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  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  5 days ago

    Nature Night begins in about ten minutes! smile

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  6 days ago

    Aha! Thanks C McG!

  • C_McG
    C_McG  6 days ago

    @Scratch
    D ampersand D

    Need to shorthand DnD or "D and D".

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  1 week ago

    and...it did it again..

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  1 week ago

    I don't know why that says "D&D"

    I just meant "D&D"

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  1 week ago

    @ Zhymm: I am so old that when I first played D&D, elf, dwarf and halfling were considered classes. biglaugh

    @ ceeags, handover and Dyrcona:

    It's cool to see all of you back around! Roll up a character and join us! smile

    a Dyrcona: There is some weird thing in these new forums (I know thatt they look the same, but they are somehow new "behind the scenes).
    You may want to try making a new thread that is worded slightly different. It is worth a shot. special

  • Dyrcona
    Dyrcona  1 week ago

    I don't know what happened. I tried to make a new forum post, and I got a screen full of busted HTML code. When I tried again, I got a message about a duplicate post. When I look in the forum, it appears to have posted twice, but the newer one is empty.

  • ceeags
    ceeags  1 week ago

    *waves*

  • Dyrcona
    Dyrcona  1 week ago

    I had to join the nostalgia fest.

    Viva Thain!

  • Zhymm
    Zhymm  1 week ago

    Oh, scratch be a Thain greybeard. maybe even a whitebeard!


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Alanonas
4:11:08 am GMT 06/17/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413


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"One reason people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up, instead of what they have to gain."
~ Rick Godwin
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Alanonas
4:44:52 am GMT 06/17/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
SLIP

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Within the derelict attics of the bustling inn, hidden among the dusty rafters with the colonies of faded spiders lies a sort of a loft, if one could truly call it such. In fact, it is more akin to a number of old warped boards positioned precariously over the sagging rafters that hold the creaking roof atop the ale-stained tavern, but strewn about this nook are all manner of curiosities; sketches, notes, and old clothing of all styles, each jumbled and forgotten...right?

HALFLINGS

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- Short. Very Short. Small.

- Uncomfortable to maintain shape for long periods of time.

- Feet are large. Often traverse the world free of shoe or boot - Do not wear such near their community, they will know.

- Adore ale and good cheer. Always happy, unless angry. Smokes botanical herbs in apparatus for amusement.

- Good at going unseen? Maybe since they are small? Maybe since people do not care about them?

- Tight knit "clans". Favor gangs in cities. Kill you with smile.

- Smile.

- Always smile.

The halfling's face glows orange-red as the resinous leaf smoulders within the bowl of the pipe. It was a fine thing, perhaps the only fine thing on the rugged halfling, having been carved by his grandfather, in Davenshire itself he had been told. The pungent odor of the Lowtown air intermingles with the pipeweed, somehow becoming worse. A lone bird whistles from the rooftops above and the hin snuffs out the pipe, melting into the shadows.

There were plenty of things in Lowtown, but there weren't no damn songbirds.

He feels the eyes on him, even as he cannot see them. Folk who are reared in these streets had a knack for that: knowing when someone else was watching you. That same gut feeling, among other things, kept you alive and one step ahead of whoever, or whatever was watching you in the night. A nicked knife slides from the blackened leather of its scabbard at his hip as the hin's stomach turns again, letting him know the eyes are still watching, and that they were closer.

The streets go silent.

The bird chirps again, this time from behind where the stout halfling had stood. His grip tightens on the blade as he turns, hefting the weapon towards the shadowy figure that now stands behind him.

He pauses.

Of all things one should do when accosted by a strange figure in the Lowtown night, perhaps the most deadly is to pause.

The hin once known on these streets as "Slip" falls limp, a gout of blood trickling from his neck as the figure's own blade is pulled free.

In all the Slip's rough years on the streets, he had never once paused. Not until this night.

After all, it's hard not to when you turn and see not a stranger, but yourself.

The new Slip? He'd not be making that mistake.
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Alanonas
6:25:52 am GMT 07/03/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
GRUK


One sheet is stained a dull brown and blotted with dried blood...

ORC-BLOODED

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Stubborn. Think like wild boar, or do not think at all.

Do. Do things. Do not think.

Proclivity for simple things that smell bad- roll about in filth like beast.

Sweat everywhere. Mix it all.

Scars. Broken things. Teeth missing. Adores fighting and becoming hurt, but likes hurting others more.

Skin is difficult. Multiple shades. Depends on host race and region.

Breaths loudly and yells louder. Always be loud.

Think everything is wrong and prove it by striking those who disagree. Use your hands or sticks. Rocks work in a pinch.

Fight over anything, especially bones and rocks.

Language: More yelling. In Giant, orcish, goblin or any other loud dialect. Be loud.

....

...Strong.

Be ready for fight, they have to die at least twice.

Gruk was a simple sort of man, or a simple sort of beast, depending upon who you were talking to. He was strong and tough, quiet and sharper than your typical orc-blooded wanderer. His massive shoulders stretch, threatening to burst the rusty chain shirt he wore as his muscles bulged beneath the repurposed armament.

The salty breeze of the crashing surf of the Southern Coast mingled with the wisps of smoke that rose from the rusty old brazier he had been tending for most of the night. It was just cool enough to warrant such, plus it helped keep the curious fluttering fey at bay more often than not.

Unfortunately it also dulled his otherwise acute vision, the sort that his orcish ancestors had that helped them hunt within the darkest mountain passes.

He felt the blade enter, piercing through the rusty links of the chain shirt with a metallic hiss as the sharp point buried itself deep within his back. The blood flowed from the ruptured flesh and trickled through the links of the armor and he saw the light of the flames flicker and fade as his vision darkened.

As the cool drape of death swept over him he thought for a moment of simply falling into its embrace...

But his fists did not think at all.

Gruk's last living memory was that of his own fist swinging about wildly and connecting with the gangly creature's head, sending it reeling across the soggy terrain with a thud as the darkness finally overtook him...

-~V^V~-

The creature huffed as it dragged the heavy body away from the light of the strange encampment it had stumbled across in the night. It squinted, the entire side of its pallid white face swollen and bruised by the brute's dying blow. A dull and featureless grey eye peers through the swelling and takes stock of the mighty half-orc, absorbing the small details of the creature before starting the transformation. The facial features were tricky, even for one such as himself, and an injury only made the process that much harder.

It heard more thick voices and knew time was short. It went about its work, absorbing each minute detail it could as the other orcs drew closer before tossing the body into the crashing surf...

The orcs approach, cresting to hill to find Gruk standing on the seashore, adjusting his worn old armor before turning around with a toothy grin...
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Alanonas
5:49:32 am GMT 09/19/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
RENAULT

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The battle had shaken the city to its core. Shadows had flooded the streets, beckoned forth by some dark shade of an ancient ranger from a bygone era. Some citizens fought, others fled. More still simply looked to find their part in all the death and destruction.

Some were content to take the place of others...



HUMANS
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- Most easy prey.
- Are all different, and hate one another because of it.
- Many shapes, colors, voices, eyes. Live everywhere, never out of place.
- Dress matters. Can only blend in with those who share same wealth.
- ......
- .........
- They are like Father was...

Screams flooded the dark streets, muffled only by the pale corpses of those who were not as lucky to have something to scream about. The ranger known as Renault staggered through the streets, leaning heavily upon the longbow as he followed the voices. Everyone was dead. His entire squad withered before his eyes by those damn shadows.

His keen eyes remain as alert as they can through his fatigue and wounds, ever vigilant for the shadows that had been hunting him through the alleys.

A crying voice catches his attention.

The battle rages on, but he hears the voice call to him...

"...help me.."

The ranger grimaces and limps to the voice.

He finds a figure, hunched over the still body of a youth, holding it close.

"..Help me...I cannot find where I belong here...I-I.."

The ranger places a hand on the man's shoulder and never sees the blade slide into his side and twist as the hooded figure turns to face him. Two pallid white eyes take in the dying ranger's features and slowly the ranger sees himself, his features crawling over the man's pale face, slowly shaping to...him. It speaks to him:

"Rest easy ranger....I'll let them know you made it out..."

The ranger falls, joining the rest of the corpses in the streets as the figure dons his cloak and makes for the battle ahead...

His brothers-in-arms would be happy to see him again, after all.
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Alanonas
1:02:21 am GMT 09/23/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
BAMAEUS

Among the sheaves of scattered drawings lies a larger one. A portrait, one more detailed than others, scattered about with bizarre maps of what would seem to be an ancient ruin. It features a late-middle aged man. One perhaps familiar to some...

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The old man crawled forth from the gaping crack in the ruined stone, not far behind him another figure, this one a bit younger and garbed in the apparel of one of those men you'd often find wandering the wilderness and dusty roads, emerges too. The younger man crawls forth, his balance thrown off by the large sack of pilfered artifacts the pair had recovered from within the temple.

He drops it with an audible clang and breathes in the crisp mountain air, surveying the craggy tops of the mist veiled mountains. The old scholar does the same, his back turned to his adventuring companion in all this.

Slyph instinctively finds his hands closing over his sword, then feels the blade sliding forth, poised to strike. The old man had seen too much, he was sure of it. He could already feel his doubt. He'd need to be removed. It would be a loss, sure, but these things have to h-

He pauses as the old man turns and give him a nod, paying no heed to the drawn weapon before tossing him a rope.

"We're not out of this yet good sir." he says as the rope piles into the younger "ranger's" arms.

The changeling takes the rope, stowing the blade away as he climbs after the odd old man.

Is this what it felt like to have a freind?
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Alanonas
4:59:13 am GMT 10/10/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
SLYPH

Within a dusty and long forgotten attic, a tall and slender figure stands before a cracked mirror. Its grey and featureless eyes follow over the image of itself as its body relaxes back into its natural state. The worn leathers, weapons, boots, and cloak are all tossed aside until only the changeling remains, studying its own face within the facets of the mirror until the break of dawn, looking away only to write upon an old sheaf of parchment...


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CHANGELINGS

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- That is what they call me. Those who know.
- Father called me a monster. A curse. Curseling?
- Abberation.
- Creature.
- The Devil's Work.
- Mother called me Slyph. Before they burned her for being what she was. And for being what she was not.

I do not blame them, they do not understand. Nor do I. I too am what I am, until I am not.

- You can always notice another.
- Scars Remain. So does Voice.
- Hair color may change, and length. But we are creatures of habit. They will wear it the same. Look for how it parts.
- See them when nervous. They always have the same ticks in all forms. Mannerisms.
- Clothing. They carry too much. Look at the inside, see the reverse. It will be different colors. Different styles. It is fast.
- Blood. It is silver. Never red. Always they will try to hide their wounds.

I learn these things to know myself.

To know myself...



....

The changeling looks deeply into the cracked pane of the old mirror, featureless eyes training upon the new scar that traces his jawline. It was from a giant. One of those who haunted the halls in which he had spent the last months exploring alongside the old man, all whilst wearing the guise of that hapless ranger he had met in the darkness of the city.

It was an odd feeling, to wear another for so long. He looks at himself again in the polished surface. Still the lines of the ranger's face etch his own. He calms. Breathes. Concentrates. As he relaxes, the lines slowly fade into his featureless face, but now he is looking at the multitudes of other imperfections. A nick here. A scar above his eye. Each mark a piece of the ones he took. Piece by piece they become him.

Will there be a day that he sheds their form and looks once more into the the mirror, only to see a stranger?

Has that day already come?

He is what he is.

Until he is not.
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Alanonas
3:40:20 am GMT 10/26/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
THE ACCURSED

Somewhere in the bowels of the forgotten tomb, a foolish band of adventurers make battle with a terrible creature. It is clad in ancient armor, long rusted together and screeching as the once lordly figure wakes from unlife to confront those foolish few who would disturb him within the confines of his eternal domain...

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It happened so fast.

Yet as the changeling sits within the rafters of the old attic, it plays over his memory so slow, slow enough for each and every detail to play before his pallid eyes. Over and over.

He sees the others, fending off the darkness of the undead lord with blade, spell, and shear luck. He sees it so much more clearly now, now that he is out of the darkness, bathed in the flickering candlelight. He sees the shadows that drip from the undead lord's mighty blade. He feels the cold and accursed edge bite into his own body, numbing it with a deathly chill as the rusty edge sheared through his own armor and bit into his flesh.

"Don't let them see...."

He is holding the wound, even now as his shadow rises from his ruin and moves upon his companions. He feels a warmth creeping over where the chill of the blade was. It was his blood. Silver and warm with his fading life as it trickled from the wound.

"Don't let them know..."

Slyph's vision fades as the curse seeps into his bones. -his- bones. Not the outer veneer of the rugged ranger he had been wearing. -His- flesh.

He stirs awake. The elven magician stands over him, amidst the echoing din of battle. It is dark. Cold. He is alive, but fear still grips his heart, even as he struggles to reform his stolen visage in the cold and the dark of that dreadful tomb...

"Had they seen?"

They escape, finding a way from the depths of despair and struggling back into the light of day.

"If they knew...would they still have saved me?"

The candle burns low and fades in a dying gout of smoke as the changeling leaves his secluded hideaway.

He had to know.
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Alanonas
4:53:59 am GMT 11/19/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
QEITA

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The once formidable walls of the draconic fortress lie now shattered and scattered across the ruined field. Monsters roam over the crumbled battlements, yelping and shouting at one another as they pillage the remains of the city's corpse. Among them, sitting upon a lone rampart is a lithe figure, scraping charcoal over a piece of stray parchment. The dark lines leak from the changeling's memory of the dragonkin he had met along the roads, and ever so slowly, her form begins to fill the page...

DRAGONBLOODED

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- Powerful. Possess great physical strength. Carry large weapons more often than not.
- Colors. They come in all shades. Red. Blue. Green and White. Some even shimmer like metal.
- Scales. Too many details. Too. Many. Details. Eyes are unique as well. They know them too.
- Wings. Sometimes tails, horns, teeth, and claws. Too difficult to imitate.
- Not always like this. They once were different. Easier to imitate.
- Blood makes them dangerous.
- Many hide from their blood, and those who hunt them.
- Some do not. Like Qeita...

The changeling looks over the sketch, appraising it like a skeptical pawnbroker before folding it away and stuffing it into the satchel that held a dozen other sketches. He had only spoken with the dragonkin for a few moments, but it was time enough to take in all the minute details of her form.

It was a skill long honed by necessity.

When you were running from those who Knew. You never had time. You had to be quick. You had to be right, down to the last quirk and faintest scar. They would Know.

But she did not hide.

She did not hide her pearly scales. Or the sharp alabaster teeth that could no doubt rend open the throat of a grown man. Snowy leather wings that spread wide and far, even these she was not ashamed of, no she was proud. Proud to be a vessel that carried the blood of her kind.

Proud of what she was.

Proud of who she was.

The charcoal falls still as Slyph looks over the ramparts, lost in a daydream of what that must feel like.
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Alanonas
6:27:41 am GMT 12/03/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
RY'LIR D'TARTHE

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Somewhere, in the depths of the Underdark...

Commander Ry'lir storms back down the tunnel, warm blood still stinging his eyes more than the dreaded sun itself as he leads his raiding party back into the depths of the world. One hand grips his darkened blade, slinging the weapon free of the elven blood that had stained it while the other holds tight to his foe's severed head. He looks down, seeing his jet black fingers knotted about the elf's golden locks, his reddened eyes gleam with pride as he laps up the fear that lies locked in the slain elf's visage.

It was a hell of a fight, despite being against his distant cousins who have long since grown weak upon the surface. They've forgotten what it felt like to be hunted. To have to fight to survive each accursed day. To be tested. The drow's ego swells as the rest of his warband melt back into the shadows, eager to return to their city with their trophies and sacrifices. He thinks of the glory to come. The power. He never thinks that they may have been followed...

THE DARK ELVES
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-Dangerous.
-Dangerous.
-Employ powerful magic.
- Sees in dark. Ears hear slightest echo. Stalk them in loud areas. Waterfalls.
- Dangerous. Use poisons. Make you sleep if it nicks you.
- Can wield darkness itself as if it were their own to command. Learn simple spells. Mimic their gifts.
- They fear the women. I know why.
- Some talk with hands. Silent.
- Cruel.
-Dangerous.

- Arrogant.
........

-..Shit.

- It won't go away from us.


The stacks of parchment fly across the attic as the mirror topples, slamming to the crooked floorboards with a dull thump as the changeling frantically tries to shed the dark form he had been wearing since he had followed the murderous drow patrol deep into the depths of the bowels of the earth...even to their vile city itself.

They had seemed much like elves. He had worn elves dozens of times. He knew how they felt, and even learned some of their words. But the moment he let the dark elven skin crawl over his own, it felt as a cloud of spiders marching upon his face rather than the sharp facial angles and burning eyes of the drow elf that now stares back at him in the upturned mirror.

He takes a deep breath, trying to let the form melt back away into the pallid nothingness of his natural state, but it holds. Trapped to his visage like the sheets of sticky webs that had blanketed their city.

The obsidian skin and stark white hair of the form he assumed may have let him escape their fell city, but he had remained their accursed prisoner in the end it would seem, now within his own flesh.

The reflection grins back at him, its eyes filled with all the seeming of a demon as the dark elven visage twists into an insidious grin.

Then it laughed.

But he was only screaming.
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Alanonas
6:47:05 pm GMT 12/22/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
THEY WHO KNOW

Somewhere in the depths of the earth, two figures approach an altar. The black stone is shadowed by the foreboding stone carving of a massive spider that lords over it. Eight blood-red rubies that make up for the monstrosity's eyes seem to follow the pair as they draw near.

One is an old man, wreathed in a strange light and brandishing no weapon, only a lantern that glows with the blinding yellow light. The other is a drow, but it is not as the other drow in the temple, the others who now lay sprawled about in painful shapes upon the floor, wheezing from their wounds and dying. The pair has bested those who were guarding the altar this day, but more would come. They didn't have much time...


If they were to break the curse that had befallen upon the changeling, they'd have to do it now.

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~S~

Another page lies upon the slightly more organized room within the rafters of the inn...

THOSE WHO KNOW

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... There are those who know.

Some find out when we bleed. It is odd to them.

Some have seen it before. They know. The hunters.

Spells and rites of seeing will show them too. We recognize the words.

Not much time, must strike them quickly before they see, before the-

....
......

Two know.

Both still live.

Will I regret it?

I don't now?

I'd still be cursed.

He saved me...but he saw.

They helped.

But they still Know.

The changeling drops the quill and rests his gangly grey hands over the parchment. Ink stained the page as his thoughts rambled over it all. All his instincts told him to find them. To slay them, quickly and silently. What if they told others? The hunters would come, just like they did for his mother.

They'd come with fire, with axes. They'd come for blood.

His own father let them do it. He saw him, once he Knew. Saw how he changed.

If one Knows, others will. More to kill. More to hide.

They cannot Know.

But they do.
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