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Thread: the sleeper awakens...

  1. #1
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    Default the sleeper awakens...

    For the twin brothers Xareen and Killian Sionnodel, life had always been tough. From the death of their mother during their birthing, to the years of loneliness while their father waged battle with the savages of the north, the twins had endured hardships that would have wilted the resolve of lesser beings. In their early years, the two were inseparable, whether they were playing in the streets of Morengar or stowing away on a caravan carrying the precious crystals that nullified the choking miasma that was everywhere in the northern mountains of their home. They always dreamed as youths of becoming adventurers and hiring on with the Crystal Guild, protecting the life giving crystals that were vital to the existence of Morengar, and earning the prestige that came with the life of a Caravaner. Sometimes they would play at being Skylords of the Twilight Flight, the fierce wyvern riders who protected the skies above Morengar from the countless undead creatures that flew the dark skies of the north. Always bigger and stronger, Killian would hoist Xareen on his back, stretch out his arms, and pretend to fly the skies of the Twilight City with his Skylord rider on his back. Often Xareen would sing tales of battle like the Warbards of Maestro Zethil, who used their arcane power to overwhelm and destroy any who opposed the armies of the Twilight Nation.

    How long ago those days seemed to the brothers, where they now sat together beside a low fire somewhere on the Plains of Betheleron. Never in their youth would they have imagined a land where one could walk without the protection of a ward crystal to shield their lifeforce from the terrible, soul draining miasma. But here, far, far south of the cold, damp lands of Morengar, they were free to breath the fresh night air, free to view the last star in the night sky. For years the two had been lost to each other, Xareen off a fool's quest to the terrible Nightstacks and Killian lost beneath the mantle of the Northern Wastes in the lands of the Ice Dragon.

    Now here they sat, awaiting the arrival of two persons whom they had never met. The sending that Killian had received days before had come from the High King Uthul of the Eladhrel himself. Killian could still remember clearly the day he led a squad of moredhrel on patrol in the Darkwood and came upon a lone Eledhrel in a clearing in the woods. How confident he had felt when he ordered his troops to engage the elf, thinking him easy sword practice for his novice men. A shudder ran up Killian's spine as he remembered the twinge of fear he felt when the lone elf unsheathed his sword so quick it was blur, and how the elf had relieved nine moredhrel warriors of their heads before they could even react. The other six warriors were dead before Killian could even draw his blade. How glad Killian was for his moment of wisdom when he layed down his blade and yielded to the near immortal High King of Elvatarin, for who he was no match for in combat. High King Uthul had spared his life, for what reason Killian knew not, and for that he was indebted to the Lord of the Stars. That debt was to be repaid now, for the King had told him in the magical message that echoed in both the twins' minds. They were to wait by their fire for two adventurers, one a moredhrel like them and the other a dwarf of the Nine Stacks, sent by King Baaltor Taerun himself. Once assembled, their purpose together would be revealed but for now..they waited and talked...

  2. #2
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    The last bit of powdered amber sparkled in the moonlight with a magical glow, then faded into the page of the text, near invisible. His spell complete, Xareen closed the cover of the book. On its spine was inscribed the words Tentacle's Grasp. The magic trap was put in place because Xareen and his brother were to meet with two other adventurers - adventurers they didn't know - and adventurers they didn't know were not to be trusted. No one was.

    Ruby let out a whine and a low yelp, sniffing the air and cuddling up next to the Moredhrel wizard's robes. Xareen answered in kind to the small red fox, in a language understood by no one other than master and familiar. From a nearby log, Killian sharpened his swords with a whetstone, waiting, left to wonder what conversation his brother and his pet were sharing. The Sionnodel twins had been waiting, both waiting, for what seemed like an eternity, as if the The Last World of Varda was spun by some elder snail that moved slower than time itself.

    Xareen gazed at the lone star in the night sky. He and Killian had traveled the plains for weeks, and little words had been spoken between them. There was little need. They were twins. One look from one to the other spoke volumes, and for many years it was if they shared one mind.

    This night, however, as they waited for the others to arrive, Xareen suddenly broke the silence - gaze still fixed on the lone star - in a wistful, almost sensitive tone, very much unlike Xareen's typical demeanor.

    "Brother, do you think father is still alive?"
    Last edited by Bong Bellowsmoke; 05-29-2012 at 08:18 PM.
    The Red Condor shrieked at Sir Darvig in full wrath. Wings flapped storms of fire across the sky. "The Mage-God grows in power swifter than it appears to Paladine. This I know. A warning," Sargonnas told Darvigl, "for you to give to Paladine in your prayers."

    I will, Darvig uttered.

  3. #3
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    Default the purifying fire

    For as long he could remember, Vargnir Ironfyre had loved the stories of Thori Stonebeard, the venerable Chief of Clan Holdergart. His favorite was the tale that all dwarves knew. The tale of their King, Baaltor Taerun, and his return to the crown.


    Lost in the woods as a dwarfling when he and his family were assailed by marsh giants while returning home from a diplomatic trip to Morengar, Baaltor was a survivor. Alone in the vastness of the Darkwood, he personified the hardiness and strength of will that is the pride of the dwarven races. The lone survivor of the royal family, Baaltor was determined to exact vengeance upon his family's killers. Displaying a wisdom beyond his years, he knew that skill was beyond him. So he took to the forest and avoided the giants as best he could. He crafted a wooden spear, foraged for food, and took game as he could. He made hide armor from small game and honed his tracking skills. At the age of 11 he slew an ogre, at 14 a dire boar, and at the very young age of 16 he finally took his vengeance. Luring the giants into a tar filled bog, he lit fire to the pitch and watched the gang of hideous creatures burn. He shouted the names of his dead family as the six giants howled in agony, cursing their souls to eternal burning. The last dying giant uttered his own, more powerful curse which stripped the young barbarian of the memories of his family and origins. Bereft of a past and knowing only the wild, he lived alone in the forest haunted by the ghosts of his forgotten family who wailed in his dreams.


    After years of isolation and wandering the primordial expanses of the Darkwood, Baaltor stumbled upon a tremendous battle. Ringed by a towering wall of fire, a lone elf stood terribly wounded and struggling to defend against his horrific opponent. A enormous ebon bird, wreathed in black flames and trailing black coiling smoke, swooped down on the elf. Viscious black talons drove the warrior to his knees, staggering him. The stone cold courage and smoldering thirst for battle of the dwarves urged Baaltor to action, for he roared his battle cry and leapt through the wall of black flames, scorching away his beard and burning him horribly. He stood tall over the elf, shielding the noble eledhrel from the killing blows of the dark bird. Twice the young dwarf withstood the slashing razors of the creature's talons, suffering deep wounds. Twice he parried with his wooden spear and it was burned to ashes. Twice was enough however, for the elf used the reprieve to heal his wounds and regain his feet. Together, elf and dwarf pressed the attack and smote down the cursed creature.

    As the flames of the black bird died, so did the raging fire that had kept Baaltor standing and he collapsed at the feet of the elf. His healing magics exhausted, tears were all the elf could offer as he failed to staunch the lifeblood of the courageous dwarf. While the grieved elf cradled Baaltor's dying body, the dark avian bodied disintegrated to dust, which then in turn erupted in bright red fire. A magnificent bird of living flame stepped from the inferno and spoke. “Most noble elf I see and remember you, Uthul Starfire. Long it has been since you and I defeated Jebedaster Frost and his terrible Black Egg. Long it has been since I gave my life to purge that Egg from our world. Had I known the transformation I would undergo and the destruction I would sow as the Rain of Embers, I would have been hard pressed to sacrifice myself. But I did and that is the Fate. But I thank you and would see joy on your brow, not the grief at the dire charge of this brave dwarf. So step aside and I will repay my debt to our savior, for I know again my name, Pyre and I know the way”
    Pyre plucked a feather from her tail and placed it upon the dying dwarf's breast over his heart. The phoenix's ruby eyes burned with white fire and they lit afire the feather. It burned and melded into Baaltor's chest and the dwarf's eyes and mouth belched fire. The burnt, charred flesh grew pink and supple again, the gaping wounds across his chest closed, and the young dwarf's fledgling, scorched beard fell out. Like a flower that has waited the winter to flourish in spring, the hair on his chin regrew like new and it was robust but utter white. And so Baaltor was saved and the deep friendship between ancient Uthul and young Baaltor was forged. The magic of the Phoenix had restored his memory and the fate of his family. Together with Pyre they recovered their remains and returned to the dwarves of the Nine Stacks.


    Vargnir could still feel the tears of joy and pride he cried when he witnessed the return of his lost King. Upon the back of Pyre, on a cold, dark night when not even the Last Star could be seen, Baaltor and Uthul lit the night as the flames of Pyre arced through the sky. Soaring over the stack of Clan Taerun, dwarf and elf leapt to the stone tower. The flaming phoenix dove from the sky and plunged into the Stack of the Fallen, the crumbled stack that served as the crypt of the dwarves. Behold!, the spirits of Baaltor's family were laid to rest, and the Stack erupted then in holy fire, setting a blaze that burns forever more, purifying the dwarven dead. Never will a dwarven corpse in that crypt suffer a unrestful spirit and all dwarves are glad. That moment had made an impression on the young Ironfyre and as he grew he dreamed of being like his King, roaming the wild and learning the ways of nature. So he spurned the calling of his clan, to farm the subterranean caverns to feed his people, and took the path of a King's Ranger. Vargnir had proved his mettle and made the cut. He had roamed the Darkwood, taken the long road to Durbin, sailed on the fantastic landships on the grasslands of the Plain of Betherelon, and earned the respect of his King, if not the respect of his clan. He knew that Chief Stonebeard admired his courage while his clan mates viewed him with scorn. He served his people and he was proud. So when called before the King, he was glad to take on his Lord's errand. He was to make his way south, past the Mounds of Morning, and return to the Plains. He was bidden to find an elf of the Moredhrel nation known as Killian, who High King Uthul watched with special interest. He was to assist and adventure with the dark elf and his companions, for the soothsayers of the elves had forseen dire threats that only Vargnir could assist the moredhrel with. He had followed the elf's trail for weeks now and knew he was close to Zarn, the ancient city of clay. If they had set camp like of late, he would overtake them tonight...
    Last edited by the_elder_snail; 06-25-2012 at 12:14 PM. Reason: typo

  4. #4
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    As Killian finished the last stroke of his whetstone against the ever so sharp blade of his rapier, thoughts of his father came to mind before his brother had even asked his question. "Brother, do you think father is still alive?". He looked up at the Last Star as it twinkled in the heavens, "You know brother, i feel like if father had passed on to the after life i would know,..... together we would know."

    Xareen understood what Killian had meant, their whole lives the connection between the twins was unique and powerful in it's own standing, as if they were one being with one heart, one mind, yet two separate souls. Killian was one to never really show emotion but inside he was happy, content, more relaxed then he had been in a long while, not since before his isolation and loneliness in the Northern Waste, the lands of the Ice Dragon.

    Killian had missed his brother very much in this time, for when together he felt safe and secure. Xareen had always been the smart one and while apart Killian longed to have his brothers knowledge at hand, his penchant for the arcane and the magical powers that flowed through him as it did their father. But they were together now and that was all that mattered, nothing was going to come between them and tear them apart. They were all each other had and that was enough for the both of them. Together they needed no one else which is why Killian, sitting here in the Plains of Betheleron beneath the twilight, was curious about the men they were waiting for. But it was Uthul's call, and Killian would never question anything that the high elf of the Eledhrel decided. So here the twins sat and they waited, for soon Uthul's call would be answered.
    Last edited by Vittorio the Red; 05-30-2012 at 06:58 PM.
    Vittorio the Red LN Nerakan Wizard 10/Wizard of High Sorcery Red Robe 10 (Bongs Dragonlance Tabletop RPG)
    Sharky Fishbait CN Kender Mariner 4/ Rogue 4 (Bongs SoS Dragonlance Forum Game)
    Anacoana NE Noordmarian Druid 7 (Bongs Cult of the Ebon Destroyer DLF Game)
    Vittorio the Grey LE Nerakan Wizard 6/ Fighter 1/ Knight of the Thorn 8 (Bongs Dragonlance RPG)

    "Let that be a lesson to us all" - Clearwing (Bongs table top Specter of Sorrows game after companion was devoured by dire lions)

  5. #5
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    "Yes, we would," Xareen agreed. Then Xareen's voice turned more crabby. "Yet he does not sit on the war council of Morengar. There, he deserves his place."

    There was a silence. It was true, the twins often thought as one, each with separate talents inherited from their father, but in two bodies. Sure, Xareen could use a sword, if pressed. All elves were taught skill with many weapons. But Xareen could never match Killian's strength and skill at swordplay. But it did not matter. He had his magic. Thus, Xareen carried no weapon, not even a dagger. What good was a dagger if you were frozen in place like ice, the tentacles crawling over your face, the fangs slipping into your skull...

    Killian knew what Xareen was getting at. His hunch was confirmed when Xareen spoke again.

    "Or perhaps....we do." Again, Xareen let the words linger in the night air. Killian understood his brother's lust for power. It conjured memories of the games they had played as young elves, impersonating the Ambassador of the Night Dragon, or the Commander of the Twilight Flight, or even the Head of the War Council himself. "Currently, no Sionnodel sits on the War Council."

    "You, brother, owe a debt to Uthul. You know I will help you settle this debt, my twin...." Finally, it began to dawn on Killian what Xareen was truly getting at. "But by doing Uthul's bidding do we not tarnish the Sionnodel family name? How will it look to House Mallorn? We are Moredhrel. The Eledhrel be damned to the Planes of Vheresehellabyssu." House Mallorn too. Xareen stroked Ruby's ears gently.
    Last edited by Bong Bellowsmoke; 05-30-2012 at 08:54 PM.
    The Red Condor shrieked at Sir Darvig in full wrath. Wings flapped storms of fire across the sky. "The Mage-God grows in power swifter than it appears to Paladine. This I know. A warning," Sargonnas told Darvigl, "for you to give to Paladine in your prayers."

    I will, Darvig uttered.

  6. #6
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    Xareens words struck a nerve. Killian didn't want to be one that did anyone's bidding, yet Killian was a soldier and soldiers followed orders so he was always doing someone else bidding.

    "You know brother your right, as usual. Yet i do not know what debt i owe Uthul, yes he let me live that day in the Darkwood, but i believe i answered his call once before when he sent me down the Path of Uthul into the Hell Plains. A debt i consider owed for that journey."

    It was true Killian had never been the same since his time in the Hell Plains and then awakening in the Northern Waste. The Blood of the Twins, Maehdros.... the titan, thoughts fluttered and memories flashed through the moredhrels mind. He wondered if Xareen knew of their lineage, the fact they were descendants of immortals.

    "I will not do anything to tarnish the Sionnodel name, i swear my life on it brother. Perhaps we should return to Morengar when this is done and see about that seat on the war council." Killians voice was stern, Xareen could sense the anger in his tone. But it wasn't directed at his twin, Xareen could see that he had stoked a fire within Killian, perhaps on purpose, perhaps not, but none the less those simple words made the Killian of old appear, the primal side of Killian that Xareen cherished to have by his side.
    Vittorio the Red LN Nerakan Wizard 10/Wizard of High Sorcery Red Robe 10 (Bongs Dragonlance Tabletop RPG)
    Sharky Fishbait CN Kender Mariner 4/ Rogue 4 (Bongs SoS Dragonlance Forum Game)
    Anacoana NE Noordmarian Druid 7 (Bongs Cult of the Ebon Destroyer DLF Game)
    Vittorio the Grey LE Nerakan Wizard 6/ Fighter 1/ Knight of the Thorn 8 (Bongs Dragonlance RPG)

    "Let that be a lesson to us all" - Clearwing (Bongs table top Specter of Sorrows game after companion was devoured by dire lions)

  7. #7
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    Foolish brother. "Whatever our next quest, word of it must not reach Morengar, or it jeopardizes all. The two we are to meet...when all is said and done, and the debt is paid..."

    Killian, his primal edge tapped (a favorite pastime of Xareen's), was now significantly stoked for Xareen's next planted seed.

    "...they must keep their mouths shut. One way, or another..."

    Xareen smiled as he could feel the heat of Killian's pacing heart. The wizard guessed that Killian was contemplating his next opportunity to do the thing he loved to do the most...kill. Xareen glanced down at his long, delicate fingers petting Ruby, noting a few of her red hairs had rubbed off on them. The conjurer stuffed them in his spell component pouch. Ruby panted her tongue and licked her jowls, whining in a sleepy yawn. But then her ears perked up as her little nostrils wiggled - sniffing something on the night air across the plains.

    "Who might they be, I wonder - the two we are to meet," Xareen continued calmly. "Do you know brother? Perhaps it is their scent that Ruby sniffs." Or some predator drawn to the campfire. Or a field mouse. Xareen cared little - he had a chill and was enjoying the comfort of the flames' heat. Reunited with his twin, and mad with power himself, Xareen feared little that might be stalking these plains at night.

    "There could be predators about, as well," he warned his brother, as if he needed to. Killian was always ready.
    The Red Condor shrieked at Sir Darvig in full wrath. Wings flapped storms of fire across the sky. "The Mage-God grows in power swifter than it appears to Paladine. This I know. A warning," Sargonnas told Darvigl, "for you to give to Paladine in your prayers."

    I will, Darvig uttered.

  8. #8
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    Vargnir's prediction was spot on, as it usually was regarding tracking of individuals or creatures, for he saw the glow from a campfire in the distance. Although he wasn't certain it was from those that he sought, he had a hunch that it was. And his hunches had served him well in the past. Unlike most other travelers who were normally drawn into the light and the comfort it afforded, he chose to observe from afar in darkness before he approached, verifying that the camp contained the ones his liege had sent him to assist. Feeling the evening breeze on his face, he calculated the flow of the wind, and trekked so that he was upwind of the encampment, which was an easy task for one trained in the ways of survival such as he was, and so as to not alert the others to his presence.

    Being more stealthy than most, he crept close enough to see two individuals sitting by the fire. Although he wasn't quite close enough to hear what was being said, he could tell that they were not overly concerned with threats that may have been lurking in the shadows. That was a good sign that he had found who he was searching for. Their confidence in their own safety reassured him that he had found the ones that he was sent to find. Rather than march out into the open and reveal his location, he chose to bide his time and continue his observation. He melded with the shadows, and waited patiently for the right time to introduce himself.

    OOC
    Stealth Check to approach unnoticed and observe: d20 (19) + 16 = 35
    If Vargnir is discovered, he will walk out as if he intended to be noticed!
    Last edited by Dorgyn Angylaxe; 05-30-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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  9. #9
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    "Don't worry brother. I understand."

    And that was all Killian said, all that needed to be said. At the mention of predators about Killian was sure of it, they were always about, no matter where you were. He looked out across the plains under the moonlight, the fighters senses where sharp but there was always something lurking with senses that where sharper.

    "I'll be close and ready"

    OOC:
    Perception check 1d20(15) +14=29
    Last edited by Vittorio the Red; 05-30-2012 at 09:30 PM.
    Vittorio the Red LN Nerakan Wizard 10/Wizard of High Sorcery Red Robe 10 (Bongs Dragonlance Tabletop RPG)
    Sharky Fishbait CN Kender Mariner 4/ Rogue 4 (Bongs SoS Dragonlance Forum Game)
    Anacoana NE Noordmarian Druid 7 (Bongs Cult of the Ebon Destroyer DLF Game)
    Vittorio the Grey LE Nerakan Wizard 6/ Fighter 1/ Knight of the Thorn 8 (Bongs Dragonlance RPG)

    "Let that be a lesson to us all" - Clearwing (Bongs table top Specter of Sorrows game after companion was devoured by dire lions)

  10. #10
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    Xareen noticed his twin's ears twitch. Or had he felt it? Xareen took a cursory glance around the moonlit plains, which was clear as daylight to elven eyes. But he noticed nothing except endless fields and so returned to staring into the fire, petting Ruby, who had perked as if she thought she smelled something, but decided she didn't, and hopped up into master's lap to be petted. She was too tired to go mouse chasing.

    OOC
    Xareen Perception: 19.
    Ruby Perception: 32.
    The Red Condor shrieked at Sir Darvig in full wrath. Wings flapped storms of fire across the sky. "The Mage-God grows in power swifter than it appears to Paladine. This I know. A warning," Sargonnas told Darvigl, "for you to give to Paladine in your prayers."

    I will, Darvig uttered.

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