Volume 1: Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion.   Posted by Azurak the Blue.Group: 0
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 133 posts
Thu 30 Mar 2017
at 18:28
Into the Drift
Saxon took a moment to count heads, "Waiting may be best but if we get frogy I can either make them undead... ish... for a bit or just make everyone invisible. I only have so much material so waiting is good..." He shrugged all the same, "Any alchemy requests? I can crank the stuff out faster than any other."
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 172 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 1 Apr 2017
at 00:01
Into the Drift
Time was a bit on their side right now and as she waited she thought about casting a few spells to see if they might help grant her some insight on the area.

Casting:
Whispering Lore
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/...s/w/whispering-lore/

Clairvoyance
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/...dience-clairvoyance/
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 453 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 16:38
Into the Drift
Anira isn't sure what'll happen if she conjures up her shelter, as there does not appear to be any flat area large enough for the shelter to sit. She's never conjured it on such rough terrain, so she has no idea if it will be 'self-leveling'.


OOC: While the following is information that only Lady Isile is able to gain, presumably she'll pass it on to everyone else. Rather than make this a PM to her, thereby forcing her to paraphrase it all or simply repost it, I'm making it readable by all to save effort and memory on the site.

However, I did make it a spoiler, so if you don't want to know, don't read it!




Spoiler text: (Highlight or hover over the text to view)
Lady Isile is able to cast a pair of spells, though not at the same time, to gain some information on this area.

With Whispering Lore, she is able to learn much about what happened here. For a moment, it is almost staggering, but the passing of centuries has reduced it to a dull roar.

There was a great war waged here. On one side was the darkness and power of Sauron. On the other was the magic, inventiveness and tenacity of Men and Dwarves and Elves. In those days, necromancy wasn't the evil thing that Sauron eventually turned it into. In the city was also Cerulia, the other Blue Wizard.

Since neither Naethrul nor Forsten worshipped Sauron, he sought to destroy them. Armies of evil-corrupted creatures broke against the walls of the cities. When the armies were all dead, he raised them to fight again... and again... and again... all to no avail, for the magicks of the Blue Wizard were as strong as Sauron's.

In final frustration, Sauron tried to throw the very earth against the cities. Still they stood. The land was ripped asunder, shattered into a million pieces. In the aftermath, there was no longer any ground upon which to grow food and raise livestock. With nothing in the surrounding lands to support the people, though, the leaders turned to necromantic means to save them. They didn't realize that Sauron's corruption of necromancy would have an adverse affect. In Naethrul, it turned everyone into an undead creature, based on his or her penchant, though none of them were truly evil.

The land and the city have stood that way ever since.


Lady Isile's Clairvoyance spell into the city proper has mixed success. First of all, she encounters powerful resistance against it, which she is able to trace to some of the runes carved into the city walls. The age of the magic has weakened it, though, and she is able to push through, but only as if seeing things through a shifting mist.

The city is inhabited... by undead creatures... ghouls and ghasts and ghosts, vampires and skeletons and wraiths (not Ring-Wraiths), apparitions and banshees and shadows, haunts and huecuvas and mummies, nightshades and phantasms and poltergeists, revenants and reapers and wights. It appears as if they go about the business they did in life, except that they don't actually do anything. A banshee bard, for instance, entertains the crowd, except there is no crowd. A blacksmith wight goes through the motion of pounding a hammer on an anvil, but there is no hammer in his hand and the forge is stone cold.


Anira
 Fellowship, 72 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 23:26
Into the Drift
Anira looked at the jagged ground and frowned slightly.  "I don't think I want to test the cottage and risk things going askew for us," she finally stated with an apologetic expression.  They would have to endure the openness but it seemed they would be going into the city at night so for now she decided to settle down and rest a bit.  "I'm not sure what to request to be honest," she said to Saxon, wishing she had a better grasp of their current situation so she could be of more help.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 136 posts
Fri 7 Apr 2017
at 23:41
Into the Drift
Saxon gave Anira a warm smile, "Perhaps I shall think of something unique and make a gift of it."

As the information was brought in through magic Saxon was getting more and more energetic. Shifting foot to foot, taping his fingers on a book at his hip, even his eyes seemed to flicker with that light far more interested and less forbidden.

He turned to the brown wizard. "Um... Is it wrong for me to want to go into the city? Tom and his wife are not here so I don't have them to guide me on this. But it's sad and I am the Smith... I kinda want to see if we can breathe life into them, give them purpose again." He frowned a bit. "Immortality is a gift... They should be allowed to pass their skills and knowledge onto future generations, not be trapped in an eternal loop."

"What should I do here as The Smith? You're the only one here who knows that part of me."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:48, Fri 07 Apr 2017.

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 173 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 00:09
Into the Drift
She was surprised at the knowledge the land was able to share but after casting her spell and being able to see inside only made her sadden.  She had a few spells that may help but not enough to help the whole city.  Plus she still don't know what her magick would react to the Necromancy magick in there.

Was there a way of getting the people out?  Now that may be a better solution.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 68 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 01:53
Into the Drift
"We all thought the Blue Wizards had failed in their mission," Radagast replied to Saxon, "for they did not return from the East, and nothing more was ever heard from them."

"I do not see how Cerulia could be in the city, not after all this time. Perhaps after Sauron was stopped, she moved further on to the East."

"Perhaps she succeeded in her mission after all, at least partially. The Blue Wizards were sent to turn the East away from the worship of Sauron. There is no record of these two cities, but if they did not worship Sauron, is that because of the Blue Wizards?"

"The people have been trapped in an unlife for centuries. It does not sound as if they have turned fully undead, though. They still have their minds... partially, at any rate."

"There was no food for them to live on, but the undead must also feed on something..."


He glances at the city again, and this time studies it a bit more speculatively.

"They feed on the night... on the shadows that fall. The sun would be anathema to most of them. Should we be able to change just one, we could feed him. How would we feed them all?"

"At night, when they are sated, we need not fear them. They will not attack us. In the day, their mind is in abeyance to their hunger. We would be a most tempting morsel for them!"

"Somewhere in there, someone has the answers to the questions we seek. We can only get them at night, but we must be gone before the sun comes up."

"I think the riddle was a way to bypass the protections on the walls so as to enter the city."

"Saxon, you cannot hope to make sufficient potions to give to all the citizens, though as long as it's night, I suspect we would have no problem getting them to drink them. Well, those that can."

"Lady Isile, might your spell work once we are inside the city to tell us how many citizens there are?"

"No, that wouldn't make a difference. We might learn that there are 83 skeletons, but we would need to make 83 restorative oils. Beyond our ability."

"Saxon, can you transform even a small portion of these rocks so that plants can grow again? Is that within your abilities?"

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 137 posts
Sat 8 Apr 2017
at 03:47
Into the Drift
Saxons energetic state turned to something far more grim as he took a few steps toward the wall. He reached out like he was gripping something in the air and his shadow became long. His eyes burned so brightly the glow could even be seen with his back turned. "It isn't right Radagast." He turned around and indeed he blazed with an inner brand. "That bastard twisted something that was meant to be beautiful and give strength to future generations. The dead should spend their time resting and be able to visit their descendants by returning to their bodies, whole and well, for a short time. Immortality is not meant to be this horror, undeath was to be a song to ensure ancestors are never forgotten!"

He clacked his teeth and started actively quenching the brand within him. "If there is an ounce of power in the will of a Wizard there is an ocean in the love of ones descendants. The care, respect, and love of others should be the sustaining energy for them, not the life or blood of the innocent." As he pulled back the brand there was the light of his elf blood winning over the brand. "If you are Radagast the brown then I claim the title of Saxon the black. I would gladly suffer the curse of every soul in that city if I could. Just to allow the souls of the dead to rest or benefit their descendants."

He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Sorry, I know it doesn't work like that. Sorry... My world is a paradise of open doors, it is not easy to deal with a closed path."

He thought on the wizards request. "I think there is something I can do. Tom taught me the song of spirits. I can sing to the stones and call up a few spirits. They can travel through stone like fish in water. All they have to do is touch a stone or two and draw them back into the earth. Below the stone there should still be soil." He thought for a moment more. "Give me a day or so and I think I can manage enough land to make a small farm. Stone spirits to draw down the stones back under the soil... A few of my elf light bursts to burn away the darkness... I can also extract any magic left behind from the dirt."

"I am ok at growing things but you are better than I am by leaps and bounds."


"...But yea, it will take a bit of work but if you find me a patch of really big stones we can clear them in a about a minute, few days and they will have a good patch to pull soil from. With that they can make roof gardens to grow things."
At this point Saxon looked like a true elf. Not just one you saw out in the woods but one in its element. That spark that made them seem different from a human. A state very much unlike the very human seeming elf that Saxon was.

"I could also infuse a few potions into alchemist logs. The smoke generated would carry the potions effects."

This message was last edited by the player at 04:29, Sat 08 Apr 2017.

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 254 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 17:42
Into the Drift
"I've lost the thread of what is happening" Tilaleria confessed "Do we need to get into the city to save the Ent wives or not? If we don't we should continue. We can return here, and I would like to do that, when we have stopped the torture and torment of the Entwives. There are many things wrong in the world, but this isn't getting worse as we speak, it isn't allowing the bad guys to create a living spell out of the essence of an Ent wife and allowing them to send the living spell to do unspeakable harm. There is an urgency in our mission and I am keen to fulfill it"

"Put simply the clock is ticking, and we don't have long to save the Ent wives. We don't know how many are still alive, and we don't know how fast they are being using up. I would like you all to imagine how you would feel if we failed to save the last living one because we entered the city and delayed now, rather than returning in what should be only a few weeks. This city has living in sorrow for so long, a little longer makes little difference"

Grimfast
 Fellowship, 20 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 18:43
Into the Drift
"Hmph. While I agree about a lengthy delay, it is my understanding that entering Naethrul here will give us the secret for entering Forsten safely, and that within Forsten we will learn the path to the Entwives," Grimfast responded to Tilaleria.

"I do not believe that we can get anywhere more quickly without passing by, if not necessarily through, these two cities. The more we teleport into the unknown, the greater the chance of mishap. Is that not so?"

"Lady Isile, when you were aloft, were you able to spot the city of Forsten? Can we teleport there?"

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 174 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 19:01
Into the Drift
She was glad that Grimfast spoke up for she would of said almost the same thing but a bit longer and more in details.

Looking to him she nodded her head. "You are right about the mishaps of teleportation but looking into the city was dangerous enough and I don't want to risk anyone life from the wards that are placed upon the city.  One never knows what could happen.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 69 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 19:11
Into the Drift
"I, too, believe it is as Grimfast has said," Radagast added.

"It is also as Saxon has said. Have any others visited these cities and walked passed them because they could not do anything or did not have the time? Would we not be remiss in doing so ourselves?"

"However, it is also as Tilaleria has said. We are on a mission... a quest, if you will, and delaying it unnecessarily would not be good for us nor for the Entwives. Still, if it is within our ability to aid those trapped in this city of the dead, then it does become necessary for us to do so."

"Saxon, clear an area for Anira to summon forth her mansion, so you have access to your wagon."

"There might possibly be seeds still within the soil below; those I can work with."

"The problem, though, as I see it, is how do we feed a city until they can grow their own crops. Perhaps, Saxon, you can make the mist slow-acting. They can slowly start changing back, reaching a point where they can cultivate food crops. No livestock, though."

"If nothing else, we can work on this as we travel. Once you create these alchemical logs of which you spoke, Anira or Lady Isile can always teleport them back and activate them then."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 255 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sun 9 Apr 2017
at 19:31
Into the Drift
"We already have a way to find a path to the Entwives" Tilaleria pointed out. "The nature of teleport is such that if we arrive to where they are and they are hard to get at we can return here almost instantly. And at that point we would have a lot more knowledge about what we need"

"I am all for helping the natives. But it is going to take a long long time. Perhaps months, perhaps years, perhaps decades. It's certainly not a quick thing. With something on that timescale it is worth spending time planning. Making sure in our heads that what we do will be the right thing, and that be starting something that seems good but is perhaps ill-advised, we would be making things worse"

"As Fangorn says 'let us not be hasty'"

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 138 posts
Wed 12 Apr 2017
at 21:58
Into the Drift
Saxon pressed his lips into a thin line and nodded. If the fellowship did not care to stay and help the undead, then he would honor their choice. If worse came to worse he could always come back in a few hundred years. He was the smith of the dead after all, that was not a mantle that you disrespected, but the dead have a lot of free time.

He pressed his hand into the stone under his feet and started humming a tune. "I can bind a spirit for just over an hour each time I make a push. Just over eight hours is the best I can do for a day. Considering I am just having it pull stones down through the soil rather than pulling them up, this should be fairly easy."

Hey do, merry do, the mountain's son.
The dead smith is calling, his name Saxon.
Your help is needed to make things right.
Pull stones down and wrap them tight.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 454 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Thu 27 Apr 2017
at 21:37
Into the Drift
Saxon's 'spell' soon clears an area large enough for Anira's cottage, and a bit more. Radagast then walks around the area and soon a few sprouts peek up from the dirt.

The weather in this area isn't particularly hot, but all the rocks absorb the sun's rays and heat up, so Anira's cottage will be helpful.

The rest of the day passes uneventfully, though thunderstorms form off to the east where the mountains are, but they don't come in this direction.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 256 posts
 Messenger Girl
Sat 29 Apr 2017
at 18:51
Into the Drift
"I'm not really sure what to do now" Tilaleria confessed. She'd no idea if it was a good idea to go in the city or not. She'd expressed she thought it was a bad idea to do it now, but the others wanted to try. There was every chance they were right so she'd just watch and see if she could help at all
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 139 posts
Wed 3 May 2017
at 05:43
Into the Drift
Saxon spent a good time fussing over his wagon when it appeared. It was the total sum of everything that he owned and even more. Most people had a home to return to or some kind of home to go back to when it was all done. Saxon, on the other hand, had nothing of the sort save for the clothing on his back and his bare bones. Assuming that he didn't die on their adventure he had plans to settle down a little more some place that he could practice his craft. The edge of the old wood was nice but he was at a point he could deal with the angry trees.

It was nice to have a chance to sit down and puff on his pipe a bit. He within the wagon he tossed a set of red robes that started filling out with a presence. "From what I picked up, we have to go through the city, get a direction and information, then head to another city to do the same."

"It is all to avoid overuse of magic to prevent errors in the casting."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 257 posts
 Messenger Girl
Wed 3 May 2017
at 15:47
Into the Drift
"We don't need to go into the city to get a direction" Tilaleria said confused. "We have the same mechanism we used to get here. I thought we'd agreed that we would continue searching for the Ent Wives and return here when that was sorted. I'm all for having a rest and regaining spells, but shouldn't we be continuing?"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 70 posts
 Druid
 Wizard
Wed 3 May 2017
at 23:41
Into the Drift
"In theory, the device does direct us to the general direction in which the Ent-wives can be found," Radagast responded.

"My concern is that the closer we get, the more unreliable it will be. Yes, I know that's a bit counter-intuitive, but as I keep saying, the East is unknown. It was once in the thrall of Mordor, and may still be, particularly in ways that we don't understand."

"If I felt it was warranted, I'd have no problem rushing in blindly to rescue them. Regardless of when we get there, it might still be too late. If they are all dead when we find them, then it wasn't meant to be. But, if they've survived this long, a few more days may not matter."

"We should not discount the warning nor the information the Dwarves conveyed to us on the steps. And, as you said, the rest to regain spells may be to our advantage."

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 140 posts
Wed 3 May 2017
at 23:48
Into the Drift
Saxon tilted his head side to side. "Right, so we get in... I sit on my hands and dont get caught up trying to set up a slow acting cure for all the people... we find out who knows the story of the blue mages and what they had planned to do after the fact... and carry on from there."

"I do promise not to hold everyone up. I will work on something as we go so when we come back through we can stay here a bit and just fix the people after fixing the land, butnot until we are done with our main task."

"That being said... if they have any texts on what happened to them I will ask to take it so I can study on our way out. Also, if there is a spirit of the stone that the overfluffed bad guy spoke to in-order to raise the stone... I WILL be tempted to talk to it to take its stone back.. but I wont hold up the group."

Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 258 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 4 May 2017
at 00:05
Into the Drift
"And rightly is it said 'go not to those of the wise for counsel, for they will say both no and yes'" Tilaleria said

"This is a place full of life draining undead. We all accept we want to change that situation, but all know that it will take time, and is best done after we have saved the Entwives.  We all know that the Entwifes are being killed one at a time slowly to feed evil magics, and that in fact days may make a difference. Do we need to enter this city or is it a distraction"

"For me it has the words 'distraction' written all over it. The walls are so old that the magic symbols and runes on them have decayed and lost their power. No Entwife has entered that city for over a thousand years at least, so the best they can do is say 'lo those thousand years ago we saw the Entwives'. It is extremely likely that in the eons since that time the Entwives will no longer be in the same place."

"The words on the steps were carved a long time ago. They were written for many people, and I think it is hubris to beleive they were for us"

"So why don't we try following the magical device that has got us this far until it starts leading us in circles? Because we have teleport at that point if we decide that we need to come back here and clutch at straws we can do so"

Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 141 posts
Thu 4 May 2017
at 04:38
Into the Drift
Saxon made an Mmm sound. "I cant entirely agree with that though. I do agree with you, without fuss, that any location information that they will have is likely too old to be of worth directly. However, apart from being able to put points on the map for us, they may have texts from the blue mages."

"For example, I can think of a few processes that could create a similar echo to the life energy of any creature. Using that technique I could place a number of such tricks all over the east so the moment any means of tracking get worse. Such information could be lost."

"Not to mention that if we do go in during the day they are just normal people. Go in at night and they are hungry lost souls."

"Absolute worse case I can go in and dig as fast as I can, even if I get stuck in there during night fall I can disguise myself as one of them or just do my old woods thing. If not for the fact we can only get in at a certain point of time, I would already be in there on my way out. Just to save time."
Half self serving as the smith of the dead did want to cleanse the taint, but also there HAD to be text after text of valued texts in there.
Tilaleria
 Fellowship, 259 posts
 Messenger Girl
Thu 4 May 2017
at 17:29
Into the Drift
Tilaleria clearly couldn't see any point in this, or in discussing it further, so settled back to see what the others would do. She wanted to get on and save the Ent Wives, but if the others weren't wanting to continue and saw a value in meeting many thousand year old undead in that pursuit, she'd have to wait
Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 174 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Mon 8 May 2017
at 10:31
Into the Drift
Borun quietly listened to his companions debating before he spoke. "Master Radagast implies that we can afford to spend a couple of days in Naethrul. I am happy to do so. If Master Saxon can truly make a cure for these afflicted citizens, that would be splendid." Borun nodded respectfully to Saxon.

"If not, however, it would be better to purge the city of the undead inhabitants." Borun frowned. "This "half-life" is a mockery of Eru Ilúvatar's vision - a corrupt stain upon the world."
Anira
 Fellowship, 73 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 9 May 2017
at 17:34
Into the Drift
The whole area, city and surrounding lands, bothered Anira though she tried not to show too much anger and sadness.  The lifeless earth made her long to see it renewed and she nodded in agreement with Borun regarding the undead.  "They should be at peace but there are so many of them and so few of us, most of us unable to truly help them," she stated softly.  She would summon the shelter when they were ready and would rest and do what she could while they remained here but she too was anxious to get to the Entwives.  She trusted Radagast and would follow his lead.