On the Crater's Edge.   Posted by GM.Group: 0
Damien
 player, 5 posts
Sun 23 Feb 2020
at 23:10
On the Crater's Edge
"Yeah, I'll be there shortly, Cass." Damien replies, turning his attention fully to the survivors. I can get you to Parakh, if that's what you'd like. Or pretty much anywhere if you'd rather start fresh, I don't mind. What about you, uh... crap, I don't even know your names. I'm Damien, nice to meet you." He extends his hand in greeting to the medic, a forced smile on his face.
GM
 GM, 24 posts
Tue 25 Feb 2020
at 00:34
On the Crater's Edge
"I'm Shanni. This is Lukas." The medic shakes Damien's hand. "I don't actually like that cousin much. I...I don't know. Some other city? I can get by as a medic anywhere right now, with how bad things are they can't really say no. I'd like to travel a bit, so..." She shrugs. "Maybe somewhere in Garund, that sounds exotic. A city. Do you know any?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:37, Tue 25 Feb 2020.

Damien
 player, 6 posts
Tue 25 Feb 2020
at 04:01
On the Crater's Edge
Finally seeing something to latch on to, conversation wise, Damien immediately brightens up and replies, "Garund? Oh do I ever! There's a hundred fantastic cities I could take you to there! Alkenstar, Sothis, Merab, Azir, Quantium, the list is endless! Here, let's try, uh, Aspenthar! Yeah, I've always liked it there." As he speaks he grabs each of his refugees by the arm and in an instant teleports them to the main square in the middle of Aspenthar city.
GM
 GM, 27 posts
Fri 28 Feb 2020
at 21:13
On the Crater's Edge
Damien seizes the fabric of the world, twists it, and is elsewhere. The archer still looks to be in a state of shock, while Shanni takes him gently by the arm and with a grateful nod to Damien starts pulling him towards a tavern on the edge of the square.

Another spell, and Damien is outside of Cassie's mansion. It's still, and silent, and dark inside. But a knock on the door has it opened by an invisible servant, and once again the young woman comes running to hug Damien. "Hi! I made you something, do you want to see?" she says, with all the excitement and pride of any girl showing something to someone she's fond of.
Damien
 player, 7 posts
Wed 4 Mar 2020
at 14:12
On the Crater's Edge
Damien smiles and returns Cassie's hug, seemingly somewhat recovered from the shock of Bhati's demise, and replies with a simple, "You made me something? For what? It's not my birthday for another three months!" Despite his mild protest he seems intrigued by what his surprise present could be.
GM
 GM, 31 posts
Wed 4 Mar 2020
at 22:33
On the Crater's Edge
"Three months and seven days," Cassie corrects absently. "But I made you something! Come see!"

She hurries into the mansion and through it, upstairs, to a solar of sorts. There, she opens the door to show...an art studio of some kind, it appears, with easels and tables holding works in progress all around. Most of them are calligraphy in various languages, but some are paintings or sketches.

She leads him to one that is very different, though. A large scroll with an ink wash painting, it is at first nothing but abstract lines in black. Then, however, Damien realizes that some of the lines are actually a very dark blue color, and others are dark green. And then he sees that the blue lines form the outline of a stylized rose.

The black then resolves into a face, but one that is alien and monstrous. It has solid black eyes that are too large and too closely set, a mouthful of needle-like fangs, no ears or nose, no hair. Despite the stylized design of the art form, it looks strangely real, too vivid and detailed to be imagination alone. Something about its expression is menacing.

The green lines resolve into writing next, calligraphy in Common but so elaborate and stylized it is hard to read. After a moment, he makes out the word, "Friends."

"Do you like it? Cassie sounds very eager.
Damien
 player, 8 posts
Sun 8 Mar 2020
at 05:31
On the Crater's Edge
Damien pauses to work out the math on his birthday, realizes she's right and smiles as he jogs to catch up to his friend, casting a smirk at Beatrice perched on his shoulder who simply clicks her beak sharply.

Reaching the scroll, however, Damien's smile fades and is replaced by a look of confusion. He doesn't reply right away, instead looking at it for a moment, before tentatively saying, "I certainly do like it Cassie, though I'll admit I'm at a bit of a loss as to, uh, what it is? What makes it move and shift?" He reaches a hand out tentatively towards the scroll as he speaks, gently running his fingers along the edge of the thick parchment.
GM
 GM, 33 posts
Mon 9 Mar 2020
at 06:59
On the Crater's Edge
"Oh, it doesn't actually, it's just, you draw the lines right so that they overlap and they look like a jumble. But then you pick them out, if you're really looking, and you see the picture. The technique is called aranasita in Tien. It's tricky, but it's not, it's not magic or anything." Cassie smiles happily. It's clear that despite the detailed answer she mostly keyed on the fact that he said he liked it.
Damien
 player, 9 posts
Wed 11 Mar 2020
at 03:49
On the Crater's Edge
"That's brilliant, wow Cass, thank you so much." Damien smiles sincerely and picks up the scroll, turning it slightly back and forth to try and help him distinguish the separate paintings. "Friends," he says, and pulls Cassie into an embrace, "That we are and I'm glad of it. What made you decide on the other two images, the rose and the face?"
GM
 GM, 35 posts
Wed 11 Mar 2020
at 04:23
On the Crater's Edge
"Oh, it's to represent Shelyn and Zon-Kuthon," Cassie says blithely. "The rose is her symbol, and the face is one of the ways that what's inside him can appear. It's to say that even though we're very different, we can still be friends!" She giggles. It sounds exactly like a normal teenage girl giggling.
Damien
 player, 10 posts
Sun 15 Mar 2020
at 21:37
On the Crater's Edge
Damien laughs with Cassie, seemingly not perturbed at all by her statement, and asks off-handedly "Who's who, then, Cass? Am I the Midnight Lord, or are you?" He laughs as he says it, completely at ease and clearly not taking the conversation as anything more than casual joking between friends.
GM
 GM, 39 posts
Thu 19 Mar 2020
at 17:55
On the Crater's Edge
"We are," Cassie says, her tone entirely serious. "You are the Eternal Rose, beauty without concern." She lets him go and turns to the scroll, pulling it down and rolling it up, then sliding it in a traveling case. She hands it to him with a smile.
Damien
 player, 11 posts
Sat 21 Mar 2020
at 07:26
On the Crater's Edge
Damien looks like he's about to offer a clever comeback as he takes the scroll case, but then a shadow falls over his face thinking of her, presumably accidental, obliteration of Bhati. Instead he shakes his head and replies simply, "I don't think I'm quite pretty enough to qualify, there, but I'll take it." He then tucks the scroll case into a pocket and continues, "I should take this home, mount it on the wall in my study I think. Thank you, Cassie, I really do appreciate it."
Damien
 player, 12 posts
Sat 4 Apr 2020
at 19:24
On the Crater's Edge
After an evening of song and friendship with Cassie, Damien returns to his lonely mansion and hangs up his gift from Cassie prominently in his personal study. The next morning, after fiddling with his guitar for a while, Damien quickly finds himself bored. With the next expected primordial assault still several days away and none of his companions seemingly needing his aid at the moment, Damien ends up sitting in his chair again, listening to Beatrice and moping. The bird's whispers again start to worm their way into his head, warning him of imaginary plots or threats he should prepare for, from among his closest allies and friends. When she turns her warnings again to Cassie, however, Damien shakes himself out of his reverie and stands up. "That's enough, Beatrice," he snaps angrily, then he looks again at Cassie's gift, the word 'Friends', and continues more softly. "Think what you want, but Cassie would never hurt me. I know that. I know you want to help keep me safe but trust me on this one, ok?" He sighs and glances around the empty room, then back at Beatrice. "We're not built for this... sitting around, you and I. Come on, let's go kill something. I know just the place." With that, he reaches out with his will and twists space until suddenly he finds himself floating several hundred feet above the Worldwound.
GM
 GM, 56 posts
Mon 6 Apr 2020
at 03:57
On the Crater's Edge
As Damien finishes mopping up a wave of demons the next morning, he gets a sending (technically, two sendings) from Cho. Good morning, Damien. My friend and I have learned of a lead on that staff of power that we spoke of during the campaign - remember? --------- is quite interested in the ruin it is in. It is buried, or so my source says, under a Thassilonian ruin in western Varisia. Meet in Korvosa, when? As usual, Damien's brain does a small reset at the name of Cho's friend, or so it seems, and even immediately afterward, he can't at all recall what it was.
Damien
 player, 13 posts
Mon 6 Apr 2020
at 05:00
On the Crater's Edge
Damien's eyes light up at Cho's sendings. The last dozen or so times they'd looked for this staff it had been a dead end, and this one probably was too. It probably didn't even exist, but the possibility sends chills down his spine and his reply is immediate and very brief. "Now? Now." He pauses only to finish off a particularly stubborn demon that had the gall to survive one of his fireballs and do a quick flyby of some nearby crusaders to hear the cheers before popping off to Korvosa.

He teleports into the heart of the Midland district, to a prominent square where he's seen Cho perform for many crowds over the years. Upon his arrival he is greeted by the exactly the sound he hoped to find, Cho's marvelous voice echoing off the buildings while a crowd watched her in awe. While eager to speak with her, Damien can't bring himself to interrupt her song, so instead he simply pulls out his guitar and adds a gentle accompaniment, playing the harmony while flying over the crowd to land beside her just as they finish.
GM
 GM, 60 posts
Tue 7 Apr 2020
at 03:14
On the Crater's Edge
Cho's voice...there aren't words. Every time Cho sings, it sounds like Shelyn herself has taken mortal form to give a concert. But this is...in another world entirely. Her voice echoes off the buildings around the square, and the echoes harmonize with her voice, creating the impression of a full divine chorus. She reaches tones that mortal throats should not be able to render. She sings multiple pitches at once. Strange harmonics lie under the surface of the song, creating a sound that is almost painfully beautiful, like a pure tone that could break glass, but applied to minds instead, as though the brain is aware that more is striking the ear than it can comprehend, or wants to. And yet no one, not one single person there, wants it to stop. She is singing a simple folk song, a ballad, a lament, and there's not a person among the hundreds gathered who has dry eyes.

When she finishes, there's no applause. Breaking the echoing silence left by her voice feels almost sacriligeous. Many of the people fall to the ground before her, weeping, whispering praises. She smiles at them, gentle, sweet, backlit by something that is only technically light of a shade of violet that is as too-real as the sound, painful to look on, yet lovely.

"Good morning, Damien, thank you for meeting me. Are you ready to set out?" Her tone is perfectly calm. As though she didn't just give a concert that would make gods weep. As though, decades from now, the crowd gathered will not remember this moment with perfect clarity, and talk about it to their grandchildren in voices hushed with awe.
Damien
 player, 14 posts
Tue 7 Apr 2020
at 03:31
On the Crater's Edge
Damien smiles warmly at Cho, then glances back at the still-enraptured crowd and replies, "Set out? Oh, right yes, the staff. Yeah, yeah I'm ready, but you absolutely have to come join Cass and I next time we play together. That was incredible, as always." Meanwhile, Beatrice's claws sink deeper than usual into Damien's shoulder as they approach Cho until eventually she nips his ear and flies a short distance away, rather than get too close to the skinwalker.
GM
 GM, 65 posts
Fri 10 Apr 2020
at 17:49
On the Crater's Edge
"That sounds like fun," Cho says, a little wistfully. "It would be great to play together again." She walks through the crowd, the light fading away until she's just a normal, albeit beautiful, human-seeming woman.

Once out of the square, and once the last few people trailing in her wake have been sent off with a murmured thanks, she stretches. "The ruin is just outside the city, out in the desert. I think the upper passages should be perfectly safe, it's been looted already long ago, but there's apparently a lower section accessible only by teleportation which should be untouched. That's where the staff is, along with some other relics that my friend is very interested in. I'm sure there will be guardians and such, it sounds like a wonderful time. So tell me, how have you been? Things going all right, staying safe, I hope?"
Damien
 player, 15 posts
Tue 14 Apr 2020
at 20:05
On the Crater's Edge
"Safe?" Damien chuckles in reply, "Not generally. Not my style. Safe is boring, and if things go wrong, someone'll fix things in short order." He laughs again, then shakes his head at his companion, "No, Cho, I've not been safe, but I've been well. Those big Primordial bastards are the most fun I've had since the gods agreed to sod off. Just wish they came more often, went and blew up half the worldwould today and didn't even break a sweat. Hopefully your 'guardians' will put up more of a fight. How about you? I've heard tell of your performances, but what else have you been doing to pass the time these past months?"
GM
 GM, 71 posts
Wed 15 Apr 2020
at 04:29
On the Crater's Edge
"This and that," Cho says brightly. "Following some threads from old tales, cleaning out ruins of dangerous monsters, shutting down warlocks of various kinds. I keep myself busy. It's quieter now than in the wars, but that's good. Gives me a chance to rest a little." She shrugs, the gesture loose and flowing, and starts beating out a rhythm on the drum she carries, a steady marching beat with a second harmonic laid under it.




At the ruin, it's much as described - a simple process of clearing out some rabble, not much more than a few oversized spiders and an animate skeleton, and you're down in the belly of the structure.

But once there, Cho nods, looking satisfied. "Here, you see the structure of this wall? And these runes. The whole thing says this is an outbuilding, with the main structure underneath. Can you teleport us...let me calculate...forty feet straight down from where we're standing? Or open a way down, I'm not picky."
Damien
 player, 16 posts
Wed 15 Apr 2020
at 19:50
On the Crater's Edge
Damien nods at Cho's request and holds out his hand for hers, then calls out to his familiar, "Come on Beatrice, death and glory below, you'd hate to miss it." Beatrice, who has been following behind at a distance the entire time, ruffles her feathers indignantly but deigns to approach and land in her spot upon Damien's shoulder. Everyone assembled, Damien casts his spell and brings the group straight down underground.
GM
 GM, 73 posts
Fri 17 Apr 2020
at 20:23
On the Crater's Edge
Under the main structure, true to Cho's word, there's a secondary ruin, much more elaborate. It looks like you're in an outlying tunnel, and Cho sets off, following it back toward the center of the complex. A few more hazards are swept out of the way - poisoned scythe traps, clockwork soldiers, a caged succubus that Cho sends back to the Abyss with little more than the name of her friend, once again deleted from Damien's memory.

Finally, the pair reaches the center, and finds a huge room, open and cavernous. You are entering it from halfway up the wall, thirty feet above the floor. There are narrow bridges leading out from this and two other openings to the center, where a platform stands. On that platform...a golem of black metal, adamantine, covered in spikes.

Cho lets out a soft whistle.
Damien
 player, 17 posts
Sun 19 Apr 2020
at 03:38
On the Crater's Edge
"All right! This is what I'm talking about!" Damien cheers at the sight of the massive adamantine golem. "This might be worth our time!" He steps out from the door and off the bridge and flies out into the open air, summoning elemental power in his hands before launching twin bolts of energy, one lightning and one acid, at the golem.
GM
 GM, 76 posts
Thu 30 Apr 2020
at 18:05
On the Crater's Edge
The potent magical blasts hit the enormous construct...and simply wash over it, leaving it without even a scuff mark.

"Golems are immune to magic," Cho says helpfully but slightly too late. "Anything that tries to affect them directly will just bounce off."

And her words are accurate. Damien throws spell after spell, filling the room with flame and fury, and the adamantine golem stands motionless in the center of the chamber. Even his tsunamis barely rock it on its heels. But they do finally get its attention. It stands, and turns, and begins moving towards the pair.

Cho taps her axe's haft with one finger - a familiar nervous tic. "I think we might need to come back with a better plan," she says reluctantly. "Teleport us out?"