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Old Jul 14th, 2015, 01:17 AM
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Chapter 4: And in the Darkness... [Xian]

Chapter 4: In the Darkness...


Prologue

Hunger. Deep, gnawing hunger. It gnawed persistently inside of him... compelling and yearning. The mists of the woods were naturally thick and cloaked the surrounding area... a touch of dark magic would make it enduring. This mist would make it much the easier to hunt his prey... prey worthy to feed his hunger... those with the life energies to propel its growth to the next stages so that it may return to the Abyss and to the master. His brothers had already proceeded him there... they had taken worthy prey and grown in power enough to return to the Master's side. He yearned to take his place there... as his gaze fell upon the veritable cornucopia before him, he could feel his destiny grow closer. It was a group... adventurers of sorts... a wizard, two of them, an elf, a hobgoblin, a celestial half-breed, a fighter, a druid, and a halfling. Even the animals they had with had an exceptional vigor to them that could feed his hunger. He could only chuckle silently at his good fortune and waited. They would tire... as all mortals would and they would stop and rest... and then in the mist, he would come.

CHAPTER FOUR: INTO THE DARKNESS...

Starring:
Digorig as Silwen Rhuivir, Elven Ranger, with Silver the Wolf
Sassafrass as Ezio Freschetti, the Halfling Swashbuckler
Melchior as Tensenberg the Great and Powerful, Human Sorcerer with Barbarossa, the Rainbow Elephant
mountainbound as Ambareesh Gyaneshwar, Hobgoblin Soulknife and Psionic Marksman
EngrInAZ as Duncan Remdal, Human Fighter
And Notable NPCs- Susano Li, Aasimar Cleric of Sarenrae and Nicolai plump wizard of questionable character and plot mechanics.

The companions chattered among themselves as they continued on their trek to put distance between them and their fell pursuers. It had been perilous and dangerous pursuit and they had managed barely to escape on Tensenberg's wagon, whose integrity was become increasingly questionable with every league traveled... and finally the wagon had come to an inglorious end as if it simply gave up on life as the frame fell away from the companions on the back as the elephant and Tensenberg halted as the group has small tension relieving laugh at their predicament.

Carmicheal, the alien-like andorid alchemist, had suggested that some of them should make for Korasova to combat the demon that now ran free there and restore order. It sounded as good a plan as any, but the suggestion would mean excluding the halfling, Ezkio, Duncan, the fighter, and the wizard, Nicolai, who just dispensed magical items from a bag to the party. Flynn huffed in his usual way, but seemed excited at the prospect of getting out of The Wild and back into a proper city with its comforts. Surprisingly Ambareesh had followed next, at least in words, to accompanying the alchemist. The others looked to each other and shrugged.

"Well, I am not exactly the city type nor do I wish to become one... I shall remain here in the Wild, if at all possible." Marcus replied and petted the now healed Hari on the head and scratched his ears.

As the companions conversed, an odd mist crept in from the surrounding woods and it began to lap at the feet, at first unnoticed, but then it began to billow up into an eerie fog, which further hampered vision of even those blessed with low-light and darkvision.

"I believe to split ways right now would be unwise as it would provide a more vulnerable target for Lizen and his minions to pick up... I believe that our strength in numbers will be to our advantage for the time being... " Susano suggested as he looked around at the fog surrounding them. "Perhaps, we should hold off on making any decisions and rest now... We have been fleeing non-stop for nearly a day and picked up new folks, so taking a break to reorganize ourselves and recover our strength and magic would be wise. I think that we have put enough distance between us and our adversaries and the fact remains that we will have to rest eventually, so now is a good a time as any."

Flynn and Marcus nod in agreement to Susano's suggestion before looking over to the remainder of the group for their answers.



OODM Comments:
And we are off! All please roll the following and place them into your post.
Knowledge Nature DC15 - Recognize that the fog is not 100% natural and it is "stickier" than normal fog.
Perception DC 20 - It's a surprise!
Sense Motive DC 20 - It's a surprise!
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Last edited by Melchior; Apr 18th, 2016 at 05:06 PM. Reason: Onward!
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Old Aug 17th, 2015, 04:27 PM
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Tensenberg tried to overcome the aching in his chest as he looked down at the broken and splintered remains of what had been his cart. After everything that the poor thing had been through over the last few days, it had finally succumbed to the inevitable and collapsed. Some part of his stubborn brain wanted to try and fix it. It was impossible though. He had no tools, they were dozens of miles from any kind of civilization and even if they weren't he was not so skilled as to be able to repair something so far gone.

Tensenberg was no stranger to setbacks. He had been in the game long enough, and he knew, in his brain, that the only viable solution was to not give up, to rebuild. Laugh in the face of the world that had knocked him down. To refuse to let it see him falter.

He knew this in his brain, but the sentiment had not quite yet reached his heart. He would get there, eventually.

The knowledge that the future contained bigger and better things waiting just over the horizon provided some small comfort. He was Tensenberg the Great and Powerful! He was meant for more! Always more. Always bigger and better things. Perhaps, in the eyes of whatever great fate awaited him, he was not meant to occupy such a modest home. He was the rock, and fate was the wind and the rains beating against him, sculpting him into whatever role he was meant to play by wearing away every part of him that was inadequate. The cart, his home, had been suitable, but in the end it had not been great, despite his efforts to make it so. Perhaps it had had to go, so that it could not hold him back any longer.

He tried to tell his heart these things, but it did little to make the pain go away.

Nobody had died. He should have felt grateful that the only casualty of that whole horrible experience had been the cart. It was just an object. A thing. That was what most people felt the need to say whenever something like this happened. Whenever tragedy struck someone else. It was a trite, empty platitude if ever there was one.

In his heart, Tensenberg knew that it was not so simple. Through use, experience and memories inevitably pile up, transforming simple trinkets into artifacts and totems. They are more than mementos, they are the moorings to which one's memories are hitched so that they are not cast to drift away and become nothing more than forgotten flotsam on the misty sea of time. Books. Costumes. A ratty old blanket that he had never thrown away. Every prop was inexorably attached to the smoky memory of a past performance. This was more than a collection of cotton and silk and wood. In a very real, if somewhat abstract, way, they were his experiences. His past. Everything that had made him him up to that day.

And now, they were nothing but garbage on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

Tesenberg sighed, listlessly kicking a foot in the direction of his entire life.

So closed another chapter. Spring ends, summer begins, and the world turns ever onwards. Change is good, or so people said. Usually the same people toting around the 'they're just things' nugget of wisdom. In this case, Tensenberg had to grudgingly admit that maybe they did have a point. It wasn't easy, when that change appears to run counter to everything you had thought your life had been leading towards, when everything seems to be playing directly into the hands of your your greatest fears. That your future looks like nothing more than a long slow slide into mediocrity and obscurity. But Tensenberg was better than that. He had endured worse than this in the past, and would probably endure worse than this again. It was a setback, nothing more and nothing less, and when they penned the story of his life it would be remembered as nothing more than a footnote, a small roadblock along the path of an illustrious carrier filled with legendary accomplishments.

Tenseberg felt the heavy weight of Barbarossa's trunk drape over his shoulder, and he let himself believe that the low, mournful "Barrumph..." was echoing his thoughts.

Tesenberg breathed in and drew himself up to his full height, taking warmth and strength from the guiding star that promised greatness to come, and turned his back on his former home for the last time. "Exactly Barbarossa. The brightest of all futures awaits. At least I still have you."

With his spirits bolstered somewhat by that source of comfort, Tensenberg walked back over to where the others were still discussing their options.

"I agree, Master Cleric. Strength in numbers, and all that. Best to stick together until we get somewhere a little less isolated. Once we reach civilization again, we all can go back to trying to forget this whole debacle ever happened." He frowned at the thick fog that was beginning to roll in. "And with this fog, visibility will be too bad to keep moving. I think we should try and find someplace secure where we can hole up for the moment. I know I wouldn't mind some real rest after all that."

 
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Old Aug 18th, 2015, 09:31 PM
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The last few hours had taken its toll on Silwen and even though she was physically recovered the Elfess was far from well. She had almost lost her companion and was whirled from one fight into another; her nerves were shot. For a long time she said nothing as they rode at least until the Cleric Susano spoke up. The last thing Silwen wanted was to separate from anyone right not. It was not even strength in numbers but comfort in them.

Quote:
"I believe to split ways right now would be unwise as it would provide a more vulnerable target for Lizen and his minions to pick up... I believe that our strength in numbers will be to our advantage for the time being. Perhaps, we should hold off on making any decisions and rest now...”
Rest. Yes, that was what she wanted, no needed. Even though Silwen was not as enslaved to rest as those with copious spells were, she still craved some time to sleep.

"Yes, we should find a place to rest. It has been a most arduous sojourn, to say the least." The ranger agreed. She smiled as Tensenberg also agreed with the idea.

Looking around Silwen got a chill running up her spine. The fog that had crept upon them; it was not natural. Her narrow green eyes began to scan the area around them, struggling to see past the heavy mist. On instinct she took her bow from her back and drew an arrow from her new, magical quiver.

"Something is very wrong here!" She announced with not just a hint of fear to her voice. "You all see it, right? This fog is not natural. It is heavy and…" Her words failed her. While she could not place a finger on it, Silwen knew that something was not right.

 
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Old Aug 25th, 2015, 09:16 PM
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His wide nostrils dilate to take in the smell of the fog. "Ain't normal," the hobgoblin announces. "In fact, it stinks like demon semen." He spits. "Sticky too."

The air begins to shimmer around Ambareesh's fingers. It was the only indication that the warrior was armed. He might be a reformed hobgoblin, but he still favored stealth and sneakiness like all of his kind, and two invisible swords served him well.

"We may not want to kiss goodbye right now, but I'm going to scout out a bit. Need to know what's behind that fog."

 
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Old Aug 31st, 2015, 08:56 AM
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The last thing Ezio needs is something magical and sticky. He's been down that road recently.

Trotting along, occasionally serenading himself with a nervous hum, Ezio has done all he can to distract himself, occasionally conversing with the strangers, with Silwen, and with Duncan where possible, to get to know the man better. He owes him his life. And more to the point, he pointedly ignores Nicolai, somewhere between angry and disappointed in the Varisian. No true Halfling does well with ignobility, particularly where honor among thieves is concerned. And there is a bitterness in those now lost, or gone, or whatever they are. But Ezio is chipper. He's had time to recover, mentally. Physically, he's just nervous in general, and hiding it.

The strange foreigner mentions not splitting up. "The thought never occurred to me." And why would it? He nods to Silwen's take on the matter, and seeing the fog for himself, sees just how sticky it is, and unnatural. It's the off-handed comment by the Hobgoblin that gets him with a snort. "Had a lot of experience with demons in that sense, have we? Remind me never to ask after your extracurriculars outside of the school of life we're seemingly stuck in." An odd duck, that Hobgoblin, but he did his part in the fight against his kin, so Ezio will suffer him as needed. And besides, the jab is playful at worst. At best, it's downright insulting.

"I'm fine with our friend scouting ahead; but I agree we might need to find a shelter of sorts. Perhaps look for one of those, too?"
 
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Old Sep 1st, 2015, 04:15 PM
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Duncan had been quiet most of the journey, his mind still racing from the recent events. It was not that long ago that he was the court bailiff for the trial of two men he was now traveling with. But, that wasn’t even the most amazing part. He had been the one to spring the two from prison, fighting a demon that almost killed them only to appear in the back of a wagon running from wargs and hobgoblins. It was better than any fantastic story he could remember from his childhood, and less believable.

Duncan responded minimally to Ezio’s inquiries, not because he didn’t like the halfling but more because he didn’t like himself. He didn’t want to think about whom he had been or what his life was like. His life would never be the same…he would never be the same and he wasn’t sure if he even wanted to. There was pain and loss, none of which he could control or prevent, and that left him powerless. Duncan didn’t like being powerless and he intended on not putting himself in that position again.

When the group finally stopped and a decision was made to take a rest, Duncan was ready. He wouldn’t be the first to suggest resting, he was more than willing to push on, he just wasn’t sure what he was pushing on to. He didn’t know where they were or where they were going, he only knew he wasn’t in Korvosa any longer. His intention had been finding the real killer and protecting the castle, but he couldn’t do that. The demon had been too powerful and he had to flee with the others. That was another failure, another black hole to fall into, and so he was ready to rest. Duncan nodded, "Yes, rest is needed."

Duncan paid little mind to the fog that was moving in. He had seen fog in the valley and wasn’t concerned about it, he just chalked it up to superstition, 'They’re probably get nervous when they see their shadows as well.' He shrugged his shoulders and looked out into the forest, 'Though some shelter would be nice.'

 
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Old Sep 3rd, 2015, 01:56 AM
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DM Post #2

The Darkness Falls...

Fool! They had almost gotten caught... but luckily the timely actions of his minions ensured that their presence would go unconfirmed for the moment. Now his prey were on guard, so they would have to be more careful the next time... but the feast would not be so sweet, if it was too easy. Now some of the more suspicious of the party had come looking to find something in the fog... a fog which was now held to the area by his magic. The elf was the first to sense something in the fog and then the hobgoblin... perceptive for a goblinoid... but they did not find him. Now he would wait... patience... he had waited too long for this moment to be free and to rejoin the Master to spoil it with haste. The wizard had been first, but perhaps this surprise adjustment was a sign to save the tastiest treats for last. They were all tasty... They were all mortal... and all mortals tired eventually. It was only a matter of time.

Silwen is the first...perhaps it is the elvish connection to nature or perhaps it is paranoia, the events of the past days undoubtedly a contributing factor. Whatever the reason, Silwen feels the unnatural cool stickiness of the fog as it laps up against her and she immediately goes into an alert posture with her weapon at the ready and her senses and eyes straining to find the unseen danger... and then she sees it. A dark shape in the distance... shapeless in the fog and barely perceptible and it is only visible for the briefest of moments. None of the others appeared to have sense or noticed the shadowy figure... was a figment or just a passing animal as she notices the trees sticking up out of the fog like exposed rib bones from some titanic creature. The forest was growing dark as the sunset concluded and nightfall began to fall over them like a blanket.

Ambareesh noticing also the oddity of the environment and the recent encounter with demons and the ever resurrecting Cockless perhaps jaded the already obstinate hobgoblin. Without too much thought, the psionic hobgoblin feels his trusted weapons on the edge of his fingertips and finds comfort enough to embark on his own into the woodline and the fog. Ambareesh heads into the dense fog to scout out the danger that he believed may be out there.

Even after the briefest of patrolling, Ambareesh loses his sense of direction in the oppressively thick fog... and of any object or creature he sees no sign... initially. After a few more moments of searching his sense pick up a shape... a shadowy shape that was the size of a man. With practiced movement, Ambareesh stealthily descend on the shape and his weapons pressing against his fingers as he prepare his clandestine weapons to strike.

"Holy shite... for the love of Sheyln! Help! Anyone, help! God save the wizard...!" Nicolai croaked in a startled voice as Ambareesh descended upon him and his blades coming uncomfortably close to the doing some harm to the portly wizard with the bag of tricks. "Ah, shite... it is only you... Ambareesh, was it? You scare the living canine manure out of me. Wait, you're not here to kill me? Are you?"

After all, Ambareesh was a hobgoblin AND they had only known one another for less than an hour or so AND the hobgoblin had some wicked looking blades uncomfortably close. Perhaps Nicolai's girlish panicking and shrieking was not completely unwarranted... and from the smell of it, the hobgoblin did scare some kind of manure out of the wizard.

"Did you see it too...?" Nicolai asked as he seemed to be uncomfortably making adjustments to his pants. "I saw something... it looked like an animal or something on four legs. I only stepped away from the group for the briefest of moments to get a better look and I was here by myself. I feared calling out for help thinking that it would bring the monster to me... and then you jumped out ready to slice me up."

Ambareesh strains his eyes and sense to see if he could see these so called something that Nicolai had been after. At first nothing, then on the very edge of his periphery he saw shadows... they looked like shadows of wolves or a similar creature only it was larger than any wolf he had ever seen... but as if sensing Ambareesh's staring, they disappeared just as quickly. As he looked around, Ambareesh notices that they are in a small clearing of trees and rocks that could serve as functional base camp and with the rocks, some fort.

Meanwhile, back at the camp the others sense the unnaturalness of the fog, but Tensenberg and Duncan remained blissfully unaware of the strangeness of the fog and their fatigued minds thinking only of the rest that they desperately needed. As if to concur, Barbarossa trumpeted as they heard the fearful shrieking of Nicolai a short distance away. Everyone turned to the noise and Eziko's sharp eyes manages to penetrate the wall of fog and pick out the shapes of Ambareesh and Nicolai to guide them back to the group. Earlier Eziko had seen the wizard wander off into the fog for some reason.

Susano looked around concerned and fingered the pommel of his scimitar.

"Perhaps it is the statement of the obvious that I have a bad feeling about this." Susano tries to laugh and chase away his doubts. "But I have a bad feeling about this... this land feels poisoned... tainted like sinkhole of evil energies... yet I cannot see or sense any localized concentrations... so very strange, but considering what we have been through can't say that it is all that surprising."

The android alchemist was the only one that was enjoying the experience as he rapidly tried to obtain samples with his test tubes while muttering how fascinating it all was.

The forest continued to darken as the night fell and the party still had not come to a consensus on setting up camp and resting. A dilemma sure... but they were mortal. And all mortals get tired.

OODM:Do any rolls that you feel are necessary with the situation to help. Anyway, if you decide to make camp and post a guard please put the number and order of the guard shifts... if...


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Last edited by Xian; Sep 3rd, 2015 at 09:06 PM.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2015, 08:15 PM
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Always the bit suspicious of, well, everything Silwen had had enough of this. Now that they had at least stopped the Elfess stood up tall She pulled and arrow and pointed it in the direction of the...and it was gone.

“This place is wrong. I am as in need of rest as you all, but is here the best choice?“ she said. There was no point saying anything about what she had seen since she was not even sure what it was. Besides some of them did not even seem to realize this fog was unnatural to start with.

Silwen looked towards the direction the two had wondered off and sighed. They were already out of sight. “Those two are going to get themselves killed” she said, mostly to herself.

And yet night was closing in on them and the ranger knew that travel through the dark and sickly-thick fog would be worse. Now her voice raised almost to a yell as she spoke to everyone present and those not.

“Ambareesh, Nicolai get back here!"She demanded of the fog, then looking at the others resumed. “Set up a camp now while we can see at all. I will take first watch.” Without waiting for a reply Silwen broke out what supplies she still had to set camp with.

“Use the wagon to protect one side at least” she recommended as she busied herself. Once she was done she would find a place to see the others but conceal herself for her watch time.


 
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Last edited by Digorig; Sep 3rd, 2015 at 08:17 PM.
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Old Sep 7th, 2015, 02:50 PM
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Slinking as quiet as a hobgoblin, Ambareesh cringes when he hears Silwen's shout.

"What is that elf on about..." he grumbles to Nicolai. He had been making his way slowly back through the fog and appears a few seconds after the shout.

"Why don't you ring the dinner bell while you're at it?" he says roughly. "You'll have every enemy in the woods back on us within the hour shouting like that."

The hobgoblin does little to help with camp, except for unpacking his bed roll. He was a scout, and to him, the extreme risks involved with scouting work made him exempt from the mundane work of camp. Nestling up in his roll, he growls, "Wake me when they attack."
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Old Sep 8th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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One might have thought that after trekking all the way out into the middle of nowhere, fighting their way through some kind of insane kobold fire cult and their wyvern, then fleeing all night from a pack of hungry worgs and their hobgoblin masters, things couldn't get any worse. Tensenberg should have known better than to tempt fate.

He had been attempting to get a fire going while Ambaresh had scouted around the area. He hoped to get one going before darkness fell. It would have been faster to tear apart the ruined wagon and use that would, but Tensenberg didn't have the heart for that. Fortunately the one advantage to being lost in some gods-forsaken forest was that there was no lack of firewood to be found in the area, so it didn't take too long.

The fog continued to roll in as they all worked. And with it tensions in the camp continued to rise. Tensenberg didn't like that the fog would make it hard to detect anything moving out in the forest, but it seemed like it was more than just that was bothering some of the others.

"Are there any better ideas?" he asked, when the elf raised her objections to them stopping to make camp. "Unless you know of somewhere where we can find a nice inn nearby, I think our options for lodgings are rather limited."

As Ambaresh and Nicolai returned to the camp, the group began the process of breaking up into watches. Tensenberg shuffled his feet awkwardly, shooting a furtive glance towards the foggy forest. The idea of taking watch alone did not especially appeal to him. Fortunately, he had an out in this regard. "Ahem... well, if I am to be of any use at all in the morning, I require a full - unbroken - night's rest of eight hours." He shrugged and offered an apologetic smile, "You know how magic can be, I'm afraid." Or maybe they didn't. Aside from Susano, none of his companions appeared to be able to cast magic of their own.

"On the subject of magic, there is one thing I can do for you." Moving to the center of the makeshift camp, Tensenberg knelt down, closed his eyes and began to concentrate. He spoke a few words in a language that few men had spoken since time itself was young, and touched the ground. A glowing yellow ward flickered into being on the ground where he touched, quickly fading into invisibility. For good measure, he cast the same spell, slightly modified, a second time. "That will alert us if anything gets too close. It should last for ten hours." It might not have been the same as sacrificing sleep for the greater good of the group, but it was something.

Thus excused from the necessity of the watch duty, Tensenberg busied himself with getting ready to put in for the night. Barbarossa was glancing around nervously, especially towards the forest, but after everything the great beast had been through, Tensenberg could see he was almost ready to fall asleep on his feet. He laid a comforting hand on the elephant's snout, "Now, now Barbarossa. None of that. You'll not get any rest worrying about what's out there. Get some sleep, old friend. You've earned it."

As Barbarossa began to settle down, Tensenberg too tried to grab whatever sleep he could. Maybe if he was lucky he could get a full night in before something horrible happened.

 
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Old Sep 19th, 2015, 11:00 AM
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Ah, excellent. Strangers in the fog.

Well, one stranger, and an idiot. "Honestly, Nicolai, it's a wonder you don't get lost going to the water closet." But it begs a question of its own kind, one that Ezio is very fond of getting answered. Nicolai keeps doing what he does best, and that is being unexpected. Scabbard at the ready, Susano speaks grimly on the nature of the land. "Oh, excellent. First hobgoblins, now a poison, tainted land. I cannot be but surprised at this juncture." Rolling his eyes, Ezio removes the pipe, lets the smoke wallow within, and then blows it out, upward and beyond, joining the fog.

"And what exactly were you doing out there, Nicolai? If you don't mind me asking, and I know you don't." Replacing the pipe on the right side of his small mouth, it seems almost an interrogation, but Nicolai is not exactly beneath such methods right now. The last month has left much to be desired from his old friend.

Silwen speaks truthfully, here may not be the best place with a kind of poison in this land, but they have little choice. "Better we have them now while we're awake, than while you're taking a nap, Hobgoblin." He almost spits, but withholds. The Hobgoblin is not a bad fellow. Not truly. But Tensenberg, the great and powerful, casts a ward of sorts while explaining his magical needs. Ezio nods to his spell. "A saint, Master Tensenberg. Rest now, and prepare yourself for whatever poison this land might feel the need to inject into us."

Silwen offering to do watch, he offers for the second set of their time here, and promptly goes to sleep, humming as he goes.
 
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Old Sep 23rd, 2015, 01:48 AM
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DM Post #3

The Darkness Falls...

"What are you getting at, Ezio?" Nicolai sniffed defensively at the halfing's pointed question. "Like, I told the hobgoblin out there, I saw something in the fog and I stepped away from the group for the briefest of moments and found myself lost. It was like the land just shifted me away... I was scared manure-less, so I decided to try and make it back to you without hollering at the top of my lungs. Then I did it anyway when ninja hobgoblin there jumps out of the fog and nearly decapitates me."

"Anyway, look I know that some of the things I have done recently weren't exactly endearing, but just remember who gave a BUNCH of magic items from his own personal stash to increase our chances of survival out here." Nicolai said as he pointed to Ambareesh as he laid down to sleep. "If you still got doubts, you can ask him... he saw it, too... whatever is out there. If you are done giving me the third degree, let me get some rest so I can have something readied... something explosive, I am thinking.. for whatever it is out there."

With that, Nicolai places himself in the central most position in the circle and promptly goes to sleep. If whatever was out there had trouble seeing the group, it most certainly could hear them based on the heavy nasal snoring from the plus sized wizard.

Ezio thought hard about the land, but it was difficult to place exactly where they were based on the knowledge of somewhere in Kaer Maga and the general distances that were an estimation at best. The fog did not help and Ezio couldn't even really terrain associate. Still, he recalled some strange folk tales from Kaer Maga... a popular one being related to a hound of hellish origins that roams the fogs and drag unsuspecting souls to devour them. It was only a folk tale used to scare children from wandering off into the wilderness... but they say, every fairy tale there is a modicum of truth...

With the assurances of warding spell by Tensenberg, the rest of the party gathers itself feeling as safe as they could in the oppressive fog and placed themselves in as defensible a position as they could find as the fatigue and the strain of the past days trials catches up with them. Those pulling guard feel the powerful pull of sleep even as the danger of the unseen danger looms. Silwen fights off the tempting lure of sleep, instead keeping her mind on the wrongness of the area even as her exhausted body provided insistently a second opinion. Ezio is next and he is even more challenged as after a brief sleep he is awoken for his shift, stiff and sore as his body cooled down... but he too fends off the siren's call of sleep. Duncan answers the call and stoically stands his guard as Ezio nods to the stalwart fighter and under his watch and the spell surrounding them, finally gives into sleep's siren call and is fast asleep.

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The mortals inevitably succumbed to their own frailties as he always knew that they eventually would. Still he gave the jittery she-elf and the halfling who had begun to suspect something else at play a wide berth and the choice to wait had paid off as the edge of alertness progressively dulled throughout the night and with each successive guard. Finally, its moment had come and he would not waste a second... or a drop of energy. The time had come to strike at last...

It was the first meal of such kind in a very, very long, long time... he had forgotten the sweetness of the taste of it. Literally, his head swam with the heady rush of it... almost like he was drunk... so heady and full he was from his repast. The power of the souls that he had fed upon were powerful, strong, and enormously satisfying... it left him wanting... craving... more. He would have it... indulge in it... and giddy with the confidence that the strength of the meal assembled before him would make him strong enough to return to his master's side. But he was not yet strong enough to reveal himself to these mortals... not yet. For now he would stalk them... and strike at them while they least expect it.


"Holy manure! Its got me! Someone wake the F' up and save me!" Nicolai's frantic and surprisingly loud and effeminate shouting greeted those sleeping as they awoke to sounds of dragging and movement.

Susano sprinted from the other side of the camp where he had been pulling his final shift in anticipation of conducting his morning ritual to regain his goddess' divine blessing for a day that would undoubted be... IS filled with mortal peril. Apparently, mortal peril was an early riser. As the party, those that choose to, move to the effeminate sound of Nicolai panicking and they see a flash as Susano unleashes a fiery blast into the fog... presumably to chase off whatever had gotten Nicolai. The party scans the area, but of anything, sight or sound, only the sounds of the waking forest greeted their ears.

"It appears that you were very lucky... you and your bedroll both seem to be relatively unharmed and I see no visible signs of injury." Susano says as he relays the findings of his assessment of the portly wizard and his kidnapped bed roll. "It appears, Master wizard, we managed to chase off whatever it was that assailed you."

Nicolai begins his diatribe about Susano... about everyone realy downplaying the mortal peril that he... the rest of the party... had endured. It was quite an entertaining and marvelous performance by the portly wizard whose attempts at sympathy and seriousness would have been funny... if not for that mortal peril and the oppressive sense of evil. Carmichael and Duncan come rushing from the far side of the camp.

"All clear from our end, boss..." Duncan says as he reports informally to the group.

So the team re-groups and consolidate back together to prep their last minute items and spells. It was then what started out as an odd feeling transformed itself into startling realization.

Marcus and Hari were missing.

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Last edited by Xian; Sep 23rd, 2015 at 02:31 AM.
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 08:59 AM
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Ambareesh hears Nicolai painting pictures of what was seen in the woods, but the hobgoblin wasn't rushing to defend some hysterical fool -- despite the trinkets he had coughed up. "He'll be dead soon," he grumbles darkly, getting comfy in his bedroll as the others debate watches.

Morning comes stampeding in on Ambareesh's dreams. All around there were mounds of beef brisket, bacon, and roast turkey laid steaming before him. Hobgoblins grew fast and lived fast, so they were always hungry. He was just about to bite down on his first piece of bacon when Nicolai's screaming drifts through the haze. The dream feast disappears and he blinks his eyes open, only to be greeted by bright flashes from Susano's magic.

He's on his feet in a second with invisible mindblades ready but... the danger is already past. Striding over to the area where Nicolai was dragged, the scout inspects the tracks and gives the air a sniff with his broad, sensitive hobgoblin snout. As he does so, he mutters, "Where's Marcus and his feline lover?"

ActionAre we considered rested for the night?

Survival to identify the track.
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Old Sep 24th, 2015, 09:24 PM
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After her watch was complete Silwen sat down to rest and spent the next hour in contemplation with the divinity of Nature. She was of course rewarded by the renewal of her limited magics. Soon the Elfess was asleep and on to rest her physical body as well. Silver slept close to her and light enough to keep his mistress safe.

By morning the fog seemed no better save for the slivers of sunlight that tried to pierce her alabaster shell. Rising, Silwen sent Silver off to hunt his breakfast; she knew he would not wander far. Availing herself of some water from a skin, Silwen does her best to refresh herself but it seems the elements may win this round. Once she is done the Ranger looks around to refresh her bearings. Did anyone know where they were going? These last few days had been hellish what with her losses in both people and gold. Now this nonsensical fog; Silwen tries to recall anything else about it. Has she seen it before?

She is distracted by the Hobgoblin...
Quote:
"Where's Marcus and his feline lover?"
Moving to where Ambareesh was she looks around as well to see if there was some trace of their departure. “Who relieved them of watch? Could they have just wandered off to refresh themselves?" Silwen wonders aloud.

 
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Last edited by Digorig; Sep 24th, 2015 at 09:25 PM.
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Old Sep 25th, 2015, 01:01 AM
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"Manure-less? Hm. That explains the smell. An improvement; though, I'm not sure I should thank Ambareesh or scold him for scaring your poor little soul." Smiling, he looks to the Hobgoblin for confirmation of what Nicolai is saying, though he absolutely does not doubt it. Looking back to the fog, he waxes poetic on the modicums of truth, and the nature of that fancy word to begin with. He has a love of fancy words, modicum among them. Truth will out, though, and the fog is as good a place as any to out it. But it does not, and so, he sighs, rests, and watches, and not necessarily in that order. Ezio is restless of late. His cheeks more prominent, he is not quite the carefree Halfling he once was.

When Nicolai at last cries out, Ezio shakes away and draws his sword without a second thought, joining Susano and the others at Nicolai's side. There appears to be nothing, and yet... Biting his loser lip, Ezio keeps his sword at his side, vindicated when they realize Markus and Hari are missing.

"Quite a predicament.... but you know how cat-lovers are in the morning."

No, he doesn't. Looking around, he tries to make sense of all of this.
 
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