The Shrine in the Forest.   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 477 posts
Thu 5 Jun 2014
at 04:27
The Shrine in the Forest
The next day you are brought to the Temple of Ulric. You're conducted past the eternal flame to a small room where sits a priest who introduces himself as Ranulf.

"Welcome Sire Henri, his retainers, and the warrior Gunnar Thornbeard. I appreciate all of your coming. Henri's exploits in assisting Mokton and Gunnar's actions of valor are spoken of by Sergeant Gulrik. Therefore, I would like to ask your help to this. Father Odo?" prompts Ranulf.

The older priest, a man with milk-white eyes in a threadbare robe, shudders slightlyuy and begins to speak in a dry, reedy voice.

"It was terrible" he begins, "Suddenly, the accustomed darkness cleared form my eyes and I found myself in a deep and gloomy forest. In front of me towered a great stone, standing on top of a grassy mound. Skulls and bones were piled up all around its base"

"As I watched, blood began to pour from the top of the stone, running down its side and soaking into the mound. The blood began to glow with a red light, as if on fire, and the ground started to shake. Finally, the mound cracked open, and there stood a tall man dressed in black armor; on his shield he bore the mark of Khorne, the Blood-god of Chaos. Around his neck, on a heavy chain of balck iron, hung a horned skull, made of brass. The same red light poured out of its eyes and if it were alive - or undead."

"I tried to pray to Ulric for strength and protection, but my lips wouldn't move. I fell to the ground before the stare of this terrible thing. Then it spoke to me - I'm sure it was the skull that spoke, and not the warrior, for I saw its jaw move."

"It said 'I shall be free'" he hisses in a fearsome voice.

Father Odo shutters again, "I can feel its presence even now" he says weakly, "It's as if the thing is watching me"

Ranulf lays a hand on Odo's shoulder and continues, "One of the junior priests found him in his cell, collapsed on the floor. It seems that this brass skull is an ancient and powerful artfact of Chaos. Odos' vision implies that it will soon be loosed upon the world. I must ask for your help - on behalf of the Temple and the City of Middenheim. Perhaps the Empire itself. So much of our strength has left chasing Archeon's forces or died in the war. You must find this abomination before the minions of Chaos can lay their hands upon it and bring it here where our exorcists can destroy it. Our scholars will learn what they can, but I feel time is of the essence. If you will help, Father Odo will accompany you. He saw what lies in the Drakwald and can describe it to you. I swear, accompany him for two weeks or until the skull is found, and we will compensate you as best we can. I have at least thirty gold to offer up and the Temple is known to pay its due to those who assist it" hints Ranulf.
Ariarnhod Andraste
 player, 240 posts
 Kithband Warrior
 9/9
Fri 6 Jun 2014
at 05:19
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
"I shall assist in defeating the enemy that we have in common" she says to Ranulf "But I will have it known that I am no servant or retainer of this human, nor any other."

"Besides the gold, what do you, the Temple and City provide as support, four people, no matter the race, could hope to fight off a herd that would be drawn to such a powerful fell artifact. Not to mention that is is likely some distance from the city."
Camella Catkins
 player, 190 posts
 Halfling Barber-Surgeon
 Wnds: 10/10 , FP: 1/3
Fri 6 Jun 2014
at 09:43
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
"A fort night at a minimum, that's three meals a day, five mouths... that's a little over a hundred pounds of food, not to mention the pots to cook it, the mule to carry it all, and the grain to feed the mule..." Camella spoke softly to herself as she crunched the numbers, liking the idea less and less the more she did, not that she liked the idea of entering the Drakenwald at all even for one day let alone fourteen. Still, it helped her to gauge the scope of the mission to run through the necessary logistics.

"Aria's right Henry, four won't likely succeed if we run into trouble and I doubt the two surviving mercenaries will hire on again after the sewers, nor do we likely have the coin to hire a trustworthy company to fight a frontal assault. For this to succeed, we need horses, the element of surprise, and a damn good thief, preferably a trustworthy one who can lie through their teeth with the best of them, and if untrustworthy, some trustworthy guards to keep an eye on our thief. And that's assuming we even know where this skull is.

We do know where the skull is right? Or at least where it should be?

Because if we don't there's not much hope of success."
Camella spoke to Henry then the priest in turn then back to Henry, speaking her mind as she often did hoping she didn't offend the Ulricians with her sensibilities.
Gunnar Thornbeard
 player, 264 posts
 Dwarf Miner
 W 16/16, FP 0/2
Sat 7 Jun 2014
at 17:34
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
Gunnar stood, newly dressed in mail, with his hands hooked into his wide leather belt.

"If they ain't got it yet we can get it and be gone before this herd yer imaginin' can git their scum worhsippin' selves together."

"A few's better'n a lot for that job."

"If it's held by a small number we kill 'em and take it."

"If it's held by a lot we come back and cuss about it because we cain't afford an army on this budget and if the church had one they wouldn't a' called us at all."

He spit off to the side.

"Doc's got the right of it though. If we ain't knowin' where it is we're buggered from the go."
Game Master
 GM, 479 posts
Sun 8 Jun 2014
at 05:13
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
To Aria, Ranulf responds by saying, "You are all correct to worry about having an army seeing as how these herdstones tend to have a tremendous number of guardians. This is why we are sending a small group of you. A large number of men, an army perhaps, would attract attention. You few will not. What's more, there's a reason they're called herdstones. They're visited briefly by herds of beastmen to pay homage to their dark gods and then they move on" comments Ranulf.

"I can show you the skull. It calls to me in my dreams and it makes a roadmap in my mind. It is fifty kilometers north-east of here" states Odo.

"You should be drinking dreamwine before you sleep, Brother. If it tries to take you, then it will find the way to your mind blocked. Perhaps wear twice the Wolf's Head pendant" advises Ranulf.

"My faith in Ulric is strong and we need to destroy this evil. If I must suffer nightmares to see the arch-enemy dealt a blow, then I shall suffer happily" growls Odo.

"Fine... as for what the church can do, there is the matter of the first grudge that was written by Grimnir against the Chaos Gods. A blow against them helps right this mighty grudge. For the Elves, there is the matter that should this artifact be taken away it will stop a beastman from gaining the it and getting forth a warhost that could be a threat to Laurelorn to the north. As for humans and halflings... the Temple of Ulric is always looking to gain land in Wissenland" winks Ranulf, "You will find that we can provide provisions as your halfling quartermaster requires... if you accept this quest, of course"
Heinricus Von Otger
 player, 126 posts
 Human Noble
 HP 1/10 FP 0/2
Sun 8 Jun 2014
at 16:10
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
Heinricus limped with the rest of his group and listened to the tale from the old priest. He tried to tell the priest Ranulf that the group were his friends, not his retainers, but found he didn't have the energy after walking to the church. He's was lucky that his friends was as competent as they were, because he didn't have to do much. He smirked at the halfing Quarter-Master remark and said. "I will do my best, I was gravely wounded in the last battle, and traveling will be slow while I heal... but I will go and stand by my friends."
Game Master
 GM, 480 posts
Sun 8 Jun 2014
at 19:13
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
"Do not worry, Henricus. Father Odo was able to at least place near where the herdstone is. We've arranged passage for you and your companions for four days by coach. Your halfling seems quite competent in the art of healing. If it were not for the fact that the White Wolves would never accept healing from a woman, a halfling much less, I would be tempted to purchase her services from you" sighs Ranulf, "That said, tomorrow at twelve bells you will head out. Take care of what business here you need" adds rnaulf.

OOC: I assume you all wish to continue. I know Heinricus will be heading back to the mercenaries and Gunnar will be heading to the Engineer's Guild. Where are you heading Aria and Camella? Gunnar and Magnar, meet me in Private Chat
Gunnar Thornbeard
 player, 267 posts
 Dwarf Shieldbreaker
 W 16/16, FP 2/2
Mon 9 Jun 2014
at 05:27
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
Gunnar sneered as the priest Ranulf presumed to lecture him about grudges. Priests and lawyers never seemed to ken to the fact that only a person's own words had any real power. He added nothing further though, seeing no point to it, and joined the others as they departed.
Camella Catkins
 player, 193 posts
 Halfling Barber-Surgeon
 Wnds: 10/10 , FP: 3/3
Mon 9 Jun 2014
at 07:51
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
"Awww you flatterer you, don't suppose you'd put that in writing hmm? That has to be one of the nicest compliment and endorsement I've ever received." Camella said sweetly without a single ounce of venom in her words despite their casual racist and sexist attitudes, after all they were praising her and out right declaring that she was a good enough healer to make them reconsider their vows. Camella doubted they'd ever said the same about the local Shalyans, if there were any.

Gonna go shopping first and foremost, then visit a certain sewer jack, see about tending to his wounds and needs while I'm still in town, though before that I suppose I could accompany Henry to another meeting with the mercenaries if he wants. Other than that, eat, drink, and maybe try to make a lil extra money while in town? Oh, also, might want to visit either a temple or shrine of Morr and Shalya, Camella is a woman of her word.

This message was last edited by the player at 07:51, Mon 09 June 2014.

Game Master
 GM, 482 posts
Wed 11 Jun 2014
at 04:05
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
"I am glad to please such, Camella. I understand that there are those who are racist against Halflings. I do not understand it myself. Your people are such great cooks and the perfect valets. I must say, I entirely fond of your entire race. It makes me sad that some would look down upon you" sighs Ranulf, completely oblivious to your sarcasm and the true meaning of what he says.
Game Master
 GM, 483 posts
Sun 15 Jun 2014
at 00:52
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
Aria stays aloof from the others and merely hones her skills. Camella, on the other hand, visits Glindly. He is too weak for their usual activities, but cannot help but continue to heap compliments on her. If his words were to be believed, she is the Halfling Goddesses reborn into mortal flesh and perfect beyond ways that mortals can comprehend. Under Camella's care he is helped greatly, making her wonder what kind of care he really gets from these humans "doktors". Her services are required and she makes 7 silver coins assitsing others. Visiting the Temple to Shalya is most rewarding. Having not slain anything and only helped to heal those in need, she feels a warm light descend upon her, despite knowing such a thing is impossible.
Game Master
 GM, 484 posts
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 01:28
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
It is after a long night's sleep you are all sent in a coach. A dwarf named Magnar joins you, he and Gunnar having become sworn comrades. Aria does not speak much, the presence of so many dwarfs seeming to make her nervous. It is three days before you reach your location, a small village. Three days of paranoia and tedium. It feels as though you are being watched, but you are not. When outside the walls of the coaching inns, small fortress in a sea of forest, you keep hearing things moving. You tell yourselves these are deer. They cannot be anything more. Every day Father Odo, who you find gregarious at first, becomes a bit more quiet. He keeps talking of his dreams. Fountains of blood. Hounds eating wolves. A brass cauldron which people are thrown into en mass to create a mushy, red soup eaten by gibbering things that look human but surely cannot be. Things shrouded in darkness. Things best not seen.

It is on the third day that you reach your final coaching inn.

"I... I... can feel it..." whispers Odo as you enter the door and takes seats, "The beast... it is in the forest..." he adds.
Camella Catkins
 player, 203 posts
 Halfling Barber-Surgeon
 Wnds: 10/10 , FP: 3/3
Wed 18 Jun 2014
at 15:12
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
Having attended to Glindly the day before their departure, suggested a pooling of resources to invest in apothecary tools, and visited the temples of the gods she felt she owed a debt to for sparing the handsome and skillful sewer jack, Camella was surprised to learn upon her return that another would be joining them, another dwarf in fact. She hadn't expected another to be joining their number so soon after the costly victory in the sewers, but with a cheerful smile the young Halfling woman made her introductions to Magnar letting him know she was a barber-surgeon, in case he needed her services, as many eventually did.

She spent her first night regaling her companions of her previous adventures, both alone and in the company of others before meeting Henry and their current company, most of which was even partially true. On the second night she tossed and turned in her bed alone once again, suddenly reminded why she loved cities so much, before looking for a little night time company, and settled on sneaking into bed with Aria, much to the elf's surprise. While on the third day they reached their destination as the priest began speaking of beasts in woods. "That is both fortunate and unfortunate. Can anyone tell the time of day? Despite my months on the roads I never did pick up the talent for telling the time through the tree tops." She said looking to Aria with a playful grin.
Game Master
 GM, 486 posts
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 02:30
Re: The Shrine in the Forest
"I know not..." comments Father Odo, blind as they come.

OOC: It is noon