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Messages - Drufice

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General Discussion / Re: Death System Changes -- Please read and respond.
« on: September 19, 2019, 12:43:30 am »
Remain as is.

(Shit, I accidentally hit the submit vote button, before clicking the actual option. Anyway I can have mine reset?)

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Aardyn' Notes
« on: August 21, 2019, 01:32:50 am »

   The past few days have seen a new dawn in Hadrian, though, not all sunrises are calm and divine. This one seems more akin to chaotic and obscured.

   The 14th have pulled out of Hadrian all together. It would seem the Archmage can listen, if the voice is loud enough. The vacuum left in their wake is large with no one to fill it, as yet. I have pledged 45,000 of my own coin towards starting a guard. Hopefully, this will be somewhere to start, at the very least. Inquires on pricings and wages have been made in a few places, but so far I've not heard back yet.

   Secondly, I've found myself reeling from a falling out with my dear and treasured friend, Morgaine. It would appear that, through means not important, she found out about my past. She knows about Adra and the vengeance raid.

   "Mad Ash, the Black" she confronted me. "I know." she hissed at me with the tone only brought on by deep hurt. The quivering lip, the welling eyes and hurt stare, will haunt me for far longer than her anger ever could. My regret lies in that I could not find a way to tell her myself. Fortunately for me, she seems to have forgiven me, to a degree; more than I deserve, but I will have to take what I can get, at this point. She is as family to me. The sister I never had; one I'd have wanted.

   With the city in the throes of it metamorphosis, my greatest displeasure is in the lack of time I've had with Sheri. As I find myself falling deeper for her, I find her visage materializing at the forefront of my mind's eye; a welcome apparition for a troubled mind, though I am at times unable to focus on my tasks at hand. I should scorn myself such distraction, but in fact I crave it. I enjoy the fog. I send my thoughts wading through her dark waters and reaching for her, only to find no purchase on the ethereal form, born of sweet memory. Instead I am left with the waking realization that I am drifting in thought.

   The burning ache in my chest thereafter will often remain for hours, if I am alone. I find being with her to be easy; natural, even.  Why is it that in the life, we so often can never do the things that feel so easy to us. Constantly, we are forced onto the harder path, and pushed down the line, away from that which we would much rather have. I feel now as though the Gods are forcing me to be half a person.

   "How often do you fall for someone who sails the same oceans, and dreams the same dreams?"


Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Aardyn' Notes
« on: August 14, 2019, 05:04:30 am »
Where Settled Dusts Lie

She is bound to the stake, dressed all in black.

   I look down on the village, as we crest the hill. Its people meander about as their day’s work nears it’s end. I can’t help but notice my own shadow elongate down the hillside, cast by the setting sun on our backs.

Prideful, her head is held high, though she sneers back at them, half-angry, half-afraid.

   There, I see the shadow of father, my brother, and the countless others who join us. They are looming, ominous tendrils, reaching out; a dark herald for what is to come.

Beneath her, a pyre. The crowd gathers around her, each one of them vying for the best view.

   One by one, the unsuspecting insects halt in their place, no doubt peering toward the line of silhouettes along the ridge. They see us. They are meant to. We want them to see, and know. We want them to fear the Dark.

They throw various objects at her, cast their scathing words at her, and some parade around with tokens from her now slain guard.

   I look to my brother; his silent visor gazes back. I look to my father; he is silently watching the pitiful village’s movements progress from a stunned halt, to a panicked scurrying. I follow his gaze and can feel the rage burning hot and deep within my heart.

She curses them, her voice acid, swearing by Shar that they’ll be destroyed. This fuels the rage of the Selûnites. Their fervor amplifies.

   With his familiar sneer of disdain and wrath, I watch my father take up his black helm from under his arm and deposit it onto his head. He draws his sword; as one, every man follows suit.

The official, dressed in his ceremonial garb, approaches her; his torch already burning.

   Leveling the tip of his blade toward the town, my father bellows a command, and is answered by a united raucous roar from the battalion on the hill. I wait, eyes blazing, for the first step of his horse. It comes.

She is afraid. Tears flow as she trembles, whispering near-silent prayers to her Goddess for a protection she knows will never come.

   I grit my teeth with violent wrath, as I overtake my father’s steed. I relish the fear emanating from the frantic denizens, as House Aardyn and its sworn swords descends on them with a deafening roar.

The man speaks some words of righteousness, as he begins to lower the torch to the base of the pyre.

   I make sure I am the first to reach my victims. My closest friends galloping on my flanks; a staple in the battle exploits of Mad Ash the Black. It is effective. Their resistance is sickeningly poor, and we cut through the first defenders like a hot knife through butter.

The flames spread through the brush, igniting the larger logs and inching closer to the uselessly squirming woman.

   A man turns his head in fear, at the sight of the slaughter. I remove it entirely, for him. The next one drops his spear and shelters his head in fear. A fatal slash across his side, releasing his entrails, will suffice. A woman and child run for the shelter of a small alleyway. I let them pass. They all must and will die, I know, but though I am an Aardyn first, I am a knight second. My sword is reserved for the armed defenders. Plenty among us are not bound by such honours. The fleeing do not last long.

The inferno melts the fabrics of her dress and her legs now smoke, as her wails of pain and agony resound in the night.

   The bulk of the village is mopped up before twilight, succumbing pitifully to the raging tide of vengeance. A banner carrier rides through town. This time it isn’t the banner of House Aardyn, but that of Shar. Though we are not Sharran, it is fitting for this task; she’d have wanted it that way. He falls into formation as my father and I approach the clearing near the outside of town.

The shrieking turns to a sickening gurgle, and eventually comes to an end; the only sound, the crackling and pops of the raging fire.

   As I approach, I see scorched earth. A regular burn site, clad with the tell-tale stakes of execution by fire. It has been sometime since it was used, but the scene speaks of such actions not being a rarity.

Licking and lashing, the pyre burns until morning; the putrid stench of cooked human flesh long gone, as the sun rises on the smoldering heap

   For two years, I wondered. For two years I searched and scoured. For two years I burned with a pain I have, as yet, not found words to describe. I reach the pyre site and fall to knee, as the smell of the village burning fills the air. I reach down, removing my glove, and scoop the dirt and dust into my palm. I stare at it a moment; that familiar dead feeling inside leaving me, being replaced with unquenchable pain and anger. I touch it to my mouth and speak one word.

   As I awoke in a cold sweat, to find myself l laying in my bunk in the Society Hall, I find myself crying out the word in unison with my dream-self.


Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Aardyn' Notes
« on: August 12, 2019, 04:29:46 pm »
Shadow and Flame

   The trouble piles, the problems stack, and the city moves ever forward, in it’s endless strife filled trudge. It tires me, merely thinking on it, but as I dwell I know that I too must trudge with it.

   Voust, Uldur’s body, Vivi. Each issue being slowly addressed and inching forward, yet their solutions feel as though they lie just beyond my grasp, taunting and dodging, just as I can nearly feel them brush my reaching fingertips.

   The 14th have set their eyes to Vivi and I, it seems. Somehow, they found out about Vivili and the devil woman, Nuzu. I am told by Chan that the legion means to issue a bounty on her head, but are willing to meet instead. To counter this I wrote to the Head Warden in hopes that I could explain the situation, but received only hostility and accusations. This forced me to lay my own accusations down and invite them to meet with me to hash this out. I received a short ambiguous reply and I await further contact.

   I have spoken with some others of Uldur’s body. We remain at a stalemate, until Cashand’s mentalist arrives, but have discussed the possibility of having his mind moved into a golem. Sherina has agreed to approach this topic with him, thankfully. I do not relish the thought of broaching the more delicate issues regarding that transition.

   Regarding Voust, however, we are closer than ever. The map to the key has been revealed to us, and we are nearly positive that we know where it is. Making the necessary preparations is the only task that remains, before we make our move against him. Cashand claims to have fought a powerful vampire before, and I have no option but to trust his judgement on how to proceed with it. I sincerely hope that we can close out this chapter and have it done with. Some clear space on my plate would be the greatest gift I could receive at this time.

   Though this all weighs heavy in my mind, I have found a peace of sorts, in the comforting touch of a woman’s arms. Her arms…

… and beyond.

   I took Sherina back to my Abyss. With the issue of the 14th looming over me, we thought it might be nice to make good on the promise of our picnic, in case we didn’t get another chance. We laid out the bearskins and set to talking; business as usual for a time, until the topic of “last chances" came up.  She turned to me and asked if there was anything I’d like to do, seeing as we may not receive more time. I turned to find her gazing at me. Her eyes, the colour of the midnight blue sky, the shade that one only finds surrounding the outer rim of a full moons glow. They locked on mine. When she had asked me the question I had no fewer than a thousand answers, but when gazes met, I could think of only one.

   I did it.

   I kissed her. Momentarily forgetting how to breathe, I leaned in and kissed her. I don’t know if I’ll ever know or care why, but she kissed me back and we moved closer. It was there, in the shelter of the Black and in the comfort of her embrace that I finally admitted to myself the feeling I had denied. We huddled close and exchanged a few more, before packing up the uneaten food with a laugh.

   I savoured every moment of the closeness, for I feared that she may be labeled “the lover of a heretic”, should the Legion truly prove corrupt. The walk back was one of mixed emotion. Fear, thrill, freedom. I wish I could describe to you better, how it was, but then I suppose you’ve seen me this way before. When we parted, I had thought it would subside but it remained with me until, for the first time in a long time, I fell into a deep, peaceful, dreamless sleep.

   When next I saw her, she and Cashand had been about to explore the crash site again. I gladly accompanied them and made the journey, tumultuously attempting to not be publicly over affectionate. We cleared the area and the two inspected the crystal they’d come to find. Again, I was lost in the speech of magic, but this was nothing new.

   Sherina suggested that we show Cashand the large, magic-locked gates we had found in the peaceful mountains beyond. We made for them, skirting the crater, and began to make our ascent.

   Stopping for a rest by the waterfall that we’d camped at before, the Arcanist informed us that he needed to leave. He exchanged a goodbye with us and magicked his way out, leaving Sherina and I alone again.

   In the privacy of our sanctuary, we renewed our closeness, exploring new and intimate avenues of embrace. She is always beautiful, but being washed in moonlight becomes her. She appears to belong in such atmosphere, as the moonglow shines off her alabaster skin, and reflects on the deep liquid blue of her soft gazing eye; a raven haired beauty against a veritable pallet of hues, designed special, for her.

   As our outpour of affections carried on, her body became impossibly hot. I noticed and inquired if everything was alright, searching her face, fearing some ailment had come over her. She assured me, with flustered smile that it was regular for her, upon such moments. I could mark in her countenance, so closely did I watch her, that she struggled to collect herself, as she meant to ward me from flame. To save her that strain, I reached into my pack and warded myself, for her. I had not thought the heat that bad, but as it turns out, I had seen nothing.

   Beyond that point, though the heat was soothing, she became scorching. The grass smoldered around us, as we locked together. Were it not for the warding I am certain I’d have been ignited, so intense were the rippling waves of flame. Her midnight eyes became centered by a burning flame light, as we expressed further, and the fire within became the fire without. As one, we burned there until we knew each other complete.

   As we lay in the mists of the nearby tumbling waters, cooling us and drowning out the din of  the outside world, with it’s thunderous song, I reached for the bearskin to cover us. Looking at her one last time before shutting my eyes I could think of only one utterance.

   “Shadow and flame”

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Aardyn' Notes
« on: August 06, 2019, 05:21:24 pm »

   The past week has been reasonably uneventful and peaceful. Most of the trouble has been inner strife, but there remains some issues.

   Vivili remains in league with the Devil, Nuzu. After our hunt for Voust, a disguised Vivili brought me back to her residence at Sullivan's and gave me a key. Shortly thereafter, we were joined by the devil-bitch. It seems they are bedding; a troubling choice. I am happy that she finds this comfort, but I fear that the devil-woman will get her killed.

   I have taken measures to attempt to have her allowed back in town. I bent the truth and told the necessary parties that she is with her by my bidding. Technically I didn't lie, though it doesn't feel right. I miss her presence at the hall, though I'm positive Belorfin is quite content with how things are.

   I spoke with Cashand, the Arcanist. As it turns out, he too was in Iolaum. He made no indications that he knew of my house, though I'm positive he must have heard who we are and what we've done. To his credit, he doesn't seem to care much. If he hasn't mentioned anything about it yet, then I very much doubt he will have reason to in the future. We remain on friendly terms and I rather enjoy his company.

   Lastly, Sherina. I took Sherina, again, to my abyss. We had a picnic and spoke a while. I told her about my mother; I trust her. I even introduced her, in a way, as we gazed together into the Black. I believe that Adra would have liked her. Certainly more than she would have liked you, of that you can be sure. Nevertheless, I am sure you would like her as well. She is Dark but kind. She is accepting and affectionate. She broken and beautiful.

   My mother's proffesion did not seem to affect her in the slightest. She simply nodded and accepted the news without a hint of disgust or disdain. That meant more to me than she will ever know. Most people would see me differently, if they learned what she was, but to Sherina it seems to make little difference.

   The remainder of our time was pleasant. We ate and talked a while, alone and sheltered from the outside world, until we packed up and something happened.

   Sherina showed me her shadows. She wanted me to see her and let me feel it. It was beautiful. A deep mist-like Blackness that I could feel calling me. I put out my hand and she pulled it to her side. When I recall what happened, it is almost as if it happened to someone else. "Entranced" is the only word I can think of that describes it.

   The feel of the shadowy form was that of a tingling euphoric state. I could sense it inside of me, in a way, when I touched her side. Before I knew it, I was pulling her toward me, into my arms. I cannot describe to you how immensely drawing it was. I buried my face into her hair, as I held her. Wanted to feel it all around me. I pushed back slightly to look at her again, still holding her. I brushed my hands along her cheek and gazed down into her eyes. In that moment I wanted her.

   As I was a second from leaning in and kissing her, her shadow form disappeared. There was no shadow, just the pale, beautiful, tired face of Sherina staring back up at me; her form against mine, with a look of surprise. The gaze she offered me was not one of disdain or repulsion, and as my senses returned to me I briefly considered leaning in anyways, as our embrace lingered a moment. But then my mind returned to me.

   Sherina is in mourning and likely vulnerable. It would be dishonourable for me to have acted, if not dishonourable enough, having gotten as far as it did. I am troubled by this, as I was not expecting it. Again, I forgot myself in the Dark. Am I so weak that my embracing of the Darkness becomes an enslavement?

   "Shar is in your blood, boy" my mother would warn me. "The Black will call, and you will answer. Do not let it consume you. Though others may cower in the Dark, we shall always embrace it."

   Is this what she meant, or is this something different? I didn't drop my guard to her, she just made it non-existent. I'm floundering in the whole situation, and somewhere I can feel Morgaine giggle-snorting at me. God's only know what she'll have to say about it.

   I have to watch myself from here on out. I don't want to disrespect her, or her mourning any more than I fear I have. What sort of life would I be subjecting the woman to anyways? Would I drag her into darkness with me? Could I put her through the endless turmoil that seems to follow me around? I grow sick thinking on it, and sicker still with myself for wanting it regardless.

   Lyra. Adra. If you can hear me now, please guide me.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Aardyn' Notes
« on: July 29, 2019, 05:03:09 pm »
Sleepless Nights

   True to form, for Hadrian, everything has be flipped ass over tea kettle. My attempts to support and keep Sherina and Michael alive have failed brutally. Michael, the damnable, tortured fool, has gone and got himself killed. Near enough killed, anyways, it seems like he's made himself a pact with a devil. Now, he will spend the rest of eternity in an endless torture. Something that could have been prevented if he had waited only one more day.

   It seems my own ward Vivili is an unwitting cause. She was consorting with an agent of the extra-planar realms. A fairly serious crime; more so, after the Roz'dha and even worse that its resulted in the death of a man.

   It would seem, however, that Michael's death was actually caused by his own foolish rage. In a fit, he bashed the life out of Vivili with the flat of his axe. A shame, as he had a good side to him, but without a doubt, the man deserved death.

   As of yet, there have been no official mentions of a bounty on Vivili's head, though I suspect that someone somewhere will be after her. Valstiir takes the 2nd Amelioration quite seriously. It is my hope that if we explain her story and tell the tale that she has to tell, we may find some leniency. For now, I have hidden her away.

   I'll need a good plan before I bring this up with the Red Lady. I'm hoping her standing will gain us access and support from one of the noble houses. We can't go to the 14th. We can't trust them.

   When first hearing the story, I grew angry at Vivi. I also grew afraid for her. As much as I can't believe I'm telling you this, I have a surprising pain in my heart when I think of what might become of her. We spent some time on a treasure hunt and she was much more lucid than I had seen her before. She surprised me with the way she didn't want anything to happen to me. Until that point I wasn't certain she really felt anything. It was a side of her that I never knew could be there. In the end, she bid me return to the city and vanished. I only saw her briefly after that, when I brought Sherina to her.

   Sherina. My dear friend, Sherina. Belly and I followed her yesterday. She was spurting nonsense and wandered off. We followed her to Michael's grave, where she knelt, seemingly hugging herself. While there, we were attacked. Belly and I turned and met the bandits head on; Sherina gave no reaction. She wasn't even aware of what was happening.

   Upon further inspection, we noticed that she was cooking herself alive in her armour. I tried to call out but in the end I flew into a panic and grabbed her wrists, pulling her hands away. She began to wake after that.

   I was hurt. I was angry. I had too much flowing through my mind in one day. I had to change tactics. The girl needs to steel herself. She needs to hear the harsh reality of this world we live in. It hurt more than I'd like to admit, but I snapped at her. She's unstable and it concerns me greatly. I need her. I need her aware and lucid at all times. She grieves manicly because she believes that she is still alive, when she isn't.

   The truth of the matter is that Michael is dead, and so too did she die with him. Now is the time to stop living that life, and start living for the lives of others, because we are already dead, and the sooner she realizes that, the sooner she will be able to function as a soldier. We, the broken.

   I have asked Cashand to check on her, as she may yet be bitter with me. If it keeps her alive and restores my friend to the strength I once saw in her, then so be it.

   If you could see it in your heart, please, grant me sleep.



Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Aardyn' Notes
« on: July 22, 2019, 02:16:49 pm »

   Michael and Sherina came to see me. It appears someone made an attempt to drive a wedge between them, using my friendship with Sherina as a catalyst. A cheap lie. The ploy was quickly derailed, thankfully, and the three of us remain friends. Sherina and Michael suspect the Sharran, Helle, and while I admit that it is likely, I am unsure.

   We sat by the fire talking for sometime. The shadowy corruption on her arm grows. I was unaware of the gravity of the situation. Removing the arm is no longer an option, and frankly I am concerned for them. The shadows are beautifully dark and deep. She let it wash over her and I found myself lost. It was so magnificently black, and before I knew it, it was touching me. I could feel it; inside and out. Shadows and fire.

   Luckily, Michael and Sherina had the presence of mind to snap me out of it, though I am unsure of what happened. When I returned to myself, Michael was walking out and I suggested Sherina go after him.

   I am embarrassed and ashamed of my evident weakness.

   After they had left I made a decision. I would strike the bargain with the beholder, but not for Voust. I would use it for them. Who better than Moander to deal with a corruption? I made my way to the Enclave crash site, where I would find an adult Hydra; one amongst the corrupting mists, surrounded by the rotting flesh of the walking dead. Surely, it's flesh would serve as a good offering to the beholder's master. We killed it and got the flesh, but not before the intervention of a friend.

   Fjord found me as I boarded the boat. I gave him little detail on who I meant to deal with, but clearly he understood that it must have been a very dangerous deal. He urged me not to do it. I knew he was right about it, but I could see no other option. Time was of the essence.

   In the end, he suggested that he call in an old favour with Dame Averil of the Swords. He believed that if anyone would know how stop the corruption it would be them. I told him I couldn't afford to wait, but since I needed to let the Hydra flesh rot a little, I gave him a few days to try.

   To his credit, he pulled it off. He is a fine man and a good friend; I think you would like him. The Dame gave him a list of items to retrieve. She believes that it may be able to be cured with them. At this point, I am willing to chance it, while the hydra flesh rots.

   This morning, Fjord and I set off into the jungle. We were in search of the Black Unicorn, who's horn is one of the required items. Alas, our efforts were fruitless and the search continues. I will carry on this path for now, keeping the beholder in my back pocket, as a last resort.

   In another event, and you'll be struck dumb by this, I may or may not have accidentally adopted a daughter. Unbelievable, I know, but it's not exactly so.

   The Society ran a patrol at the Asylum. Upon arriving, there was a young woman running. Wearing next to nothing, she was raving mad, but seemingly not hostile. I gave her the dress that Fjord gave me, to cover her up. We couldn't just leave her there, so we brought her along.

   The poor thing had been in the Asylum for 18 years. I can't honestly say that she doesn't belong there, but in the state it is in, we couldn't just leave her there. She had information on the masters of the Asylum. The things they did to those people was beyond cruel. I could feel it crushing my heart, hearing her story, though I was doing my best to steel myself. The girl rambles and raves, but she's been through enough to crush the sanity of the strongest mind.

   In the end, I brought her back to Hadrian. I gave her some coin and showed her where to get a room. She insists that I am now her father although I am only a few years her senior. Comical, I know, but she doesn't seem to listen to reason. I suppose it's foolish of my to expect that of a mad woman.

   I set her up as a serving girl in our bar. Grano is likely not pleased with me, but I know he won't be able to resist helping. In honesty, I don't know what else to do with her; this is typically Morgaine's field of wisdom. I am yet to speak with her, but she has one of the most noble and admirable hearts in the city, and with luck she'll know what to do.

   For the time, the Society will watch over her. I hope that she doesn't cause us much trouble. But who am I kidding...

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Aardyn' Notes
« on: July 20, 2019, 07:23:40 pm »
Council and Beyond

     I called a council meeting, to check on the state of affairs, as well as discuss new recruits. It felt good to have the Society working together again, though the fact that we need the Society at all speaks volumes towards the state of this land.

     Firstly, the membership of the one they call Celeb was expedited by unanimous vote, due to her circumstances in relation to the Red Lady. I confess I don't know her very well but it seems like everyone I trust speaks well of her. Morgaine was certainly prepared to vote in favour, and Belly had no objections to her application. She was instated immediately and, despite my lack of familiarity, I have high hopes for her future with us at the Society.

     The second name put forward was that of Sherina. This one was slightly more complicated. There are certain circumstances that have raised the brow of one of our council members. This hasn't elicited a "No" but rather a provisional "Yes", pending a hearing. Her shadow situation and her history, I will admit, causes somewhat of a concern, though I am confident that what comes out at the hearing will speak to her character. I will have to speak with her to address the matter, personally. I don't want this to feel like a trial, but rather an opening of the situation. It is because I would prefer membership go through unanimously, that I proposed the idea of having her speak. In the end, I am sure it will go through.

     The rest of the council was spent discussing the hunt for Voust. We brought in Chud and it seems he is willing to work with us. We discussed areas we'd like to explore but have no major leads, as of yet. To that point, I feel I may have made a reckless decision. A decision that you no doubt would have scolded me for. I went to the abyss, within the crypts, to think on you again. While down there I had a thought. I am aware of the Beholder that shares the abyss. Seeing the amount of dead that walked it's halls, I thought that I could perhaps cut a deal for information on Voust. I have never been so shaken in my life. I had thought that casting clarity on myself before hand would seem confrontational. I was stupid. The moment I entered it's room, I felt it in me. It urged me to approach the edge. It urged me to jump into the Darkness and it felt so right. I was able to resist for a while, and after some conversation, I was told that in order for aid I would have to present it's master, Moander, with a siginificant offering of flesh. Flesh of a beast of value.

     Shortly afterwards I felt it creep into my mind again. It showed me how little will I had to live. With my own hand I pulled out my dagger, brought it to my own neck and began to cut. I have a scar on my neck now. Fortunately, a new scar for me isn't exactly rare. I will play it off as a close call, should anyone ask. In the meantime, I need to consider the deal that was offered, and decide who I will tell about th.......

*The note abruptly cuts off as if interrupted*

Journals & Backgrounds / Aardyn' Notes
« on: July 15, 2019, 06:27:05 pm »

*The note is written in a fine, trained hand, clearly suggesting practice from a very young age*

          The Returning

     I have given up my search for Serro. In the future I may take it up again, but for now I am at a loss. No one that I have spoken to since has seen or heard anything about him. This, sadly, comes as no surprise to me, given the nature of that damnable fool. Slippery as ever.

     It is just as well that I have returned home now, as I have been greeted by some disturbing tales. My old friend and comrade, Fjord "The Big Man", informed me of the perils falling on Hadrian lately. An eerie mist appears to have been appearing in the wake of the Roz'dha Enclave crash, and where it billows, the dead follow. Too many were lost in that war to even want to think on it, but I know it is inevitable. Combining this fear with the recent Balor's attack on the city itself is borderline unthinkable.

     With this in mind I have sent out missives to distant members of the Adventurer's Society, apprising them of the situation. Belorfin and Morgaine are both present, for which I eternally grateful. Our Red Lady, Morgaine, holds the title of Mayor now, and as such, she cannot vote at our council, though she still sits and participates in our discussion. As radiant as ever, she continues to serve this city far better than the rest of us could ever hope to. Belorfin on the other hand, is as prickly as ever. I am told he became snippy with an eccentric little Elfling by the name of Fae. Young-spirited and pretty, Fae has a peculiarity about her, but I like her well enough. She seems to be a good friend of Fjord, and I'm not entirely sure that there isn't something going on there. That being said, I'm almost positive the same is true for he and The Red Lady. They continue to be quite close, but it's impossible to tell because the damned fool never fucking says anything. I've given up trying to figure him out, and I'm settling for just having him as a warrior by my side.... and a damned good one, at that.

     Thinking of those two, I had been hunting a treasure with a small party when we entered a cave. Coincidentally, we had found Morgaine, Fjord, Michael, and Sherina all standing over the body of a slain Fae. Michael, it seems, became angry and slew Fae over an insult to his wife, Sherina. Michael is a troubled man but there is something quite strange about the circumstances of this event. From the moment I arrived, Michael was pleading guilty and practically begging for death. The Red Lady asked me to take care of the situation in her stead. I obliged. Michael seemed not himself. He was seeing shadows and enemies where none were present. I gave him the choice to plead his case before the courts, as per the law, or I would damn the law and give him the execution that he desired. This was a grim moment. I had no desire to kill the man, but his assumption that if found guilty the 14th would torture and kill him, was likely fair. In the end, Sherina was able to convince him to plead his case to the judge. Good that she had, as he ended up living, (largely thanks to a revived, if a little out of it, Fae) with a fair punishment; something rare, these days.

     I have taken interest in the development of Michael and Sherina. In a way, I see mirrors of my own life reflected in them. I have met with both of them in private, and I believe there is great value in their presence, here in the city. Sherina seems quite skilled in reigning him in, and I hope with everything that I have in me, that she can fix him. Unexpectedly, Sherina has become a good friend to me. She shows understanding in certain areas that I would never have expected. I shared things that I thought I'd never tell another soul. I had been drinking and she said somethings that resonated with my own past and I couldn't help it. I showed her your ring, to let her know that there are others that have faced similar struggles. We have been good friends ever since and I will do everything within my power to help her and Michael succeed. I offered them protection with the Society, and I hope that before anything, they would come to me for aid. They will likely be troubled for more time to come, but that is a story that I do not feel comfortable putting down on paper, at this time. It is enough to count them as friends and comrades, whether they choose to join us, or not.

    These days to come will bear more strife, of that I am sure, but it is in the Darkest days that House Aardyn shines.

     Though others may cower in the dark, We shall always embrace it.


          I won the competition for the naming of the penguins. "Icarus and Emilia"; Names that I borrowed from an old book that madam Kryck made me read as a boy. Funny, I recall saying I would never use that information.

General Discussion / Re: Death penalties
« on: December 02, 2018, 12:53:11 am »
As an observer, and not really caring either way, it seems to me that (ironically) starving the players of levels because "the game isn't about levels" is actually making the game about levels for people.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Ashram Aardyn
« on: September 06, 2018, 01:00:42 pm »
   The town of Hadrian is not so different from Utrisk. The same could be said for Valstiir and Ioulaum. While they are not as big as home, they follow the same basic guidelines.

   I've become rather accustomed to my anonymity in this place. It's refreshing that people don't already know who I am when they meet me. No one cowers or ducks into doorways when they see the colors of house Aardyn approaching. I have become used to it.

   I've bought a home and made friends. Useful friends, at that. They don't seem to mind my obsessive draw towards the Darkness. I cannot say for sure that they understand it, because I barely understand it myself. I know nothing, save that I want it, badly.

   I had met another child of the Dark in Morwiena. "The Darkling" I called her. An excellent comrade and drinking companion in the field, her deathwish not withstanding. It brings me mixed feelings to have heard that her wish was granted in the arena games a few days past. I mourn the loss of my friend but am happy for her getting her one desire.

   I fear I am alone now, in the Dark. Most people will assume the Darkness is evil but it's not so. It isn't anything. It's only absence. Thankfully Keelie, my closest companion and consort, sees this. She is the Light to my Dark. I am drawn to her inexplainably. The Irony of the Light and the Dark sharing a life is not wasted on me. My humor has always been a little black anyways.

   I've taken rather fondly to her friends as well. The Foresters seem to appreciate the need for light and dark together. "Balance" they call it. Lushen and the Lady qiip have become fast friends and trusted allies in my never ending quest to quench my dark thirst for the blood of my enemies. I've found their tribe to be rather warm and inviting. They've taught me to look around me and appreciate the world I live in.

   I am learning to love this place but I take measures to avoid any role or position of leadership. It's been suggested but I'll not return to that life. I want to live simpler, laugh louder, and love longer. My friends here give me that, even as they keep me from plunging too far into the Dark. I wouldn't trade them for the world and would as soon burn the world down, if it meant their lives. The old knightly habits of loyalty and sacrifice don't wash out so easily, I suppose.

   Whatever may come, this place is home now and I will protect it with my life. Protect it... with my Darkness

Though others may cower in the Dark, We shall always embrace it

Journals & Backgrounds / Ashram Aardyn
« on: August 28, 2018, 12:53:15 pm »
   Dark. Grim. Rigid. Rough. These are the words most commonly used to describe my family. They’re accurate enough by all accounts. “The Black Aardyns” they called us. It’s not a secret title and it suits me just fine. “Mad Ash the Dark” seemed to be the preferred moniker for me. How fitting.

   Though others may cower in the dark, We shall always embrace it.

   You always hated that motto. I could see it in your face every time you mouthed it. It would turn your eyes vacant. Those beautiful violet eyes, a gift from your distant elven blood. I remember the first time I saw them. I was six and you were four when your Lord father brought you to Silver River. We spent a ten-day together before they told us we were to marry when you came of age. Remembering the shocked look we exchanged then still breaks me from the foulest of moods. Remembering how we shared that as a private joke between us later in life, even more so.

   It seemed almost cruel that someone like you should be sent to live with us at Aardyn Manor. We loved each other well enough, it’s true, but it was plain to see you were so different from us. I know what people said about it. “The Lady Lyra Lightfellow, sent to the Black Aardyns. The only Light in a Dark place.” Often this with snickers and sneers. You never let that bother you though, did you?

   Not much ever seemed to bother you. You burned bright and never let anything stop you. The ideals you lived by were so foreign to my family and I. You treated everyone as an equal, regardless of rank or station. There were no classes, no walls or barriers, when it came to you. I remember you sitting in the gardens, taking water and food, chatting with the maids like they were old friends. I remember when my father tried to stop you and you fixed him with that even stare, enchanting him with your violet gaze. Left speechless, he let you be. Don’t think for a second that I didn’t hear about it later.

   When I close my eyes at night I always see you. I see you as I saw you that day, as I watched you from the window. I watched you in the field, dancing in your circle with the servant children, laughing and singing and playing. I see your fair skin framed by your raven hair. I see your white dress fluttering in the breeze as you twirled, it’s skirt gracefully nipping at your knees, floating with each delicate move. I recall the colors. The colors of the wildflowers and the hills, as they seemed to blend around you. How the sunlight seemed to beam off of you and meld all else together. Most of all I remember your smile. Not on your soft lips, but in your eyes. It had a way of infecting everyone around you, melting away the sorrows and lightening up the darkest places. How badly I wanted to come down to join you then, but I knew my approach would only sour the mood for the servants.

   My brother urged me to stop you once, as I watched. He insisted it wasn’t right and the hierarchy was at risk. You were my wife, and my father and brother respected that it was MY business to deal with. I refused them. I promised myself that when I was Lord things would change. Perhaps you were right about equality. On the day my father was slain and I became Lord, however, I delayed. I don’t know whether it was out of respect for him or at the insistence of my brother but I delayed. A regret I will carry until the day I fall.

   When I left you for battle I did so because it was my duty as a Knight and a Lord. You shook your head at me before we kissed, that day. I remember smirking at you, as if it were some kind of joke between us. I rode off then, already dreaming of my return to your arms.

   The battles all but won, our commander urged us to pursue the enemy, leaving no man alive. I put forth that it would over extend us and leave our flanks undefended. The disagreement was heated but in the end he pulled rank and I fell in. The enemy suffered a crushing defeat and we were all given leave to come home, words that I had longed for since the moment I left.

   When I crested the hill into our fields my heart soared at the sight of Aardyn Manor. I was so eager to arrive that I quickened pace. My heart quickly stopped at a dead halt when I saw the first body. A servant woman. She had been running through the berry fields when they overtook her. Her lifeless corpse a harbinger for what was about to come.

   I sped with all haste to the manor, barely glancing at the men, women and children laying dead on my path. When I arrived at our home and found you there, I could physically feel the color drain from my body.

   You were so still. So quiet. Somehow, still so beautiful. I cannot think about those lifeless violet eyes without my inner rage burning. Or how the gaping slit across your throat opened as I turned you over. Or how I could tell by your skirts and your wounds that they used you before they ended you. The gaping void I felt then, I fear, will never be filled. I broke, then. Weeping and blubbering incoherently, I rocked you in my arms and sang your favorite songs for what must have been hours.

   Finally, when I began to return to reality, I carried your body up the stairs to our bed. I loosely remember stepping over my brother’s body, but paid it no mind. I tucked you in to bed and wiped your face clean. I will forever see you peacefully asleep, whenever I find my mind wandering. I kissed your forehead one last time and told you “I love you. You were right.”

   I stepped back and lit a candle in the corner of the room and watched over you as the sun disappeared over the horizon. When the darkness came I stood and lit the bed sheets, and then the drapes, and then anything else I could find on my way out of the house. I burned it. I burned it all. When I got outside I burned it too. Aardyn Manor and 600 acres of farm, field and woods set a blaze in my black burning rage. I set out at once for my commander’s home.

   I arrived and burst into his home, my visage the likeness of death itself. He met me and I challenged him to single combat, after I explained to him what his decision had cost. We were both knights and to his credit he accepted. He was an excellent fighter but his guilt weighed on him and my black hatred fueled me. There, in front of his family and a few other Knights, I killed the man that caused me to lose you. I did so with a dark grin, the vengeance was so sweet. I then forsook the knighthood and my titles. Any holdings or wealth be damned. I wanted, then, to have no more to do with it and I left Utrisk behind.

   So many things, I wish I could tell you. I wish I could tell you how right you were about everything. How rank and file cost me everything and yet, somehow, it cost you even more. I live now by your ideals. I live free, and amongst equals. You’ve taught me a costly lesson that I will never forget and I’ll honor you until my last breath.

   I hunger for the day that I may meet those who ended you. I will haunt them and give to them the pain they gave me tenfold. I will give them suffering and torment unending.

   I will teach them a fear of The Dark.

   With love eternal

No. Lvl 15 should be cap.

The event in the construct the other day, cost me at least 12k.
This was for shield/truestrike(10)/Armor/barkskin/blur/speed/a fuck tonne of self heals once Drake went down. Now bear in mind that 6k of that was because once Keelie went down, Rød scooped her up and took off to Hadrian.

Realistically it's not that bad considering I can make more than that in about an hour.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Guided: The Great Raven's Faithful
« on: July 31, 2018, 08:11:15 pm »

   Hvisk stood above her fallen enemy, scanning the forest for any signs of unnoticed threat. Behind her, she knew, her brother would be doing the same. The cool air caressed her skin where it was bared, relaxing her and bringing the adrenaline of combat to a gradual halt.

   Still. Quiet.

   The only sounds to be heard were the leaves, whispering quietly as they fluttered gracefully in the gentle breeze. She knew that out there, somewhere, were the rest of her warband. They would likely have already circled the area, setting a perimeter and working inward, effectively closing off the area from any outside intruders.

   When she heard her brother shift, relaxing his position, she did the same and began surveying their handy work. Congratulating her and her brother silently, she looked down at her last victim. Pulling a skinning knife from her belt, she knelt down and grabbed the man’s ear, placing the curved blade behind it at its base. She began to saw it off.

   “This kill has meaning for you?” asked her brother. She knew that he’d be looking at her now, head slightly tilted as he would so often do when he was genuinely curious.

   “Aye.” she replied, coming to her feet and tipping back her mask. She turned to face her twin, a slight smirk across her lips. “I fucked this one.” She vaguely gestured to the corpse with her knife, before raising the severed ear to her lips and uttering “Hear us.”

   “Hear us.” Her brother repeated customarily, donning a smirk of his own before looking back at the carnage they had unleashed.

   The taking of ears had been an age-old custom in Eikfjord. Warriors would practice this whenever a fallen foe had held any sort of significant meaning. Whether the meaning was bad or good, the ritual was the same. Slaying a friend would merit the taking for the purpose of allowing the dead to hear of their glory and rejoice in GodsHal. Slaying an enemy who had wronged you or your people would justify the ear taking for the purpose of torment. They would hear the deeds and know that their warband was slain by their betters, forced to listen as their comrades were defeated one by one.

   Hvisk took the severed ear and skewered it with a pin on a leather string which she kept fastened around her neck. The ear joined 2 others as it slid down the line of the makeshift necklace. They would remain there until the next full moon, upon which all of such trophies would be turned in to her Druid as an offering.

   Life in Eikfjord, deep within the Great Wild Forest, was an exceptionally difficult existence. Most difficult of all was that of the soldier. When Fjorders came to a certain level of maturity, those choosing the warrior’s way would leave their homes, knowing that they would never again look upon their family. This was not a mournful event for their people, but rather a happy, prideful occasion. The idea of such honour was rarely rivaled, under the ideals of the people of Eik.

   Upon setting out, an aspiring warrior would shed both their given and surname, and be known simply as “Boy” or “Girl” until their comrades bestowed upon them a “battle name” which suited their particular prowess in combat. Hvisk’s name “Hvisket Flamme” (Whispered Flame) was given for her ability to wield her fire and her affinity for getting the drop on her enemies. Her brother “Rødregn Vilhjerte” (Red-Rain the Wild Hearted) was named after his wild nature and the blood he so often let fly from those unfortunate enough to cross his path on the battle field.

   The ultimate goal of the soldier was unanimously GodsHal, where they would join the Gods and spirits in the next life, a life full of drink, coupling and warfare. This was the greatest honour of all, in the eyes of a Fjorder. For this reason men and women steeled themselves, shutting down the typical human emotions in favour of the brutal mentality of the warband. All warbands were run by a Druid, the closest thing to a holy figure that Eik had. The twins’ warband was called the Stor Bjørner (Great Bears), named after Bjørn himself, the Druid and leader of the party. They were renowned and feared by most, even within Landeslaug’s, the new aspiring King’s, army. That fear, however, came in unison with desire. To meet the Stor Bjørner in the field almost certainly meant GodsHal.

   “Well done.” The voice was Bjørn’s. His words came just as he emerged from the brush. “Seven, this time and without any aid.” He looked over the aftermath approvingly, his massive frame seeming to flow with an unlikely grace for a man of his size. His bear mask tipped back, his ever present, dour expression was plain, his eyes piercing blue and his jaw line was square and powerful.

   “They were weaker than expected.” Replied Hvisk, attempting modesty “at least for Blodmenn. Really, I’m not surprised. This one was shit for bedding.” Again, she indicated the one-eared corpse with her knife.

   Bjørn’s expression remained indifferent as he looked at the dead man, beneath her knife’s point. “You took his ear then?” he asked, even as he tilted his head to see for himself.

   “I did. ” she answered, giving a quick flick of the string around her neck.

   “Hear us.” Recited Bjørn, a slight smirk cracking his stoic visage for the first time that day.

   “Hear us.” Came the response from both twins. Hvisk's came with a look of pride, knowing full well the honour of having a Druid say the words for your kill. She spared a glance over to her brother, watching her now with the ghost of a mocking grin. She was about to ask him what he thought was so fucking funny when a light whistle came from Bjørn.

   “Fjern” Bjørn said, as the ranger came forward, answering his Druids call. “Any more?” he asked.
   “No. They appear to have been alone out here.” Fjern’s answer, quick and direct. “Hunting party, most like.”

   Bjørn appeared to accept this as fact. His ranger and right-hand man was seldom incorrect about such matters. They had been together so long that Bjørn did not need to reply to show his acceptance of the guess, so he didn’t.

   Looking back to the twins he said “Search them, and fall back in. We move.” Drawing a brief nod from both of them in seemingly perfect unison. This trait of theirs was often considered off-putting and eerie. Their comrades, by this time however, had become accustomed to it. It had largely been assumed that twins had conjoined spirits, causing them to sometimes act as one person.

   “Understood” Hvisk replied, setting to her task immediately.

   After finding nothing and rejoining the warband in their march through the forest, Hvisk looked up at her brother. His mask was pushed right back now, hanging down his back from the ties that kept it there. Long red-blonde hair, partially braided and tied back framed his strong face. The remaining strands, too short to tie, were either tucked behind his ear or hung freely into his face. His blue warpaint crusted and wearing off, she could see his youth now, around his eyes. She furrowed her brow at him. It wasn’t the youth that irked her. It was that idiotic, shit-eating grin that we still wore across his face.

   “What? Why do you keep looking at me like that?” she finally asked, a hint of irritation spattered with curiosity. “Speak!”

   “Your wording, back there.” He answered her not bothering to glance back. He knew already exactly what she would look like.

   “Wording?” She asked, genuinely confused. She was no stranger to being astonished at what her usually grim brother would find comical.

   “Bedding.” His smile widening.

   “Bedding?” She mimicked him, all irritation gone now, swept away by her confusion “But… that’s a regular word people use…”

   Rødregn gave a single snort and finally looked over, his occasional cocky smirk presenting itself to her. “You’ve never slept in a bed, in your life.”

   His sister grinned and set her eyes forward again, letting her brother enjoy his teasing, as stupid as it may be. Besides...

...neither had he.

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