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ZONE - Arrowfall ((OLD))


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#361 GhostlyCheese

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 09:54 PM

Asher went over the little items that he had, it seemed almost all was in order, his weapons and clothing. Good, but when I get home, I'll have to wash the stench of undead out of this... if I ever do get home... Asher shook the thoughts of death from his head, he didn't need to be worried about himself, he needed to keep in the attitude he'd had when smashing the undead's head in. Anger at the necromancer, the man who trapped him, and killed so many in this damned city.

---

"Good day as any to die. Just remember to tell my story,"

As Kassandra broke from the group and lunged at Jade, Asher flung his arms in a attempt to grab and pull her back. "No!" He could manage as he saw the look in Jade's eyes. Stumbling to get to them. His mind fluttered. Fear, desperation, and doom. A blast of fire erupted from her hands, straight towards Kass. Asher tossed himself, trying to push her out of the way.

But he was a moment too late... The blast did its damage, catching Asher's forearm in its path, but it wasn't enough to stop it from hitting Kass. She... no... Asher was clueless, he didn't know if she was dead, or if she wasn't. I-I could have... I could have... Asher turned to Jade and Osgar. "This... this is your fault! You couldn't fit into society so you lashed out against it! You were freaks in a world that couldn't, and wouldn't accept you!" Asher yelled, his face red with rage, saddness, and fear. His hand felt in his arm wrap for the busted shaft he broke earlier, holding it in his hand.

Don't be a coward Asher... you've hidden and cried for too long! Kill him... be like Veron... a hero...

He sprinted towards them, his teeth gritted, he wasn't very far. And with his speed, in a few strides he lunged at Osgar, hoping to stab the man with the wooden shaft, to pierce his black heart.

((Sorry for the late post... I've just been really busy the last few days... I don't expect Asher to survive this one... so don't hold back on the damage Osgar or Jade could unleash on his Celestial-Kin (remember?) body... Or maybe this is how his true form is unleashed and something magical will happen...))

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#362 Sareth

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Posted 12 October 2015 - 01:41 PM

Liliana's vision swam, and she felt like she could pass out at any moment, but forced herself not to; she wouldn't allow herself that luxury, she couldn't, until this situation was resolved. But she did retain the presence of mind to clamp her other hand over her wrist wound with as much pressure as she could manage, to stop the bleeding.

 

She almost wanted to protest when Ben picked her up in her arms, but lacked the strength to even do that at the moment, and so simply folded her wings out of the way as best she could as he carried her into another room. She realized the room was some form of armory, as she saw the others taking gear from the walls which, after a moment, she recognized as their own.

 

A brief look around revealed her own sword-belt hanging on the wall, close enough for her to reach from her position in Ben's arms. Managing to unhook it after what felt like a laborious effort in her state, she pulled it close to her chest, as she checked it over: her sword and misericorde were both still in their sheathes on the belt, and a brief check in the attached small leather pouch revealed —to her relief— that the thick glass vials with their precious, and lethal, cargo were still present and intact.

 

Before she had time to look around for her breastplate, she was distracted as Ben looked as though he was about to say something to her. And then the roof disappeared. Or, was torn off, to be more accurate, as she looked up to see the abominable and unholy visage of another necrogolem staring down at them.

 

"I'll fight Osgar. But first I'm getting you out of here."

 

She didn't have time to respond, before Ben transformed beneath her —a rather disconcerting sensation to say the least—, and took off up the stairs, still carrying her.

 

"Take care of her."

 

Liliana managed to stand with the old woman's help as Ben set her down, turning back to look at him. "You take care of them" she retorted, somewhat weakly, before giving him a nod to get going. She hated this, hated being unable to carry out the duty her father had given her, having to rely on others to finish it for her. But she'd made her choice, and she didn't see anything else she could have done —she could only hope He'd forgive her.

 

"Come along, dear, I'm sure that nice innkeeper will help you get away. This fight's no place for someone in your condition... Once you're safe, I have some warlocks to punish."

 

She looked back into the hallway, which the necrogolem was reaching into through a hole it had torn in the opposite wall. The old mage would have to get past it to join the others in Osgar's room. 

 

She nodded in response to the woman's statement, grasping the windowsill with one hand to support herself, and setting her gear down on it for a moment with the other. "Right" she gasped painfully. "But first, close your eyes for a second. Going to... give that thing something else to think about... for a second, so you can get past it" she wheezed, before raising her hand in the necrogolem's direction, and praying —silently, as those couple sentences had left her temporarily breathless, but she thought as hard as she could, asking Hades to blind the monster with a flash of divine light*.

 

That done, she sat on the sill of the window, and slid herself out, though it took a few moments to get her wings to fit through; in her current condition she couldn't manage to summon up the concentration needed to hide them again, and so just had to fold them as tightly as possible and squeeze through. Retrieving her sword-belt from the sill, she then staggered after the civilians, though she turned to look back after she'd made it some distance.

 

 

 

 

 

*((cast 'Light of the Gods'))


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#363 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 10:01 AM

Kass exhaled, drawing her knife. "Good day as any to die. Just remember to tell my story," she added.

 

Ben almost rounded on her. "What the hell're you--!?"

 

She suddenly ran forward armed with her puny knife, throwing the blade at Jade and then trying to tackle her to the ground. She, clad in not a single piece of void iron, was trying to tackle a mage... a scared mage. Before Benjamin could grab Kass and throw her across the room for her reckless assault on Jade, Kass was already barreling toward the young spellcaster...

 

At the same instant, Durante and Asher rushed up just as Jade let loose a blast of fire, and both of them were caught in the blast. Kass still took the worst of it (-6 HP), but Asher took a considerable portion, himself (-5 HP), as Jade's emotions amplified the magic's power. Both of them, however, were lucky that Durante's injuries hadn't slowed him enough to stop him from rushing between them and the rest of the magic. If he hadn't, there was no question that both of them would be little more than charred corpses or ashes streaked across the floor.

 

Durante's runes and eyes were now alight in red-orange fire magic, but he barely stopped for a moment. Knowing it would be absorbed and cause their surroundings no harm, Durante unleashed the blast at Osgar, even as he ran straight for Jade. Everyone watched as the fire magic dissipated into thin air the moment it came near Osgar's void iron armor.

 

"This... this is your fault! You couldn't fit into society so you lashed out against it! You were freaks in a world that couldn't, and wouldn't accept you!" Asher yelled in spite of his injuries.

 

Broken arrow shaft in hand, Asher charged for Osgar. The necromancer did not even look bothered, particularly by an adversary rushing him with naught but a broken splinter, as he wore a full suit of armor. He merely raised a hand and sent forth a blast of dark, red-black magic, which flowed forth from his fingertips and struck Asher square in the chest (-6 HP).

 

Asher collapsed onto the floor. He felt agony sear deep into his soul, making him cry out and writhe as the pain ripped into his very being. It took his breath away, briefly darkened his vision... He felt sure he was going to die.

 

Until a surge of strength filled him - it wasn't enough to force him back to his feet, but it snapped his eyes open. He felt strange - different. And, all at once, a pair of white, feathered wings sprouted from his back, his eyes taking up an otherworldly glow.

 

Osgar didn't even have time to notice the change, for Ben had since charged straight for him. The vampire growled and lashed out with his claws, but Osgar dodged aside, barely with enough speed to escape being grabbed and torn apart by the hulking monster.

 

As Benjamin and Osgar tangled, Durante suddenly sprung and tackled Jade. She narrowly failed to escape, and she suddenly found herslf pinned beneath the badly wounded channeler. He gripped one of her wrists and snapped in her face: "Jade, get a grip! We aren't your enemies unless you make us kill you by joining this - this crazy asshole!"

 

The Weeping Mage summoned his demonic magic once more, throwing a javelin of dark energy toward the necrgolem's face. However, the necrogolem's face simply absorbed it, and the monster didn't even seem to notice. It had no effect whatsoever.

 

"Demonic magic does not affect its spawn," said Sylvanus, who stood nearby. "Sometimes it even empowers them."

 

Sylvanus was merely watching the events unfold around him, while his skeletal revenant hurried around the room, scratching about looking for the portal runes while everyone else fought. Sylvanus and his creation weren't lifting a finger to help.

 

Then, Liliana summoned her father's power - a blinding flash of light struck the necrogolem right in the face. The creature roared and reeled back, covering its distorted eyes and wailing in pain. It suddenly lifted one fist and struck at the torn-open castle hallway - only for Veron to slam his weapon into it, knocking off one of the necrogolem's deteriorating fingers, which thunked down the side of the castle, leaving a horrid, rotting stench in its wake. The smell was enough to turn the stomach of the most experienced sewer rat.

 

This made the blinded necrogolem pull its hand away in alarm, roaring again...

 

Just as it was struck by the first few rays of the rising sun.

 

The necrogolem wailed, its voice sounding like the screeching of a dozen lost souls. The creature collapsed with a resounding crash that shook the entire ground. Its decaying form seared in the sun, its stench somehow fading rather than increasing, and its accursed flesh began to burn away into nothing.

 

The sun was beginning to rise. The undead in the castle didn't have much time before the rays would invade their battleground. While Liliana escaped, Janice quietly hurried back out into the hall, toward the fight with Osgar.

 

---

 

Liliana could see the sun slowly starting to lighten the horizon as she went to join the civilians, the necrogolem's death throes echoing through the city. The innkeeper from before darted back to help support the celestial-kin's wounded form, saying nothing but offering a respectful nod, silently indicating he would move away from her if she didn't appreciate the aid.

 

The tolling of a temple bell sounded through Arrowfall as light crept into the city once more. Up ahead, Liliana could see shambling dead collapsing and moaning as the divine light of the heavens charred them to a crisp.

 

Liliana and the other survivors had barely moved into the streets before they heard the rush of horse hooves. A group of Inquisitors on horseback thundered toward them, all clad in black armor and flowing cloaks of matching color, their horse's barding and their own armor alike decorated everywhere in the triple bars of the Inquisition. Leading them was a young channeler woman with long, bright red hair.

 

The Inquisitors halted before them. "Help these people!" ordered the channeler, motioning back to several knights who rode with them. She then turned to Liliana. "The other Inquisitors - you were with them."

 

How she knew this was left a question, but now was clearly no time to ask.

 

"Where are they?"

 

 

((Nearing the end of it all now. Decide what your characters are going to do/who they're going to side with (this is mostly for you spellcasters) and pick your goal. The magi who want to escape won't have much chance to reach the (currently hidden) portal runes unless they think fast and act now. Just a fair warning: you must have Arcane Lore in order to use the portal runes, or you must be with someone else who has it.

 

Osgar is still not defeated and many of the players are very hurt. The necrogolem is no longer a problem, so everyone can converge. Teamwork is essential to win. The sun is rising, so the undead in the room are in potential danger. The Inquisition will also arrive in the room very soon.

 

Ghostly, Asher has gained one new ability: a blast of light that will harm all undead in the vicinity and briefly blind them. It has been added to your entry in the inventory list. Use it wisely.))


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#364 Burger Warrior

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 06:28 PM

Jade’s eyes widened as she helplessly watched her power shoot out beyond her control, washing over her attackers. Where Kass and - Asher, wasn’t it? The odd elf from earlier - rushed her, they were… simply replaced by rolling gouts of flame. The witch froze, watching two people just… vanish. She cut the flow of the flames as soon as she could but it was far too-

 

Her breath caught in her chest as the last of her magic was simply absorbed, and Durante charged through what was left of her flames, glowing almost demonically with the power he’d leeched from her. Jade began to conjure another fiery blast out of sheer panic, fortunately forgetting her physical weapons that could have easily torn apart the unarmored Inquisitor. However, before she could finish utilizing her Curse, she noticed two figures behind Durante. Both were distinctly burnt, but still moving. One of them was shouting, but Jade wasn’t focused enough to hear him, perhaps fortunately.

 

I didn’t kill them!

 

Much to her own dismay, though, Jade wasn’t sure if she was proud of that, or horrified that they could still move. That they could still hurt her.

 

Either way, the realization saved Durante having to absorb anymore magic, just as he clearly began to release his own power. For a moment, Jade wondered if she could bat it aside with her own pure magic, but by that point it was too late, anyway. She shut her eyes, expecting a fiery but brief end to finally just… stop all of this.

 

Instead, she felt the full weight of Durante’s body slam into her, pinning her to the ground beneath him. Jade struggled to get her breath back, wondering if he’d decided to just take a dagger to her, now.

 

Thus, when he spoke, Jade felt as if a bucket of cold water had been dumped on her head.

 

"Jade, get a grip! We aren't your enemies unless you make us kill you by joining this - this crazy asshole!"

 

He… he doesn’t want to kill me?

 

The witch just tried to breathe, trying to ignore the prevailing stench of burnt flesh. In just a matter of… hell, minutes, her world had been flipped around. At first, she’d thought everyone was going to kill her - though, then again, Kass had tried to kill her twice, now, right? - but now… at least one of the Inquisitors was on her side? Durante had every reason in the world to slide a dagger between Jade’s ribs, and he still insisted on sparing her.

 

But… why? Is it for Ben, or… because he likes me? No. No, that… that can’t be it. That just doesn’t make any sense… He just… he just wants this to turn out all nice and clean; with me behind bars! Or executed in front of some stupid judge...

 

And even if he doesn’t want me dead… there are all the other Inquisitors…

 

Jade bit her lip, realizing that while Durante had her pinned, and had one of her wrists locked down, she still had one free hand. With it, she reached for her old dagger she’d nabbed along with her bow, back in the armory. Her hand rested on the pommel for a moment, and she hesitated.

 

“I-I…” She gulped. “I-it’s nothing personal...”

 

In a couple jerky motions, she drew her dagger and slid it between the Channeler’s ribs

 

-----

 

Veron squinted against Liliana’s blast of holy light, grinning as the golem stumbled back, apparently blinded. From behind him, one of the gods-forsaken warlocks ineffectively threw some magic bolt at it, prompting the monster to swing randomly. Veron swore as the fist landed nearby, rushing it and swinging hard and fast with his blade. He frowned as only one of the giant’s fingers fell off, and nearly lost his dinner a few moments later as the stench hit him. The nobleman groaned, falling to one knee, but the necrogolem retrieved its hand with a pained roar…

 

And, a few moments later, collapsed with an impact that made the whole world shudder.

 

Veron blinked, stumbling away from the rotting, giant finger to look out at the huge re-dead golem. The sun had finally emerged, and was rapidly reducing the monster to so many ashes. A weary grin spread across his face, and the young Hartwin let out a cheer; which was promptly interrupted by the sounds of ferocious combat from behind.

 

Turning, Veron hurried toward the room where most of the others were, to find the place in utter pandemonium. The two ‘friendly’ warlocks were standing off to one side, while the rest were engaged in a furious melee. Benjamin, still in bat-form, was chasing Osgar around the room, and Veron immediately focused in on them. With Osgar being rather occupied with the vampire coming at him, the nobleman saw his chance to charge in, sticking a leg out to trick the fallen noble with the help of his heavy armor, and planning to follow up the disorienting move with a vicious cleave of his blade.

 

For Arrowfall!”


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#365 Sareth

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Posted 20 October 2015 - 07:59 PM

A grin —grim and pained, but a grin nonetheless— adorned Liliana's face as she made her way outside, gladdened at the demise of the necrogolem. That was one less monster... Unfortunately, the worst one, its master, was yet to be dealt with in a similarly permanent fashion. 

 

She felt a brief desire to rebuke the innkeeper as he came back to help her, to walk on her own, but forced her pride down as she saw his respectful nod. He was only doing what he thought was right, and, as much as it pained her, she honestly wasn't in a position to do much of anything on her own at the moment. So, she simply nodded back in weary thanks, leaning on the man's shoulder to keep herself upright as they made their way towards the streets.

 

The tolling of a temple bell caused her to look up, and she was heartened to see the remaining undead collapsing and dissolving in the dawn's light. 'As it has ever been, so it is now: Ashes to ashes, and dust to dust... rest in peace once more, you poor lost souls' she thought to herself, a thankful prayer of sorts.

 

But, her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of approaching horses. The Inquisition, it seemed, had finally arrived in proper force.

 

"The other Inquisitors - you were with them. Where are they?"

 

She didn't hesitate, despite the strangeness of the newcomer knowing who she was, pointing back towards the window she and the civilians had escaped through. "The next room over... Osgar's the necromancer.. Trying to escape... with a couple others. You have... have to hurry" she gasped out, feeling like someone was shoving knives into her lungs all the while.

 

The force of inquisitors could surely stop Osgar for good. She could only wonder if the others could hold him long enough for them to get there....


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#366 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 05:21 AM

The Weeping Mage let out a stream of choice curse words as the Necrogolem simply absorbed his blast of energy. It didn't really matter, though, as, a few seconds later, the sun rose, turning the abomination into a pile of scorched flesh. However, it also men that Slyvanus the Revenent only had a limited amount of time before he too was destroyed.

 

He surveyed the room: Asher and Kass were down, Jade and Durante were doing...something, and Ben and Veron were charging at the Necromancer...while Slyvanus stood by, as if they were on a picnic in the woods instead of fighting for their lives.

 

Charon simply snarled with frustration as his picked up a piece of rubble from the wall that the Necrogolem had smashed, as something akin to a sonic boom (Field of Sorrow) echoed through the room. His eyes began to glow, and the head-sized rock glowed with a mesh of Freezing Blast.

 

He then charged at Osgar as well, and, when he was close enough, flung the rock at him: he doubted that the magic would have any effect, but the rock by itself might.

 

As the Mage threw it, he too joined in the Nobleman's battle cry:

 

"For Arrowfall!



#367 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 11:59 AM

Jade drew her dagger, aiming to slide it between Durante's ribs - but Durante's hand suddenly grasped her wrist, holding the blade at bay. Her movements were far from subtle, and he'd seen her actions before the knife had even neared his chest.

 

Panic filled her as Jade wrestled for the dagger. Magic rushed into Durante's runes as it burst out from her fear, making his eyes and runes glow a bright violet - the color of magic. In her fear, she was channeling raw, uncontrollable arcane energy.

 

But that ended when the dagger pierced straight through her heart.

 

In the struggle, Durante had turned the dagger away from him... and Jade's strength had failed her. Durante wasn't even sure, himself, if he'd intended to kill her - but just from the magic he'd absorbed, it was apparent that, if he hadn't everyone in the room would be dead.

 

Durante froze, ignoring the struggle with Osgar. He had barely even known her, but there she was - young, promising, and so very afraid.

 

"I'm sorry..." he murmured, just as Jade drew her last breath. The life faded from her open eyes, her pale features illuminated in the glow of the magic Durante had absorbed from her final struggle. The channeler set his jaw and released the dagger, swallowing hard. Bowing his head and murmuring a prayer to Hades to show her mercy, he lifted one hand and gently closed her eyes.

 

The battle with Osgar, however, raged on with no pause for the death of the young mage. Veron stuck his leg out to try and disorient Osgar - and, as he backed away from the vampire that chased him, the necromancer stumbled right into it. He lost his footing and nearly fell - which left him open for Veron's swing. The noble's blade clashed hard into Osgar's plate armor, staggering him further and leaving a nasty cut in his side, between the plate armor.

 

Once Veron had struck, Ben lunged straight for the necromancer. The massive man-bat knocked Osgar right off his feet, ripping the sword from his hand and tossing it aside as he ripped into the stolen armor Osgar wore, tearing it from his person and flinging it aside, ridding Osgar from his protection against magic as he bearing his long fangs...

 

No one had a moment to help before Benjamin lunged and bit into Osgar's neck, grappling with him and trying to keep him pinned. But a change came over the necromancer - a change not unlike Benjamin's own.

 

Osgar let out a deafening screech as he transformed into a man-bat, one only slightly smaller than Ben himself. But Ben was wounded, his body still stained with blood - and Osgar threw him aside. Whirling, Osgar faced Veron, opening his maw and brandishing his teeth as he rushed the nobleman.

 

The man-bat was too fast to avoid or counter. Osgar was on him in a second, and Veron felt those dreaded fangs sink into his neck. Pain shocked his entire body, paralyzing him. He couldn't even raise his own sword to defend himself as Osgar drank deep of his blood (-6 HP).

 

The Weeping Mage hefted a piece of rubble, letting out an unnatural wail as he flung it for Osgar. Both vampires screamed and covered their ears, Osgar releasing Veron in the process, letting the noble drop to the floor...

 

But the demonic power of the screech, while it disoriented and disheartened everyone else, had no effect on Osgar - or Ben. Osgar knocked the stone aside as it flew for his head, glaring at the Weeping Mage and preparing to turn his attention to him instead...

 

The instant he moved, however, something blasted him back - a burst of flame. Osgar cursed as he was flung across the room, his back slamming hard into the far wall. He screamed as the fire seared him, grasping at his chest and screeching in rage.

 

"Your dark powers will not save you from me, necromancer," said Janice as she entered the room, her hands aloft and her eyes glowing bright orange-red, the color of fire. "Now burn!"

 

At the same instant, Janice and Durante summoned their power - one channeling her own elemental energy, the other channeling the power he'd absorbed from the dying Jade. The room went white from light, everyone went deaf from the resounding thunderclaps of sheer power...

 

And then it faded.

 

As abruptly as it started, it was over. A charred, smoking, and half-destroyed Osgar lay to one side of the room, in his human form once more... but he was still alive, or at least as alive as a burnt vampire could be considered.

 

Injured and disoriented but in his human form once again, a bloodied Ben groped for his armor, his eyes burning from the sunlight starting to creep into the room. He couldn't even see Jade's corpse. Silently, once he had reclaimed his void iron gear from Jade, Durante went to him, grabbing the void iron armor Benjamin had torn off Osgar and helping his brother don it quickly once more, to help shield him from the rising sun.

 

Sylvanus silently crept over and took Jade's body up in his arms. He then silently gestured for the Weeping Mage to join him in Osgar's study...

 

---

 

"The next room over... Osgar's the necromancer.. Trying to escape... with a couple others. You have... have to hurry" she gasped out, feeling like someone was shoving knives into her lungs all the while.

 

The Inquisitor woman nodded, and they set their horses off at a gallop for the castle grounds. The mage hunters dismounted and rushed toward the keep.

 

The innkeeper, who still supported Liliana, hesitated for a moment before he lowered his voice and asked quietly, "I'll follow any command given to me by a divine being... and I leave it to your wisdom. But I must ask... Will you tell the Inquisitors that one of their own is a monster?"

 

Even if she decided she would, that would have to come later. The survivors were nearing an inn once more - not the one they had hidden in before, but a different, larger, and more expensive one. All around them, knights, militia, and Templar were aiding survivors and checking buildings for any remaining undead.

 

---

 

Meanwhile, Sylvanus led the Weeping Mage to the portal runes. The revenant stood before them, blocking the Weeping Mage from accessing them, though it seemed inadvertent. The revenant was just standing there, as he apparently had been after he had located the runes at all.

 

"You have two options," said Sylvanus as he turned to the Weeping Mage. "You can accompany me and my minion... or you can remain here with the Inquisitors who will ether kill or imprison you. They will most likely do the former. The decision, however, is yours."

 

For whatever reason, Sylvanus still held Jade's corpse in his arms. He carried it with respect.

 

 

 

((This should be a fairly brief interlude... I just want everyone to decide whether Osgar lives or dies; this can be discussed before anyone does anything, but nothing is stopping someone from going over and killing him; first come, first serve. If no one kills him in this round, he will live. If he lives, he will be taken in for interrogation in order to obtain more information about his cult connections. If he dies, his blight on the world is gone.

 

Players can also decide whether or not they turn in Janice, since she is a mage. And, of course, players can decide whether or not they plan to turn in Ben, since he's a vampire. He is currently wounded and being tended to by his brother Durante. Take this moment to think or talk about it. If you want to reveal anyone, state that you plan to do so in your post, and feel free to write the portion of your character telling the Inquisitors when they reach the room (that way I can address that in my next post as well).

 

As for the Weeping Mage, he has the option to go with Sylvanus or to stay behind. The implications of each choice should be pretty apparent...

 

Please note that you can only take one action this round. For instance, if the Weeping Mage kills Osgar, then he cannot escape with Sylvanus.

 

The sun is rising and sunlight will soon fill the room. In my next post, the sun will fill the room and the Inquisitors will arrive. This is your last chance to choose on these subjects. In my next DM post, we will move to a social area where everyone can talk (who exactly is present will depend on these choices, of course), and the quest will be concluded.))


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#368 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 29 October 2015 - 02:12 PM

To say that the Weeping Mage was in shock would be a drastic understatement.

After the fight with Osgar had ended, he, Publius, and Slyvanus the Revenant had fled, taking Jade’s body with them. His normal demeanor seemed to have returned, as the part of his cloak that we directly under his face was thoroughly drenched with tears.

 

"You have two options, You can accompany me and my minion... or you can remain here with the Inquisitors who will ether kill or imprison you. They will most likely do the former. The decision, however, is yours."

 

Charon was racked by indecision: did he want to kill Durante, a pointless waist of magic and his life, for making Ben break his word about protecting the dead mage, or Osgar, for driving Jade to do things that would ultimately cause her death. But, he knew what he had to do, so he spoke slowly.

 

“When I was back at the inn, I thought that this would be so easy: I wanted to come here, and put Osgar’s soul in a Soulstone, and then leave this gods-forsaken town, but things got complicated. So many have died because of that Vampiric B*****’s hopeless crusade against the Inquisition and that Coven he was so afraid of, including Jade…”

 

His voice quavered, and he paused before continuing:

 

“If I say here, I’ll die; if I kill Osgar or Durante, I’ll die; if I go with you and your minion, I’ll die later. Revenge isn’t so important to me that I would sell my soul to it, like Osgar did, or else I would have made a pact with Nemesis. I can bide my time: I’ll go with you.” 



#369 Burger Warrior

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 05:29 PM

Veron let out a half-roar of triumph as Osgar tripped on his leg, and the noble swung his sword with all his strength. While the foul warlock was still clad in void armor, Hartwin managed to strike between some of the plates and sent the necromancer stumbling away, a terrible wound in his side. Before the warrior could pursue him, Benjamin leapt on the man and tried to rip him apart… only for Osgar to let out an inhuman screech.

 

Veron’s eyes widened as he realized it did not sound unlike the scream Benjamin released when he transformed. They only widened further as the Inquisitor was tossed away like a ragdoll, and Osgar’s hellish eyes locked on Hartwin’s own. Before the knight could even try bringing his sword to bear, the vampire was upon him, and Veron let out an anguished yell as the monster tore into his neck. For a moment, the nobleman thought this was the end.

 

And then another inhuman - and utterly unnatural - wail pierced the air, and Veron felt himself drop. He was too weak to break his fall in any way, and just winced as he clanked to the floor, his plate armor doing little to cushion the blow. A soft groan escaped the noble’s lips as he watched the vampire turn on one of the other warlocks; the masked one, it seemed. It didn’t matter, he’d be dead soon…

 

...Or a blast of fire would hit the vampire in the back, sending him flying off to one side as the elderly woman entered the room.

 

"Your dark powers will not save you from me, necromancer," said Janice as she entered the room, her hands aloft and her eyes glowing bright orange-red, the color of fire. "Now burn!"

 

For a moment, Veron was blinded by the sheer magical power unleashed inside the room for a few moments, shutting his eyes against the burning lights. Even through his lids, though, the nobleman could see the glow of Durante and Janice’s combined power. Despite the natural terror that such a sight brewed in him, though, Hartwin couldn’t help but feel a twinge of satisfaction, and almost hastily opened his eyes and struggled to his feet when the mages had done their work.

 

Osgar was little more than a charred husk on the ground as Veron stumbled over to him, and hand covering his torn and bleeding neck. However, he had enough strength in his other to haul Osgar upright. With an almost superhuman effort, the man began to drag the vampiric warlock across the room, pausing after every foot or so to suck in a pained breath. As he approached the nearest window, though, Veron began to speak.

 

“‘Sir’ Gaius Osgar,” he said, slowly, his voice trembling, and there was a clear, disgusted emphasis on the ‘sir’, “on the counts of witchcraft, manslaughter, and…” Veron blinked as his exhausted mind failed to come up with anything more notably dramatic-sounding. Gritting his teeth, he uncovered his neck and caught the vampire beneath both arms, gritting his teeth.

 

“Damn it all, just burn!” He growled, lifting the battered vampire up to the window, and letting the sun do its work.


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#370 Sareth

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 08:36 PM

"I'll follow any command given to me by a divine being... and I leave it to your wisdom. But I must ask... Will you tell the Inquisitors that one of their own is a monster?"

 

Liliana stopped walking, turning to face the innkeeper, still leaning heavily on his shoulder. "... No" she pronounced softly, after a moment.

 

She could have left it there, and the innkeeper would have likely kept the secret, but she didn't; faith was good, but sometimes it deserved to be rewarded with answers.

 

"... Because, he's not one —not in spirit, anyways" she continued, managing to get the words out fairly levelly despite the pain of talking. "He didn't choose to be cursed... he's doing everything he can to fight it; he won't kill for blood, and he won't turn anyone else —and he has a brother who will help keep him on the right path... He's still doing good works, despite his condition... and I would not willingly condemn an innocent soul to the domain of Arashk" —she pronounced the name of the demon lord with distaste.

 

"... He deserves a chance to save his soul, if he can.... And if he can't... then I will see to it that he does not harm anyone" she finished solemnly. 

 

She wasn't sure if the innkeeper would understand; not many could easily process such concepts —especially against the force of generations of prejudice, a not-inconsiderable amount of it justified—, but she hoped he would, and would keep Ben's secret.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#371 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 06:26 PM

Over the next few moments, the would-be group seemed to dissipate. The Weeping Mage went with Sylvanus, disappearing through the portal runes, only to appear in a strange network of caves later. Sylvanus, with Jade's body still in his arms, destroyed the runes on the wall in the cavern so they wouldn't be followed.

 

Turning to the Weeping Mage, he said simply, "Should you desire a place in the Umbra Coven, you shall have it."

 
---
 
Back in Arrowfall, Veron made sure that Osgar would not return, or at least he did so to the best of his knowledge. In the holy light of the sun, Osgar's remains burned into ashes and blew away in the wind.
 
By the time the Inquisitors arrived, Ben had reassumed his human form and - with Durante's help - donned his void iron armor. The Inquisitors who rushed into the room looked around, receiving a hasty explanation from Durante. All of them were removed from the room, taken outside and back into the streets, toward a local tavern.
 
The city streets were devastating to see. Corpses everywhere - ashes from the undead, corpses from those killed by the monsters, bloodstains... And, bursting into buildings to make sure they were cleansed of all undead, they saw knights from Arrowfall and Rimegard, Imperial legionaries, local militia, Templars, and Inquisitors, taking care of the wounded, driving out what abominations were left, and directing the survivors to safe havens where they would find food and shelter until the city could get back on its feet.
 
---
 
All the survivors who had fought Osgar gathered again in the tavern. The assorted groups aiding the city had treated their wounds, led by a kind Templar woman who made sure all the wounded were given proper care. Their wounds would take time to heal, but they were at least tended to.
 
Now they were safe and given food, drink, and shelter for as long as they needed it. Durante had left, apparently on some other business, possibly to help the other Inquisitors; Ben was still in the tavern, sitting in a corner and drinking, speaking to and looking at no one at all, with his helm resting on the table beside him. Given his black armor, brooding expression, and intimidating form, he was left alone.
 
The rest of the survivors, however, could part ways as they pleased.

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#372 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 06:51 PM

"Should you desire a place in the Umbra Coven, you shall have it."

 

The Weeping Mage smirked "So, the very people that Osgar sought to destroy were in on his every move. Interesting, don't you think."

 

He lost his smirk, however, when he saw Jade's corpse.

 

"Sylvanus," he said, as he tried to straiten with the help of Sylvanus the Revenant "Before I even consider joining the Umbra Cult, I need to know more about them: for all I know, going off of the ravings of a mad-man, you could be even worse then the Hidden. Also..."

 

he paused before he continued "Is there any way to bring her back, I mean, really bring her back. She was Osgar's pawn: a innocent being manipulated by that monster. She...she can't die like this..."

 

Then the Weeping Mage broke down, sinking to his knees despite the Revenant's attempts to hold him upright.



#373 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 07:09 PM

The Weeping Mage smirked "So, the very people that Osgar sought to destroy were in on his every move. Interesting, don't you think."

 

"Indeed," said Sylvanus. "Osgar believed himself above us. He was not."

 
"Sylvanus," he said, as he tried to straiten with the help of Sylvanus the Revenant "Before I even consider joining the Umbra Cult, I need to know more about them: for all I know, going off of the ravings of a mad-man, you could be even worse then the Hidden. Also..."
 
"Understandable," said the necromancer, but he spoke no further until the Weeping Mage had finished.
 
"Is there any way to bring her back, I mean, really bring her back. She was Osgar's pawn: a innocent being manipulated by that monster. She...she can't die like this..."
 
"She will not. I assure you of that."
 
As the Weeping Mage sank down, the revenant helped him over to the wall of the cavern, propping him up. Sylvanus removed a pack from his belt and tossed it to the undead, who caught it and began to treat the Weeping Mage's wounds. All the while, Sylvanus watched him and spoke.
 
"The Umbra Coven often exists within the Hidden itself, but we are not their allies. The Hidden are blinded fools. Osgar was one of our own as well, which is where he received his vampiric gift. He informed us of his ideas to spread a plague to devastate his home city. We refused. To do such a thing would not only waste thousands of lives and ravage the city he held such influence over, but it would draw attention to us. Osgar was mad, and he began to act on his own. He behaved like one of the Hidden, trying to create vast destruction just to randomly prove the point that magi are the rightful rulers of men.
 
"The Coven sent me to stop him. I have succeeded. I am not a vampire as Osgar was, however."
 
Sylvanus pushed back his hood at last, revealing a middle-aged man with tanned skin, long black hair, and sharp features with a hawk-like nose. Most striking of all, however, was the black bandage he wore around his eyes... and the dim, deep red glow coming from underneath them, seemingly from his eye sockets. Atop his head appeared two long, curled, black horns that appeared just as he removed his hood... And, as the Weeping Mage watched, Sylvanus continued to change.
 
His face faded away, disappearing in a red mist that began to surround him and shroud his form. The Weeping Mage could still see his glowing eyes, but he could only vaguely make out the rest of Sylvanus's features - his bright eyes, his lack of a mouth - as the demon assumed his true form, towering immensely over the mage before him.
 
"I am aware of your hatred for demons. I am no simple-minded demon as the ones you know. I do not serve some greater evil. I act only as an agent of fate. I was Osgar's Doom."
 
Sylvanus waved his hand, and appearing from thin air was a long, black staff. He took it in one hand and looked down at the Weeping Mage again.
 
"The Umbra Coven has many goals. Our primary purpose, however, is simple: we protect others from the oppression of society. We exist to assure that magi do not become trapped like animals, or killed as if they are monsters. We oppose the Inquisition."
 
If there was more to Sylvanus's words than he revealed, more to the objectives of the Umbra Coven, then the Weeping Mage couldn't tell it.

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#374 Sareth

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 09:36 PM

After getting her wounds treated, Liliana slowly made her way back to the tavern where it had all began —figuring that was as likely a place as any for the others to regroup afterwards—, using her sheathed sword as a crutch under one hand, and leaning against the walls of buildings as much as possible.

 

As such, by the time she made it there, as it turned out, the others had already beaten her there. It actually warmed her heart a touch to see the others had come through more-or-less alright, thought she couldn't help but notice the absence of two figures: Jade, and the warlock Charon.

 

Stumbling to the bar, she absentmindedly plonked down some coins for an ale, not really paying attention the amount, —her stomach once more reminding her that she'd hardly eaten in over a day. She didn't think she could handle food —her entire torso hurt too much—, but she needed something, and ale was essentially liquid bread when one thought about it.

 

With her drink in hand, she then made her way over to where Ben sat glowering —undeterred by his expression; she knew what he was, and he didn't scare her—, dropping heavily into a chair beside him, relieved to be off her feet once more, even as the impact made her injuries flare up painfully.

 

For a few moments she simply sat, sipping her drink calmly despite the fact that every swallow reminded her quite forcefully of exactly how many ribs she had broken.

 

"So, it's over then" she finally said to the vampiric inquisitor, though the statement came out a bit like a question. There was no doubt in her mind that he and the others would be sitting here if it weren't, but still... she had to hear it, she had to know for sure. She had to know that it hadn't all been in vain.


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#375 Burger Warrior

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 12:52 AM

Despite his exhaustion and heavy battering, Veron refused to rest, plodding through the burning remnants of his family’s - no, his - city. Despite purging the demonic threat, Hartwin knew his victory was pyrrhic. His trod was heavy, and not just because of his steel-plated boots, as he approached the place where this had all began… for him, anyway. His exhausted mind couldn’t tell how long the trip took, but finally the noble’s tread slowed as he came into view of what was left of the inn. Veron Hartwin paused, looking over the devastated building, before finally letting out a sigh - not quite of relief, or pain - and continuing his journey.

 

Eventually, the grizzled young man stepped through the battered door, glancing around at the surviving party members. He frowned a little as he remembered those that weren’t there… whether they’d been killed, or… escaped. The latter thought made Hartwin grit his teeth slightly as he began to walk over toward Ben - and Liliana, he supposed - clutching a small jar close to him. When the noble reached the table, finally, he leaned against it for support subtly, and set the jar down as Liliana finished speaking.

 

“If… you don’t mind,” Veron said, quietly. “I think you should be the one to deal with these, Inquisitor.” He went on after a moment, pushing the jar towards Ben. “...They’re the warlock’s ashes. I know little of vampires, but I suspect something ought to be done with them.”

He finally collapsed into a seat, taking an unordered drink from the doubtlessly thankful and ever mindful innkeeper, taking a pull from his drink and gathering his thoughts. After a moment, he raised his voice to address the whole tavern.

 

“If any of you wish to stay, whether to simply rest or to help rebuild, you are welcome to remain as long as you will.” He said. “We… I have little to offer you besides my gratitude, at the moment, but…” His gaze returned to Ben. “If you need anything - anything - and I can provide it, you need only ask.”


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#376 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 08:12 PM

"So, it's over then" Liliana finally said to the vampiric inquisitor, though the statement came out a bit like a question.

 

Ben looked at her quietly, about to answer when Veron approached and set a jar down on the table.

 
“If… you don’t mind,” Veron said, quietly. “I think you should be the one to deal with these, Inquisitor.” He went on after a moment, pushing the jar towards Ben. “...They’re the warlock’s ashes. I know little of vampires, but I suspect something out to be down with them.”
 
Silently, Ben took the jar, glancing at its contents and nodding. He tucked it into a pack he he'd donned since returning to the tavern - an indicator he didn't intend to stay much longer.
 
"I'll take care of it," he said darkly. From his tone, there could be no doubt he did know what to do.
 
Meanwhile, Veron finally collapsed into a seat. After a moment, he raised his voice to address the whole tavern.
 
“If any of you wish to stay, whether to simply rest or to help rebuild, you are welcome to remain as long as you will.” He said. “We… I have little to offer you besides my gratitude, at the moment, but…” His gaze returned to Ben. “If you need anything - anything - and I can provide it, you need only ask.”
 
For his part, Ben simply nodded again. "Thanks, but I can't stay, and I can't ask anything of you. You already know I have other... things to deal with. I'll be leaving at sundown."
 
After a second, he glanced between the two of them. "And thank you," he added, "for what you didn't do."
 
His tone was clear: he referred to his vampirism.

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#377 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 06:55 AM

The Weeping Mage was stunned. Slyvanus had been a Demon this whole time? Incredible!

 

And Slyvanus and Osgar had been working in some sort of third party between the Hidden and the Inquisition, which sounded like what he had been doing since he had first gotten his pact all those years ago.

 

"I will not deny the fact that I hate demons: after all, when I die, my soul will be the pawn of a demon lord." Charon said, wincing as a small arc of pain raced across his soul at the small though of rebellion "But I do know that you helped me and the others take down Osgar, even if we did not deliver the final blow that slew him, most likely Ben or that Nobleman Veron did it." 

 

He then paused before he said "If you speak truly of the Coven, then you have caught my interest. But I still must see for myself what they do what you say they do. If they do as you say they do, then I will join."

 

"After that," the Weeping Mage said, a rare smile touching his battered features "I don't know, I would like a new mask, as I'm pretty sure that my old one is still in that Inn in Vertishire."

 

He did not mention that he might go looking for his cousin, Katrina, who he had heard was searching for him, but he had the sneaking suspicion that Slyvanus could probably read his mind: after what he had seen last night, he wouldn't put it past the demon.





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