The white light cleared and once again they had form. Siréne stood wrapped in serenity as the wind whipped her black curls. Nearby, Frag wheeled in the air moving with the wind but staying close. It would seem that both fey creatures were grateful to be bound to the physical once again.
Steeling herself the witch sighed. Was this journey's end? They had come so far, and yet now they had still farther to go. All would be won or lost. Siréne stepped forward and spoke a word of power, hardening her skin to stone. She would be ready, they all would be ready.
The fey statue turned to face her companions and spoke, "Let us not hesitate, it is time we made our way."
With the party well provisioned there was no need to deviate from their path to the dwarven forge. Villages and even cities would offer nothing that would warrent a pause in their journey. The party would press on to theor destination.
With the mass teleport ion successful the seven person, two faery dragon and one bear party were ready to move forward. Bypassing Solaminia the group moved towards the border fortress of Isengrim garrisoned by both Callahorn human/elves and Erabor dwarves.
The next two days, compared to the attack on the flying fortress and the inadvertent trip into the past, was eerily without any hint of danger or a threat of any kind. It was almost as if they had been forgotten and the real world around them was at peace, instead of war. Then at dusk of day two they were at Isengrim’s gates and the reality of Trilogy at war.
The gates closed tight, three humans and a pair of dwarves on the walls above it, the humans armed with composite long bows, the dwarves manning heavy double bolted crossbows. A tall human in full plate calls to you.
“Hold who approaches Isengrim?”
Quickly stepping forward Alfginner called back
“Hello Sir Presscott, it is I Alfginnar Ironclaw, returning home to Erabor with represenitives of the Kings at Craggian Core. They come with me to ask my king for more dwarven troops and supplies at the fortress.”
A few moments of quiet, as the fully armored soldier looked the parrty over
“I see no problem with those with you Sir Ironclaw, though the bear might be”
Looking to Rayden he got her nod that she’d keep Brutus behaved and he turned back to the Callahorn Knight.
“No fears Sir Presscott the bear will cause no problems.”
“Open the gates they are welcome here” Turning to gaze within Isengrim’s walls, “Assign them bunks and bedding for the night. ”
Thus the seven person, two faery dragon, and one bear party, walked into the fortress of Isengrim to stay the night………
(DM OOC: Ok first post back after a crazy and very scary month. I apologize for the long gap but real life gave me a very profound scare. Well here it is and we will shoot for Sunday Oct 6th for my next post.)
Lothor enjoyed the walk from one place to another. They were in a hurry and there were dangers aplenty, but for the moment the world indicated that they could only move so fast and that danger did not seem to be in their immediate surroundings. He knew it wouldn't last, but he fully intended to enjoy it while he could. As he relaxed in the evening he could not help but believe that some day, should he be so lucky as to survive until someday, he would look back on the few days like this spent just walking through the world as the easiest days they had faced. He was currently doing all that he could do - and all he could do was walk and enjoy the weather. Reality would undoubtedly smack them in the face again soon. For now, he stretched his legs and smiled.
When the group reached Isengrim he suspected that their brief peaceful interlude was over. Once again they were in a world at war. He watched as their dwarven guide earned them entrance into the city. Bunks. Just bunks for the messengers of kings. Yes, this was a fortress at war. He followed the group inside inspecting the fortifications as he did so. What sorts of walls did they have? What weapons? How big was the army stationed here that had bunks to spare? Supplies? The world was at war, but how close did those inside believe that war was to their gates? And if came soon, how likely were those gates to survive the assault? This was not the first war Lothor had seen. He knew the signs he was looking for.
Past the gates he continued to assess the military readiness of those inside while pondering the question of where would they be going next and by what path?
A city full of dwarves, Cor was finally amoung his own people. Excusing himself from the party he set out to find a rowdy taven. It took littel time to find one and Cor was soon downing mugs of ale and telling tall tales. In between his tales, he listened to those of the othres around him hoping to gather any useful information on the new world in which he found himself. The sun was just beginning to redden the sky when the elder dwarf returned to his cot and lay down for some rest.
With night falling and the group safely within the walls of Isengrim, its garrison of Humans, Dwarves and a battalion of Elf archers added due to the war, they were shown to temporary quarters to gain some sleep before once more traveling the next day. For all this was a well needed rest but for Cor, disregarding sleep, moved to and found the main drinking hall of the forts garrison. Though the place was full of Dwarves like himself, a number of Human soldiers and even a few Elves were present.
Soon with little help the Knight Cleric was downing mugs of ale and telling tall tales. In between his tales, he listened to those of the others around him hoping to gather any useful information on the new world in which he found himself. The sun was just beginning to redden the sky when the elder Dwarf returned to his cot and lay down for some rest gaining only a total of four hours before he was roused by Ulthok to once again travel, this time into the heart of Erebor and to the Dwarven forges.
The next two nights were uneventful, the first sleeping in a unlit camp within the woods with guard shifts posted. The second night for free at an inn with the symbol of Kakaranatha clearly shown on both the Inn’s banner and worn by its staff inside. All very differential to the party as if they knew the party, the members within it, and where the group was headed.
Waking and finding a well cooked and very free breakfast the group with full belly’s was soon on the way again and with coming of dusk found themselves facing the entrance to Kazad-Dum and a dozen Dwarven guards. As eight of them moved to intercept in a hostile fashion, four stayed behind manning clearly a pair of weapons none in the party had ever seen before. The two weapons consisted of a number of brass tubes, ten in number, each with the tip of an arrow poking out. Attached to the weapons right side was a string of glass encased arrows feeding through an opening into the weapons main body with a hand held turning handle to turn the barrels of the weapon in a circular motion feeding those arrows into the ten barrels and firing them off. The rate of fire only determined by the speed of the person cranking the handle. A scary weapon indeed and one that right now could clearly be used on the walls of Craggian Core
However a quick word of greeting by Ironclaw and a show of the symbol upon his armor and the guards quickly moved back behind the bailiwicks to let the party pass. However two things happened next, the first strange, the second predictable. In the first Ironclaw, nor the party, could not have expected that the twelve guards upon sighting Cor, would remove their helmets and lower their heads in a rare sign of respect, seeing upon him the sigil of Odin and his place upon Trilogy as the god’s Knight Cleric. Though not as poignant as kneeling to a king or queen the lowering of their heads was also a great sigh of welcome.
The second thing to happen, though not strange, should have been expected and almost predictable as with a loud roar Rayden’s bear Brutus backed away refusing to enter. Moments later as if having talked to Brutus, Arandur’s falcon took to the sky to rest on a tree branch not far away. No matter of convincing or ordering or sweet talk, could convince the two animals to enter. After a promise from the Dwarven guards to protect and feed as needed, they were finally through the doors and into the inner workings of the forge fortress. Leaving the heavily guarded and fortified front gate, now by the addition of a bear and a falcon, behind.
Following Ironclaw deeper the party saw how busy the place seemed to be with Dwarves of all types moving within and through the halls. The party could tell right away how each of the Dwarves seemed to have a purpose and the determination to complete it. Then they were entering a room of robed Dwarves and it was clear the old adage was true, no matter what the race or the people, mages always wear robes. Looking up to the parties entrance the first of the Dwarves to speak was dressed in a flowing purple robe the rest wearing colors from blue to gray to even black.
“Are these the ones that carry the sword of the dark king?”
“Yes, Durgrimst, these are the ones.”
“Quickly then gives us the spell and the sword so we may begin its destruction.”
Without words the sword was handed to the dwarf who took it and placed it upon a stone table ingrained with a bluish, red strands of pulsing magical light. Uncovering it, the sword exploding with a telepathic scream
“NOOOOO release me return me home! You will all die for this once my master reclaims me.”
Suddenly all in the room could feel a tug, a grabbing of each’s mind an attempt by the sword to take over each persons mind. As Durgrimist started casting the Allanan gifted spell, the attempt to capture a mind became stronger until the enviable happened and one of the Dwarves within the room room succumbed. Drawing a hand axe the dwarf lunged at Durgrimist to kill him and stop the spell. However before any of the party or Ironclawe could act the other Dwarves forced him to the floor cutting off his head. The voice of the sword for a few moments coming from the dismembered head.
“This is not the end I will in the hand of my master, creator, kill you all.”
Then it was silent only to once again be heard within everyone's minds. However this time it was soothing and embracing in tone.
“Please release me return me home! You will all be granted great gifts and gold and a place at my master’s side once my master reclaims me. I know each of you wants me to wield me to use me to love me”
The swords voice having become wholly female and seductive. The pull of its temptation getting stronger as the spell was cast. First Ulthok, then Cor, then Sirene and the whole party found themselves on their knee’s fighting against the swords pull barely resisting ever getting closer to giving in.
“Please release me return me home! You will all be granted great love and pleasure your dreams will be granted a place at my master’s side to love him and be loved by him. I know each of you wants to wield me, to use, to even worship… NOOOOOO”
And just like that the voice was gone, the spell finished, the sword once again covered it its magically protected sheath. Handing the sword to Ironclaw, who handed it back to the party, it was clear that Durgrimist and the other dwarf magi where exhausted,
“Thank you, you have brought that what was needed to destroy this evil thing. However the spell has drained us and we cannot continue till stronger. In eight hours we will meet at the forges main where we will all watch as the sword is thrown into the magical fires to be destroyed for good”
A slow smile and he followed by the rest left the chamber picking up the dead Dwarves body and head. For just a moment to Ulthok it seemed the head was laughing, a glint of magic in his eyes, then it was gone.
“Come let me find you a place to sleep and rest. When Durgrimist is ready he will call you and the sword to the forges main and we will finish this.”
Within a matter of minutes the party was given seven beds in a barracks room and left to relax, the sword still in their custody. With no need for guards the party and was asleep in under a few minutes.
RING!!!…. RING!!!….. RING!!!….
The party was shocked out of their sleep to the sound of a bell ringing, deep sounding Dwarven horns issuing a call to arms, and the sound of many stumped feet chaotically attempting to get somewhere from the hall outside of the parties barracks room. Clear it was that the party had come to what they had thought was a safe place, only to find that safe place once again under attack………
(DM OOC: Ok my new post a day early! and I hope you enjoy. So under attack yet again hmmm what’s up with you people. Keeper send me an idea of what information you were hoping to find out and I’ll send you a PM or post it in the Q/A of what you learned. Ok next post Sunday the 20th, get your posts in.)
Nightmarish visions clouded the elf's slumbering mind, the scenes darkening the once bright fields of his subconciousness like an ominous, malevolent fog smothering a peaceful land. Visions of terrible battles to be, death to come, sorrows to endure and his whole world changed forever.
Restlessly he turned on his cot, slim fingers gripping the sheets in response to those horrific scenes played out in his mind's tortured eye, his face wrinkled into a twisted grimace that told clearly of his discomfort.
It was somewhat of a relief, then, that the loud, high peal of a bell crashed through his chaotic dreams with its discorded clamouring. Arandur's emerald eyes snapped open, hand instinctively groping for his swords which he fastened swiftly to his belt once he had jumped to his feet, slinging his quiver and bow over his narrow shoulders, brow that before was creased in fear with myriad scenes of unpleasant dreams was now pinched in concern for his fellow comrades.
Alas, he thought wearily, it seems as if this fortress is dogged with more danger than I previously assumed. I must assist my fellows.
As soon as he was satisfied with the preparations he had done about himself, he swiftly crossed the small room and opened the door which increased the noise of the hubub in the corridor outside, the loud shouts from the many panicked dwarves, the clashing of the many sets of jingling armour and metal boots upon the stone floor assailing his sensitive elf ears. He winced uncomfortably, but made himself concentrate upon the situation at hand. He waited until the seemingly endless stream of dwarven soldiers running down the wide corridor like a torrent of water from a stormy sea, thinned somewhat before following the stout dwarves as they lead him outside of the barracks. Straightening his spine, widening his stance, holding his twin rapiers in his firm grip and taking a deep breath to steady himself, Arandur waited for the enemy to make their appearance...
Posted on 2019-10-08 at 09:54:52.
Edited on 2019-10-08 at 09:59:49 by dragon-soul92
Rayden watched as Brutus had to remain behind. Since she had found the bear he had not left her side and it was unsettling to her. She listened to the party convene and then begin the process to destroy the sword and as quickly as it seemed they were ushered to beds.
Sighing she sat on her bunk, unable to allow sleep to claim her as her mind drifted to the bear outside.. It was fine however because as soon as she put her mind to actually attempting sleep a loud ringing was heard and clamoring of feet followed. Swiftly she left the bunk and had in her hand her bow and eased out to see what was going bump in the night.
Posted on 2019-10-09 at 21:31:21.
Edited on 2019-10-10 at 00:51:02 by SilentOne
Cor's subconscious mind heard the sounds of battle and by the times he shook the cobwebs of sleep from his mind, he found himself in half his armor. He reached for his breastplate but then stopped. Battle called, but it was not a call he would answer. Once he would have rushed to face the hordes of evil without a second thought. Now he was older and wiser. What raged outside was a simple skirmish in the grand war of good and evil. Destruction of the sword was his primary mission and anything that deflected his focus from that end was a boon to the forces of evil. The garrison would have to fight this fight on thier own.
Moving into the hall, Cor found the rest of the party. "Seems the citadel has visitors. I am sure our hosts will welcome them appropriately. Gather your things and meet me back here in 10 minutes. We leave tonight to continue our quest ta destroy the sword. We canna affors ta get caught up in affairs here."
Lothor woke to the sound of battle. It was a thing that sounded so gallant to the young, but got old by the second time it happened. Still, the blood raced and he quickly prepared for a fight. He didn't know who or what was at the gates, but he was absolutely certain about why they had come. The eight hour sof rest that they were supposed to get were not going to happen. It was time to move. He quickly grabbed his stuff and moved into the hall to find the others.
Cor was already there and ordering everyone to get ready to march. It was the same plan Lothor had in mind. Now they just needed to know where to march. Since he was already ready to go he looked around to see if anyone else was in the halls. He had heard footsteps running. If he saw noone he would look for a crossing hallway and check there. If he saw someone, he would do his best to stop them and find out what was going on. He'd also ask about the forges. Just as the young thought the sound of battle gallant, they also believed that strength of arms was the most important thing. It wasn't. More battles had been lost by lack of information than by military weakness. Lack of information was weakness. Conversly, information was a form of strength. They needed information. He looked around to see what he could find.
(OOC: I am assuming that as a dwarven fortress there are likely no windows, but if there are any - in our rooms or in the hallway - Lothor would also want to take a look outside.)
At the first sounds of battle, Siréne opened her eyes and ended her nocturnal meditation. Communion would have to wait. She moved like liquid, flowing through her chambers to gather the few items not already on her body. Nearby, Frag dipped and wheeled in the air with anticipation. Although they had only been bonded a short time, already they moved in tandem. Words were not needed, they shared the same fey instincts.
Magic crackled in the air as the two faeries drew upon the twilight power that coursed through their veins. In unison Siréne and Frag spoke a single word of power hardening their skin with impenetrable stone. At that, the pair left their chambers to find the others filing into the hallway. It was high time they made their way to the forge, and if they had to fight their way there both Siréne and Frag would be ready.
When party returned to their quarters Ulthok was troubled by what he thought he has seen. The severed head of the Dwarv looked as if it was smiling knowingly. The mage felt that there was something afoot and things were not as they appeared. Cor had believed that following his brothers to the legend forge would be a worthy attempt. His faith in the noble clans assured him that this was the best course of action. But these were no longer the clans as he had known them. The party’s interference in time had changed so many thing in subtle ways and perhaps not so subtle ways. Cor may not see the differences but Ulthok had to wonder. Why was the sword unsheathed before they were at the forge? Why were the scrolls read so soon? The power of the sword was revealed and it tried to protect itself. Peri gave Ulthok a quizzical look as she seemed to understand his concerns and Valene walked quietly as she sensed his brooding.
“Let us rest and perhaps tomorrow my fears wills be relieved,” he said to them as they reached their quarters and lay to rest.
A clamber and commotion drew them from their sleep. The sound of heavy foot falls and soldiers rapidly assembling came from the keep. “Oh great googly moogly this cannot be good. Quickly gather your things and let us assemble with the others. I fear things have changed again and we must fight or flee.”
Three hurried and soon were with Lord Cor and the others. “Cor old friend, do we fight or flee?”
The party awakened by the sound of loud ringing bells quickly assembled together in the center of the barracks type room. Not knowing which way the forges lay they could for the moment only wonder of the nature of the alarm
“Cor old friend, do we fight or flee?” This asked by Ulthok
For a moment the dwarf leader of the party was lost in thought, but only shortly.
"Seems the citadel has visitors. I am sure our hosts will welcome them appropriately. Gather your things and meet me back here in 10 minutes. We leave tonight to continue our quest ta destroy the sword. We canna afford ta get caught up in affairs here."
As the members of the party gathered up their gear and prepared for a possible fight to reach the forges a squad of seven dwarf’s entered the room led by Ironclaw.
“Hurry we must get you to the forges and destroy that damned sword for we are under attack by our dark brethren the Derro. Normally they have not the strength to attack us such, they have not done so in decades, but something draws them to do so and I think it is the sword you carry. Also there are reports they are not alone and something or someone leads them. Now hurry we must not waste time”
With four dwarves in front,Ironclaw and the party in the middle,and three dwarf’s at the rear the group moved out into the hallway and quickly made their way . After hundred or so feet the hallway quickly turned into a descending ramp that spiraled downward, passing entrances to other levels. At some the party could hear the sounds of battle raging. Continuing without stopping the party found themselves deep within the dwarf fortress, the temperature hotter here then at any so far. Then past a large entrance to their front, the party found themselves in a large cavern, the four dwarf’s without stopping continuing to leading the party towards the north.
Suddenly without warning from the dark of the large 300×300 northern end three double sized arrows hit the first of the leading dwarf’s and lifted him off his feet and slamming him to the ground. As he rose to stand, gravely wounded yet still in the fight, he suddenly convulsed, some type of white goo exploding from his mouth, then fell dead at the party’s feet.
With a loud horrible blood thirsty shriek a horde of 4' tall dwarf like humanoids rushed out of the darkness. With skin the color of white, with bluish undertone, straight hair a sickly, pale yellow or tan and staring eyes with no pupils the number of creatures rushing the party easily numbered in the forties.
Yelled one of the remaining four dwarves that had entered before the party, however his warning was cut short as a two more of the same large arrows struck him, followed by six crossbow bolts. Landing on his back the dwarf was dead before the whitish goo flowed from behind his lips.
With the last three dwarves, Ironclaw, and the party fully within the room, the time to fight or die was at hand once again…….
(DM OOC: Ok sorry for the delay in posting but here it is your first big fight after a long time without one. Ok so Derro coming at you from the North, some carry repeating light crossbows, some carry a hook-fauchard, a long 6'+ inches long pole arm type weapon. Others carrying short heavy looking clubs along with spiked bucklers. The first mass numbers around 20 with more coming out of the dark area to the north. Running through the room from a small opening to the west are a pair of railroad type tracks as shown on the map. Good luck and Game on!)
Derro in pink(Red always comes out as pink grrrrr)
HC= Heavy Club C= Crossbow PA= Pole Arm
Dwarves are Dark Blue
Ironclaw in Light Green
Party in Light Blue
Posted on 2019-10-23 at 23:04:08.
Edited on 2019-10-23 at 23:22:29 by TannTalas
The attack came from nowhwere. Poisoned arrows of death struck down several dwarves. How the Derro knew the party's location was a mystery, but one that would have to wait for an answer. "Mages, take them out now! We canna risk them getting off more range attacks. Who knows what evil weapons they carry that could make close combat dangerous. Everyone else protect the mages and the sword." Cor noticed the hasted movement of the dark dwarves and knew this was a planned attack. Someone must have sent word to the forces of evil or the sword had sent one itself while uncovered. Could one of his fellow dwarves been corrupted? Cor had no time to ponder. Lifting his eyes upwards he sent a prayer to Odin to grant is blessing to the mages attack.
OOC Cor is looking upward in prayer and so would notice the ceiling and anything unusual there.
The Derro attack filled that wonderful niche of the completely unexpected expected event. It shouldn't be happening. Not here in the middle of the fortress. The enemy should still be trying to get inside - it should be already here. And it seemed a strange coincidence that they would be here, exactly where the party and the sword were located. And yet, as unlikely as each of these things should be, Lothor wasn't at all surprised when it happened. He had been looking around as he trotted through the fortress fully expecting just such an unexpected attack. And so had all of his comrades. Completely unexpected and completely expected all in one.
The use of poisoned weapons was also no shock, Derro and death all made sense. He saw the firts of their dwarven guards fall and pulled out Anduril's blood. The bow had been a gift to allow to continue this adventure. It was time to put it to use. Those dark dwarves looked faster than normal, but they were still a long way away. His job was to protect the mages. He didn't know exactly what they had in mind, but he expected flames to burst forth somewhere soon.
Lothor pulled out his bow and took aim.
(OOC: I'm not sure if this system allows someone to hold their actions. If so, I'd wait and have Lothor hit a crossbowman or two that have been injured by spells but are not dead. If he needs to declare his target right now he will aim at the heavy crossbowman to the left of the road. I think it is #19. If for some reason nothing on the floor survives, he would aim at something on the ceiling that didn't fall.)