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ZONE - Nidavellir: The Krawl


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#1 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 12:25 PM

Beneath the Southwestern WIlds lies a portion of Nidavellir known to those who dwell there as "the Krawl." It is here that the deepest roots of the greatest, most ancient trees of the Wilds reach, growing and tangling together, unchecked except by the parasitic fungi and lichens that feed upon them, many poisonous or covered in thorns. The tunnels of some native beastfolk of the Wilds reach deep into the Krawl to gather resources, including the Formican ant-folk who cultivate fungi there. And there are native creatures even more dangerous - enormous insects, fungal humanoids, and gods know what else. Even more dangerous than the rest of Nidavellir, it is not a place many mortals ever dare to tread.

 

Kyle Bloodmoon, Fen Ambreeze, Bartholomew, Vsskyre, and Rona reached the final room of Castle Blood's deep dungeon with heavy hearts, having lost so many comrades along the way. Even Metallon and Kairn seemed lost, for though they still followed behind them, both were injured and... confused. The walls of the last tunnel through which they had passed had been... cracked, and something had been growing through the gaps. The tunnel had been littered with the corpses of strange fungal creatures, but not all had been completely dead. Some had leapt back to life, and in the ensuing battle, they'd wounded Kairn and Metallon, infecting them with a strange toxin. This had not done wonders for their minds, already addled from the Darkness. The Minotaur and the Alfar-kin seemed barely cognizant now, leaning on each other for support and staring at the floor while they walked... and their companions were not sure if they would ever snap out of it.

 

But the party almost forgot all these troubles when they opened the last pair of ancient, dark oaken doors and gazed into the deepest room of Castle Blood.

 

It was eerie, and yet strangely beautiful. The room was enormous, with a tall, vaulted ceiling. From the very top of the dome hung an enormous spike of solid black crystal, covered in runes. Like the tunnel before, the room was covered in cracks... and the roots of the Krawl grew through every one of them. Yet one root in particular was not like the others: the root of the plant with which Vsskyre and Fen had communicated upon first entering the dungeon. It ran thicker and stronger than all of the other roots, its dark bark covered in streaks of glowing green and purple, covered in smaller mushrooms and even strange, dark flowers. Even moreso than the other odd plants they had seen, this great glowing vine was certainly not of this world. The whole room danced with its shimmering lights.

 

The vine seemed to originate from the very center of the room, growing out of a fissure in the floor in the midst of a circle of strange runes. And there inside of this circle crouched a single, strange figure: a pixie, seemingly, but not quite like Fen Ambreeze. He was in his human size, and his wings were like those of a butterfly, but dark blue and black, with jagged edges. His hands and feet were blackish, with a dark hue that faded in tendrils as it traveled up his arms and legs. The rest of his skin was quite pale, almost bluish in color. He had spiked black hair and equally black eyes, with pale pupils that shone in the darkness. These disturbing eyes turned to regard the intruders as they entered, but he did not rise or speak.

 

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But this otherworldly fairy was not the only sign of life in the room.

 

First of all, there were the corpses - three of them. The first was the body of Driu, the party's former satyr companion. Now he was dead, his throat cut cleanly by the stroke of a sword. His wide eyes stared at the ceiling, and the fragments of several crushed soulstones lay on the ground around him, in the pool of his blood. The other two corpses were not anyone the party of Minoan allies recognized. They both lay within the rune circle where the pixie sat, right near the butterfly-man's black feet. Both dead men were Imperial humans in dark blue cloaks, and both had clearly been killed by blades, although the pixie had no weapons on his mostly naked person.

 

"Dead Venators..." muttered Vsskyre, staring at them.

 

And then there were the other humans...

 

"Lady Juno!" Rona suddenly exclaimed, and she rushed to a tangle of vines growing along the nearby wall.

 

Entangled in the vines on the wall hung six Imperials. The first - Lady Juno - was a female Templar in silver and gold armor. She was older, with blond hair and a weather-beaten but not unattractive face. Rona pulled on the glowing vines that bound her, but she could not seem to budge them. Also entangled in the vines were another pair of Venatori, one of whom was a dwarf, and a pair of Inquisitors in black Void-Iron mail. And finally, the last was a young woman in no particular uniform, with many pouches on her leather armor - probably a hired adventurer.

 

"Stay back, Rona!" shouted Lady Juno, causing her squire to let go of the glowing vines. "Don't touch these strange plants, lest you become bound as well! They are unholy... unnatural."

 

"Like us?" said Vsskyre, cautiously approaching the vine's prisoners. "I have spoken to this vine. It has a spirit just like yours and mine. It spoke of a being it wished to be set free... It must be the fairy there... I assume you tried to harm him, didn't you? And the vine protected him."

 

Lady Juno looked up at the moth-kin, her blue eyes blazing with righteous fire. "Our Venatori did their duty, beast-kin. Look at that 'fairy' - Does he look like the one that follows you? No. He is corrupted, perhaps by the evil of this place. Do you know how he killed those two men? He took control of the mind of the first one, and forced him to attack his partner, whom he had hunted beside for more than ten years. His partner was forced to kill him in order to defend himself. And when he realized what that monster had made him do - kill his closest friend - he turned his dagger on himself and took his own life."

 

At last, the fairy prisoner rose from his crouched position beside the vine and walked to the edge of the ring of runes, and spoke, in a lilting voice as otherworldly as his appearance: "I was only defending myself, dear lady knight. As you can see, I carry no weapons. Indeed, I carry nothing at all, save this loincloth I wear out of respect for what your kind call 'decency.' How do you expect me to fight? I must use the tools that I have... such as magic. Magic like that poor satyr there tried to use, before your Inquisitors cut him down like a rabid dog."

 

"His magic was dark as well!" retorted the knight, unashamed. "You see those stones we smashed around him? They contained the souls of his victims, many probably his fellow beastfolk like yourself!"

 

"Indeed," said one of the Inquisitors to Vsskyre, his eyes as dark as his armor and his tone cold and matter-of-fact. "The satyr was desperately trying to summon a demon to protect him, with no summoning circle to contain it, before I stopped him. Had I not killed him, that demon would be rampaging even now, killing you beastfolk and elves."

 

"Hmm, well," intoned the strange, black-eyed fairy man, "it seems these newcomers have a choice then, doesn't it? What will it be, newcomers? You travel with a Templar squire... Does that mean you will free these mortals and help them slay me? Or will you free me instead, as my lovely Mawinwydden asked you to do? All you would need to do is smash one of these runes the dark wizard put here to trap me. Then the invisible barrier that keeps me inside would be broken! And then I could help you unlock the secrets of the black crystal above my head... the mage-lord's most powerful artifact. It contains power beyond your dreams, you know. Or I could help you simply destroy it, if that's what you came here to do. It matters not to me - I only wish my freedom."

 

"Don't do it!" cried Lady Juno, her voice clear and commanding. "This dark creature wishes you to unleash the very blackest of magics, contained here by the black-hearted wizard who built this accursed place! Help us slay this evil spirit, and we will help you destroy the crystal, and then you have our word that we will convince the Imperial army to let you leave this castle and return home."

 

The fairy chuckled. "Hmm, perhaps. But I'm sure they'll want to keep the castle. Or perhaps they're lying, and they will try to use the power of the crystal against you. It is a soulstone you see - the largest one ever created. With the power contained within, you could drive the Empire out of this entire land! Or not - whichever you prefer. Just please, don't listen to these zealots. My name is Puck, and I am one of you. Smash one of these runes trapping me, and I will prove it to you."

 

At last, Rona spoke up, glancing at each of the Minoan party members, before her eyes landed imploringly on Fen. "Please, friends, don't let him trick you! He's some kind of demon - he must be. My Lady Juno is a woman of her word, I swear. If you free her, I am sure she will do what is right."

 

It was impossible to tell whether this was true from the expressions of the Imperials, all of whom had faces like stone - except for the hired adventurer girl, who looked very eager to get out, even though she remained silent.

 

The fairy prisoner - Puck - smiled. "So what will it be, allies of Minos? The choice is up to you..."

 

((NOTE for Harry Monster and Half-Baked: Your characters are still alive. If you post again, you may wake them from their stupor and join in the events here. If you do not post again, they may never snap out of it. The choice is up to you.))


-Scorp

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#2 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 06:03 PM

Bartholomew was tried and slightly dazed, though not as bad as Metallon or Kairn.

 

So many strange things had happened in this cursed place, that he was wondering if he himself was going insane...

 

..And then they found the chamber.

 

It gave the Beetle Man no small satisfaction to hear that Driu was dead: he was slightly disappointed that he was not able to kill the Saytr himself.

 

After both the Fairy, Puck, and Rona's Master, Lady Juno, had finished speaking, Basim spoke up with his usual coldness.

 

"Do you know what I think? I think we should not help either of you. If we free you, Fae-Born, we'll just encourage the Empire's opinion that we are all savage monsters who hate humanity, and they will be right to do so."

 

He then glared at Lady Juno and said "But why should we help you? Your species might be in danger because of this Fairy, true, but who's to say that you won't kill us all after we've helped you? I've heard stories of what you do to the misfits of your society: Mages, Half-Demons, the Undead and Werewolves are all monsters to you, and are to be stamped out, even if they are human, or at least half human. You even have two more Venators with you! Can you guarantee that they will honor your word above their hunter's code?!"

 

The Beetle-Man turned to the other members of the party and said "But that is my opinion, and I would like to hear some more. But frankly, I'm starting to wonder if all this pain and death is worth a heap of old stones."



#3 Burger Warrior

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Posted 28 July 2016 - 07:49 PM

They had made it.

Fen Ambreeze let out a long breath as they entered the latest chamber in this terrible dungeon. It was… well, surprisingly beautiful. The pixie felt himself begin to relax as he buzzed alongside Rona and the group stepped deeper inside. However, after a little glancing around, he recognized a particular vine. Fen’s gaze trailed down the vine from above down to… oh.

 

There was another pixie.

 

Fen stared at him, alighting slowly - carefully - on Rona’s shoulder as he watched the strange creature look back at him. This was… yes, definitely the being he’d been communicating with - to a degree, anyway - through the vine. The one who had helped them cross that deadly chasm that nearly claimed some of their own. Ambreeze chewed his lip at the thought, comparing that to the twisted visage before him. Something was very wrong about this pixie, that was for sure.

 

And he only helped us just enough to get by… and we could’ve used much more assistance. Fen thought, his jaw tightening slightly.

 

It loosened again when, with a cry, Rona suddenly rushed toward some vines. With an almost comical squeak, Ambreeze blew off of her shoulder, though he easily caught himself in mid-air with the help of his wings and hovered there, watching the human girl hurry up to several other people. Fen’s blood ran cold, though, when he recognized the uniforms of Venatori on several of them; including a couple corpses not far from the other pixie. That was just great.

 

Fen’s attention continued to waver as an argument sprung up, involving the other fae - ‘Puck’, he called himself - several of the humans, and Vsskyre. He briefly glared at Driu’s corpse, and then glanced up as Puck defended the satyr’s actions prior to his demise. Several humans - Inquisitors, Ambreeze had heard of their kind - admitted they had taken him down. Fen was tempted to thank them for disposing of the warlock.

 

But neither side seemed entirely trustworthy, or friendly. Sure, Puck was of his kind - at least, to a point - and had helped them, but it was entirely likely that was for his own ends. After all, dwelling in a horrid place like this… maybe the best way would just be to put the corrupted pixie out of his misery. The thought made Fen shudder, though.

 

But in all honesty, what fae would allow one such as Puck free passage once they set eyes on his tainted form?

And the humans? They were invaders, pillagers, and murderers. Rona was different, only because she was young and not yet turned to their ways, wholly. Fen wondered what they could possibly share, together, should both of them make it out alive. Whether or not the others did.

 

But he tried to keep himself on track as their resident beetle-brained beetle-man spoke up.

 

“Do you know what I think? I think we should not help either of you. If we free you, Fae-Born, we'll just encourage the Empire's opinion that we are all savage monsters who hate humanity, and they will be right to do so."

 

Fen blinked, stunned. Just… what? What was he talking about?

 

He then glared at Lady Juno and said "But why should we help you? Your species might be in danger because of this fairy, true, but who's to say that you won't kill us all after we've helped you? I've heard stories of what you do to the misfits of your society: mages, half-demons, the undead and werewolves are all monsters to you, and are to be stamped out, even if they are human, or at least half human.”

 

Ambreeze stopped listening after that. Maybe even before that point, all things considered. He… half-demons? The undead?! ‘Misfits’?

 

"But that is my opinion, and I would like to hear some more. But frankly, I'm starting to wonder if all this pain and death is worth a heap of old stones."

 

Fen slowly descended to the ground so he could take a more visible size, the light scarring from his close encounter with demonic fire still marring his features somewhat as he slowly Bartholomew.

 

“It’s worth keeping them out of the wrong hands.” Ambreeze pointed out with a frown, a few arcane sparks begin to float around him. “You saw how crazy Driu went with a pile of small ones,” he went on, glancing up at the enormous soul stone. “I’m going to see this destroyed before anyone else goes insane for it.” Fen decided, crossing his arms.

 

“But to free the humans while we’re at it, or Puck?” He murmured, glancing between the two parties. Ambreeze turned back to the group - and added a glance at Rona, especially - as he kept his voice low. “I don’t trust puck.” He said, frankly. “Not because of what humans might think of us,” he half-lied. He only cared about one human at the moment. “But because the spirits alone know for sure how long he’s been down here, getting tainted by this place… and suffering from whatever the old man running this place back in the day did to him.” Fen bit his lip.

 

“Best thing I can think of is to put dear Puck out of his misery.” He added, quite quietly, before glancing at the other humans. “As for them, I can handle them… except the Inquisitors. I don’t like them and they aren’t going to like me. But I’m planning to do all that they want, so… I don’t think they’ll have a problem with us leaving.” Fen cleared his throat. “Seeing as we brought Rona to them in one piece, and all.”

He let silence descend for a moment. He was starting to think he was becoming reasonable. What a terrible fate to befall.

 

“So before I start tossing fireballs at the roof,” Ambreeze finally added, raising his voice to normal. “Anybody want to say anything?”


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#4 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 07:40 AM

Kyle stood in grim silence as he listened to everything going on around him. It didn't seem too complicated to him, to be frank, at least until Bartholomew started speaking.

 

"Do you know what I think? I think we should not help either of you. If we free you, Fae-Born, we'll just encourage the Empire's opinion that we are all savage monsters who hate humanity, and they will be right to do so."

 

The werewolf arched a brow, but said nothing. Perhaps it was better not to even dignify that with a response. Well, and he wasn't even sure what to say to such a bizarre statement.

"But why should we help you? Your species might be in danger because of this Fairy, true, but who's to say that you won't kill us all after we've helped you? I've heard stories of what you do to the misfits of your society: Mages, Half-Demons, the Undead and Werewolves are all monsters to you, and are to be stamped out, even if they are human, or at least half human. You even have two more Venators with you! Can you guarantee that they will honor your word above their hunter's code?!"

 

"The Venatori code is to protect Men, not kill all beastfolk for no reason," Kyle pointed out flatly. "And I'm not sure what society you're from, but I've never seen beastfolk welcome necromancy with open arms. I doubt they'd do the same for anything related to a demon. It's just common sense since those things are, ya know, evil."

 

He could add a comment or two about werewolves, speaking from experience, but he wasn't keen on dropping the fact that he was a lycanthrope to everyone present. Either way, beastfolk hadn't exactly greeted him with hugs and tears of sympathy whenever he showed up somewhere... and, as much as it made his life harder, they and everyone else were right to not welcome werewolves into their homes.

The Beetle-Man turned to the other members of the party and said "But that is my opinion, and I would like to hear some more. But frankly, I'm starting to wonder if all this pain and death is worth a heap of old stones."

“It’s worth keeping them out of the wrong hands.” Ambreeze pointed out with a frown, a few arcane sparks begin to float around him. “You saw how crazy Driu went with a pile of small ones,” he went on, glancing up at the enormous soul stone. “I’m going to see this destroyed before anyone else goes insane for it.” Fen decided, crossing his arms.

 

Kyle listened to Fen give his own justifications, not commenting until the pixie finished...

“Best thing I can think of is to put dear Puck out of his misery.” He added, quite quietly, before glancing at the other humans. “As for them, I can handle them… except the Inquisitors. I don’t like them and they aren’t going to like me. But I’m planning to do all that they want, so… I don’t think they’ll have a problem with us leaving.” Fen cleared his throat. “Seeing as we brought Rona to them in one piece, and all.

“So before I start tossing fireballs at the roof,” Ambreeze finally added, raising his voice to normal. “Anybody want to say anything?”

 

"These humans are here for all the same reasons we are," Kyle said. "If that Templar gave us her word that we won't be attacked on the way out of this castle, then I believe her. We have no reason not to help them at this point. It's pretty damn obvious Puck is corrupted beyond help - hell, just look at him. But the humans have watched their friends die and fall into madness, just like we have."

 

He pointedly locked gazes with everyone in the group in turn before finishing, "It's time we ended this castle's evil, once and for all. It's not about petty wars, it's about doing what's right and not letting this corruption escape."


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#5 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 09:44 PM

Puck listened calmly until everyone was done speaking before he waved a hand toward Bartholomew: "For the record, I have no idea what this Chwilen'dyn here means about my being a savage monster who hates humanity, if that is its implication. I suppose it's reasonable to assume that I might resent humanity due to the human mage who trapped me here for several centuries... but that is a very mortal assumption. For what is the passage of a few centuries to an immortal Fae? I assure you that I am not the source of the Darkness in this place - I am but a prisoner of it, like yourselves."
 
Here he paused before continuing, staring up at the tremendous soulstone hanging above him like a blade. "Perhaps this... prison above me is the source of the Darkness. But if you were to use the tremendous power of all the souls concentrated within it... Do your mortal minds have any idea what you could do with it? Why, I could even make you like me - give you the immortality and power of a true Fae-born. That is what the Mage-King who ruled this castle wanted me to do, until one of your assassins killed him. Now I could pass that power to you instead. Would that not be deliciously ironic justice of a sort? You have sacrificed much to obtain this power; why not use it to help your people?"
 
His black eyes glanced back toward them again as he concluded, "But I feel I must warn you honestly: If you try to destroy the stone without my aid, I'm not sure what might happen. It might bring this whole place down... or just release a wave of magic that could kill everyone in the room. Except for me, of course." He smiled.
 
Rona swallowed. "He's bluffing. At least, I think..." She glanced at the Inquisitors bound in the vine behind her. "Sir Danford, do you know?" 
 
The elder Inquisitor frowned. "I've never heard of a shattered soulstone causing any harm to those who shattered it, lass, but this could be a unique case. That thing is huge - ancient and powerful. And it could have a trap on it - a ward of some kind. But I say it's worth the risk."
 
"Indeed," said Lady Juno, firmly. "Better that all of us die here today if it means saving those above us from the evil power of that stone. I'm sure some of you beastfolk feel the same..."
 
"Hey!" exclaimed the sixth trapped human - the hired adventurer girl. "Speak for yourselves! I don't wanna die down here, hero or not! This place is about to drive me mad... I'll give you beastfolk all the gold I've got on me if you'll cut me loose so I can get outta here!"
 
Vsskyre fluttered the stubs of her wings and said, "Cutting the vine might be dangerous as well. But that is all I will say... I don't know how we should proceed. I wish we knew who to trust..." She shook her head, putting her hands over her eyes. She seemed flustered and out of sorts with their whole situation, or perhaps the Darkness was getting to her too, just like Metallon and Kairn, neither of whom had spoken yet.
 
Puck noticed this as well, and shook his head. "Hmm... well, I suggest you make your decision, friends... You should probably leave this place sooner rather than later."

-Scorp

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#6 Burger Warrior

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 02:35 PM

Well, everyone said their peace.

 

Fen glanced around with a raised eyebrow. “So… if I happened to hurl this,” he said, a ball of arcane fire forming above one hand, “up there,” he went on, glancing up at the enormous soulstone, “and theoretically incinerate the thing, there’s a…” He hesitated with a frown. “Half… quarter… something-chance it’s booby-trapped, huh? Orrr that it just explodes because gigantic soulstone.”

 

The pixie frowned, idly tossing the fireball back and forth. “While dear, dear Puck is keeping the secret of destroying it to himself, because he can’t trust his fellow fae, huh?” Ambreeze gave him a sideways glance. “I mean, sure, I probably wasn’t going to trust you anyway, but c’mon. Just saying your help will magically - heh - keep the thing from going off like one of Barty’s bombs isn’t going to make me think any higher of you.”

Fen frowned, his tone becoming more serious. “And source of the evil or not, I’m not taking any chances. Not after Driu.”

 

“Buuut yeah, let’s get this over with before anyone else goes crazy. Say a prayer.” Ambreeze suggested, charging an Arcane Explosion (Fire) attack before almost casually hurling it at the enormous soulstone above.

 

For good measure, he did his best to prepare an Arcane Shield (Air) to at least redirect the debris, if not any sort of magic bouncing back, but his focus was more on the attack than the defense.


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#7 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 09 August 2016 - 04:49 PM

(Well, this RP is dead again, but in case Scorp posts again, I'm not going to let my character get killed off)

 

Bartholomew listened to the others and then spat on the ground.

 

"You make it sound like I care about the Human's opinion of us: if I really did, I never would have joined this mission."

 

He then looked at Rona and said "But the Humans who came here, like your Lady Juno, don't deserve to die in this godforsaken place."

 

The Beetle Man looked at Puck and said flatly "You can go to hell as far as I'm concerned."

 

And, as if on cue, Fen blasted the soul-stone with his fire magic.

 

The Beetle Man ducked, covering his head with his arms: if any debris got through the Pixie's shield, he would at least have some protection."



#8 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 15 August 2016 - 09:54 PM

((MAJOR DM POST))

 

Fen Ambreeze conjured an intense ball of concentrated flame between his fingers and let it fly, quickly shielding himself magically from the possible fallout as Bartholomew did the same with his hard shell. The fireball struck the great soulstone high above and exploded violently, causing a great crack to form in the crystalline structure. The crack widened and spread, glowing brightly... and the crystal shattered, sending black shards in all directions.

 

A wave like a gust of wind passed over everyone present. Though all felt it, those sensitive to the spirit realm - especially Fen and Vsskyre - felt it most keenly of all. For the wind was made of the trapped spirits finally soaring to their freedom... or whatever their long-delayed afterlife had in store. The otherworldly vine wrapped over all parts of the room recoiled and slithered, and the humans wrapped in its clutches fell free. The Venatori immediately drew their weapons, and one Inquisitor reached for his sword, but Lady Juno held up her hand.

 

"Stop!" commanded the knight. "Put away your steel! I will not have my word broken. These beasts... beastfolk, shall go free."

 

But before anyone else could react, something unexpected happened... A bit of stone dislodged from the ceiling fell down... right onto one of the runes in the magic circle behind which Puck was trapped. The bit of rock marred the rune only slightly... but that was enough. Puck smiled... and stepped over the rune circle to his freedom.

 

"Well now..." said the strange fairy, "that changes the landscape a bit... Let's see what else we can change."

 

Reaching out with both hands, he cast a spell that reached deep into the minds of all those present. Fen and Vsskyre fought back his influence with their own considerable spiritual strength. Kyle Bloodmoon's human spirit seemed about the succumb... but then his wolf spirit stepped in to help. With a roar of pain and fury, he doubled over, growing fur and fangs and claws... and then he stood back up again, staring down the fairy who had tried to take over his mind... and failed. The Wolf was in charge now, and it still knew friend from foe. And it knew the dark Fay-kin was the latter.

 

But not everyone's minds fared so well. Metallon and Kairn, their spirits broken long ago, quickly gave in to Puck's influence. Their eyes grew dark, and then turned solid black. They turned on their friends... and raised their weapons. They were soon joined by three of the humans: one Inquisitor, one Venator, and the unfortunate freelance adventurer girl. All three screamed as their tormented minds were twisted... and then their faces went blank as they advanced on their former comrades. Juno, Rona, and the others, to their credit, managed to fight it.

 

"Sir Danford!" cried Rona. "Snap out of it!"

 

"It's no use, child," said Lady Juno, raising her shield. "Get behind me. Comrades! I know you don't want to turn your blades on old friends, but it's our only way out. They would gladly have given their lives for us. They would have wanted it this way."

 

Rona did as commanded, retreating behind the others, but all the while she said, "There must be some other way... There's got to be..."

 

But the black eyes of the five mind-controlled adventurers gave no glimmer of recognition... as they methodically advanced toward their former friends, with their weapons raised.


-Scorp

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#9 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 16 August 2016 - 10:10 PM

When Kyle stood again, he was changed - he had fully transformed into a werewolf. The beast's red eyes locked onto Puck as it laid back its ears and snarled, curling its lips to reveal huge, stark white teeth.

 

But other threats appeared as Puck's magic began to influence those around the group. The werewolf watched as some of them gave in, unable to resist... and it quickly chose what it perceived as the greatest threat. While the human monster hunter and the Inquisitor were a force to be reckoned with, the mighty Minotaur standing in their midst could wreak untold destruction. The only one with a mind left that could easily stand against him was the werewolf.

 

With a growl, Kyle lunged forward, charging straight for the possessed Metallon, claws and teeth bared as he lashed out to strike, aiming to rend wildly at the minotaur's flesh - if he could rake him hard enough with his claws to stagger him and then attack with his fangs, he would readily take that opportunity ((Use ability: Ravage)).


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#10 Dalton Westmoore

Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 18 August 2016 - 05:09 PM

As Metallon and Kairn turned on the group, the Beetle Man turned to face them.

 

However, he was nearly bowled over by Kyle Bloodmoon, an Elf who had turned out to be a Werewolf, who began to maul the Minotaur.

 

Bartholomew then turned his attention on Kairn, and sprayed the insane elf with his natural, toxic spray, before going into close combat with his Scimitar and Dirk.

 

Hopefully, the combination of poision and cold steel would finish the elf off.



#11 Burger Warrior

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 02:39 AM

For a split-second, Fen paled as human swords were drawn. Well damn, for a second there-

 

"Stop!" commanded Rona’s master. Er, tutor? Whatever. "Put away your steel! I will not have my word broken. These beasts... beastfolk, shall go free."

 

Ambreeze was about to let a sigh of relief when a rock fell from the ceiling. He instinctively shrank as he hopped aside, hovering in the air as it slammed into the ground… right by one of Puck’s imprisoning runes. Fen managed a groan as, despite the slight marring of the magical mark, the fallen pixie stepped across. Unharmed.

 

Welp.

 

Ambreeze braced himself for some kind - well, any kind - of magic attack Puck might throw at them, and wasn’t too surprised by the attempt at mental influence. After all, the corrupted fae seemed to have a thing for manipulation, and since his less direct methods hadn’t worked so well, why shouldn’t he attempt a more… direct approach?

 

While those few that retained their minds retreated - if briefly before launching a counter-attack - Fen quickly buzzed above the fray, staying well out of reach of the possessed men. Rona was following her master’s orders, though he could clearly hear her wonder if there was another way to end this. Ambreeze gritted his teeth, sizing up Puck from a distance. Oh, there is. He thought, swooping down towards this new obstacle. And I’m going to take it!

 

He tried to stay silent, hoping that controlling the minds of so many distracted Puck as Fen darted towards the fae, intending to latch on and touch Puck’s corrupt soul… and teach him the pain he was causing Rona.

 

“No one else needs to die!” Ambreeze declared.

 

((Using Touch of Torment on Puck))


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#12 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 27 August 2016 - 02:59 PM

((FINAL MAJOR DM POST))
 
On the surface high above, at the feet of the imposing Castle Blood, the soldiers of the Empire scrambled for cover as the very earth beneath their feet began to shake. Loose stonework from the ancient keep began to give way, crumbling and falling to the ground. Strange vines crawled from holes and cracks in the castle, climbing up the side of its dark walls...
 
...as far below, in Nidavellir itself, the ancient struggle between light and darkness played itself out once again.
 
Kyle Bloodmoon, no longer fully in control of his own actions but still more cognizant than the crazed Metallon, leapt at his former companion and began rending the Minotaur with his claws. Perhaps he had meant the blows to be nonlethal - to stagger or awaken his mad comrade from his stupor - but the Wolf was hungry, and the tendrils of Puck's dark magic were seeping into its mind too. The blow the wolf-man struck was a lethal one, and Metallon's great form crashed to the earth, his great throat torn away.
 
Kairn suffered a similar fate as Bartholomew's spray washed over him, although he did not die instantly. Indeed, his fate remains a mystery. For when the beetle-man's acid flew into the eyes of the unfortunate half-elf, it temporarily blinded him, and he began running about in a frenzy. He eventually tripped over a vine and knocked himself unconscious. If he ever woke up and made it out of the dungeon, none of the party could say.
 
But the height of the struggle happened between the two sons of the Fae: Fen Ambreeze - born in the world of mortals - and Puck, a child of the Unseelie Court. Fen's spirit was a powerful one, but Puck was an ancient, immortal creature who had existed since time immemorial. Fortunately, the dark fairy's power was already spent from corrupting the minds of Ambreeze's companions. But even with his spirit weakened, the struggle between him and Fen was a titanic one. In their mind's eyes, in the world of dreams, they saw themselves as two great warriors clad in ancient Fay armor, battling it out in the tangled forest of the Spirit Realm. It was a hard fight...
 
But Puck stumbled, finally giving in to Fen's touch of agony. He cried out in pain...
 
And then Fen opened his eyes, awakening to the real world again. Puck had staggered backward, clutching to the vine that grew from his shattered runic cage. The alien plant began to writhe and squirm, shaking the entire room, whose walls it entangled...
 
"We have to get out of here!" cried Lady Juno, in her commanding voice. "NOW!"
 
Her tone - combined, perhaps, with Puck's incapacitation - seemed to awaken most of the other humans from their stupor. One of the Venatori remained crazed, until his dwarf partner slapped him across the face, and he blinked back to reality. They were still dazed, but they were no longer on the attack. Rubble began to fall from the ceiling, crashing down around everyone in the room.
 
They ran. Perhaps Puck was buried behind them, or perhaps he escaped - they had no time to look back and be sure. They raced out through the entrance hallway, back into the tangled roots of the Krawl. Kyle Bloodmoon became lost somewhere along the way, but they had no time to search for him, since the ground was still shaking. One of the Inquisitors was even crushed by falling debris. They made their way quickly back to the winding stair...
 
It was a long hike back up to the surface - up the winding stair and through the dark dungeons. Kyle rejoined them later, no longer in his werewolf form. Perhaps he had been able to track them down by their scent. They didn't ask. In fact, they made the rest of the journey in somber silence, lamenting the loss of so many dead.
 
But they felt their hopes renewed when they saw the sunlight again. It broke through the clouds just as they emerged onto the surface: the last rays of the setting sun. They all breathed sighs of relief - some even fell to their knees and kissed the ground, or threw up their arms and praised the gods of the sky.
 
The Imperial soldiers were gone. The adventurers wondered why... Perhaps they had fled from their campsites around the keep in light of the strange earthquake? Then they turned around and looked back at Castle Blood.
 
It was covered in vines. The dark green tendrils of Puck's pet plant - no longer glowing, but still as thick and strong as the coils of a giant serpent - now covered almost every inch of the dark stone walls. And at the top, a strange, twisted tree had emerged from the roof. Its branches were covered in leaves of bright green and deep, reddish purple.
 
Once they were done taking this in, the men and half-elves and beastfolk turned back to regard each other. The Templars, Venatori, and Inquisitors eyed the survivors of the Minoan Alliance: Fen Ambreeze, Bartholomew the beetle-man, Kyle Bloodmoon, and Vsskyre the moth-kin.
 
Lady Juno was the first to speak: "We outnumber you, allies of Minos. We could still take you if we wanted... but we do not. I am true to my word, and you spilled much blood for the same noble cause as us - perhaps for a nobler one, since I cannot guarantee we would have refused the power of the soulstone as easily as you did. So, you are free to go. I cannot guarantee the Empire will not try to take your Southwestern Wilds from you again... but I will not. And I doubt anyone will ever again set foot in Castle Blood."
 
Her squire, Rona, added in a passionate voice: "And thank you - Thank you all! I won't forget what we went through - what you did for us. I'll tell any who will listen of your nobility of spirit..."
 
Some of the other humans eyed each other a little warily, but they too nodded in agreement. None reached for their weapons, not even the Venatori.
 
Vsskyre briefly put a hand in Rona's and then in Juno's, saying, "I wish I could say that I hope to see you again... but I know that will probably never come to pass, and if it should, we would probably all be in danger for it. So I will return to the home of my people... and hope that it remains safe."
 
"I hope so too," said Rona.
 
Some of the human dungeoneers began to leave, but the two Templars lingered for a while, as they and the allies of Minos gazed at the sun setting over the Southwestern Wilds to the west. That untamed peninsula would remain free a while longer.
 
In years to come, the castle would crumble, its stones slowly broken apart by the growing vines. A great tree would replace it, a symbol of life blooming where so much death had occurred. A tribe of beastfolk would come to live there, dwelling safely under the tree's branches. And they would tell tales of the castle's fall, brought about by the small group of companions brave enough to enter its dungeon and destroy the darkness at its heart...
 
((THE END! Of the main campaign, at least. If anyone wants to write a few more parting posts, perhaps have your characters converse among themselves or with the NPC's about the adventure before riding away into the sunset, feel free. You can also move your characters to a different zone or campaign, of course. It wasn't the smoothest RP ever, but I hope you all had some fun! Thanks for participating!))

-Scorp

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