The Spire of Kumlun.   Posted by The Wild.Group: 0
The Wild
 GM, 19 posts
Fri 16 Oct 2015
at 03:28
The Spire of Kumlun
Called the Blighted Spire by jealous neighbors, it is true that the Spire is... odd. It towers much higher than any peak naturally should, and yet strangely its precipice gathers no frost of snow; only a cold and airless white mist where only those of royal blood or great magical skill may trod. To call the Spire "blighted" would be to do it a disservice, however. Within and around this timeless and rune-carved landmark lies perhaps the most cosmopolitan and scientifically gifted nation in the Jagged Crescent. The mighty, native dwarven clans have, through wise governance and an unflinching sense of tradition, literally carved a kingdom out for themselves despite the Kaisain elves' millenia-long dominance of the mountains.

About nine tenths of the way up the Spire, the Aerie clings precariously to the side of the peak like a glittering, jeweled ring on a finger. The Aerie is a massive, natural balcony with a palace carved directly into the side of the Spire, its stony walls pocked with the nests of innumerable tame gryphons, serving as royal mounts. It is the ancestral home of King Yehimal II, an ambitious and terrifyingly capable monarch, eager to expand his father's grip on the dwarven clans and beyond.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:58, Fri 16 Oct 2015.

Borealax the Blind Calamity
 player, 6 posts
Sat 17 Oct 2015
at 03:25
The Spire of Kumlun
As he stood in the center of what would one day become the first Delvarast, Golden Highway of Dulmunoor, Hjuldrus couldn't help but stroke his beard as he looked on with pride at the quality of workmanship his kinsmen had already produced.  What had once been a wall of solid stone at the furthest edge of the great city had been hewn into a massive tunnel, the first of many in King Yehimal's bid to expand his underground city.  Already the tunnel spanned many miles, piercing stone and dirt alike with the strength of dwarven craftsmanship and gnomish magic, the entrance so far removed that the lights of Dulmunoor could not even reach them.  Along the way the walls, ceiling, and floor had already been smoothed and carved by stoneworkers, transforming the rough granite and basalt surfaces into works of art which stood as new monuments to glory of Dulmunoor and King Yehimal II.

Here, however, at the head of the Delvarast, the stone was still freshly mined and the walls rough and uneven.  Still, with the ceiling a good 200 hands high, it was an impressive sight nonetheless.  Of course Hjuldrus, Royal Architect of Clan Nagra, hadn't travelled down the Delvarast simply to admire its worksmanship; no, news had come from the Gnomish geomancers that the tunnel was nearing its first cavern.  According to the architects, depending on the size of the cavern, its proximity to the surface would make it the perfect location for the next settlement.  Hjuldrus approached the head stoneworker of the project, Baldik of Clan Theizak, his beard jingling as the decorations which marked him as a member of the Royal Cabinet danced together.  "What say you, Baldik?  How long before your men break through?"  Baldik, stout and gruff even for dwarf, grunts deeply as he watches his men banging away at the stone wall.  "Tough to say.  Stones' rather hard here, harder than normal.  Could be a few hours yet."  The idea of waiting another few hours didn't sit well with Hjuldrus, but he knew better than to rush the stoneworkers.  Risking a cave-in now was a death sentence, whether he survived it or not.

Just then, a dwarven voice cried out.  "Void!  We've got Void here!"  Immediately there was a flurry of excitement, and dwarves left their stations to crowd around the dwarf in question who was crying out.  Hjuldrus and Baldik weren't far behind, with Hjuldrus parting the sea of sweaty and dusty bodies to find the breakthrough.  Finally, as he breached the wall of dwarves, he came upon his aim.  The worker stood at attention at the approach of the two dwarves, indicating the point in the wall where he'd broken through.  Still small, barely enough to fit a hand through, the hole was still quite clearly opening through to a cavity.  After inspecting it for a short moment, Hjuldrus motions to the closest workers.  "Widen the way forward."  6 sturdy dwarves immediately went to work, digging their picks into the stone which chipped away in tiny pieces.  Baldik picked one chunk up and began inspecting it, his brow furrowed.  "This stone is strange.  Too rigid..."

Before he could go any further, the wall finally caved, opening up to reveal a pitch black cavern up ahead.  Immediately, a gust of stale wind flooded the Delvarast, forcing Hjuldrus and the dwarves near the entrance to back away squinting.  "Durra's coarse whiskers!"  The royal architect couldn't help but curse; the wind was hot, surprisingly so!  After a few moments the wind died down, though the warm breeze remained.  When it seemed that the opening was stable, Hjuldrus motioned towards the gathering.  "Make way men!  Appraisal Team, to me!"  At his command, a group of dwarves and gnomes of various clans approached, preparing to enter and assess the size and stability of the cavern with Hjuldrus and Baldik at their head.  As he passed through the opening, Hjuldrus was beaming.  Surely, such a development could only spell good things for his career.

I feel a chill...  The uncomfortably cold air washed over his scales as he slept, causing Borealax to shift in his slumber.  Stalagmites which had formed over his body cracked as his breathing deepened, his body stirring from the ancient hibernation which had overtaken him so long ago.  As his mind cleared of dreams, it sharpened in clarity.  The Lair he'd chosen had sealed itself over the years, but something had broken the seal and cooled him.  He sucked in a deep breath, his senses flooding with information.  Finally, a distant notion struck him, and his eyes snapped open as his sleep left him in an instant.  The others were awake.  They were grown.  They were rivals.  A deep shuddering growl erupted from Borealax's throat as he lifted himself from his resting place.  His pitch black scales melded with the shadows perfectly, but as the stones fell away from his body the seams between his scales began to glow from within, a violet light illuminating himself and the cavern which had been his Lair for so very long.  "So the game begins..."

Fully roused from his sleep, the knowledge of his siblings' wakefulness was flushed to the wayside as the first sensations he'd felt upon waking washed over him again.  A chill air from the outside, and scent he'd never tasted before.  Along the floor of his Lair, the flickering light of a small yellow flame illuminated a small area, and Borealax zeroed in on it.  At that moment, he realized what the scent was.  From the smell, and their tiny voices, they hadn't yet realized he was present; or at least, they were foolish enough to not fear him.  Looming in the darkness, Borealax breathed deep.  Soon, all would know his name and tremble in fear of his arrival.  He would teach these foolish creatures first.
Borealax the Blind Calamity
 player, 8 posts
Sun 18 Oct 2015
at 11:41
The Spire of Kumlun
"INTERLOPERS!!"  Like a thunderclap, Borealax's voice resounded through the titanic cavern that had been his Lair for so long, the enclosed space spurring his already deafening voice to even greater heights.  So powerful were his words that they sounded less like coherent speech and more like the enraged cry of a beast.  He advanced upon the source of the light, crawling between stalactites and massive stone pillars with astonishing nimbleness, his over-sized flight limbs acting as a defacto third pair of fore-limbs.  Immediately, the scent of fresh fear joined the smell of dwarves in his nostrils, but as he neared the source of the scent he realized that they were near the far wall of his Lair, and there was an opening there he didn't remember.  His anger flared even higher, the violet light emanating from his body increasing in intensity to the point even the tips of his horns glowed in the darkness.

He howled with wordless rage as he brought a gleaming claw down with the intent to crush the upstart creatures which had dared to invade his Lair and disturb his sleep, but his wild charge had brought him too close to the stone wall of his Lair, and his claws were slowed as they cut through the solid granite.  Instead, the group of mortals had disappeared into a hole in the wall, through which Borealax could smell an even greater number of dwarves.  With a single thrust, Borealax broke through the thin wall with a forelimb, reaching as far in as possible to rake his claws against stone in a blind search for mortal flesh.  Alas, the tunnel was barely large enough to admit his clawed hand, let along any more of his body.  Pulling his arm free, Boreleax roared into the tunnel which had breached his Lair, his fury palpable.  "You dare!?  YOU DARE!?"  Borealax threw his enormous body against the wall, his strength causing the very mountain to tremble.  Yet in the end, even his great strength could not break the very bones of the mountain.

Still howling with anger, Borealax ripped himself away from the wall, leaving the opening to the tunnel a rubble-filled mess as he tore off through his Lair towards the other side of the cavern.  He charged the far wall without pausing, and in a mighty crash the thin wall of sediment which had sealed the entry to his Lair over the centuries exploded outwards, at the same time readmitting Borealax to the world outside.  The opening of his Lair was thousands of feet above ground, and with a simple spread of his wings Borealax was aloft, careening through the air above the fertile forests of Kumlun at a speed which created wind that threatened to strip the trees of branches.  All the while, his blind cries of rage echoed through the valleys as his path eventually took him high up into the air, high enough to be visible for miles.  "TREMBLE UNDER BOREALAX!"
The Wild
 GM, 38 posts
Mon 19 Oct 2015
at 03:34
The Spire of Kumlun
20:18, Today: The Wild rolled 2 using 1d4.  Kumlun resistance roll. [Development Levelx4 -2 Magic Penalty]

So [([3x4]-2)x2. Kumlun puts up a resistance of 20.

The dwarves and gnomes of the Appraisal Team scurried desperately out of the cavern at the sound of Borealax's voice. The dwarves of the Blighted Spire were quite well-accustomed to the consequences of "digging too deep," and had in fact drilled for this specific scenario. No one expected a dragon, of course, but perhaps a horde of previously-bound demons? The tomb of an ancient lich-king? In the Jagged Crescent, there were a number of ways for an exploratory mining team to die. Good old-fashioned cave-ins were the most common, of course, but only barely so.

As the Appraisal Team withdrew, tails between their legs, the Breach Response Team surged forward. Steel-plated dwarven warriors, they carry heavy shields, broad swords and bristling crossbows that would make even a demon from the Nether Realms think twice. They took up a position outside the breach, the Appraisal Team cowering behind them.

Even the veterans balked when they saw the massive, scaly claw emerge. For all Borealax's thrashing, however, there was only one dwarven casualty - Lieutenant Hodirk died instantly of a heart attack upon seeing the sheer, apocalyptic size of the massive claw scrabbling at them.

The Breach Response Team loosed a hail of bolts at Borealax's foreclaw, but the mighty dragon didn't feel the pinpricks. As he withdrew and crashed his way into the open sky, the smell of dwarven fear was washed away by the cool morning air of the upper atmosphere. Down below, deep in the roots of the Spire, the Breach Response Team breathed a sigh of relief. At least the thing was gone... for now.

There was a pregnant moment of silence as the dwarves gathered up their tools and weapons and hauled away poor Lieutenant Hodirk. Baldik of Clan Theizak's advisors looked to him in utter astonishment, awaiting orders. Baldik, ever the pragmatist, had an answer at the ready. "Seal it up," he said in annoyance, jabbing at the tablet of stone in front of him with an ink-pen. "I want no part of whatever horror was sealed in there. Send a report to the King, get a team of masons down here, and brick up that hole we made. We're going to have to try one of the other exploratory shafts."

This message was last edited by the GM at 06:12, Tue 20 Oct 2015.

Borealax the Blind Calamity
 player, 10 posts
Wed 21 Oct 2015
at 07:04
The Spire of Kumlun
As the dwarves scurried through their tunnels in fresh terror, hoping to save themselves from the horror they no doubt believe they'd awakened, Borealax was swiftly finding his initial indignation smoldering as he soared over the vast mountain ranges he had called home so many years ago.  In the time he'd been asleep, so much of the range had changed; once mighty peaks had been worn down to puny mounds of rubble, and tiny hills had grown and erupted into impressive heights.  Valleys which had once been dominated by sparse grass and mountain goats now hid entire forests, standing defiantly on the slopes of the mountains around them.  The new, vast landscapes were surely appealing, especially from a dragon's-eye view.

Though the scenery was calming in its own way, Borealax would not overlooks the audacity of the dwarves which had invaded his Lair.  He knew that for a mortal race to have dug so deeply, they must have already tainted much of the mountain he called home.  Such an invasion he would not abide without great cost.  And yet, with the advent of his siblings' awakening, Borealax found he could not decide what exactly to do.  Destroying the dwarves could be done, but now that his anger had lessened he found himself unmotivated to wipe them out.  They could be made to be useful, if for nothing else than to look upon him with fear and awe; a god-like being such as himself is due such things, after all.  But how to go about it...

For the time being, Borealax simply continued to fly, stretching his long dormant muscles and exulting in his new wakefulness.  He crested the peaks of mountains, only to dive along their slopes to near ground level before righting himself, his wings whipping the wind into a frenzy.  As he flew, he surveyed the lands below, etching its new shape into his memory.  He wanted to know the land around his Lair by heart once again.
The Wild
 GM, 51 posts
Fri 23 Oct 2015
at 17:46
The Spire of Kumlun
As Borealax climbed ever-higher into the atmosphere above the Kumlun range, he admired the jagged peaks separated by misty mountain vales he felt destined to rule. Committing its many features to memory was a trivial task for him, and in less than a day of flight Borealax felt he'd mentally mapped out most of its more interesting features.

Much of the land appeared wild, unspoiled and untamed, though Borealax knew that was simply because the majority of dwarves preferred cowering in their mining tunnels to traversing the world of air and light. Above ground, crowded around the numerous mountain lakes and rivers that drained into the distant Kaovalean Coast were several villages of humans tending sprawling farms. These humble migrants were all too willing to serve as breadbasket to their dwarven benefactors.

[OOC: Posting this publicly for the benefit of others: your roll was good enough to find any hidden dragons, parcels of Wealth, or dragon lairs in the region. However, there was simply none to find. Savagery + Savagery checks let you detect / counter hidden objects, but since Savagery is primarily a defensive stat it's difficult to generate rewards (Awe, Terror, Wealth) with Savagery alone. So even though your attempt was successful, it didn't net you any concrete benefit.]
Borealax the Blind Calamity
 player, 12 posts
Sat 31 Oct 2015
at 10:17
The Spire of Kumlun
The sight of the untamed land below pleased Borealax, though the human settlements tantalized him with the reminder that he had not eaten at all in the time since he'd fallen into slumber.  It was their luck that the kindling hunger did not compel him to fall upon one of their pitiful towns to lay waste it it; instead, it only reminded him of the interloping dwarves which had breached the walls of his Lair.  With a fierce beat of his massive wings Borealax changed direction, leaving a wake of purple cinders behind him as he sped back towards the Spire.

With furious speed Borealax approached the Spire, his simmering fury turning causing his body to leave trails of heat in his wake.  As he neared the mountain and the massive gates which had been carved into the mountainside to mark the entry to the grand dwarven city, fate it seemed was with him; the sun, still hanging relatively low in the sky, was positioned directly in front of the fortress's gates.  Flying in low, Borealax gathered as much speed as he could, barelling straight on towards the gates.  Before he came in to close, he pulled up sharply, climbing swiftly into the sky as he watched his shadow down below him.  Finally, he reached his aim; with his massive wings, Borealax stretched out and blotted out the sun, casting a shadow over the entirety of the dwarven ramparts.  The violet light and heat emanating from his body created an eye-catching corona, and the wingbeats which kept him hovering bombarded the walls with a hot wind.

"Miserable dwarves!  Thieves!  Interlopers!  Cower in your holes all you like, Our ire will find you all the same!"  His booming voice was barely even intelligible, a string of air-rending syllables more like a roar than anything else.  Certain he has their attention now, he swoops in closer to the gates, moving with such speed he seems to almost defy physics to the dwarves manning the ramparts.  Those who did not flee the moment he appeared did so when he buzzed the walls, the wind from his passing strong enough to bend iron pole holding flags.  He took to the ground after that, his body dwarfing the road beneath him and his head craning up level with the massive doors themselves as his black eyes, indistinguishable from his scales, peered through the small windows.  "Do you fear me, mortal creatures?  Such pitiful things are not worth my rage."  Another growl sent shudders through the stone, and he turned away from the ramparts, focusing on the gates.  "Come forth and cower before me, worms, and perhaps you will kindle enough pity within me to overlook your transgressions!"
The Wild
 GM, 63 posts
Fri 6 Nov 2015
at 03:36
The Spire of Kumlun
OOC: 19:15, Today: The Wild rolled 1 using 1d4 with rolls of 1.  Kumlun resistance roll. [Development Levelx4 -2 Magic Penalty]. The humans are definitely impressed!

When Borealax's booming, roaring voice rattled the doors of the cluster of shacks that composed the human village, a few waif-like peasants crawled out of their homes to gaze up in bewilderment at the sight of a real, live dragon. Very few of the terrified humans took Borealax's directive seriously, however. They seemed too frightened to get close enough to the Blind Calamity to genuflect properly. Soon, however, an enterprising elder dressed in animal furs and wearing a crown of antlers burst from his dilapidated hovel at the outskirts of the hamlet. "It's him! It's he! It's the great iron bird that roosts in the Blighted Spire!" The ancient human pointed a quivering finger at the airborne form of Borealax as he shuffled forward, his voice dripping with revereance. "The dark wind to break armies! The siege wind to dash castles! Blind calamity to our oppressors! Just as the prophecy foretold! Kneel!" The old man suddenly commanded, with manic and zealous authority. And in the draconic tongue, no less... the language of magic. "Kneel! Kneel before the coming apocalypse, you cowards. Don't worry, Lord Dragon," the ancient man said, dropping to his knee and lowering his quaking form to the ground in deference. Many of the villagers followed suit, dropping prostrate before Borealax's purplish radiance.

"Not all of us have abandoned the Old Ways," the old man said. "This humble servant's name is Malik. What is your name and how may we serve you, Lord Dragon?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:39, Fri 06 Nov 2015.

Borealax the Blind Calamity
 player, 14 posts
Thu 12 Nov 2015
at 08:52
The Spire of Kumlun
When the old man called out to Borealax in the Tongue of Dragons, he immediately lowered his head to regard the creaking nonagenarian, moving with a speed that seemed to make several of the more cowardly mortals think Malik was about to be devoured for his trouble.  After several moments of Borealax's forge-hot breath washing over the townsfolk, he drew back to his full height, baring down on them.  "Hmph.  It seems someone took the time to teach you to properly genuflect.  How fortunate for your cretinous brethren."  A rumbling growl was directed at the cowardly humans who had failed to step forward when he first arrived, before he regarded Malik more directly; it pained him to speak on the same level as a Mortal, but the man's manners had been acceptable thus far.  Rearing back on his hind legs, Borealax mantled his wings, giving himself the presence his introduction deserved.  "Our name is Borealax!  Black of scale and violet flame!  Know us well, Mortal, and give thanks for my mercy; I do not give it often."

His introduction given, Borealax's mind was already running wild with potential uses for these humans.  They had already proven a surprising bounty; though Mortals were pitiful beings, those who mastered the tongue of dragons had their uses.  Otherwise, these cowering humans were at least entertaining.  "Your good manners have left us in a forgiving mood, Malik of the Dragon's Tongue.  We will spare your village, and the others like it, but we require a boon.  You will spread the word, here and among your neighbors: a single maiden, virgin and unspoiled; that is the price We demand for our mercy.  You are a learned mortal, Malik.  You know what fate will await the village which denies Us our payment."
The Wild
 GM, 71 posts
Sun 15 Nov 2015
at 10:26
The Spire of Kumlun
The shaman newly christened Malik of the Dragon's Tongue balked at Borealax's price. After a moment's hesitation, however, he turned around and exhorted his fellow villagers to bring forth a young maiden. The raven-haired girl was terrified, dragged kicking and screaming before Borealax, but the cowed and stony-faced villagers knew their fate if they showed the sacrifice any mercy.

Tossing the girl before Borealax, the Blind Calamity rose up to his full height before snatching up the captive in his jaws. Whether he intended to devour her, or spirit her away for some other dastardly purpose, the woman would never find out. Or at least she had no intention of finding out. Screaming and thrashing, she managed to reach down to her ankle... and pull a small dagger from her boot-sheath before plunging it deep into the Blind Calamity's eye.

Snarling with fury, Borealax clamped down his jaws instinctively and shook. The young maiden's act of defiance had been her last, but as her bloodied and broken body dropped limply from the mighty Borealax's jaws, all in the village knew the dragon would keep his threats.