"Sins of the Fathers" June 15th, 2001
Who will earn up to 7000 XPs for summarizing this game?
Cold stares followed Oren and Zeek as they entered Okrote's. There weren't a lot of people left in the City
of Hope, now nicknamed Hopeless, but many of those remaining had gathered in the ruined tent that had once been
Okrote's bar to drown their sorrows. And it was clear from their faces who they blamed for their current spate
of troubles. With heads down, the Dwarf and the Monk hurried to the bar to help themselves. Now that the City of
Hope was a ruined shambles and master Okrote was nowhere to be found drinks were on the house. With steins in hand
they made their way to the corner table where the rest of the Finders were gathered.
"Aye, we'd no luck at the Keep" Oren said. "Javair's nowhere to be found. We found Feld and all he had to offer was Javair was off cleaning up our mess! Ungrateful bastards. They've already forgotten all we've done for them" he said while gesturing towards the small crowd a scowl directed at those few who dared glance at the Finders table.
"My order teaches that life is but a wheel and as surely as we spend time at the top of the wheel, we will spend time at the bottom" Zeek offered.
"Does your order teach anything but riddles?" Vikos sneered.
Just at that moment, from the shadows in the corner of the tent that had once housed Okrote's stage, a vaguely familiar voice began:
"There once was a man form Greenmark
Went to war with the demons in Birchmont
Fought them and won
He swears to the sun
Yet demons run rampant in Dumit"
"Still a lil' raw, don't you think? Dumit doesn't quite ryme and I don't know what I can substitue and still get the point across. What ever I can come up with, It'd be OK of course, poetic license and all you know. But I think it captures the essence of the current dilemma, don't you?" Collin asked, stepping from the shadows. Mouths wide and wordless the Finders stared at one of their founders seemingly back from the dead yet again.
After he was safely planted at the Finders table, a mug of ale and a second shot of Highlander wiskey in front of him, the first having disappeared as soon as it was poured, Collin fielded questions on his recent activities.
"A've been Javairs mouthpiece since the gates 'ave been closed. Travelling the Kingdom and trying to rallie the lads to the cause. It's been a tough row though. We'd 'ad little success in the war and even with spring some wonder if it tweren't better a'fore."
"I've 'eard of your troubles of late and it brought to mind a visit I made while in the gray lands of Gelhorn. They've a great library there, said by some to be the greatest in all the lands in this world or the next. There I found a reference to a song of our fair land called the Sonnet of the Peaks. T'was said to tell how the Kings of old 'eld these bloody giants at bay, a'fore the buildin of the Stormgates. I thought it might me interesting information to 'ave, except I'd never 'eard o' the bugger. And beggin yer pardon, I know as much as most alive today of the songs of this land! Well on my travels for Javair I meet a man who knows an old bard by the name o' Morvin Barsew. E's said to 'ave a bloody great collection o' ancient music. I thought to meself mayhaps the good bard might ave 'eard o' the old song. Trouble is 'e lives in an old abbey in an 'ell of a lot o' craigs. Not a place to be ventured lightly. I come to propose you lads join me to find the truth of the power of the ancient Kings. Mayhaps we could use the knowledge to win the day against the giants and now these demons. What say you? Will you join me?"
(from Chris) Zeek, in a brooding and self reflecting tone says; "On one hand, we could blame ourselves
into misery and throw our lives away in our grief and guilt. What we have experienced, no man should be responsible
for. These are un-earthly happenings. If our god (or gods) allowed this to occur, it was pre-ordained. I grant
you this, it was not our sins, nor our mistakes which made this day."
"We are in a dark time. I know not why the Azure Kingdom is so plagued...for a plague this is. We need to speak with Javair, for he has inherited these brood of vipers."
(from Brian) Casiel is certainly interested in pursuing the song possibly known by Morvin. Perhaps we should take along more than one bard in case Collin is injured. Collin has not ever shied away from a fight, and possibly our opponents should not be underestimated. I feel we do have a couple of other matters that might need resolution. Jeremiah seems to be walking around with what more and more seems to be an evil artifact on his arm (from Mark..."Who would no...no one's ever bothered to use it!"). Our party is now walking around with the mace of St. Cuthbert, an artifact that might be sacred to another religion and might create some problems in this regard. We have a broken holy sword which we need to get fixed. Do we need to help in demon extermination? Can we quickly put some forces back in place to protect the now possibly exposed seals? These are thoughts Casiel is now pondering.
(from Mark) Mike & Co., I've been working on my comic book lately, and learning some new job responsibilities
at work...so I've been pretty busy. I will be at the game on Saturday. Haven't been checking on my e-mail much,
so I have some catching up to do tonight. I will post to the website and I will post the XPs as soon as possible,
so everyone can update their characters well prior to the game!
I'm looking forward to your game Mike (what time will the game be?) See you at your house! (Sorry the deal fell through...)
A quick hint to players. If there is a storyline, or story details you wish to pursue with your character...its your job to bring it to the forefront. Look at the DM schedule on the website, and begin talking to the DMs that have upcoming games. Give them some ideas for their games that include details from your character. Let them know the storylines you want to pursue. Let them know the TYPE & STYLE of game you want to play. You see what I'm saying....
Collin finished his invitation with, "What say you? Will you join me?"
Kit's face was grim. "How can we seek this knowledge while demons rape and burn the land and its people? I have done some work to correct our wrongs, but from what I have learned, things are only getting worse...In this dire time...we must take action against the demons...."
Vikos slammed his hand down on the table. "The darkling...oh, sorry...what I mean to say..., fair Kit speaks the truth. I have spent many days flying above the Azure Kingdom looking for the demons that escaped us. Our spells for scrying them have failed us, as the demons must have some way of hiding themselves. We must find these evil beasts and destroy them all!"
Oren laughed, ale spilling over his lip and over his beard. "I slayed that pit fiend with just a few well placed strokes of my axe...and I thirst for more demon blood to spill forth. Well...oops...bad choice of words...putting 'thirst' and 'blood' into one sentence like that...well forget that I said...."
Zeek began to talk over the muttering Oren, "Though the gods must have ordained this chaos and death...I want nothing more than to stop it. We loosed the demons, and we must bring them all to rough justice."
It seemed the party was all in agreement, as they all began to yell about going after the demons immediately, without delay...and without helping Collin on his mission. That is when the man with his left arm strapped to his side walked through a large hole in Ockrote's tent. "You're all fools...and you all deserve to die...and to die ignorant at that."
Everyone in the tent fell silent. Sunlight glinted off Damon Kradock's shaved head, and he walked across the floor and sat next to Oren. "I fell prey to one of Erythnul's black temples, and found myself in the howling tunnels of Pandemonium...that is why I did not join you against Gorin's undead army in Greenmark. In case you have come to wonder about me at all, I do not blame you for not seeking me out. Just don't blame me if when you are someday lost...I choose to not seek you out!" Damon laughed, but the others were silent...and ill-at-ease at his sudden appearance, after so much destruction and death had befallen them.
Damon lifted Oren's mug from the table and drank deeply from it. Then he continued...."I escaped from that mad hell...with some help from an old friend...and I have come to bring you news of the world outside the Azure Kingdom. The Council of Thirteen is meeting with other secret sects and groups of power...Swaldunians...Elves...and others of which Vavasha would not speak. There is concern that the demons have established a foothold here...a foothold from which they will lauch an invasion of all of Kempin. Already they gate in fellow demons, and have spread they hidey-holes across the land. Soon, they will have neutralized any human, demi-human, or non-human threat that exists here...and then they will invade other lands...spreading their power across our globe."
Eytai stood. "All you bring are words of darkness, Damon. All you bring to us is a lack of hope. We barely know you...do not test our patience...what is the news that you bring?"
Damon nodded. "Yes, too much detail. My apologies. The Azure Kingdom is to be sealed off from the rest of the world. A day is coming...very soon, when the Azure Kingdom will quarantined...and the demon threat removed from the rest of the world."
Jeremiah laughed. "Riiiiiiight! The entire Kingdom sealed off. Who has the power to do that?" The priest turned to the rest of the party. "This is some sort of trick. Some sort of diversion to take us from our proper course. This man is mad!"
Damon ran a hand over his bald head. "Oh...perhaps. Perhaps I am mad. But I speak the truth. Archibald Leech has been working for four decades on the ability to seal off certain worlds from the land of Sona-Nyl. That is the 'grand-experiment' he had labored over all these years...he an his entire college of mages. If they can seal off whole worlds...what would be the difficulty in sealing off the Azure Kingdom, when Vavasha an every magical ally he can muster supply their assisstance. I may be mad, but I speak the truth!"
Zeek leaned forward. "So what does this mean for us...for the people of the Azure Kingdom?"
Damon also leaned forward. "Ah...that's the rub, isn't it? It means everyone who wants to live beyond a few weeks from now needs to leave the Azure Kingdom. The word will go out across the land. Temporary precautions are in place to keep the demons here until the Great Seal can be put into place. But one thing is sure: to stay in the Azure Kingdom, is to be sealed in with the demons...lots of demons. And that brings us to Collin's quest. If there is some artifact or bit of knowledge that can help us stand against the giants...or possibly the demons, then we better find that artifact or knowledge before its sealed in, possibly forever, with these damned demons...."
Collin had a glint in his eye. "Its a race of sorts then. We find the truth of the power of the ancient Kings. And if we move too slow, sealed in we shall be. What say you? Will you join me? Will you find this power with me before we're sealed in forever?"
DEMONS AND THE STORM GIANTS (by Chris)
Sitting in Ockrote's Tent, everyone was excited about this new news pertaining to the saving of our kingdom.
The plan was to find this bit of knowledge, this lost song, 'The Sonnet of the Peaks.' It was to be used against
both the giants and the devils.
Zeek was the first to speak out against this plan and offered his wisdom. "We do not need to fight two enemies at once! Let's first make peace with the giants. At least let us not make it our goal to provoke them! Especially while we have pit fiends in our belfry!"
Collin was most excited. "Ei wer a wie bit of a lad, when me first saw 'em. Big as a castle. Stepped riet o'er da mote, ee did. I'll be damned twice afore Ei be belted by'em agin. And these lot of demons and devils gots me all fouled up. I'll not stand idle, while me 'ome country ai torn apart! You's mai pay noo heed to me call'n, but Collin is uh go'n. There's no stop'n me!"
Collin's retribution set the party alight. Some yelling at him, others agreeing and cheering. Zeek felt insulted, as he was an outsider. However, ever since he swore an oath to Javair and the Azure kingdom, Zeek felt he had found home. "I'm with you Collin. I am not trying to talk you out of anything. Just...oh what's the use!?!" As an omen, or something more dastardly, Zeek's premonition soon will prove to erie...
Among all of this chatter, Damon reminds everyone of the time constraint. "So, we leave in the morning?" A deathly silience fills the room. Oren yells, in his gruff dwarven voice, "On to the Abbey!"
Just then a pretty wench enters the tent snickering, "Anyone want some Fuckie, Fuckie?" Oren, not catching all of the deadly sins about, asks "how much?" The rest of the party jumps into action. Jeremiah, quickly seeing through the fog of fuck, casts the beast back to hell.
No sooner was the banshee gone, a 10' tall demon stands in the entryway. With his 18" spiked and barbed member protruding, it yells in an inhuman gutteral screech, "ANYONE WANT SOME FUCKIE, FUCKIE?"
With that the party goes into an immediate frenzy of weapons, fists and incantations, like a well oiled machine. The abomination is quickly dispatched. (Kit, glances down at the 18" member, she thinks twice about adding 'it' to her collection. Kit secretly takes the heart from the devil. With a smile on her face as she sets her plan in motion.) "Grazum will be so pleased with me."
As the party moves into the courtyard, a half-dozen or so banshees are seen, giddily fleeing into the woods. Vikos launches into flight, like the hero's of myth. He follows pursuit and lashes out with spells and calls lightning to find their home. Boooom! Craaack! A small forest fire errupts causing Kit, Jeremiah and Etyai to rebuke Vikos. Zeek quickly comes to Vikos' defense. "You are fools to think a forest fire is more important than eradicating the land of this evil!!!"
Just as Zeek and Oren were about to give chase with Vikos, a band of Imperial Knights approaches the City of Dispair. Immediately, their Captain, Reginald McDreary, jumps down and nails a decree to the nearest poll. What Damon had spoke of earlier is true! The Azure Kingdom will be sealed off from the rest of the world, in less than two weeks!
Damon suggests that these Knights escort the villagers to a safe haven. At first the Captain says, "We are on a tight timeline. We must deliver this message to the rest of the kingdom." Zeek asks if they know Javair. "No." Oren asks if they know our venerable monk, Zeek. "NO! What barbarians." Laughter errupts among the knights. With a sneer towards Oren, Zeek tries to regain his composure and asks "Will you not spare a handful of your men to escort these poor peasants to safety?" Captain McDreary agrees to let two of his knights escort the peasants to Wicks.
The Finders continue onward to the Abbey. With two days of travel behind them, they come to an opening in the rough terrain. Like many others they had come across, there were outcroppings of rock with paths criscrossing a small valley. No more than ten steps into the area, Kit spots a giant 100 feet away! Then one is spotted 90 feet in front. Then there are two more at our right flank with a mixture of ogres in tow!
Everyone, without thinking goes into combat mode. Kit launches a fire ball to one that appears to be the captain on the left hill top. Zeek sprints to the one straight ahead. The Giant on the left heaves two boulders, one after the other. Both hit Etyai causing crushed bones. Etyai wavers and is brought to his knees when the Storm Giant crushes his right leg with a huge ax. Oren puts up a good fight, trading blows. But, the giant will not go down. It is the mighty Oren that is slain.
Zeek, thinking Oren can handle himself with a minor Frost Giant, moves to attack the Stone Giant. He hits home and is ready for more when the Giant blinks away. Zeek's fists are still glowing bright blue and knows that he must have gone invisible. He strikes again and breaks stone into pebbles, jarring Zeek's arms. Two ogres then attack, distracting Zeek and letting the Stone Giant move away.
Seeing Oren fall, Zeek begins to think maybe that these are not a Frost Giants but Storm Giants! Zeek begins to move towards Oren, but is held fast and cannot move. The Ogres eye's widen with glee as becomes easy prey. Before they can react Zeek targets the center-most boulder and Dimension's himself into.
Casil quickly tries to flank the enemy, only to come face to face with two Ogres. The ogre's give chase. Casil returns some time later after dispatching the ogre. While Damon, invisible, seeks to flank the enemy on the left.
Jeremiah, Kit and Vikos are busy casting lightning bolts, magic missles, and flame strikes, annilating the ogres. But, they only distract the Giants. Vikos summons his god's creatures and plants to further attack the giants. Vikos is also struck with a holding spell. However, he is able to fly to safety.
Needless to say, the battle is not going well. Jeremiah manages to save Oren, Kit and himself by wind walking to a safe haven. Oren is completely healed with a heal spell. While Etyai, too close to the Storm Giant, is left to be trampled.
Zeek manages to pop back into this world and randomly lands a few steps from the main Storm Giant, the one that killed Oren and Etyai. Thinking that if he could bring down their strongest, the battle might come to a parley rather than a slaughter! Zeek hits first with all of his blows landing, severely injurying the Storm Giant. But, as Zeek is the only target on the battlefield, the two other giants converge on Zeek and begin to pummel him to death. Part of his right skull is completely blasted off. A chunk of his right abdomen is cut out by a great axe and his arm is splintered.
Damon rushes to Zeek's aid, only too late. He strikes one of the Giants from behind. Realizing the folley of continued battle, he starts a parley. "Let us stop this madness. It is not going to gain either of us anything to kill each other!" When none of them respond, Damon yells, "Do any of you bastards speak common?"
Oren pipes up and says I speak Giant, and begins translating. He then takes over the negotiations to the dismay of the party! Oren successfully sues for peace and a bargain is reached. The giants were only setting up a defensive perimeter. The two war parties have agreed to work together to rid the land of Demons. Then they may return to a 'normal' state of war.
Zeek's prediction of seeking peace rather than war, proves too true, three dead and much time wasted.
Jeremiah immediately raises Etyai. But, he is not able to restore his severely damaged leg and Etyai must wear a brace, walking with a noticable limp. As Jeremiah begins the resurrection of Zeek, he receives a message from Heironious. "This one is beyond my help. I am sending you a Protector. It is Zeek, but it is not. He is from me. Listen to him. Speak the truth and be true to your calling..."
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