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  #166  
Old Feb 4th, 2018, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
"Perhaps we may be talking around one another... forgive me. I was stating that my identity as a soldier was simple, which does not mean that characterization necessarily extends to what I do. As I have said already, war and battle are rarely simple and straightforward, even in the most ideal circumstances. " Adam said warmly to Brood's response as he offered the wine he had to her. "I have my share of regrets as well... like most in our profession, but to keep coming back and fighting on in spite of them that is what makes most solders so special, no?"
Brood nodded in affirmation of his comment. She knew what he said to be true, but sometimes it was easier to realize it when it came from the mouth of another. Still, she hadn't expected to be reminded of what it took to be a soldier at the gathering tonight. The Freeborn were full of surprises.

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Originally Posted by Morgan
Morgan snorts at Brood's question. "You could say that. We've an interest in all of them, really, but she, Many Faces and the 'Lady in the Light' have been the three most visible as far as we've been able to tell. We've had run ins with a few of them by now though, and seen all of them, or at least all of the ones that they're owning up to." He rubs his temples. "Really, it's all starting to give me a headache now, trying to figure out who they are and what they want."
"You are not alone in your desire for answers, though perhaps alone in your annoyance," Brood responds bluntly, "They have promised to be more forthright with all of us later this evening, and I am sure this includes answering at least a few of your questions as well."
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  #167  
Old Feb 4th, 2018, 11:33 PM
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Silverforge
At the Mrith's response, he smiles. "Ahhh, I see. Fascinating. I must admit that the Nine Realms have Silver-talk for "I have no clue about this but I'm just gonna ******** this"received little of my attention, but yes...firsthand experience. Someone in my profession tends to profit from travelling widely and regularly. Besides, the love of other realms is in my blood, be that as it may."

He raises an eyebrow at Adam, his smile fading a bit. "I might say that many the true warrior fights not in spite of regrets, but because of them. Changing the future by acting in the present to obviate the past...not entirely, of course. But it is often the scars of the past that form the inner holy symbols of such devotes of combat."

As his fellow Child speaks up about being annoyed, he laughs. "Oh, indeed. I still doubt that they will be clearing everything up, however."
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  #168  
Old Feb 5th, 2018, 01:39 AM
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Adam
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Originally Posted by Alphaeus View Post
"I might say that many the true warrior fights not in spite of regrets, but because of them. Changing the future by acting in the present to obviate the past...not entirely, of course. But it is often the scars of the past that form the inner holy symbols of such devotes of combat."
Adam raised his eye brows at the comment. He couldn't place a finger on what bothered him about Silverforge as he carried on a rather interesting dialogue with Mrith, but now it hit him with the man's latest assertion directed at him. Silverforge's manner reminded him of intellectuals who would speak of affairs that they actually knew nothing about as if they knew or, in most cases, knew better because they read it somewhere or had a theory that made sense. These types also typically desired consciously or subconsciously to be the smartest person in the room...

"Would you now? Well then perhaps that is the distinction between what you deem as a "true" warrior and a soldier as I have described. Soldiers... true soldiers... fight for the sake of others. Those that fight like you describe fight for their own sake and not that of others." Adam said simply to Silverforge's assertion as he paused to permit Mirth to resume "Nor do I see how this motivation correlates to how "true" a warrior is... but if what you say is valid then it does not bode well for me. Enjoy the wine..."

While Adam had only offered the glass to Brood, Silverforge must have believed that the invitation extended to him as well as helped himself to a glass. Not that he was opposed to sharing, the gesture only served to confirm his opinions on the man's presumptive nature. Perhaps Adam could have reached out and conducted a Phoenix Magi communion so that he too could converse about planar matters, but he would not resort to such means simply for the sake of conversation or appearances.
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  #169  
Old Feb 5th, 2018, 11:47 AM
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Silverforge
He shrugged at Adam's response. "I believe you misunderstood me. I did not say they fight for themselves alone, but rather something inside that remains a permanent motivation. In many cases, in fact, those scars of the past are their feelings for those whom they wished to save a could not, rather than themselves."

Adam was clearly a bit touchy on the matter, and also perhaps a bit hasty to presume he knew what was meant by a person without giving it due thought. But such was not beyond the manner of many, and he had learned long since to let such things pass without overdue emphasis.
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  #170  
Old Feb 5th, 2018, 05:13 PM
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Adam
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverforge
"I believe you misunderstood me. I did not say they fight for themselves alone, but rather something inside that remains a permanent motivation. In many cases, in fact, those scars of the past are their feelings for those whom they wished to save a could not, rather than themselves."
"Hmmm, did I now? It is certainly a possibility." Adam said with small shrug of his own as he raised his glass to Silverforge before taking another drink. "You must forgive me then... a simple person like myself can become easily lost in such... liberal... use of metaphors. Cheers."

This Silverforge's response and qualification of his previous statement only confirmed Adam's initial assessment of him. Still, it was nothing worth losing any sleep, well if he did sleep, in any regard. Aside he had much important company that he could attend to, such as the exquisite Emerald eyed dragonborn on his arm.

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  #171  
Old Feb 6th, 2018, 10:02 PM
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She felt the mood within their small circle and decided to redirect things elsewhere.
"Morgan. As one of the most outspoken voices these last meetings, and considering how important those may turn out to be to determine the fate of this world, and others, I believe it would serve well to have you informed of the Nine Realms. We've got our hands full with Zera, I know, but there is much worse out there; When the Zodiacs came to Aheka to save us, it was not merely out of the goodness of their hearts. The short of it all is that they come from the Nine Realms and the Elder Demons were among them, before, helping in a long war against their first creation: creatures known as the Asura... who are, to my understanding, likely similar to Eve in 'permanence' though varying in power, but they convert those they kill into more of themselves. While they had some respite of that war, the Elder Demons left and got busy creating Aheka and perhaps other worlds. Their absence became a big concern for the people of the Nine Realms as the war with the Asura began to get meaner and they tried to find and rally them back... only to find us instead. Now, it's been a long time since L'arabiel's people left to fight for us and we don't even know if there is anything left of the Nine Realms. The Asura wander the space between realms and destroy every world they find, sending everything to oblivion. This war will reach our doorstep before we know it."

She finished her glass then. With gusto. Then looked at Brood.
"The space between realms is the Shadow Plane, though it takes more than remarkable efforts to cross through to reach the Nine Realms.
I imagine that Shade knows... which I suppose explains why he so strongly wants us to improve without relying on him. We must get ourselves ready for them... L'arabiel will be most treasured for though I'll confess that I find distressing that the Nine Realms had trouble dealing with the Asure despite the support of the Elder Demons back when they were together and at their full of their might... while the hybrids are not as capable and we still struggle to get them all united under this banner."


Her voice would get a tone higher and she kept it from shaking.
"Nevh suspected this situation. Despicable and worthy of retribution as he may be, someone like Zera could be useful against such a terrible enemy. If it could be turned against itself."
Mrith scowled then, visibly irritated.
"Perhaps he's counting on us thinking like that, if he is aware. Our losses in the current conflict will weaken us but will hopefully temper greater strength into the whole."

Last edited by Blue; Feb 6th, 2018 at 10:05 PM.
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  #172  
Old Feb 7th, 2018, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brood
"They have promised to be more forthright with all of us later this evening, and I am sure this includes answering at least a few of your questions as well."
Morgan shrugged. "Words are wind, as someone once told me, and while I'd like to think that everything will be fine, events haven't exactly gone very smoothly for us of late, so you'll have to forgive me if I don't just blindly accept their platitudes and ignore all the potential warning signs around them."

The mage can't help but look between the warforged and the disguised Child with a slight smile and commenting. "Y'know, I'd make a snide comment about measuring d!cks around about now, but I'd assume that one of you doesn't have one and that the other can cheat."

The smile was quickly wiped off of his face by Mrith's news. He even began massaging his temples as if trying to stave off a headache less than half way through and by the time she was finished he looked about ready to scream. Fortunately, he managed to avoid making a scene for once, biting out a quick, frustrated, "Bloody fate just doesn't know when to bloody well leave us the abyss alone." He then looks towards Eve, the closest source of knowledge they might have on hand. "I don't suppose you know anything about this?"

She shakes her head. "I was born here, not where the Zodiacs came from."

Morgan lets out a frustrated grunt. "Figures." He glances back towards Mrith. "Well, now I definitely hope that one of the Hybrids shows their face here, so long as its not the Blue Woman of course. That said, its a big assumption to think that Zera knew about it and has timed it deliberately because of this threat, especially since you just said that we've no idea what's going on in these 'Nine Realms'. Besides, even if he has, well, he's stepped on far too many toes and stabbed far too many people in the back to be trusted even as far as a flea could throw him. Not to mention, if we're going to be up against another planar threat then we could really do with having Sanctuary back from him, not to mention freeing Aeris, Malvain and Nykal to help in the fight. Plus, he could really do with a good stab in the back of his own, just on principle."

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  #173  
Old Feb 7th, 2018, 09:48 PM
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Mrith tried to smile.
"Not that big an assumption. The Blue Lady is an hybrid and those also have the memories of the Elder Demons. If she is conditioned to assist him, she may have told him about it."
She shrugged.
"If he's not aware, though, there's no telling what adding those elements to his perspective would do. Even if we were to ally against the common foe, he'd likely turn them on us if he found a way to control the Asura. We must get rid of him."

Last edited by Blue; Feb 7th, 2018 at 10:19 PM.
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  #174  
Old Feb 8th, 2018, 12:01 AM
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Adam
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan
"Words are wind, as someone once told me, and while I'd like to think that everything will be fine, events haven't exactly gone very smoothly for us of late, so you'll have to forgive me if I don't just blindly accept their platitudes and ignore all the potential warning signs around them."
Adam knew there was something to the mage that he liked. How odd that Jester essentially would have said the same thing... just a lot louder and in a more angry voice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan
The mage can't help but look between the warforged and the disguised Child with a slight smile and commenting. "Y'know, I'd make a snide comment about measuring d!cks around about now, but I'd assume that one of you doesn't have one and that the other can cheat."
"I know not of this "measuring" that you speak of, dear Morgan... I mean I can't have a conversation with this gentleman?" Adam says in mock confusion as he gives the mage a friendly nudge. "You're just lucky that Mrith is here to save you. Ah, good to see you back to your old self... this is the you that had heard about in stories. And just to let you know, I think both of us can cheat... not that I have, mind you... No. Never. Sei's honor."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan
"Figures." He glances back towards Mrith. "Well, now I definitely hope that one of the Hybrids shows their face here, so long as its not the Blue Woman of course. That said, its a big assumption to think that Zera knew about it and has timed it deliberately because of this threat, especially since you just said that we've no idea what's going on in these 'Nine Realms'. Besides, even if he has, well, he's stepped on far too many toes and stabbed far too many people in the back to be trusted even as far as a flea could throw him. Not to mention, if we're going to be up against another planar threat then we could really do with having Sanctuary back from him, not to mention freeing Aeris, Malvain and Nykal to help in the fight. Plus, he could really do with a good stab in the back of his own, just on principle."
Adam notes the shift in demeanor and again he was reminded how similar Morgan's reaction would have been to Jester's... albeit less angry. Adam only wondered a bit if they were related somehow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrith
"If he's not aware, though, there's no telling what adding those elements to his perspective would do. Even if we were to ally against the common foe, he'd likely turn them on us if he found a way to control the Asura. We must get rid of him."
Adam nodded grimly at the suggestion. So the board was being set and the piece put into position as it had before and would continue to be set for many eons after this particular crisis had passed. There would always be another crisis or threat... it was inevitable with the existence of competing tensions and forces in the multiverse. Adam had believed that these conflicts and crises were inevitable, it was only a matter of time. However, it did not mean that they could not prepare and be ready for when that time came.

"One of the reasons that I had helped Jester to find and establish the Sei is to be ready when trouble reared its head again. I know Jester is not here, and, in typical fashion, he would probably disagree with me, but we are as ready as we are going to be. Trouble never comes at our convenience, does it?"
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Last edited by Xian; Feb 8th, 2018 at 12:02 AM.
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  #175  
Old Feb 8th, 2018, 12:06 AM
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Silverforge
Mrith’s words struck him. He had always had an interest in the history of his people. Indeed, for much of his life this interest had meant delving into the history of the fiends that had provided most of his bloodline, as well as seeking out anything and everything he could of the drow that had lent him much of his appearance. Once he had joined the Children, however, he plied from them every tidbit he could about their origins and history. In his mind the past was the key to the present, and such was his way of interpreting things. Thus, despite the words bearing the tilt of a Freeborn perspective, he felt as if he was hearing an alternate account of the Children’s own origin story. The Shadow Plane was a given, of course, but the positioning of this Nine Realms was what fascinated him. If it was adjacent to the Shadow Plane through some means…that likely meant he could gain access without too much work. His Heart of Darkness was to help him maintain his connection to his homeland in places he normally could not…but he wondered if now it would allow him to do the same thing in other planes. The thought excited him. Relaxed in the company of people he trusted – a child, a goddess, a legendary ally, and two new allied Freeborn – he let his normal emotional polish slip a bit. His hand clenched on the carved bone in his hand, seizing it as if to squeeze some kind of insight out of it. A sparkle lit up his eyes.

”I wonder…could not someone attempt to infiltrate the Nine Realms? Again, I admit that my knowledge of this is limited, but someone with enough talent in interplanar travel and infiltration skills could potentially do it. Correction – a team, perhaps three – would be better. For support purposes. I have no idea what kind of obstacles such a team would face, but getting there would likely be the least of them if properly handled. Still…it might reveal an interest side of things for us. Then again, I speak not knowing if such has already been done.”

He pondered the thought of Zera, of whom he had heard much on and off over his career, allying with these Asura. As a druid the thought of something defying death grated on him. Life and death were a cycle that was balanced and natural. Undeath was something he grasped, of course, but that was merely playing with what death actually mean, not avoiding it – the undead were still dead, in his mind. Eve, these Asura…they supposedly were permanent. Supposedly. If there was one thing his studies of the planes and the infinity of creatures within them had taught him, it was that there was nothing to which there was not an exception. There was some way of defeating them, and if not destroying them then otherwise neutralizing the threat. The Asura were created beings, after all. He voiced his thoughts.

”It strikes me as odd that any being can claim permanency. Gods themselves sometimes fail in this venue, so a mere created being – however great and complex that creation may be – must by default be able to be ‘uncreated’ to say it succinctly. In other words, these beings must have some kind of weakness which can be exploited to defeat them, if not directly ‘kill’ them in the traditional sense of the word. Who knows how much power would be needed to do this, or how difficult it would be to find such a weakness…but it must exist. The universe exists because everything is part of a system…and like all systems there are components that make them work. These Asura can be no different – they exist in a system, were created from a system, and function in a system of life, death, and power. That system has to have parts that make it work, and if we figure out those parts, we figure out the way to defeat the enemy.”
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  #176  
Old Feb 8th, 2018, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrith
"Not that big an assumption. The Blue Lady is an hybrid and those also have the memories of the Elder Demons. If she is conditioned to assist him, she may have told him about it."
Morgan opens his mouth to refute the dragon, but he ends up leaving it hanging open as a frown crosses his face. "That...is actually a good point that I didn't really think about. Granted, he's not exactly letting her develop normally in order to keep his control over her, but yeah, we can't rule it out now, either. Great."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrith
"If he's not aware, though, there's no telling what adding those elements to his perspective would do. Even if we were to ally against the common foe, he'd likely turn them on us if he found a way to control the Asura. We must get rid of him."
"One of the reasons that I had helped Jester to find and establish the Sei is to be ready when trouble reared its head again. I know Jester is not here, and, in typical fashion, he would probably disagree with me, but we are as ready as we are going to be. Trouble never comes at our convenience, does it?"
"No, it certainly doesn't." Morgan grimaces. "It's just another reason to kill the bastard, and I can say that literally and figuratively for him, though in truth he's an insult to all decent bastards out there." His expression becomes much more sombre at the last part in stark contrast to his usual exuberant manner.


It doesn't last long, however, as he is quick to comment on Silverforge's suggestion. "Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'd guess that travelling to or from these Nine Realms isn't exactly easy, or else a lot more people, Gods and other beings would have, well, done it. I'm by no means an expert on the planes, but its my understanding that the Shadow Plane is infinite...so...good luck finding something in an infinite place if you don't know where you're actually going. Besides, according to the records that I've poured over about the Demongate Wars, the Zodiacs ended up being trapped in these realms in the very process of coming over here, or at least they did after Jarask brought the last of them here. Again, if the people who actually know where they're going - who also happen to be Gods - can't go back, then I suspect that it's outside of our abilities as mere mortals too."

Similarly, the wizard is keen to comment on the Child's musings on immortality. "Yeah...recent experiences, including actually dying, and revelations have really made me rethink the whole mortality thing, truth be told. Without boring you about the details, there's a lot we don't know about how death actually works beyond the whole [DM Note - Aheka does not have the typical D&D afterlife. While some people can effectively live on after 'death' by becoming Outsiders or the like, they are the exception, rather than the norm. What happens to the vast majority of those who die is a mystery.]what happens when we die aspect and that's without even getting into the Old Ones themselves who are...well...forces of nature is the best short explanation that I've heard so far. You can't kill them any more than you can kill a hurricane or slay an earthquake."

~MTWC
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  #177  
Old Feb 8th, 2018, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgan
"No, it certainly doesn't." Morgan grimaces. "It's just another reason to kill the bastard, and I can say that literally and figuratively for him, though in truth he's an insult to all decent bastards out there."
This elicits a cold laugh from Silver. "I thank you for the allowance of decent bastards, though I'm not certain if I should take that as a complementary category or a less-intensive insult."

As Morgan explains about the Nine Realms, he opens his mouth in a silent "ahh" of recognition as the man speaks, listening intently until the dialogue is finished. "The Shadow Plane is infinite, but just as one can navigate in a survival situation without knowing locations conventionally, such can be done with the planes. That aside, I believe the Nine Realms sound as if they are entrapping, which is a planar quality that essentially turns said plane into a one-way street unless you happen to be a native...or have just the right know-how. It is not the most impossible trait to get around, though, so I would not rule that out as a possibility. And to qualify my statements, though I am no academic of the various planes -- such as the Nine Realms --, on matters regarding planar relations, travels, and powers themselves I am rather experienced."
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  #178  
Old Feb 8th, 2018, 05:45 PM
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Seeing how hopeful the man was to pierce a way through, Mrith felt a pang of guilt as she went on to deliver what she knew of the process.
"If only it was only that. It unfortunately isn't only a matter of finding your way through an infinite plane."
She pondered for a short moment on how to explain it.
"Imagine two sheets of paper of infinite length. At some point along both infinites, one goes over the other so that someone can go from one into the other. Not much of an issue with some planes... but with the Nine Realms those sheets are remarkably far from one another. The power it takes to cross is immense. There are no gates and one has to tear his way through. The last attempt was so demanding that it damaged the path, making any following attempt harder still, and it had been performed then by a true master of the art. Even those native from the Nine Realms could not return. There is no planar key or anything like that. The Nine Realms are mostly connected to each-other by gates and even should be manage to travel to them... there is the possibility that there is nothing there anymore for us to find. The Asura may have destroyed them by now. And if we find a means to forge a path by sheer ingenuity... doing so risks that the traveler will run into the Asura and make them learn of our existence. Perhaps even allow them to follow that path back to us."

She traced a circle on the ground with her right feet absentmindedly. "Consider the time and energy even devising a way back to them would take. Would it be worth such risks?"
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  #179  
Old Feb 8th, 2018, 07:04 PM
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Silverforge
He shrugged. "I speak mostly in theory, of course. That said, I have realized that the more I travel and the more I learn, the more plain it is that nothing is impossible, and the various threads that weave together our existence and our universe are more complex that we can imagine. So I wouldn't consider it impossible. As a caveat, however, I will say such a venture would require the utmost of precision. Still, for at least some of us, what is a thousand years of research if it means saving the world?"

Despite his recalcitrant attitude, the fact was that he had already decided to make this matter one of his interests. He knew well his race lived for vastly longer than most...that had been a fact he researched while still an officer in the fiendish armies. The second point of research he had was figuring out how to become immortal...and the presence of people like Eve confirmed his long-standing suspicion that such was possible. Making the third point of research 'How to Save the World' was not such a big stretch once you had already become immortal and have eons to master the powers of life, death, and the planes themselves.

"As to the risks...well, we can only speculate, so I cannot presume to have any answer, especially since I am the one learning this in the first place. That said, I have learned two things. First, I was raised upon a single premise: 'Sorrows exist only to teach us joy. Pain exists only to teach us pleasure. Chains to teach us freedom. Trials are our tutors. Obstacles are our opportunities. There is nothing bad in life -- only good that we have yet to understand.' It's done more for me than most are likely to realize, and suggest that, indeed, with enough time and planning such a risk could eventually be worth the gain."

He paused for a moment, his expression reflective briefly like a current of cool water in a tropical sea, then continued almost without stopping.

"The second point I learned while an officer in The Forge. Gambling was extremely popular, and I learned the hard way how to ensure my pockets were the ones that ended up full instead of empty. Sometimes taking a massive risk is less about the direct gains and more about the secondary ones, if you are playing your hand right. If you bombast an opponent successfully with hardline high-stakes, or pull a stunning bluff, you leave them uncertain of even their best hands...and thereby a weaker opponent than they would be if you won a hundred hands normally."

OOC
@DM and Everyone with Silverforge:

His mention of The Forge will obviously require a DC Knowledge check to be set by the DM. To those that know (as you can read on his char page), The Forge was the fiendish version of West Point or the USNA Seal Academy, producing some of the most elite soldier-commanders in their evil forces.
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Old Feb 8th, 2018, 07:57 PM
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Makenshi Makenshi is offline
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OOCDue to the lack of planar knowledge, it'd be a DC 25 Knowledge (the planes) check to get an idea of what the Forge is for everyone except for Brood (DC 15 for her). A particularly good result may yield more information though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverforge
"I thank you for the allowance of decent bastards, though I'm not certain if I should take that as a complementary category or a less-intensive insult."
Morgan shrugs. "Neither. Being a bastard isn't a good thing or a bad thing. Take it from someone who was born in wedlock yet might as well have been an orphan: it doesn't really matter."

On the matter of the planes, Morgan lets out a sigh, rubbing his temples in frustration again. "Right...first of all, sure, yeah, 'everything is possible', I can't exactly disagree with that, given the number of impossible things we're seen or found out about of late, but I'm going to have to disagree with you here: 'everything might be possible'. Add to that, just because something is possible doesn't mean it should be done." He gestures a thumb over towards Mrith. "As she said, we have enough problems at the moment without inviting some other cosmic threat that we have next to no knowledge of or experience in dealing with into the mix too."

~MTWC
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Last edited by Makenshi; Feb 8th, 2018 at 07:57 PM.
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