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

Weird red metals, dominions, immortals, hollow planets, invisible moons, and a lot of glorified magic zeppelins. It's all here.
The Book-House: Find Mystara products, Find Known World products.

Moderators: Havard, Gawain_VIII, Cthulhudrew, Seer of Yhog

Post Reply
User avatar
Havard
Dragon Turtle
Posts: 18473
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:32 pm
Gender: male
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]: Silva's Army

Post by Havard » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:02 pm

RobJN wrote: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."
Groovy :cool:

-Havard

Aliases: Håvard Frosta, Havard Blackmoor, Blackmoorian, Dragon Turtle etc
Where to find me on the Web
The Comeback Inn - My Blackmoor Forum
The Blackmoor Blog
My Articles at the Vaults of Pandius
Moderator of the Mystara, Blackmoor and Thunder Rift forums.
My moderator voice is
GREEN.

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Sat Jan 07, 2012 10:00 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...



We were brought a simple but hearty porridge, escorted again to the wash basins, and then led through two of the draped flaps of canvas that led to the temple’s front steps.

I expected to see a blackened section paving stone, where the Black Eagle had constructed the pyre. I expected a slight tang of smoke to fill the air, expected the charred remains of the fire to still smolder.

The entire plaza smoldered, the paving stones warped and bubbled, seams between the stones either fused together or curled upwards, as leathers will do when laid across a hot iron before being stitched into place.

Of the pyre, there was no sign, save perhaps a darker smudge of ash against the gray of the flagstones. The gibbet, the stalls, the first rows of pavilions along the grassy hillock across the plaza were simply gone, the muddy swathe of ground hardened, baked and cracked as if we stood under a high summer sun. There were still footprints, gouges in the ground where tent-stakes had been driven in, marks where braziers and benches and tables had stood. I shuddered to think what had happened to all that.

The air did not taste at all of smoke, but held a coppery tang. My tongue tingled with the feel of it, and it sat heavily across my shoulders, stirring the hairs across my scalp. I resisted the urge to scratch at the tingling that seemed to press against my palms, the soles of my feet.

I felt Macha’s presence at my back, felt her hand on my shoulder, another slipping into my left hand, trembling, until I squeezed it.

“What happened here?” she whispered. It did not seem appropriate to speak in anything but a hush.

A figure stepped from what remained f the King’s Hall, bordering the third side of the broad, blasted courtyard to our left. Early morning sunlight glinted off white hair, sparkled amidst the golden threads describing the wheel of fire in the center of the blue and yellow twelve-pointed star on the white tabard.

Baron Halaran waved us over, indicating that we should keep to the steps, crossing the unmarred corner of the plaza in order to reach the steps leading up to the King’s Hall. The very air seemed to buzz, thrumming inside my head, pushing against my eyes and teeth all in completely different directions. I did not need Macha’s urging to stride as quickly as possible across the blistered stones. Katarin and the blonde weaver fairly ran after us.

I reached forth, clasping hands with the Baron. His grip was firm, warm. His eyes were bright, and he smiled, but it came through a grim and haggard expression.

“Thorn, I am glad to see you safe. I have been in contact with your Hierarch. I will have to let him know that you somehow managed to survive this….”
He sighed, and glanced out over the devastation.

“What happened here, your Lordship?” I asked.

He frowned. “I was going to ask the same of you. But please, come in, away from this. There is much to discuss. Much that needs… settling.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Mon Jan 09, 2012 5:08 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...



He looked away as he said that last word, leading us across a short expanse of open stone past the pillars that lined the front of the one-time palace of the King of Krakatos. A small side chamber, its walls mostly intact, served as the Baron’s office. Several camp chairs had been set up, surrounding a broad table filled with maps and a book of figures. A brazier in the corner kept the worst of the stone’s chill from the air. Most importantly, the last of the itching, coppery-tasting uneasiness faded away even before we stepped through the gap in the wall left by men and not age.

“I know you, and you as well, Katarin,” the baron said, with an inclination of his head towards the girl. She blushed, and bobbed a small curtsey. “Please, won’t you introduce me to your two friends?”

“My Lord Baron Halaran of Threshold, Patriarch of the Church of Karameikos serving the lands of the northern Grand Duchy…” I drew a breath to continue, but the older man coughed, and waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. A glimmer of amusement kindled through the bracelet.

“May I present to you Mistress Seraphina of —“ A surge tingled up my arm. I glanced over at her, and she looked at me with tears brimming in her eyes.

“You never did mention the name of your village,” I said to her.

She shook her head, blinking, wiping at her eyes. “It— it doesn’t matter. It is very small. Very small,” she repeated, dabbing at her eyes again.

I motioned towards the baron, giving my hand a shake to try to chase away the tingling. The fingers were very nearly numb with it.

The baron took the girl’s hand as she curtseyed. “Glantri,” he said. “Boldavia?”

“Yes, your Lordship.”

The baron waved his hand again. “Come now, none of that. Raise your eyes, my dear, they are such a lovely shade.”

She did so, hesitantly, glancing over at me. I gave her a nod. I saw the baron’s eyes dart to the silver choker about her neck, follow the sweep of the silvery lead up to the bracelet on my left wrist. He nodded to the girl, releasing her hand and arching an eyebrow at me.

“It… it was a necessity, your Lordship,” the weaver said, her tone apologetic. She had seen the look, as well.

“A story I am sure to be glad to hear one day,” Halaran said with smile that was partly bemused, but mostly reassuring. “And this lovely young lady?”

“She is—“ I began, but Katarin interrupted me.

“My Lord Baron, I present to you Saoirse, a Magia of the Azure. And my teacher.”

The baron took the blonde weaver’s hand, and they shared a quizzical glance at the younger girl.

Halaran let the weaver’s hand go, and knelt beside Katarin. He murmured a brief prayer, passing his hand over her head while his other hand clutched at the silver amulet engraved with Ixion’s wheel of fire. He stared into her eyes for a long moment, then nodded.

“You have your parents’ permission for this tutelage?”

Katarin shuffled her feet, glancing down at them. “Well…”

“My Lord Baron,” Saoirse said, “the girl has only just now come into her power. She shows a remarkable strength for healing. Her friend was at the brink of death, and she snatched her back.”

“This is true?” the baron asked the girl.

As if her blush was not answer enough, she nodded, murmuring a “Yes, my Lord. I didn’t— I just—”

Halaran took her hand in his, patting it. “Now, there is no need to be afraid. You did not do this in the name of any of the Immortals?”

She paled, her eyes widening. “There wasn’t time. My Lord. Silva was— I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to—“

“No, quite the contrary,” the baron said. He smiled, squeezed the girl’s hand. “You did mean to. With all of your strength.”

“But— Father says…. He says that it is for the Immortals to decide. He says it is wrong to—“ She hiccuped. “I’ll repent! Name the penance, I’ll do it three times over!”

The baron raised an eyebrow. “Three times? No, just once will be enough.”

Katarin swallowed, wiped at her eyes and straightened her back.

“In order to repay this debt, I do so order you to begin tutelage in your newfound power, and to be ready to lend your aid to others in times of need.”

“I will, my Lord. I—“ She stopped, blinking.

“Good. Let it be settled then. You and Magia Saoirse shall be my guests. You will accompany me back to Threshold once my business is finished here.”

“But… But I—”

“You have saved lives, Novice Pevnoruk, of your own bidding, with your own strength. The Immortals cannot be angry, for they have given you this blessing.” He rose, and kissed the girl’s forehead. “And I shall have words with your mother about your father’s … misunderstanding.”

“So… I’m not in trouble?” she asked. She glanced up at the sky. “I won’t be struck down by rays from Ixion if I—“

Halaran gave a chuckle. “No, my dear. Now, if you don’t mind, Thorn and these two ladies and I have other things to discuss. The price of your lessons, among other things. I would like for you to return to the temple and check on our friend.”

Katarin nodded, sketched a quick curtsey, and dashed from the makeshift office. A guard clattered after the girl, calling for her to wait.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:47 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


“Your Lordship—“ I began, but the baron waved a hand.

“Please,” he said. “I had more than my fill of formalities while trapped at court.”

“The Grand Duke’s justice,” I said, thinking aloud.

Baron Halaran laughed. “That of the Grand Duchess, actually. It seemed I was not prompt enough in my missives to her Grace.”

“So, you are not…?”

“In hot water with Stephan?” The baron laughed again. “Goodness, no. I was waiting for the weather to lighten up before I traveled to Specularum. Though, I suppose it is a good thing I left when I did.”

“Tarnskeep,” I said, swallowing against a sudden dryness in my throat.

A slight frown furrowed Halaran’s brow, and he sighed. “Fortunately, the staff had all vacated. Though the loss of men is indeed sad, for they merely followed the orders of their baron, I for should be thanking Silva.”

“Thanking her? But she—“

“She kept several very valuable items from hands that would turn them to a purpose not their own. I offered to pay wergild to the solders’ families, but Stephan’s cousin insisted on his ‘blood price.’ I—“

The baron was interrupted by a voice, ringing clearly through the King’s Hall.

“I said do not touch me! How long have you been standing guard there? Too long, if you’re coughing like that.”

There was a jangling of chain mail, and a cough as a guard appeared at the doorway, standing behind Aurora.

“My Lord, I have brought—“ The man’s words were interrupted by another fit of coughing.

“Get this man out of his armor and put him to bed,” Aurora said, her golden eyes on the baron, but her finger pointing behind her.

“I’m fine, my Lord,” the man said. He seemed short of breath, and his eyes had a glassy cast to them.

“I think perhaps you might do as this young lady says, Ladislav. Have the captain rotate another man in for…”

“No more than a half watch,” Aurora said. “Not wearing all that… metal.” She wrinkled her nose.

The baron nodded. “As she says, Ladislav.”

The soldier bowed, giving the shrike a puzzled glance, and left us, grumbling that it was just a little cough.

“Your Lordship, may I present to you—“ I started.

“You know,” the baron said, “your sister bowed.”

“Wena was always a stickler for formalities,” Aurora said. “Besides, you were upon your own lands. Though your words may be law here, you do not rule.”

I could not tell if the baron was more shocked or amused.

“Tell me, Thorn, was she this rude to the Black Eagle?”

“Fairly close.”

Halaran chuckled. “At least I know it is not just me, then.” He gave a sigh as he rose to his feet. He crossed his arms over his chest, bowing low to the shrike. Her golden eyes widened, flickered towards me, for a brief moment before refocusing on the baron. She reached forward a hand, touching her right to the baron’s left, near his right shoulder, and he straightened.

“Namas’te, Sherlane Halaran,” she said. “It does me good to see that not all of the barbarians have forgotten the old ways.

“I have been called Aurora, after another of my kind of the same name. ‘Shrike of the Fourth Guard of the House Defender attached to Colony Bellerophon, thirty-seventh iteration of the Progenitor’s fifth shard’ is rather a bit of a mouthful.” She quirked a small smile.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7813
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

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

Post by Chimpman » Sun Jan 15, 2012 5:58 am

Keep going Rob! I was about a month behind, but I'm only a few posts behind now. There were a couple of scenes where I couldn't really picture what was happening - from the point where the demons/possessed villagers were surrounding the party up until the explosion. I'm still not sure exactly what was happening. On one had it seemed like the party was in some serious danger from the possessed, but on the other they seemed to get out of the area fairly easily. What was protecting them/allowing them to get away?

Also when the girls were going through the countdown I wasn't quite sure what the trigger for that event was. Was that something that Silva triggered in order to stop the demon, or was that something that the demon triggered?
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Sun Jan 15, 2012 10:11 am

Chimpman wrote:Keep going Rob! I was about a month behind, but I'm only a few posts behind now. There were a couple of scenes where I couldn't really picture what was happening - from the point where the demons/possessed villagers were surrounding the party up until the explosion. I'm still not sure exactly what was happening. On one had it seemed like the party was in some serious danger from the possessed, but on the other they seemed to get out of the area fairly easily. What was protecting them/allowing them to get away?

Also when the girls were going through the countdown I wasn't quite sure what the trigger for that event was. Was that something that Silva triggered in order to stop the demon, or was that something that the demon triggered?
The "mob" of possessed were under the control of the demon bound to Jaelle, but that demon was having to struggle against the last shreds of the body's original soul -- an iteration of Rowena Andahar, who's voice enthralls and binds demons to black dragonstones. Because the demon was having to divide its efforts, it could not make full use of the mob, other than a "show of force." The Black Eagle intervenes in the confrontation, his guards taking Thorn & company to the baron's tent, away from the crowd.

The star shower celebrated in Karameikos as the Festival of Lights is called the Chimerids by the druids, due to the meteor showers' apparent origin in and around the constellation of the Chimera. I have decided to make the three nights of falling stars from the Gazetteer calendars the time when Mystara passes through the debris cloud left from the Great Rain of Fire. This debris interferes with the protective network of seals, weakening the fabric of the spells powering Andahar's Engine, and interfering with the function of dragonstones under the open sky.

Jaelle* wished to be burned alive in the hopes that, freed from the shackles of the Rowena-shell, the demon would ride the soul to the nearest Collection Tower -- which happened to be the Throne of Stars, one of several satellites placed in orbit at Blackmoor's height. The Throne is responsible for watching over the webwork of magic that keeps the seals in place. It also coordinates shrike and siren operations, and holds the bodies of the two Progenitors bound in eternal slumber: Rowena and Leansethar Andahar.

The Throne registered the spike in demonic activity, which tripped its doomsday switch. Thinking the planet faced another invasion, the Throne is programmed to unleash a blast of Radiance at the concentration of the infestation. Silva and Aurora's dragonstones picked up the countdown broadcast, and Silva's link to the girls in her army somehow got them tangled up into reciting the countdown. The twins were able to 'hack' the Throne, significantly lowering the yield of the Radiant burst.

*Gilliam laughs at the name Bargle gives the "dark Silva," because 'Jaelle' is Alaysian for "wild she-goat."
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Sun Jan 22, 2012 3:02 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


The baron and shrike each took seats. Halaran regarded the girl for a long moment.

“Well, perhaps you could answer some questions for us,” the baron said. He freshened the ink on his quill, wiping away the excess from the tip with an offhand sweep against the rim of the ink well. When the shrike did not immediately decline, the he continued. “Two columns of light in the Duchy, in each case a girl with silvery gold hair at the center of events. Deaths and injuries in both cases. Magic of a magnitude and type we have never seen before.”

Aurora’s golden eyes did not leave the baron’s face, her expression carefully composed, almost calm.

“We would appreciate it if you could shed some light on these events,” the baron finally said. He held the quill over a fresh sheet of parchment.

“You have asked no questions,” Aurora said, after the silence stretched to the breaking point.

“Why should I not have the both of you burnt at the stake for witchcraft, as Ludwig would have done?”

“Because you are not as big a fool as he.”

To his credit, Halaran did not smile, though the corners of his mouth hinted at it.

“Do as you like with me,” the shrike continued. “This body has stood against giants and dragons and has not broken. Another iteration shall follow.”

Aurora leaned forward, setting her fingertips on the edge of the baron’s camp table. “But if you should raise sword or fist against my sister, you invite again the wrath of the Throne of Stars above. And what it does not finish off, I will.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Tue Jan 24, 2012 8:45 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


A ring of drawn steel and flurry of deep blue cloak was all the announcement we had of Aleena’s presence. She stood as close to the baron as she could, staring down the length of her longsword, the tip of which hovered less than a finger’s breadth from the shrike’s throat.

“You dare to threaten a baron, and a patriarch of the church?” she hissed.

Twin flares of red-gold light pulsed from the gems on Aurora’s bracers, and Aleena’s sword wrenched from her grasp, slamming to the floor so hard the stones chipped with the impact.

Sera gave a start, a shiver spiking up my arm and down my spine at the sword’s muted ‘clang.’

“A sword stayed draws no blood,” Aurora said, her voice just as cold as that of the Knight of the Griffon.

Aleena’s face flushed red, but I could not tell if it was anger or shame that colored her cheeks. She crouched, her hand stopping just short of the hilt of her sword.

“What did you do to it?”

Aurora did not watch the other girl’s hand, but gazed steadily into Aleena’s eyes, which were level with hers.

“Nothing I cannot do again.”

The baron set a hand on Aleena’s shoulder. “Leave it there, my dear.”

“But Uncle, she—“

“She defended herself against a very real and present threat,” he said.

“But she—“

“The man who took the stone gets further away the longer we sit here,” Aurora said. “And draws closer to the next.”

Aleena’s shoulders slumped, and she hung her head. Wisps of curly golden hair drifted from the battle braiding that kept her locks swept up under her helmet. Her head snapped up, and she glanced up at the baron.

“How does she know about the stones?” Aleena turned, her eyes wide as she regarded the shrike. “How do you know about the stones?”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:41 pm

“To be fair,” I said, “just about every Traladaran youth knows the story of the Eye of Traldar. But like Halav’s sword and shield, its whereabouts have been lost to the mists of time.”

“They were sealed in the temple an afternoon’s hike south of Zadreth. Everybody knows that,” Aurora said, waving her hand dismissively. “The Eyes are known to us because we were their stewards. There were five, taken from the colony’s armory to find their way into the hands of the Traldar, and thence scattered over this entire backwater continent.”

Aleena rocked back on her heels. “You mean the treasury.”

Aurora gave me a sidelong glance before directing her attention back to the knight. “I took the shape of my words for this iteration from a druid. I did not misspeak.”

“My research led me to believe there were but two gems,” the baron said. “Yet you say there are five.” He held up a hand as Aurora glowered. “I trust that Thorn knows his numerals,” he said with a smile. He clasped his hands again on the desk. “It was this research that the Black Eagle was after in occupying Tarnskeep. That his man Bargle has the Eye means he has found my work.

“I find myself in a very awkward situation. Your… sister… has been accused and found guilty of numerous deaths by magic. By your own admission, the both of you have perpetrated that crime here again. Your companions stand to be branded as accessories to your crime, and share your punishment. The Grand Duke himself has placed the burden of judging and deciding of your fates in my hands.

“We have seen the results of Ludwig’s rather heavy-handed attempt at justice. And you have made it rather clear that any further attempts to harm your sister will make this look like a Beast Day revel.”

“Uncle, you can’t seriously be considering bending to this child’s threat,” Aleena said with a scowl. “Allow me to —“

“No,” Halaran said. I have heard very few words spoken with such finality. “I will not risk losing you to a trial by combat. And I will not risk losing such a valuable repository of ancient knowledge.

“I would offer you a chance to repay your debts to the Grand Duke by way of service to him.”

Aurora sat back. “I can swear no oaths—“

The baron raised a hand. “We require no oath, save your word.”

The shrike nodded. “That, I can give. What would your Grand Duke ask of my sister and I?”

“Pursue the Black Eagle’s man. Stop him. Bring us proof that he acts on Ludwig’s orders.”

Aurora sat, silent, her eyes distant. Did she communicate with Silva, somehow, or simply ponder Halaran’s request?
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:17 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


“We cannot do this alone,” Aurora said. “We will require swords.”

“I would send you with the two of the finest Knights of the Griffon,” the baron said.

Aurora shook her head. “I require swords I can trust.” She diverted her gaze towards Aleena. “Tell me, what are to be the fates of the Traladaran and the Thyatian?”

“Exile for the Thyatian, and the other warrior faces the same, unless he wishes to work off the debt through military service.”

“I shall take them. They are both useful in a fight, and there will no doubt be plenty of those in the future. We will be leaving these lands soon enough, so you will get your exile. Let the Traladaran return after his service with us and consider his debt repaid. That is, providing he survives.”

The baron sat back, made a few notes on the parchment before him. “Very well, it shall be as you say. Are we agreed, then?”

“My sister and I will not be able to maintain ourselves and two warriors. We shall have need of a medico.

“Aleena can serve in that —“

“I shall take the young servant of the Flame.”

“She—“

“Your Grand Duke was going to eject her from these lands as well, was he not?”

“He was. As well as this one,” the baron waved the quill pen in the direction of the weavers.

“We will have need of one with magical arts, where we plan to go.”

The baron sighed. “Let me guess….”

Aurora turned towards us. “Which would you prefer, Seraphina? Exile and certain death or to journey with my sister and I and nearly certain death?”

Though I felt Sera’s back stiffen, a bubble of warmth welled up through the bracelet, and she smiled, going so far as to chuckle, even.

“Well,” she said, “since you put it in such terms… I would go with you. But…” She glanced over to me. “I am bound to go where goes my bughael.”

“Thorn?” Aurora asked.

I shrugged. “Much as I would like, I must return to Radlebb. I have skeins to transcribe.” I lifted my left wrist. “I must sort this out with the Hierarch, as well.”

“A shame,” Aurora said with a sigh of her own. “Your talents could prove very useful.”

“Just where, precisely, do you intend to go?” Halaran asked.

The shrike brought a finger to her lips. “There are still unwitting thralls about. I would not make any more competition for the goal. If your research inclined your thinking towards the north, then I will simply say that you were following the right tracks.”

The baron nodded. “You are certain you do not wish to have Aleena—“

Aurora shook her head. “No. I would ask a boon of her in my sister’s name, though.”

“And why should I help you?” the knight asked.

“Because I have spared your life twice this past night and morning.”

The girl’s mouth gaped open, as if the shrike had struck her hard across the sternum.

“When next you raid Halag to visit your father, you will find this Black Eagle has a new blacksmith. Silva would have you free him. He would willingly work with your knighthood, or serve the Baron Halaran until we return.”

“See here, I will certainly not—“

“If you free Durin, he will be able to use his talents to free others.”

Aleena paled, and then, as color crept back into her cheeks, a smile grew on her lips.

“There is one other thing,” Aurora said.

Aleena crossed her arms.

“The armory. It must be destroyed. We cannot allow the Black Eagle — or anybody — to have these weapons of red steel.”

Aleena nodded. “Very well. Uncle?”

Halaran looked up. “Hmm? Sorry, dear, I was busy with this writ and was not paying attention.”

The knight and her uncle shared a long look, and then he returned to his writing. “You are a grown woman, and will make the decision you believe to be right.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:53 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...



Baron Halaran dismissed us, and Aleena followed us from his makeshift office.

“This has not exactly been the most joyous of Festivals of Light,” Aleena said, as we approached the palace steps.

“Yes, watch the remnants of the world I knew burn above you and be joyous,” Aurora said. She gave Aleena a backward glance, and then darted off down the steps, the gems adorning her circlet and bracers taking to golden light as she headed straight across the warped and buckled plaza. I could not help but notice the blackened, steaming patches she left in her wake.

“She is determined not to like me,” Aleena said.

“She has not exactly been in the best of moods since our arrival from the Valley,” the blonde weaver said.

“Given how things have unfolded since then, I do not think to blame her,” I said.

“I wonder if their little light show effected the baths,” Aleena said, scrubbing a hand through her hair. “I could use a good long soak.”

A tingle rushed up my arm, and I glanced over my shoulder, to see Sera’s eyes gone suddenly wide and bright.

“Did… you say ‘baths?’”

The tingle became an itch.

Aleena peered at the two weavers. “When was the last time either of you had a decent bath?”

I was dragged to the north, where the baths nestled at the foot of the hillock at the southern edge of the artisan’s district.

Three springs welled up from somewhere deep beneath Krakatos, two of them collecting in natural pools, the third feeding the cisterns which had sheltered us from the poisonous light from the Throne of the Stars. Marble and brick work laid down in Halav’s day had survived, and what parts of the wall didn’t were lined with a wooden framework draped with canvas sheets for the duration of the festival. Crews manned the furnaces — still in working order after two thousand years— and the heated water cycled through half a dozen man-made pools chiseled into the rock.

There were no separate pools for men and women, though there were half-partitions between most of them, it was more to keep the heat in than for privacy.

A sharp tingle surged through my arm.

“Um…” Sera began.

Aleena looked up from unfastening her cloak.

“There is no curtain?” the blonde weaver asked.

Aleena laughed. “Whatever for? Surely by now you have seen a man unclothed.”

Both of the weavers blushed, and I felt a nervous ripple from the bracelet.

“The druidic orders are not celibate, are they, Thorn?”

“It is no encouraged,” I said, “but—“

Aleena’s eyes widened slightly. “They are not like the Paladins of Mitra, are they?”

“The orders do not encourage nor discourage couplings. While several hierarchs remain single, there are others who have been happily wed for many years. The orders see no difference between them.”

“Judging from how he danced with the Dara the other night, I think it safe to say Thorn knows his way around—“ Saoirse started. A prickling along my skin, a brief glow of warmth through the bracelet, and the weaver’s words suddenly stopped, her face going blue.

She her hands up, fingers spread in the spellcaster’s universal sign of surrender, and she began to breathe again. A sharp tang crept about beneath the current of nervousness drifting across the bracelet.

“Well, there you go,” the knight said with a shrug. “Nothing either of you hasn’t seen before, and wouldn’t appreciate.” Aleena began unbuckling her armor. I kept my back turned as best I could, but the quiet, tingling heat radiating through the bracelet spoke volumes of the weaver’s sense of propriety.

We were provided with long cloth towels by the women attending the bath’s outer rooms. The weavers’ collars drew some strange glances, but the women at least had the kind sense to save their whispers until after we left.

The baths were nearly empty, and we took the pool furthest against the hills, where the water was the warmest. My own sense of relief and relaxation was mirrored through the bracelet.

Nearly an hour later, after dips in progressively cooler baths, I found myself sitting along one of the stone benches, wrapped again in wool and leathers. The weavers sat next to each other, Saoirse running a wooden comb though the other’s hair. They whispered back and forth to each other, and I’d nearly drifted off when the pair’s giggling brought me back to wakefulness.

“And if you cut me off like that again,” Saoirse was whispering, loud enough for me to hear, “I will tell Thorn that he can remove the bracelet any time he wishes.”

If their giggling hadn’t awakened me, the sudden spike in the bracelet’s temperature would have.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

[Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]: White Witch Wakes

Post by RobJN » Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:01 pm

Sneak peek at the third arc of Thorn's Chronicle: "Masks of the Dreaming Night"
Image
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7813
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

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

Post by Chimpman » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:05 pm

Ohh... interesting in that this is an AC 998 map. What is the story behind the forest being dead so early? I'm assuming it's not due to Shadow Elf actions.

I do have a couple of comments. I couldn't quite put my finger on things until the last few entries, but I think I was having trouble relating to Aleena and Halaran and most other people who come into contact with the party. They seem overly dogmatic (if that's the right word) and I find it difficult to like them. For most that's ok. The Black Eagle and Bargle are folks you love to hate anyway, but I really wanted to like Aleena more than I did. I think with the very last entry you gave her some redemption in my eyes. I'd like for that to be constructive criticism, but unfortunately I can't offer any alternatives at this point in time, so for now it's just an observation. Let me think it over a bit more.

The question I do have is about Aurora and Silva and their knowledge of Red Steel. That wouldn't have existed until well into the Nithian Era, so where are they getting their information from? Or are there some specific changes you had in mind for Red Steel in Thorn's Mystara?
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:06 pm

Chimpman wrote:Ohh... interesting in that this is an AC 998 map. What is the story behind the forest being dead so early? I'm assuming it's not due to Shadow Elf actions.
Not dead... petrified ;) The twins will be filling in much of the history that Thorn thinks he knows of this area of the Known World.
Chimpman wrote:I do have a couple of comments. I couldn't quite put my finger on things until the last few entries, but I think I was having trouble relating to Aleena and Halaran and most other people who come into contact with the party. They seem overly dogmatic (if that's the right word) and I find it difficult to like them. For most that's ok. The Black Eagle and Bargle are folks you love to hate anyway, but I really wanted to like Aleena more than I did. I think with the very last entry you gave her some redemption in my eyes. I'd like for that to be constructive criticism, but unfortunately I can't offer any alternatives at this point in time, so for now it's just an observation. Let me think it over a bit more.
Halaran and Aleena are having to act in "official" capacities, from a standpoint they really don't want to be in (if that makes sense): having to dispense 'justice' against those they know to be in the right, even though by the letter of the Law, the villains are "right."

Rather than being the "evil" personification of Law (as is the Black Eagle), Aleena shows us a bit of the "good" side-- and rubs against the volatile and chaotic nature of Aurora (the hotter-headed of the twins). Aleena was expecting Aurora to be as docile and easygoing as her sister, and found things to be quite the opposite. Chances are, if the two of them traded a few punches, they'd wind up seeing eye to eye on the important issues: capturing Bargle. But Halaran won't risk Aleena getting hurt again. (I'm thinking a sub-text here is that he's already raised her from the dead once, and doesn't want to have to do it again....)
Chimpman wrote:The question I do have is about Aurora and Silva and their knowledge of Red Steel. That wouldn't have existed until well into the Nithian Era, so where are they getting their information from? Or are there some specific changes you had in mind for Red Steel in Thorn's Mystara?
The sword Bargle used in the catacombs was made of Red Steel -- Aurora and Silva's first contact with the metal. Bargle mentions that the Black Eagle has an armory filling up with weapons made of the stuff. While cold iron and steel will harm the twins, they can still regenerate from that kind of damage -- not so with Red Steel, not even with the added "oomph" of the white dragonstones' healing.

Jaelle, and the demon infesting her, were privy to all that information, and Aurora means to keep those weapons from falling any further into enemy hands.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7813
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

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

Post by Chimpman » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:24 pm

RobJN wrote:
Chimpman wrote:The question I do have is about Aurora and Silva and their knowledge of Red Steel. That wouldn't have existed until well into the Nithian Era, so where are they getting their information from? Or are there some specific changes you had in mind for Red Steel in Thorn's Mystara?
The sword Bargle used in the catacombs was made of Red Steel -- Aurora and Silva's first contact with the metal. Bargle mentions that the Black Eagle has an armory filling up with weapons made of the stuff. While cold iron and steel will harm the twins, they can still regenerate from that kind of damage -- not so with Red Steel, not even with the added "oomph" of the white dragonstones' healing.

Jaelle, and the demon infesting her, were privy to all that information, and Aurora means to keep those weapons from falling any further into enemy hands.
Ahhh, that makes a lot of sense now. So their knowledge is all first hand knowledge, not information they are pulling from past lives. I actually have some more thoughts about this, but I think I'll move over to the Thinktank thread for that.
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

mister c
Ogre
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:21 pm
Gender: male

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

Post by mister c » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:16 am

Not dead... petrified
Ooo, any connection with the petrified forest in Dymrak (a, la B 10 where the Hobgoblins lair?)

Fantastic story as always.

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:23 am

mister c wrote:
Not dead... petrified
Ooo, any connection with the petrified forest in Dymrak (a, la B 10 where the Hobgoblins lair?)

Fantastic story as always.
I will have to look into that. Not sure if B10 gives a story behind the Dymrak forest or not. No doubt Thorn will at least mention this at some point in the future.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

mister c
Ogre
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:21 pm
Gender: male

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

Post by mister c » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:16 pm

Not sure if B10 gives a story behind the Dymrak forest or not.
I don't think there was much about it, it was just an interesting backdrop for the hobgoblin lair IIRC.
There was a thread about it on here a while back, I'll see if I can find it.

mister c
Ogre
Posts: 237
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:21 pm
Gender: male

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

Post by mister c » Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:18 pm


User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:30 pm

Cool beans. Thanks for the relevant link. I'll have to go through that and my copy of B 10. And Gazetteer 5.

Would ya'll be interested in seeing the steps in the process of "Thorn-izing" Alfheim? This would include things like the tweaking of histories, and reworking "signature" pieces of the relevant areas to mirror "signature" ideas and themes behind Thorn's Mystara.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
Chimpman
Hadozee
Posts: 7813
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 6:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: USA, California

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

Post by Chimpman » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:52 pm

RobJN wrote:Would ya'll be interested in seeing the steps in the process of "Thorn-izing" Alfheim? This would include things like the tweaking of histories, and reworking "signature" pieces of the relevant areas to mirror "signature" ideas and themes behind Thorn's Mystara.
I'd love to see this, especially given the changes that you intend. Please share :mrgreen: !
Visit the Exiles Campaign Setting (a Mystara / Spelljammer crossover)
Visit Mystara 2300 BC

Moderator of The Tabard Inn and Blackmoor. My moderator voice is purple.

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:43 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...



We parted ways with Aleena, and made our way back to the makeshift hospital. The girls of Silva’s army were still busy assisting the lay clerics, cutting, washing, and folding bandages. A crowd of blue robes clustered about a familiar flickering golden-white glow. Several more clerics drifted over to the group as we approached, peering over shoulders.

“Amazing. I have never seen it’s like.”

“Yet you say you beseech no Immortal for this aid?”

“Whence comes a power such as this, if not from Chardastes?”

“The greatest of minds have studied these stones, and still cannot unlock their mysteries,” Aurora said. “Now quiet down. I must concentrate if it is not to scar.”

Saoirse began lecturing on her observations of Aurora’s dragonstones, and Sera and I continued down the rows of bedding. Another huddle had formed, separated a bit from the rest of the patients, this one of the younger patients, or youngsters whose parents were among the wounded.

They sat in a circle, around a web-like design that had been scratched into the floor with a bit of chalk. Dozens of chips of stone and pebbles were scattered about, seemingly random, but all placed where strands of the web met.

Silva was sitting up, her complexion pale as ever, but not the least bit gray. Her lips even held a bit of color, as did her cheeks. She took shallow breaths, favoring one side as she leaned closer to the game’s surface.

“Saaja?” she asked, glancing left and right at the faces around the circle.

“Ready?” Katarin translated, to a nodding of many heads.

Silva held out both hands, fists clenched. Twenty-two more fists joined hers.

“Musti upari musti

Dyo upari bhumil

Upari, adha, antar.

Eka, dva, tra…. Gatta!”


As she chanted, the dozen pairs of hands wove an intricate pattern, hands next to each other bumping, bobbing, circling one about the other. At the last line of the chanty, the fists swam in unison, left, right, and left again, and then each presented a number of fingers, not unlike Odds-and-Evens.

There was a pause, and all the children circled around held their breath.

“Fifty-one!”

“Sixty-three!”

“Fifty-nine!”

“Ah! Bhavat! Abrhan’ta!” Silva said, nodding and pointing to the youngster who’d just spoken.

A counting game, I realized, one where they could not use their fingers, since they had to keep them held out until the correct answer was guessed.

The winner looked down, and began sliding the stones in front of him along the strands of the web, back and forth, ever closer to the center. When he finished, he scooted aside, and left his space in the circle to the girl who’d been huddled at his left shoulder.

And the play began again.
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:16 am

Discussion and brainstorming of Alfheim's revision has been split off into this here crunchy thread: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch]: As crunchy as it gets
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Fri Feb 03, 2012 12:39 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...


A cheer went up from the children as one of them worked his collection of stones into the very center of the web diagram. It was quickly hushed under a half dozen stern glares from blue-robed priests.

Silva sat up a bit straighter, untying the purse at her waist. She rummaged around in it, producing one of the heavy-edged golden Blackmoor coins. She held it out to the boy.

His eyes widened. “That’s gold!” he gasped.

“Bhavatu,” she said, nodding. “Yes. Gold. Yours.” She looked over to Katarin. “It is not… good?”

The Traladaran girl bit her lip, shrugging.

The boy took the coin, hesitantly, as if Silva would snatch it away at the last moment.

“Yours,” she said. “I have…” she frowned, groping for the words. “Much. For all.” She gestured around the circle.

The boy sketched a clumsy bow. “Thank you!” And then he was off, running, waving the coin in the air. “Papa! Look what I won!”

The hospital erupted in chaos. Priests were in a furor at the disturbance. The adults immediately swarmed about the boy. There was much pointing in our direction. The gathered children began elbowing each other to get towards the spot in the circle the boy had vacated.

Silva tried to quiet the group, finally taking a deep breath that caused her to wince.

“Vatu!” She brought her hand down flat on the temple’s floor, the red stone flaring briefly on her wrist. The stones on the board leapt at the ripple that coursed through the ground.

Ana could have invoked her shell of silence, so complete was the hush that fell across the chamber. The only sound was Silva’s short, pained breathing.

A tall, broad-shouldered man separated from the crowd of adults, stalking up the aisle towards the siren.

Blue-black light pulsed, and Aurora materialized in front of her sister, bringing the man up short with an upraised hand.

That was her intention, at any rate. He scowled, and tried to bull his way past the golden-eyed girl.

From somewhere behind me, I heard Gilliam and Varis both groan.

“Now he’s done it,” the bigger of the warriors said.


Fortunately for the children, the man’s curse was cut short as the air whooshed from his lungs.

“I suggest you stay down, friend,” Varis said, laying a hand on the man’s shoulder as he struggled to rise.

Aurora had turned away from the stranger even before the glow had faded from the stones adorning her wrists, huddling next to Silva, their foreheads very nearly touching.

“I… think the game is over,” Katarin said, and began ushering the children away. “I will find each of you later, to give you your prizes,” she said, as a murmur rose from those who’s greed was greater than their fear.

I hurried to intercept the group of clerics and other adults approaching, lest they end up like the big man, or worse.

“Makeshift as it is, this is a house of healing!” I recognized the woman as the healer who’d taken over Silva’s care.

“Silva meant no harm. She was trying to keep the children’s minds from their troubles,” Kararin said.

“We heard chanting over here,” a woman said. “What if she had been putting these children under some sort of spell?”

“She would never—“

“This one is already under her influence,” one of the priests said. He was quite tall, but his hood hid most of his features. “Probably had to resort to using gold when her words weren’t having any effect.”

“It was a game,” I told the man. “The coin was a prize.”

“Gold? A prize for a child’s game?” asked one man.

“Where does a girl her age get solid gold coins?”

“Brought it up from those tombs below, I’ll bet,” another man said. “Giving out cursed treasure, is she?”

“Thorn—“

I glanced over my shoulder. “Aurora, please,” I said. “This is—“

“Their eyes, Thorn. Look at them.”
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

User avatar
RobJN
Dire Flumph
Posts: 3842
Joined: Sun May 25, 2008 10:33 pm
Gender: male
Location: Texas, USA
Contact:

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

Post by RobJN » Fri Feb 03, 2012 10:47 pm

Thorn's Chronicle continues...



“They must have been at the edge of the crowd. Or further down the hill,” the shrike said.

I looked, closely, at each face in the crowd. Three pairs of eyes rimmed with the slightest of traces of red. And the tall man… was nowhere to be seen.

“The girls are strangers here, as am I,” Ana said. “And I assure you, she has put no magic on any of the children. Their minds, at least, are unclouded. This is a house of healing, as you said.” Ana nodded to the older cleric of Chardastes, and the woman blinked, as if struck by a sudden thought. Or awakened from a daydream. “But it is also a temple. Shall we all pause for a brief prayer?”

The three men edged backwards, working their way to the back of the small crowd.

The priestess of Chardastes turned, spreading her arms, facing the rest of the crowd. Clerics and townspeople alike bowed their heads. The three men kept backing away. As the cleric began a simple prayer of thanks, the men turned and fled.



“That could have turned very ugly very quickly,” the priestess said, later over tea. The instigators gone, the crowd of parents quickly came to their own senses. Silva insisted on rewarding the players in her counting game, and while some of the adults took the offered coin, many declined, or turned around and handed the coin to the priestess.

“I still believe it a bad idea to move the girl so quickly. She needs more rest, and perhaps a final blessing that her health come back fully into balance.”

“I will travel with her,” Aurora said. “Her stone, and my own will see her to full health along the way.” The shrike turned her wrist this way and that, watching candle light dance across the facets of the gold-veined gem.

Still, the priestess frowned. “I do not like it. I would never release a patient under my care until I was assured of her full health.”

“We endanger your people by being here,” Aurora said. “The… ‘Deceivers’ as you call them, will follow us if we depart. The sooner we are on our way, the better off we will all be.”

And so it was settled. We would depart in the morning, to the ferry landing, where a skiff would take us out to one of the Grand Duke’s longships moored in the deeper waters of the Volaga.

-------------------------------
Thus ends the Wake of the White Witch's Wrath, second arc of Thorn's Chronicle of the Last Daughter of the Lost Kingdom Saga.

Last Daughter of the Lost Kingdom
Keeper of Dreams, Waking Dreamer
Sleeper Wakened, Walker in Moonlight
Blood of Kings, Bane to Those Beyond
Her Life, the Prison’s Binding Chain.

Lost Daughter of the First Empire
Wearer of Masks, Darkling's Schemer
Sleeper Wakened, Stalker in the Moonlight
Blood of Those Beyond, Bane of Kings
In Death, the Prison's Chain Unbound

The third arc, "Masks of the Dreaming Night," begins in the spring

An abandoned dwarven fortress.........
A drowned city ............
A forest of unquiet stone...........
One daughter's choice........
Another's sacrifice
Rob
Thorn's Chronicle: The Thread Index|Thorn's Chronicle Blog
My articles at the Vaults of Pandius; My W.O.I.N. adventure in ENWorld's EONS Patreon #56.
Follow Thorn's Chronicle on Facebook | G+ | twitter

Post Reply

Return to “Mystara”