Survival

The Fellowship of Raven pt 1

22nd of Reaping

Raven stood outside the mountain temple looking at his old friend, he had explained what Pan had said, laid out his plan to seek Morla, and now stood before his ancient friends asking him to join on this perilous quest. Xillian scratched his chin carefully before responds

“Of course my aid is always available to you Raven, but is this truly a quest you wish to undertake? Knowledge can be dangerous, and can wound deeper than any blade, I would counsel caution, assure you are in a place that is ready to receive before you go forth asking questions”

Raven smiled at his companion appreciating what he was trying to do, he decided to lighten the mood

“Dear Xillian, as we well know..: When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer, My next is, Most fair Pyramus. Hiegh-ho! Peter Quince! Flute, the bellowsmender! Snout, the tinker! Starveling! Gods my life, stolen hence, and left me asleep! I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream, past the wit of man to say what a dream it was… I must go” he finished with a flourish sure that Xillian understood his meaning, and that when an opportunity arose one must leap to take it no matter the risk. Xillian looked at him, his expression deadpan as he to cast his long memory back to the works of the great bards

“The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprise of great pitch and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry
And lose the name of action…” he nodded his head showing his quote finished before speaking once more “Raven, I do not counsel you to stay behind, merely be aware, the is a reason you do not know these things, and perhaps that reason is good… be prepared for the burdens that realisation may bring… undertake this quest from a place of calm, not a place of need, and our labours will bear more tasteful fruits, of this I am sure” with this he held up his hand, and Raven took it aiding him up from his seat, as the two entered the temple and made preparations to gather the rest of their company and set out on a great quest.

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Miricle Day Pt 1

Miracle Day Pt 1
23rd of Reaping

“By the Fracking Balls of Dumathion where did they come from?” Major Evans of the Bashin Cyclones cursed as he surveyed the front. His company was north of North Hutt, assigned to keep the peace in the area, and provide protection for the Farm Land. Seemingly out of nowhere devils began popping in among his men and the farmers and attacking. He raised the alarm and send runners to North Hutt to gather the Goblins and the reminder of the 8th Dact Axes. “Form up men, protect the Civies and Holllllld!” he shouted as he felt a Devils glaive slice through his chain shirt, cutting from his lower hip across his back to his neck. He staggered forward and fell.


Commander Makner listened to the runners report once more before asking questions

“How many were there?” he asked

“Hard to say sir, at least a hundred of them when I left, though with the teleporting it’s hard to say for sure”

“And when did this all begin?”

“Took me about ten minutes to get here sir” the Commander didn’t like that, he’d already raised the alarm and his men would be suiting up, but it would take at least five minutes to get under way, and another fifteen to jog is men back, and that was at best. One Hundred teleporting bearded Devils would make short work of a surprised company and a fifty or so farmers in that time.

“Have the men bring litters and shovels” he ordered to one of his aids as he nodded to the messenger and began suiting up himself. He knew that the devils would be long gone once he reached the top of the hill, and that his men would likely be slaughtered to the man, they were on a body collection mission not a rescue.


The Commander and his men were working their way up the last rise, approaching the infamous farm fields. They had made decent time, all said they were under twenty minutes from the original attack, he had about five hundred Dactyls with him and another sixty or so Goblins. He had not had any hopes for survivors, when he heard it.

Woosh

A flash of light and a puff a smoke appeared from over the hill. The type a devil made when being killed. The commander stopped for a moment and listened… he could hear yells and the din of battle still begin waged.

“By Hithilums mighty beard those stubborn bastards!” a grin spread wide on his face… it was near unbelievable that a surprised company of ill equipped Dactyls would hold for so long against such numbers, but hearing was believing “Well lads, our boys are kickin up there, let’s show them some support… I want the Humpacks and the Forresters fanning out on flanks, everyone else, drop packs here and double time it, our boys be needin’ us…. CHARGE!” he roared as his men dropped their packs and shovels, drew weapons and ran over the hilltop to rescue their brethren.


Mordakka looked to Selwyn, Alana and Nigel putting down the last parchment of reports. It was disconcerting and he didn’t know how to feel about it. All in all it was a pretty standard day. Thirteen minor skirmishes across the entire army… a few random demons still causing trouble in the Elfin woods got the jump on his trolls, Devils poking at the upper lines and trying to whittle down logistics, abberants and devils pushing at the mobile front and testing river defenses, it was all standard stuff… what was shocking were the casualty numbers. Zero, not a single death, and in many cases they’re should have been many, form the reports on some of the wounds these men and women should by all reasonable accounts be dead, but they weren’t, they had survived and were conscious, still in pain but alive… what did it mean?

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Offers of Magical Surragcay Pt 2

The elderly women listened to Vulcanna carry on for quite some time before offering a response.

“My Deary, listen well, for my years are too far advanced for me to be repeating myself. The first step to secrecy is to limit those who know of our arrangement. You cannot go tell the Fire Lord… to do so would be an act of treason, to ask him to deceive his nation knowingly, his honour would never permit this, you know this as well as I… you would quickly be cast aside and both would forever more live without love. We can tell know one save each other of this arrangement, tis the only way to be sure.

All that I offer you is a chance young one, beyond that you will have to do the work… spells such as regenerate may bring heal a women’s hymen, there are a few other avenues you could pursue… these are not problems of mine. My recommendation should we make an arrangement is you marry as soon as possible and then find a reason why the babe is born when it is, all you need to do is pass the inspection on your wedding night, from there, concoct whatever tale you require as to your childs quickened arrival. The babe will be born in a normal term, my magic simple moves it from one host and back”

She leaned backed in her seat quiet for a moment contemplating the string of questions she had been asked before continuing

“As for a fee, or my own means… HA… I am but a simple hedge witch who happens to have the exact spell you need, do not take me for an all-powerful sorcerer who can live for eons, I am human and my time will come within the next decade perhaps a few years more should I live favourably. Please also do not take me for a fool young one, my ability to cast this spell is all I have, I will not be sharing any of its secrets with you until after our arraignment it done. I wish a house of a larger size purchased for my use, equipped with servants enough to run it. I wish foods and wines provided and as well as a monthly stipend of 500gp. I wish this guaranteed until my dying day or until I choose to no longer accept it.

As for the terms of the agreement, I will have you write a letter in your own hand and words, signed and sealed detailing this agreement and the terms around it. I will keep a copy to assure you keep up your end of the bargain. You will have my life I am sure should I attempt to double cross you, your skills and that of your allies is well known.

What say you Vulcanna? Can we work together on this? or shall I leave and attempt to secure my future elsewhere?”

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Offers of Magical Surrogacy

You said your name was Urra Musaki? Urra, thank you so much for your generous offer of assistance. Ymeri be praised for sending you to me in my time of need. But I have several questions for you if you would not mind answering before I give you my decision. This is a very big decision that I must think about and cannot be taken lightly.

Please tell me a little about yourself. What you are offering is a very intimate act and involving very powerful magics. I feel we should get to know each other in order to make sure we are both willing to enter into such an agreement. I get the feeling you know a lot more about me than I know about you so I hope you would be willing to let me know a little bit about you. I am very interested. If we did make this agreement, I hope we could become friends or at least maintain a cordial relationship.

Would this spell allow me to pass the required “virginity” tests required at the time of proposal and wedding? This agreement would be for naught if I wasn’t able to pass these tests.

How would the timelines work out in your proposed scenario? I do not know when the wedding would take place, it could take months or even years. How could a pregnancy be sustained for that long? Even if the Fire Lord and I could get married relatively quickly, how could we make it work so the baby could be transferred back to me at the right time (to keep with the timeline for a nine month pregnancy originating from the wedding night)?

What is the small fee that you would request for this surrogacy agreement? Also, can you specify what exactly your standard of “living in comfort” entails? Your view and mine might differ on this. Do you mean a one-time monetary payment? A yearly pension? Free lodgings? Free food? Position at court? Living at court? I believe this would need to be agreed upon before any agreement is completed.

I absolutely agree that if I accept your offer that you should be compensated. But you have asked that I see that you live out the rest of your days in comfort. Forgive me for my bluntness and indelicateness, but someone with your advanced magics would surely have the ability to extend your life expectancy, possibly indefinitely, possibly beyond my own life. If I should die before you, I would not be able to personally fulfill the terms you have requested. Also, what if you decided to leave the plane, I would not be able to ensure the same level of comfort that you had on Argyle. Alternatively, what if circumstances beyond my control affect my ability to ensure that you live the rest of your days in comfort? For example, what if the Fire Nation was conquered or defeated, or Argyle succumbs completely to the devil, demon and aberrants, if the Great Old One is successful at destroying Argyle, etc.

What if something should happen to either of us before the 2nd transfer? It might be a good idea to teach me the spell as well, in case something happened to you and you were unable to perform the spell. Can you tell me what materials are required for this spell? How long does it take? Will the fetus be affected in any way by being transferred twice?

How could we ensure that this agreement stays a secret and no one else finds out? I would need to keep you close and what would we say you are to me and how you are able to live in such comfort? A servant? A long lost friend from my past? A lady in waiting?

What would be the terms of our agreement and how can I ensure that we both keep up our ends of the bargain? What would happen if either one of us did not keep up their end of the agreement?

I must talk with the Fire Lord in private about this. I may be willing to deceive a nation but I am not willing to deceive my love. Also, his knowledge and financial resources will be needed for me to fulfill the terms of the agreement.

I apologize if I am overburdening you with questions. As I said before this is a very big decision and I want to make an informed decision.

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Troll Loot

HornSlapper feasted on the White Dragons corpse as he had his men detail a count for Moredakka… they could each claim their spoils, not more than what they carry in one hand. The rest would go to the Chief of Chiefs… the tally after their claims came out as follows

Mixed coins worth approximately 109,948 gp
- Highport, Umberland, Tukin, Waterdeep, North Hutt, Silver Pike, NUDE, Caliber, Palanthas, Angosian and Dwarf Gate currencies
Blood of The Reds (a set of 12 matched rubies worth 1000 gp each or 20,000 all together)
Moonstones of Naan ( 17 sacred moonstones, 50gp each or 1,500gp together)
The speaking stones of the Ice warriors (32 pieces of tomb jade found on the tounges of long dead and interred warriors worth 1000gp each)
The tears of Talib (matched set of carved gems depicting the necromancer Talib pre 1st Talib wars worth 5000gp each or 50,000gp together)
12 1 foot tall gold statuettes depicting the Elemental Lords and Prominent Titans fighting during the battle of the gods (1,200gp each)
Eight bejewelled faberge dragon eggs (1500gp each)
4 mithral bronze chalices (800gp each)
6 royal gowns (size 9) adorned with tremairs (a pink verity of termolite) (1000gp each)
Armor of Horus – Magic, unidentified
Billet of Ultham – magic, unidentified
Chaathuulandroth’s bulwark – magic unidentified
Rod of fury – magic unidentified
Sceptre of Loki – – magic unidentified
Staff of Stunning – – magic unidentified
Phoenix Helm – – magic unidentified
Lantern of revealing – – magic unidentified

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Green Problems Pt 2

Raven sat deep in thought, the glade of the throne was empty. The former court avoided it, and chose to remain by their former king. And so, somewhat fittingly Raven sat, and pondered alone. It was during such musings that Raven became aware of a presence. The creature before him looked as a man with the horns, legs and tail of a goat, and with thick beard that was strongly black with only tiny hints of grey; he had a snub nose and pointed ears and eyes that danced along his aged face. The creature wore no clothing of any kind save a simple brown satchel and a set of pipes that dangled from the strap. He had never met him before but knew him at once, a smiled quickly stretched to Raven’s Face

“Pan, welcome” the Satyr bowed deeply before Raven before speaking, his voice was smooth like a fine scotch, and would play well with the rustic music he was known for.

“It has been many millennia since I have been welcome in the court of the fey King, but I sensed you may wish council, and so if you will allow me admittance I will come forth and speak with you” Raven waved him forward and he came within twenty paces of the throne bowing deeply once more. “The years have been long since we last spoke Raven, but I still count you as one of my friends” Raven hid the confusion on his face, he hated it when this happened, when someone recalled him or knew him and he had no memory of them, the Satyr continued “I see you have broken your self-imposed banishment, and come out swinging… tis high time, the Great Old Ones have been stirring and causing trouble, it was time an Elder came forth and let them know there are consequences to battling and bickering like children. It will be…” he trailed off catching on “You do not know of what I speak?” Raven shrugged choosing to say little. Pan shook his head in disappointment

“This is what happens when you exile yourself for a few thousand millennia, you have no followers, you have no power and now at your weakest you choose to emerge into the multi verse and make war with Captain Fish Face”

“Pan, I’m not sure what you’re talking about, I need more information, and I need help, the fey need protection, and Argyle needs me”

“Who’s Argyle? Is that a women Raven?” the Satyr asked showing a faint interest

“Argyle is a world Pan, a world being invaded by devil’s and demons, a world that needs my aid… and yours” Pan gave Raven a very worried look

“Raven, are you actually talking to me about one little world? Or about a few devils or demons? Open your eyes Raven the multiverse is unraveling, the shards of entropy have broken free and are in the cosmos once more. It is time for the Old ones of Good and Evil, or Life and Death, of Chaos and Madness of Nature and Science to decide where they truly stand, for should this spill out towards Azathoth… ALL will be undone” the seriousness of the what he said could not be missed even if Raven did not grasp half of it, Raven did the only thing he could do

“Good Speech” he said, the Satyr broke into a wide grin

“you think? It didn’t sound to practiced?”

“No, No it was well spoken, very natural sounding”

“Good, cause I did practice a little”

“Didn’t notice at all” Raven finished, the two grinned at each other for a long moment before Pan spoke once more

“I need you to be RAVEN now, I really need you to start focusing on that, this hiding away in the corner of the cosmos thing… that was fine for a few million years, but it is really time to get moving… I can help you with your little world problem, but I need you to focus, and help” Raven nodded to the words, not in agreement but more to the fact that he was absorbing their meaning and weighing his options

“I doubt I’d know where to start?” he said. Pan smiled at him

“Start where everyone starts. I got just the thing to get the old divine juices a flowing… a good old fashioned Heroes Quest” Raven cocked an eyebrow at this, but Pan pulled his pipes dramatically playing a couple chords before he spoke again “GO FORTH RAVEN OF THE EVERLASTS FOR YOU MUST FIND MORLA, THE WISEST OF US… MORLA WILL BE ABLE TO DIRECT YOU TO ONE WHO CAN AID YOU IN FINDING YOUR MOTHER, SHE WILL HAVE THE KEY TO YOUR MEMORIES AND THE WHY’S AND HOWS OF US” Pan played three more chords in ascending order allowing the music to echo throughout the great throne glade of the Fey King. Raven absorbed the words, trying to divine how to respond or what his next course should be.

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Green Problems

Raven felt the flood of emotion return to him.

FEAR, FEAR and FEAR

As he took stock of the green realm he was shocked by how full it was, and more and more fey were coming, rushing in from many worlds… then it hit him. It hadn’t been 999 fey dead. It was 999 fey dead on 999 worlds. 998,001 of his people had been killed in a single day. The reports coming back were staggering. Peoples from different worlds were now being incited into frenzies, propaganda was being spread about the dangers of the fey, about how they needed to die, or they would kill all. The Cults of the Great Old one did their work quickly, sending mobs of humans and dwarves out after the fey. Some worlds were already forging weapons of cold iron to go forth and exterminate this threat. As his people’s homes and groves were destroyed they fled, racing back to the green realm for aid. Only to find quickly that it was overfilling. It was not all lost the fey had allies on many of these realms some stood nobly and defended his people, and so war and chaos began to rage and a sickness of madness began to sweep the realms. The Old King said nothing, his look said it all, but he would not comment would not speak, the fear and losses were real, and the scope was staggering, the fey had entered war with the Lord of Madness.

His words and speech still held strong echoing throughout the Green Realm, the words kept fear from turning into panic… for now.

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Armed Heirs Final

The church was crowded, but it was the only place in Tukin large enough to fit the assembled group and still have some level of privacy. Commander Tidim Pitslayer stood at the front of the room flanked by Commander Uari Prayerquarrier and Commander Fordric Orehelm. To the extreme left stood Captain Thria Orcknocker. There were a couple hundred Dactyls and Dwarves seated in the benches listening to the Commanders speak. Commander Tidim Started

“Welcome all of you, as some of you may be aware the Heir, Princess Yolonda, has been recruited into the Dwarven Imperials. At her, and the Queens request she will be serving with the 1st Dact Urgoshmen. Under the over direct command of my colleague Commander Uari here” he nodded to the commander who stepped forward and spoke

“I would like to begin by stating that the Heir, due to her noble stature and the way in which she conducted herself during the battle of High Port has been recruited under the rank of 1st Lieutenant, and will be serving in the Squashing Saxons. The Princess and Queen both understand that while in command and on duty within the Squashing Saxons she only has the authority of a 1st Lieutenant and is to follow orders and be treated like any other soldier. If she doesn’t like her orders, tough! I want you all to feel comfortable coming to me directly if she tries to assert the crowns authority on mission. Now, aside from that she is still our Heir and Princess, which means the Saxon’s will be gaining an addition 100 me men, as the Heirs shields will be supplementing that company, with a standard contingent of twenty men who will be supervised by Captain Orcknocker” he ushered to the Captain “You are to provide battle support and keep the princess safe while in battle, she charges you charge, she makes a stand you stand… each of you are to be dead before she falls. Now the Princess won’t like that, she will want to be treated like any other Dwarf or Dactyl, but this is the agreement we made with her and the Queen in order to allow her to serve, now if you will all turn to your briefing notes on page 16…” the commander’s continued their briefing preparing for the Heir to join the ranks and how she would be protected while on the field of battle.

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The Old Fires Burn Hot

As Vulcanna finished her prayers she felt nothing, the small candle she prayed in front of flickered in the breeze, but it did not extinguish, at least that was something, she doubted she could bare such an obvious negative symbol. At the wrapping bar of her tent she hear the slightest of knocks. She gathered he robes and went to see who it was.

Before her stood an elderly human crone; the women’s hands were gnarled from long years she was a simple dress of red with a darker apron, she back was hunched and her left eye was lazy often straying to the extreme left when she spoke.

“Hello, may I help you?” Vulcanna greeted

“Nay young lass…” the women’s voice was high pitched and gravelly, “It is I who can help the likes of you!” she pointed with one of her fingers out stretched “You have prayed, and I have heard… a babe is coming and whore you will be deemed should news of this spread” the women paused letting her words sink in. “But all is not lost yet my young Vulcanna, there are ways…. Ways indeed that all can be made well… that you can marry your prince charming and raise your babe… would you like to know how” Vulcanna looked about and quickly invited the women into her tent to hear more

“Please, tell me” She said. The old crone smiled and took a seat in the tent slowly she began to speak

“I know of magics old and true, magic’s that can move the unborn babe from one to another… For a small fee I would carry your babe in secret until after the wedding, then after your marriage and blessings we can repeat the ritual and the babe will be yours once more. There is a catch however… I am old, and not able to deliver the child, we must complete the final swap before the child is due, else I am the babe will surly die” Vulcanna thought about this for a moment and asked the obvious question

“Why would you want to do this? why are you helping me?” the old women smiled a toothless grin before responding

“Part of me would like to say I believe in love and wish to help those fires burn… but that is not entirely true… I am old, and but a peasant, I have no family left and am forced to live in squalor. When you are Queen of the Fire Nation, you will reward me by seeing that I live out the rest of my days in comfort. I women of my tender years must look out for herself in these dark times… what say you Vulcanna?” the old crone looked to Vulcanna expectantly awaiting her reply

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A Mother's Plea

To my Dearest Yolanda,

I have thought long and hard about your request. I have laid awake many nights worrying about this decision. What I need you to understand is that all of the decisions I make now I am forced to make alone, and yet I am making them for your father without him even knowing it. When he left to find Skyforge, and to save our people – he did that for you. He did it because I was pregnant, and he wanted you to grow up in Skyforge. He wanted his daughter to be born and raised in his home.

When he returns he will be expecting to witness your birth, and my greatest fear is having to inform him of your death instead. Hearing that you had lived and died in his absence would kill your father’s spirit, he would never forgive himself for missing his chance to know you. There will be no one to answer for the decisions that led to your death but me, and losing you is something I would never recover from.

When your father returns, I know he will be proud of you, you have already done so much to be proud of. You are a skilled warrior, a loyal person, and a gifted leader (according to the reports that are still trickling in from the battle of Highport.) You are an amazing young woman and I am proud to call you my daughter. You are so young, and yet you have already exceeded all of my expectations. I love you. Whether I remember to say it or not in the crazy life we live, my heart fills with love for you the moment I open my eyes each morning and I will love you for all time.

You may join the Dwarven Imperials with my blessing. All that I ask of you is to be a better warrior than I am. You have the heart of a warrior, that much is clear and it’s not a surprise considering that you are Yolo’s and my daughter. But you have inherited other gifts as well. Use them, understand what has taken me so long to learn; (some of this I am still working on.)

Learn when to cut your losses and retreat. The brave men and women that you lead have value. Do not force them to continue a battle they can not win. Their lives must not be traded for your pride.

Understand when you are out-matched. It is important to have the wisdom and foresight to plan. If your reconnaissance shows you that your forces will not be significant against the threat you face, recruit allies, find another way, or bolster your numbers somehow before you engage.

Know that you cannot lead from your grave. You are the heir and the hope of the Dwarven people here on Argile, do not take that responsibility lightly.

Appreciate how much time you can have to make a difference here on Argyle, do not squander it hunting for glory. Make sure that the choices you make bring you closer to your goal. Do not go looking for fights for the soul purpose of fighting.

Above all else, I implore you my beloved daughter:

Survive

When you are ready, come and see me, I would like to be with you when you meet the recruitment officer, if you will to let me.

I love you.

Your mother,

Selwyn

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