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  #226  
Old Jan 29th, 2017, 09:39 PM
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Barnabas B. Barrelbringer
Male Lightfoot Halfling Rogue

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GinJapan View Post
"Governor, tell that thing you are sending someone out. Talyn, keep the others safe."
Barnabas looked up, jarred from his sorrow by Evendur's words. What? No? Evendur! Barnabas could hardly breathe, much less speak, so tight did his sudden shock grip him. Evendur?!?! Against that . . . that . . . thing?!?!? Is he MAD!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
[T]he Governor places an arm on Evendur's armored shoulder. "You've done so much for us, master swordsman, I would never know how to repay you if... You're doing us the greatest honor. A hero among heroes."
A fool amongst fools! Barnabas inwardly screamed. But all that he could squeak was a mouse-like ". . . no . . . ," as the Hero of Greenest descended the stone steps for his Doom.

Barnabas remained fixed in place, his eyes riveted upon the stairway upon which Evendur just descended for the last time. But the young halfling saw not the stone steps of the keep. Instead, Barnabas saw Evendur walking a bit off from the caravan wagon days before, valuing his solitude and looking off into the distance. Barnabas saw the brave warrior confront the kobolds and their pet in the sewers, parrying and striking with determination. Barnabas saw a fearless friend put himself between Barnabas and a deadly arrow, risking his own life to save a halfling he hardly knew. And Barnabas saw a kind soul catch a tripping girl as she fled from a burning temple for the safety of a cave and the sewers beyond.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
"Come forth, and face death as a warrior!"
The halfbreed's roar freed Barnabas from his paralysis. Barnabas rushed to the ruined battlements, now crowded by all who remained. He rudely shoved aside a guard who stood before an arrow slit and peered through, taking in the scene below.

"Oi, mate!" the surprised guard exclaimed. "Watch where . . . ."

"Shut up," Barnabas quietly snapped, cutting off the guard and keeping a steady gaze below. "Get me a loaded crossbow, or three," he whispered quickly, not turning his head.

"W-w-wh-wwhh . . . ," the guard stammered uncertainly.

"Do it,"
Barnabas curtly replied, now turning toward the guard with steely and determined eyes. "Do it now. We have suffered enough death tonight."
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Last edited by Spankucus; Jan 29th, 2017 at 09:45 PM.
  #227  
Old Jan 29th, 2017, 10:04 PM
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Round I

Markguth follows dutifully behind, and soon, Evendur stands in combat with the beast Cyanwrath.

"I greet you, Evendur Greycastle, as a worthy opponent. Your demise will be honorable. I cannot promise it will be quick." The Half-Dragon's growl is more akin to a laugh as he stands before the warrior, as Evendur looks back to his companions. The Half-Dragon is wary: is that a signal? Is that a warning? What is that look? Cyanwrath's brain is draconic, in the truest sense of the word, but he believes Evendur will be honorable. As they prepare for battle, as Cyanwrath taunts Evendur, the warrior has a plan. He has a plan, and gods help him, he's going through with it. Cyanwrath moves his blade to a defensive position.

Leaving him open to the incoming knife.

Catching him in the shoulder, the Half-Dragon warrior roars in pain as the dagger flies from Evendur's grip, more quickly than Cyanwrath can react. He is not pleased by this, and reaching, pulls the blade from his wound and tosses it from the circle, somewhere near the Kobolds; one of them goes for the dagger, dutifully, as if winning a prize. Putting a clawed finger in the slit in his clothes, in the area beside his splint armor, he growl-laughs again. "Very good, a tough fighter, I see. Thinking with your brain as well as your coward's heart. I shall enjoy this, I think." While it would be wise to go for his spear, he does not; instead, the Half-Dragon charges, a mad dash for the fleeing Evendur. His blade following behind him, Cyanwrath is exposing himself, as if asking Evendur to attack. The ground between them is covered, but when he arrives, Cyanwrath exposes himself to openings. "Show me your warrior's heart! Or are you truly only a coward?!"

He does not strike, and seems ready to wait. Wait until Evendur does the same.

Above, there is a flurry of motion, as if some goods or materials were being moved. Voices above indicate that anything but their utmost attention is being given, and for whatever reason, no one below is privy to this change in attention: most faces above are faced downward, but a few voices are anything but.
 

Last edited by Sassafrass; Jan 29th, 2017 at 10:07 PM.
  #228  
Old Jan 30th, 2017, 08:06 AM
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Evendur Greycastle
Male Human Fighter

 


Evendur knew the spear could be a problem, should the half-dragon decide to use it. But it was far less of a risk than the greatsword. That thing looks like it could cut a man in half. So it is with mixed feelings that Evendur watches Cyanwrath rush toward him. A hint of dread that he will now be so close to the half-dragon and his massive sword, but also a small sparkle of a glimmer of hope as Langdedrosa leaves himself open for another.

It is but a glimmer of hope, however, as something tugs at the back of Evendur’s brain. The familiar voice of Brand Orlafson, Evendur’s commander and battlemaster when he was training as a member of the city watch.

Look at him. That one is a killer. No way he is that careless.

He’s giving you a false opening, comes the silkier voice of Sabe. He wants you to strike.

Why would he do that? asks Linen in his mind.

This is the way he wants to fight, replies Brand again. Attack him now, and you walk into his trap.

You can’t win with brute strength, just as I couldn’t beat you in the same way, comes Sabe again. Fight your fight, not his.

Evendur waits for the half-dragon to close in and then ducks down, dropping to one knee and holding his shield up above his head as though expecting the greatsword to come crashing down upon him like a wave.

Fight my fight...

Unfortunately for Evendur, he is not sure that fighting his way will win him anything, either, but he has to at least try.

The blow, of course, never comes from Langdedrosa and Evendur rises to his feet again. As he does, he thrusts out his hand again toward the half-dragon, much like he did with the dagger. This time, though, a handful of sand comes from his outstretched palm as he throws it at close range into the face of the half-dragon in an attempt to, at least momentarily, blind the beast and give himself a chance.


OOCNot sure what kind of roll you want for that, Sassafrass, so here is just a straight d20 roll:
Dice Roll:
d20 3
Evendur has a +3 Dex modifier and proficiency with improvised weapons, if you decide to make that a straight attack roll.
  #229  
Old Jan 30th, 2017, 09:56 AM
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Round II

left-aligned image
Evendur prepares for defense, prepares for the oncoming strike, and wisely chooses not to indulge his better nature and attack. No, to attack would be to die. But to defend would delay the inevitable. Which would it be?

Dropping to one knee as the Half-Dragon approaches with a roar, Evendur chooses defense over offense. Despite this, he attacks, and a poor attack it is. The Half-Dragon leaps out of the way, towards the open side of Evendur, and with his blade, he grunts as he swings wide, a tactical decision aimed directly at the shield. Attack #1: 12He collides with it, knocking the shield out of the way and leaving him open, and with the quick twist of his blade, he pirouettes and Attack #2: 19
Damage: 10
slashes longway across Evendur, from right shoulder to left hip in a wide, deep arc that sends blood in flying from him, visible enough to mark the air in a thin red cloud. Evendur feels the front of bones cracking with the arc of the blade, rib and pelvis, and feels as though he's been gutted without the dishonor of spilling his guts everywhere. Winded, but not dead, Evendur stands before the Half-Dragon, who takes a single step back, and grabs the end of his greatsword, as if preparing for a final attack.

Draconic: Mother of Dragons, I invoke you! Take this blood as an offering, given to your rise!"Dask di Darastrixi, si torkta wux! Clax nomeno iejir lae vin yobolat, majaktor ekess dout lleisgar!" Throwing his head back, he roars, then grins as only a reptile can at Evendur.
 
  #230  
Old Jan 31st, 2017, 04:39 AM
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Evendur Greycastle
Male Human Fighter

 


Evendur regretted his decision to try to blind the half-dragon almost as soon as he had made it. The sand in his hand dissipates harmlessly in the air as Cyanwrath leaps to the side with speed that Evendur had not expected based on his bulk and the weight of his armour. Before he can adjust himself accordingly, the heavy swing of the greatsword knocks Evendur's shield to the side and the man off his balance. As he stumbles under the weight of the blow, the sword is already moving back across him so quickly that he doesn't even feel the pain. It is more of a dull, thudding ache for a few milliseconds.

It feels like an eternity, however, as the world around Evendur slows. When the pain comes, it is enough to take his breath away. Evndur's eyes grow wide in surprise as he gasps to catch his breath. The clamour of excitement of the kobolds and the cultists as their champion strikes true fills his ears with a near deafening roar.

Evendur stumbles to the side, his hand coming up to rest across the grievous wound and he blinks. In an instant, that roaring crowd goes silent, although Evendur can still see their blurry forms cheering and chanting in response to Cyanwrath's gloating. In that silence, the voices come again.

Just give up...

You can't win...

Yield... He cannot kill you and keep his honour if you yield...

To yield... The thought had never crossed his mind before, but he could see the wisdom behind it, even as he tried to hold his insides inside of his body. Sweat pours into his wound, making it sting.

Strange that I would notice, he has to admit, considering how badly the sword cut him. Strange that such a minor thing would register amidst the searing of the cut.

But to yield... Would Cyanwrath let the woman go if he did?

More importantly, would I see Miri and the children once more?

The prospect of the answer to that being no spurs Evendur on and he takes a deep breath. With the pain in his chest, he half expects it to be his last. With that breath he pushes forward, drawing his shortsword.

"For Miri! FOR GREENEST!"

He lifts his arm high, as though readying a wild slash toward Cyanwrath's face, and then twists his stroke at the last second to bring it up to find the seam between his foe's armour at the hip. He feels the blade strike and slice into flesh as he falls forward against Cyanwrath. The sword is released as Evendur uses his now empty hand to grab at the half-dragon's armour to hold himself upright.

"Strike me... down... and they... will hunt you... to the ends... the ends of Faerun... S.s.stronger than ever..."

OOCBonus Action: Second Wind to restore 3 HP
Action: Attack Cyanwrath with shortsword: 24 vs AC - Hit for 8 piercing damage

Roll

Last edited by G in Japan; Jan 31st, 2017 at 05:22 AM.
  #231  
Old Feb 3rd, 2017, 02:46 AM
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Round III

Everyone knew how this would end. But would it be remembered as heroic bravery, or idiotic suicide?

Would either argument be entirely wrong?

His offer of sacrifice given, Cyanwrath turns to the stumbling Evendur, preparing for some sort of final assault, and the Dragon warrior has something to say on the matter. Approaching Evendur, his gloating almost complete, and in that moment, Evendur strikes. The attack seems to go for the Half-Dragon's face, and he begins to pull back, his upper torso primarily: a mistake. Evendur's true target is the section of armor at the hip, where a gap allows for such a cut that runs deep. The roar, more a cry, from Cyanwrath very clearly indicates the pain is deep, the damage done. His eyes begin to glow, his throat beginning to shine yellow. Evendur's hair begins to rise.

Pulling himself up by Cyanwrath's armor, Evendur has no choice but accept fate. But he offers a clear warning: that this is not the end. The Half-Dragon comes in close, and speaks just as plainly. "Then let them come." Though the greatsword is large, it is not enough that the gigantic draconic warrior cannot plunge it through Evendur's gut, a blow so quick and so deft Attack: 18
Damage: 11
that the Human warrior is lifted from the ground, weaponless, witless. The blade is lowered, putting Evendur's feet on the ground: it is then that Cyanwrath plants his boot into Evendur and pushes him from the blade, sending him flying off the blade and onto the ground, where he bleeds quickly openly and quickly. The light inside of the Half-Dragon fades.

In his anger, though, he turns the blade to Evendur one more time, a powerful, chilling blow that all but guarantees Kelemvor's embrace.

The battle is won.

"YOUR WARRIOR FOUGHT HONORABLY! For that, I give you your woman. But know this: we shall see one another again, and when we do, you will know the Tyranny of Dragons! You will know it by the rising of the Dragon Queen, and you will know our hours by our roar!" Finished with his taunt, Cyanwrath grabs his side, bleeding, and heads back, though slowly, to his Kobolds, who release the woman: she runs, towards Evendur. From the gates of the Keep, Markguth charges, screaming, towards Evendur as well. The Kobolds collect the Half-Dragon's spear and follow him, the cultist woman offering the warrior healing that he turns down. She takes point, and he follows.

The Cult of the Dragon has no further business here, and quickly flees, following the route of the army to the bridge that leads south, following the torchlight that heads southeastward.

No one on the ramparts speaks. Those who weep do so soundlessly. Within the Keep, there is no commotion.

There is only silence, for Evendur.
 
  #232  
Old Feb 5th, 2017, 08:00 PM
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Barnabas B. Barrelbringer
Male Lightfoot Halfling Rogue

 

Barnabus watched the duel through the sights of his crossbow, desperate for a shot.

Just a little further, you dirty lizard . . . , Barnabas groused, trying to will the combatants to separate. Can't shoot with you two so close. C'mon, Evendur, get off him!

But the pair remained intertwined.

Until Cyanwrath's greatsword batted aside Evendur's shield and, on the backswing, sliced Evendur crosswise. The human stumbled backward, out of the just-sprayed cloud of his own blood.

The combatants stood apart.

Barnabas, trying to ignore the dying Evendur, sighted his crossbow and tensed his finger on the trigger. "Now you die . . . ."

Quote:
Originally Posted by GinJapan View Post
"For Miri! FOR GREENEST!"
Startled, Barnabas diverted his gaze back at Evendur. Instead of fulfilling his oath to the guard and himself, Barnabas dumbly watched wide-eyed with everyone else as Evendur heroically, heedlessly, charged Cyanwrath, burying his sword deep within the lizard's

The dragonman roared painfully . . . and then ran Everdur through.

And Barnabas could only watch, frozen in the moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sassafrass View Post
"YOUR WARRIOR FOUGHT HONORABLY! For that . . . ."
If the gloating fool said anything more, Barnabas didn't hear it. He could only look at Evendur's dying body, the torches illuminating the mass of pooling blood, growing large enough for those atop the keep to see.

The moment did not release Barnabas until Cyanwrath started to hobble away. "BASTARD!" Barnabas shouted, more at himself than Evendur's killer. "BBAASSSTTTAARRDDD!!!" he shouted, tears starting to flow. Barnabas hastily sighted and shot his crossbow at the retreating dragonman, +5 vs 17 AC; we'll say no Adv and -2 for distance/tears; rolling more for narrative than mechanics; DM can determine if his shot hits or misses regardless of roll:
Dice Roll:
1d20+3sch17 (7)+3 Total = 10
And if wanted/needed, dam:
Dice Roll:
1d8+3 (2)+3 Total = 5
the bolt flying off into the dark night.

"DIRTY HALF-BREED GOAT-HUMPING TROLL-**** BASTARD!" Barnabas shouted again, his emotional voice breaking once, maybe twice. Hastily, Barnabas tried to reload his crossbow, forgetting about the three loaded ones inches away. But in his haste in loading, the distraught halfling inadvertently touched the release lever, releasing the clutch and misfiring the machine. The taunt string snapped down, gashing Barnabas' forearm nastily. "AAARRRRGGG!!!" Barnabas cried, dropping his crossbow entirely, clutching close his bleeding arm.

Why, Brandobaris! WHY! Barnabas inwardly cried out as he craddled his arm and cried hot tears of anger. What did Evendur ever do to you! Why did you kill him! Why couldn't I act! Why was I coward! Why . . . WHY . . . WHY!!!
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Last edited by Spankucus; Feb 5th, 2017 at 08:22 PM.
  #233  
Old Feb 6th, 2017, 11:36 AM
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Talyn Wyvernmark, Female Dwarf Druid
left-aligned image

Without her realising it, Talyn had her fingers pressing tightly against the stone of the ramparts as she watched the duel unfold. She could feel her stomach twisting with the realisation that she was practically bearing witness to a suicide. The half-dragon obviously outclassed the younger, leaner human, and beyond the physical advantage, the half-dragon held all of the cards, what with the hostages under his control.

Evendur knew what he was getting himself into, she said to herself - it did nothing to ease her conscience. He knew that this would most likely be his end, and still he walked into it willingly. All to save that woman and her children. She turned her golden eyes upon those hostages then. No. It would not do well to waste Evendur's sacrifice by provoking the enemy and getting the woman and the kids killed, especially when he is so willing to die so that they have the chance to live.

And then it happened - the impalement of Evendur. The breath caught in her throat as she watched the macabre scene playing out before the keep. But then the young dwarf had seen quite her share of battle and death, and the hours of fighting that had led to this moment had dulled her somewhat. She was quick to recover herself from the shock.

Turning toward the edge of the ramparts that faced the interior of the keep, Talyn leaned over. Her golden eyes scanning the crowd of fighters and refugees gathered behind the gates of the keep, the young dwarf looked for the soldier nearest the gate.
"You!" she called out to the soldier, her voice magnified by her druidic magic. When the man turned toward her, she tossed at him the pouch that contained four magical berries of sustenance. "Quick! Get to our champion! Feed him one of these berries! Quickly, now! Ye owe him this much!"

Then, she turned toward the soldiers manning the mechanism that opened the gate. "Open the gates! The enemy flees! The danger is past! Open the gates!"


 



Last edited by Peachyco; Feb 7th, 2017 at 06:37 AM.
  #234  
Old Feb 6th, 2017, 04:20 PM
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Visverax
Male High Elf Wizard

 

Visverax promised himself he would not watch the carnage, but once the battle started, he could not turn away. "He’s doomed…" the mage muttered to himself. Only two strokes of the half-dragon’s blade was needed to prove his prediction true.

The man, Evendur ... his friend ... lie dying.

He knew Evendur longest, perhaps best, out of their little rag-tag group. Visverax was staying at The Wandering Wyvern in Iriaebor when a bedraggled man entered the tavern, bemoaning that his entire town had been destroyed by dragons. Vis was interested in dragon stories even if they were complete fabrications as he assumed this one was. But Evendur’s plight had a semblance of truth to it. East, the man said he was going, to exact his revenge on the beast. Visverax was also travelling east, as he had received a portent in a dream of a town ravaged by dragon fire. He offered his services as wizard and travelling companion and the two had been together since. Until now…

A tear ran down his cheek. He wiped it away. Wizards do not cry.

He felt foolish just standing there. "We should do something..." He told Talyn.

She had once saved his life with her magic berries.

"Your berries!" He shouted, but the dwarf was way ahead of him. Trying to keep pace with her, Visverax followed her to the gates.

Last edited by Huhart; Feb 6th, 2017 at 04:22 PM.
  #235  
Old Feb 7th, 2017, 06:26 AM
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HonourableClawmarked stood implacable as the combat unfolded below him. Honour was cornerstone of goliath society and he would never interfere with a duel. Evendur fought bravely, but he was clearly outmatched. The dragon-man’s final blow was a thing of savage beauty; Clawmarked was envious of the power and the technique and it made him sick to his stomach. Lowering his eyes he said a prayer to Titania, but there was nothing his patron could do.

Solemnly Clawmarked followed the other down the stairs. Quietly the goliath said, "Evendur, good warrior, good man. If he die, not fair."

Last edited by Neqq; Feb 7th, 2017 at 06:28 AM.
  #236  
Old Feb 7th, 2017, 07:25 PM
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The half-dragon cries. It echoes around Cyanwrath and Evendur, drowning out the sounds of the cultists encircling the duo. It also draws a bloody smile from Evendur. It was a small victory, but a victory for him nonetheless. That smile, however, disappears rather quickly when the greatsword drives into his gut.

A bloody streak is left down the front of Cyanwrath’s armour as Evendur’s arm goes limp and his hand slides over the half-dragon’s chest. Evendur gasps on the blade, spitting up a spray of blood as he hangs a few inches from the ground before he is unceremoniously pushed off the blade to flop motionless on the ground at Cyanwrath’s feet. When the next blow from Cyanwrath comes, Evendur cannot even raise an arm in his defence and the blade cuts another line across his side. The force of the blow sends his limp body rolling onto its side .

What feels like an eternity, although it is but only a few seconds later, the female hostage is by his side with Markguth. He can feel their presence, more than see them, when the woman’s cries reach his consciousness. His eyes are beginning to glaze over when she reaches him and what he can see does not mirror what is actually before him. The same bloody hand that gripped Cyanwrath’s armour reaches up to touch the woman’s face and Evendur tries to speak, but all that comes out is a spurt of blood that fills his mouth. He spits it onto the ground and then looks up again, this time to Markguth.

"On a hill... Facing… home..."

Evendur’s head lolls to the side after his words are spoken and a rivulet of blood runs down from the corner of his mouth.

"Miri..."

Come now. It is time.

But the others...

Will be fine, Remember, you left Talyn to look after them. Come, the children are waiting.

Evendur lifts his hand out toward something that only he can see off to his side. And his fingers stretch out, he sucks in a few gasping breath before his arm drops to the ground and he goes limp in the woman’s arms.
  #237  
Old Feb 13th, 2017, 12:43 PM
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Stand and Be JudgedWeightless.

His head lulls to one side, he feels it in the lap of someone warm. Everything is warm, from the wind to the lightness of his limbs. He speaks her name. And she replies. "Come now. It is time." The voice is so familiar, yet there is a weight to it that was not there in life. The wind picks up, and he remembers that wind: a wind of home, of hope and return. Of days when Evendur would rather spend his time plotting how to get the next shipment in, rather than how to find the Dragon that did this to him. He responds, sleepily. "Will be fine, Remember, you left Talyn to look after them. Come, the children are waiting."

He hears them, the laughter, beckoning him onward. The warmth reminds him of winter in the north, a cool kind of wind that comes from the Sword Coast, heading south past Luskan, and kept the boiling sun from scorching the earth. He dreamed of home, of the houses, of the open road. Everything had to be a dream... but with every passing laugh, he felt as though Talyn, Barnabas, Clawmarked, Visverax, and Sabe were further and further still. They were the memory. Miri and the children: they were the reality.
left-aligned image


He opened his eyes and sat up, realizing that he sat not in the field of his forefathers, but of a marble hall, gray and bright, a light beyond the looming figure bringing the warm wind. Attendance in gray-white robes wrote on scrolls, while in the center of the room sat a tall man, dressed in gray armor. For a moment, he thought of his own father, but realized that was wrong. He knew that face: one of the common depictions of the Lord of the Dead. But he had not dreamed Miri, nor the children: they were here.

"Stand, Evendur Greycastle. They have waited long for you: Stand, and be judged." The voice echoed throughout the marble halls, but they were not harsh, nor booming: they were a gentle voice. The black hair of the man hung over his head, not unlike Evendur's own hair. At his side was a blade, and before him, a set of scales.

"They have waited for you, electing not to be parted from you before you made them proud. And so, it seems, you have. Though your life was largely a dull one, it is in this final act, this sacrifice, that your life found meaning."

"No."

The Lord of the Dead, Kelemvor, turned his head to the feminine voice. Miri, standing beside her now-standing husband, took his hand. His other hand soon found itself in the grasp of not one, but two hands: his children, looking up at him, smiling brighter than he knew the sun was capable of. Kelemvor's brow furrowed. "No?"

"His life had meaning long before. With me, and our boy and girl. Evendur's life was not given meaning by trying to avenge us. It was trying to honor us, and he never strayed from that path." She turned to her husband, looking up at him with those bright eyes he had so missed.

"Is that so? I see. But stand forth, and be judged, Evendur Greycastle: for your fate is your family's, and now, I judge you. Soon I shall see your companions, and many more if they do not see their task to completion. Though your journey has ended, the fate of these Forgotten Realms rests on their shoulders. But that is for another time: for now, I judge you." The expressionless face turns to a smile.

"And I find the world lacking without you. It is a great loss that you not see this to completion. So I will give you a choice: do you choose to be parted with your family, or do you choose to stay?"

Evendur turned his head to his wife, to that face that, so many times, had been understanding, if frustrated, with all of Evendur's petty little schemes.

And in that moment, there was no hesitation for the choice. The wait was over.

"So be it."
Barnabas' emotional outburst is the worst of it. He fires off a shot, a crossbow bolt that does not go unnoticed by the Cult of the Dragon. The Kobolds and the mercenaries pause, as Cyanwrath continues to hobble away. It is answer enough: they will not retaliate against the dishonorable display. The Governor panics immediately, as Visverax, Talyn, and Gukan head below. "RESTRAIN THE HALFLING! We can't have him risking the warrior's sacrifice!" Instantly the soldiers of the Keep work to restrain him, while also training their own crossbows on the procession as it heads first west, then south, then southeast, across the bridge and far away. For their part, they all agree with the Halfling... but they fear death. So should they all.

Talyn, Visverax, and Clawmarked head down below, hearing the yelling voice of Sabe as she attempts to get up from under the pain of her wound. She is held back, and when at last they reach the entrance of the Keep, they see Escobert, red-faced, tear-stained, and Visverax reminds Talyn that she alone can save the warrior. But she has such short legs. Escobert agrees with her and orders the gate opened, and that takes time. She runs out, to the shape of the man being held by the woman, and the children besides. Talyn runs. She runs as fast as her legs can carry her, followed by the Elf and the Goliath. Talyn takes the berries and hands them to Markguth, who nods and runs as quickly as he can, faster than anyone else running. Above, Barnabas can still be heard yelling.

Evendur is only strong enough to give a final request: bury him on a hill, facing his home. The woman has no idea where that is. But who is she to deny him his dying wish, the man who saved her life? He sees only Miri, he hears only Talyn before it goes silent. When Markguth arrives, he shows the berries to his sister, attempts to explain.

But she only shakes her head, tearful.

The warrior, Evendur, is dead.

All of his companions save the wailing Sabe and the roaring Barnabas arrive, just enough to see the tears form on Markguth's own face, the fear, the anger. The children are all sobbing now, a point that might drive an Elf unused to so many children to madness. But this is a sober occasion. Evendur, warrior that he was, is no more. He died, justly, kindly. With thoughts of home on his lips and honor to his name, even by his enemy's own admission.

The Governor yells down. "Bring him back to the Keep! I want the doors locked until dawn."

Escobert, coming up behind the others, weeps loudly. "B-b-best we f'llow 'is c'mmand.... C-come, ye lass and laddies.... We'll treat'em fer... fer...." He can't bring himself to finish the statement.
 
  #238  
Old Feb 22nd, 2017, 01:44 AM
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Huhart Huhart is offline
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Useless.

That was how Visverax felt. The wizard had the power of the arcana at his command, yet there was nothing he could do. Sorrowfully, he turned toward Talyn and Clawmarked. Yet, he knew that neither the druid nor the warlock had the power to return a man from the clutches of Kelemvor. Their friend was dead.

In the morning, they said, Evendur would be buried on a hill facing home as was his final request. Not much time, thought Visverax. In elvish custom, weeks would be spent preparing the body and recounting the accomplishments of the lost. But, he had only one night. True, Evendur was a human, but Vis felt he deserved more. There was a ritual that elven wizards performed to remember the dead. It was an elvish rite, meant only for elves. Performing it for humans bordered on sacrilege, yet Visverax intended to do it for his fallen comrade. But first, he required the proper ingredients.

Certain herbs were needed. He recruited Talyn to find them. Some of the items were quite rare, but he was sure that Talyn could convince old Escobert to help her locate them. Visverax asked Barabus to find some special spices, since the halfling knew his way around the kitchen. He had a job for Clawmarked too; to locate a brass brazier. It was a simple task that even the dimwitted goliath couldn’t screw up. On second thought, he sent one of the townsfolk along, just in case.

The wizard needed some incense as well. For this, he tracked down Eadyan Falconmoon, high priest of Chauntea. The half-elf received him coolly, remembering the jibes the wizard had given him. But, Falconmoon’s eyes widened in surprise when he surmised Visverax’ plan. "You plan on invoking Rina i'ba? I thought that was reserved for elves alone?"

"That is not your concern," The mage scowled, annoyed at the cleric’s knowledge of elven custom, "Can you get me what I need, or not?"

Falconmoon led him to a small niche in the wall, a little shrine to Tyr, where the incense he required was stored. How fitting, thought Vis, as Evendur had on occasion offered obeisance to the maimed god of justice. Returning to the main hall, he discovered that each of his friends had also returned from their scavenger hunts. Visverax set up his paraphernalia in the open courtyard before the hastily repaired main gate and prepared himself for the ritual.

~~~~*~~~~

With a wave of his hand, his magic set the kindling burning in the brazier. Visverax circled the flames, invoking the ancient litany. The ritual had begun. He threw the first of his ingredients into the fire, causing bright sparks of light flaring off into the night sky.

I must not blink...

As the mage slowly walked the perimeter of the burning brazier, he recounted stories of Evendur. He started with the tale Evendur had told about himself. A not so honest guard who looked the other way for a few extra pieces of gold, he was. Then, he discovered the truth behind what he had previously overlooked. The people he had been helping were slavers and dragon cultists as well. Evendur turned them in, but he was incarcerated along with them. Locked in jail, the man could only watch as the dragon turned his village to rubble. Evendur survived, but his family, his wife, his two children, did not. It was then that Evendur vowed bloody revenge against the dragon…

Stopping before the flaming brazier, Visverax spoke the unutterable soliloquy. Another herb was sprinkled into the fire, producing a noxious odor.

I must not sneeze...

The wizard continued his round, this time performing the intricate somatic movement known as ‘Kileaarna Reithigir’. Visverax executed the maneuver perfectly, of course. At the Arcane Academy in Evermeet, a contest is held each year to determine the best at this particular exercise. Visverax won a ribbon for performing the maneuver while standing on one leg … on a rope tied between two trees … in the rain. But, he did not recount this event, but rather another contest between Evendur and himself.

A wizard and a warrior walk into a barIt was a typical inn. The fire was too hot, the room was too crowded and the beer tasted like swill.

"Bah!" griped Visverax, "This ale is not fit for orcs to drink." He pushed the tankard away, having barely touched it.

Evendur had heard this same complain in the last three places they had stayed. "I’m beginning to think you can’t hold your liquor, elf." he quipped.

This served to entice the wizard. "Oh, you’ve heard that elves are frail delicate little creatures, eh. Very well." He waved over the waitress. "Barwench! Bring over five, no six, tankard each of this vile brew you call beer." He eyed Evendur with contempt. "We’ll see who can’t hold what."

An epic chug fest commenced. Evendur was confident that he could drink the elf under the table. But Vis seemed unphased, only growing more and more obnoxious (if such thing was possible) with each drink. Finally, the man could take no more. He swayed dangerously, muttered "Miri.." under his breath and crashed unconscious onto the floor.

"Ha, I win." snorted Visverax, swaying himself. "You there, goliath, help this man to his bed." He ordered an overly large bar patron. A moment later, the elf went running out the door and puked his guts out in the alley. A kind dwarven woman held his hair back for him, then helped him find his room.

An odd tale, but this was how the two met Tayln, Clawmarked and Sabe who were watching their contest with much amusement.


Again, he stopped, picked up a rather scraggly looking weed and tossed it haphazardly on the fire. A cloud of smoke issued forth. The miasmic vapors irritated his skin and made him itch.

I must not scratch...

Another circuit around the brazier. Another anecdote of Evendur.

"We had just left Naskel. Evendur and Clawmarked were eager to try their hand at hunting, so off they went into the forest. They came back an hour later, with Gukan carrying the carcass of a deer. As an elf, I abhor the slaughter of helpless creatures and was quite appalled. To make matters worse, Evendur began field dressing the deer, dumping its bloody entrails all over the campsite I had so pristinely prepared. It was more than I could stand. I fled into the woods until they were done with their barbaric butchering.

I heard a noise, a squeak. Behind a tree, I saw the shadow of something, or someone. I was about to use my magic to destroy it when ... No, I cannot lie ... I ran in fear of it, thinking it was a bandit. Evendur was not afraid. He went out to search for the thing I had seen. He brought back not a bandit, but a halfling, a scrawny little half-starved halfling who'd been following us from Naskel. Evendur offered to let the halfling camp with us. I was against him staying. I called him a worthless vagabond. But Evendur gave him a chance. Evendur let Barnabus prove his value, prove his loyalty, prove himself."


Visverax withdrew his dagger from its sheath. He contemplated the weapon, the blade he had taken from a dead kobold. The mage recalled the words he'd said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huhart View Post
"I used to be pretty good with a light blade in school. What say you Evendur? Maybe we could have a little sparring match."
Sadly, that match never took place.

Visverax thrust the blade into the fire until the metal glowed red. He placed the incense granules on the face of the blade until they melted, filling the area with a pungent aroma. The heat traveled through the hilt, causing his hand to burn.

I must not let go...

A final lap around the brazier. The mage spoke of the day's events. The battle against the kobolds, to save Linan. Both he and Evendur had been wounded. The battle in the sewer, where Evendur fought the Ambush Drake and Visverax nearly died. The battle at the gate, where Evendur tossed Barnabus and Vis though the doorway moments before it was barred shut against the enemy. The battle at the temple, where the group saved the entire congregation. The roof of the keep where their fears were tested by the mighty blue dragon. The final battle between Evendur and Cyanwrath....

I must not cry...

Visverax stopped talking. His eyes watered. His nose ran. His skin itched. His hand burned. The spell was nearly complete. All but the final words...

NAZPSAD GRAATA MALPRG
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A blinding beam of radiant energy raced up to the heavens. A small hole ripped though the fabric of reality, an opening into the celestial realm. Visverax looked up and saw, or thought he did, a man with a woman by his side and two children at his feet. The man nodded his head and smiled. The family joined hands and where they met a glowing orb of light appeared. They released the orb and it hurled like lightning down toward the earth. Then, all went dark.

The brazier was cold, its fire gone. But, it was not empty. Feathers ruffled, eyes blinked, beak snapped. A snow white owl rested in the bowl of the brazier.

"I shall call you Dur'Evan," the wizard said.

The owl spread its wings. The lead feather on each wing was ebony black. When it unfurled its wings, they looked like dual blades wielded by a master swordsman. It took flight, landing on the wizard's shoulder, as if it always belonged there. Its claws cut through the thin fabric of the mage's robe.

Visverax gave the bird a sidelong glance. "Careful with those talons, whelp!" he growled.
  #239  
Old Feb 24th, 2017, 06:22 AM
Neqq Neqq is offline
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GoodbyeClawmarked was stunned when Visverax asked him to fetch a brazier, the big goliath was just about to ask why the wizard wanted woman’s underwear, when a child took him by the hand and said, “The Chapel has a brazier., they use it to light the chamber on hallowed days.”

Clawmarked replied, "Aaah..."

The boy led him to the Chapel and within was a sight that nearly broke the goliath’s heart. Evendur’s body was laid out, the fallen warrior’s face looked serene in the flickering lights of the candles that surrounded him. The boy let go of Clawmarked hand and approached an unlit brazier in the corner of the room. The boy offered the goliath a soft smile and said, “I told you there was one here.”

Clawmarked walked over and ruffled the boy’s hair with his bulky finger and said, “You do good. Me need to goodbye me friend now.”

The boy looked up and said, “I’ll wait outside.”

Summoning up all his resolve, Clawmarked lowered his eyes and approached Evendur’s body. He knelt on knee beside his fallen comrade and said, “Evendur, you die a warrior. You die a hero.” Reaching into his belt pouch Clawmarked brought out his precious tiger’s eye. He kissed the gem, which to him was invaluable and gently placed it under the paladin’s hand which were crossed over his chest. “Me honoured to be you friend. Greenest will sing you name for hundred years.”

Clawmarked stood and wiped the tears from his face, goliaths are not meant to cry. He grabbed the brazier and let the child guide him back to Visverax.

Sitting in shadows Clawmarked nursed a large tankard of ale and watched Visverax perform the ritual. The flame entranced the goliath and as Visverax recalled his memories of Evendur they appeared in Clawmarked’s mind.

When the white owl appeared Clawmarked uttered a single word, “Beautiful.”

That night in his sleep Clawmarked visited a forest glade. He could smell the life flowing through the lush greenery and the crickle of a stream fill his ears. Hovering in front like a silver butterfly was the Twinkly Lady. She flutter towards him and he could see the soft lines of her flawless face and finery of her ethereal dress. The Queen didn’t speak a word, but kissed the goliath’s forehead.

In the morning Clawmarked woke and could feel new words burning in his mind.
  #240  
Old Feb 24th, 2017, 10:23 AM
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Talyn Wyvernmark, Female Dwarf Druid
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Talyn

Having learned the ways of the natural world in her becoming a Druid of Mielikki, the gold-dwarf Talyn had come to understand and respect the cycles of life and death. From the young druid, there would be no angry tirade, no emotional outburst. As soldiers prepared a makeshift stretcher for carrying the fallen Evendur's body into the keep, the young dwarf folded the hero's hands over his chest in the usual pose for those lying in death. She then uttered a quiet, quick prayer for the dead, commending Evendur's spirit for its travel to the Beyond, his body for its eventual return to Mother Nature. As she did, flowers began to bloom around the fallen hero's body, outlining it, essentially marking the spot where he lay in death, fallen in honourable combat for an honourable cause.

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Platinum Dragon
Despite having accepted the loss of a friend, Talyn would have a restless sleep that night. The hour of meditation before sleeping proved futile. In her dreams, she was visited once more by a platinum dragon so massive that Talyn was barely half the size of one of its claws. It was a familiar dragon to the young dwarf, having seen the same dragon in many visions and dreams before. Quite unlike those previous visions, however, this time, Talyn's tan flesh was replaced by fine, gold scales. She was also riding astride the back of a large, white unicorn. The unicorn and the dragon respectfully nodded to each other, acknowledging the presence of the other with seeming reverence.

Then, the dragon turned toward her, fixing its steely gaze upon the golden-eyed dwarf. "Very well done, young one," came a powerful voice that echoed in her mind. Despite the overpowering quality of that voice, there was also a very fatherly texture to it, as if she had known it all of her life. "You are well on your way to your redemption, child, but the road is long yet. This invasion is but the beginning. This threat goes beyond you, beyond this town. There is a threat to your very world, young one, a threat to Existence as you know of it. I beseech you, child, follow this road to its end. Defeat the evil that threatens your world. Live or die, child, and I promise you that you shall sit by my side once more."

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"Now, go." With that final, telepathic message, the unicorn whinnied underneath Talyn, the intricate horn upon its forehead glowing with a fierce, bright light. It bucked upward, throwing the dwarf off its back.

But instead of falling onto the rocky ground, Talyn felt as if she was falling forever, never touching the earth. Then, from seemingly out of nowhere, large, leafy vines began to engulf her, hiding the dragon and the unicorn from her sight. Now, it was as if she were falling through a thick forest, but never quite reaching the ground. It was a violent fall, the golden scales on her skin being painfully ripped off of her as the vines and branches scratched against her. As the scales were ripped from her, she was returned to her usual, tanned skin. And still she continued to fall, with the vines and branches now cutting and abrading her flesh.

Finally, the vines disappeared, as if she had fallen through and out of some floating forest. Now, there was only the dark of night around her. She looked up, and her golden eyes met the gaze of a full moon. For some reason, Talyn felt a connection to the moon like she'd never felt before. Suddenly, multiple visions flashed before her eyes, one after the other. The visions were animalistic in nature - silhouettes of familiar, animal shapes, gleaming eyes of predators and prey, inches-long fangs and claws, bone-chilling howls, heart-pounding roars.

Then, just as suddenly, everything was gone. Talyn jerked bodily, and opened her eyes. She was back in her bed, back on the ground. No longer was she falling in nothingness - she was back in the small room that the Governor had graciously allowed her to use. It was early morning, judging by the view of the sky that the window afforded her. This was the morning that they were to conduct a service for Evendur of Clan Greycastle. Carefully, the young dwarf pushed herself upright, looking to clean and prepare herself. She was mostly fine, but there was indeed quite something different within her. The dream and visions from the night before remained vivid in her mind, but she'd had such things before - she knew to push them to the back of her mind. Nevertheless, there was some sensation within her, and it was almost tangible - she could feel it as she clenched and relaxed her fists. It felt as if there was a power welling within her, as if her arms were stronger than they actually were.

In spite of the very strange situation, Talyn's discipline and training kicked in. She remembered the words of that platinum dragon, and knew that she had to move on, to push ahead despite all odds - and this strange feeling was just one obstacle in her path at the moment. Pushing it to the back of her mind for later consideration, she began attending to herself, to prepare herself for the solemn ceremony that awaited them all.


 


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