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<![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - scars_of_carma]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/10833-scars_of_carma Pen and Paper Games hosts a very powerful, but easy to seach and join database of players and game masters in the United States and Canada. Our forums are also a great place to find the most recent news, product releases, tips, and rpg discussion. en Sat, 30 Jul 2016 09:12:18 GMT vBulletin 60 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/pnpg_style/misc/rss.jpg <![CDATA[Pen & Paper Games - Blogs - scars_of_carma]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/10833-scars_of_carma Update on my life http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1299-Update-on-my-life Mon, 16 Aug 2010 04:42:21 GMT A few weeks ago I bought two used and non-running toyota supra turbo's. They were cheap cause one engine had a blown headgasket + two melted pistons and the other was even worse off with a big hole in the engine block.

Anyway I managed to build a running engine for one of the cars so now I am happily motoring around in something worth driving that also has a backseat for my son. :)

I've always said that rpg's are my secondary hobby next to cars but I am eager to drop the wrenches for a while. I have satisfied my need for transportation.

Unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll be able to relax anytime soon. My roommate can't meet his obligations anymore so I'll have to move. I'll probably leave town altogether and end up comuting back every week. I think I'll end up in the bay area.

Dunno when I'll be able to properly run a game again, (I'm posting this from my cell), but I'd still like to do so. I plan on jumping ahead in the timeline of Ayodya 15 years or so where "Blood on the Stones" left off. ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1299-Update-on-my-life
<![CDATA[I'm having a mid-life crisis!]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1241-I-m-having-a-mid-life-crisis! Mon, 05 Jul 2010 21:09:01 GMT So I have given ownership of my world of Ayodya on Obsidian Portal to Blydden. The world of Trel I give to Shadovar. They may use the material as... So I have given ownership of my world of Ayodya on Obsidian Portal to Blydden. The world of Trel I give to Shadovar. They may use the material as they wish and/or continue running games in those worlds as they wish. ]]> scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1241-I-m-having-a-mid-life-crisis! Blood on the Stones: Solo, Rylira http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1236-Blood-on-the-Stones-Solo-Rylira Wed, 30 Jun 2010 22:54:31 GMT Background
The Drow are invading Acamea! House Jael're has traveled from the Cormanthor forest through portals setup by their ally, Skellos the Slayer.

Player Characters

Rylira Jael're-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...ena-Starbreeze

A chosen heiress of the now dead-matron of her house... Rylira is plotting to avenge her and take her place. ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1236-Blood-on-the-Stones-Solo-Rylira
Blood on the Stones: Solo, Amaranth http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1230-Blood-on-the-Stones-Solo-Amaranth Tue, 22 Jun 2010 22:10:01 GMT *Background* It is the year 1425 in the Kingdom of Acamea. The Crusade of King Braden I is embroiled in violent battles all over the kingdom. ... Background
It is the year 1425 in the Kingdom of Acamea. The Crusade of King Braden I is embroiled in violent battles all over the kingdom.

Player Characters

Amaranth-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...p/9614-Blydden

Amaranth An elven ranger from the forest of Cormanthor, his village was slaughtered by drow and he was forced to step through a portal into The Wilds of Acamea. Now he wanders with no motivation besides revenge. http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...cters/amaranth ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1230-Blood-on-the-Stones-Solo-Amaranth
Blood on the Stones Act 2 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1202-Blood-on-the-Stones-Act-2 Sat, 22 May 2010 09:26:37 GMT _*Background*_ It is the year 1425 in the Kingdom of Acamea. The Crusade of King Braden I is embroiled in violent battles all over the kingdom.... Background
It is the year 1425 in the Kingdom of Acamea. The Crusade of King Braden I is embroiled in violent battles all over the kingdom. Recently, Castle Bedros has fallen to the Drow Menace.

Player Characters

Kom Stone-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...Cloaked-Figure
Kai-Mei-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...p/9614-Blydden
Rurik Dankil-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...10284-liverole
Rylira Jael're-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...ena-Starbreeze
Bayberry- http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...hp/12701-Stina

Kom Stone is a bastard-born battle-sorcerer of the Bedros family. Recently, he has rescued his cousin Alicia from the Drow. Together they are traveling to Realmadon to inform his uncle about the tragedy at home. http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...aracters/85023

Kai-Mei An assassin by trade, the Shadow-genasi has never known a normal life. His pain is deep, and his hate for others is all he lives for.

Rurik Dankil A proud member of the warrior caste of clan Firesmith in the Ironhorn Mts. He quests to avenge the death of his brother by the infamous, "Clanless," dwarven bandits. http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...s/rurik-dankil

Rylira Jael're A chosen heiress of the now dead-matron of her house... Rylira is plotting to avenge her and take her place.

Bayberry A halfling rogue from the infamous Dark Nest region of the Low Wood. An herbalist by trade, she has recently started buying land. http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...cters/bayberry

Weather and Season


It is early Spring in the Bedros province. Strong winds and icy rains quickly wear at lingering snows. White-capped mountains gleam in the sun but the blooms of spring are yet to come.

The terrain is hilly, hard and rocky. Stunted evergreens and hardy brush lay their roots wherever they can reach soil that is still in a state of permafrost. Farmers in this land usually must wait till late spring to lay hardy crops of barley, potato’s and sweet roots.

Act 2: Part 1 "Into the Shadows" First Session

So...I guess this is the end... But, I feel no hatred...no pain...no sadness? I thought...death was
supposed to be sadder... I guess my fellow genasi were correct...I was never supposed to exist...I
was waste...trash..But, if I was supposed to die...why am I not happy?...I do not know... Alicia......thank you...I guess I have to say that...at least to myself...while I will never repay you...thank you...for showing kindness...I guess...this was always meant to be my fate...to die...
Kai-Mei starts to radiate light...Why am I...glowing?...I feel...warmth......I guess I will never know... Kai-Mei vanishes into the ether. Gone. His possesions remain, but nothing is left of Kai-Mei as he dissappears...
_______________________________________________

As Kom and Alicia are camped two men approach the fire. One is short, bald and very strong. The other is taller with a huge greatsword on his back. The shorter one speaks first. "My name is Braxon Claithorn," He gestures to the big guy..."And he is Marcus Sutherland."

"Sirs, I am Kom Stone, son of Hage Bedros. She is Alicia Bedros, my cousin. We are refugees from Castle Bedros where the Drow attacked last night."

Braxon nods, starts to remove his armor to tend to a wound. "I did not know the Drow were so widespread already... We left the Cromwell peninsula a week ago at the behest of the King. He fought a great battle there I'm sure
you've heard..."

"I heard." Kom Answers. "We are currently on my way to Realmadon to try to alert our forces there that they are needed at home, though I am not sure what good that will do. I shot one of the drow several times and it didn't seem to phase him. Even my sorcery was ineffective. Combined with slime like Kai-Mei running around..." he sighs. "I don't know what to do. Now, I've explained myself, what are you doing here?"

The two men look at eachother. "We are also headed to Realmadon. The King wants us to deliver something to his champion, Sir. Romulus Reinhardt... who is the governor of Realmadon for the time being. Apparently, the usual channels through the royal mages are no longer secure... so we have to rely on hand-delivered messages for important matters."

Kom nods at their mention of the security problem. "When the Drow attacked us, they had some sort of secret weapon. Huge crystals rose from the ground, and even my father's magic faltered, while theirs
remained strong."

"Hmm... the dark crystals. Yes, we believe Skellos is behind that somehow. He did crush the entire Oak family castle with a flying dark-crystal palace some months ago... perhaps he is sharing that power with the Drow? We have no doubt they are allies."

Kom nods slowly, like an individual who sees no hope in the world. Braxon cringes as he stitches himself, coating the wound with hot
wax, then he frowns and pulls a small dart from his neck. When the dart is pulled out, a black hexagon forms where the dart once
was...it burns...it burnssssss like hell...

"Whats that?" Marcus asks... "A parting
gift from that assassin Kae Mei. He muttered something like his life has been a curse, and he wanted to share it with me... I think he meant it literally."

Kom sighs. "Kai Mei was my last hope for saving the soul of the man who more or less raised me. That's why I permitted him to travel with us. But there is no excuse for his behavior I apologize. He is dead then?"

Braxon shrugs. "I do not know. He fell, then he melted into shadows. He is gone."

Alicia frowns. "I am happy both of you are here. We would be grateful to have your company on our trip. I will try my best not to be a burden and slow you down."

Marcus shakes his head. "It would be my honor to escort you my lady. How do you think you should travel to Realmadon exactly? As the crow flies heading overland due east would be the
shortest route. Remember Spelltember is overrun with Drow, so that road would not be safe. There
is no word yet that the town of Freewell has been sacked however."

Kom disagrees. " I would travel by foot to Crownstone with hopes of acquiring
horses. If it isn't full of Drow too, that is. We could take the north road to Saddleburg, then cut east across country, and then take the south road once there, bypassing Spelltember entirely. Or, if the country is too dangerous, we could continue on the road north to Angevan, then turn south.

Braxon shrugs. "We could also go south to Holstein for horses. Odds are it would be
less risky than Crownstone if you are worried about Drow and the same distance away besides.."

Kom shakes his head. "True, but that means either crossing mountains, travelling all
the way through Pillan, or doubling back. We have seen no sign of Crownstone being ransacked. Yet."

Alicia chimes in. "That does make sense... your sister is in Crownstone as well at the Bedros Academy of Sorcery."

Marcus Grunts. "Very well Crownstone it is then."
_______________________________________________

By the light of a new morning, they walk westward to the road north to Crownstone. Along the way Marcus keeps talking about the perils they have already witnessed. Kom listens intently, trying to make sense of why and how everything in his life went wrong, and what he can do about it.

Marcus speaks of a huge naval battle off the western coast, between the kings navy and the pirates of the burnhardt family, in league with the exiled Rudhard Burnhardt and the cult of Skellos.... he speaks of massive camps of refugee's flooding out of Spell Haven fleeing the Drow. He witnessed Drow attacking theses camps outside of Ascalon, and he also mentions having to hide from minions and spies of Skellos.

"Kai Mei was a pawn of Skellos," Kom says, at the
mention of the dark one.

"Heh, I got that impression as well..." Braxon says scratching at the black mark on his neck.

"I am sorry. I have been a fool. I should not have brought him with us." Kom apologizes.
_______________________________________________

As they move north along the road to Crownstone, you see a crowd of people moving south. Most of them are commoners, dusty and tired from hasty travel.

"Uh oh..." Marcus says."Looks like more refugee's." He frowns.

Alicia bites her lip. "Then Crownstone..."

"We'll have to ask them." Marcus says. "Perhaps its just the fearful ones fleeing before they are attacked. The Drow have that effect on people seems like. As soon as they hear about a drow attack nearby, they pack up their things and flee. It's as if they have lost faith in their own leaders to defend them..."

"I pray that is the case." Kom says.

"Can we do anything to help them??" Alicia asks looking pitifully at the frightened children.

"The only way I can imagine we could help them is to get to Realmadon quickly." Kom answers.
_______________________________________________

By the afternoon, thy expect to see smoke or some sign of castle Bedros to the east. However, all they see is darkness on that horizon. It's as if those hills have been painted black. The sun recoils from the shadows of their former home. Ahead, the throngs of refugee's thicken, blocking the road somewhat.

Kom stops a citizen and asks him what has happened to Crownstone.

"It's them daaark elves!" He says wide-eyed. "They came in the night... killing indiscriminantly. They must've come up from the very ground! The great walls of the city did us little good I tell ye'!"

Kom shrugs helplessly to the others in the group.

The man goes on. "But tis' true they did not sack the city... not yet. But there are these big crystals see... they came up like giant spears... up through the streets and buildings. They keep popping up kinda regular-like... and each time a different part of the city goes black. It's like hell on earth! God help us! I left while I still could... no doubt there will be more of em comming... and I don't wanna be nearby when they do! I wanna put as much distance between me and those evil obelisks as I can before nightfalls again! Turn around I tell ya... there's nothing but death behind me!" He says and hurries off again.

Kom frowns. "Some of these refugee's
have horses... I suggest we buy what we need from these poor people and avoid Crownstone."

...end of first session
_______________________________________________

Act 2: Part 1 "Into the Shadows" Second Session

Prelude:

Jordan Bailey had aspirations that his son jason might one day become a knight and trained him accordingly. Sadly Jordan died when Jason was still young and the lad put aside that proud ambition for several years.

The Bailey family hailed from Whitby, an independent town with a perilous reputation close
to the Lightning Plains. Only the brave and enduring chose to live there. News of events in the Kingdom was slow to reach the frontier. For example It wasn't for weeks after the new king was crowned that Jason heard of it. Before then, all he knew of King Braden was he had a quarellsome reputation. He was the heir to the Cromwell Barony fighting with the Burnhardts, Duke Leontine and his own uncle to claim his right. However the queen pardoned him, and it was rumored he was in her favor. Then the queen was killed at the end of last year, and now it seemed Baron Braden was King Braden.

Than a couple months ago, Jason heard of a wicked cult seeding itself in the kingdom. Known as the Cult of Skellos, the Slayer. Soon afterward there were warnings of an outside menace invading the kingdom. A race of evil dark elves that have never been seen before. A few weeks ago, he heard that the King had called a crusade against the cult of Skellos and the dark elves, whom were believed to be allies.

Jason decided he must join this crusade and fullfill his fathers dream of becomming a knight.On his first stop In Westride rumors of invasion were rough on everyones tongue. The magnificent city of Spelltember, city of wizards was sacked by the dark elves. It was also in Westride that he heard about Romulus Reinhardt and his purpose in the city of Realmadon.

Jason knew that a knight had to be knighted by the king or another knight. He had to get noticed by the right people. After King Braden assumed power he created a personal order of knights, known as the Order of the Strutterrin. Unlike other knightly orders (such as the Order of the White Gauntlet), these knights were not only recruited from noble families. Strutterrin knights were expected to surrender any noble claims they might have when they took their oath. Thus, soldiers and adventurers had just as much right to accepted into the order without qualms or disfavor.

He heard that Sir Romulus Reinhardt was the head of the order, and the kings champion as well. By the kings bequest he has taken governance of the great city of Realmadon, to maintain the peace there since the king has recently declared that city a protectorate of the crown, where once it was independent.

Jason decided he wanted to offer his sword to the kings champion, but the road west to Realmadon was considered impassible to most travelers. Still he thought you should make haste, and last night you he camped near the city of Crownstone eager to make his journey. Then suddenly he saw smoke and fire rise from out of the city. For a glimpse he thought he saw some huge black crystal obelisk rising over the rim of the walls, when suddenly the city fell into gloom. Jason feared the worse.

He tried to approach the city to see what was happening. After hastily packing his things he started towards it under the stars. However each step he moved closer towards it seemed to bring him further into gloom. The stars dimmed above him and he could not avoid wandering off the road without a torch to guide him. Then the torch itself seemed to dim and he could not see much beyond its flickering flames.

Suddenly he heard hooves galloping towards him, and out of the darkness charged a horse eyes wide with fear. Blood was smeared over its hide lathered with sweat, and upon its back a boy gripped its reigns as if his life depended on it.

Jason managed to grab the horse though it nearly trampled him in the process. The boy fell from his saddle, and as he catched him he realized he was the source of the blood on the horse. The boy had two crossbow bolts in his back and one in his leg. He opens his mouth to speak, but he can only gurgle and wheeze. It was obvious he had a punctured lung and his skin was pale from bloodloss.
_______________________________________________

Whispers of the Drow

As a rogue in service to House Jael're she heard about a secret order known as the Darkmasks. These cleric/rogues were the elite of Vhaeruns clergy and they served the masked lord with complete devotion. It was known the Darkmasks were sworn enemies of Lolth.

Though she was now in Acamea she was not native to this world... She hailed from the forest of Cormanthor with the other surface drow of house Jael're. Life there was a challenge for her kind. They had no allies on the surface of Faerun. The only thing that came close were the Zhentarim, with whom they traded for information.

Being that her fellow drow were all of the same house it wasn't typical for them to steal from eachother. Those drow that served the nobles of course, were sometimes asked to kill their own kind to maintain order. Most drow rogues preyed on other surface races hoping to buy themselves favor and security within house Jael're.

She was very tallented in this regard. Her trophies and exploits earned her the respect of her peers and nobles alike. However, as a woman she was shunned from the religion of Vhaerun. Only the matron mother of her house, Ballebreeza, stood above the men. Other women merely served their lords and husbands. The society of Vhaerun was very different from that of Lolth.
_______________________________________________

Introduction:

Now on horseback Kom makes better time as he backtracks south through throngs of refugees... Away from the gloom spreading over Crownstone and Castle Bedros. Braxon and Marcus ride ahead of Alicia and Kom, while the pack mule follows on a rope tied to Koms saddle...

Among them the mood is grim. There was supposed to be safety in Crownstone, they looked forward to spending at least one night within its walls without fear. Now it seems there was no safe refuge. They may have to skirt civilization itself to reach Realmadon alive.

Braxon and Marcus talked in hushed debate. They were doing their best to keep their voices down if only out of deference to Alicia's fluttering heart. Before them weary travelers and their children moved aside with sad expressions. Alicia smiled at the children sometimes, but mostly she keeps her eyes downcast with her hands tightly gripped on the reins

Alicia had grown silent since this morning. She was brooding on the misfortune of her family and their people. As her old journal now sat with Kom she started on a new one, though she is remiss to try and explain her riddle-like thoughts.

"It's as if I don't know what I am going to write until I write it sometimes." She said. "A part of me feels... disconnected. I'm used to it but it is frustrating. I don't always know what to make of my visions and lately I feel very afraid. I feel cold, and my skin crawls as if something evil is watching me."

Kom has stayed solemn-faced and strong for Alicia's sake, though there is little truth to it. Torn between the knowledge that there was probably nothing he could have done and his old habit of blaming the misfortune of others on his own inaction, he has been downhearted all morning.
_______________________________________________

After a few hours in the saddle Braxon suggests they stop for lunch. "Better we eat our stores while we can. No telling if we'll have time to stop and enjoy a meal once we leave the road again."

"Braxon, if you weren't so ugly I might mistake you for a dwarf. You think with your stomach!" Marcus chides.

"Heh... I wish I were a dwarf, safe in some stone fortress in the mountains... Sounds better then keeping an ass like you company." Braxon retorts...

Soon enough they are sitting around a small cook fire while Braxon prepares a hardy meal of salted pork, strong cheese and black bread. There is even some ale to drink. On the roadway nearby, they are curious to see a pair of travelers headed north on horseback. These two are clearly not poor refugee's. The group seems to pique their interest as well. They ride up and politely asked for permission to join them.

The male was very tall and slender. His eyes and hair were golden, something else than human, but friendly-seeming. He carried a lute and a short bow. The girl is young, but not so much as Alicia. Her combination of Scarlett red hair and blue eyes made her quite striking. She carries a basket-hilt rapier with a red ribbon tied to the hilt. Around her neck is the red chess-piece of The Red Knight, Patron goddess of the Cromwell Family.

Kom greets them. "Hail, Cromwells. If your business is in Bedros, you may as well turn back. Drow have taken the Bedros province."

The golden-haired one nods solemly. "We heard as much from the refugee's. I am Elijah Mahdi, I am an aasimar if you hadn't noticed... and this lady calls herself Scarlett. We are bards, and we'd be happy to share stories with you. Also"... he adds a little more seriously. "We are being followed."

Kom would more than willingly listen to the tales had the events of the past few days not occurred. "Followed?"

"Well..." He looks at Scarlett. "It would be a strange coincidence if that wasn't the case. These men are very keen on keeping close to us. When we camp, they camp nearby... when we go into an Inn, they go into the Inn... etc."

"Besides shaking them, do you have any other reason to be
here?"

"Ahem..." Marcus interrupts. "That is a rude question to ask of a bardess of The Red Knight Kom. She may go wherever she pleases as far as I am concerned.... Hello my lady... I am Marcus Sutherland."

"Oh!, very pleased to meet you sir." Scarlett says bowing her
head to Marcus. "I have heard you are in the Barons favor, despite how recently you returned
home. It was interesting to know there are more Sutherlands about elsewhere in the kingdom."

Kom continues. "I'm not going to stop you. Just suggest that you seek a safer
location."
*
Elijah responds to Kom... "At this point I think there is more safety in numbers... and you look to be more capable warriors then most we've seen on the road lately. We mean no offense, I would not ask to endanger you if you preferred we did not."

"That's fair." Kom replies.

Braxon crosses his arms still chewing on his pork. "We uh..."
chew-chew "...are happy to share your company for now. Though I do not think you would
want to travel with us where we are headed." Chew-chew.
**
"We thank you anyway for your hospitality, we mean no intrusion... as a matter of fact we are on a rather dangerous journey ourselves." Elijah replies.

Alicia leans in your ear Kom. "Whats an aasimar?"

"They're good guys. They have a celestial in their bloodline."

The pair of bards share in the meal and speak a Elijah speaks a bit of their travels. "We volunteered to aid the crusade as messengers and informants. Scarlett here is devoted to her goddess for life but she is of noble birth. I am her guardian."

Alicia looks at Kom and says. "As am I, and he is my guardian." Kom forces a smile for friendliness' sake, but it is short-lived.

The conversation eventually got around to everyones plans, and Marcus explained he is a messenger of the King. "I must deliver a message to Realmadon." He says. "Braxon also volunteered for this."

"Oh?" Elijah says looking at Scarlett. "We are trying to do the
same thing. What an odd coincidence."

"Odd indeed. Three different groups from three different places with three different reasons, headed to Realmadon all meeting along the way." Kom comments. Chuckles followed his observation.

"This must be providance." Elijah says.

Marcus muses. "I wonder if our messages are the same? If that's true, what should we do?"

Kom replies, deadpan, "Go to Realmadon?"

"Right... but should we all go? Why risk six lives when two can get the job done?"

"Because there is strength and safety in numbers."

Braxon claps Marcus on the shoulder. "Don't wuss out now. One would think you were looking for an excuse to abandon our mission."

"Oh no not I." Marcus says straightening up. "Quite the contrary I was just thinking we are putting the ladies needlessly in danger."

Scarlett laughs. "I volunteered for this same as you. I have just as
much right to do my duty."

Kom mutters. "I can't think of any place I would consider safe between here
and Realmadon."

"Well, should we at least share our information so the odds are
better that both messages will get through?" Marcus says.

"We can't break the seals. If we do, the
messages are invalid." Scarlett says.

"Well, I doubt anyone would question our loyalty. We are all loyal Acameans serving the same king for the same cause."

"I think it would be best if the letters remained in their seals. It would not be well if the messages were delivered and not believed." Kom says.

"And I would question your loyalty for even suggesting that Marcus." Scarlett
says deadpan. "We can still help eachother without breaking our mandate and trust
as couriers."

Marcus looks flushed. "I meant... nevermind. Forget I said anything."

Scarlett chews on her meal. "I won't forget." A moment of tenseness seems to pass between them... Alicia sneezes.

Braxon stands up and walks towards some bushes.

"How are you holding up, Alicia?" Kom says changing the subject.

"I'm ok." She answers. "I'm happy to meet Scarlett. It's nice to have
another girl to talk too... since all my friends are..." she can't seem to finish her sentance.

Braxon sighs as he takes a long piss. He seems to look around, when he's finished he picks up a rock and throws it into a tree. He snorts, picks up another one and tries again. "Bah!" he says and walks back to the group.

"What were you throwing rocks at?" Alicia asks.

"This big raven." Braxon says. "It just stared at me. Kinda creepy. Didn't flinch at all when my rocks wizzed past him." Kom wonders if this is an omen.

Out of nowhere, an arrow pierces through Marcus' right hand... the same hand that threw the rock. The arrow has ravens-feather fletchings on it. Kom stands up with a start and looks around for the attacker. He spots nothing but a flock of ravens landing in nearby tree's. Kom remembers something like this from Draven's divination and grabs his morningstar.

"What the hell!" Braxon says staring at his hand in disbelief.

"Let me help you with that" Elijah says.

"Ravens-feathers!" Scarlett hisses. "Its the dark one!" She clutches at her holy symbol on her neck.

Another arrow whizzes by the aasimars neck and hits the fire sending coals flying.

"It's an ambush!" Scarlett says. "We need cover!"
Scarlett bolts for a nearby fallen tree snagging her crossboy off her horse in the process. Elijah seems very calm, and casts a healing spell on Braxon's hand. He pulls the arrow out. Marcus grabs his bow and follows scarlett, Braxon and Elijah go after him and Kom are alicia are last to act. Kom catches a glimpse of something with a beak aiming at them with a bow. He grabs Alicia and runs with her to the tree. Arrows fly into the rotten wood just as they hoped over it

More black feathered shapes circle and land in trees all around them.

"This isn't good." Scarlett says acting calm beyond her years.

end of Part 1....
_______________________________________________

Act 2: Part 2 "Leaving the Bedros Province" First session

Prelude:

Heading north from Ascalon Rurik asks passerby's if they've seen someone that meets the description of Markis Sutherland. Recently one of the refugee's said he spotted him with some others just up the road.

As he walks along the road he spot a flock of unnaturally large ravens descending into a clearing just ahead. Rurik gets a creepy feeling about the birds. He's heard rumors that ravens are spies of Skellos. He quickens his pace.

Introduction:

Meanwhile the rest of the party is surrounded by Skells. They are beside the road south of Crownstone in a small clearing. Around the clearing are wild shrubs and groups of pine trees. They are about 20 yards from the road and the creatures are all around the clearing in trees about 60 ft away.

The Skells caw and screech at eachother as if they are communicating. The fact they have bows of course obviously makes them something more then mere birds.

Scarlett suggests that they might try and make a run for it, but as if they overheard her the creatures turn the horses into pin-cusions ...

Kom aims his heavy crossbow at a Skell and the creature screeches its last and drops from the tree in a cloud of black feathers. It was holding a bow, and seemed to have some other items as well...

[IMG]!http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets...kell.JPG(Skell)![/IMG]

"Good shot!" Scarlett says and also fires her crossbow but misses. She curses.

Just then, an armored Dwarf runs into the clearing from the roadway. He see's lots of ravens, and freakish raven-creatures holding bows. He spots the party huddled behind a fallen tree.

The Skells start screeching even louder now at this unnexpected new target. Rurik heads towards the group and provides cover with his shield.

"Hmm, seems that a noble Dwarf has chosen to aid us." Elijah comments.

"Moradin help us what did you do to attract these damnable things?!"

"I haven't the slightest idea." Kom shouts.

The majority of the Skells seem to find the Dwarf an irresistable target. However the metal plated dwarf deflects all their arrows easily...

From the shadows of the trees. An observer comments to herself...good dwarf, draw their fire...

Kom casts Melfs Acid Arrow at another Skell and misses. The Skells caw in alarm. Then suddenly, from the shadows of a nearby pine a dark elf emerges!

She fires an arrow that flies directly over your heads of the party. A near miss. A moment later, a Skell falls to the ground with an arrow through its eye.

Kom ducks lower, having not seen the birdthing get shot. "Oh great, now the Drow are here!"

Rurik turns towards the drow "Come get some, I'll take the lot of you!"

The drow mutters under her breath, Bloody fools, doesn't they understand I'm helping them? Speaking up she says, "Perhaps we should finish off these skells first before picking another fight? Would seem prudent wouldn't it? Unless of course you would like to play with my arrows, which I assure you are far more deadly!"

"By the Red Knight!" Scarlett scowels.

"How interesting" Elijah says, "She seems to also dislike these creatures."

Kom tries to keep the party focused "Alright, focus your attacks on the birds, but try not to give that Drow a clear shot at you either."

Markis stands up ignoring Kom. "I have sworn an oath to destroy your kind drow *****! Why don't you come a little closer."

Kom curses "Markis, get down, you fool!"

The drow Laughs. "Oh have you now? I think i like my tree just fine thank you, perhaps you would want to come over here to talk, I'm sure your friends in the trees would be happy to fill your rear with needles!"

As if to emphasis her point an arrow hits Markis in the shoulder. He ignores it like a mere scratch, but there is poison on the arrowhead.

The drow laughs louder. "Just like that, perhaps you should listen to your friend there?" She grins at the foolish lesser race.

Braxon laughs at the absurdity of the moment. he seems to be easily amused.

Meanwhile the Skells realize they don't have the party outnumbered by much anymore. It is obviously they are very angry at these change of odds. After a couple more volleys, they take to the air again with a thunderous beating of wings and angry caws.

Watching them take wing, and not wanting to waste her valuable arrows on their fleeing shapes she peaks around the tree at the party again. "So human, what say you? You want to dance to my arrows or shall you think for a moment. I know it may be hard but perhaps theres a reason I was helping you against your enemies?"

Rurik grunts. "The drow can not be trusted but there is something to what she says" Kom reloads his crossbow.

"I have also swore an oath to destroy you." Scarlett says. the firery-haired bardess stands beside Markis. "Why should we believe anything you say?"

"Perhaps you should hear what I have to say, because I may have knowledge about where the invasion may go? Or perhaps I have inside knowledge about the leaders of the invasion you seem so helpless to stop? Or, perhaps I do not approve of the invasion itself? And maybe I want to help you turn it back?"

Kom calls back. "Explain why you just happened to show up just now. Why here, why us?"

The drow answers. "Ah those are good questions..."

"Hah!" Markis spits. "the drow b***h speaks with a forked tongue. I say we let her speak after we have her in chains!"

The drow laughs loudly. "I dare say you spit fire, perhaps someone with brains should make the decisions here?"

Kom frowns. "A forked tongue may still reveal the truth with the lies. Let her speak, so we can sort out which is which."

The Drow continues. "Not all drow who came are from my house, these other drow may be useful to interrogate. You have to ask yourself, do you want your land to be lost to Skellos or would you perhaps like to fight back?"

Rurik takes a step towards the tree. "I'll get her, no drow backstabber will get through dwarvencraft plate!"

Kom counsels. "Patience. Let's at least hear her out." He calls out to the drow again. "Of course I would like to fight back against Skellos. What do you propose?"

The drow Comes out from behind the tree, arrow nocked to her bow but not drawn. In an even tone she says. "Perhaps you would do well to keep your distance there dwarf, else you may have to test your theory." Raising her voice to be clearly heard "I propose an ... alliance, with you, you fight the invasion, so do I. You are floundering in the mud while I posses information which you could use, now of course I am alone, lacking allies, you could be of help to me. Just so your simple minds understand what I am saying i will repeat, I will give you information, targets of who is important in the invasion, and you will provide the muscle... AND as a token of what information i can provide, Sigal Jael're is the name of an important man in the invasion. Kill him, and you would do well to destablize things."

Kom considers what she says but his crossbow, pointed at her torso, hasn't moved an inch.

"Well this is a nasty situation" Rurik observes.

Kom answers. "On the one hand, if what you are saying is true, then you could be a great boon to us. On the other, Drow are not known for their honesty. You could be a spy."

The drow answers. "You have not been very quiet in your run from castle bedros. I have watched you since you left there, now I could have killed you at any time since then and taken your friend Alicia back to them, if i WAS a spy wouldn't i have done that long before now?"

Kom turns to his cousin for an opinion. "What do you think, Alicia?"

Alicias eyes are colder then he imagined they could be. "I want to see her die. Have you already forgotten what has happened to our family cousin?! It might not make any difference... but I would like to see her blood on the stones... where it will noursih nothing."

The drow responds. "Actually, if you were to kill me, I dare say it would make a big difference, infact probably be under the thumb of Skellos within the year."

Rurik grunts. "I'd rather not have to clean her guts off Hurtag if I can go without" Rurik lowers his axe and starts walking over to inspect one of the fallen skell warriors, best not get involved with the human business he groans inwardly.

Alicia whispers to Kom. "I realize now that she's the reason i've felt like something evil has been watching us."

Kom speaks to Alicia. "I have not forgotten the murders. I have not forgotten the dark crystals. I have not forgotten seeing my home plunged into darkness. But if leaving this one, evil or not, alive means saving the rest of our people, so be it."

The drow watches the dwarf closely as he moves off. If things dont go well shes sure he will be ready and willing to bury that axe into her.

Kom observes. "She entered the battle in our favor, when she could have ambushed us while we were distracted by the birds."

"So then we are in agreement then?" The drow says in a tone of boredom, her body seemingly relaxing though her hand on the bow never wavers.

Elijah speaks up on Koms side. "Unlike you humans here, I have seen Drow before on other worlds. They are not to be trusted, but even so, an enemy of our enemy can be useful to us. Drow are very clear about who their enemies are, and they are more interested in backstabbing their own kind. In this at least, I believe her when she says she's working against those that are helping Skellos."

Kom nods. "Then I say we should give her the benefit of the doubt."

On the Skell Rurik finds a short bow and a short sword. (snall sized) The creature is quite foul up close. It would probably not do well to touch it.

Seeing at least some kind of consensus amoungst the group the drow slides her arrow quickly and smoothly into a quiver at her hip. Her black skin mades a striking contrast to her metalic silver hair and eyes, while her cloths are all dark colors, black and dark green covering her torso and legs while leaving her arms bare. Her dark leather boots are almost knee high and look sturdy in their making. Her bow looks well crafted with what appears to have screaming faces in various forms of pain engraved

Braxon speaks. "I'm sorry Markis but I swore no oath. She doesn't scare me." He hmphs and crosses his arms...

"Markis you say?!" Rurik shouts from where the Skell fell. "He wouldn't happen to be a nobleman would he?"

"Aye what of it?" Braxon calls back.

Rurik rejoins the group and approaches Markis. "I've been looking for you. I heard you have some dwarven contacts, I need to get in touch with them"

Rylira just shakes her head, perhaps regretting her choice in muscle already. "Perhaps this is something that should be talked about on the road? I doubt those skell will sit idle while you chitchat about finding some dwarves now will they?"

Markis looks at Rurik more closely as if trying to decide something about him. "I have many contacts, you'll have to be more specific."

Kom mutters. "Damn. We're back on foot-- we'll never get to our destination at this rate."

"Well if we are headed somewhere, where would you have us go Drow?" Braxon asks.

Meanwhile Rurik speaks to Markis. "Allow me to introduce myself first. I am Rurik Dankil of the Warrior Caste, descendant of Iral Dankil of the Warrior Caste. I come from Clan Firesmith. The dwarves I am looking for have been associated with recent terrorist activities against our great community."

The Drow answers Braxon. "Perhaps to the city of Tiberius, i hear they have good wine. Also happens to be the the location of a safe house for the leader of a group of drow, or have you forgotten his name already? I believe the province is called Sighelm?"

Markis responds to Rurik. "Err... pleased to meet you." Markis says carefully. "I know your Clan, very honorable. I think you are referring to the ones that call themselves the clanless?"

Ruriks face twitches ever so slightly "Yes, those are the ones"

"Well I can assure you I am no friend of theirs. I did meet a few of them at an Inn a few days ago. Very rude and rowdy bunch, a shame to their race!"

"If the ancestors will it, I shall have those responsible brought to justice before this drow invasion makes travel impossible"

Markis Answers. "Well, those dwarves I met told me they were looking for some other dwarf, named Tura... Blackaxe if memory serves."

Kom makes up his mind. "We should get moving. Every second we delay, my people suffer."

"And every second we delay means a greater chance that he may not be there. And i would sorely be disappointed if hes missed." Rylira says.

Kom nods. "You know where we're going, Rylira, and I don't completely trust you, so you'll lead the way. We can talk as we walk."

Rurik considers the information. "Blackaxe... sounds familiar, although the origin eludes me"

Rylira says. "Why of course, surely I wouldn't expect you to know the way." She jabs at him. She starts heading out south eastish from here.

Markis continues conversing with Rurik as they walk. "I did not know where this Tura was, and even if I did I wouldn't have told them."

Kom can't help but overhear their conversation. Tura... Blackaxe... "Oh! I remember where I've heard that name before. I talked to him the night before the invasion."

Rurik turns to Kom. "Tell me everything"

Kom answers. "He said he was being followed, and was sent to deliver something. I think I have what he was sent to deliver."

"Might I have it?" Rurik asks. Kom hands over the scrap of journal parchment.

Rylira watches the exchange carefuly, trying to figure out exactly how everything fits and who is truely the leader, for it seems Kom is at the moment anyway.

Rurik notices immediately the journal is written in Dwarven script. It appears to be a journal entry... of King Malkor! The last living king of the BlackAxe clan, before he and so many others were so tragically lost when some great evil sprang up inside Thrakral, their ancestral home in the dragonhorn mts. "This is a great piece of dwarven history, a page of king Malkor's journal." He says.

"There was an assassin after this, but he's dead now. I know beyond doubt that he was a minion of Skellos." Kom says.

Rurik starts to read the journal entry out loud... "For several month's now we have been trading goods with Mr. Hargus Twenty, a merchant of Realmadon. Until now I have had no reason to doubt our business relationship, however today I heard a rumor that must be investigated. According to one of our brothers in Realmadon Hargus has been passing off cheap knock-offs as our own fine crafts! I have instructed guild representatives to find proof..."

"next entry ...Today I hear that it has been confirmed that Hargus has been underhanded in his dealings with us. However I am shocked to hear that the merchant council in Realmadon have refused our request for justice. It seems Hargus has more influence then I thought. But no matter, I have organized a warrior party to pay Hargus a visit. If dares to deny his guilt and return our goods at no cost he should be glad that I don't do more then destroy his shop and his reputation!..."

"...next entry... The war party I sent to visit Realmadon has returned. It seems Hargus was rightfully intimidated and pleaded forgiveness for his wicked scheme. He has returned our goods and admitted his guilt to the merchant council of Realmadon. I doubt his punishment will be severe since the ruling family seems to be protecting him... Also, he offered a small treasure as a sign of good faith. It is fascinating but something about it unsettles me..."

"...last entry... (scrawled much more hurriedly then the others) We are doomed! I was right to be weary of this thing Hargus sent us. It seems to be a gateway to some hell I do not recognize. There were voices... the air is heavy with some stale odor of ancient death... I have ripped out this page of my journal and attached it to a messenger bird. I pray that someday this evil will abate us and someone can find the rest of my journal... perhaps it holds clues that escape me. Farewell... ...the end."

"Sounds like fun." Rylira says though her voice holds no sarcasm and she truely thinks it would be fun.

Rurik of course does not hear the meaning behind the words. "Show some respect you inbred forest mongrel! These are the last words of a great king faced with the demise of his people, to experience what he did would surely bring Moradins eye to you. We should visit Realmadon and seek out this merchant next an opportunity rises."

"I doubt he'll still be alive after all this time, unless he's an Elf." Kom says.

Rurik ponders this. "His trade company might hold records?"

Scarlett speaks up. "I know something of this. In my studies at the church of the red knight there was mention of a Hargus Twenty from Realmadon. It seems he was cast out of the city in disgrace before he used his fortune to start a small war. It was in that war that the last king of Acamea was slain. Afterwards the queen ruled for the last 30 years... and Hargus himself fled into the Wilds beyond Realmadon. He was never seen again."

Kom smirks. "Probably eaten by some wolf. Serves him right."

Rylira chuckles. "Among my people you are only great if you survive your schemes intact."

Scarlett continues... "I am also aware that some of Hargus' relatives still live. It seems he was found of brothel houses in small towns. He was so impressed by one he bought the whole town... which too this day is still called Twenty Town, and the mayor is a descendent named Dondarion Twenty. I've met him before. He says his mother was married to Hargus Twenty. She too, still lives and still runs the same brothel house. Though, I do not think being married to a kings-slayer did her business any good... but there are plenty of unsavory types that visit that place for that very reason."

Rurik smiles at Scarlett. "Moradin bless my meeting you for this would surely have taken many weeks for me to figure out alone."

Scarlett nods at the Dwarf. "As a follower of the red knight I study battles. I only know of Hargus because he was involved in the most infamous battle in Acamean history. That's why I spoke with Dondarion, but he didn't have much to say about that. He never met Hargus himself, he told me to speak with his mother, but... somehow it felt wrong to walk into that brothelhouse so I never got the chance."

...end of First session
_______________________________________________

Blood on the Stones: Act 2: Part 2 "Leaving the Bedros Province" Second session

The walk south is tiresome and not a little disheartening. They pass several groups of tired, hungry refugee's. Rylira has to be verrrry careful about keeping herself well hidden for obvious reasons.

As dusk settles, they find themselves nearing the foothills of the Ironhorn Mts.

"Ah, the Ironhorn Mountains, home of my clan. Can't imagine better scenery." Rurik says admiringly. "I am undoubtedly best suited to lead us through these mts. I am quite familiar with them."

He continues. "Of course, I don't think I'd want to visit any of my old stomping grounds with a drow in our midst... chances are that'd would be very hard to explain... Ahead of us by this road, through a pass, lies the human town of Holstein."

Rurik glances at Rylira. "However I'm sure its probably out of the question for her to walk around a human town, much less stay at an Inn."

Rylira Agrees. "I believe it owuld be much quicker to our goals to bypass this small town."

Rurik nods. "In that case it might be better to step off the road entirely at this point and skirt
the foothills to the south-east, through the borders of spell haven down into the sighelm province. I know some shortcuts."

Rylira shrugs. "Shortcuts are fine as long as they don't lead to .. dead ends." She says with a
slight smile.

Rurik hmphs. "Wouldn't really be a shortcut then would it?" Rurik says not following Rylira's sense of humor. "Follow me." He says slowly trod ding off the road into the foothills.

"So Elijah, everyone but you have shown their colours. What kind of surface dweller are you if you don't mine me asking? Any odd beliefs or wierd customs I should know about?" Rurik asks.

"I'm not surprised you haven't seen my kind before noble dwarf, I am an Aasimar, and a chosen of Magnus. I am a friend and teacher to Scarlett and I have the utmost respect
for Acameans and their neighbors. It is my goal to help restore peace to this land. The
loss of Spelltember troubles me deeply."

Rurik nods. "I reckon an Aasimar must be like our paragon firesmiths. They're the ancestors chosen ones." Rurik knows little of surface dieties and starts pondering this Magnus. "Does Magnus show himself to you?"

"Magnus has not spoken to me of late. I fear the death of so many of his followers have weakened him. Still I must do what I can." Elijah answers.

On the wind Rurik detects a shout comming from the hills nearby. He looks back towards the others as he pulls out Hurtag and dons his shield, telling then what he heard.

Rylina Says quietly, "I don't hear anything over your rattling dwarf ...." but she knocks an arrow none the less. Kom also readies his crossbow.

"Rylira, scout ahead, they'll hear me coming for sure." Rurik says this as he continues on in a slow and steady pace."

Rylira looks at him with a slight narrowing of her eyes. "You don't give me orders dwarf, but it is sound advice ... you could wake the dead." She move off towards the direction he points.

Though it is quickly getting dark the dwarf moves so slowly those with human eyes manage to follow without breaking their necks.

Meanwhile up ahead Rylira spots the cause of
the shouting. A man in very odd, and very fine, garb is being accosted by a group of brigands.
However, the brigands are themselves being accosted by a group of dwarves... with an ogre. They seem to be arguing about who gets to keep the rich man as a prisoner. It seems they are near to fighting over him. She estimates there are a dozen humans (including the leaders) and eight dwarves.

Rylira rests behind cover, waiting for the rest to come up, thinking quickly ... and wondering why dwaves would be standing with an ogre. She listens to what they say, wondering
who this man is, not really caring too much about both sides, but why do they want him?

As the rest of the group comes up behind her and witnesses the scene Rurik realizes right away that these must be clanless dwarves. The same sort that killed his brother. After all no self-respecting mountain dwarf would ever associate with an ogre. They were far enough out of the foothills that they were in clanless territory, or so they claimed.

Rurik almost snarles in a low voice "Clanless! ...despicable halfbeings that call themselves dwarves."

Kom recognizes the hate in Rurik's expression. "I think we should wait for the two bands of renegades to do battle amongst themselves. The survivors will be weakened and easier to deal with."

"We should confront them immediately." Rurik says nearly knocking Rylira aside in his eagerness to do battle. Kom winces. He was certain his idea was more tactically sound.

Rylira considers retaliation against the dwarf for almost walking over her but oddly is not so eager to spill blood as he is. Instead she reaches out to grab him by the shoulder. "What Kom says is right. If we attack now we unite them together. I would prefer you not rush to your death so hastily as long as you are of use to me."

"I do not think only for revenge! That prisoner may not have a chance for rescue once the fighting starts." Rurik says shrugging her off.

Rylira argues. "Think for a moment! ...If you have any brains inside that thick skull... The prisoner has the best chance of survival, and so will we once they start killing each other. Maybe you can't count but they outnumber us by more then two-to-one!"

Rurik grits his teeth. "Fine! Have it your way... ...forgive me ancestors, moradin bless you Jihan..." Rurik prays thinking of his brother, his honor, and his vow for vengeance.

Rylira chuckles. "Stop grumbling before i take your voice box out." She says cheerfully.

"You'll get your chance, Rurik," Kom says, noting the dwarf's agitation, "but the time is not yet right."

There are about a dozen humans, and nearly as many dwarves, but the ogre would count for at least 6 men so it would seem that the dwarves should have the humans intimidated but that isn't the case. The humans actually seem feverishly eager to do battle, and it is only their pair of leaders that hold them back.

Scarlett realizes something. "Hey! those are the two men that were following me and Elijah earlier!" she whispers.

Meanwhile the dwarves seem to be loosing patience and the ogre is grunting and stomping waving a massive club. The two human leaders seem to be at their wits end, but instead of sending in their men to attack something appears to swoop to their aid.

From the dark sky, a huge skeletal bird swoops down and slashes at the ogre with black talons. The Ogre is momentarily startled to be sure, but quickly throws up his club to block the lethal talons that might have torn his head off!

...end of second session
______________________________________________

Blood on the Stones: Act 2, Part 2 "Leaving the Bedros Province Third session

"Bless us Moradin! It's... skeletal!" Rurik gasps.

"See, this sort of thing is why it's good to observe the situation before charging in." Kom observes.

Rylira nods. "I find myself agreeing with you."

The sudden appearence of such a frightening creature shocks the dwarves into a panic. The humans must be somehow partnered with the bird as they are not frightened of it. They immediately take advantage of the distraction and attack.

Rylira says "Lets move up, get in a better position to reach that prisoner."

"I agree." Kom says. "Alicia, please wait here. Elijah, please look after her until we call for your aid."

Rylira starts moving up, quickly and quietly as only one of her kind can be.

"Yes lets get closer." Rurik starts hustling towards the fight, assuming they are too preoccupied to notice him.

Among the brigands the leaders do not rush into battle themselves. One of them has the prisoner in hand with a short sword against their back, and the other notches an arrow to a bow. The rest of the brigands charge around them. There is a clash of steel and shield and flesh. Several of the dwarves are wounded by the initial onslaught!
*
Kom realizes it will take the party several minutes to move up while sneaking in this relatively open terrain. The six-foot-six Markis, in Banded mail, with a massive great sword
is even harder to hide then the dwarf!

Kom notices one of the leaders heads snap in your direction. He is short, and quick looking with the eyes of a hawk. The other one holding the bow is of more average height and build.

The freakish bird has to gain more altitude before he swoops down for another attack giving the Ogre a chance to do some harm to the humans... The brute has no trouble swinging his tree trunk over the heads of his dwarven compatriots.

One of the human warriors gets swatted out of the fight by the Ogres massive great club. He lands in a heap nearby. Meanwhile the dwarves counter-attack. They seem to be more disciplined but less ferverous then the brigands. They only manage to wound 3 of the humans.

The party is now a bit closer to the fight as the bird swoops in for another pass at the ogre. Black talons rake across its shoulder causing the Ogre to duck and shout.

Meanwhile Rylira curses at Markis. "Markis you blundering fool, keep moving forward but don't try and hide. The humans have spotted you so don't make yourself look like a threat."

"Shut up shadows whore!" he curses at Rylira... but he does seem to realize that he is spotted so he starts to walk forward without hiding any longer.

Rurik also merely jogs forward without any attempt at stealth determined to kill the Ogre as a great enemy of the firesmith clan.

Recovering hits wits the Ogre swings again at the humans pulverizing the earth, but narrowly misses hitting anyone. The dwarves press their counter attack but one of them creates an opening. One of the humans steps forward to try and attack the open-dwarf when his neck is cut open by one of his companions... he falls to the ground clutching at blood oozing between his fingers. Three other humans are wounded by the dwarves, bringing the total of wounded humans to 6 out of 9, and the total number of dwarves to 7 wounded out of 7.

The bird attacks again. Again the Orgre is wounded by the birds vicious talons. The humans attack and one of them dies... 4 dwarves are killed. now they are outnumber the dwarves 2 to
1 again. One of the dwarves goes for a horn. The human leader with the bow tries to hit him with an arrow before he can sound it. He narrowly misses. A deep throbbing HARROOOOO echoes
through the hills.

Rylira thinks to herself, Interesting .... more dwarves will be coming it seems. Best take the prisoner and leave then ... "I think we best be quick about this if we want to get the prisoner away alive, don't you agree?" The drow darts off into the shadows and is gone! only the dwarf
might spot her now with his darkvision.

*The Ogre, sensing that his allies are loosing swings even harder and wider with his club hoping to injure more then 1 human with his swing...he is not successful... his clumsy swing puts him off balance. The dwarves are fighting for their lives now. One more human is killed.

Rurik things to himself... I wonder where that damn bird went? Then suddenly, Rurik is clutched in its talons and carried aloft!

Rylira is the only one with a readied missile weapon. She fires an arrow at the birds wing hoping to cripple it. But misses! Damn...

The bird stubbornly clutches to Rurik as it starts to gain altitude. Rylira attempts a second shot, and hits! The bird starts to flutter out of the sky but Instead of dropping Rurik, its going to slam its full weight on him as it crashes into the ground!

Rurik shouts a mighty battle cry as he grapples with the giant bird. They are falling like a rock and the birds injured wing prevents it from landing at all gracefully. They impact the earth like a meteor! The ground shakes! Dust, Feathers, stones, and shattered bones go flying!

...end of third session.
_____________________________________________ ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1202-Blood-on-the-Stones-Act-2
Happy Birthday Bly! http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1117-Happy-Birthday-Bly! Tue, 20 Apr 2010 07:22:28 GMT Image: http://cdn.obsidianportal.com/assets/11281/Bly_s_Birthday_Comic.jpg ]]> scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1117-Happy-Birthday-Bly! Blood on the Stones Act 1 http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1115-Blood-on-the-Stones-Act-1 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 23:35:26 GMT _*Background*_ It is the year 1425 in the Kingdom of Acamea. The Crusade of King Braden I is embroiled in violent battles all over the kingdom.... Background
It is the year 1425 in the Kingdom of Acamea. The Crusade of King Braden I is embroiled in violent battles all over the kingdom. Recently, Spelltember, capital of Spell Haven was sacked by drow.

Player Characters
Kom Stone-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...Cloaked-Figure
Kai-Mei-http://www.penandpapergames.com/foru...p/9614-Blydden

Kom Stone is a bastard-born battle-sorcerer of the Bedros family. He earns a living running a small smithy in town but business is slow in these dark times. He’s decided to set out and try and make a difference and restore peace to the land. http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...aracters/85023

Kai-Mei is originally of The World of Toril but has appeared here in rather mysterious circumstances. An assassin by trade, the Shadow-genasi has quickly availed himself of the fear and chaos in Acamea to find lucrative contracts.http://www.obsidianportal.com/campai...acters/kai-mei

Weather and Season
It is early Spring in the Bedros province. Strong winds and icy rains quickly wear at lingering snows. White-capped mountains gleam in the sun but the blooms of spring are yet to come.

The terrain is hilly, hard and rocky. Stunted evergreens and hardy brush lay their roots wherever they can reach soil that is still in a state of permafrost. Farmers in this land usually must wait till late spring to lay hardy crops of barley, potato’s and sweet roots.

Act 1: Part 1, “Blood on the Stones”

Kom Stone locks up shop and goes to speak with his mentor and real father-figure Royal Mage, Draven BlackCloak seeking advice. Instead Draven asks him for a favor, he needs a trustworthy messenger to carry the will of the Baron to his relatives in Realmadon.

Draven also spots a nervous dwarf dropping an envelope in his message-box, which turns out to be an important piece of evidence Dravens been seeking for years. After a small chat Draven asks Kom to return later after he's done a bit of research.

Kai-Mei arrives in town that day in pursuit of Tura BlackAxe, a dwarf who carries valuable information. He’s been hired to kill Tura and retrieve the information he carries. Tura has thus far evaded him for weeks, and the shadow-genasi has lost his verve for the hunt. He waits till nightfall to seek out his quarry, hoping to fulfill his contract as soon as possible.

Kom decides to stop by his favorite tavern, The Iron Ales to say goodbye to a few friends before he goes on to meet Draven. He spots the nervous dwarf responsible for that mysterious envelope in a shadowy booth in the corner of the room.



Moments later, Kai enters the tavern by mere coincidence looking for that same dwarf. However, not being aware that either PC has reason to take note of his presence Tura continues his musing, much to his dismay...

Soon after four other dwarves enter the tavern. It turns out Kai is not the only person(s) seeking Tura, who is aware of their intentions and therefor immediately bolts into the kitchen. Three of the four dwarves bolt after him while the fourth heads for the front door.

Kai tries to cut them off but ends up between their leader and two of his men. A melee ensues, with Kai seriously wounding one dwarf, and Kom seriously wounding the other. Both dwarves withdrawal preferring to live to fight another day.

Kai and Kom take off through the kitchens in pursuit of the other two dwarves. They find them facing off in an alleyway and manage to intimidate the other dwarf to flee the scene. Unsure if he is safe or not Tura hesitantly surrenders.

Kai begins a furious search of his possessions searching for this “valuable information” he’s supposed to be carrying. Kai then starts to threaten Tura which rubs Kom the wrong way.

A struggle ensues, Tura gets away while the two PC’s grapple. Kai sticks one of his masterwork daggers into Kom, and manages to run off before the town guard arrive leaving Kom wounded and very confused.
_______________________________________________

Thyos Session 1 coming soon
______________________________________________

Act 1: Part 2, “Nightfalls”

After Kom speaks with the city-guard about the incident at The Iron Ales he makes his way to Dravens tower. He kept the masterwork dagger Kai stabbed him with in the hopes that the wizard might divine something from it. In the meantime, Kai is resting in the shadows recovering his strength.

When Kom arrives at the Royal Mages tower Draven is happy to see him. “I want to introduce you to someone!” He says. Rongbulle Bigbladder is a gnomish knight and another old friend of Dravens. “He is to accompany you to Realmadon.” He says matter-of-factly.

Kom and Ronbulle exchange some small talk but they are both surprised to hear about Koms recent fight. Kom asks Draven if he can make anything of the dagger? “Indeed I can lad!” Draven says placing it carefully on a rune-stitched cloth. The Wizard shushes his guests and starts to murmur arcane syllables. On the table the dagger rises and hovers before him.

Around it the air shimmers and an image of Kai appears, still resting in the shadows. “Thats him that’s the assassin!” Kom says.

“Hmm, strange this one is, not of this world… but evil I think not. You must remember Kom, evil deeds do not always have evil motives. We must learn more about him before we make a hasty-judgement.”

Thus Draven continues to concentrate on his spell, the air shimmers again, this time it shows Kai travelling westward on a road. The scene skips back again, Kai is seen going into a dark castle beneath mountains further east. Draven gasps. “I cannot see into this castle.” He says “It is warded with powerful magic.”

“Whomever he is, he’s got do be dealt with soon.” Rongbulle interrupts. “I don’t want his sort on our trail.”

“I do not believe he came here to stop me from doing anything.” Kom interjects. “He was looking for something in that dwarf’s possessions, which reminds me Draven, I’m pretty sure I saw that dwarf put something in your message box earlier today!”

“Hmmm…” Draven ponders. “That dwarf must have been the messenger I was expecting. I did not imagine that scrap of parchment was worth someones life! That in itself tells me something…” Draven begins to murmur again and the air shimmers once more.

This time the scene goes further back into Kai’s past. Kai is crawling in the snow, around him a flock of ravens are cawing and pecking at him. A dark figure appears before him. Kai looks up to see a grinning skull beset with bright red eyes beneath the hood.

Draven gasps and the dagger falls to the table. “It is worse then I thought! He is hisss!” A chill fills the room. Draven appears to shiver and wobble on his own legs. He picks up the dagger with a trembling hand and turns to Kom stuttering, “K-Kom, I, I cant…”

The gnome senses something is wrong but it is already too late, Draven plunges the blade through his own eye and falls in a heap!

Agape with shock and horror Kom runs into the castle to find a healer while Rongbulle flee’s into the streets. He ends up in a tavern muttering to himself those eyes… those bright red eyes…

Meanwhile Kom is scolded by his father Hage Bedros. "How did you not know what you were dealing with!"

Kom is at a loss for words. Everyone seems to presume he is somehow tainted by the evil that killed Draven. The priests lock him out of the church and the scene ends with Kom holding his head in his hands.
_______________________________________________

Thyos Session 2 coming soon
_______________________________________________

Act 1: Part 3 “Surprise Attack!”

Recovered now from his wounds, Kai finds Tura hiding in a sewer and proceeds to question him by dunking his face into the water.

“I-I gave the note to the Royal Mage! It was a page torn from a journal.” He says.

“Who’s journal?!” Kai demands. “My-my ancestors journal!” Tura says.

“What does it say!?” Kai asks forcing his head underwater again for encouragement…

“S-something about a merchant in Realmadon and, and a gift he gave my ancestor. T-that’s all I swear it!” Tura says spitting the taste of the filthy water out of his mouth.

Kai decides the dwarf is telling the truth and dunks his head underwater a final time, drowning him. A Royal Mage hmm? Kai grumbles and heads for the castle. I have a score to settle with that bastard sorcerer from the Inn as well...

After the moon has risen Rongbulle stumbles out of the tavern. Some dwarves start making jokes at his expense from an alleyway. A fight breaks out, and the gnome chops off the dwarf’s arm! Kai happens to come upon the fight sneaking through the alleyways.

Rongbulle and the dwarves take off running as soon as the assassin shows his face. Some guardsman catch up with Rongbulle but they do not know why he is running? They tell him he is wanted at the castle for questioning about Draven’s death.

Meanwhile, Kom is sitting in the shadows of the church with his back against the stones. He is approached by his younger cousin Alicia Bedros, who admits to him that she foresaw the days events.

As proof she shows him her diary, complete with a perfect illustration of Kai’s dagger, and the note Draven was given this morning. Alicia pleads with Kom to spare Kai. “I don’t know why, but I know you need him!”

She goes on to say that Draven’s soul is at risk unless they find this “art-item” mentioned in the journal. “You must use it to trade for Dravens soul!” She says running off in tears.

At that moment, Kai is preparing to scale the castle wall when a group of drow emerge from the shadows. He narrowly avoids getting killed and manages to get atop the wall just as magical globes of darkness appear around its perimeter.

The drow tactics surprise the guards, and their scouts dispatch many in quick fashion. Kom runs to Alicia's tower hoping to protect her. He manages to save her, but not his other cousin Dennison.

Kom’s father appears atop the tallest tower creating a giant orb of daylight in the sky. Flaming arrows are then fired over the wall at the drow who are still holding rank as if waiting for something.

The scene ends as the ground shakes and huge dark-crystal-spires break through the streets around the solid stone the castle sits upon.
_______________________________________________

Thyos Session 3 coming soon
_______________________________________________

Act 1: Part 4 "Escape!"



As the dark-crystal-spires rise to their peak their purpose becomes clear. They absorb all light and magic within a large radius! Torches, candles, and even magical light begin to loose their radiance. It seems the entire castle will be plunged into darkness within a matter of minutes!

Whats worse, magical communication or transportation outside of the castle is impossible and none of the defensive wards function. It seems the drow have cleverly turned the castle itself into a trap!

Kom and Alicia run towards Dravens Tower by way of the small bridge from the castle. Meanwhile, Kai-Mei hacks through the door atop the wall hoping to find entrance into Dravens tower from there.

However he quickly realizes that room is merely a guard post, with three frightened guardsman inside who assume he must be a drow. "Give up! You pathetic humanoid can not best me!" Kai says before dispatching them.

On the bridge below him, Kom and Alicia hear their screaming and the sound of battle echoiing through the arrow slits above. Wasting no time, Kom and Alicia enter Dravens tower. Kom knows of a secret escape tunnel on the ground level below.

At the same time Kai also realizes the 2nd floor entrance that Kom and Alicia just recently used is the best way into the tower, though he did not actually seem them pass. In order to reach that entrance from the guard post he climbs along the side of the tower, making use of the arrow slits as hand-holds and drops unto the bridge from above.

Kom and Alicia have found the secret escape tunnel, and Kom also takes a minute to find the torn journal entry that Draven was studying earlier today. They also hear the sound of Kei Mei above searching the second floor for that same journal entry. Quickly, Kom opens the escape tunnel and pushes Alicia through.

Unfortunately the sound of the secret entrance opening alerts Kai Mei that someone is below. Kom notices a dark figure appear on the stairwell as soon as he drops down after Alicia. Kom isn't positive but the figure he saw was
either the assassin (who's dagger killed Draven) or another Drow scout. Either way, not good..

Meanwhile Kai Mei leaps through the hole in pursuit and faces off with Kom once more. Alicia pushes her way between them and cries out. "Stop! Do not fight!" Kai Mei instantly stops his swords...but they are at Alicia's throat.

The three of them are stand together in a narrow corridor hewn from solid rock. Very dim light filters through from the hole to the secret entrance above and from magical candles inside the corridor. It slopes downward.

Kom growls at the assassin. "Do not harm her, or you'll never get what you're after."

"Nice to see you, warmage...You, girl, out
of my way! I would rather not kill a defenseless lady like yourself. The warmage and I have unfinished business!" Kai says.

"I am not interested in killing you. I wasn't before, either." Kom says. Alicia holds her ground bravely and stares into Kai Mei's eyes pleadingly.

"I know you, I've seen how you suffered, I've seen you crawling through the snow... and I know how you can have revenge against the black-robed man!"

"Oh?! How do you know what I have been through?! You are just a pathetic humanoid."
Kei Mei's swords tense in his hands. Why can't I just...kill her?...Cmon swords...slit her throat already! "Get her to shut up!"

"I can't she's an oracle!" Kom explains.

Alicia nods. "I am... special... I see things, and I know things I should not... But we have a mutual enemy, and we can help you! There is no reason that you should kill each other now!"

"Mutual enemy? What do you mean? Draven said this one belonged to the enemy! He said he was his!" Kom interjects.

An oracle? That explains it... Kai Mei thinks. A single black tear runs down his cheek. Kai-Mei
screams at his inability to kill her, and the fact he somehow still has a conscience. "How much else have you seen...oracle?"

"You are merely an unwitting pawn. He set you on this path." She replies.

"Unwitting?! How dare you..." Kai-Mei's hands tremble again but Alicia does not flinch. "You. Oracle. How come you stand before me so fearlessly? All of you other humanoids are so cowardly...and everyone else is just so...unkind..."

"Skellos used you. Hes been using you. But its not your fault." Alicia reaches a hand up to Kai's blade... "You do not have to do this. You can make ammends. I believe in you!"

"How can I when I have nothing to ammend for?! If you ask me, it is everyone else that must make ammeds... to ME."
*
Alicia shakes her head. "I can help you remember. But if we die here... our lives would end for nothing... and Skellos, wherever he is, will just laugh at us."

"How. Tell me, how can you help me? Granted you are an oracle, but you are just as mortal as everyone else. I will show you....." Again his blades press dangerous firm to her fair skin. Her bosom heaves as her heart races.

Kom is mortified. Not her!

"Tell me oracle. I have killed so many heartless...racist people. How come
you are the first one I cannot kill? My swords simply don't want to kill you..." Kai asks incredulously.

"We are all mortal fools in the eyes of the gods, more to Skellos then anyone. Would you have him pull your strings so willingly? I am merely speaking from my heart," she reaches over to touch Kai's chest. "I feel you also have a heart. You must let your heart free to do the right thing."

Kai Mei chuckles. "A heart...?...Foolish...I cast off my heart years ago..." At least...I thought I did...

A tear appears on Alicia's cheek. "I know... how you have suffered. And I suffered through you... though we've never met before. I do not want to see you die anymore then anyone. I do not hate what I understand."

"Hah! What do you understand about me? What have you seen?" Kai Mei asks.

"More then you probably remember..." She whispers. "You choose to ignore the nightmares because it makes it easier to keep living. But I remember, and I can help you see the truth, and live a life that's real, instead of a life of lies."

Kai's hands tremble once more but he finally moves his swords off of Alicia's throat in sheer frustration. "I can't kill YOU anyway. Warmage. As long as she speaks, I will give you life."

More screams filter down from above as the Drow resume their attack. "We do not have much time. Will you come with us? We need your help." She says.

"Fine. This is the only way out of here apperently. I will guard the rear. Warmage. You can run faster than I. Take her and wait for me if you can on the outside...and if this oracle dies, you will. Understand?" Kom stares at him in disbelief. "Get going your morons!"

"Lets go Alicia!" Kom says taking her arm. Together they run out of Kai Mei's sight. "I can't believe he didn't kill you..." He mutters relieved.

The tunnel slopes down for a ways, through the solid rock until another door appears. This door is cleverly hidden also, and it warns of traps and magic wards. The door opens into an underground river, with small sturdy boat lashed before it. The water is swift and dark.

"Better we leave now. I don't trust him." Kom says.

Alicia punches him in the arm. "You have to trust him or we won't get out of here!"

Moments later, Kai Mei appears at the door. "It seems I forgot to close the secret door behind us. We should leave quickly before we are followed."

Grunting his assent Kom helps Alicia into the boat. There are a pair of oars there, but he realizes he cannot see well enough to navigate the river in the darkness. To remedy this he casts light on the front of the boat.

"What are you tryingto do? Make a signal to the drow? I can see in here, don't worry. Now turn off that light, it hurts my eyes." Kai says.

Alicia looks scared "I hate the Drow!" Kom shakes his head. "I'm trying to make sure we don't wreck the boat."

"And I'm trying to make sure YOU don't get us killed! I can steer the stupid boat you imbecile!"

Kom hesitates, imagining the assassins blades at his throat as soon as he cancels his spell... but he finally relents engulfing them in pitch black once more.

"Keep your heads down if you know whats good for you." Kai's voice echo's eerily close.

As the boat bounces down along the swift underwater causeway, they have little time to guess how far they've travelled or in which direction... Within a few minutes, they pass through an open cavern which is occupied by drow, and duergar, who are building and
crafting tools of war. Alicia gasps. They only catch glimpse of them for a few moments, and without a light they do not spot the boat bobbing through close by. "I told you." Kai Mei whispers. Kom shushes him extremely quietly.

Eventually the boat ride ends at a shallow cave beside a pond. It is still dark of course, but the starlight is understandably comforting compared to the claustraphobic underground domain of the evil drow and duergar they just passed through.

Kom looks to the heavens. "I pray
these stars still shine on my father's people as well."

"Don't push your luck. By now their heads are probably rolling all over the ground. Oh yes, blood everywhere..." Kai Mei savors the thought. Kom clenches his fists, but keeps his temper in check so that Alicia is not harmed.

A chill breeze brushes past them reminding them that it is very chilly and they should make camp if they wish to keep warm.

Kai-Mei enjoys the cold breeze. He loves winter because there is less day and more night. "Alright. You can make camp now, or we travel until sunrise. Since your little entrance let me escape, I might as well let you make the decision."

Alicia Shivers "Are we going to see my father?" She asks Kom.

Kom nods. "Our destination is in Realmadon. Our troops must be recalled to my home."

"Alright." Kai shrugs.

"I think it would be prudent to travel as long as we can tonight. The farther we are from here, the safer we all are."

Kai Mei points at Alicia. "Can the oracle stand the cold?"

"I... I d-dunno" Alicia says her teeth chattering. Kom quickly changes his mind.

"We should make camp here. Unfortunately, my winter outfit, blanket, and tent are all back at the stables, I had to leave without them."
****
"Hah. You pathetic humanoids and your pleasentries." Kai Mei says sitting under a nearby tree.

"I don't need them in this weather. I only wish I had them to offer to Alicia."

"Oh so the oracle has a name?" Kai-Mei chuckles as he dumps out his rations. All meat...all raw meat...a week's worth. Kom has one day's worth of trail rations, which he gives to
Alicia who nibbles at it keeping her eyes off Kai's disgusting meal. She presses against Kom for warmth, still in her night-gown after all... her nipples are perky and her skin has goosebumps.
****
"We need to get firewood." Kom says.

"Oh right. You humanoids prefer your food cooked. Well that is none of my concern." Kai-Mei says ripping off a piece of ham with his teeth.

Kom frowns. "I'll leave my cloak with you Alicia, but I need to collect some brush to burn so we can stay warm and I can prepare a hot meal."
*
"Bah. I'll do it." Kai-Mei says marching off taking a whole Ham with him to munch on.
***
"Then I'll stay here and keep Alicia safe." Kom says.

"You do that." Kai snorts. Kai-Mei has never lit a fire before...so he just picks up anything
that looks remotely flammable. Brances, twigs, leaves, small animal corpses, etc... He returns to camp with a mish-mash of stuff, sitting on top is a grasshopper. "Ooh. I missed that."

Kom sorts through it, throwing out the nonflammables, and then starts a fire with his flint and steel. Kai-Mei snatches the grasshopper deftly and savors its deliciously insecty flavor.
*
They rest...

...end of act 1. ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1115-Blood-on-the-Stones-Act-1
The Chronicles of Acamea http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1114-The-Chronicles-of-Acamea Mon, 19 Apr 2010 08:50:42 GMT PROLOGUE
"Father, there are fresh tracks over here!" Braden cried out pointing to the ground beneath his steed.
"Good lad!" The Baron replied twisting the reigns to trot up beside his son.
"The hounds are on the trail!" Braden gestured at a nearby thicket across a stream that meandered before the lords and their prey.
"Hmm. Lucky they weren't thrown off the scent. What should we do now?" The Baron asked his eyes smiling.

Braden twisted in his saddle and looked back at his troop of lagging chasseurs. He had an idea. Smiling at his father he grabbed his calvary horn and blew a single note. The command for attention. Braden was pleased to see the horseman respond kicking their heels towards them.
"I'll send the men round to flush out the stag!" Braden told the Baron with his remaining breath.
"Ah. A good plan. Do you know how to signal them with your hands?"

Braden nodded and as the calvarymen approached he lifted his sword arm high then dropped it pointing to the right and left of the thicket. Finally he spread both arms wide and clapped them together. His signals told the men to break into two groups and rush the thicket from either side.

To his delight, the men understood and galloped past. Their laughter carried on the wind as high spirits. It was a beautiful spring day and every man here on the hunt was enjoying themselves.

"Well done." The Baron commented. "Lets hope they dont scare the stag out the thickets other side. We've chased this one half the day already, but I doubt it will tire before us."
Braden laughed. "It will be worth the chase. It is a handsome buck father. The biggest I've seen so far."
"We'll see. Get your crossbow ready." The Baron chortled through his beard.

Braden braced his foot into the stirrup and pulled the heavy cord up across the nut. His face was red with excitement. He had not yet felled a buck by himself. The fact he had to try in the presence of his father made him doubly nervous.
"Remember you will only get one chance." His father coached as they reigned up near the stream.
"Yes Father." He replied. Bradens horse pawed and snorted making it slightly difficult to fit the quarrel to his weapon.
"Here we go..." The Baron murmered, a little excitement clear in his own voice.

Red-with-blue tunics flashed through the trees on the far side of the stream bearing down on the thicket. Braden grinned at the sight, and the sound of pounding hooves. Few things made a young lord prouder then watching soldiers do his bidding.

"There!" The Baron pointed. A buck sprang from the thicket with hounds snapping at its heels. It was a handsome stag with huge antlers kicking with powerful flanks. One hoof struck ribs and the baron cursed as a hound whelped its last breath.

Cavalrymen were entitled to the sport as well of course, and being more practiced and seasoned he half-expected them to drop it before it was flushed it towards them.

As it happened, two bolts did hit flesh but the animal wasn't slowed. It bounded into the water as Braden lifted his stock to his shoulder. Now at fifty yards it was well within range but not an easy shot.

More bolts flew from the cavalrymen as the buck lept unto the opposite bank. Braden ignored them. He ignored the weight of his fathers eyes beside him. He ignored everything except the buck.

He watched his quarrel hit it low on the neck. He hadn't even sensed he'd squeezed the trigger. It happened so fast. Collapsed the buck still squirmed despite the fatal wound. Braden felt the Barons hand on his shoulder. He lowered his crossbow and smiled inwardly. He knew he'd made his father proud.

"Remember son, an important part of being a lord is being brave. Act to inspire your men. Show them how a warrior faces his challenges and they will respect you. Now. Go down there and finish the kill."

Braden obeyed. The other calvarymen were crossing the stream now.
"A fine shot my lord!" They shouted. "Bravo!" Braden grinned. They dismounted together around the prize. One of the men started to draw his sword. "Lets finish it..." but Braden shook his head.

"I will do it." Hunting knife in hand he stepped closer. Black and cold the animals eyes affixed him with a stare. His heart pounded in his chest. This was harder then firing the crossbow. As he reached toward it the buck jerked its head. Only a leather bracer on his forearm prevented a serious puncture from antlers sharpened in rut. A near thing. "Ouch!"

"Watch it my lord... the things not dead yet." A chasseur warned. "You cant step near it whilst it can still see you. Move round behind it and cut its throat."

Clenching his jaw so as not to gasp in pain Braden switched his grip. Nervous sweat stung his eyes. So close now the musky stench of sweat and fear stung his nostrils.

"Quickly now my lord." They urged him. Braden sliced into its neck as far as he dared and slipped in the mud as hot blood spurted from the wound. In reflex he threw himself backward as it spasmed in death. Wincing he laughed it off and the men laughed with him. Up on the hill the Baron observed his sons first kill.

GREN

One should not hunt Orcs alone. Gren mused. Any elf with a pinch of sense knew that. Why then was he following fresh tracks westward to the setting sun? Curiosity perhaps?

Orcs were rare in these parts. The Cromwells had driven them into the sea years ago; exterminating their kind from the penninsula and the Elven forests within. Or so they claimed.

The truth was their extermination didn't go as planned. The Baron himself was slain by an especially clever Orcish ambush! Those responsible were never found... Indeed every Orc in the region disappeared afterward.

Some said they fled on ships across the sea. Others whispered they never left, and wait still gathering strength in hiding! Gren did not believe either story. Orcs were neither capable seamen or very good at hiding themselves. Either way they must have had help.

After the Baron Braden Cromwell II fell, his brother took up Regency until Bradens eldest son came of age. By all accounts Regent Isidor was not doing a good job of ruling the province.

He tried to inspire loyalty and fervor in his subjects, though most found him vain and pompous. When his brother was slain the regent made a show of his revenge.

Dozens of Orcs were left hanging from city walls. Most were old corpses to start with... Gren paused to study a footprint. These Orcs however, were alive and well.

The tracks indicated a party of four, moving quickly away from the forest. It occurred to Gren that perhaps he should backtrack instead of following them. It might be more important to report what they were up too then where they were headed?

No. If he ceased pursuit he might loose the trail. For all he knew they were a scouting party sent to reconnoiter their defenses. Better to take one alive for questioning.

Gren continued his stride in soft deerskin boots. In his right hand he loosely held an enchanted spear. Though truly he was far more capable with with the slender longsword on his hip.

If the Orcs ambushed him the spear would do him little good in close-quarters but carrying it on his back was impractical. Quick as he was Gren knew he could drop the spear and free his blade in the blink-of-an-eye.

By habit Gren did not carry a shield He was trained in the Bladesong, a style of fighting similar to dancing. As such he required flexible armor and a free hand to aid his balance.

Any elf of course was at home in the wilderness but Gren was no ranger. His life was dedicated to the perfection of his art and protection of his people.

Bladesingers were an elite caste in Elven society. Trained from childhood they were extremely disciplined. They had to be. The Bladesong required total concentration and utter lack of fear.

Their was magic in their training as well. Simple spells maybe but a very useful advantage in combat nontheless.

After an afternoon of jogging he paused to take a breath and a sip of his waterskin. Around him a cloud of pollen swirled in the warm Spring air. Elves did not sweat very much but he could feel dampness on his brow and beneath his armor.

What did these cowardly Orcs do to make them run so hard? Whatever it was he was determined to find out. A knot tightened in his stomach. By any means necessary. Few things inpsired hate in Elves as much as their ancient enemies up to no good.

AVERY

Avery scowled as soon as the city of ScarTree came into view. Piss on the Cromwells and damn the Burnhardts! He cursed. How in the nine-hells was I persuaded to be a spy?

Avery's father was a real piece-of-work. Handsome and educated his charm, wit, and tact earned his brother the Baron more allies then he deserved. But under the skin, behind that smile was a man as cruel and heartless as... himself? Avery spat. The thought irked him.

What his father and he had in common was not as important as what they did not; the courage to kill. His father was a manipulater and a secuder. The only people who regarded him as a courageous warrior were women. Well, not all women...

His mother at least despised him as much as he. Death made her rid of him and he of her. Someday he hoped to be ride of his father too once he’d bled him for all his worth. That’s how it was in the Burnhardt family. Avery had no delusions about that.

Should I feel grateful to that ****ing son-of-a-***** for this chance to become more then a lowly-born-bastard in the eyes of my family? I think not... he made me so!

“Sire should we raise the banners now?” Asked the boldest of his two escorts. Avery made it clear that he preffered his own company to a pair of ignorant fools. He would have been better off travelling alone but his father insisted he look the part of a Burnhardt emissary.

Of course as soon as they left city limits Avery demanded they stow and heraldry lest every bandit in the region have a reason to ambush them. Avery grunted his permission to the guard and concentrated on his mission.

The postulation was he was here to deliver the warm regards of his Baron who offered his eldest daughters hand in marriage to the Cromwells heir. Braden Cromwell III.

Avery was expected to press his welcome and got close to Braden, take his measure, and learn of any weaknesses in the Cromwell family they could further exploit.

Avery did not believe the Cromwells would seriously consider a marriage between their families. The Cromwells were proud and lawful. How unfortunate for them to be neighbors with his family, the most dishonest in all Acamea.

Over the years their wealth and influence had spoiled due to Burnhardt manipulations. Allowing his family the access of a family bond was political, financial and cultural suicide. As such he didn’t expect a warm welcome.

I might as well fling shit on the Baron for all the good my words do me. Good thing whats in my purse has more value. He referred to the precious pearls his father gave him as a bribe. Given his fathers sense of humor, the pearls were probably plundered from a Cromwell merchant ship.

Many pirates roaming the seas nowadays begifted his father trying to sweeten their deals with his family. Avery pitied the man who believed he could bribe his father easier then he could bribe him. His instructions were clear.

The Baron Isidor is the greediest man to sit the Cromwell throne. You have to buy his patience. He will not honestly consider the marriage but he might let you believe it, for a while, for a price. That’s the bet and your head is hedged upon it.

Avery cracked his knuckles and steeled himself to the trask. He wondered if the Cromwells would be fools enough to underestimate him?

BRADEN

Braden Cromwell III crossed his arms impatiently outside the Regents study in the central keep of Castle Cromwell. In his hand he held a scroll outlining his plans of retribution against the Burnhardts. Maddening though it was, his uncle insisted he put all his plans in writing.

The chore itself was not difficult. In his youth drafting orders was a comman pasttime. He’d sit across from his father at the writing table. The Baron would briefly summarize an issue and before any discussion began each would pen down a solution.

Braden Sr. set a stern example. He had no patience for naïvety or ignorance. In addition he often scolded Braden for his attitude. Young Braden took to swordplay much easier then wordplay.

You are young Braden but you are a lord. We cannot afford to have carefree days. Your subjects expect you to think on their problems day and night. You must be capable as a mediator, commander and statesman. Idle time is wasted time. Use any opportunity to learn and better yourself. I expect nothing less and neither will they.

Braden sighed. He missed his father dearly. He had been dead now six years. Yet strangely his sense of mourning only increased with each passing day. In truth it was a challenge to maintain composure at times. It wasn’t because he couldn’t cope with the loss. Braden was not the type to dwell on pain or failure.

No, he mourned his fathers dream. He wanted to create a barony strong enough and rich enough to be totally safe and self-sufficient. Since his death things had only worsened in the Cromwell province. Braden felt a growing sense of urgency that he must do something about it.

Technically his uncle was Regent for the next six months though he could choose to crown braden earlier if he chose to. If only. He had little respect for uncle Isidor. He would never, could never, take his fathers place.

His father had a very proactive approach to leadership and so did his son. Isidor was equally lazy and wearisome. He spent most of his time indoors in comfort and seclusion. He played the role of a wise ruler but these were not the times for acting. These were times for action.

It was becoming burdensome for Braden to show respect to his uncle. His manners wore as thin as his patience. Isidor didn’t care. It seemed all he wanted was to enjoy his remaining months as Regent in peace and serenity. To Braden that seemed more like senility. He wanted to drag him bodily from office but the resulting fued would only weaken the family further.

Thus he resolved to play his game. He had to convince him to act on these plans. He would be damned if he let personal feelings interfere with justice and the greater good.

VENDAR

As soon as the light of Moradins forge brightened the heavens Vendar kicked earth off the campfire. He would have preferred to have its warmth earlier in his watch but the road to Realmadon was dangerous.

His two companions snorted and stirred about as eager to crawl from beneath their furs as he was a few hours ago. It couldn't be helped, camping this close to the Wild Lands meant they had to sacrifice some sleep for safety.

Vendar stepped over to his cart ladden with wares and supplies. His hobbled pony knickered and nuzzled close eager for some oats. Vender filled a bucket with drinking water and hung it beside the feedbag... "There ya go Sparky."

In many ways dwarves and ponies resembled each other. Stocky, shaggy, short-of-leg, strong-of-body and large of appetite. Sparky chewed and Vendar chanted a morning prayer to Moradin.

Father of the forge,
Moradin oh-lord,
I will honor you today.
Strengthen my hands,
discipline my mind,
embolden my heart.
Moradin oh-lord,
I will honor you today.

Vendar welcomed the rising sun and ate a cold breakfast of jerky, bread and cheese. It was a good day to be a Hill Dwarf. Open sky, a cart full of work, a full belly and a dangerous road ahead to keep his wits about him. He glanced at his partners and chuckled. Only Mountain Dwarves dained to sleep after sunrise.

"What do you think Sparky? Should we waste some water and drench these lazy fools?"

"Dont even think about it." Crim muttered. Taklins younger brother was a light sleeper being a rogue by trade.

"Get up then the both of you or I'll tie your ankles to my cart and drag you." Vendar growled.

"Your threats are foundless Giantgutter, unless you intend to lame your pony." Taklin remarked. Vendar scoffed.

"I'd sooner chop you free and leave you for the wolves." Taklin made an expression of hurt feelings.

"Well if that's the way you feel about us go on alone I'm sure Sparky will be a great help working in a smithy."

"He's a better partner then you. He has a better work ethic." Vendar argued.

"I dunno about that, but of the three of us he's the only one that likes you.." Crim chimed in.
"So be it. I'm going to scout the road ahead in the meantime see if you can manage a pot of firebelly tea."

Crim stuffed their furs back in the cart glancing at Vendars broad back as he strolled away. Ass... he thought to himself and grabbed the breakfast rations.

"Leave him be." Taklin said placing handfulls of twigs and dried grass on the coals.

"You dont like him either."

"That dosen't matter. We're business partners we should learn to get along."

"He needs to show us more respect or I'll teach him some." Taklin paused to consider his response.

"See these coals brother? They'll only burn you if you're not careful. Vedars temper smolders and we dont want to start a fire. You may not respect his courtesy but respect his strength."

Crim scoffed. "How wise of you brother."

"Just trying to watch out for you."

"Hmmph, I think its the other way around. I stand up to men like him. You just side back and judge quietly. In the end I watch you get pissed on."

Taklin decided to let the matter rest. He sprinkled ingredients into an empty kettle along with three stones and placed it over the flames.

The secret to Firebelly Tea was baking the ingredients. Taklin heard pops commence like corn kernels as the spices scorched unlocking their true flaver. Soon the moment would be right to start the brew.

Birds and animals busy in the brush, Vendars breath misting in the morning air. Another trail of footprints behind him.

GREN

By mid afternoon Gren reached the main road in the Cromwell province. It arched through the interior of the peninsula on a southerly route from ScarTree in the northwest to SouthPoint in the southeast.

The orcs must have rested here. Flattened grass and indentations in the earth indicated they crouched by the roadside. Gren understood why. There were bloodstains and drag marks on the road. The orcs ambushed somebody.

Gren examined the scene. A child’s shoe and strands of hair were tangled in the thorns. His gut got queasy as he searched the brush. The orcs were hasty hiding the bodies.

A woman and an old man were stuffed in a ditch covered with a rotting log. The old man died from a bolt but the woman suffered. Her head was missing, her arm was badly broken and her body was covered in bruises. No doubt they raped her, but where was the child?

Gren found some discarded belongings and provisions, tracks of a dog, but no other corpses. So it seems the cowards made off with a child, a dog, and a severed head. Gren knelt beside the poor woman’s body and hung his head in prayer.

Sweet Ehlonna, mother of mercy, safeguard these unfortunate souls. Lend me the strength to avenge this murder and protect our people.

Gren smeared the blood of the innocent on his cheeks to remind himself of duty and dug a shallow grave.

Cool moonlight in the hills by the sea. Amongst the rocks a fire burned. The smell of cooking meat was in the air. A child’s cries and orchish voices were on the wind. Gren crept through the dark silent as a cat. He did not understand the orcish tongue but he surmised their mood easily enough.

Exhausted but enthusiastic they were celebrating a successful venture and enjoying a few spoils. Two of the brutes were gorging themselves on dog, their guttural language made even more bestial by their bloody snouts and gory teeth.

The third was standing with his back to the fire grunting for another reason, pleasuring himself with the poor woman’s severed head!

By his feet the child, a little girl, was sobbing pitifully pulling at the dogs collar fashioned around her neck. Orcs were known to make slaves, or worse, of child captives.

Gren moved towards the monsters silhouette his sword at the ready the fingertips of his free hand twitching in the final motions of a spell. The orc moaned his eyes rolling back into his head.

His companions laughed likely cursing jokes at his expense but from their vantage point they could not see the strange look on his face as Grens spell dazed him.

The child sensed movement in the dark but she did not cry out. She must have seen Gren touch his lips before he stepped into the light. Stupefied the orc did not react. The severed head fell off his limpened manhood and with one swift stroke Gren let parts of him fall off as well.

His spell did not tranquilize the pain however. Bellowing in awful surprise the orc clutched between his blood-soaked thighs. The other two scrambled for weapons. Gren deftly swapped sword hands so he could ready his spear. One orc grabbed a cutless, the other reached for a loaded crossbow.

Gren impaled the latter through the belly just as the first orc charged. Even with his off hand Gren had no trouble deflecting the orcs simple swing. Strong but terrified the orc was easily predictable. A kick to the side of the knee put him off balance so Gren could pull a silver dagger and stab it in his neck.

As the last orc fell suffocating in blood Gren was relieved to find the human child alive. Wide-eyed with shock she stared at him as if he was mercy and death personified. ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1114-The-Chronicles-of-Acamea
The Nature of Magic and The Great Wheel http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1101-The-Nature-of-Magic-and-The-Great-Wheel Fri, 09 Apr 2010 09:48:09 GMT To understand the nature of magic one must first comprehend the nature of *The Great Wheel*. Time is the mechanism that keeps the great wheel of *The... To understand the nature of magic one must first comprehend the nature of The Great Wheel. Time is the mechanism that keeps the great wheel of The Planes turning. As time moves, things change. The relationship of time and change is measured with age. Time is a constant omnipresent force, or rather, the relationship of change to the passage of time is constant.

Nothing on the great wheel is permanent. Time changes all eventually and the breadth of time itself is inconceivable. The planes were not always as they are known now, nor will they always be. It is likely that the planes shrink and grow and merge in every possible way. It is also likely that innumerable variations of the planes will exist, and have existed.

Magic is the antithesis of time. Magic creates, magic changes, magic destroys when it can at the will of those that manipulate it. Magic should not be confused with the spark of life, light and dark, the substance of the soul, or part of the nature of good and evil. Magic is apart from all those things, and also part of all those things because just as energy and matter never disappear magic merely changes form.

Think of a rock. That rock was not always a rock. A rock is made up of other things in a different state and combination then they were before. A rock can cease to be a rock. It can crumble to dust or melt into magma but as a rock it can only be a rock. A rock will not grow into a tree but a seed can. A seed is alive and therefore designed to grow, live and die when conditions permit it. Likewise the rock only came to be when conditions permitted it to form over time and it will not change again until time passes or something changes it. This understanding of things living and not living as we know them, does not apply to magic.

Magic is a unique form of energy that exist in all things. Magic bonds everything to everything else. It is invisible and intangible and amorphic. It can be anything at anytime but it will not always exist as it was or could be. A magic rock is still a rock, and just as the rock can only exist in certain circumstances for an impermanent amount of time so will the magic in the rock.

Magic can be used in innumerable ways by anyone with knowledge of spellcraft. No being is immune to magic entirely or live apart from magic because magic is everywhere, and part of all things. The force of magic is invisible and intangible and undeniably powerful. In some ways magic is like a living force. It can grow stronger, or weaken, when other magic is added to it. Magic can be used to block other magic, absorb other magic, or change other magic.

There are some questions about magic that will probably never be answered. Does magic exist as part of something else outside the great wheel? Is magic finite like energy and matter seem to be? Will there ever be a version of the universe without magic? Only the gods may know, and it is not likely that they can comprehend everything because they are merely ascendant versions of the mortals they once were.

No being, or god, has lived long enough to watch a world form and dissapear. The origins of the planes, magic, and time itself will forever be a mystery. Most believe they intimate a design of a supreme power. However If you believe in free will, then surely those beings that think for themselves have some impact on the nature of the great wheel. Or If you believe in destiny you could say that everything that was and will be has already been anticipated by the creator and nothing you do will ever change your fate.

Regardless of its origin, the nature of magic is still largely unknown. Commonly held theories about magic in its various forms are at best quaint observations. There is no difference in arcane and divine magic other then the means to summon it. Faith and spellcraft are more or less equally daunting disciplines to master.

Magic does change form in a sense. It is believed that compressed magic, like that in magical items, is dangerously unpredictable. A magic artifact for instance will actually gain strange properties or powers it never had after enough time passes, especially those with sentient personalities. Crenshinibon is a good example of such an artifact. In truth artificial magical consciousness is barely understood and likely unwise to experiment with too much. For now sentient magical consciousness is always bound to an item, but perhaps someday these beings (if you can call them that) will break free of these bonds. What would happen then?

It is also unknown if magic will change the longer it stagnates in any one place. The bounds of control that spellcraft offers is obviously an imperfect science, and Wild Magic is just one of many awful side-effects of failed experiments. ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1101-The-Nature-of-Magic-and-The-Great-Wheel
My Mass Combat Rules http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1099-My-Mass-Combat-Rules Wed, 07 Apr 2010 06:53:49 GMT In order to simplify combat on a large scale Units have 2 values to consider. Attack and Defense. These are generalized values and modifiers used... In order to simplify combat on a large scale Units have 2 values to consider. Attack and Defense. These are generalized values and modifiers used when considering a units weapons, armor and level of training.

Attack Bonus
Primitive or Small Weapons (-1)
Simple Weapons - (-)
Melee Weapon - (+1 / +2)
Reach Weapons - Attack Bonus (+3)
Ranged Weapons - Can attack targets at range, thats a huge advantage

Defense Rating
Uniform (11)
Light or Medium Armor (12-14)
Heavy Armor (15-18)

Training
No Training (-1 Attack, -2 Defense)
Basic Training (-)
Career Training (+1 Attack, +2 Defense)
Expert Training (+2 Attack, +3 Defense)

Discipline bonus
This modifier depends on the type of unit and what they are good at. If you order a unit to attack another unit that they are especially trained and experienced to fight they will get a discipline bonus. Conversely, if they are ordered to do something they are not trained for they will get a penalty.

Fervor bonus
This modifier is a judgement call based on the leadership score of the commander.
__________________________________________________ ______________

Instead of rolling for each combatant a PC need only roll once for each attack a unit makes. The target number is the other units defense rating. Depending on the degree of success (the difference of the value rolled above the defense rating) the target unit will suffer more or less casualties. An attacking unit will always take 5% casualties unless target is routing. The basic number of casualties always equals the number of attackers.

+13 or more +50% casualties to defender
+10-12 +25% casualties to defender
+5-9 +10% casualties to defender
+1-4 +5% casualties to defender
__________________________________________________ ______________

Difference in unit size also matters in the scale of losses. But there are two hard rules of thumb. Defending archers do not get a size bonus to defense. Cavalry units always count as twice their number for unit size.

Attacking Unit is:
25% larger or +100 men = +4 Attack Bonus
50% larger or +500 men = +8 Attack Bonus
100% larger/Double = +16 Attack Bonus
110% larger or more = Defender Routes

Defending Unit is:
25% larger or +100 men = -25% casualties
50% larger or +500 men = -50% casualties
100% larger or double = +25% casualties to attacker
110% larger or more + 50% casualties to attacker
__________________________________________________ _____________

For example a heavy cavalry banner [141 H. Cavalry] charges 2 companies of infantry [200 infantry]. Attacker has an attack bonus of +4 (+3 for lances, +1 for career training), a defense rating of 18 (for heavy armor) and a discipline bonus of +6 (for charging melee infantry).

The attacking cavalry rolls an 18 on their attack role +4 = 22, which is 10 more then the infantries defense rating. By the chart that means defenders suffer an additional 25% casualties as a result of the charge. 140+ 25% of 200 = 165 losses to the defenders.

The attackers would normally loose 50% of their unit attacking a larger force, but remember a cavalry unit counts as double for scale. 141 cavalry are equivalent to 280 infantry which means they get an additional +2 attack bonus for being 25% larger then the defender. However that +2 only gives the attackers an total of +12 over the infantry's defense rating which is not enough to receive an additional 25% to the defenders casualties.

Thus the final tally is infantry 165 losses, cavalry 7 losses, proving the age-old truth that heavy cavalry can smash melee infantry. However in other circumstances this would not have been the case.
__________________________________________________ _____________

Terrain Modifiers
High ground: +4 atk and defense. (Cavalry cannot charge high ground)
Cover: +2 attack and +2 defense.
Barrier: +2 defense. [A castle wall would be considered to be all 3 giving defenders a +6 attack and a +8 defense.]
__________________________________________________ _____________

Mass Combat Maneuvers

Basics
The Battle Grid: One square on the Battle Grid from the DMG = 100ft.
Rounds: In Mass Combat one round equals 6 minutes.
Initiative: Before the first round begins each general roles to determine who's orders are carried out first. Generals must be very specific with their orders and guidelines. DM's should have their players write down clear concise commands ahead of time and refer to those by a number so as not to give away their plan. Units that have no career training cannot do Full-Round-Actions.
Actions: Units on the battlefield have 3 action phases. Actions may use 1, 2 or all 3 of these phases.

Standard Action
-Change Order [must be in sight of commander or otherwise see signals]
-Attack (Melee or ranged)
-Charge (2) [includes double-movement]
-Fire siege weapon (2)
-Pursue (2) [includes double movement and attack vs. a retreating foe]

Move Action
-March
-Prepare volley
-Load Siege Weapon
-Alter Formation (2)
-Set vs. Charge (2) [infantry must have reach weapons]
-Retreat [double move but provokes attack from defenders]

Full Round Actions
-Disengage [includes double movement]
-Encircle [+4 Attack next round]
-Move Siege weapon
-Skirmish [includes movement and attack with +2 defense]

more to come... including movement, fatigue and Command.

discuss... ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1099-My-Mass-Combat-Rules
side-story on Trel (reading for the bored) http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1067-side-story-on-Trel-(reading-for-the-bored) Tue, 16 Mar 2010 00:08:58 GMT I haven't had much luck finding players for my game, :yawn: ...out of boredom I started writing a story based on my world. I will randomly determine the following factors for the characters in this story:
  • age
  • alignment
  • race
  • sex
  • starting location
  • class


This presents a better creative-writing challenge. It will also help prepare me for the random characters players come up with. I intend to generate a different character from each of the 24 major realms on Trel and somehow make them all part of a larger storyline. :confused: At the very least it will help me develop the world more.

Hopefully anyone that reads this will find themselves intrigued enough to visit the website and consider creating a character of their own. *crosses-fingers*

Who knows, your PC might meet a character from this story? ;)

Enjoy! :laugh:


Ith Empire
Drashi, Oro (20)
CG HM Vitus-User (Gogiyo)

Wind and rain lashed the shoreline of the Isle of Ith. There was no moon, only frequent flashes of lightning lit up the thrashing waves. Oro strained his eyes looking for a black speck on the sea. He'd spotted it a half hour ago out beyond the shoal. A ship full of fools braving the storm... Oro thought, instantly chiding himself for the remark. The people of Ith were not known for their compassion but he was not unsympathetic to their plight. He was merely frustrated by it becuase there was nothing he could do.

Oro was supposed to be meditating on the power of the elements, merging his consciousness with the wind and rain etc. He was determined to learn the secrets of the Gogiyo, mystic warriors that control the weather with vitus. No, not control... influence he reminded himself. And yet, everytime he closed his eyes he could not stop thinking about the ship. Nor could he avoid opening his eyes everytime lighting flashed nearby hoping to catch another glimpse of it.

Why was a ship so close to this part of the island? It was largely uninhabited, heavily forested, many miles from the nearest port. There were beaches yes but the shoals were treacherous. He could not remember the last time he saw a ship larger then a fishing skiff come this close. As a rule fishermen kept within sight of their village, the nearest of which was several miles further down the shore. Was the ship damaged? Was it doomed to crash against the cliffs in front of his very eyes? What sort of ship was it? Where did it come from?

Reluctantly he gave up on meditation. His mind was restless as the sea. He was specifically told that he must do it everynight but it could not be helped. Sighing he stretched his arms and unfolded his legs. He was sitting on a plain bamboo mat since sunset and his ankles ached. Around him the walls of the open hut start to tremble in a gust of wind as a shiver runs over his skin. From outside the hut a disaproving voice startles him. "You lack discipline."

Oro swallows and sighs. How long had master Kuhn been standing there? Pulling his bamboo cloak tighter around his body Oro steps out of the hut into the weather to face master Kuhn. Quick to show proper respect he bows quickly keeping his eyes downcast and nearly slips in the mud as another gust of wind whips his cloak up tighting the cord around his neck. Calmly with as much dignity as he can manage he pulls it back down gasping and shivering. "I'm sorry master" Oro gulps, "I was distracted by the..."

"I am aware of the ship!" Master Kuhn interrupts sharply. "Do you really think it would escape my attention? I can feel the sea like my own skin! The ship is an insignificant fly, easily brushed away with my hand."

"I don't understand." Oro gulped.

"Watch!" Master Kuhn screached pointing out to sea.

In another flash of lighthning the ship nearly keels over before another gust of wind almost takes Oro off his feet. The ship was closer now. The wind and sea was pushing it towards them. Oro cringed. It seemed his earlier prediction might actually come true. He felt sorry for them. Master Kuhn chuckled at his reaction. "Do not pity those fools."

Oro frowned. He did pity them. Was that wrong? In another flash of lightning he could see the ship was indeed damaged. It's single main sail was ripped to shreds. Men crawled over it like fleas. Oro risked a glance at Master Kuhn. He was a hard man, ageless as the stones they stood upon. As always the rain never touched him. Standing near him like this kept Oro's hairs on end. There was something strange about the air around him, it ticked with great power. Oro shivered again but it was his nerves that made him uncomfortable. "Who are they?" He asked.

"They are enemies. Ronin who planned to land here under the cover of darkness and attack the village." Master Kuhn replied coldly.

Oro gulped. That possibility had not occured to him. Oro knew he did not like to be questioned but he was suddenly overcome with morbid curiosity. "How do you know this?" He asked.

Master Kuhn snorted. "I heard their voices on the wind of course."

"You knew they were coming?"

Master Kuhn nodded. "This is not the first time they've tried. Fools! ...Brave, stupid, fools... do not pity them. They know Gogiyo watch the shoreline but they still try and sneak through. Sometimes they disguise themselves as fishermen, sometimes merchants. Once they even managed to board and commander one of the emperors warships! It matters not. They are fools, preceeded by fools, who will no doubt preceed more fools." Master Kuhn sighed. "Fools will always die like fools."

Oro's eyes grew wide. He finally realized what was happening here. "You mean, the storm, you...?" His breath caught in his throat, lightning flashed, Oro watched the ships mast collapse dragging several men into the sea. He felt sick to his stomach. "...Why?"

Master Kuhn frowned. "Ask the emperor... Once, we Gogiyo were respected and left to ourselves. Now things are different. These fools die so you can afford to be naive and sleep safely tonight. Think on this and renew your meditation here tomorrow if you still wish to be Gogiyo. Go now Oro, no more questions tonight." ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1067-side-story-on-Trel-(reading-for-the-bored)
My reality http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1025-My-reality Sun, 21 Feb 2010 19:30:28 GMT Before accidents started whittling down my athletic ability I had ambitions to be a professional cyclist or basketball player. I also used to do... Before accidents started whittling down my athletic ability I had ambitions to be a professional cyclist or basketball player. I also used to do cross country running and I hiked all the time. I was a pretty fit guy and I enjoyed exercise more then anything.

When I was thirteen a car accident sprained my neck so bad I had to see a chiropractor twice a week for six months just to get my head back on straight, literally. I had to give up sports and even P.E. after that, doctors orders. I tried anyway but it was hopeless.

Now every morning I stand in front of the mirror, close my eyes and do a stretching exercise with my neck. If its crooked when I look again I know I have to take it easy. Otherwise neck spasms can be quite debilitating.

Then when I was eighteen, I crashed my first car into a boulder at sixty-five mph. That smashed my face up so badly I needed re constructive plastic surgery. It also cracked two of my molars, and my jaw pops like crazy now when I eat.

The worst part of it was crushing my right foot. I've had three surgeries on it but it's still held together by screws and wires. I couldn't walk on it for six months, and then I needed a cane to move around. I should still use a cane actually, I just don't cause I hate being pitied and nobody wants to hire a cripple so I have to lie about it. If I'm not careful with how I put pressure on it it hurts all the time.

If I do a lot of physical labor (even working on cars) for a few days it's guaranteed to swell and hurt so badly I can't sleep. If I have to get up take a piss in the middle of the night, I have to crawl. The next day, I have to force myself to put pressure on it and get the blood flowing again or I'm absolutely useless.

When I worked as a dock worker so I could buy my race car, it was like agony for a full five days a week. On my days off I had to put my foot in ice water to fight the swelling for the following week. My supervisors knew I'd lied to them about what I could and couldn't do, but they cut me some slack cause at least I showed up to work everyday and I wasn't hungover or drunk on the job.

I limp around like an old man sometimes but I can't blame anyone for my misfortune. Nobody else crashed into that boulder, I did, and it certainly taught me some things about pain, life and failure in the process.

Establishing a satisfied, self-sufficient life is difficult to do. It's even harder if you have no idea what will make you happy and weren't happy to begin with.

You may not be a mean person but stress and guilt and anger eat at you until you almost forget who you are. This leads to a short-temper and resentment towards anyone that has a problem with you. They don't understand that you're just trying to keep your head down and get on with your day. You aren't trying to cause problems or get in anyones way you just want to be left alone.

Another thing is, happy people can't stand unhappy people and vice-versa. Happy people don't want you working with them, happy people don't want to be your friend, and shiny-happy girls think you are some kind of freak.

The only people that want to hang out with you are other unhappy people, and all they want to do is *****. You might think starting a relationship with an unhappy girl is a good idea right? At least it can't make things worse... if you can make each other happy you'll really love and appreciate each other...

But that's not how it works. The girls are happy with you only as much as you are happy with them. Their lack of self confidence makes them clingy, moody, and needy. Before long you start to think your new gf isn't that great. She wants you to make her happy all the time. She wants you to be happy, all the time. And whats worse, she wants you to be happy about making her happy. It just doesn't work, in the end you are more miserable then you were when you were alone. God help you if your girlfriend is also your coworker lmao.

Being happy, and staying happy are two completely different challenges. You can always find some quick fix to happiness. Buy a video game, order something for your car, buy food, eat food, watch you tube until your gut aches from laughter etc. Then hope that you can sleep tonight. Tomorrow is another day, and you'll have to find some other means to distract yourself all over again.

Sometimes knowing that tomorrow won't be any different, or any better then today, always makes today worse.

It's also hard to have any pride when you aren't happy. You start doing things you wouldn't think of doing before because really, who's gonna care? If your friends and family already feel sorry for you and talk about you like you're a failure nothing you do seems good enough anymore. Eventually you loose the will to motivate yourself. Anyone that asks you to do something might as well be giving you a reason not to do anything. You live for yourself, you aren't trying to be mean but you aren't going of your way to be nice either.

People say that respect is earned not given. That's bullshit, nobody has to earn respect. If you don't care about someones respect you don't show much respect. At least your being honest. Fake people faking concern, faking manners, faking smiles... no longer fool you. You stop caring about making an impression or impressing anyone. Bitterness. ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/1025-My-reality
<![CDATA[A PC's life is finite.]]> http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/901-A-PC-s-life-is-finite Wed, 23 Dec 2009 03:48:02 GMT Saying its unfair to give the PC's an equal chance to die as the NPC's is just silly. The PC's at least get to choose their battles most of the time. NPC's and monsters are an expendable, renewable resource. They always die off faster then the PC's. If they didn't it would be a very short game and I would be a very lousy Dungeon Master.

If a PC gets thrown into an arena and forced to fight a veteran gladiator should they not be scared? Is it wrong to assume that gladiator is a survivor of many battles without actually proving it? Should I complain if the PC's outnumber a giant six-to-one because they get to roll many more attacks then he does and they therefor have a higher chance of rolling an instant kill?

Any player that *****es that a PC's life is ultimately finite should be congratulated for stating the obvious. Death is innevitable unless you choose to retire a character. Just think of it as fate. The only real control a player has involving his characters death is how often he risks his life and for what reason. I reward players that martyr themselves for good reason by giving them more leway on their next character.

I guess in a sense it takes many PC deaths before a player really proves that he is selflessly roleplaying. If a player can't do that D&D will never be as rewarding for them because they are in essence cheating themselves. The Dungeon Master is not to blame for that. ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/901-A-PC-s-life-is-finite
Gaming http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/887-Gaming Mon, 14 Dec 2009 03:23:18 GMT So I'm glad I found P&P it certainly appears to be a very good gaming resource/forum. I dunno what took me so long to look for sites like this... I was sitting at home today thinking to myself "damn I'm bored I wanna try and get a PBEM going or something to have more inspiration for my world-building..." That's what finally got me looking.

I have been looking on other random RPG sites and community sites since yesterday. So far I've got one person possibly interested?

I didn't realize until today how old-school posting up notes in the comic shops seems to be lol. Everyone is on the internets... Even so I think the number of table-top gamers is less then it used to be. I blame those damn MMO's :(

On another note... that Game-Table Utility I found is very cool. However I dunno if my satellite-internet can support that kinda thing? Jeff and I tried for a while to join a table together and it didn't want to recognize the connection... lame. ]]>
scars_of_carma http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/entry.php/887-Gaming