Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2016-08-22 07:08am

Tzerika lay writhing on the mat, blood hissing and bubbling between her teeth. Her breathing was ragged and panting, her hands clutched around the arrow that pierced her belly. The flap to her yurt opened and a man stepped in.

He wore a robe of sky-blue silk shot through with gold thread. His skin was brown and leathery, marked with lines from years exposed to wind and sun. Grey-white hair was gathered in shoulder length braids and a short beard. His dark eyes were clear and his stride was strong. He glanced at the tables holding ritual blades and wands of silver, ivory, obsidian, and gold; rune carved bones; and spells recorded in the ancient way on bound brass plates. He grunted at the table holding carved bone in distaste and then knelt down beside Tzerika. He lay down the leather case he was carrying. "Hello niece."

"Uncle," she hissed. "Where are the healers?"

"Busy," he said brusquely. "Disease is cutting through the herds. In the old days it would have been caught earlier, but in these enlightened days we worship a god is stingy with his gifts and his favored love death. So the job falls to me. Although considering how stingy Hungry Mouth is with healing and how demented his favored are, I don't have high hopes for their results." He opened the case and began pulling out gleaming steel implements. "Can't get good Ulraqi steel anymore," he said wistfully. "Maybe we shouldn't have killed and eaten all the Ulraqi."

He bent over and examined the wound. "Hmm," he said and began cutting away cloth. "Intestinal wound. Painful and fatal if untreated. This must hurt a lot." Tzerika growled. He opened the wound with a pair of forceps and began probing at the arrowhead. "Ahh." He held the wound open and inserted an arrow extractor.

He pulled the arrow out and then reached back into his bag. He took out a phial of pink liquid and poured it into a thin tube with a tiny opening. Three drops of the liquid went into the wound. He then took out a phial of dark green and repeated the process, pouring five drops into the wound. He then bandaged the wound.

"You should be fine. If fevers take you, which they won't, then you will need one of these fools that are now our healers."

"Thank you uncle." She grabbed his arm. "The old days are gone. Talk like that will get you killed."

He snorted. "No one cares what old Zekena says or thinks. You're all drunk on victory and a few unearthed secrets, most of which should have stayed buried. Can no longer trade for silk? Fine, we've looted plenty. Will never get anymore because we ate the silk weavers? That's fine, we're strong now. Forget that we were strong before and out our new strength comes from abomination. Never mind we there no more Ulraqi swordsmiths or Iosh silks or Demarken goldweavers. It doesn't matter than we can't trade horses or cattle for grain. We are the masters of the world. It's a wasteland, but we are the masters. Is it not glorious to live in a ruined world?"

"He is the King of Tribes by law and custom."

"What does law and custom say about eating the men we once traded with?"

"Nothing," she replied. "Nothing at all."

"That was because it was unthinkable. And it did not take famine to make us do the unthinkable. Just a tyrant who should have been chained in a barrow and buried alive and a few greedy fools glutted on power they should never have taken. Oh, and one more thing. Fools too greedy and short sighted not to follow them when the spectre of endless wealth was waved in their faces. Endless wealth and nothing left to spend it on."

"What is done is done," she said. "We have slaves. They will serve us as will the ones we take. The whole world will be ours. And so will be others."

"An empty world by the time we are done," he snorted. "At the rate you're eating slaves you'll be the only ones left to work the fields. And you're no longer fighting fools who disdain sorcery. If you spent time studying old things other than those that should have remained lost you might have learned that elf magic is something to be respected. Before it burned you."

"This elf uncle, he's not just a wizard. He's like the Carnivora."

"There's a title for you," he grumbled. "Chief black magic cannibal. Truly we are a proud and glorious people with noble traditions that demand the respect of all peoples. Who needs the magic of earth and sky, wind and fire, when we can gain strength from cannibalism and the murder of children."

"Uncle," she said urgently, "he's no different. He may not eat the dead, but his magic is just as dark. And he is strong. As strong as any I've seen. Strong as Krazad, stronger maybe."

"Not what they are known for," said Zekena. "They are an old people and like men are found throughout creation. But men are not known for eating each other and here we are. If he's like Krazad, there's only one thing to do: kill him."

"Easier said than done. Krazad has already tried and failed."

"I'm beginning to like this elf."

"The King of Tribes has decreed that Krazad do nothing else but hunt the elf until he is dead."

"The King of Tribes, he has a name. Before he lost it. Some king. An outlaw who found something that should have stayed dead and buried and came back the pawn of the power he sold himself too. He should have been killed instead of allowed to challenge."

"There is the matter of the law."

"The law was not written to deal with obscenities. To be one meant one was outside the law."

"This does not help me, uncle."

"Perhaps the elf with kill Krazad. Then there is only the King of Filth."

"The elf might be strong enough and he might be clever enough, but Krazad has all the resources of the Twelve Tribes at his disposal."

"Eleven. Eleven tribes now, niece."

"He will die."

"All things die, niece. We should have died before we became what we are now."

"Then why do you live, uncle?"

"Perhaps I should not be. Perhaps I should have died long ago. Perhaps we all should have. Then at least our ancestors would know less shame."
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2016-08-22 09:56am

And so we start to see the effects of Blightmaker taking place and some potential aid from inside the Tribes for Nal. Now if only Ezgay has any knowledge about Zekena and others like him..... though its unlikely as she would have probably killed them for the Maw.
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 LadyTevar » 2016-08-22 06:17pm

Even if there are others like Zekena, they may not have the strength to challenge the King of Tribes. If they did, I'm sure they'd have tried by now. However, the mere fact that the King *CAN* be challenged will give Nalifan more options to play with.
After he's killed Krazad, of course.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby The Nomad » 2016-08-23 06:04pm

Nice update. Good to see it back.

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2016-09-05 04:30am

Cardan was an ugly full of buildings of squat grey stone. Once it had been the fortified hilltop village of Cardunyas Hold, but with the coming of the Vanyard the Namshi fort had been overrun and converted into a garrison. The clans had cursed the foreign fort as "The Canker" and raided their new neighbor when they weren't fighting among themselves. Cardan, as the fort became known among the Vanyard, was expanded with a robust new wall and lord's hall torn down and rebuilt as a castle. The garrison town continued to grow, adding a new outer wall, and the Namshi clans fell into all out civil war, some reached out to Vanyard for aid against their hated neighbors. The winners became lords with large estates and the losers were became tenants on what had been their own lands.

Cardan's importance had diminished after that. It was no longer a garrison town on a potentially hostile frontier, but it was still a city and a trade outpost. As the weary army marched along the road toward its imposing outer walls, Handren road over to Nalifan. "Messengers have said the city is packed with refugees."

"To be expected," the drow replied. "Their herds and families are slowing the Khaduli down, but they are still coming. All but the most stupid will have gotten the message by now."

"And the Khaduli will be running out of food."

"It is the end of winter and they do have a rather nasty plague running through their herds. Food is going to be a problem."

"Walls won't stop them, you said."

"I did. If you have enough magic, walls will not protect you."

"So we are going to a city, famed for its strong inner and outer walls, with many storehouses, and full of people. Which the walls cannot protect and the Khaduli are willing eat. Both the stores and the people. And they are going to be hungry."

"If not now, soon enough. And it is also a city that, if they don't take it, will be in a position to strike at their herds and families. So yes, they will come."

"You want me to bleed them, but I can't do it. Not enough, not with what I have. You know that, so what do you have that you're not telling me?"

"Do you really want to know?"

"I need to know. If I'm to do the damage you want me to do, I need to know everything."

"That's the right answer."

"You're testing me?"

"I'm testing everyone. I need generals who will follow my lead, but who are generals. And I don't have time to do as much as I want." He shouted at the sky. "Labelas Enoreth, give me fucking time!" He sighed and continued. "But I don't, not now, so I delegate as much as I can and I keep my eyes open for the weak links in the chain and the overlooked diamonds in the seems. Does that metaphor translate?"

"Well enough," replied Handren as they drew near the towering gate house. "That witch," he said. "What did she tell you about the Khaduli."

"A lot. Not much of it new and useful."

"Tell me."

"It will take time."

"Tell me as you do whatever you have to do. I need all the edge I can get."

"And the men and the defences?"

"You're not the only one who can delegate. I'll look at them later."

"Be careful not to put too many men on the walls and lay in heavy reserves. The Khaduli will take out the wall. We don't want to lose too many men when they do that and we'll want to have a strong counter attack ready."

"I figured that out two years ago," Handren replied, "when the greatest fortifications in the civilized world could not stop them."

"Alright," said Nalifan as the great double towers of the gatehouse loomed above them. "Where do you want me to start?"

"The beginning."

Soldiers stood to the side as the vanguard of the army began to enter the black throat of the gatehouse. "In the time before there were gods, before law and chaos went to war over the shape of reality, when the aboleths ruled the Underdark and the Abyss was the fountain of creation; great beings of primordial power arose. They were not gods, but they wielded similar power. They were the titans and the jotunns, the elder elementals, the rulers beyond. One of these was the Maw. It's notable attributes were hunger.

"It's hungry so when the god game gets going and it realizes it can pick up a lot of meals by having followers, it gives out a little power in exchange for sacrifices; but because it's a selfish miser who's defining trait is appetite, it is a miser. It demands a lot without giving much back and it loses out on the worshiper competition. His followers dwindle to a few cults on a few worlds. But he's not a god so he can survive that. He doesn't need the cults, they just help keep him fed and he's always hungry."

"Where do the Khaduli fit in?"

"Shortly," Nalifan replied. The entered the might gatehouse, passing through the gates and the twin portcullises and under the murder holes. "So at some point life arises on this world and the nomadic herders get comfy on your plains. Different peoples with different languages and different cultures, but all of them shaped by the plains they share. One of these people yield up a mighty wizard who unites his people under his rule and things are good for his long, glorious reign because his people have the mighty wizard as their ruler. He dies and their unity crumbles, but his apprentices and followers keep a healthy magical tradition going among their people. These are the Khaduli. They do the usual war and trading thing that most humanoids do to one degree or another.

The exited the gatehouse and into the packed city. The buildings were stout and ugly, brutal looking and hardy structures of dull grey stone. "Around two decades ago a young warrior does something heinous, probably rape or incest or both, and gets banished. He's stripped of his name and kicked out of his tribe. He goes out into the world as a mercenary and adventurer. He discovers an old remnant of the Maw's cult, probably while doing some barrow robbing. Barrow robbing is a classic. He gets the attention of the Maw, who is always hungry and really wishes he had more feeders. The Maw has had time to refine his strategy. The warrior takes the deal he's offered.

"He comes back and challenges his banishment. Because he's now an invincible killing machine, he passes the ordeals and trials. He challenges for position and gets it. Before anyone can figure out a good way of dealing with him, he starts a war with one of his neighbors because he can do that by walking into the enemy camp alone and killing everyone he meets. So the whole tribe is at war, which puts killing him on the back burner, and he gets to show off how good he is at killing. He picks up some followers among the young hot heads and his people win. He then shares some of the knowledge that the Maw has picked up in its long life of consumption with the ambitious young wizards. Once they're hooked, he shares some of the darker stuff. Dark rites that will give more power to his warriors and his wizards. Now, for them, there is no way out.

They pushed their way through crowded streets. The people gave way before the horses, but it was clear that the Cardan's population had swollen. "Victory feeds victory. He grows stronger and attempts to stop him fail. He bullies and kills his way to high rank and pulls his backers up with him. The traditional elders despise him and he creates new positions for his followers. One of these is a talented and ruthless bastard who everyone knows would sell his own mother to demons for a leg up. Enter the Carnivora, chief cannibal wizard. You know how it goes from there."

"So he has enemies within this own people?"

"Don't act so surprised. So do you."

"Can we exploit that?"

"I don't see how. I had to wipe out her tribe and dangle her in front of night hags to get one witch to cooperate. His enemies are stuck riding the tiger. Everyone who has tried to get rid of him has failed. Everyone alive and in power has had to live with him being the King of Tribes for years. No one's left who's desperately ready to die opposing him. Sure, the won't lift a finger to help him if they can get away with it but he's in charge now and they're at war. They'll fight for their blood."

"So what do we do now?"

"In order: you prepare the defence of the city with emphasis on leaving nothing of value behind for the enemy and preserving your men, I prepare to unleash terrible wizardry upon our enemies, and we prevail upon the priests to provide us with a miracle."

"You don't seem the type to hope for miracles."

"Hope? You don't hope for miracles, not if you're raised like I am. You're afraid one might happen. In this case we'll ask and the gods will answer. It won't be enough, but it will help."

"What kind of man is afraid of a miracle?"

"One who grew up in a city and family ruled by priests. I know what I am asking for and what we're likely to get. You're going to learn to be thankful that people so rarely get a response when they ask the gods for help."
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2016-09-05 09:27am

Hmmmm I wonder what miracle Nal would want here. I mean besides the heavens opening up and unleashing a rain of fire upon the Khaduli which would make his life much easier. Or perhaps a really nice bottle of wine and a couple of women willing to have a good time with him.
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 Rogue 9 » 2016-09-07 10:41pm

Barrow robbing is a classic, so classic that I seem to recall that's how Nalifan first met Morfindel and Gaheris. ;)
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2016-09-08 01:42am

Rogue 9 wrote:Barrow robbing is a classic, so classic that I seem to recall that's how Nalifan first met Morfindel and Gaheris. ;)


The problem with that, Rogue, is that some things that get buried are ment to stay that way. The trick of the successful grave robber is figuring out which is which. Mind that it is also a part of (long term) survival as well.
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 Rogue 9 » 2016-09-08 09:49pm

Grimnosh wrote:
Rogue 9 wrote:Barrow robbing is a classic, so classic that I seem to recall that's how Nalifan first met Morfindel and Gaheris. ;)


The problem with that, Rogue, is that some things that get buried are ment to stay that way. The trick of the successful grave robber is figuring out which is which. Mind that it is also a part of (long term) survival as well.

Yeah.

God, I just read through And Justice for None again. Hard to believe that wrapped up ten years ago.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-09-08 09:53pm

Rogue 9 wrote:God, I just read through And Justice for None again. Hard to believe that wrapped up ten years ago.

We could always start a story about Gaheris and his favorite baby dragon :mrgreen:
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2016-09-08 09:59pm

LadyTevar wrote:
Rogue 9 wrote:God, I just read through And Justice for None again. Hard to believe that wrapped up ten years ago.

We could always start a story about Gaheris and his favorite baby dragon :mrgreen:

I fully intend to finish Trollbane; in fact I got it out again when IO started back in on this.

I'm sorry the actual game didn't go so well. I was an immature brat, and I own that now. Perhaps a story format would be the best way to handle it at this point.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-09-08 10:43pm

Rogue 9 wrote:I fully intend to finish Trollbane; in fact I got it out again when IO started back in on this.

I'm sorry the actual game didn't go so well. I was an immature brat, and I own that now. Perhaps a story format would be the best way to handle it at this point.
Water under the bridge, honey. We can change that in the story ;)
Although, you do have to figure out how/when he met Torma. She was still a hatchling when you met her, so there's an interesting tale. (Hatchling: 6ft long from stub-nose to pudgy-tail-tip and no taller than a coffee-table, already human intelligence level + full breath weapons.)
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2016-09-08 11:15pm

Well, for that I'd want your input; she's your character, after all. By the way, bronze or brass? I seem to recall the former in Tycho's original game and the latter in IO's. ;)
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Highlord Laan » 2016-09-09 12:41pm

Rogue 9 wrote:Barrow robbing is a classic, so classic that I seem to recall that's how Nalifan first met Morfindel and Gaheris. ;)


It's also have every adventurer gets started. :P Even the most righteous Paladin cut his teeth knocking over tombs.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2016-09-09 04:50pm

Now now, it's occasionally goblins. Or in Gaheris' case, people's houses. Though he hadn't answered his calling yet. :lol:
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-09-12 02:10am

Rogue 9 wrote:Well, for that I'd want your input; she's your character, after all. By the way, bronze or brass? I seem to recall the former in Tycho's original game and the latter in IO's. ;)

Tormantineth was a Young Copper Dragon (about 16yrs) in IO's game. I can't find the stuff from Tycho's game, but she was a Very Young (age 13) then. Old enough to (mostly) be out on her own, but still a child.
There was another game where I played Jernei, an Adult Bronze. That may be the confusion.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rogue 9 » 2016-09-12 05:04pm

LadyTevar wrote:
Rogue 9 wrote:Well, for that I'd want your input; she's your character, after all. By the way, bronze or brass? I seem to recall the former in Tycho's original game and the latter in IO's. ;)

Tormantineth was a Young Copper Dragon (about 16yrs) in IO's game. I can't find the stuff from Tycho's game, but she was a Very Young (age 13) then. Old enough to (mostly) be out on her own, but still a child.
There was another game where I played Jernei, an Adult Bronze. That may be the confusion.

"Tormantineth, first of the prior hatching of Tinnarithimen the Bronze to leave the nest in search of her own treasure and adventures, had been gliding over the town of Westgate on her way to wherever she felt like it."

:wink:
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby LadyTevar » 2016-09-15 03:32pm

HOLY FUCK YOU FOUND IT! (I thought it was on LibArc and was looking for it there!)
Ok... I was wrong. The original Council of Dragons Tormanitineth character was a Copper, and I have no clue why I turned her Bronze.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Rem 12 » 2016-09-20 03:41pm

Going back a couple updates (I didn't realize I had so much to catch up on :D ) how much control or care does the King of All Cats have over his subordinates? Because the Khan of All Tigers killed an army for Nal in Whirlwind after the burning of Westgate. Is the Khan in the doghouse ( :lol: )or is the King of All Cats just being capricious? (Or he may have extremely wide allowance for independence for his underlings because, well, cats, but for there to be a hierarchy there needs to be some unified direction.)
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 » 2016-09-25 10:17pm

The hierarchy is loose and the Khan of All Tigers is the ruler of tigers, not house cats. He's at odds with human urbanization, as that clashes with (in some areas) with tiger habitats so for him burning cities is actually a plus.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2017-01-24 04:05am

An oval of golden sparks hissed and sputtered in the night air. The moon Selune was bright overhead, surrounded by her glittering Tears. No eyes were raised to greet her. Instead Elvarra stepped between worlds, her head downcast. The others followed. No one spoke.

They were at the edge of a wooded dale, one of the many that gave the region its name. This one didn't hold a town or village, but the manse looming at the center was almost a castle. Its' stone bones had been drawn up from the earth by elementals bound by great magic and a malevolent will. It had stood as an ominous bastion of evil until its master had made sport with one more terrible still and been claimed by the victor as part of his share of the spoils. Some would argue it still was a bastion of evil.

The great doors were warded against intruders and hostile magics, but those that came possessed the ward-keys. Elvarra raised her hand and the Weave responded as the Weave had always responded. Magic poured forth and a blast of invisible force smote the doors like a titan's fist. Elvarra stormed into her home. Even in her fury the soles of her elven boots were silent on the checkerboard tiles of the entrance hall.

Armed men and women rushed to meet her. More than half were drow, many marked with the faded scars left my magical healing, marks from the slave pens Nalifan had rescued them from. They were in various states of dress or undress. Two of the males were naked, their skin slick with sweat from lovemaking and gleaming from the light shed by the enchanted blades they carried. They hadn't had time to don armour, but they were never far from weapons or magic. Spells of killing and crippling danced on several tongues, deadly patterns of energy humming at the forefront of their owners' brains. They slowed and then halted as they recognized their mistress and the saw the deadly fury in her eyes. Two made quick gestures, triggering readied spells to unveil disguised interlopers. They then bowed low before their mistress. The others followed suit.

She strode into the dining hall as her household scrambled into her wake. She walked into the Lesser Dining Chamber, where a rectangular table suitable for seating a dozen dominated the room, and kicked a chair out of the way and then another back and into an acceptable position before slouching into it. It was this room, not the larger and more formal Grand Dining Room, that they usually had their meals. Ironically, the servants got more use out of the Grand Dining Room than the masters.

"Wine," Elvarra called out as the others slumped into seats. "Fuck that, make it brandy."

Kuuni pulled herself into her high chair. Even a house run by elves was sized wrong for gnomes. "That could have gone better," said Trizkel wryly.

"That's one way of putting it," drawled Mikos. The Dalesman put his boots up on the table. "Another way is that it was a worthless dead end."

"He knew," said Trizkel. "He didn't tell us, but he knew. So not quite a dead end. Nal didn't vanish without a trace or if he did, he can be seen where he is now. We have to be able to use that."

"And if the gods Nal is on the good side of us aren't going to be helpful," said Mikos, "who in the Nine Hells will be? Who has the kind of juice to matter, which means being a god?"

Silence again descended on them. Brandy was delivered along with crystal glasses. Elvarra picked up the bottle, filled her glass to the top and put down the bottle in front of her. She down half the fire liquid in one go.

"Damn girl," said Mikos as he filled a glass. "Try to enjoy it."

"Fuck you," was Elvarra's eloquent reply. She took the bottle back from Mikos, refilled her glass and then passed it on to Trizkel.
"If the gods won't help me I'll burn down the Heavens and the Paradises and all the glorious Halls of the Dead."

"Don't talk like that," said Mikos worriedly. "Not even now."

"What the fuck are they going to do? Let the demons and devils take me on the Astral Sea? That already happens, even to the faithful? Consign me to the Wall of Unbelief? Hurl me into the Abyss or the Nine Hells of Baator? I'll build a bone palace in the depth and I will rule from a throne of black iron and on my brow will be crown forged of Baatorian steel and quenched in liquid pain. I will-"

"Stop," said Trizkel waving a hand. "Perhaps you will wield power on the other side of death, but countless arch-mages have fallen and the gods still rule on their thrones. Anger and pain are one thing, blasphemy and a war on the divine are another. We can't win and we really don't need any more god related problems. We're just powerful enough for them to notice and put us in our place. I don't really find the idea of a place on the Wall of Unbelief attractive and that's before we get to getting cast to the fiends."

"Fuck you," Elvarra retorted. She looked up at the servants. "Opium." The woman froze. "Did you not fucking hear me? Opium! Now."

"You want to be careful-" Trizkel began.

Elvarra reached into her tunic and pulled out a sliver of ivory hanging on a thin golden chain. "Protection from poison, which includes mixing this shit. If it wasn't for magic, half the drow aristocracy would be die in adolescence." A silver pot was placed before her. Lilies were engraved on the lid.

She flicked the lid off and pot and stuck two fingers into the dark brown paste. Her tongue darted out, licking the paste off her fingers. Trizkel kicked back in disgust and stood. "I have better things to do than watch you wreck yourself."

"Fuck you."

"Not like that I won't," he replied. He walked away, his wife following in his wake.

"What are you looking at?" she snarled at Mikos.

"A woman not used to handling pain," said the Dalesman. He stood. "When you sober up, remember that we're only beaten if we stop trying. We've been in spots that look worse than this."

"And what's your solution?" she hissed back.

He shrugged. "I'm not the brains of the operation." He stood. "Since Nal ain't here, it's you or Trizkel. And you the point of that shit is to stop the thinking, so don't crawl too deep into it. See you when you sober up."
The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2017-01-24 09:31am

Please, sir, I want some more.
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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby Grimnosh » 2017-01-24 09:48am

SCRawl wrote:Please, sir, I want some more.

Seconded.

You know, asking Mystra might get some results as she would potentially know where the summoning magic Nal was taken with was used from and where it sent him....

All that matters is the phrasing of the questions (ie not where is Nal, but where did the magic take him), but that can sometimes elude even the smartest of people.
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 » 2017-01-26 07:34am

"Steady," said Nalifan as the drow gripped Handren's shoulder. "Watch your step."

"I wouldn't need your help if you would allow some light," the nobleman hissed.

"Light that could be seen for a long ways off," the drow replied. "We're too exposed here."

"Here" was Barrow Hill, the ancient cemetery of Cardan. The top was crowned with the earth and stone mounds of the ancient hill chieftains. Surrounding them were the now lost graves of their followers. More recent mausoleums spread out down the hill, surrounded by tomb markers and memorial statues. Those too poor for tombstones were interred in pits at the base of the hill. It was, in Nalifan's opinion, the perfect mirror for society. Handren was more concerned about tripping in the dark.

"I thought you were the almighty lord of the night," said Handren.

"In this particular case," said Nalifan, "I don't want to give them any idea I'm working. So no lights, no magic. We've been hard on their scouts, but we don't get sloppy. Even if I did get the night hags to sick a gang of juvenile nabassu on them."

"Nabassu?"

"Demons. They like the dark. Most of them will probably go back to the Abyss before the war is over, but you might have to deal with a straggler or two after it's over. The whole region will be a mess anyway, but you'll be the only intact power in the region and there will be a lot of land open for the taking. Adventurers might solve a lot of problems, including finding useful employment for some of your former soldiers. You won't be lacking in land with which to pay them. Those that survive."

"That's after the war," said Handren.

"Yes," said Nalifan.

"The war takes precedence."

"Which is why I unleashed the nabassu in the first place."

"Right," said Handren. "What were we talking about again?"

"Not letting the enemy know what I'm up too. So no lights and no magic."

"But you're spreading the magic stuff around?"

"Yes," said the arch-necromancer, "the 'stuff'. Which will catalyze and fuel the spell, in part, when the time comes but which is, in itself, mundane matter. No magic to detect until I start the actual spell." He pulled the bag off of his belt and opened it. He sprinkled less than a handful on the ground. "Fortunately the Khaduli are wretched necromancers."

"Wait. What about their eating the dead magic?"

"Oh they have some necromancy. Some really adequate killing spells and necrophagic enchantments, but that's old magic they've acquired courtesy of their hungry primordial. They don't really know it, they're not used to it, and so they aren't used to looking for it. If I do magic here they will notice, but if I lay the groundwork instead they won't even see it. Baator's Hells, I would need a solid search before recognizing what I'm up to."

"And what will this do?"

"Something unpleasant in a hurry. I'll invoke it while they're busy butting heads with the divine vassals. And then I'll hit them with the second part while distracting them with the third part."

"Hit them with the second while distracting them with the third? I think you have the order wrong."

"No, I really don't. It should turn the battlefield and several places adjacent to it into a meat grinder. It's also going to scare the hell out our troops and I'll be busy, so make sure your officers don't panic and keep the men together."

"I need to give them something more specific."

"Tell them the screaming animate mass of blood is on their side."

"Are you joking?"

"No. And this is really important, don't get yourself killed. This city is doomed. Maybe one out of ten chance we can save it, but we can bleed them here. Bleed them badly. They can't ignore us, we can strike at their rear if they bypass us so they have to take it for their own safety and to get their hands on our supplies. Or our tasty corpses. Either really works. So everything you think you might lose, wreck."

"Burn the city rather than save it," said Handren with distaste. "Burn it all rather than try to save the people who live in it."

"Without me there is a zero in ten chance of keeping the city," said Nalifan. "Far better for your people that I'm here than I am not. Although if you can arrange my freedom, I'll happily leave." The look Handren shot the drow was pure venom. "I thought not."

"So you think you can starve them if we burn the city?"

"Probably not," said Nalifan. "They get hungry enough they'll either push hard and seize what they need or retreat south of the river and recoup."

"So we're burning a city for nothing?!"

"Such outrage. No. Trying to starve them has two benefits. One, it might actually starve them. That probably won't work, but it will push them. They hold too many advantages, we can't allow them the option of taking it slow and careful. It's too easy for them to win that way. We have to have them push, we have to make them hurry. Sloppy. Miss things. Make mistakes. They know how close they are too going hungry and that will goad them."

"So we burn a city so they make more mistakes."

"Given all their advantages, we need to make them mistakes."

-----

Krazad entered the tent, blinking sleep from his eyes. The King of Tribes could command the most opulent yurt imaginable, but wealth had ceased to mean anything to him. He slept on a simple mat on bare ground and surrounded himself with weapons, not luxuries. Slaves were helping him don harness.

Krazad stiffled a yawn. Behind him the horizon was a faint pink. Dawn was coming, but still some distance away. He struggled to force the fog from his brain. The King of Tribes rarely wore armour. What was the point? He was unkillable.

"You called, King of Tribes?"

"Yes Carnivora," the King of Tribes replied. The armour was ancient, consisting of a bronze cuirass, greaves, helmet, and vambraces augmented with a kilt of bronze scales. Ancient magics worked into the armour caused spells to slide off and weapons to miss. "We are going to do something different today."

"That I can see."

"Yes," rumbled the King of Tribes. "They will call up the servants to their weakling gods and they will be pulled down by our demons and elementals, but after that I will attack. Alone."

Krazad understood. Getting riddled with arrows would still hurt and still slow him down. Crawling across the battlefield as peasants tried to drop rocks on you from the battlements was not pleasant way of conducting a war. "Do you desire me to guard you with my sorcery?"

"No, my order stands. I will break their walls and throw down their gates and then the rest shall storm the city. But first their elf wizard will seek to stop me. When he reveals himself, strike."

"It shall be as you will it."

The King of Tribes smiled. "Tonight, we shall feast on them all."
The Excellent Prismatic Spray. For when you absolutely, positively must kill a motherfucker. Accept no substitutions. Contact a magician of the later Aeons for details. Some conditions may apply.

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Re: Be Careful What You Wish For (Nalifan)

Postby SCRawl » 2017-01-26 08:41am

I do like where this is going.
73% of all statistics are made up, including this one.

I'm waiting as fast as I can.


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