Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by K on Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:37 pm

Carlos shrugs with a sigh - "I'd be more willing to hear Liam, but if you're gonna get to the part where we outsmart them, sure."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Rory on Tue Mar 21, 2017 2:57 am

Folding his arms, Hunter loses much of the hot air he was going to blow. "Well of course the entire druid circle isn't two people," he mumbles.

"Fine. What's the best solution, Joshua? And how do we get the finger back if they won't part with it?" Aside from violence.

ooc:
...Alright. A gnoll "shaman" is still a sorcerer, and sorcerers can use magic that would help them find a place of power they otherwise couldn't stumble upon. But how did they know it was here for it to enter their heads to look for it?

Also I forgot for a second my guy is lawful. Sorry about that. A little Rory ogre crept inside him. But just know that he's trying real hard to be the shepherd.

Sorry for my lack of activity. I want to be ready for Arch's stream.
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Essoje on Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:42 am

"Not saying it's the best solution, but it's better than picking a fight we might be unable to win. But first, uh... Lio--- no, it was Liam? Please tell us all the information you have on the Harkon's Heart, Nesme and her daughter, every little detail you can come up with. Oh, and please remember we are no druids, so if there's a point you think it would be a given, tell us anyways."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Kolson on Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:38 am

"I can work the door and open another path if necessary, but it's doubtful a gnoll would open a gate to the Nine Hells," says Liam, "It's more likely it was the Abyss. But you don't seem to believe me about Nesme and her crew. Perhaps if you have all the information you'll see reason."

Liam then tells you many stories. At times he has Lily recite a tale, clearly testing her memory of the history. He rarely has to correct her.

The Treants of the Nentir Vale:
The history of the Nentir Vale is the history of the Winterbole and Harken Forests. But they were not always two woods. In a long ago era, before man and dwarf, this land was one forest, and it's rulers were the treants. They feared little back then save dragon fire, and from that they were protected by the archfey Malorunth the Eternal Ash, and their fellowship, their Circle, was strong. But it was not to last.

One spring evening Malorunth inexplicably fell silent as withered leaves fell in droves from his brittle, petrified branches. With Malorunth's passing so too fell the Vale's protective mantle. Scores of dragons infiltrated the woodland, triggering the first of several titanic confrontations between wyrm and treant that would become known as the War of Endless Branches. Great swaths of the woodland were burned to ash but the war's true cost would only be known after."

The Treant Civil War:
With the end of the War of Endless Branches the great wood stood divided. Even though dragon's fire had razed large swaths of woodland, it was festering suspicion and doubt that ultimately divided the treants. With little evidence to back their claims, some deciduous treants openly blamed the conifers for the Eternal Ash's demise. Soon, heated words bred violence, and civil war engulfed the forest. The treant fellowship ripped apart, creating a deep rift that endures to this day.

In the wake of the treant civil war, most conifers migrated into the northern wood, known today as Winterbole Forest. Reaffirming suspicions of their betrayal, the Winterbole treants turned their veneration to the archfey, the Prince of Frost, even allying with an elder white dragon named Bitterstrike.

The deciduous treants continue to revere Malorunth, whose petrified trunk stands enshrined in the heart of Harken Forest. The Harken treants believe that the Eternal Ash will return to them, but only if his murder is avenged.

The Great March:
Though frequent by the treants' own reckoning, the great wars between Harken and Winterbole typically occur only every century or two. When one faction or the other decides to mount a Great March, the treants move swiftly against their enemies--but the attacking force must first make a sixty-mile-plus trek across the Vale to reach enemy territory. The last Great March happened nearly two centuries ago, when Harken treants moved against the northern treants near Lake Wintermist. It's likely that the Winterbole treants will strike next, but it's not unheard of for one side to strike twice in succession.

The Harken's Heart Druids:
In the Nentir Vale's earliest days, when elves and the eladrin separated, many elves settled in the lush and lively Harken Forest. A handful of elves quickly developed a strong connection to the living forest's primal power and became the land's first druids. Over the centuries, the druids became wholly attuned to the forest's needs. This band became known as Harken's Heart, named after its symbolic position in the great wooded land. Many of the forest's other elf residents came to view Harken's Heart with a growing combination of distaste, disapproval, and fear, believing that the druid's obsession with the primal power drawn from the ancient wood was dangerous. Their fears were well founded.

When war broke out once again between the treants of the Harken and Winterbole forests, it was natural that the Harken's Heart druids leapt to their defense. However, the group's ruthlessness toward its foes and its central and violent role in the fighting shocked the valley's other druids. Their crimes are as follows:

1. They unleashed destructive blights that targeted the conifer's and their allied human tribes, curses they unleashed with impunity upon foe and neutral parties alike. Many starved to death including women and children that had nothing to do with the fighting.

2. They lured a troop of conifer treants into the Old Hills and there riled up the seven goblin tribes that lived there, timing it so both parties would meet in the Starfall Valley. After both parties were committed to battle the Harken's Heart druids sealed the valley and rained lightning upon both sides. The goblins and the treants both perished in the blaze. These goblins weren't like the others you've likely dealt with. They had lived peacefully in the hills for years. Our Circle had been guiding them towards the Spirit Way and the rejection of Bane and Maglubiyet. With their numbers and their influence, the Old Hills would have been a settled land, not the wild and dangerous place that it is now.

3. They purposefully unleashed the barrow wights of the Sword Barrow into the Winterbole Forest. Though they were eventually destroyed or driven back into their holes, their necromatic magics still blight that area. Undead haunt that area and unnatural things grow within. Two Circles to this day are still trying to repair the damage they did.

When the fighting came to an end once more, Eyton, the founder of our order and himself a former member of the Harken's Heart Circle, had had enough. Beseeching the great elder spirits, Eyton asked that the Harken's Heart druids be severed from their primal power source. After much consideration, they agreed, and Harken's Heart found themselves unable to touch their magic.

Angered by Eyton's actions, yet fearing the intense power required to accomplish the severing, the Harken's Heart druids appealed to the goddess Melora for aid. If Melora heard the call, she only partially acceded to the druids' pleas. The spell was altered and became known as Harken's Curse. While within Harken Forest, those of Harken's Heart retain their full powers, including their ability to defend themselves and the forest. However, their primal powers quickly decline when they leave the forest's boundaries, and dissipate completely a league outside its borders. Thus, the druids' overzealous tendencies cannot harm the surrounding lands and people. Or so they hope.

Nesme and Allinandra:
The leader of a Druid Circle is usually called a Hierophant and the Harken's Heart druids are no exception. The Hierophant for the last 137 years has been the elf Nesme, whom you've met. She served as second to the previous Hierophant, Norpetor, and has continued many of his policies concerning protection of and travel through the Harken Wood. Officially travelers are welcome but a series of disappearances over the last 30 years has all but cutoff the overland route through the woods. We've never been able to prove it but we suspect the Harken's Heart of luring travelers to their deaths. Even Rangers and other druids have been known to disappear at times.

But always--always!--they search for a way to end the Curse and they have tried many questionable ways of doing so. Why not 5 years ago they attempted to cut a deal with a coven of hags that almost got them, us, and the rest of the Woodsinger elves killed. If it hadn't been for a group of adventurers that happened to wander by things would have been a lot worse.

And don't get me started on Allinandra! She creeps me out, she does! Always sneaking around ready to do whatever her mother tells her. Watch your back around her, she's silent as a mountain lion when she wants to be and twice as quick.


"It's a lot of information. Any questions?"
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by K on Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:53 am

Carlos strokes his beard listlessly. Then sighs - "¿Would the Gnolls have been able to penetrate this grove on their own?"
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Rory on Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:05 am

ooc:
I Didn't realize what "treant" really meant until now.

Also, can I get some advice? I'm trying to play Lawful Good, but I'm having a hard time as Hunter justifying going out to plead with the heirophant and her daughter and then murder them when we fail to change their mind. As me, I see the two of them as gravely troublesome and too dangerous to be left alive, and I'd just go out and take care of that without any due process. Is that still "lawful" in a way?

Hunter's arms hug tighter over his chest. He winces with each detail he knew, each one he could have mentioned when all this began, until his eyes are drawn shut. He remains deadly silent after Liam finishes telling the legends.

To Carlos, he answers, "I sincerely doubt it, friend."

"Go ahead and say it. I'm a screw-up." Pause. "Here we are now, with Nesme ready to form a trade agreement with a merchant guild. A deal she will try to take advantage of if her latest tricks don't result in the curse's undoing."

"You want us to 'see reason', Liam. What wisdom? What recourse do you believe we should turn to?"
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by K on Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:30 pm

"No es sobre ti, carajo." - Carlos mutters, then addresses the party in general - "And yeah, given what else they're like to do, wouldn't surprise me now if they'd been the ones to lure the pendejos to this place."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Zeiss on Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:51 pm

This history lesson seems to unsettle Kathryn, and the more she hears about it, the more it agitates her. Nevertheless, she stays immobile and doesn't say word, preferring to reflect on what she just learned, or most likely, try to make sense of it all while she waits for Liam to address Carlos' and Hunter's concerns.

OOC:
I have no idea what "Lawful" really is, so I can't really comment on that. Why not just roleplay Hunter according to his priorities? Kathryn is not the smartest girl there is, but she has a big heart, and that's how I've been roleplaying her so far. I don't try to stick to one alignment in particular.
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Rory on Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:37 pm

"Liam, can your circle afford to bring someone back to life? Are you and the children the only ones left of it?"
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by K on Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:07 pm

"What mi friend here is trying not to say, is that Nesme has the finger of one of your people. The lady was in the middle of a corpse pile that was feeding the Summoning Circle, and Jojo here thought it best to burn them all except the finger, and then gave that to her. We didn't know, but we're responsible for that."

Carlos takes a pained breath, knowing this is bad - "Saying sorry is cheap. ¿What can we do to make it right?"
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Rory on Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:41 pm

[I thought we told them that. We did sort of mention it off-hand in front of them. Didn't we?]
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by K on Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:42 pm

[No.]
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Kolson on Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:07 am

K wrote:Carlos strokes his beard listlessly. Then sighs - "¿Would the Gnolls have been able to penetrate this grove on their own?"

"They never have before. I know that might not sound like a good answer but hear me out. If they used some form of fell magic to force their way in you wouldn't have needed a druid to get in here in the first place as there would be a hole, right? And if they used magic to subtly open a door why didn't the Spirit of the Grove warn us? I'm not saying we shouldn't investigate to be sure but I hope you can see why I'm skeptical they found their own way in."

Rory wrote:"You want us to 'see reason', Liam. What wisdom? What recourse do you believe we should turn to?"

"I don't know what the solution is but this talk of making deals with them and dismissal of my warnings as fearmongering is folly. I commend you for trying to be fair and see both sides but they don't deserve it. Sure, they help out here and there but that's because their interests happen to intersect with ours from time to time. Don't make the mistake of thinking they do it out of the goodness of their hearts."

Rory wrote:"Liam, can your circle afford to bring someone back to life? Are you and the children the only ones left of it?"

Liam frowns and a look of profound pain and loss settles on his face. "We don't resurrect the dead except in the gravest of emergencies. At most we'd reincarnate those who lost their lives too soon and even then that would be up to the Spirits to agree. The cycle of life and death is a part of nature. Whether we like it or not. The rest of the Circle is out fighting the gnoll horde. Last we heard they live."

K wrote:"What mi friend here is trying not to say, is that Nesme has the finger of one of your people. The lady was in the middle of a corpse pile that was feeding the Summoning Circle, and Jojo here thought it best to burn them all except the finger, and then gave that to her. We didn't know, but we're responsible for that."

Carlos takes a pained breath, knowing this is bad - "Saying sorry is cheap. ¿What can we do to make it right?"

Liam's face blanches at this revelation. "What did she look like?"

Zoe describes her. "Human lady about your age, raven colored hair, dressed in a robe much like your own."

Tom cries out in pain and begins crying loudly. Lily hugs him while crying tears of her own.

"Walk with the Spirits, Dianne," says Liam sadly. "She was our Circle's second and a good friend. She deserved better than that. They all did. But I don't know what Nesme hopes to accomplish with her finger. Nothing good I'm sure."


Last edited by Kolson on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:19 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Zeiss on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:04 am

This discussion is clearly starting to irritate Kathryn. The way she frowns, she appears to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that has been thrown at them. After letting out a sigh of exasperation, she discreetly steps outside the room to recuperate. For a short moment, she stands there, immobile. The young woman gives a few glances at her companions, who are standing only a few feet away from her, and then refocuses her attention on the door they just came through a few minutes ago; the one leading to the chamber where the magical tree resides. Her whole body suddenly relaxes and she, almost automatically, walks back into that room.

"Hi," she says to the tree as she timidly waves at it. "It's me... again." She clears her throat. "Sorry for bothering you, but I'm wondering if you could help us. You see, we were wondering if the gnolls managed to enter the grove because of their -what do you call it? Uh, shaman? Yeah, shaman. Or, is it because of the two Harken druids standing just outside the door?"

She stays silent for a few seconds before she quickly adds, "Uh, if you don't know the answer, can you... point us in the right direction so we can figure it out? Please?"

With some hesitation, she bows to the venerable spirit.
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Kolson on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:32 am

A branch of the great tree slowly stretches and grows towards Katheryn. When it is a foot away (0.3048 m), a red flower the size of Kat's fist grows and blooms toward her. The center of the flower glows with a light red light, projecting a steady and comforting feeling.
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Zeiss on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:39 am

With some hesitation, she raises her hand, puts her fingers around the flower's stem, and waits for the tree to giver her a signal that tells her it's okay to pluck it out.
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by K on Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:58 am

Carlos goes grim - "She'll accomplish nothing, Señor, because she won't get to keep it. Carlos not too smart, but even i should have put 2 and 2 together when when i noticed those monste--" - Carlos stops himself short as he notices the children there - "--how they seem to have gotten in here without alerting everyone." - but it only makes him angrier - "They've got Ludmilla resting in some grass bed, so we need to get her first, and maybe get some o'that good old stratetgic advantage before we start the party. But what they did here..." - Carlos clenches his fist - "They don't walk."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Rory on Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:46 am

"Carlos, just calm down for a minute. Nesme's not that crazy, she won't hold Ludmilla ransom. That only hurts her position."

"We think we know what she wants to do. She means to bargain Dianne's resurrection in exchange for breaking the curse. I'm sorry, Liam, we need to convince her that it's futile. But, I think you can help us with that..."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Kolson on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:01 am

The flower glows brighter as Katheryn's hand grasps it. The feeling of peace and contentment is making her a little sleepy. It reminds her of a happy and content memory with her mom or dad from when she was young.
-----------------------------
"Well," says Liam, "I guess it depends on what you guys have in mind. If you want to talk it's best we go out the main entrance, yes? But if you want to get the jump on them I do have a way for you to do that but you won't like it."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by K on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:10 am

"No reason we can't do both, is there?" - Carlos muses - "I can go out and talk to her, seeing as they're so fond of Hunter over here. If that fails, we jump."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Kolson on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:15 am

"Won't that just give away the element of surprise?" asks Zoe.

Liam shrugs. "It might, yeah. It depends on how Carlos handles it. But are you sure you want to go alone? Those folks are dangerous."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by K on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:21 am

Carlos shrugs - "It'll only show them i'm in front of them and talking. Hopefully, their attention will be on me enough to allow you to sneak up on them. And i can make an argument or two, maybe we won't need to fight it out." Carlos taps his chainmail - "This thing here doesn't help me sneak around, but lets me take a hit or two before you intervene. Seems like the best way to use me."
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Zeiss on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:24 am

Kathryn has some difficulty keeping her eyes open, and she starts to wonder if this was done on purpose. She looks back and forth between the flower and the door, somewhat confused by this turn of events, until she finally makes her decision. She hesitantly sits down, leaning her back against the trunk, and closes her eyes with the intention of falling asleep.
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Kolson on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:39 am

After moving away from the flower, Kat finds the sense of peace and its accompanying drowsiness lessens greatly. She finds she's not as tired as she was. Does she continue to try to sleep?
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

Post by Zeiss on Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:44 am

She scratches her head, returns to the flower... and plucks it from the branch.
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Re: Prologue: To Boldly Go Where People Have Not Been in a Good Long While!

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