DND CATS - Heroes of Faerun

Post Session 35 - Mt. Castryl's Secret

“Mama, you’re home!” her little girl yells, struggling to break free from the elderly caretaker’s grasp. The caretaker, having noticed that her mother had returned, lets the child go and grins as she runs towards her mother, “She’s quite energetic, the tides have blessed you, Coralla”. Coralla laughs as she picks up her daughter, “Sashelas bless us, that moments like these still exist Faewynn. What can I do to repay your kindness?” Faewynn waves her gesture away with her palm, “Nonsense you speak, you know I would do anything within my power for our people, you know it well. What news of the Mt. Castryl, how is your work?” The joyous demeanor slowly fades Coralla’s face as she organizes her reply, “… I believe they’ve found a deposit of fine stone.” Faewynn gasps in surprise at this, suddenly wearing a troubled expression. “Surely it could not be bounty from the Great Surge that they seek? Do they demand the stone?” Coralla shakes her head, while patting her daughter’s head, “I know not their desires, we are merely asked to clear rock for them after all…” Faewynn nods slowly in understanding, leaving a moment for Coralla’s daughter to interject.

“Mama, where’s daddy?” Coralla maintains her exposure, despite faltering a moment at what should have been an easy question. “He’s helping the men that protect our borders, Shamea.” Shamea grows excited and wears a frown, clearing her throat before continuing, “Mama, daddy’s been gone for years though. I want to see him…” Coralla tears, swept by the currents that surround them, are invisible to Shamea. “As do I darling. He’ll be home soon, I’m sure of it” she replies adamantly, hardening her visage for the sake of her wavering daughter. Shamea’s smile returns as she notices some of her friends, and she pushes against her mother’s arms. Coralla releases her daughter who goes to play with them, pausing before turning back to Faewynn who speaks before her with a warm . “Easy child. You’ve a harder task than many others, and I know it. If there’s anything I can do for you, ask. Keep the strength to smile, for if you continue on, good things will surely come.” Although invisible, Faewynn knew well enough that Coralla’s tears had begun to freely flow. Embracing the troubled young one, she does all she can to reassure her and return her good spirit. With restored determination, Coralla finally replies. “I’ll come back soon, I must continue work now.” Faewynn nods, watching as her younger clanmate swims back to the island’s surface, far far above them.

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Post 21 - Reunite! Merlagos Returns

I rise from the covers of my bed, stretching while reaching for some of my plain clothes for the day. Wearing a tepid look as usual, I casually prepare for the day ahead of me. The business is doing well of course, but Aster does a fine job running the place; I rarely need to do anything except handle an unsavory customer. A good thing too, after all I am getting old and need to consider retirement soon. Our business’ profits are a result of running the business carefully and effectively over the years. Enduring through the hard times has finally paid off, and the only solace remaining in this world is that my children will not lead a life of tribulations like mine. I reach for my coat, revealing the still corked Glimmerwood Ale, now nearly two decades old. ‘I suppose not all things end the way we want them to’ I mutter under my breath, quietly enough that Mallory would not hear me from where she is still resting on the other side of the bed. Sighing, I trod out of our home, surveying the village. Clouds nearly covered the sky, and the usual villagers are either moping about or tending to their own duties. I shake my head, making my way over to the shop to open up for the day. ‘The stage is set for another tedious day… perhaps retirement is a bad idea after all’ I think to myself, moving aside some of the larger sacks piled near the entrance to my store. With a boring task such as polishing the counter, I can’t help but continue to think about that elf. ‘He could turn this type of day upside down, and often did when he was around’.

My boy’s high pitched voice rang in my ears suddenly, “Dad! I think we’re ready to open shop!” Nodding over at the eager lad, I flip the sign around at the front, ‘Barthen’s Provisions is now open’. Making my way back over to the counter I ask “I take it you’d like to run shop today boy?”, ready to judge his confidence. He nods and smiles vigorously, affirming my predictions on the matter. “I’ll head back to your mother then, let me know if something goes awry” I say casually, taking leave of the counter. I take note of some of the more unusual folks walking down the path, and one of them stops me suddenly.

“Say, do you know of the heroes Balasar and Sara?” a green haired man asks me. “Sure do, they saved this town not too long ago, although they are a bit rough around the edges.” He grins widely after hearing that, continuing to ask about them. “I hear they’ve fought countless atrocities, their renown has grown beyond the reaches of Phandalin and I dare say Neverwinter as well. Is it true they live in that run down manor on the hill?” he asks, pointing to the south. I turn my gaze over to Tresendar manor, nodding as I do. “Yes sir, although you wouldn’t know if you looked there. They’re hardly ever home, even though they do swing by the shop occasionally.” The man grins and flips me a gold coin, “I’ve been looking for them, this is a great place to start. Have a good day!” he says, waving back at me while walking back down the path. I pocket the coin of course and shrug, making my way back over to the house.

I stare at the door of my home flabbergasted. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was and after inspecting it closer I fell into disbelief. There it was, as it had been many years ago… an image of Merlagos and his cheeky smile staring back at me on the front of the door. I couldn’t keep myself from falling to the ground crying tears of joy. Uncontrollably, amidst the weeping I shout “Merlagos… by the gods he has come back at last… I thought for sure he wouldn’t return after all this time!” Frantically, I open the door and pull the 1632 Glimmerwood ale from the shelf I had kept it in the last two decades, running over to the stream to chill it. Smiling on the way, I think to myself “I finally get to share this one with him! Hopefully he won’t delay much longer!” The villagers pause for a moment to stare at Barthen as he runs into the woods, unsure if he’s gone insane. “At least Aster can take over now.” They speak amongst themselves, resuming their ordinary duties.

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Post 20 - Smoking Gun | Mysterious Pirates

A yell “OIIII! BOSS!” rings out from the upper deck as multiple loud sets of feet come barreling across the platform. Even with a ruckus though, his hand never falters on the hilt of a fadlock .37. The alchemist’s fire explodes from within the chamber, after he pulls the trigger, sure of his accuracy. An iron projectile, expelled from the weapon, flies towards its target, an empty iron flask that used to contain rum resting atop a crewmate’s head. The container stands no chance as the projectile penetrates both sides, transferring some of its momentum to the flask before leaving it. The flask hits the wall when the cabin door is wrenched open by the crewmate yelling across the upper deck.

The man pants a bit, catching his breath, “Oi, Boss!”. Setting down the smoking weapon, he grins widely, baring teeth to his comrade. “I heard you the first time. What’s so important that it couldn’t wait until I was finished practicing?” “Two of em left the town just now. The red haired elven girl and the dragonborn boss! We got em split up! Ain’t we gonna get em now?”

Laughing devilishly, the grin stretches into a smile as he replies, “This is good for us. Continue monitoring them. Remember, we want the elven cleric carrying the artifact. If the other two leave, then we’ll wait for her to be isolated. I’ll let the Captain know that we’re almost ready to let loose.”

The loud crewmate returns a smirk, nodding in understanding. “Right boss, we’ll show em to mess with the Fadlings!” He leaves, closing the door behind him. The man practicing picks up his weapon of choice, taking aim once more. His eyes narrow, thinking to himself ‘Yes we will’, as another iron projectile is forcefully expelled from the weapon, the smoke rising into the musty air on the cabin deck.

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Post 19 - Entropic Embers | Evincible Enigma

Like a blur, the vengeful elemental of Air appeared in front of me… two of her wind-formed blades in hand. In an instant, the cold wind pulsing through the blade cut through my flesh, draining the last of my strength. I fell to the frozen ground at my feet, certain of my defeat, hopeful that I would be saved as I have in the past by those I consider my allies and friends. Why should I be though? Sometimes I think perhaps I’m just a bother to them, basking in their glory without earning it for myself. I refuse to give up though… my goals can only be met with this conviction. My desires must not be my undoing, they must be my fuel.

It was then that I first identified another, arguably more potent fuel near me. The strange goo in a jar rolled towards Auria and I. I couldn’t speak of course… I lay there as my life flashed before my eyes. Now I knew my fate; I was to be burned, along with the elemental. Balasar’s divination would prove to be true, with my life as forfeit. Salazar’s beam of fire, aimed directly at the goo, sealed my fate. The fire’s eruption was not the last light that I saw, however.

At first, I was both disturbed and confused by the image unfolding before me. The eruption that engulfed me like an inferno had taken the shape of a writhing mass of fiery tendrils. The figure, turned what appeared to be one of its heads towards me. It was then that I felt the unfathomable wave of terror take control of my senses. The tendrils wound out from the figure, creeping towards me, yet I could not move or resist. With its caress came unspeakable pain, a kind I had never felt before. It was as if lava was molding itself onto my skin… tearing apart my flesh, skin and face. The tendrils of fire paused for a moment, as if savoring the moment, before burrowing into me.

The sound of cymbals, clanging inside my head, was the last sensation I had, before I left the world.

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Post 18 - Solemn Whisper | Silent Oath

The thought of reaching out weighed on her mind heavily. It had been some time before they had spoken, and even when they had it was very brief. She didn’t know much about Sören, basically a friend of the family that she had briefly made the acquaintance of before the great ordeal that had slighted her family and the other druids and rangers. She knew it was time to reach out, but somehow actually going through with it weighed on her conscious. Unable to evacuate the thought from her mind, she paced the room, trying to calm herself. ‘What would she do if Sören would not respond? What if silence is the only response I receive?’

She had had enough. Since the ordeal, her confidence and conviction had waned, but this was the last of it. Jostling herself, she tried to regain a grip on reality; after all, it was unlike her to idly contemplate her actions. It was simply the time to do, and face the consequences. She walked forward, reached out and whispered the name she had known well, but not personally. “Sören”.

She was met with silence. She resolutely watched for a minute, and hung her head dejectedly realizing Sören would not respond to her. “Why? How could this be? Sören has been a prized member of our family for some generations… am I not worthy?” she thought to herself, an overwhelming sadness swelling within her. It was then that she remembered why she needed to reach out. The family’s geis must be upheld, and there was none other but her that could carry the burden. Anger filled her at the lack of a response from Sören, and she called the name once more in a complete confidence that was purely her own in days past.

After a moment, she hears the low voice, shuddering in joy and surprise. “Child. What need you?” She pauses, carefully choosing her words. “Sören, we must make a pact. The family quest, is mine to carry on. Will you lend me your aid?” Sören shifts in front of her and replies favorably, “I sense in you the greatness of the line, I am yours to command. Do with me what you will, Child.” Energetically, she grasps Sören, unable to hold back a wide smile, one filled with hope.

‘I will not let them succeed.’

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Post 17 - An Unkind Tether

Not aging has its benefits. Endless skies can be reached, boundless opportunities and adventures are possible. The spheres of wind and snow, ice and cold, the embrace which covers all can be experienced for all time. It was one of the perks of being in a seat of great power, and also one of the downfalls. For immortality is a ruinous state, truly an affliction, imposed on those of ‘great’ status. This thought has been my own since that day. The day my brothers, sister and I fell from grace.

The Aasimar were capable of more than they let on, of course. Instead of ending our existences, they sought to ensnare them. ‘What if we had won?’ is a favorite question I pose before myself, left to few other devices. ‘What if we had never left the chateau?’ has become a more common question lately. Our freedom was placed on the line to gain some resource rich planet, hardly worth the risk. We never took the opportunity to consider our actions. I assume, we now rest in chambers that scant mortals dare open. After all, that’s all I’ve seen since my capture. None of them could hold a candle to the power that I still have some dominion over. Biding time wasn’t a habit of mine previously, but you’re not left much choice in captivity. Occasionally, I could cause some of them to surrender information before I disposed of them… over some time I came to realize that they were likely still safe, albeit sealed away. That has been enough to keep me sane.

Recently, however, I have been beset by some terrible curse. Ethereal chains have appeared within my confines, burying inside of me, draining my power. I could feel what I like to think is weakness, a vulnerability. I now rest longer, move less, but most noticeably, I feel my dominion slipping from me. A cruel development I can only imagine is sourced at the Aasimar. Each day, I feel myself slowly losing to the chains I cannot break free from, within a cell I cannot escape. ‘If only we had stayed at the chateau…’ I think to myself, drawing my attention away from the incessant stinging of the chains. ‘If only I could meet them again….’

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Post 16 - A Rift in the Force

Left to his own thoughts in the dark, he began to think about the purpose of the training he had undergone with the creature. Was it really training after all? The scriptures read at the Force mentioned nothing about the process through which self discovery is achieved. It felt like this event was the revelation, but how would he know? He was confined in what he assumed was his own mind, left to his thoughts in some place entirely secluded from the world. He was afforded a silent comfort that he had never experienced before, but at the cost of segregation from society and other life. The same thoughts danced on his mind, and without any other recourse, he waited.

The darkness finally began to fade. He was not able to see right away, but instead began to hear. It began as warped echoes of sounds, and slowly became more clear as the darkness became softer. He opened his eyes, attempting to perceive his surroundings. His blurry vision became more focused as time passed, and identifying differences between objects and people around him became easier. After some hours, he was greeted by an officer and instructor of the Force. “Welcome back Turayne. You have survived your trial, and returned to us a Farratira. I’m sure you’re still somewhat disoriented, but let me personally thank you. Struggles such as yours ensure the safety of our people.” The instructor patted his hand, reminding him of the sense of touch. He bowed to the patient, gently saying “Farragila, chosen one” before turning and making his leave. It was then that he noticed he wasn’t alone.

Onlookers from the village anxiously peered at him from the visiting seats, whispering amongst themselves. Most seemed excited when he turned to meet their gaze, but others somberly observed the patient in the bed next to his. He recognized Kinra laying on this bed, seemingly in a deep sleep. ‘She must still be in shock from her wounds’ he thought to himself, rolling his head forward. Sighing deeply, he began the troublesome task of reconnecting his mind with his muscles. Within hours, he managed to pull himself out of bed. He set off to find the Elder.

Turayne knew that the Tall room is always open, even when not guarded by the Elder. Statues of Farratira and other notables line the hallway entrance to the room, reminding its visitors of the great Force warriors that lived. Old scripture and portraits decorate the room, detailing the history of their sect and the relationship with the Doravani commoners. He soon found the mat that the Elder frequently used for meditation. Maintaining a meditative state, the Elder asks as he approaches, “Up so soon? What I would expect of our next soul of talent.” The Elder opens his eyes, awaiting a response.

“I do not believe I am the next Farratira. The adults say that Kinra is the one. There must be some mistake” Turayne replies feebly, afraid of the Elder’s response. The Elder laughs loudly, rising from the meditative stance he had assumed on the mat. “You doubt your own power? You did not merely slip into a coma these past weeks. You experienced a trial of awakening, and succeeded. With some additional practice, you can call upon the power of the Force.” Turayne shakes his head, “It was unlike what was said in the teachings. I never came across an impassable structure.” The Elder strokes his long beard, pondering the circumstance. “The trials faced are somewhat different from person to person. Fret not about the trial Turayne. All will become clear to you when you have begun your true training. For now, you should get some rest, your body cannot be strong enough to continue this conversation.” Turayne, realizing he was right, took his leave of the Elder that day, and slept well that day and night.

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Post 15 - A Dreadful Ally

After some contemplation, he decided to cease struggling against the cloaked people that had interrupted his meal. The bindings they used were heavy and uncomfortable, and they had wrapped his head by a bag, making breathing difficult. What’s worse is they found his treasure… the glorious treasure he had worked so hard to collect all these years. If he had the chance he would devour each and every one of them. He was being escorted silently, and while they moved him, he knew that he must be determined to find a some way to break all of the cowards who shackled him. He paused realizing the irony; It had been a while since he was able to think about things with some rationale. ‘Wasn’t the last time when I met those guys, and I let them live?’ he thought to himself, growing nostalgic of the life he left behind in pursuit of greater treasure and food. The four people walking him suddenly stopped, and held him from moving forward. Without the sense of sight, a large door creaked open slowly, and a dreadful cold washed over his body. His mind made a futile effort to grasp at a reason for the sudden chill, ‘It’s a bit early for this kind of wintry bite isn’t it?’ He remains silent as they bring him forward into the frigid lair.

Gusts of wind batter occasionally lash at his person as he continues forward. The cold does not abate, and begins to chill his bones. After a few dozen paces, one of the captors removes the bag covering his head. The first look engulfed his mind with terror, but he fought to regain control of his faculties. He must remain stern and dedicated to his newfound purpose. The creature’s menacing face twists as it turns its head toward him.

“Greetings, Togra. You’ve quite the will to behold me in my natural form and remain standing still. I’ll not waste much of your time. Do you know where we are?” Togra spits at the ground, “You’ve held me as a hostage with a bag over my head until now. Nobody would know where they were. I assume I’ve being held captive at Neverwinter.” Togra takes the time to glance around the room, realizing the room is nearly completely devoid of light. Many armed men held their weapon at the ready, and he grunts after surveying them. ‘I won’t have a chance here, there’s too many of them, and I’m still bound’ he thinks to himself. The creature squints, as if peering through the troll, “An accurate response, with one exception, you are far from Neverwinter. The Winterian capital is our goal though, so I’m glad we share apathy for it. I brought you here in hopes we could form an alliance.” Togra shakes his head, “What would a creature like you need from me?” The creature’s face twists to portray a hideous smile, “My organization is always in need of find soldiers like yourself. Help me rid the world of Neverwinter and I will provide you with ample treasure and food.” Togra looks down at himself and then at some of the cloaked individuals that stand motionless before finally turning back to the creature. “Alright, I’ll do it. But if I find a better offer, I’m taking it.” The creature grins menacingly at replies in a darker tone, “Will you now? Such baseless confidence. I can assure you that you won’t find a better offer than mine. After all… beyond the food and treasure, there is your life.” Togra nods and a small black bird rests on the raised dais near the creature, staring intently at him. The creature continues, “After you have succeeded on your first mission, I will award you the brand of our organization. I look forward to your cooperation, Togra.” Togra pauses for a moment, weighing his options before deciding to pose the question. “…What is the name of your organization?” The creature relaxes and begins to change shape, slowly shifting to become a white haired, human male with a thin, sharp and clean face that maintains a steady gaze onto the troll. “We… are the Dread.”

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Post 14 - Scouts Compromised

The missive had been received only some days ago. It was the first lead the Council had on the Conjurer. The house he would travel with had been spotted southeast of Neverwinter. This is where their abilities came in. She whispers “Larion, track that fellow who frequents the Lustre Bell at 4:45. I found out from the pianist that he may have spotted the house that fits the description.” Her older brother, carefully revealing a thin raised eyebrow accompanied by a warm smile which vanishes after her eyes meet his. “You never cease to amaze me Gwen. He won’t know I’m there until he has no escape.” He covers his face once more, picking up his pace to reach the establishment. Retrieving the information from a mere commoner was a child’s game, he had the location within the hour. Wasting no time to conduct an investigation of grave import, they vacate the city out of the large East gate of Neverwinter.

They made great haste. Despite the cooler temperatures that were setting in, they managed to make good time to the hill where the home had been detected. The results were excellent, the stone home with a small chimney and only two front windows accompanied by a large reinforced wooden door lay before them atop a hill near the mountainous terrain only a mile east.

Gwen: “We don’t have time, we should apprehend the Conjurer before he realizes he’s been found.” Larion meets her gaze before nodding in agreement, “He may have a guard, it would be wise to disable him quickly. I’ll take center.” She plays a quick song, hoping to empower Larion, but this was enough to seal their fate. The raven, hearing the song, quickly alerts its master while the two elves make their way to the front of the house on the hill. Larion, adept in the more intricate arts, breaks the lock after a few seconds and swings open the door. Massive, hairy, grotesque hands reach out from the other side of the door, seizing Larion while pulling him inside. Gwen’s eyes grow wide as Larion struggles to free himself from the creature’s grasp, she wastes no time running in to save her dear brother from the clutches of certain doom.

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Post 13 - Twisted Summoner: Dark Rites

A black raven brought another parcel and began to rest on a table behind a man that has completed his casting. He hunches over, examining the results, realizing soon enough that he is unsatisfied with them. “Damn, another failure!?” he exclaims pounding the table that the raven was perched on til then. The flapping of small wings draws the man’s attention. In a fit of anger, he snatches the enclosed later from the raven, and yells at it to return before placing the letter onto the table. He shifts his lanky, and somewhat clumsy body once more, focusing again on his latest manifestation. With piercing green snakelike eyes, he judges his work once more. With brows furrowing, he finally decides to give an order. “Unfit abomination! Go southwest and attack any living thing you meet!” he says in a high-pitched voice, decidedly disgusted with his work. The creature, roaring in anguish, walks in the direction the man pointed in complete obedience. A twisted smile appears on the man’s pale face, as he rests himself on one of the stools situated at the same table he left the letter. Sighing deeply, he unbinds the letter’s strap.

‘The group I mentioned recently has destroyed the beast you sent to Phandalin. One of their comrades was missing as well. I find the quality of your work rather reproachable. I’m not confident you’re fit to continue development of the portal, if spawn of this level is all you can produce. Perhaps you’ve forgotten your debt to me? See to it that your spellcraft is honed, or I will make sure your deeds are brought to light.’

The man grits his teeth after seeing the signature, crushing the paper in his hands before throwing it further inside what he could only call his lair. Bound, much like the demons he created, he sits, fuming with rage at his predicament. Years had passed since the incident, and he must work tirelessly to secure his future. Secure it though he must, he would not let his brother seize power from him. His attention shifts to the parts he works on while resting from conjuration. A grin settles upon his face as he realizes that he may soon have the tool he needs to win his freedom back.

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