[IC] Portents and Omens.   Posted by Storyteller.Group: 0
Storyteller
 GM, 199 posts
 Weaver of Tales
Tue 8 Dec 2020
at 10:37
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Urle and and Teana don't recognize the man other than that his clothing seems typical of stories of the Empire, and that shade of magenta was used for royalty.  Helena remembers some songs and poems that talked of the "peacock-bright" nobles, and the "Lord Ervans of the Beastly Hands", though the poems had mentioned the name was both because of his choice of jewelry (fantastically carved rings in beast shapes), and his reputation for dealing out punishment (or, in bawdier songs, his reputation as a lecher).

At Helena's comment, however, the nobleman looks disappointed.  He seemed as if he were about to insist, but the closing-in of Helena's entourage seems to discourage him from further public conversation.

"I shall see you anon, Your Highness," he says, nodding his head and sharply ordering his bearers to increase their pace to keep a corridor open for Helena to follow him.


When the path finally deposits them at their goal, it proves to be an elaborate raised pavilion, surmounted by a crest of gilded wood with spikes like the rising sun, in front of the amphitheater in front of the wizard's college proving grounds.  Groups of robed folk, grouped by colors, are at multiple points around the oval proving grounds, and the crowd of cityfolk and visitors circle around them.  In the center, below the pavilion, are a group of people in somber brown or black.

As Helena's group is encouraged towards the pavilion with cries of praise and blessings for "Her Highness", the nobleman has already descended from his palanquin to sit in front of a carved and gilded throne, less elaborate than one next to it, clearly meant for Helena.

"Your Highness!" he says, when she comes into view.  "Will you open the ceremonies for your loyal subjects?"  He winks at her as it says it, including himself as one under her rule.
Helena
 Heir, 112 posts
Tue 8 Dec 2020
at 22:53
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Helena still feels hesitant and yet her walk up to the plaza has galvanised her acting and the fact that the people here clearly recognised her as their monarch gave her some level of confidence in continuing.  She therefore bowed her head to the noble, "Thank you Lord Ervans."   She then stepped forward towards the throne and instead of seating herself, she turned to the assembled people and raises her hands, hoping that they'd take this as a suggestion to quiet.  She then speaks and those who know her may be surprised at her voice which rings out clear as a bell and far louder than normal, "Thank you.... to everyone who has gathered this day.   Please, let the ceremony begin."  She'd been about to say 'celebration' but realised that she still didn't know the reason behind this ceremony and just hoped that it would be a positive one!
Davor Spiritwalker
 Half-Orc Oracle, 211 posts
 Barbarian Mystic
Tue 8 Dec 2020
at 23:28
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Davor joins the crowd of city folk around the periphery of the amphitheater. Keeping an eye out for threats, he watches as Helena addresses the crowd.
Teana Florin
 Half-Elf Kineticist, 124 posts
Wed 9 Dec 2020
at 02:37
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Teana went up with Helena, but took a position to her front and side as she made her speech, like a guard. When Helena finished, she whispered in her ear. "He thinks he's your consort," she warned.

This message was last edited by the player at 02:38, Wed 09 Dec 2020.

Urle
 Human Cavalier, 80 posts
 Order of the Lion
Wed 9 Dec 2020
at 18:05
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Urle shakes his head.
I think you handled that very well.  I also think you may need to appoint yourself a spy master general.  Someone that can keep an eye on such characters.
Storyteller
 GM, 200 posts
 Weaver of Tales
Sat 12 Dec 2020
at 03:25
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Helena's voice ringing out over the crowd sends up a small cheer and a wave of applause.  People in elaborate version of the robes begin to clear out several oval areas, placing shimmering barriers, like glowing soap bubbles in domes over them, so that magical contests can take place without a stray spell effect causing anyone harm.  Announcements are made indicating every school of magic, the names of the professors and students, and the types of duels taking place: duels of conjuration (where the conjured creatures would fight to exhaustion or first blood), duels of evocation (where targets were hit and the most damage dealt would win), duels of transmutation (where objects or the students themselves would be asked to make a particular change, the most skillful to win), duels of abjuration (often held alongside duels of evocation, to see which could hold under assault), and many others.

Illusory fireworks and plays were held along the periphery for the crowds, with exceptional illusionists pausing in front of the dais to perform, earning nods of approval from Lord Ervans.  As the illusionists are performing, he leans forward to speak quietly with Helena.

"Your Highness, the Dean will be bringing the final projects from the War College soon.  They are preparing the procession to the Vault, once you have chosen the winner.  I dare say that the Dean sounded most enthusiastic about his students this year; he claims they have outdone themselves," he murmurs.  "I dare say I wouldn't be able to choose!"

The Dean, a thin man of late middle age, his gray-threaded blond hair tied back neatly and with subtle jewelry, takes the center field to introduce his prize students and their projects: a kind of explosive fireball meant to take down castle walls (held within an orb for easy slinging from a siege weapon), a transmutation collar to turn any animal into an attack beast of fearsome proportions, a magical sword that multiplied itself, so that one soldier could hold off a small group on their own, a shield that reflected back spells into the teeth of their caster, an illusory dragon that could breathe real fire (causing no end of confusion amongst one's enemies).

"To our illustrious Princess, we give these into your keeping," the Dean says, the treasures laid within a chest at her feet.
Helena
 Heir, 114 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2020
at 21:02
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Helena nods to Teana's warning and Urle's suggestion.   She hadn't quite labelled that concern but it made sense... and yet she was playing a part so needed to be sure she was not overtly affecting things.  Lord Evans could very well be the consort and turning against him might upset this delicate balance.

The ghosts seem all too real to Helena and those with her can tell that she is reacting to them as such.  As Lord Evans leans forward she listens and then nods, "I look forward to seeing these creations.  And I'm sure the Dean and his students have done just that!"

As the Dean then approaches she considers each of the projects, "I accept these into our keeping, Dean.  The War College has once again does a great service to us all and has truly excelled itself in the creation of these artefact."  She then includes the students, "To each of you, our heartfelt thanks.  I'm sure our Dean has huge plans for your futures and I look forward to seeing your next projects.  Well done."
Teana Florin
 Half-Elf Kineticist, 126 posts
Fri 25 Dec 2020
at 21:18
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
"Which do you think we should name the winner, Your Highness?" asked Teana. "While they are all excellent gifts, there must be a highest award."

She then sent a whisper into Helena's ear. "I'd go for the dragon."
Storyteller
 GM, 202 posts
 Weaver of Tales
Thu 31 Dec 2020
at 04:03
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
The groups of students arranged behind each project smile nervously, quite pleased at their Princess' praise, but uncertain who has taken the grand prize.

Lord Ervans laughs, and moves closer to Helena... then shifts back slightly again when Urle moves ever-so-slightly towards him.  "Indeed, the winner is most looking forward to their commission from you, your Highness," he murmurs.  "A grateful and loyal magician is always a fine addition to one's stable, if you will."
Helena
 Heir, 116 posts
Fri 1 Jan 2021
at 13:13
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
She'd hoped for a bit of help from her compatriots as got it from Teana.  It really was a difficult decision and she says as much.  "I must admit that the decision you present to me is an extremely difficult one."  Except for the collar - she wasn't overly keen on the collar, "But in the spirit of the competition, a winner must be chosen.   For the others, I commend you all on an exception effort and look forward to your further participation in future competitions."  She smiles at them all, "This year's winner however, is the Illusionary Dragon.  Well done to all involved!"
Davor Spiritwalker
 Half-Orc Oracle, 214 posts
 Barbarian Mystic
Fri 1 Jan 2021
at 17:22
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Always a fan of illusions and their ability to sow confusion, Davor expresses his approval for the choice from his spot amongst the crowd with a whooping cheer as Helena delivers her verdict. Whether or not the ghostly members of the crowd join him doesn't concern him overmuch.
Urle
 Human Cavalier, 82 posts
 Order of the Lion
Sun 10 Jan 2021
at 23:15
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Urle kept close to Helana.
A few ideas when thought his mind and he was sure he should made some suggestion to her about which one to choose.  However the man still disliked magic and this was pure magic.  This was something he did not what think to much about.

So he kept quite.  Watched and waited.  There where other in group to take lead on this.
Storyteller
 GM, 203 posts
 Weaver of Tales
Thu 14 Jan 2021
at 09:52
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
The sandy-haired young man who was the leader of the illusory dragon group brings the small statuette up for his monarch, falling in place next to her as the doors to the left of the dais open.  Lord Ervans sighs dramatically, taking a swift, sideways glance at Helena, and slightly flinches away at Urle's protective stance.

"Your Majesty, I await your pleasure at the celebration after your visit to the vaults," he says with an ingratiating bow.

As Lord Ervans mounts his palanquin and waves his bearers to take him away, the crowd gives a final cheer and begins to slowly disperse to various entertainments.  The finest-dressed (and hence those either nobly born or with money to make them nearly so) begin to drift towards a large pavilion at the far side of the great courtyard.  Music drifts through the air as minstrels prepare for entertaining the nobles for the rest of the afternoon for their dancing pleasure.

The great doors that have opened are marked with both the symbols of the university (an open book topped with crossed wand and staff) and the royal crest of the Imperial house.  No guards are here save those with Helena, and there is a curious golden sheen to the air of the corridor.  Beyond the doors the corridor is of carved golden stone with magical lights placed at regular intervals; exquisitely carved, but not with the extravagant inlay and tapestries said to be typical of the Empire.

The winner of the university contests takes his place at the back of the group, carrying the dragon statuette like a holy relic as the group can head down the corridor.  It extends a good hundred feet or so before turning right, then left, making certain that there is no clear shot from the exterior doors to where the corridors end at an immense pair of thick metal doors made of the dark gray metal known as adamantine.  Though carved with magical symbols and runes of protection, it does not disguise their solidity.

Helena finds the air gives her a faint rosy glow, though everyone else finds their skin crawling like before a lightning strike (something Teana is intimately familiar with).

As Helena draws close to the doors, they glow in response to her presence, and she can feel that she can command them as she would a trained dog, with simple orders (to open, to lock, to defend, even to attack).

Those not of Imperial blood feel their skin tingle, the strange feeling increasing, as if about to come to a crescendo. The doors almost feel... alive.

OOC: If you'd like to do anything before the doors open, now would be the time to do so...
Davor Spiritwalker
 Half-Orc Oracle, 215 posts
 Barbarian Mystic
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 00:30
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
As the ghostly crowd begins to disperse, Davor rejoins the imperial party though his attention is drawn somewhat to the dispersing apparitions (and particularly to Lord Ervans retreating palaquin). As they walk through the corridor and the strange sensation grows, Davor flexes his fingers as though trying to restore blood flow. "Got to be more defenses than making ya feel uncomfortable around here."

Then, when the doors come into sight, he lets out a low whistle. "Guess the people who built this place were serious."
Helena
 Heir, 117 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 00:51
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Helena bows her head to the departing Lord Ervans though is pleased to see that he'll not be joining her in her pilgrimage to the vaults.   She waits for his departure, watching the crowd disperse to some extent, before looking to the others, "Shall we depart?"   Something about the situation has even her talking 'high and mighty'!

Then, as they are walking, "Uncomfortable, Davor?"  She clearly felt none of the electrifying experience the others felt but the awe at the strength of the doors certainly caught her and she approached them with obvious interest, more so as they begin to glow, "Amazing." She raises a hand before doing what seemed entirely natural to her and commanding the doors to open, "Open, please."
Teana Florin
 Half-Elf Kineticist, 128 posts
Fri 15 Jan 2021
at 04:42
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Teana just tensed. Something told her that this wasn't the kind of lightning she could dodge easily, and a light wind picked up around her.

Enveloping Winds up just in case there's some kind of ambush.
Storyteller
 GM, 205 posts
 Weaver of Tales
Mon 25 Jan 2021
at 06:09
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
As Helena wills the door to open, and the others hold themselves ready, the sandy-haired student-ghost at the back of the party mostly fades from view, becoming just a sketch upon the air.  The doors make a deep chiming sound, and rumble open slowly, sliding to the sides to allow pale blue light to spill out.  Inside is an enormous room carved from stone, every inch of the walls carved with scenes out of myth, legend, and history.  Careful tableaus of arms and armor in enormous, fantastic golden cages dot the periphery of the room, while stacks of boxed jewelry, suites of regalia (crowns, scepters, and orbs), chests in a dozen kinds of metals and woods, staves and rods, mannequins wearing fine robes and suits of clothing are arranged throughout the room.  But the most curious thing is that the various tableaus seem to be... mirrored in groups of three, and at the edge of each group of three is another enormous door, this one also open.

And in the doorway of the leftmost door, looking entirely surprised, is a tall, bearded man with a symbol upon his breast which is quite familiar from the markings on the chimera, the symbol of Thray Mountainson!  Beside and behind him are a group of mongrelfolk who were clearly in the middle of an attempt to open the Vault doors.

Mountainson looks shocked to see the group across the enormous chamber, but then his expression softens into a smile, one that does not bode well.

"My dear, you have saved me no end of trouble.  You might have been a good queen, but alas we will never know.  Save yourself and your companions, and surrender.  You can live out your days peacefully.  I will keep you quite comfortable, but I will need you to come to me, now."  Mountainson adds a few more words in guttural goblin to the mongrelfolk, "[Language unknown:  Un it eauaveint eenes staateore evpoou, teros ive mi pl we outareatiearrea ecuspl hat foet ul hihe om thi as hatoulman  Ons ver ro nono]."
Teana Florin
 Half-Elf Kineticist, 130 posts
Mon 25 Jan 2021
at 08:07
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Teana looked at Thray. "Never, Mountainson," she said. "I believe in the Empire, and in a world where all sentient beings can find peace and safety. Whatever our ancestry." She touched her slightly-pointed ear. "But you aren't worthy of being the Emperor. I stand with Helena, rightful Empress of Mekarium."

She looked over the mongrelfolk, then at two in the back, and then spoke to them in their own goblin language. [Language unknown:  "Der t vir po olceit ekaime le el o diugh forestess me Ntateeacnd k erort Adon. Urwhil sserel lesna ompr resmanenc onut ndivolli asssli."] She then swept her gaze over the rest of the mongrelfolk. [Language unknown:  "Proev Us llceee iesa thi nce be teort e nteherset n ceut, linwerine we on eenic ati intbleave. Olcabe Eeasmadiai n ratre erewasove. Ureri ad verforing nd ainromout ble ofnt prna neelie. Fo pres witwi haseraone trri erdi-seio n oshoos, anteveter eenithhas eraratugh ome nddi inriit p onsandles whear m nteho sonardove n di ere ndntpa o rene k ing isar whintente. Enc ill o honofowe toriompa t alame. Ng ecove dipa een ut plpeil p ouomiohe illtedlar iveandeve manbleart me hiulev oul Lladenomet, es t elckwhel ort undsanred ulwil ing il enti elssan la. K sahou ch menstaest cheksa k tinom ersichnce ichsonugh et Trin, k yinit esswhinot Ha oulrutnde be ainthurea, evfila pr utella withasble ni t oerillprotio stmineil. Ss p whiio nooul i nceonsstr lattioear ugh ondi. M acecro lesvorand hite lena prhiom eswase a Ilngul poio ac dersetoun, day li Tedthuson Riinneteto."]

22:42, Today: Teana Florin rolled 33 using 1d20+16.  Diplomacy.

She squeezed Helena's hand as she gazed compassionately over the mongrelfolk warriors, then turned to her to mouth something.

DC 25 Perception for anyone else to hear what Teana's saying.
Helena
 Heir, 120 posts
Tue 26 Jan 2021
at 01:30
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
The wonder of the doors opening followed by the exquisite artwork has Helena looking both surprised and awestruck only for those moments to stutter to an abrupt halt as they spot the other visitors.  Visitors who rapidly turn to unwanted guests as Thorin's smile sends a shiver down Helena's spine only for him to speak out and actively threaten the small party.   It was a pity then that Teana hadn't then told her what Thorin had said to the goblins but the woman's response that Helena could understand, made it all the clearer.

"I'm sorry Thorin.   But I do not believe that now is the time to surrender.   I will not see these treasures used to hurt and subjugate and I must therefore stand against you.   I stand against you for all those who would live peacefully together - be they human, elves, orcs or any of the races of this lands - and yes, that includes mongrelfolk."  She nods to the warriors behind Thorin, returning Teana's squeeze of the hand, though those in the group can tell her words of defiance are mostly directed at Thorin.
Davor Spiritwalker
 Half-Orc Oracle, 217 posts
 Barbarian Mystic
Tue 26 Jan 2021
at 23:42
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Davor lets out a barking laugh. "That's funny, wizard. I was just about to thank you for all the trouble you saved us from having to track you down. Not sure how I feel about the empire, but all this will do a damn sight more good in her hands than it will in yours." It might not be quite as definitive as Teana's statement, but Davor's resolve is clear in his tone.

The glow of magic suffuses the air around Davor like a mist, glowing faintly green in the eerie way it does. As he chants words and waves his arms, the eyes of the wolf skull pauldron on his shoulder glow. When he completes the chant, the mist passes to his companions and surrounds them. Next Davor reaches into the air above his head and, as he brings his hands down, they bring with them the massive ghostly sword that seems too large even for the hulking half-orc. A moment later pale green flame lights the edge of the blade and Davor steps in front of Helena.

Cast Bless using the wand. Everyone gets +1 on attacks and savings throws.
Cast Bear's Endurance on myself using the scroll.
Cast Communal Protection from Evil. Everyone gets +2 AC and +2 on saves vs. evil creatures. Everyone is immune to mind control from evil creatures. Lasts for 1 minute except for Helena who gets 2 minutes.
Summon my ancestral weapon and cast Extended Sun Metal on it.

Storyteller
 GM, 207 posts
 Weaver of Tales
Wed 10 Feb 2021
at 13:34
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Teana's reminder to the mongrelfolk touches a nerve, and perhaps what honor they call their own.  Looking startled and afraid, they nervously twitch, shuffle their mismatched feet, and finally retreat, howling and screeching down the hallway behind them. The Mountainson looks irritated at his allies' craven betrayal, and then instead gestures sharply, clenching his fists.

"You are brave, but I'm afraid this will not serve.  I've waited a long time for the signs to become favorable.  Perhaps once these ones no longer are there to pour poison in your ear, you'll be more amenable."

The Mountainson vanishes from sight as deep-throated roars come down the hallway.  Thudding into view is a figure seemingly made of dark gray earth, formed and sculpted into a mongrelman, towering ten feet tall with an oversized fist on the right and a huge crab claw on the left.  Flanking it are two birds gleaming with steel feathers and crackling with lightning, looking like enormous oversized eagles!

With twin screeches and an enormous howl, the trio charges!

OOC: There is 80 feet between you and your foes.  Party is up first.
Helena
 Heir, 121 posts
Wed 10 Feb 2021
at 18:38
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
"You come back here, Mountainson!   I will pick my own poison - you have no right to force yourself on me!  Don't you dare!"  Perhaps she doesn't quite realise what she is shouting but she is clearly angry and almost as if in response, the gold colour to the air shimmers and sparkles around the sculpted mongrelman and the two birds.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:38, Wed 10 Feb.

Davor Spiritwalker
 Half-Orc Oracle, 218 posts
 Barbarian Mystic
Wed 10 Feb 2021
at 23:57
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Davor shouts a command in orcish. His hand draws over the face of the wolf skull pauldron and gestures out towards the wizard's monstrosities. The ethereal mist coalesces into the form of a lantern archorn.

Cast Summon Monster III to summon a Lantern Archon.
Teana Florin
 Half-Elf Kineticist, 131 posts
Fri 12 Feb 2021
at 14:42
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Teana raised her hands, and the wind began whirling around her, blowing her companions' hair every which way. A bolt of lightning crackled from her hands and fired at Rocky in the middle. As the bolt went off, she stepped back behind Urle.

Gather Power, Lightning Blast (extended range, empower), five-foot-step back behind our cavalier.

05:40, Today: Teana Florin rolled 26 using 6d6+9.  Lightning, damage.
05:39, Today: Teana Florin rolled 13 using 1d20+9.  Lightning, ranged touch.

Underwhelming.

Urle
 Human Cavalier, 84 posts
 Order of the Lion
Sat 6 Mar 2021
at 11:11
Re: [IC]  Portents and Omens
Urle mounts up and charges headlong into the enemy.  Hoping to go for the leader of the group.

OOC:
He casts Divine favor and strength on himself.
11:07, Today: Urle rolled 18 using 1d8+10.  Damage.
11:06, Today: Urle rolled 33 using 1d20+17.  attack.
11:10, Today: Urle rolled 19 using 1d20+13.  Ride check to defend Demetria.

Attack of 33.  Damage 36.