Chapter One: The Hidden Valley.   Posted by The Empire.Group: 0
Shakru
 player, 116 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 4
Wed 17 Sep 2014
at 20:50
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Shakru grunted and spat on the ground. He grabbed a hand full of moss from the ground and slapped it onto his wounds. Just another set of scares to show his status as a warrior.

He was frustrated the others seemed to want the shaman alive but there were still enough ears to collect. He drew his knife and kneeling next to the closest Orc swiftly removed his ears. He tucked them into an oiled leather pouch and moved to the next. When he'd finished he stood and tucked the pouch into his belt.

It was only then he turned to the others"my thanks for your assistance" was all he said in a way of accepting their help.

He then strode off into the bush before returning with his discarded gear
Gilad Rott
 player, 125 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 16/36 Recoveries: 4/8
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 00:25
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"Charmed." Gilad replies to Shakru, grimacing slightly as he sees the barbarian cutting his trophies from their fallen foes.

"If I may ask, how do you run afoul of this war band? I know they were hunting us over Sigmund," the bard glances over at the warrior, beside the wounded shaman, "but nothing of your conflict with them."
Shakru
 player, 117 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 4
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 06:51
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
the barbarian grunted" I was foolish and let my guard down and for my stupidity got captured. They were taking me back to my father " he spat the last word out with contempt.

"We do not see eye to eye on the subject of purity of bloodlines and decreed that as a half blood I was not fit to take over as leader of the tribe when he died. My younger brother saw this as his opportunity to position himself to be made heir. I challenged this and was made an outcast."

He pulls  out a leather cord from round his neck. "these are the ears of the orcs that came to take me back and claim the reward. I will one day lay this round my fathers neck as he takes his last breath in this world to show him that I am better than the best orcs he can send against me."

He then chuckles to himself " as for my brother he will die slowly and very painfully for trying to take what is mine by birth."
The Empire
 GM, 266 posts
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 09:34
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Sigmund soon realises that only magic will help the shaman, as her burns are severe.
Vethryn
 player, 102 posts
 High Elf Cleric
 HP: 32/32 Rec: 7/8
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 15:45
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Vethryn listens to Shakru with apparent great interest, but says nothing.

Vethryn looks over the shaman and sees that only divine intervention can save her.

"You have all fought bravely, at least," says Vethryn in her language, "and I am sorry it had to come to this, hard as I find it to forgive you for killing my companion.  Perhaps Ushug will grant you your life today."

She places her hand on the shaman's shoulder, and the same warm glow she used to heal her companions washes over the shaman.
The Empire
 GM, 268 posts
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 16:14
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"I thank you" the shaman whispers in the same language as her burns recede. She slowly struggles to her feet, gasping in pain, then turns to Sigmund. "Very well, I will keep my word Sigos ir. The Orc Lord has unearthed an ancient spell that can strike a man down through his seed. He seeks you and your siblings to use as a weapon against the Emperor"
Sigmund
 player, 158 posts
 Human Fighter
 HP: 12/48 Rec:2/9
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 20:07
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Sigmund takes a step backward at this news, his face losing all color. "Can it be?" he says quietly. "This is gave news indeed. Now, a more pressing matter is raised by this." He stares down at the man. "How do I know you will not reveal my presence to allies of the Orc Lord? While your life was bought by this news, I might just take your legs to slow your progress toward betraying me unless you can buy my trust." His eyes are deadly serious and his hand on the pommel of his blade.
Vander
 player, 118 posts
 Thief, con artist, Rake..
 ...but has his own code
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 20:11
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"So...Sigmund is a relative of the emperor?" Vander says as realization comes very slowly. "And he has not thrown us even ONE royal party!? For shame!" He wags his finger at the fighter, but from a safe distance.
Vethryn
 player, 103 posts
 High Elf Cleric
 HP: 32/32 Rec: 7/8
Thu 18 Sep 2014
at 23:37
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"First, we should find out more about the nature of this spell and the Orc Lord's plans," says Vethryn. "They wanted you to come with them.  Does that mean that they will be aiming to capture you or your siblings alive?  Or did they simply want to avoid a fight, and so we should be on guard for assassins or poison?"
Gilad Rott
 player, 127 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 16/36 Recoveries: 4/8
Fri 19 Sep 2014
at 00:37
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"And with your eleven brothers, the Orc Lord's not in want of targets..." Gilad muses, frowning.
Zanne
 player, 90 posts
 Human Sorcerer
Fri 19 Sep 2014
at 00:54
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"Of course they need to be alive. What sort of creepy ancient death spell doesn't call for a living sacrifice?" Zanne answers before the shaman can.
Sigmund
 player, 160 posts
 Human Fighter
 HP: 12/48 Rec:2/9
Fri 19 Sep 2014
at 02:27
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Vander:
"So...Sigmund is a relative of the emperor?" Vander says as realization comes very slowly. "And he has not thrown us even ONE royal party!? For shame!" He wags his finger at the fighter, but from a safe distance.


And wise he is to wag from a distance, because Sigmund seems to be in a mood to bite off a finger.

He nods to Vethryn. "Finding out more seems wise. And there is only one good way to do so." He winces. "We should go to the Army. They can start us down the road to assistance." It's clear that he's not a fan of this idea even as he says it with some conviction. "At the very least, we must warn them so they can protect my brothers."

This message was last edited by the player at 02:28, Fri 19 Sept 2014.

The Empire
 GM, 270 posts
Fri 19 Sep 2014
at 09:53
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Sigmund:
"How do I know you will not reveal my presence to allies of the Orc Lord? While your life was bought by this news, I might just take your legs to slow your progress toward betraying me unless you can buy my trust." His eyes are deadly serious and his hand on the pommel of his blade.

The shaman meets Sigmund's eyes. "I have found that I love my life more than my liege, so I betrayed his plans. Knowing this, how can you believe I would then throw my life away by seeking him out. The Orc Lord does not forgive, and he does not forget"
Gilad Rott
 player, 128 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 16/36 Recoveries: 4/8
Fri 19 Sep 2014
at 11:04
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"In for a penny, in for a pound, eh?" the bard replies to the orc, narrowing his eyes. "Another question, then; how many of the Orc Lord's servants have the knowledge and the expertise to perform this ritual?"
The Empire
 GM, 271 posts
Fri 19 Sep 2014
at 19:59
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"Only one. Best I do not mention his name" the shaman replies. "Now let me attend to the souls of my brave warriors in peace"
Sigmund
 player, 162 posts
 Human Fighter
 HP: 12/48 Rec:2/9
Fri 19 Sep 2014
at 21:45
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Sigmund nods. He stands back and salutes the shaman. "They fought well. Go in peace."

He turns back to his companions. "Again, I favor Vethryn's plan and suggest we retreat to the closest Army camp. I will...", He makes a face. "I will make myself known there to see if we can gain some assistance."
Gilad Rott
 player, 129 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 16/36 Recoveries: 4/8
Sat 20 Sep 2014
at 01:26
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Gilad looks out over the darkening horizon. "Best we strike out on the morning. We could all use a night's rest to clear our heads... and to mourn our own fallen."

The bard looks back at Martin's body.
Vethryn
 player, 104 posts
 High Elf Cleric
 HP: 32/32 Rec: 7/8
Sat 20 Sep 2014
at 04:58
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Vethryn looks like she is about to reply to Zanne's statement on the ritual, then closes her mouth and shrugs.  She mutters a prayer under her breath as she watches the shaman go.

She seems exceptionally troubled and withdrawn that night, lost in her own thoughts.  Normally she would be offering encouragement in such a troubled time, but it seems that, perhaps, the loss of Martin and the events of the day have affected her more than usual.
The Empire
 GM, 272 posts
Sat 20 Sep 2014
at 07:30
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
The next day you retrace your route back down the valley, out of the ruined city, past the great wall and through the foetid swamp. Without the background droning of the necrotic sphere the atmosphere is a lot less oppressive, and you catch sight of a few insects and birds. Life is returning to the valley.

Just after midday you scale the mound of rocks and loose earth, the aftermath of huge landslide that revealed the hidden valley, to arrive at the ruins of your camp. Strangely, the corpses and body parts that littered the battlefield are gone and instead a lone tribesman is sitting at the centre of the clearing. He struggles to his feet, and you see his is ancient, and unarmed save for a gnarled staff. He says something in language none of you can understand, then in a sudden spasm of strength snaps his staff over his knee before bowing and walking slowly back into the forest...

If you want to roleplay Shakru joining the group (at least provisionally until you are free of the Stalking Trees), you can do so in the Appendix thread, or we can assume it happened and let it slide.
Gilad Rott
 player, 132 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 45/45 Recoveries: 8/8
Sun 21 Sep 2014
at 06:27
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
Gilad blinks as he watches the strange display.

"Was that an invitation, or a threat...?" he looks over at his companions.

"I'm inclined to follow him and see what this is all about, unless you'd rather avoid any diversions..." the bard turns to Sigmund, his words trailing off. After all, the warrior has the most pressing need of any of them to make it back to civilization quickly.
The Empire
 GM, 275 posts
Sat 27 Sep 2014
at 09:45
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
The tribesman must be wood-crafty beyond compare, for there is no sign of him once he has left the clearing...
Zanne
 player, 92 posts
 Human Sorcerer
Sat 27 Sep 2014
at 23:15
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"What was that about? Did anyone catch what he said?" Zanne asks as she takes a look at the pieces of the staff.
The Empire
 GM, 276 posts
Sun 28 Sep 2014
at 07:15
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
The staff is intricately carved and painted, showing tribesmen fighting what you now recognise as necrotic creations. The style of their armour and weapons closely matches the rusted remnants you saw on the corpses inside the palace...
Gilad Rott
 player, 134 posts
 The Bard
 HP: 45/45 Recoveries: 8/8
Sun 28 Sep 2014
at 10:43
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"Another mystery..." Gilad frowns, failing to see any indication of where the tribesman went. He quickly shrugs it off, returning to the clearing. The bard's had an extra spring in his step since this morning, occasionally humming an unfamiliar tune.

"Perhaps we should take these." Gilad picks up one of the fragments of the staff, looking over the inscriptions. "One more souvenir of our expedition shan't hurt..."
Shakru
 player, 121 posts
 Half-orc barbarian
 Hits 45 / 4
Sun 28 Sep 2014
at 13:16
Re: Chapter One: The Hidden Valley
"I think it is a sign, of what I have no idea but I will follow your lead and go where you go" stated the half Orc from the back of the group