poised an optimal form before unleashing its incredible wingspan once more, hurling itself into a swooping arch. The beast inhaled, its throat and lungs swelling with a foreboding light escaping through seams of cascading scale. Then the beast opened its maw and unleashed its breath upon the exposed thousands of Ogriod savages.

Mannah, now with his back to the charging orc lines engulfed in flames, stared at Marquis with his penetrating gaze. “and I say we can!”

************************* At Northwatch Vigilance Bastion*****************************

Commander Hothgar reclused himself from direct contribution to the discussion regarding the defence of Northwatch. From what he had seen and deduced from the strategy table before him, Sir Belemy was more than capable of mounting an effective defence, even with the little he had. The Commander had also established where and what the Wardens would be doing when battle commenced.  Hothgar was also sure that between the venerated Knight and the Dwarven Tactician, they would be able to uncover any weaknesses in the strategy and address them accordingly.

Happy to leave the men to their discussion, Hothgar focused on scanning his tome for the answer the priestess had asked earlier, which her Dwarven companion had reiterated. After some time, he came upon the passage he was looking for and looked up to impart the knowledge to those who had asked. He was surprised to find the priestess was no longer at counsel.

“I have the texts regarding the nature of Liches and other Necrophages. Though it would seem the priestess has other duties to tend? Should we wait for her presence to resume, or do we wish to conclude our counsel now?"

*********************** At Northwatch Honour Seige Work ***********************
Forza listened to the observations and smirked as the swelling sense of realization washed over Eadwine. Every time, Forza thought to himself as his student concluded his recital.

“You were using me as a scout, weren’t you?” Eadwine asked, slightly missing the point.  

“Don’t be ridiculous; we aren’t scouts, we are alchemists. While observation is not a law of Alchemym like I said earlier, it is assumed common sense. Sense I expect you to exercise, as you yourself believed Observation was actually a Law too.”

The earlier pseudo lecture-turned-discussion came flooding back to Eadwine along with the feelings it had provoked in him.

“Observation?”

”Mmmmm, no… But I’m sure at least one of the dead old white guys I mentioned would agree with you. It is an important aspect of the craft to be sure, but observation is arguably important in any activity, so we’ll go ahead and lump that in with common sense.”


Forza pressed on, ensuring the entirety of lesson one had been driven home with his new student. “Let me lay this out for you so you understand Eadwine. We are undoubtedly a handful of days away from a battle of a scale that almost this entire fortress’s defence has never seen, or ever will again. In addition to all the shortages, we specifically are facing a shortage of skilled manpower as well as time. Now, I have to balance the expenditure of my resources and use them most effectively. It is in my best interests to get you up to speed, but not at the expense or forfeit of more important duties. I need to gauge your autonomy and to an extent, your ability to learn the art. This will inform me how much of my resources I need to dedicate to you and at what point I should stop dedicating them to you. We do not have the luxury of studying or lecturing or any of the traditional forms of teaching, not that I generally conform to those methods anyway.”

Eadwine bit his lip; it was a tad ironic that the two alchemists did not have the time to conduct educational lectures, yet here he was, being lectured.

“I have taught you lesson 1: the four laws of Alchemy. I then presented you with a test, designed for you to apply the four laws and report your findings. What do your findings tell us?

One. Environment: Weather, temperature, the extent of the continuum of change given the climate. Yes, these things affect the brewing process of concoctions but what is often forgotten is that it also effects how we store concoctions. Glass vials or tin vials, insulated crates or supply chests. Choice of base is also impacted here, because in this case, the wrong one will freeze.

Two: Once we identify the dictated storage and most effective brewing process, we can identify what extractions we need. Do we use a single or multiple origin Extract? Which materials should we use based on availability and potency? For example, there is no point using the traditional Imp Stool Extract bonded to the distillation of Potato in this weather; it adversely impacts on the Extract potency. So, we must look to an alternative source. In this case certain Wheat extracts can be fused with Extract of Imp Stool to balance the losses. However, this all obviously impacts on the prescribed doses of each respective ingredient which will affect the end volumetrics.

Three: Once we’ve identified the Extracts needed, we can calculate the doses required of each. Then we need to formulate a balanced concoction that conforms to our set parameters. Using the same example as before, if we maintain the same dosage with the dual Extracts of Imp Stool and Wheat, then the Lazarin Elixirs will be too concentrated and will cause the consumer to form lesions, or grow skin tissue back at an accelerated rate potentially sealing any and all orifices. Alternatively the healing qualities can provoke the body to attack itself, essentially resulting in the opposite of the Lazarin effect.

Four: This however can be dangerous, as the product we generate needs to be used by the average citizen; moreover in our case: the average citizen in the conditions outside. We must understand ourselves and our habits in the brewing of a concoction, and we must understand the user and their habits when using the concoction. All this is simply summed up as ‘Us’. Ignoring these factors will result in mistakes both minor and major.”

Eadwine was staggered by the sheer number of information presented to him based on the four laws and the information he reported. He was still feeling some frustration, though it seemed his mentor had legitimate expertise and knowledge in his field and was a far cry from a charlatan. It was also undeniable that Eadwine had now learnt, practised and understood the four laws of alchemy.

“Now get some rest, you’ll be tested on lesson two tomorrow,” said Forza who was now returning to his calculations at a nearby bench.


Last edited by Cowboy on Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:26 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:07 pm

The midday sun had well and truly waned and long shadows were being cast by the walls of North Watch as twilight approached. Despite Merick running up and down and all over the inner area of the castle, he still hadn't found Coward's Reach and it was pissing him right off. It must be here, he thought. Where else would it be? He'd done his best to avoid getting in trouble, even if that had required him hauling barrels and crates of supplies up and down the walls so that he could get a look at all of the nooks and crannies. Bloody hell, there was nothing to be found about Coward's Reach. Nothing in the dungeons, nothing in the armoury, nothing in the storerooms, nothing in the great big stonking tower where they'd first met Bellemy (or as Merick had taken to calling him, Sir Shovel Face on account of his ugliness). The other tower, the one with a weird looking flower or something like it emblazoned on the side, was also rather empty but he'd not had the chance to have a good look around there. He didn't think a tunnel would be around there but Merick couldn't rule it out.

There was one place Merick reckoned that Coward's Reach could be. There was a squat little stone building, just a little bit smaller than the Malt 'n' Boar back in Van'tese, nestled against the side of the mountain and between the two large towers at the very back of the castle. Every time he'd glanced at it there had been a few guards stationed around but they weren't really doing anything. Nothing ever seemed to go in or out of that building and Merick was suspicious about what was inside there. He'd never had the chance to go in there and poke around and it didn't look like those guards were leaving any time soon. He'd have to try again later tonight.

While he waited for his opportunity, Merick continued to poke around and find anything that was interesting. He thought he saw Adrysse walking out of the main tower but he was too far away to see if it was her or some other priestess. He wasn't too keen on finding out, especially if there was some sort of plague that she was dealing with, and he kept exploring the inner area of North Watch. Unfortunately it seemed that the rest of the castle was bloody boring; there was nothing but stone and more stone with maybe a small banner hanging off the walls in some places. There was none of the fanciness and finery that he'd seen in Van'tese and the lord's keep. It was also bloody freezing everywhere he went as the wind seemed to find every little gap and just whistle down the passageways. What a miserable place, he thought to himself. It'd be a hell of a bad place to die.

That made him wonder again about the Silver Wardens. Surely they hadn't come here just to die? What did they have that made them want to come here? They must have a plan. It was the only thing Merick could think of that would make sense. That thought did not ease his concerns though. The last few times people had rocked up with bands of warriors had generally spelled trouble for everybody else, including Merick and the rest of the warband. He did not enjoy getting caught up in trouble caused by someone else. If he had time before the undead arrived, he'd try and poke around the Wardens' camp and see if he could find out anything useful. Maybe they also have a dragon.

Before that though, he'd have to wait for night and see what was inside the small building.


Last edited by Popdart5 on Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Fri Jun 24, 2016 4:29 pm

"...but observation is arguably important in any activity, so we’ll go ahead and lump that in with common sense,” Forza claimed, but some pedantic part of Eadwine kept mentally responding with "But 'us' is something that we do everything with too; your rebuttal is self-refuting!" Still, the young scholar kept a lid on himself and did not utter his objections. That would be childish at this point. After all, Forza had now explained himself and his methods clearly.

As the First Alchemist finished the student recognised his dismissal. Almost happily, Eadwine realised he was not so upset as before.

He took a mouthful of the concoction which Forza had furnished him with previously. It tasted of cold metal and burnt his throat like strong alcohol, but almost immediately settled the throbbing of his leg. Muscles which were inflamed by his biomechanical handicap were soothed rapidly, and Eadwine fancied that if could see the limb it would be visibly shrinking down to normal size.

He pocketed the elixir and set about gathering the dirty dishes, which he stacked. He bade Forza good night, then left.

The wind outside was fierce and gusted strongly, throwing around light flurries of snow. Eadwine kept a hand clamped over the dishes as he made his way along the rampart. Nothing untoward was visible to him.

After fifty yards or so he encountered the first of the alcoves which he had mentioned to Forza. The scholar ducked inside, jammed the dishes up against the base of a wall and quickly scribbled down the information which Forza had imparted. He knew that Forza would not have approved of Eadwine writing it down whilst the First Alchemist was... not lecturing him. Still, old habits die hard. Eadwine was convinced that writing helped him remember things.

Fortunately, he finished making dot points before his hands began to go numb.

Dishes back in hand, Eadwine continued trundling back to the mess. As he did, he wondered what Forza had meant when he spoke about concoctions with the 'wrong base' freezing. Most alcohols---the usual alchemickal base---didn't freeze until well below where a human would become an icicle. He recalled some rumour of cheap or highly-specialised alchemicks being produced on watered-down bases, and surmised that this might have something to do with what Forza was on about.

He descended a flight of stairs, clumping down without grace, and contemplated what he had to do before bed. Firstly, to the mess. Then, a letter and a bit of light reading.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:40 pm

Thorgrim stared at the door as he pondered Hothgars Question for a moment. "Perhaps it's best we conclude things later.. There is enough to be done for now, And to be honest you arrived before i could properly survey the walls. It would be best for you to pass on your knowledge directly to the priestess, as well as the others."

Sir Bellamy spoke next "Indeed. There is much to be done, let us continue our council tomorrow evening. That will give time to scrutinize our situation, and a proper briefing can be done, including status in the siege workshops."

Commander Hothgar nodded, marking the chapter of his tome and closing the great book, but made no moves to leave just yet.

"Aye" Thorgrim replied "I've a few ideas, such as Pendulum wall defenses, Those worked a charm against some of the more Achrachnic foes of my last war. But I'd also like leave to use any library's you have Sir Bellemy. Our foe seeks the return of the Ceastradin empire, so they are probably from the fallen kingdom. Any ancient knowledge on how the empire's armies faught may give us a hint as to our foes plans." The knight waved his assertion, and Thorgrim focused his attention on the Warden Commander as the dwarf made for the door. "For now, i must catch up with the priestess.. Our last encounter with plague, or what seemed to be, ended in disaster, and it hit Adrysse hardest. And i must admit i also have my misgivings over housing plague victims within a siege.. many have fallen fowl of disease. Unless it can be slaved, we must figure what to do. We cannot spare skilled hands come the battle, and will need the hospice, as you know. Commander, if you have anyone skilled in the healing arts, please send them to meet the Priestess at the hospice. It needs not be said that we must deal with this swiftly and move on to bigger matters."

With a crisp salute, the Dwarf made haste from the room, to try and catch the young priestess.

He managed to catch Adrysse in the courtyard beneath the watch of Vigilance, tho he was running short of breath by that point. "Adrysse!" he shouted to get the girls attention, and swiftly caught up. "Bloody hell.. can feel every wound, healed or not, in this bloody cold" he said lightheartedly with a crooked smirk. "You know, there was a reason we'd kept you there, What was so important you couldn't wait, lass?"

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Fri Jul 01, 2016 4:09 pm

Approaching Captain Maxim, Torvus could see the man inspecting siege weaponry with what he assumed were its crew. "Captain, that's a heck of a crossbow" he said with a grin, earning himself a mixture of looks of amusement and looks of indignation from the crew. "Ballista, same idea though. Not much good for hunting but great in a siege" replied the Captain as he looked over some componenet or another. "Might be handy to know how to use one, can the crew spare some time to show me?"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Fabulous on Sat Jul 02, 2016 3:45 pm

With the thoughts of everything that was happening, winding through the priestess's mind, she tried her hardest not to stress out; Adrysse could feel her anxiety levels rising at the thought of chaos ensuing upon the Fort if the plague victims weren't helped soon, and she concentrated persistently on finding the alchemists' to discuss with them any treatments or anything else that could ensure the safety of the victims.

"One. Thing. At. A. Time. One. Thing. At. A. Time," She thought to herself over and over as she headed in a random direction, too caught up in her thoughts to concentrate on which way she should head in. It wasn't until she reached the courtyard below Vigilance that she slowed down her pace, as she realised she needed to figure out where she was headed before setting off. Turning in a slow circle, she tried to get an estimate bearing of where she was.

"I should have paid more attention to what direction Eadwine, Torvus, and Merick headed in," she thought to herself as she hesitated as to which way she should aim for.  

"The hospice is that way," returning to her slow circling, she stopped at the direction the hospice was.

"Which means that way is..." turning to another tower towards the front of the fort, "Courage? No wait, Honour... F**k, I can't remember. If only I had a bloody map."  

The priestess kept flinging her head over her shoulder at the tower opposite Courage and back, trying to decipher which was which. Adjusting her hair and playing with her mask, she restrained from screaming in frustration at getting lost in a town she didn't fully know and started to pace in a small back and forth motion. Although the priestess was a pretty good navigator, she was completely out of her depth in a town she hadn't been to before and didn’t know left from right.  

Just as she had decided to take her chances and head towards Honour and hope for the best, Thorgrim emerged out of the Vigilance tower shouting her name.

"Adrysse!"

Deciding he either had something important to tell her or he was going to lecture her for leaving their conversation that didn't involve her without a word, she waited patiently for the dwarf to catch up. Gasping for breath as he reached the priestess, he made a light-hearted remark about his wounds in the freezing cold and she determined he wanted to discuss some issues with her.

"You know, there was a reason we'd kept you there, What was so important you couldn't wait, lass?"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Sat Jul 02, 2016 7:39 pm

*************************Almost a week ago*****************************

“Vardis, my love? Please? Are you still with me?”

Vardis felt the gentle and familiar touch of his wife upon him. It clutched desperately at his shoulder. The elf was still sitting upright in his cage, swaying and jolting with the ebb and flow of the cart’s movements. Vardis wished he could stand or even walk, hed even settle for lying down at this point. However, these cages were only large enough for the captives to sit. Vardis was gripped by fatigue born of both starvation and a festering wound. Despite his meek condition, the elf managed a hasky response.

“Nae dol aer, I am still here Fioril”

The hand relaxed at his tone. A sign of relief he thought quietly to himself. Vardis then did his best to take in his surroundings. Several of the other cages on this cart were now empty, though some familiar prisoners still remained. Escorting the caravan were dozens of torch wielding zealots. Each adorned in blasphemous scar markings, wearing necklaces, bracelets and headdresses decorated with the fingers, ears, skulls and other body parts of fallen foes.

Vardis noticed the caravan was climbing a notable incline and the air (while still thick with scent of putrid flesh and feces) was fresher and notably colder.

Struggling to manage each word Vardis spoke once more, wishing he could look upon his wife as he did. “Lae mar dae dis au rem, where are we?”

Fioril’s soothing voice quietly responded. “We leave the under, tae em lae eu kem tal. I heard them say we will be joining the army.”

Vardis grimaced, he never did get used to his wife knowing the black speech. Moreover, the thought of an army of ghouls, or even just an army of Necrophages was a horrifying one. He wished he could do something to fight, to thwart whatever dark deed these zealots and their dark masters had planned. Vardis squirmed in protest, hopelessly optimistic that any movement he could manage would somehow liberate him. However, his attempts ceased when Fioril hissed at him.

“Be still husband. Your wounds need no aid. I have not expressed my permission for you to hurry so eagerly to the grave”

Vardis smirked, and before he could rebut her, a surge of light assailed his vision. He scrunched his eyes against its brilliance. When he reopened them they were above ground, the harsh winter winds buffering against the caravan and all who walked with it. As the carts circled round to align with new bearings Vardis and Fioril could see a small village ahead. Behind the dark silhouette of the approaching town loomed a lone mountain.

“Do you know where we are Vardis?”

Vardis paused and took in the view before responding solemnly. “Aye… Northwatch.”

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:53 pm

As he looked up at the young priestess, Thorgrim noticed that she seemed nervous, and was fidgeting with her mask. Without speaking he gently leads her to a quiet alcove away from the bustle of activity in the courtyard, and indeed much of the fortress. They sat down on a stone ledge beside one of the grated fountains that collected meltwater from the upper reaches of the fortress and the mountain above. The slow trickling sound of the running water was soothing to the ear.

Thorgrim gestured to Adrysses’ mask “You know, if it's Bothering you lass, Take the mask off. You don’t need one around ust I. We’re closer than that, You're akin to a favored niece to me.” The dwarf said patiently “or even a Sister in Battle!” He added. The Dwarf’s tone made clear that he was referring to a more figurative ‘mask’ than the Genrean Tradition.

“I can tell you’re sufferin’ lass. Bloody hell! How couldn't ye be! It’s incredible all you youngins haven't fled your mind’s after what we’ve been thru these past months. But it has left its mark on each of us. Not all wounds are so obvious to remedy. But, it is as they say - “What doesn’t kill ye makes ye stronger”. But, it's like Forging Steel. The forgeing leaves it soft and weak for a while at first, and then it’s brittle as it cools.”

The elder Dwarf gently placed his hefty hand on the young priestess’ shoulder. “Bit it can be helped along. Talkin’ helps. And I’ll always be ready to offer advice, or just shut up and listen if that’s what ye need. It’s a heavy burden you've been lumped with, no doubt. But we are all here to help share the load.”

Acknowledging the dwarf’s presence and words of encouragement, the priestess let her shoulders slump and stopped fiddling with her hair and mask. Dropping her hands into her lap, Adrysse started picking at her fingernails as she confided in the dwarf what was stressing her out and started ranting.

“SO. There’s the necromancer and the army and the tactics and just everything and then those plague victims and the nurses at the hospice are relying on me to find some sort of cure and I need to talk to Eadwine or Forza or whatever the f**k his name is about some sort of alchemical cure or anything else they think can work otherwise I should go to the library and find a book or something and I don’t even know where the f**k anything is in this place!"

As the priestess finished her ramble, she willed herself not to cry, and was relieved to have her mask at the time.

Thorgrim listened patiently, trying to keep up with the young humans fast paced speech. “Deep breaths lass” he interjected. “All valid problems, But let us solve them one at a time. Building a wall is a large task, but not so large is laying a brick, and a wall is but many bricks, you understand?” The Dwarf waited a moment for Adrysse to collect herself. “The army and tactics, that’s my problem, mine and the commander’s and the army’s. The Necromancer - Worry about that Tomorrow. We meet with the Warden Commander for a briefing then, and he has found knowledge on the matter. So nothing to be done there.” Thorgrim got to the point, making sure he had the Priestess’ attention “The plague tho, That concerns me too - and not just because of Dante. We know what that was, and this can’t be it” Thorgrim was tight lipped about the secret acceleration of that particular melody, It could only do harm for the young human to know her powers effect in that matter, and they may need her to use them now.

“Plague has been a weapon in many sieges, and i am suspect about how 50 victims ended up safely behind these walls when we have heard nothing of any disease in these lands before now. It’s smart -seeking the help of the Wardens. But perhaps not their alchemist - not yet. He has a mighty task ahead of him, and time to set up and get acquainted with Eadwine would be good. What have you sought to do so far?”

“I’ve only had time to verify really that the 50 victims do have the plague and haven’t been misdiagnosed with some other ailment before I was interrupted by you and the Commander Warden.”

“Hmm, Aye - The Warden’s arrival interrupted my own survey - not that i'm complaining. Still, i must spend the day going back over it all, Thusly we've postponed the briefing until tomorrow. I suggest you do as i shal - Go back and take a closer look, then head to the Hall of Records - Gather what you can on Plague and seek to understand. If you have no cure, or a cure we cannot do - Either way we bring it to the Warden’s once they are settled and we all meet together. They may know more - i've already Asked their commander to send anyone of knowledge on such matters to assist you. If we discover Alchemy can help with plague, then we bother them, Sound good?”

Nodding her head as she listened to the dwarf’s idea, the priestess agreed to follow the plan. As the priestess looked around, Adrysse realised that once again she had no idea where she was.

“Uhm.. so, where abouts are we going?”

The dwarf grinned mischievously “Our navigator, lost already?” He stood up, and pointed to the Hospice “The hall of records is over there, opposite side. Ill head there first, i need to seek knowledge on how the old Cestradin’s conducted their wars. Once I’ve an idea on what they may try, i'll be surveying all of northwatch. The Hall may hold plague records and such, as close to a library as we shall find i fear. If you’re still intent on pestering the Alchemist’s, the cannon foundry is over there, just head up the steps and stick to the left. I’ll join you back to the Hospice”

Leading the way, they began to walk to the Hospice that contained the first problem on a growing list.

“What of your magic’s? Could they help heal the infected?”
As Thorgrim started walking towards the Hospice, the priestess picked herself up off the floor and, regaining her regal composure, followed after the dwarf.

“I’m not too sure... I didn’t exactly get a lot of time to see if I could do anything before being pulled away to different matters.” She started. “ I wouldn’t want to make anything any worse than what it already is either…” Ending with just a hint of doubt in her voice, she quickly covered it up with her confident presence.

“Hmm, It would not surprise me to know our foe let the plagued escape to use - or even infected them on purpose. Is it possible to inspect such things without disturbing them?”

“I might be able to. I’ll hopefully be able to spend more time with them now that I don’t have to be anywhere anytime soon…”

“Aye, be cautious and take yer time. I would hate to think the cure was easy and overlooked as much as any conspiracy brewed from paranoid minds. You'll know where to find me, and i can send you on your way - i've a good idea on this place after studying the strategy table. If you see the others, tell em where i am. I’d like to speak to each of them, but not before they are acquainted with what’s going in each their own place. With the full picture, We can form a plan. Until then, Stand Tall - Wielder of the Ardent Crest! Order, don’t ask, And wield your Sass like an Axe!”

The two parted ways, Adrysse to the Hospice and Thorgrim to the Hall of Records.

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:33 pm

********************** Day Two: Northwatch ***************************

It was early morning and only the cold highland winds blew. The skies were clear and the the sun shone bright, though its warmth was scarcely felt threw the icy grip of the Ghenraen Winter. The Cowards Reach scout report had concluded, to all present there was a deficient air of grief and anguish.

When the initial briefing concluded, the cohort was dismissed. Several Van'tesian officers took the prisoners to be cared for and later to be re-questioned. In hopes that they could extract vital intelligence that might aid them in the coming siege.

Van'tesian Auxiliary Sargent Torvus - Agent for Sir Euan of house Bellemy was given leave to tend his mother's and his own grief. Scout Sargent Cassandra (Cas) had resigned herself to the company of the two elves, feeling partly responsible for not acting sooner in the liberation or restoration of the wounded elf.

Scouts Jacque and Atter as well as Soldiers Alfons and Petra, all reported to the Hall of records and gave their reports. As stated in the meeting and confirmed by Sargent Cas and Mission Lead Sarget Torvus, as well as the liberate captives: the cultists wore garish heshan masks and were adorned in grim trophies of bone and flesh. It was reported that they were discovered performing a ritual that raised plague bearers (or to the commoner, Zombies). However, Commander Hothgar seemed legitimately concerned that these cultist may be trying to invoke the creation of a Howling Bell, in addition to the raising of Plague Bearers and what sounded liked a ritual used for the restoration of Ghouls.

Now in the strategy room of Vigilance, Sir Bellemy, Thorgrim and Adrysse stood quietly as Hothgar placed his heavy leather, wood and iron bound tome down upon the war table. "Your earlier question. I have had time to consider it and have found the recount of Warden Micheal Edgar. Unfortunately, as with most forbidden lore, texts are seldom lucid and factual. They are rather a series of reliable recounts of experiences subject to interpretation and circumstance."

Sir Bellemy nodded. He was all too familiar with the way the forbidden knowledge was shared. At least how such prolific lore was shared among the faithful and the righteous. When Hothgar was content that those present understood that the texts were not as much a manual, as they were a record or historical events he proceeded.

"We take many brothers and sisters with us. With steel, with fire, with blade and with hammer we shall delve deep into the bosom of darkness beneath the treacherous world spine and vanquished the thrice damned, or die trying. We know not of the true measure of our foes strength, we only hope the blessed waters and trinkets we bear will be enough to guard our purity and vanquish the villains."

Hothgar paused, the Knight and his two agents were listening intently, scrutinizing each word read from the passage. "So many dead... Some by the hand of our own. Minds lost to conviction and purpose, instead embracing cruelty and malice. I steal my heart, my mind and my soul. I now walk alone in the valley of death, ancestors hold me, guard me and deliver my blade honest and true. I shall not forsake my duty, i shall not forsake my quest."

Adrysse and Thorgrim exchanged a knowing glance. The passage reminded them of their encounter with the Cesdrean shade in Le'Ghentel. Minds lost to conviction and purpose, embracing crelty and malice. Bewitching magics with the power to turn allies against eachother.

"I am suffering, i bleed furiously: yet there is no wound to be found. The coward bleeds me from the inside, attacking with unseen weapons. I sit by its lifeless corpse, wet with the purity of holy water. I have completed my task and gladly give my life for success. Success taken by the hymn of steel, the named darkness and the command of the exorcist."

Hothgar raised his gaze from the inscribed leather pages. The passage seemed to resonate with him, though its meaning seemed to be lost of the others who had no knowledge of warden lore and practice.

"What does it mean?" Asked the aged dwarf, his brow carrying a puzzled expression.

Adrysse also found herself at a loss having heard the passage, with one exception, the named Darkness. It was one of the core teachings ingrained in all Vindicators, Nomen habet potestatem (A name holds power). Knowing this Adrysse quickly realized Warden Micheal Edgar wielded more than just a sword against his foe. The warden knew the lich's true name. He knew the same ritual she had been rehearsing since her encounter with the shade of Le'Ghentel, which left only the hymn of steel.

"What is the Hymn of steel?" the priestess asked pointedly.

Hothgar looked at the priestess. He regarded the young lady, who was apparently the perscribed weapon that would deliver the guardians of Northwatch from the grips of a Lich and his Necrophage legions, with admiration. "The Hymn of steel was a gift from the Ealhhere of Rornhag. In the absence of naturally attuned weapons we were given the means to temporarily invoke such power in those we had at our disposal. We can safely assumed we need an attuned weapon to fight a lich. Something i feel you both have well in hand."

Both Thorgrim and Adrysse felt the Commander was acknowledging the presence of the Ardent Crest and the lesser known Hambar's Fist in the room. It did however catch the dwarf's curiosity that the Commander hand knew of Hambar's fist. It was a Crystal Forge Relic and was unlikely to have been known to the humans. It was something worthy of later contemplation Thorgrim through to himself. "So a attuned weapon, the true name of the lich and an exorcism ritual. Is that all?" Thorgrim ended his contribution as more of a statement than a question.

Adrysse delivered a well timed quip, "What? That's not enough?"

Bellemy stepped in before the conversation could travel any further astray. "Well then, if i understood rightly you are in possession of the Command of the exorcist and an attuned weapon. So as my agents i charge you with naming this darkness. You will have unbridled access to the Hall of Records."

Hothgar now smirking closed his tome and hung it once more from its chain bandoleer. "If it is a lich, we may well have twin hammers waiting for him, as well as a precocious Sinti."

*********************************** Outside Vigilance tower *********************************


The scouts and soldiers from the Coward's Reach mission gave little more than respecting nods and short spoken goodbyes to the Auxiliary Sargent who was standing at his mother's said. She was still burdened with grief and Torvus knew she would be for a long time, even from an elven perceptive. His parents were inseparable a team, a constant in life akin to the rising sun or the change in season. It dawned on Torvus that he would never again hear his father preach of the time when the elves would find a new place in the world, a place where the elves could truly be free and call home. A well sold fantasy of a optimistic visionary perhaps, but it was a passion the drove is father and one that his mother, his brother and he himself appreciated and even admired to an extend. With Vardis gone however, it was painfully apparent that a light and a certain sureness in life had been snatched away from Torvus. He looked over at his mother, would seemed to ignore the cold air, instead focusing completely on fighting back the tears and the relentless ache in her chest. Torvus cloaked his mother in his furs and held her as they began to walk towards the cart that escorted them to Vigilance. As he did he contemplated how his circumstances in Northwatch had changed.

Merick watched as Torvus and the elven woman who was apparently his mother climbed into the cart. There thought to himself loudly how glad he was that he chose to stay put in the barracks and leave the missions to the daft and the fool hearty. Merick's eye was then caught by Eadwine, how seemed both disgruntled and sluggish. He seemed particularly tormented by the morning sun and just about any sound louder than a whisper. The scholar was hungover, which Merick mused was either an incredibly rare experience or the alchemist had uncharacteristically engaged in a night of overwhelming revelry. An amusing thought and end result in either case.

Eadwine was not keen on making the return trip down the Fortress Tiers and called out to the cart driver, eager to be an additional passenger. The scholar wrestled with the contents of his stomach as his consciousness seemed to swirl and slosh around inside his heavy head. He was hot and cold and all he wanted was an endless supply of water, a lamb shank and to be rid of his assailing aliment. It appeared Merick also had no plans to walk the Tiered decline of the fortress and joined his fellows in the cart, destined for the Barracks and Hospice.

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:50 pm

It was cold again this morning. Funny how the mountain winds were so much colder than the sea gales that howled against Auskell. Or perhaps, as Merick thought, it was merely that everything seemed so much worse outside of Auskell. There wasn't much warmth and goodness at Northwatch, that was for certain.

The cart hit a rut in the road and bucked hard. The driver waved his hand as an apology and slowed down as they tried to move past a bit of blockage with the crowds. It was still early in the morning but soldiers and militia were ferrying bundles of weapons by hand as there weren't enough carts to go around. Merick glanced around at the others who rode the cart with him. Eadwine looked pale but not quite as bad as when they'd found him after that undead thing had attacked them in the village. He was breathing heavily and looked like he was concentrating on a particular spot of the wooden cart. Merick considered ribbing him about not being able to stomach his ale but he didn't think that was particularly smart, what with Torvus and his mum around.

He chanced a look at Cassandra but she seemed to have her eyes turned skyward. Her mouth moved as if she were repeating something but she never said anything. By the sounds of what Merick had heard this morning, whatever happened must have been really bad. He reached up and felt the claw marks on his right cheek as he remembered the last time he'd seen a ghoul. Merick was quite thankful that he hadn't been dragged along into the scouting party because he'd very much like to never see one of those ghouls again. Plus those crazed freaks doing all of that ritual stuff sounded creepy as hell. He tried not to think of the coming battle where all of that and likely some other undead monsters would come to ruin his day. Even the supposedly safe backdoor was not looking very good if maniacs were hanging around the other side.

The cart had basically stopped at this point as the driver shouted at people to get out of the way. Torvus' mum seemed to shudder again, although Merick couldn't tell if it was due to pain or something else. Torvus hugged her closer and rubbed her shoulders to try and make her feel better. Merick was suddenly struck by a realisation: even though her eyes were swollen and she looked like she could do with several huge meals, Torvus' mum didn't look that old. Heck, she could almost pass for Torvus' sister if Merick hadn't been told otherwise. Merick shook his head to rid himself of that thought. He knew elves could get very old but, if he had to compare to a human, Torvus' mum looked like she was barely forty, if that. Aside from a few nicks and scrapes, Torvus looked barely older than Merick although the elf had said he was over two centuries old. Merick shook his head again. Sure he wanted to live a long time but one century was more than enough.

The shouting became louder and angrier as the crowd refused to budge for the cart to pass. Torvus' mum held her hands to her ears while Torvus tried to whisper something to calm her down. Eadwine also cradled his head in his hands but Merick was fairly certain that was the hangover again. It didn't look like anyone else was able to do anything about the crowd so Merick rolled his shoulders back and hopped off the cart.

"What's the problem here?" he bellowed as he strode towards the angry crowd. Merick ignored the people asking who the f@#k he was and focused on one man that stepped forward. This man was tall and well-built, possibly a farmer by the look of the rather hefty scythe that he'd strapped to his back. His mask was wooden and rather nicely crafted aside from the fact it looked like someone had tried to carve two bull's horns onto it. When he spoke up, his grizzled voice sounded like he'd shouted down bears. "We wants to know what's going on," he called out to a chorus of 'Yeahs' from the rest of the crowd. "Someone saw one of the soldiers get taken to the hospice all bloody like and we wants to know what happened. People don't get that bloody unless something happened so we wants to know."

The crowd of about a few dozen all nodded in agreement and Merick could feel their eyes on him. How much was he allowed to tell them? he wondered.

"There's nothing to tell." A voice called out over the crowd from behind him and he turned to see Cassandra standing on the front of the cart. "A soldier injured herself training early this morning and she was taken to the hospice. That's it."

"But what about-"

"But what about what, soldier?" Cassandra's voice took on a steely edge and the crowd collectively gulped at the prospect of angering her. "There's nothing else that's wrong. If something else becomes an issue, Sir Bellemy will issue a decree. Until then, return to your duties. Dismissed soldiers!"

There was a moment where the soldiers and militia thought about pushing the issue but they dispersed and went back to their posts. Cassandra sat back down in the cart while Merick climbed aboard. The cart began to trundle off down in the direction of the hospice.

"That was impressive," Merick whispered to Cassandra.

"I suppose it was," she replied as she slumped into her seat. "I get a little grumpy when something gets between me and a soft bed."

Merick chuckled and let the plodding hooves and the creaking cart fill the silence.


Last edited by Popdart5 on Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:06 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Fri Jul 15, 2016 12:21 am

"Twin hammers may Depend" Thorgrim interjected. "Would the Priestess' Aether powers count, do you suspect? We have not yet Attuned the Ardent Crest. And I'd be Curious to know how you knew my Maul was Attuned, The Rune's only Glow when Battle is Near, and are otherwise Invisible."

The Dwarf Stroked his Beard in thought "We have reliable Allies working on a Hopeful lead on the True name of what we suspect is the Leader of all this. But that won’t help us now. However.. Our foe seeks to return to the day’s of the Ceastradin Empire. As such it stands to reason they would raise generals from that empire, ones Loyal and able.” The Dwarf Surveyed the Room “If you had the power to bring back the greatest leaders of your order’s wouldn't you?”

“And there stands our best hope. Anyone powerful enough to be put in charge of the Necrophage will have left a mark on History.” The Dwarf reached into the layered robes he had borrowed from the forge, pulling out a hefty tome, laying it reverently down on the Table. “This contains much History of the old Empire. I’ve Been researching it for a clue as to our foes methods, and i Think i'm on to something. Better yet, It has many names. We could form a list of names of power from it. Without knowing anything of our exact foe, it is of little use. But a list of possible names is better than what we have yet. Perhaps once we see our foe, or with better research we can narrow it down from there.”

The Dwarf left the book on the command table for those assembled to inspect, adding as an afterthought to Hothgar “Who’s a Sinti?”


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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Tue Jul 19, 2016 9:49 am

Merick's shout brought Eadwine's attention back to the land of the living. "What's the problem here?" the ex-thief yelled into the crowd blocking their passage. Eadwine hadn't even noticed the latter until that point.

`What is the problem?', Eadwine mused whilst vague sounds of loud conversation drifted past. For starters, he was hung over for the first time in his life. Why would anybody enjoy drinking if this was the aftereffect? Torvus and Merrick seemed to get by more or less fine, but Eadwine was not appreciating the fuzziness in his mouth and his head. It made coherent though difficult. Still, that wasn't enough to distract him from problem number two, being that he was in a fortress about to be besieged by an undead army. Three: his comrade's father had just been killed, which would impair Torvus' efficiency. Four: the sudden appearance of another elf would undoubtedly cause questions. And that lead to five: the angry mob.

Fortunately Cassandra's shouts quickly stifled any chance of violence. Eadwine was grateful, although the noise hurt his head.

Merrick plopped back into the cart with a huff and it started rolling again. As it did so, the scholar pulled his mask up a little to shield some of the sun's glare. After a moment he fumbled in his bag and found the small wire mesh shield which clipped over his right eye; much better, that cut out a lot of the glare.

All of this paled compared to Eadwine's prime concern. Problem six.
Forza.
He was pretty sure that the First Alchemist would scold his new student, but some stubborn part of Eadwine's conscience kept arguing that Forza would in fact be impressed. How different from Milburga...
At any rate, this issue churned through Eadwine's head again and again, revolving like the barrels of a warwheel. It took all of the little self-control he could muster to stay silent and not break down in tears like Torvus. Eadwine had never lost control of himself like he did last night, and he never wanted to again: it made him feel dirty in a way that the orc incident did not.

Still, he told himself, at least he had ingratiated himself with the soldiers. Hopefully they'd remember that in the days to come. The thought gave Eadwine some pride and lifted his spirits a tad. Maybe he hadn't been irresponsible. Maybe it was a forward investment. Maybe?

Come to think of it, hadn't this all started with Adrysse? A drunk priestess...
And then that bard lady with the big dog. Curse her rowdiness!

Dots started to connect inside Eadwine's head.
He needed a bard...
She might know how to get back to a semblence of sobriety too. Eadwine decided that it would be too impolitic to ask Merrick now, with Torvus and his mother so close. Wait until we've found the Sinti, he told himself.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:12 am

When the cart stopped outside the Fat Lady---on its way to the hospice, presumably---Eadwine stumbled down and made his way into the tavern. He had a strange mixture of emotions; he didn't want to ever go back into this place, but he also wanted food and drink...water, specifically.

Not stopping to pay attention to what Merrick or Torvus were doing, Eadwine stalked inside and breathed a sigh of relief at the darkness inside.

He blearily cast around, hoping that the Sinti bard would be around, but couldn't spy her. So, not knowing what else to do, he went to the bartender (what was her name again?) and asked "How do I get rid of a hangover?"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:41 pm

They had spent the better part of a day (much to Dorn’s frustration) searching every inch of the temple. Fortunately their search had revealed a hidden passage in what would have once been a reading room of sorts. An assumption Wylliam made noting the remnants of stone shelving and last remaining pieces of furniture still battling the wither of time and rot.

The passage was not easily uncovered however. Locks and hinges once connected to a series of intricate mechanisms provoked by a hidden lever in the room had seized due to centuries of neglect. Subsequently Dorn was able to work though some frustration by using a statue as a battering ram, demolishing the stone veiled entrance.

In response to a careless gesture, Wylliam’s conjuration sailed down from its perch and into the tunnel. The flaming dove revealed a stairs steeping downward as it fluttered out of sight. The drake and the slayer stepped forth following the fiery conjuration as they had done so many times before.

The stairs arched around gently guiding the curious pair to small hall now lit by the presence of burning fowl. The walls were bricked stone mounted against the earth and the ceiling was supported by aged wooden beams and once sturdy boards now struggling to maintain purpose. The floor was cobbled with the exception of a stone disc at the centre of the room detailed with now tarnished copper settings, entrenched in symbolic carvings. Opposing them from across the room was a large stone door which was unremarkable, with the exception of some simple engravings detailed across its chiselled surface.

“Eh long for da days when all meh problems could be solved by swinging meh axe around”

Wylliam stepped cautiously over to the copper trimmed disc, before crouching down to inspect it.
“We all yearn for simpler times when faced with adversity”

“boredom more like” Dorn said defensively

Wylliam let out a passive hum, his attention was no longer in the conversation. He had seen these symbols before. Glyphs representing a discipline of the aether arts, in unison with a darker more corrupt power.

“wot dez et say Drakeling?” the slayer once more growing impatient

“It’s a script to be read dear friend. It’s of an impression communicated in words” Wylliam said ignoring the dwarf’s growing ire.

“A what now?”

“An impression… Like a picture I suppose but abstract”

“so what’s the impression you’re getting from this”

“Well. I feel this place had a dual purpose. It was a place of worship, but also of teaching.”
“and… what did it teach”

Wylliam grimaced as he looked over the Glyphs once more, as if he were hoping he had somehow misinterpreted the impression. Confident and disappointed he had not, Wylliam spoke the words as he looked at Dorn.

“Will, Rise, Death and Eternity.”

“Well et soonds lek we’re en da right place”

As Dorn finished speaking, the room seemed to begin Whispering joining the ominous sound of moving stone. Dorn brought his axe to bare as Wylliam turned to see the stone door opening. IT was now apparent that the engravings on this automated bulwark were also lined with tainted copper and symbols on both the disc and the door began to ooze a black smoke which moved unnaturally as it pooled and dripped from the copper markings. As the stone tablet slid from obstruction Wylliam gripped his spear and prepared himself for what would come next.

“Indeed” he responded to Dorn before sending his winged flame into the darkness before them.

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:56 pm

The events of the night had passed in such a rush that Torvus hardly had a chance to consider them. Here in the midst of such darkness and death was the last place Torvus expected to find his family, let alone in the manner they were. The shock of it all had scarcely settled in and with the events to come Torvus felt that maybe that was for the best.

The cart ride felt muted, the world outside of the bustling vehicle barely registered and then Torvus noticed the bar; his mother had made the trek back to Cowards Reach well, the few scrapes and bruises she carried were of no serious concern but her malnutrition and state of mind, that could be helped here or at least a little.

Torvus dropped down from the cart and helped his mother down, guiding her towards the bar, shortly behind a dreadfully hung over Eadwyne, were his nostrils not still stained with the stench of burnt flesh Torvus was sure the man would smell of ale and spirits. Grabbing a passing worker Torvus looked the man in the eye with a stare that he could only guess was intense based on his reaction. "Find the Priestess Adrysse, tell her that Torvus and his mother are in the bar, when she is free." He released the man and turned without noticing the mans nod of acknowledgement and continued to help his mother inside.

Seating his mother near the hearth Torvus called calmly to a boy sweeping nearby "We require food and light ale, some water too." Sitting and comforting his mother Torvus thought of the soldiers that accompanied him and the risk he put them in for the sake of his family, he was sure they understood but their wounds still weighed on Torvus.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

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