Monday, May 28, 2007

Chapter 9: The Ghastly brothers

The corridor continued for what seemed like an eternity. No devices were carved into the wall. No statues were found. One could tell that the Dwarves felt no love for this place, and their feelings were shown in the architecture. Now the party moved along nothing to keep their attention but the light from the end of Calenon’s staff, the horrible smell of rotting dwarf, and the ever growing sound of munching and tearing of flesh. Richard hung back and stuck a match against the wall, it flared and lit, but even the natural flame didn’t help to make the light carry farther in this awful blackness. Richard frowned and took his place after Calenon in the marching order. The corridor curved slightly as they traveled and after about another seventy feet, an opening could finally be seen within their radius of light.

"If there is chewing, however, I imagine it's likely to be a biter. Prepare yourselves." Calenon warned and started chanting the spider language of a spell. As it finished Calenon spoke a final word. “Drokkat!” And his body was covered in a blue sheen. At long last the party emerged into another chamber.

The chamber was quite large but the ceiling was low only, about six feet in height. The room stretched about fifty-five feet long ways and about forty-feet at it’s widest most point. The room was shaped like a lima bean, oval shaped but bent in the middle. Their were four exits to the room, the door way they were standing in which lied at one end of the room, a passage fifteen feet to their left, another passage about forty feet away across the room, and a fourth passage way at the far end of the room a good sixty feet away. The room mass made of the same polished black stone. The chamber was apparently the burial chamber for a dwarfish guard of some kind. Six Dwarfish sarcophagi were spread evenly across the room, providing about five feet of movement space between them, and the remains of honored dwarves lined the walls each occupying it’s own alcove. The sarcophagi were intricately carved with the death shrouds of each dwarf and the ancient dwarven language was written among the alcoves in the walls and upon the floor itself.

But the specifics of the room were not what interested the party as they entered the catacomb. No. What interested the party where the two horrors that had overturned a few of the sarcophagi and were now gnawing upon the decade flesh of the dwarves. They looked like they once were human, but that vestige had been shed long ago. Their flesh, which was purple and rotten, hung off them exposing their skeletal frame and the stench of death and corruption that hung around them was overwhelming. They looked up from their ghastly meal as the light entered the room and reflected off their pale black eyes. Tearing meat off the leg in his hand opened his mouth wider than a human mouth would allow, exposing tears in his cheeks, and spoke in the Entmarkian tongue with a voice that seemed like it hadn‘t spoken in years.

“I … see… fresh meat.”

The other looked up holding what was left of a decayed heart and let out an unearthly howl which echoed in the stifling silence of the place.

“Well least we see where the smell comes from.” Remarked Thomas

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chapter 8: Sounds in the Dark

Aurelious climbed out of the water, and dried himself off and checked his equipment. "I suggest we chose a marching order as the passage ways here seem only wide enough to allow travel one at a time." He looked at the iron door in which was carved a dwarf, engulfed in flames, sitting upon a pile of melting gold. "I do not like the looks of this place..." He drew Alexander from his sheath which seemed to glow with a holy light. Any suggest…?

Before Aurelious could finish Calenon pushed past him and headed for the door. When he got there he inspected it briefly, then turned abruptly and started tapping his foot. "Would someone just go through the door please? I will follow with the light. And whoever is it front of me needs to be ready to stay out of my way if we run into something! I won't be responsible."

Richard silently moved to one side as Lorem started toward the hole they just came through. He then climbed the rope and while water poured over him quickly went to work at the hole where they just climbed through.

Thomas frowned. He doesn't follow Moradin, but he had no qualms with the faith, so it was a shame to see the chamber in such poor shape. He watched as the dwarf climbed the rope and working so feverishly. Taking his attention from the dwarf to the door Thomas asked, "Is there a problem Lore....Well isn't that interesting." And much to Aurelious’s chagrin, pushes past him as well, to inspect the door.

The door seemed to depict the person entombed here. Must be an interesting story thought Thomas as he pushed Calenon out of the way.

After quite awhile Lorem had managed to dam the flow of water into the roof using the ruble from the cave in and the rest of his pitons to brace the bricks. He then lashed the stones to the pitons using the rest of his rope, hoping the others had brought enough. With the makeshift dam in place and holding the water seemed to divert to it’s old escape path, thus the flow of water was reduced to a trickle. He climbed down and admired his work. It wouldn’t last long, but maybe it will last until he could get a masonry crew down here to patch the hole.

The others grew restless as they watched Lorem turn his attention to the altar and begin some rituals they had never seen before. The only sound in the room was the rhythmic taping of Calenon’s foot on the ground and his occasional yank at the door, which held fast. Lorem finished his prayers and righted a few relics placing them higher upon the alter next to the hammer and pick symbol of Moradin. It was a small breach of etiquette, but considering the circumstances Lorem didn’t think Moradin would mind. Then he laid one hand on the alter and casts the other towards the group. With a few dwarfish prayers he asked Moradin to bless this group and forgive the non dwarves for their intrusion. Silently he asked forgiveness for providing them admittances. And with that he left the pool of water soaking wet and climbed the stair approached the door, asking the others to get out of his way. He took out the large black iron key. It’s head was shaped like that of a woman screaming with such detail it would put any Entmarkian forger to shame. He placed the key into the mouth of the screaming woman on the door and turned the key completely around. A loud clunk can be heard deep in the door, signifying it is unlocked, but Then Lorem hesitated. He looks to the party, "I will go last, so that I may lock it behind us."

Aurelious nods as Thomas confirms. "That is fine Lorem, I will exit just before you."Lorem nods and then heaves on the door. A loud screech fills the room as the door that hasn’t been opened for centuries, grinds on it’s hinges. Apparently they rusted a little due to the water. The door opens inward revealing a dwarf sized corridor leading off into darkness. The walls are made of a polished black stone, as is the floor. The ceiling is rough hewn, but of the same stone. A gust blows through the door bringing with it an awful stench of decay that hits the party like a ton of bricks.

“It shouldn’t smell like this in here.” says Lorem aloud, plugging his nose.

“It shouldn’t smell like this anywhere.” replied Thomas, brushing the tears from his eyes.

Aurelious, apparently unaffected, scowls. “Keep your eyes and ears open.” He said in a dark tone.

Richard exits first, followed abruptly by Calenon and then Aurelious. Thomas came next, followed abruptly, by Lorem who shuts the door quickly behind them and locks it.
Thomas thought to himself. “Is it to keep others from following...or something from leaving?” But the question went unanswered as they headed through the corridor. Calenon’s light spell failed and shone in the darkness. This place seemed to swallow light up. After about fifty feet of travel, Richard suddenly stopped them. “I hear something. It sounds like … chewing.”

“I don’t hear anything,” said Calenon.

“Let me in front.” Aurelious moved forward before Calenon, and just behind Richard. “Keep quiet.” He whispered. “Lead on Richard.”

The party crept forward.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chapter 7: Bad Dreams and a Ruined Altar

The light of the fire died down around the camp as the newly formed party bedded down for the night. The howling of the wind was their lullaby as they lay under the stars. Thomas couldn't sleep, his journey was going better than expected, he was already learning more about dragons, and atop of that he was going to explore a Dwarven mausoleum, learn tales of old, and have a great adventure. He raised his hand toward the stars and traced the outline of Bahamut. Thomas yawned. "Best sleep" he thought, "who knows what tomorrow brings."

Aurelious stirred and then sat up strait. He thought he heard rustling among the mining grounds. The winds picked up and whistled thought the old overturned, mining carts and steal track left from the excavation. Aurelious looked at the sky. By the moon's position he could tell it was early morning, the others were all asleep. A bump. Aurelious looked, but saw nothing. He reached for his sword and grabbing the hilt...

"Hearing things oh brave paladin?" The thought hissed through his mind. "Or perhaps you prepare for my master's coming. He will kill you and use your corps to do his building. And he will liberate me from this cursed blade!"

Aurelious scowled, he had forgotten that at night the souls grew stronger. Bad dreams, voices in the night, such was the curse of Alexander.

"Is that so, wretch. I tell you now, when your master comes I will do the same to him as I did to you, Sol help me. Now leave me be and stop your haunting. I will use your strength before long." Alexander let go of the Blade. He closed his eyes and prepared himself for what dreams await. Tomorrow couldn't come soon enough.

And come it did.
"Wake my hearty's I've prepared a breakfast fit for an elf, though we may like it too!" Ipsum laughed long and loudly. Calenon scowled.
Ipsum had prepared eggs, bacon and steaks made from the meat that was left from last night. He had even boiled a pot of coffee, which now sat over the fire bubbling and frothing. "Eat up"

The group ate in relative silence, despite Thomas's attempts at starting conversation. "I guess we have no morning people." his laughter was weak and petered out.

After breakfast they headed into the mine. The dripping of water could be heard as they walked the cart tracks. The walls were comprised of soil and clay, which soon gave way to rough stone which was mostly a grey granite, with veins of black and speckled white. Their descent into the mine was punctuated by the tutting of Lorem who was vocally displeased with the quality of the mine.

The tuting became so frequent that at long last Calenon turned and said, "I understand, Master Dwarf, which your distaste for the workmanship is so vast it rivals the size of the seven seas, but if I have to hear that "tut" sound again I shall send you straight into another plain of existence! One where they have no stone at all! Understand?"

"My apologies, Master Elf, but look they dug right through a dwarven depth marker." Lorem pointed to a round spot of collared stone all of them had missed. "No wonder the mine collapsed, there are dwarven corridors all around us that they have dug too close to. This whole mine is unstable. Any self respecting dwarf would never have built a mine like this." Lorem tuted. Calenon leapt for him, but Richard stopped him, shaking his head. "Come, we waist time." called Aurelious from down the mine. So the matter was dropped and they continued on.

The mine continued down till the entrance was out of sight. Calenon lit a stone on the end of his staff giving off light. Lorem grumbled, as the light hurt his dark vision, and took point. They came to a place where the mine branched and Lorem lead them down the right passage. The sound of rushing and splashing watter could be heard far down the tunnel. The tunnel grew smaller as they travled untill they could only travel one at a time. After a while the passageway opened, seemingly accidentally, into an old spring pool. The remains of old buckets, rope, and water gathering tools showed that the pool had been used as a water source for the miners, but now there was a hole where, apparently, the mine had collapsed, letting the water run into another chamber. Lorem pointed across the spring to the hole.

"there's our goal. The water now runs into a small anti-chamber adjacent to the Mausoleum. I have the key to the door."

One at a time the group waided cross the pool to the hole. A rope, witch Lorem hammered into the wall with a piton, was lowered down the hole. and one by one the party decended. They were now standing in a pool of water that was waist deep. The stone here has different, it was black and polished. the water seemed to be rushing awway through a few small holes in the floor. Then they heard Lorem Swear loudly in the Dwarvin tonge. They were in a small praying chamber, and on the wall was a shrine to Moradin, now water logged. Across from the ruined altar was a stone stair which headed up to a black iron door.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chapter 6: Edge of the Abyss

Sionaas stood and brushed of his robes. “Oh don’t worry, it’s not far now, just up this sheer rock face, over a couple peeks and crags, then up the narrow mountain trail over looking Dead man’s cliff.” Sionaas said with a smile, but then he frowned. “Maybe we should have taken the service road up… well this ways faster.” He said brightening again. “If we don’t die of course.”

Turning and looking forward at the mountain tops he had a bit of a twinkle in his eye. “You know I need to thank you. You see, your fulfilling a life long dream today. I`ll never be able to thank you enough.” Sionaas smiled. “well off we go!”

And with that strange unimaginable speed, unbecoming of an old man, he practically leapt up the mountain face with the others hard pressed to keep up.

Meanwhile, in the fading light of twilight, high on the mountain tops, a tiny flash of light could be seen. This flash of light was quickly followed by another, and then another, and then another. After this one however a flicker stayed, which, with time, grew to a light. If one were to be on this mountain and next to this light, one would see it belonged to a campfire, which in turn belonged to a dwarf. The dwarf as it turns out, was sent to this particular mountain top to accompany a group of people he had never met into a place where they did not belong. Needless to say he wasn’t very happy about it and the fact he had been waiting three days for this particular party did not help the matter in the least. This Dwarf went by the name of Lorem Ipsum.

Lorem looked at the man made cave and scoffed. Even he could see it was shoddily made and he wasn’t even one of the stoneworkers of his people. They should have paid the extra money and gotten dwarves to do it. The dwarves have a good relationship with the Entmarkians, who import all their stonework for hefty sums of gold. Humans knew nothing of stone, how it breaths and moves. He on the other hand was a part of it. But he did not work the stone as his brothers and sisters. He worked with the soul. He was a cleric of Ademander, the dwarven god of death, though he told his friends he worshiped Moradin like everyone else. Admander was the defender of the halls of Moradin and expected glory and honor in death, but the real reason Lorem chose Ademander as his god is because not many do and as a result it is a quick way to respect and wealth. And the more respect and wealth you have, the closer you are to winning.

Lorem pulled out a hunk of meat that he had marinated in the special dwarven mushroom glaze and put it on the spit over the fire. He had foreseen that today was the day Sionaas and his troop would arrive and decided he would try to build a bond with the wizard and maybe with a few of the stronger gentlemen as well. After all, it would be good to have a few powerful allies for leverage latter he thought as he pulled out his last keg of Dwarven Ale. Lorem smiled as he thought of the way he had negotiated and clawed his way up the political ranks of the highly structured and hierarchical dwarven society. For a dwarf of his prowess he was at a much higher status that others at his level and as for having leverage there was no one better. Lorem knew everybody and how to get what he wanted from any of those people. If life was a game, than Lorem was a winner, or at least he was going to be, one way or another.

Lorem turned the spit slowly as he rested his feet by the fire.

That’s why this mission was annoying him. There were few rewards for doing this, but if he were to fail the punishment would be extreme. He was to take these “Frotars” or others, into the mausoleum of Aym, Queen of the Dwarves.

Lorem spit. For some dwarves still spit at her name. Aym was a woman who's greed nearly destroyed the Dwarven empire. The only reason that the mausoleum was built (and then sealed to never be spoken of again) was so that the soul of Aym would rest in peace and no longer haunt the dwarven empire. So when the magician Sionaas accidentally uncovered an entrance in his excavation, he asked to explore the dungeon and Thodrim Dwarf King agreed.

That one still had Lorem scratching his head.

However Thodrim would not allow anyone in unless a cleric of Admander accompanied them and made sure NOTHING is disturbed within the tomb. And guess who was at the proper rank and level for this particular mission…

The sun had set and the wind had died down to a low roar. This side of the mountain was shielded from the harsh easterly winds that prevailed here, bringing cool air in from the ocean. Lorem was starting to get annoyed.

“They should have been here by now” he grumbled

“Right you are” shouted an Entmarkian voice from across the man made plateau.

“Who goes, friend or foe.” responded Lorem

“Friend, if ye be the same.” Came back Sionaas’s voice. For Sionaas it was, accompanied by four
extremely tired looking individuals.

“Aie, I be.” Lorem said giving the proper response. “Come I’ve built a fire, warmed the ale and cooked the meat which waits for ya if ye be hungry.” Lorem looked at the individuals. A dark haired man wearing black, a peasant, the elf (as that is what he referred to Sionaas‘s assistant), and a paladin from a god he had never seen before. Well, it looked like he would have to carry them through this.

“Yes, please eat.” exclaimed Sionaas. “and tomorrow start on your adventure. I will be here when you return. Lorem will answer any questions if you have them, but for now I have pressing business elsewhere, but my mind is with you.” and with a few powerful magic words Sionaas disappeared in a flash and puff of purple smoke.

“Now,” said Lorem, “I believe a few introductions are in order and then a good nights rest, for tomorrow we enter the abyss.” He looked at the deep and foreboding cave that, in the dark, did look like the door to the abyss itself.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chapter 5: A Ball of Crystal

The odd collection of adventurers would have looked almost comical from afar as they desperately tried to keep up with the extremely excited wizard who seemed to scurry over rocks like a spider. However the tone of this group was much more somber when one got in close. Aurelious grabbed on to the ledge and hauled himself up the rock face, praising Sol that he was not required to wear the armor that many in his profession choose. Suddenly the ledge gave way and Aurelious almost fell back down a good twenty feet, but luckily he was caught by Richard, who managed to haul him up the face.

They all now sit on a cliff that overlooked the valley, in which Mubam’we lay. They had been climbing most of the day. First along the green hills that lined the valley, where the heads of goats grazed. Next were the foot hills for the Windswept wall which were full of crags and crannys which held all manner of dark things. Yet after much tribulation they had finally reached the face of the mountains themselves and they were living up to their name. A wind howled along the mountain face that sent chills down the spine, but here, on this cliff, they were sheltered from the wind. A good thing as Sionaas had chosen this spot to finally tell them what they would be doing.

“Ok good, we are all here. Whether you know it or not, I have gathered you here so that you may complete a little task for me. After extensive research and searching I have come across the find of a century. Deep within this mountain lies a great treasure: The Crystal Ball of Koral Lierman. It has the ability to scry across planar barriers, magical fields, and into areas you have never been. However Lierman was a tricky fellow. He teleported the crystal ball into a special room, or so the tome of Harin Brock leads me to believe, but if magic is used to move the ball or room in anyway, or if you try to magically travel into the room, or if you try to locate the ball magically, the ball will teleport again and be lost forever. So I hired an excavation crew to search for this artifact manually. And entirely by accident …”

“And at the cost of those men’s lives.” Richard said coldly. Silence spread over them as Sionaas looked down in shame. Finally Calenon, realizing Sionaas was at a loss for words, stepped foreword.

“Unfortunately some were lost in an accident, but they were aware of the risks, as are we. Please continue Sionaas.”

“Yes … well … we happened to open up and old spring well which lead into an old Dwarfish Catacomb. I’ve been over the texts and I have reason to believe that in or under the catacombs the crystal room lays. This is where you come in. I want you to proceed in and bring me back the Crystal ball. Anything else you find is yours and I will fulfill any request of me you wish, including handsome payment”

“Wait,” questioned Thomas, “Wont the Dwarves be less than pleased that we’re looting their catacombs? Not to mention the dead.”

“That is why a Dwarven Cleric by the name of Lorem Ipsum will be accompanying you . He waits by the cave as we speak.”

“And what do you plan to do with the Artifact?” Aurelious fixed his piercing gaze on Sionaas while asking his question.

Sionaas smiled, “Don’t worry Paladin, your friends will get their prize after I do a comprehensive study of the orb. With my notes I will write a report that may finally allow me to enter the arcane order.”

That hadn’t exactly been what Aurelious had meant, but his question had been answered anyway.

“Why don’t you go get this thing your self?” Thomas chimed in again.

“Ahhh… I am worried that my magical aura alone may be strong enough to make the ball jump. So I am sending my apprentice Calenon Handir in my stead.” Calenon bowed deeply, using the polite form Elvish phrase of greeting.

“And.” Richards voice cut through he howling of the wind lie a knife through butter. “watch out for Biters.”

“Yes…” Sionaas agreed. “These mountains seem to be the home of some unexpected creatures yet undiscovered. They burrow, first off, and seem to look and behave like violent rats. Be on the look out." He looked around at the men gathered here. "So… what do you think. Do we have a deal?”

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chaper 4: Waiting for Smoke

Calenon taped his foot repeatedly upon the stone he was standing on. Sionaas was late, as usual, but not his regular late. This was late of profound proportions that bordered on just plain insulting.

Calenon brushed back his silver hair from his amber eyes as he watched Richard come towards him from his mountain perch. A Obviously that meant that the Caravan was coming into town. Good thing too because he had been waiting all day for it’s arrival. However Calenon was under the impression that he was to be waiting all day with Sionaas. Obviously this was not the case as Sionaas had failed to show up “yet,” which very soon was to become “at all.”

Calenon swore in elvin to himself and wondered if apprenticing Sionaas was really worth all this. It had been a long two years of cleaning up after him when he made his countless mistakes, Helping him do his pointless and obsessive research, and, of course, waiting for him. Every day. Sometimes for hours at a time. And all Calenon had to show for it was a mediocre spell book and an exhaustive knowledge of “The Windswept Wall.”

But then he looked back to the day he had escaped from that prison, he used to call “Home.” He remembered how he had mislead his brothers and escaped into the wood. And he remembered the horrible grey beast with tremendous claws that could cleave trees in twain that had found him half starved in those woods and had tried to rend him limb from limb. And finally he remembered how Sionaas had appeared from no where, dispatched the creature with the wave of his hand, and took him on as an apprentice.

Such enormous power he had shone then, power that Handir wanted. Power that the Elven Elite wouldn’t give him. Power that his family’s patriarch denied him. Power that he so desperately wanted he left his home to find it. And so Calenon of the Handir clan would stay another day with Sionaas. Becides he did owe him his life.

Richard arrived at the little outcropping of rock where Calenon waited. “It’s coming” he said simply. Calenon wasn’t sure he liked Richard. He naturally disliked all other races due to his upbringing, but had learned to control such impulses. With Richard, however, the impulse had been harder. The man always wore black, had Long, pitch black, grody looking hair that partially obscured his face, a very unpleasant looking demeanor, and a scar across one cheek. And, quite honestly, always looked like he was up to something. He had questioned Sionaas’s judgment when choosing him as the town’s liaison, to which Sionaas had replied, “Why? He’s right here! Why go looking for someone else?” Well at least he didn’t talk much and had done his job well

They stood in Silence as they watched the caravan slowly work it’s way up the last hill before they reached Mubam’we. The whole town came out to see the caravan roll into town and set up their camp in a clearing just outside of town. People started unpacking their wares immediately and setting up their little camps. It wasn’t long before the area was turned into a mini market, but that wasn’t what the men on the hill were concerned with. They were much more concerned with the two men coming toward them.

“I thought there would be more.” Muttered Calenon

Silence was his response.

“At least the paladin on the left seams formidable, though I wish you could have done better
than that peasant on the right.

Silence seemed to be the trend.

Calenon looked at Richard. “I do love our conversations.”

Thomas was the first to arrive at the spot. “You must be Sionaas” he said extending his hand in the entmarkian gesture of greeting.

Calenon had always been aware of how much he stood out among the people of entmark. An elf was almost unheard of here. So between the pointed ears, hollow features, silver hair, and amber eyes people just seemed to assume the rumors of the great and powerful wizard in town belonged to him. Not to mention the constant prejudice and ignorance of the townfolk. Therefore this was something that Calenon had encountered before. He did not return the gesture.

“No I must not be.” Calenon said as Thomas dropped his hand. “ I’m afraid that the great and mighty Sionaas is late, or, is simply going to fail to ariv..”

Suddenly a great puff of purple smoke writhed in red fire burst forth from the ground right in the middle of the gathering. Visages of dragons and snakes danced and fought among the clouds as it slowly swirled. Aurelious jumped back and drew Alexander sending a spray of sparks through the air as the magical sword left it’s sheath. Thomas stood dumbfounded by the sudden appearance of the smoke and the dancing dragons, unable to take his eyes off the person that, with a loud yep, fell forward ontop of himself dissipating smoke. Calenon stood and watched the wizard proceed to get wrapped up in his robes in his attempt to get up, wondering exactly what he could learn from this man. Richard, used to this, did nothing at all.

“well, don’t just stand there Calenon! Help me to my feet.”

Calenon rolled his eyes and proceeded to help Sionaas to his feet. For Sionaas it was. He stood about 5’ 4” off the ground. He was covered in dust and was dressed in an elaborate cloak, in which he was horribly tangled. He had a short white beard and white hair which he kept covered with a wide brimmed, tall pointed hat made of a yellow fabric and carries an ordinary quarterstaff of no particular distinction.

Finnaly, after much tribulation, Calenon managed to right Sionaas’s wronged cloak and get him on his feet.

“Oh that flee bitten spell! I can never get the landing right. Always two feet above the ground… mabey if I…No. Hmmmm” Sionaas sputtered.

Aurelious sheathed Alexander, this man didn’t seem to be much of a threat. He had his back turned to a man with a drawn sword.

Thomas stepped forward. “excuse me, but are you…”

“Sionaas, yes. But no time for introductions. We must be off for the cave immediately. I will explain on the way. Lorem Ipsum already waits!” The elderly man scurried off up the mountain side. The strangers just looked at each other, until all eyes turned to Calenon.

“Well don’t look at me, I always thought he was crazy.” Calenon sighed and hurried after him.

The others, given no other choice, followed

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Chapter 3: Blood and Tears

Richard Von Weber looked down upon the twisting mountain trail from his perch upon Nawie Ridge, hidden under the shadow of the overhang. The perch had a hidden stair that stretched back to Mubam’we and from the perch you could see all the way to the Yame river. In times of peace it served as a quiet spot for the young couples of the town, but Richard knew what it’s true purpose was. It was built for war.

His eyes darkened as he watched the Caravan wind it’s way along the trail, bringing much needed supplies and specialty goods from Yageus, and Alan’we, but more importantly it carried the last few people they needed.
He gave a dark smile. They were probably looking out upon the hills and town thinking “What a nice little town” or “maybe I should settle down here.” But Richard knew the truth, this town wasn’t as innocent as it seemed. It’s farms were watered in blood and it’s children washed in tears.

He could still see it, the ground soaked in blood and bodies, charred and blackened laying in the street. His friend and relatives. The smell of burnt straw and hair mixing with the ash in the sky. Tears in his eyes he ran running through the street. Elle, I must find Elle. Where is she. Rounding the corner he came face to face with three Achillian Spell-stitched, caring the Acillis blade. These were red coats, elites of the Achillian army. They were blood thirsty, brutal, and they had Elle. She lie naked at their feet crying bruises covering her. Blood fell from her lips, her jaw was broken

“please… please stop.” Richard begged, falling to his knees. “were just town folk, we did nothing to harm either, Achlla or Aegea”

“Your not with Aegea?” asked the warrior in a queer tone

“NO” Richard screamed, his tears running down his face.

The warrior walked toward him and grabbed his face with his hand
“and your not with Achilla either?”

Richard, to his everlasting regret, remained silent.

“That is where you made your mistake.”

With one deft move he gutted Elle.

Richard jumped forward, but caught himself just in the nick of time. He hung halfway off Nawie ridge his left foot hang out over space. A hundred foot drop stretched below him. He hung their, for longer than what was needed for him to come to his senses. The seconds ticked on, but at long last he pulled himself back. The visions had been getting stronger as of late especially since he stopped killing…

His tears had dried in the heat of the fire that consumed Mubam’we on that night. He remembered those warriors now. A smile came to his face. They had taken such a long time to die.
He had killed so many men. Each one given his own special coffin, made just for him. So many, in fact, he had become known as Adata Fu‘we, “Spirit of Death” in the native toung. Yet, despite the men he had killed and the scarifices made, the war raged on Mubam’we, pointlessly for years. For you see Mu'bamwe rests right between Aegea, the city-state praised for it’s vast and powerful Navy, and Achilla, known for it’s spell-stitched warriors. They constantly war for control over the land and Mubam’we is a prime killing ground. That was until two years ago.

Sionaas and his odd apprentice had come to town and, like a miracle, the killing had stopped, the town was rebuilt, and the economy boomed, mostly due to the money Sionaas pumped into the village from his excavating foray. He was in town searching for something, but what was unknown. He had hired most of the town to mine for him in the Windswept Wall .

Richard frowned. He stood, grabed his bag and started down the hidden stair to report the Caravans progress to Sionaas. For two years the town had prospered and he had stoped killing. Naturaly he had hatted all mages as the Arcane Gront were the forces behind the war, but Sionaas had been difererant. He played with the children of the town, and drank with his workers. But then last week an accident occurred up at the Sionaas mine and some people had died. Richard’s old predugisoses had flared again, but Sionaas actually seemed worried and aloof. He had remained that way untill one day when Sionaas came to him, of all people, and asked if he knew anyone who might be interested in a little dangerous work at the old mine. Even with his hatred of mages what this man did for his town requires thanks, bordering upon his very life, and he agreed to help him. Now the only thing left to do is wait for the caravan to arrive to arrive so that he can start the task presented to him.

He looked at the sky and smiled. It really was a beautiful day.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Chapter 2: A Tale and a Sword

“My heart raced… bump bada bump bada bump… I listened intently knowing my very survival rested on my keen ears, sharp senses, and luck. The seconds ticked by as I waited in silence… bump bada bump bada bump. Then suddenly right be hind me the beast leapt!” Thomas leapt to his feat in one deft move giving out a terrifying screech. The children screamed in delight as they were held in rapt attention by the storyteller. “It’s body was massive, rippling with muscle and sinew, it’s fur thick and rough, it’s beak long and sharp. And it’s eyes…” He paused for dramatic effect. “showed the desire for blood… my blood. I ducked just in time as a claw tore through the air above my head. I rolled…” he rolled through the crowd of children, but there wasn’t enough room in the tiny wagon and he ended up bowled over a crate. The children laughed as he struggled to right himself. With a big smile he continued. “ yes, but more gracefully than that, and leapt up to a branch of a tree just above me. And none too soon! The great owl bear charged after me and nearly took my head clean off.” He drew his finger across his throat.

“What did you do?” asked a child

“The only thing I could. I climbed.”

“but can’t owl bears climb trees?” asked another child

“who’s telling this story? you or me? Yes Owlbears can climb trees and this one did. As I climbed up a branch his claw would mark right where I had been. He gained on me. He kept coming, and coming. I had reached the top of the tree, in the very week braches, and still the owl bear almost had me. It reached for me with it’s great claw, fresh with blood. I pulled away as far as I could, but it stretched father, until he had almost reached my throat. But then, when almost all hope was lost, there was a crack, and then another crack, and another! The tree limbs gave way under the owl bear and he fell all the way to the ground. WHUMP!” Thomas flopped himself down among the children.

“Was the Owlbear killed?”

“Of course not. A great beast like that couldn’t die from a mere fall. The beast got up shook himself off and walked away. Some say he died of his wounds, but I think he’s still out there waiting for his next prey to come along… much like YOU!” Thomas grabbed one of the children who squealed in delight.

“OK children. It’s getting late in the day, you don’t want your mothers worrying about you. Best be getting home.”

“please one more.”


With much wining and groaning the children left out the back of the wagon, running to their various mothers and fathers. Such was the life on the caravan.

Mendicant frowned, the actual story wasn’t so nice. He was young, inexperienced, and had gotten too close to an Owlbear’s nest. The creature had attacked, but Thomas couldn’t get out of the way in time, and with a last ditch effort had killed the Owlbear with a sword previously belonging to another Owlbear victim. That’s how he had found Alasse and she had propelled him down this road he was on. He griped Alasse’s hilt with affection.

He had disliked seeing such a magnificent creature die, but then again the animal world, the world he loved, was not so nice. He pulled out some dried meat the merchant had given him and a tin cup which he filled with water from his wineskin. He sat back and smiled at Oleander, his trusted donkey, who was tied up at the back of the wagon. He would have to feed and water her soon, but first he would feed and water himself. He took a big bite out of the hunk of meat he had. He looked back over his shoulder at the merchant who was sharing his wagon with him. He was an good man by anyone’s definition. He hoped that nothing bad would befall him.

The other man, on the other hand, was much more interesting. He was withdrawn yet spoke with an air of royalty heard only among the great Enthelm courts. He was not from Entmark, that was for certain. He wore strange mail, consisting of a single chain shirt polished to a shine. He was armed for war, carrying three bastard swords on his back, one of which was clearly magical, and two short swords on his belt. he carried a holy symbol he had never seen. And if all this didn’t give it away, he carried a Babble Amulet. Babble Amulets are a primary export of Entmark, Given the proper spell, Babble Amulets allows the wearer to speak and understand whatever language was cast into the amulet. This one was apparently Entmarkian. But what interested Thomas the most about the stranger was the mantle he carried on his breast. The one depicting a Gold Dragon.

Thomas loved Dragons. Probably from the time he was pulled from the Entwine river bearing nothing but a basket and a name printed upon his swaddling cloth. His adopted mother and father were serfs to the Arcane God-King Butya Gronth of Hedon and he was always skipping his many chores to look for exotic animals in the hills or listen to Old Man Juntk!a’s songs and tales. But his favorite tales were always that of Dragons. He longed to see one, talk to one. So much so in fact that his parents finally gave in and sold him to Juntk!a for a measly price. Under Juntk!a he learned songs, tales, and the sword. When the bug bear incident happened he took it as a sign to start his quest to find a dragon. He packed his stuff and with a few parting gifts from his Master he joined this caravan heading north.

Thomas looked up at the “Windswept Wall,” the mountain range to the north. It looked foreboding, but the ancient tale that Junk!a used to tell said that a dragon of great power used to live in these mountains.

And as luck would have it an Arcane Gifted with great knowledge is searching the windswept wall right now. Thomas had written him and asked for assistance. Sionass, for that was his name, had responded and asked, in return for all his knowledge on Dragons, that Thomas perform a small task at his home on the windswept wall. It was in a little town named Mubam’we. That had been four months ago.

Mendicant sighed and gathered up his feed and water for Oleander. Wherever he was heading at least there would be Adventure.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Chapter 1: Man of the Golden Order

The sun beat down on the green hills of Entmark. Aurelious looked out at the road upon which the Caravan was heading, the words of the Arcane Order representative, who had found him yesterday, still fresh in his mind.

“Sir Aurelious Wolfbane of the Wolfbane Clan. Paladin of Sol and initiate of the Golden Dragon Order. I come bearing news from Myrcian Capital.” he had proclaimed.

He and his party were still licking their wounds from their encounter with that crazed farmer and his man eating pets. Ankegs… huge borrowing insects that seemed to attack from nowhere. Half of their party was dead, the other half didn’t fair much better. One guy had suffered “wounds” unlike any he had seen. This news from Myrcia didn’t sound like something he wanted to be a part of, especially with “him” still out there.


“There is a request from the arcane gild and the temple of Sol for you to investigate a magical power in Entmark.” He had never heard of Entmark, let alone knew where it was.

“I’m already on a mission.”

“We know Sir, but this shouldn’t take much of your time.”

“How am I supposed to get there?”

“I’ll teleport you Sir.”

Aurelious didn’t like mages. The church and the Arcane Order had been at odds ever since the end of the clockwork wars. Besides he didn’t really like this guys face.

“forget it.”

“but …”

“I said no.” Aurelious turned and went to see what he could do for his companion upstairs.

“There have been reports of a relic.” Aurelious stopped

“and… Undead have been seen in the area…”

So that is how Aurelious had come to find himself sitting on the front of a covered wagon, owned by a family of traveling merchants who were apart of a Caravan, heading toward the small town of Mu’bamwe. Aurelious yawned involuntarily. It was midnight in Myrcia, but here it was morning, so he hadn’t slept since the teleport. The arcane representative had told him he was supposed to go see a mage by the name of Sionaas where he would get more information, gave him the amulet around his neck which allowed him to speak and understand the language here, shown him on to this caravan, and promptly disapeared as quickly as he had came without so much as a good luck, let alone answer any questions. Aurilious didn't realy like mages.

He glanced at his new traveling companion. A man who called himself Thomas Mendicant . Short blond hair and piercing hazel eyes. Actualy he was the only blond person he had seen, and his skin was lightest he had seen in this area. Other than that this fellow seemed to be averagely dressed and averagely sized for the area. Actualy he looked like any other human peasant. Any other human peasant that carried a magical sword and wove fantastic tales of the places he had been and the creatures he had seen. Right now he was in the back of the covered wagon regaling the caravans children with a tail of how he had fought with a great owlbear and lived. He was an alright sort of fellow, but seemed very interested in Aurelious who had tried to remain aloof.

Aurelious looked out at the sky. He reached back and unsung the largest of the three swords on his back. He grabbed it’s jeweled hilt and ran his thumb along the intricate design of the Wolfbane crest formed at the apex of the blade and hilt. He drew the bastard sword halfway out from it’s black leather sheath and mouthed the ancient runes written along the blood grove on the blade.


“He comes for you… he will kill you and use your hide to carpet his floor!” Aurelious grimaced and sheathed Alexander, the crackling laugh still ringing in his ears. The burden of Alexander was a great one, but he was the last Wolfbane… he would endure.

“you alright” the driver who sat next to him asked, a concerned look upon his face.

“I’m fine” Aurelious stated bluntly as he reslung Alexander, “how long till we reach the town?”

The merchant shrugged.

“It’s not far now.”

Friday, May 4, 2007


There is a world called Rune.

It exists deep in the depths of space content within it’s own crystal sphere. Protected by the Clockwork Cloud and the shadow of it’s Star, Sol, the world of Rune is kept secret from the depths of the galaxy. It is a place of Magic and Monsters.
A place of Dungeons and Dragons.
And upon this world there are those who have their own story to tell.
A story of danger, sorrow, joy, and honor.
A story of adventure…
This is their Story:

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Story Begins!

Okay! Here's the idea. I want to do a simple dungeon crawl using online posts. One dungeon, no campains, no heavy duty role play. Just problem solving and story telling. We check the board, hopefully every day. Those interested befriend me and reply to this post with a big ole A-OK.


1. Portions are writ with as much detail as you can muster. The more interesting it is the better. (here's looking at you Matt)

2. Keep answers within three, count em' three, paragraphs so that it won't take all day for me to read the stuff. (in fact one is perfered)

3. Make all roles yourself and post them. Start out each round with initiative. (I'll be using the optional initiative rules for simplicity's sake) It's on your honor, so please don't cheat. I'll know (with my super duper Dane powers)

4. Try to post every day (by midnight)

5. No crazy, crazy characters. I like creativity, but if you have to send me three pages explaining how your character came into being, I don't want to hear about it and I don't want to have to deal with people not being able to fit through doorways.

This might be a good idea to try out any Living Greyhawk ideas. 4th level characters, fist to post gets to be 5th. Buy all mundane items with starting gold. Subtract 2000 for the magical Items I will give you. You may make requests, but buy a sword if you want a sword. Keep an eye on encumbrance too, it might be important. The game will be in Rune, 3rd age. Let me know!