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Post  Malazek on Mon Aug 17, 2009 2:23 pm

Now that the campfire tales are buried so deep int the thread, I copying them here (so I can find them quicker, when I need them).

Vangg wrote:"Me be WoeVangg Rinh-Diijungghar, once son o' WoeGhar Diijungghar. Me lef' da Halls o' da Dwarves whence me's o' youngin'. Dey wants me follow Moradin, me follows da Queen."

Vangg sighs and continues, "Me lef', er ... har, me kickid outs fer followin's da Queen. Kickid outta da bedamned Dwarven 'alls me be. An' youngin', kickid outs fer not believeth der bedamned ways. An' strifemaker dey say me be. Kickid outs ... or me lef's ... whoso says. Me wind-ups stammerin' da woods fo' many o' times ... an' me stumbles inta da Cave Temple o' da Queen's! What be da fates?!"

Vangg's face appears saddened; he goes on, "... But da Caves be open an' bigs, an' da giants come an' destroy ... me ran outs da back an' nigh turn me eye 'round. Me saws da giants smushin' da priests an' me knows it be times ta flee. Me new family be slayed me thinks. But fer me's, me flee no more. If 'n hags, or trolls, or crows, or muckjumpers, or what-nots ... me sees dis ta da ends. Me shaketh death's boney hand if needs be's. Me be hag's supper or stews if needs be's. Me flee no more ..."

"... me stories's boring! What say ye, Alex? Ayrikai? Kardan? Davin? Straegis II? Agatha? What ye tale o' why ye heres? Or where's ye grew?"

Alex wrote:"I hail from Imil. Miles and miles away from here where not a single shoot grows in the spring and no tree's cloud the horizon. In the summer there are days when the sun never goes down, and the nights are short even in the coldest of winters.
Imil is a city made from the ice; sculpted and shaped by our magic into homes, shops, temple, walls, streets...everything"
He closes his eyes, and his hands shape invisible castle walls and battlements in the air as he describes them. "Yes. I can see it now, the huge tower in the centre, it's many rivers -We use them for transport- How I miss it." He opens his eyes and notices his waving hands have attracted some moisture from the air, he brushes them off.

"Imil is the last known home of the Ancient Tribe of Water Mages. To be a Water Mage you have to have the gift in your blood, you cannot just learn the art like so many ordinary Wizards. There used to be many more tribes, in the times of the two great empires: Dragonborn and Tiefling.

They're all gone now; or simply out of contact. And to make matters worse the magic is fading from our bloodlines. I am the last recorded birth with the ability to Bend the Water, and it seems that even the masters who are still capable are losing power. We are still numerous, but are giving birth to children without the magic, and the magic that we have seems tainted.

So, we send out scouts. Laving the more capable, but less learned Mage Soldiers to guard Imil, I and many others travel to different spots searching for any Water Benders in the community, a hidden water tribe, or a ruined Water Mage stronghold, in the hopes that we can learn sometihng about why the magic is failing our children and us. I came to the outskirts of the Malbog, where a small tribe of rustic Water Benders was supposed to have been, but...I found nothing.

I spent all the money I had -perhaps rather foolishly- getting here although I do believe some of it was stolen.

So, I took this contract because I need the money. Either the vast sum I will need to return to Imil and tell them of my failure, or an amount so that I can learn to perform a sending Ritual and await more instructions."
Alex looks into the fire utterly depressed with the doom that seems to face his people. But then he perks up a little.

"I am enjoying the adventure though, especially in the swamp; there is so much water here, it's almost like being at home, where the very ground is made of water.

Crossing the plains was terrible, in a short encounter with a wolf I had to take the water from the plants around me, and they don't hold much water either so many of them died. I dread the thought of being sent into the desert- I'll be utterly useless, there isn't even any moisture in the air. Still, perhaps it'd be nice to see more of the world, my journey so far has been pleasant and exciting.

See, I never really used my powers very much at home; perhaps that is why they are fading from out blood...all we ever use them for is fishing and building now, as battles are rarely fought. But here, in the wild, I can lash out with my Watery Powers regularly, the magic rushes through my blood more than it ever has in the drill yard.

Perhaps by the time I return I will know all of the techniques ever mastered!"

Alex stops his rather long ssoliloquy and listens intently to the stories of the others. Feeling rather lucky to be out here sitting in a disgusting swamp.

Kardan wrote:My name is Kardan Voellis , once protector of the Femdrell of the Eldworn Forest." Kardan cleans his spear and sharpens the blade as he goes on..."My elders always spoke of the Fey , of better and more magical times , i loved their stories and wondered what i was protecting there in the Forest. Finally my heart won me over and i left the village , looking for those stories of old , of better and more magical times.Most of my jobs have taken me on the Imperial March , a few have taken me a short distance into the Malbog to obtain herbs or chase off an encroaching Lizardman tribe , but now i go further , further into the stories of old. My mind is ablaze , my heart sings , and tomorrow takes me further into the tale."

Kardan digs a small hole in the ground and puts several embers from the fire into it , he covers it with the dirt and begins to unroll his bedroll over it.

"My Father told me i shamed the village by chasing such whims , but i say it is they that should be ashamed , to live such a mediocre exsistance. Their hearts shall never feel the pride of a battle won , nor relish in it under the starry night of the Malbog.

Kardan turns his head from the fire and goes to sleep.

Straegis II wrote:Straegis listens intently to everyone before beginning to speak, when it seems there is a lull in
the conversation he finally begins to talk. "I am Straegis the second, my father is Straegis the great general, since my youth I have trained to become a battlefield leader. I suspect there are many who assumed I'd someday continue my father's legacy and command our army."

Straegis pauses before saying, "Let's just say, they may not think the same of me now." He chuckles to himself before continuing "I think my own legacy may be different than the one that was chosen for me, one need not command an entire army to be a great leader."

Straegis sits down and seems to be calming himself before he says, "We can speak more of this later, but for now if I can just relax here...I don't require any sleep and after only a few hours of
meditation I will be fully refreshed."

Straegis says to the group, "If you like, I will gladly take watch for the entire night so that all of you may rest peacefully."

Davin wrote:“Ward yourselves this night, friends – it is not fortune that will find us in the Bog, unless that fortune is ill.”

He then takes a long drink from the strange smelling concoction Vangg brewed for him. A look of disgust crosses his face, until he washes the potion down with a swig from his mug.

“It is not far from here that my family lived and thrived – a rare thing in the Bog. Talthanin was the name of my people’s home. It means “gate-warders” in Elven, and that is what we were. As some of you know, the realm of the Fae boarders our own, and in some places, the two realms touch, allowing for a crossing. Talthanin was such a place – merely a village by Elven standards, but a village of men and women who managed to survive in this place, survive and do their duty.”

Seeing the fire begin to wane, Davin flips a log and adds more swamp brush from the pile drying nearby. Content as the fire leaps back up, he continues, his voice weak.

“I know not what came out of the Bog that dark night, I was just a lad, and my recollection of that time is hazy. I only know that whatever it was caught the people of Talthanin unawares and in the morning, Talthanin was a memory.”

“My mother managed to escape the slaughter, though terribly wounded. She managed to make it to the stead of an old woodsman on the edge of the Malbog who sometime visited and traded with the village. My mother didn’t last the night, and that woodsman raised me as his son. He died peacefully several years later, but not before teaching me his craft, and the ways of the surrounding environs.”

“I have hunted the area surrounding Brackwater for many leagues. I know not of any tribes of water wizards nearby, Alex, though I have heard stories of groups of water spirits that live deep in the Bog. It could be just tales, but, if true, mayhap these spirits are those you seek?”

Davin follows Kardan lead and buries some embers before rolling his bedding out.

"My thanks, Straegis; I think a good night’s sleep is what I need. As terrible as it tasted, I do believe your brew is making me feel better, Vangg. Goodnight.”

Davin falls asleep with his bow on his chest and his quiver next to him.

Verity wrote:Verity settles into a heavy wooden chair and props his elbows on the table.
“So you’d like to hear about my past year. Gods, but it feels longer. Seems an age since mum’s mum took sick with the Devouring. What to do when the family healer falls ill? Sure the village Clerics tried, but they were no better at curatives than Grandmum herself.
“I do miss her tales of the travels of her youth in service to the Queen. They held my attention as well as any imagined bard’s tale.
“Dark times it was as her condition became worse and worse. Still, when she sought a merciful death, I was mortified. Then when I found what it would cost me – well, I nearly fled to tell true. A years indenture. Slavery it seemed, and to a Goblin. Ha! It seems so selfish in hindsight. Looking back on it now I suspect the way she arranged her death was as much for me as for she. Intentional or not: The path it set me on, I shall never turn back.
“My life was much the same after I first left. I helped tend the crops that fed us. Occasionally Jugugg took me into Jura with him to haggle a good price for finished goods for the Temple. That is, until the Massacre there. Gods, if only we could have found the strength to fight them off, but there were so many…so many. Well, you know enough of what happened there; I’ll not burden you with more.
“After our escape we wandered about. Jugugg had a peculiar knack for avoiding Brackwater when he traveled with me but there were times he’d venture there alone. Part of the rules of my sevice I suppose. Mostly we stayed to the ‘Bog, continuing my tutelage and hunting the destroyers of our former home.
“Recently we met with some success. A week past we found the lair of the Bog Hag Mika and delivered her and her henchmen to the Queen. We rescued young Kalee there. Fine young lass she’s blossomed into to be sure. That was where my fate twined with my present companions as well. Fine company they are, stalwart and true the lot of them. Still I miss all of you. Vahng the dwarf as well: Even that surly Goblin Jugugg, wherever they may be.
“Much has happened in just the few days since then. We’d be up all night if I were to tell you: Davin Fletcher and the good lizard-folk of Garkondrak slew a Bog Hydra. We tricked a Dragon out of some of it’s horde. We’ve been assailed by Maor and dwarves until we arrived here and since.
“Most incredible, I was granted a most holy vision of the Queen. Still, I know not what her words mean, or I do and don’t yet realize, or perhaps I never will. I would tell you more of it, and will, when I know myself. It is to find the meaning to her words that I must go. Would that you all could join me, but of course the Empire needs you here.”
Verity removes the sword lashed to his pack. “Frater, take this. Father’s sword only went to me because I left first and had need; it is yours by right.”
“So what of the three of you? In the Grand Army less than a year and already officers of high rank? Surely there are stories there to be told, so tell.”

Last edited by Malazek on Thu Aug 20, 2009 9:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Backgrounds

Post  Malazek on Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:20 am

Mordax's tale expanded ...

Mordax wrote:Mordax sighs after a long pause, running his hand over his face in a tired gesture. Looking aged indeed, he says "I was a' Shadow Pass, tha's true. They called me hero, also true. The mos' true, though, is tha' I was'nae a hero, I was a butcher. Dozens o' men died by spear an' sword, noble an' lowborn, wi' tha' crimson stench all aboot me. When tha' red rage took hold o' me I was'nae man nor soldier any longer; I'd turned intae a ravening beast thirsty fer death an' carnage."

Pausing to take a swig of water from his waterskin, he continues "Tha' battle had raged all day, ye' ken, an' wi' tha' sun setting most o' oor officers were strewn aboot providing fodder fer tha' maggots. T'was going badly fer tha' Imperial forces, fer tha' Ritlanders were hell-bent on avenging their fallen leader, Ularic tha' Usurper, assassinated six years prior fer burning Edrian."

Staring at a point far beyond the party, the veteran gains speed "Tha' Winter o' Tears were actually six years lang, ye know. It ended at tha' pass o' shadows, after a' grueling campaign o' grinding genocide. It started wi' tha' battle o' Bloodpines, where tha' Ritlanders ambushed an' sacked thousands. Fraem there they poured intae tha' moorlands, an' in one night massacred hundreds o' Imperial citizens o' meager means an' wi' nae strategic value."

Mordax takes another swig and fondles the fearsome helm given as a gift, saying "E'en there, though, they might o' retreated tae their hames an' made peace. Instead, they attacked my ain folk at Caern Massor, slaughtering tha' clans in tha' dead o' night. Might no' a been sae bad, save they did it after acceptin' tha' gift o' succor, sacred tae my people."

"I was awa' a' tha' time, ye know, at tha' musterin' o' new troops tae face tha' menace." muses the fisherman.

Continuing, he says "When finally news reached us o' tha' Massacre o' Caern Massor, we set to at tha' double pace, force marchin' forty leagues an' moor each day. At Crimson River an' Fallen Stones we fell on tha' foe, routing tha' rabble an' sending them tae running. An' every day moor troops joined us, as tha' Empire inexorably assembled tha' might o' nations. Tha' Battle o' a Thousand Scars was a jolt and minor setback, as the Ritlanders outfoxed oor dilletante commander, but tha' was solved at tha' Battle o' Fallen Kings, after which tha' Commander Draxus Ferall 'isself took command."

"Pulling back an' regrouping, tha' Commander reorganized tha' lads an' waited fer tha' other twa' regiments tae join us, almost doubling oor numbers. Biding 'is time, we marched fer Shadow Pass when spies reported tha' Ritlanders marchin' tae tha' east in a bid fer tha' soft costal cities."

Admiring the fearsome helm in the gloom, the old warrior says"Tha' pass were tha' only crossin' fer leagues an' leagues, an' in tha' early mornin' was covered in such a' gloom tha' ye could hide an' army. Sae thats wha' tha' ol' dog did. We mustered in tha' dark an' waited wi' an order fer silence."

Placing the devilish helm atop his head, Mordax's eyes glow balefully as he intones "When tha' Ritlander scouts appeared we pounced on 'em like a plague, an' slaughtered 'em right quick. Only after their bloodied corpses were carried awa' tae tha' deep grasses did we realize what they were - Eldarin. Wonderin' aboot tha' portent o' tha' was'nae lang-lived, though, as tha' main body o' Ritlanders were soon between oor twa' forces."

"And sae we set on 'em wi' spear an' shield, an' laid intae tha' foe wi' a disciplined fury. Still, they were a mighty host, an' valiant fighters, an' soon regrouped intae a dense thicket o' spears. Charge after charge we led, fer hours upon hours, until finally they broke an' pressed 'em intae a collapsing mob o' flesh."

Pausing, Mordax says "An tha's when tha' Eldarin charged oor rear. Those stealthy bastards crept right up behind us an set intae oor flanks wi' fluid precision. Sensing tha' tide turning, tha' Ritlanders made a push, an' suddenly it were e'ry man fer 'imself."

"Mony hours later tha' battle were goin' badly fer us indeed, wi' most o' tha' senior commanders killed or dyin'. Tha' lads were goin' doon in groves, an' tha' sun were sinkin' o'er mounds o' fallen soldiers. An' then I saw tha' Commander's unit under attack by tha' Eldarin King an' 'is retinue.

"In a frenzy I laid aboot wi' blade an' fist, hewing my way through tha' battlefield tae tha' Commander's side. Wi' 'is 'ead bleedin' an' arrows piercing 'is battered armor, tha' Eldarin King stood o'er 'im tae take tha' killing blow."

"It ne'er landed. My spear I ran through 'is gullet, an' I pierced 'is throat fraem behind. Screaming in a blind fury I cast 'is broken body fraem tha' hilltop an' rained 'is guts 'pon 'is crestfallen retinue."

"As silence fell o'er tha' pass, tha' Eldarin gather'd their dead king an' fled tha' field. Sensing tha' battle done, tha' Ritlanders cast doon their weapons an' kneeled 'afore us, yielding untae us just as tha' sun fell behind tha' horizon."

"So tha's wha' I care tae say o' tha' Battle o' Shadow Pass. Call me no' tha' hero, but a savage butcher tha' slew tha' grandfather o' me own wife. Mony's tha' night I awake in a cold sweat, haunted by tha' ghosts o' tha' fateful day. 'An it turns oot 'twas tha' manipulatin' dwarves all along."

So saying, Mordax stumbles to a dark corner and quietly christens the fearsome helm in a bath of bile.
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