THE STORY SO FAR...   Posted by The Chronicles of Old.Group: archive 0
The Chronicles of Old
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 History is written
 by the survivors
Fri 11 Mar 2011
at 21:34
Sommerlund has many enemies. While most have sprung from without, a rare few have sprung from within. Such a man is Torygan the Black.

It is MS5045, and in the five years since the man's name came to the attention of the crown, it has become synonymous with pure evil.

His crimes against Sommerlund were small, horrific occurences that bit deep. The man's clear practisioning of the Dark Arts was more troublesome, for the Darklands were close. In recent times Sommerlund's neighbour to the West was a deep, dark fear that gripped the souls of all, though none could tell why.

That Torygan should escape capture was a blow to national pride. That his various rumoured appearances in other lands coincided with greater and greater horrors was an embarrassment that every Sommlending felt. Whenever a visiting merchant or digntary told the latest tale, all listening wore black looks.

As the man's supposed crimes on others' soil became greater, so were the calls for something to be done at home and abroad. However, while it seemed all wanted the man's blood, none outside Sommerlund wished to be the ones to spill it. There were too many dark rumours surroundind the man now. That he could not be killed (or at least not be made to stay dead). That his shadowy allies would wreck terrible vengence for anyone trying.

As Torygan's actions - random as they seemed - began to look political, King Ulnar could hold back no longer. Great bounties were offered, diplomatic channels engaged, and favours called in. Sommerlund stretched forth as far as she could with her own sons and daughters, and then paid dearly in Gold and concessions for others to carry her will further still.

It is MS5045, and Fehmarn has barely passed. Many that visited Holmgard to repledge themselves to their king have stayed in the capital, for there is a new rumour. Just as the winter has broken, so too has the dark cloud upon Sommerlund's heart.

Torygan is captured.

Simple messengers gifted a decade ago have flown home to Sommerlund with simple messages. The exact nature of the messages is supposidly a secret, but rumours travel as fast as birds it would seems.

Torygan was captured in Cloesia. The man is being dragged back to that place he once called home to answer for his crimes to all. None deny Sommerlund the right to take him back. Despite the potential for his escape, despite the greater affronts other nations wish to attribute to Torygan, Sommerlund still offers one thing other nations cannot: a fate worse than death. For Sommerlund has the Shadowgate of Toran.

Outside of Holmgard, only one unlikely place knows the exact details of the capture, and of the plans to hand this man back in to Sommlending hands. A small lookout keep on the border of the Wildlands has become a hub of activity. This is the place where a group of Slovian merceneries will travel with their prisoner. This is the place where Sommerlund can finally grasp their wayward son in a cold, loveless embrace to deliver him to a final justice.

Torygan is coming home. May even Naar spit on his soul.
The Chronicles of Old
 moderator, 3 posts
 History is written
 by the survivors
Fri 11 Mar 2011
at 21:35
The Crimes of Torygan the Black
Reprinted from Torygan's own mémoires

Torygan's infamous deeds include, but are not limited to, the following:
 - the desecration of no less than 17 graves in the Sommlending towns of Torsea and Sabre Bay
 - the abduction of at least three maidens from the streets of Holmgard, all within one night of the full moon in the summer of MS 5042
 - the unlawful entrance and desecration of the Graveyards of the Ancients on the outskirts of Holmgard, over a period stretching from MS 5040 to MS 5042
 - the poisoning of village wells in the Sommlending villages of Searsby, Durnfallow and Deerley in MS 5043, leading to more than 50 deaths, 11 of which were children less than ten summers old
 - the killing of a bartender and two serving wenches in the Sommlending town of Ruanon, MS 5042, while on the run from the King's Guard
 - the killing of Vizier-Prince Omanin of Casiorn, Cloeasia, and having carnal knowledge of his sister-wive Lady Alia, MS 5043
 - the spreading of plague in the Anarian town of Dausar early in MS 5044, which spread downriver and accounted for more than 300 deaths in Dausar, Resa and Lovka together
 - the murder and dismemberment of the chief courtesan of the Slovian city of Suentina in MS 5044, whose body was found severed into a score of pieces and left arranged around the town square along with bundles of wild garlic and silver dust
 - general banditry on the Pirazin-Choonova road in Slovia from MS 5044 to MS 5045, which accounted for more than 15,000 Gold Crowns in stolen goods, and the death of at least eight travellers
 - the slaying of the Lord Inquisitor Rostok of the Slovian court while resisting his eventual capture in MS 5045 in the Slovian town of Litari
The Chronicles of Old
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 History is written
 by the survivors
Fri 11 Mar 2011
at 22:17
The Introduction

A week had passed, and the Slovian mercenaries that were expected had not arrived the previous day.

The Southern Marches keep sent forth a delegation to look for the overdue group, mostly at the bullying of a merchant friendly to the keep, the dwarf Gwindel Sverger. Corporal Skyldig Avsvaghen, the Border Ranger Knud Anleifr, Brotherhood mage Lady Velena Karar and Gwindel himself were the main part of the delegation.

While travelling, the group was attacked by an unknown sniper who managed to kill one of the soldiers and wound Lady Karar. Only a dead Szall was discover, old fatal wounds on its body. The group split up, the mage and dead soldier escorted back the the keep while the rest pushed forwards.

Meanwhile, the mercenaries were very close, their Captain having decided to camp one last time rather than risk the dark to reach the keep at night. One of the newer mercenaries of the group, a man called Barker, apparently poisoned the camp while they ate what meager breakfast they could.

Arkan, a Vakeros accompanying the group and who aided in the capture and binding of the mage, apprehended the mercenary despite the poioning but could get nothing concrete from the man regarding the man's motives. Meanwhile, Torygan tried to escape by beating up one of the mercenaries Borgh, who had attempted to threaten Torygan with the mage's own knife.

The group went on, having treated ther poison as best thet could, one man dead and one unconscious. They were apprehended by a Knight called Odel de Vries, who had been travelling back form a mission. He offered to accompany the group, although his presence did not stop Torygan from assaulting Arkan with the recovered knife, woundign the Vakeros badly.

To the mercenaries, it was clear Borgh had slipped the knife to Torygan, and Borgh was bound as a prisoner himself to be given over to the Sommlending at hand over.

The remaining group from the keep and the mercenaries finally met, although there were tensions brewing due to the attitude of the merceneriea, and their treatment of Torygan. Still, the group moved back to the keep without further concern.

Meanwhile, back at the keep one of the soldiers sent back - a failed Border Ranger and Wildlands enthusiast called Tuck - took advantage of the sniper attack to gain a mission of his own, to track the sniper and discover evidence of any danger to the keep.
The Chronicles of Old
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 History is written
 by the survivors
Mon 2 May 2011
at 19:21
The Exchange

Lady Velena discovered evidence of Szall flesh fouling the keep's stream while she was recovering. This seemed to be causing some soldiers to suffer food poisoning. The soldier Cassa isolated the cause and cases, as was left treating the few victims due to his medical knowledge.

The hand over of Torygan occurred with only a few minor hitches. One was that Gwindel, Arkan and three of the newer mercenaries moved to investigate and kill the crows dogging the group.

The second hitch was the apparent stonewalling that the mercenaries met from the keep command (Captain Outler and Sergeant Dinory), denied their money due to problems in transport, and denied food and water owing to the concerns of the purity of the supplies.

Velena had ensured that Torygan's new cell would be the stables when he appeared, however distractions abounded to stop the keep's command organising his captivity properly. Torygan managed to briefly match words with the keep's medic Tyna, and speak with Velena and Odel, but was otherwise seemingly bound firmly physically and magically.

Skyldig and Knud were aggressively debriefed by Sergeant Castpan (the other sergeant of the keep) in the keep's chapel, warned that the Captain and his Lieutenant, Lietenant Tor - whom had originally run the keep before Outler was assigned here -  were positioning to blame Gwindel for the death of Flint.

Gwindel and Arkan encountered Giak archers in the wild, one of which Gwindel tried to take back to the keep unsuccessfully. His return saw him locked in the armoury tower, and his warnings of Helghast infiltration and Darklands attack saw him beaten by a demoralised Captain Outler in secret. For the Captain had replied on Gwindel to enable and cover for his various addictions, and Gwindel revealed he was a spy for Bor. Only Knud and Sergeant Dinory were broguth in after to hear the tales.

The Captain apologised to the men and Lieutenant Tor publically for any actions that had led to Gwindel putting the keep in danger, and disappeared to secure the evidence of the Helghast's presence.

Meanwhile, Arkan had pressed on, felling many of the crows, but in return found the keep's men that had rode out had been attacked. All but Colm  - a solder who had also been in the previous delegation for Torygan, and returned with Tuck - attacked the mercenaries. A ceasefire was found when Arkan promised Colm, Tuck and the only other survivor Lok would be accompanied back.

Evidence showed that the soldiers were possessed, even dead, however when Arkan returned to the keep, he was not fast enough to pass the information on before the undead soldiers attacked, fatally wounding the keep's medic Tyna and wounding two others. One - Lok - was captured, while Colm and Tuck were killed. Colm briefly came to his own awareness, warning the keep that they would be attacked at dusk.

Meanwhile, Knud had gone looking for Sergeant Castpan back in the chapel, and discovered that an undead Flint - or perhaps a creature wearing Flint's form - had apparently attacked Castpan, and definitely attacked Gorste. Gorste bought Knud the time to escape and warn the rest, most probably with his life.

During the attack, Dinory drew Odel to the armoury. There, a gruesome discovery was made. It appeared Gwindel had been torn apart while locked up.
The Chronicles of Old
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 History is written
 by the survivors
Mon 15 Aug 2011
at 20:43
A Day To Remember
Confusion reigned in the keep.

The Vakeros Arkan had led a group of soldiers and mercenaries loyal to find Captain Outler, when answers were not forthcoming regarding Gwindel's death.

In the Captain's quarters, Arkan found Outler dead - a suicide. Arkan demanded the loyalty of the keep's soldiers in the room, for it was not clear to him who could be trusted anymore. The keep's soldiers reacted poorly to this and Arkan was forced to swear loyalty to Tor and the keep instead.

Knud had pulled Corporal Skyldig and a group of soldiers back to the chapel tower to look for Flint. Sadly, Private Gorste was discovered dead close to the top of the stairs, and Flint was gone.

The soldiers moved downwards to sweep the crypt, finding Sergeat Castpan's body in the stream. Flint had carried on along the stream towards the main infirmary in the basement.

Skyldig and Knud found only the mercenaries and soldiers who were in the infirmary - those uninjured having driven Flint off. The groups merged and moved back to the main hall, meeting Arkan and his group returning.

Odel had shrugged off the clinging Sergeant Dinory - who was in fact a Helghast. Odel had approached Torygan to try and discover what was the root of these occurances. The dark mage told the knight of a necromancer called Hoovrax that was surely behind the undead. On Odel's orders, and with extreme reluctance, Torygan's guards fred the mage and accompanied Toryagn and Odel towards the chapel tower. Torygan insisted the bodies of the fallen be dealt with, Odel only going so far as to tie dead soldiers up.

At the gate, the Helghast Dinory - having entered the keep as Gwindel and murdered the real Dinory in the armoury as opportunity arose - - spoke to the remaining mercenaries to secure their loyalty with food and suspicion against the keep.

Velena and the mercenary Biliquin realised the truth of the matter, that Gwindel was not the body ion the armoury. They confronted 'Dinory, unfortunately not knowing the Helghast possessed the boom powder from when it had been Gwindel. With intimidation the Helghast persuaded three of the mercenaries to confront the remaining soldeirs at the gate while it went to blow a hole in the gate. Lieutenant Tor and Biliquin managed to pull the Helghast's focus long enough for Private Hills to attempt retrieving the boom powder. It was not enogh though, and the gate was split in the resulting explosion. The Helghast escaped in the cofnusion created.

The combined group from the main keep ran out to discover the shocked mess the Helghast had left. Arkan angrily accused Velena of incompetence, and challenged Tor's authority. This combined with the reaction to Captain Outler's death led Tor to urge the arrest of Arkan, his three mercenaries and the mercenaries who actually opposed the keep. Those arrested were to be taken to the chapel tower to be held safely while the keep recovered. Captain Teelay and the senior mercenaries also came under suspicion, but were kept free due to Skyldig's words and also Teelay's own actions when the mercenaries lost to the Wildlands came back to the gate as undead.

While this all happened, Torygan - in the crypt and freed from Arkan's magical bonds - managed to make his escape. His trail of murder - aided by one of his victim's coming back to life.

Arkan had managed to free himself too, and moved to secure Torygan along with Odel. Torygan was knocked unconscious by the Sommlending knight, and locked in Velena's room. The soldiers in the chapel tower were a mixture of those informed of the goings on outside and those not. Knud had realised earlier that there was a weakness of the keep in that the stream could allow the undead access. Odel had been made aware of this, and ordered soldiers to barracade themselves in Velena's room, and also guard the crypt stairs.

Outside, Tor and the remaining soldiers had tried to organise the keep's defenses. Tor was forced to honour Arkan's earlier suggestions to erect precautions against invisible foes - bales of hay ready to burn, and mud at the gate. The rift in the gate was healed by ripping out the wood from the chapel, fixing pews and other wood to the gate. Velena ensured some parts were diverted to create a barracade at the crypt stairwell. A wall of spears and spikes was also erected directly behind the gate, in the event of anyone breakign throguh.

The stables were set up as the new infirmary, and Velena dispatched with a group of soldiers to ensure that all the straggling sick in the main hall infirmary were taken. While doing so, Flint was discovered and finally killed, and the beacon lit to signal the ranger's station. Although no answering beacon was seen in the daylight.

Odel and Arkan emerged from the chapel tower with news of Torygan's recapture. Tor had to accept Arkan's freedom and Odel's actions at freeing Torygan in the first place. Arkan insistanced those he would interogate Toryagn regarding the dark mage's freedom to cast magic once more. Tor reluctantly went to see Torygan with Arkan, Odel and Velena. Seeing the widespread evidence of Odel issuing orders without allowing Tor to override them, and with Odel and Arkan's movements entering ahead of Tor, the Lieutenant was able to lock Odel and Arkan in with Toryan, using a skeleton key to do so. The key was given to Velena, Tor trusting the brotherhood mage.

The keep soldiers tried to rest as best they could, but such ministrations were interrupted. An invisible giak snuck throughh the defenses to attack Teelay. The giak was killed by the early warning of the mud, and the keep went to alert.

Knud had gone to the wall with a few hand-picked archers and saw that the rangers were coming to them, under giak arrow fire. However, his instincts finally saw through the deception, and the gate remained closed, and a crow was felled from the sky. The Drakkarim riders that really approached arrived at the gate, and launched an attack against it under cover of giak arrow fire.

Knud led his archers to return fire and catch any Drakkarim at the edge of sight, while Skyldig led the defense of the gate itself, attacking the mute Drakkarim Captain though the cracks and eventually beheading the brute.

Velena was pulled in to a fight at the crypt barracde, discovering that Vordak were indeed attacking - which meant others could be looping around to assault the keep from under the main keep. Odel and Arkan managed to free themselves, and Velena pulled most of the force from the barracade after her victory to deal with that issue. At a stalemate, Velena trusted Arkan and Odel, and the group took Torygan with them to leave the tower.

Out in the Wildlands, a further force swept forwards - it was the Helghast returning - a being called Akakaan. He led a squad of giak to aid the Drakkarim at theg gate. The efforts of the archers on the wall could only weaken the force not wipe it out, and the Helghast managed to destroy the gate once more.

All inside the keep held their breath, wondering what would happen next...

This message was last edited by the player at 22:23, Fri 19 Aug 2011.

The Chronicles of Old
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 History is written
 by the survivors
Sun 16 Oct 2011
at 07:56
A Night To Forget

With the gates once more compromised, and fire also added, Akakaan held his remaining forces in check. He wished to await the full cover of darkness, and allow fear of the keep to grow.

Those in the chapel tower split up - Arkan and his mercenaries moved off outside, Velena following. Odel took two soldiers - including Velena's faithful soldier Falla - down to the crypt barracade to investigate what has occurred, Torygan in their custody.

At the barracade, Private Hope was discovered barely alive, having defeated the next Vordak assault -  Private Halbrow had died there.

Torygan used the distraction of investigation to raise Halbrow and sow confusion. Odel, caught in the middle, was helpless to stop the other soldiers dying - Falla assaulting Odel as the knight tried to kill Halbrow, and in his delirium Odel allowing Falla to be attacked by Halbrow and killed by Torygan.

Meanwhile outside, Arkan challenged the stalemate, not understanding the delay of the keep's soldiers. Private Rahser -who had fallen fro mthe wall in the previous assault - yelled in to the keep regarding the stationary position of Akakaan's forces.

Arkan invoked his Valos magic to teleport outside the keep, to forth the soldiers to fight. Tor lead a group of soldiers, and Teelay led his own men outside to take on Arkan's forces.

Skyldig, Knud and Velena were forced to back up the remaining forces in the keep when two more Vordak emerged from the main keep, seeking to take the keep by surprise. Instead, Skyldig and Knud led the soldiers to victory, detroying the foul Vordak.

The two traitorous mercenaries had gained freedom and tried to escape out of the rear door, even trying ot stab Velena in the process. However, Knud saw one dead by his bowe, and Velena charmed the remaining moon-faced man Soore. Charming him to attack the darklands forces if he wished his freedom.

Corporal Skyldig charged back to the main gate to see the results of the fighting. It was oddly quite, and Skyldig moved off alone, telling those few soldiers remaining to stand guard at the gate.

Skyldig discovered both forces had all but wiped each other out. Tor was still alive, engaged with a final black clad giak, and Akakaan held Captain Teelay at his mercy. Skyldig moved to attack the Helghast, realising his foe was vulnerabel to normal weapons - the secret of the creature's near perfect assimilance as Gwindel.

Skyldig managed to rescue Teelay, all but killing himself in the process, his own sword impaling himself.

In the chapel tower, the wound Odel had received, and the effects of the Nadziran though the black mace of a Vordak, distracted Odel and gave Torygan the chance to run uopstairs. Odel tried to catch up with the black mage, but was delayed by his wounds and signs of the Nadziran coming close, now that his Helghast had failed.

Velena, Knud and Private Tel moved in to the chapel tower to see what had happened to Odel, Toryagn, and the soldiers, following the signs upstairs.

It appeared that Torygan had gone to the keep wall, ransacking Velena's room in the process. Velena and Knud tracked to the chapel twoer's top door, almost attacking Odel, the knight having followed the same trail and thought it cold.

Odel agreed to go down to the fighting at the gate and assess the status there, while Knud, Velena and Tel continued along to the main keep to see if Torygan had gone that way.

The black mage indeed had, setting fire to the Captain's room before making his way to the crypt. Knud and Tel were caught in the fire, and with the aid of Velena all three were forced to retreat back to the stables to tend their wounds.

The great gate finally fell, revealing outside an oncoming green fire. It was the Nadziranim, with a personal retinue of guards, coming to claim Toryagn or kill him.

In the crypt, Torygan used his magics to raise the medic Tyna as an automaton, and headed back for the service. On the way the signs of the Nadziran's approach became evident, and the Nadziran communicated with Torygan to bring the mage forth one last time. Torygan rejected the advances, but used the Mechanics of the Nadziran's magics and the last of his energies to infuse the ressurected Tyna with the remnants of a Vordak, creating a 'ligi-dak' to aid his final escape.

Those able bodied moved to the gate to fight this last rush. Skylid moved forwards to challenge what looked ot be the Nadziran, locked inside his mind fgor a moment. However, the Nadziran had hid itself as mist, and Skyldig faced a final, powerful Vordka instead. Tor and the remaining soldiers engaged the surrounding giaks, leaving Captain Teelay to be surprised by the Nadziran manifest.

Odel charged in to battle upon his warhorse, with Velena and Knud following behind. All three were locked in to their own minds, fighting free to take on the foul creature. Only their quick actions saved the mercenary Captain. Odel and Knud pressed the Nadziran - Knud using the rifle of Gwindel to disarm the creature - while Velena used her magics to block the creatures natural magic. Reduced, the creature still possessed a powerful mindforce, and Odel was weakened to the point of death engaging the creature's powerful physical form in mortal combat.

Velena, meanwhile, spotted the creature's last crow - an amplifier for its mental abilities - and slew the crow to reduce the Nadziran's powers and reach, so that only those at its side would be affected.

Tragically, Velena's efforts also left her vulnerable, and Torygan raced from the chapel tower to to slay the brotherhood mage before she could successfully use the last of her magic to capture Torygan.

The keep soldiers and Tor managed to defeat the giaks, though Skyldig died heroically fighting past a normal man's reserves to slay the Vordak lieutenant. Knud distracted the Nadziran to allow Odel time to strike it a mortal blow - although Odel recevied a psychic flash from the creature's final death throws that unnerved him.

In the stables, those few left alive raced across to take on Torygan and his creature. Torygan was badly wouned, but managed to take a hostage - the blind but brave soldier Caffe.

Tor, Teelay, Odel, Knud and the Privates Billie, Mullak and Hope came back from the battlefield to find the stand off. As Torygan attempted to make for the rear gate with his ligi-dak, Private Golgem 0 left to tend the beacon at the rear gate - fired an arrow, highlighting that Torygan appeared to be trapped with no hope of escape.

Lieutenant Tor, seeing the devistation caused and feeling the new loses in Skyldig and Velena - spoke to those remaining, declaring that if they agreed, he was determined to excecute Toryagn rather than recapture the mage.