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Old 12-07-2018, 06:02 PM
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New OrdersMordecai's face hardened when both Barquas and D'Agni responded in the negative to his query about dispelling evil or at least offering up some form of protection against its effects. The solution, it would seem, came from the most unexpected of places. Princess Ophelya herself stepped forth and after offering no small measure of derision for all those involved, began to call upon her talents at manipulating the Shadow Weave to call forth a being which, by all appearances, was a personally familiar one for her.

Whether Lord Shin was a figment of her imagination or a real entity called forth by the powers of her Shadowmancy would, at least for now, remain an enigma not to be solved by the Wanderlords in attendance. Lord Shin, fully displaying his most coquettish stride, moved towards Zeek and laid one of his tiny paws on his forehead. A brief infusion of dark energy later had Zeek feeling suddenly much better. The roiling miasma within his belly had completely stopped and he suffered no further sequela from the injurious parasites. A moment later the Fox-like entity sauntered over to Aghori and offered a similar touch with a similar outcome, however, Aghori had lost consciousness.

The Agathion turned towards his mistress and offered a most seemly and perfectly inclined genuflection before addressing her once more.

"I am afraid we were somewhat late on the application of my remedy with this one. The damage has run its course and he is now unconscious and paralyzed. Will there be anything else, this day, Your Highness?"

When Ophelya requested that Lord Shin take some action to calm Lady D'Ambra's emotions, the fox man was more than forthcoming in his attempt and proceeded to make the attempt, affecting his most charming dance to entice her towards the desired effect while also conjuring the minutiae of dweomers to enhance his naturally charming demeanor. Whether or not the attempt was successful seemed to make no difference to Lord Shin and after a succinct dismissal from his Mistress he offered another bow which he also directed at the assembled Wanderlords.

"It has been a pleasure, friends!"

Lord Shin vanished in a puff of dark coiling shadows which seemed to quickly dissipate as from some unseen and unfelt breeze which slithered across the ground towards Ophelya.

"Well done, Princess!" Master Chief Haider declared as he approached to examine Aghori and Zeek.

He kneeled close to Aghori and felt his forehead before shaking his head.

"He lives but the parasite has inflicted tremendous damage. He will need many days of rest to recover and we cannot spare the resources to speed his recovery now. How about you, Zeek? How did you fare? You are still conscious and that counts for something. Mordy, give Zeek your remaining restorative concoctions."

Mordecai came to Zeek's side and offered him another two vials, which Zeeked consumed, restoring him to full ability.

"Thank you Mordy," Haider said. "We will need to sort this mess out, unfortunately, which is sure to delay our departure. Damn these Shoggoth invaders! Where did they come from? Ophelya, you can have a few moments to inspect them and keep samples if you wish. Do you think you can do so without getting infested? Do be careful please. Now Zeek, please refrain from eating the monsters we kill even if you do believe them to be adequately cooked for safe consumption. Some creatures are more resilient than others and may not be so easily cleansed by fire, eh?"

Haider shook his head but his attention turned abruptly to the road to the south west. Sounds of hoofbeats at a gallop reached the Wanderlords and several brilliant torches of magical fire appeared in the median distance. Haider and several of the other Wanderlords readied their weapons and began to spread into defensive formation before Leandra raised her hand to stop them.

"An Overseer!" she said, softly, almost in awe.

Haider lowered his weapon but those in the group who were observant noticed that the tension in his shoulders never softened as the group waited for the Overseer's arrival.

Soon after, he arrived.

The Overseer floated a few feet above the ground, his black robes billowing dramatically around him as he advanced with his arms poised in some fixed kata position as he flew. A dozen Imperial soldiers rode their Light Warhorses in formation behind him and spread out a bit as they reached the area of carnage. The overseer landed, placing one toe down first before gracefully breaking into a measured pace as he approached Haider and the group. His cowl, of course, was steeped in impenetrable shadows despite the dancing torchlight emitted by several of the soldiers. The Overseer allowed his gaze to scan the scene as he advanced and Haider dropped to one knee and lowered his head when the Imperial representative reached his side. The Overseer gestured with his hand that Haider should rise, which he promptly did.

"Report."

The one word slithered from the Overseer like a snake which coiled around all their nerves. He seemed to exude power and every one here felt it like a palpable thing on the napes of their necksEveryone around the Overseer must succeed at a Will Save DC 27 Will save or be Shaken (A shaken character takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks. Shaken is a less severe state of fear than frightened or panicked.).*

Haider gulped visibly and proceeded to recount everything which had happened, all the way from the lone intruder who first assaulted D'Agni down to the finding of this group of fallen Orcs and soldiers here. He left no detail out of his account, even telling of Barquas daring leap into the pit and D'Ambra's subsequent imitation and Zeek's subsequest taste testing of the foul Proto-Shoggoth flesh.

The Overseer remained completely motionless while he listened, waiting for Haider to finish his report. When it was complete, the Overseer nodded once, slowly. Something passed between him and the Master Chief, then, from which the rest of the platoon was seemingly explicitly excluded. Haider seemed to be listening to something that none of them could hear, and nodded once the silent communication seemed concluded. The Overseer then turned from the Master Chief and did not even acknowledge the rest of the Platoon's existence. The soldiers then began to clean up the mess, piling the bodies in orderly fashion in readiness for later transport.

Haider turned to his Platoon then.

"Alright, folks. We've been dismissed. These soldiers will take care of Aghorri and take him back to the city for treatment and recovery. We'll go on without him. Let's roll out."

Haider approached Leandra and placed his hand on her arm affectionately before throwing his leg over her back and sitting himself in her saddle. The Platoon followed. An hour later, the Platoon reached the harbour north of Dusk and proceeded to board a medium-sized Galleon. The Captain greeted them warmly and the second mate escorted them to their cabin. The platoon would share their own cabin for the voyage north. Once they were alone, Haider adressed the Platoon again.

"We've received new orders. It seems we will have to make a small detour to the small town of Pelt. It would seem the mayor there has refused to comply with conscription quotas. We have to dispose of him, presently. Leandra and I will proceed on our own to pursue a lead which might serve our original mission. The rest of you will take the boat to Pelt and deal with the situation there. Our orders are to secure compliance from Mayor Chandler and take him out if he fails to comply. Any means necessary. I will defer to your judgement on this matter. Any questions before we retire for the night? Leandra and I will take off in the morning."
OODM
 
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"Why should I play the Roman fool and die on mine own sword? Whiles I see lives the gashes do better upon them." ~William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

Last edited by LeoByron; 06-27-2019 at 12:51 PM.
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Old 05-23-2019, 01:03 PM
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"Why should I play the Roman fool and die on mine own sword? Whiles I see lives the gashes do better upon them." ~William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

Last edited by LeoByron; 06-07-2019 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:07 AM
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Clever TitleThe man still fumed when his men rejoined him with questioning looks on their frosted bearded faces. They did not dare disturb the turbulence of their leader's thought's, however, falling in formation behind him as he stormed his way northward towards the relative safety of their encampment. Once they had cleared the northern gate, which was swiftly opened for them by a jittery human guard, one of his men dared to ask what they all burned to know.

"Thorleif, what has happened? Did the upstart Mayor admit his treachery?"

Thorleif stopped dead in his tracks nearly causing one of his men to plow straight into him, and glared at his interlocutor for a moment, before forcing a more calm look to perch on his worried face.

"Nay he did not, the bastard. Had some meeting with that Hiram bloke and some Black face from Dusk. The bastard had the nerve to have 'em sit in on our meeting! Didn't want me axe in his forehead I gather! It's gonna be war, fellas. No more half-cocked skirmishes, now. We're gointer get all the tribe tergether and come down on this upstart like a northern storm! We'll rattle his rafters alright!"

Thorleif turned back northwards and set a pace none of his men could follow without entering into a tiring hustle, but they kept pace with him nonetheless. They soon reached their campsite where they were greeted by the other members of their War PartyKrigmoot. A fire raged in the large circle of stones and several of the men made their way to its warming side, removing mittens to let their cold flesh thaw in the welcome heat.

It happened fast, then. They came from the trees like ghosts from the nether. None of their sentries had even come close to spotting the menace and they later would swear that they had materialized from nowhere which, of course, they had. Some twenty of them closed in on them, gliding effortlessly over the deep snow with dweomered boots. Their armor was of strange and foreign make and at first the Nor'landers took their foe to be Ulfgar's men come for treacherous ambush. But these were not human foes. Most of these donned Steel Lamellar of a design none of them had ever seen. Their flesh was of a mottled yellow colour with sallow patches of brown and green. Their eyes seemed too sunken in their gaunt faces and their noses too small and high upon them. Their skulls seemed overly long beneath their wintry hats and what hair they had seemed braided and adorned in gaudy ornament. Their colours seemed to shift to white and green as they stalked forth from snowy forest and when their sentries called the alarm it had nearly been too late. These were northern men, however, and had eyes to see through the frost and ears to hear past the wind.

They called the alarm and all of Thorleif's men fell into position as gentle snowfall began to grace their clearing. The Gith had come.




The newly minted Guardians stepped outside into the cold morning wind and gathered in a semi circle by the mayor's splintered porch. Wuzruz stood a pace or two from Oota and they regarded each other with no small measure of unease. Veronica stepped between them and bade Vivian stay at Wuzzie's shoulder with a pert nod of her chin. Vivian reached her hands towards Anja the little bird who flew erratically around the group as she rode the breeze then turned suddenly to land on the girl-child's finger. Vivian giggled in her glee as her mother motioned for the rest of them to take each others' hands. When most had linked themselves from hand to hand to hand, she reached first for Wuz and then for Oota and closed the link for true.

She closed her eyes for the merest moment, finding her center as she pushed the roiling emotions within aside and let serenity fill her thoughts. She opened her eyes and they had become black pools of liquid shadow. Her chest heaved slowly and black smoke spumed forth from between her lips and spread fast and far around her until it engulfed everyone in shadow. Bodies tingled with strange vibrations and the world around them appeared as through thick drapes of liquid shadow.

Veronica released Wuz and Oota's hands and smiled shyly at her friends. It felt good to be with them and to be out and free to roam the shadow paths.

"You may release each other, but please stay close. You can get lost out here and it might be impossible to find you again should you roam too far. Follow me."

Time did not flow here as it did on Origin, and things blurred and flew past with amazing speed with each minute movement of their bodies. Veronica began to walk northwards, passing between her fellows with Wuz and Vivian in tow and soon all the others followed. The world rushed by in a shadowed blur though even through this haze the world outside seemed far too white and bright with winter snow. Soon Veronica stopped and raised a hand to bid the others halt as well.

"We are here, I think. Yes. Close enough and I can sense Thorleif nearby. He is frightened! Many minds are frothing with battle rage! Something is wrong!"

Veronica began to aspirate and all the shadows around them began to whorl and dissipate towards her lips. She stepped out of the shadows and into the stormy dawn of day.

left-aligned image
The group stood atop a small hill clad thick with snow, though ostensibly less than the low ground of this large clearing in the forest steppes. To the north two groups faced each other, advancing with murderous intent with battle cries upon their frosted lips. Through the falling snow they saw three vanguard groups closing in on Thorleif and his men who seemed positioned for defense. The attackers clearly were not human with their yellow flesh and foreign arms and armor, but they seemed intent on battle nonetheless.

They numbered twenty all in all, with ten males and three females clad in what appeared to be O-yoroi armor, but which possessed a brand not usual for Shaolin lands. There seemed a draconic slant to their ho-ate mask which did not resemble the usual patterns for those people. The hues seemed based in red but they shifted constantly to match the terrain upon which they stalked, Falcata blades in hand, with tidy bucklers strapped to forearm. Six of their number donned Steel Lamellar not dissimilar from what one might find in Shaolin but again seemed markedly dissimilar in minutiae and in make. The craftsmanship was visibly astounding and the bows they carried seemed of equally unusual and remarkable appearance.

Lastly, a Male and female kept the rear, though to the Guardians it became, in fact, the front, and these seemed clearly more Arcane in their proclivities. The female wore Lamellar not unlike that of her compatriots but this one seemed of metal with a silvered sheen not quite similar to steel but instead possessed a bluish tint which thought to glow in the dawning light even through the mounting snow fall. Her hands grasped a wooden quarterstaff which had clearly seen its share of use though seemed undiminished in its careful and precise way of carving. While the Guardians watched, she raised her staff and spoke a word in her harsh and hoarser voice and in a language they could not quite grasp. She and eight of her fellows grew suddenly to tremendous size, displacing snow for a moment before the dweomers in their boots could compensate and buoy them once more upon its icy surface. The male, unarmored but clad instead in fineries of silk and velvet, seemed unconcerned, comparatively, by the cold, but now made gestures in the air and spoke words in that same strange tongue which belied his spell before he cast it.

He vanished.

The rest of his fellows closed the distance towards their human prey and seemed, at least for now, unaware that others flanked them from their snowy mound...
OODM
 

 

 

 
__________________
Still here. Will catch up when I can.
"Why should I play the Roman fool and die on mine own sword? Whiles I see lives the gashes do better upon them." ~William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

Last edited by LeoByron; 06-29-2019 at 07:44 PM.
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