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  #91  
Old Oct 19th, 2023, 07:45 PM
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Blyne
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As the last of the evoked flames radiated out from Blyne's fingertips, the high-ogre sorceress stopped in her tracks as she witnessed the demon's demise, observing with wide eyes as the forces of nature that she herself had unleashed devoured her nemesis and left it molten and charred on the ground. Deep inside, Blyne could only feel that she had lost all control. Of course she had kept her mind and her heart stable as she had grasped the desert's heat and turned it into chaotic flames, and of course her will to protect herself, Besimeh, and her fated companions, as well as her determination to complete this test, had never faltered.

But beyond such expected forms of self-control that an Irda ought to naturally exhibit, Blyne felt that she had been robbed of her safety in this trial from the very start. Although her mother's deeply engrained teachings kept her standing right where she stood instead of leaving her weak on the ground, the young irda still felt almost like an observer of her own fate, as if only her will to survive had steered her body and her sorcery, and only after the fact did she now fully realize what she had just accomplished.

While she had still been very much in shock after she had peered into the black mirror, Blyne had cried out for her companions to follow her flames and to end her foe where she directed them to it after looking at the fiend's reflection in Tegan's shard. Yet the sorceress had underestimated her own strength. The demon burned, and consequently, the black mirror shattered into a cloud of dust in celebration of its unholy end.

It would have been difficult to describe Blyne's emotions at that moment. Her momentary thousand-yard stare was deeply uncharacteristic for the mystic, especially when there was still a battle taking place, and just a yard behind the irda it was Besimeh who was still fighting the evil creatures of sand and even sacrificing her own body to protect her special friend during her spell incantation.

There was a stupor that had overcome Blyne's entire being that truly had no place within the perfect being that she was supposed to live as. Yet even in the face of this victory, after the sorceress had completed this test and triumphed after receiving a reminder of her own insufficiency, the weight of this figurative trial by fire seemed to have finally crushed the young irda's spirit that had been only hanging by a thread. She was aware that on this battlefield she had been far from alone, distant voices and helpful allies strewn all around. It just didn't get fully through.

Even as she had been called brilliant by her own mother in the past, Blyne was experiencing a severe moment of tunnel vision as she spun on her heels to check on Besimeh's status, noticing that the khurish woman had gotten wounded while the irda had been distracted by her own nemesis. Ever the dutiful daughter, Blyne could hear her late mother's words fill her innermost with meaning and understanding, just like she had always done. Right on the edge of her tunnel, the young irda grew aware of one last remaining splinter of chaos that had not been reduced among the dust that had been left otherwise. It was all-important to Blyne. She had to retrieve it. Only she just could not do it when the most important living person in her life was still beset by two murderous imps.

While the khurish merchant was fully focused on not getting torn apart by vicious claws, Blyne once more raised her hands and wove sigils into the air that she had trained and treasured for many years. This one was actually a spell of her own making. Energy in its truest form, compressed into an agile, glowing, and possibly harmful shape once accelerated. Three dart-like projectiles were conjured in front of the sorceress, fitted with flittering wings like those of a dragonfly as they shot out at the nearest threat, moving like arrows and propelled by Blyne's intent.

None of it was conscious thought for the shapeshifter. She had long since taken pride in this particular versatile spell, yet even as she used it for the first time in many weeks, the young irda couldn't appreciate her own work right then. All of her focus was on Besimeh's well-being, and as if on cue the merchant struck a finishing blow with her dagger, stabbing the elemental in front of her to death after the one on her flank had just been pierced threefold by Blyne's spell. "Blyne!" Besimeh lurched forward, grasping her friend in spite of the explosion of sand that was hitting her, leaving the two women to stumble backward as they physically reunited. The young irda wasn't certain what her human friend would see in her face right then. Shock? Horror? Despair? Either way, Besimeh's own expression was one of grave concern for Blyne. Maybe it was for the better that the mystic was barely thinking right then. We won. Together. As Irda. The last ones. I must retrieve her...
 
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Last edited by Mindsiege; Oct 19th, 2023 at 07:49 PM.
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Old Oct 21st, 2023, 03:12 AM
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The Quiet after the Storm
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The dust mephits finally destroyed
One by one the mephits were killed, though if such a term was accurate for masses of animated sand that were motivated only by their creator’s hatred for everything the gods of Krynn had given birth to, was for the Aesthetics of the Great Library to discuss and determine. Whether by a shepherd’s sturdy crook, swift striking dagger, divinely blessed longsword, or cold-emanating hoopak, each blow weakened the chaotic energies that gave form to the nefarious creatures that in turn exploded violently in a last attempt to harm the ones they despised more than they did death. The characteristic sound of the mephits bursting into clouds of dust reminded Talia of the beloved kender prank of filling a pig’s bladder with air and sand and bursting it over the head of someone who took themselves particularly seriously. Minotaurs and Knights of Neraka were especially favored targets. The sound repeated itself again and again and Talia counted each boom with her fingers, giggling the entire time.


"One, two, three, four, five, six, sev… Only six? Weren’t there seven mephits?"


The kender looked around her in confusion, trying to determine who among the companions hadn’t killed the dust demon that was meant for them. She saw that even Besimeh had finally grown accustomed to the daggers she held in each hand and instead of inflicting a dozen cuts and scratches on herself, as had initially been the case, was instead slashing at one of the little demons with what appeared to be a reasonable amount of deadly grace. Talia flashed the merchant an impish smile. She would make a proper adventurer out of her yet! Which begged the question: Who was the one incapable of hitting their target?


Talia sighed and shook her head in resignation. Aric, of course. Who else? She immediately looked for the boy and after a few moments located him as far away from the battlefield as possible, fumbling with his bow, a frown of frustration on his face. The youth looked like he belonged in bed with a cup of aromatic tea in one hand and a good book -perhaps one about the exciting tales of Uncle Trapspringer!- in the other, but that was often the case with the young Abanasinian. He simply lacked stamina, the kender concluded, and now that Kaylen wasn’t there to babysit him, she doubted that he would make it to the other side of the desert alive. She honestly expected him to simply fall dead one day, perhaps after pricking his big toe with a thorn. He was sensitive like that.


The kender whirled her hoopak over her head and admired the tiny snowflakes that fell to the ground as she did so, preparing to head to the last remaining dust creature and teach it a lesson it would not soon forget - or rather one it would immediately forget, since she was going to whack it so thoroughly it was about to turn into a pile of ice cubes. She never got the chance, though. Out of nowhere an arrow appeared, whistling through the air and cutting through a newly formed cloud of dust, narrowly avoiding Zendra’s shoulder and Tegan shield, which he blindly brandished in front of him, only to plant itself at the very center of the remaining mephit’s forehead. The kender’s jaw dropped. Talia knew she could have tried the same shot a hundred times and not once would she have succeeded, even though she considered herself an expert with the hoopak. Aric appeared to be just as surprised as she was, for his look of intense concentration -or was it constipation?- gave way to one of astonishment and soon after pride.


"Got ‘im", the young archer cried out to Zendra and Talia found herself nodding in agreement. He got ‘im alright!


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What did Aric actually do!?
What was even stranger was the fact that the mephit didn’t explode as its !!!fifteen siblings had before. Instead, it somehow turned to black smoke and vanished inside the arrow that killed it. How in the name of all the gods had someone like Aric managed to do that!? Talia looked at the youth, then the arrow, now resting on the desert ground, still surrounded by wisps of dark smoke, and once more at Aric. Perhaps he wasn’t a complete failure after all. The trick he had just performed was really neat. More than just neat, she had to admit. It was amazing! Would he mind teaching it to her? She could think of at least a hundred ways of putting it to good use.


Silence replaced the sounds of battle, one that was interrupted only by the panting of the companions and the soft sobs of Besimeh. The Khurish woman allowed the daggers she was holding to slip her fingers and fall to the ground, her arms wrapping themselves around Blyne, who seemed to be as shocked by the whole experience as the merchant was. She didn’t speak, instead seeking comfort in the closeness between the two. There was no better proof that they had survived. Besimeh’s eyes inadvertently looked at the smoldering corpse next to the remains of the shattered black mirror and her body grew suddenly stiff. By Shinare, the fiend looked so much like Blyne, or rather it resembled some twisted, nightmarish version of her. Her friend had managed to slay it with her magic, but it could easily have been the other way around. What would she have done then? She couldn’t live without her! Instinctively she reached for her pocket, but she stopped herself just in time.


No! It’s too soon. She’s not ready yet. I have to wait.


Gently removing herself from Besimeh’s embrace, though still holding her hand in hers, Blyne picked up a small piece of the black mirror, looking at it inquisitively. The black glass had shattered and this small shard was the only thing that still remained intact. What powers did it possess? More importantly, did she dare use it?


Redwaters inhaled deeply, trying to appreciate the quiet after the battle, though it was never absolute silence for him. There were always some faraway whispers begging for his attention. Kneeling to pet the ghostly fox that had come to his aid, he closed his eyes, getting a better feel of the place. Now that the spirit wind had ceased, he was able to detect voices that had formerly been drowned by its incessant howling. Sobs, he realized, cries and soft words spoken in a language he didn’t understand, one that reminded him of hard rocks and constantly shifting sands. It was quite unlike the rhythmic flow of Abanasinian, which resembled an endless sea of tall grass, gently bowing before the breath of the goddess. Though he didn’t know the words, he had no difficulty understanding their purpose. They were trying to comfort and ease the suffering of the ones who were crying, though they too were steeped in fear and sorrow. He might not have been able to feel such emotions within his heart, but he had tasted them in the spirits of the Dire Wood.




Opening his eyes once more, the plainsman looked around him. A large stele made from Krynn’s bones commemorated the sacrifice of a woman named Samira. Next to it was an open grave with the woman’s remains, but this was not the source of the cries. Redwaters allowed his gaze to glide over the sandy ground until it reached the area that had formerly been covered by the black glass. He had noticed the irregular shapes in it before, but not paid much attention to them, since their lives had been threatened by the spawns of Chaos. Now, however, he had the distinct impression that this was the source of the grief he had detected. Someone had met their end there. Many someones. And they had not yet come to peace with their fate.


Zendra too had not yet come to terms with her emotions. Anger, fear, sorrow, and hope had built a cyclone inside her chest that threatened to tear her apart. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t know what to say. Perhaps all that was necessary was to allow the tears to flow and mourn for all that had been lost and all that had never come to pass. With the taint of Chaos finally erased and the dust mephits destroyed, she was finally able to do what she had come to Khur to accomplish: reunite her uncle with his family. Perhaps it would be enough to grant him peace. Perhaps it would be enough to grant her peace.



Calendar13th Day of Aelmont (Winter) 422 AC / 38 SC, Noon

Solinari: 7/36 (Waxing)
Lunitari: 16/28 (High Sanction) - conjunction with Nuitari
Nuitari: 5/8 (Waning) - conjunction with Lunitari

Boons/Penalties:
White Robes - | Red Robes +2 spell DC, ADV on spell attack rolls | Black Robes +2 spell DC, ADV on spell attack rolls


 


 


 
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Old Oct 21st, 2023, 06:55 AM
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Zendra Zantir
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And then, just like that, it was all over.

Zendra wasn't sure whether she wanted to just fall there and then and sleep for a thousand years or run as fast as her legs could carry her away from this terrible place and this cursed country. Either option had an appeal for her exhausted mind and body, drained both mentally and physically by the ordeal.

Instead she turned and walked, unsteadily but in a straight line, back towards the grave. She hazily noted the presence of another, a stranger but there would time enough to deal with that later. Time now to resume filling in the grave. She had no desire whatsoever to take, or even touch the book or rod. In fact she had no desire to take anything from Khur except that she absolutely needed for sustenance. How could she ever feel safe taking anything from sand and soil and that she knew in her bones regarded her with pure malice?

Thank the gods she at least had the shovel to make light work of the sands because she didn't ask for and din't desire help from the others. "Rest well Samira, Nejmalin. Rest well uncle."

Zendra didn't know whether she was speaking to them or to herself. There were no tears now; she'd shed them all in the battle and they'd be swallowed away, vanishing forever into the desolation of the desert. Perhaps more would come later when she could afford them.

'Dehydration, a greater killer than scorpions or snakes,' she thought in a frazzled kind of way. 'Or horrible sand gremlins probably.'

Zendra was aware she probably wasn't functioning at her best right now but if she could just fulfil her obligation to her uncle maybe, just maybe she'd be able to start thinking clearly again. Concentrate on filling in the grave first.



 


 


 
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Old Oct 21st, 2023, 08:10 AM
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Quiet and calm returned to the desert and Devari looked around wide-eyed, some part of her unwilling to believe that their foes had been beaten. Nearby the corpse of some twisted version of Blyne's current form steamed gently, small flames still flickering in places on the corrupted silks. The real Blyne was embracing Besimeh, and Devari smiled, glad that in amongst all of the pain and anguish at least those two had found some happiness.

The others were all gathering back together, except for Zendra who looked like she was set on continuing her task which had been interrupted; burrying her dead uncle. From the way that the archaeologist was moving Devari could tell that she had been deeply affected by everything which had happened, and she took several steps in that direction to help her, but then thought better of it. From what she knew of the woman she might resent the implication that she couldn't do it all on her own.

"Well I could use a drink," Devari declared, smiling at the others and patting Tegan on the shoulder. She winced at the cuts and grazes sustained by Xihue, and then turned to check what Talia was doing, sure that the kender would be up to some mischief already… and then stopped. A stranger was watching her, a man with dark feathery hair and reddish skin. Hadn't he said something to her during the fight?

"Hi," she said, habitually reaching up to brush an absent lock of hair out of her eyes. "I'm Devari. Thanks for, uh…" Had he helped in the fight? She had seen the strange fox-cactus-thing attacking one of the dust demons, and it seemed to be with him so she assumed that he had. "Thanks for helping out. Did you… were you, uh, trapped under the glass too?"

 
 
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Old Oct 23rd, 2023, 08:12 PM
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Xihue of the Alan-Atu
Lifesong
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The Ancient Master
"It is time for me to go, Xihue."

The ancient master stood and shuffled toward the portal of the small wooden building that he shared with his apprentice. Xihue had finished cleaning the bowls, plates and cups after having cleared the table from their shared evening meal. Instead of meditation and forms practice that typically ended their days, it seemed his Master had something else in mind.

The old man stopped briefly to wait for his student to pull aside the hides that served as their humble doorway and then exited into the brisk night. A few torches were lit in a string of equally spaced lamps. There was no other light in the village save for the twinkle of endless stars. This seemed strange to Xihue. The flames danced with yellow happiness along a clearly defined path that led from the modest shelter to the yurt-like circle tents of the elders which sat upon a wooden platform overlooking the vast plains of the Tamire. Each flame danced, flared bluish-white and growled as if struck by a stiff breeze as the master and student passed them in turn, before resuming their normal golden glow. It wasn't until Xi had reached the steps of the wooden dais in the village center that he turned to see that each torch behind them was now extinguished. The full darkness of night seemed to follow them and the star bespeckled sky overhead was being swallowed by a line of low clouds that threatened to fill the sky as they quickly rolled against late summer's cooling, mountain slopes.

The whole village was standing silently in the dark on the platform, calmly waiting for the two to arrive and Xihue realized that no one had bothered to inform him of this gathering. What is going on?, the shepherd's wrinkled brow plainly displayed his disapproval of his exclusion. There was a buzz of conversation within the main, central tent where the elders and the old mothers met and that light-hearted babble, interspersed with laughter and levity, ended as abruptly as the light from the last torch as the brightly painted, ornately carved wooden door to the structure were opened to bath the arriving duo with bonfire light from its central brazier and numerous supportive lamps that hung from the rafters around the outside edge of the large circle. Everyone bowed deeply as the Master entered and a barrage of greetings, all echoed "Peace be with you, Master Xihow." Until that moment, Xihue had never know his master's given name. He had always believed it to be Sumting, as he had been told when he was accepted as an apprentice.

A gentle hand at his elbow, guided Xi away from his master to an open cushion that apparently had been reserved specifically for him. The young monk sat, cross-legged, and straight, attentively trying to resolve the confusion and concern that disruptively plagued his characteristic calmness.

The Great Bard Mother was the last to greet the Master. She was almost as old, wrinkled and grey as he. Her smile was broad and loving. "Welcome, sire of my first-born. Peace be with you!" She said and then affectionately embraced him. SIRE?!, the rapidity of revelation after revelation struck Xihue as forcefully as a flurry of blows. "We have prepared a place as you have requested." the gnarle-fingered old mother turned and guided the Master to a low wooden, red cushioned, legless chair which he sat cross-legged in as his own broad smile nodded back to everyone present.

The Elders and Old Mothers met irregularly for war councils, auspicious events, and matters of great import which could effect the entire clan. It was a rare gathering, obviously important, and obviously centered on Xihue's Master. So as not to become an embarrassment to the wise old mentor, Xi sat straight and stoically rigid with a slight smile upon his face that masked his unease.

"We gather tonight to hear the songs of the Alan-Atu and to add another note to its long saga. Peace be with you all!" intoned the Great Bard Mother who voice was clear and ageless, sweet and vibrant despite the innately apparent countenance of her deeply wrinkled, somewhat toothless, face. "All present, inside and out, listen to our song. It is long and lustrous, it holds our truth of generations in this time of great visions. I was gifted with a Dream, as was Master Xihow. Something universal is about to happen. It is certain. Although the powerful beings that are gods to other races have left this world, something powerful is about to occur. Master Xihow, myself and several others among the elders have seen this Dream. It is the same for each of us."

A single drumbeat had begun outside the council chamber. As if a beating heart had been exposed to the dark mountain night and it's steady rhythm was slow and certain. The Old Bard Mother was the first to sing of the Age of Dreams, followed by her daughters, all white-haired, old and only slightly less wrinkled. The Elders joined in and the song spread into the Age of Might, marching through ages past from the first generations of Alan-Atu to climb the Ulsi Ilquar and live there, away from the violence of the plains, to the generations upon the wheel who built the song. The music was ancient and seemingly endless. It harmonized and grew as the story aged until one cracked, monotonously rough voice recited the sparce memory of the Age of Dispair. A full chorus of voices rose once more as the most recent Age was begun, the current age, without gods, without moons.

The event had been timeless. It must have droned on for hours (days?) yet none among those presents were aware of anything other than the song. At its end, the Master's voice sang his song, the song of his own life, from the beginning of his reincarnation over 100 years ago to this very night. He bowed his head as he reached the moment of the present and all was deathly silent again.

"This song has not ended. Carry it with you, each in your own heart. It is life. Our life. Go now and make new life. Give old souls a new home. Carry on our song."

Everyone stood except for the Ancient Master who remained with his head bowed, in deep meditation. Xihue waited patiently for him until the Old Bard Mother and he were the only other remaining members of the clan. "Did you not hear the song, Xihue? Why do you remain here instead of creating new life? I am too old to help my own great grandson do this." She laughed lightly as yet another revelation slapped Xihue's brain. Great Grandson?!

"Peace be with you Great Mother, I must wait for the master. He will need my help getting home after this long ordeal."

The Old Bard Mother laughed loudly and covered her mouth before putting her hand on Xihue's back as she guided him to the exit. "I have told you how to help him now, Xihue. Go make a new life. He is not here any longer."

With a glance at the serene old man who had raised him for the past eight years, Xihue's final realization broke him as the mind-numb shepherd was gently pushed through the colorful doors which closed behind him. "But, I am not finished learning." he whispered into the cold evening mountain air.

Somewhere in the back of the lonely monk's mind he heard the Master's chuckling voice say, "You never WILL be."

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Xihue
Xihue cycled rapidly through the closing forms of martial defense, addressing every compass point in search of remaining threats until his perception confirmed that the fight was over. Aric's final arrow had done something strange but everyone else had successfully eliminated the dusty dangers as they settled into the sand that had birthed them. Besimmeh and Blyne were embracing, Aric was admiring himself, and Devari was flirting with a strange looking man. That man had arrived in the midst of battle and appeared to be responsible for the semi-incorporeal fox creature that had assisted in the fight.

Deep cuts began to scream painfully at Xihue as he became aware of several bleeding wounds about his heavily damaged body. It wasn't as bad as those he had won during the Minotaur fight yesterday but they would need to be tended to. Xihue found a nearby rock and sat down. He drank deeply from one of the water flasks he had re-filled at the tree's spring and wished that he had been allowed to collect some of the healing leaves of that plant. With a purposeful inventory of every part of his body, the young shepherd discovered every cut, scrape, and bruise that remained. Such a collection would either attract potential mates who valued such proof of bravery or they might just as well yield repulsion. Only time and opportunity would tell. He was not dead yet.

On a whim, after wrapping his wounds (some of which were deep enough to soak the bandages and were not easily treated), Xihue brought out his flute and tried to play Quinari's Song but one of his fingers had been damaged in the fight. The effort, although minimally successful, was much less controlled than any of his previous attempts. Rather than continue to shame himself with a substandard effort, Xihue primed and opened the music box to allow the hauntingly lovely melody to bless this burial ground while Zendra re-interred the bodies she had recently uncovered.

 
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Last edited by Black Jim; Oct 23rd, 2023 at 08:21 PM.
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Old Oct 25th, 2023, 02:25 AM
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Isandril Moonsilver, Wizard of High Sorcery
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The fight was finally over. Isandril, much like almost everyone else, had not survived unscathed as his wounds caused him to wince and slightly limp. His white robes had gained several red patches, though that was hardly something a bit of magic could not fix in due time. Still, they were victorious and the mage could breathe a sigh of relief as he moved closer to the shattered pool of black glass. Despite peering into it however, there was little to nothing that he gleaned from his examination. Thus, he walked away from it, instead turning his gaze to his companions. His companions and the stranger who apparently helped them by summoning a strange creature from the very ground beneath their feet.

Devari was already chatting him up, which, admittedly, was hardly a surprise. She seemed to be getting back to her more open self bit by bit. Or at the very least she certainly put up a rather convincing show of it anyway. Aric seemed rather intrigued by the arrow that felled the last of the mephits and with good reason; the projectile apparently was not only undamaged but also emanating some sort of black smoke. Ever the inquisitive mind, the effect certainly intrigued the elf, who began approaching the youth and his find. On his way, he paused briefly, glancing at Zendra. She had already started finishing the task she had busied herself with before all the fighting broke out.

Isandril sighed. There was a spellbook and what looked like the part of a staff in that grave. He had to admit he found the fact that they would apparently remain there a waste. A part of him -and a part not of him especially- positively bristled at the thought. Such a waste indeed. Take them. He shook the strange thought, the foreign thought, away. They were not his to take, not his to keep. Much like the various elven heirlooms they had liberated from the bandit camp were not theirs. How hypocritical it would be to treat the two situations differently. Thus here they would stay with their owners, even though they were no more. The decision had been reached and it troubled him no longer. What did trouble him, however, was himself. Or rather, whatever -or whoever- lurked inside him. On more than one occasion he had heard it, that strange and old voice, that whisper. When had it started; when had it been the first time he had heard it? And when had it been that it had started growing... stronger, louder? He sighed. The answer to the first question he was not sure of; it was... it was as if trying to grasp at smoke. But the answer to the second was a bit clearer: when he had started to grow in power, or rather when he had started using his magic to manipulate the River of Time, albeit in small ways... for the moment.

Taking a deep breath, he decided to devote a bit more attention to it. After all, it was, to put it mildly, troubling. But, for now, he resumed his walk towards Aric and his arrow.

"May I?"

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Last edited by FCastor; Oct 25th, 2023 at 08:52 AM.
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Old Oct 25th, 2023, 09:15 AM
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Talia Dawnstar
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The battle of the Black Glass had ended and the companions were once again victorious but Talia was left wondering just how long their luck would hold out. The kender was slowly learning just how formidable her friends were… Blyne conjuring jets of molten flame… Aric pulling off impossible shots with his bow. If she didn’t know better, Talia would think that everyone had been brought together for some grand purpose… but that was just silly.

Wasn’t it?

She looked down at her hoopak, for the first time trying to digest what had happened to her ancestral weapon. The wood felt solid as always but now it throbbed with an inner spark of cold that was frankly uncomfortable in Talia’s hand. But uncomfortable or not… she had seen what the hoopak could now do. Somehow, her hoopak had absorbed Isandril’s magic and stored the elemental energy.

Thrilled with the new development, Talia allowed Zendra to complete her religious burial stuff in relative peace. The kender zoomed back and forth behind her, whirling her hoopak about which created a rather high pitched whine, while at the same time whacking random rocks to see if they turned to ice.

“Zing zang! Bizzy bop!” she cried out each time, wondering if there was a secret password that would unlock more magical abilities. Surely she could figure it out if she tried. As she ran about, she noticed Devari talking to the fox man. Talia ran up the duo and slid to a quick stop. She held her hoopak at the ready and gave the noble looking figure a frightful glare.

“The Fox told me… in my head… that it wants to be with me for now on! Give him to me and I will let you leave peacefully!”

Talia stared at the man menacingly for a moment before realizing that she hadn’t properly introduced herself.

“Name’s Talia… you can call me… Dawnstar. Hand over the fox.”


OOC (No Aoo - fancy footwork)
 

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  #98  
Old Oct 26th, 2023, 06:02 PM
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Success and a newcomer
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As the dust settled and the adrenaline of the heated battle seceded, Tegan took stock of the dusty wasteland where they found themselves. It looked like everyone was, to some degree, okay. There had been many injuries - both physical and emotional, but everyone was moving for the time being.

Tegan looked at the shard of glass that he had brought to Blyne as the sorceress held it. The lone shard remained and Tegan shuddered at the thought of what would have happen had he tarried to bring that to the fiery magi. Blyne clearly had power to demand the elements to complete her will -Tegan couldn't remember another time she had used her powers in combat to such an effect.

Tegan saw her eyes glance up as if aware that he was looking at her from the far side of the once-glass field. Tegan did his best to offer a reassuring smile. He couldn't imagine the fear that would take one being the only one able to see a fiend of yourself. Could he have overcome such a foe himself? He wasn't sure.

His focus was torn away by Zendra stalking away from him, her gaze completely focused on the grave. He had intended to offer her a hand, but her body language made it clear that there was no intervention that currently would be accepted. This was a task she felt she needed to complete alone.

That left Tegan in an odd spot following the battle. His companions were scattered across the area in small pockets. Aric was approached by Isandril, Zendra and Xi by themselves, Bessimeh and Blyne talking softly, and Talia and Devari talking to a newcomer. This newcomer was completely foreign to Tegan. At a glance he had some semblance of Xihue in the way he carried himself, but that was only in trying to find some relativism to their current party. Really he was not much like him at first glance - this culture was also rather foreign to Tegan. The Solamnics knew of the plainsfolk, but Tegan personally had no experience with them.

Feeling like everyone had something specific to focus on besides himself, Tegan began to make his way to where Talia was likely verbally accosting their assistant. If the Kender was to make things uncomfortable, at least the Solamnic could try and work on damage control. Sheathing his sword and stowing his shield, the warrior began walking confidently across the field. As he did, he realized that there was something nagging him in the back of his mind. Xihue had been rent open in several places.

For some reason, as he turned his head to look and watch the warrior drinking some water, he felt the need to go and help. It was important to meet this newcomer, but Devari didn't need his assistance in managing the Kender. Xihue needed him. He changed his course and as he approached, he found his bison horn in hand.

"Peace, Xihue. You fought valiantly. I pray that Kiri-Jolith's face would lift your countenance and ease your pain."

As he spoke, Tegan felt a sense of authority in his prayer. For some reason, he knew his prayer was being answered. On cue, Tegan watched as the slight grimace on Xi's face was soothed. It wasn't much, but Tegan noticed that the bandages that were barely stemming the tide of blood felt relief as the gushing ebbed to a dull throb. As Xihue pulled the bandage away, new pink flesh held a tenuous grip over the wound. It wasn't healed fully, but the worst wounds at least were somewhat treated.

Tegan stared in amazement. True healing was a gift bestowed to the most devout clerics and paladins of any deity. Yet here were his prayers being answered and Xihue's wounds reacting. Realizing his mouth was held open, Tegan closed it and regained his composure, then spoke humbly.

"I can't say I have ever had my prayers answered quite like that... How do you feel? Are you up to joining me to meet this newcomer?"

Tegan offered his hand to the Alan-atu warrior, who graciously took it, not out of need, but out of respect.

 
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Old Oct 26th, 2023, 06:48 PM
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What does a fox say?
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And just like that, it was over just as Redwaters had begun. Now the calm that overtook the remaining combatants was terse and unsteady with his presence as he was now the more immediate mystery.

He holsters his fetish to present himself more peacible, and holds his hands where other can see them. He has several theories as to why Chislev lead him here, but no conclusive answers. He instead surveys the battlefield for what visual cues he can pick up on, before he spies the bereaved ladies sobbing about a smouldering body, one of which looks remarkably similar to to their downed companion. He is quick to bow his head in respect when he catches their eye.

"I am sorry for the loss of your twin," he offers sincerely.

He wanders off a bit to give them their privacy but is soon lost again in the voices he hears, always loudest in the silence. He casts his gaze whichway and otherwhere as he tries to pinpoint its source. They are words in a language he is not familiar, yet even he can tell they are laden with sadness, as most Lost Souls are ...

He doesn't even turn his head when bardess introduces herself, clearly focused on ethereal matters, but he does give a polite reply. "Devari, it is a pleasure. I am Redwaters of the Qué-Taw, adoptive son of the Direwood Fae, and I am on a mission from God more or less, having wandered very far from the east," he breezily and easily spits out, because a proper introduction that includes a mission statement is just good communication.

"I don't think I was sent to fight you guys...?" he seems unsure but glances at the fox cacti to double check, but the beast remains calm and wary. "No. Doesn't look it..."

He finally turns his attention to the conversation and continues his reply to Devari. "The Earth Mother has other things in mind for me, it would seem, wandering and healing the lands and its people." He notes her wounds, and pretty much everyone elses. "Hey. You guys seem a bit banged up yourself. What say we rest up and share stories as I tend to your injuries..."


The kender interrupts, coming in large. With demands, no less. In fact, he's pretty sure she is trying to rob him.

He mutters "She's telling me you told her you belong to her now?" something to the fox.

The fox in turn "Is she serious? This snack-sized munchkin has that kind of audacity?"begins to laugh. But after a moments deliberation the beast gives a "Ah, what the hell. Looks like I got time to kill."shake of its cactus head with a grunt, and plods its way toward the half-lady. Upon arriving, he just sits and starts staring at her, their heads being similar heights, as if to say "Well, now what?"

"I think it likes you," he smiles at Talia. "Mind the thorns. The spirit will return to nature in an hour," he warns.

His smile wanes quickly though. This place was very much haunted. Filled with so much pain and sorrow. His attention drifts once again to the voices and the blasted glassy sands, very much a festering wound on Krynn. He doesn't know whether he was sent here to help the desert reclaim the land, to exorcise the spirits, or to befriend these hardy adventurers.

He gives yet another thousand mile stare as if gazing into the cosmos. There is a trail of dust slowly circling the intrepid travelers as Thunder continues to make her round about as fast recon. Then Redwaters begins to mutter loudly, seemingly nonsensically by his own standard.

But it IS a language, though one he does not speak. His words come out wrong and butchered, as one just trying to copy the phonetics of a word they just heard. It's brutal, but the messages they carry can be
It burns, it burns!

Calm down, my sweet. The gods will protect us.

Mother, mother!

It is getting closer. The dragon of fire! Samira, help us!

Close your eyes, little one. It will be over soon.

Skyfather, keep us. Skyfather, bless us. Skyfather, protect us from Chaos...
understood by those who speak Khurish

He tips his head to the side after he finishes dictation with a confused expression, hoping somebody could translate for him. Or he could just be mistaken and look like a crazy person. Which wouldn't be a first.



 


 
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Old Oct 26th, 2023, 10:30 PM
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Blyne
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Besimeh's sobbing broke Blyne's heart, the organ that had done its greatest to sing incessantly throughout this encounter, even if its melody had been a frightened pulse, one that had dreaded each step that the sorceress had taken and even each finger that she had lifted to weave her sorcery. She was not ready for this. My existence is a cruelty to her. Yet Blyne could not utter a single word. She had not been ready for this trial either. She had believed herself chosen by the gods, but the young irda had not yet seen herself in the role that she had been cast in today.

There were no words needed to convey the relief that Blyne felt that they had both survived this ordeal, and no words crossed the shapeshifter's lips as she physically held on to Besimeh after the battle. She couldn't bear to look over her own shoulder to look at the distorted visage that the fiend had worn ever since it had stolen her reflection of the human companion that Blyne had chosen that she had wanted to become.

Yet her thoughts weren't solely on Besimeh in that moment. Blyne was more than glad that the two of them still persisted when she had feared so gravely that either of them would fall throughout the events surrounding the destruction of this chaos scar. But there were other voices to listen to than the words that her heart was singing to her. An irda could not become a human. Her current shape was just a disguise. And her destiny was to give her mother salvation. Such truths could not be overruled by straying emotions.

Gently dislodging from Besimeh's embrace, the sorceress was still mostly in shock as she guided the two of them toward the shard that would allow her mother's guidance to return to the forefront of Blyne's thoughts and conduct. The young irda longed for it. But she also dreaded it. Her movements were bereft of her usual grace and she seemed oddly stiff when she picked up the black splinter that would allow a reunion that Blyne had never thought possible.

But just as soon as she touched it, the mystic's mind was filled with more whispers, louder and clearer than they had been before, and Blyne's shock persisted as her lack of self-control was corrected by the one who knew what self-control should look like. The one who had given birth to her true shape and the one who knew what her place in this world ought to be. The power of the heart a crutch? No, I will never allow it to be just that! I strive for far greater heights, Mother! I will grow to wield the same sorcery as you, just eventually!

Feeling her mother's disapproval with every fiber of her chosen, insufficient shape, Blyne almost let go of Besimeh's hand, tears welling up that she couldn't place. Whether they were tears of exhaustion, joy, or regret, deep down the young irda already knew that they were wrong and that they would reveal her as flawed. But when the whispers bit into her consciousness, a jolt ran through Blyne's body and she straightened up, wiping her eyes while gripping the chaos shard that was now the vessel of a superior mind to her own.

The shard that she had retrieved was housing a will that held a superior determination than Blyne herself. Uniting both power and wisdom in a way that defined excellence and left no room for objections. Like a mother? Me? But I am far too young! Still, even as her deepest thoughts protested against assuming such a role, Blyne also knew that in one way it still suited her. She was of the last of the Irda after all. Her fate was to give support and guidance to her lessers. That was the duty for which the gods had placed her among her fated companions and onto the path toward a shared destiny.

Blinking as if Blyne was just waking up from a dream, it was as if she finally grew aware of those other existences that weren't herself or Besimeh. There was Tegan, who she would have to thank for his presence of mind during the hell that had broken loose on their party, standing with Xihue who had most likely demonstrated himself as the warrior that he was even when Blyne hadn't been paying attention. Then a bit further there was Isandril who stood with Aric and probably already assumed a role of support and guidance for the human youth, and thus Blyne turned to look for the others.

There she was torn. Zendra had told her own tale and the irda sorceress felt genuine sympathy for the woman now that her thoughts weren't distracted by the need that last night's vision had created within her. But the blonde human seemed prideful and would probably only allow for assistance and care once her task was done, and after Blyne turned her head further, not without surprise her hazel eyes fell onto another human whom she had never seen before, standing with Devari and Talia.

The young irda still didn't feel entirely in control of herself. But her mother's teachings still rang in her ears and Blyne felt like she could at least move without falling apart. Eventually. "Besimeh." Her voice was soft and raw but without any faltering. "We must greet the stranger. Stay by my side. Always." The shapeshifter bowed to retrieve her friend's daggers and handed them back to the merchant. Blyne didn't know how she could hold on to Besimeh without compromising herself. But the two of them still resumed holding hands. And when they set out to join by Devari's side, nothing signaled that they would be separating any time soon.
 
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Old Oct 27th, 2023, 11:32 AM
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Aric Armitage
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The arrow he had loosed against one of the dust devils ended up being one of the deciding blows of the battle, and even though he still felt like he was going to puke his guts out, he allowed himself a moment of pride. I did that. Did you see that, father? I did that. It was only a moment, but his brief bit of egotism seemed to draw an appraising look from Xihue, who was now surveying the battlefield. Aric was some distance away from the battlefield - which was in truth also a grave, if he recalled what Zendra had been saying, and suddenly he felt the last vestiges of pride wash away, replaced with shame. She came here to mourn, to lay her uncle to rest, and I'm over here thinking about some stupid arrow shot?! He looked at her, standing briefly by the grave before slowly beginning to scoop dirt into the open pit and, after I couldn't decide what he would actually do, ended up rolling to see if he would be insightful enough to sense she wanted privacy and solitude. Answer: no, of course not, this is Aric we're talking about.weighing the options, he made the decision that she could use a comforting presence in her time of grief.

"Hi, Zendra, I couldn't help but notice you over here by yourself, and I felt bad. It's hard enough to lose someone, but then to have a bunch of strange pests interrupt you when you're trying to mourn? I can't imagine how hurtful and intrusive that must be. I-" Suddenly realizing the parallel etween himself and the dust devils, not to mention finally absorbing that the hurt look on her face was not entirely out of grief, he quickly cleared his throat, a nervous look on his face. Somehow he was able to press on, though his words were a jumble by the end as he tried to quickly finish up so he could leave her in place. "A-anyway, we won't bother you again until you're ready andI'mreallysorryIdidn'tnoticeyouwantedspace-" A quick breath, then: "takeallthetimeyouneedwe'llbeoverherewhenyou'rerea dy!" He scuttled and scurried away before she could launch a fireball at him, all the while pounding himself hard in the shoulder with one bony fist while growling out "Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!", each word "punchuated"punctuated by another blow. The shoulder would be raw later on, but right now he didn’t care a whit. His pain was nothing in comparison to what Zendra was going through.

His oaf brain and clumsy feet eventually carried him to where the black arrow lay, now inert on the ground. He just stared at it for a moment, perplexed. "What in the hell?" he muttered quietly to himself. He unslung his quiver and inspected the other arrows, just to make sure he wasn't going crazy. He certainly still might have been, but not about this. He knew it had been one of the plain arrows he had fletched himself. The armor-piercing arrows had narrower arrowheads for punching through mail. The others were simple broadheads, same as what now rested on the ground. He continued to look at it. It didn't appear damaged, per se, though the
Dice * Arcana re: arrow, disadv:
1d20+4kl1 (2)+4 Total = 6
1d20+4kl1 (3)+4 Total = 7
closest thing he could think of to explain its new appearance was that it had been singed in some way, almost like a charred stick used to cook meat over a campfire. It was even smoking slightly, unless he was hallucinating that as a result of his sickness. He knelt and picked it up. He was no magus by any means, but when he picked up the shaft from the ground he could have swore he felt a strange thrum, though this could have simply been the nervous pulse in his fingers when pressed against the wood shaft. He recalled the shot, trying desperately to think of what could have caused the change. It had been a standard arrow, he was sure of it. He had nocked it to the bowstring and pulled back to his ear, just like he'd done hundreds of times. It wasn't the longest shot he'd ever taken, though with two allies nearby, the sounds of screaming and roars of pain and fury in the distance, not to mention just how truly awful he had felt - still felt, if he was being honest - it was most certainly the most difficult he could remember. He spun the arrow around and around in between his thin fingers, the narrow shaft spinning like a samara falling from a maple tree. He thought back to the being he had slain (dispersed?) He recalled how it had risen up from the sand and dust, and how with one arrow he had returned it to dust, and the name just popped into his head.

"Duster," he said quietly, wrapping his tongue around the word as carefully as his fingers had wrapped around the arrow shaft. It seemed right somehow. "Yeah. Duster." He twirled the black arrow again, and this time he could have swore the thrum he felt was definitely not from his pulse.

He was about to stow his new (old?) arrow back in its quiver, but then, as he looked around at the rest of the battlefield, he noticed Isandril approaching from the direction of the shattered mirror. Nearby, Blyne was comforting a sobbing Besimeh, and even Aric couldn't miss that particular cue. He simply gave the two women a small nod from where he stood to show he recognized their need for space and would give them all the time they needed. Isandril approached, his thin elven eyes appraising both the arrow and the one who had fired it. "May I?" the elf asked. For a moment, Aric could have swore he had seen a troubled, almost haunted look on the elf's face, but then dismissed the thought. Elves were inscrutable and Aric was dense as dirt, as evidenced by his complete and utter misread of Zendra moments before.

"I don't know what happened," he said uncertainly, and held out the black arrow for the elf to inspect. "It looks like it was burned, but the sand creature didn't explode that time, so I have no idea what happened. Look," he said, holding up his quiver, "it’s just like the rest of these - or, it was." He shrugged his shoulders. "You can hang onto it if you want, maybe you can figure out what happened to it." He gave the elf a friendly nod, then, after making sure Isandril had no additional questions, excused himself and stepped past him.

The shattered mirror and whatever strange dark magic it had contained had drawn his curiosity. He walked toward it, took a quick look at it, scratched his head and realized
Dice * Investigation (under mirror), disadv:
1d20+1kl1sch10 (11)+1 Total = 12
1d20+1kl1sch10 (3)+1 Total = 4
he had no idea what the hell he was looking at. Nearby, Devari was speaking to a stranger who had appeared as suddenly and mysteriously as the mephits. He didn't want to intrude on their conversation; besides, despite having lied to them about her identity, she was still a much better choice for making introductions than the awkward, gangly teen. He instead gave a small bow and mouthed the words "Thank you" to the newcomer. His thanks appeared to go unnoticed, however, as Talia, twirling her hoopak with intense speed and a string of nonsense magical words, sidled up to the newcomer and threatened to take the stranger's fox. Aric's eyes narrowed in irritation. We just got done with a battle - are you seriously trying to start another one?? He said nothing. A part of him was curious to hear how the man responded, and another, more ashamed part, was just happy to not be the target of her irritation. It seemed like the stranger was doing okay. There was no anger that Aric could see; in fact, the man's voice had assumedly Redwaters is speaking common, but both he and Aric speak Abanasinian so I would imagine picking up on a trace of an accent would not be that farfetchedsomething of a familiar accent to Aric, and his demeanor seemed to shift from perplexed to amused at Talia's demand. Oh, good, he's not like me. Smart enough to not throw fuel on the fire. He looked around further. Tegan was tending to Xihue who, now that Aric was close enough to see better, had blood running down his body. Aric winced. Again?? You just got gored yesterday, now what? Fortunately, the monk was built like a brick outhouse, and after a brief prayer from Tegan he seemed to regain the same wise, insightful look on his face. I'd be screaming bloody murder if I took even half the hits he did, he thought in admiration. He gave Tegan a nod in recognition of his kindness for tending to Xihue before calling out to the wounded Alan-Atu man. "All right, Xihue?" he said, unable to keep the concern from his voice. He subconsciously found himself adding a little bit more of an accent into his words, curious to find out if his hypothesis about the newcomer was correct.

Evidently the strange figure with the fox knew multiple languages, for after speaking briefly to Devari and Talia, he began to speak in what Aric thought might be Khurish, if only because he had so recently heard the same language back in Pashin. He had no idea what the words meant, but the newcomer had an interesting voice. Finally, despite his earlier embarrassment with Zendra, he shook his head, came to a decision, and walked over to where the man stood. He gave Devari a friendly smile and Talia an admonishing look for how she had treated the newcomer, before fixing his blue eyes on those of the plainsman.

"Nice to meet you, stranger," he said quietly. "Have no idea what you were saying, but it sounded nice. I think I heard you tell Devari your name, but I couldn't quite make it out from where I was standing. Anyway, my name is Aric Armitage and I am glad you showed up when you did - though if I'm being perfectly honest, I can't imagine how you ended up crossing paths with us. We're basically needles in a haystack out here in the middle of a desert. Well, however it happened, I'm glad you were here to lend a hand." He held out his own hand in greeting.

 
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Last edited by Noquarter19; Oct 28th, 2023 at 01:52 PM. Reason: Tweaked to remove reference to singing
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  #102  
Old Oct 28th, 2023, 07:44 AM
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The Secret of Samira’s Rest
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The dancer inside the music box
With aching fingers Xihue put down the flute that had previously been on his lips. Eager to soothe the unseen wounds within his companions’ hearts, he had tried to capture the perfection of the song that had been revealed to him at the Standing Stones. But it eluded him. His trusty flute had not betrayed him. It was his own limitations that would not allow him to achieve what the spirit longed for.


The Ascended Master would have urged him to seek a path around a chasm instead of waiting to grow wings and the Alan-Atu smiled at the memory of the old man. He was the reason he had left the high mountains and green valleys of his people to come to this land of hot rock and treacherous sand. He had faced bandits, minotaurs, and demons of sand and wind but not once did he regret his decision. It was his duty, but more than that, it was the path he had chosen for himself.


Finding another around over the chasm that his injuries had opened, Xihue took out his music box and opened it carefully. The ancient gears inside it started turning and the figurine of the elven maiden danced to the rhythm of the melody. The music flowed out of the wooden receptacle in waves and gently embraced the ones opening their ears and hearts to it.




Guided by Quinari’s music, Tegan’s spirit soared as his fingers touched the bison’s horn and his soul touched the essence of his god. Like slowly flowing golden honey, the divine power passed through the sacred object, filling the Alan-Atu’s aching body. Though always faithful to the godly founders of the Knighthood, the squire’s connection to Kiri-Jolith had never been stronger than right now, his understanding of his patron both instinctive and flawless.


Aric too was deeply affected by the melody. The ever-raging storm inside his heart calmed, if only for the duration of the song, and the youth realized that any mistakes he might have made were because of his willingness to help others. To distance himself from those around him would have been easier but it would have made him feel hollow inside. The pain he was experiencing was proof that he had taken the hard path, the right path. It was the pain that was felt by all those who grew in one way or another. Like Kay, he too was growing. One day his wings would be strong enough to carry the weight of what has been. One day he would manage to leave his past behind and fly.


The song was calm and gentle but it nonetheless managed to silence the voice inside Isandril’s head and the want inside his heart. The presence was still there, like shards of broken glass covered by soft velvet, full of edges and thirsting for blood, but it felt more distant now, hiding in the shadows, waiting for the right time. The moment would come and then the darkness would reach out and claim what belonged to it. If the elven mage allowed it to do so.


Devari closed her eyes and let the melody carry her along. She was no stranger to music. On the contrary, one might claim that she was in a sense music that had been given form. Not because of some blessing or divine gift, but because of the insistence of a flawed woman to make her daughter into everything that she was and wasn’t. Even as her physical eyes were closed, the eyes of her heart were opened and she saw large serpentine forms around her, metallic scales glistening under the light of the moons. Some regarded her with expectation, others with pain. A few didn't look at her at all, death having sealed their eyes for all eternity. They too longed for the touch of her song. Devari gasped and her eyes flew open once more. She didn't understand what they wanted from her. She didn't want to understand. She was only a woman trying to survive in a world that didn't care for her, nothing more. Or was she?


Zendra too couldn't shake the feeling that the world was against her. Ever since she was little things had always felt wrong. Many would have considered her lucky to have experienced love and friendship in her tender years, but some things had been denied her, important things, things she craved with her whole being. It was like some part of her was missing, something that would have made her whole, and she could never stop touching and feeling the gap with the fingers of her soul.


But the music box’s melody changed all that. For a few moments, she felt whole, she felt right exactly as she was. She sensed Samira standing next to her, her baby cooing in her arms. She smelled Uncle Loren’s characteristic scent of old parchment, leather, and cinnamon and felt his arm around her shoulders. Tears would not come to her eyes, not yet, but her heart was already weeping. Lips pressed themselves gently against her forehead and something was whispered. Thank you. Was this real or was she imagining everything?


She touched her forehead and it felt hot and moist with sweat. The heat is affecting me, she concluded bitterly as she finally put down the shovel. Her aunt’s grave had been filled, her uncle’s ashes resting inside it. Was Uncle Loren now at peace? She didn't feel any different than before. There had been no divine revelation, no spectral forms holding hands and fading away to a better life. She feared to admit it, but her heart spoke the words nonetheless.


This has all been for nothing.


Feeling as old as the desert itself, Zendra started packing her things. She was dizzy, heartbroken, and exhausted, but she would not stay at this cursed place a single moment longer than she had to. She looked at the others. There was a stranger among them, an Abanasinian plainsman of all people! When had he appeared? Her senses were numb, her feeling of the passage of time distorted. She hoped her new companions would follow her away from the place that had so cruelly taken the lives of her loved ones. Even if they didn't, she was prepared to leave on her own.


Rubbing her eyes that felt full of sand, the young woman turned around, ready to go. By accident, her foot stumbled against a rock jutting out of the ground and she knew with certainty that she would fall and hurt herself. Another injury, another humiliation. But she didn't. Somehow, in a way that could not be adequately explained by her tired mind, she kept her balance and managed to steady herself, jumping over the rock instead and landing safely on the other side. Her surprise was mirrored in the eyes of her companions. What had actually happened? Zendra gains the “lucky” feat!Was someone looking after her? Her uncle? The gods? She didn't know who, but she knew that it was so. She had come to Khur alone. She was no longer alone.


Redwaters too was never alone. It wasn't simply the presence of what was, the living world of the goddess, that kept him company. It was also what once had been and still resided on Krynn as swirling mist and tattered memories, screams, cries, and unseen tears. He could hear the spirits whispering among themselves in a language he didn't comprehend and he repeated their words mechanically in a manner that to some might have sounded like a strange song. When the true song was heard, played by the music box that was said to have belonged to an ancient elven queen, the tortured souls grew silent. Not peaceful, no, for no music could grant them their freedom, but free of pain. A moment of stillness in an eternity of pain might not have seemed much, but it was of inestimable value to the departed. It gave them back the hope they had been robbed of decades ago.


A single voice wasn't silenced, however. It was a voice Redwaters knew almost as intimately as that of his grandmother, that of the one he called the mistress. She came and went like the tides and the phases of the moons, reminding him that the world was a vast place full of things and wonders that the young plainsman hadn't experienced yet, a very different world than the plains of his ancestors and the forest he had grown up in.


My Queen! Your voice can still be heard in the world. Do not forget me, your daughter of blood. Free me from my bonds! Death is much preferable to being a slave to him.


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A kender’s best friend
The spirit fox sensed the surprise of the one who had summoned it at the strange request -or rather demand- to “hand it over” to another. It too was surprised but heeded its caller’s advice. How long had it been since it had been a creature of flesh, playing with its brothers and sisters under the watchful gaze of its mother? The world had been young and the goddess was walking the land blessing and shaping and whispering her secrets to all that would listen to her. The foxling had paid attention to the goddess’ words and after it passed away, like all beings born into the world must, it had taken a different form to serve a different purpose.


The fox raised its head and let the smells of the world around it give it a clearer picture of the truth than its eyes ever could. The taint it had detected, like poison in the bloodstream, was almost gone, only the faintest of scents remained. The land would heal in time and a myriad of creatures would come to dwell here, beetles and snakes, scorpions, and tiny birds seeking shelter in the sand and beneath the cracks of the rock. It didn't have to see these things to know them true. It was what Chislev wished for Krynn and thus it would come to pass. The fox knew the goddess’ mind and heart better than anything. But what about the creature that had lain claim on it? What was in her mind? She called herself the Dawnstar but was more like a human child than a star. The animal looked at her curiously. Would she play with it? Or give it a treat?


Some distance away from their companions Blyne and Besimeh found comfort in each other. The ordeal had passed, but it had left its marks on both of them. The mystic’s gaze wearily touched the face of the newcomer and she wondered at the calmness she detected there. By right of blood and heritage, it should have been her who should have been calmly contemplating the aftermath of the battle right now. Only she wasn't. She was innerly trembling like a leaf in a storm. But she would control her emotions and do her duty. She would go over to the stranger, properly introduce herself to him, and listen to what he had to say. He and the spirit at his command had fought against the mephits, so she owed him this much. Besides, she had to set an example.


She took a step towards the plainsman but stopped. Besimeh wasn't following her, tugging instead at her hand. Her eyes were focused on a strange shape jutting out of the ground that had previously been covered by the mirror’s black glass. A stone most likely, though its shape was unusual.


"Blyne, is this…?"


The sentence was never completed. Blyne took a better look and her free hand inadvertently formed a fist. It was a skull. She could recognize the empty eye socket and part of the jaw. It was blackened and small like the skull of a kender or…


"A child."


She blurted out the words without realizing it and felt Besimeh’s hand tremble in hers. Now that she knew what she was looking at, she noticed that there were other bones as well, all of them black and misshapen, fused together by some unnatural flame and forming a pattern that was as disturbing as it was nightmarish. Zendra’s aunt wasn't the only one who had lost her life at this place. Many more had died, perhaps as many as a dozen.


The realization struck her as hard as a dwarven warhammer and she felt her stomach tie itself into a knot. Her eyes looked at Besimeh and in them, she saw the same horror. She tried to say something but realized that she could not. There were no words to describe the tragedy of the ones who had lost their lives here. She could only stare at the remains as if gazing into the all-devouring darkness of the Abyss itself. Her spirit seemed to have departed from her body, leaving behind a shell that was as dead as the sand and the rocks around it.


How long did she remain like that? Moments, minutes, hours? She couldn't tell. Time had no meaning. At some point, she felt someone tugging at her. She looked at her hand, almost not recognizing it. It was still holding Besimeh’s. Her friend seemed to have somewhat recovered from the shock, at least enough to attempt to lead Blyne away from the shattered mirror. Without a word, the two women left behind the chaos scar, their feet as heavy as lead.


They hoped never to return to this place in their lives.


*********


The trek through the desert was as difficult as ever and yet no one complained, for most of the companions lacked the strength or will to put their discomfort into words. They had scored a great victory against the forces of Chaos, but none of them felt elated as they had every right to be. Some were weighed down by their own grief, others by that of their friends or the people who had lost their lives at Samira’s rest. Many were contemplating what they had learned or experienced in the battle against the fiend and afterwards, after the black mirror had been shattered. The mountains ahead of them, growing larger and more distinct with every hour that passed, seemed to promise them rest and shelter. But could they truly put their faith in the promises of the Harikas mountains? Wasn't the land of Khur full of danger and false hope?


The sun was low behind their backs, making their long shadows appear all the more eager to reach the mountains. With night fast encroaching and their legs refusing to walk any longer, the companions decided to finally set up camp. Despite the events at Samira’s rest, they had made excellent progress and Xihue’s almost supernatural foraging skills had made sure that they suffered neither thirst nor hunger. Redwaters and Thunder had joined them, for they seemed to be heading in the same direction. Whether they shared the same goals was not yet evident. Perhaps things would become clearer at the campfire when they had the time to truly listen to what was in each other’s hearts.


Thunder breathed deeply, enjoying the coolness of the evening. The air tasted different here, carrying the scent of pollen and water. The Harikas were craggy and bare compared to Abanasinia’s Eastwall Mountains, but still, they supported much more life than the desert did. The thick mists that covered them for a few hours before dawn provided them with enough water for some kinds of plants to grow and thrive. Life always found a way, Thunder knew. Chislev saw to it. Besides, there was also water inside the earth. The mare could feel the murmuring of a stream beneath her hooves. It might have been too deep to reach by digging, but it was there. It made a difference. She could feel the vibrations in the ground.


Suddenly she raised her head and snorted, alarmed at something. The ones next to her felt it too. The earth was shaking, but it wasn't the underground stream or another earthquake like the one from the day before. This rumbling was like rolling thunder fast approaching from the northeast, only the sky was clear. Aric immediately reached for his bow. He remembered this sensation well, far too well. Riders were fast approaching, as they had outside Pashin. Had the Dark Knights caught up with them? How could they have traveled so quickly? How could they have known where the companions were heading?


Shouts were heard, wild cries and howls similar to those of beasts. The thundering sound of horses’ hooves that appeared to have come from the northeast now surrounded them from all sides. It was hard to tell exactly how many riders were attacking them now that the sun had set since the campfire shed as much light as it did shadows. The companions caught glimpses of men, most of them bare-chested or wearing loose shirts and horses of different colors, but they never stayed in one place long enough for them to actually get a good look. They were certainly no Knights of Neraka, for no Dark Knight would allow themselves to be caught looking as wild and unkempt as that, but neither were they Khurish nomads, at least not of any tribe Besimeh was aware of.


The companions didn't have to wait long to get an answer to their unasked question. One of the riders suddenly left the main group circling around the camp and sought to pass directly through it. It was only now that it became obvious that the man was no rider at all. It was a centaur, one screaming wildly and He is obviously his intended target!galloping towards Tegan as fast as the muscular legs of his lower horse-half would take him.


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A charging Centaur!


Calendar13th Day of Aelmont (Winter) 422 AC / 38 SC, Evening

Solinari: 7/36 (Waxing)
Lunitari: 16/28 (High Sanction) - conjunction with Nuitari
Nuitari: 5/8 (Waning) - conjunction with Lunitari

Boons/Penalties:
White Robes - | Red Robes +2 spell DC, ADV on spell attack rolls | Black Robes +2 spell DC, ADV on spell attack rolls


 


 


 
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 06:11 AM
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Redwaters was an odd one, at once oddly staid and formal while also being vague and cryptic. At some moments he seemed to be a veritable font of wisdom, and at others he barely seemed to know where he was. Devari had known people like this in the past, people who liked certain herbs or mushrooms a little too much. He seemed harmless, though. Helpful even. So when he indicated that he might tag along with them for a little while she had no objection, and it didn't hurt that he had his own horse.

"We are on a mission ourselves," she confided as they trotted along together, "although not from a god. More to fix their mistakes."

She didn't want to say too much more to a stranger, even one as inoffensive as the plainsman seemed. Trust was still not something which came easily to her, and as Aric had so astutely pointed out, it did seem a bit convenient that he had chanced upon them in the middle of nowhere like he did. Instead, as was her habit, she chatted to the man, although she found it much more difficult now that she was 'Devari' and not 'Veralyne'. Far from the constant lies having been worrisome, there had been a sense of freedom in it. She could reinvent herself constantly according to the demands, or her whims, of the moment. Now the truth shackled her and she was reluctant to divulge too much, so she found herself relying on asking the stranger questions about his own past, about his family.

It turned out he was from Abanasinia, like Aric, and like she had always said Veralyne was, but he was not at all like the people she had imagined living there. The stories she had been told had focused on the cities, and so she imagined the region as utterly cosmopolitan and refined. When she had met Aric she had conceded that there must be countryside there too, of course there must, but now meeting Redwaters she saw that there was a whole other side to the place which she couldn't have imagined.



The desert didn't end exactly, instead it just started thrusting up to meet the sky. As the group wound their way up out of the plain Devari could see that Xihue's mood seemed to lift somewhat, and she remembered that he had grown up in mountains.

"What was it like?" she asked him. "Did you ride goats? Did you learn to balance the way you do by standing tiptoe on the peaks as you watched your sheep?"

She was joking, mostly, but was also genuinely curious about his home. Most of her life she had just travelled from town to town around Nordmaar, and if things hadn't gone the way that they had she imagined that she would have continued like that forever. Now that she had seen a bit more of the world, though, and seen how different the reality was from the stories and plays that she had grown up with, she wanted to know more. She wanted to experience it all for herself. She grinned at the thought, thinking that Talia at the very least would approve of her wanderlust.

After a short time, her mind went back to the music box. When Xihue had opened it earlier it had been the first time that she had heard the song which the others had talked about before. When they had described it as being 'magical' she had nodded her head, sure that she of all people understood what that meant. But this had been different, and she was still trying to comprehend just how different it was. Usually when she used a tune to harness her magic, it was a deeply personal thing. The melody she used came from within her, it was merely a tool to help her focus and direct the power which lay at her core. Quinari's Song was more like Harr Omel, the song which she had used to provoke the uprising back in Pashin. That had seemed to come from outside of her, it had been imposed on her almost. It had seemed like some kind of primal force, a part of the landscape or the weather.

"I…" she wasn't sure how to say this, wasn't sure how the Alan-atu would take it, but the realisation had just hit her and she felt like as long as she was being honest she should let him know. "I suppose I am jealous of you, you know?" She grinned in a self-deprecating way to show that she realised that she was being absurd. "I mean, music is meant to be my thing, and yet Quinari's Song chose you. It's not like I'm going to go around punching and kicking people, or offering to have children with them. That's your thing."

She shook her head and then shrugged. "I know, it chose you not the other way around. I just… I don't know. I'm slowly getting used to the idea that I am 'special', somehow, but this seems to… cheapen that maybe. No. I don't know, it's hard to put into words."

"Back there," she said, trying to change the subject, "when you opened the box… I saw things. Dragons, maybe. Dead ones. Even they were stuck, like the other souls. No matter how powerful they might have been in life, now they are depending on us. Us, a group of near-strangers, stumbling around a strange land with hardly a single clue between us. I mean, that must really be hard for them, huh?"



No sooner had they got their camp set up than the next challenge arose against them. Devari had been looking forward to eating her evening meal in front of the fire, having a bit of a laugh with the others to clear their minds of the stresses of the day, and now this. Great.

She stood wearily, adjusting her belt so that her sword hung just right, and peered at their newest assailants. Centaurs, but as far as she could see they were jostling each other as much as they were trying to intimidate the companions. She narrowed her eyes as she tried to remember what that reminded her of.

Youth gangs in North Keep! The older kids there would constantly bicker and fight amongst themselves, but their favourite sport was to hassle outsiders, usually to impress each other.

"Don't show any weakness," she advised Tegan quietly. "Act like they're beneath you."

She stepped in front of the solamnic, hands on her hips and a look of utter contempt on her face.

"This is what you send at us?" she shouted so that hopefully the whole herd could hear. "Pfft."

 
 
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Old Oct 30th, 2023, 12:05 AM
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"When it comes to the Will of Chislev, nothing is ever left to chance," he replies in a manner both serious and playful toward Armitage, before his attention wanders about the battlefield's aftermath.

Zendra doesn't find herself alone in her toil once the newcomer sees the dandy woman digging in her finery in need of help, silently demanding the shovel once she needs to catch her breath.

He doesn't offer her words of condolences, nor even try to cheer her up. It is not his place to tell anyone how to grieve. But he can at least share the physical burden. Besides, he's gotten really good at digging graves.

Before this, he had spoken to those who had approached him, and he did his best to explain his situation and befriend them to the best of his ability. But as he said to Devari, he had concerns about their injuries. So, he pulls off another miracle, planting more tiny seeds within the sands and calls forth the bounty of Krynn, causing a lustrous bush 3 Spell slots, 30HP. Consumed at 1HP/roundfilled with tantalizing berries to spring forth from where no flora aught to be. The berries are a one time thing, but the remaining bush may perhaps survive against all odds and help in reclaiming this hellscape to nature once more.

"Share among yourselves evenly, until your wounds are evenly closed. Try not to be greedy," he advises, leaving distribution up to Devari.

The tedious work of helping bury the unknown man finishes soon enough, and he avoids participating in the final rites. For he is a stranger in a strange land, and different peoples have their differing customs. He does note a differing kind of sadness within the elfen Isandril's eyes and follows the mage's gaze to the books and relics being buried also. He says nothing of this. Different people, right?

The fox and the wee woman seem to be the only indication of joy in this sad, austere blasted wasteland, giving Redwaters consideration. All too often, he summons spirits to his aid in times of need and they willingly sacrifice themselves on behalf of Chislavs will. It is so nice to see a spirit set free and enjoy themselves. He makes a personal note to just let them free to frolic every now and again.

Still, the wails and mournful laments of the dead has filled his ears every moment, even more so than the Direwoods. At least the dead had wandered there of their own accord and made an afterlife for themselves. Here, they are stuck in a constant loop of torment. If only he understood what they were saying. But suddenly, all was silent, save for the tinkle of a small sonorous little box held within the mystic monk's grasp.

A silence that not just quells the spirits. But the living as well, it would seem. Save but for one distinct voice.

The haunting melody did not have the same effect on him as the rest, however. Emotionally at least. He pays the jingle no real head as he kreens his ears to the one voice he cares about somewhere still tormented in the ether.

My Queen! Your voice can still be heard in the world. Do not forget me, your daughter of blood. Free me from my bonds! Death is much preferable to being a slave to him.

Of the many spirits that lay within the Direwood, only one chose to accompany him on his Journey. But to hear The Mistress lament so is heartbreaking. He had thought she was with him of her own accord. But, really, was it her choice at all?

Had he an ego, it would be wounded. But, as a benign entity within the world, he wonders why The Goddess would shackle the elven spirit to him agains her will so. But the Mistress is not very communicative. He will have to endeavor to understand how he can free her from being shackled to him, evidentially against her will. He liked her companionship, but never knew he was such a torture to her existence.

But eventually, the monk's song ends, and he is left to wonder of its properties. The spirits were mostly silent, if but for a moment. The music box shows promise.

But once the box is closed, life resumes as normal. But before he could inquire the monk Xihua of the nature of his magic, he spies the mournful ones make their way from their dead sister without attempting to bury her, which strikes Redwater as odd. But his thoughts are interrupted when one stumbles over an object, only to make a horrific discovery.

A child's skull. Suddenly this place begins to make more sense.

As the ladies come to deal with the horror, he calmly stands on the outskirts calling upon the Druidcraftgentle breeze of The Goddess to slowly strip away what the sands of Time have buried, unearthing more bones and all signs of a sudden cataclysm. No wonder why the voices are so prevalent here.

"I think this is why I was brought here. This place is filled with the spirits whose lives have been taken suddenly and traumatically. Only, I don't understand what they are saying."

"Which is why I think YOU guys are here. I cannot send these spirits to Krynn by myself."


It burns, it burns!

Calm down, my sweet. The gods will protect us.

Mother, mother!

It is getting closer. The dragon of fire! Samira, help us!

Close your eyes, little one. It will be over soon.

Skyfather, keep us. Skyfather, bless us. Skyfather, protect us from Chaos...
He repeats the words that he constantly hears on loop, the dead having been snapshotted into their final moments of torment.

(A conversation ensues. Someone eventually translates.)

"Hrmm. I see," ne nods, pursing his lips in contemplation. But he glances up with a sign of optimism.

"Then it is so fortunate you are here. You see, such hauntings can be an elaborate knot. Often times, spirits are intertwined with each other. Regret begets regret, begets regret. And I think it is all centered by this child, as often the most remorse comes from failure to protect an innocent. With your ability to understand, my ability to channel spirits, and the music box's ability to disrupt their loop, I think we got an honest shot at unravelling this thing and perform a mass exorcism."

He seems unusually casual about it, like another day at the office. But he does realize not everyone is built like he is.

"But I am told it is very emotionally taxing. You have to be strong in order to convince a soul to go to the Beyond."

He looks at those gathered who seem to know Khrish. He wishes he had the capacity to express genuine sympathy, but he does his best to approximate it.

"Any volunteers?"

_________________________________________________

Seeing both Zedra and Talia heed the call despite his warnings almost gives him a warm feeling, had he the capacity. He stares at them both, trying to determine if they understand what it is they are signing up for.

"I will do my best to spare you any pain. But your eagerness and willingness to help is noted."

Talia seems to have warmed up to him considerably. Quite a far cry from the tiny lady threatening him at weaponpoint for a fox he never even owned in the first place. Her offering of a candle also on point, as it is customary to offer a gift to your elders when poffering such services. Did she know this about plainsmen, or was this just a random act of kindness?

"How old are you?" he asks her, wondering if the custom is technically correct.

Regardless of how she answers, he accepts the gift anyways. "Given your looks, I suppose age is relative. Thank you."

The candle is in fact valuable, in case he needs to channel a spirit into his body. For now, he hopes it does not come to that.

"Alright. Give me 15 minutes ladies. I need to commune with the spirits."

He motions them to sit near him as he lights up a braid of sweetgrass in order to purify the area in their vicinity, using his hide drum to strum as he chants words his grandmother taught him in order to allow the spirits to speak. This was the role of the tribal shaman; to bridge the gap between the material and the ether. He is especially adept, given his upbringing in the Direwood.

Eventually, he sits and his chants subside. It is perhaps strange to watch a Plainsman just sitting in silence as he sits bowlegged with his fingers clenched oddly, occasionally muttering and giving animal noises as he meditates and focuses on the otherworldy. Enough time for the little ladies to question what it is they are doing trusting in this savage stranger.

But before they can speak, he begins to mutter aloud:

"Oh spirits; why do you dwell here? Do you not know you passed from this life to the next? Krynn awaits you in peaceful embrace. Please, let go of your sorrows, or tell me why you cannot. What can I do help you move on?"

He pauses for a while, as if listening to voices only he can hear.

"I see. I will do what I can to put you to rest. But for now, leave this place and start wandering east. You will feel the pull of the spirit forest. I urge you to break your cycle, and make a new afterlife for yourself. There is no sense in torturing yourselves for all eternity, when there is a place in Krynn where spirits can roam free..."

Suddenly, he is jolted from his sitting stance, and stumbles forward upon his knees and elbows, his hands clasping his ears as he cries out in pain. Blood seems to be smeared messily upon his palms..

Physically, tears emerge from his eyes in sheer agony, and he begins to tremble in sickness, to the point he collapses and pukes upon the sand. He waves his hands desperately, cutting himself off from spiritual communion, trying his best to regain semblance of equilibrium.

"Oh... Gods," he pants, wallowing in his own sick. "That was... Intense..." he gasps,

Several moments later he has regained enough composure to sit up and stopper his bleeding ears with some healing herbs from his satchel. His hearing will be tender the next few days.

He waves off Talia and Zendra's enthusiasm to become more involved than they should.

"I thank you... for wanting to help... But... Like I said before: Dealing with Spirits can be very taxing." He takes a moment to quaff very deeply from his wineskin, satiating himself after such a sensory overload as his mind wanders briefly to make sense of it all. He has his ideas, but it would be better to outsource. "I do have questions of everyone, though. Many heads make light work. No wait. That's not how the saying goes..."

Ears still ringing, he gets up and explains the situation to everyone, The shadows grew alive. Eyes as black as the Abyss. The ones they touched were instantly gone. Not dead, worse. Disappeared. Erased from memory. We ran, trusting the desert to hide us. They followed. The men stayed behind to fight the shadows. Brave. Foolish. Doomed. We took the little ones and left. We thought we had lost them when the dragon appeared. Molten rock and flowing magma. Huge wings that covered the never-setting sun. The beast opened its fiery maw and then…

*The spirit screams as if in excruciating pain*

I can’t! We can’t. We have no legs. We have no arms. Fire has sculpted our flesh. Our bones are fused together. We are one with the ground, encas-ed in black glass. We push and push but the glass won’t yield. We are trapped here, inside the earth. Help us, help us!
quoting verbatim all he has heard and soundboarding ideas of how to handle this particular situation with everyone else.

"First and foremost. We need to dig up these bones. We need tools, and a Athletics Check DC15, Advatage with proper toolssomeone with finesse," he explains.

_________________________________________________


It surprises him that is the dainty lady that takes up the call for excavation, and she even has the proper tools to do so.

It is a several hour task, but her skill with a shovel and a pick is damn near surgical. One by one, she recovers bones from the black glass, and even as she does so, he does notice a toning down of the wails of torment and echoes as each corpse is freed. He actually feels bad for assuming she needed help with the previous burial. He can work a shovel. But she can dig like boss.

He painstakingly assembles skeletons on the side of the dig as she recovers bones ones by one, and tests a theory.

He pours one of his waterskins over the assembly, and tries to note the reaction of the spirits to assuage their complaints of
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This shows my age
Burnination, but it is not enough. And so, he sprays them with a Ray of Frostblast of cold, and sure enough, the cries subside, at least for now.

Cold is key, he realises. And a higher altitude is necessary. A sky re-burial should ease their pain. But what of their complaints of non-mobility?

Right on cue, the Gentle One, the one who calls himself Aric offers him a feather out of nowhere, almost in a dream-state.

"Oh. Uh. Thank you?" he says, confused.

But then, understanding the basics of spiritual alchemy and rituals, it all makes sense.

"Oh... OH!" he is pleasantly surprised with the sudden revelation. "Yes. This is perfect! How did you and Talia know?" he asks, completely mystified that both members have offered him the necessary components of a sky burial.

"You have a wisdom about you," he smiles at Aric, clasping his shoulder warmly with a nod.

Soon enough, Zenra recovers all bones. The dead are that much closer to a peaceful rest. Or at least, freedom to roam.

"Thank you, Miss Zendra. Many people think me a madman due to my connection to the spirits. But your efforts to help me puts me in your debt. And the tortured spirits of course, though they tend not to have the capacity to pay you back. I at least will try to repay upon the honor of my Peoples, with interest" he assures her.

He takes the blackened bones and stuffs them into Thunder's mostly empty saddlebages.

Thunder herself seems feels very uncomfortable about the whole ordeal.

I don't like this. You want us to be cursed? Because this is how people get cursed, she huffs.

He takes her reigns as they depart from the obsidian blasted land. It's a temporary burden, to help the spirits move on. You know our Mission, he reminds her...

_________________________________________________

As much as the bardess projects a fierce posture, instinctively Redwaters doesn't want to see her skewered due to bravado.

Between her and the Horseman, a section of cacti and brambles burst from the sands before his path, hindering his assault.

He tries a different tack from Devari and tries to reason with the centaur as his branches slow it considerably.

"Hey. I just saw these people take on sand devils and a djinn. I don't think this is a fight you can win."

"So tell us;
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Old Oct 30th, 2023, 09:01 AM
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Talia Dawnstar
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Talia looked at the man, Redwaters, and she at first didn't comprehend what he was saying. She looked at the man… and then at the summoned fox spirit and it dawned on the Dawnstar… the fox is hers! At least for the time being. The kender leapt up in pure excitement as she turned to the fox, her thoughts falling from her lips quicker than she could form them into complete sentences.

“Oh my… so much fun. I can hide… like… really really good! Even in a desert. I’m fast! You should try to catch me. Tag! You’re it!”

Talia scooted away, running as fast as her legs could carry her and she ran around, over, and even attempted burrowing through the many sand dunes. The air was filled with her joyful laughter as she tried wrestling the elusive fox. For one hour the constant misery of sadness and pain disappeared and she existed only in the moment.

But then as promised, the fox had to return from whence it came and when it did so, Talia was left sitting sadly in the sand. She soon approached Redwaters. She snatched berries from his magical bush and shoved them noisily into her mouth. As she chewed, she looked the man, up and down. “I like your fox. He said he likes me better than you and that you should let him play with me more often. We think alike... oh... and... thank you.”

Talia chewed on the berries, deep in thought as she watched her companions work through laying the departed souls that populated the black glass to a final rest. Again Redwaters seemed to have a method to accomplish the task and Talia grabbed a candle from her pouch and held it out.

“I don’t know how I can help? I’m literally not afraid of anything so if that can help? I have a candle and some string?”


Soon the party was back on the move, Talia wishing she had a fox to play with but even so she did her job scouting ahead. Back and forth she traveled cutting across the groups direction of travel trying to keep her eyes and ears peeled for danger.

And of course… danger soon found them. The centaurs made no attempt at stealth, charging forward without fear. One came forward in what looked like a challenge towards Tegan, very similar to what had happened with Xihue and the minotaur. In that battle interference was forbidden and so the kender assumed the same here unless told otherwise.

While her companions tried to reason with the aggressive horse, Talia ducked out of sight, took out her rope and quickly fashioned a lasso which she began to swing above her head.

I bet I can get him on the first try.


OOC 17 initiative, 29 hide (No Aoo - fancy footwork)
 

Stat Block
 
__________________
Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.
I have taken The Oath of Sangus
Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance, but hostile to anyone who points it out.

Last edited by Begon Ugo; Oct 31st, 2023 at 09:00 AM.
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