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Old 03-04-2012, 03:18 PM
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Arrow Inquisitives - Turn 6

Hawksley, Wireburn, and Anselm

[Round 3!]

23 Hawksley
Hawklsey, moving as the swordsman dropped one blade and drew another, darted over and struck from his flank. The swordsman curses as the rapier slides through a weak point in his armour.

17 Anselm
Anselm moved behind Wireburn and Hawksley going for Drago. He reaches for a wand on the table behind Hawksley and calls the command to activate it. Four Magic Missiles dart from the tip of the wand, streaking around Hawksley to strike Drago.
[Rh: 4d4 + 4: 2, 2, 3, 4 + 4 = 15 dmg! He’s down to his last point...]

12 Drago
Drago, still suffering from the effects of Hawksley’s telekinetic attack, reeled back from the impacting missiles. He was in a bad way, and the realisation was clearly written across his face; he was going to die.

With blood dribbling from his lips, the grim Karrn began casting a spell. If was going to die in such an undignified way, then he would take his enemies with him. Harsh syllables fell from his lips as he crushed sulpher and bat guano between his fingers. With a final gesture of defiance and fierce pride, he completed his spell and pointed weakly at the rafters above.

“I vill see you in Khyber!” he hissed.

A glowing bead of magical fire leap from his fingertip and struck the ceiling, blossoming into a roaring Fireball which engulfed nearly the whole lab!

[5d6: 6, 5, 5, 3, 4 = 23 fire dmg, Ref save for half.] [Rh: Anselm’s lab is 15’ x 30’, by the way. The Fireball spreads to fill the confines of the room. I hope his insurance is up to date...]

10 Wireburn
Sir Wireburn ducked down to avoid the blast, but had nowhere to go. The flames engulfed his form.
[Reflex save: Fireball (1d20 + 2): 5 + 2 = 7]

Hawksley was more fortunate, rolling away from the blast an instant before the flames washed over everything.
[Reflex Save (1d20 + 5): 19 + 5 = 24]

Likewise, Anselm dove for the floor under the table in an attempt to hide from the flames. His quick action prevented him from being completely bathed in the blast.
[Reflex Save (1d20 + 3): 18 + 3 = 21]

7 Swordsman
The swordsman saw it coming and didn’t flinch. He was dead before his body hit the floor.

[Hawksley’s Perception (1d20 + 15): 2 + 15 = 17]
[Wireburn’s Perception (1d20 + 5): 17 + 5 = 22]
[Anselm's Perception (1d20 + 8): 6 + 8 = 14]

Wireburn’s head snapped up as he noticed something out of the corner of his visual receptor units. Drago was on the move! He was moving gingerly, but not at all engulfed by flames, or even singed in the least. He was making for the door quickly.
[Drago’s Stealth (1d20 + 3): 15 + 3 = 18]

The warforged shook his head, and realisation dawned that they had been duped! The fireball wasn’t real! The flames and roaring and heat all faded from his senses, and he saw the room as it was before they fell for the illusion.
[Wireburn Willpower (1d20 + 4): 17 + 4 = 21]

Suddenly, without warning, Drago’s head snapped back, and he fell to the floor. An arrow had buried itself in the man’s head, right between his eyes...

[Response? Comments? Actions?]

Pessimism is just an ugly word for pattern recognition...

Necessity is the mother of moral reletivism...
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:21 PM
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Default Raena, Durion, June, and Mardu

The Safe Haven Orphanage wasn't difficult to locate. The modest doorway was clean and tidy, or as clean and tidy as anything in this miserable place could be.

Master Durion strode forward and knocked with authority. There was a short wait for the door to be answered.

“Can I help you?” asked the young bespectacled girl that opened the door. Durion hesitated, taken aback by the diminutive person before him.

“I hope you can,” said Raena politely as Altus lowered the boy from his shoulder. “We have a child here that we think came from Safe Haven. Do you know who this boy is?”

"By the Flame!" Olivette nearly wept as she knelt down and wrapped her arms tightly around the boy.

Mardu stuck his head back into the room and motioned June over.

“Guess who turned up,” he said with a wry grin. “Miss Mordaine and the elf. And they brought friends...”

“Friends?” June moved to peer past Mardu into the hallway. It was harder than it seemed with his bulk in the way, and she had to squeeze up against his side to peer past him. Of course, that made her all aware of him again and she had to pull her mind back to the matters at hand with a stern internal speaking to.

“Do you know them?” She looked out at the group in the doorway.

“I can hazard a guess that the kid is Master Durion’s ‘misplaced urchin’. I think he's one of the missing children, by her reaction. And I’d bet my badge that the big one is a paladin,” Mardu replied dryly. He folded his arms over his chest and remained quiet while Sister Sydower held the boy tightly...

Durion spied the two familiar faces across the entry; the blonde beauty and her half-orc body guard. The half-orc nodded politely to acknowledge the elf.

June moved forward to look at the boy. "Which child is it?" She murmured the question to the girl, looking closely at him. What was his place in this pattern?

Belatedly, she smiled up at Raena and the elf. "I think you found his right place."

"It's Rhysson!" Sister Sydower proclaimed, still holding tightly to the child. "What happened to him? Where's he been? By the Flame, are you okay Rhyss?"

The boy gave her a look that indicated he had no idea who she was, nor why she was holding so tightly to him.

"Unfortunately," Raena said gently, "the boy has no memories. He doesn't even know his own name..."

Olivette's face froze in horror. She held Rhysson at arm's length and stared at him openly. It looked as if she were about to cry.

"Why don't we bring this little party off the door step," Mardu said finally, motioning the others to come in. He helped Olivette stand and ushered her and the boy into the room where he and June had just been. Raena and Altus went in next, followed by Durion. It was a tight fit.

"I am Priestess Raena Mordaine, by the way. And this is Altus Cirrith, Hand of Dol Arrah, and Master Durion, of the 2nd Army," Raena told Olivette after the young girl settled onto the worn couch. "I see you've met Lady AuJeunotte and Mr Mardu already."

Olivette was too overcome with emotion to respond. She kept looking at Rhyss, looking for some sign of recognition, trying desperately to will him to remember.

June touched Olivette's shoulder gently. "He is here with you now, so there is time to help him remember. May I check him over. Perhaps I can find something to help."

Olivette looked up and nodded gratefully, too overcome with emotion to refuse. Raena cleared her throat to try and catch June's attention, but the sorceress didn't catch the cue.

June moved around the worn couch to kneel next to the child. "Hello there young man. May I take a look at you?" She held her hand out to him, looking at him intently.

Just before the boy took her hand, June felt a burning sensation on her hip, where her Dragonmark was. Rhysson's eyes rolled up into his head and he began to convulse violently. June felt it too, a strange overwhelming burst of energy coming from the Dragonmark on her side. It made her feel like shaking, her extremities twitching with pent up energy.

June's eyes glazed over and she felt the power of her Mark take hold. Every little thing in the room, every little detail came into sharp focus. Nothing was hidden from her senses, even though she wasn't searching for any one thing. It was as if her powers were suddenly amplified a hundredfold, and she couldn't make it stop! Pain lanced through her temples, and everything started to go out out of focus.

And that's when she saw the boy's mark on his back, through his clothes, through him, even though he faced her. It was an hideous thing, angry red and pulsing in a sickening manner. An aberrant Mark! And a powerful one at that...

Mardu pulled her away in an instant, holding her tightly as Olivette clutched at the boy, trying to calm him. He'd begun to cry. June felt tears streaming down her own face as well...

As the fog lifted, June could see everyone staring at her and Rhysson. Raena was being held back by the paladin's hand on her shoulder, and Durion had reached a hand across to the sword at his side, though it wasn't clear if he intended to draw it just then. Olivette was horrified, in nearly as much of a state as the boy...

“Somebody has tampered with the boy. His dragomark... it....” June stopped before she spoke of hers. She wasn’t certain yet if she wanted that to be public knowledge among this group.

“It seemed to amplify my abilities. I’m mageborn too, like he is.” She closed her eyes and leaned into Mardu for strength. “Overamplified. Poor child. Who did this to him?” Nobody seemed to have an answer.

Gods, she wished that the amplification of her dragonmark would let her find that thing.. the person who had done this to him. Olivette would have known if he had a dragonmark before he was kidnapped, and he hadn’t. Should she touch him again and focus that energy? Or would that be too much right now? Funny how she almost couldn’t open her eyes again. Perhaps after a little bit. Mardu felt nice and solid at her back.

Her body felt a little shaky, but her mind was racing. Did each of the other kidnapped children have some mageborn quality? Did they each have a dragon mark waiting to be forced to full, angry power? An army of controlled, overpowered mageborn. That could be a frightening thing.

Finally she opened her eyes, realizing she must have been silent longer than it seemed from the way everyone was staring at her and the child. She wiped the tears that still stained her cheeks and took a deep breath.

“I may be able to find who took him, I have a gift for finding things.. With the amplification... it may be easier. But I’m not certain that either he or I would be able to handle that right now. But they need to be stopped. Whoever did this.”

“I don’t think that’s such a good idea,” said both Mardu and Raena simultaneously. It would’ve been comical, were it not such a tense moment. They looked at each other, and the half-orc nodded to let the woman continue,

“That is, you didn’t see what you two looked like just then,” Raena said solemnly. “You both looked like you were in agony. Maybe Master Durion can research the mark on the boy and the implications it might have before anyone tries to use it. You didn’t even touch him yet and it did that. To you both...”

June nodded. “It felt a little like it did when the Draconic prophecy spoke to me earlier today. Like it was more powerful than I could handle for any length. Master Durion said he’s a magi. Yet it didn’t do it to him. Perhaps it responds to mageborn specifically.” She looked to Master Durion to guage his response.

Master Durion noticed his uniform cap and looked up at its brim with a quizzical air. He then removed it with a flourish and placed it under his left arm, clicking his heels and giving a short bow. "My Lady, I am not at all a ‘mageborn.’ I am an Elf. I am a Master Magus. I am known as ‘Durion,’ a name that should suffice for now. ‘Master Durion’ if you wish to be formal."

He paused. The effort of expressing himself in so many words exhausted him. Women, especially human women, with their short lifespans, befuddled him. "As for my opinion of what happened, it is apparent that there was an amplification of your power, dear girl. There have been a few documented accounts of Aberrant Dragonmarks that can amplify the magical ability of the bearer, but certainly not to the intensity we witnessed, and not another’s powers or abilities. Nor did it appear that the bo-- that Rhysson chose to activate his mark consciously. I have never encountered anything in my studies or travels that indicates marks being used without conscious thought and intent. Then again, this is definitely an Aberrant mark, so it doesn’t have to adhere to any specific rules.

“Common superstition is that aberrant marks are a taint on the soul--that the bearer of one of these marks will invariably fall ill or go mad,” Master Durion continued as he gripped the pommel of his sword tightly, seemingly lost in his train of thought. “Furthermore, aberrant marks can hold powers more dangerous than the pure marks. Between the stories of madness and the clear threat posed by these deadly marks, people tend to view the bearers of aberrant dragonmarks with a mix of fear and suspicion. These superstitions are of course, drawn from the past. Accounts of the War of the Mark make clear that there was a time when aberrant marks could channel powers far greater than the pure marks. Contemporary rumors of powerful aberrant dragonmarks arise from time to time, but no clear evidence supports this. Until now...”

Durion looked around the room, realising he’d gone on for a bit. He was definitely not used to talking at length. It made him thirsty, and he longed for a drink...
Pessimism is just an ugly word for pattern recognition...

Necessity is the mother of moral reletivism...
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:21 PM
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Default Raena, Durion, June, and Mardu - Continued

"I don't believe the boy had the mark when he was kidnapped." June looked to Olivette for confirmation; the priestess shook her head no. "Which means, somehow, someone has made this on him. Which seems to me a horrific thing. More terrible than just having an aberrant dragonmark."

She craned her neck to look up at the man she was leaning against, to see his reaction. "We need to stop that person."

"We will," Mardu agreed, though his immediate concern was obviously for June.

She glanced back at Master Durion. "And you have corroborated my hypothesis. Thank you. This particular one affects mageborn and not magus. I wonder if it's because Rhyss was mageborn himself?"

She sagged against Mardu a little and sighed. This was not a happy ending to the day. If, indeed, the day was ended.

Durion looked at the young woman anew, saw the steel in her sagging spine, and forgot his thirst. He considered the mission, their logistical chain, their order of battle. There was much to consider, not knowing who or what they faced. His left hand went to his sword hilt and he rubbed it thoughtfully.


“So...I still think it would be good for me to try to trace whoever took him, or where he came from. But... not tonight. And perhaps we should let the others looking for similar answers know that the stakes are raised.”

“We can find a messenger service and send word out,” Mardu suggested.

She looked over at the elf and smiled, albeit a bit wanly. It was nice to see him drawn out of himself a moment. Perhaps this investigation would be good for him.

"Master Durion, I'm glad you're here to consult on this matter. I do hope you will continue to aid us."

"I'm not sure about you trying that again, but we can think on it. Maybe we should call it a day for now though," Raena suggested, noticing how drained June looked and how Durion kept looking towards the door. "This would give us all some time to ponder the implications and think on what needs to be done. And I'm sure Sister Sydower would like to have some time to see to Rhysson. I can stay to help with that until the child is settled."

"We can see to that," Altus reminded her as he knelt to steady Olivette, who seemed on the verge of collapse herself from the stress. It was more than a little unusual for clergy of different faiths to work with one another, but neither Raena nor Altus were willing to turn their backs on the young priestess of the Silver Flame in a time of need.

"Right. Perhaps, Master Durion, we could meet up again tomorrow?" Raena suggested. "I know Lady June and Mr Mardu will be dropping by the office at ten bells in the morning. Maybe you could meet with us then." Altus was already helping the distraught Olivette to her feet. He took Rhysson in his arms and let the Sister lead him towards the boy's room.

"A messenger service would be great, Mardu." June smiled up at him. "I think this is our cue to finally have that dinner."

“As you wish,” he murmured as he helped June stand again. The half-orc was very gentle, letting her lean on him when she needed it.

Durion wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do for the moment. He had been left alone in the waiting area of the orphanage while the priestesses and paladin saw to the boy. While he waited, for it would simply be rude to just walk away without another word, he examined the room while pondering the events that just transpired.

The room itself was nothing special. The walls and floor were clean, but all the furniture was worn and used far beyond their original life expectancy. He was impressed with the care shown to the couch, as his eyes picked out the hand-stitched repairs and the mismatched foot that was carefully, if not exactly artistically, carved to match the others. The low table was pitted and scratched, but he noticed the fine craftsmanship that told him the piece was over a century old and would probably last a century more if cared for. Nothing went to waste in this place, he concluded. Admirable for the young girl to run things so efficiently.

As he mechanically observed the room, his mind replayed what he witnessed moments ago over and over. Of course it had been an over-amplification of power. There was no other explanation. He was not certain however, what power was being amplified in the mageborn woman; perhaps a divination spell, as the young woman seemed eager to try and locate whoever was responsible for the boy’s mark. Her reaction to almost being touched (he noticed their fingertips had actually not made contact at all) was alarming to say the least. It looked as if she had been struck by a powerful Shocking Grasp spell, or something to that effect. It must’ve hurt her very badly, as she seemed to clutch at her abdomen suddenly. And the boy had a similar reaction, with the exception on his aberrant mark suddenly glowing fiercely.

The boy, Rhysson, was a conundrum. The woman seemed to be convinced that someone inflicted the aberrant mark upon him. But from his recollection, marks followed bloodlines, tainted or not. No, he was certain the boy must’ve manifested the mark on his own. It would stand to reason that this was why he was kidnapped in the first place; someone must’ve known he had the mark and wanted to exploit it. Perhaps by enhancing potions to create a brute powerful enough to rip the door off a vault...

“Master Durion, you’re still here?” Raena said a little surprised as she came back into the waiting room. “I thought you would have gone home for the evening. Rhyss is settled in aslee--” Raena’s eyes flew open in sudden realisation.

Evening! Oh bother! We were supposed to meet with Mr Han at five bells! That was over an hour ago. We need to get back!” She called back down the hall to the paladin, ”Altus! We have to go!”

[Response? Comments? Actions?]

Pessimism is just an ugly word for pattern recognition...

Necessity is the mother of moral reletivism...
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:25 PM
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Default June and Mardu

June gladly partook of Mardu's support as they bid the others good evening. She took a moment to murmur to Raena the name of the inn she was at, in case of a need to contact her during the night.

And then, out into the fresh (or as fresh as it could be in this part of town) air of the night. June took a moment to breath deeply.

“I want to go to the highest part of the city. I want to see the whole pattern.”

Mardu looked at her skeptically, but did not dissuade her. “It will take us a while to reach Skyway. There’s a park up there that has an incredible view of the rest of the city.” He steered their course towards the lifts and further along towards a sky taxi platform.

“I know a great place we could go for that dinner, Junie,” Mardu said as they climbed aboard a small sky taxi. “The Azure Gateway. It’s in Skyway, and not too far from the place I mentioned to get a look at the city.”

“That sounds wonderful.” She said as she smiled and then leaned against him with her eyes closed for a moment. She was asleep in a matter of seconds...

Mardu let her rest as they made their way to the floating city above the city. Skyway was its own little world among the clouds, suspended above the rest of Sharn by long forgotten magics linked to the manifest zone of Syrannia. Sharn’s fabulously wealthy and elite lived there, some never having set foot on the stones of the city below their entire lives, preferring to live above the rest of the world. Tourists flocked to the floating part of the city to get an incredible view of Sharn and the surrounding area. There were several skycoaches that made regular trips to and from Skyway, but the taxi, though more expensive, was more quiet and suited their needs.

Skyway was divided into two districts; Brilliant to the north and Azure to the south. Brilliant was positioned over the Central Plateau, while Azure hovered above the Menthis Plateau. Both areas were awash in colourful gardens, incredible mansions, and exclusive shops that could not be found anywhere else in the world. In some places, the clouds themselves were shaped, like fluffy white topiaries, forming
fanciful animals and figures.

The Azure Gateway had its own platform for coaches and taxis, as well as an area for other, more exotic forms of transportation. June woke just in time to see a trio of gryphons land to deliver their riders to the restaurant. A giant owl watched their taxi find a berth, giving the sorceress a slight chill down her spine.

The restaurant was a truly beautiful sight, with large windows offering incredible views of the floating city and glimpses of Sharn’s towers below. The interior was tastefully decorated, with clusters of semi-private booths around the wide dining areas. The aromas of roasted meats, fine wines, and exquisite desserts made both June and Mardu realise how long it had been since lunch.

Mardu negotiated with the maitre d’, a half-elf that was all smiles. The two had a brief conversation and shook hands, and June was fairly certain some money was exchanged in order to secure a table ahead of the rest of the waiting guests. The half-elf showed the couple to a booth that offered a stunning view of Cloudpool Park before bowing his way out of sight.

“So, alone at last,” Mardu said. Not that the entire trip on the taxi wasn’t secluded. But Junie had slept though most of that, and he was content to let her do so. She seemed a little more awake and attentive now.

She glanced up at him, hesitantly. The awkwardness following the kiss coming back to float between them. “Alone is good.”

Mardu glanced around nervously. For a moment, he was half expecting someone to intrude on their moment alone, or some catastrophe to strike. No, that was the past, he told himself. This is here, and now.

“Junie, I know this has been a very long and trying day,” he said as he reached for her hands. They seemed so small and fragile in his own, but he knew she was much tougher than she looked. “I just want you to know how truly happy I am to see you. I’m glad I went looking for you today...”

Her face took on a serious cast. “I am too. Every day for three years I’ve wondered what happened to you. Were you alive, dead, locked up, unhappy, happy... did you forget about me....” She blushed a little at that last unspoken fear that had come out.

“I never stopped thinking about you,” he admitted, squeezing her hands gently. “Three years is a long time, but we’re together now. Let’s make the most of it and not worry about what happened then, okay?”

Her face brightened and her eyes flew to his face hopefully. “I like that idea.”

A waiter came to take their orders and left quietly again. Delicious food that neither recalled ordering arrived, and they ate in comfortable silence. Someone poured wine, then another. But none of that really mattered to the couple, lost in their own companionship. Though they hardly spoke a word, every glance, every caress of their fingertips spoke volumes. They had waited three years to reach this moment, and there was little need to waste any of their time together on words...

With their meal finished, the two enjoyed each other’s company in the cozy booth looking out over Skyway and Sharn below. Mardu slid over next to June and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, and she snuggled into his embrace. He felt less tense than he had earlier, more at ease and at peace now.

“Stay with me tonight.” She didn’t look at him when she asked. So he could feel free to say no..

“Junie, I...” he began, then laid his free hand over hers. It took him a moment to continue, and June tensed up in those few agonising seconds. “I...I would like that. Thank you.”

She let out the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. And then a giggle escaped her. “Still no sword fights.”

“That’s because I haven’t kissed you yet,” he said as he moved around to do just that...

The kiss was gentle and tender and sweet, and neither wanted it to end. Mardu could feel June tensing up afterward, and he made her giggle again when he swivelled his eyes around to seek out any threats or danger, his jaw set with determination and resolve.

“Nope. Nothing. I think we’re in the clear,” he said smiling at her.

Despite all that, they both jumped when a waiter bearing their check cleared his throat. Then they both started laughing...

“Ok, lets get this over with so we can relax.” She glanced at him from beneath her lashes. “Well, perhaps relax is the wrong word.”

Mardu stared openly at her for a second, his reaction to her words was almost comical as June realised what she’d just said.

“OH! I meant looking at the city. The pattern.” She flushed bright red. “The other I... ur... “

“Riiiiiight,” he said in an hauntingly familiar way. She remembered the first time she heard him say that, just outside her rooms in Zarash’ak. She never imagined he’d smile in quite that way when he said it.

Mardu settled up their tab and offered his hand to June so they could be on their way. Neither was really in a hurry, and they lingered over the view for a while as they strolled through the restaurant. Then it was out into the night air...

Near the center of Skyway, where Azure and Brilliant met, Cloudpool Park stood as a testimony to the fantastic power of magic. Wispy cloudstuff was shaped throughout the park to resemble exquisitely detailed trees, whose leaves rustled in the ever-present breeze. The cloudscape rolled in gentle hills, forming beautiful lawns where the residents of Skyway could enjoy picnics and long walks. At the center of the park waited a large “pool” of crystal-clear ice that afforded a spectacular view of the city below to those brave enough to stand on it or peer over the edge. It was to this place that Mardu led June...

“OH!” she exclaimed as she moved to the edge of the pool. Her eyes shining, she smiled at him, but then became lost in the vista. Moving without thought to the center of the transparent height that would normally have left her shaking in fear.

She’d never had such a grand view of the scope of things. The patterns of this place full and twisting and alive.

Sharn spread out below her in all its glory. The towers below seemed so fragile and delicate from this height, and June could just make out the patterns of the city itself, the streets and roads far below that wound around the bases of these incredible edifices, the bridges and walkways that spanned the spaces between, and the winding and twisting shapes of the towers themselves. She could make out the House Cannith Enclave tower, its apex shaped to resemble the head of a bull, lit up from below with cleverly placed glowstones and reflectors. This was but one point among hundreds, no, thousands along the pattern that began to unfurl before her eyes.

The lines of the towers, the shadows, the walkways, and even the people, as tiny as they seemed from this dizzying height, started to coalesce into a grand and sweeping pattern, the likes of which the sorceress had never encountered in her entire life. This was the city’s pattern, its life and story unfolding before her. This was Sharn, in its glory and grand presence; Sharn as part of more than just the culture, but as a part of the fabric of existence. And it was drawn out like lines in the sand, like cracks in the stones, like the wind through the trees. All of it flowed with a life of its own, tugging at June’s senses.
Pessimism is just an ugly word for pattern recognition...

Necessity is the mother of moral reletivism...
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:25 PM
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Default June and Mardu - Continued

Far to the northwest, where she could only guess was where they had come from in Greyflood, a point of light shone where June knew there was none. It pulsed and throbbed arrhythmically, almost at odds with the rest of the pattern, except that it was a part of it. June could feel the power from even this far away, the mark that Rhysson bore on his shoulder making itself known to be a part of the ‘larger picture’.

Beyond Cliffside, the Dagger River rolled out of view, dark and mysterious. It too flowed into the pattern, shaping it in June’s mind. It drew her attention to an even larger movement of shapes and colours. Beyond the city, the pattern continued on, rolling across the landscape and out of sight. The shape of the clouds over what she could see of the horizon weren’t the end of it either; the pattern went far beyond anything she had imagined it could be.

Tiny movements almost directly below caught at June’s attention, drawing her back into the detailed parts of the prophetic vision before her; small glowing sparks caught out of the corners of her eyes. Here and there, a few were grouped together, others drifted apart and alone, swept along the curve of a bridge, or the shadows of a passing skycoach. It took her a moment to realise that these motes of light, these sparks, were people. Not just any people, either; they were important to the prophecy!

June tried to focus in on one group, a cluster of three together that burned brightly somewhere in the Central Plateau. One glowed fiercely silver-white, while another was golden-yellow, and the third was a mix of many colours all bound together. The pattern moved around them, seemingly sweeping them together, keeping them from drifting apart. Another spark, cold and red seemed to move towards those three from a distance. June tried to focus on that one, to see its place, but felt her energy beginning to dwindle. She could almost make it out, alone, out on an edge of a tower, teetering on a wisp of wind. She stretched her senses to see it, willing herself forward. The pattern seemed to be important here, but she couldn’t bring it into context. It was starting to unravel before her eyes, even though she was desperate to hold on...

Someone pulled the frozen lake out from under June’s feet.

She felt herself falling, and for one horrifying second, she thought she had fallen through the ice and was plummeting towards the spires below. She felt the wind on her cheek and she instinctively curled herself up so she wouldn’t be torn apart on the towers as they reached up to pierce her...

“JUNIE!” Strong hands wrapped around her shoulders, and she could feel her body being lifted. When did Mardu learn how to fly?! Everything seemed to be whirling around in her head, and she felt faint...

“It’s okay, Junie, I’ve got you,” Mardu said as he settled her shivering form onto a bench at the lake’s edge. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have let you push yourself. I should’ve made you wait...” Funny, June thought, she’d never heard Mardu sound so fragile before.

“It’s ok. I’ll keep you safe.” She murmured a little oddly, considering she was the one on the bench shivering. Her eyes closed, but she forced them open again.

“We need to help them. There is something coming.” She gestured to where the three lights had been. “Hawksley, Wireburn, Anselm...they don’t know.”

“What are you talking about?” Mardu asked incredulously. He had half expected her to pass out after what he just saw. The last time she let herself go while looking at the prophecy, she collapsed, and it looked like she was about to do so again.

“I saw it. Something. I don’t think it’s of this world. It’s heading towards them. From that tower.” She sat upright. “That tower! What tower is that?”

Mardu followed the line of her arms where she pointed.

“That’s the Citadel, Junie. That’s the seat of Sharn’s military, where the Brelish Army headquarters is.” He shook his head.

“What did you see, Junie? What did it look like?”

“This far, they look like lights. It is red. Like an angry light. Moving towards them. It appeared, like it was summoned, or came from somewhere else.” She lifted her hand to grip his arm weakly. “We need to hurry.”

“And from here, we can’t do a whole lot to warn them, Junie.” Mardu steadied her so she could sit up. “I believe you, but I don’t think we can find them to warn them if there’s something that’s been summoned that is threatening them. We don’t even know where thy are right now.”

“They are right there.” she pointed to the dark place where she’d seen their light...and then the dark place called her and she went there...

Mardu cradled her close making sure shew as still breathing. Satisfied she was only sleeping, he looked to where she had pointed last. All he saw were the towers dotted with lights, and the deep shadows of night. Then he saw it; a blossom of orange light flaring out of the side of a tower. Had that been what June was talking about?

The half-orc scooped up her still form and carried her all the way back to the Grey Dragon Inn...


June stood in the centre of a magnificent map of Khorvaire. All around her, as far as she could see, the map stretched out in the distance. She stood over Sharn, he feet straddling wither side of the Dagger River. She saw the patterns in the map, winding and twisting, gently curving with the terrain. She’d seen marks like these in the books she studied as a child. Some of the pattern revealed itself as spirals or a series of curved lines; other times, it showed up as straight lines overlapping and intersecting with other shapes and forms. They resembled the Dragonmarks, but were sometimes more elaborate, and other times more simplistic.

She had seen the weave of the prophecy reveal itself in many ways before, but she never would have thought it stretched out across the whole of the continent like this! The mountains, rivers, valleys, and forests were all a part of the it! Breland, Karrnath, the Eldeen Reaches, Aundair, Thrane, all of the countries! Even what was once proud Cyre was a part of the pattern. And it all unfurled itself before June’s wondering eyes.

The sorceress willed her senses to take in as much as possible. She had to know what it all meant. She had to find the centre. She focused her will to find it, to know where to look. There, beyond her line of sight, beyond the borders of Breland and Thrane; it seemed to be centering there. But she was too far away to see exactly where that was. It was massive, whatever it was. She could feel it all around her. It was bigger than she had ever imagined it could possibly be.

And she felt...a presence. There was someone at the centre of all of this. She was sure of it!

She began to move forward, running, trying to reach the centre. Strong hands grappled with her, held her back, and she fought against them. But she was tired, and weak still; channeling her gift always seemed to drain her energy. The hands held tightly, and drew her back. June struggled even more, hitting and kicking, anything to get away so she could see the rest of the pattern. She swung her fists blindly, flailing about in her desperate flight.

Her hand connected with something solid, and she yelped in pain. The grasping hands released her, and she began to fall...

“Junie!” Mardu called out. His voice sounded so far away to her. She struggled to find him, and she felt like she was at the bottom of a lake, swimming towards the surface. Yes, that was it! Mardu was at the surface! She had to swim...

“Mardu!” she gasped as she broke the surface. The light of day was almost blinding to her. She was exhausted, and wanted to just slide back into the depths again to rest...

“Junie, wake up. Come on,” Mardu urged, his voice soft and soothing. “You were having a nightmare. It’s okay now, everything is fine. You’re safe.”

June sat up in bed, the sheets in total disarray. She was in her room in the Grey Dragon. And Mardu was perched at the edge of the bed. His left eye was starting to swell shut...

[Response? Comments? Actions?]

Pessimism is just an ugly word for pattern recognition...

Necessity is the mother of moral reletivism...
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:26 PM
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Default Han

[Round 3!]

18 Han
Never one for a fair fight, Han rolled past his opponent to come behind him.

Once behind the man, he stabbed him in the back, but missed his opponent, his armor turning the blow.

15 Glasses guy
The human spun on his heel and thrust with his blade. Han managed to pivot at the last second, and the shortsword missed him by a hair.

14 Shae
Shae found herself standing next to the blonde half-elf/changeling. With a grin, she hefted her dagger and launched it at their common foe. The dagger struck the man in the shoulder, splitting his armour and drawing blood.

“Stop!” someone shouted with authority behind them. “Drop your weapons and surrender to the Watch!” Two men in breastplates and helmets had just arrived. Each man was wielding an iron-shod night stick, held at the ready.

[Round 4!]

18 Han
Han tripped and fell in surprise at the folks behind him in his escape attempt to roll past the bad guy. His opponent reached out and landed a vicious punch in Han's midsection before he even landed on the ground.

15 Glasses guy
"Gotcha now, changeling!" growled the man with the odd glasses as he laid the point of his shortsword at Han's neck. "Grab the girl! Don't let her get away! I think Trask is hurt pretty bad!"

It took Han a second to realise the man was talking to the Watchmen that just arrived.

14 Shae
"Sorry. Darlin," Shae said to Han before turning and leaping over the side of the terrace. Someone in the crowd screamed as it seemed the dark-haired half-elf had chosen suicide over capture by the Watch.

10 The Watch
One of the Watchmen ran to the balustrade to see what happened to the girl, while the other came over to help the man standing over Han. Without warning, a booted foot caught Han in the ribs, sending waves of pain and nausea washing through him.

"That was for Trask," snarled the Watchman as he put a knee in the small of Han's back with his full weight to keep the changeling from escaping.

Han was in a tight spot. He was pretty sure he had been in tighter ones, but he was a bit hard pressed to think of one at the moment. After the small knee to the back, Han put on his best female smile and looked over his/her shoulder and purred in his best sultry voice “Hmmmm, this position reminds me of last night with my lover. You do it just like him.”

It worked. The watchman gaped at the comment, letting his guard down for a fraction of a second. Han shifted his weight to the right throwing off the Watchmen before rolling to his feet and taking off at a run down the alley away from his captors, gritting his teeth from the inevitable attacks on his way out....

The stunned Watchman swung his night stick at the fleeing figure, but only managed to strike the flagstones. With a muttered curse at his lapse, he lept to his feet and gave chase. Unfortunately for him, his failed attack cost him just enough to allow Han to widen the gap and make his escape.

A few bystanders attempted to slow the fleeing half-elf, but it was only half-hearted and Han was able to break through without slowing much.

Han ran off, dodging down various streets, changing looks a couple times every time he thought he wasn't being observed. He eventually slowed down to a walk, settling on the look of a male dwarf. Once he thought he was safe enough, he ripped the bottom of his shirt to bind his stab wound.

Once he thought he'd pretty much lost and confused the watch, he slowly made his way to the Broken Anvil for a drink and see if any rumors or gossip had come down. Talk in the tavern was low-key, mostly about day to day things. But there was conversation about the watchman that was killed a few blocks away. Apparently, some changelings they were after managed to outsmart them and dusted one in a street fight. It seemed the watch was out for blood, now that one of their own was killed in the line of duty. Not a good day to be a changeling on the wrong side of the law in Sharn...

Han finished off his drink and then headed off to his loft for some rest. He had a meeting with Raena later, and he definitely needed to recuperate. Maybe he could ask the priestess to heal him up, if his luck held up. And he had this whole business with Shae to think about. What a day...

Han thought about looking discreetly into Shae’s ‘suicide’ off the side of the terrace. Tower-diving wasn't often fatal in Sharn thanks to readily available Feather Fall Tokens and good samaritans that would cast the spell on falling people (quite often for the reward from the city). Han's gut instinct told him that she survived somehow.

After a couple of drinks, Han headed back to his place to rest and recover from his beating. Its had been a long, exciting day.


Han woke with a start. A quick glance through the curtain told him it was well after nightfall. He was supposed to meet with Raena at five bells this afternoon! How long ago was that? With everything that had happened, he had completely forgotten! The wound in his side throbbed, reminding him why he had forgotten.

With a quick check to make sure his wound was still bound tightly, Han put on some fresh clothes and headed to Keldoran’s office to see if he could catch up with the priestess.

[Rh: My mistake, I forgot that he was supposed to meet with Raena that same day. (I’ve carried that over so that Raena has likewise forgotten and is on her way back to the office now.) They should arrive relatively at the same time. It is now about half past six bells in the evening.]
Pessimism is just an ugly word for pattern recognition...

Necessity is the mother of moral reletivism...
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