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Under the wire
A goodnight to the long night in the underdark
That undertaking finally laid to rest
We strode and strove against all
Until the ground was made sacred
And our passage was marked




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Death Sleep
Solera looks at the petrified statues of the former adventuring party with sadness. How long have they stood here in this cavern, the former Gorgimera’s lair, deep below the earth? She stands still, gazing upon these stony forms, the blood still dripping down her twin blades to pool at her feet.

Her heart aches for them. These were people once. Before they were so horrifically transformed. People like her. Is this death, she wonders. Or is it more like sleep, their souls suspended and frozen somewhere in that stone? And if it is like sleep, do they dream? She knows that there are spells capable of restoring such petrified figures to life, and this suggests that they are not dead. Are they aware of her watching them now? She shudders at that possibility. How horrifying to be trapped in an immobile prison of stone forever and to be aware of every excruciating second passing by.

If only she could help them, but alas she does not know the spells capable of freeing these poor souls.
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Flossin's big journey
After finding The Book of Amazing Spells and setting fire to the library, Flossin fled Lankhmar. He left a quick note for family, and headed south. He ventured to Quarmall, city of wizards. There he consulted the learned sorcerers and mages of the city. The book turned out to be more of a hoax than a tome of power. He was told that most of the spells within were of minimal power or written incorrectly. Crestfallen, Flossin decided to stay in the city to learn spellcasting.

Flossin studied with the wizards in Quarmall for the year, learning white magic, herbology, and how to release a possessed spirit without destroying it.

While living in Quarmall, he had a brief love affair with a fellow member of the sorcery guild. Her name was Evelyn, a petite woman of similar age, with Mingol features. Flossin initially captured her interest by growing a new type of lotus flower. Unfortunately, things ended a few months later due to intermittent "performance" issues. Flossin eventually returned to Lankhmar when he ran low on money.

A friend of his from Quarmall, a dark-skinned young man from Klesh, named Umberto, accompanied Flossin. Umberto is also interested in plants, and he and Flossin opened a small greenhouse/flower shop in Lankhmar. Umberto is interested in seeing the strangeness of Lankhmar, but also keeps trying to marry Flossin off to one of his sisters (he has seven.)
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Go Go Gorgimera!
Smoke still hangs heavy in the cavern where they slew the Gorgimera. The beast lies still now, black blood yet pumping from the horrible wound where Valindra’s twin barbs drove deep into its chest and heart. She feels sickened looking upon its fallen form. An abomination, likely born of magical experimentation and not the natural world, the monstrosities stands as an affront to all her sensibilities.

She looks upon the stone statues, adventurers like herself no doubt, petrified by the beast’s foul eldritch breath. They strongly suspects that these are the very adventurers who proceeded them here, the doomed bloody bastards of whom the Pech spoke and who failed to stop the bugbears from summoning the Demon Mother.

One of the stony forms in particular catches her eye, a grugatch female like herself. A warrior, frozen for eternity in an agonous pose, great sword held aloft in two hands. The stonework of this once living statue subtly reveals the eldritch tattoos spiraling along the figure’s arms, revealing her as a sorceress as well as a warrior. Something about her strikes Valindra as indescribably compelling, as though there is a kinship between them running deeper than racial affinity. She can sense it, but cannot name it. It is as if they have both sprung from the same well of creation. She knows that all life springs from the hand of the Leaf Lord, but it is almost as if the same creative breath has breathed them both into existence.

After long moments of contemplation, she lays her hand upon the figure’s stony cheek and whispers a quiet prayer.
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Notas Investigationis: Caput 1
Prologue: My name is Thales, of Melitus, Provo Sol. I am a scholar of magic, trained by the Ancient and Mystical Order of Vitae Cruceae. We Vitacrucians have dedicated our lives to further the understanding of the Nethersea, the Stars Above, and the mystic forces that connect the two in the world between. Over the last several decades the Order has documented a rise in Nethersea activity, little noticed in the Provinces but problematic in some parts of the Drift. The recent meltdown of the Arcanum complex on Provo Sol has increased the urgency of our investigations; the Order is concerned that a growing problem, arcana veneficium (toxic magic) is behind these disasters. Academicians, including myself, have left behind the tomes and scrolls of the Sapphire Tower to gather information on these Nethersea incursions. I am hoping to find one of the old Vitacrucian research stations, placed out beyond the Drift at the edge of the Nethersea hundreds of years ago. Perhaps the data collected there will help us understand the nature of the problem and lead to possible solutions.
If this journal is found, please return it to the Sapphire Tower on Provo Sol. Though I am dead perhaps my research notes will prove of some use.

Caput 1: The Drift
To find the research station requires an airship, and a Captain daring (and possibly mad) enough to fly out into the uncharted and chaotic Breach beyond the Drift. I learned that such a Captain might be found in the largest port of the Drift, the Breezeway. Airship passage to the Breezeway was easy to find, and the trip over was enlightening. Despite being one of Provo Sol's leading experts on the Nethersea, this was the first time I actually soared over it. It's beauty and ever-changing nature was not adequately described in my scrolls. My search for a ship and Captain led me to a tavern frequented by sailors - a one-armed local knew of such a man, named Bart Sharpe. Apparently Captain Sharpe has been out beyond the Mist/Breach, although his crew did not return with him. The one-armed man then told me where Capt. Sharpe could be found - a notorious prison called Dead Man's Darrow, on the pirate haven Korvallia. He suggested I acquire the services of a guide, and recommended a burglar named Miles Mainsway, or Mystfoot as he prefers to be called. A peculiar little fellow who keeps his own council. When I asked him how we would get Capt. Sharpe out of the prison he said he had a plan. Apparently his plan was to get us thrown into prison. It was an unpleasant affair I will not describe here. But I need to give credit where it is due, his plan ultimately worked. We found ourselves locked in cells next to Capt. Sharpe, as well as a bugbear named Braggmnkk. I do not know much about the history of the bugbear people. I must remember to ask my fellow Vitacrucian Solon about it; if memory serves he has studied the histories of many of the Farfolk and may have some insights. Anyway, he seems a solid fellow, and definitely a capable warrior. Capt. Sharpe presented a less impressive appearance. For a person who had purportedly been to the edge of the known world, he seemed to me a narcissistic buffoon, someone who has spent the better part of his life deep inside a bottle. He did prove resourceful enough as we escaped. Both Mystfoot and I managed to free ourselves, by skill and magic, but when the guard was alerted Capt. Sharpe's quick tongue convinced him to let us go. We escaped down into the sewer below the prison. A swarm of rats briefly slowed our passage, but eventually we climbed up into the ramshackle city. The pirate leaders apparently disapproved our escape and sent out searchers with dogs. Capt. Sharpe knew of a ship that we might escape on, owned by someone called Big Tom. Mystfoot deftly guided us over and through buildings on our way to Big Tom's bar, where we could hide out until setting sail the next morning. Before settling in for the night I noticed a storm brewing far offshore, a dangerous occurance out in the Drift where the Nethersea is so close.
The next morning the storm was upon us once we reached the airship docks. But this was no ordinary storm, I was witnessing arcana viteficium, toxic magic powered by the surge of chaotic energy from the Nethersea. It first manifested in tendrils of fire that knocked down the shanties overlooking the docks. They seemed to move with a primitive intelligence, perhaps even malevolence. My scholarly training did not prepare me to defend myself very well, but my new companions were more than capable. My meager magical skills did help a little. Once the fire tendrils were banished a wall of ooze appeared, trapping some of the sailors attempting to flee. It seemed another elemental effect, this time of earth. We helped the sailors as best we could, but then river water rose up and destroyed a bridge while shards of ice rained down on us. We managed to make it to the dock and find Darrow's Dread, Big Tom's ship. Once onboard the crew set sail, but shortly after animated whirlwinds appeared and threw several crew overboard, including the Captain. Capt. Sharpe took control of the situation as we battled the final elemental manifestations. Once the danger was over we continued out over the Nethersea with our new crew seemingly mesmerized by Capt. Sharpe, afraid of Braggmnkk, and uncertain of the destination. I plan on conducting detailed interviews of the lead navigator John and 1st Mate Craig (pronounced Kree-egg) regarding the elemental manifestations. Perhaps they noticed something I missed during the fog of battle. Learning more about the malevolence exhibited by these procursus (outbreaks) is now my first priority, as they may hold the key to understanding arcana veneficium.
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Tags: Aug 2 2019 , Recap
Epic!
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