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  #1  
Old Nov 4th, 2020, 04:44 PM
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Baldur’s Gate: Descent to Avernus

Game NameBaldur’s Gate: Descent to Avernus
Game SystemDnD 5e
ThemeA Tale of Corruption and Redemption
FlavourMad Max meets Dungeons and Dragons in Hell
Plot Summary


Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you

Friedrich Nietzsche


They came.

A slow trickle at first, but then more, and more and more. Ragged and desperate, the trickle of refugees grew more and more, until that trickle became a flood. As the first of them entered the city gates, they carried with them tales that were so far-fetched as to be completely ridiculous. The Holy City of Elturel, for so long a shining bastion of goodness, had fallen. A city so pure that a second sun shone above it to bask the city in its holy radiance.

But as the refugee's came in ever greater numbers, it became harder and harder to discount the troubling stories that came with them. Elturel had not just fallen, it had been scoured entirely from the surface of Toril, and Grand Duke Ulder Ravengard had been lost. As hundreds of thousands of Elturan refugees spill into the city of Baldur's Gate, and the Flaming Fists struggle to maintain law and order, little does anyone realise that this is just the beginning of a far deeper and darker plot, one that stretches not just from the world of Toril but into the depths of Avernus itself.


~~~~

Welcome to Baldur's Gate: Descent to Avernus.


Baldur's Gate, or as its known to its inhabitants, "The Gate" is the largest metropolis and city-state on the Sword Coast. It is also one with a storied history. In the year 1368 DR, Sarevok Anchev initiated a plot to poison and weaken iron shipments across the Sword Coast. It was the start of an elaborate plot with political ramifications that would shake the entirety of the region to its very core. It was also one that was designed to leave him as the sole Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate.

Yet there was a secret that Sarevok kept concealed with his co-conspirators inside the Iron Throne. He was the progeny of the god Bhaal, who foresaw his own demise during the Time of Troubles, and his true motivation was to cause enough instability and chaos in the region to become the new Lord of Murder.

Sarevok failed, and he was slain by Abdel Adrian, his own brother.

Over a hundred years have passed since those tumultuous events. Grand Duke Abdel Adrian is dead, having been slain ten years past. The city today is a veritable picture of chaos. The Flaming Fist, bereft of their commander, are struggling to keep the peace in a city divided by its residents and refugees from the lost city of Elturel. To make matters worse, cultists of the so-called "Dead Three", Bane, Bhaal and Myrkul, are sowing discord and chaos amongst an already divided city, threatening to turn the potentially combustible powder-keg into a full on explosion as the city implodes within itself. And as the streets become bathed in the blood of countless hundred of thousands of innocents, there are those in the upper echelons of the city who are determined to use the political instability as vehicle to seize power for themselves even as the city tears itself apart below them.

And this is just the beginning of the city's problems.

Where the city of Elturel once stood there is now nothing but a deep, scorched crater. Something dark and terrible has wiped the city from the surface of Faerun, and this is only the beginning. Soon, dark and hungry eyes will inevitably turn their gaze to the slowly dying city....

Into this politically charged cauldron of blood and chaos you will come, yet it will not be a simple task to save Baldur's Gate.

Are you prepared to descend into hell itself to save your home? Are you prepared to ask yourself the most difficult question of all?

Is it more important to save the lives of many, or the soul of one?


About MeHello everyone. For this game I feel it is quite important to preface it with a little bit of background. I've been involved with AD&D as it was back in the day since the 90's. Back in those heady days there were a very large number of different campaign settings and worlds for the AD&D 2nd Edition. The one that I adoped for my own games early on was the Forgotten Realms setting. Back in those days it was not the official D&D gameworld that it would become to be, although its popularity was beginning to grow even back them. Back in those days of youthful ignorance, I would twist my parent's arms to buy for me every single piece of Forgotten Realms literature I could get my hands on . I spent countless hundreds of hours devouring every single piece of Forgotten Realms lore that I could get my hands on to the point where I had just about every piece of obscure Realms literature emblazoned in my memory.

Way back when in 1998 a game called Baldur's Gate came out, and while there had been plenty of AD&D videogames, and Forgotten Realms videogames before it, this was the first one that had actually brought my beloved Forgotten Realms to life in front of my eyes. Here was a fully-realised (for its time) graphical masterpiece that had finally provided an image to the world I had only envisaged in my imagination prior to this. There is absolutely no understating the influence that the game and its sequel have had on me, to the point that over twenty years later I still sink countless hundreds of hours into them.

I never imagined for a single minute that here, in 2020, we would not only have a proper published adventure using the Baldur's Gate franchise, but a fully-fledged sequel to what in my eyes are the finest two CRPG's ever made.

This, I guess, is my typically long-winded way of saying that this adventure is one I've wanted to run for a long long time and one that I will pour every single part of me into to make it as memorable an experience as I can.

Those who have had the misfortune to cross paths with me before on the site know what to expect, I am a predominantly story-focussed DM who likes to build a strongly roleplay over rollplay based experience.

 
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Last edited by Nade; Nov 6th, 2020 at 08:27 AM.
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 01:19 AM
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You're allowing all races, classes and archetypes within your accepted sourcebooks?

How many months are you thinking the game would take to complete?
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 03:52 AM
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Yes, anything within the listed sources is fair game.

Good question, and one that’s not so easy to answer as it’s dependent on a variety of things like player turnover / post rate etc. If I were to take the game as written and attempt to transpose it straight to PbP it likely would either never finish or take a great many years to complete. However, in the same way a movie adaptation of a book wouldn’t translate directly from its source material it will be the same thing here in that I will adapt / change / remove parts of the game that I think won’t work well for PbP.

To answer the question then I’m striving for a game that will complete inside 2-3 years, however I do accept that that’s dependent on some variables outwith my control.
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 08:02 AM
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Some doors shouldn't be opened
Name: Mentis

Age: 157

Race: Half-elf

Class: warlock

Alignment: chaotic neutral

Personality: driven, but chaotic. (TIBF) The warlock has studied books for more than 120 years, and is learned, but not necessarily wise. (Though I am willing to play a knowledge domain cleric instead of warlock). Given this period of study, he is often confident that he knows better than others, and while he may patiently, and consistently allow others their input, he's going to act on his own judgment without considering their input. Although not evil at this time, he may devolve into evil because of the influence of his patron. Nothing should fetter the infinite possibility inherent in all existence. There is a book he holds where he learned the secrets of his patron, though not cognizant of their nature. Of course, unlocking an ancient mystery is worth the price of a civilization.

Appearance: a thin male with gray hair and an ashen complexion, from many years spent reading manuscripts and tomes. He favors his human side.



Backstory: His reading led to secret knowledge of an alien Great Old One type of patron. This patron seeks something in Avernus, though he has not been told what it is yet. The character is in the grips of madness, obsession with his patron, though he is still unaware of the nature of his patron.
 


One of the languages he has learned is Infernal.



RP Sample: Master, must I truly go to Avernus? What could you want from that hellish place? How will I know what this thing looks like? You will tell me?

Oh, they must think I'm mad, with you constantly whispering in my ear. But a little madness never hurt anyone. No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.




"Have you ever read Infernal poetry? It's quite amazing, I assure you. 'Twas brillig and the slithy toves, did gyre and gimbal in the wabe. All mimsy were the borogroves and the mome raths out grabe.'"

"That being said, my goal is seeking something for my master in Avernus, and this quest is my latest obsession. As long as your goals align with mine, I will work with you to achieve our common goal. "


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Last edited by TADHG; Nov 11th, 2020 at 02:17 AM.
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 10:46 AM
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Can you elaborate a little more on the "Mad Max" side of this adventure?
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 10:51 AM
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Not without giving too much of the plot away I can't, save to say that there are parts of the game that wouldn't look out of place in Mad Max Fury Road.
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nade View Post
Not without giving too much of the plot away I can't, save to say that there are parts of the game that wouldn't look out of place in Mad Max Fury Road.
OK, cool! When I read "Mad Max," I interpreted it as the setting to be more modern, with cars, guns, gas, etc., as we've likely all seen in the Mad Max franchise. But, it seems -- correct me if I'm wrong -- the game will take place in a sword and sorcery setting.
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 11:03 AM
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Descent into Avernus is definitely one of the few D&D 5E modules that hold my interest enough for me to apply, I've got... A ridiculous number of character concepts, so I'll edit a few of them in here, for flexibility's sake; a few of them do take a couple of... 'creative liberties' with the lore of certain classes and entities, which I hope is alright, but I feel like it helps give the character a little more depth.

Application: Gwyneth Djinn LightcurseName: Gwyneth Djinn Lightcurse
Age: 26
Race: Fallen Aasimar
Class: Warlock (Hexblade)
Alignment: Neutral
Personality: Those who have known Gwyneth may describe her with words such as:
  • Solemn
  • Having a magical or pleasantly unreal quality; dreamlike. "the atmosphere is tranquil and dreamy"Dreamy
  • Punctual
  • Serene

Appearance:
Born to Mulan human parents, Gwyneth stands at an approximate height of 5'10 (152cm) with long, straight black hair and hazel eyes with a scar that comes down the centre of her face, black and white spirals tattooed coming away from the scar tissue itself. Gwyneth has a stocky build.

Backstory:
Gwyneth Djinn was born and raised by her two parents who lived as members of a cult in the isolationist village of Pavagrim. Pavagrim was mostly self-sufficient with its members working to ensure the necessary independence from society, allowing the cult to practice its rituals and traditions safe from the inquisitive and scrutinous eyes of the unindoctrinated.

From a young age, Gwyneth would hear a heavenly woman's voice guiding her against the cult's moral standards and inherently corrupt culture. The voice had identified herself as Ophamine and began to become something of a surrogate mother for the young Gwyneth, teaching her a moral code accepted by the world at large, teaching her about the virtues of the world. This voice was quickly discovered by Gwyneth's parents after they heard their daughter talking to herself in the fields and the privacy of their home.

The cult leader, a human by the name of Vabran Sargest, demanded the girl was immediately exorcised. Vabran, through a ritual that eluded even Ophamine, extracted Gwyneth's angelic guide and infused her within a scimitar. The blade was decorated with engravings of a crying angel on one side and a cackling devil on the other. The scimitar had been given the name "Ophamine's Talon" and was locked away from Gwyneth, whose natural curiosity and excitability quickly faded as she conformed to the indoctrination of Vabran's cult, part of this conformity was being subject to a facial deformation: a scar that split down the center of her face, ruining the cults tattoo and branding her as 'impure'; Gwyneth was also assigned the surname of 'Lightcurse' as a shameful moniker of her divine heritage.

Years later Gwyneth would find Ophamine's Talon once again when the cult was celebrating the 'Cleansing of the Forge', where possessions deemed heretical by Vabran were smelted down by their previous owners as an act of 'morale redemption'. Once Gwyneth grasped the handle of Ophamine's Talon she was greeted with the furious and vengeful demands of an angel scorned. The pact between Gwyneth and Ophamine was forged when she drew the blade from its scabbard and struck Vabran in defiance. Though Vabran survived Gwyneth's assault, he was left missing his right hand and several members of the cult who were in attendance found themselves struck down by Gwyneth under the command of Ophamine's Talon, the woman setting off into the outside world, cast out by the place she once called home.

Gwyneth was guided to Baldur's Gate by Ophamine, though the angelic guide-turned-patron couldn't answer why the pair were drawn here or for what purpose.

RP Sample:
Roleplay SampleNestled within a small cave sat off the beaten tracks of a mountainous road was the crackling embers of a campfire, burning wood jutting out from the pit of rocks and kindling, a single tent erected within the cover of the cave, shielding it from the winds which bellowed and raged outside. The campfire was host to a single, scarred woman as some nondescript meat was impaled on the spit just outside the reach of the roaring flames, slowly roasting against the dark night sky.
"You think we should have taken a left, don't you?"
There came no response.
"I think maybe you were right."
Once more there came no audible response.
"At-least we found something to eat though."

To any nonexistent passerby, the woman would seem crazy as she sat by the fire and spoke to herself, sheathed blade on her lap and a first clenched tightly around the handle. Gwyneth slowly unsheathed the scimitar and examined it against the light of the campfire, resting the palm of her hand against the face of the crying angel and closing her eyes, listening with a stern expression painted across her face. Hazel eyes opened to the fires extinguishing themselves by some invisible force.
"You are right, Ophamine, it is getting late." was the last thing the lone black-haired traveler said before sheathing the blade within its scabbard and standing up, approaching her tent for a night of rest.


Last edited by Marshmallow; Nov 5th, 2020 at 11:08 AM.
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemesis View Post
OK, cool! When I read "Mad Max," I interpreted it as the setting to be more modern, with cars, guns, gas, etc., as we've likely all seen in the Mad Max franchise. But, it seems -- correct me if I'm wrong -- the game will take place in a sword and sorcery setting.
It certainly is a sword and sorcery setting, but that does not preclude the game having guns, cars with spikes on the front etc....which is definitely a thing here
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nade View Post
It certainly is a sword and sorcery setting, but that does not preclude the game having guns, cars with spikes on the front etc....which is definitely a thing here
Thanks for the clarification!
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 08:50 PM
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I'm working on an app. I have some interest in an alchemist artificer though. How would that go?
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 10:36 PM
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Ovis Caprini, Firbolg Cleric of Bahamut
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Name: Ovis Caprini
Age: 50
Race: Firbolg
Class: War Cleric
Alignment: Neutral Good
Background: Outlander
Personality Traits:
- Nothing bothers me for long.
- Anything worth doing takes time and patience. I have learned to plan and wait for the things I want and to be patient to achieve my goals.
Ideal: Boundaries: Everything and everyone has its prescribed place; I respect that and expect others to do the same.
Bond: I will get revenge on the evil forces that destroyed my home and ruined my livelihood.
Flaw: Once someone questions my courage, I never back down no matter how dangerous the situation.

Appearance: Ovis is a male firbolg who stands seven-and-a-half feet tall and weighs about 375 pounds, with an athletic physique that seems slightly skinny for his race, but is teeming with muscle tone, and is definitely imposing if members of the more common races were to stand next to him. He most notably has a more bestial phenotype than his usual kind; his ears are large and droopy, his mouth and nose take on a slightly cervid appearance (even his teeth have quite the herbivorous look), and he has a pair of grey horns curling outward and eventually dangerously forward and upward from the sides of his head. Ovis has tired dark green eyes perpetually hidden by the bangs of his shaggy mop of blonde hair, and a thin coat light brown fur everywhere else except for the tan speckles of fur on his cheeks.

As far as clothing goes, Ovis is currently clad in a suit of steel chainmail that has a more platinum sheen as per a war priest of Bahamut, with a large pointed-cross-shaped shield with Bahamut's blue dragon symbol emblazoned on the front either on his left arm or worn on his back via a guige, and a warhammer kept in a belt sling on his right hip when not in use, all as lustrous as his armor. He wears a sleeveless black cloth shirt underneath all of this, and a blue linen bandana is always tied around his neck outside his cuirass. He keeps his things in a large crocskin sidebag always hanging off his right side by a hempen rope strap.

Backstory: I wish to divulge his backstory in more detail in-game via RP, but Ovis was born in the Moonshae Isles 50 years before the present day, living in a commune made up of his own family and 4 others, who made their home in a coastal wood amongst the wilderness of Gwynneth. Some of them were members of the Emerald Enclave, who had a long lineage of firbolg members who made their base of operations here generations ago. They lived as happily and successfully as frugal fey needed, until land developers stumbled upon their exotic living location and decided to legislate it for themselves when Ovis was about 45. By day the logging expedition would occur, but by night...men in cloaks and masks spreading fire and destruction, eventually finding the heart of the wood the firbolg commune resided, killing an unknown amount and causing them to all flee and separate to save their skins. A young Ovis, fresh to the dealings of the outside world with nary a good invitation to it via his home being destroyed, makes his way across the Sea of Swords to Baldur's Gate, where he stumbles upon the church of Bahamut, who give him sympathy for his forthcomings and refuge amongst them.

He dedicates his starting over in life to Bahamut, whose symbolism of justice appealed to Ovis in a righteous but vengeful way concerning the people who razed his homeland. The Platinum Dragon's clergy gives him purpose and consoles his longing for home and his family, and eventually the giantkin is initiated into being an official cleric himself after his fellow priests analyze his strengths and weaknesses. They train Ovis in heavy weaponry and offensive spells befitting his size and bestowing him the means of deific judgement that he had earned the church and his god's trust with. His arms and armor is requisitioned, and eventually the firbolg gets stationed at the library-fortress of Candlekeep, where he is just beginning to settle down at a youthful (for firbolgs) 50 years of age and learning how to coexist with mainstream society. Ovis can usually be found patrolling Trade Way within proximity of Candlekeep and Baldur's Gate with his entry-level troupe of clergymen, but the threads of fate seem to be spinning up a more important purpose for him to fulfill much sooner than anyone could anticipate...

RP Sample: (from another character)
 
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Old Nov 5th, 2020, 11:41 PM
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Application
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Name: Lornithil Tel'Arglad

Age: 113

Race: Wood Elf (Outlander)

Class: Celestial Warlock

Alignment: Chaotic Good

Personality: Due to his deep-woods upbringing as part of a small and tightly knit wood-elvish haven, Lornithil is uncomfortable indoors and in crowded areas, and slow to make friends with strangers. However, over time he becomes very close to those he gets to know and is undyingly loyal to his friends, who he considers no different than his extended family.

Appearance: Lornithil has the tall, thin build typical of wood elves, with green eyes, copper-green skin, and light hair. While he still wears the grey-green clothing of an elven forester, he has long since exchanged his hunter's bow and trapping gear for a traveler's staff and light armor.

Backstory: Born deep in the High Forest of western Faerun, Lornithil was raised in the tradition of his family's haven, taking only what they needed from the ancient forest and in turn dedicating their lives to honoring the gods and protecting the land that gave them their lives. A simple patrol of the haven's boundaries went horribly wrong and set him on the warlock's path. He now travels the roads and rivers of the western coast in service of his divine patron, still protecting his home but in a very different way. His travels have recently brought south from Waterdeep toward Baldur's Gate in pursuit of rumors of expansion by Dead Three cultists.

RP Sample: The first false light of dawn had just begun to show when Delloniel drew to a halt, raising her hand to alert the rest of the patrol; it was rare for a group of this size to walk the territory together, but two solo hunters had recently disappeared along the southwest edge. "There, when the breeze is from the west. Faint, but something", she whispered. Lornithil paused along with his cousins Thallir and Sirithel, all trying to catch the scent. Sirithel quietly replied, "Aye, you're right. Woodsmoke, unwashed bodies. Maybe salted meat. Not foul enough to be goblins or orcs. Perhaps a boat of human traders on the river?" Thallir nodded in agreement.

"Unusual this close to winter", whispered Lornithil, "and even then they stay to the Delimbyr and never come up the Heartblood. Traders fear the Dire Wood. Besides, we'd have heard their rowers chanting a mile off." Delloniel frowned, then motioned for the group to ready their bows and move in silence. They began making their way west, following the wind.

The scent grew stronger as they neared the river. A longboat was drawn up on the western bank of the Heartblood, but there was no sign of its crew. Delloniel spoke, almost too low to hear. "That's no trader. Narrow and built for speed, not cargo. Stay low."

Thallir moved to put a tree between himself and the boat, muttering, "Something's wrong. This close, we ought to hear them snoring if they're fool enough to sleep on board, and there's no watch on the bank or the deck." He peered north and south. "No one." The patrol froze for a moment, listening, and the breeze shifted from west to south but the scent remained. Sirithel looked south and hissed, "They're around us, why can't we see them?"

A hail of black-feathered arrows rained on the patrol in the next instant. Thallir and Sirithel fell, Delloniel and Lornithil nocked arrows and loosed them blindly even as a second volley struck. Lornithil's last sight was Delloniel's bow hitting the ground, his last words were "Rillifane Rallathil, preserve us!" The last thing he heard was wind rushing in the trees.

--------------------

Lornithil's sight returned though he was unable to move. The place was the same, but the scene was distinctly different. The sound of rushing wind continued, the dawn light was now directionless and shadowless. His first thought was that he was dead.

"Not quite, child, though that remains an option." The voice seemed to ride on the wind, then come from the trees, then vibrate through the ground where Lornithil lay bleeding. "You cling to life by the barest thread."

Who are you?, thought Lornithil. "You called me." The voice rose to the level of thunder, shaking the world. "You know my name."

The voice subsided to a whisper. "And I know yours, Lornithil of the High Forest. And my heart goes out to you. You and yours have given everything in my service, and I need you yet, and you need me. Let us come to an agreement then, and we will serve each other." Trapped in his still body, fear seeped into Lornithil's heart. What do you mean?

"Child, I am Rillifane Rallathil who you called. Those who laid you low and slew your tribemates are of the Dead Three, come from afar to seek abominations hidden in the Dire Wood. They would destroy Arglad Haven without a second thought, and they are not even the greatest of the threats to the High Forest." The ground shook as the voice rose. "Make this pact with me. I will fill you with power, you will be my agent, and the High Forest will be defended." The voice echoed and faded to silence.

And my family? My cousins? The silence continued, then the voice returned as a nearly inaudible whisper. "I cannot give them back to you, it is beyond any power. They are truly slain, only you still hang on the edge of life. Nor will I promise you a return to your haven. You will go where ever you are needed. But this you will have, this I promise. You, Lornithil, will have the power to stop their killers from reaching your home."

It is enough. I agree.

----------------------

Lornithil opened his eyes, the voice still echoing in his head, and struggled to rise. Delloniel lay cold only a few feet away with three arrows in her chest, and hewas overcome with grief. He turned to his cousins, all lying on the ground. He reached for his yew-wood bow to use it as crutch to stand and instead found a blackthorn staff that crackled with arcane power as his fingers brushed it. His hand closed on the staff and he heard Do not forget... in the wind.
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Old Nov 6th, 2020, 12:59 AM
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Name: Panmaul Wondercrack
Age: 64
Race: Hill Dwarf
Class: Arcane Cleric
Alignment: NG

Personality: Panmaul is a bookish dwarf, that being said he is fond of his drink. When drinking he is boisterous, but no matter he isn't a friendly scholar. He has a prized book documenting his favorite drinks from around Faerun.

Appearance: Slightly pot bellied, and balding. He has an unkempt brown beard, and graying hair. He wears a leather coat his grandfather wore. The gear he carries looks to be in poor repair, but his books are treated more valuable than gold.

Backstory: Panmaul was raised by his grandparents. His parents were brave paladins who died in a horrible accident. He was raised to avoid conflict, which his grandfather thought was foolish. Instead he turned to exploring the past through books. He became adept at reading ancient giant runes, and began harnessing the great magic in them. When his grandfather died he left to write his own book.

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  #15  
Old Nov 6th, 2020, 04:30 AM
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ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief is offline
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ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief ChiefDisbelief
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Just thought i'd let you know i switched characters in my app. I haven't got to try out my firbolg yet, seems like he's gonna be a fun cleric.
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