Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town.   Posted by The Narrator.Group: 0
The Narrator
 NPC, 1 post
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 10:27
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town


Once a wizard gets past a certain age, it seems that they always fall into one of two broad categories, there's the type who become tutors and sages to the next generation, helping lead them into grand adventures and slowly fading into quiet obscurity as their proteges succeed them. The other type are the sort who cut the next generation's head open with a rusty saw and spoon out their brain into a cook pot while they slowly die screaming.

Unfortunately, it was currently difficult to tell which sort of aged wizard Howard Nirnrich was. Though he was currently giving a legitimately moving speech about the value of exploration and the need for Those Who Dare in the march of progress and civilization, he was also standing on an upside down crate labeled "suoᴉuO" while wearing a tarnished brass crown around the outside of his olden-style pointy wizard hat.

Fortunately, there were others elements about that added an air of legitimacy to the endeavor, such as the weedy man with glasses who double checked that everyone's paperwork was in order (To think; paperwork on an adventure!), the stony-faced guards in plate mail who surveyed the gathered pilgrims, making sure that none dared to approach 'King Howard' without permission, the Well Dressed Gentlemen standing behind the old man who were doing their best to not look bored by his speech, and last but not least, the large free-standing set of double doors, which emitted a strange purple glow along the edges, as if it were wedged in a hole between worlds big enough to drive a wagon through. Which, according to the old wizard, is exactly what it was.

He spoke of the discovery of the realm, a story that many here had heard before, where instead of creating a room in his tower that existed in a small pocket dimension, he accidentally punched through to this new Plane.

As your attention wanders, you look around at those gathered here, waiting for their chance to make history. Families looking for a place to start a new life, adventurers looking to make their mark on the world, those with a past who were looking for a place to hide from it, and others who were just out to make a tidy profit. Many had wagons full of supplies, some had only the clothes on their backs, but all paid attention when with only a flick of his wrist, King Howard opened the doors, and an alien sunrise turned the vista inside the open doors orange.

A cheer went up as the crowd began to slowly shuffle in, music, cheers and fireworks coming from the other side of the portal. With all the noise, it struck you as odd how clearly you could hear the old man whispering right at you to stay behind and have a chat with him before going in. It sounded like he was right next to you.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:54, Sun 10 Jan 2016.

Howard Nirnrich
 NPC, 1 post
 Eccentric old man
Mon 12 Oct 2015
at 12:26
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
Slowly, the crowd dissipates and it's just you four, King Howard, the silent partners, and the imposing men in platemail.

He waits patiently for you to approach, smiling and smelling faintly of suoᴉuo, apparently having forgotten that he was the one who wanted to talk to you.
Orreid
 player, 7 posts
 Wild Summoner
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 21:39
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
Orreid waits when the crowd goes in, though his first impulse was to follow them. His hand rests on the harsh white form of Arathnya, standing beside him impassively.

Once the crowd clears he approaches Howard. "You asked me to remain behind and come speak with you about something, I believe?" he asks.
Urukabar
 player, 9 posts
Tue 13 Oct 2015
at 22:03
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
Uru waited while the others filed into the gateway, looking and feeling out of place at the edge of the crowd.  His armor, though obviously well made, bears crude orcish alterations and decoration.  Orange and black slashes of paint cover the breastplate, and his helmet bears two unwieldy ram's horns.  His thick wooden shield- currently slung over his back- bears the design of a sylized roaring maw, with two massive fangs.  His horse's armor bears similar embellishments, the most noticeable being a pair of painted red eyes and small horns adorning the headpiece.

While the last of the settlers traveled through the gate, the wayward shaman gave his horse a reassuring pat, and approached the ancient wizard.  He kept his eyes down as he approached, and didn't speak.  He'd never seen a human wizard before, but hard experience with powerful casters of his own ilk had taught him a cautious deference.  Orcish witches and oracles were a cruel and capricious sort, and the tales Uru had read of human lands suggested that their wizards were little different.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:15, Tue 13 Oct 2015.

Cyrus Ward
 player, 10 posts
 Chelish
 Fighter
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 03:21
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
Cyrus watched the crowd made its way through the doorway and shifted the mostly empty pack on his shoulder. It made him uneasy to see so many people willingly pass through to another place. They had no idea what was across the threshold. Were they aware of what they were signing up for or did they only see the silver lining? Did they understand the danger they were putting themselves in? Were any of them prepared for when things turned bad?

Cyrus shook his head as he made his way across the yard. The old man had used some kind of magic to get his attention. It made his skin crawl. The intrusiveness and presumption made him angry but the old man seemed harmless. Mad, even. Cyrus probably would not hold it against the old wizard. Not the first time. That's one, old man.

He fell in line with the others that were presenting themselves.
Hecate Delgado
 player, 9 posts
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 03:55
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
Hecate approached as the crowd dissipated. She and Brutus, her gelding, remained a few paces behind the other three. The two of them stood patiently side by side in matching scale armor waiting for the others to address the wizard. Her clothing was simple, wool breaches and shirt beneath her armor and a long, brown leather jacket over. A sword hung from her hip and a spear was strapped to the saddlebags along with a pole of nearly the same length with a banner at one end. The banner was rolled up and covered to protect it from the elements during travel effectively concealing the order of this errant knight.
Howard Nirnrich
 NPC, 2 posts
 Eccentric old man
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 05:14
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
The old wizard smiled in a way that said he either knew too much or too little, the grand joke shared by the senile and the insane. His ridiculous hat bobbed on his head as he surveyed the group and nodded appreciatively. When everyone was finally gathered he took a deep breath, looked confused, remembered what he was going to say and then finally spoke.

"Favored surveyors of the infinite realms, I thank you for taking the time to indulge a batty old man and his trivialities. I have a exceptionally special task for you, should you choose to accept. You are to be my hands in my kingdom. Sadly, it would be unwise for me to survey my realm directly, just as it would be unwise to put the key to a room inside and then close the door. But I digress, your first task as my right hand is to find out exactly what happened to my left hand."

He took an awkwardly long moment to laugh at his own joke.

"It appears that I've gone and misplaced some Pathfinders inside my kingdom. I dispatched them to explore the now ironically named Pathfinder's Forest and they haven't returned in quite some time. At the very least I know they aren't dead. I paid to have them resurrected, you see.  No response. So I would appreciate you finding them at your convenience, and reminding them politely about the importance of punctuality when filling reports. It may also help to speak to their captain, Bonnibell Bonita. Come to think of it , young master S'finx has also been taking an interest in their case.  He might be useful to you as well."

"Now," he looked at the group, that odd smile returning, "have you any questions for your dear King Howie? Any at all? I'm not shy, you'll find.  Why one time I created a ring to make clothing invisible. Wore it all the time in the winter, I did. That is, you see, until I was arrested. Quite a hilarious story, that.  You see It was late fall and I had just ..."

It didn't seem like he would stop talking until you started.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:03, Thu 15 Oct 2015.

Urukabar
 player, 10 posts
 AC/T/FF: 22/14/18,10/10HP
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 07:12
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
Urukabar simply listened as King Howie talked, nodding politely while he waited for the old man to continue his story, however long it may take.  He was in no rush, after all.  He literally had all day.  Might was well spend it listening to a story from the man who had punched a hole in reality and declared himself king of everything on the other side.  Especially when the story involved nudity and prison!

That, and Urukabar had a vague fear that the moment he spoke, King Nirnrich would vaporize him on the spot.  Not a likely fear, of course.  The old mage seemed erratic, but not "indiscriminate murder" erratic.  But still, this was a capricious ruler at best and a madman at worst, and he seemed to possess a terrifying amount of power.  Best to let someone else interrupt first.

This message was last edited by the player at 09:42, Wed 14 Oct 2015.

Howard Nirnrich
 NPC, 3 posts
 Eccentric old man
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 12:14
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
The story continued unabated, "...come into a large amount of money that I'd found in some blasted cave in the wilderness. It wasn't blasted when I found it, but it had become so by my traverse through it, you see. And so, upon relieving the formerly corporeal inhabitants of anything which could be sold or used for profit, I began to amiably amble to the nearest settlement of civilised creatures."

The four wealthy-looking men behind him took turns clearing their throats meaningfully at the 'Learned-King', trying to remind him with decreasing amounts subtlety that they had other things planned this morning.

He purposely ignored them and continued, "Now, you see, I carried the Ring of Apparent Disrobing with me at all times, and still do to this day, because I'd found that there are in fact many situations where it is useful for people to believe you are naked and unarmed. So it was that I noticed how soiled with blood and ash I was, and how obviously laden with treasures I was, that I decided to slip on the ring as I walked the road to town. Most bandits will ignore someone who appears to have already been a target of a robbery, you see, and I had had partaken my full share of thaumaturgical maiming for the moment..."

Did this story have a middle? Or an end?
Cyrus Ward
 player, 11 posts
 Chelish
 Fighter
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 18:35
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
"Enough of this foolishness," Cyrus shook his head and turned, heading for the doorway. The old man was lost in a story and he had no interest in hearing it. There was work to be done and lives possibly in danger. Staring at the portal, Cyrus struggled with his own nervousness. He had seen things like this before and nothing good ever came out of them. The idea suddenly made him grin. This time, he would be coming out of one.
Hecate Delgado
 player, 10 posts
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 19:36
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
Hecate's gray eyes followed the man storming off toward the door but quickly returned attention to Nirnrich. The old wizard would finish his stories eventually. It was not her prerogative to expedite his address.
Urukabar
 player, 11 posts
 AC/T/FF: 22/14/18,10/10HP
Wed 14 Oct 2015
at 23:29
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
...Okay, judging from the story, Howard Nirnrich might indeed be "indiscriminate murder" erratic.  Uru was starting to wonder just what he'd gotten himself into.  Still, it was too late to back out now, and it wasn't like he had anywhere else to go.

At the grumbling and coughing of the wizard's companions, and the outburst of Uru's fellow "surveyor", the young half-orc realized that if he didn't ask any questions now, he might not get a chance.  Besides, if King Howie hadn't vaporized the human thug for his disrespect, simply interrupting was probably a safe bet.

He raised his hand, somewhat sheepishly.  "Excuse me, ah, King Howie?  Back to the matter at hand:  Have you scryed for the Pathfinders?  Even through worlds, such a thing should be trivial for a man of your power."

This message had punctuation tweaked by the player at 02:18, Thu 15 Oct 2015.

Howard Nirnrich
 NPC, 4 posts
 Eccentric old man
Thu 15 Oct 2015
at 01:48
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
The Madman who would be King watched Cyrus walk off with a mask of that same blithering incompetence, but his eyes betrayed something more aware. Almost like a test had been passed.


That same look grew stronger when the Half-Orc finally met his eyes and spoke, asking a question, even. A clever question, too.

"Ah, one of the strange properties of my Realm at work, I'm afraid. It seems that there is no visibility beyond a few miles at best, by sight or by magic. The beginning edge of the Pathfinder's forest is coincidentally Three miles away from the door. Even at my best, I can't see beyond the edge of the forest from outside, and my attempts at sending Missives and Messages have all 'bounced back', if you will. That is why I feel I must send you to the forest to ascertain their location."

This message was last edited by the player at 12:40, Thu 15 Oct 2015.

Orreid
 player, 8 posts
 Wild Summoner
Thu 15 Oct 2015
at 08:42
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
"Wonderful," Orreid replies at the mention of limited visibility. "That's going to make navigation interesting. We'll need to start cutting markers for one thing."

He sighs. "Well, best we get after the enthusiastic one, hmm? Come on Arathnya," he finishes, leading the summon creature through the portal.
Hecate Delgado
 player, 12 posts
Thu 15 Oct 2015
at 09:51
Chapter 1, In Which There is a Very Peculiar Town
"Sire." Hecate said to the to the king and bowed before turning to follow the elf. As accustomed as she was to waiting she was still eager to get their adventure under way. Now that she was no longer standing at attention she regarded the elf's companion with open curiosity.