Shadows – The Thieves Guild Of Aberlo

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SHADOWS

The Thieves Guild Of Aberlo

by Doragon Kishu

 The old man was dying…

Sir Baron Kelderecth the Third.

Master of Thieves…

All that he had built around him…

1,200 Thieves belonged to his Thieve’s Guild, ‘SHADOWS’.

From the darkest, seediest parts of the City Aberlo…

… to the districts of the Nobles.

Not a pocket was safe.

But in the end, it was his son Eldess Kelderecth, the Prince of Rohdan’s Personal Advisor, who the Thief Master longed to see, as he entered the final days of his life.

Eldess had been told at the age of five that his Father had died in the War of Otran, a hero, battling the onslaught of Orc’s and Giants from the North…

He’d been told a lie.

But this lie drove him to achieve greatness…

…and greatness he has achieved.

But he’s about to find out news that will change his life forever…

Returning to his luxurious chambers in the Prince’s Castle after a long day at his Hignesses side, two dark figures are awaiting him…

They throw a sack over his head, and tie his hands behind his back, gagging him so that he can’t make a sound.

Defiant, they end up having to knock him unconscious with a club.

His Father would not be pleased, but the Shadows was not a union of delicate ambassadors of the Thievery Ways…

No… They were cutthroats… Dangerous in all ways.

When Eldess woke, he was tied to a chair facing a great majestic bed…

…in it was Sir Baron Kelderecht, Master Thief of the Shadows.

“What… What am I doing here?” spoke Eldess, the back of his head throbbing from the earlier blow.

“Eldess my boy… I can’t believe it’s you,” replied the Baron.

“Do I know you?” Eldess asked.

“No… And sadly, you never well,” spoke the Baron as he coughed and held a soft white silk rag over his mouth.

Specks of blood could be seen on it.

“Are you alright?” asked Eldess.

“Oh yes… Quite,” replied the Master Thief with a slight smile.

It was then that Eldess looked over his shoulder where two darkly clad, hooded figures guarded the door to the chambers.

“I really don’t know what you want… Is it money?” Eldess asked.

“No… Money I have… It’s you I want… To rule the ‘Shadows…”.

Eldess stared in disbelief.

“The Shadows? As in, the Thieves Guild of Aberlo?” Eldess questioned in disbelief.

“Yes my boy…” replied the Baron, appearing to be becoming more and more tired.

“But I am no Thief?” Eldess questioned…

“No you are not… But you are my Son,” the Master Thief responded.

PICTURE CREDIT – Roberto Gatto

The Journal Of Thorin Ryo – 200 Years Of Peace

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The Journal Of Thorin Ryo 

Chap I – Paladin

“To Pinnacle…”

CHAPTER II – 200 Years Of Peace

The journey to Pinnacle was arduous…

…but I arrived safely at the southern gate, of what was a very large city.

Once within the city, I was immediately scoped by a Gnomish girl, who on seeing me, stopped, then headed right at me, bumping me…

At once I knew she had robbed me, so I grabbed her shoulder, and demanded whatever it was she had taken…

40 Gold, a large chunk of my total gold.

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This Gnome, who went by the name ‘Walker’, would not stop talking, and at some point, I determined that she might be good in the middle…

…so I cut her a deal. 5 Gold for her to show me around the large city.

Given the choice of heading to a tavern, or the quiet seats of where would be the Starting Ceremonies of the Festival of the Crow, I chose the latter.

When we arrived there, I quickly went into a meditation, while this hyper little Gnome paced around, board out of her mind.

When my eyes finally opened, there was a beautiful Elf Female sitting not 30 feet from me.

Walker was quick to indicate to me that she preferred the company of other woman, and I determined immediately that she took a shine to this Elven woman.

“I know her… Her name is Caelynn Nialistacia… She is one of the Inner Circle of Pinnacle…” she explained.

Of which there were 5 members.

Out of respect, and so that the Lady knew that she was safe from harm when it came to me, I introduced myself.

She was lovely… She went on to tell me that ‘The Great Hunt’, a traditional aspect of the Festival of the Crow, would happen soon.

Once we parted ways, we went to the tavern after all, and that’s when I met who would end up being my Companions on the Hunt.

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LAENOR SUNBRINGER, an Elven Fighter from the Till Woods, who was quite boisterous… It was apparent that he longed to be the Leader of our Party…

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ARINAR ENSLAND, an Elven Male, also from the Till Woods, who did not say what his skills were, but I suspect that it might be something of a ‘magic’ related thing. He’s a quiet one.

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FILDAERAE ERFINA, an Elven Fighter, also from the Till Woods, who seemed most timid for one of the sword.

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ASHKAN SETAREH, a Human Ranger from the Ganesboro Sands, he would end up being our Guide. There’s definitely something ‘forceful’ about this one, but being the ‘Great Hunt’ was to take place in Ganesboro Sands, his company was invaluable.

Once we all made our way to the Festival of the Crow Opening Ceremony, it became known to us that Gnolls from the Ganesboro Sands were threatening Pinnacles Allies, The People Of The Sands, and thus the ‘Great Hunt’ was basically to be used as a way to stop them.

Being that this was more of an act of War, than a Festival’s Activity, I approached Caelynn Nialistacia to find out more…

…she quickly referred me to her brother, Eryndol Nialistacia, who basically confirmed that the participants of the Hunt would basically be aiding their allies.

The truth is as it turns out, that Pinnacle is a Center Piece to the Unity of the Southern Lands of Tch’ahm Ba’er, and thus I felt inclined to help them.

We called ourselves, “The League Of Unity”… At least for the time being.

And so we gathered Healing Potions Etc., and would make our way to the BLIGHTED LANDS of Ganesboro Sands in the morning.

Voyage Of The Druid Blue – Aftermath

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Voyage Of The Druid Blue

by Doragon Kishu

The Druid Blue (Backstory)

Tch’ahm Ba’er (Land Races & Characters)

Chapter I – To Tch’ahm Ba’er, Chapter II – Welcome To Hammen,

Chapter III – Mercenaries , Chapter IV – The Hunt For Sabre & Madrean

Chapter V – Road To Priminus, Chapter VI – Return To Port Hammen

Chapter VII – Bugbears, Chapter VIII – Gifts Chapter IX – West Bound

Chapter X – The 12th Day, Chapter XI – Into The Shrine

Chapter XII – Protect The Shade Chapter XIII – Priminus

Chapter XIV – Aden Chapter XV – To Slay A Dragon Chapter XV – Droah

Chapter XVI – Into The Lair Chapter XVII – Battle

CHAPTER XVII – Aftermath

As Syn, Sylva and Torme gathered up, and separated the treasure…

“Ha Ha Ha!” laughing and celebrating the Party’s victory over the Red Dragond Droah…

Others did not.

Sitting on a large rock overlooking the snowy terrain below, was Kurai, pondering what was to become of her life as a Shade.

Madrean and Sabre argued a bit off in the distance, about whether allowing it to live was truly a victory.

Aden prepared all of their gear for movement away from the Lair…

And Rune sat alone near a tree.

Blue approached him, “What is it?”.

“Your Pegasus may have saved several of our lives…” he spoke solemnly.

Blue sat beside him, “So he did.”

“We were fools to take on a Red Dragon,” he spoke.

“What is it Rune?” asked Blue.

“Two things really… First of all, we should have never let that girl come with us,” with this he gestured towards Kurai who was still sitting atop a tall rock.

“And secondly, it’s what Droah said… ‘Holy Art Though… But Godless None The Less’…” quoted Rune.

“She was just trying to get into your head…” replied Blue

“Well… It worked… The truth is, I am serving no cause… I am associated to no Order… I am a Paladin by name alone,” sadly expressed Rune.

Blue puts one of her hands on his shoulder, “You are a Paladin by action… You’ve helped to rid Droah from the land,” she spoke.

“She’ll be back, and she’ll kill us all…” spoke Madrean who walked by, leaving a frustrated Sabre behind him.

Rune gestured towards Madrean, “Exactly.”

Kurai approaches, “I will stay and watch her lair for a while… Make sure she doesn’t return.”

“No Kurai… You’re coming with us,” Blue sternly spoke.

“I am of no use to you… At least this way, I can help to watch all of your backs,” she explained.

Syn and Sylva approach, “The Dragon needs to be slayed… There’s no two ways about it… But Sylva and I will track it down, and go from there,” spoke Syn.

“You can come with us,” spoke Sylva to Kurai…

Kurai lit up, then looked over to Blue who nodded in agreement.

“Now get your gear girl! We leave within half an hour,” spoke Syn, and so Kurai did.

Syn crouched down by Blue and Rune,”The two of you have showed me that there’s something more to life than being a Warrior for Hire… And for this I thank you… We will take our shares, and Kurai, and go to the nearest city… From there, we will hunt the Dragon…” she explained, then started to walk away when…

…”I will join you as well,” spoke Torme who suddenly appeared.

Blue looked saddened, and rose to hug him, “Are you sure?” she questioned as she held him tightly.

“Yes… And we’re not taking you,” he spoke towards Madrean who grimaced.

“We’ll be in touch when we find her… Take care of one another,” spoke Torme, then with Sylva and Syn he went to prepare his gear.

“I must admit, I feel a bit better now,” spoke Rune.

Sabre approaches Rune, “I feel your pain brother… I employ you to journey back to the Temple of my Order of Green Light… I feel you may find that you belong with us… And if not, you can go your way,”.

Rune smiled a bit, then looked at Blue who nodded,”I accept brother,” and so Rune stood and arm embraced Sabre.

Sabre and Rune went to prepare their gear as well.

As Blue was Leader, the Party awarded her a Ring of Spell Turning, without debate.

Torme was awarded a Magical Long Sword which grew even stronger versus creatures with the ability to regenerate…

…thus returning Blue’s father’s sword to her.

Aden was awarded a Protection vs Petrification Scroll, and Kurai was awarded the Philter of Persuasiveness.

The other 5 Party members all received a different type of Potion.

Each of them also received somewhere over 1,100 Gold, the Paladins and Cleric would see that part of it was given to their Orders… Save Rune, who was considering saving it towards the construction of a Keep, where he would bring future Paladins to train.

Blue was given 7 of the 15 precious gems, each of the others received 1.

The Party wanted it that way.

“Where now?” questioned Aden, as the two Paladins, and Dragon Hunting Party left.

This left Aden, Blue and Madrean.

Madrean grumply bowed, then went on his own way.

“How quickly a family falls apart…” spoke Blue.

“Space does not separate a family… We shall see them again,” with this Aden looked at Madrean who made his way down the mountain,”Well… Most of them at least,”.

They both laughed, as the Pegasus landed before them.

“Spwil Tol Qu?” spoke Blue, allowing herself to talk to the Pegasus.

“What is your name?” she asked.

“Rohan Seban Rul… But you can call me ‘Ro’,” it replied.

Aden and Blue mounted the Pegasus, and flew off into the distance.

PICTURE CREDIT – Gold

Voyage Of The Druid Blue – Battle

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Voyage Of The Druid Blue

by Doragon Kishu

The Druid Blue (Backstory)

Tch’ahm Ba’er (Land Races & Characters)

Chapter I – To Tch’ahm Ba’er, Chapter II – Welcome To Hammen,

Chapter III – Mercenaries , Chapter IV – The Hunt For Sabre & Madrean

Chapter V – Road To Priminus, Chapter VI – Return To Port Hammen

Chapter VII – Bugbears, Chapter VIII – Gifts Chapter IX – West Bound

Chapter X – The 12th Day, Chapter XI – Into The Shrine

Chapter XII – Protect The Shade Chapter XIII – Priminus

Chapter XIV – Aden Chapter XV – To Slay A Dragon Chapter XV – Droah

Chapter XVI – Into The Lair

Chapter XVII – Battle

Before Blue, Rune or Sylva can react, Kurai walks around the corner, and into the Dragons Lair.

There she is, Droah, a 15 year old Red Dragon, large, but not gigantic.

“Hello…” Kurai speaks.

This seems to please Droah… “Hello little one… You are special, aren’t you,” she almost hisses at Kurai.

Suddenly Blue, Aden and Rune appear from around the corner, Blue Casting Barkskin, and Rune Protection from Evil.

Blue’s skin turns bark like, and Rune’s skin glows a white light.

“We’ve come for your hide Droah… You will fall,” speaks Rune.

Droah’s’ gaze quickly switches to the Paladin, “Holy art thou… But godless none the less…” she speaks, unnerving Rune.

“Leave the land Droah… You will not survive this,” proclaims Aden stepping in front of Blue, his bow drawn.

“Elfs are to bows, as bows are to Elves… Inseparable,” speaks Droah in almost a hiss.

Torme starts to rubs his eyes a bit…

Blue takes note and approaches him, looking at Droah, “You are the stronger here Droah… But things do happen… How can we convince you to leave this land?”

Sylva peers around, as if trying to see where the other half of the Party is.

“And you’re the Leader… Interesting choice,” hisses Droah.

Blue now rubs her eyes as well.

Sylva notices, “IT’S A TRICK!”

…with this Sylva leaps through the air, swinging down his scythe striking Droah!

“AHH FOOL! ATTACK!” Droah yells.

With this Aden aims his arrow at Sylva, and Blue runs at Sylva staff raised.

“What the?” Rune is perplexed.

“THEY’RE UNDER HER SPELL!” yells Kurai who hides in the shadows, drawing her bow.

Blue swings her staff at Sylva, who blocks it with his shield.

And Aden releases his bow, but Sylva knocks it out of the air as well.

Rune raises his great mace and comes down upon Droah, who is able to move out of its’ way.

Kurai then releases her bow, striking Blue with an arrow in the leg!

“Ahh!” she yells, as she stumbles to the ground…

…which wakes her from Droah’s spell, but the shot was quite good, leaving her bleeding badly.

“Woops,” speaks Kurai who disappears back into the shadows.

Suddenly Madrean appears and he too brings his great glowing mace down upon Droah.

“AHHHH!” yells Droah.

Suddenly Droah starts to take a great breath…

Sylva tries to strike Droah, but misses…

…and Rune jumps in front of Blue, holding up his great shield.

Just as the Dragon is about to breathe on the group the Pegasus flies in from behind Droah, crashing into its’ head!

With this the Dragons fire hits the side of the cave, away from the Party, and the Pegasus falls to the ground.

Sabre now appears, his skin also glowing white, he places his hands on Blue, and they glow a golden light!

“HEAL!”

With this Blues leg begins to heal up.

Blue runs to the Pegasus, and gets on its’ back, “GO!” and it rises to the air.

Torme enters the lair, bow drawn, and fires!

…but misses.

And lastly Syn enters spinning her Dervish way, but her blade slips from her hand, sticking in the cavern wall.

“NO!!” she stops spinning, and tries to pull it out of the wall.

Kurai releases her bow at Ander who is attacking Sylva!

…but it misses.

“Damn,” she says under her breath, then disappears into the shadows.

Rune strikes Droah!

“AHHH PALADIN SWINE!” yells Droah.

Madrean strikes at Droah again

“AHHH CLERIC YOU WILL PERISH!” yells Droah, who snags Madrean with its’ claw!

“AHHH!” yells Madrean.

Droah then squeezes him with his other claw, but his Armour seems to hold.

She tries to put him in her mouth, but Madrean blocks her mouth with his great shield.

Torme then releases an arrow which sticks in Droah’s cheek!

“AHHHHHH!” screeches the Dragon.

Sylva makes a terrible swing at Droah, and hits the wall instead, bending his scythe.

Syn then strikes the Dragon with her great scimitar!

…wounding her badly.

“AHH NOOO STOPP!” yells the Dragon.

“I WILL LEAVE!” proclaims the wounded Dragon.

“But,” speaks Blue who hovers in front of Droah upon the Pegasus.

“I’m taking my treasure with me,” continues the Dragon.

Blue looks at Rune who grimaces, “I don’t trust her…”.

“Neither do I,” speaks Torme who draws back his bow.

Suddenly Droah turns and starts to crawl towards the back exit!

“NOOO!” yells Rune who hurls his mace at her!

… but is not quick enough, as Droah takes flight and disappears into the night sky.

Voyage Of The Druid Blue – Into The Lair

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Voyage Of The Druid Blue

by Doragon Kishu

The Druid Blue (Backstory)

Tch’ahm Ba’er (Land Races & Characters)

Chapter I – To Tch’ahm Ba’er, Chapter II – Welcome To Hammen,

Chapter III – Mercenaries , Chapter IV – The Hunt For Sabre & Madrean

Chapter V – Road To Priminus, Chapter VI – Return To Port Hammen

Chapter VII – Bugbears, Chapter VIII – Gifts Chapter IX – West Bound

Chapter X – The 12th Day, Chapter XI – Into The Shrine

Chapter XII – Protect The Shade Chapter XIII – Priminus

Chapter XIV – Aden Chapter XV – To Slay A Dragon Chapter XV – Droah

CHAPTER XVI – Into The Lair

That night at the Parties first camp of Droah’s mountain incline, Torme and Blue suddenly appeared from the night.

The rest of the Party were gathered around two fires, and didn’t pay it much mind.

Other than Sylva and Rune…

“Well?” spoke Sylva.

“A story for another time,” replied Blue, who found a spot, layed down a blanket, and fell directly asleep.

Rune and Sylva then shifted their gaze to Torme who joined them at the fire…

“What’s for dinner?” he asked with a smile, and Rune and Sylva knew he wasn’t going to tell them anything.

DAY TWO AND THREE OF THE INCLINE

Day and night two went without incident as they made their way, and the weather got colder.

But on day three a very strange thing occurred.

As the full moon prepared to rise, one of Priminus’s Hippogriffs appeared above them, dropping a rolled parchment down to Sylva .

Sylva opened it, “I have to go… But I’ll return,” he spoke, as he mounted the hipporgriff, and flew off.

“Very odd…” spoke Rune.

“He’ll be back… I got a feeling about that one,” interjected Syn, and the Party went about eating their dinners, and going to sleep.

Each night leaving two different Party members up on watch.

DAY FOUR

Then just like that, Priminus’s hippogriff returned with Sylva on its’ back.

“Sorry about that,” spoke Sylva as he joined the Party at the morning fire, and ate some food.

Madrean and Syn just stared at him, but then went back to eating.

THE FIFTH DAY

Two thirds into the day, the Party came upon a huge cave…

“Well then… That’s it,” spoke Rune.

“I believe so,” replied Torme.

“Do we enter now, or in the morning?” inquired Kurai.

“Now’s better… It will catch our scent soon enough,” interjected Syn.

Then they all looked at Blue.

“Now’s good,” she replied, trying her best not to tremble.

“Torches or light?” inquited Madrean.

“One lantern should sufice… With one window open,” spoke Torme.

And so they entered the cave, this time with Torme, Syn and Sylva in front…

Blue, Kurai and Madrean in the middle…

And Ander, Rune and Sabre in the back.

After about an hour, they began to come across charred bones…

Torme knelt down and inspected them, “Some human… Some Elf,” he spoke, and the Party continued forward.

Within another half an hour the cave narrowed, and the Party found theirselves traveling down a spiral cavern, barely enough room for the Dragonborn Paladins to make it through.

“How does the Dragon get down this?” questioned Ander, half joking.

“He doesn’t… There must be another entrance further atop the mountain,” spoke Torme.

“And what about the dead bodies?” asked Kurai.

“He must have come in behind them,” replied Torme… “Now stop talking.”

What seemed like hours, but was only one, they finally descended into a large hallway.

It looked as though it was man-ish made.

“Dwarves I think,” spoke Rune as he peered around at the ornate walls.

They travled for a while, and soon it went back to being a cavern…

…when suddenly their path split into two directions.

“Oh great,” spoke Madrean.

Blue turned to Rune, “Now what?”.

Torme inspected the two paths,”There are Dragon tracks in both of them… I suspect they both lead to the same place.”

“If we separated, it can’t sneak up on us,” spoke Syn.

“We separate,” spoke Rune.

“We don’t separate” spoke Blue.

Both speaking at the same time.

“We separate,” suddenly interjected Torme with a decisive third vote.

Party One consisted of Torme, Madrean, Syn and Sabre.

Party Two, Rune, Blue, Ander, Kurai and Sylva.

The Parties moved through their caverns for about 45 minutes, when a slight golden glow started to appear from ahead around the corner of Party Two.

“Gold…” spoke Sylva.

The rest of them looked at Sylva and nodded.

Blue was about to speak, but Sylva shook his head.

“Come in… Come in… Don’t be a stranger,” suddenly a rumbling, yet soothing female voice came from ahead.

It was Droah…

PICTURE CREDIT – Fire Dragon Lair

Voyage Of The Druid Blue – To Slay A Dragon

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Voyage Of The Druid Blue

by Doragon Kishu

The Druid Blue (Backstory)

Tch’ahm Ba’er (Land Races & Characters)

Chapter I – To Tch’ahm Ba’er, Chapter II – Welcome To Hammen,

Chapter III – Mercenaries , Chapter IV – The Hunt For Sabre & Madrean

Chapter V – Road To Priminus, Chapter VI – Return To Port Hammen

Chapter VII – Bugbears, Chapter VIII – Gifts Chapter IX – West Bound

Chapter X – The 12th Day, Chapter XI – Into The Shrine

Chapter XII – Protect The Shade Chapter XIII – Priminus

Chapter XIV – Aden

CHAPTER XV – To Slay A Dragon

Priminus invited the ever growing group of Blue Party members to stay the night before they sorted out whatever it was they would sort out.

In the middle of the night Blue couldn’t sleep, and thus walked the halls a bit, ending up on the roof of the Tower, where the Hippogriff are kept, and sleep.

To her surprise, Rune was sitting atop the roof, legs over the edge, pensively looking out over the land.

Blue quietly approached, and sat next to him.

“You’re up late,” she spoke…

…he turned to face her, “As are you.”

“Yes… Well… All this traveling, and battling, but no real time to think,” she explained.

“Agreed…” he replied.

Blue noted something different about Rune, “What is it Rune?”.

“I’m going to go after Sabre and Madrean…” he stated.

Blue seemed taken aback, “But why? You heard what Aden said, Madrean is set, as Sabre is to protect him.”

“I know…” he spoke with a soft, yet convicted smile, “I’ll head towards Mount Ridge in the morning,” and with this he stood.

“Palidans,” suddenly came a voice from the shadows, surprising both Rune and Blue.

Into the light stepped Priminus and Kurai.

“If it’s one thing I know about Paladins, they long to protect… No matter the cost to themselves,” continued Priminus.

“I approached Priminus,” suddenly spoke Kurai… “He’s offered to loan us his Hippogriffs in order to catch up to Sabre and Madrean.

“Us?” questioned Rune.

Suddenly Torme stepped out of the shadows, “With the size of this group, we might actually have a shot at taking down Droah,” he added.

“We have better than a shot,” spoke Syn who also appeared… Beside her the silver armoured Warrior, Sylva.

“I’d like to join you, if that’s alright… No charge,” Sylva requested.

“As would I,” spoke Aden, the last to appear.

“You have a chance… But a little help wouldn’t hurt,” spoke Priminus.

Suddenly two of the Hammen Swordsmen appeared carrying a long box, maybe 5’ long, and 1” wide.

They sat it on the ground, and Priminus took a gold key from around his neck, kneeled before it, and unlocked it.

What was in it was astonishing to the eyes…

… A long red silver blade, with a Dragon Head handle on it.

“The Barom Draconen,” spoke Sylva, his eyes widened.

“I thought that but a Myth,” added Syn.

Priminus held it in the moonlight, where it flared, and flickered silver red light.

“My father used to speak of it in his stories,” Blue jumped in, “But I never suspected it was actually real…”

“It’s real alright… Even I remember that,” spoke Kurai.

“This is not a gift… It is a loan,” explained Priminus.

“But who will wield it?” and with this, they all looked at Rune who had remained utterly silent, though his eyes, like Sylva’s, were also wide.

“Not I… We’ll bring it to Sabre,” Rune quickly replied to their gazes.

“It must be you Rune,” added Priminus as he stepped towards him, the blade glowing and sparking, demanding all who stood there’s attention.

“It must be you Rune,” spoke Kurai under her breath.

Priminus held out the blade to Rune, and he licked his Dragonsborn lips, and took it into his large hand.

As he did, a surge of energy, and magic ran through him, like he’d never known, “By the Gods…”

One of the two Hammen Swordsmen brought over a solid silver sheath, and handed it to Rune.

Rune was quick to sheath it, and then attached it to his belt.

Rune then kneeled before Priminus, “I will not let you down Priminus,” he vowed.

Priminus touched his chin, indicating that he should raise to his feet, and so he did…

“To face Droah has already determined this to be true… To slay him is another matter all together… Get out of their alive Rune The Protector… I have more for you to do in this life of yours,” he concluded, then turned and left the rooftop.

Voyage Of The Druid Blue – Aden

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Voyage Of The Druid Blue

by Doragon Kishu

The Druid Blue (Backstory)

Tch’ahm Ba’er (Land Races & Characters)

Chapter I – To Tch’ahm Ba’er, Chapter II – Welcome To Hammen,

Chapter III – Mercenaries , Chapter IV – The Hunt For Sabre & Madrean

Chapter V – Road To Priminus, Chapter VI – Return To Port Hammen

Chapter VII – Bugbears, Chapter VIII – Gifts Chapter IX – West Bound

Chapter X – The 12th Day, Chapter XI – Into The Shrine

Chapter XII – Protect The Shade Chapter XIII – Priminus

CHAPTER XIV – Aden

The Hippogriffs landed upon the Mage Tower of Priminus with a swoop…

Blue and Kurai quickly dismounted from the back of theirs, as did Rune and the hired Mercenary Warrior, Sylva.

Around were some six Gnome Hammen Swordsmen to escort them down the winding stairwell in the middle of the tower.

Each of the Three Mage Towers of Priminus had their own Regiment of some two dozen Hammen Swordsmen, though Hammen had no more than 250 Swordsmen across its’ great land in total.

These Mage Towers were only the start of what they hoped would begin a Campaign of Defense versus all that might try to conquer Hammen…

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To the North was the Blackwell Forest, and the Dark Elf Drow, lead by the Malevolent Prince Eradyn and his diabolical sister, Mora…

Their People were said to be one of, if not the most powerful force of Tch’ahm Ba’er…

And to the East, the Glane Boro Sands, inhabited by the Dark Tribe, and lead by Prince Tahab, who also has a sister, though her name is unknown…

The Dark Tribe prefers not to mix Races, and so for the most part, stay within their Borders… But whose to say they won’t expand their reach to include The Hills of Hammen… And more specifically, Port Hammen.

The Party is brought to the magical quarters of Priminus, one of the 3 Mages of Hammen…

He sits in the middle of a white drawn circle in the middle of the room… Little blue glowing Rune Markings all around it.

His eyes are shut.

“Sit,” he says without opening them.

And so Blue, Sylva, and Rune do as requested…

…Kurai on the other hand, finds a dark corner and nearly disappears.

Priminus peeks one eye in Kurai’s direction, than closes it once more.

Soon Torme has arrived with their horses, and is brought to the quarters as well.

He sits.

“Ah… Now that you are all here… How may of be of service,” speaks Priminus, as his eyes open softly.

He is a Gnome, with dark, lavish red robes, and a white ivory staff appearing to stand all by itself some two feet from him.

“My name is Blue, we-” starts Blue.

“I know who you are,” he speaks semi annoyed, “My question was, how may I be of service?”

Blue looks over at Rune.

“Friends of ours were to come here to gather information about Droah… The Red Dragon of Mount Ridge (See Map Above)…” explained Rune.

“Ah yes, the Dragonborne Cleric, Human Paladin, and Elven Archer… Continue,” replies Priminus.

“I think that they have made a mistake in attempting such a quest… I’ve come to try and persuade them to return…” Blue explains.

“For some that won’t be necessary,” suddenly came the all too familiar voice of Aden, who entered the quarters.

Without thinking, Blue jumped up, and hugged him tightly,”ADEN! IT’S YOU…”.

With this Kurai suddenly started to step out of the shadows, in some sort of jealous jolt…

…but then retreated back to them.

Torme took note…

Blue let go of Aden as quickly as she had grabbed on to him.

“I’m sorry… So glad to see that you’re ok… And that you didn’t go to Droah,” she spoke.

“Neither did I,” spoke the Dervish Syn, who entered the room as well.

Rune was quick to offer her an arm embrace, which she returned.

“What happened?” questioned Torme.

Suddenly Priminus rose, “Let us all discuss it over some breakfast.”

The Party followed them… Even Kurai.

THE DINING CHAMBER

The Dining Table was quite a sight to see…

At one end of the table, was Priminus, the Mage, who seemed to be perfectly content with his odd colored porridge before him… A blueish green.

Rune, Torme, Sylva and Aden on the other hand, spooned at great bird eggs, and forked pieces of meat.

Making sounds, that only men make…

Meanwhile Blue gestured towards Priminus’s bowl, “May I try a bit of that?”

Priminus smiled, “Of course,” and summoned one of the guards to retrieve her some, which he did.

She tried it, and her body felt a cool vibration, “My…” she replied.

Priminus smiled again, “Good… Right?”

Blue felt first dizzy, then exhilarated, “Oh yes…”

Kurai on the other hand, who did not eat, and wouldn’t have partaken anyway, sat in her chair, arms crossed, glaring heatedly at Aden…

…when she noticed Syn, who wasn’t eating, but instead had her boots up on the table, as her chair balanced back on two legs, stared at her with a gleam in her eye.

Not liking this at all, Kurai quickly picked up a glorious orangeish yellowish fruit, and tossed it at her…

Syn in response stuck her dagger through it, right out of the air, and pinned it to the Mage’s table.

Blue looked at Syn, then at Priminus who seemed amused.

“So tell us Aden… What changed your mind?” spoke Rune, as he finished his first piece of meat, and gestured for more.

“It was a fools errand… I fear Madrean borders on mad… I still believe him to be good in his core… But his judgment… Especially after our counsel with Priminus… I needed no more to convince me,” he explained.

“And you Syn?” asked Torme.

“I was only hear to protect the Archer for this lady,” with this she pointed her now clean dagger at Blue.

This seemed to embarrass Blue a bit.

“Priminus requested that we stay another week… And not wanting to be rude after all of his kindness, Syn and I agreed…” he looks at the Party, “And now I see why,” he says with a smile directed at Priminus who has finished up his porridge, and is drinking some morning wine.

“And Sabre?” spoke Rune.

Aden shook his head, “He won’t leave his side… I couldn’t convince him otherwise.”

“Tis madness,” interjected Syn, who was now breaking open, and eating the tossed piece of fruit, and smiling at Kurai.

Kurai couldn’t help but smile a little.

“What now Aden? Where will you go?” Blue questioned.

“I can’t say I know… And what about all of you? Now that you’ve saved me from myself,” Aden jests with a wink at Blue.

This infuriates Kurai, who now stands and is about to leave the Dining Chamber.

“So what’s your story?” Syn questioned at Kurai, which brought her to a halt… Her back still turned.

“A Shade, eh…” Syn continued…

…with this Kurai turned to face the confident Dervish.

“One hit…” Kurai draws her pure black blade, “One question,” with this she taps Syn on her studded leather chest armour.

OUTSIDE THE TOWER

Kurai and Syn face one another.

Syn with a great two handed axe…

And Kurai with her black blade.

The rest of them stand on one side or the other of them.

“Will she be alright?” questioned Blue to Rune, nervously.

“Time will tell… But I don’t think the Dervish will actually hurt her…” Rune replies.

“Maybe just a little,” Torme interjects to Rune and Blues dismay.

Kurai suddenly leaps through the air with imense quickness, almost appearing to hover to her opponent.

SWOOSH CHING

…but Syn is too quick, and knocks the girls blade asside.

“Come on girl… Again,” prods Syn.

She hovers quickly again, taking two swings…

CHING CHING

…both blocked.

“My turn,” speaks Syn.

SWOOSH CLINK

With one strike of her great axe, she disarms Kurai, her blade sticking in the ground some 30 feet from her.

“I’m told I was a Cleric… Of The Silver Bane Order,” answers Kurai her first question.

Syn smiles and nods.

Suddenly Kurai hovers straight up, 50 feet above the ground, drawing her bow as she goes.

“Amazing,” ghasps the Warrior Sylva.

“Is she a user of magic?” questions Aden.

“She is a shade…” speaks Priminus with a slight smile of delight.

Kurai releases her arrow, but Syn is too quick, tucking and rolling out of harms way.

She releases a second shot, and Syn knocks it from the air.

Syn reaches for her crossbow which is on her back, but it gets caught up in its’ straps…

“Damn it bow!” speaks Syn.

Kurai hovers down towards her blade, takes a shot which misses, tucks and rolls grabbing her blade, and holding a defensive position.

“Well done,” speaks Syn confidently.

Suddenly Kurai runs straight at Syn and leaps over her striking down at her shoulder, and gashing her.

“Ahh!” yells Syn, who grits her teeth, and turns to face her attacker who now stands behind her.

Blue jumps forward to aid Syn, but Rune stops her, “Let them finish.”

“Why are you really here…” speaks Kurai just as Syn is about to counter attack.

With this Syn throws her axe into the ground.

“A Dragonborne Paladin… An Elven Druid… An Archer and Ranger? This seems to be a promising group of Adventurers, don’t you think?” she replies.

Kurai sheathes her blade, “Yes… Yes it does,” she pulls Syn’s axe out of the ground and hands it to her.

Syn puts pressure against her wound, which is now being attended by Blue, “One to one girl… We’ll finish this another day.”.

Kurai nods, then heads towards the tower.