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  • Cuchuwyn
    Cuchuwyn  22 hours ago

    Reminder: no necro night tonight! See you Saturday for the big event!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  3 days ago

    Unfortunately, I have had something come up today and I will not be able to run Nature Night again today.

    Hopefully, life will get back to normal next week, and we can return to our regular schedule.

    Feel free to get together as The Called and have an adventure and/or some great RP. smile

  • wisdombeyondages
    wisdombeyondages  5 days ago

    Orc Night in 2 hours! Meet at the Hellshire camp! Portal will be available for travel!

  • Payne
    Payne  5 days ago

    suprised

  • Wraitheus
    Wraitheus  6 days ago

    Story Night at the Tin & Tankard in three hours! Hope to see you there.

  • archgrendel
    archgrendel  6 days ago

    Dwarf Night! Dwarves Assemble! In about 2 hours from now (8pm est)! Meet by the main gate to Hammersong

  • Cuchuwyn
    Cuchuwyn  1 week ago

    Meant to get this out earlier, but there is a Necro Night tonight, starting in about 7 minutes!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  1 week ago

    I have to go into the office today, so I will not be able to host Nature Night. frown

    The Wild Grove is set up and ready to go, so feel free to meet up and spread Nature's Blessings if you wish! smile

  • Alanonas
    Alanonas  1 week ago

    Brimstone Knight Tournament begins in a lil over 3 hours (1 pm EST) from this post! There is a portal at the transition between the Long Road West and Drakamyre Rise.

  • wisdombeyondages
    wisdombeyondages  1 week ago

    Orc Night starts in 30 mins!


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The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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Hiding in Plain Sight

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Felix Headwinkle
1:04:49 am GMT 09/10/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
Trouble Ahoy! Part 1

So many strange rumors surrounding the Magic School in Greenvale, I suppose I should see it for myself…at least it’s a nice day for walk in Greenvale’s gardens.

Benny explored the surrounding area first, checking the area around the target before actually approaching the target directly had become a standard habit for him. While passing the grounds, he heard something stirring nearby.


<div class='spacer'>[ image disabled ]</div>

He rushed to the poor hin’s side; carefully looking her and attempting to resuscitate her. Though her vitals were faint and she was cold to the touch, she was still alive.

“Can you hear me,” asked Benny gently rapping her on the checks. “Can you wake up?” The hin stirred slightly, she turned her head and coughed out some sea water.


<div class='spacer'>[ image disabled ]</div>

Benny quickly scooped the small sailor in his arms and rushed her to the nearest place he could think of where she might get help, the Magic School tower. He pushed the heavy door open with his shoulder and pushed his way inside.

“Hello? Is there anyone here,” Benny shouted down the tower’s halls, “I need help!” He stumbled upon two school goers, a human and a gnome, chatting in front of a fountain.

The human man quickly hurried to Benny, “What’s happened?”

“I found her, washed up in the Greenvale bay,” explained Benny. “Is there somewhere dry and warm I can put her?”

“Here should be fine, can you warm her up,” ask the man looking to his gnome friend.


<div class='spacer'>[ image disabled ]</div>

The man quickly went to work pumping the water out of her lungs while the gnome sat at the hin’s side feeding the hin magical warmth. Slowly the hin started to stir again though still quite delirious.


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“Her vitals are stronger,” reassured the man still checking the small sailor’s pulse. Once again the hin faded into unconsciousness. Benny stood watching the three, his mind already racing with questions but he knew he would have to find his answers else where.

“Will she be safe here,” asked Benny.

“Yes, we’ll take good care of her,” assured the man.

“Good, I think I’ll go find out more about what might’ve happened to her. I return here in a day or so to check up on her,” explained Benny before leaving.

A hin sailor…only one place I can think of to find out more…

………………………….

Benny strolled through the sandy roads of the Sandburrow approaching the hin’s ship harbor.


<div class='spacer'>[ image disabled ]</div>

The captain informed him that the only Sandburrow ship that would be out around that point around the time when the sailor appeared would’ve been the Sea’s Bounty as it often did delivers to and from Greenvale.

“Do you know who, in Greenvale, might know more about the Sea’s Bounty,” asked Benny. “Maybe what they were delivering.”

………………………...…


<div class='spacer'>[ image disabled ]</div>

That’s when the situation went from bad to worse. Narlad informed Benny that the cargo of the Sea’s Bounty was something quite precious to Hamley. With the restoration of the land, it seemed cattle sicknesses returned with it. A disease had begun to spread among the young cows, it was still quite small and manageable but without the herbal medicines Narlad had already prepared for them, the deaths of the cattle would rise greatly. The disease was quite curable but all the ingredients Narlad needed too make more medicine with would not be in ready in time to prevent the massive losses Hamley would suffer if the already made medicine was not delivered by the end of the month.

Benny watched the herbalist merchant for a moment, “If the medicine could be recovered, how many crates would they need and how could it be shipped?”

I’m going to some help on this one.
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Felix Headwinkle
2:24:40 am GMT 09/11/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
Trouble Ahoy! Part 2

Benny looked around the Sandburrow Workshop of the Right-Sized. It’s massive metal walls, pipes of leaking steam and loud mechanical noises always made Benny feel uneasy.

“Benny,” asked a voice behind him.

“Oh,” said Benny spinning around to see a small mustached gnome. “Dampf, I was looking for you.”

“I didn’t forget an appointment, did I? I do that,” said Dampf tucking a few gems into his satchel.

“No, this is an impromptu meeting,” explained Benny. “Something has come up. Is there somewhere quiet we can speak?” Dampf lead Benny down the long winding hallways until they reached a room that dampened out the grinding sound of gears and chains. “A hin ship has recently been reported to have crashed on Mara’s Point. They were attacked by Sea Hags.”

“A ship? Out of Sandburrow?”

“Yes, the Sea’s Bounty. One of the sailors survived the attack.”

“…I know this ship,” Dampf’s mustache twitched.

“She’s being looked after by the Magical School in Greenvale. There’s something else Dampf,” Benny sighed and took down his hood “…the Sea’s Bounty was carrying precious medicine from Greenvale, to be brought to Hamley.” Dampf frowned as Benny continued.

[ image disabled ]

“I plan on recovering the cargo,” Benny let the information sink in for the gnome artificer.

“From the Hags? What need of they with the medicine? You don’t think it merely…went down with the ship?”

“Not likely. You see the Sea Hags have an agreement with the Lizardfolk that live on Mara’s Point as well. The Sea Hags crash the ships and devourer the crew but all valuables are given to the Sea Dragon there as tribute. I believe the medicine is there somewhere…hopefully not given to the Sea Dragon.” Benny sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “I will have to question the hags directly.”

It was hard enough spying on the Sea Hags’ cave before when I was looking for more survivors from the shipwreck.

Flashback
[ image disabled ]

“When will you do this?”

“The herbalist said the medicine would have to be delivered to Hamley before the month’s end. I will only have a week to prepare.”

“By the gears…” Dampf rubbed his chin. “What can I do for you then, Benny? Do you need weapons, tools?”

“I will need help transporting the crates…and possibly fighting off the Sea Hags.”

Dampf nodded, “Transporting the crates I can do. And fighting the Sea Hags is not entirely difficult. I believe I can help you, Benny.”

“I’m not sure if you will be enough alone. The number of crates that survived could be fairly heavy. Are there any others you trust with this task?”

Dampf checked his pocket watch, wounding it as he looked at it before clasping it shut again, “I can think of a few others.”
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Felix Headwinkle
8:38:32 am GMT 09/11/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
Trouble Ahoy! Part 3

For a week, Benny rehearsed his part preparing for the confrontation with the Sea Hags. When the day finally arrived, Benny awaited Dampf in his workshop; quietly watching the sea of steam from the pipes connected to the floor below.

“Benny,” said Dampf appearing around a corner behind him, “sorry I’m late.” Benny turned to see a hin accompanying the gnome.

Benny smiled lightly, “No sorry necessary.” He nodded to the hin.

“Benny, this is Peter Highhill,” said Dampf introducing the hin. “If you need somebody to trust…Peter is honest and loyal almost to a fault.” He grinned wide.

“A pleasure to meet you Peter, as Dampf said, my name is Benny.”

Peter tipped his head, “Pleasure to meet you sir.”

“Has Dampf filled you in on the situation?”

“He hasn’t,” Peter eyed Benny a moment, “What seems to be the problem?”

“Peter,” Dampf turned to him, “essentially, a shipment of medicine bound for Hamley has gone missing. Sea Hags are behind it. We intend to infiltrate their lair and take the medicine back. Benny here,” Dampf briefly glanced to Benny, “has a unique set of skills he will need to employ, while you and I handle the hags and lizardfolk” Benny nodded in agreement. Dampf clenched and unclenched his mechanical fist, “Are you up for it, Peter, old friend?”

Peter nodded in contemplation, “Well, I don’t think it should be much of a problem.” The little hin smiled warmly.

“Indeed,” declared Dampf, “and we’d be helping out Hamley.”

“Let’s get to it,” said Peter with a grin as he flicked out his blades and swirled them like six-shooters. “God, I missed that.”

The three made their way to Mara’s Point under the cover of the nightfall. Quietly they followed the coastline; the smell of salt water and sea life was rank in the air. The hugged a cliff side when the heard a wet slapping sound growing over the sound of crashing waves. Benny crept along the side until he saw a small group of Skrags standing about.

“We have to make sure no scouts warn the main settlement,” whispered Benny.

“Peter, take point,” whispered Dampf. “You’re the silent type.”

“Gotcha,” said Peter with a nod. Peter moved around Dampf and Benny, stepping out from the cliff face but suddenly slipping down into shadows. Dampf and Benny watched the Skrags still milling around, suddenly one of them fell with a blood-curdling watery scream. Peter pulled his blade from the Skrag’s back and prepared for the other rushing woman-ish creatures. Benny and Dampf rushed into the fight ambushing the hideous creatures from both sides. More Skrags, seemly coming from no where, started descending on the three. Benny just barely had time to see Dampf activating something on his mechanical gnome suit before the area was light up with a lightening bolts arcing around to strike the oncoming Skrags. The electrical show ended, leaving the three clear of enemies but surrounded by crispy carcasses.

“You two alright,” asked Peter.

“Just a little cooked, but I’m OK,” said Dampf adjusting some dials on his equipment.

“I hate hurting women…but do these count,” asked Peter.

“They’re not very lady like,” assured Benny. They stopped at the mouth of the Sea Hag’s damp cavernous territory. “If we go in there now, we may not find out where the cargo is. Let me go in first, give me an hour then come in. Hopefully, I will have the cargo secured in time for extraction.”

Peter shrugged, “I can wait.”

Dampf nodded, “Very well. Good luck Benny.”

“You too,” said Benny. He turned to peer into the darkened cave; he took a deep breath and stepped inside. Benny stayed close the cave walls, carefully avoiding stepping on the pieces of bone scattered about the tunnel ways. He stepped behind a large stalagmite, stepping out from behind it as a muscular lizardman similar to the ones that share the settlement with the Sea Hags. The lizardman marched confidently through the cave until he reached a wide opening with several Sea Hags and Skrags standing about nawing on bones. The lizardman flicked his tongue angrily and charged at one of the Sea Hags. Just as the lizardman was nearly upon her, she turned to face him. The lizardman’s second set of eyelids closed quickly; they were transparent enough for the Lizardfolk to use to see underwater and also filter the Sea Hag’s disgusting appearance.

[ image disabled ]

The other woman-ish creatures all took up defensive stances but looked on nervously as the Sea Hag struggled in the lizardman’s grip.

“We’ve not broken our word,” gargled the Sea Hag in a watery voice, “I swear to you. We’ve offered our tribute to the Sea Lord.”

The lizard man snapped his teeth shut loudly, “You did not give the Sssssea Lord everything from the ship!” The other Sea Hags looked to one another in fear.

“We took everything of value,” the Sea Hag struggled to look to the other her sister hags for support. “Everything of value.”

“You, do not dessside what isss valuable,” snarled the lizard man flicking his tongue. “You bring everything to Sssea Lord.” The lizardman finally let go of Sea Hag’s throat; she coughed and rubbed her neck. “The Sssea Lord hasss ordered all cratesss from the ship be brought before him.”

The Sea Hag looked worriedly to the others, “But we do not have any other crates for the Lord.” The lizardman quickly snapped his attention to the Sea Hag again. He unraveled the whip in his hand letting it slap loudly on the floor.

“The fanged thieves,” called out one of Sea Hags in a gargled, watery voice like the one he had been questioning earlier.

“Yes,” agreed the Sea Hag, “whatever we leave on the ships, the fanged ones usually scavenge. Please, allow us to prove ourselves to the Sea Lord again, we shall take back everything the fanged ones have stolen.” The lizardman thought for a moment. He suddenly caught sight of a group of lizardfolk approaching them.

“No,” replied the lizardman, “I will handle thisssss persssonally.” He turned to leave, glancing at the oncoming lizardfolk. The lizardman didn’t take more then a few steps before he heard someone hissing behind him. He turned just in time to see one the lizardmen thrusting a spear at him.

“Intruder,” roared the true lizard humanoid. The spear stabbed Benny, still in lizardfolk form, in the shoulder and pinned him against the rock wall. A jolt of electricity shot through the spear slamming into the impaled Benny’s shoulder, shocking his entire body; the spear felt like it was burning him in his wounded shoulder.

“Wux re baclaxtor,” cried Benny trying to keep his cover by speaking a simple draconic phrase.

“Cannot fool me,” snarled the lizardman, he twisted his spear slightly; another painful wave of electricity shot into Benny’s lizardish body. “You are not one of the Sssea Lord’sss chosssen. I can sssmell your liesss.” The lizardman twisted his spear with every word he spoke, “Who…are…you?”

Even in his current state of misery Benny was still mentally kicking himself for overlooking the sensitivity of the lizardfolk’s ability of smell. The pain was intense but Benny fought to keep up his story, “Ssslaathan, I wasss sssent by my clan’sss leader to find a suitable plassse for usss to live.”
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Felix Headwinkle
8:43:43 am GMT 09/11/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
“He’s not one of the Sea Lord’s,” growled the Sea Hag still rubbing her neck.

“No,” replied the lizardman, “Appearsss he’sss a ssspy from another clan.” The lizardman growled and flicked his tongue. He twisted his spear one more time before finally yanking it out of Benny, who had successfully convinced them he was a lizardfolk named Slaathan. Benny immediately fell to the floor clutching his badly bleeding shoulder. “I will sssee what the Sssea Lord wantsss to do with him,” the lizardman flicked his tongue as he turned to the Sea Hags. “Do what you wish with him but keep him alive.”

The Sea Hags all nodded eagerly as they watched the wounded intruder slumped on the floor. Once the representative of the Sea Lord was out of the sight, the Sea Hags descended on Benny; their eyes all glowing bright as they focused all their hatred on him. Benny could feel the strength being drained from him, the pain in his shoulder was throbbing mercilessly. The Skrags picked up the barely alive intruder and dragged him into a large cage in the middle of the cave. From outside the bars the Sea Hags continued their evil gazes making sure the lizardman could not recover his strength.

[ image disabled ]

Benny, disguised as the intruding lizardman Slaathan, could only lie helpless on the cold rock floor. The blood from his shoulder pooled around him while the Sea Hags watched on. Benny’s mind was numb, he couldn’t focus on anything. Suddenly the fierce gazes of the Sea Hags were disappeared. He could feel his strength coming back. As his senses returned, he realized he could hear the sounds of fighting, of fire and steam.

[ image disabled ]

In his groggy state, he could just barely make out Dampf approaching the bars to his cage.

“They were surrounding the cage, I wonder what they were looking a-…” Peter’s words were cut short once he saw the bleeding lizardman in the cage. “Never mind.” The two watched the lizardman slowly stir for a moment before disappearing out of sight. The sounds of fighting echoed in down the cave’s tunnel ways. The lizardman struggled to crawl somewhere safe. The weight of his own body was unbearable. Summoning all his strength, forced his body to shutter and blur, once again he returned to human form. The changing caused the blood to flow from his wound once again. He struggled to sit against the rock wall and apply pressure to the wound. His eyes felt heavy, he struggled to keep them open.

[ image disabled ]

“E gadz,” exclaimed Dampf hurrying to Benny’s side; a trail of blood leading from the spot where the lizard man was to where Benny now sat.

“What happened to him,” asked Peter groaning as he sat down on the floor, quickly standing up again after releasing he was sitting next to a pile of bones that had once been a former inhabitant of the cage.

“Looks like the hags got him,” said Dampf looking over Benny’s wound, “…tossed him in here; likely to eat.”

“…Ohhh…no…” Peter grimaced as he looked around. Dampf haphazardly bandaged up Benny’s shoulder. Slowly Benny started coming around. Dampf pulled a canteen from his pack and started pouring the liquid down Benny’s throat. The wounded human coughed a little.

“The…Sea Hags…” said Benny looking around.

“Drink a little more, “ Dampf thrust canteen in Benny’s face. “We need to get out of here.” The sound of wet slapping foot steps and angered screaming filled the cave. “By the gears, they’re mad.” Benny forced himself to his feet, weakly holding his scimitar in his still working right arm.

“Yeah…I think me giving them a false sense of hope by calling them ‘beautiful’ might have been a bad idea…”

“I think so, Pete,” said Dampf before turning back to Benny. “Where the hell is the medicine?”

“Not here, I’ll explain outside,” said Benny slumping his way out of the cage.

………………………

Safely out of the dreary cave, the three stopped to catch their breath. Benny slumped against a rock nursing his left shoulder.

“So…where’s the medicine,” asked Dampf panting.

“The Sea Hags didn’t take it,” explained Benny. “The Razor Fangs have it, they scavenge whatever the hags don’t take.”

“Fantastic,” said Dampf throwing up his hands. “Well then, I say we pay them a visit.”

Benny nodded and pushed himself off the rock, catching his second wind, “See it through to the end.”

“To the end,” agreed Dampf.

“Well, wonderful,” groaned Peter, “from one ugly face to the next….I’m going to have to blind myself after tonight.”

The three fought their way through the patrolling Razor Fangs finally forcing their way into the thieves den. They weaseled their way out of one ambush into another but finally the shadows in the cave were motionless. They took the opportunity to search the through all the crates they came across but nothing. Finally, they reached the Razor Fang’s leader’s room. He and his men were ready for them. For a moment thieves stared down the hin, gnome and human. Dampf, Peter, and Benny briefly looked at each other before yelling at the top of their lungs and charging into the Razor Fangs.

Once the battle was over, the three stood in the middle of the room panting and sluggishly looking around for any sign of the medicine the herbalist described. Peter struggled to keep himself standing, slumping on a nearby chest; two arrows were jutting from his shoulder.

“You alright, Peter,” asked Dampf hoisting the hin to his feet. “Come on, you’re alright.”

“Ohhh,” grunted Peter through clenched teeth, “…yeah, sure, I’m just peachy. Nothing like rusted metal barbs jabbing in your stabbing arm to make you appreciate life,” he grinned briefly before wincing in pain.

“Benny, any luck,” asked Dampf. Benny continued to look around the. He squinted at the Razor Fang leader’s flimsily made bed.

“Hmm,” said Benny staring at it. He brushed the blanket aside with his scimitar. Suddenly he kicked over the covers and board that was the leader’s bed revealing two crates underneath, seemingly the supports for the bed. “I think I found them.”

“Splendid,” exclaimed Dampf.

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Dampf grabbed one while Benny struggled to hold the other with one fully functional arm.

“We have to get the crates to the herbalist,” groaned Benny. Slowly they made their way through the large gates of Greenvale. Three blooded, bashed, and beaten adventures, inching their way through the stone streets, finally they placed the crates at the Nariad’s feet. “We managed to recover two crates,” panted Benny. Nariad briefly stared in surprise at the three standing before him.

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Regaining his senses, he examined the crates and their contents; both crates filled to the brim with unspoiled vials of orange tinted liquid. More then enough to hold over Hamley until Nariad could make more. Nariad gave them all his thanks and assured them that he would be shipping the medicine by caravan this time.

“Thanks for saving me,” said Benny to Dampf while the three made their trek back to the Sandburrow.

“Of course,” replied Dampf very matter-of-factly.

I think now is a good time for a vacation.
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Felix Headwinkle
3:45:37 am GMT 09/25/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
Anatomy of a Shapeshifter: part 1

“Aaaaaaaaah,” shouted Benny as he dashed through the trees. His heart was pounding in his chest as he leapt over some brush; he could hear the forest behind him being smashed out of the way as the creatures continued to chase him. Benny had to duck behind a tree to briefly catch his breath. He took two large gulps of air before he suddenly had to dive out of the way; a cluster of needles bombarded the tree Benny was just standing in front of.

Benny managed to get to his feet and start running again before a manticore pounced on Benny’s position just barely missing the flight-footed human. Again Benny started fleeing through the line of trees as more manticores began to catch up with him. He had to quickly speed to tree to tree; he could hear the manticores’ throwing their barbs and sinking them deep into the trees just missing Benny. The roars and rustling of the manticores seemed to grow closer and closer but then they seemed to stop. Benny looked back to see a few of the cat-bird-beasts had indeed stopped the chase and were just angrily watching their prey continue to outrun them. Benny smiled briefly as he continued running but his smile quickly faded when he turned to see that he was starting a very mistaken step into a steep downhill sloop. Before he could stop himself, he was already lurching forward and rolling down the hill crashing though brush and tumbling over rocks. After a painful amount of rolling the young man finally reached the bottom of the hill bruised and scraped but still in one piece.

He lay there breathing heavy while his limps ached. Sluggishly he maneuvered the small shield strapped to his arm so that he could see the front. A handful of manticore barbs stayed deeply penetrated in Benny’s shield. He grabbed hold of one and yanked it as hard as he could only managing to dislodge it after a fair bit of effort.

There’s got to be an easier way to collect samples…

………………………

Benny’s armor and equipment laid neatly stacked on a rock while he meditated under a waterfall. The rushing water drowned out all other sound as he kneeled there gently holding the needle like piece of hair one of the manticores threw at him. With closed eyes, he stared at the needle in his mind. In his mind’s eye, he could feel himself drifting closer and closer to the piece of the manticore’s body; touching the needle, passing into it, and diving deeper still. In an instant he no longer felt separated from the piece of hair, his eyes snapped open.

I AM manticore.

[ image disabled ]

…hmm, now what do I do about manticore fleas…
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Felix Headwinkle
7:23:05 pm GMT 09/26/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
Keep Your Enemies Close and Your Friends Closer: part 1

I knew I would be lying to a lot of people but I never thought I would be lying to people I would consider trusted allies…people that might call me friend. Stay strong; don’t forget what you’re doing this for. Heh, seems we all wear different faces around different folks, guess I’m just unfortunate enough to see the whole spectrum: those of ill intent showing kindness, those of righteous indignation delighting in misery…stop getting distracted! Remember, adorable naïve child.

“Oh hello Alex, off to see Dampf,” asked one of the passing hin guards waving to the small human boy.

“Oh…uh, yes sir,” said the boy who the hin had come to know as Alex Winkstein. “Is he in his shop today?”

“Of course,” said the guard cheerfully. “You be careful in there now.” Alex nodded quickly and gave the guard a reassuring smile.

Perhaps one day Dampf may find a way to forgive me…maybe…

[ image disabled ]
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Felix Headwinkle
8:45:41 pm GMT 09/26/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
Keep Your Enemies Close and Your Friends Closer: part 2

The half-orc marched through the dirty streets of Raven’s Watch ignoring the various odd goings on in the alleyways. As he grew closer to the Watch’s most popular pub and inn, the rowdy crowd could already be heard. The half-orc grunted and nodded to the door guard as he pushed the door open and stepped inside. The barroom was smoky and raucous laughter and shouting filled the room; the half-orc stood in the doorway looking around briefly.

“Well, Horz,” shouted a voice. The half-orc turned to see the darkly dressed half-elf Daniel O’Choncobhair sitting at the bar with a drink in hand. Horz strolled over to him. “How’s work?”

The half-orc sighed as he sat down, the stool squeaked as it took his weight, “Me needs break.”

Daniel nodded, “Been busy then?” Daniel took a sip from his usual vial of wine.

“Very busys,” replied Horz ordering his own drink.

“Better then bein’ dead and doin’ nothin’ right,” said Daniel taking another sip of wine.

“Oh,” said Horz pulling out a bundle of cloth from his pack and sliding it down the bar to Daniel. “Yeahs, Horz no wants be deads.” He pointed to the bundle of cloth in front of Daniel. “De’s yous wants?” Daniel unwrapped the cloth to reveal a bundle of Wyrven claws. He nodded to Horz and pulled out a small bag of gold tossing it to the half-orc before putting the claws in his own pack. Horz grinned his gnarly toothed grin as he slid the gold over and looked it over.

“More good work Horz,” said Daniel after taking a sip from his wine.

“Noes gets news gem stuffs,” said Horz.

“Not a problem,” assured Daniel with a shrug. “Best not hunt them, easier to hunt other things and find them there.”

“Me hates cold places,” said Horz scratching his head. “Make nogg’in hurts.”

Daniel chuckled, “I go up there all the time.”

“Ohs? Whys,” asked Horz before taking a long orc-sized chug from the bottle of ale the bartender finally plopped in front of him.

“I go up there ‘cause that’s where you find those, can’t find them anywhere else,” explained Daniel.

“Horz like cow t’ings up dere,” said Horz qith a goofy chuckle. “Dey softs. Good eats toos.”

Daniel nodded in agreement, “I thought so too. But yeah, I go up there for the gems.”

“Me t’inks,” Horz scratched his head squinting one eye, “…member’s som’tin. Uh…t’inks…dere weres road somewheres. Too many’s tree doh.” Horz thumped his chest once, “Horz to bigs.”

“The blocked path,” said Daniel with a nod, “yeah, frozen trees, hard to chop.”

“Yeahs,” exclaimed Horz, “Where dat place goes?”

“If I could tell you, the trees wouldn’t be blocking the path, Horz.” The half-orc stared at Daniel for a moment. “Meaning, I don’t know.” The half-orc nodded as if finally understanding.

Suddenly Horz chuckled gruffly, “Me t’oughts yous just squeeze thrues! Whut goods bes half-twigy mans if noes squeeze thrues trees!” Horz slapped his hand on the counter top a few times still laughing freely.

Daniel snickered, “No good if they are frozen together.”

“Maybes next time d’eres, me leaks lizard on its,” said Horz grinning. “Mes takes rust off.”

“Maybe we should go drinking up there,” Daniel chuckled, “enough lizard leaking and the trees will be chop able!” Horz laughed loudly again, bits of spit flew from his mouth. They both continued laughing and drinking for a while. Eventually the discussion drifted to mages and magic.

“Me hates magiks,” shouted Horz. “Magicks make’er weaks t’ink deys good fighters! No good fighters, dem ams cheaters.”

“I totally agree with you Horz,” said Daniel raising his vial of wine. “I’ll drink to that. I hate mages.” Horz raised his mug of ale as well, they both chugged their respective drinks. Horz slammed his drink down on the counter while Daniel gently laid the empty vial with the others and requested another from the bartender.

“Yous see dis,” said Horz holding up his axe clumsily towards Daniel. “Me axe good fighter axe. Nows all folks gots dem glowy weapons from Timie Keeps mans.”

“Those talking weapons are dangerous,” replied Daniel shaking his head.

Horz nodded, “’cause magicks. Magicks noes makes good fighter! Dey just weakies wif glowy stuffs.”

“The Time Keeper tried to give me a handaxe to try,” said Daniel.

Horz coughed mid drink and slammed his mug down, “Whuts!? Yous no weakies!”

“Nope, took it and threw into the forge fires,” snickered Daniel.

“Gruumsh be prouds,” laughed Horz, “whuts sicky man doos ‘bout its?”

“He doesn’t know or care; when the blade spoke to me I just shook my head and took it straight to the forge for burin’”

“Blade talkied,” asked Horz.

“Told me to kill Halflings,” explained Daniel.

“Killie l’il t’ings,” asked Horz using his hand to measure the approximate height of a halfling from the floor up.

“Yeah, the l’il things, I thought it was joking…still don’t buy blades for talking. Didn’t say anything as it burned.”

“Why am dats Timie Keeps dues heres?”

“Sell weapons…and that’s it as far as I know.”

“Horz gots noseie fors troubles,” said Horz tapping his nose, “he ams troubles.”

“I could tell too…summit about the air about him ain’t right.”

“Does mean lady noes ‘bout hims? She means like but me t’inks she got da head t’inks.”

Daniel nodded, “She don’t like him neither. Told all of us to stay away from his weapons, said they try to influence us…”

“Infuinencess yous,” asked Horz scratching his head.

“Like I said, it wanted me to kill the l’il t’ings, she said don’t listen and don’t use them.”

“Ohs! Yous means talkie,” Horz chuckled and took a long drink. “Influinences, t’inks yous smartie likes for use biggie words.”

“Sorry Horz, been readin’ to much,” said Daniel with a chuckle.

“Ugh. Me t’inks drink am influinencess l’il Horz. Be backs soons,” explained Horz as he rose from his seat and headed into the nearest pub bathroom. The smell was horrible as the room most likely had never been washed but the half-orc had no intention of actually using it. Horz leaned on the door trying to dig into his pack.

Gah…these drinking sessions with Daniel are killing me…where is that root…

Horz pulled out a piece of plant root and took a huge bite out of it. It tasted vile and made his mouth feel dry even after he swallowed the lump of chewed up root. After a moment he could feel the root’s effects starting to spread over his body, sucking up the alcohol in his system and clearing his head. The process was unpleasant but at least it kept his head clear. The half-orc took a few deep breaths before finally leaving the bathroom and returning to his seat next to Daniel ordering another drink.

“But yeah, so I think he’s bad news, you think he’s bad news, must be bad news,” said Daniel slightly groggy. Horz simply nodded. “Wonder what kind of bad news it is though…”

“Me lets axe infuinencess Timie man’s heads but dis place goods place. No wants have kills effery ones if Krel mans no like.” Horz took a swig from his new drink, “Yous knows?”

“Yeah I know. I was gonna say he’s bad news and picked a good town to start. I wonder if he’s payin’ Krel and if not if Krel cares.”

Horz shrugged, “Me no goods wif politics. Horz kill t’ings good.” He thumped his chest once, “Lets ‘odder folk handles politics.”

Daniel nodded, “Same here, but I might bring that up to the mean lady, she does politics. If I do this right, who knows maybe Krel tells her to kill him, then she tells me and I pay you to help. Who knows?”

“Me likes yous t’ink’in Dan-ie-la,” said Horz with a grin. The half-orc let out a wide mouthed yawn letting his tongue hang out of his mouth. “But me t’inks me sleeps nows.”

“Take it easy Horz,” said Daniel raising his vial.

“Yous toos,” replied Horz raising his drink with Daniel and guzzling it down. He slammed the empty mug on the counter, wiped his mouth with his arm and let out a loud belch.

Hopefully the Banites will take care of the Time Keepers for me. It would free up my schedule a lot.
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Felix Headwinkle
7:31:58 am GMT 09/27/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
In ‘Ogre’ His Head: part 1
((May contain spoilers.))

A pleasant walk to the Cobblewall Inn changed instantly when he saw the rather large hoard of ogres descending upon the hin guards. Benny took up his scimitar and shield and charged in to help. It was not unheard of for ogres to attack the Sandburrow or passing travelers but this was different; Benny realized only when he was in the middle of the brawl that these were not the ordinary ogre scouts or ambushers, these were the trained warriors and mages.

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Eventually they managed to fight off the last of the one. Benny had to catch his breath while the hin guards took up defensive position again.

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This wasn’t a normal raid…the mages never come out for something as simple as a raid…this was something else…

Benny found a quiet spot to patch up his wounded leg before turning his gaze to the cavernous entrance of the Forgotten Halls.

…………………

What the hell have the ogres been up to…

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…is Gipherus responsible for this…

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This is…way to far over my head…I’m definitely going to need Dampf’s expertise here.
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Felix Headwinkle
10:02:21 pm GMT 09/29/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
In ‘Ogre’ His Head: part 2
((WILL contain spoilers.))

Dampf was more then interested in the details Benny had described and the recent influx in ogre attacks; the two made plans to investigate the radical change over the ogres directly.

“Benny,” asked Dampf looking around the dimly lit inner room just inside the mouth of the Forgotten Halls. “Where the hell did he get off to?”

“Here,” said a kobold emerging from the shadows licking its eyelid, “thought I’d better slip into something more inconspicuous.”

“Yeah…right, inconspicuous,” said Dampf with a raised brow. The kobold shaped Benny moved over to a mysterious mist, seemingly the only thing accessible as the rest of the ruined library was fenced off.

“Ready,” said Benny turning to Dampf.

“Ready,” replied Dampf. Together they stepped through the mist. It was thick and high enough to wash over their entire body. Even though the patch white fog looked just a few feet wide, the two felt like they were walking for nearly a minute before exiting the smoky cloud. Suddenly they emerged in a completely different room quite far away from their original location. Every thing was calm at first as they inched down the vacant yet modified halls.

From seemingly nowhere, blue glowing ethereal forms charged from the walls around them. Creatures of all shapes, sizes, and races were bearing-down on them. Benny and Dampf put their backs together slashing and hammering at the wispy ambushers. Though their appearances were fierce, the two adventures’ weapons seemed to sail through the blue creatures with ease; every offensive movement seemed to sever body parts from the wispy creatures causing them to simply fade away in a sigh. Benny and Dampf both looked at each other in surprise as the last creature crumbled with ease.

“Illusions,” asked Benny hoping Dampf might offer him some explanation. Dampf could only nod in agreement. They would come to find that they would have several more encounters with the illusionary creatures, every time the creatures would take on the forms of a different race then had been previously seen. Eventually they came across a small band of ogres roaming a long hallway, despite the new strangeness that had taken over the halls the ogres disposition towards intruders had not changed one bit.

When Benny and Dampf had finally killed the last attacking ogre, they took a moment to look around. The two were stumped when they came across a splayed ogre caught in a red beam of light. Despite their best efforts to examine the ogre caught in the magical field, the creature seemed immobile and immune to physical tampering. Just across from the ogre were a line of ogre-sized chairs, each with a newly fashioned lever system next to them. Cautiously Benny examined one of the levers, the moment the lever changed position the chair adjacent to it crackled and sparked filling the air with the distinct smell of electricity; it was obvious the chairs intent was to harm those sitting in it.

A torture device? Why? And who is it for?

The two continued their eerie exploration of the Forgotten Halls and its new management. With every step, Benny thought more and more about the peculiar nature of the Halls; they were more maze like now and the mists like puzzles masking the actual path their explorers would take. The two found out rather unexpectedly that the mist had more then one function; in a blink Benny emerged from the misty exits to find a nest of ogres waiting for them.

“I can’t…see,” shouted Dampf stumbling around trying to swing his hammer wildly. Benny tried to give Dampf directions in combat until he realized he couldn’t see his own weapon…or his hands…or even his feet for that matter. He was invisible to himself but clearly visible to the rampaging ogres. After the most difficult battle the two had faced in quite some time, they finally stood triumphant over the pile of ogre corpses.

“I can see,” exclaimed Dampf. “But…where’s Benny?”

“Here,” said the small kobold-shaped Benny as he crawled on top of the pile of ogre bodies to see Dampf on the other side. “This place is testing our patience.” Still they pressed on deeper and deeper into the newly made madhouse. Eventually they came to a hall way with rows and rows of curtains of light, each a different color and placed a few feet pass the other. “Wait,” said Benny holding up his hand for Dampf to stop.

Can’t take anything for granted here, this has to be something more.

“Do you have a decoy device,” asked Benny.

“I have a couple of Amsels in here somewhere…” Dampf took a small metallic ball from his pack. It unfurled into a metallic bird. “Amsel, input command.”

“Awaiting command, Professor Feuer,” chimed the clockwork bird-shaped device.

“Input command: Fly down the hallway,” ordered Dampf.

“Command received. Processing,” chimed Amsel. “Understood. Carrying out orders.” The bird fluttered its metal wings, sort of imitating a real bird’s movements but still slightly off. The two watched the metal bird flap its way down the hallway passing through the first curtain of light. Sparks shot out from the bird with the first curtain, smoke fumed as it passed through another line of light, the bird shattered into pieces before it could even reach the next.

Well…that was discouraging. A trap for the curious…or deterrent to intruders…either way only one way to find answers.

“If I fall…” Benny turned to Dampf, “well, you know.”

“Like hell, I’m getting through there before you do,” jested Dampf. Benny smiled slightly and nodded. Together they boldly stepped through the first curtain, a wave of pain washed over them but they were still standing. They continued step after step, waves of pain hitting them like tidal waves making them stagger but not fall. With the last step out of the hallway, the two wounded adventures could finally take a moment to breathe and recuperate.

“You okay,” asked Benny.

“Just a little…tired,” panted Dampf.

“I’ve a new plan,” announced Benny. In an instant the kobold blurred and shook, the tiny figure grew in size; when the changing was done a large bearded ogre stood before Dampf. “Maybe a little distraction might make the next chambers easier.” Once they were ready to continue, Benny took the lead down the spiral staircase. The bearded ogre descended the staircase and stood in the middle of a room full of ogres. Simultaneously the ogres all turned to him confused.

“Intruders,” shouted the bearded ogre pointing to the staircase. The ogres all briefly looked to one another dumbfounded before letting out their war-cries and shaking their weapons; the bearded ogre stood to the side as a hoard of ogres stormed past him climbing the stairs. Once the last ogre was out of sight, the little gnome artificer appeared from behind his hiding spot at the bottom of the staircase. Dampf gave the ogre-shaped Benny a nod of approval.

As they crossed the precipice leading to the middle room that had long been Gipherus’ personal throne room only to find that it was indeed under new management.

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“Gipherus is no longer the big man…” quipped Dampf as they stared at the immobile fire giant.

“Can you figure out how it works,” asked the bearded ogre.

“Stasis…Like shackles, but of energy,” explained Dampf.

The ogre nodded, “Study as much as you can. You can work on it later.” Dampf took a few minutes to memorize everything he was seeing, to take it all in. The ogre-shaped Benny briefly looked around the place; his eyes went wide when he saw it. “Dampf, look at this.” The gnome turned to see stand next to Benny, together they looked at the diamond golem standing in a circle of light. Benny looked to Dampf and gestured for him to take the lead on this one. Dampf grabbed hold of his tool belt and pulled it up higher on his waist before tilting his head forward and confidently strolling up to the golem creature.

“Good evening, adventurer,” announced the golem when Dampf stood before it. “I would like to be the first to thank you for participating in our experiment.”

……………….

The two worn out adventures sat panting at Dampf’s workshop in the Sandburrow.

“E gadz…” said Dampf. “We were not supposed to live through that. We were cogs in a machine, Benny! Experiments.”

“Doing the impossible is what I do,” jested Benny. “Ideas on what that could mean?”

“Would have to think on it. Possible theories include simple curious experiments with no practical outcome, harvesting of organic fuel…” explained Dampf tapping his chin.

“Maybe this will help your research,” Benny opened his pack and produced a piece from one of the illusionary creatures that for some reason had not dispersed with the rest of its body. Dampf took the piece and looked it over. “Maybe you can figure out what the figments are really made of.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” Dampf seemed fairly confident.

“I’ll keep my ears open for the activities of others,” assured Benny.
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Felix Headwinkle
9:27:56 am GMT 10/01/10
Felix Headwinkle Registered Member #960 Joined: 2:07:50 am GMT 01/22/07
Posts: 644
A Cold Sunday Afternoon

Traveling with questionable company has its advantages. Hopefully these two won’t end up stabbing me in the back before I figure out what’s going on here.

Benny, in the form of an elf, made sure to keep the two strange men that he had met also interested in investigating Craggen Island—for their own purposes of course. The three managed to fight their way deep into the island’s inner dungeon. Deeper in the heart of the lower levels, a maze awaited them as well as maze guardians.

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The tough fight offered great rewards for Benny.

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Perfect, finally get to put minotaur on the menu.

The three would come to find the minotaur and undead guardians would not be the most unpleasant of obstacles.

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The three struggled to kill off the gelatinous creatures quickly while still trying to keep one another from being completely engulfed by their gooey enemies. Finally as the gelatinous cube melted to the floor, could the three take a step back and truly appraise how disgustingly filthy that fight truly was.

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Blah! That’s one way to get a sample of new species I guess…gah, I don’t think I’ll have an appetite for weeks.

Deeper and deeper into the vile ruined and cursed island remains, the three pressed on. Even among the eeriness, they managed to find a place of momentary peace. Something about it seemed different from the rest of the ruins. While the stranger that had beyond a doubt proven himself to be a very accomplished mage took up his book and began reading, the foul smelling half-orc, whom Benny had desperately tried to stay upwind from, played with the various skeletal remains around the room.

While they were distracted, Benny scanned the room muttering to himself trying to make sense of it. “It reminds me of something…this architecture almost looks elven.” He read the scorched ruins on the stone floor. “The tower has fallen, the ground cursed. This door has been warded for your own good. Do not enter lest you share the fate of those who once dwelt here.”

Is this what is giving Lady Arianna so much trouble…

If only it had been that easy for the Demi-lich that floated in the middle of the temple ruins watching them approach with vacant eye-sockets, was far more intimidating then an empty room.

………………………………

“The island is indeed haunted. There are many specters surrounding the temple. There was a trap door that led down to what looked like ancient ruins. At the centre of the ruins was a spirit that had taken residence in a floating skull. A powerful evil radiated from it. I…with the help of two others, have slain the spirit. Here is the skull, as proof of my deed.” The elf handed Lady Arianna the skull.

“Thank you,” said Lady Arianna taking the skull and turning it over in her hands. “Hmm…look at this. There is a gem set in the eye-socket.” She pried it out, with no hint of lady-like reframe, and cupped it in her hand before handing it to the elf. “I can think of no one who deserves it more than our hero. I’ll keep the skull, if you don’t mind. I’d like to study it further.” The elf nodded in agreement. “It’s very powerful. I don’t know if we’ve stopped this thing forever or merely disrupted it somehow…I might assemble some of my colleagues and see what they think. In the meantime, thank you for this service you have done us.” She offered the elf a smile before bidding him farewell.

Benny, still in elf form, looked the gem over inspecting every inch of it.

I’ve a feeling this isn’t over yet.
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