Service to the Stone

Ork and Folly

 

Driven by rain and found a cave

Nowhere to go, we enter brave

Sparse room found with 3 chains in ground

The patter of rain, the only sound

 

Pull on a chain, sealed in a room

full of ork and folly, have we met our doom

With nowhere to go, we search deeper

A stone face we found, Meet the door keeper

 

With much thought and forever in time

Our dwarf elementalist with plan sublime

Cracks deep in stone with his stout mace

To reach beyond that stone face

 

And there we see the jail of metal

It lies beyond, smaller than kettle

Trapped in our midst, earth and fire

Unable to flee, this caves lone crier

 

Deal had been struck, splashed with water

Mixed with air, the iron did shatter

A blast was made, blood was drawn

Earth and fire beast could walk on

 

It clawed the door made of thick stone

Rended deep as if there were bone

Our passage out granted by promise

Now hear it you, this tale by damis

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A two element Spirit?!

From the Private Journals of Larrodd Brokenbeard, 1st circle initiate

 

I have heard of such things, but never had I thought to encounter one! 

We had taken shelter from a storm, and within the small cave, we found indications that s very hot fire had been built in here.  Also, There were three chains that ran down into holes near the wall, as well as a small drain carved in the floor, that seemed to be draining the run through water into a cistern or well of some sort.

In typical orkish fashion, Rakishi grabbed one of the chains and jerked.  The need for action in her race is definite proof that their fire runs high…it also explains their short life span.  However, when she jerked the chain, a slab of some granite blocked the narrow entrance to our shelter!  Then she pulled all of them, and the antechamber was opened…

Beyond was a face.  The face of an ork with a dozen eyes…And it spoke to us, asking about the Yellow one…it was unclear in its explanation. so I began to study the pattern…It is well beyond my capability, and most of it is beyond my understanding, even.  But what I can tell amazes me.  It is a powerful spirit…and it has the essence of fire and earth.  Again, fire and earth are related elements, but I have no idea how one would summon a creature that melded them…  It was bound to this chamber by some sort of token.  I could identify it as a molten lump of iron, that had been bound inside the wall.  The elemental was not bound by me, and is well beyond my ability to bind, so I encouraged it  to aid me, so that I could free it from its bindings.  To free the binding, it needed to be exposed to water and air.  Unfortunately we did not have a wooden bucket to represent all the elements, but we made do with what we had, and drew water from the cistern.

I shattered the stone with my mace, exposing the molten heart, and the cold water was thrown on it, shattering it!  Stepping free of the face was a squat humanoid figure, who left ovals melted in the stone floor as it crossed, pausing a moment to stand where the hot fire had been.  It then fulfilled its agreement, removing the granite block, and then it stepped in the otherwhere that such spirits come from…leaving us to leave.  After gathering the chains, which seem to be fused with elemental earth!  And we lost the trail ofthe slavers.

But of all I have written and studied so far, nothing had truely perpared me or compred with the encounter of a dual natured elemental spirit!

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Not how I wanted to start

That did not go as I planned. I was not suppose to reveal anything Theran. Now I will have to

answer questions that I don't want to talk about. I left that world behind me. I joined this group to seperate 

myself from Thera, now I am right back in it. I might need to go see Urgalee to get back in the right state

of mind. But first we need to take care of these enslavers. Hopefully we will get there before they do something to them. But I am not in any hurry to get back. I'm sure that  the comodant will have a few choice words for me as well. This really is not how I wanted to start. But at least I kicked some ass for Throal before letting any of my Theran out. How to explain myself without saying to much. At least I have some time to think about it. Cause I do not want to think about what we just saw. If I never see it again that will be a good thing.

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My First Trial

I knew becoming a Hero of Barsaive wouldn't be easy but I must say that after our first mission, I can't imagine things getting worse.  I'll assuredly spin the tale for evenings at the pub but truly, the horrors in this world are ghastly.  I would never have guessed our first assignment would have us encounter slavers and horrors that take over dead bodies. The sight of those poor souls being animated and operated like puppets.  The others tied with no idea what fate lays before them.  I only hope we all survive to tell the tales.  Where I to be questioned about it a week ago, in confidence, I would have explained that a small stretching of the truth would be needed to keep the crowds begging for more.  The truth of the matter is that I don't think I'll be able to share this adventure in whole.  I remember the vivid details and it will take all the will that I possess to maintain my sanity.  Advancing the family name won't be difficult providing I don't become enslaved or turned into a puppet.  Only time will tell.

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Becoming a hero

From the Private Journals of Larrodd Brokenbeard, 1st circle initiate

 

A few moments rest.  I don't need it nearly as bad as the soldiers or Camron, that just marched the last day and through the night.  But a welcome respite from what has happened.

Kosheff, you would be proud, of me and Tianglef.  She brought me to the Touchstone and I have joined…and I am not expecting pay!  Perhaps not what I first thought of as being an adept, but, thanks to you and your companionship, I know better.

In the Ivystone, I am joined with a pair of calvarymen and a beastmaster.  Not a day after swearing on our honor, we are sent to check on bandit activity, perhaps slavers.  However, what we find is much worse.  The village has been slaughtered, and some of the villagers we though were horror touched.  What we found may be worse.  They were dead, but animated by some sort of parasite.  I will definitely need to do some research into it and see if it is something known. 

In this group, it is likely I will need to be the researcher.  I may not be a troubadour, or even a weaponsmith, but I am much more suited to it that the others.  Probably, anyway.  While i had thought the discipline of beastmaster to be a simpler choice, the choice of farmhands and animal tamers, Camron seems not to be either of these.  She does have secrets, I think.  In fighting the infected dead, she almost seemed to hide her attacks, which were devastating.  In fact one of those she put down was nearly disemboweled, but yet it stood back up and tried to escape, which was cut off by Rakishi a rather haughty ork.  Judani made a good standing of himself, but I feel he may wish to be a troubador.  So maybe others will also find use in the words of our ancestors.

In a matter of hours, we will go to build makeshift fortifications, incase the leaving of the slavers was a ruse.  This will allow more rest before we go after them, hopefully to free the villagers from the shackles of Theran slavery.  What I find puzzling is that they had nearly two dozen that appeared to be slaves, but only something like nine or eleven could reasonably be counted from Girand, the village we were sent to examine.

 

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Bandits at Girand
The Ivy Stone is tasked

Gahmil 16, 1517

The next morning, right after morning orders, the members of the Ivy Stone are summoned to the Commandant’s office. They report, apparently arriving before the adjutant or their Touchstone. They wait a few minutes, and a younger soldier arrives, who asks their reason for being in the office. They tell him of the appointment, and he goes into the office, then indicates they should join him.

Inside, the commandant is examining a map, but he turns and tells them he has a task for them if they will take it. Apparently, the elder from a small village called Girand had reported being harassed by bandits. But yesterday afternoon, a merchant reported that the elder now believes that two people have been taken by slavers. This makes it a higher priority, so if they would, go check it out.

They decide they will go, find the merchant at Nik Nak’s, and he tells them about what he found when he left 3 days ago, which is what he reported to the commandant. They return to the quartermaster, use their status letters to acquire a few essentials and set off, through the woods to the south following the trail the merchant told them about.

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h2. Gahmil 17, 1517

Riding as hard as they dared through the darkening woods, they arrive at a clearing with a small village. Apparently this is Girand…but there is no one around, and as they look arround, they find a dead bodies, including some who had apparently been flayed, and a few apparent survivors. These survivors, however may be horror touched, so they set off to find the horror. Before long, they find what was probably the Girand Kaer, so they head in, beneath a tree.

Inside, they encounter an illusory block to their passage, a pit, that proved quite unlucky, and luckily discovered some sort of trip wire trap of swinging blades. However, coming upon a long set of stairs, they decide that if someone had gone in, they should have already tripped the traps, so they go the other way. There, they find old planks over a pit, and a few stands of old timber, that may have had some purpose, but they do not wait to divine it. Another long set of stairs, but this one has a narrow plank wedged above them. In descending it, Larr and Juhani fall prey to a trap on the stairs when they lose their balance on the narrow ledge.

At the bottom, they find the Kaer proper, with a dwarf and four female orks hiding. They ran from the village after discovering the bodies, and hearing what may be the raiders coming back. They deny that anyone was alive, but they only found 16 of their fellow villagers bodies. This is odd, as our adepts only found 11 bodies, and the five touched survivors. The villagers are given some rations, and told to wait until our heroes return. And then they return to the village.

This time, however, just as they approach, one of the survivors is shot with an arrow, and she shrieks and charges at them! Before long all of the 5 survivors have joined the fray. Not only do they prove somewhat difficult to put down, they have a tendency to stand back up! After several minutes of fighting, during which each of the adepts demonstrates some of their capabilities, they find that the villagers have some sort of small worm or insect that has wrapped itself around the base of their spine. Once the body is sufficiently damaged, this creature flees, and is fairly easily killed.

In the aftermath, they try to flush out who shot the arrow, as they proceed to burn the bodies in the round house, giving them at least a semblance of a decent farewell. Then they head to the felling site, where some of the people disappeared, and they find a dwarf similarly infected, again eating of his companions. They return his body to rest and dispatch the parasite. While looking for any clues, they find that something, or some one, has been dragged through the woods, so they follow that path. Before long, they almost stumble into a natural clearing where there is a camp of around 30 people, including a troll, with another score of people tied to stakes in the ground. Knowing they are unable to deal with such a force, there return to the village.

From there, they send Camron back to the Outpost to tell the army that there are a number of slavers and they need to be dealt with. Juhani, Rakishi and Larr rescue the survivors and begin the trek back.

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h2. Gahmil 20, 1517

Camron covers the 60 or so miles in less than a day, arriving back at the Outpost in the late morning. She proceeds to interrupt an officers meeting and after a few tense moments convinces the commandant that he needs to send men as soon as possible. She gets a few hours rest, and she begins a march back with 20 men, with Captain Caruler in charge.

Meanwhile the others head back up the trail, where they encounter an ogre, that is known to the villagers, and he is sent on his way with a few coins. They meet up with the reinforcements in the late morning, and send the survivors to the Outpost alone.

Together, they arrive back at Girand in the mid afternoon, the men exhausted. Captain Caruler sends the adepts to get good info on the slavers, but they discover most of them are gone…except the troll a few orks, and an elf that speaks Theran…

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In service to the Ivy Stone
Our heros are joined

Welcome to the Outpost

15th of Gahmil, 1517 TH

As spring slowly winds down to the Earth Day Celebrations, four newly initiated adepts are brought to The Outpost for King Kovars new auxiliary idea.  After a short time in quarters, today they are called to the commandants office.  In the adjutants office, they are met by the Touchstone.  He tells them to offer respect for the commandant, and that he has worked with each of their mentors.  He informs them that they are now assigned to Ivy Stone.  They are then led into the office, where they see the commandant of the Outpost, who is examining a map on his wall.  He bids them sit, but he does not have much in that convenience.  

Here, he explains that King Kovar has put forth the idea of the auxiliaries to have a pool of adepts who are used to working with the military so that in the event there is another military engagement, they can be called upon.  He explains that he is an adept as well, but due to his position is not often able to follow his way.  Also, he states that he would rather sacrifice adepts then soldiers, as soldiers have no choice, adepts do, and, as heroes, will usually choose the risk.  He has no authority over them, but he can give them tasks which they can refuse, allowing him more flexibility when employing his resources.  He tells them that Flag and River stone are both on tasks, and he may have one for them soon. 

The crown does not offer them pay, so any loot they come upon is theirs, with a few restrictions. They are welcome to leave, but on their honor, are expected to report to their touchstone at least 6 times a year.

They agree to these conditions, and Lopto administers a simple oath.  Felus gives each of them his thanks and a confirmation letter for their auxiliary status.  Then the Touchstone takes them to the canteen for their "First and Last drink on the crown!"  While they each struggle with the watered down, low quality drinks, he downs nearly half a bottle of something distilled.  Needless to say, his pep talk begins to wander, and before too long, he bids them a good day.  At which point Lar suggests going to Nik Naks for something worth drinking, and they head into town, where they spend the rest of the afternoon.

 

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