[Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:25 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


Lights flared, as we rounded the bend in the corridor, following the source of the echoes. Our shadows were painted in the stark blue-black of moonlight, only to bob and shift, a deeper black edged in red as a green-gold light bloomed from another angle, further in the room. Between the two, a third light washed out our shadows in the sickly violet-red of the moon eclipsed.

A broad, low-ceilinged burial chamber opened before us, but bearing stone sarcophagi rather than the usual simple slabs marking graves along the flooring. A large clear area at the room's center might have once held an altar of some sort, but it’s stone lay scattered about the room, the stones blackened and still smoking.

Aurora and the false-Silva danced amidst the rubble, trading blows, the flames lining their weapons bursting into showers of light and sparks with each contact. Aurora’s dagger was wreathed in green-gold flames, and she’d conjured a diamond-shaped wedge of solid flames the same color over the length of her other forearm. It spat a gout of green sparks as Gilliam’s longknife rasped across its surface, trailing streamers of oily blacklight edged in the seething red.
The eyes of the siren Bargle had named Jaelle matched that reddish light. She reached forth with her free hand, the nails of that hand grown long and black, but Aurora batted the blow aside with the flat of the dagger’s blade.

The siren screamed, a grating, gravelly howl, her palm charred and blistered.

“Not that one, fool!” Jaelle rasped. “I said third from the left!”

In the shadows behind the battle, Bargle leapt away from one of the sarcophagi, his hooked nose barely a finger’s breadth away from the blue flames that washed from the air just in front of him.

In the backlight of the flames, the air rippled, showing flashes of white and silver and gleaming golden hair before disappearing.

Bargle swiped a shortsword across the lid of the sarcophagus, but it whistled through empty air. He turned a circle, his dark eyes darting this way and that.
“Ixion burn you, you little witch!”

Jaelle ducked under a vicious golden slash, drove her shoulder into Aurora’s chest, sending the shrike staggering. Burning red eyes turned towards the bard.

“Must I do everything for you?” She drew a deep breath, and the grating rasp of the demon’s voice smoothed into a cool, silvery note, ringing from her throat.

Atop the sarcophagus to which the demon had directed Bargle, the air rippled, then fell away from Silva, who crouched at low defense upon the lid.

She blinked, glancing down at the black dragonstone on her wrist, which had gone dark.

Bargle lunged with a snarl, the sword held in two hands before him.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:43 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...



Silva tried to turn with the strike, bringing her left arm up, but the red gem’s glimmer died as Jaelle changed the pitch of her note.

There was a grating of steel on stone as the siren and bard toppled from the sarcophagus. Gold and red light flashed across streaks of blood trailing from the lid.

Seven voices lifted in a cry of despair, and the girls ducked and twisted away from our grasp, charging across the chamber.

Jaelle’s note trailed into shrill laughter, but it was brought up short as Aurora slammed into the demon-infused siren with the fiery golden shield, bringing the edge of it up under the pale chin. Jaelle crashed backwards, amidst the broken stump of stone that was all that was left of the altar.

Ana gave a sharp, sibilant command in Alphatian, bringing the haft of her scythe down on the stones. A silvery tone rang forth, sweeping across the room. The demon howled, turning and thrashing her feet as the sound washed over her, throwing soot-streaked arms up to shield red-rimmed eyes from the silver light that shone from the scythe’s blade.

I ran after the girls, the two weavers steps behind me. While the Power of the blonde weaver still felt like an icy prickling over the nape of my neck, I did not feel the secondary tingling of Macha’s Power. Or rather, I did not feel it upon my skin. I felt her feeling of it, a summer-like warmth radiating from her middle, concentrated just below her stomach. Ghostlike flickers of colors and threads danced at the corners of my vision: Dim red tangles lingered against the the stone of the floor and sarcophagi. Each movement of the stale, damp air sent a surge of blue-green threads across my vision. All around us, deep browns and blacks emphasized the strongest points of the stone in which we were cradled. And bright white threads burned at the core of each of my companions, brightest in the girls racing ahead of me.

Jaelle’s threads were frayed, tangled up in something… not black, just… not there. Aurora’s were twined with threads of gleaming gold. I had a feeling, could I see Silva with this strange new sight, she would likewise be twinned with silvery threading.

The girls’ battle against the bard did not go as it had in the Black Woods. Their initial rush was enough to drive him away from the siren, but he was still armed, and came dangerously close to wounding several of the girls with a wide, low slash of his short sword.

But the girls had spread out around him, a pack of small, blonde, blue-eyed wolves, and he could not focus his efforts on any one of them.

I saw blue threads brighten around the bard, felt the icy prickle of the blonde weaver’s Power increase, watched the threads weave about Bargle’s wrist as he made to strike at one of the girls. His snarl briefly tipped into a look of surprise as he pulled himself off balance, the momentum in his swing dragged to a crawl.

Jasna darted under the blade, throwing her hip against the man’s long leg, bringing her knee up into his.

It was almost amusing, watching him fall towards the floor, his movement brought short as his arm — still bound in spinning blue threads of power — stayed where it was. Only after his shoulder gave a ‘pop’ did the threads dissolve.

As in the Black Woods, girls piled atop him, pinning him at shoulders and knees and elbow.

Behind us, Aurora and Jaelle continued their battle. While Aurora outmatched her twin in strength of arms, the demon-infused siren had the advantage of her song, which she sang and hummed, either diminishing Aurora’s use of the dragonstones, or enhancing her own attacks.

Silva’s thick, bubbling cough was nearly lost in the din of battles. Her eyes did not leave her sister, and it was clear she wanted to sing, but she could not draw more than the sharpest of gasps for breath. Her entire left side was soaked in blood, though the pool in which she lay was surprisingly small.

Macha’s lay a hand across the siren’s breast, and the summer’s warmth brightened through the connection to her collar. Her dreamy expression crumpled to one of worry. Fear.

“The sword has punctured her lung. She drowns in her own blood.”

I lowered my hands over the wound, reaching out with my magic, coaxing the fading spark of life to light. Weak, fitful, it guttered. I poured more energy into the spell.

“It will not take,” I muttered. “As if—“

“See,” Macha’s said.

I squinted, and the threads appeared again in my vision. Silva’s thread of light was dim, and somehow… shortened. My own magic, a dance of white lights, sparkled about a length of threads that were not there. And the threads shortened as I watched.

“What does this mean?” I asked.

Macha’s ignored me. Her brow furrowed deeper, the warmth flared, painfully so. Threads of bright white energy manifested from nowhere that I could see, coursed around her hands before her fingers could work them into a delicate and complex pattern over the bloody froth that seeped from Silva’s side.

In my enhanced vision, Macha’s weaving and the threads of Silva’s life energies danced a tug-of-war.

The harder Macha’s pulled, the hotter her power burned.
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:15 am

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


“What are you doing?”

The blonde weaver’s question came like a slap across the face. Had I not been connected to Macha’s, she no doubt would have done just such a thing. She stood over us, her Power pressing down upon me as Macha’s burned white-hot inside of me. The blonde weaver’s eyes blazed nearly as hot.

She knelt, reached over Silva and laced her fingers with those of the other weaver, her attention refocusing on the task at hand.

It was like a wave of frigid water from the Northern Sea rushed through me. The intensity of Macha’s Power was suddenly quenched, only to brighten again, growing even brighter, but without the fiery burning from moments ago. It felt different, as well, a globe with two centers, rather than one, but still perfectly balanced.

Silva shuddered, gasped, her back arching.

“Turn her, Thorn. Quickly!”

I eased the siren onto her right side as gently as I could. I felt her convulse, and she began to cough, a thick, wet sound.

I pressed my hand to the girl’s left side, my hand slipping on the blood before another shuddering breath sealed my hand against the terrible wound. Warm blood pulsed against my fingers with each wrenching cough.

Through the warmth of the bracelet’s link, I felt a flutter ripple through the fabric of the weavers’ magic. Macha’s despaired.

“It is not enough,” she murmured.


“Go, I will hold her.”

Ana stood outside a circle of silvery powder. Jaelle cowered within, curled into a ball beneath the scythe’s silver light.

Aurora dashed towards her fallen sister, the shield dissolving in a trail of green-yellow embers.

“What has he done?” She went to her knees, looking over Silva’s pale form. Her expression mirrored that of Macha’s as she saw the blood, still bubbling up from between my fingers.

Aurora shook her head. “No, no, not here, sister. Not here, of all places.” Her small hands pressed against mine, trembling, and the golden veins within the stones on her gauntlets flickered to light.

Silva thrashed, nearly jerking away from my hold over her wound. Her cry of pain choked off as she began to cough. I pressed harder, my hand slipping as fresh blood forced its way through my fingers. Aurora backed away, the dragonstones’ light dying.

She turned, her eyed blazing as she strode over to the bard. The girls cowered away from the shrike’s anger, but did not leave their places pinning Bargle to the floor.

He looked up at Aurora with a smirk.

She ignored it, stooping to pick up the short sword from where he’d dropped it.

“Be careful you don’t cut yourself on that,” the bard said. “We wouldn’t want you to end up like your sister.”

Aurora turned the sword this way and that, peering down the length of the blade. It gleamed with an oddly reddish cast. Nearly half the length of it was blackened with Silva’s blood.

“What is this?” she asked.

Bargle chuckled.

“What is it?” the shrike shouted. She brought the sword up, and the girls screamed, two of them dashing away from their places on the bard’s shoulder and arm.

The bard merely smiled his smug, oily smile.

“A test,” he said. His dark eyes shifted to look past Aurora, to regard her sister, who still struggled beneath my hands. “One that I shall pass, and she will fail.”
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Sat Dec 24, 2011 1:22 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


“Mistress Aurora, I have heard it called ‘red steel.’” The girl sitting on Bargle’s leg looked up at the shrike, though her head was bowed. I recognized her as one of the girls who’d helped us slip past the Black Eagle’s guards at the Hook and Hatchet in Threshold. Fiala? Anya?

Aurora turned, and, seeing the girl flinch, lowered her arm, giving the sword an unconscious spin around her wrist as she grounded the point a good distance from her foot.

“Tell me more,” the shrike said. After the briefest of pauses, she added a “please.”

The girl shrugged. “A dark-skinned man had a thin sword made of that same metal. All he would say was that he traded a fortune for it in Slagovich… wherever that is.”

“To the west,” I said. “Past the Great Wastes, on the Gulf of Hule. Demarra has spoken of it, a few times. Not highly. ‘A hive of scum and villainy’ were her exact words.”

“Father did not serve the man more than one drink,” the girl said.

“It still does not explain how you came to possess such a weapon.” Aurora had turned her eyes back to Bargle.

“It was a gift from my Lord, the Baron,” he said. “One of the first made by that new smith of his. Not bad work. Even with a mangled hand and one eye, a dwarf can still out-smith the rest of the baron's armorers.”
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Sun Dec 25, 2011 11:23 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


Katarin approached, hesitantly, kneeling beside me. She did not shy away at the blood that soaked through her dress.

“I think…” she began, and then drew a deeper breath. She placed one hand over mine, pressing down harder. Silva gave a sharp gasp, but Katarin kept the heavy pressure over my hand as I tried to ease up.

She put her other hand over the weavers’ linked hands, bit her lip, then let go her pent up breath.

Dizziness roiled through me again as the balance of the weaving shifted, tipping to balance on three points. Another buzzing itch shivered across my spine, a sudden, spiky burr.

“Gently,” the blonde weaver said. “There is no need to throttle it so.”

Katarin blushed, bowing her head slightly. She squinted, and the icy prickling lessened. Her smile was brief, before her expression went stern. I felt her presence mingling with the webwork of glowing white threads. The two weavers gasped, their power surging as the pattern began to unravel.

“Gone and made a right mess of it,” she muttered, shaking her head. She glanced over at the two weavers, blushing again. “It was a good start! It’s just…”

“Macha’s and I know only the very basic elements of healing,” the blonde weaver said.

“The very basics,” Katarin muttered, frowning. More of the pattern of threads came apart.

“Perhaps we could teach each other?” Macha’s suggested. I felt a distant pang of injured pride at the girl’s barb.

“Watch,” Katarin said. The strands began to shift, and she pulled in threads of blue and red and brown.


I became little more than a chiurgeon’s orderly, holding Silva down as she thrashed under Katarin’s careful manipulation of the weaving magic. At one point, the wound grew so hot the blood gave off a red-tinged steam.

Aurora made to approach at Silva’s first stirring, but the other girls clutched at the shrike’s gown.

“She is as our sister. We would never hurt her.”

The golden-eyed twin turned her attention back to Bargle.

“You will follow her, if she dies,” the shrike whispered.

He merely smirked up at her. “Honestly, I did not mean for her to bleed quite so much. A few drops was all I needed.”

The sarcophagus lid nearest us gave a shudder, and then another. Dust and grit showered down over the weavers and I as the stone slab began to grate aside, grinding towards us.
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:26 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


Gilliam and Varis dashed around us, catching the edge of stone, trying to heave it back into position.

Their boots began to slide across the flooring stones.

“This isn’t working,” Varis gasped, glancing down at us.

“We cannot move her,” Katarin said.

“New plan,” Gilliam said. He ducked aside, sweeping up my staff. He jammed it into the crumbling sealing material between the sarcophagus and its lid, and again until it seated itself.

“Heave!” he called, and threw his shoulders against the length of the staff.

The slab began to tip, and Varis set his shoulder against its leading edge, his face reddening as his leg muscles bunched.

The stone tipped further, crashing down into the sarcophagus, raising a choking cloud of dust. The two warriors stumbled back, coughing and choking, waving at the air before them.

“I think—“ Gilliam wheezed, “that took care of whatever wanted to pay us a visit.”

The words were not even out of the warrior’s mouth before the grinding of several more lids filled the chamber.


The room shook with each that lid smashed to the ground, raising an ever-growing cloud of dust and powdered rock. The girls gave short cries, dashing away from their places upon the bard as one of the slabs shattered close by. They circled around where we worked to keep Silva alive, hands linked, facing outward.

Aurora stood her ground, placing herself between the nearest of the sarcophagi and her sister, merely turning her face away from the flying chips and shards of stone. Bargle scrabbled backwards, into the cloud raised by the falling stone.

But the shrike was not watching his progress. Something dark loomed upward from the faint outline of the stone coffin. Broad across the shoulders, an ill-defined head… whatever it was, it was not human.

“Wrap’d in his cloak, red with the blood of the sons of Traldar
Did the Queen decree Flaghr be entombed midst those he had slain
That they might wait, and watch, and rise to defend the stone
at the maiden’s bidding on the day the Beast Man king should walk again.”


Petra whispered the verse, but small as she was, standing nearly next to me, her words came clearly to my ears in the hush that followed the last of the falling sarcophagus lids.

“That was just in the Song to keep children from being naughty,” Jasna whispered. Tense though her voice was, it did not waver.

“No, it was a warning,” Aurora said.

“Foreseen in Zirchev’s Stone, as was Halav’s death. I never thought to be here to see that day, though,” I said.

“I never liked that verse,” Varis growled. He glanced over at us, briefly, and then shifted, catching sight of another shadow rising amidst the swirling dust.

“That doesn’t look like one on our side, either,” Gilliam said.

"The maiden seems closer to joining the dead rather than bidding them to rise." Bargle's voice trailed into a wheezing chuckle.
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:30 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


“Do not look to me,” Aurora said. “I will need all of my magic for defense.”

“These things were bested with bronze,” Gilliam said. “What chance do they have against elven steel?”

The figures lurched forward, clear of the obscuring dust. Ana’s silver light fell age-blackened bone and metal, the hunched posture and elongated skull protruding from an iron-banded leather helm making it clear that they were gnolls. But these stood a good head and shoulders taller than even the black-pelted brutes we’d faced just north of Verge.

Aurora hissed as the skeletons raised weapons. They looked to be bars of blackened metal, but it became clear as the light fell on them that they were ancient, squared-off swords. Iron swords that, coupled with the elongated, emaciated arms had a reach greater than the girl’s height. With only the bejeweled dagger, she would be terribly exposed in melee.

“Ana?” Varis asked.

The cleric shook her head. “Save your worry for them,” she said. “They cannot cross the silver threshold.”

Indeed, the skeletal figures completely ignored Ana and her captive. The deep blackness of their hollow eye sockets focused on Varis, Gilliam, and Aurora.


The two warriors closed, moving to flank their opponent. Its bony head swiveled, then disregarded Gilliam as he worked his way around the thing’s unarmed side. It made several clumsy swipes at Varis, but he dodged the first, sending the second grating off the length of his sword, throwing his own weight into his blade. But the hulking skeleton would not be tipped off balance so easily.

Gilliam leapt with a triumphant cry at the huge opening in the thing’s defenses, and he brought the long knife down where the heel tendons would have been on a living opponent. Rather than slice, though, he struck blade-downward, intent on separating the thing’s ankle joint.

His plan was only half-successful: he managed to wedge the knife’s length between the bones, but it merely turned, a the skeletal hand sweeping down to cuff Gilliam hard across the jaw, sending him reeling.

Varis took that opening, striking upward with an underhanded cut, aiming for the gap between the thing’s elbow and where the iron greaves ended. His sword clanged hard off the bone, and he barked a curse.

“It’s like striking iron!” he huffed, giving his sword a turn to loosen his wrist.


Even with her dagger aflame, Aurora was having no better luck. Her only advantage was her size and speed against the slow, jerky movements of her skeletal opponent. The dagger grated against bone, screeched against iron, the green-gold flames guttering and dying when they splashed against the age-crusted armor.

The dagger’s edge erupted in flares of green and gold as Aurora turned aside blows from the thing’s iron sword. But she lost ground, the weight and power behind the attacks causing her to shuffle back a step at a time to divert some of the energy. If the thing managed to make contact, it would shear the girl in half.



Dizziness swept over me, coupled with a hard shiver, and I sat back, my hands slipping away from Silva. Katarin had taken my place, and she gave me a reassuring nod.

“The two of them can shoulder the burden,” Macha’s said. “Others need our strength.”

Images flickered through my mind, thoughts not my own.

“It could work, yes?” Macha’s asked. “Macha used a similar tactic against the metal-clad horsemen.”

“Your shepherd was not a very nice man,” I said.

“None of them are,” Macha’s said. My stomach turned at the depth of the wave of despair bubbling up through the strange collar-and-lead connection.
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:34 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


There came a muted clang of metal on metal, and then a harder ring of iron on stone as Aurora brought her dagger up along the glowing line of heated metal, shearing the greave in half as though it were butter. She ducked and scrambled under the thing’s clumsy swing.

The gnoll skeleton did not look back, but instead took a step towards the circle of girls surrounding Silva. Joined hands tightened, and eyes went wide, but the girls did not cower or give ground.

Fire seemed to be the only thing to get the creature’s attention, so I focused the rune’s magic in my hands, hurling two globes of flame straight at the center of its back.

They were nothing more than small bursts of flame against the armor, but it was enough to divert the thing’s attention. Aurora danced around it, striking twice at its knees, each time the blade’s greenish-gold flames washing over the bones with little effect.

She ducked another wide swing of its iron sword, and then it bent, bony jaws snapping closed over the shrike’s cloak. It gave a twist of its neck, sending the girl skidding into the slowly-settling dust cloud on the other side of the chamber.

I threw another handful of flames at the skeleton, catching it full in the bony face, and it stumbled back, waving at the lingering traces of flame along its snout.

It ducked towards us, jaws snapping. But Macha’s was expecting it to do just that, and she spread her hands before the thing’s jaws, her fingers curling in a complex pattern.

Heat bloomed in the space between her hands, a swirling, churning ball of flame growing, spun of pure threads of Energy. It burned hotter than anything I could conjure with the rune, made of the scraps of power drifting off the Sphere itself. Not even the size of a clenched fist, I wondered at how much power was in the much larger spheres she’d thrown at the dark beasts in the depths beneath the Lost Valley.

She tugged her hands apart, and I saw the threads constraining the sphere of flame snap, timed perfectly to send it streaking into the thing’s open maw.

A dull roar shook the chamber, mixed with a grating howl. The skeleton toppled on its side, the bones twitching and shaking before collapsing under the weight of the heavy iron armor.

A rush of elation sang through the bracelet, and she turned, eyes and smile brighter even than when she held her power.



We did not have more than that moment to savor our victory. Varis gave a shout, going down on one knee under the weight of the other skeleton’s overhand strike.

The girls screamed as the thing’s next strike missed, slicing the space just above where Varis had thrown himself flat on the ground, and plowed through the stone sarcophagus next to the group.

I shouted, expecting the worst, but watched chunks of stone and blackened bone bounce and spin away from a curving of the air surrounding the girls.

The blonde weaver had separated her hands from Katarin’s, her face lined with strain as she held the shield of air in place against the rain of stone.

One of the stones gave a reddish spark as it careened off the barrier, and as it tumbled across the room, lights glimmered off facets, not roughened edges.
It bounced, coming to a stop before a pair of travel-worn boots.

Bargle stooped, picking up the stone, which was large enough to fit comfortably in the palm of his hand. He blew on it, wiping dust and grime from its surface, polishing it against his brown tunic.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:18 am

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


“One down, two to go,” he said. He drew two fingers across the longest facet of the stone, and a sheet of flame burst away from either side, racing towards the far walls of the chamber.

Ana leapt away at the last second, as the flames coursed through her silver barrier. The silvery light winked out, and she stumbled, coughing and batting at the smoking, glowing ends of her long hair.

Bargle and Jaelle were both lost behind the red-gold wall of fire.

The gnoll twisted, sword poised to hammer again against the blonde weaver’s dome of air. It lifted its muzzle, bony jaw opening up in what probably would have been a howl, had it an actual throat, and it lumbered away, iron plates clanking as it charged towards the flames. It did not slow, plunging through the curtain. In the fraction of a moment the fire parted, I saw a flash of brown cloak and golden hair: Bargle had the demon-infused siren over his shoulder, and ran for the doorway at the far side of the room.

“We have to go after them!” Varis wheezed. He was leaning heavily over his knees.

“The only place we’re going is up,” Ana said, her breath coming in short gasps.

“But he—“ the warrior protested.

“The flames are consuming most of our air,” the blonde weaver said. “In a matter of minutes, what little is left will be poisonous.”

The girls moved quickly, fashioning a stretcher from their cloaks held tight between them. Katarin stayed by Silva’s side, her hand clasped with that of the unconscious siren. Silva breathed on her own, but they were short gasps, and her color did not look at all good.

Gilliam stood at another doorway, motioning us over. He’d sheathed Bargle’s short sword at his waist, and Aurora stood on the other side of the doorway, giving the man a dark look. It was apparent they’d been arguing, but they shelved their disagreement at our approach.

“A fine lot of good you were,” I heard Jasna say to the Black Eagle’s guards, who brought up the rear of our column. “Aren’t guards supposed to, oh… I don’t know… keep people from getting hurt?”

“We’re just here to make sure you don’t escape the Black Eagle’s justice,” the bigger one said. “Nobody said a thing about fighting somebody else’s fights.”

“If I wasn’t holding this stretcher, I’d show you a fight,” Jasna muttered.

The guard laughed, but it sounded a bit forced.



I grew dizzy as we reached the middle of the staircase, but after a few more steps, the air lost its iron-like smoky tang. The breeze that brushed through my hair was cool, and came from the top of the stairs, rather than the hot rustle from below.

“Hold,” Aurora said, as we came to a small rectangular chamber. It was lined with long stone work surfaces, the walls engraved with intricate glyphics and diagrams. Two low stone altars stood roughly equidistant from each other to each side of the wide doorways.

Torchlight bobbed in the darkness beyond the far door, several torches, and the clatter-jangle of metal and chain armor rang closer, along with the tromp of many booted feet.

“Back!” she called, motioning us to head back down the stairs. The dagger burst to light in her hand, and the two red stones about her wrists began to smolder.

Gilliam and Varis made to press forward, but she motioned them back as well. “Stay with Silva. I will cut a path through.”

I felt a shiver brush along my spine, followed by the awareness of Macha’s warmth as the two weavers opened their connections to the Spheres. I glanced around the room. The stone around me had been carved, crafted. Useless, the living stone too far to easily grasp. I would have to make do with the fire from the approaching guards’ torches, then.

“Why did we stop? What’s going on up there?”

More than one girl voiced complaints, amidst several pleas to get to the surface as quickly as possible.

“Be ready,” Aurora hissed down at us. She eased into a middle guard position, but shifted her balance to the tips of her toes, readying to charge.

The torches bobbed closer, the echoing jingle of armor making it impossible to tell just how many approached.

They grew closer, torchlight shining off brightly polished helms and breastplates. Golden shoulder clasps gleamed bright in the yellowed light. Good pitch torches. Even gaps in the boots’ cadences, picked out even among the echoes. Deeply colored cloaks, a dark color, but not black. Regular angles on the fronts of the helms, upright, not slanted.

“Aurora, wait! These are not—“ I began.

Gilliam and Varis pushed past me, even as the shrike took her first running step.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:41 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...

The ring of metal on metal seemed unnaturally loud in the relatively cramped confines of the funerary chamber.

Gray-brown and deep blue cloaks spun, the green-gold light of Aurora’s flames shone along the length of highly-polished steel. Golden hair, too, spun as the shrike clashed with the first of the figures through the doorway.

Blades sang as they slid apart, the taller figure driving Aurora back. They circled each other, each in a low guard.

“M’lady—“ one of the men at the opposite doorway said.

“Not now, Desmond!”

Aurora sprang as the blue-cloaked figure briefly glanced aside at her comrade.

“Petra’s garters, girl, is this how you welcome reinforcements?” The words came at a wheeze as the gleaming long sword barely turned aside the shrike’s dagger. A deep blue leather glove reached up and tipped the helmet back.

“Shrike, stand down! She is an ally!” Varis snapped.

Aurora skipped backwards, still at guard. Between gulps of breath, she glanced at the blue-cloaked figures in the doorway, Varis, and her opponent, who breathed even heavier, shaking her swordarm.

“Aleena,” Gilliam said with a smile. “What’s a girl like you doing in a crypt like this?”
------------------------
Where Bargle appears, Aleena is never far behind ;)
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:42 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


Aleena sheathed her sword with a shaking hand, rotating her shoulder after the blade slid home. “I should have known you lot would be tangled up in this.”

“It’s good to see you as well,” Varis said with a nod.

“Step aside,” the knight of the Griffon said. “Bargle slips further from my grasp the longer you stand in my way.”

“It’s a maze down there,” Gilliam said. “You’d need the whole Grand Duke’s army to search those catacombs, and chances are he’s already found another hole to slither out of.”

"You saw him, then?"

Gilliam nodded. "Bloodied his nose for you."

"But he is not among you?"

Gilliam shook his head.

“So you let him escape.”

“Hold, now, we didn’t let him do anything,” Varis said.

Aleena sighed. “Step aside. We can at least ensure that he didn’t get away with the stone.”

She saw the glances Varis, Gilliam and Aurora exchanged.

“You let him escape with the stone?”

This time, it was actually a question, voiced more out of disbelief than uncertainty.

Gilliam shrugged. “Not to worry. A stone that size… He’ll have a hard time fencing something like that.”

Aleena’s back straightened, even as her cheeks began to redden. Her gloves creaked as she balled both hands into fists.

“That was the Eye of Traldar!” she shouted. She took several deep breaths, closed her eyes, bowing her head. She lifted it after several steady breaths, her expression calm, composed.

“Guards, take them into custody. Full irons and collars. And watch out for that one.” She pointed towards Aurora. “She may look small, but she hits like an ogre.”
Last edited by RobJN on Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:19 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


Varis gripped Aurora’s shoulder. “Stand down. These are Knights of the Order of the Griffon. They are Silva’s best chance for aid.”

The shrike let out a slow breath, and turned the dagger, offering it hilt-first to the armsman who collected our weapons. Having seen the notches it put in Aleena’s sword, he held the thing in two fingers before dropping it into the sack.

He took a half step back as Aurora raised her hands, but she just glared at him as she removed the golden tiara. Golden threads seemed to unravel from her hair, but it could have been a trick of the torchlight. She dropped the circlet into the sack.

“The vambraces, too.”

“That would be… unwise,” the shrike said.

The soldier glanced over at another, the taller man who’d tried to speak up earlier. He clanked over, leaning down to meet Aurora’s eyes.

“Come now, little one. Let’s get those pretty baubles off.”

The golden veins came alive in the two red stones as his hands drew nearer the bracers. He jerked his fingers back as the leather of his gloves sizzled, reaching for his sword.

“I told you it was unwise,” Aurora said, her tone like that of a stern parent rebuking a child. Her gaze did not waver, not even to glance away as he went for the blade. “Draw your sword and I will activate the black.”

“You do not address a Knight of the Griffon in such a manner, you little w--“

“Desmond!”

He straightened at Aleena’s call.

“M’lady, this child---“

“Do not make the mistake of treating her as you would a child. Did you not hear a word my uncle said? Do you want her wild magic running rampant through the Duchy?”

“This ‘child,’” Aurora said, giving the knight Desmond a disdainful glance before turning her attention to Aleena, “humbly begs your aid in restoring her sister to health.”

Aleena frowned. “Sister? Then you are not—”

I beckoned for the girls behind us to come forward.

There was a stir among the soldiers as the group came into view. More than one hand went to a sword hilt, Desmond’s included.

“Two of them?”

“Twins?”

“This wasn’t in the baron’s briefing.”

“Weavers,” the knight hissed. “Openly channeling in defiance of the Grand Duke’s —“

“Oh, stuff it,” Aleena said, rolling her eyes at the man’s outburst.

“I like it no better than you do,” Aurora told the knight. “But their magic is the only thing keeping her alive. Unless you would do better, you will not interfere.”

“M’lady Halaran,” the knight sputtered, “did you hear that? She is our prisoner and yet she gives us orders, as if—“

“Did I not tell you to stuff it, Desmond?”

His back straightened, and he drew a breath, but Aleena raised a hand.

“How do you think Lady Adriana will react when I tell her you ordered this poor girl’s — this poor child’s— death?”

The knight paled, then blushed. He turned, waving a hand and barking orders.

“You four, with me. The sooner we get her to the surface, the sooner we get these weavers under iron.”

The four guards fell in around the girls, the two weavers, and myself.

Desmond frowned. “Where do you think you’re going, druid?”

I lifted my left wrist, letting the lead dangle. He glanced at it, following its length up to the collar around Macha’s neck. His gaze flickered over towards Aleena.

“And what do you make of this?” he asked her.

“Uncle Sherlane was right,” she said, her eyes sparkling in the torchlight. “These are indeed interesting times.”
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:26 pm

Interesting times, indeed.

Thorn's Chronicle is now just over three years old, the first installment being timestamped on my systems here November 1st, 2008. Wow. I didn't expect it to keep... going like it does. :o

Another year here in the Real World turns over, and since people seem to like making resolutions and setting goals, I'd like to get some thoughts on where I'd like to be by the end of this year.

I still need to finish turning over the rules for Alphatian and Glantrian magic, and how the changes to the magic systems affect those two societies. Glantri, in particular, faces a very large scale overhaul, and will probably be the most heavily changed nation. While I certainly have no plans to rewrite Gaz 3, I do need to think through at least some of the snarls, as agents of Glantri are out and about in the Known World, and will be causing trouble for Thorn & company.

:arrow: TC1 needs further fleshing out and polishing -- The Nithian Catacombs still need wandering monsters, set dressing. The map is quite extensive, and I haven't covered but a third of it, I think, if even that much.

:?: TC2 and -3 need further plotting. Thus far, all I've got are titles and general ideas of what is going to be going on.

:idea: Skothar needs to be examined across all the various ages of history, from Uther's day to present. The surface remnants of the Empire of Blackmoor, relics from the Afridhi and Beast Man Wars need to be peppered about, and what lies beyond the Fusion Boundary needs detailing. Projects Valkyrie and Sonata need to be drafted in full and finalized from my scattered notes, as do the finer points of the workings of Andahar's Engine. Thankfully, the lore of Thorn's World That Was are being explored with some help from Havard's Blackmoor Blog.

The second arc is near its end, and come the spring, I'll be starting in on the third arc, Masks of the Dreaming Night. Expect Thorn to delve into the further mysteries surrounding the twin Lost Daughters, the fate of Durin, as well as facing the consequences of the bond forged by his connection to the Glantrian girl known as "Macha's." Bargle, Jaelle, Golithar and Jolenta are still loose in the world, as is a host of bloodstone-laced jewelry....

That is, if ya'll want me to keep working on this :oops:
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:32 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


We emerged from the funerary chamber into bustling chaos. Khoronus’ temple had been converted to a field hospital: row upon row of cots and blankets lined the ancient stones of the temple’s main floor. Great swathes of canvas were strung between the pillars. Clerics wearing the twelve-pointed star of the Church of Karameikos moved back and forth among row after row of wounded. Some were still, and required little more than an adjusting of blankets. Others thrashed and wailed, held down by laymen while the blue-robed priests of Chardastes did what they could for the terrible burns. The air was thick with the smells of their poultices, but it still did nothing to cover up the sickly smell of burnt flesh.

“What happened here?” I asked the question, as the girls stood, frozen in shock.

“Magic and death,” the knight Desmond said. At his urging, we moved along the periphery of the great hall, towards the largest knot of blue-robes. The girls quickly averted their eyes as we passed bed after bed of bandaged victims. None of them rested peacefully.

As we approached, one of the clerics looked up from washing her hands. Middle aged, her hair trailing from its bindings, she heaved a sigh, but her expression changed when she saw it was not another burn victim.

“Here, now, set her down quickly. Gently. That’s it,” the woman directed, as the girls maneuvered their makeshift stretcher towards a low stone slab. She smiled at the girls. “It’s all right. You children go and rest now. Your friend is in Chardastes’ care now.”

Rather than retreat or find a place to sit along the walls out of the way, the girls hurried over to where the lay clerics were busy cutting bandages and grinding herbs.

Katarin and the two weavers only reluctantly released their hold on the powers that had been keeping Silva alive. It was only after the woman began her chant that the warmth of their combined powers faded from my awareness, the tingling itch easing from the nape of my neck.

Again, I felt a surge of exhaustion wash into me through the bracelet. As quickly as it came, so did it disappear, and I was left with the usual aches of a day’s long journey. But Macha’s shoulders still slumped, and her eyes held the glaze of one gone too long without sleep or sustenance. Katarin, I noticed, leaned heavily on the blond weaver’s arm, the taller girl patting the younger’s shoulder, murmuring something.

Lay clerics approached us, bearing steaming towels and bowls, directing us towards a canvased off section where we could refresh ourselves.

We found four guards in blue and white tabards waiting as we emerged. Each bore a pair of heavy iron manacles.

“If you please, ladies,” one of them said, jangling the chains. “And gentleman,” he added, giving me a nod.

The two weavers and I extended our arms, but Katarin folded hers, tucking them tight against herself.

“Young lady,” the guard nearest her said, his voice pained. “Please—“

“I will not,” she said. “There are people here who need help. I can help. I cannot do that if you put those on me.”

“Young lady, you are—“

“I am a Wisdom’s daughter, very nearly a full fledged healer in my own right. Some of these people are my townfolk and neighbors and I will help them.” She stamped her foot, and I felt two icy bursts scatter down my spine, and then there was but one shiver.

Katarin stood stock still, her eyes wide, her face a mix of worry and confusion. The guard stepped forward and wrestled her hands into the cuffs, bolting them shut with a vicious twist.

The girl glanced over at the blonde weaver. “What happened? He should have been held still! Why didn’t it work?”

“The weave you were about to throw at that man would have taken his head off, not bound him in place.”

Katarin paled. “I didn’t—“ She glanced over at the soldier, who was just as pale behind his helmet. “I wouldn’t—“

“You would have,” the blonde weaver said, her voice was not the least bit gentle. “Had I not held your power behind a shield, this man would be dead, and likely these others would have slain us all as a result of your childishness. A weaver never uses her power in anger, no matter how right she may think she is. It is only used to harm another as the very last defense of the weaver’s own life, that of her Warder, or those unable to do help themselves.

“Your newfound power is not some toy to take out and play with whenever you please. It is a tool, like a sewing needle. Or a sword,” the weaver said, glancing at those hanging at the waists of our guards. “You must learn the difference between the two, and how to handle each before you go charging about waving them around.”
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Tue Jan 03, 2012 3:01 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


“She is lucky,” Macha’s said, as we sat along the temple’s rear wall, under guard. “I had no such guide, when I came into my power. Not until—” She swallowed, glancing away, blinking. I felt the ripple of shame and disgust through the bracelet, gone as soon as it surfaced.

My mother and then the druids of Radlebb had overseen my training. It took nearly a year just to be able to keep the focus to control a single candle’s flame. I could not imagine learning to control fire magic on my own. Not knowing what — if anything — I could say to comfort her, I made do with reaching over and laying my hand over hers, which she held clasped over her knees.

A tingle of surprise shivered up my arm, followed by a warmth not unlike how it felt when she held her power ready. The feeling vanished at my somewhat startled intake of breath.

“We should sleep,” the weaver said.

The night was not getting any younger. Above us, through the gaps in the white canvas tarps, the Chimerids streaked across the sky, amidst a swirling of snowflakes.

I blinked. Snowflakes, when the night was clear?

But weariness overcame curiosity, and I drifted off to sleep, my back against the stones of Khoronus’ great, ancient temple.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby Gecko » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:53 am

RobJN wrote:That is, if ya'll want me to keep working on this :oops:


does it even need saying? :D

I admit I'm not up 100% with who's who anymore in this, but I'm loving this alternate version of Mystara with Demons and Blackmoor history and especially the diferences you manage to invoke and convey in different magics.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:07 am

Gecko wrote:
RobJN wrote:That is, if ya'll want me to keep working on this :oops:


does it even need saying? :D

I admit I'm not up 100% with who's who anymore in this, but I'm loving this alternate version of Mystara with Demons and Blackmoor history and especially the diferences you manage to invoke and convey in different magics.


To be honest, I find myself having to re-read sections myself :facepalm:

Perhaps a primer is in order? If you can pinpoint a who you need who'd, I can get started on untangling the cast of characters.(This goes for all my Dear Readers. Please, speak up so I know where to dig)

I might even share character concept art I use to "fix" the look of some of the characters in my head.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby Gecko » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:26 am

RobJN wrote:
Gecko wrote:I admit I'm not up 100% with who's who anymore in this, but I'm loving this alternate version of Mystara with Demons and Blackmoor history and especially the diferences you manage to invoke and convey in different magics.


To be honest, I find myself having to re-read sections myself :facepalm:

Perhaps a primer is in order? If you can pinpoint a who you need who'd, I can get started on untangling the cast of characters.(This goes for all my Dear Readers. Please, speak up so I know where to dig)


How many magic users are there in the party now? I get Thorn (Druid), Ana (Alphatian clerical caster), The various shrike/siren's (aurora/sylvia/Jaelle/etc.), but I'm confused about the others-
There's the two collared alphatian weavers who don't talk much whom they resuced from the glantrians, one of whom is now connected to Thorn (I still don't get why she did that, what does the one in the collar get out of the relationship?), but then is there another pair of alphatian weavers also? And one the town girls is an apprentice weaver or some-such?
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:37 am

Gecko wrote:
RobJN wrote:
Gecko wrote:I admit I'm not up 100% with who's who anymore in this, but I'm loving this alternate version of Mystara with Demons and Blackmoor history and especially the diferences you manage to invoke and convey in different magics.


To be honest, I find myself having to re-read sections myself :facepalm:

Perhaps a primer is in order? If you can pinpoint a who you need who'd, I can get started on untangling the cast of characters.(This goes for all my Dear Readers. Please, speak up so I know where to dig)


How many magic users are there in the party now? I get Thorn (Druid), Ana (Alphatian clerical caster), The various shrike/siren's (aurora/sylvia/Jaelle/etc.), but I'm confused about the others-
There's the two collared alphatian weavers who don't talk much whom they resuced from the glantrians, one of whom is now connected to Thorn (I still don't get why she did that, what does the one in the collar get out of the relationship?), but then is there another pair of alphatian weavers also? And one the town girls is an apprentice weaver or some-such?


There are two weavers with the party: the unnamed blonde and the one called "Macha's" who has brown/auburn hair. Both were collared, and survived their shepherds' deaths, so may now freely use their power.

Macha's slipped the bracelet onto Thorn's wrist because he was in danger of being killed by the fireball that tore through the corridor. She is a level higher than Thorn, and her Saving Throw vs. Spells is better than his. The spellbinder allows the wearers to use the better of the pair's Saving Throws interchangeably. His roll would have failed, but because he could use the 6th level Wilder's Save vs Spells instead of his as a 5th level Druid, he succeeded, and only took half damage. Another benefit of the connection is a sharing of hit points: Macha's could have "pushed" hit points across the link to Thorn to keep him alive, if he had failed his improved Saving Throw. (A shepherd can "pull" hit points from his or her collared weaver, but it does not work the other way 'round)

Why did else did she forge the link with him? Peace of mind. Macha's is not used to being "free." She has felt isolated and alone since her shepherd died. Like Thorn, she has an affinity towards fire- and earth-based magics. She has seen him use both, and felt he was the best match for her own powers. Plus, she likes Thorn. :oops:

Katarin's backstory of being a Wisdom's daughter, and being of an age near where she'd be coming into her power, the stress of the past few month's ordeals as well as the shock of a friend of hers being seriously hurt seemed an appropriate trigger for her latent weaving ability to blossom. She exhibits an Affinity for Entropy (not always bad. After all, technically, healing spells are necromantic :P )

Having a secondary healer in the party is always a plus. Katarin's being a complete n00b to weaving gives the blonde weaver something to do. Having been trained at the Tower of Lights before she was captured and collared in Glantri, the blonde weaver can now impart that knowledge to her new novice.

The only other pair of Alphatian weavers we've seen thus far are the Tower instructor Listelle and her assistant, Nevinia, who visited Baron Halaran at Tarnskeep (despite the Grand Duke's forbidding of weavers from the Tower to set foot in his lands).
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby Gecko » Wed Jan 04, 2012 5:18 am

ok, so there is just the one pair, not two pairs. I had only remembered the one pair but the storyline read like there might of been two pairs present. Is Sera/Seraphina (from your website) the same as the one called "Macha's"? If so, why the two names? At first I thought 'Macha' was the name of her former controller, but weren't the two controllers called Jolenta & Golithar?

And Katarin is from Alphatia? I thought she was one of the kidnapped local girls?

I'm presuming that what a "Wisdom's Daughter" is will be explained as the story unfolds.

Will we be seeing more of the Chardastes priests from the second-to-last scene?
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:15 am

Gecko wrote:ok, so there is just the one pair, not two pairs. I had only remembered the one pair but the storyline read like there might of been two pairs present. Is Sera/Seraphina (from your website) the same as the one called "Macha's"? If so, why the two names? At first I thought 'Macha' was the name of her former controller, but weren't the two controllers called Jolenta & Golithar?


Most Glantrian shepherds don't let their collared weavers keep their names. "Macha's" true name is Seraphina (Sera as a shortened nickname), but she was forbidden to refer to herself as such. Over the years, as her shepherd wore down her ego, she simply stopped remembering who she had been.

The blonde weaver had never heard Sera referred to in any other way other than being "Macha's," and so she informed Thorn & company of the closest thing she could think of as a name.

Without the constant compulsion from her former shepherd, the blonde weaver will eventually remember her old name. Teaching Katarin will most likely rebuild the connections to those older memories.

Ah, how could I forget about Golithar and Jolenta? He has been generous with his weaver, allowing her to actually keep her name. Originally a wizard and cleric (If I remember rightly) from B10, I rewrote them into Glantrian mercenaries working closely with the Iron Ring.

If you're getting the idea that most shepherds are cruel and mistreat the weavers in their care... you wouldn't be too far off base. After all, when your sword gets a ding in it, you just hammer it out and resharpen the blade...

Gecko wrote:And Katarin is from Alphatia? I thought she was one of the kidnapped local girls?

Katarin is Traladaran, from Eltan's Spring in northern Karameikos. The other collared weaver, the blonde, has taken the girl under her wing, and will teach her in the methodical tradition of the Alphatians (In game terms, Katarin's character would be considered a Sudsvall Initiate. Had Katarin come to her power back home, chances are she would have to teach herself, and would take the Ciprian Wilder class.)

Gecko wrote:I'm presuming that what a "Wisdom's Daughter" is will be explained as the story unfolds.

This is another "borrowing" I've done from Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Wisdoms sometimes read the weather, do midwifery, oversee foalings, that sort of thing. If she lived in a gingerbread house in the forest, the villagers would call her a witch and be afraid of her. But since she lives in the village among them, the term "Wisdom" is used. ;) I really need to stop reading Terry Pratchett...

Gecko wrote:Will we be seeing more of the Chardastes priests from the second-to-last scene?

Where there is war and disaster, you will find the blue robed priests of Chardastes, to aid the sick and lend comfort to the dying. They are sort of like the Mystaran version of the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. They are pretty much "on the set" for window dressing, hinting at a pretty bad scene in the square outside the temple. Unless there is something about them you'd like me to expand upon?
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby Gecko » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:02 am

RobJN wrote:Most Glantrian shepherds don't let their collared weavers keep their names. "Macha's" true name is Seraphina (Sera as a shortened nickname), but she was forbidden to refer to herself as such. Over the years, as her shepherd wore down her ego, she simply stopped remembering who she had been.

The blonde weaver had never heard Sera referred to in any other way other than being "Macha's," and so she informed Thorn & company of the closest thing she could think of as a name.


So I take it "Macha" was the name of a previous "shepherd" of her's? Perhaps one looking to reclaim her?

If you're getting the idea that most shepherds are cruel and mistreat the weavers in their care... you wouldn't be too far off base.


yup.

Gecko wrote:And Katarin is from Alphatia? I thought she was one of the kidnapped local girls?

Katarin is Traladaran, from Eltan's Spring in northern Karameikos. The other collared weaver, the blonde, has taken the girl under her wing, and will teach her in the methodical tradition of the Alphatians (In game terms, Katarin's character would be considered a Sudsvall Initiate. Had Katarin come to her power back home, chances are she would have to teach herself, and would take the Ciprian Wilder class.)


almost sounds like some psionics elements in D&D terms -- or maybe it's just the "Wilder" bit that is making me think that.

Gecko wrote:I'm presuming that what a "Wisdom's Daughter" is will be explained as the story unfolds.

This is another "borrowing" I've done from Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Wisdoms sometimes read the weather, do midwifery, oversee foalings, that sort of thing. If she lived in a gingerbread house in the forest, the villagers would call her a witch and be afraid of her. But since she lives in the village among them, the term "Wisdom" is used. ;) I really need to stop reading Terry Pratchett...


ah, a Gleaner.

Gecko wrote:Will we be seeing more of the Chardastes priests from the second-to-last scene?

Where there is war and disaster, you will find the blue robed priests of Chardastes, to aid the sick and lend comfort to the dying. They are sort of like the Mystaran version of the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. They are pretty much "on the set" for window dressing, hinting at a pretty bad scene in the square outside the temple. Unless there is something about them you'd like me to expand upon?


nah, it's just that Chardastes and his clergy are some of my favorite's as a player or as NPCs when I'm DMing, so when I saw them come up in the Chronicle I was looking forward to seeing what, if any, twists you gave them in Thorn's Mystara or how you described the "feel" of their magic.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:31 pm

Gecko wrote:
RobJN wrote:Most Glantrian shepherds don't let their collared weavers keep their names. "Macha's" true name is Seraphina (Sera as a shortened nickname), but she was forbidden to refer to herself as such. Over the years, as her shepherd wore down her ego, she simply stopped remembering who she had been.

The blonde weaver had never heard Sera referred to in any other way other than being "Macha's," and so she informed Thorn & company of the closest thing she could think of as a name.
So I take it "Macha" was the name of a previous "shepherd" of her's? Perhaps one looking to reclaim her?
Her previous shepherd, to whom she had been collared for nearly twelve years.

Gecko wrote:Chardastes and his clergy are some of my favorite's as a player or as NPCs when I'm DMing, so when I saw them come up in the Chronicle I was looking forward to seeing what, if any, twists you gave them in Thorn's Mystara or how you described the "feel" of their magic.
Their magic is very "no nonsense." They tend to move in pairs, getting the major healing done, and then leaving the "clean up" to another pair of lay clerics (Normal Men, with the Heal General Skill) Associating Chardastes with blue robes comes from a previous campaign I ran.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle]: Wake of the White Witch's Wrath

Postby RobJN » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:03 am

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


I awoke for what must have been the third of fourth time. I was sweating, despite the chill of the night, breathing as if I’d been chased. I’d dreamed it, hadn’t I? Images flashed again, fading even as I tried to remember them: hiding in a hollowed-out tree, a gutteral baying, and squinty blood-shot eye peering through the opening, lupin jowls curling in what passed for a smile among their kind…

“Bad dreams?” the blonde weaver asked, from nearby. Katarin slept with her head on the weaver’s lap, and the older girl stroked similarly blonde hair.

I nodded, slightly, not wanting to disturb Macha’s, who leaned heavily against me, her head on my shoulder.

“Not of my own dreaming,” I whispered.

“The collaring links the two wearers together,” the other weaver said. “Feelings, impressions can be passed back and forth. Sensations. I suppose it not too far a jump for dreams to wander, as well.”

I raised my hand, letting my tunic sleeve fall back, revealing the strange silvery bracelet. The surface looked entirely smooth, broken only where the lead connected. The lead, too, looked oddly smooth, glossy. Almost… fluid, though locked in the shape of a finger-width cord perhaps the length of my own and Macha’s arms if we linked hands.

“We do not know how they are made,” the blonde weaver said. “The Tower has never been able to recover one for study. Until now.”

“Do you think they will find a way to remove it?” I had tried to remove the collar from around Macha’s neck, but my fingers and head burned in nearly blinding agony when I tried to loose the catch. I got a double-dose of it, the pain feeding back to me through the bracelet.

“They must.” Her free hand balled into a fist.

Katarin stirred, and the weaver resumed stroking the girl’s hair, growing silent.

I tried to sleep again, to awaken twice more from dreams of fire and heartbreak before Ixion chased away the last tatters of the night.
Rob
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[Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]: Silva's Army

Postby RobJN » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:56 pm

The site has been updated with some bloggage to supplement my entry over at Havard's Blackmoor Blog. I've also posted NPC capsules for two of "Silva's Army."
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