The Legend Of Oz – The Caster (Chapter II)

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“The Legend Of Oz – The Caster 

by Doragon

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II – Departure

That night, it was my uncle who found me, tied to a tree.

When I told him what had happened, he told me to go home, that he would deal with it.

My uncle was a intriguing site to behold.

6’ 3” with a longish dark brown beard, and a bald head.

And on his shoulder, a great red tail hawk.

My uncle then made his way to the woods after them, but I did not go home.

It didn’t feel right him fighting my battle…

…at least alone.

I followed a great distance behind him.

Though perhaps he knew I was there.

At some point he finally came upon the band of thieves camp.

There must’ve been a dozen or so…

They danced around, and sang drunkedly…

Each falling down, and/or passing out, at some point.

My uncle waited until the last one was out cold, and that’s when he went into the cam…

…but first.

“I told you to go home Oz…” he spoke softly, but harshly from the dark behind me.

“I know, but–” I started, but…

“Here,” and with thi he placed his great hawk upon my shoulder.

“Watch over him,” and then he made his way into the camp.

First he retrieved my sister’s hawk and sent it into the sky…

…second he released my cub Sherwood, who followed him out of the camp.

Just as we seemed like we were going to get away, two daggers plunged into my uncles back…

…and he fell to his knees.

“Run Oz,” with this I sent his hawk into the air, but several arrows brought it down to the ground from three of the other thieves who had awoken.

I stood there frozen, Sherwood behind me, as my brothers, who had thrown the daggers at our uncle, stepped out of the shadows.

“We’re impressed Oz…” said the first.

“Very impressed,” added the second.

I just stared at them in disbelief.

Meanwhile my uncle fell to the ground, breathing his last breath.

“You killed our uncle, for what, the gold you’ll fetch for the animals,” I spoke in pain.

“Yes…” the first responded as he removed his dagger from our uncle’s back.

“Sounds about right,” added the second as he did the same.

“Now leave the cub, and we’ll let you go…” spoke the first.

Suddenly there was a fiery glow coming from below my waste…

…it was my right hand, and I rose it up.

My hand was on fire… and yet there was no pain.

My brothers looked at one another, baffled.

“What’s this, you practicing in the dark arts are yah…” the second spoke.

Meanwhile the three other thieves place their bows on their backs, and backed away, heading back to their camp.

Beyond that, i’d rather not say…

But suffice it to say, a large fire started in the woods, and y brothers were burnt alive in it.

I wasn’t proud of this…

I haven’t truly dealt with it emotionally.

When I returned to my parents home, I explained everything.

My mother started to cry, and left the room.

My father patted my shoulder, then joined her.

My brother Aras, who had given me Sherwood, had retrieved y sister’s hawk.

“I’ll take care of him for now, Jeneai doesn’t seem all that interested…” he explained.

“I think you should go for a while Oz… Until this settles down…  Don’t need the other thieves coming for you, and endangering the family,” he finished.

I nodded, still in shock from it all.

“Here,” he gave me a pouch with 100 gold, and 50 silver pieces.

“Take Sherwood with you, he will grow into a formidable companion,” he said with tears in his eyes.

I knew that Aras was hurting, he’d lost our uncle, who was truly more like a father to him than our actual father.

Me leaving was the right thing to do.

I felt at peace with it.

But what I truly needed to do was travel to The Key, home to the Mages of Thay, and there become an apprentice.

And that’s exactly what I did.

PICTURE CREDIT – Fire Mage

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The Legend Of Oz – The Caster

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THE LEGEND OF OZ – THE CASTER

by Doragon

Oz was one of eight children…

The youngest.

His oldest brother, like his father, was a farmer.

And for it, they never went hungry.

And his oldest sister, like his mother, was a seamstress

They never went without clothing.

Next there was the twin boys, both of them together turned to thievery…

…and were banished from our home at the age of 12.

My sister below that was very quiet…

I suspect she felt like she never belonged…

As I feel about myself.

My next brother is an Animal Trainer…

He traveled far and long at a very young age, learning about all sorts of animals…

…he accompanied my uncle who was a renowned hawk trainer.

In fact, it was this brother who returned with a gift for both me, and my next sister.

For me, it was a wild cat cub…

A tiger who I named Sherwood.

And for my sister, it was a hawk.

Now my sister, mainly interested in girlish type things, like…

…boys.

Left it in its’ cage.

But when she was out with ‘boys’, I would take it out, and travel into the nearby glades with both Sherwood, and my sister’s hawk.

I must’ve seemed so strange.

But one day, as I took a rest from running, and play…

The hawk on my shoulder, and Sherwood laying some three feet from me, someone entered the glade.

More than just one…

Several…

Thieves.

And amongst them, all carrying great nets, were my twin brothers.

As I snacked upon a ripe piece of fruit, Sherwood suddenly made a slight growl…

…but before I could react, all three of us, the hawk, Sherwood and I were captured in these…

…nets.

Tied to a tree, I begged for my brothers and their band of thieves not to take them…

…but they laughed, and disappeared with them into the surrounding woods.

PICTURE CREDIT – Mage

 

The Warlock Hex – Araban Jairaal

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The Warlock Hex

by Doragon

Chapter I – Enter Tyedra

Chapter II – Family

Chapter III – Cromick

Chapter IV – Tear Of Asmodeus

Chapter V – The Pact

Chapter VI – Night Watch

Chapter VII – The Brigadeers

CHAPTER VIII – Araban Jairaal

THE BRIGADEER CAMP

Archus, Hex and Kredon enter the well fortified base camp of The Brigadeers.

Two hundred of more members, from Fighters, to Rangers, to Barbarians and more populate the area.

Some glance at Hex as they go by, but not many.

They seem almost as they’re preparing for something.

Archus leads them to the Brigadeer Leader’s tent, the Dragonborn Eldritch Knight, ARABAN JAIRAAL.

Inside is a large, blue Dragonborn, Araban, wearing white armour, and looking over a large map which has been spread across a table.

Next to him are two Fighters pointing to different areas of the map, and at a back table, lounging and drinking ale, is Shaehun.

“Leading a group of Night Watch Clerics right to our base, probably not the best thing Archus,” Araban speaks without raising his eyes from the map laid in front of him.

Archus is about to speak, but Hex interjects,”It’s my fault…Araban is it?”

Araban looks up, his deep yellow eyes, with tall slight black pupils gazing at the Warlock.

“How can it be your fault? Did you know where our camp was?” he steps forward.

“No… But Archus did, and does, and so it is his fault!” Araban seems to drive this point without allowing for a counter argument.

It is at this point that Hex finally begins to get angry.

“Come Kredon, we’re leaving,” Hex leaves the tent, quickly followed by Kredon who is stumbling a bit in surprise.

Shaehun runs by Araban casting a glare back at him.

Meanwhile Hex is throwing his arms in the air, “Where did they take our horses!”

Shaehun approaches, and clasps Hex’s left shoulder firmly, “Hex, you must forgive Araban… They are in the middle of planning–” she stops herself from saying, “well… Planning for something.”

Hex looks at her his eyes glowing slightly purple, but her calmness, never before demonstrated to him, calms him as well.

“Stay Hex… We’ll have dinner with several of the Brigadeers, it will be good… Quite a feast,” she actually cracks a smile this time.

Hex’s eyes return to normal, “Very well… Where is our tent?”

THAT NIGHT

THE GREAT FEASTING TENT

Some thirty or so Brigadeer gather around the great dining table, with Araban at the end holding up an ale, “To the Brigadeers…” He smiles smugly, and they all drink and cheer…

Food is brought out quickly after, Hex and Kredon are sitting between Shaehun and Archus who seem friendly-ish.

But one particular Dwarf with a long brown beard can’t seem to take his eyes off Hex.

Hex feels mildly uncomfortable by this, but says nothing.

“So you brought that thing into our Camp, did yah…” the Dwarf suddenly speaks glaring with fire in his eyes at Hex.

Araban does not yet intervene, but rather watches.

“Darius–” Shaehan starts to speak, but is interupted…

“And you Barbarian… After we let you in to our Brigade, you up and vanish…” the Dwarf Darius continues.

He looks at Araban, “We have much to do Araban… We have no time to host a Hexblade barer, and a turncoat Barbarian.”

With this Archus stands and draws his bow, pointing it at Darius…

…Darius laughs, “Do it Drow…” he stands and leans his fists into the table, “Do it…”

“Enough… Sit down Darius… Archus…” speaks Araban.

“We’ll get to the bottom of their visits soon enough…”

The Warlock Hex – The Brigadeers

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The Warlock Hex

by Doragon

Chapter I 

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

CHAPTER VII – The Brigadeers

KORNDOR FORREST

Standing before Hex, Kredon and Shaehun is The Drow Ranger, ARCHUS CULIVEER.

“Don’t all say hello at once,” speaks Archus as he sparks a stick and rock, and tosses it in the prepared pile of wood and brush…

…it lights up in a roar.

“It will be dark soon, so we’d best figure out a Watch,” he finishes.

“But you’re a…” Hex starts, but stops himself.

“A Drow, yes, but I suspect you’ve seen worse, judging by that rascal of a blade at your side,” Archus speaks with a menacing smile.

Shaehun approaches, and locks arms with Archus, “Archus!” she seems surprisingly happy to see him…

…even Archus takes note, “Hello Shae, good to see you’re still breathing, word had it you’d considered giving such trivialities up…” he smiled again, pulled his bow off his back, “I’ll take first watch,” and disappeared into the trees.

“That–” started Kredon.

“–is an amazing being,” finished Shaehun, who then realized she was making too much of Archus, and turned towards the fire.

“You two get some sleep, you’ll need it, I’m going to stay up, take second watch when Archus comes in,” she speaks without room for negotiation.

Hex looks at Kredon and shrugs, “So be it,” he then throws some things into a pot, and puts it over the fire,”but first, we eat”.

TWO HOURS LATER

Shaehun joins Archus in a tree which he watches from.

“So who is this guy Shae, that you’d bring him to the Brigadeers?” Archus asks without taking his eyes off the watch.

“A Warlock… Lord of Talabus to be specific…” she replies.

“You know these words mean nothing to me, why have you brought him?”

“The Tear of Asmodeus directed him to find me… And beyond that, call it a feeling,” she explains.

“A feeling,” Archus says with a slight laugh.

“Is Araban at home, or off saving the world again?” Shaehun says with a laugh herself.

Archus smiles, this time softer, “The noble blowhard is there… Every last scale,” they both laugh.

MORNING

Hex wakes early, and goes quickly into a trance.

Magic that fills me… I know not what your purpose is, or how you might react to serving this blade… I will do my best not to taint you

TAINT YOU… I COULD BE OFFENDED BY THIS, SHOULD I DESIRE… BUT I DO NOT

I know nothing of you Blade… Only that I am bonded to you, and you are bonded to Asmodeus

I AM ALIVE, MORTAL… THAT’S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

“Good morning my Lord,” speaks Kredon as he runs his hands through his thinning hair, “breakfast?”

Hex nods.

Archus walks into camp, but Shaehun is no where to be seen.

“Shae will meet us at the base,” he says.

“Base?” Hex stands, and looks a bit surprised.

“You’ll see soon enough… For now, we need to get out of these woods, those Clerics will search them soon enough,” and with this Archus reaches down and grabs a piece of bread from near the fire.

THE EASTERN SIDE OF THE KORNDOR FOREST

The six Night Watch Clerics, two Elven Rangers and Cormick stand near what appear to be tracks leading into the woods.

“About 18 hours ago I’d say, but they may have made camp,” speaks the first Ranger.

“I still don’t understand why you didn’t join us in Angolo?” speaks one of the Night Watch.

“I need Hex to trust me… By my not showing up, he may have doubts that I was actually involved,” he explains openly.

“Can you take my men in there?” Cormick asks the two Wood Elf Rangers, they look at one another, and shake their heads.

“There’s a Drow Ranger known as Archus Culiveer in there… It’s his territory, and he wouldn’t take kindly to a couple Wood Elves entering it,” the second Ranger explains.

“Very well,” Cormick hands them a purse of gold coins, and the two of them make there way down the road.

“Find them,” he speaks, and the six Night Watch enter the wood.

PICTURE CREDIT – Sorin Markov

The Warlock Hex – Night Watch

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The Warlock Hex

by Doragon

Chapter I 

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

CHAPTER VI – Night Watch

THE RIVER TOWN OF ANGOLO

Six Night Watch Clerics stand outside the Usepf Tavern

THE TAVERN USEPF

Meanwhile inside, Kredon has woken Hex, and across the hall Shaehun’s door opens, “Quickly, in here!”

Hex grabs his gear, and joins Kredon as they go into Shaehun’s room.

She’s opened the window, “Quickly, this roof will drop us into the alley!”

The three of them make their way out the window, and into the alley.

Meanwhile, two of the Night Watch Clerics enter the Tavern, and question the Inn Keeper.

In the alley are Kredon and Hex’s horses, Shaehun gets onto the back of Kredons, and they ride out into the street!

The four remaining Night Watch Clerics see them, but are unable to stop them on foot.

KORNDOR FORREST

Within an hour they reach a thick forest, where they weave their way in and out amongst the trees.

“Did you see Cormick?! I didn’t see Cormick,” exclaims Hex.

“No I did not!” replies Kredon.

Forty five minutes later, they’ve gone deep enough into the forest, that Shaehun tells them to halt.

She dismounts, “We wait here,” she speaks as she heads into the surrounding woods, and begins to gather firewood.

Hex and Kredon dismount as well, and sit on some medium size rocks surrounding the area that will likely be the fire.

Hex is out of breath, “How could he do this… How could Cormick turn his Order against us?”

Kredon shakes his head, not knowing.

“Because that thing is Evil!” proclaims Shaehun as she enters camp, and drops a bunch of wood in the middle of what will be their fire.

Kredon rolls up his sleeves, and begins to set the wood up so that it will light more easily.

Shaehun heads back into the woods.

Hex looks down at the Tear of Asmodeus, “She’s right.”

“Right or not, she needs to pay you a bit of respect,” replies Kredon discouraged by the Barbarian’s outspokenness.

“I respect no one, certainly not the wielder of a Hexblade!” she snarls towards Kredon, this time she carries some dried weed, which she places down next to the wood Kredon had prepared.

Kredon takes the brush and tucks it under the wood, readied to be lit.

“I am not her Liege Kredon,” Hex speaks.

“But you are a good man!” he announces glaring in her general direction as she looks back from whence they came…

…she pays him no mind.

Hex stands and looks at Shaehun, “You don’t need to be here Shaehun… It was the sword that sent me to you.”

Shaehun looks over her shoulder at Hex, “Do you even know why?”

“Well, because you were the previous owner I suppose… But beyond that, I don’t,” he replies.

“He’ll be here soon enough…” Shaehun speaks as she too takes a place on one of the rocks.

“He?” replies Kredon.

She just looks at Kredon, then back at Hex, “That thing never spoke to me… But by the gods, it was thirsty for death, and oh how I fed it…” her head bows, “I fed it too much.”

“There’s something you’re not telling us,” speaks Kredon.

“Well your Warlock here went to bed before I could…” she replies.

With this, Hex sits down, “I’m listening.”

“My brother wouldn’t take no for an answer… We got into a grappling over the blade, and…” she suddenly gasps as a black hooded and cloaked Humanoid drops from the trees behind Hex and Kredon.

“She killed her own brother…” the stranger speaks as he pulls down his hood revealing a Drow.

PICTURE CREDIT – Battle Cleric, Red Cleric

The Warlock Hex – The Pact

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The Warlock Hex

by Doragon

Chapter I 

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

CHAPTER V – The Pact

THE RIVER TOWN OF ANGOLO

THE TAVERN USEPF

Shaehun, Hex and Kredon sit at an off to the side, fairly table.

Shaehun drinks, Hex and Kredon do not.

“I had that blade for about a year,” Shaehun explains.

“But a year was long enough.”

“How did you come upon it?” asked Hex.

Shaehun’s body language changed, became more uneasy.

“My brother… He was captured by an enemy Barbarian Clan… The Nors, as they’re called… But there were too many of them… Maybe 12, or 15… So out of desperation I prayed to our Gods that they might aid me… But none answered… So I prayed to someone else,” with this Shaehun’s eyes look blacker than ever.

“Asmodeus…” interjected Kredon.

Shaehun looked at the large man, and nodded.

“Enter the Tear of Asmodeus… There it was, just sticking in the ground outside the Nors camp… The most beautiful blade I had ever seen… And the way it felt, like—” she explained, but Hex finished her sentance.

“–it was made for you, and only you.”

Shaehun looked at Hex,”Yes.”

“How did you part from the blade?” questioned Kredon.

“Well… This blade did indeed aid me in freeing my brother, leaving some 7 of the Barbarians slain, the two of us fled… We drank, we laughed, we were young again… That is… Until he asked to see the blade.”

“Did you let him?” asked Hex.

“Well… See, yes… But not touch… And this raged him… He emplored me to let him hold it, and I refused… I could already feel its’ darkness filling me from the 7 kills I had used it for… Something in me was changing.”

Hex looked uneasy, “Well… I don’t know about the two of you, but I need to get some rest, I shall get us all rooms,” with this he stood, and went to the Inn Keeper.

Shaehun normally wouldn’t let a man buy her a room, but this was different.

She looked at Kredon, “He hasn’t killed with it yet, has he…”

Kredon bowed, and shook his head no.

“Alright then, each of you have a room, goodnight,” he spoke, and was gone…

…but he would not sleep that night.

Instead when he closed his eyes, he saw the dark blue eyes of Tyedra in the Talabus church.

You Have Two Options Hex… Serve The Tear Of Asmodeus

Or Serve Asmodeus Directly

His words rang through him like a cold knife.

BAM BAM BAM!

Came from Hex’s door, and when he opened it, Kredon stood in the hallway.

“IT’S THE ORDER OF NIGHT WATCH CLERICS… THEY’RE HERE!”

The Warlock Hex – Tear Of Asmodeus

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The Warlock Hex

by Doragon

Chapter I 

Chapter II

Chapter III

CHAPTER IV – Tear Of Asmodeus

CASTLE TALABUS

HEX’S UNDERGROUND WORKSHOP

Hex sits in his chair staring at The Tear Of Asmodeus Hexblade

What do you wish from me

THE LIFE’S ESSENCE OF THE DYING

How am I to achieve this

STRIKE THE FINAL BLOW OF FOES, LEAVE THE REST TO ME

And this is all you want?

FOR NOW

“Are you alright My Lord?” Kredon’s calming voice came from Hex’s doorway once more, a warm cup of tea on a small plate in his hand.

Hex doesn’t answer, but turns his gaze away from the blade.

“I’ve brought you some tea,” with this Kredon sets down the tea on Hex’s work table.

SEEK OUT THE DARK BARBARIAN, SHE WILL AID YOU

“Dark Barbarian,” Hex speaks out loud.

“What was that?” replied Kredon.

SHAEHUN

Hex stands, “I need to find a Barbarian named Shaehun, she will know more about all of this…” he walks by Kredon, “ready our horses.”

CHAPTER IV – Part 2 – Shaehun

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ONE WEEK LATER

THE RIVER TOWN OF ANGOLO

A RUSTIC TAVERN

The Dark Barbarian Shaehun sits alone, very drunk.

Several empty tankards knocked over across her table.

The Inn Keeper approaches, “Come on now,” he lifts her by her arm, and she in returns draws her great axe from her back, and pushes him back.

“Never touch me fool,” she hisses at him

“I will find my own way out.”

She then staggers out of the tavern.

Out in the streets it’s very busy, many have come to warm themselves from the early winter, but long to return to their travels…

…but not Shaehun… Her traveling days are at an end, though she be only twenty six.

The darkness within her bares too much a load, and so she drinks, and fights random travelers who would dare mess with her.

She’s only 5′ 8″, as opposed to 6′ plus like some Barbarian woman, and leanley tone.

Her skin looks almost grey in color, and her eyes are a dark black.

There’s something unnatural to her, and those who mention it, often pay dearly.

She would die in this town… She was sure of it.

Two unpleasant Fighters approach her, their mouths watering at the thought of taking the girl in an alleyway…

…this would never happen.

“Hey there missy… You look like you might need a rest,” speaks one of them as they approach her.

Meanwhile she is bent over, trying her best not to be sick from all of the drinking.

She raises her axe back towards the two men, but stays bent over, “Leave with your lives… Or die by my axe.”

“Ha, you hear that mate, she’s a fighsty one,” the first Fighter speaks again.

“Aye, we’ll have to work her will from her body,” the other adds.

Just as Shaehun turns to face them, her axe at eye level, a voice echoes from behind the Fighters.

“Leave her,” it’s Kredon, his two handed sword drawn.

The fighters laugh, “Why you’re nothing at all, kill him,” the first Fighter says to the second, who draws his rapier.

“Certainly.”

“Enough!” from behind Kredon steps Hex, The Tear of Asmodeus drawn, purple light slithering around it, something Hex added for effect.

“Step away, or perish.”

Suddenly the first Fighter’s head is removed by Shaehun’s axe, seeing this the second Fighter runs off.

“I don’t need your help, Warlock… Be on your–” suddenly Shaehun stops talking, “that blade… Where… Where did you find it?”

Hex looks perplexed by her reaction.

“It’s not possible,” she finished.

ART – Warrior Final