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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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The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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Alanonas
11:37:16 pm GMT 12/26/21
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
KARIS

The snow causes the roof of the old tavern to creak and moan in protest as the winter winds sweep over the old shingled eaves. A gust of crisp air leaks through the cracks, rustling the stacks of scattered parchments. One flutters to the floor, seeming to depict a knight, the sort one may see in the walled city of Steinkreis...

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SOLDIERS

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Must learn to wear their armor.

Heavy.

Cumbersome.

Loud.

Very Loud.

They know each other by rank. Learn their colors. Different helmets. Cloaks.

Helm may hide faces, they do not question rank. They fear it. Use this.

Always have excuses. Duty. They always use Duty as one.

Stay away from water. They are heavy.

Must use heavy and cumbersome weapons. FIND SOMEONE TO SHOW US HOW

Learn to breathe more. They are heavy...

Soldiers can go anywhere though. Many fear them, others ignore them.

They are perfect.

The doors to the hallowed tombs fell closed for the final time as the remaining members of Captain Karis Von Strengle was laid to rest within his new abode. Those who attended his service hear of how Captain Karis answered the call of Duty when the nefarious Krel Twistback annexed the Crater Fort, and again when the Dragonkin sowed carnages across the lands. In time, the wounds of such days had finally caught up with the valorous old solider and now he was allowed to rest.

The Stone Circle priest uttered his last rites over the tired hero and told those in attendance that his memory would surely live on.

Little did they know that one such "mourner" in attendance would personally be seeing to the same...

~S~

The changeling waited long into the night, watching the old tomb as the priest left at last. The heavy bolt was sealed shut and locked as the elderly man returned to the city, leaving Captain Karis alone, ready for his eternal rest.

*Click*

The echo of the lock rings through the silent tomb, echoing about in the stone chamber as the gangly hooded figure slips into the tomb. He wastes no time in relieving the late Captain of his armaments, carefully stowing the clanging metallic plates into a muffled wool sack. As his labors conclude, he rests a hand upon the man's chest, looking over the peaceful look in the older man's eyes, wondering if he had planned to die like this, and not upon the field of battle.

The armor had certainly seen so much. It had protected Captain Karis, perhaps it would now protect the new "Captain".

The door shuts once more and the lock is set back into place, leaving the dear solider to his final rest. For certain this time.
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Alanonas
4:44:29 pm GMT 01/10/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
CHANGE

Tucked within a pile of half completed drawings lies a watercolor stained sheet of some manner of fantastic, dream-like terrain. Next to it lies another parchment depicting an equally fantastic and dream-like woman...

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THOSE WHO CHANGE

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- We found Another.
- One who Changes.
- She was not like us. Called us, in our dreams.
- Different. Tells us each form they wear has a voice. A notion of self.
- They are all clothes to us. Hats. Cloaks. Masks. Only tighter. More real.
- We wear many, but we are the same. No voices.
- Not usually.
- Sometimes we hear them scream again. Or beg.
- We see their eyes. The fear. The surprise.
- Those who Know all have the same eyes, in the end.

The changeling awakens from the dream, armor clanking and helm weighing heavy upon his head as he stirs back to the realm of the waking. The strange fey had walked with him for what seemed like an eternity within the folds of his own mind, and he had let her. They spoke of many things, but mostly of change, both what does and does not change...

He hears the bustle of the tavern. People are laughing; sharing drink and good cheer. He rises and some see him - the men of the city who also wear armor as he does now. They welcome him over, offering to share the emotions, drink, and food that they revel within.

He almost raises the visor of the helm, but spies his own grey flesh beneath the rings of the metal suit he wore.

"The dream...it made us lose focus...they will know."

He staggers back, the cumbersome weight of the pilfered armor feeling heavier now than it ever has upon his lithe build. Their smiles slither away and he sees their eyes. He knows those eyes. They are changing, filling with doubt. Filling with suspicion. They all look the same.

The clumsy knight turns and runs from the tavern, leaving the other soldiers in a brief stupor. Those who follow find not a single trace of the strange captain of the guard - only a discarded pile of antiquated Kreisian armor...
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Alanonas
4:24:47 am GMT 01/19/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
KNOW YOURSELF

One stack of parchment seems to depict an elven woman, though something is off - she has a feral look in her eyes and hands that end in claws...


ANOTHER
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- Another. A woman. Skinwalker
- Hunted us in Bog, wore a child. Fooled us.
- Tried to kill us.
- Clawed like beast. Wild.
- We...felt sorry for her.
- It happens to some, those who forget who they are.
- Or those who never Know who they are.
- All Instinct.
- They survive...but never live.

The grey flesh ripples over the new scar. It is a jagged thing, like a rut made by a farmer's plow as it cuts over earth. This grey rut traces nearly through his pallid eye.

The gangly fingers run over the wound and the changeling's featureless face ripples with anger, if only for a moment. This rut would not wash away with the rain, or blow away with the wind. It would stay. A reminder of how dangerous those who Change can be.

The rippling flesh takes on a warmer hue and bristles with dark stubble as the familiar ranger's visage overtakes his own, it too sporting a new scar. He examines the hardened features of the man, his own thoughts drifting back to the strange skinwalker he had met in that bog. She had never seen a city, never walked the dirty streets or tasted the fine fine wines that the wealthy partook in. He looks out the eaves of the inn and his ears hear the rowdy voices below.

He thought about the city. He could read it much like he could a man's face. He could see the weary lines that traced across its face; feel its ragged breath. He knew it it. It was his home, after all, in some twisted way. The people of the city may never come to know him, but he certainly knew them. More than they could ever know.

But this one. She spoke of the city differently, of how it would burn; how it would turn against him in the end too. How he'd die hiding from himself - from what he truly was.

The hours drift on into the night as the changeling looks over the city. He knew what he was, and if she wished to bring ruin to his home, she too would learn exactly what he was.
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Alanonas
6:43:04 am GMT 02/19/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
THE FLAMES
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The tavern beneath the strange attic roars in anger. The clanking of armor and drunken shouts breaks the otherwise typical tavern noises. A door slams, shaking the rafters and sending one freshly drawn picture to flutter off the old desk...

THE FLAMES

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Strange.

- Do not speak. Quiet.

- They follow the one who walks the streets.

- Humans below say they came from Blackrock...

- Tavern keeper hates them. They hate his drinks.

- There was a priest. One who took them in, made them his own...

- They are here...now.

...

~S~

The raucous raised below as the changeling steps carefully down from the attic, sliding the rugged boards back into place within the ceiling and creeping down the stairs towards the noise.

In the room, the regular crowd is seen: farmers, ferriers, merchants, smiths and tailors...even a few off-duty knights catch his eye. He never forgets a face, after all. Then he spies the others, the strange soldiers that were stirring up the drunken tempers of those within the room.

They are strange, each standing resolute at the door, their faces obscured by masks. He sees a number of men speak to them, or rather yell at them. They remain silent and ever vigilant at the door until one of the off-duty guards, or at least a man who could pass for such, seems to be able to drive them away...for now.

The inn settles down as the drinks begin to flow once more and the changeling is left curious...

~S~

..before he knows it he is following them, watching the solemn pair as they wind through the alleyways of the city. They march on through the streets, unaware of the new shadow that follows in tow, marking well their every movement; their every breath, never knowing the creature is painting a picture of their quirks, stride, and demeanor deep within his mind. Absorbing each detail as they unknowingly shed them one by one with each passing step down the streets towards their destination...
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Alanonas
4:41:58 am GMT 03/01/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
TO SEE

The odd attic seems uncharacteristically clean. Each strewn parchment has been neatly placed into a manageable stack and several seem to be missing. Others seem to have been burned, likely by a single candle that burns alone in the dark, one that illuminates a rather peculiar page...



THE CITY OF LIGHT
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- I saw a City.
- There was Light.
- Friends.
-Smiling Faces. They were all smiles. All the time.
- They saw me too. They Knew me.
- They still do.
- I see them. Even here. I know they cannot be...
- They are here.
- Is this true Happiness?
- Everything is...bright.
- Where does this Light cast its shadow?
- .....
- ......
- I do not care. It is beautiful.

The changeling leaves the eaves of the old school in Lowtown, his message delivered to the old man inside. He tries to remember.

"Something was very important"

He is walking away now, marching through the streets, back towards Blackmere.

"What was it....Why..."

The figure wanders the streets, but his footsteps move with purpose.

To what, he does not know. But the old man was following.

"That was very important. That he follow....Yes..."
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Alanonas
6:48:32 pm GMT 03/10/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
MASKS

[ image disabled ]

Dust gathers over the stacks of parchments and gossamer strands of cobwebs hang over the assorted articles of clothing that litter the attic. A lone pair of footprints dares to disturb the dust. They lead to the desk, and a single parchment remains, spared by the dust...

THE CITY I KNOW

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- The Light Blinds.
- It Bends what you see.
- Washes away the dark.
- You no longer see Them.
- They still see You.
- It was beautiful. But it was a mask.
-....
- Masks.
- We know these.
- The City too Wears a Mask.
- All do, from time to time.
- But under the Mask, under the Light, the City remains.
- Rotten.
- Defiant.
- True to itself.
- For better or worse.
- This is the City I know.
- This is the City that Raised me.
- This is the City that freed me.
- This is the City that Knows me, even if they do not think they do.

The man returns to the gate. To the guards, he seemed much like the rest of the field workers as they returned to their shambling abodes following their hard work in the countryside. Some tended farms, others beasts of labor. Some were beasts of labor. The lines were always blurred. But now, they were all the same: tired.

But they did not go home.

He sits now with the grime-covered lot, each of them deep in their cups, drowning in the fetid ale that flows from the cracked casks that sit moldering in the corner. The Ogre Belly was a fitting name for such a place, but even now, these men smiled.

They smiled as another round landed on the creaking table. They smiled at the lecherous serving wench, no doubt infested by a myriad of diseases. They laughed, wiping the sweat and grime from their faces. They shared in this, and all the while death and depravity sat there unseen at the table with them. Right next to the changeling who watched them.

He saw these folk; he watched them through the night. They were true. Crude, crass and short of life, but true.

They knew their place. Not in the social ladders of men, but in their hearts. They knew that even in such a squalid recess, there could be meaning.

There they sat, through the long night, many of their masks tossed aside at the door of the tavern, each one seeing one another for what they were. All the while the Changeling watched them, he alone wearing a mask in the boisterous taproom, thinking of the men in this city who would veil these very men with a mask of their choosing. A Mask of Light.

He looks back to the boisterous rabble as they continue living in the truth of their condition, their mask slipping further away into the frothy cups and being trampled under their muddy boots as they took to dancing.

It was Beautiful.
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Alanonas
5:38:29 am GMT 03/31/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
CALAHAN

Below the tavern once again bustles with life. A pair of halflings take turns tossing darts at the effigy of a man in white armor, one that may pass for a Flame of Andarus, each missing their mark considerably. The laughter drifts upwards, slowly fading into the rafters of the inn and slowly becoming muffled as it lands upon the stacks of odd drawings...

MAGES


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- Appear normal.
- Clothes do not.
- Always wear robes. Why? Find this out.
- Some have hat. Others Hoods. Few have hair, but most have beards.
- They know everything. And More.
- The More is Magic.
- Magic...
- We have learned some of this. Simple tricks.
- Simple Tricks must go far.
- Simple works.
- Always let the other mages think they are smarter. They stop seeing you then.
- Books. Adore Books. Make more books. Name them after yourself.
- Their art is outlawed.
-What will become of them here?
- Perhaps we will find out.

~S~


"Magic? Banned?!"

Calahan glared at the regent's order, eyes flickering with a burning flame as he stuffed yet another pair of books into the cupboard.

The cupboard groaned in protest, shuffling about as more weight was added into it, creaking in protest as the books were stuffed in along side all manner of other arcane implements.

"Oh hush you. If they found out my furniture was magical, I'm sure they'd use you for kindling to burn some young witch. So mind your actions!"

The cupboard grew quiet as the old man worked, clearing his shelves and decades of scrolls, dust, potions and other esoteric items from his abode. As he worked, his eyes kept drifting to the letter upon his desk, one bearing the royal seal of the city and deeming his trade to be "a significant risk".

He turns his attention next to a massive mirror, the sort that is always useful to men of his trade. For a moment he sees something within it. A person? He shakes his head and gives the polished surface a swipe with the hem of his robe sleeve, seeing nothing.

With a shrug, the old wizard continues his work, prattling various insults to his unfortunate furniture as he worked, oblivious to the gangly figure perched in the loft. Waiting.

Night falls and the wizard stuffs a final pair of candles into the cupboard and closes the doors of it with a groan. He turns, giving his old home in the city one last longing look before turning away and wandering down the streets of the city towards the gates.

The changeling watches. He sees him drift over the streets and out the gates, strange cupboard lumbering behind in tow. Then, his pallid eyes turn back to the wizard's flat.

It was modest, and the old man left few things: just a number of unwanted books, an old walking stick, a silly hat and and a once extravagant robe now faded and riddled with holes.

A simple outfit that would mark one as a practioner of the art.

Simple works.
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Alanonas
5:29:17 am GMT 05/10/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
DULBERK

Boisterous voices fill the inn as ale foams, froths, and stains every surface. Within the rafters of the same, an ale-soaked parchment rests, sticking to the desk...

DWaRv...ES

[ image disabled ]

hAi.r oN FACE

HamMers..

hAmmered.

To0 mUch alEs

wHy do THey drInk so mUch?

Kn0w eAch anD alL. Ale? All. ClAns.

Run thE TraIn. It go to the StoNe HouSe theY BuilT.

EASSSy waY intO theiR hom.

*There is a large, smelly stain blotting out the rest of the entry.*

The band of dwarves departed into the night, each of them in great cheer as the train heaved off behind them, hissing its way along the metal tracks back to their stone halls. It was a marvel of dwarven engineering, one that now tied the Men of the city to their mighty craft halls. It was hard work to run such a marvel, and hard work always remained the preamble to hard drinking for this band of engineers.

The band of stout folk descend into the streets of the human city, some already deep within their cups as they pass a number of other vices the city had to offer. One of the younger dwarves, Dulberk, watches as they pass the cooing women within the vaulted windows of one such establishment and decides that the Swallow had something a bit sweeter for him that night. After all, he could always catch up.

After taking his fill of the generous hospitality, Dulberk decided he could do with just a bit more, and while his hard earned coin held up, so would they. He was so enamored by the giggling girls, he payed no heed to the other patrons within the establishment, but one in particular, a gangly fellow in a dark cloak and sporting a taciturn demeanor, paid the dwarf quite a bit of attention that night.

Dulberk soon passes out in a gaggle of the hospitable women of the night, paying little heed to anything as he indulges in the comfort of soft pillows and accommodating company.

Suffice to say, his friends were surprised to see him meet them back at the bar that night.
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Alanonas
3:25:26 am GMT 05/19/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
DULBERK

Within the derelict attic, a far cleaner sheet of parchment lies next to one still reeking of ale...

DWARVES

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- Can drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Do not try to match them.
- Drink one. Then drink water. They will soon forget.
- Strong. Stout. Loud. Be loud.
- Most wear beards. Braids. Metals. It is art to them.
- They work Stone. And Metal. They talk about this all the time. Have something to say.
- If nothing to say. Ask questions about how fires work. And Hammers. They will talk. They will drink.
- Halls are wonderous. Built within the mountains. Fortress.
- What are they protecting? Gold? Jewels?
- We will see.

The train came to a slow stop, jaunting many dozing dwarves back to life as they attempted to recover from their previous night's festivities. One dwarf in particular seems to be still reeling from the affair and the older dwarves harass and make jokes at his expense accordingly.

They part, each going their separate ways within the looming halls of stone that casts foreboding shadow over the departing train. The young dwarf still holds his head as he wanders deeper into the halls, his eyes taking in the sculpted wonders that adorn the winding walls of carved stone.

Somewhere, within these walls, their secrets were hidden.

And somewhere else, another wayward young dwarf wakes up, still in the city of humans and realizing he has missed his train...
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Alanonas
4:15:35 am GMT 06/07/22
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 1413
To Change, to Become

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Above the quiet inn, in the dead of night, the rats scurry away from the figure seated at the desk as it drags the crooked quill over the dry parchment...

BECOMING

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We have our favorites.

The ones we wear the most.

Like a pair of pants that fit right

Or hats that bring out our eyes.

When we wear them, they are like us, and not like they were.

Sometimes we forget.

Sometimes others forget, even those who know.

They think it is who we are.

Maybe they are right.

Mirrors show us. We see.

We see past what we wear.

Their eyes are ours.

They drink what we like.

They sleep the way we sleep.

They hate what we hate...love what we love.

When do they stop being them, and become us?

When do we become them?

The figure stops scrawling upon the parchment and stands. The ragged leathers lie in a crumpled pile on the dusty floorboards of the attic alongside a pair of sword in their scabbards and a quiver full of arrows. The creature's pallid eyes look over the dents, scratches and road wear over the ranger's old garb and cannot help but think that it has gotten hard to tell what wear was his and what wear was his own. Where did one near miss stop and another begin? Was that his blood stain or another's?

Silver. Red. It all ran together over time.

He drifts through the old drawings looking to each face, each visage locked into the charcoal that dragged over the parchment. He does this to remember.

Because to forget is above all else, the most dangerous thing.

Other parchments rustle in the breeze that cuts through the gabled roof. Orcs. Dwarves. Elves. Halflings. They are all there, each face different, yet the same. To one simply passing by they may not seem such, but to his eyes, he sees bit of himself in each of them.

He had found a home in each of them, in a way. Some he stole. Others he borrowed. Where they his? Or where they simply another coat, or a foppish hat, or a cloak to weather as storm? He ponders this a while, looking out the window over the sleeping city, thinking of home, and if this was truly his own.

Because it was certainly starting to feel like it, much like a worn coat he favored. It was familiar.

It was dangerous.
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