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Author Topic: Concerning Thorg and the Sunken Temple of Necropoli  (Read 2344 times)

Amadseer

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Concerning Thorg and the Sunken Temple of Necropoli
« on: December 08, 2013, 03:41:57 PM »
Concerning Thorg and the Sunken Temple of Necropolis
A published letter from The Wanderings of Amadseer the Cursed


There was not a lot of time before dusk, so we knew we had to be pretty close to the sunken temple. We put the orcs in charge of “information extraction” from the vampire, Arhnoot’s polite way of letting them be useful (while venting some of their anger at being previously chained up) while we three mages put our heads together to come up with a plan.

Of course, Brynth did not approve, and decided to waste valuable “hours before dusk” time by jumping on her moral high horse.

“This must stop,” she demanded in her deep, melodious voice.. “It’s barbaric, and cruel. We have the information we need to find the sunken temple.”

“Priestess, you have a strange way of asking for our help with this Bog Queen, or whoever is snatching away your tattooed friends. I don’t particularly like being called a barbarian, and I’m pretty sure our "information squad" won’t like it either. It’s cultural misunderstandings like this that have led to having a Orcish horde on your front doorstep.” (For more about the orcish army near Westlock: http://magewars.com/jsite/allegiance-in-blood)

“The vampire is basically dead already,” I chimed in. “I’m no priest, but I’m pretty sure Asyra isn’t overly fond of things that go suck in the night.” Some level of my brain registered that I was actually taking sides with an orc over a priestess of the Goddess of Light. I chalked it up to the rot that was spreading through the Darkfenne. “Pick your battles. We have bigger fish to fry right now. Time is of the essence Brynth.”

Her face was all Thunderbolts and Arc Lightning, but she relented. Knowing women as I do, I was pretty sure that if we survived this little adventure, we’d be taking this subject back up again later.

“Fine.” (Translation: "Not fine.") “Let’s focus on the greater evil.” The emphasis on the word “greater” was telling.

******

As we made our way to the gates to the Sunken Temple, the Darkfenne was living up to its name. The swamp seemed much wilder, and more brutal here than in other places I’d slogged through. The ancient city of Necropoli had once proudly stood here, but now, all the broken shards of buildings that remained seemed slumped, hobbled, and hushed. Speaking of shards, bits of broken ceramic were everywhere, tangled up in the undergrowth, crackling as we marched through the mud. “I’m guessing this city was known for it  pots,” muttered Arhnoot.

“Yes, but probably not in the way you think,” said Brynth. “They made pots, huge pots that looked like eggs. They put the dead in them, then buried them in catacombs. We’re walking on the remains of ancient coffins. That’s where the city got its name I think — it was a city built as a final resting place for the people of that age.”

“Interesting,” I said. “Where did you learn all that? I can’t imagine it’s common lore for acolytes of the Asyrian devotion.”

She smiled. “Asyra calls the humble of the world. My father was a potter. When I was young, he’d sometimes tell me stories of how potters were once revered craftsmen, the gatekeepers of the afterlife. When I got a little older, I realized he was taking some liberties with the story, but he was proud of what he did, and I did like the way he told it. Guess I picked up a little of his zeal too, in my own way.” She paused, pushed her soaked red hair out of her eyes. “Never thought I would be visiting these places though."

****

We knew it when we got there. Like a nightmare from some water elemental, the ruins of the a Necropian temple existed half in and half out of a pool of stagnant black water. Great tubers and roots had grown up and around a keyhole shaped archway, squeezing it and threatening to pull it down into the mirk. What had once been a parade of statues on either side of a walkway leading up to the temple entrance had unevenly shifted, and now were submerged. Only the heads poked above the waterline, their features distorted by wear, slime and moss.

There was a walkway of sorts that cut across the pool and lead up to the door. It was uneven, and for the most part under the water as well, but only a little. Occasional pieces of uneven stone peeked out like broken flat teeth. Standing by the door, with water up to their ankles, were two imposing skeletons , wearing bits of armor, helms, and bows strapped to their backs. Both brandished longswords. A slight purplish glow around their joints and in the deep recesses of their eyesockets told us all we needed to know — these were reanimated beings, held together through the Dark arts and Necromantic fiat.

The shadows were deepening. We had managed to find our way here by dusk. There were no torches lit, no Eternal Light spells illuminating the temple entrance. This was a place of the dead, and the dead had little use for the comforts of the day.

“Think either of them is named Sorala?” I whispered. That had been the contact that the Voice of the Bog Queen had mentioned.

“That’s a female name,” said Arhnoot. “These skeletons are male.” I was just about to ask him how he could possibly know that when he smiled that infuriating Orcish smile of his. “These are sentries Wizard. This person Sorala — whoever it is — will not be out in the open.”

“We’re going to have to go in there,” Brynth’s sultry voice sounded resigned, determined. “Two skeletal sentries will not be a problem for a group this size. But what will we attract once we engage?”

“A good point.” Arhnoot stroked his blue beard with a gauntleted hand. Do either of you have a way to silence the area, so that the sounds of battle do not spread to unwanted ears? “

A shook my head. A Silence spell would be useful indeed, but I had nothing like that prepared. Neither did Brynth.

“I thought not,” said Arhnoot. “Next best thing then — a diversion."

He motioned for one of the Orcs that were now following us to come over. He was wholly unremarkable, though brawny and scarred. Looked as if he had seen more than a fair share of battles.

“This is Thorg ,” said Arhnoot. “A veteran of many Bloodwave skirmishes, if you can believe his stories.” They both grinned. "If anyone can draw these guys off, it’s him.”

“What will you do once you draw them off?” I asked.

“My brothers and I will finish them. Then we will stand watch here, making sure that you are not surprised by some other party coming in behind you.”

Arhnoot nodded, approving. “Good. If we’re not back by dawn, chances are we won’t be. Kill the vampire, and make your way back to the Bloodwave armies. Trokoth will want to know about what’s going on here, I have no doubt.” (For more about Trokoth: )

Thorg nodded. “I will tell him. And that you rescued us.”

Arhnoot put his gauntleted fist on Thorg’s shoulder. “Say nothing of me. Tell them you escaped on your own, or that the Wizard unwittingly helped you.”

Thorg eyed the warlord. There were questions there. The hint of suspicion. But then the solider’s training took over. “As you say.” Then he turned and walked back to the other orcs and their vampire captive.

“What was that all about?” I asked.

Arhnoot frowned. “Get ready, you two."

****

The skeletal sentry stumbled back a step as Thorg’s first thrown rock deftly lodged within its eye socket.

That will definitely get its attention. I thought. The skeleton shook its head to break the stone loose, scanned the deepening darkness for the attacker, found him, and moved forward into the night. The second took a step to block the center of the entrance, and unslung his bow. Undead they may be, but they still retain their training.

From the cover of a collection of roots, I cast Force Hammer, raining down a fearsome, invisible blow not at the guard, but at his bow. With a crack, it split in half, the two sides hanging limply from the string in the skeleton’s hand. Off to my right, another of the orcs poked his head out from behind a tree, then launched a stone from a makeshift sling. Not quite the shot that Thorg had managed, it still struck the sentry in the mouth, and an explosion of broken teeth plinked into the shallow water at his feet.

The skeleton moved forward to engage the orc, who was now rushing forward. Just before it got close enough to the orc, the dirty water exploded at its feet, and roots shot upward, snaking around its legs and its body, dragging it down into the water. By then, the orc was on top of it, he and two of his friends, beating the creature with improvised clubs, their fists, their feet. Brynth’s Tanglevine spell had been a success.

“Time to go,” Arhnoot said, springing into action, and running ahead of us, his longsword brandished. Its demonskin hilt gave off the faintest red-orange glow in the dusk. He splashed down the watery walkway, and took charge of the entrance, peering in with his one good eye. He waved Brynth and I forward.

We regrouped at the door. Brynth was no longer in her mud-spattered traveling clothes. She had summoned up a hauberk of pearlescent, overlapping scales, and a cloak of angel feathers, which pulsed softly with a pale golden light. With a golden circlet perched atop her red hair and a staff with a Crescent Celestia at its tip, she looked very much the Priestess of Asyra.

"A moment,” I said scanning our surroundings. With a word, I cast a pair of mana crystals   on the heads of submerged statues on either side of the submerged walkway. With the orcs here, it should be safe enough, I thought. The vibrant violet glow of the crystals was beautiful against the still waters.

I summoned my trusty staff and an ornate amulet that had supposedly been forged long ago by Frelhal moon-smiths. I’d never been able to validate that claim, but it did strengthen my affinity to the Voltaric realm, as did the Mana Crystals. You never have too much mana when you’re facing the unknown. “Ready,” I said.

"Sure you don't need a pen or inkwell or something?" Arhnoot asked. "There's no telling what you might feel compelled to write about in here."

"Ha ha. You are such a wit."

He smiled. “Then let’s go see what game of chance Akiro has prepared for us.” Arhnoot said. With that, we ran into the entrance to the Sunken Temple of Necropoli.


Which is to say, that there are many diverse and interesting things in the world, none of which are comparable to the might and power of the Arraxian Crown. Those who would trifle with the power of Warlocks must forever learn this fundamental truth.

--Amadseer the Cursed, Wizard of Sortilege


Amadseer is a Wizard of Sortilege, driven by Dark-compulsion to wander the land, following a string of highly humiliating Seeking Dispels (and accompanying jeers) that he successfully cast in a public duel with the Warlock Telas Vane. Now, unable to help himself, he writes of his travels wherever he goes, the creatures he encounters, and the lore with which he comes into contact. Such is the nature of his compulsion that he must publish all of his missives, and end each work with a short paragraph singing praises to the Arraxian Crown, and warning all about the follies of underestimating a Warlock.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 11:23:54 AM by Amadseer »

sIKE

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Re: Concerning Thorg and the Sunken Temple of Necropoli
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2013, 03:59:10 PM »
Thorg! Awesome!!! More! More!
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Amadseer

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Re: Concerning Thorg and the Sunken Temple of Necropoli
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 06:32:56 PM »
Embedded spells added. Pity the Druid vs. Necro ones aren't added to database yet, but codes are in place for when they are.

sIKE

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Re: Concerning Thorg and the Sunken Temple of Necropoli
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 06:40:25 PM »
Embedded spells added. Pity the Druid vs. Necro ones aren't added to database yet, but codes are in place for when they are.

Skeltal Sentry pop ups are not working. Great idea adding in the links.
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