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Part 1 - Attack on Greenest ((WIP))

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Part 1 - Attack on Greenest ((WIP))

Post by ArcticFlame7 on Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:12 pm

((Bran will likely give a proper "The Story Thus Far..." at every session. However, for posterity and as an excuse to flex my writing muscles, I will also be providing summaries here.))

A blue tiefling - who chose the name Gravity - returned from a wild goose chase of a holy mission empty-handed. He expected the disappointment of the others in his religious sect; instead he found carnage. While Gravity had been away, his sect had been attacked. Many of his fellows lay dead, as did some of the attackers. There were signs that others from both sides had fled. He found the master of his order with a blade in his gut but the man had not gone down alone. The man he'd taken with him to the grave wore a purple cloak, and his face was concealed by a featureless iron mask with slits for the eyes and mouth. Gravity thought about where the nearest splinter cell of his sect was located, and remembered they had at least a few people in the town of Greenest. With determination and purpose glowing in his golden, catlike eyes, the tiefling made his way to the main road leading there.

After yet another successful mission, a Calishite man was in a foul mood. The last bit of his paltry wages circled in his veins and swirled in his cup as strong alcohol. He made his living as a guide and a scout for traveling merchant caravans. These rich men, he surmised, could afford to pay him by the sackful of gold and not even notice the difference. He had little need for so much coin, but the more he drank, the more he began to be upset by the principle of the matter. Why should he accept so little payment for his skills? Surely he could find better employment than these greedy men! After finishing the last of his drink, he found the merchants and told them in no uncertain terms that they needed to find a new guide. Confident that he'd done the right thing, the man - named Aseir - set off for the nearest large town, a place called Greenest. By the time he hit the main road and the hangover hit his head, he began to have more than mild regrets.

A night with a bonny lass met at a tavern had run well into the morning for a tall Luskan man. He cursed his luck and dressed quickly, fearing the wrath of his captain and mates. With nary a word to the lass, whom he planned on never seeing again, he dashed from the inn toward the city docks. There was a crowd gathered and it slowed him down. Just as he was about to get angry enough to start shouting and shoving, he got a look at what was causing the commotion. The city guard, several magistrates, and other law enforcers had descended upon a certain ship in the harbor. The crew was being beaten down and dragged away in manacles. The crowd whispered rumors of piracy, of high seas swashbuckling and bloodthirsty robbery. That was not any ship, but his ship; not any crew being arrested, but his crew. And the man, named Rory, knew those were no mere rumors. And Rory also knew that he needed to get out of the city as fast as possible. They'd understand, he reasoned. They'd do the same if it were them. Not particularly caring where he went as long as it was 'away from here', he took a random road out and followed it.

The three strangers met at a convergence of roads but didn't really speak to one another. Each was absorbed in their own thoughts. At last they arrived at a ridge that, once surmounted, would give a view of Greenest. Instead of the scene of a peaceful town on a plain with a stream running in from the mountains, they saw a scene of devastation. Several fires were visible, with columns of black smoke rising to give cover to a draconic shadow wheeling overhead. For a moment, the three stood in shock.

There were strings of black dots moving away from the burning town, the citizenry fleeing as seen from several miles away. And where there is fire and fleeing peasants, there are belongings left behind ripe for plunder. Rory just couldn't resist the opportunity the gods laid at his feet. Dreaming of a fresh start with looted funds, the pirate made his way toward the town with the intent to pillage.

The distant flames seemed to whirl and dance. Gravity was entranced by them, and in that state he saw his god and patron within them. He knew better than to fear any fire, for his god was fire greater than any possible in this realm. His formless patron beckoned him, and deep within the tiefling knew he would find what he sought if he went to the burning town. He walked onward after the giddy pirate.

Aseir tried to call out to the men he'd been walking with, but his words fell on deaf ears. Were they mad? They were walking - damn near skipping! - towards an attacking dragon. Aseir knew the kind of destruction a dragon was capable of. He looked toward the men, then the dragon, then the burning town, then the fleeing citizens, then back to the dragon. Run, his instincts told him. Run away and don't look back. Meddling would just get him into trouble. But how could he just turn his back on the town and the people, even the unwise ones walking toward instead of away? With a heavy sigh he readied his bow and ran to catch up to the others.

It was well after nightfall by the time they reached the town proper. Recent rains had left the thatching on the houses wet, so much of the fire was coming from piles of hay and the like. To Rory's dismay, other looters had arrived first. Kobolds ran amok in the town, some accompanied by or atop giant lizards, others with some sort of...thing. Even well-traveled and wilderness-trained Aseir couldn't identify the creatures. Aseir and Rory, being cautious and not wanting to be spotted by either the dragon or the kobolds, stuck to the shadows of buildings as they made their way further into the town. Gravity had no such inclination. He simply threw back his hood and walked among the chaos as if he belonged there. They arrived at something like a park just in time to see a disturbing scene.

The kobolds weren't the only ones with malevolent intent running around. Humanoid figures in purple cloaks were chasing the citizens who had not yet managed to escape. They wielded strange curved, jagged blades clearly intended to maim and cause pain. Three of these figures were closing in on a young child, a boy of about six or seven. The boys clothes were ripped and he was covered in soot, his face streaked with tears. He was screaming for help, for someone and anyone, but mainly for his mother.

Barely thinking, Aseir drew back an arrow and fired just as the closest figure was reaching for the boy to grab him. Despite the dim light, the arrow found its target. The purple-cloaked figures realized there was a threat from the shadows of a nearby building. Rory, following Aseir's lead, also took a shot with a bow at one of the figures. One of them grabbed the boy to use as a human shield. Gravity arrived from the normal path to the park and saw the cloaks. Immediately he remembered his sect and the ones who attacked them. One of the cloaked figures is wielding a club instead of the strange blade the others are; this one saw the tiefling, pointed at him, and laughed. Gravity calmly walked over to a bench and took a seat. This confused the figures (and the other two in the shadows). While they were confused, the tiefling pointed to the nearest one and a crackle of energy leaped from his finger [Eldritch Blast].

The one holding the boy backed away from both Gravity and where the arrows had come from. The other two advanced toward where the arrows had come from. Once the one wielding a club could see Aseir, he began speaking in a harsh language that none of them understood, but ended with a word in Common: "Grovel." Aseir felt the magical assault on his mind, but managed to shake it off. He spoke in Orc, an equally harsh language, telling the caster where he could go and what he could do when he got there. Rory took a few steps forward to get a clearer shot and fired again.

The boy screamed for his mother again, prompting Aseir to do something reckless. There was a stone railing around a central flowerbed between him and the one holding the boy. Not trusting his aim in the dark with the figure using the child as a shield, he decided to try to engage in melee by jumping over this railing rather than taking the time to step over it or go around. However, as he began the jump, his foot turned on a rock and then caught the railing itself, causing him to go sprawling. He managed to properly break the fall as the nearby figure laughed, and as he rolled over he went for the handaxe on his belt. He was close enough now to trust his aim. The moment he was on his back he let the handaxe fly at an upward angle. The haft caught the child square in the forehead, but the head buried itself deep enough in the cloaked figure for the wound to be fatal.

Gravity remained on the bench, and this time pointed at the one who had cast Command. Another streak of energy found its mark, and this was also a killing blow. Rory mopped up by shooting at the third figure once more. In the immediate aftermath, Aseir got to his feet and ran to check on the boy. Meanwhile, Rory went to loot the one he had just killed, and Gravity went to investigate the corpse of the caster, who turned out to be a woman. The iron mask and purple cloaks were unmistakable - these people were from the same 'cult' that had attacked his. The boy was unconscious but otherwise seemed alright. Rory found nothing of value on the body of the man he'd killed, but decided to take the mask, cloak, and odd weapon for himself despite none of the cloaks fitting him particularly well. Aseir retrieved his axe and then unmasked the figure he had killed. The figure was a fairly young man, a teenager at the oldest. In a pouch on his belt Aseir found a large number of human thumbs, trophies taken from kills. He shook his head.

"What could cause one so young to do something so evil?"

"Religious fervor, my friend," replied Gravity.

The other two came closer to where Aseir was picking up the child. Once he stood, he turned to them. "Hell of a mess."

"Indeed. Name's Rory, by the way."

"...Aseir."

"You two should take the cloaks and masks from the other two nutjobs. Might help us avoid any further skirmishes."

Gravity made a face at this. "I think not."

Aseir nodded in agreement. "If we're going to find refuge among anyone other than these...'nutjobs'...it might be best to not be associated with them."
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ArcticFlame7

Posts : 36
Join date : 2015-10-04
Age : 27

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Name: Hilde Ironhammer
Class and Level: Eldritch Knight, 5
Experience:
5600/14000  (5600/14000)

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