Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-02-17 10:14am

Imperial Overlord wrote:
LadyTevar wrote:
Imperial Overlord wrote:And while it won't eat the Carnivora's soul, Nal is right there on top of the body with lots of powerful necromancy and the means to contract with soul grabbing Night Hags.

And there's always SoulJar spell. :angelic:


Wrong spell. That's for body jacking.
I think she means the spell he used to imprison the two most powerful Overmasters in "the Whirlwind"
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rem 12 » 2017-02-17 10:25am

Regardless of what spell he uses, the Carnivora is a really powerful mofo with a record of returning from the dead. Nal's smart enough to prevent it from happening again. On a related note, he's really taken a toll on the magic-users of the Horde. The last few updates give the impression that the King of Tribes is the only thing that can threaten him at all. The rest is just butchering the army.
The point is, they're on the good side, they're a group of (usually) non-heroes, and they are AWESOME.
So... what do you call them?
Easy.

Rangers.
(TV tropes on Rangers)

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-02-18 01:16am

Rem 12 wrote:Regardless of what spell he uses, the Carnivora is a really powerful mofo with a record of returning from the dead. Nal's smart enough to prevent it from happening again. On a related note, he's really taken a toll on the magic-users of the Horde. The last few updates give the impression that the King of Tribes is the only thing that can threaten him at all. The rest is just butchering the army.


The Horde still has a bunch of powerful wizards left. They're really only doing badly here because:

1) The right hand of three gods showed up in person and put a dent in their siege plans.

2) They were unprepared for really high level exotic necromancy, which they eventually managed to handle. Also see 1) about the giant siege demon who would have been able to take on the grave colossus head to head.

3) They were able to take down the defensive spells on the simulacrum pretty quickly when they ganged up on it. Only the fact that Nalifan ambushed the ambush in the form of a beholder, a creature of the Underdark that badass steppe nomads had no experience fighting, and they panicked when the antimagic messed them up allowed Nalifan to win that fight.

So Nal's doing well because he's got help and he's attacking them in ways they're unused to fighting. They're still the bigger, badder, army with lots of big bad wizards. The war is bleeding both sides, but so far the siege is going swimmingly for the defenders. They've only lost the gates and they've managed to inflict meaningful casualties and it only cost them the most powerful celestial warrior in their gods' service. So far.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-02-27 03:12am

His eyes stopped hurting and vision returned as the pain began to dull all over his body. He was at the edge of an open square beyond the ruined gates and he was not alone. The edge of the courtyard was covered with barricades constructed from pieces of overturned wagon and timber. Behind the barricades were archers. Many archers.

Arrows flew. Many most. Many did not. His arms were struck. His legs were struck. His torso was riddled. Some glanced off bone, some punched into bone, some went through bone, and many went through and through. His legs failed. His arms were useless He tried to laugh but nothing came up but blood.

His body spasmed on the ground, scattering blood droplets like a dog shaking itself after coming in from the rain. His muscles broke the arrows and bolts and his body began ejecting the pieces. Metal and wood rattled on the cobbles around him, beneath him. He stood. "What now?" he rasped through a half healed throat.

They shot him again. Innumerable shafts riddled his flesh. One struck him in the forehead. He fell like a puppet with its strings cut. For a moment, blackness. The void. No sensation at all. Then he was starring through open eyes. The pain was back too, but lesser. Removed.

This he knew. When his heart got pumping, when his blood pounded in his temples, and a red haze threatened to descend upon his vision the pain would go away. It would cease to mean anything. Only killing would matter. He rose up with a single word on his lips. "Dragon!" he shouted.

Arrows came again as he exhaled. A third of them perished in the torrent of flame. So did a third of the archers, human beings transformed into tallow dipped torches. The arrows struck again. Again blackness. A moment. Then another. Light again. Again, he rose.

They broke and ran. Before his banishment he would have called them coward, but he had learned with bitter experience how futile courage was in the face of overwhelming force. Now he was the overwhelming power. No man, no demon, no city, no army could stand against him. He was solid and they were mist and smoke.

-----

To face a walking nightmare was to be a wizard, but to face a second moments after the first was asking much even from a Khaduli Vescorai. Tzerika was numb as she watched the tornado of green fire bear down on the horde. She saw, with enchantments the pierced the veils of the world, the very life out of the warriors as it approached and then consuming the shades of the dead as it washed over them.

"Fire!" she shouted, magic carrying her words to the ears of all of her wizards. "Fire and light and the power of the heavens!" The last was in short supply among the Khaduli these days, but her uncle was one of the wizards her words touched and she would endure his complaints if he helped deliver victory here.

Death bore down on her, throwing corpses of horses higher in the air than Cardan's wall. She saw the dead being sucked into the vortex and shades writhe screaming within the fire as it consumed their substance. She could see night hags mounted on nightmares lurking in astral space, waiting to snare the souls of the fallen as they began their journey to the Outer Planes.

She felt ice grip her flesh and an immaterial wind tug at her life. She shouted the initiators of a spell and flame bloomed in her hand. She flung it and the fireball detonated in crimson and black on the body of the tornado. It was a pin prick but was not the only one. Fire blossomed against the hurricane and burned ragged holes in the undead conglomeration's substance.

She raised her voice and shouted the mightiest of her spells. The balance of the cosmos shifted ever so slightly and the remainder of the equation appeared. Fire drowned the world in front of her.

-----

The King of Tribes staggered as he pulled the last splintered arrow out of his chest. His legs were numb and sluggish. He looked down and saw that his lower legs had turned to grey stone. A grey beam was playing over the back of his legs. It was only an annoyance. The change wouldn't last. He awkwardly turned around to confront the fool mage.

It wasn't a mage. It was a nightmare orb of armour plate floating in the air, crowned by writhing tentacles that were tipped with glaring eyes. A crimson ray fired from one of the eyes tore open his left shoulder and an icy ebon beam struck his chest. He grunted and spat bloody phlegm. "Spear!" he shouted.

A spear of red-hot iron appeared in his hand. He could feel the heat rolling off of it, but it did not burn his hand. The beast was about fifty feet away from him, horizontal and another thirty vertical; give or take. The central eye glared at him. He cast.

The beholder dodged. The spear grazed the creature's side and deflected off the armour plates. He snarled and reached his hand out again. A green ray fired from another eye stalk and struck his hand. There was an instant of pain and then his hand dissolved, leaving behind dancing motes of green light. His lower arm followed as did his arm and then his shoulder. Blackness.

-----

Nalifan shifted back into his true form in disgust. The King of Tribes had rapidly regenerated his head, even while under the power of his anti-magic eye. Knowing it was probably futile, Nalifan unleashed Glass Strike against the King of Tribes. Emerald light flared around his body, turning it glass. A moment later a spell of shattering caused the statue to explode, covering the cobbles with glass fragments.

The glass reverted to flesh and blood and flowed together, reforming into a pool of gore in the center of the square. Nalifan shifted back into beholder form as the puddle sprouted limbs and began to solidify. Using his telekinetic eye stalk he tossed The King of Tribes' body over the wall and then blasted the inside walls of the gatehouse with his disintegrate ray. The gatehouse collapsed upon itself with a loud roar, forming a huge mound of rubble.

The King of Tribes looked at the barrier and then back at his army. The dead littered the earth, which was torn and ripped as if giants had torn up the field looking for buried treasure. The vortex of green fire was sinking into a cloud of flame while rays of a dozen hues ate away at its substance and bursts of multicoloured flame erupted around in. He shrugged and walked away from Cardan. Tomorrow would be another day.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2017-02-27 08:09pm

I really thought that we were approaching the end game there, but I can see that there's some game left to play.

LadyTevar wrote:
SCRawl wrote: Indeed, one wonders if any sort of permanent solution is possible, though I hope to find out soon :)

I'm beginning to think the only way to kill him is somehow sever his tie to The Maw


After this most recent installment, I'm now inclined to agree. Any kind of solution to someone who can regenerate like that - banishment or perpetual damage , such as being tossed into a volcano or shunted to another plane - could just be undone by the Maw anyway. So the solutions appear to be killing the Maw (which ought to be well outside Nalifan's abilities), preventing the Maw from having access to the plane of interest (ditto), or causing a situation which will result in the Maw no longer being interested in having the King of Tribes as his agent. I look forward to finding out how the plot is resolved.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-03-01 09:46am

SCRawl wrote:I really thought that we were approaching the end game there, but I can see that there's some game left to play.

LadyTevar wrote:
SCRawl wrote: Indeed, one wonders if any sort of permanent solution is possible, though I hope to find out soon :)

I'm beginning to think the only way to kill him is somehow sever his tie to The Maw


After this most recent installment, I'm now inclined to agree. Any kind of solution to someone who can regenerate like that - banishment or perpetual damage , such as being tossed into a volcano or shunted to another plane - could just be undone by the Maw anyway. So the solutions appear to be killing the Maw (which ought to be well outside Nalifan's abilities), preventing the Maw from having access to the plane of interest (ditto), or causing a situation which will result in the Maw no longer being interested in having the King of Tribes as his agent. I look forward to finding out how the plot is resolved.
So Nal should ask the Maw if he would turn his attention away from the King of Tribes for 5 minutes in exchange for a box of Girl Scout Cookies (made with real Girl Scouts, guaranteed with the Jeffrey Dahmar seal of approval)?
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2017-03-01 12:53pm

Grimnosh wrote:So Nal should ask the Maw if he would turn his attention away from the King of Tribes for 5 minutes in exchange for a box of Girl Scout Cookies (made with real Girl Scouts, guaranteed with the Jeffrey Dahmar seal of approval)?


I was thinking more along the lines of manoeuvring the King of Tribes into taking an action of which the Maw would disapprove, thereby ending his sponsorship deal.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2017-03-01 11:40pm

SCRawl wrote:
Grimnosh wrote:So Nal should ask the Maw if he would turn his attention away from the King of Tribes for 5 minutes in exchange for a box of Girl Scout Cookies (made with real Girl Scouts, guaranteed with the Jeffrey Dahmar seal of approval)?


I was thinking more along the lines of manoeuvring the King of Tribes into taking an action of which the Maw would disapprove, thereby ending his sponsorship deal.

Trouble is, what would that be? Forces of evil and destruction don't tend to be as particular as the various good deities in who they sponsor. Unless I miss my guess, he'd have to get the King of Tribes to stop his rampage to do that, and at that point he's achieved the objective anyway.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-03-13 08:45am

Nalifan looked over the battlements to the fires burning at the plain below. It was if there was another night sky, filled with countless stars, spread out below them. A vast horde, unbeaten, unconquerable. "I've been spending too much time around bards," he said with disgust.

"What?" asked Handren.

"Nothing of consequence," replied Nalifan.

"What now?"

"The city dies tomorrow," the drow replied.

"I didn't think it was that bad. After yesterday . . . ."

"Yesterday was good. We won. We drove them back with heavy casualties. We made them bleed. Probably half of the wizards and chieftains we killed will stay dead, including the Carnivora. The rank and file most definitely will. There is, however, no graveyard left to plunder. The celestials were struck down. We hurt them, but they can take the wound.

"They can summon more elementals. There's always more elementals. Demons are another story. They need names for that and everyone that we kill is one gone from the war. The greater the demon, the better they guard their names and they're all intractable, temperamental brutes. What they can still muster is a guess at best."

"I thought you enslaved one of their witches," inquired Marcosa. "Wouldn't she know?"

"She wasn't high enough up the chain to know," replied Nalifan. "Demon names aren't something you just hand out. Whatever they can manage to summon will be harder to manage with their losses. It's easier to manage demons when you have a big stick to hit them with and they're down some sticks. Including their biggest one."

The drow shrugged. "It's not enough. The elementals aren't enough to break the walls with manned defences and they are likely to muster fewer demons but that means their wizards will have to do it. That will expose them, but they will protect themselves and scourge the walls. They will take loses, but light loses and they will take the walls and force the breaches."

"And you?" asked Handren.

"I can bleed them," answered Nalifan. "They will tear me down if I expose myself for any length of time. At the river I avoided being within range of their magic for as much as possible and I was wrapped in wards. I also had a undead dragon as a surprise. Today I ambushed a small number of wizards and used other distractions. Enough wolves will drag down a tiger so like a tiger I had in the tall grass and choose my moments. I can bleed them but I can't stop them. Too many, far too many, too strong, and lead by a man I haven't yet found a way to kill."

"So hopeless."

"I told you yesterday it was hopeless and yet we held the day. Already we are doing better than expected. We bled them today, we will bleed them tomorrow. We did well enough that I still have my third trick in reserve and a few others after that. And beyond this, we have the rest of the city and then Vinmark and the elves. The city is done, but we can make the price they must pay very high."

"You think the elves will help?"

"Besides allowing you to bind me to your cause? Yes, they didn't just give up ancient elf magic because they were feeling generous. They did it because the king would be more inclined to give an army to the elf wizard-general who was completely under his control more than an elf wizard-general who was completely under the control of nonhuman foreigners who had good relations with the most restive part of his kingdom. They'll come when they get the queen's message, if they weren't on the move already. They've been saving their strength and we're going to need all of it. However much they have."

"You don't know?"

"No messengers, no emissaries to the court, no nothing. Just hiding in their woods. No, I don't know. It would have taken effort I couldn't spare to try and find the answer and that doesn't mean I would find it. A lot, I hope. The magic that took me was strong but it was also old. Older than the city I was born in. What they have left is a question I cannot answer. Yet."

-----

The wine was sweet on The King of Tribes' tongue. In years passed they had raided and traded and taxed and been gifted with it and wine had flowed freely, but those days were over. The nations that had cultivated the grape had been put to the sword and the torch, razed and butchered to feed The Maw and the Horde. All but one and that last, stubborn one had only days left.

It was his hand that had done this. He did not dwell upon it, but when war did not rage he could not escape it. Drink was no longer powerful enough to incapacitate him and weariness was foreign to his limbs. Once that had been a joy, allowing him to debauch through the night and then fight all day. A veritable army of girls had been taken on his furs and no few boys either. His endurance in that respect had also been limitless. For awhile that alone had been enough. Sometimes his lust would surge and he would rape all night, stopping to torture and butcher those who displeased him or had been unlucky enough to be at hand when whim had taken him. Rarely now. The fires had cooled. He had felt the other edge. There was no darkness, no oblivion to hide what was happening.

The silks on bed would soon be the among the last in the world. The wine would run out. The fine ornaments of gold and silver worn by chiefs and wizards would be the last of their kind. The last slave girl would die. The last spices would eaten. All the fine things in the world would be gone.

It hadn't occurred to him until they had overrun half the continent, leaving broken nations and shattered trade routes. When the elation of victory after victory had dimmed and the spoils of war had their novelty and lustre wane. Now he could see. More worlds and more spoils, promised The Maw. More food for the plate. More shit for the latrine.

That's what he had become. It wasn't the bargain he had thought he had made, but that's what it was. He was the man who made the world into offal pit, into a shit filled trench. Immortal, undying. Forever smeared in shit. Not an end to the disgrace, but horror unending.

He took another swig from the bottle. The Horde would be ready to assault the city again in the morning. More victims to take his pain. More food for the fucking plate.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2017-03-13 10:30pm

I hadn't considered the possibility that the King of Tribes could be laid low by an existential crisis, but I suppose that's one way for him to leave the playing field.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Esquire » 2017-03-14 12:21am

Only if he doesn't make the save against catastrophic boredom.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-03-15 09:56am

Esquire wrote:Only if he doesn't make the save against catastrophic boredom.

Well he might think of the consequences of telling the Maw that he decided to change his mind....
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-03-24 05:56am

The horizon was a soft pink haze, heralding the approach of dawn. Nalifan sat cross-legged on the top of a guard tower on the south-east corner of the city. Unlike humans he did not sleep and the resting trance that elves engaged in took much less time. He was late to bed and early to rise with a new selection of terrible spells encompassed within his brain.

This was the last day for Cardan. The city would die this day. The question was who would join it on the funeral pyre. Nalifan hoped he would be doing most of the choosing, but there were no sureties in war.

He pulled out the shaft of dark green Baatorian steel. The runes carved along its length were quiescent, the power waiting and dormant for the command that would cause it to extend to its full length and seek its target. "A devil forged weapon to kill a king," he said softly. "A devil forged weapon and an enemy that employs demon servants and serves a primordial that dwells within the Abyss. Spoils passed from hand to claw to finally arrive in their hands? Or something else."

"If spoils then it means nothing, but this is the only Baatorian magic I've seen here at all. If not spoils then it was someone else and that meant an assassination. Which means the prince. A prince who openly hates magic arranges the assassination of his father in a battle against an enemy who uses magic using a magical weapon. Certainly enough to deflect enough blame to let him claim the throne. A good move, but that leaves open questions.

"A man who uses Baatorian weapons of murder doesn't blindly hate magic, so he can't really hate the idea that sorcery is going to save his life. So his opposition is at least partially inauthentic. And then there is the question of where he gets exotic devil forged murder weapons. A devil cult? Very possibly, in a state where so many are exploited so a few can be wealthy and the hierarchy is supported by a church that encompasses all that is just and good." His lips twisted into a sardonic half smile. "If Heaven supports the unjust, what does that make Hell?

"So a devil cult. It suits the behavior of the prince and his friends and it allows them to draw on the support of illicit mages while maintaining an air of pious disdain for magic. It fits, but that begs the question: how do they intend to survive? Devil worshipers aren't eager to die. If they think they have another option, one that is better than me winning the war, then yes they might very well try to stop me. So then the question becomes whether that has to do with the fine print of their infernal contracts or a real chance of winning, one I might make use of."

"Do you understand what you have to do?"

"I do," replied Therasa through the sending spell that connected them. "You know that tearing the answers from Prince Sargard would be a better way of doing this. I might not find anything and waste a lot of time trying."

"Geas bound so I cannot harm the king's family or command another to do it due to the wording of said geas. You can, however, mention that particular course of action to your patron Duke Ericorn or to the queen herself if you feel like it."

"I understand," the mage and spy replied.

"Good. You might want to start with the prince's friends, however many are left in the city."

"One does not just squeeze noblemen like over ripe fruit. They matter."

"Then get the authority or do it quietly. I know you can do it quietly."

"You're a little too hammer and anvil for this work. Let me worry about the details. I'll get you the information. You just fight your war."

"We don't have much time. Don't be afraid to break some eggs."

"Just because nobody has found them doesn't mean I haven't dropped bodies."

"Good," he answered and ended the spell. Too many problems and not enough hands. Not enough brains for that matter. Hopefully Therasa would be able to handle this one. He had no choice but to delegate to a woman he had too little history with.

"Sweet Tymora," he said to a goddess who could not hear him in this place, "a little luck please."

-----

"Mystra," said Mikos, tossing the dart across the room to hit the target on the wall dead center.

"Maybe," said Trizkel, laying on the couch. He tossed a dart of his own, striking the edge of the target.

"Why not?" asked Mikos. "He's a wizard, she's the goddess of magic. We did that thing with the Weave tear in the Underdark." He placed another dark next to his first.

"Nal also butted heads with a spellfire user and spellfire is gift Mystra gives to her pets," Trizkel replied. His next dark was almost at the center. "It's an open question of how agreeable she's going to be."

"She's also the goddess of all magic, not just wizards," said Elvarra. The sorceress was reclining in plush chair, drinking yellow-orange juice made from a plant that grew half way across the continent and rubbing her forehead. "Nal being a wizard just buys him a spot in the crowd next to the lamias and umber hulks."

"The Drow gods?" Mikos asked. Elvarra just starred at him. "Right. The Seldarine?"

"Nal's never prayed to any of the Seldarine," said Trizkel. "They're the gods of the Faerie, not ours."

"What about Eilistraee?"

"I'm pretty sure she frowns on slowly burning your enemies alive, even if the motherless goblin fucker had it coming," said Trizkel. "Also I haven't seen him pray to her, although I'm sure that dancing naked under the moonlight with beautiful women is something you wouldn't have a hard time convincing him to try."

"Azuth," said Elvarra. "Wizards specifically. Teacher of magics. I'm his student as well as his lover. If anyone is going to help, it's him."

"So we just have to convince the god of wizards, the right hand of Mystra herself to help us," said Mikos.

Trizkel threw another dart. It landed right next to Mikos's darts. "One last throw of the dice. Shall we proceed?"
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rem 12 » 2017-03-24 01:58pm

Ah, nice to see the regicide plotline getting some attention. What has the prince been up to lately, I don't recall seeing him since the first battle?
The point is, they're on the good side, they're a group of (usually) non-heroes, and they are AWESOME.
So... what do you call them?
Easy.

Rangers.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-03-24 10:24pm

There has been no mention of the prince after Nal pulled the devil's javelin from the king's body. The prince in all likelihood is with the army which should be on its way to the capitol to prepare for a siege if it has not arrived there already.
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-04-18 01:06am

Walgren Myres awoke to find his bed empty. It was dark, save for a faint glow coming through the window. Dawn was not far off. He rubbed his eyes and got up. Today was probably the last day of his life.

Light came at a word, a golden ball hovering near his head. The mirror over his dresser showed a man with more white than brown left in his hair and beard. Gone were the days when he had served the Son in harness. Then he smiled. This day, this day that might very well be his last, would have him serving the Father in harness. He washed his face in the water and then his body with a rag.

Then he donned underclothes and then his gambeson. It was, despite daily exercises, tighter than he would wish. "There is no indignity that age does not inflict," he said softly, quoting his earthly father. He walked out of his room and down to the refectory. There were a few there eating, but he had no appetite. He made a gesture of blessing and passed on. Knights and priests were arming themselves, assisted by squires and initiates.

Sarya was there, clad in blessed and enchanted mail that had been only used for ceremonial purposes for the last two centuries. The goldwashed links glittered in lamp light but it was her sad smile that held his gaze. The partnership between the high priests of the Mother and the Father were usually only ceremonial, but their marriage was real and enduring.

She nodded at him as boys came to help him arm. Plates were attached and straps were adjusted until he was clad in harness from head to toe. A sword was belted around his waist and a spear was grasped in his hand. "Holy Father," said a familiar voice from behind him.

He turned to face Marrick, clad in blackened plate. "Beloved Son," he said to the younger man. Most of the Trinity's knights had joined the army, leaving only older men and boys to bear arms. Marrick, who was in charge of training those boys, had remained with his charges. In brighter times he would soon be reaching the age when the Father would call to him more clearly than the Son, but that didn't matter now.

"We'll be ready shortly," Marrick said. "I don't imagine the Khaduli will wait too long after dawn to make their attack."

"No," said Walgren, "we have time. Their wizards have to prepare their spells. But it will be soon."

"Will we receive any more help?"

"From the gods? Not but our spells. This war has consumed much of their strength and this world is not the only battlefield."

"Then we are alone."

"Have faith. No other city has stood a day against the Khaduli."

"If we fall, it will be over my body Holy Father. And if we do I intend to extract a blood price high enough that the next battle will break them."

"I know you will. I am proud of my time as a servant of the Son, but I was a candle to your bonfire."

"Holy Father-"

Walgren smiled. "There's no need. I know my strength and I know my role. The people of this city must be saved and I will give all to save them. I will address everyone after dawn prayers, in the courtyard, unless the enemy attacks first."

"Thank you, Holy Father." Marrick saluted fist to his chest.

Sarya touched his shoulder. "I missed you," he said.

"I was restless," she replied. "I didn't want to disturb your sleep."

"Thank you." He kissed her gauntlets.

"These are the days that try women's souls," she said. "We got one more day than we expected. Perhaps we'll get another."

"Perhaps," he replied.

-----

Priests, paladins, soldiers, and militia crowded the courtyard in front of the cathedral. Joining them were noble men and women, merchants and craftsmen, laborers and grandparents. The sun was rising above the city walls. In all likelihood the assault would begin soon. The only city to ever repel the Khaduli would suffer the fury of a second assault.

"Oh my children," Walgren began, "we face a day none should ever face, a day which too many have suffered. The evil which has consumed so much of this world is at our door. An evil which has been thrown from our doorstep once and will be again. An evil against whom we do not stand alone! We have seen the gods are with us! We are not alone! Much of the weight of the struggle to come will fall on our shoulders! It is a weight that we must bear, but we will not bear it alone! We are strong, but we are not alone. We are harried, but not abandoned! Besieged, but not broken! We must stand and bring all our strength to bear in the struggle to come.

We will endure loss. We will endure wounds, we will endure sorrow. We will be sorely tested, but we will not be alone. Our gods are with us, our neighbors stand with us!" He raised the spear. "In the name of the Mother, the Father, and the Son I call upon you to lend all your strength to this struggle! For yourself, for your neighbors, for your friends and your sons and your daughters, for you children and you parents, for your city, your nation, and your gods I call upon you to stand! Stand together!"

A roar greeted his words, a sound that consumed the world, drowning everything out. Sarya took his hand and squeezed. She said something but he could not hear. She pointed. Up on the battlements, flags were being waved. They were out of time.

-----

The earth groaned and spawned giants of rock and dirt. A dozen strong, they advanced ponderously from the Khaduli lines towards Cardan's walls. Behind them, clusters of slave soldiers holding tower shields advanced slowly forward. Behind them trailed crossbowmen, but at their heart were Khaduli wizards.

The advancing cadres weren't the only wizards. Some were conjuring the elementals, but others were working more difficult and dangerous spells. Elementals were dangerous, and even more so when control slipped, but demons required more difficult spells to summon and bind and were harder to control. Even with their true names known they were fractious and dangerous beings at best. To summon and unleash them required skillful conjuring, powerful magic, and iron nerve. The Khaduli had all three and calloused souls as well.

The fabric between worlds was breached in pentagrams drawn behind the lines. Vulture demons screeched and threatened their summoners, gesturing with gutting claws their intent to extract torment in repayment for attempting to force them into servitude. The Khaduli wizards ignored the threats and spoke words of binding backed by the demon's true names, chaining them as invisibly and surely as Nalifan had been bound.

Tzerika watched as her wizards finished the initial stages of the assault. Everything was going smoothly, which was the way it usually went when the elf was not around which meant she did not trust it. There was one more piece to be added to the board. "Do it," she ordered.

Uraszen nodded to her. The old man was bitter, spiteful, cruel, and meticulous. He had been one of the first to learn the ancient spells and eat human flesh. Dark magic now buttressed frail bones and sustained withered muscle. The spell he was casting now was sufficiently difficult and dangerous to strain him almost to the limit.

A terrible hot wind blew from nowhere as bloody light spilled from a seam in the air. The seam stretched and tore open and a nightmare three times the height of a man stepped through. Its hooves shuck the earth and scorched the grass. Great wings sprouted from its back and the horns of a great bull crowned its head. Black flames cast shadowy unlight on the world around him and crawled over the iron hard muscles of mighty frame. His skin was the colour of freshly shed bled and his claws were obsidian black.

In his hands the balor held axes of bleached bone. He roared and the Khaduli flinched away and then took to the sky. On the city walls Nalifan looked up and recognized the demon-general and even his blood ran cold. His true name was not in common circulation, but he was called Suyerric and he had been one of the chief generals of the Queen of Chaos and Miska the Wolf Spider during the Great War of Chaos. He had withstood blows from the Staff of Law, faced down the Wind Dukes of Aaqa, and defied the will of Demogorgon in the aftermath of the Great War. He lead hordes of demons against the legions of Baator and wielded axes carved from the bones of a fallen god.

"Is there no fucking end?" Nalifan cursed and then stopped. There was nothing more worthless than the curses of the defeated. The only thing to do was try not to be one of the defeated. Besides, that was the only thing his chains would let him do.
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Grimnosh
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-04-18 09:47am

Well Nal has glassed balors before, though Suyerric may give him a harder time.

And I am curious, what happens if someone summons an outsider to use against another person and the other also knows that outsider's turename?
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-04-18 03:36pm

Grimnosh wrote:Well Nal has glassed balors before, though Suyerric may give him a harder time.

And I am curious, what happens if someone summons an outsider to use against another person and the other also knows that outsider's turename?


With the right magic or control of the demon's amulet, a true name can be used to bind or wrack a demon. Unfortunately, Suyerric is a name of address, not the Balor's true name. As with the names of address of demon lords and princes such as "Orcus" and "Demogorgon", it is not a true name and grants no power of him.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-04-19 09:45am

Imperial Overlord wrote:
Grimnosh wrote:Well Nal has glassed balors before, though Suyerric may give him a harder time.

And I am curious, what happens if someone summons an outsider to use against another person and the other also knows that outsider's turename?


With the right magic or control of the demon's amulet, a true name can be used to bind or wrack a demon. Unfortunately, Suyerric is a name of address, not the Balor's true name. As with the names of address of demon lords and princes such as "Orcus" and "Demogorgon", it is not a true name and grants no power of him.
I figured that Nal wouldn't have Suyerric's true name as such a being of power would not have its true name known to very many of the still living and/or talkable dead.

And while the statement of "With the right magic or control of the demon's amulet, a true name can be used to bind or wrack a demon." is informative it doesn't answer the question of what if both sides know its true name.

Would the demon be compelled to directly attack the other despite the fact that the other could use its true name and redirect it? Or could it try and be more indirect in its methods? Or would it just go home as both could cause it pain and annoyance as it is forced to change targets back and forth?
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-04-19 03:59pm

The true name alone gets you nothing. You need the right magic to take advantage of it. Most of that magic will work if someone else has bound it. Tossing it back to its own plane, binding it to your service, or rendering it helpless are all in the cards with the right spells. That's why books with those spells (demonic summoning magic isn't exactly in wide circulation) and/or true names are so valuable to the ambitious and ethically challenged.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-04-21 11:04am

Imperial Overlord wrote:The true name alone gets you nothing. You need the right magic to take advantage of it. Most of that magic will work if someone else has bound it. Tossing it back to its own plane, binding it to your service, or rendering it helpless are all in the cards with the right spells. That's why books with those spells (demonic summoning magic isn't exactly in wide circulation) and/or true names are so valuable to the ambitious and ethically challenged.

OK, so can you bind it to your service (providing you know the magic) if it has already been bound to someone else?

I mean switching sides for so many times might get it to think like a yugoloth lol
You know, its remarkably easy to feed an undead army if all you have are just enemies....

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-04-21 03:01pm

Only if you can overcome the binding magic already on it.
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