The Guardians Reunited.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: archive 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 445 posts
 Blessing the Rolers
 Cursing the Rollers
Tue 11 Jul 2006
at 04:27
The Guardians Reunited
After several short, but very eventful days apart, the Guardians reunite at the Red Rose Inn to share tales of their adventures.  Peter returned a hero to the people but holding within the secret of Herman's cold-blooded killing by his hand.  Antoine came wearing new clothes and a heavy purse but she also returned with a gift that many called a curse, a gift that gave her power, a curse that darkened her heart.  Dorn returned triumphant in catching and brining to justice the dwarven looter that had plundered the Firehammer clan home but also bore news of gnolls who had somehow come to inhabit part of the place while fearing the rest.  Darwin was flush with knowledge and a pride at having been selected as Eloranth's apprentice.  Never before had he held access to the knowledge and power Eloranth offered and he wore her ring of apprenticeship a a badge of honor.  Serol was the last to rejoin his comrades but he too had changed.  The soles of his feet bore the scarring of his lord, scars that he did not wish to heal, scars that spoke of his rise to prominence in his faith.

Not all was as it seemed in the isolated town of Rosewood the Guardians themselves not withstanding.  Fulgar's Five had made considerable progress in constructing their unusual fortress against the mountainside and although Darwin had been granted access, its purpose remained shrouded in mystery as did the fifth of The Five.  A dragon and its vast hoard was held within the mountain by powerful enchantments placed long ago by unknown powers unbeknownst to gnolls who had infiltrated an ancient dwarven clanhome.  Eloranth had claimed to destroy a portal constructed in ancient times by followers of Velsharoon who had taken an interest in the small town eliminating the immediate threat but Ilthanis' Rod, a sinister and evil artifact, remained in the Dawnbringer's safekeeping until a method to destroy it once and for all could be found.  The local shopkeep performed miracles of time and space delivering messages two days away in mere minutes all the while keeping tabs on every occurence in the small town.  A young man yearned for a love he lost to lycanthropy while his father the mayor yearned for an end to his sudden naps.  Kendra, the shadowy elven rogue of Fulgar's Five kept secrets from the Five wile aiding the Guardians in their endeavors.  Oh yes, just as a volcano may lie dormant for an elven lifetime eventually the lava and steam roiling beneath the surface would erupt in a chaotic explosion, just as Rosewood would do in the not too distant future.

As they had done a ride ago the Guardians came together again at the Red Rose Inn, stalwart companions yet strangers all over again.

Please convene in this thread once your mini is concluded.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 451 posts
 Blessing the Rolers
 Cursing the Rollers
Thu 13 Jul 2006
at 02:53
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Flamerule 2, 1373DR
Midday



Peter sat and enjoyed his ale hoping that some of the other Guardians would soon have a similar craving and find him here.  It was odd, having spare time once again.  Not since he had journeyed to Rosewood had he experienced what he now found to be a luxury.  Camille continued to conveniently avoid his table leaving the other serving girl to fetch Peter new ales when needed.

Being one of the few small towns to scrape out an existence in the harsh Western Heartlands the Red Rose Inn was quite popular amongst adventurers who found themselves seeking fame and riches in the vicinity.  The table at which he sat had likely been the place of a hundred toasts to fallen comrades, a hundred hatched plots for revenge, and a hundred planned explorations.  Indeed its wood planks were well weathered from spilled ale, dropped food, and scars from daggers stabbed and messages carved.  One such carving drew Peter's attention.

It looked to be fairly new as the wood within had yet to turn the dull grey of the rest of the exposed wood.  The carving consisted of two pictures separated by several letters.  The first picture was that off a bumblebee while the second that of a beehive and the letters carved between the two were 'wherethef'.  It seemed an odd carving and one that piqued the interest of the scholar within.
Peter Aubary
 player, 200 posts
 Corymrean Scholar
Thu 13 Jul 2006
at 18:17
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Sat alone Peter let the hubbub of the inn continue around him content to remain apart from it. The ale numbed darker thoughts that threatened to throw him into melancholy and he smiled a thin smile. Transported to almost a place of legend he imagined many a fantasy until the strange carving in the table before him caught his eye.

The pictures were easily deciphered as a bumblebee and beehive but their import was not. Similarly the letters had no meaning to the scholar. Drawn first to what he could easily guess he tried to imagine what meaning there could be behind the pictures. The symbolism of the beehive could hold contrary meanings, in one way it was the repository of deliciously sweet honey and in another a jealously guarded queen with a host of aggressive protectors. Peter concluded whatever it represented was valuable but obviously well guarded.

Determined to solve the riddle he shut out the noise of the inns busy afternoon trade and his ale was forgotten as he rubbed his head thoughtfully. What could the letters wherethef mean? The most obvious was to break them apart the mean where the f, but what did the f mean? He was stumped and continued the stare down at it until his neck was sore. Peter sensed the stiffness in his neck and he rubbed it roughly as he finished his second ale and called for another.
Antoine D'Marque
 player, 232 posts
 Sultry seductress
Thu 13 Jul 2006
at 21:50
Re: The Guardians Reunited
The door to the inn swung open and the comely figure of Antoine appeared for all to see.  With a slight effort, she altered the position of her bloated pack higher onto her shoulders and strode into the bar with a confident gait, not forgetting to close the door behind her.

Espying Peter sitting at a nearby table, Antoine waltzed over in his direction and made to take a seat nearby the young man.  Whatever had happened to Antoine over the past few days, she seemed even more alluring than ever to the average man.  Perhaps her demeanour had changed or maybe it was simply because the striking new silken blouse she was wearing appeared to have a more plunging neckline than people would remember her wearing.  In any event, Antoine greeted Peter with a welcome smile and a kiss to both cheeks, "It is good to see you again Peter."

Antoine took the seat she intended after removing her heavy pack.  Ordering a drink for herself (and for Peter if he was so inclined), Antoine noticed the unusual carving that someone had etched into in the table near where Peter was sitting.  Looking at it for a few seconds, Antoine said matter-of-factly, "Beware the five..." before pondering aloud, "I wonder which five this is supposed to be about?"

OOC Ok, ok - I couldn't resist posting in my lagged state but I am going to sleep now, honestly!
Peter Aubary
 player, 201 posts
 Corymrean Scholar
Fri 14 Jul 2006
at 20:01
Re: The Guardians Reunited
His head up from the strange carving Peter watched Antoine enter the inn and approach the table. Her new composure would have stunned the young scholar into mute silent if he were any younger and had not been through his recent ordeals. She was obviously pleasing to look upon but Peter was too glad to see another of the Guardians dwell on the fact.

”It is good to see you too.”

He replied to her before she took a seat beside him. Now closer to him and closer still when she kissed him saw how more revealing her new clothes were. Rather than worry about it himself the fellow Guardian grew protective of her and watched in case other in the bar took too keen an interest in her.

Soon though it was back to usual for the pair and they set to solving the problems of the isolated town of Rosewood. Before Peter talk of any rumours he had heard or could suggest his own solution to the riddle Antoine offered hers.

Beware the five.

Despite the obviously errors in grammar it warranted further thought from him. The only five he could think of was Fulgar he deducted, discounting the five Guardians out of hand as too new and as he was one of them he saw nothing to fear from them.

”Maybe you’re right though I wouldn’t guarantee it, and it could only then point to Fulgar.”

He responded vaguely, happy to let the riddle settle in his mind for further thought through out the coming evening. Unable to contain himself despite the knowledge that she would ask him similar questions he questioned her on the past few days.

”How went the hunt, and have you seen any of the other Guardians? I have heard rumours that Goldy has left Rosewood to return to his clan and that an odd giant is loose on the road to Iriaebor.”
Antoine D'Marque
 player, 234 posts
 Sultry seductress
Sat 15 Jul 2006
at 13:07
Re: The Guardians Reunited
"Oh well, I guess it could be something else, I've never been one for riddles to be honest.  But *if* it was 'beware the five', someone could be referring to us you know.  After all, we could have rustled a few feathers ourselves here recently..."  Antoine let the words die out unfinished to let her and Peter digest the thought.

The young woman placed her booted feet up upon an empty chair and crossed her legs.  Flicking her long brown hair back behind her ear, she smiled at the waitress as the drinks were brought to the table.  Once the servant had gone, Antoine returned her gaze to Peter as he spoke.

"I have not been back in town long and it seems lots have happened in the past few days.  Goldy missing and a giant roaming the surrounding area you say?  Well, I did hear that Goldy was away on business which is a shame because I could really do with his services about now.  The hunt went very well you see but my armour took a battering."

Antoine took a sip of her drink before continuing.  "As far as the giant is concerned, it sounds like he or she could be our next 'job' and I quite like the sound of that.  Still, we would probably need the help of the others and like you, I have not seen them yet; I hope none of them are dead."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 455 posts
 Blessing the Rolers
 Cursing the Rollers
Mon 17 Jul 2006
at 04:02
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Flamerule 4, 1373DR
Midday



Over the course of the next two days Peter, Antoine and Dorn had shared with the others their exploits, though some details were conveniently ommitted.  A chat with Horrace had revealed that Serol would be arriving on the fourth day of the ride should his journey be concluded in safely and so the three were waiting for him when he arrived at the eastern edge of town.  Darwin's whereabouts however remained a mystery, even to Horrace, and one which would likely consume the remainder of the Guardians' day.

I'm assuming Dorn joined up with Peter and Antoine shortly after my last post (There was no post from Dorn on Friday or this weekend to make that actually happen so we'll just pretend.  :0) ) and Serol is arriving in Rosewood around noon on Flamerule 4.  Darwin has still not been heard from.
Serol Kinspar
 player, 281 posts
 Firey temper, pleasant
 speaking voice
Mon 17 Jul 2006
at 21:08
Re: The Guardians Reunited
As my thread was closed, I'll finish up here and should tie in rather nicely.

Serol awoke to find the smouldering ashes of his fire.  Although, to say that one had awaken, one must really have slept first.  The night was a rough one.  It was hot and sticky and impossible to find a comfortable spot to rest in his armor.

Finally the large cleric simply decided it was late enough to rise and begin his trip back to Rosewood.  It was already the fourth day of Flamerule he had spent more time away than he had antisipated.  A factor of the distance between the temple and Rosewood coupled with his brief, if excitable time away.  He was pleased he would soon start preperations for his own place of worship near Rosewood to save himself from the frequent traveling.

He held no illusions it would be a grand temple.  Probably just a shirne, but he hoped it might one day become a small church.  He wondered idly how the Dawnbringer might feel about such a thing, then simply dismissed it.  He held no alliegence to Tristan, he would build his shrine and convert as many to the followings of Kossuth as he could.

He forced stiffened muscles to lift his large frame from the ground and made his way over to Dnae.  His spirits were lifted considerably to find his horse untouched.  He scratched her gently behind an ear and went off in search of some clover for a small treat.  He thought he had seen some in the failing light the day before.

The sky was still pink, the sun still masked to the east by the Sunset Mountains.  But when the first ray of sunlight crested the mountain Serol faced south and prayed to Kossuth.

"Your blessings of good fortune have warmed my heart and spirit like the gentle comfort of a fire upon the hearth.  I am unworthy to request such favors from you, but your blessings to the faithful are warmly received, almighty Firelord.  Today your servent seeks to complete his journey to the town of Rosewood, where with your aid and blessing I will seek to start a great fire of worship from my single flame.  Your favor and power forever guide my life and I give myself willingly to your control.  All the honor and glory are yours, forever and ever."

By the time Serol had opened his eyes the sun had completely risen over the eastern mountains, the only indication within the void created by the flame in his mind, of how long he had been in prayer.

Instead of releasing the void, however, Serol held it and bent to pick up his chain.  The weight of it was familiar and welcome as he began his morning excersises with the deadly weapon.  He knew already, his mastery of this weapon had saved the lives of those in his charge and his own.  He knew that many more times, he would be tested by the metal of his dicipline and he could not afford to faulter.  Not now, not ever.

The chain whirled about his body as he moved, graceful and dance like to watch as the chain whirled and spun then as easilly as the wind changes so too did the dance.  The chain lashed outward cracking loudly at the extent of its range.  Yet it didn't even touch the ground before Serol wheeled it in another direction, the chain wrapping about him like a child's toy before it struck out again in a different direction.  Again and again it lashed and cracked.

By the time he had finished his body shone with a glistening layer of sweat and his muscles had completely worked out their stiffness.  He pulled in air through his nose and out his mouth in regular intervals.  It had been a good workout.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Within another hour, Serol had finished breaking his camp and tried to find enough food to make a cold breakfast, instead of simply dipping into his dry rations.  He washed it down with a mouthful of warm water from his skin.

His fire was doused and the embers burried before he saw to rebarding his horse and fixing her with the saddle.  He knew that Rosewood was still a significant ride ahead, but he hoped to reach it by mid-afternoon.

The time had gone by quickly.  The closer he got to Rosewood the more his thoughts drifted to his companions.  He had missed them all.  He even missed Herman, he wondered what had become of the cleric or if he had taken his letter to heart.

Then seemingly without warning he saw the temple of Lathander ahead of him.  He had to restrain himself from urging Dnae onward at a faster pace.  But he quickly dismissed it as fool hardy.  He would be there soon enough and taxing his mount would do neither of them any good.

He rode into the street a wave of relief filled him.  Rosewood looked fine, surely no crisis had arrisin to which he had found himself absent.  He looked forward to reconnecting with his fellow guardians.

17:06, Today: Serol Kinspar rolled 15 using 1d20+7. Serol Survival .

I couldn't tell from the post if the guardians were waiting to greet me outside, or if I should enter the inn.  So I stopped here, to play it by ear.

Dorn Rockfist
 player, 221 posts
 Dwarven Caver
 'What ye look'n at?'
Tue 18 Jul 2006
at 01:44
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Backpost
Flamerule 2, 1373DR
Evening


Dorn entered the town of Rosewood just was the sun was setting to the west. His cloak was torn in several places but the dwarf appeared to be in good spirits as the customary greeting heralded his entrance to the Inn.

The dwarf held up two fingers to Jebodiah and sat at an empty table. None of the other guardians were in the Common room at the time. Dorn didn't worry too much about that at the time as he eagerly took the first mug of ale from the serving girl. In his haste he didn't realize that Camille was eyeing him from the other side of the room.

*Burp!*

Dorn wiped his chin with the sleeve of his dirty shirt. As he picked up his second mug of ale, he called out. "Stew. I'll have a bowl of yer stew." The dwarf began to search the room when he finished his second mug of ale. He was still thirsty and his bowl of stew hadn't arrived yet.

The dwarf searched the room for someone to fetch him another round of ale. Nobody was available except Camille. Jebodiah had gone to be storehouse to get another casket of ale and the other serving girl had been in the kitchen trying to correct an error in the previous order.

"Camille!" Dorn called out across the room. "Another round of drinks at me table and a bowl of stew."

Dorn Rockfist spent the better part of the night drinking three rounds of ale before he turned in for the night. He should have taken a bath, but he neglected that luxury in his haste to celebrate his victory over death.



Flamerule 3, 1373DR

When Dorn woke the next morning, Peter was not in his bed. The dwarf believed that someone else was asleep in the room with him, and one of other beds did look like someone slept in it the previous night. But Dorn was alone when he woke up. Alone with his stench and a folded piece of paper.

    "I took the liberty of having a bath drawn for you. Please do not taken offense. I ask that you be considerate and bathe, several times if necessary."


There was no signature on the note.

Dorn laughed as he crumpled the note in his hand. He wrinkled his nose. I donna smell that bad. The dwarf thought as he made his way to the bath.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:00, Tue 18 July 2006.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 461 posts
 Blessing the Rolers
 Cursing the Rollers
Tue 18 Jul 2006
at 04:58
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Flamerule 4, 1373DR
Midday



It had been a full day since Dorn's bath and his beard and hair were already stringy with oil.  The hot weather had already taken its toll on his fresh-smelling clothes and body and the smell was already noticeable when one found themself downwind.  After several days of watching Antoine flaunt that which didn't need to be flaunted to be admired Peter was ready to let off a little steam and the dangerous trek north to Fulgar's encampment seemed just the thing.

The young scholar had convinced Antoine and Dorn to accompany him in his search for Darwin, Fulgar's encampment being the logical starting point and as they exitted the Red Rose Inn they came face to face with a magnificent barded warhorse upon which their fellow Guardian Serol rode, adorned in the goblin chief Grintak's enchanted armor.

OK, you're all together and I kind of pushed you into a course of action but only because I wanted to smooth the transition back to one large group.

Funny stuff Dorn, I admit, it was me who left the note!

Antoine D'Marque
 player, 236 posts
 Sultry seductress
Tue 18 Jul 2006
at 08:19
Re: The Guardians Reunited
It could be borne no longer, the stench was almost unbearable.  The morning of the companions departure, Antoine met Dorn at breakfast and purchased the dwarf a large pitcher of fine ale as a treat.  Accompanying the liquid delight, she also handed over a gift-wrapped something or other in fine pink cloth tied with a cerise ribbon, the ends fashioned into a bow.  "Dorn, know that only a close friend could get away with this..."

Unfastening the bow and unwrapping the cloth, Dorn found it contained a very large bar of sweet scented soap, together with a liquid balm which Antoine explained would "take the stress out of the beard".  Chuckling to herself throughout breakfast, the young woman gathered her belongings and headed outside with the others to begin their short journey north to find the missing Darwin.

It was a suprise to Antoine to find herself facing the mounted figure of Serol.  He looked quite regal on such a well-armoured horse and she immediately wondered which war the fighting priest was off to.  Smiling at him with heaving bosom, she greeted him warmly, "Serol, if you were not so high up from the ground, I would ravage you senseless you sexy man!"
Peter Aubary
 player, 204 posts
 Corymrean Scholar
Tue 18 Jul 2006
at 13:07
Re: The Guardians Reunited
The almost complete reunion of the Guardians cheered Peter up and his gloomly introspection began to fade. Every ones adventures sounded extraordinary and his own failure was diminished by all their successes.

The fresh air was as welcomed as was the surprise reunion with Serol. He looked grander than ever and Peter beamed proudly at him astride his fine new warhorse.

”Greetings”

He waved eagerly at Serol.

”Tis good to see you looking so fine, we travel to visit Fulgar and learn of the whereabouts of Darwin. Do you have any business in Rosewood or can you accompany us now?”

He asked keen to have him travel with them.
Serol Kinspar
 player, 283 posts
 Firey temper, pleasant
 speaking voice
Tue 18 Jul 2006
at 13:59
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Serol was quite surprised by the sudden reunion.  He had intended to seek the Guardians out once he made his way to the Red Rose, he did not intend on nearly riding them down on his warhorse.

Serol smiled at seeing his companions Dorn looked gruff as ever, ready to tear the ears of a bugbear with his bare hands.  Peter was a most welcome sight he had worried about Peter since his leaving and he was pleased to see the inquisitve young man had faired so well.  Antoine was striking, she always was, but in her new clothing it was even more noticable.  At her words however, his smile faded and his face redded considerably.  His thoughts turned to Sarah and he blushed even deeper.

He was never more grateful for Peter speaking than he was at that moment faced with the words of Antoine and his own lustful conquests of late.  "Greetings, my friends.  It seems I have arrived just in time." he had looked forward to a rest in the inn, a rest from the road and perhaps a nap or a bath himself.

His night had been a rough one and he yawned so hard it cracked his jaw as he did his best to hide it behind a gauntleted fist.

"I've been too long away, to turn down your company now." he said dismounting Dnae.  If his friends were to walk, so too would he.

"My friends," he said running a hand along Dnae's strong neck.  "Please let me introduce you to, Dnae.  She's a fine horse and excellently trained."
Dorn Rockfist
 player, 222 posts
 Dwarven Caver
 'What ye look'n at?'
Wed 19 Jul 2006
at 06:38
Re: The Guardians Reunited
The dwarf accepted the gift from Antoine with a raised eyebrow. It wasn't until she mentioned that it would enhance his beard that he gave a geniune smile. A proper beard was something that this dwarf valued. He hoped that he would get used to the smell though.

Dorn found it strange that Serol would introduce a horse. A horse was not as intelligent as a mule. He would have greeted a mule. But a horse? "Has it got all it's teeth?"

The dwarf didn't bother to wait for an answer. He hitched up his pack which he resupplied the previous day.

"We best be going then."
Antoine D'Marque
 player, 237 posts
 Sultry seductress
Wed 19 Jul 2006
at 07:16
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Antoine smiled at Serol's discomfort but said nothing.  The young priest was one hundered percent devoted to his beloved religion, yet in her mind, perhaps Serol also had fire in his loins as well as his teachings.

Now that four of the guardians had met up, it was time to move off to Fulgar's camp to seek the missing Darwin.  Antoine had not really spoken to the young mage much but he was a useful ally to have and it would be better if his whereabouts could be identified.  As the group made to leave town, Antoine spoke as she walked, "I know we have not spoken a great deal yet I hope everyone's 'diversions' went well enough.  Actually, I have a little treat in store for you gentlemen as during my time away from you, I picked up one or two new skills.  The time is not right to demonstrate this now though, but I will show you soon enough and I know you will be surprised..."

Antoine let her words trail off to let the others minds wonder at what she might be referring to.  None of them could honestly guess what they would bear witness to in the near future and she could not wait to see the looks on their faces when the "skills" would be revealed.  In the meantime though, she turned her attention to more practical matters and spoke to Dorn.

"Dorn, I am in need of Goldy's services yet Horrace tells me he's been out of town on business for days now.  Do you know when he will be back?"
Dungeon Master
 GM, 464 posts
 Blessing the Rolers
 Cursing the Rollers
Wed 19 Jul 2006
at 17:19
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Flamerule 4, 1373DR
Midday



The oppressive heat and humidty of the past few days had lessened considerably and the Guardians' reunited under a bright blue sky dotted with puffy clouds.  Darwin was noticeably absent however and with each Guardian having faced their own mortality at least once it was hard to fear for the bookish young man and his rat familiar.  Across the way Horrace was sweeping away at his porch just as always, his attention clearly on the Guardians and he smiled with pride as Serol had indeed returned exactly when he predicted.  It seemed the shopkeeper's knowledge of happenings extended far beyond the limits of Rosewood.

Goldy's sudden absence had indeed put a strian on the small town.  For as long as anyone could remember the rythmic clanging of his hammer had filled the air at the northern edge of town creating and fixing horshoes, wagonwheel hubs, harvesting scythes, plows, swords, and armor for adventurers passing through.  His absence was actually quite a boon for Jebodiah who ran the Red Rose Inn.  Adventurers were forced to stay in the town longer than normal as their weapons and armor that needed repair had nobody to repair them.  Conversely the temple's donations and purchases of healing potions had fallen off dramatically as the extended stays meant more rest and natural healing for those in need of it.  The entire town of Rosewood was in delicate balance, a precarious balance brought to light by its lone dwarf's absence.

The way to Fulgar's encampment sent eh Guardians past Goldy's shop which remained eerily quiet.  The large doors had been swung shut but several windows remained open.  Nobody in town would dare cross the dwarf and few passing through would risk the entire town's ire by doing so.  Still, it was clear Goldy had not intended to be gone this long when he left.  Dorn's explanation of Goldy returning to the rest of his clan with the captured looter explained the fact but it still seemed odd that a shop holding such valuable wares would be left realtively open.  Than again the Faerun's most observant hin was just down the street to keep an eye on things.

This time there were no goblins waiting to ambush them as they travelled north, or if there were they were too smart to test their skills against these accomplished Guardians.  As usual a hawk circled overhead looking for prey in the grassy hills below.
Peter Aubary
 player, 205 posts
 Corymrean Scholar
Wed 19 Jul 2006
at 17:39
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Peter welcomed the walk in the wilds, getting away from Rosewood lifted a pressure from him after his virtual captivity. Unlike the last time he was on the road he was more aware of his surroundings despite the fact he now how three companions with him.

Antoine teased them about something mysterious and Peter wondered what she had to show them all and was greatly intrigued him. Peter had himself learned many insights but at a great cost, he had yet to tell the great cleric Serol of his biggest error the murder of Herman. Unable to lie he quietly told the priest of Kossuth his guilty deed, his words much like a confession.
Serol Kinspar
 player, 284 posts
 Firey temper, pleasant
 speaking voice
Wed 19 Jul 2006
at 21:42
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Serol was not shy about speaking of his own journey and trials.  He spoke freely about everything including the theft and almost reaquasition of Vael.  His long walk to the temple and his battle with the water elementals and the cleric of Istishia.  He was more vague about the Oaths of Firewalking, never refering to them as such only saying that he was "Tested and found worthy by Kossuth to raise to the next terrace."  The trials themselves were not spoken of to any by another Kossuthian.  While he still held out hope that one or perhaps more of his fellow guardians may embrace and share his faith, none had so far.

He spoke about his new equipment and some of the knowledge he had gained within the librarys at the temple and the Eternal Flame's personal book.  He even mentioned Sarah, though here too he kept it mostly to generalities.  He didn't like the feeling of kissing and telling but he did not know if he might one day turn around to find Sarah in Rosewood.  Speaking of the events then might even be more awkward.

He was understandably concerned with the fact that no one had seen or heard from either Darwin or Goldy in days.  He supposed it was not all together unlikely Darwin had spent the whole of the time apart in Eloranth's tutor.  He did not know of any other spellcasters nearby who called Rosewood home.  He fully expected to see Darwin's blurry eyed greeting within moments of reaching Fulgar's camp.

Antoine's words piqued his curriosity.  She was a stunning woman, and her clothes emphasized every curve.  He found himself watching her walk on more than one occasion before he could tear his eyes away from the beautiful rogue.  He faught hard to keep the blush from out of his cheeks however.  He wondered exactly, what new skills she might have picked up... then found himself blushing harder.

But it was Peter's words that shocked him most of all.  As the young scholar spoke to him, Serol found himself dropping back from the rest of the group far enough that Peter need not worry of the others overhearing.  He didn't know to what extent the other Guardians knew of his dark deed, but he would let the choice to reveal this information remain Peter's.

The news was hard to swallow.  He and Herman had most definatly had their conflicts in the past.  Indeed, it had nearly come to blows outside of Bud's farm.  Had it, Serol would not at all been surprised should it have been he confessing to Herman's murder (justified as it may be).

However, even before that day was out Serol and Herman had come to an understanding and perhaps even friendship.  He had hoped to entice the young man into the fold of Kossuth's clurgy with the loss of his own faith.  It seemed now he would not have that choice.

Still, there was no point focusing on what was already done.  Instead he spoke quietly with Peter trying to put some perspective on the events that had so weighted the scholar's soul.

 [Private to Peter Aubary: "Peter, my friend," he said earnestly, "I am sorry I was not there to help you share this burden sooner.  This is indeed a terrible weight to be born alone and I am grateful you trust in my council enough to share it with me."

"The world and our lives are forever a struggle.  I believe it is a test of the gods.  They test us as a parent tests his child.  They may seem as if thier distance is a sign of their ambivolance for us, but I think it is just the oppisite.  Should men be handed everything in their lives on a platter they appreciate nothing.  The gods have granted us the gift of this realm, the sky, the earth the sunshine and fire to warm us and guide us.  Yet how often are we really grateful for these things?"

"Many of us, my self included, are not nearly grateful enough because they have been given freely without any request of us.  Yet think now of the blacksmith.  He takes raw ore and through hard work, sweat and effort molds it to a thing of his own creation.  There are many blacksmiths who can not bear to part with the reminders of their greatest struggles.  For these are their greatest successes, their masterworks."

"The gods have placed upon your shoulders a great weight.  For it is far easier to simply seek death's embrace than to live with something as troubling as the challange you now face."

"The question you must now ask yourself, Peter, is what will you do now?  You are faced with a great challange and burden to cary.  Will you crumble under its weight or will you take that challange and make it your masterpiece?"

"I believe that the gods do not give us more than we can handle.  It may at times seem this way.  We may groan and nash our teeth crying out to them, Oh why must I struggle with this while others do not?  But I believe the answer to be that you must struggle because you are strong enough.  Many men do not take this oppurtunity to grow.  They simply seek to be what they have always been.  While others, truely great men, rise above the challange growing with it and becoming the men that gods had hoped they would realize."

"I swear to you, Peter, I will help you with this burden however I can.  You will not face this task alone, should I have the power or the will to see it otherwise.  But you, unlike so many others in the world, know the darkness.  You have seen it.  You have felt it.  You were tested by it.  And you might think you have failed.  But as long as you are strong enough to pick yourself up and challange the darkness again without hessitation, it is the darkness that has failed.  Bravery, true bravery, is not action in the absence of fear.  It is action when you are terrified.  To act when your body begs you to run, to act when your body shakes from fear, but you act yet still."

"There is no shadow so dark that the light of the flame can not illuminate.  I would give this gift to you, Peter.  You have but to ask.  Not ask me, but ask of yourself.  I will pray for you, Peter.  My prayers and time with Kossuth are always welcome to your company."
]

This message was last edited by the player at 21:46, Wed 19 July 2006.

Peter Aubary
 player, 207 posts
 Corymrean Scholar
Thu 20 Jul 2006
at 13:58
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Peter told his tale to Serol who to his credit took it in his stride. Offering Peter much encouragement between what were his teaching of Kossuth. Peter was surprised by what he had begun to learn of the different religions of Faerun. He noted the many similarities held in the teachings of Lathander and Kossuth. Both told of perseverance and optimism, how they achieved this differed though. To be honest with him self he felt he preferred the teaching of Lathander one of looking ahead whereas Kossuth teaches of suffering first. Despite this Peter was still very fond of Serol and always welcomed his kind words.

”Tis true it is a terrible burden I will carry to my grave. I have replayed the events in my mine and fear it happening again. The rod is still here and I am sure the cultists of Velsharoon have their eyes on Rosewood and it. What prize do you think they seek now that Edwin has gone? What can you tell me Tyr the god he has now passed on to?”

In his usual style Peter ended speaking openly the questions that filled his mind.

This message was last edited by the player at 14:00, Thu 20 July 2006.

Dorn Rockfist
 player, 224 posts
 Dwarven Caver
 'What ye look'n at?'
Thu 20 Jul 2006
at 23:26
Re: The Guardians Reunited
The dwarf didn't miss a step as he continued walking, "Goldy's still gone? Well donna ye worry. He'll be back in due time. He's gone off ta see his clan. He'll be back." And I can't wait for that case of dwarven spirits.




Durl regarded Serol carefully, "So ye've been tested eh? Glad ta hear ye passed." The dwarf shuffled his feet to avoid being stepped on by the horse. He could have swore the beast did it on purpose. "Goldy and me went ta his mines. We took care of one trespasser and he left ta take him before his clan."

"I searched out the mine cuz, we suspected that some gnolls were inside."
The dwarf pulled out his pipe and filled it with a new batch of pipeweed. "Well I found dem gnolls. They were stinking up the mines too. Eight, no nine. Yeah nine of them fell ta me axe, but I couldn't finish them off. I'll have ta go back soon and finish the job."
Antoine D'Marque
 player, 241 posts
 Sultry seductress
Fri 21 Jul 2006
at 07:09
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Antoine listened to the brief recap of Dorn's time spent at the mines.  Why Goldy would leave his shop relatively unsecure for such a length of time was beyond the young woman.  After all, less scrupulous people might decide to help themselves to some five-fingered discount.

Her thoughts returned back to the dwarf as he mentioned that the place was still infested with gnolls and that he wanted to return at some point to finish the job he started.  With a somewhat more husky and serious voice than she was used to using, Antoine spoke to Dorn.  "Dorn, if you need some help with the sport of hunting the ugly bipedal dogs, let me know!  I'll be there alongside you and together, we'll rip them to shreds!
Dungeon Master
 GM, 468 posts
 Blessing the Rolers
 Cursing the Rollers
Fri 21 Jul 2006
at 15:50
Re: The Guardians Reunited
Flamerule 4, 1373DR
Early Afternoon



The time passed quickly on their journey as the Guardians once again were able to enjoy each other's company.  The hawk above them had glided in lazy circles for several minutes before straightening out and disappearing into the hills and mountains ahead.  It was still early afternoon when Fulgar's encampment, now looking much more like a fortress came into view.  The tents, Willow's thicket, and Eloranth's building had all been swallowed by a gigantic stone fort that rose a hundred feet into the air from the lower ground where they stood.  The fortress was fairly nondescript bearing no crennelations or arrow slits but half way up the sheer wall was a steel door next to which hung a long thin cord.