Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Brand
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Artur

Glimmers of light bounce off the sandstone crypt walls as a small mass of fire dances in Artur's hand. Ancient hieroglyphs line the face of the walls, fractured and worn by time, but they speak of a safe passage to the afterlife and of a great plague that had ravaged Kaine back when flesh and blood still covered his bones, a plague which had swept countless souls through the doors of death. The crypts were a labyrinth of hallways and dead-ends designed to protect the deceased from looters and robbers. None-the-less the necromancer and his cohort had found their way into the burial chambers to rise the once deceased, to what end remained elusive. Nothing was as he remembered, corridors and pathways exist where once there were none. It was nearly overwhelming but as he wandered the halls he discovered a pattern in the hieroglyphs, a repeating arrangement of pictographs imprinted on the corners of every other hallway; a ciphered map of the tomb. The map, curiosity, and memory lead him to the heart of the crypt and through a narrow archway leading to a massive chamber lined with the carved statues of the Kaininite pantheon of gods. The pristine marble tiles on the floor emitted a feint, strange blue glow and above him the ceiling was impossibly black. Or rather there is no ceiling but instead a swirling mass of darkness that heaved and fluctuated like some strange liquid. Artur knew this room, when he had been alive it had been a gateway for the priests of Kaine to travel to other planes of existence. A sacred place meant for the highest acolytes of faith to commune with gods and otherworldly beings. The gateway required a handful of powerful sorcerers to use and even then all who knew the mechanics behind operating such a magical marvel were long since dead, all save him who now walks in undeath. Perhaps using him to open this gate was the intention of the necromancer.

Even here in this most sacred room, warded against the ravages of time, things were different. He could remember seeing the stars and all the heavenly bodies of the celestial kingdoms shine above him, like looking into the night sky. Now there was only a sickly darkness and a sense of fear creeping up his spine. Feint whispers surrounded him and the flame light in his hand whimpered as a protrusion began to buldge from the center of the inky void. The imprint of a massive skull emerged, spanning nearly the entire surface of the room. Its voidless sockets stared into his soul as the mass of darkness lurched slowly forward, stretching the black liquid tightly like an entity trying to break through a thin elastic barrier. It's mouth opened and in a deep tone it bellowed out in a foreign tongue. Its words shook the room and dust fell loose from the walls, he could feel the reverberation in his bones. The whispers which surrounded him grew to a maddening pitch and if he had eardrums by now they would surely be bleeding. Then as quickly as it happened the giant skull receded, the whispers faded, and the black liquid returned to its original form. He could hear his name spoken softly on the other side of the blackness, then all was silent. The air was filled with an eerie stillness and an uneasy feeling that something was still watching from the other side of the sickly liquid. Perhaps it was time to leave.

Othuoy

Othuoy's curiosity to see the unknown had led him to many dangerous places, but perhaps none more dangerous than this. A solo, grand expedition funded by his loyal friend Orla had brought him to a coastal city in Valeal where he had originally intended to travel on horse to Oslo, the capital city. There he had intended to seek entry to the Library of Ages, the grandest collection of knowledge throughout any of the human kingdoms, some say the greatest in any of the mortal empires. While entry is strictly regulated his connection with the noblewoman Lafayette secured him a rite of entry, but during his travel a more intriguing journey crossed his path. He met a loony captain, a madman daring to sail through the Sea of Storms to the House of the Fallen God. An Island far off the coastal shores surrounded by an ever-churning storm. Few men have ever dared sail into the maelstrom and even fewer returned. Those few who had told tales of a great jungle, a primative civilization, and a land where magic was stronger than anywhere else in the world. Those who believed in the faith of the Brother Gods, Euros and Meros, believed it was the physical location where Euros fell to the Earth and his impact caused such a quake that now the nearby seas are ever restless, still swirling from the god's impact. Perhaps he underestimated the tales of danger or just allowed curiosity to overrule judgment, because soon after he had sought passage on this mad man's vessel. Now he found himself on this great voyage. Maybe he had also overestimated his ability to hide in plain sight, for it wasn't long into the journey that his true identity as a gargoyle was discovered. At first, the crew was intent on throwing him overboard but Othuoy managed to talk his way out and convince them that whatever threats they may face on the mythical island would surely be more favorable to them if they had a gargoyle in their ranks, begrudgingly they agreed.

Now, four weeks into the voyage the Sea of Storms was in sight. The horizon was dark, blacker than any storm he had seen in his life. Cracks of lightning shot down and struck the water and the wind began to grow to such a frenzy you had to shout to speak. The waves grew in such height and ferocity he thought surely they could not possibly get higher, but as each wave wrecked itself against the bow of the ship in a furious attempt to capsize the vessel, the succeeding wave was even larger still. The sternman struggled to keep the ship straight and in one slipup it nearly cost everyone their lives. The ship turned to expose it's side to a coming wave, and when the wave swept the ship up it slowly began to flip the craft over as the crew fought for their lives to keep the ship from overturning. The deck was titled to an incredibly steep angle and a rope harness which had tied Othuoy to the ship kept him safe, but a few other of the crew were not so lucky. One man's harness had come undone and as the ship rocked he shrieked and slid across the deck knocking into another man and sending them both crashing through the rails. In an explosion of splintered wood they both went overboard. One of the men still had a rope connecting him to the boat and it snapped tight as he went into the water, now being dragged through the ocean. Against all odds, the captain managed to straighten the vessel then barked out to his crew "Pull him up!"

A few men scampered over to the rope and began trying to hoist the man back on board, but as they pulled something pulled back in an unexpected yank, nearly taking another man overboard. The rope was ripped from their hands and the rail it was tied to was torn off and went flying into the waves. For a moment they stood there dumbfounded by what had happened, but soon the quartermaster was yelling for them to return to their positions. Everyone on board was still in for the fight of their lives. Then the captain let loose a mad cackle. "You see that gargoyle!" He said as he pointed off into the storm and a jagged rock formation lept out from the mist, narrowly avoiding the ship. "We're getting close! I can taste it in the air! If we don't get smashed by the rocks we'll soon be on land!"
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Brand
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Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Traveler
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Artur had thought that being a walking skeleton was insane, but this was even crazier! Backing away from the center of the room, only turning once he had reached one of the many hallways that fanned out from the structure. One thing was for certain, he did not want to wait for that thing to come back. From what he had understood from his teachers, this was supposed to be a gateway; a portal to other locations in this realm. That wasn't from this realm, the material plane. That was from. . . somewhere else. He didn't know how that thing knew his name, and that frightened him. He decided that he needed to get out of this place as soon as possible, and he started to walk a different direction than the way he had came, setting a scorch-mark on each wall that he passed after each turn. Eventually he would find the way out of here, whether it be the long way or the quick way.

Not like it mattered, he was dead. Living dead, at that. He had never heard of the dead regaining consciousness of their previous life, but of course necromancy wasn't something he had been particularly interested in studying. He walked on, making marks on the walls with each turn from the ball of flame in his hand as his mind raced on with endless questions. Who was that necromancer? Why did he choose him of all souls to raise? How long has he been dead? He knew that all these questions would not be answered in the crypt, but there was little else to do but think.

He pulled the robe close around his body, as if he had a chill. It was purely a reflex, as he noticed he didn't feel cold at all. In fact, he didn't feel anything. He had been walking these corridors for gods-knows how long and wasn't even the least bit tired. He paused for a moment when he realized that he wouldn't need to sleep or eat ever again. Those were his two favorite things! No more lazy days lounging in the silk sheets of his bedchamber, reading old tombs whilst eating yellow cheese. If he still had eyes, he would've wept. After his lament, Artur continued on, determined to find the way out of this maze.

There was a rustle of wind around one hallway that whipped his robe back and almost put out the small fire in his palm. He had found it! Quickening his pace, he walked up the inclining hallway. At the end, the entrance was almost completely covered in sand, save a three foot hole. Artur had to crawl on his hands and knees to get through the opening, and looked around in despair at the scene before him. Ruins. What was once a sacred academy to the magic arts now lay almost completely buried in the sand of the desert. How could this happen, was he really gone this long? He was bewildered at the notion of what year it must be, for erosion of this magnitude to occur. Where was his people? Surely they hadn't all died out.

Pulling the hood onto his skull, he walked into the desert heading to the where the borderlands used to be. He had to find a way to answer at least some of his questions. He had to know what had become of his homeland, and his house. He had to figure out what he was going to do about what he is.
Hidden 3 yrs ago 3 yrs ago Post by Brand
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Artur

A dilapidated sandstone obelisk towered over the rubble the of the ancient academy, it's majesty now existing solely in Artur's memory. However, there was no time to reminisce on a time long past because the were pressing questions to address in the present. In the time of Artur's life, Kain was still a fledgling empire with its capital resting adjacent to the coast and a mighty river: The Damyat. If the river still held water he could follow it downstream to civilization, though how people would react to seeing him now was uncertain to say the least. Using the position of the rising sun he could navigate his way east and to his memory, he would eventually intercept the Damyat river. He began his journey over the shifting sands, a great ocean of dunes sprawled behind him. The sun bore down relentlessly on everything in sight and if Artur had flesh and blood the unbearable heat would make quick work of him. For half a day he trekked the wastes, gradually wildlife began to appear peppered across his path, the hardier breeds of lizards and scorpions. Then he saw cacti and larger game, a fox and snakes. Then the landscape grew more lively with swaths of golden grass appearing in greater abundance as he made his way forward. Soon the barren, rocky sand gave way to patches of flora, the beginnings of the great plains. Not far off his path he spotted the Damyat, a more shallow crossing judging by the packs of lazy crocodiles lounging by the riverbed.

Then in the distance, on the opposite side of the crossing, he could make out the silhouette of three large shapes all at least four times his height judging by the distance and shapes. The shapes lumbered forward, and staying relatively out of sight Artur could make out three massive elephants with piles of cargo strapped to thier backs. On each elephant was seated a figure wrapped in tan cloth with what looked like javelins secured neatly by their sides. Then marching along the sides of the great beasts were five camel riders with spears, swords, and bows. Artur remained unspotted by all the riders. He could make contact, follow them, or simply let them pass.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Fetzen
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Very slowly, but also very surely, it had come to Othuoy's mind that the Library of Ages might have been the preferable choice after all, at least if he had opted for it. At least there the worst thing he would have had to expect would have been the legendary tempest in the teapot, not this men-consuming havoc. However, even though he had hardly any experience with the sea at all, the way those two men had gone overboard had been... strange. Were there large, carnivorous, predatory sea-dwelling species in these waters ? Could very well be. At least those probably wouldn't care about any storm on the surface since they could just dive deeper. That wouldn't make things any better for those still aboard though.

The gargoyle tried to get closer to the Captain for the sounds of wind made it very hard to understand each other, but the harness that had kept him safe so far didn't allow him to get far away from the mast. "Frankly I don't see anything!" Othuoy yelled into the storm, hoping that at least enough fragments would reach the mad man's ears. "How long do you think it will take ?" It was a rather innocent question for the outside observer, but if Othuoy was honest the real intention behind it had been asking 'Do you still believe we can make it ?'. Even if the ship would hold together not collide with anything, they wouldn't do it without any crew left to handle things. And, at least some day, they'd have to get back as well.

Now Othuoy had enough. Having been tied to the mast for the last couple of hours in the midst of a storm unable to do much was nothing he could appreciate. The gargoyle started fumbling around with the knots and ropes that the harness was comprised of and undid the thing before ramming his claws into the surface of the deck's wooden planks. The captain wouldn't mind that way of moving around with improved safety, would he ? Othuoy knew he was heavier than any man, so him getting tossed around now would put the deck to the test. Slowly, he crawled forwards towards the captain.

"I want to see this myself!"
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