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Karthan 07 - New Domain

 
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vampyre



Joined: 25 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:48 pm    Post subject: Karthan 07 - New Domain Reply with quote

This continues Kam and the new challenge that faces him at the citadel of Haradwain.
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vampyre



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:15 pm    Post subject: k701 Reply with quote

K701: 2Thardeth07 Nhurn/Haradwain

Kam quickly moves from his position near one of the gates and hides behind a stone wall as a patrol appears from around the outer palisade/wall and they move up to the gate and acknowledging the guards there move past him following the main dirt road into the farm lands that surrounded the hamlet. From his position he can see lights from the windows of the two storey farm houses, the fields near him holding cattle and deer, the nearest one, sitting on the ground just a few yards from him. The cow hastily gets to its feet as a number of others and move quickly away from him.
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Enigma



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Kam considers recruiting the group of followers that Venra originally spoke of. He leaves the outskirts of Nhurn and returns to the ruined citadel Harradwain. He ascends to the audience chamber and when he arrives he sees that candles have been lit and Venra is eating a meal. Invisible servants are attending his needs.

“Hello, been looking around have we?”

“Yes, I have. The hamlet is most interesting. They will be hosting a visit by a bishop in two days.”

“Hmmm ... it does happen,” Venra says. “It's probably in relation to the monthly festivals. This month it is a twin solstice. It's rather special. So the bishops are forced to leave the safety of their cities and visit the rural places in the countryside, with a rather large retinue attached.”

“They will be very rich, without a doubt.” Kam remarks to him. “Perhaps your group would be interested in a little recreation during the festival?”

Venra says “What? Outsidedrinking and women.”

“Yes. Perhaps some thievery amongst the celebration would do well to wash down the fine wine.”

“Ahhh ... you mean to increase our bounty?”

“Yes.”

“Wine does cost ... not necessarily the women. I did agree to introduce you to them. I can arrange that tomorrow night. We can go to a local inn of ill repute. It won't be in Nhurn though, it will be in Caskgill. The others have a camp in the forest near there, a pretty good setup.”

“That would be good. I look forward to meeting them. Tell me, are they all human?”

“Yeah, the last time I looked they were. Oh ... you mean are there some like you? Oh no ... we are all warm blooded. I dare say the bishop will be staying at Tilvarin Keep. It is ruled by the local lord who is himself a vassal so I dare say the Count of Tenours, who is his lord, will be there as well. I would advise that we go nowhere near the keep.”

“I am happy to see your group undertake their activity in the best way you see fit. After all, you have all clearly had good fortunate and the wits about you to stay concealed and prosper for such a long time. Tell me, is your group as old as you or younger? How long have you known them?”

“Now come on, what's age got to do with it? Some things you don't ask. Certainly not when it comes to women.”

Kam gets the definite sense that Venra is a thief.

“I was merely curious. It is always good to know how well one's new companions know each other.”

“Oh ... we go back about ten or so years.”

“So they knew the previous owner of this citadel?”

“Yeah, we sort of gathered around him.”

“Then clearly he was well supported by safe hands.”

“Yeah, you know, we did alright. He had the power sort of thing. We worked together pretty well as a team. Knew each other ... I was in charge of supply and entertainment. Pretty important job. Morale is always important.”

“Without a doubt. What else is happening in the local area? I have, for example, overheard that -”

One of the gargoyles enters the room, looks at Venra (who nods) and then it leaves. “Ahhh ... one of the group is arriving. So ... do you drink? Other than (laughs) you know.”

Kam regards Venra coldly. “Not so much,” he says. “Only if I absolutely have to.”

Venra pours a glass and hands it to Kam. “You have to,” he tells him. “Just one.”

“Of course, just one to be polite for the occasion.”

Venra smiles. “Now you're getting it,” he says.

A few minutes later a tall dark haired man with a moustache and goatee beard walks in. He wears black leathers and has a thin longsword in a scabbard. A number of knives are stored in his belt and behind him a black cloak swirls. He looks very neat, well attired and very stylish.

“Vallaios, enter and be seated!” Venra greets him. “Now this is my good friend ... well, how do you want to be introiduced.”

“I am Kam, a privileged guest of Venra's. I am new in these parts. It is good to meet you Vallaios.”

“Hail and well met, Kam.” Vallaios replies in a deep and well mannered voice. He sits and the unseen servants bring him a meal. “Excuse me for being so impolite, unintentionally of course, but one might perceive you to be similar in vein to our former benefactor?”

Venra leans across and says “Nicely put.”

Kam takes a sip from the wine glass and then lowers it. He looks at Vallaios and pleasantly remarks “I am indeed of a similar vein. I am exactly what you think I am.”

“In that case might I ask whether you found this place, or the gargoyles found you? It is about a sense of trust.”

“I found this place after observing the gargoyles attack an encampment. I looked to where they flew towards and here I am, after making the good company of Venra.”

“So from that one could assume that they led they way and you followed. You are still in one piece so they must approve of you so far. Are you passing through, or intending to take up residence here?”

“I must say that staying here is on my mind. I like this place. I like Venra and he has told me good things about your group. I think we could benefit each other. You know ... your skills and my power.”

“Indeed, that is the association we had with our former benefactor. There were – shall we say – a few simple rules. As long as you agree to them then I think we will get along famously.”

“What are the rules?” Kam asks.

“As i said, they are simple and I speak on behalf of our companions; first we look out for each other though each of us are – how should we say – bordering on a more cavalier and roguish lifestyle, none of us shall we say chaotic in nature and we work as a team. Second, the spoils are shared equally with 40% going to a fund to equip and maintain Harradwain. Thirdly, each of us has rooms here and privacy must be respected. Fourthly, anyone who betrays the group will be hunted and killed by ritual of a thousand cuts – I know how to do that, he says. And lastly, any undertakings we engage upon is planned and everyone has an equal word. You must remember that we have local knowledge that you do not. They are the rules. If you agree to them and prove your worth to us then we will accept you as our benefactor. And things can get back to what they were.”

“So ... those are the rules. Then naturally I do agree to them. Of course, I am surprised that you have not specified that I should not eat any members of the group? (laughs) -”

“(laughs) That is part of the trust factor ...” Venra tells him. “For us, trust is a big long word. Oh by the way our former benefactor said something like that to. But Vallaios does say that your needs must be planned and spread around the local hamlets and villages. You must not kill.”

Kam regards Venra and Vallaios sternly and he says “There is something further I must tell you and this is a matter of trust. I am more than the vampiric creature you see in front of you. There is another beast that is contained inside me. It is vicious and difficult to repress during appearances of ... a moon (Kam finds he cannot say the actual description of the moon as something prevents him) ... and it runs wild and free. I return to this form, but in that form I am dangerous and very different. You should know this because there will be occasions when I must be contained. Is there a strong and secure location in this citadel that could be used to do so?”

Venra has his head in his hands and says “Oh what have we let ourselves in for?”

Vallaios regards Kam with guarded respect. He says “This matter must be discussed before this night is out.” At this point all five gargoyles enter the room.
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vampyre



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:17 pm    Post subject: k702 Haradwain Reply with quote

K702: 2Thardeth07 Haradwain

The 5 large gargoyles regarded Kam grey eyes seemingly seeing through his deathless being, wings folded, horns honed and to a sharp pincer point.

“Allow me to introduce you.” Venra said standing up and gulping his wine. “Each of them have their station and their place here and we do not question their origins. Wistlarkh here is the Speaker and the only one who communicates with us. The Warrior is Kredelk and the leader we think of this umm…group. Maijhask is the Conjuror, Wenchak the Hunter and Roavhankh the Ranger…and that is them, the 5 who preside over this castle. As long as we do not do anything to compromise the castle…then we may go about our activities as we please.”

Quote:
Kam bows respectfully to each of the gargoyles in turn and acknowledges them by name directly. “I am honoured to meet you,” he says.


Wistlarkh regards Kam for a moment, his grey stone like eyes and two horns surmounted on his head flashes for a moment. “What purpose do you bring to our home?”
“As I understand it, I am to be your new benefactor. Similar in a sense to the former master of the citadel. I have made a agreement with Vallaios.”
“Yes, subject to your approval of course.” Vallaios adds graciously.
Wistlarkh “If you wish this honour then you shall have it…but it will be upon you to ensure that our home is never discovered throughout your time here, otherwise you will face the wrath of the five.”

Quote:
“Very well, I understand. Tell me how is it that the soldiers have not observed your recent attack and tracked you here as I did when I first saw you?”


Wistlarkh replies. “The human mind is frail and weak and we are able to make them see what they wish to see or what we wish them to see. The castle stands but if those around here do not know of its existence then they cannot see what they have no knowledge of.”
“Then did you wish for me to find you? I am convinced it was not an accident that I came to find this place.”
“No accident indeed…but do not think that by finding this place it is yours by right. There is one other here who found this place as you have done, but unlike you this other person has no need for your rather enterprising companions…he has other matters to pursue.”
“Have I met that person? Is it Venra?” Kam asks.
“Not likely.” Venra replies laughing.
“You have not met him.” Wistlarkh intones.
“And will I?” Kam asks. “I like to keep friends close.”
“Only if he deems it so.” Wistlarkh replies. “He too has honoured the sense of commitment to the castle and our need for continued secrecy.”
“Then that is good, I trust he will make himself known in true course.”
“That is for him to decide.” Wistlarkh informs and the 5 gargoyles leave the hall and return to the parapet.

“So there is another here…new to me.” Venra said.
“Not to me.” Vallaios adds. “I have met him briefly…he is a mage of some kind and was not happy that I disturbed him in the alchemy chamber.”
“Oh right…alchemy chamber, that might mean the lower levels may be in use again.” Venra says. “There are some rooms that are dedicated to the magical arts and the likes, the alchemy chamber been one of them.”
“Clearly a no go area one assumes.” Kam says.
Venra nods. “We avoid him…and he hopefully will avoid us…I wonder who arrived first…you or he? I wonder if the gargoyles aren’t up to something with this…you know two lords of the manor is one more lord than another would want.“

Quote:
“Well, I hardly believe that I am a lord of the manor – but then again, who am I to argue with others who assign me such a noble quality? Of course, I hold no ambition of control over this citadel. I am merely here … to serve … to find kindred spirits and a place that offers sanctuary.”

Venra asks “and have you found any kindred spirits?” as he tops up Kam's glass of wine.

“Of sorts,” Kam replies. “I have found you Venra and, of course, I have made the acquaintance of Vallaios also. I think together we will make a fine team, yourselves, your people and me.”

“We do have our own leader,” Venra tells him. “He will bring the others with him tomorrow.”

“Excellent! I look forward to that. It is good to be in such fine company. I think I'll get accustomed to this very easily.”

“What? Being a lord? Everyone wants to be a lord.”

“Not me … Venra … not me. I do not possess the necessary qualities.”

Vallaios says “You will have to offer us something for us to accept you.”

“Then all I have to offer is my undeath and the evil that permeates my entire soul. I am impatient and ravenous. I hunger to cause pain to the innocent, or at the very least I desire to make their lives very uncomfortable. As I said before, there is another beast contained inside me. If it gets free then you will find that is probably my greatest power and that strength is possibly the greatest gift that I can offer.”



“Then turn me loose upon them when I change and you will see the clear benefit of our arrangement. I will bring them down from their highest stations and make them bleed. They will suffer as they have never suffered before. I think you will be pleased.”


Vallaois addresses Kam. “If you wish to ravage the innocent then do so not in our presence. We are not here to bleed of the peasants for they have little to offer…our efforts are against the lords who deem to exist sitting on their wealth, power and influence. Myself and the others have experienced this over time and within the local demense there are lords presiding here that do not deserve their place nor station.”

Quote:
Kam retires to his private room and rest for the remainder of that night.

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vampyre



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:20 pm    Post subject: k703 Haradwain Reply with quote

K703: 2Thardeth08: Haradwain

Kam retires to his private chambers and rests for the night after Venra and Vallaios retire to enjoy a few drinks and catch up on news.

Kam awakens…feeling refreshed, thick red drapes covering the stained glass windows of his chamber. Going to the main hall he sees Venra and Vallaois and with them is another, a figure wearing dark blue robes with sigils and runes along the long sleeves of the ornate garment.
“Ah Kam…we found him…or rather he found us. This is Tar-Ritharkhe, a umm…mage at my guess.” Venra says.
The figure regards Kam and he could see deep mauve/blue eyes regarding him through the cowl…his face human with a silver beard, elderly in appearance.

Quote:
“I am pleased to meet to you, my name is Kam.”


Tar-Ritharkhe smiles. “Greetings one who walks in the twilight…my goddess is pleased to see such a presence that shadows both night and day.”

Quote:
“... yes … it is not just goddesses who are pleased to see me.” Kam says with a hint of a faint sarcastic smile. “Tell me Tar-Ritharkhe, what is the nature of the magic you study?”
“My magic matches the passion of my goddess.”

“So you study love?” Kam says, again with a smile but only more genuine this time as he is joking.


“Like you the day is hard to look upon when the sun is at it’s brightest, yet unlike you it is not for the reason of your weakness. For myself I have not seen the sun throughout my life until very recently…in my land, there is only but one goddess, she who is between day and night, the goddess of Twilight, Rikarthe.”
Vallaios jumps to his feet and removes his sword. “Impossible no one has ever left the Shadowlands…no one!!!!”
“OH no…you are bloody possessed.” Venra says moving quickly away from him, a dagger in his hand. “What the flaming demons do the gargoyles think of bringing you here.”
“I wonder indeed.” Tar-Ritharkhe smiles unmoved by the others reactions…seemingly mused by it.

Quote:
“Impressive,” Kam remarks. “I have never seen such fear or reaction at the mere mention of a name such as the one you have just offered. It makes no difference to me. Just know this – I accept you. Perhaps we can make great allies and provide great protection for Venra, Vallaios and their people … Vallaios, Venra … put your weapons down. If Tar-Ritharkhe meant you harm then he would have already given it. Listen to what he he tells us. I suspect it will be important … Tar-Ritharkhe, please, tell us more of your origins and reason for being here.”

Venra says “Look. You can't trust him. He's possessed. We don't know how many demons are inside him. No one has ever been to the Shadow Lands and no one ever leaves them. The place is cursed.”

“And yet the evidence before our eyes would tell you something different. If this man were cursed then we would already know it. He has chosen to reveal himself now and I suspect he has not done so lightly. The gargoyles themselves accepted him, so why not us?”

Vallaios says “I have been within sight of the border of the Shadow Lands and it is a place where it is perpetual twilight. People reside within those lands and it is accepted knowledge that each of them are possessed by the dead. And of course such possession is considered, rightfully so, evil. Venra is right – no one has gone in and no one has left. To enter is to risk the possession. I believe it is referred to as the Dark Union. So for this person to be here – and we don't even know if he is human – cannot be just coincidence.” He re-sheathes his sword and sits away with Venra.

Kam turns to Tar-Rikarthe and says “Is that a fair assessment they make? How is it that you came to be here if you cannot leave the Shadow Lands. Was it by the grace of your goddess and if so, for what purpose?”

He replies “The assessment is somewhat tarnished but is reasonably accurate. Those who reside within are not possessed but freely allow the spirits of the fallen to become part of the physical world through us. We are not truly isolated, though there is no trade. We have powerful astrologers that can and do communicate. I am here at the behest of my goddess as her representative in a historical event that is beginning to unfold. It is an event that has twicefold been touched by you.”

“I don't see what I have to do with that, there is nothing that I've done twice since I began my journey. Unless you are talking about my changing twice … or then again … are you talking about me and my … brother? Tell me what else you know. I want to know everything.” Kam demands.

Tar-Ritharkhe replies “It is none of what you speak of. What I have seen relates to two encounters, both related to the event that has begun to unfold. One encounter is at a location, a plaza, and the second in a cave where you killed a man.”

Kam thinks for a moment and recalls the events. He nods and then says “I think I remember. But I don't understand. Why are those events significant?”

“If you have not found the answer then you must look within yourself because it is there.”

Kam nods again. “Yes, I will think more on that.”

Tar-Ritharkhe nods and departs, leaving a confused Venra and Vallaios looking at Kam.

Kam merely shrugs, looks at the others and remarks “Our new friend appears to know me better than I know myself. Interesting.”

“So what's with this plaza and killing a man? What's it all about?”

“They are things I have done. Things that happened before I came here. They were things that were necessary at the time. I need to think more on this but all I can tell you is those are only two events that have shaped me.”

Vallaios says “Well he is here because of you and those two events. They must be related somehow.”

“indeed. The fact that he has told us this indicates he won't try anything stupid with me around. He has clearly been sent to follow me and report what I do. I'm not sure I am comfortable with that, but then it will have to do. I don't think he will bring any harm to you.”

Venra says “That's OK for you to say but if you really sort of started something then what makes you think we won't get swept up in it sometime. I mean, what did you start?”

“It's interesting you ask – actually I didn't start anything. I simply gatecrashed a party that had already started. If my actions are now influencing some great event then that's just how it will have to be. And anyway … it's too late. We already have an arrangement. Our verbal agreement. I'm with you guys and that's a fact. Perhaps you are supposed to be caught up in the event.”

Venra sighs “Oh, so spoken like a lord. I feel like cannon fodder already.”

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vampyre



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:51 pm    Post subject: k704 Haradwain Reply with quote

K704: 2Thardeth09: Haradwain

Venra informs Kam that Vallaios has summoned the rest of the group and will meet this evening. “In the meantime perhaps we can take a stroll…got a nice little location we can have a look at in a day or so. Vallaios reminded me of it yesterday and thought it might be a nice way for all of us to get to know one another…notably you and us of course.”

They leave Haradwain and traverse the rocky escarpment down to the base of the mist shrouded valley below Kam finding the going easy despite the difficulty and finding also Venra is quick and lithe on his feet. They move through the forested hills and after 3 hours Venra who is leading slows and they approach an area where the trees have died, an ashen gray in colour and the ground is covered in a gray powder, a thick mist of gray ahead of them. “I would say we are about a hundred yards or so from a mine entrance. Until I don’t know…20 years or so ago, silver was coming out of this mine to feed the local barons and lords who got rather fat on the profits. Then there was an accident…rumours say that they dug to deep and got what they deserved…it seemed the Imperial Court did not know of this mine otherwise of course they would have been paying the due taxes as true and honest nobility do. Anyway, they sent clerics and even paladins here to investigate and upon arriving found it like this. They entered the mine and investigated it…but other than a pervading evil that they detected they saw and encountered nothing. Oh…yes, there is still lots of silver in there just waiting to be taken out…all we need to do is well, deal with the evil as one might say. We could all get very rich on this…what do you think? Oh…don’t worry about the day or night thing we are comfortable in both…all of us have an item that can enable us to see at night like it was day…mightily handy as one might say.” He says with a smile. “I used my deft hand skills to gain them from a merchant…a box of 10…earmarked for a adventuring party…and in the end they did get to an adventuring party…just the wrong one.” He grins at that.

Quote:
“Is that your plan? To own and operate this mine one day? It certainly would be valuable but I can't imagaine settling down and getting your hands dirty.”

“We have that covered. We have a group of six Toradgh ready to go in there. Now they want 20% and we as a party are looking at 45% … you of course, get 25% and the rest goes into a fund to finance the mining.”

“25% for me? That's very generous.”

“Oh we are very generous people. All you have to do other than get rid of the evil that is in there, is to keep it evil afterward. Just frighten people away. You can do that can't you.”

“Yes I can...” Kam replies. There is a vague sense of death nearby. Not smell, more of a magical feel. The mine is located about 100' away and obscured. He elects to scout forward to observe the mine entrance.

As he moves forward the place becomes very quiet and Venra is close behind. Kam sees that Vebra is not leaving any tracks behind him while his own footfalls are leaving impressions in the dirt. Kam reaches a patch of mist and observes there is no odour. Moving forward, with restricted visibility (5'), he sees ganrled branches of a twisted tree and grasping a limb, finds it breaks away and crumbles in his hand. The mist swirls around and he finds he is on a path that is powdery underfoot, possible ash. But the trees themselves are not burnt or blackened.

The mine entrance is in gray rock at the foot of a hill, surrounded by dead underbrush. Before the mine are six buckets on thin rails and a low lying building. The rails lead into the mine entrance itself. 20' wide, 15' high.

Kam asks Venra “how long has this mine been here for?”

“We did some checking with a few bribes here and there. You know how it is. It was discovered about 200 years ago by the Baron of Tilvarin Keep. We believe that he and three other low ranking nobles have been illegally mining for their own good.” There is no sense of danger, there is an evil presence of unknown origin.

“And this Baron is still around these days?”

“Oh no … his grandson. He stills runs it along with another two.”

“So … it is still an active mine?”

“Oh no … they haven't worked here for twenty years, though they would like to. You see the thing is if we come here tomorrow, we might meet up with another group and if we scare them off we might convince them it is still haunted. Then the Baron will have to wait to try again. What we've heard, since the Baron is very very rich, he is very meager on his money and … shall we say … he doesn't employ the best. We have Vallios checking on that as we speak.””

“Great then shall we look a bit more closely at this place? Perhaps in that building first?”

Venra nods. Kam still senses no danger, only evil that is possibly watching.

The building is solid stone, 40' long and 20' wide with two sets of doors that open inward which are open. The rail splits and goes into the building which appears to contain storage bins that the rail carts get emptied into. At the bottom of each bin is a small 'room' which Venra points out is a levitation chamber. There is woman, the Grand Duchess of Zeray, that controls such power. And it makes her very powerful indeed.”

On one wall, on hooks, is clothing, tools, etc (mining equipment) for humans. About 30 sets.

“Shall we take a look inside the mine itself, see what is around. I can't sense anything dangerous.”
“So? Doesn;t mean to say its not here. And look at it this way. If you want to show yourself off then why not wait for the others? They won;t believe it if you only show your skills to me.”
“Then we'll get them and all go in together. Do you think you'll need the ming gear, or do you feel safe enough already?”
“Mining gear or armour? Which do you think is better?” Venra smiles. “Let's go.”


Kam senses that there is death about the place…not smell but more a feel…perhaps magical?
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