DND CATS - Heroes of Faerun

Post 12 - The Formless Fighting Form

It seemed like a trick after he had listened to the creature for a while. He had listened intently, with the desire to understand and somehow utilize what it had told him. The creature itself was incredibly patient and seemed to be wholly invested in him and his thoughts. Quickly growing frustrated with its convoluted explanation, he began by refusing to listen. He would run for several hours, only to reach the same point where the creature was. It ceaselessly waited for him, and its calm demeanor when greeting him only agitated him to run once more. Fear set in as he realized that this may be a test, a challenge he must overcome to return to the world he knew. Recollecting himself, he sought the creature once more, which remained willing and almost eager to help him.

The problem was that he couldn’t quite grasp the request. The task presented to him was rather preposterous. Even after resigning himself to this fate, he often thought he must be dreaming as he pondered its words. “Become formless, listless, and when rent, take form.” This line of instruction itself vexed him, despite seeming so simple. Occasionally, the strange creature would disturb his fruitless thoughts, offering insight which only served to confuse him further. He begun to realize how important one’s sanity is. He never grew tired or hungry, and was left isolated from his family and friends. The miserable feeling, born from this and the occasional tremor or brief storm that permeated the area, was enough to drive anyone mad. Still, he would continue. He must continue. Kinra may still be in trouble outside after all. It was well accepted throughout the village that she would be the next Farratira. He must do whatever necessary to overcome this creature’s challenge and escape.

Time is rather whimsical. When nothing tells you how much time has passed, how do you know how much time has passed? The landscape, devoid of any suns or moons, beings and objects, earth and soul… it felt so very empty. He thought certainly weeks had passed. Perhaps he had died, and this is the afterlife? How many weeks has it been? Has it been months? These perilous thoughts would also distract him briefly before he dismissed them. After all, his training began to bear some fruit. He had begun to float above the white ‘ground’ he had previously walked and ran on. It felt rather miraculous when he first realized what he had achieved, so it wasn’t until much later that he learned to manipulate it. By distancing himself from the ‘ground’ beneath him in his mind, he was able to make clumsy attempts at floating, gliding and later flying. The creature, which lazily watched him from the surface began to shine a long smile upon him as he soared through the air. Not much time had passed before he had an epiphany and began to interpret its teachings. It was at this moment, he was suddenly torn from his new-found bliss. The distant sound of a familiar world began to fill his ears as the white world he had grown accustomed to suddenly fades to black.

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The Spider's Web

The door opens slowly, allowing the light to fill the hallway of worked stone outside of his sanctum. He knew his visitor all to well, and a grin stretches across his face as he greets his visitor. “Vyerith! Good to have you back. I presume the journey wasn’t too taxing for you?” The drow replies swiftly, “Of course not, Master. There were complications however.” The grin suddenly leaves his face as he replies sternly. “Pray tell, what sort of complications?” “The King had visitors, some individuals based in Phandalin. They had noticed me in this form, but I was able to escape.” The man snorts in response to this, “I’m sure the King dealt with them. Did you receive the map?” She shakes her head, causing the man to pound his fist on the table he is seated at. “We can’t allow the cave’s location to be known. What about the dwarf that found the map?” “The King continues to torture him, I know not why. I can assure you though, he won’t leave the castle while the King reigns. He has grown rather sadistic since you gave him his crown.” She smirks, knowing full well the capabilities of the item that this man had produce. “I suppose that’s true. Still, we must not dawdle. The forge rests somewhere in this cave, I must have its power.” She replies confidently, “Yes master. It will be yours soon. Shall I resume my post at this time?” “Yes, do so. Continue to keep this information from the Dread.” She smiles deviously and begins to make her leave. “As you wish, master.”

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Post 10 - A Spirit Awoken

Kinra has fainted. Saving her is a priority, the fellowship needs her. How will I explain this to the elder?’ These thoughts circle his brain several times over, while the adrenaline pushes him back to the Temple. His knowledge of the forest serves him well, as he deftly maneuvers through paths that the two of them helped beat into the earth over the years. The circumstances of the attack on Kinra prevented him from realizing the change. The trip between their meager campsite and the village normally requires some time to complete, but this time it did not. Those that witnessed his arrival at the village noticed the faint essence of power, which diminished soon after he exited the jungle path. Rushing to his aid, the villagers carried Kinra to a shaman’s room, knowing better than to wait to ask questions about the injury. They hurriedly laid Kinra on one of the cots, beginning to inspect her. It was then that he noticed he was tired. His surroundings begin to go black as his mind quickly slides into unconsciousness. Unaware that his body now lie flat on the ground he had just tread upon, he is greeted by one of the floating faces he had occasionally seen before in his dreams. This time though, it approached, separating itself from the other strange visages and gradually growing in size. A warm smile lifts the features of this face, which in previous dreams had remained composed. For the first time it spoke, with a voice that sounds like soft whispers in the air. “Turayne. At last, I have awoken within. We should begin” it pleads, looking unto the boy expectantly. Unsure of how to respond, he thinks for a moment before gently nodding at the floating face. The rest of the face’s body begins to manifest and the specter continues its instruction. “Relax and free your thoughts, become listless and formless…” The boy, suddenly comatose, is admitted to a bed of his own near Kinra, remaining there long after her wounds are healed.

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Post 9 - Brazen Youths

A sly smile stretches across his face, leaving no hints that her blade had almost landed on one of his upper pectorals. A combination of the frustration building in her mind, the afternoon heat, and the difficulty of the training arrested her thoughts for a moment. ?Why can’t I hit you?!? she yells suddenly at the boy, still unscathed after an hour of mock combat. ?Your focus is not quite present today Kinra. You should know by now that you must do better to strike me.? Anger flashes through her mind as she releases control of her body, which launches a barrage of punches into the boy. He rests his hands on her shoulders, attempting to bring her back to her senses. ?I think we should call it for the day. Something is obviously bothering you, and the afternoon is stretching to the evening.? She presses her hands against her head to relieve some tension before replying, ?You’re so annoying, you know that right?? ?This coming from the one who punches people uncontrollably? he responds boisterously, wiping away some of the sweat on his forehead with a cloth. He tosses the cloth to her, and starts to pack the light equipment they bring to train in the jungle after morning drills in the Force. For most others in their class, this was a time of meditation and relaxation after rigorous exercise in the morning hours. These two, however, constantly express their interest in honing their more primal skills, such as instinct, strength and agility. Their afternoon training is just one of their activities that sets them apart from their peers. Unfortunately, danger is a factor in the vast Doravani jungles, a factor that the adults urged the young to acknowledge.

A great cheetah had recently taken the two’s normal training site as part of its territory, and is prepared to defend it today. Within an instant, the beast had met Kinra. Although she was able to steel herself against the animal, she could not properly defend herself, and it takes her down. She struggles to exert herself against the cheetah, which also struggles to keep her pinned. The cheetah wastes no time to begin tearing into the body of its prey, clawing and biting as a means of subduing her. A heavy axe blade hits the beast around the neck, causing it to free its victim. The cheetah jumps back and examines the boy. As if sensing the killing intent that seemed to radiate from him, the beast begins to retreat from the area. The damage had been done, and Kinra lay there with multiple puncture wounds from the animal, bleeding profusely from them. The boy quickly administers some minor aid to his fallen comrade before picking her up and making haste to the Force. ?Don’t die on me Kinra, you’re stronger than this!? Kinra smiles back weakly before falling unconscious, a sort of gentle retreat from the pain that wracked her body. An unnatural speed became his own as he soared through the jungle path they used daily. The strange power, bestowed unto him by his bloodline, began to coalesce, as he focused completely on his singular goal of saving his close friend.

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Post 8 - The Elemental Esteemed Part 2

“Maggie, this is the last time, it’s time for bed!” her mother calls from the first floor with a tone of finality in her voice. She then recalls the story from last night, and makes a plea: “Mother, you still have to tell the rest of the elemental story!” Maggie’s mother sighs deeply as she approaches the room, but her countenance becomes cheerful after seeing her daughter’s smile after she arrives to tuck Maggie in. ?Very well, we should continue the story.? Maggie excitedly leaps into bed, as her mother tucks her in. ?Dear, what was the last part you remember?? Maggie replies, ?I think the earth one? You haven’t mentioned Ignia yet! She’s my favorite.? Her mother nods in agreement ?Yes child, it seems you’re always on fire, never a dull moment!? Maggie giggles at this and her mother begins to recall the rest of the ancient fable.

Ignia of the fire, the next to arrive to Faerun, brought with her the fury of flame. A great volcano, which until then had been dormant, erupted with lava. Only the gods can guess to her goal, for she lashed out randomly at those around her. The last to appear was Aquia of the water, who brought the wrath of tsunamis and ceaseless rain to Faerun. Her goal, to drench the land and allow all to be made her new domain. The elementals, full of vigor, began a vicious assault on the land’s inhabitants, whom had been left weakened by the senseless war they had engaged in amongst themselves. Seeking a shred of hope, those that were able to fight sought to rally under a single banner, to rid the land of this peril strewn before them. The angels, with the admissions of the numerous other races of people present, formed a pact, assembling under the name Aspecia. The tenants, wholly divine and with merit, were to protect their brothers, safeguard the lane, and seal the elemental threats.

Aspecia, raised their flag under the most capable of the time, an Aasimar by the name of Zenith Luminescia. This angel, realizing that their chance of actually defeating the monumental threats before them, sought aid from his patron deity. In response, the gods bestowed a divine gift unto him, stones capable of capturing and sealing the essence of the elementals. An Aasimar’s life is a necessary catalyst to activate the sealing power of the stones. Zenith, fittingly calling the stones ‘Aspecia Stones’, gave one of the stones to each of his brothers and sisters, those who had steeled themselves for the fight. Epic combat ensued against the elemental monstrosities. The Aasimar completed their holy rituals to become part of the stone, and thus act as the agent and catalyst to bond the elementals to themselves. Striking at opportune times and looking for openings in their enemy’s guard, each of these holy agents was able to fulfill the holy mission set before them.

The Aasimar of Aspecia still safeguard the realms in which the elementals are sealed. Legend has it, that they still stir, plotting a moment where they might return. Heroes have undertaken noble quests to use Aspecia stones to enter these realms. None have returned to tell tales of the creatures defeats. Although the location of the statues has been lost in time, they still tell a tale of sacrifice. We must never forget that we, as people, share an unbreakable bond, lest we succumb to darkness. Our ties, that which unite us as people, will allow us to survive and flourish, and resist the tug of evil. The Aspecia Aasimar shall be forever remembered and honored.

Maggie’s soft snoring interrupts her mother’s conclusion of the legend of the Elemental Esteemed. Smiling once more at her daughter, Maggie’s mother decides to retire once more this evening. Convinced that the story is but a myth of struggles that occurred in ancient days, she closes her eyes and prepares to rest. Maggie’s mother, much like the rest of those that live on Faerun, do not know of the locations of the statues that still exist to this day.

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Post 7 - The Elemental Esteemed Part 1

“Maggie! It’s time to go to sleep!” her mother calls out from the first floor. Only a second afterwards, an emphatic reply is returned, “Already? It’s not yet 9pm!” Maggie’s mother, already aware she would have coerce her daughter into retiring, had made it to the entrance to Maggie’s room. Upon seeing the stern look on her mother’s face and realizing that she’ll likely have to go to sleep now, she excitedly adds more to her reply “Mother, tell me a bedtime story!” After thinking about it for a moment, she decided that a story would be a great idea. “What type of story would you like to hear my dear?” she asks warmly, while tucking her in to bed. “I want to hear the one about the elementals!” Maggie’s mother shakes her head at this, “Dear, that story is far too long”. Maggie insists desperately on the story, in a sly attempt to stay up later than normal. Her mother considers the request once more and offers a compromise, “Alright! I’ll tell the story, but I’ll only speak part of the story each night before bed”. Maggie nods in agreement happily, and so her mother begins to tell the tale.

Long ago, many centuries ago in fact, angels walked among the races of Faerun. These people, blessed by the gods themselves, struck out on numerous campaigns to safeguard the races of Faerun, including us Humans. Blessed with great might, beauty and talent, they were revered and respected and won the hearts of many. Much of the evil that may have surrounded the continent was stamped out, and a time of lasting peace had prevailed. People far and near enjoyed their lives happily, and almost all strove to become model citizens, working with the angelic peacekeepers to promote goodwill. However, few things end happily in the world, and this time of peace was certainly one of them.

Infernal and nefarious individuals began to amass in number, born of their greedy and malicious desires. A plan was hatched to summon beings from the underworld to aid them in their quest for domination and the like. Cultists began to form in great numbers over the decades and with disregard for the well being of the continent and people of Faerun, they began their heinous rituals. Wanton destruction and careless acts of atrocity were committed to many people, and small scale battles erupted throughout the continent. The angels responded with great vigor and used their armaments and magic to enact retribution unto those that had committed the crimes. The damage however had been done, and the weave itself began to react to the drastic magical climate change. Other beings, which until then had not been included in this conflict, took it upon themselves to initiate a premeditated plan of action. These were the esteemed elemental beings, representing their respective planes.

The elementals were able to create a temporary portal between their plane and the material plane, upon which our continent of Faerun presides. Grave consequences of these actions were made known to the people rather quickly. A mountain range was exuded from the earth, and with it came the one known as Terjia. Terjia of the earth, eager to establish a new foothold on Faerun, stood strong against all assailants and struck down those who would stand against him and his quest to rid Faerun of all that stand on the earth. Soon after, Auria of the air set forth, ushering in dangerous windstorms over Faerun. Her goal, similar to Terjia, was to rid the skies of that which would prevent or hinder her gales from blowing in all directions. Despair soon overcame all those on Faerun, who were defenseless against the new threat that appeared before them.

Maggie’s mother pauses to study her daughter, noticing that she had already fallen asleep. Smiling at her daughter, she decides to retire herself for the evening.

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Post 6 - The Council of the Divine and Arcane

“Devout Souls and Arcane Allies, those of Peace and Order, welcome to the Great Hall. Although I take solace in your safety, it is with great remorse that I call upon the Council this fine day. As you are all aware, the conflict with the Doravans ensues in the southeast. This struggle continues to tax our mighty kingdom of resources, including our adept fighters and practitioners. What is the reason for this?!” she says with furrowed brows as she scans the room, meeting the councilmen’s gazes. At that moment, the main door to the Great Hall swings open, inviting a councilman that arrived late. Having acquired an easy target to ventilate her frustration, she turns to the elf who tries to avoid her gaze in return as he takes a seat. “Late again 3rd of Corellon? What is the reason of this?” she says, harshly greeting the newcomer. The elf clears his throat before replying, “Apologies, 1st of Rao. The road seemed a bit longer this time, and I encountered delays on my travels. My party sought to end criminal activity in Phandalin, however it had already been handled”. She grimaces after hearing the explanation, “A trifling quandary you suggest is worth your effort? That is simply not logical, a small group of knights can handle roguish peasants. Know your title 3rd of Corellon! You have provided no acceptable reason to be late to a council commandment. It’s bad enough that the 1st and 2nd of Corellon are assigned to the Doravan border and thus cannot attend.” she says, grinding her teeth at the thought of the conflict once more. “Your holyness, I apologize once more, I shall be careful in the future.” he says apologetically, bowing to her. A councilman speaks up at this, “1st of Rao, perhaps you’re being too coarse with him. After all, his intentions were good, is that not correct?” She turns to him and nods, “Yes, this is hardly the time for bickering. 2nd of Conjuratia, how fares your operative?” This councilman smiles widely, “He has become one with the caravan group dispatched days ago. I look forward to a pleasant report.” She nods in delight, “Excellent. I will beseech the grand one to seek council with the Doravans once more. If we can end this conflict, we may be able to salvage our forces in time. Evil’s movements have become quick, and I fear the worst for the city of Neverwinter.”

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Post 5 - A Playful Pixie

She couldn’t help but laugh then. They were still so unawares of her, but he had touched her shoulder so suddenlylike! The walking ones were certainlylike confused by the artpiece. So much fun this game is! Waiting until they turn the picture away is a sneakylike way to trick these ones more. These walking ones are so much more interestingly thany the dragony ones. It’s been moons since there has been this much excitement here! I must be careful to not upsetedlylike these funny walking ones, but they are so perplexedly fixated on the artpiece. Mayhappedly these walking ones are friendlylike? She thinks to herself while holding the form of the late warlikely one Seline. They suddenlylike set the artpiece down and turn it around. ‘Perhapsedly I will leave now!’ she thinks to herself as she leaves the painting. At this time, she realizes the holylike walking one had spottedly her, ‘I must not be discoveredly yet!’. Quicklylike I retreat through one of the brokeny beams in the roof. The devout one rushedlylike runs outsides but cannot see myselfs.

Later on, the walking ones play a new game. Tryhapsedlylike to find me, they set a trap, and make an illusiony! Canceledly I disappear the illusiony, but I can’t containy my laughs. Seekingly, they search for me, and the holylike walking one perceives me againy. How perceptiony this one is! Out of the corner of my eyes, I am able to see one of the walking ones set downy a large dinner atop the remains of a wooded one. Laughedly I take the dinner and eat. Mmm, so good! The walking ones food is delectablylike filling and tastylike! The walking one who set the food down, I must introduce myself. R
estedlylike I stand on this one’s shoulder. This one is terriblylike kindlylike and pats me gentlylike. ‘I supposedly assume these walking ones are good naturedly!’ I curtsy to this walking one looking at me, but the other walking ones approach, so I carefullylike leave.

Questionlylike I discerny a means to repay the friendlylike walking one. His pet, a scaly one, is in gravelylike danger! The fiendishlylike dragony one sears allones with thermal powers. Illusionys are amazinglylike easy means to save the scaly one. Concentratingly, I envisiony a second scaly one, and rushedly collect the scaly one, safedly taking him away from the thermal powers. Relaxinglylike, I ensure the scaly one is safe, and returny to the combats. The walking ones succeedly defeat the fiendishlylike dragony one. I must returny the scaly one to the friendlylike walking one, but how? Ponderinglylike, I maintainy sight of the heroiclike walking ones. Later, the friendlylike walking one sets dinner once more on the wooded one’s corpse. Ravenouslylike, I eat the delicious food, and have an idea! I cany move the scaly one to the wooded one, and they can carelikedly tendly to him! I finish the luscious dinner quicklylike and go back to retrieve the scaly one, placing him on the old wooded one. Sighingly and happylike, I watch as the friendlylike walking one scouts and finds the scaly one.

‘These ones are quite interestingly, perhapsedly I can learny more from them!’

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Post 4 - A Ranger's Musings

A most unusual day this had been. The note arrived this morning sealed and strung to a bird which flew happily to the roof, pecking to signal its arrival; the typical messenger of the Circle. The unusual part was that they had a contingency plan for the creature. ‘What sort of contingency plan would be made available if a beast that powerful was let loose?’ I thought to myself, while reading the letter disapprovingly. ‘A group will aid you in your plight.’ Another cryptic statement. Surely they cannot hope to send a small party of rangers to best it… It’s not like this is a run of the mill type of creature that has settled here. At this point, I grew too disgusted to read through the rest of the letter and set it down on my sturdy desk. I waste no time letting the bird know it should return to its master without a reply and proceed to brew some tea. ‘If it were just the dragon, it wouldn’t be so bad. The overgrown nature that runs rampant in the ruined village obscures other threats as well. It’s not something I can deftly handle as I could in my youth. Testing some of my favorite tea helps ease my mind as I try to put the issues at hand out of mind. ‘What really can I do? I suppose I’ll have to wait for aid from the Circle.’ Suddenly I hear a knock. I know full well the location of the strangely dressed folks that had settled the town, they were clearly interested in the beast, but knew not of my existence here. After checking the window, I realize I’m in for another surprise. That girl had returned already, and with others. ‘What in seven hells is she thinking? It’s not been a month since she left, and she already feels as though she’s able?’ I furrow my brow in frustration and open the door, inviting the lot in and remind her that she is not ready to face the dangers which surround us, only to find out she already has. They had tried to contest with that beast. I found the fact that they stood before me afterwards incomprehensible. They did not slay the creature, yet they live? What is it that the creature wants? It’s certainly of the murderous type, I’m well aware of what happened to the creatures that had taken residence there. What are the beast’s motives? I could only turn to contemplation for the rest of the day. After all, this shabby group of people have called themselves adventurers and set foot in the village to rid it of its dangerous denizens. Perhaps I can take a day off and leave it to them while I meditate on my thoughts. Apparently even this luxury would prove unattainable – they returned not 10 minutes later with outrageous wounds. I guess I’ll let them stay here to recover. It’s their lives after all, if they want to waste them, they’re perfectly capable of making that decision for themselves. I just wish that girl were a bit more reasonable, like the rest of her race. What drives that foolhardiness? The cautionless ambition? The thirst for fame? It’s as if she thinks everyday is her last… a quite unsettling frame of mind if you ask me. I glance over at them resting and can’t help but chuckle. ’They’re just like you and I Daran.’

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Post 3 - Togra the Troll's Tax

A thud sounds as I set my new, mostly-devoured victim next to the remains of previous satisfactory meals. I can’t help but turn my eyes to the prized haul only a few yards away from the pile of corpses. The Many Arrows tribe I had been working with paid a reasonable amount of coin and food for my service. While picking up the body to continue my snack, I couldn’t help but ponder that day. It was only about a week or so into service of the orcs when suddenly the horn had been sounded. I knew it meant trouble, and immediately set out of my home to their camp. I was able to see the previous commander fall, and with that the tribe’s complete defeat. It didn’t take too long to figure out why, this group of trespassers were rather powerful, and even surprised me with the amount of pain they could cause. ‘To think they offered me a meal and payment after fighting with me! It must truly have been my lucky day.’ Voraciously, I pick apart the meat to savor every bite, finishing the legs off. ‘Most people try to kill me, it’s surprising to meet some that are willing to pay Togra’s Tax’ he thinks to himself as he finishes the rest of what was a middle aged female human. I let out a hearty laugh, after getting my fill and exclaim “They always pay Togra the troll’s tax!” Finally feeling satisfied for the first time in days since the battle, I grab my new coin chest and set out.

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