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  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  9 hours ago

    The IC posts over the Crater Lake events for Nature Night are finally finished!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  10 hours ago

    !lol

    It really was something..a bit like a can..that the Sandworms went into !

    Magic and Gnomish Technology to the rescue!

  • Vaedryan
    Vaedryan  10 hours ago

    *chuckles* Love the name of the most recent NN, Scratch!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  17 hours ago

    Nature Night will start in about 2 hours!

    Please join us in the Wild Grove in Grauer Suden.

    I will be IG as Dauken. Feel free to shoot me a tell with any questions. smile

  • AmberOfDzu
    AmberOfDzu  1 day ago

    Hi Scratch!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  2 days ago

    Amber!

  • AmberOfDzu
    AmberOfDzu  2 days ago

    *wave* @Vaerdryan grin

  • Vaedryan
    Vaedryan  3 days ago

    Omg! I spy an Avarith!!! grin

  • Jandari
    Jandari  3 days ago

    DORF night has kicked off with epic bouts of arm wrestling!

  • archgrendel
    archgrendel  3 days ago

    Payne is just jealous wink


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The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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What's in a Name?

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Alanonas
3:33:52 pm GMT 10/06/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
What's in a Name?



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Alanonas
3:41:16 pm GMT 10/06/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
I


"If I'm gonna tell a real story, I'm gonna start with my name."


~ Kendrick Lamar


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.....

I must confess, I've never known my name.

Really.

It seems like such a simple thing, something every speaking creature soon masters. Hell, even mongrels learn such things. From the sorrid little hellhounds of the Iron city to the loyal, albeit flea-ridden companions of an honest farmer.

I've been called a great many things, some even serve as what most mortals would consider a name in earnest - that one word that one may yell at another to draw their attention; to know them. Rhan. Demon Boy. Rhan-doom. Ran. Red Warrior. Rhandum. All these and more I've been called.

It's all nonsense.

This I have come to learn with each bit of dwindling mortality I abandon in this endless expanse of torture and chaotic bliss that I've come to call my home: The Abyss. Amidst all of its whirling pain, misery, deceit, evil, and vileness does in fact lurk a great deal of wisdom to those who would dare to listen for it.

It was here after all, that I discovered exactly what a name means to a demon...
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Alanonas
5:47:45 pm GMT 10/06/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
II


"It is by going down into the Abyss that we recover the treasures of life."

~ Joseph Campbell

The Abyss is a strange place, but it never fails to entertain...or to educate. Harsh? Oh yeah. Brutal? Of course. Murderously manipulative and incessant in driving each and every inkling of sanity from your writhing conscious? Maybe?

....

Yeah, probably.

Whatever.

It all started when I first saw the gate wrest itself open. Such things are not so unusual here, after all. Foolish mages will always try to reign in my kin and I to bend them to their own little machinations. More often than not such things lead gratuitous bloodshed, so I decided to stick around to see what this particular mage decided to call forth....


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A Glabrezu?!

What could such a mere mortal offer to such a greedy, powerful demon as such?

There was one way to find out...

I must confess, I didn't really know or care about the consequences that may follow hamstringing a Glabrezu to rush past it and into a crackling planar gate to an unknown location...

It simply needed to be done.


There was a flash. Then the stinging, crackling feeling of the powerful spell that was used wrest open reality itself to tear such a passageway. It's a strange feeling to explain; it floods over you like a thick torrent of murky water that seeks to smother you into oblivion - then you arise and take a deep breath of the foreign air.

Then I saw the mage...




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Alanonas
10:01:31 pm GMT 10/07/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
III


"If you need something done: summon a devil. If you need something fun: call a demon."

~ Anonomyous

[ image disabled ]

Yes. A mage. Bearded. Esoteric. Robed in the typical drapery of his "craft". Surprised.


"...Galzar'naxt? You have changed since we last treated. What is the meaning of this? Speak demon, lest I invoke your True Name once again."


I remember smiling darkly as I watched the old human's withered hands draw into the depths of his ample sleeves, no doubt readying some manner of magical trinket to send me reeling back into the chaotic depths. I remember well his knowing, taunting eyes, the sort of eyes that knew that the circle he had created would not break for the fiend he had called. Good thing I was not that fiend hmm?

I stepped over the intricate circle of smoldering ash and gems and grinned at the now worried mage. It felt good.

I heard those tangled words begin to slink from his cracked lips. I'm no authority on magic or aracanists, but I've learned that when a bearded man in a dress starts spouting nonsense at you, it's usually for the best to just ignite him and be done with it.


I watched him burn and smolder for a good long time. There is something hypnotic about such a thing. Something that draws your eyes in and holds them even despite the smell. Then I saw the tomes. Piles of them. I sauntered over and sat upon a pile of them, flipping through the weathered pages and tossing the boring sounding ones aside. KANDULLIUS' TREATISE ON THE LEYLINES OF THE WEAVE VOL. XXXIV made for excellent fuel for my now dwindling fire. GORMLUCK'S PLANAR BESTIARY had some rather well done illustrations of the elusive Hellaphant that I found rather endearing, so I spared it from the rancid camp fire for the time being.

Then I discovered the important one; the source of my newest little misadventure....


ONAMASTICUM DEMONAE

It lay open upon a crude pedestal, marked in several places by the ambitious mage. There were illustrations of scowling demons adorning each page alongside intricately drawn sigils, seals, and scripts to bind such beings...and then a list. A long one. Detailed instructions? Names? Who could know?

I knew not what those words meant, but I recognized the script within in a heartbeat. How could I not? I've seen the same script adorning the banners and devious contracts wrought by my most ancient of foes: Devils.

I took one last look at the sizzling mage as I tuck the infernal tome away and return to the depths of the Abyss to begin my search for someone, or something, that could illuminate the meaning of this peculiar tome...


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Alanonas
4:33:44 pm GMT 03/12/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
IV


"The problem with going on a journey of self discovery is having to face what you find."

~ Anonymous


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You would think one would eventually grow accustomed to the howling winds and burning gales of one's home; of the crashing colossal landmasses that roil and grind one another to dust as the very fabric of the plane tears itself asunder only to reform into something more nightmarish and hostile than the last. That is the true beauty of the Abyss. You never cease to be amazed.

I have always found my own gaze to linger upon what serves as a sky in this dismal realm. Imagine if you will an endless expanse of tumultuous and defiant energy that lashes about the horizon in rebellion against the very laws of the universe itself. The storms here are terrible; horrific beyond any tempest that one will witness across the planes. They are things of anger, of hate and destruction. Unbridled power that brings ruin if only to know it can. Why do they stop here?

In many ways, the denizens of this plane I call home are much the same. Destruction made into flesh and blood. Ruin with claws, teeth, and a heart of darkness. Defiance endowed with the spark of sentience and tempered with madness. But I often wonder as I wander this realm of utter destruction, madness, and depravity. I wonder what it is that keeps the sky in its place. What it is that stops this plane from truly breaking into the rest of reality.

This remains a most troubling thought to linger upon. What power exists to contain sure ire? What holds my fellow demons in check? What enslaves the Abyss itself?

As I roam this bleak expanse I think back to the strange tome; of veiled secrets that lie within the ancient pages. Names. Names are important to demons, for it is said that if one finds a demon's true name, they find too the only shackles that can truly bind that entity in earnest. What if not only I, but the Abyss itself were beholding to such trifling things as a name? But alas, in my days I have really only learned two things that I am certain of with no doubt: I am no slave, and I am no scholar.

Furthermore, I doubt I'll find one here...



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Alanonas
12:09:55 am GMT 04/19/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
V


"Getting lost is a good way to find yourself."

~ Anonymous

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They say not all who wander are lost, but I sure was.

The crimson skies stretched on endlessly above, broken only by the sharp cracks of chaotic lightning that arced across the void, splitting the expanse with a flare of abyssal light. Then I saw them. A dark cloud of black carapaced demons with buzzing wings and bloodied claws breaking into the layer I wandered as the abyssal rift tore open. As the bebilths closed in, I tear off my ragged coat and get ready for one hell of a fight as I count eight of the damned things buzzing towards me in a frenzy.

It hurt. Alot. There are few things worse than being rended apart by a bebilth with notable exception of being rended by pack of them. Suffice to say, when I saw another planar gate tear open in the distance, not many thoughts of caution stayed my flight as I flew for the crackling gate...


~R~

I'd like to say that I of all creatures should be used to crossing planar boundaries, that I have grown accustomed to the gut wrenching pull that is beyond comprehension for those who've never had their corporeal being torn from one reality to another. I'd be lying. Your vision is the first to go. The nightmarish terrain of the Abyss gives way to darkness that washes over you, muffling your other senses as it overtakes you like a suffocating cloud. Then your body feels it. It's much like falling, but the direction is different, as is the speed. Suffice to say it is a rather sickening ride. One day I'll figure it all out, but as I tumbled through reality towards the unknown destination I had other thoughts.

Like why I heard a familiar voice calling my name on the other side...



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Alanonas
1:56:24 pm GMT 04/29/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
VI


"You cannot choose your enemies, but you can choose your friends."

~Anonymous

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"Rhan-doom..."

I knew that voice. Even as reality itself distorted and crackled about the gate, I knew who had called me. The harsh abyssal air gave way to a to a far more pleasant, if stale, smell of stone and salt water. I look down and see a circle of flaring runes and lines that traced about the stone of the Tower of the Five. The carmine glow of the magic filled the dark summoning chamber with a bloody light that was consumed by the drow's dark features as she regarded me.

I gave a smile, tossing aside the still twitching limb of one of the bebiliths that saw fit to invite me to dinner prior. One day I'll stop hopping into every portal that calls my name, but alas, it was not this day. I tested the glowing lines of the binding circle. They stung. Burned. Hurt. They worked. She had always been a clever one, but more importantly, she was a careful one. But as I looked about the circle I saw a bottle of fine drow cognac set within. Careful, but considerate in her own way.

It was nice to share a drink of something besides tortured souls or demonic ichor for once. Few material things retained taste for a demon in truth, and such is something I think I'll never truly get used to. But here we are. We talk. She knew I had been scouring the lower planes for that last bit of truth, a simple thing really. A name. It could be a single word, maybe two, or perhaps even three. But it was mine. And somewhere it waited, be it in the depths of the Abyss or otherwise. It was there. Waiting. And it was the last thing that ever could bind me in earnest.

Her interest was apparent, but as we spoke I learned that her desires lied not in dominating and enslaving a demon, but in finding a name herself. Not her own name mind you, but the name of another. One who hid his true identity behind the veils of history and undeath alike: Uultak. She told me of this reclusive and infamous lich. Told me how he brought ruin to the elves in days long past, how he tutored the blighted elves in the ways of elven high magic. How he cheated death itself and still lurked in secret, plotting and planning his next ruinous endeavor. How he too hides a name; his own.

Where one name resides, there may well be more. Soon the binding circle is undone and I parted ways with the drow, stepping into the night air of the material. Already I felt the urge to destroy and consume the souls of the beings that walked here slinking back into the vacuum caused by my time wandering the Abyss. I had left the curious tome with a rather enterprising mortal who boasted that he could arrange for a translation. I think it was time I saw how his efforts had been going...




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Alanonas
7:23:54 pm GMT 04/29/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
VII


"A favor is an investment."

~ Anonymous


The human had held up his end of the bargain. He found one who was well-versed in the more aged and forgotten infernal diction and secured a translation for the elusive tome. I was quite impressed he ventured to cut a deal with a demon in the first place, for unlike our more contract oriented kin, demons are not known to keep their word. In fact it is often more amusing to break it, but in this case it was easy to keep my end of the bargain. For in the end it would spell the end of a devil if things worked out just right for the clever human agent.

Or so I thought.

This human wished to know the paths to the Nine Hells themselves, figuring that is where he would eventually face the devil he sought. But as we ventured through those dark paths, I learned just who it was he had found to secure the translation...





....

Damn.

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Alanonas
8:28:51 pm GMT 05/06/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
VIII


"An enemy of an enemy is also probably an enemy as well."

~Anonymous


I really hated this city.

The sulfurous baying hounds, the clanking soldiers who looked like a bloodied pile of spikes, and the imps. Ohhh the imps. I loathed the imps.

But somehow I stayed by blade, even as the hungry rift-touched edge thudded incessantly in my demonic mind, filling it with a hunger for the blood of those devils that swarmed around the city's streets, bidding me to tear them open and send their dark innards across the dour building just to break the monotony of their hues. It was hard, and in the end more than a few imps met an untimely demise at my hands once my focus broke. With the devil's blood still hot on my hands, I searched those horrid streets for far too long before I finally found her.

She was in the baths of all places and she knew I was there as soon as my demonic scent defiled the air. I remember smiling, but she was not. Now I've done more foolish things, but to be honest I could not remember when as slid the hungry rift blade back into my coat and told the devil I only wished to talk.

I've never knew a devil to show surprise, but I swore I saw a hint of it when I offered her a deal. Word had spread that a clever human mage had caught the devil and her fellow inquisitor surprised as well, and now the Erinyes lopsided haircut told volumes of the outcome of the encounter. He took something from her, something that could be used against her by one versed in all the intricacies of magic. Something I now offered to recover and return to her.

The human agent I had employed confessed to me that he had sought this very Erinyes out on his errand to secure a translation for that dubious tome. Knowing that a devil of all things now knew what was within and I did not was beyond maddening. But more so, it was dangerous. It became apparent she had not learned -all- the details contained within the mysterious pages, but she had learned enough to know it was of value to me, which was enough to make her dangerous indeed.

So we bargained, something the wily devil had quite the upper hand in I learned. In the end I agreed to find the lost locks of the lovely lady devil, provided she did not find a flay the mage before I got the chance to of course. But that would have been a fair bargain, and I as mentioned, she held much more power of the art of deal making than I did. She also would require my use in dealing with that wonderfully troublesome manifestation of the Rift that has been blighting the roads of Hamley for some time now. She would have my aid in ending the Rift Golem. As much as I initially loathed this second condition of the deal, I accepted it readily, thinking of an old friend of mine who may well find such a creature's demise quite "handy", not mention that the most chaotic aspect of trying to confine a Rift is found in fighting it. My mind swelled with all the potential madness and death that may come from attempting to spell such a thing's demise. Maybe it will even spell her doom. A demon can hope hmm?

I slip out of the city like a whisper and find myself enjoying the smell of decay and rain that festers in the Drakamyre as I followed those lonely roads back south. As the rain pattered down upon my face I remember starting to see the appeal that devils found in all these conniving deals they are so fond of, but not for long, for my wild thoughts soon turned to darker things...

I had a mage to find.




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Alanonas
5:13:25 pm GMT 05/08/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
IX

"You don't have to be a wizard to work Magic."

~ Anonymous
At long last I found the clever mage.

One must be careful when dealing with such creatures. I've seen Red Wizards reduce troublesome servants to piles of smouldering ash with a lazy wave of their hand. The more cunning of my kind always maintain some degree of caution about these folk, no small feat for a demon. The urge to rush into them is so tempting. The thought of spraying their warm blood over the pages of their mysterious tomes is intoxicating to a demonic mind. The urge to show them that their spells and wards will not save them...that they are fools to try to bind our kind...

I remember my blade appearing in my hand as I moved towards the mage, but I never recalled drawing it myself. It thudded with a sinister cadence, one that grew in tempo with each silent step I took towards my quarry. When I was close enough to hear his breathing and smell the lingering scent of his pipeweed I felt my grip grow tighter yet upon the haft of the blade.

I matched my breathing with his own. Cool. Collected. Controlled...

The blade is sheathed, its dull lamentations fading as it is denied the mage's blood. I take another breath am melt from the shadows, revealing my presence to the mage....


~R~

Mages are insufferable. So calm. So collected. Where do their emotions hide? Where do they lock away their passions? These are the questions I ask myself as we venture together to the city of Shadows, the man more than interested in my offer...

We talk for a time in that shadowy realm, and soon we reach yet another a deal. The mage did have a weakness. A desire. Something that ignited a spark of passion, and while we spoke, I found it at last.

Knowledge.

He craved it. Lived for it, and I'd wager he'd even kill for the right amount of it. I was in luck. He still had the Erinyes stolen locks. The deep red hair was bound and carefully preserved. Perfectly intact and unmarred by any of the man's formidable arcane talents. He had a plan for them, this much was apparent, and it proved a hard bargain to convince him that I had information that would be of more worth to his inquisitive mind.

Within this dark city there are brokers of knowledge. Dealers in secrets. It was this the mage desired, more leverage in getting the same to divulge their invaluable secrets. To this I agreed. I had procured something in those shadowy streets one particular broker would readily barter for...

We both suspected a trap as we made our trade there in the darkness. I waited for the spell to send my body reeling into the shadowy walls of the tavern and I am quite sure the mage expected my blade to his neck the same. The more I thought of the sounds that mage woud make as I flayed him were so tempting....but I could not risk the hard won lock of hair being damaged in the crossfire of spells, blade, and blood that would ensue...

So we parted. I'll not say amicably, but we parted intact, and that was good enough.

I had a secret of my own to discover now.

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