Author Topic: Chapter 5 - EFU: City of Rings Rumors & Gossip Thread  (Read 30445 times)

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on: July 04, 2021, 04:19:25 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A changing of the guards takes place in a number of areas quite quickly... After rumored trial and association with Count Zarono Senuspur and House Sunpurse, the Redjacks lead by Ranulph McDimmock finally seem to win over Captain Aslo's post. While a small amount of fanfare took place, the Redjacks remain much the same as the Blackjacks prior... besides the new Count sympathetic liaison.

This lead to Brick, the Halforc Redjack, to be named second hand. However, this was shifty taken from him by contest of House Velstra Retainer Gerhard Stoutmantle upon the Bridge of the Peerage. There is some clamor about a Retainer facing down against a Redjack in such manner, however, none would deny that they had not /taxed/ enough people to make enemies.

This further lead to the events that took stage... the Orza Traitor and Moonspear servant Camila Vazquez made an announcement for a stage event, a song; a tale:

Quote from: City Whisper by Camila Vasquez
Startin' in ten minutes! King's Commons, Dispensary! I'll be playin' one song an' one song only! The ballad of Count Zarono Senuspur! Love 'em, or hate 'em... you won't find this one wantin'. Heheheh.

Word quickly spread of horrible undead and death gazes among the masses there... and more importantly, some one took great offence to these servants of Moonspear being so close to the Peerage...

Quote from: City Whipser by Lord Anders Orza
[Clears his throat] A reward from House Orza to the one that brings me the heads of those traitors. The /Moonspear/ ones, of course.

And so, shortly as the Moonspear guard turned their heels to return to their Hold in 97, slowly so, in the Pauper Ponds did the Former Redjack Brick strike, laying low the bard, taking her head and routing back to Castle Orza...

What happened next was unheard of. For his service, his task, Andres did offer a reward of his choice... Brick, or Korsugoth as he spoke to his name, was knighted as per request... the swift work, repaid in full.  Ser Korsugoth, Axe of Orza, lived only a short time however...

Quote from: City Whisper by Ser Korsugoth, Axe of Orza
This is Ser Korsugoth of House Orza. On behalf of Count Senuspur and of my Lord Orza, I have a very important message for House Moonspear.

Fuck. You.

Everyone who has the spine to stop the Prince in Shadow from ending the world, meet met in Castle Orza.

A quick reply and series of words exchanged over the whispers shortly therein

Quote from: City Whisper by Inquisitor Malik Adalya
I denounce the Nothing. House Moonspear denounces the nothing with its total and utter self. There should be no confusion in this.

But who am I to speak on such? Listen, now, to the words of Ser Lyon, as is written for all to see in the Stones.

'I swear to save my Father who has been taken from me by the great abyss of the Nothing. In my quest to save him, I swear I shall stand against the horrors of the Nothing. If I must, alone.'

Tristan is corrupted of the mind. The one we kneel to, his Son, Ser Lyon, is not. Do not confound the two for their shared blood. We oppose the Nothing in totality. Do not besmirch our name otherwise. For in doing so, any of you who do, are liars yourselves.

Quote from: City Whisper by Ser Korsugoth, Axe of Orza
This is Ser Korsugoth. As I have declared before, those caught conspiring with House Moonspear will be hanged for treason against mankind.

The traitors we are already aware of have one hour to give themselves up at Sunpurse Mansion, to ask for the Count's mercy.

Quote from: City Whisper by Velstra Retainer Gerhard Stoutmantle
You believe yourself a knight for hounding and slaying a defenseless girl? I think not. You are a mockery to virtue and tradition, I denounce you 'Korsugoth' .. I denounce your honor and I denounce your fabricated title.

Renounce your 'knighthood' immediately or face me upon the bridge, refuse. And the Ward shall well know you are only capable of slaying the meek and running like the coward you are.

Shortly after this...

-- A fight between House Orza, Sunpurse retainers, and House Velstra Retainers breaks out in the Peerage --

The Axe of Orza lead the charge, with retainers of House Sunpurse and Orza in tow, and a Ruby it is spoke, they saw to downing Retainer Gerhard Stoutmantle and battling down his allies in Velstra. The guard at the gate, the one watching for incident and correct conduct in the Peerage? Why, Retainer Arkady of Orza proclaimed: "Good job, Axe!"

Quote from: City Whisper by Ser Korsugoth, Axe of Orza
Gerhard Stoutmantle will be hanged for treason against mankind. House Velstra will be paid a generous weregild for their inconvenience. Expect it at the Steadings. 

Ser Nicholas was not entertained, and interceded on the behalf of his retainer, in a strict and curt manner did he demand arrangements be made for his retainer's mistake, that might see his life spared...

Quote from: City Whisper
The Orc-Blood Brick who was recently knighted wishes it known that he will spare Gerhard's life on the condition that the Moonspear traitors appear in the steadings for the debt they owe Gerhard.

House Moonspear did show, in force, and by arts of quick magics and fierce attack did they come, as House Velstra watched on, and House Sunpurse attempted to regroup. And so... did House Velstra gain back their Retainer, and Orza lose their Axe.


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on: July 20, 2021, 10:46:06 PM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

It spreads invisibly.



In the far reaches of the minds of men, bestial natures kept locked find themselves slowly coaxed to wake. Voracious, bloodthirsty appetites never once stirred are finally whet. Slowly, sordid savageries become more commonplace in the Rings as kin turns on kin and as ken infringes on lunacy. And in the shadow of such things, a heartbeat thrums louder still...

Note: Players not under the influence of Protection of Evil or Divine Grace may find their alignments slowly shifting from now on.


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on: July 26, 2021, 02:08:06 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Ambitions mark the point of change within the rings. Each House or gathering seeking some hold upon the squandering resources available to them after the loss of the majesty of the Silverpeaks.

To Moonspear, the 97th, and the old of the inquisitor – their members still haunted by their betrayals and secrets that formed them, seeing them as Nothing Worshippers or traitors to most.

To Velstra, The Steadings and Farmlands, the Redwheat Manor, The Feast and their Hunter's Guild - Conflicts arise as always, from their reach for splendour and event.

To Glitt, the Shepperine Hills, a greater part of their corner of the Peerage - A constant battle to remain Honorable in the face of those that would undermine them.

To Orza, their Castle, Mongrelwoods advancements and horrible betrayals – Undermined by those that fled their colours, after turning upon the Count, and most visibly with the destruction of the Ring 94. Such rage for revenge fuels them.

To Sunpurse, Two Tasks, both great, both simple. Find Phelan, Repair the Drill – While control of the Redjacks is certain; while the Guild of Lessors hold power evident - the Banner House once more despite proclaiming the King as usurper - craves yet more.

Those dissidents of the Ponds continue their own efforts, despite all this. As the Land of the Weald is cut into three. As Ghyl and Changeling are crushed under foot, for advancement of the Peerage. Those of the Ponds secure what they can of their own ways.

The Sleeper is awoken, the land is of fire, law and order are upon their heads, famine and strife seems inevitable for those that might not take control of what little is to go around quickly. And now, a higher power has descended upon the ruined ring of 94 to proclaim judgement.

All are found wanting.

Deva, light, fire, and justice rain from the clouds. The skies turn yellow with the glow of holy fervour. A pitched battle is fought among the grounds of the trial, to no avail, as the defendants scurry back all the way back to Ring 97. Lizardmen die painfully in its wake. Bandits and gangs pay for their crimes in blood. Moonspear locked its tower.

And eventually, upon the Bridge of the Muckboy's squat, a final stand is waged against the swords and arrows of holy reckoning. Though, defeated, the angels were clear with their judgment, and it is whispered or spoken by those claiming victory against the Heavenly Assembly...

“Your Defence fails, this was always known, but Justice was given and chance along with it. Your Punishment will so forth commence. KNOW THAT THIS DOES NOT ABSOLVE YOUR SIN! GUILTY, UPON ALL ACCOUNTS!”


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on: August 11, 2021, 05:54:24 AM
 [ :: Year 1 :: ]

By action of bargain, duress and frantic alliances, do a new House and set of Lords enter the Peerage. As retainers of Sunpurse clamor for support in finding the lost son Phelan for their Lady, do a series of sweeping actions seemingly coincide with the planning of their Lords.

While Dame Eris Hale berates Lord Anders  - who is well above her station - and offers the expunging of exile upon the Moonspear Retainers and Oath breakers of Orza, Aatish Aldebrand and Malik Adalya, the knives of Orza sharpen in the once Castle Moonspear.

All this seems to drift into some fever dream, however, as a True Council of Peers is held...

-- A thin train of folk waving a tattered white and blue banner trudge on through the Rings, toward the 99th. --

-- Steel flashes and a man is brought to his knees after a swift and bloody chase through the streets of the peerage. Rumor spreads quickly of a Velstran falling upon the planks of the Peerage bridge at the hands of several Orzan assailants. --

--  A night of blood and parlay in equal parts, to be sure. --

-- The Moonspear congregation makes its way to the Council chambers, there to await an audience... --

-- It's soon rumoured that Ser Lyon Moonspear has elected to wile the time by taking a seat -- the seat of Moonspear, as a point of fact. --

 -- What Lord Orza will think of that, time will tell. --

-- The sitting Lords of the Peerage are assembled, and Lyon of Moonspear too.  They await the Count's arrival... --

Within the Council Hall, do Ser Lyon Moonspear, Lord Norbert Velstra, Lord Bernard Glitt, Lords Anders and Kristoff Orza arrive. And eventually... seemingly out of nowhere, Does Count Zarono Senuspur arrive, and move to the armchair of House Sunpurse.

A series of taunts and further erupt between the lording figures. Lord Norbert appears seemingly adrift and bemused at some party. Lord Bernard is unblinking and focused upon Ser Lyon, his eyes burning with an extreme enmity for the destruction caused in the wake of Moonspear. Lord Kristoff glances to his hated Oathbreakers - so close, yet so far out of reach - while Lord Anders struggles to maintain composure in front of the ever intimidating Count.

 -- The abrupt departure of the Orzans marks the winding down of the meeting.  The House of Moonspear has given fealty to the Count and the Ward... and in the coming days shall return to a new seat in the 99th. --

Ser Lyon Moonspear is a resigned, yet passionate voice that does as he views he must for what he must. Count Zarono Senuspur stands in front of them all, peering down upon them as children, and gives, now Lord Lyon Moonspear, what he desires for an unknown price. The Fifth High House, Moonspear, moves into Dusk's Cradle, slowly. Its halls still echo with the voice of the caretaker slain by Redjacks not so long ago. The Statue of the Lady in Waiting remains, waiting.

Was it for them?


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on: August 17, 2021, 05:09:45 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

While House Velstra, tends to the Weald and Farms. While House Glitt tends to the Sheppernine. While House Orza battles the newly minted House Moonspear. While House Sunpurse contests fits of suiting? and While the animals of the Weald in 98 continue to seemingly vanish...

Other elements have been hard at work... for a long time now.

-- a Disturbing and horrible series of echoes rocks Ring 99, from beneath... --

Quote from: City Whisper by the Autumnmask of Willowgrove
Deep in the Drips, in an unholy sepulcher, a hideous rite is about to be performed.

You who have pursued Lord Phelan Sunpurse are offered this opportunity, and shall likely not have another. They who halt this profane rite and claims the head of Yictanaghz Reynnri, his staff, and his black opals, shall be allowed to enter the Mist and speak with the wayward heir.

...if stop him, you can...

Quote from: City Whisper by Knave of 99, Copper Faced
It seems that the time is now. Retainers of the Ward, gloryseekers, and those who would call this ring home. The necromancer begins his plot; Blacksmile grins this eve, and a terrible dread occurs.. The Bonecollectors must be sieged, to see this come to an end.

Quote from: City Whisper by Dame Fleta Blacke
'This is unacceptable...'

'I did not want to intervene but it seems that I must...'

'The Feast has run out of caviar. Fishermen! Water farmers! Who-ever brings me a quantity of fat salmon from the sheppernine rivers, swollen with healthy roe, shall be rewarded. Dame Fleta, vassal of Lord Norbert, has spoken.''

'Oh. And Master Ruul wants Yictanaghz magical stave. If you bring that as well you may have unique treasure from our deepest vaults. That is also important too, I suppose. Better than a night with a Changeling. I'll say that for sure...'

Quote from: City Whisper by Mattermead Gold
Gold, Mattermead the Gold. Triumvir of the Prismatic Council and Wizard-Lord of Ring 100 announcing that any rituals presently being undertaken are unregistered with the arcane authority of the Realm and are thereby deemed a threat to the City. The magus Yict...tendergrass... is advised...

... that as he was never assessed by the Prismatic Council he is at risk of becoming a Nobody... especially if this ritual is simply a matter of being up to no good! We will be accepting reports when they are made available, thank you all and good luck dealing with the renegade.

-- A terrible battle erupts in the drips below, horrible magics flung about as though simple tricks --

A voice rattles from oldbones and chattering black opals as the battle erupts, undaunted, amused, and chiding:

Sons of the Usurper, Children of the Harbormaster. I come not to destroy you, or break the peace that the Harbormaster seeks. No, I come to offer you all rebirth from the oblivion that awaits you.

It should be obvious to all, but I will grant you a truth. The Thrones beyond the Pale are empty. Only do fickle and terrible servants await, and the torment that is the rotting beyond. The entropy that devours all that would let it, This Inert, seeks to undo us, as most of you have seen.

I would save us this horror, if you would let me. Gleam into the future where death remains with life. Let the Count continue his siege, let the King answer for his negligence. Endless nights have I slept, and it was always as it is now. We are humbled by one that can not and will not save us.

The battle continues until the point that the Lich and his servants have spent most of the invaders, though not without heavy damage to their inner sanctum, and the capture of Yict.

-- A message from a distant voice rings out now... in some form of diplomacy --

Quote from: City Whisper by Ennugim Ishmenka
[A voice echoes] Sons and Daughters of the Usurper, though you throw barbs and spells in tantrum, I am a willing host. I come to set you free from the shackles of death. My ambassador was taken from me, return him, and the souls of those lost to foolishness will be once more.

Those that seek to avoid the Nothing, and the Pale Beyond, of Kingdoms of Broken and Empty Thrones, should find service, in the host of Bonecollects. We that shall remember all.

Quote from: City Whisper by Knave of 99, Copper Faced
I have your creature Yict. Harm my brother or my underlings and I will toss him into the Pale myself. Return them to me immediately without condition and I will consider giving the man a chance to scamper back. Do not and we will hound you to Ring 1 if we must...

-- A voice once more echoes, past the need of magics of doors: 'Bring him back, and so it shall be.' --

What happens next is whispered, a red and violent portal bleeding into the Groundskeeper's Cabin, the ambassador returned by those that sought to challenge the newly reborn Lich, only to free him for the lives of those still captured..., and Lady Sunspyre running rabid at those that would free her for such a price.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2021, 03:42:52 AM by Bearic »


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on: August 18, 2021, 05:35:04 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Ruby ash fills the old wizard keeps...

--A caravan makes its way from further Kingward, towards the Peerage Ward. It is flanked by a Sunpurse Bannerknight.--

--The wagon leaves, amongst its passengers eager to aid the Count in his siege against the King, members of Orza, Glitt, and sundry adventurers...--

--There is an explosion in Tower top, and a magically enhanced voice shouts... 'GET MESTIL'S BREATHED ON, RUBY WITCH!' a clamour of fighting, and screaming, and more explosions...--

--Rumours fly on the back of messengers of a local wizard rebel in the Warrens bursting into Towertop and melting the Ruby there with acid, before fleeing, and finally being killed, by some local adventurers...-- 

Ruby blood fills the cobble streets...

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Jodfry a'Valar”
Why do you complacently kneel and scrape before men who, naught but a year ago, you named your most hated enemies? These Knaves make no secret as to what they are. Nor do their masters. You need not call them 'agents of the Sleeper' to have reason to put them to the sword.

These men of Moonspear risked all that they had, seeking to slay the foremost of the Count's rubies ... and now, with nothing more than a whimper, they become yet another dog-chasing, boot-licking slave-house enthralled to the whispers of a thing that should not be.

We have forgotten the lessons of the great rebellion against the old masters ... but fear not, City of Rings. I am, first and foremost, an instructor. And this is a lesson I am more than qualified to teach.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Dame Eris Hale”
The only two things you ever taught /me/, who wished nothing more than to be your devoted student, were fear and abuse. Shut that fetid privy you call a mouth, Jodfry, before I tell the entire City the truth of why you left us.

The Lady-Mother forgive me for even considering this. It would.... Reflect so poorly, it would expose that which must, by right and propriety be kept from the public...... No. I will not allow myself to be drawn in by your provocations. You can hurt us no longer. Die in darkness, and be forgotten.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Jodfry a'Valar”
Oh, Eris. You seem to believe yourself safe and secure, here at the height of your power - the culmination of your schemes of ruin and desolation brought to bear. You believe that I can not hurt you. You believe that, with even Moonspear knelt, any opposition is hopeless.

/You believe wrong./

Allow me to offer you one additional piece of instruction, my wayward student. Never make a threat you aren't prepared to back up...

-- Another day in the Peerage as rain pitters down ...--

--Dawn breaks, the sun rising slowly, dispelling the morning frosts...--

-- And from the Vaults of House Sunpurse ... the Count Senuspur lets out a blood-curdling scream... -

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Jodfry a'Valar”
Do you remember what I told you about threats, Dame Eris? I follow through on mine. As this day unfolds, remember that.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Grand Vizier Sardistan”
All retainers of House Sunpurse and other loyalists to the Count Senuspur are to report to the Sunpurse manse immediately.

-- The Peerage Ward is all abuzz with rumours of the disappearance of Ruby Saraid Caermyn ... and the wroth and rage that followed. --

Ruby vengeance  awaits to leap.


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on: August 29, 2021, 05:33:13 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

A wolf stalks the Peerage for a long time. A hunter hunted by almost all the Houses of the Peers; All the Lords of the Ward; The House Sunpurse in desperate effort and at the expense of many of the lives of its retainers. It seems after its relentless efforts, the beast is finally snared.:

-- A shriek from the ward as a wolf barrels through its gates --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Autumnmask of Willowgrove”
You know what you did, Sidonie. Don't test your luck again.

-- A tense exchange occurs on the bridge of the Peerage. --

-- Crookjaw, or Ser Cecil as he calls himself, stands against the overwhelming minions of the Count. Those fettered by distress, purpose, or apathy --

-- The information that House Sunpurse so desperately seeks, torn from him by horrible magics, but at a last moment, Dame Fleta Blacke severs the connection, and Ser Cecil's head --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Dame Fleta Blacke”
Grim, with tremouring breath. 'This is Dame Fleta. My actions are my own and by no means reflect the will of the Velstra Family. I accept complete and total responsibility for my actions. Let no man or woman in the household nor in their service be looked upon in my place, upon my honour be it.'

-- As chaos continues to embroil the Peerage Ward through the most recent events, in a somewhat nearby Ring, rubble is removed and massive wheels are repaired. While clearly not yet in condition to travel, it is simply a matter of time... --

-- As the events of the day begin to settle, things begin to become clear ... --

-- The former Reeve of Lord Desmond Sunpurse, Ser Cecil, revealed to be a traitor and changeling known as Crookjaw ... --

-- ... captured by the forces of Moonspear, Aatish and Malik, and brought before the Grand Vizier of House Sunpurse ... --

-- The Grand Vizier's nightmarish hand plunged into the man's still-living skull ... seeking some priceless information ...--

-- The state of shock that struck the Vizier as a woman of Moonspear, Symmone d'Troyes, plunged her spear through his heart ... and very nearly slew him, if not for the timely intervention of her fellow Retainers ... who brought her low and dragged her back to Moonspear ... --

-- The Vizier's shrouded form ushered back into the depths of the Mansion Sunpurse ... --

-- And a sort of calm returning once more to the Ward of the Peers ... --

House Montegelas, of which the majority aided critically in the return of Ennugim Ishmenka, has found a terrible end to three of its members. Its lineage torn from the realm of the living... with spiteful visages left in damp and dark halls. An agony is expressed in dark consequence and felt by those that would lynch such a loyal Household. :

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Ruby Vsaja Sumari”
A very brief word. A comital servant may have pardoned the family Monteglas for traffic in dark magic..

Alas, that he has not forgiven my former knave and their master for his betrayal, nor the sheltering and animation of a condemned woman.

The line, to the last babe, is to be exterminated. A small wergild will be paid for the lessers, and a tidy sum for head of house. Happy hunting.

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Lazzario Montegelas”
To the murderer of my innocent brother Angelo, whom shared no part in any of the 'crimes' listed.

I will be on the bridge in ten minutes, and we shall settle this as men. I have renounced my sister and confessed as misled.

Better to have at least a pedilum of honor then attacking innocent boys who did you no wrong.

-- A lion picks his wounded way through the ward, pecked and pricked by fleas.  --

-- A quick drop is cut short by a sudden stop. Lazzario Monteglas living weight lurches, and then his dead body takes its place. The sound of his polished maille shaking on his corpse sounds all-too-eerily like the clinking of coins...  --

-- No man it is said may serve two houses. Mayhaps even one is too many  --

-- ...Though the masters of the realm are jealous with their slaves.  --

-- A crimson flash. A sinister hiss. --

--The dead speak again, however briefly. A crushed throat let's slip a ghostly word... --

--'You will see soon enough... that my words were TRUE.' so says the shade of Lazzario... --

--And then his new kin are upon the crowd --

-- It seems the house of the dead, kept by the dead, values its retainers more than mortal lords. Ghosts and banshees reap through the assembled onlookers.  --

-- The “natural” order is once again restored by strength of arms. It was always such an impostion and is always a profound conceit. The dead are silent as before. One of the great lies that secure soft sleeping is told anew. There is peace in the Peerage Ward.  -- 

A dark feast illuminates a happy one. A name of Auld, of tradition, and of the Peerage before the Rise of Count Zarono Senuspur is shared on the lips of many. What will the return of such a figure bring to the House of excess, and lions amongst men?:

 -- Much ado in the Velstra Vale, as a celebration is ongoing following the return—some whisper by foul necromancy—of a figure thought long-dead. Sunpurse, Orza, Moonspear, and others have made themselves known to gawk, and the Vale swells with not-so-quiet pride at its success. --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Dame Fleta Blacke”
An obese wheeze, from a mild walk: “I say. This is Dame Fleta. Today I announce, by Lord Norbert's decree, a grand feast! A feast of the Feast! All are invited to celebrate the return of Lord Norbert's cherished son, Ser Adrian! A day of days. Monumental, a hero stands among us.”]

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Adrian Winespill”
Sons and daughters of the Peerage. I know little of the troubles that have befallen our home during my... my long slumber...

But I promise you that I will do aught that I can to win a brighter future for us all, to lead us into a better, kinder day, free from the creeping fingers of evil that seem to surround us now.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 05:46:48 AM by Bearic »


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on: August 29, 2021, 07:15:37 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Tchun, the sleeper awoken; the disaster of many - The Frozen demon-god of horrors unspoken in fear of its deadly madness and curse. - Has been bested by the crew of the Whipping Griffon. At the cost of many lives and the ship itself.

Nine final members yet remain,

Yasmin Jharana
Helena Argyros
Gliern Rust
Loria Venwood
Egbert Velstra
Roch de Proux
Thorgrun Grimhammer

Echoes of the Acsent, described by those that survived can be heard on tales by night

-- An eerie quiet in the rings... --

-- A host has gathered aboard the Whipping Griffon. --

-- Whether through choice or consequence, many have come to the side of the captain Zelia N'dare and her newfound replacement crew. --

-- A motley crew of princes, priests and paupers alike have come aboard the ship. Hot-blooded, but cold in the eye, it appears in the face of a looming existential threat, something bordering on begrudging appeasement seems to take rule. --

The engine is started:

-- There's a certain type of silence that comes before a storm. Ominous. Promising. That same type of sensation lingers in the air on board the Whipping Griffon moments before, out of seemingly nowhere.. --

-- ..she rises. --

-- First it is slow, accompanied by the sounds of groaning protest from the old, old wood of the ship. Things that are not meant to break begin to somewhat bend with the upwards momentum. --

-- The ship begins to rock side to side with a sudden weight. --

-- A sudden lurch of the ship causes people to lose their footing, sliding, bumping, falling backwards as Zelia suddenly turns the ship's nose too vertical, too fast. --

-- The Griffon is whipped into motion. Outside the battered hull, the fading, trailing shouts of a woman elated. A woman free once again, no longer bound to the confines of the City of Rings.. --

-- For a moment, there is only happiness and the sensation of freedom that Zelia N'dare seems affected by. And then, from one moment to the next, the world collapses. The ship screams, Zelia screams, everyone can't help but scream.. --

-- ..and there's a sudden jolt, collapse, an inversion of logic and gravity as an arc planar energy cuts the sky above Ring 99. Those still below can only look up and wonder as they see a fiery streak across the sky flash, then disappear. --

-- ..perhaps forever. --

-- The Whipping Griffon departs the City of Rings, only embers in its wake as it careens through the stream of seams. Guts roil as planar energies coalesce and convalesce and then dissipate. --

The Voyage Begun:

-- CRASH --

-- The sudden sound of heavy impact. And then those beside portholes catch a glimpse of the outside. Hail and storm and reddened sky. --

-- The air: thick, cloying, tantalizingly strange-sweet familiar. Heavy. Copper and iron and all things uncomfortably familiar to a great many: blood on the wind. Much of it. --

-- All of it. --

-- The heavy snowstorm that ravages outside the ship almost drowns out the screams in the far distance. Almost. --

-- For a few more minutes as the Griffon trundles on through the sky of the Frozen Tear, there is nothing but soft screaming and gentle, gentle hears slowly losing courage as the reality of what is to come settles in. --

-- An indeterminable amount of time passes. --

-- Then, abruptly, in between distant sounds of thunder, a ship's bell rings loudly, carrying across the current planar winds down belowdecks. --

-- Zelia signaling imminent arrival. Best get ready. For whatever may come. --

-- The Griffon stalls its approach. Within moments it comes to a sudden lurch, then a lull. Then a complete stop. --

-- A few moments later, the ship's bell rings again. Zelia calls for a rapid descent to ground.. --

Charges are set:

-- As you descend, the Tear shows a cruel sight of itself. The white of snow has stained a deep shade of bloodied pink. Here and there, the stark white is cruelly marred by something more alarming to the eye: yellowed bone. --

-- Zelia calls for attendance. Zelia's voice rings across the decks of the Whipping Griffon. --

-- Zelia: We're down a charge. There's three more caves, one already being ventured in by my contemporary.  ahem 'So-called' contemporary.  Let's keep up the pace. The ice crowds thicker with each frosty breath. --

--The bomb in Halls of Madness, is about to blow--

--BOOM, the charge detonates in the Halls of Madness--

--a Shriek echoes across the frozen tear, one inhuman, humungous and dreadful, few could miss the sound of a true draconic roar--

--Another huge roar, as the battle RAGES in the dragons lair--

--The charge is nearly set, yet something rumbles within the corpse once more---

--Buzzzzz as the charge within the depths of the dragon's lair, signals it's readiness--

--The charge readies to BLOW--

--The great bone dragon roars, and takes to the skies...--


An Option is given:

-- Zelia: For those that wish to leave.. I'll cut you a way out of here. --

-- Zelia brings her phantasmagorical sabre to bear and holds it aloft. It shines brightly, the she slices the air beside her, rending a rift. Then she punches into it with the butt of her weapon. Planar defenestration. --

-- Zelia: Now's the chance to leave. No turning back after this. --

-- Zelia: No one is to leave? --

-- Zelia seems duly impressed... --

-- Wordlessly, the captain flicks her sword again. The portal seals itself shut, but where it once was, there is a noticeable waver in the air. --

The battle continues...:

-- Freezing, bedraggled, but not beaten yet, a retinue of brave heroes have assembled themselves at the base of an impossibly vertical glacier... --

-- crane your neck high, following the length of the glacier with your gaze. Or you try to. Your neck cranes, your back cricks. --

-- A monumental monolith to madness. --

-- Impossible pure ice, gore-speckled and blood-flecked all the many, many miles high up... --

-- ..and somewhere, high up there. He waits. --

-- No longer the Sleeper. Awoken. For you. --

-- And so the arduous climb begins... --

-- You ascend the glacier and reach a selective and cracked plateau, jagged ice-pieces float on long frozen-over seas of blood, slowly shifting, sometimes still drifting. --

-- Zelia: Look out below! --

-- The Griffon flies low for a bombing run! --

-- More of the mad make themselves free from their ceaseless toil of chipping at each other and at the ice, heading straight for those still not enlightened. --

-- The ice cracks... --

The way treacherous and long:

--Yasmin signals, and the Griffon lowers to allow them to resupply...--

--The bone dragon launches to the sky, once more...--

-- Zelia brings the Griffon up high and brings cannonside round to face the Tear. --

-- Zelia brings the cannons round, noticing the danger amongst the trees. --

--Courage. Temerity. It goes by many names, and wears myriad cloaks - yet despite shifting form the thing is recognizable with a glance. There is an abundance of it in this bleak hour.--

--Cannonfire rains from above, blasting at the wretched fingers...--

--The Griffon descends, preparing for resupply...--

--The battered and bruised heroes emerge into the biting cold, getting pelted by foul tentacles... above them, a shadow circles...--

-- The Griffon takes to sky just as the shadow descends. A barrage of cannonfire is exchanged as Zelia passes.. --

--The dragon launches into the air, once more... pelting those below with bursts of ice...--

-- Zelia brings the ship down low.. --

-- Zelia can be seen attending to the ship. Her face is grim, but resolute, her starlight-colored eyes glaring in the red bask of the ochre, long-dried bloodied snow. --

-- Zelia rings the ship's main deck bell. It sounds lamenting, echoing off the ice.. One last, sonorous clarion call to battle as the heroes prepare their way to race their way to the summit to face against the Sleeper one, final, time... --

Meureisxa the Thrice-Crazed, ended finally:

--The path to the summit swarms with maddened beasts, and sundry - answer the grim call of the Awakened Sleeper... they crawl, and skitter and skip, preparing to defoul and decry those that rally against him.--

-- A rapid descent from the rope. --

-- Boots hit the snow hard. --

-- Crunching snow, crunching bone. It's time. --

-- Zelia brings the Griffon round, lifting it up high in the sky. --

-- A cry from the back. The forces arrayed against you are overwhelming in their entirety. Zelia's words ring loud in your ears... --

-- Now is not the time for doubt. --

-- And as if on cue, Zelia begins her accompanying bombardment. The Griffon lets fly a cannonade of shots, clearing a path forward and upwards.. --

--Bombardment rains down upon the rallied forces of the Sleeper!--

--The Griffon passes once more... fire raining down!--

--The greatly weakened maddened descend upon them, hungry and eager for their end...--

-- Zelia shouts down from the upper deck of the Griffon. She shouts, screams, pleads for an advance - 'My fuel's running low! It's now or never! Move. MOVE!' --

-- Another array of cannon shots, a barrage to clear a desperate path. Like ants, struggling in the snow. --

--Bombardments of the heroes are met with bombardments of their own, from the maddened cultists...--

-- But with enough ants, even giants may topple one day. --

-- The Griffon screams across the sky, in its wake pellets of fire. Ancient ice cracks, snow that has not seen sun in millennia finally mets.. --

-- Zelia suddenly pulls back, the Griffon pulling away protection. --

-- Eyes turn to the sky, full of fear, and rage. Abandoned? At the zenith of it all.. --

-- A shadow streaks across the ice that hangs overhead. Moments later, the shadow's twin appears. --

-- Shadows large than life race across the breadth of the monolithic glacier that is the Frozen Tear. They fly upwards, vertical along its height, then suddenly swerve, first one, then the other, turning around abruptly. --

-- The dragon approaches, splintered bones streaking down. And right behind it, Griffon, desperately steering the Griffon behind it. --

-- The dragon streaks past, snatching off with one of the bodies of the fallen in one single, swooping motion. Right behind it, the Griffon.. --

-- Zelia screams from the top of the deck to take cover! --

-- The Griffon pulls up, following the dragon. --

-- The glacier's edge is visible.. --

-- ending is soon to come. --

-- One way or another. --

-- A hole seems punctured in the endless horde of the Sleeper. --

-- A shadow streaks. --

-- And in its wake, the Griffon.. --

-- The dragon's bones fracture. --

-- With that, the Sleeper's final guardian lies defeated. The path to his seat is open.. --
The Final Ascent, and the last voyage of Captain Zelia N'dare

--You clamber up, sweat and blood saturating your very being... in the ice ahead, something immense looms...--

-- You ascend the plateau. --

-- Here, at the summit of the Frozen Tear, you can see it. You can see.. him. --

-- From this distance, from this dark, he is nothing more than a silhouette - perfect white against the rusty red of the aerosolized blood vapors that cling to the air here, leaving your eyelashes bloodied as you blink. --

-- Despite your location. --




-- T'CHUN, T'CHUN, T'CHUN. His heartbeat, here, is something that thump-thumps loudly in your ears, overpowering your own. --

-- Each flutter of a heartbeat of his makes your own chest pump in panicked reply. --

-- A calling. Heart to bloodied heart. --

-- t-CHUN, t-CHUN, t-CHUN. --

--A mirrored metronome. Blood, flesh, bone. T'CHUN. T'CHUN.--

-- Quietly, unlike before, the Griffon appears. A never-silent companion on your travel to this place, now suddenyl subdued. --

-- Zelia looks over the side, lowering a rope. --

-- Old familiar faces thought fallen rappel down the side.. --

A final conversation between the Captain and her motley crew takes place, forever etched into the minds of the Nine who yet live.:

Captain Zelia N'dare: Best time to tell you the last part of the plan. [She gives Yasmin a sad smile.] You know... I think you would've really made a better captain than me. Sadly, I think, this'll be the Griffon's last stop.

Yasmin Jharana: But—Oh. My ship...

Captain Zelia N'dare: Oh, it's not just the ship, my friends. [Zelia steps forward ; she smiles wide.Too wide, and she coughs up from her lungs, the smell of ozone and sulphur... a familiar smell, by now, perhaps.]

When you want a good bomb.

Yasmin Jharana: [She squints at Zelia, suddenly suspicious.] Don't tell me you -ate- a bomb, you daft bint...

Captain Zelia N'dare: You have to make one yourself. [She pats her stomach.] Sorry. Well, there's something to be said about planar traveling. You learn a trick or two. In any case...

Yasmin Jharana: ...And the rest of us? Here to be sacrificial lambs for your little bout of martyrdom?

Captain Zelia N'dare: Oh. Not at all. [She turns to Yasmin. She unsheathes her scimitar. She slashes it at the air. Then with a flourish, she extends the hilt out to Yasmin.]

From one captain to another.

Yasmin Jharana: [She eyes the hilt, deeply suspicious.]

Captain Zelia N'dare: ...don't worry. It'll allow you one portal out of here.

Yasmin Jharana: [And then, with great reluctance, she reaches out, grasping the blade's hilt... What's the catch?

Captain Zelia N'dare: Get rid of it after. It's more trouble than its worth. Trust me. Now. Arrangements have been made... you'll get your fair share of the Giffon's hold. If you survive, that is.

You keep him busy. You keep him *here*. I need to position myself. I'm going to race down the glacier, set off all the charges. He wasn't, but I have a feeling tha--

--One evil eye opens wide, and then its twin. The Griffon is apprehended in the gaze of the Sleeper, awakened at last. The Mad God perceives with pain, and its gaze carries an intensity beyond heat. Rigging and planks buckle and bend. The bloody air boils around the Griffon.--

Captain Zelia N'dare: Wha-- NO... NOO. [Zelia rushes out, grasping for her blade.. no longer there.She pauses, panics. Then jumps towards the rope. One final look at you as she swings up after the Griffon, burning down... Go. GO NO!

Yasmin Jharana: For ZELIA!

--The looming figure's lips are moving. It speaks. The Tear rumbles with its voice.--

--It pulls its attention from the vessel... down to YOU.--



-- As your lifesblood is shed in the presence of the Sleeper Awoken, Nightmares slip from that realm where they linger --

-- The Sleeper's nightmares are made manifest in his presence. --

-- The howling of the Crazed raises to fever pitch --





--Perhaps it is time to strike??--

-- There's a rumble amongst the ice. --

--T'chun is come. T'chun's fury is t'chun. T'chuning, t'chun FLEE t'chun, t'chun! T'chun, and they t'chun, when t'chun. Death t'chun, t'chun is t'chun!--

-- T'CHUN. --

-- T' C H U N --

-- A shadow rises to the south. --

--RISE... RISE... RISE--






-- T'chun loses balance.. --

--One hand, his left, is destroyed--

-- His frozen seat fractures, the hand left limp. --

-- It falls uselessly to the side. Ice cracks, breaks, then fractures. --

--The madgod howls like a hurricane! He rages like thunder! The heartbeat intensifies! There i -- th -- t'ch -- t'CHUN! T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN T'CHUN

-- The second is carved through. His gaze falters. --

-- Yasmin holds Zelia's blade aloft.. --

--A screaming terror but leagues behind..--

-- From the side, the Griffon can be seen rising. The structure, the glacier, the monolith shudders, then shakes.. --

-- ..and the tinkling sound of ice and ice and more ice shattering, fracturing, disintegrating from the base up. Light from far, far below. --

--T'chun the t'chun, t'chun Griffon can t'chun, t'chun... t'chun.. lightning and t'chun...--

-- The oncoming rush of planar sickness.. --

-- As Yasmin raises the blade, she brings it down low sweeping and cutting the air. --

-- Slicing through blood, air, mayhem and time...! --

-- A cut to carve victory from defeat, a slash upon the face of horror...! --

-- A portal flashes open, rending reality.. --

-- As they rush through the portal, the sigh of the Griffon's final journey can be seen streaking. At the helm of an old, battered ship, beyond broken.. --

-- Zelia. She watches the remaining cast of those who stepped up to the fight against T'chun flee for safety. A moment later, a white-hot explosion as the Griffon crashes screaming into T'chun, the Sleeper. --


-- For a moment, the sight of a blinding sun. As they step through the portal, they appear elsewhere in the Air Seam. --

-- T'ch... --

-- The start of a dreaded word for a moment rocks the realms.. --

-- First the horizon brightens. Then it darkness, forever. The Frozen Tear can be seen catapulted off where it was set. The Griffon's explosion sees it crashing, falling, forever. --

-- But it has, this day, a different end ... a thunderous and concussive blast! --

-- For decades on men will swear in their cups that the explosion sounded just like: --


-- In time, one day, the falling Tear will find its own trajectory. It will barrel through more barriers than can be contemplated by a mortal mind. Perhaps, one day, it will be named.. --

-- The Sleeper has returned to his sleep. --

-- All is well with the nights once again. --

-- ..for now. --

-- A precious sabre is thrown into the ether. It arcs, then begins an eternal descent. Perhaps, one day, it may hit something and find solid ground once again. --

-- But as one captain might think.. --

-- ..perhaps just better not. --

-- In time, much of the Sleeper's Sickness that has plagued the Rings will disappear. Nothing but the fading of a bad dream... --

Quote from: ”City Whisper by Egbert Velstra”
I have slain the Sleeper!


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on: September 14, 2021, 07:45:36 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

From deep within Ring 94, a scream erupts. Inhuman, more akin to a howl - one of great pain, and fury. A wet, sickening howl... and then a rumble. The crunching of machinery. The clanking of steel, and groaning of wood. Where once it laid dormant, broken and burned in the chaos of that doomed Ring, it roars into action. Inch by inch, it struggles forward, breaking free of slag and rubble that bound it...

The Drill moves. The Drill lives.

A deafening thud of steel on masonry. It grinds, and crushes, it bends and breaks. It progresses... forcing its way through the next great Wall that stands defiant in its path. A pillar of dust and Mist bursts skyward, blotting the night sky, choking the stars.

The Mist whirls and whips about it, it seems to almost try in feeble might to bar passage. Yet a howl erupts, once more, and the Mist retreats...

The Drill churns, and bites at the stone, shrugging off the tumbling masonry that drops upon it as it makes its slow journey forwards. Crushing buildings, and toppling empty towers as it comes to a halt in the Ring of 93. A stillness reigns, as atop the great beast of war, an ambitious man emerges. There, for a time, he watches. He contemplates. On a journey that begun generations past, on a journey that ends so far from here. On ambition, and birthright. On fools, and madmen. On Kings, and the common man. He contemplates.

And the Mists swirl in anger, and fear...

And you dream, as you wake. You dream of a boy. A weak, and twisted boy. Sickness contorting his body with every cough. A boy that should not be...

You dream of something else, of someone else. Unknowable, unfathomable, unseen. A forked tongue whispers in the ear of a young man.

You dream of a sea. Vast, and dark. Of waves made of faces, of cracking thunder, with the screams of the lost. The sick boy turns his back. You awake.

Though a word lingers in every mind, sharp and keen. 'Doubt'.

((Shouts by Halfbrood ))


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on: October 11, 2021, 04:40:36 AM
[ :: Year 1 :: ]

Cooler winds and orange skies begin to fill the Rings 99, and 98; Tendrilled growths and horrible jack-o-lanterns seem to appear and vanish at whim. As skeletal figures of the Pallid Prince defend themselves against the Drill's advances, pouring from wicked portals all the way to ring 94.'

House Velstra is still shaken from the loss of Dame Fleta Blacke, who died trying to end a horrible Khazuurk-Uld kidnapping. However, due to her efforts, the former Spinning Groat has reopened as the Blacke Velvet. Ser Adrian Winespill, a knightly figure of the First King's Tournament of recent history, was also revived sending the House in a new direction. Recently a House Retainer was seen to purchase a rare Unicorn thought of as myth, though strangely, it has not been seen since.

House Glitt, primarily by lead of Squire Aoife, found themselves defending what they could of the Weald and Little Ticker from the less than honorable actions of the Redjacks. Objectively, the Golden Grinners lead by Baron Benedikt von Hundertwasser - a quixotic gnome given title by the King's want as mockery of the Count - worked alongside House Glitt in this, until some falling out. During this chaos the former Captain of the Blackjacks: Alo Ceso, returned from his retirement and sought to restoring peace, and taking bribes.... The Redjacks who remained loyal and their Captain, Ranulph McDimmock, sent a bomb to the Glitt Encampment in the Sheppernine, and dashed off to the alleys of Ring 97.

House Orza has finally gathered some revenge. The Traitor Malik  Adalya was brought low during the Drill's advancement through Ring 93. Among the mists, Manfred Japes and those of Moonspear that found Malik wanting, struck him down. His head was placed upon a pike with an empty one near-by - still awaiting the last traitor.  Now Knife Japes has lead the House to some success in hunting monsters of all sorts, and has delivered the House more towards old form. They seem content to hunt Pallid and advance the drill for their own want, with some claiming a time no longer dictated by Knights or the King, but by men of ability, worth and honor.

House Moonspear found itself cannibalized from within. Though together they gathered the egg of a Royal Wyvern, when Malik Adalya was struck down by his comrades, Aatish Aldebrand, self-professed sorceress of both Fire and Darkness, avenged him to a last of their house. As the pieces are picked up, and Nothing storms become more frequent, a shadowed from of the sorceress is spotted by many.  Some whisper of a shining golden light being snuffed out in the King's Commons of 99, and the shattering of a mirror.

House Sunpurse continues its march forward. The Self-proclaimed - and unchallenged - Count Wizard and actually appointed Grand Chamberlain Tudur Crabbe establishing draconian laws upon Wizards, soothsayers, or fortune tellers, while commencing a great deal of campaigns against the Pallid defenders of Ring 92. Skulls are piled as the Encampment has gathered some sort of veil to defend against any further siege. Though they must cut deeper into the Pallid Prince's defences, or convince others to, before they might resume the Drill's advancement forward.

The Ponds, under Regent Thelisa Sunspyre, at a face value have begun appointments for its betterment. The Regent has established her vocal campaign not without bloodshed, however. Oceanous of the Waters, a leal servant of the King, and friend to the Pond's water spirit, was one of the casualties along the road. Though, less than formal activates have been occurring, as Elven servants of the Wealdath make use of the Groundskeeper lounge, strange glittering sights and laughter happen unexplained.