Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Fri Mar 11, 2016 7:36 am

Eadwine was seething internally as the Lord addressed Merick, but he maintained his kneeling posture. Blast Charlotte's outburst! She had done nothing but lose favour with the Lord and with Lo'Roche. Her temper had always been fiery, to be sure, and outspoken was practically her middle name, but this was a step too far. He didn't know whether he wanted to find her and shake some sense into her or stay as far away from the peacock-woman as possible. Bah!

He was too upset to even notice Merick's fumbling efforts at social correctness.

Some semblance of calm crept over Eadwine after a few more moments, especially when it became clear that he was being paid. That was a relief; he'd be able to send the money to his family and make sure they didn't run afoul of Zacchaeus for a while longer. A dull anxiety---the sort that wasn't noticed consciously until it started to get better---seemed to lift a little from Eadwine's mind.

The calm was stripped from him as he listened to the Lord, and even though he had already guessed the end of the man's speech Eadwine still felt a frisson of indecision when it arrived. His mind raced and warring thoughts gushed up inside him.

First came an immediate desire for the blade's power; not its physical power, but rather the influence it wielded in Ghenrael. Its sheer presence could provide the impetus he needed to effect real change in this country.
Secondly, the very pragmatic part of him thought that this blade would probably serve him better than his rapier when it came to killing orcs or undead, no matter how much he enjoyed rapier-play.
Then came the reservations. Taking the sword would mean accepting a life-long mission from the Lord! How could Eadwine be sure that he was suitable? How could he be sure that Lord Brightwater would not change for the worse, as the King's family had previously? Would that leave Eadwine in thralldom to the Brightwater family?

A bubble of fear popped in Eadwine's chest as he thought of another great blade he had seen earlier today; what would Roth make of this? If Eadwine were sent to battle the Iron Elf it would go ill for the alchemist-cum-warrior.

Eventually a common thread emerged. Despite the suspicions whispered by his mind, and the fears, Eadwine instinctively felt that Lord Brightwater was a truly honourable man who pursued honourable goals. Eadwine wanted to assist him in his reformative efforts. The young man's ambition was, for now, tempered by respect; respect for the Lord and his son and what they had achieved and fought for.

"My Lord, you do me a great honour in offering this position to me." A pause... "I am by no means the most qualified for this honour, but if your Lordship commands then I will see your will done for the good of your people."

The words settled about him with all the binding strength of a marriage vow.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:11 pm


As the chest was presented, at first Thorgrim sought to avert his gaze. He knew all too well his races susceptibility to greed of wealth. It surprised him then, that when he did look, he felt nothing. A semblance of achievement, perhaps, but not the thirst he expected. He felt his resolve tighten a fraction, many paths lay before him, and he would need to choose soon..

Thorgrim smiled broadly as Eadwine was bestowed such honor. The dwarf was proud, he had only known Eadwine for a very short time, but considered him one of his own. He was a good choice for the lord to make, the boy seemed to have heart, and well nurtured he could grow to be a great man. Thorgrim still held on to his conviction that there was a purpose to to his life yet to be realised, and by proxy those around him. The discovery of the Ardent Crest, and his part in bringing Adrysse and it together had seemed empirical proof to the Dwarf, the he had began to wonder about Merric, even the rapscallion Mercenary had helped to win the Day time and again.

As the lord finished Presenting Mytas’ former blade to Eadwine, Thorgrim stepped forward, briefly squeezing the boy’s shoulder and nodding solemnly in approval.

Catching the Lords eye, he waited a moment to ensure he was not interrupting, then having identified the optimal use of the stonework to best project, or hinder, his voice he began;

“Lord Brightlen, People of Van’Tease, It is a great Honor to repay the debt of blood Your men earned in the salvation and refuge of my people. Let it be known that We do not take such things lightly, and you can have Faith that the Crystalforge Clan will do what it can in the defence of the people of this land against those that would seek to destroy them. We have no fighting force anymore, But against the Uruk foes and their undead Allies know that your weapons will be sharp, and your walls strong.

However, alas, I cannot say that The Crystalforge Clan will remain anything but neutral in matters of Human Politics. They will offer their services to the aid of whoever is ruler of these lands against those that would bring death to the people who inhabit it, as they have been doing.

As such I have been serving your House as a Mercenary apart from the Clan, trying to build a fighting force from whomever i can muster, to be where your man cannot. But, Unlike Master Merric, Tho the Man be worth every coin, I do not Fight for money, But rather gather money so that I may Fight!” The dwarf paused for a moment, letting his deep powerful voice echoing around the chamber.


“Such is a truism of war…” he continued “You may count on every coin to be spent in the pursuit of the defence of these lands, Lord of Van’Tease”

Quietly, Thorgrim lowerd his voice and pitch and spoke to the ground as he bowed, knowing that the acoustics would not carry his words past those standing directly around him, most of all Lord Brightlen “Whomever the foe may be…”


Last edited by Comander.c on Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:13 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Fri Mar 11, 2016 2:38 pm

Torvus nodded in response to the praise offered to him, quietly greatful that he hadn't made his familial connections too obvious. Time would tell what Dante would get up to, and inevitably Torvus would feel the need to try to pull him out of his mess, or at least try to clean it up.

Hearing the offer made to Eadwine caused Torvus' eyebrows to raise a little, he had expected the blade to be little more than a message and passed off for purposes unknown. To give the blade new purpose seemed a good idea, and Torvus noted that the Life Mission Eadwine was charged with was in service to his country and it's people, he wondered if the Lord meant to omit mention of monarchy, leadership, or government, or if it was just an oversight.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:15 pm

As the warband contemplated the words of the Lord, the mantle newly appointed to their companion Eadwine, and the chest of five hundred silver pieces before them, a robbed woman appeared. She stepped forth from the same hall the soldiers delivering the chest had. Her hood was drawn and the only notable aspect of her well veiled demeanour was her grace. In her hands she held a cylindrical glass case, and inside was a flower. Its underlying petals appeared as one would expect of a flower, but the next took on the appearance of tentacles or spines of shimmering purple hues, and at its centre were protruding stigmas taking the form of several snake tongues.

The woman wielding the delicate case and its prized contents breezed towards Adrysse, stopping before her. Without a word she reached out, offering the case and its contents to the Vindicator. Lord Brightlen turned to face the priest and the robed figure.
"Our discussion last night has led me to believe you have not completed the Ardent Trials Lady Gothard. May this, the Adder Tongue Flower, aid in its swift completion. I fear in the absence of Chaplain Claude Llane, there will still be great need of the Ardent Crest and the one chosen to bear its responsibility."

With little else left to say the lord stepped back to allow the court and the assembly to bask in the ambiance of the idolised warband. The lord ascended back to his stage and announced loudly, arms raised before him.
"Nobles and Citizens of Brightwater, I give you the Tudor Tower's Sentinels"

When the applause eventually subsided, the assembly was dismissed and the group found themselves in the grand entrance hall of Tudor Towers.

***************************************Meanwhile********************************************

The Tudor Tower dungeons were not like those spoken of in the grand and farfetched sagas and wild bardic hymns. No, this dungeon was one of Tudor Towers' tallest spires, assailed by the relentless elements. Charlotte found herself within the confines of this bone chilling hold. Yet despite her current predicament, she did not regret her actions. Ghenraen politics lacked a directness she ached for. Despite the fact she could actually play the political field as well as the best of them she, unlike many Ghenraen nobles, could see that their political scheming and sabotaging for self-gain was detrimental to kingdom (A kingdom that was barely three hundred years old).

As a result of the way Monarchy had been ruling, it had inadvertently set in motion a chain of events that would bring about the downfall of such a prosperous kingdom built by their freed slave forebears. Charlotte would not see her beloved Kingdom (a shadow of its intended glory) drown in a river of its own blood simply because those with power were too blinded by it, so shackled by it, that they could not even acknowledge or speak plainly about its failings. If these views were radical, then the kingdom surely was doomed, and she would gladly freeze to death than suffer the ignorance of power hungry, coin counting leeches.

At that moment Charlotte heard the doors of her dungeon level open. Beyond her hall she could hear the guard talking to two men, or at least their voices were masculine. She stood at the edge of her cell straining to hear what was being said. Was she to be placed in the street's stockades? Held here for days or even weeks more? Or worse still, executed for advocating open rebellion against the crown.

She listened and heard.
"Sir, I have been given strict orders to ensure this woman remains in her cell until Lord Brightlen has conceived a suitable punishment and summons her to impart it." said the guard.

"This is precisely why I am here Guardsmen, to take her before the lord so he might deliver justice. The Court has adjourned and it is time she answers for her trespasses."

Charlotte felt her anxiety rise; she was in deeper than she had ever been. She had never shied away from expressing her thoughts in the Van'tese College. While radical or at best revolutionary, Charlotte had only ever provoked arguments with her peers and mentors. Never before had she provoked any real consequences, not like this.

The soldier replied. "Oh, of course Sir… If I could see the summons I will release her into your custody immediately."

"The summons? Yes of course you require the summons..." There was a brief and awkward pause before a third voice sounded, the ascent thick and gruff.

"By ma sevan rengs!" no sooner had the voice cursed there was a loud audible thud (The sound of metal colliding with metal), followed quickly by the complementary noise of an armoured man collapsing to the floor.

"Dorn, he was simply doing his duty. I would have preferred not to have dealt with the situation by knocking my father’s bannermen senseless."

Charlotte was a smart girl, though it didn't need much intellect to conclude that it was the bastard drake beyond her confines scolding a companion. A companion she assumed to be a dwarf (judging by the ascent and gruffness, as well as the comment regarding his rings). A notion supported by the rumours that the bastard drake had taken to travelling in the company of a young red mane dwarf, growing in notoriety for his surliness and tendencies towards violence.

The assumed dwarf spoke again. "If I wait for ye ta del wit every situashon as ye do, id find meh self forgen anothar berd reng in ye human forgez."

The two men's footsteps could be heard entering the holding hall which housed Charlotte's cell. She stepped away from the bars and positioned herself confidently against the wall beneath the small bared window raised high on her cell wall. She tried to make herself appear as comfortable as possible, despite the frigid air and the snow that occasionally streamed through the window. Soon the two men she had listened to appeared before her bars. As she had suspected it was Wylliam, the bastard drake and the Dwarf Dorn, red hair and all. Holding true to her nature, Charlotte looked over at them. As she spoke her voice trembled from the airy chill as she struggled to maintain her conviction.

"What do you want?" Charlotte asked, as if arming herself against judgement.

Wylliam's eyes shone with cunning as he stepped closer to the bars. He began to pull a scroll from his coat along with a letter. "My dear Charlotte, I want you to help me save our Kingdom."


**********************************Across Town, and late that evening**************************************

Dante ran along the roof's support beam, before deliberately throwing his momentum onto the icy roof. His graceful bounds turned into a sweeping slide which he used to propel himself between the suburban structures parted by the mains streets. Dante landed on his mark, a hoarded balcony overlooking an alley street in Van'tese's low town. The idle noises of stray suburban animals and the daily activities of the cities poorer folk riddled the otherwise silent streets will eclectic sounds.

This wasn’t the forests of the Lapusha Highlands had grown intimately accustomed to, this was a Ghenraen metropolis. While the two terrains were vastly different, his skills and talents held true and allowed him to move as he always did… silent, swift and unhindered. For all his skill and talent, Dante still had not yet managed to shake his growing fever. It had been taking its toll gradually on him for the past mouth and despite being able to maintain his standards; he knew he was exerting himself more than usual when performing even the most mundane manoeuvres.

After landing on the balcony, Dante soon began to cough. He had been able to suppress this in weeks passed when it first developed (or at least pass it off as if he was clearing his throat or a gesture of the like). Yet this time his body rebelled. It ached, then raked in pain. His body contracting before giving a jolting release. Dante pulled away the wraps concealing his face, finding it damp with blood. Fear began to swell within him as he began to sweat. In an attempt to rally his discipline he wiped away the beads forming across his forehead. As his hand completed the task and dropped away, he noticed that his sweat had formed into a sticky substance which had attached itself to his arm. As he stretched further it began to look more and more like spider webs.

Dante's panic settled in, he attacked his arms desperately trying to remove the light cobwebbing born of his sweat. As he flailed nervously, he coughed harder, making him light headed and dazed. Once he was satisfied that he had removed all he could, he wrapped himself up tightly in his darkened cloak and veils and made his way through the shadowy back streets of Van’tese. He stumbled for some time before finally throwing his weight against a wall at the threshold of an alley way. Dante looked ahead with slight relief. He saw a large two story building, humble in aesthetic but not in size. Above its large two large oaken doors hung a wooden sign carved and painted to appear as a boar with an apple in its mouth, wielding a large pint of malt ale.

Dante threw his weight forward and trudged towards the Tavern, the world spinning in several directions at once. He found the doors and pealed them open before stepping inside away from the brisk air and the persistent snowfall. As he did he collapsed, but was caught by the owner, Deter Golgar. Dante clutched the hulking Ulfen, barely able to stand. Dante’s voice was weak and it eventually failed him, but not before he managed to say a name as clear as day. "Torvus"

Deter pulled back the hood and masking garbs in time to see Dante's eye roll back as his body gave way completely.


*********************************Somewhere across the kingdom*****************************

Shando stumbled to his knees. His wounds were many, but in time and with care they would heal. For now however, he was spent. His brow as soaked in sweat, blood and damped again by snow tuned water as it melted across his forehead and through his hair. The Eladrin Ranger struggled to keep his whole white eyes open while surveying his surroundings. Scores of Ogroid goblins lay dead, fewer still barely alive groaning in protest against their mortal wounds. Shando found his resolve and wearily rose to his feet. With his quiver spent and nary the strength to lift his Eladrin Glaive, the elusive ranger resorted to using his dagger. Systematically Shando moved through the collage of corpses, locating any survivors to add to his incomplete masterpiece.

Once he had finished his reaping, Shando hobbled over to the huge stone arch over grown with moss, fungus and forest greenery nearby. There was a time when these majestic arch ways would have been guarded by many like Shando. However, the Eladrin were few and the Glade Guards and Rangers were fewer still. Shando leaned against the Gateway structure and began feeding himself some herbal remedies from his belt pouch to dull his pains. As he chewed, he took advantage of his hard earned reprieve, taking a moment to rest. Shando had found his destination, and won his battle, but next he woke, the war would begin.


Last edited by Cowboy on Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:48 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:20 pm

A long and low whistle escaped from Merick's lips once the lord and all of the other nobles had let them leave. "Well damn, I guess we're famous now." He tapped the side of the wooden chest and he grinned as he heard the slight tink tink of loose coins. I wonder how much I could hock the chest for, he thought.

"So," Merick began, his voice breaking the silence of the entrance hall, "I don't know if there are secret words known only to nobles but what the hell is a 'Sentential'? Did he mean 'Sentinel' or 'Guardian' or something like that? Bugger it, are we getting paid for being 'Sententials'? 'Cos if he pays like this all the time I'm pretty happy with being whatever it is."

Merick squatted down beside the chest and quickly realised that it was much too heavy to lift on his own. "Back to the pub to celebrate then I guess?" he said as he patted the wooden engravings on the lid. "Eadwine's a lord champion, Adrysse got a freaky flower for her training, and we all have a shit tonne of money! Who wants to help me carry this chest back to the Boar?"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:31 pm

Thorgrim reached over and grabbed the other handhold of the chest. "Aye, I'm sure he will pay well... Every time we foil an assassination or stop a foe akin to the Delvar..." The dwarf chuckled lightly.

"I for one have had enough of celebrations for now." He said, his tone growing more serious. "We have been waylayed long enough, and Time is running short. Perhaps a few drinks are in Order, Master Merric, But over deep conversation of our next course of action..."

Thorgrim nodded for Eadwine to take point as the party began its walk back to their, suddenly humble feeling, Accommodations at the Malt and Boar...

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:04 pm

As the warband made their way out of the entrance halls of Tudor Towers and towards their lodgings, Torvus began to veer off "I have an erand to run, I'll meet you back at the Boar" and with that he slipped into the crowds, voices behind him that may have been his companions.

Finding his way to the fetid waters of the city's river wasn't hard, he just followed the faint smell of bloat and corpses "It's things like this that keep me in the wilds" he said as he noticed the formerly submerged bodies had been pulled from the water, whether to clean the river or just to turn the bodies over he couldn't say. But this was the place, slightly less conspicuous being free of crossbow bolts and the windows no longer warping reflections, but definitely the place.

Torvus knocked before entering, not wanting to startle the expected occupant (in the unlikely event he wasn't allert) and not wanting to stand still for too long in a neighbourhood such as this. "Greetings friend, I've come to ask a favour." The Cobalt Key relaxed within, surprisingly comfortable for a man in such a squalid setting, he finished the last of what seemed to be smoked fish before drawing from a pipe. "Bonjour, I am afraid you just missed the herring" the Key said as he wiped his fingers clean on a cloth "But how can I help?"

Torvus went on to explain his need for training; it had occured to him that with so many missed details that could have turned the events in their favour, his need to scrutinise those he encountered would be great. This was a skill his mother had tried to teach him, but being more interested in the horizon than those he met on his way to it, the lessons never really took, with luck the Key could help. Additionally, the Key seemed a crafty sort, and while Dante had once tried to get Torvus to embrace the arts of the thief, Torvus never quite spent enough time in a city to solidify the training, the Key may be able to help and to point out some differences of approach. Finally, despite his reluctance to rely upon such a fine a fragile device in the wilds, Torvus knew he needed to learn to use firearms. He took the opportunity to retrieve the Warwheel Pistol loaned to the Key, and to get a few pointers on its use.

Some time later as the sky hued towards a burnt orange, Torvus bid the Cobalt Key farewell. With much knowledge to think on and practice he headed towards the Malt and Boar, belt newly weighted with a pistol "With luck there'll be time on the road for Thorgrim and the others to teach me more about this" he mused.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Sat Mar 12, 2016 9:33 pm

Torvus peeled off as the group trod out of the doors into the courtyard, citing an errand that needed running. Eadwine realised with a start that he hadn't reclaimed his mask and clothes from the servants' quarters, and quickly explained to Thorgrim that he'd meet the rest of the crew back in the Malt'n'Boar.

He headed back around to the servants' entrance and was quickly admitted. With a sigh of relief he put his own mask back on. The young scholar scratched at his neck wound, and stopped himself when he realised what he was doing. Eadwine left with his clothing under one arm: if he was to be the Champion of Brightwater then he'd best have a uniform that matched. The sword was still wrapped in the cloak: no point in getting mugged for it just now.

He considered stopping by Merryn's laboratory on the way back, to thank her, but figured that she would just tell him to go get bedrest. Maybe tomorrow.

The recent events left him wondering. What was Roth after? Where was Charlotte? How did Milburga figure into this? Were his family OK?

He plodded back to the Malt'n'Boar, trying to prioritise. A plan emerged by the time he reached the inn; he'd wash, dress and head to the College. There he could try to find Charlotte, maybe speak to Milburga, and arrange for the bulk of his recent payments to be sent to his family in Auskell.

He entered the Boar and headed upstairs to begin.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:47 pm

What remained of the day the warband used to conduct their personal earns. The afternoon was spent purchasing small goods and supplies and cleaning their clothes stained with the filth and muck from the spelunking in the sewers in days earlier. Their mission to prevent the Lord's assassination had only taken them two days to complete, but it was arguably the most stressful and demanding task they had completed to date. Many in the warband entertained the thought of preferring combat against the Ogriods to Ghenraen espionage (much more direct and simple).

One by one, the warband members concluded their day's business, slowly making their way to the Malt'n'Boar (their assumed base of operations). The day had been the coldest of winter this year. Many of the locals speculated that the frosts had begun to settle in and that Brightwater lake would have begun to freeze over. Locals had taken to wrapping cart wheels in chains or pitting them with studs to ensure traction along the icy rural roads and trails. Even the northern Ulfen, (famous as there were for their resilience against winter adversity) were feeling the chill in the air.

It was now early evening. Lamp men were lighting the oils of the street lights illuminating the mains of Van'tese. Eadwine had found himself a seat by the window of the warband's room earlier that day. Nesting in the room’s confines, he had taken to scribing his thoughts and plans within one of his leather bound journals while periodically glancing over at the cloak wrapped blade resting on his bed. Eadwine had much to process and a great deal more to prepare for. It had not been long before Thorgrim, Merrick and Adrysse joined him having finished their food and drink. The day had been just as eventful as the few before it, and despite plenty of cause to celebrate those present decided to instead articulate the warband's next task.

Torvus' mind was swollen with the weight of information he had to process. It was near mid-morning when the east bastion was attacked, barely midday when he had been presented to the Court of Van'tese and now he was attempting to retain firearm etiquette and the subtitles of scrutiny (A near foreign concept to a wilds dweller), it was allot to swallow to say the least. Torvus eventually reached the Malt'n'Boar. After tending his thirst and hunger, Torvous re-joined his warband upstairs finding them toiling over Adrysse's local maps and discussing the tactical information they had been privy to in months past.

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:09 pm

Eadwine opened his notebook to a page bearing a few sparse drawings and glyphs---his sketch of the map seen in the Lord's war-room scarcely two days ago---and added it to the pile on the table.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:27 pm

Torvus sat heavily upon his bed, it had been quite a day and he had much to process. As his mind raced with ideas and concepts unfamiliar to him he considered how to solidify their training, over the coming days he would have to rehearse and train these new concepts.

Just as he was about to lay back and relax, a bellowing accented cry rose from below. "Torvus!"
Jolting upright Torvus momentarily wondered if his thefts had been noticed, before shaking off the thought as dreariness, remembering he had stolen nothing. Moving quickly downstairs in response to the ungency of the cry, Torvus saw the Boars owner Deter Golgar hunched over a figure by the hearth. As he approached he saw Dante, but not as he remembered him from just that morning, the ostentatious rogue was instead sickly and pale. "Dante, what has happened?" Torvus said, kneeling by his brother.

"ADRYSSE! I need help!"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:42 pm

Thorgrim had been counting the coin from the Lord. As a dwarf it was somewhat of a common skill, and so he was relied on to account and share out the reward. Five bundles, each containing One Hundred Silver, one Golds worth, wrapped up in five rolls of twenty each.

The precision of the task was a matter of pride for dwarfs, and it also gave Thorgrim good time to think. In the communal room the table had been set up as a war table, with an array of improvised markers and tokens representing the state of the land. They had been waiting for the others before beginning a meeting.

For Thorgrim there was little to discuss but much to debate. His mind was made up. With the undead army posing a direct threat to his people he had to act, but it would be a martyrdom without his ally's, Most of all the young Priestess~"ADRYSSE!" Thorgrim was startled and grasped his Axe as he heard Torvus' Desperate shout. He nodded as the others rallied, staying back a moment to properly stow the coin before following them downstairs...

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Fabulous on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:12 am

After the events from the past few days, the priestess was exhausted. Lying on her bed, she decided she would reflect on the past events before trying to get some sleep.  

She had saved Lord Brightlen's life by intercepting the poisoned wine; meanwhile The rest of the warband had a kitchen fight with the assassin and his guard friend. At the end of the night, the Lord was still alive, proof was found that the Chevalier Midas was behind the assassination attempt on the Lord and the negotiations in the kitchen ended well and Eadwine left alive.  

At the public executions in the gallows the next day, things had become worse. Eadwine's mentor, Milburga, was one of the 'traitors' to be sentenced to hanging by Chevalier Midas, until what she now knew as the Iron Mandrakes intervened. Their leader, a dark-skinned elf known as Mannah Roth, had taken on Chevalier Midas while the rest of the Iron Mandrakes had taken on the guardsmen surrounding the gallows. Meanwhile, Torvus, Eadwine, Merick and Thorgrim started releasing the 'traitors'.

As a priestess, Adrysse could not interfere with the politics and laws of the kingdom; therefore she could neither help her fellow allies nor the Iron Mandrakes. Not wanting to leave the current situation but knowing she couldn't help in the current state, the priestess tried to keep herself out of the way and draw as little unwanted attention to herself as possible.

Once the dust had settled, Chevalier Midas and the guardsmen were dead, and Mannah Roth was bestowing the Chevalier's sword upon Eadwine along with a message to be delivered to Lord Brightlen. Before the priestess could begin to apologise for not helping due to her obligations, Lieutenant Abagail Morsel appeared, demanding answers for the destruction that had just occurred.  

The Lieutenant escorted the allies to the auditorium within Tudors Towers, where Lord Brightlen addressed the warband. Individually, the Lord congratulated them for their efforts and rewarded them consecutively. When it was the priestess's turn, she didn't expect anything for her efforts, as she felt she hadn't really contributed all that much. When the Lord presented the peculiar flower within it's cylindrical case, the priestess was awestruck at what she found herself looking at.

The layered purple flower shimmered in the light and seemed almost enchanted. Adrysse cocked her head slightly to the left as she inspected its magnificence. Although it started out looking like a normal blossom, with three spectacular petals protruding from the bottom, as the priestess's eyes rose further up the flower her expressions changed from awestruck to curiosity as she marveled at how such a thing was created. The second layer of the flower had some sort of tentacles replacing the petals and protruding from the centre of this strange flower was several adder tongues. Taken aback by the flower's beauty, the priestess had become completely entranced and was no longer paying attention to what was going on around her until the room filled with applause and the warband was ushered back to the entrance hall of Tudors Towers.  

Placing the flower in its glass cylinder carefully within her bag, Adrysse was too distracted by the unexpected progress the flower presented and didn't recognise or respond when Torvus and Eadwine inquired they both had things they needed to do before returning and headed off in their separate directions. Adrysse followed Thorgrim and Merick back to the Malt 'n' Boar, still completely enthralled by the flower's magnificence.

Lying on her bed, the priestess ruminated over the tasks the warband could pursue; whether they decided to take on the undead army, the orcish army or finish her personal quest bestowed upon her by her Chaplin to become attuned to the Ardent Crest, the holy relic she had acquired and kept within her possession. The priestess recognised that recently she had been becoming more renowned within Van'Tese and following the past few days events, even more so.

Even though the attention didn't totally phase the priestess, she did want to use her reputation for the right reasons; especially after her father's reputation in Augustown. She didn't want word to spread too much that there was another Gothard running around and chaos running with it. With that thought, her family motto reverberated throughout her head, be good and be brave. Thinking of her hometown, and Chaplin Renee De'Cartae,  Adrysse decided that as long as the she knew she was a good person, and her allies knew that too, she didn't care too much about her reputation whatsoever.

The thought of the Chaplin also reinvigorated the thought of the flower the priestess was gifted. Retrieving the flower from within her bag, Adrysse couldn't help but feel somehow drawn to it. Even though the priestess didn't know much about the flower, she could feel it's energy; how it was somehow different, almost ethereal. No matter how much the priestess wanted to touch the flower, with the little knowledge she had, she didn't know if it was dangerous in any way. Her bewilderment of the flower had her wondering what it smelt like; whether it would smell sweet and chypre like sandalwood, or soft and aromatic like sage. What sort of scent it would have and how overpowering it would be; whether it would have a sillage or not.  

She also wondered what it would feel like; whether the petals would be smooth and the tongues rough; or if the tentacles would be coarse or refined. If it was delicate and fragile and would fall apart with a gentle breeze or strong and robust and could withstand the harshest fires or strongest storms. Holding the flower up to the light, she noticed that it was ever so slightly diaphanous; overall Adrysse had never encountered something so beautiful before.

'One down, two to go,' she thought.

While the warband had a general idea of where to find a gryphon to retrieve a gryphon feather and the remains of a dead witch for a finger bone, they had not yet pursued either; they had not even looked into where to retrieve the flower from.

"Torvus!"

Adrysse heard the elven's name shouted from downstairs; she noted the hint of urgency within the cry.Looking over she noticed he seemed confused, before shaking himself and making his way downstairs. She had almost instantly recognised the voice; it was Deter Golgar, the owner of the Malt 'n' Boar. Rubbing her eyes and stretching, the priestess replaced the flower within her belongings and decided she should go and see why Deter was calling for Torvus so diligently.  

Halfway down the stairs, Torvus shouted for her help. Knowing that the elf was the most calm out of all of them, she rarely ever heard him shout unless it was very urgent or necessary. Moving faster, the priestess found him knelt by a curled up figure by the hearth. As she approached, she noticed the figure was also elfish and very pale; and covered in something very sticky and web-like.  

Noticing the blood surrounding the sick elf's mouth, Adrysse casted all her healing spells she knew on the elf. Even though she didn't know what was wrong with the elf, she couldn't just sit by and do nothing. After casting her spells, the priestess checked the elf's pulse; it was weak but stable. While the priestess didn't like the thought that came into her head, she knew there was little else she could do; not without risking this stranger's life.  

"Torvus, we need to take him to Merryn. I don't know what this is but I don't think it's something I can fix; unless this is some elf thing you know about and have a cure for."

It was only after she had finished concentrating on the stranger did she realise that the rest of the warband was surrounding them.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:06 am

Torvus held his breath as the priestess without hesitation or request imbued his brother with healing energies, but to no avail.

When asked if the malady was of elven origin Torvus said "It's nothing I know of, but we're not exactly close with our ancestors. Thank you for trying Adrysse."

Noticing Thorgrim at the top of the stairs Torvus called out "Grab his legs, we're off to Merryn, hopefully she'll accept appologies for the second night in a row."

Taking his brother and thanking the Boar's owner, Torvus headed towards the door with intent to seek Merryn.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:50 am

Things were happening fast..

Once they had gotten outside, Thorgrim gestured for Torvus to let the Dwarf carry the Ailing Elf. "Go saddle the horse to the Cart Lad, Quick as you like, ill be right behind you" The brawny dwarf began to walk without apparent strain towards the cart, leaving the Elvish woodsman no chance to argue the point.

Thorgrim had noticed the Elvin kind were usually somewhat light by his standards, this one seemed especially so, he seemed stretched somehow, as if from famine even tho he still had meat on his bones enough to suggest otherwise.

The dwarf with help settled the stranger into the cart, and with Tovus at the helm the group was soon rocketing up the street...

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:05 am

Eadwine guessed this was Torvus' brother expiring in the back of the cart. The dark-clad elf had gone clammy and looked like every pore on his body had been turned to a spinneret. The alchemist student decided he'd best keep an eye on Torvus and Thorgrim; the illness might be contagious, and they were covered in web. Adrysse hadn't touched him, so she was probably safe.

"'Ware the rooves," Eadwine said to Merick and Thorgrim. "Hopefully his companions"-he gestured at Dante-"realise we're trying to help him, but I don't want to be attacked if they misunderstand our intent."

The Chevalier's sword (Eadwine didn't really think of it as his own) rested across his knees, still wrapped. Eadwine was glad he'd had a chance to get his armour back on, though he wore a robe of the Lord's servants over the top.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:46 am

The ride was not a delicate one to the Tudor Tower's alchemy lab. Thorgrim covered in webbing as much as torvus was also, was deving the cart in favor of speed. Torvus was braced on the flat of the cart overseering his brother with Adrysse, while Merick and Eadwine watched for the tell tale signs of assailantd who might give life to Eadwines concerns.

Despite the lateness of the hour, lights were still lit in the lab. The warband, or Tudor Sentinels as they were now known as by many, were seldom given second looks as the passed within the walls of the lords castle.

As the warband delivered Dante inside, they found Meryn toiling over her usual pile of tomes, scrolls and other alchemy references. Her short brown hair was a little teased and she appeared as if her hard efforts and lack of sleep were weighing in on her. Still Meryn noticed the entrace of her most recognised visitors and bucked up to meet them as she always had. She noticed the elven brother and his weakened state, excreeting a web like substance from his pores, coughing furiously, his lips painted with his own blood.

"By the prevailing light! What is this? I have never seen such phenomena. What has happened? Who is this?" Meryn exclaimed.

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:22 am

"Blast!" cried Eadwine. His mind raced: Dante was with Roth, in one way or another. "Torvus, quickly! The Mandrakes may know of this ailment. To the Bastion!"
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:34 am

The warmth of the laboratory was a welcome relief to Merick as they piled in with the sickly Elf. The ride across town had been cold and hard and he hadn't even had time to grab a warm cloak to shield himself from the freezing winds before they had taken off. Torvus and Thorgrim still held the Elf aloft even as his sores swelled, blistered, and burst before their very eyes. Merick nervously edged away from the Elf, much like he had kept his distance from Three Toes Terry and the other lepers back in Auskell.

Before the door slammed shut as the last of the group rushed into the alchemy laboratory, he glanced outside to check for any pursuers. He didn't believe that the guards would follow them in but he was unnerved by the other shadowy Elves and terrorists. Merick knew they had likely seen them race across town but he hadn't seen a trace of them on the rooftops or anywhere else for that matter. As a precaution, he barred the door to the laboratory and turned as he heard Meryn's tired voice become more shrill as she realised why they had arrived.

"Meryn," he began as he tried to direct the scatterbrained alchemist before Eadwine interrupted. "Calm down Eadwine. This Elf is dangerously sick and Meryn is the best doctor that we know and the only one who can save him. She saved me from near death and I'm sure that she can save this Elf. We'd be willing to pay you richly for your help, Meryn." Merick didn't wait for Meryn's agreement and he gestured for Torvus and Thorgrim to follow him as he barged into the adjoining surgery room. He hoped a combination of praise, flattery, and bribery would convince Meryn to help them.

Merick turned to Eadwine as the Elf was laid on the table. "If you think the scary dark elf and the Iron Mandrakes know something, you can go and see if they can help. This thing looks like magic or curses or something so maybe one of the other priests might be able to help too. I think I'll trust Meryn for this one though. She's been good to us before and if anyone can cure a sickness, it would be her."
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Comander.c on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:43 am

Thorgrim nodded consensus to Merrica words. "Aye, Meryn lass see what you can do, and the boy and i will see to our friendly neighborhood Terrorists."

Patting Torvus reassuringly on the back the dwarf said "Best you come with us too, him being your brother is clear to the eye and recognition may well help open doors. Bet as you like that the lads not a lone case and even if so they can tell us where he's been and lead us towards a cure"

Thorgrim gripped Eadwine by the shoulder and gave him a comradely look "Time to live up to your new station lad"

With that the Dwarf lead the way back out into the freezing cold, web coating and all, and got back into the cart...

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Mifurey on Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:54 am

The dwarf's grip left a tingle on Eadwine's shoulder; he hoped it was the feeling of responsibility, not sickness.

Still, it was time to stop hiding the Blade. He unbundled it and hurriedly threw the cloak to Merick, who didn't have one, and followed Thorgrim out the door.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Fabulous on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:35 pm

The priestess's head was spinning. What on earth was happening to this elf? She had never encountered such a strange sickness before... None of her healing spells had worked, the elf was still coughing up blood, and his clammy skin kept excreting some sort of sticky substance...  

While she was trying to figure out what else she could do, Thorgrim had already carried the elf out of the door of the Malt 'n' Boar and was loading him into the cart attached to the horse. Snapping herself out of her confused thoughts, she hurried out the door after them.

"You can think about it after everything has been handled. You need to focus on the current situation, just because you didn't heal him doesn't mean you get to do nothing. Pull yourself together," she thought to herself as she climbed into the back of the cart with the rest of them. Eadwine and Merick sat looking out for any trouble while Thorgrim drove them to the alchemist's lab.  

When they arrived Adrysse noticed that Merryn looked disheveled and fatigued, but still busying herself over her research books. Seeing the alchemist like this at this time of night, the priestess felt slightly contrite towards her, not that she would ever have admitted it aloud to the alchemist.  

After her remark at how unusual this elf's condition was, Eadwine started to lose his composure, but his thought did make sense; approaching the Iron Mandrakes for a solution did seem like another option. The priestess was still having a hard time focusing on anything but the fact that she couldn't do anything for the elf when she heard the word magic, and an idea popped into the priestess's head; something she hadn't considered before, after all it was something she had only recently learned, and not something she considered to be attached to sickness usually.  

After Thorgrim, Torvus and Eadwine left for the Bastion and Mannah Roth, the priestess decided to stay and help the alchemist in whatever way she could, despite her conflicting feelings of resentment and contrite towards Merryn.  

"There's one thing I would like to try before you start your experimentations, if you wouldn't mind," she addressed the alchemist while approaching the sick elf. Sitting down next to the elf, she closed her eyes and concentrated, using her magical senses to detect any magical energies nearby.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Nick_Nork on Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:56 pm

Torvus looked down on his brother, feeling a mix of concern and determination, he would solve this if he had to drag every healer, priest, and alchemist in the city to the tower.

Torvus took a breath and stood up straight, nodded to Meryn "Do what you can, whether money of favour I'll see that you're paid." And turned to follow the warband, save Adrysse whom he was greatful stayed "Thank you again Adrysse, we'll return soon."

Torvus strode out of the alchemists lab with determination, hopefully the Bastion would hold the answers they sought and hopefully its inhabitants would be cooperative.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Popdart5 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:09 pm

Merick caught the cloak that Eadwine tossed to him and was slightly confused as the icy wind blew through the door as Torvus, Thorgrim, and Eadwine headed outside. He quickly followed after them and rapped the side of the cart as they prepared to set off again. "I'll stay here," he said to them as he already began shivering from the cold. He wrapped himself up in Eadwine's cloak and he nodded appreciatively at him. "The last time Adrysse and Meryn had to deal with each other for a while there was an explosion. I'll try and stop both of them doing something brash while you three head to the Bastion. Good luck!"

Merick thumped the back of the cart and ducked back inside before he started growing icicles. He watched the cart trundle through the gate and out of Tudor Towers and he sighed as he firmly closed the solid wooden door. Hopefully they'd be back soon. Tonight was becoming much too unpleasant for his liking but he resolved to watch over Torvus' brother until everyone else returned. Merick made his way back to the surgery room and hoped that everything would be alright.
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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

Post by Cowboy on Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:11 pm

It had been an hour since Adrysse had asked Meryn to stay her treatments. Adrysse was seated at the head of the wooden operation table perched on a stool. She was studying Dante, but not in the traditional sense. When she started she could feel it. What 'it' was she could not tell yet, but she was following, like a trail or a piece of string leading her conciousness closer to the veil. As Adrysse did this, Dante had taken to lashing out in violent fits. Merick and Meryn resolved to restrain the suffering elf with the bench's leather straps.

As the minutes went by Meryn grew more and more impatient. Dante was in pain, he needed some form of treatment. Though there was no denying that this was beyond her expertise and training. No medical condition she has come across (which is a rather lengthy list), could identify the adversity Dante was suffering. She wished to intervene, every bone in her wanted to, but she afforded the priest the opportunity to attempt her idea first. She let her because of a simple truth, Meryn had no idea what she could do to stop the elf's deterioration.

As the first hour ended, Meryn, Merrick and Adrysse had grow almost numb to Dante's wails. Adrysse had achieved clarity, she was so close. Suddenly, she found it, and then she immediately began to regret it. Adrysse found her conciousness falling in an endless darkness. She felt as if her ear would burst, a deafening silence, if such a thing could exist was assailing her as she fell. She looked down to see ground rising quickly to her.

Merrick and Meryn were still waiting in an endless state of concern and anxiousness. Adrysse had not moved by her expression had defiantly changed. She had begun with in a neutral expression of focus, but as the time past and more so now than before, it had shifted. It seemed almost like, fear. Then Adrysse gasped, and almost as if he was responding, Dante fell silent and still. Meryn ran to the bench and check for sign of life. No sooner had she reached Dante's side she and Merrick heard an audible cascade of bones snapping, or as they soon saw, reshaping.

******************************************************************************************

Adrysse stood up and looked around, She was still in the lab... sort of. Everything was largely the same, except the walls had fallen away and there was no longer a roof. In fact, with the exception of the floor and the room's furnishings, Adrysse found herself within a withered and dying forest. The world she was in was completely devoid of colour, with the exception of washed out hues of dark red and ethereal blues. no one else was in the room with Adrysse. Not Meryn, not Merrick, nor Dante. As she looked around with growing concern Adrysse spotted Dante. He was a fair way ahead, walking down a dirt path twisting its way deeper into the woods.

Adrysse followed, slowly. It seemed as she turn each new corner she would only manage to spot Dante for a moment before he disappeared behind another curtain of dark wood. Adrysse could still hear the overwhelming white noise. As she walked deeper into the woods she began to see haunting figures moving among the distant silhouettes of the woods. She felt watch, vulnerable, powerless and loneliness like none she had ever felt before. As it all nearly became too much she turned the corner.

Before the priestess there was a huge tree, its branches twisted and leafless. All over the tree were lesion sacks, pulsating ominously. Wired among its branches, roots and all around the surrounding grove were thick ethereal webs. Stretched out upon each were elves, neither dead, nor were they alive. Their bodies pealed and flayed, with the insides exposed and in most cases strewn out around them like grotesque decorations. Adrysse continued with caution. She could see Dante navigating his way up the rise towards the giant mutated tree. Adrysse called out, but as she did, she suddenly found herself being stared at by the hundreds that surrounded her. They spoke as one with one voice, but different voices at the same time.

"Eight and One, his time has come" The webbed corpses repeated it over and over, their chant getting louder and louder. Adrysse pressed her hands to her ears but to no success. The noise, it would not yield to her. She looked up as the chant had grown to an overwhelming roar in time to see something beginning to crawl forth from the depths of the colossal lesion covered gore engulfed tree. At first it was two, but then four and then six. Huge stalked legs as black as midnight reached forth from the dark Abysse of the tree's hollow. In unison with the chanting webbed, a deep and ancient voice rumbled. It was as if darkness itself were talking to Adrysse. Eight and One, his time has come.

*******************************************************************************************

Dante had now fallen still again, but now Adrysse was the concern. After moments of observing her it was evident she was seeing something. Her muscles were flaring, eyes racing while closed and soon her nose began to bleed. Meryn held her still on her stool, Adrysse's hands still cupping Dante's head. She began to shake violently, her head then flung back and her eyes opened but had also rolled back. Meryn called Merrick to hold her as she tried to stop the bleeding.

It was then that the doors of the operation room were kicked open, and in came Dorn barely dressed brandishing his axe. He was followed quickly by Wylliam who seemed to be looking for, or at least expecting something far different to what they found upon entering. Wylliam, quickly stepped over to Adrysse gesturing to Dorn to stand down as he did. As he got closer, Meryn and Merrick could hear Wylliam muttering something under his breath as he reached out for Adrysse and Dante.

*******************************************************************************************

Adrysse ran up the path before her and caught Dante. His eyes had washed over with a milky white, just as the others caught in webs around them. Adrysse yanked his hand and tried to pull him away as the stalk legged shadow creature was slowly emerging, one leg at a time. Then, seemingly out of no where, Wylliam stepped forth. He lunged forward grabbing both Adrysse and Dante by their collars sharply stepped back. As he did Adrysse felt a sickly weightlessness in her stomach and then awoke in time to see Wylliam standing beside the operation table as she fell backwards on her stool colliding with the ground.

She managed to regain enough of her senses to react when Wylliam yelled. "Get back!"

All in the room retreated to the walls and turned in time to see Dante hips trust up arching himself in a uncanny away before violently throwing his weight back down upon the table. Then, seemingly with ease, Dante proceeded to snap the leather bonds of the table before entering another bone snapping seizure. After seconds of this his hips lashed up again before his body was thrown by an invisible force to the ceiling. Like any who touched him, the operation table and the ceiling was now covered in thick webbing. Dante as a result was suspended, above it still writhing in agony. As he twisted and thrashed the became more and more tangled until eventually he cocooned himself. in the surgery room.

Wylliam looked at Meryn, Merrick and then Adrysse. "By all that choose the light...What were you lot doing!"

*************************************Van'tese East District***********************************

Thorgrim, Eadwine and Torvus had guided the cart taken from the Malt'n'boar to the east districts of Van'tese in haste and desperation. As they came into view of the East Bastion (there destination), the spotted large patrol of Guardsmen flagging them down with Lanterns "Halt, by order of Lord Brightlen and the Guard that serve!" They called.

Thorgrim was forced to bring the carriage to a halt, but noticed one of the six was sent as a runner into the night as they came to a complete stop.

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Re: Shadows in War: A Lore of Darkness Chronicle

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