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Dec 7th, 2010
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  1. Chapter 2
  2.  
  3. *Major Events:
  4. Meet and recruit Ugrokk
  5. Decision to head to Azelhaedran State
  6. Meet Del Roga
  7. Steel Fists encountered, defeated Soul Grave, stole Immortal Genocide (Name came with the arm)
  8. Learn of and meet Ozmand
  9. First direct meeting of Lerynt, exchange Caged One for boon. Meet Olmezca
  10. Reavers of Nibelheim met. Forest spirits invented. Meet Dulu.
  11. Battle against the Bandit King Verther
  12. Foreshadowing of Eisenhardt, remains of Ozmands’ disciples and Reavers.
  13.  
  14.  
  15.  
  16. *Interesting/Useful Facts/Unexplored ends
  17. -First learn of the Premen clan sword, hint of rubies and belief magic when imbued into weapon. Can be imbued into armor if we wish also.
  18. -While the rumors that the Froggrock tribes venerate golems pique my interest, the tribes are scattered throughout heavily forested swamplands to the south and west, and tracking down appreciable portions of their population could prove difficult without some means to magically track them.
  19. -The grizzled old man doesn't even flutter an eyelid at the extreme volume, and leers back at me, revealing many shining metal teeth within his mouth. (huh, Del Rago has metal teeth)
  20.  
  21. -"...Yeah alright, fine. Fehk if I give a damn what The Steel Fists say, ya brought me a hell of an interestin' job, one that'll give me a couple problems to tackle, and ya got the coin ta warrant yer runty apprentice bugging me. Don't bother telling me what kind of crap yer lookin' for, heavy armor for the heavy ones, lighter armor for the skinny ones, I can do that no problem, make them similar, that's easy too, I've done a shit-ton of vanguard work over the years. ...Hmmph, the mauls these fat stupid primitives'll use should have an eight foot handle, steel core, wood and leather cover...
  22. -Any blood it tastes, it can recreate an image o' the bugger's whole body, what their physical abilities and weaknesses are, all that crap. Some crusty old mage gave it ta me when I made his son some armor and the little bastard failed to die due to his own stupidity. (Amusing fact about this is the kid’s name is Eisenhardt as we learned, and this has strong implication that Eisenhardt’s father is quite strong if hes alive.)
  23. "Feh, guess I'll call Morris, put some runes on some of your shit, if ya got that much dosh. (Runes in his armor exist, but hes far from proficient, needs help)
  24.  
  25. -A form rises behind the mass of cavalry, towering even higher than my own form, and as the sun finally crests the hill it starkly illuminates a golem, a titan of steel standing beside the Steel Fists, their symbol engraved in it's chest, No claw to be seen, but two siege fists, both massive hands covered in runes. (Steel Fist’s soul grave, and where we got our IG)
  26. -I try to force my thoughts upon the fragment of spirit housed within me, that it should aid me.
  27.  
  28. For once, I get a response.
  29.  
  30. "Have learned since first reaching the surface,
  31. If Mordre destroyed, body could still be controlled,
  32. Only pieces are needed, truly.
  33. So why would Mordre's end be negative?
  34. Control of the form inhabited would finally be mine.
  35. Mordre must present a true reason to offer aid,
  36. Not such as this."
  37.  
  38. ...Well, at least it will respond to me sometimes, then. (Caged one’s first actual response)
  39.  
  40. -Now.... Mage Mordre, was it? Look, I don't care how important you think your research is, but you can't go doing something like that. Rogo & Sons Smithing makes good stuff, and their name has weight. Hell, the waiting list for getting Del to personally craft things is years long and a list that carries great impact on one's credibility. If I let you get off easy after you show me up like that, making Del just drop my commission like that, the Steel Fists would suffer, and if things go south for this chapter house, as far as the owners of the Steel Fists are concerned it's on my head. So I can't just let you off." (Steel Fists have an honor to uphold)
  41. their golem is 24 feet tall, and likely thrice my weight, it's frame far heavier. While I am in all likelihood going to have a significant speed advantage, their golem is even more heavily armored than I, and it's arms likely can be swung with more force than my own. It is forged completely of steel, whereas I am largely Iron, with a steel fist and a Black Steel Claw. Where I have but a single mortar per shoulder, it has two barrels above each shoulder, their make foreign to me. I may have speed on my potential opponent, but I lose out on durability for certain, likely strength as well, potentially even in firepower. Only my Sable Executioner can give me a reasonable chance at having the same reach as my foe, and those runed fists make me wonder if melee with their Soul Grave might be a bad idea.
  42.  
  43. -I feel a soul quaking within me, I can feel it's urge to be used. But I can also feel it's fragility, and that I would see such souls as these only rarely. (Pristine Souls have some sense of self apparently, as this one calls for use with the AA).
  44. ...And as I think this, I feel a different soul call out to me, with a call much more to my liking. It whispers of power untold held within my eyes, enough to crush this foe.... but the enchantments are simply to crude to handle such output. The soul then urges it's invocation, and I feel it's thirst for violence mirroring my own current mood, and I reach out and grasp the power offered. (More about Pristine that causes AA bonus first). I feel the feeble runes inscribed in my visage flood with power, Soulfire etching improvements into their form.... and as the runes are augmented (This use of pristine actually seemed to use up a Soul).
  45.  
  46. The golem's left arm starts to fall with nothing left to hold it up any longer. Cracks spasm through the metal from the gaping wound, tracing along the golem's left leg, whole chest and head. Soulfire starts to billow from the gash, as the steel golem falls to it's knees, and slowly pitches forward. (End effect of empowered AA)
  47. -[Permanent. The runes involving the A.A. have been strengthened and given greater complexity, they permanently can discharge more power and store more total, though the method of absorbing power remains the same.] (AA boost explained by Bob)
  48.  
  49. "...Yeah, there is a way to try and put these runes on you we could use. I don't need to know or understand the magic involved with the spells bound in these runes, if we have a sample of it on another Soul Grave. Alright, so Soul Graves were designed so that, in the event that an existing, heavily enchanted Soul Grave got destroyed, any parts with still unbroken runes upon them could be fed to a new Soul Grave, and none of the magic would get wasted, since it would bond to the similar spell matrices of the new golem.
  50.  
  51. Ah... there is a bit of a hitch to it, though. To make it work, I need to inscribe a couple runes of Chaos on your hand, break up the order bound in it's form. I would do that so it is mutable enough that when you eat the arm, the enchantment can migrate to you, and after a gestation period as it bonds to you, presto, enchantment transfer. The problem is, because I make your arm more inclined to chaos, AND there are variations between spell matrices, the existing enchantment doesn't so much harmonize with you as it does be forcibly mutated until it matches your own magic. None of the power is lost, but..... the book makes note that the results can be unpredictable, though it doesn't really say anything about it being dangerous. (Arkus and how we obtain the Immortal Genocide, its also worth noting this may not have been how the IG originally was.)
  52. -Far more-so than the change in my metal, though, is the change I feel in my hand I feel the Soul Nexus within my hand trembling at the swirling mass of chaos that pulls the enchantments from the metal I eat into it's mass, growing as I feed.
  53.  
  54. I can feel the churning mass of disorder and power maturing, and I reach out to it, trying to snare it, to grasp what is forming. I can feel the spells within resist my influence, still attuned to a different golem, but the chaos that surrounds it quickly responds to my call, latching itself to my hand physically as well as magically. Runes start to simply form upon my hand, it's metal flowing as inscriptions and formulas start to manifest embossed on my fist. (More on IG)
  55. We travel through the dense foliage about the riverbank, to find..... An ancient, moss covered stone golem, with a.... a little girl sitting upon it's hand. Both turn to face us as we approach, but the child speaks first.
  56.  
  57. "So, Mordre, finally here. I was wondering if you had made a poor choice in your recruits, it was taking so long to find Olmezca's rather obvious trail through the forest. But you are here now, most interesting. Greetings, I am Lenryt, and we potentially have much to speak about." (First direct Lerynt meeting caused by the 9 result)
  58. Words, thoughts simply flow into my own mind, no actual vocalization involved, yet I can feel her very mind touching my own psyche. I am a Soul Grave, designed to be resilient to most methods of possession or telepathy, yet the barriers built into my spell matrices don't even seem to bother the little girl, her mind's vast, almost ludicrous potency simply ignoring them. She feels every bit as powerful as the spirit that I let inhabit my form in exchange for leaving Arkus, back in the mountains. At the thought, I can feel the spirit's presence surging. The little girl I must now assume named Lenryt quirks a lurid facsimile of a smile on the little girl's face, her eye's unchanging even as her lips strain in the smirk, the dissonance jarring.
  59.  
  60. "Yes, and I am here to speak with you too, Caged One."
  61. Yet even as these thoughts bombard me, the stone golem, who I somehow now know is the ancient Olmezca (did this child just give me new memories, without me even noticing!?), speaks out in a rumbling voice, surprisingly in the Premen tongue. He knows the Premen tongue because he once wandered their land when his original creators, a now long dead people, waged war on the Premen. Over time, he picked up their tongue. Again, I simply know this now, even though but a few minutes ago, I would have said I knew no such golem as Olmezca. But even more shocking it's voice.....
  62. "I am Olmezca, servant of Lenryt, Grand Elder Mage of the Mortal Coil. You stand in her presence, and she wishes to commune with your leader. For now, we offer a bond of nonviolence, until such time negotiations are concluded. Mordre, my mistress wishes to ask you questions, will you refuse to answer?"
  63.  
  64. (Because it would be too long to put it all here, REALLY consider reading this whole first encounter with Lerynt. Its got a lot of implications.)
  65. -"Lorgk asked this bag of bones to follow Mordre, that even if Drazken Clan needed their shamans to work with gems, the metal warrior should still have some offering of magic from Drazken Clan. As what this one uses is not compatible with gems, I was asked, and agreed, to follow, and offer aid if needed. Chose to stay hidden on own, wanted to see how Mordre led. If reprisals necessary, this one offers no objects, the choice was made in full knowledge of what could come." (after first anti-magic use of IG, discovered Jojo and ability to viel).
  66.  
  67. - gaze over at the broken wall Ozmand came flying out of, to see a hulking form step out, a heavy spear in his hands. As I study this newcomer, I find myself comparing him to what little I know of Premen physiology from observation, and..... I think he may have Premen blood in him. As if detecting my scrutiny, the warrior charges towards me without ever turning to look at me, his head only swinging my way mid-charge, a mad grin on his face. (WE MEET DULU! In the service of the bandit king).
  68.  
  69. We broke Dulu’s insane ability to dodge first by holding him down with sable, and hitting him with siege fist.
  70.  
  71. Dulu had a vial of insta healing syrum, can be expected with other minions of Weshindo. Does not return blood loss though.
  72.  
  73. [FYI, activating the dispelling burst effect does not require a roll, as a 20 was rolled the first time it was used.]
  74.  
  75. He smiles faintly at me as he pulls a small ceramic bottle out of yet another pouch, a few old cracks running along it's beige form.
  76.  
  77. "Heh. Good fight, good strength, much respect for foe. Be seeing you again, golem."
  78.  
  79. He raises the bottle to his lips as he uncorks it, some thirty feet away.
  80.  
  81.  
  82. Steam begins to pour from Dulu's body, taking with it his flesh and bones, his entire form sublimating into a cloud that begins to drift away and disperse as he continue to convert into gas. His face is now mostly bone, and muscle continues to peel off of him and become part of the clouds forming above him.
  83.  
  84. I cannot let him leave so simply. Even if I still cannot manipulate his staff, it is not the only weapon he brought here. With a thought and an exertion of Will, I send his knife, dirt now mixed with the poisonous oils about the blade, darting towards it's owner one more time. I see Dulu try to move, but the forces he set into play seem to limit his dexterity, and before he completely sublimates, I see and feel the knife puncture his form, piercing his leg before he vanishes, the knife dropping out of the air as the steamy clouds continue to rise and disperse. He may have eluded me, but I imagine he will not enjoy having to work against his own poison.
  85.  
  86. I attempt to split my voice, so that I can create the sound of eery, childish laughter while I respond, and find the attempt simple, easily done. It would seem my manipulation of my own voice can extend farther than I previously thought.
  87.  
  88. Steel fists hired Askeladd, and the Reavers Of Nibelheim against us
  89. The Reavers Of Nibelheim are a small, flexible and fairly expensive group of mercenaries. Pretty expensive, especially considering their size.... but seeing as how they are pretty much always in demand, that should give you an idea of how popular they are. As far as I know, they specialize in handling unusual situations, and the name you mentioned, Askeladd, is the reason: Honestly, every single rumor I have heard of them makes note of him being complete unflappable. The guy is a rock, from what I heard."
  90. Pretty much the most reasonable mercenary group I have ever encountered, they always look for an easier way to make money if possible, trying to avoid unnecessary violence.... but I saw a commander make the mistake of assuming a preference for easy money meant they were cowards, or weak. Yeah..... that theory didn't pan out too well as he and the fifty knights he took and attacked the Reavers with, this one time they were interfering with an operation, rather than negotiate with them, ended with all fifty one Steel Fist members dead, and no casualties for the Reavers whatsoever. They did return the arms and armor of those that came after them the moment we asked them to, and apologized that things had ended up that way. Which was smart, as it meant no one thought it worth it to try and claim vengeance on them, with the gear already back in our possession.
  91.  
  92.  
  93. Arkus takes a moment to clear his throat as he places a hand on my leg, his eyes closing as I feel magic start to draw about him in minuscule amounts. The mageling's eyes open, and he utters a word devoid of syllables.
  94.  
  95. "[|-(|)|--|)-|-((||-]!" (could be deciphered maybe)
  96.  
  97. A pale glow springs into being, seeping out of my form and surrounding me in a thick cloud of turquoise light. I immediately turn about and begin marching, hoping that the Reavers have not yet moved, Arkus slumping back to the ground in sleep before I have made it three paces.
  98.  
  99. -Pretended to be forest spirits and controlled by them to initiate the meeting of Reavers and morde. UNLOCKED HAM!
  100.  
  101. -Reavers had been sent after Ozmand before.
  102.  
  103. -It seems almost every person who has commissioned from Del Rogo once is willing to fight to protect his possession of that axe. (Worth considering since hes with us now). Is also the planned attack by Vargas, and thus Weshindo. (Also, considering Eisenhardt is indebted to Del Rogo, his apprentice doing this attack is a bit interesting)
  104. Ugrokk brings somewhat more interesting information. He was able to track down a lone bandit, a surviving cavalryman that had served under Verther, who trekked through the woods with a clear destination in mind. Ugrokk was able to track the bandit without being noticed, to an ancient looking hut deep in the forest, where an aged individual met with the bandit. The two shared words, and the aged man looked upset, and waved his hand at the bandit. From what Ugrokk saw, the bandit's blood started to explode out of his skin, and a gray haze was withdrawn from the discharged blood, and formed into a simple ring, that the aged individual then placed on one of his fingers, joining a multitude of similar trinkets. The old one waved his hand again, and the bandit's armor flowed like water, encompassing his entire from, before the old one clenched his fist. At this, the metal simply compacted with such force that only a single dull sphere of metal, less than a hand in diameter, was left to mark a bandit had every been there. The old one then grabbed the reins of the horse, oddly complacent during this exchange, and tied it up outside his hut before entering his abode and beginning to rummage around. It was at this point Ugrokk left, intent on making sure this information reached me.
  105.  
  106. Possibilities abound as I consider the scene Ugrokk viewed. While it seems reasonably likely, given what he saw, that this aged individual is capable of Magnetomancy, as the manipulation of the metal armor and what sounds like the drawing of iron and other metals from the bandit's blood both sound like advanced applications of Magnetomancy, I am unsure as to what affiliation the individual could have, given the response he had to the bandit's arrival. Though the bandit had to have brought him word of Verther's demise, and coupled with the old one's skills, it seems likely he could have trained Verther. I begin to consider what seems likely to be true about this mage.
  107.  
  108. -Likely a Magnetomancer.
  109. -Likely trained Verther in Magnetomancy
  110. -Likely more capable than Verther in the realm of magnetomancy
  111. -Possibly seeking something in Rogo & Sons through bandits
  112. -Possibly too high profile to move openly, thus why bandits are used/Verther was trained.
  113. -Possibly aligned with Mortal Coil
  114. (This turns out to be Eisenhardt)
  115.  
  116.  
  117.  
  118. *Unknown Causes/Effects
  119. A Magnetomancer, hm? .... a memory of my life before I gained sapience fills my mind, a mage from Duras, a powerful Magnetomancer, playing with me like a toy as he held the Mosmordren soldiers at bay, restraining them through their armor. He was bested eventually, by another mage garbed only in cloth that set his lungs on fire. But lacking such a flexible and fully equipped force as Mosmordre was wont to field, I decide to ask Ozmand if he can tell me any more of Verther, so that a strategy might be formed. (A mage with only cloth that sets enemies lungs on fire? Odd.)
  120.  
  121. I must admit I was expecting more successes along the lines of first using Immortal Genocide.....
  122.  
  123. ....Now that I reflect on it, I don't recall deciding on it's name, but I feel this one only right. I wonder if Lenryt could be involved with this preexisting name simply springing into existence. (IG came with a name that we did not give)
  124.  
  125.  
  126.  
  127. *Factoids (Things we know about people/places, events on the world stage)
  128. Mordreden
  129. Defense: Stone/Wood/Ice Wall, Guards
  130. Resources: Ruby/Bronze Mine , Magic Language Thinktank (Small)
  131. Notables:
  132. --Lorgk, War Chieftain
  133. --Delro, Peace Chieftain
  134. --Mingsk, Head Shaman
  135. --Sugro, Elder Shaman
  136. --Fekk, Mingsk's Assistant
  137. --Oggroth, Elite Warrior
  138. --Ugrokk, Elite Warrior
  139. --Jojo, Magic User
  140. Population:
  141. --39 Premen Shamans
  142. --16 Premen Veteran Warriors
  143. --74 Premen Warriors
  144. --92 Premen Makers
  145.  
  146. Population total: 228
  147.  
  148. -Goran cares only about own tribe, sees others only as source of wealth and power (hint to Goran’s power hungry nature)
  149.  
  150. -Not too big, or too populated, but bountiful, many could meet this specification. After he became more accustomed to me, he admitted to having done some more traveling than I had previously been led to believe, and that he had actually traveled about the warring nations very extensively, and knew nearly every nation, duchy, kingdom, principality, republic, league or union there, as of a month and a half ago. Quite a surprising bit of knowledge. (Apparently Arkus knows and has traveled quite a bit, and was willing to lie to us at this point.)
  151.  
  152. -This is The Azelhaedran State, a state that in theory controls an area more than ten thousand square kilometers, but in truth controls less than a quarter of that land. The wealth of the still unconquered think-tanks and most of the populace have been pooled to fund the acquisition, training and arming of a new army of the state, and this remnant force has since lost no further area to aggressors, though they have ceased offering their services to other lands for the time being. They are noted for having incredible equipment for their forces, the likes of which intrigue most lords and rulers that hear of their potency... though their actual martical and tactical skill is largely not rated nearly so highly. Arkus did, I must mention, note having heard of at least four, possibly five captains who are quite talented that serve the state, and have elite warriors, veterans one and all at their service.... though how such veterans could come from such a state, he can't be sure, but the locals' faith in the mages and the leadership they have been demonstrating leads none to question them, and the armies forces one and all are greeted warmly and respectfully by locals and are largely treated as heroes when they visit villagers living near occupied outposts.
  153.  
  154. -"...Yeah, they are bigger than normal people, true enough. But despite some size and proportioning differences, they still look more or less like bigger humans, with a bit more pronounced jawline on average. Really, if you said they were some form of alchemical warriors or some such, boosted to perform better, people would buy it, at least in Azelhaedran State. I know at least one of those captains I heard of uses boosted warriors of some sort, and the populace doesn't seem to mind. (On premen)
  155.  
  156. -As I was saying, in Hletwa they have a giant set of forges, and around three dozen assistants, all working under the Founder, Del Roga, and his sons, Bhear, Jio, Del Jr. and Trogga. So, this place, Roga & Sons Smithing Est. 32 BF, yeah I know real original name. ah, yeah, quick non sequitor, but Castiliathen changed the official calender, and reset the years on the day the Mosmordren Empire fell, since it was the first day of the first month of the year, BF stands for Before fall, and is backwards dating for events prior, and the current date is in AV, After Victory.
  157.  
  158. -"First, because there is active Chaos-based power in your hand, I would REALLY like to not be touched with it. All sorts of crazy things happen when living flesh touches an incubating mass of chaos, and it is rarely good. If you thought me scared, it was likely because I was concerned about all those documents we salvaged potentially getting stolen if the spell wore off before we returned. Third, I do not like fighting. Sure, I might learn some war magic, or maybe even combat magic if I get the time and a good teacher, but it would only be for the purpose of furthering my own knowledge of the workings of magic, and gaining greater mastery with magic in general. I prefer to study, observe, theorize, and test magic, spend my time questing to learn as much about it's mechanics and intricacies as I can, not spend my time slinging around the same few spells because I have grown used to them being the most useful in the fights I get into. (Some things behind Arkus)
  159. -We meet Durkin and get him on our side by killing all the other bandits but him! (effective recruitment, ne?)
  160. -This Verther has been going around calling themselves the Bandit King, and has been forcibly recruiting other bandit groups, though I still don't know why. I'm not sure how many serve 'im now, but I ran into one of their scouts a while ago, with what look like directions to the presumed camp of Verther and all the bandits that serve him. I, uh, don't suppose that is worth anything to you, like, oh, not killing me?(How we learn about Verther)
  161. -Well for what Verther could have, worst case scenario, he could have seven hundred bandits at his disposal, max. Realistically, he probably has somewhere around three hundred to five hundred, from what few bits of news I could verify as Verther popped up and started all this. As to their armaments, well, that I have bad news on: I consistently have been told he has plenty of cannons, both personal and artillery. Not sure where he gets them, but I have seen a couple places his forces have hit afterward, and Verther definitely has some artillery of some sort to his name. Most likely why the bastard has been spreading so fast. Other than that, I haven't heard much of note about them, so I figure they are otherwise your average mooks. A couple notable bandit gangs DID live here, but the buggered off the moment Verther announced himself, so I know they don't work for him. (more on Verther, also how we learn about Ozmand eventually)
  162.  
  163. -Well, Ozmand used to be part of the Duran army, made a name for himself in a couple battles, hit captain. Then he quit, or got fired, not sure, but then he pops up at the Steel Fists, serves with their corpse for a while, same shpiel, makes a name for himself, and leaves or gets thrown out, depending on who you ask. Anyway, then he goes off for a few years, and comes back sporting some crazy huge hammer, and starts looking for fights. And he is GOOD, near as anyone can figure he picked up some real effective combat magics or some such, a good number of them built around using that ridiculous hammer he has.
  164. But as to Ozmand, yeah, that name I do recognize. He was part of the Duran army, killed thirty seven men and two life golems designed to be body guards alone, before he went on to slay.... I think it was the king of Delhal? Anyway, the king had no heirs, and their whole army was present, and crumbled after their leader died. Ozmand essentially killed the entire nation of Delhal when he crushed their king's skull beneath his hammer.
  165.  
  166. Later though, when Duras was no longer at war with anyone, Ozmand left about three months into the peacetime. The military was sad as hell to see him go, but he was practically a national hero for a few of his stunts. Keep in mind that this is all stuff that happened about fifteen years ago, give or take. So anyway, Ozmand joins up with the Steel Fists, served with them for a time, making even more of a name for himself. Hell, he was part of why they grew so big, from what some people say. Anyway, after they got large enough they started to have bureaucratic issues start to spring up, Ozmand left. And this time, no one knew where he went. Then he comes back and has been wandering about challenging armed groups to fights, even the army, alone. What's more, he's been winning, if you can believe the rumors. The guy has some serious talent, from what I have heard."
  167.  
  168.  
  169. The final scout brings back less alarming news, but I find it interesting nonetheless. He reports having found a trail of footprints too large for even Oggroth, and the imprints are far too deep..... much like my own, the scout notes. Yet no other footprints were seen anywhere near the tracks the scout found. Most intriguing.... (this was on a 9 or higher for a scout roll, probably Bobs beloved foreshadowing
  170. -Hmm, I can feel my magical energy regenerate quite alacritously, fully restored in less than a minute (This is with only 90-or so souls, at the beginning of Magnetomancy…. I think we may be underestimating our magical regen rate and use, considering this was from full to empty to regen.)
  171. -Ah, just a reminder, but I graduated from only knowing Word magic less than a month ago, and my only documents on any higher magic than that are salvaged Mosmordren Soul Grave manuals and such. I am still pretty limited in what I can do (Arkus’ capabilities at the time.)
  172. -Now to test it more thoroughly. I attempt to grasp control of as many pieces of arms and armor scattered about the field as I can, trying to ascertain the limits I must operate under. nearly a hundred weapons start to float skyward and drift towards my form as I create a sustained effect of attraction betwixt one of the slagged cannons and the weapons. The armor proves somewhat more difficult to command, as much of it is still strapped to the corpses of the previous owners, and their added weight proves burdensome. I quickly exhaust my Will, but am pleased to find that it regenerates markedly faster than it previously could, no doubt due to the wealth of souls I just claimed. (Regen improvement and power improvement to magenetomancy post battle. Consider current much higher soul totals, and how our regen may be like).
  173.  
  174.  
  175. The Disciples Of Ozmand were hit the worst. Beyond losing their leader, a scant sixteen of them still live, and many of them are sporting wounds, though none appear to be life threatening. While I see sorrow amongst their ranks at the loss of their leader and so many comrades, I still see a glimmer of vitality in each one of them, and I suspect none shall fall prey to the lunacy fleshlings can be subject to, that of simply giving up on life under sufficient distress. A laughable concept to my eye, and I am thankful I do not see it here.
  176.  
  177. The Reavers Of Nibelheim seem to have fared notably better, thanks in no small part to their heavier and sturdier arms and armor, as unlike Ozmand's disciples they bear well-fitted and crafted gear, and while nearly all of them have been wounded in some form or other, those still breathing bear their wounds in largely superficial areas, their cores well warded by their armor. Bjorn and Brom both seem to be bickering, Brom complaining about having to watch over Bjorn while the once more mild-mannered Bjorn sullenly complains that he can't do anything about it. All said and done, thirty seven of the Reavers Of Nibelheim still stand and draw breath.
  178.  
  179. -about a hundred fifty Duran marks, about average size gold coins.... I guess about the worth of some fifty head of prime cattle
  180.  
  181. as requested, a full set of twenty-two customized suits of arms and armor. Ah, and Del Rogo put an axe in the pile, with a note saying.... well, let me just read it out to you, that'll be easiest.... *ahem* 'This Axe's for yer runt apprentice. The gems in it can do the normal pissant magic shit, make spells stronger, yada yada, and the pipsqueak can actually be useful in a proper up close fight. Tell him to shut up and take it. Rest of your shit here as promised. The hammer is for the big feck, supposed to attach to that ball and chain he got. Rest is straightforward if you ain't stupid. Now don't bother me again.' ....So yeah, apparently I have an axe now."
  182.  
  183. "Of the total 650 Duran Marks we gained, I suggest 220 marks for the Reavers Or Nibelheim, 290 marks for Ozmand's disciples, considering their losses, And 140 marks for my own funds. Does this allocation sound agreeable to you?"
  184.  
  185. While the disciples of Ozmand seem distracted by varying degrees of shock at the amount of funds I am throwing their way, I see Askeladd nod approvingly at the gesture before he replies.
  186.  
  187. As to contact, that's easy. Over the years we've managed to get a fair number of contacts in the Mortal Coil, enough so that any message left at a Mortal Coil outlet will find it's way to us rather promptly. Just as a personal request, please only use this method of contact for actual job offers, as it does take time and effort to get the message to us. ...And if you don't want some Mortal Coil mage taking credit for your findings, you might not want to mention any particularly sensitive information in the message, if you catch my drift. (How to contact the Reavers)
  188.  
  189. the sight of the now fully-equipped Premen is quite impressive. No two suits are quite the same, and no one fidgets with uncomfortably settled weight. The ten Premen with Ugrokk, the taller, slimmer Premen, now wear full leathers with metal studs woven in at regular intervals, a segmented breastplate with pauldrons, leather coifs with metal helmets atop them, all open faced with a latticework of bars to guard nose and eyes. Greaves and gauntlets both adorn the ends of their respective limbs, and with new sets of bucklers, several axes, and a quiver of heavy javelins each, they seem likely the most heavily armed 'scouts' I have ever heard of.
  190.  
  191. The Premen with Oggroth are a see of dull gray, cleverly segmented plate festooning all of them, each appearing to have been designed to match the individual bearers body in the most utilitarian manner possible, curves and lack of embellishment everywhere.... yet the lack of corners or clear angles will make this armor most vexing to land a solid hit upon, as anything not carefully aligned will simply skip off at an angle. And with the enormous and tall mauls they bear, each larger than Ozmand's hammer, with the reverse end a slightly curved metal spike some two feet long rather than another hammerhead, they may likely be able to harm my own form, which would mean little could avoid their clutches in battle. Between the armor and the heavy weapons, I think they will prove most formidable against conventional foes.
  192.  
  193. Oggroth that his rune activates when he hits the metal ball? It looks like Del Rogo made some sort of weapon set-up for him, made to work with his ball and chain. Lets him accelerate the ball to some pretty high speeds while magically amplifying the mass of the ball. It also makes the chain elastic.... or maybe it grows, not really sure. Oh, but he did make a note we would regret it if we let Oggroth try this when he wasn't on stable ground. Something about needing to anchor the hammer after hitting the ball.
  194.  
  195. For Ugrokk, his note says that it activates by pressing both gauntlets to the helmet, looks like the hands should be as thoroughly in direct contact as possible, he wrote 'If the pissant tribal can't get it's feckin hands proper on the damn helmet, won't do shit for the bugger. Back to what the runes actually do looks like they take in light, cloak the wearer in shadow, or make him invisible, not sure, but it says it makes the suit get colder and colder the longer it's active. It also mentions that to deactivate, it has to discharge all the absorbed light, which is going to be very visible, .....also looks like it will heat the suit in proportion to the amount of light released. Says should be fine for at least an hour 'unless the tribal's a coward about facing some cold, or dealing with a bit of heat thereafter.' ...Ah, does say the wearer is sheltered from both the light eating and light releasing effects of the armor, in terms of what they see. So they won't get blinded discharging it, I imagine."
  196.  
  197. Established: Mage Morde has a cat!
  198.  
  199. After we have marched some distance farther, I see the last bit of forest beside us, the final bit still connected to the dense woods that I spent most of my time in Duras in. I decide to add some more credence to my falsified forest spirits.... and use my Magnetomancy creatively, electing to not bother attempting to tell my own of my plan, as their surprise will play into it's credibility.
  200.  
  201. I pull myself off into the woods, anchoring myself on some clumps of iron I find in a deeply submerged boulder, and simply pitting our relative immobility against each-other: The rock wins. As I am pulled off into the woods, I make some sounds of confusion and surprise, but keep my body otherwise unresponsive. Once pulled out of sight, I quickly break off some branches and start arranging them about my face, creating a faux beard and brow of leaves while I once more create the sound of laughing children, the same I used for the forest spirits. I then stand atop the rock with iron woven through it, and repulse myself from the rock sharply, sending myself catapulting out and back towards the road. I guide my descent to insure I strike no one, and land in a clump, righting myself to be dirtied and still adorned with my leafy beard, the laughter having cut out before I ever left the woods mid-flight.
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