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[LP CYOA]The Hyborian Age

Discussion in 'Choose Your Own Adventure Land' started by Kz3r0, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    22,081
    Fleeting Nights






    With a snarl Kairn accepted the offer,"Only for a while."

    "We are headed to a nearby valley, that is three days on foot from here, there is the inn of that friend of ours of whom I alraedy told you, he has a forge and blacksmith tools too, but is not capable to use them", explained Valdyr, "till now we provided to it ourselves but we lack the knowledge of a true blacksmith, this is why I am asking for your skills", seeing tha Kairn was still tense he added, "after that you will be free to continue your journey alone or with us."

    After a moment of staring at the man in the eyes Kairn imperceptibly relaxed, "For now I will be your companion."
    "Thank you", said Valdyr,"Ulfir, guide us out of here, trying to catch that goat by now will be useless."

    After giving Kairn a last gaze full of hostility the Vanir turned his back and began to lead the way out of the canyon, silently all the others followed him with Kairn last, everyone maintaining a prudent distance from anyone else.


    [​IMG]



    Mordek was nervous, all his attempts at solving the puzzle of the King's dream had been unsuccessful till that moment and Venarius was growing impatient, never before something had been hidden from his gaze, what wonder was that eluded all his efforts?

    For this he decided to engage in one of the most powerful rituals he knew, and that was the right night for it.

    He controlled for the last time that the door conducing to his quarters was closed firmly, then, preceded by Shamir, his young apprentice, he passed through a drapery in the wall that lead through a series of corridors to a square room, only lit by the light of the moon passing through a narrow opening in the wall.

    Surrounded by candelabra a deep engraving was barely visible on the floor, it represented a circle divided in four quadrants, in each a bowl to sign the cardinal points.
    At the center was a smaller circle with a vase standing inside of it.

    Mordek instructed his apprentice once more, "When I will be at the center of the circle you will light the nine candelabra around it, starting from south and proceeding towards west, is this clear?"

    "Yes master", answered the apprentice.

    "If there are any problems you must blow nine times in the whistle I have given you," at this point he raised his index finger, "and no matter what, never enter the circle until the ritual is completed, understood?"

    The apprentice nodded with a scared look in his eyes, his master was used to punish even the slightest trespassing in terrible ways.

    Said that the mage stepped into the center of the circle etched on the floor.
    At this point the apprentice began to light the candelabra as by his master's orders.


    After the ninth and last was lighten the mage took a pouch by the bag on his belt and started to pour a fine grey powder along the circle's circumference with the same motion used by the apprentice.


    Done that he took a handful of black earth from the bag and put it in the southern quadrant's bowl
    "Could ALKHEM guide my steps in my wanderings."

    At this point, he proceeded to the west putting an handful of red ocher in the western quadrant's bowl.
    "May the gates of MAHLEK concede a safe passage and return."

    Now he was in the northern quadrant and put in the bowl there fine white marble powder.
    "That KEHMAL could carry me far and at home."

    In the eastern quadrant he filled the bowl with grounded emerald powder.
    "Could HELKAM make me see far and conceal my sight to my enemies."


    Completed this he crossed his legs seating in front of the vase at the center.
    Carefully he took a vial of black liquid from a necklace he was wearing under his robes and poured some drops into the vase, almost immediately a crimson fog began to spring from it clouding the inside of the circle in a blood red mist.

    The apprentice could hear then his master intoning a chant, "ALKHEM, MAHLEK, KEHMAL, HELKAM, ALKHEM, MAHLEK, KEHMAL", until it wasn't possible to discern the words anymore, "ALKHEMMAHLEKKEHMALHELKAMALKHEMMAHLEKKEHMALHELKAMALKHEMMAHLEKKEHMALHELKAM".



    Mordek was floating above the clouds, looking up at the firmament, his beacon, the nine sisters was burning bright, then he turned his gaze towards the Earth below, from the south a black sinuous spiral elevated towards the sky, proceeding north in long dark spires stretching over Aquilonia, the mage, immersed himself in that foul stream, he was used at that extra-corporeal voyages, and the things he could encounter.


    As he thought the serpent in the king's dream couldn't have any other origin that Stygia, still something was off, he delved deeper into the spires, trying to unravel their origin and purpose, but was as being caught in a whirlwind, despite his efforts he couldn't seem to advance in any direction, when reaching south a powerful invisible hand continuously thrown him back making him wander prey of the tides of that ominous smoke, despite his proficiency in the dark arts he began to fear that he would have been ended smothered, any attempt to escape from east or west was futile, the spires were growing in strength and thickness, desperately he looked north. there his attention was caught by an hair thin thread of smoke that seemed untouched by the motions of the spires, riding those malevolent waves he reached for that fickly filament, he began to follow its path, thus escaping the vicious grip of the spires.

    Yes, the eagle in the dream should have symbolized the north, bit by bit all the elements were coming together, Mordek summoned powerful ethereal winds to carry him north, towards the end of that volatile thread.


    Faster and faster he flied, covering miles in the blink of an eye, it wasn't longer that he was hovering over the icy lands of the north to his amazement, the thread now was more firm and easy to see pointing decisively in a downward direction, the mage eagerly continued to follow it, feeling that finally his quest was ending.


    Here, he could finally see the end of the thread nesting inside a human figure moving on the ground, "A young barbarian", thought with incredulity the mage, but not only that, what his eyes saw lurking in the most intimate recesses of that savage soul filled him with delight, what a discovery, to find the key of such power in that unlikely place.


    His glee was short lived tho, suddenly he was precipitating on the ground, as struck by a powerful force, despite being in his incorporeal form he couldn't help to feel frightened by the thought of the imminent impact, but what happened next filled him with terror, a chasm opened under him swallowing the mage whole.



    Unexpectedly he hit a hard surface, as that was his full body, astonished Mordek looked around, and saw countless skeletons staring at him with their empty orbits, as a necromacer he was used to toy with the dead, not fear them, with apprehension he looked above, it was like being inside a giant tomb, only a little opening was visible, through which the nine sisters' brilliant light could be seen, reassured he stood up, but his confidence was shattered once again when the skeletons ranks opened up to make way to a tall figure in a black armor holding a battle axe, the infernal fires burning in his eye sockets were enough to make Mordek run for his life, all the incantations and secret pacts with the dark forces forgotten and useless.


    The mage blindly ran until he realized that he was climbing on a slope conducting at the opening above, new hope filled his heart as the nine lights became brighter and brighter while he was approaching the exit, forgetful of what was chasing him, despite hearing the steps closer and closer, only that beacon of eight lights mattered, wait, for a moment Mordek thought that his eyes were tricking him, but now the lights were seven, no, six, with horror he realized what was happening.



    Shamir was full of dread and awe as usual at seeing the display oh his master's powers, powers that he ardently desired for himself, that was why he obliged to all the abject requests and desires of the mage, to be a servant, for a day being master, such is the way of the world he thought.

    But even so many times he was about to leave Mordek' service, and that night was almost one of them, for long minutes he saw fantastic figures appearing in the thick red fog still lingering inside the circle, and even if he had already witnessed more fantastic and terrifying things never he had been afraid as in that night, and he couldn't understand why.

    While the apprentice was prey of his fears and doubts the lights of the first candelabra went off, as snuffed out by the hand of a ghost.


    The apprentice looked paralyzed at the diminishing number of lights, eight, seven, six, five, was then that he finally regained his spirit and began to blow with all his might in the bone whistle engraved with mysterious signs that Mordek entrusted him with.



    [​IMG]

    Kairn and his new found companions found a cave where to take shelter for the night, two days had passed from their first encounter, the march had been mostly silent broken occasionally by the crass jokes of the fat Unnarr.


    Kairn in exchange for their supplies had already made some minor fixes, tightening a lose hilt, clipping a broken mail ring or sharpening a knife.


    The warmth of the fire lightening the rock walls seemed to invite confidence but still there was a tense atmosphere between the warriors and the young stranger in their midst, "I am tired of eating pemmican", said one of the Aesir in a bout of impatience.


    "Bear a bit longer", told him Ramiras, "shouldn't be much that we will be there", he looked interrogatively at Ulfir, the Vanir was slowly chewing on a piece of dried meat, "Probably we will be there by the night of the second day with this rhythm of march", he answered without looking at anyone in particular.


    "Never too soon", exclaimed Thurig that was on the entrance, gazing nervously in the night, "Come here and drink some beer instead of acting as a frightened child", roared Unnarr, that was following his own advice at the moment.


    That exhortation fell on deaf ears as the Vanir became mortally pale, "Egads, Valdyr", he called with a faint voice, the others were to ask what was happening when an inhumane howl was heard, all of them cautiously approached the entrance to see its source.


    A faint blue light could be seen in the distance, outlining the shape of a monstrous female figure that resembled more a beast than a woman, a cortege of foul demonic silhouettes, barely resembling known animals, was following her.


    With an ample gesture of the arm Valdyr made the others step back, slowly he extracted a bone knife from his belt and carved a rune on the entrance wall of the cave, then silently he retreated towards the back, seeing that the Brythunian was ready to throw earth over the fire he put his hand over his shoulder, shacking his head he stopped him, then calmly seated by the side of the fire facing the entrance, holding the bone knife with both his hands, all the others followed his example, nervously looking around.



    They didn't know how much time had passed until the unnatural tension that filled the air dissipated, with a seemingly effortless movement Valdyr raised up and stepped out of the cave, cautiously followed by the others, after giving a circular look at the surroundings he exclaimed, "It has passed."

    "Do you still think that are old women stories?" lashed Thurig at Unnarr, liberating all the tension accumulated until that moment.

    "Easy thurig", said the other Vanir which name was Arglar, "we are almost out of their territory, by tomorrow morning we wouldn't have to worry about them anymore."
    "Still, they have never come this far", intervened Ulfir, "what could be the reason, maybe you know why Cimmerian", he said addressing Kairn, the implication was obvious, even the others began to look in his direction with an interrogative look on their faces.
    "I don't know what you are talking about Vanir", was the angry response, the situation became tense once again, calmly Valdyr talked to both Kairn and Ulfir, "There is no need for this hostility, Kairn, is possible that those beasts have something to do with you?".
    A flickering argentine image appeared from the memory recesses of the young Cimmerian to vanish almost immediately, "I have nothing to do with them", was his firm response, in that moment he could only recall confuse images of a battle, the clang of the blades, the flowing of the blood, and something else, he couldn't focus, like the sensation of a sharp pain, as if a burning needle was piercing his brain.

    Valdyr continued to look at him with his colorless eyes without showing any emotion in his expression, after a moment he turned his back and began to going back to the cave, "I believe him, let's try to sleep for the rest of the night, they will not disturb us anymore."

    One by one they all returned to the cave, some still hesitating, Kairn could feel their perplexity, and expecially Ulfir's hostility.

    In an uneasy silence they laid in their improvised beds, Kairn wrapped in his bear fur was lying against the rock wall, his eyes fiery burning, but despite the tension animating him he fell in a deep slumber something that had never happened before in his long nights outside his village.


    [​IMG]

    And then he dreamed, and remembered, it was the winter solstice of his ninth birthday, his father had wake him up in the heart of the night, "Put your clothes on", said Dhurgal with an imperious tone, the young Kairn obediently quickly dressed himself without question, with a nod of the head his father invited him to follow him.
    They walked outside, passing through the woods, with only the full moon to illuminate their way, then Dhurgal knelt on the ground, passing his hands around as searching for something under the dirt, he seemed to have found it when with a visible effort he lift a stone lid covered by soil, rotten wood and dead leaves, after having being opened the stone lid remained in place as father and son descended a flight of rock steps.

    Now the circular mound inside of which they were was lit by torches secured on the walls, kairrn could notice that at the center stood something similar to a forge, "Kairn" called his father reclaiming his attention, with a severe expression he looked his son straight in the eyes, "tonight I will pass you the secrets of steel, as my father did with me, and his father did with him, secrets that you should only reveal to your own son one day, but don't be mistaken, to learn these secrets will be a life long achievement, however, tonight you have to take an important decision of your own accord, listen carefully."
    The young kid nodded, intimidated by his father severity, "as blacksmiths we have the privilege to know the hidden meaning of the runes, something that is only prerogative of shamans, even if our knowledge is incomparably inferior to theirs,, still, such knowledge come as at a cost, tis is not a burden that should be took lightly, the full comprehension of some of the runes I will teach you requires to be bind by them, this is like a flailing morning star, which crushing force comes from the chain to which is attached to."




    [​IMG]

    Kairn was listening to his father enraptured, that was continuing, "if you will not choose this path I will not blame you, there is a lesser teaching where you will come to know the runes in their superficial meaning, still something far superior to your peers, even so this will require that you submit to some obligation, this is like an adorned blade which etching can widen the cuts and draw blood from an enemy but weakens the blade at the same time."

    Dhurgal observed his son as he was listening, not letting any of the strong emotions inside of him to show, "finally, you can choose the bare steel, which strength depends only on your will and courage, this means that the secret of the runes will be forever a mystery to you."

    The nine years old Kairn stared at his father with all the seriousness of which only little kids are capable while thinking what to choose.


    ____________________________________________________________________________



    A)Flailing Morning star.

    B)Adorned Blade.

    C)Bare Steel.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
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  2. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
    Joined:
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    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Codex 2012
    A
    Flailing morning star sounds badass, and being able to understand runes seems important.
     
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  3. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
    Joined:
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    NZ
    C. The Riddle of Steel.

    Thulsa Doom: What is steel, compared to the hand that wields it? Look at the strength in your body, the desire in your heart, *I* gave you this!
     
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  4. Zero Credibility Arcane

    Zero Credibility
    Joined:
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    2,762
    A. Knowledge is power.
     
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  5. GreyViper Arbiter

    GreyViper
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    Estonia
    Really good story so far.:incline:

    As for Choice A
     
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  6. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
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    Sorry for the delay, the new update is ready and will be posted tomorrow, for now I would like to make some comment.
    With this LP I have realized that player agency trumps anything else even in an heavily narrative driven LP as this one, the question that arise from time to time about D&D setting is how someone can be an atheist when gods are real and perform miracles, here players chose to defy Crom, defy Seth and defy Ymir, not because of some moral or philosophical stance but simply through their choices, this alone makes me very satisfied and even proud, this is almost on par with Greek tragedy, the hero defied the gods for no other reason that being a man living his life, simple and profound at the same time.
    After a bit of writer's narcyssism let's talk about the mechanism behind the no game over rule, having Kairn beating gods with his sheer barbarian force of will would be ridiculous even if epic, so how Kairn escaped Ymir's wrath and can keep at bay the Serpent?
    I have borrowed from Howard's works, expecially The Passing of the Grey God the concept of gods waning power and disappeareance from this world, hence to have Kairn survive these encounters the balance of the ingame universe shifted, gods now are pale shadows of their former glory and the end of this age and their power is relatively near, this also means that magic is relatively weacker, while many of you would like this the flip side is that confronting magical menaces will be done with little help from artifacts and such, and getting rid of the Serpent will be much more difficult, this doesn't mean either that magic and gods have become a joke, in fact powerful magic is now much more troublesome even if rarer.
    Besides, I have thought of some neat way, based on Howard's lore for making Kairn 'resurrect', so to speack.
    Obviously there will be consequences that will catch to you sooner or later, so dying is not just a mere incovenience.
    If anyone has any question or want to comment it will be very appreciated, as I have already wrote I will upload the new update tomorrow.
     
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  7. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Lukewarm



    After long ponderation the nine years old Kairn answered, "I want to be like a falling star, that burns brightly, incuting fear in the enemies and crushing them with the thunderous power of the heavens."
    Dhurgal seemed surprised by the answer, "Do you mean that you will break free from any bond that will be bestowed upon you then?"
    The kid moved nervously his feet, struggling to explain his intentions, "It's just the image that I see before me when I think of becoming a warrior, I didn't mean to be disrepectful father."
    Dhurgal remained silent for such a long time that Kairn feared to have provoked his father's ire, he stood like a giant satue carved in stone, his facial features hidden in darkness,then, finally, he spoke, "We shall let the runes to decide, this will be very dangerous, are you ready to face the consequences?"
    Kairn nodded with all his strenght.
    Dhurgal tok a vase from under the spent ashes of the forge and made sign to Kairn to come near, "Now we are going to perform a ritual that will bind you to the power of the runes for all your life, if you really wish to not be bound by them but to still be able to know them trust your fate to draw the appropriate stone."
    In saying this Dhurgal put the vase at the center of the forge, then, silently he poured inside an handful of ashes, after that he grabbed Kairn's hand and put it over the vase making a deep icision in the palm with a bone knife he took from his belt.
    The kid didn't flinched when the blade cut his flesh, "Now", said his father, "repeat with me."
    TIWAZ
    URUZ
    GEBOR
    PERTHRO
    TIWAZ
    After reciting this incantation Dhurgal said to Kairn, "Rub your hands in the ashes until the blood flows no more."
    The kid did as he was told then waited for his father next order.
    Dhurgal took the vase from the forge and firmly holding it in front of Kairn said, "Draw a stone."
    Without esitation the kid dug his hand in the vase and quickly retracted it grasping a polished green stone with a red symbol on it.
    "Show it to me", intimated his father, and so the kid did opening his palm.

    The expression on Durghal's face didn't change but long lines furrowed his brow while he was observing the stone.
    "This is the rune of chance and luck, seems that your wish has been granted, all bonds will be tenuous as air to you", there was a hint of sadness in Kairn's father voice saying this,"but you will be subjected to the ebb and flow of fate, never knowing if your choices are really your own or were decided by the neverending motion of life tumultuous waves and the powers that control them."
    The kid looked at his father clearly non understanding what he was saying, Dhurgal put his hand on the head of the boy in a rare display of affection,"Don't worry my son, no man is really the master of his destiny, but as long that he has strength and courage even the gods will aknowledge him."
    Kairn smiled at these words conforted from the warmth of that big calluous hand.
    The Kairn that was now a pariah and abandoned all behind himself moved uncomfortably inside his bear fur, sleeping the uneasy sleep of the hour that precedes dawn and continued to dream.
    "My son, now that the rites are completed and you have been iniatiated to the porwer of the runes I will reveal to you the rune that has power over us as blacksmiths and the connection that runes have with our craft."
    The kid solemny nodded with a serious expression ready to receive that secret knowledge.
    His father continued,"here it's the rune that represent the ancient hero Thyer, who stole the power of lighting and thunder from Ymir's forge and donated it to Ku'l-Kulh-hain, father of all Cimmerians, this is why there is enmity between us and the Vanir.", in saying so he showed a red rock with a black T shaped mark that resembled a forging hammer.
    "Kairn, you should know that Shamans call the runes the language of the trees, and metal is hidden and nourished by the earth as the roots of trees are, and as them it grows and branches when cooling after melting, and as them it creates seeds that will give origin to other metal.", in saying so Dhurgal kneelend on the ground near the trace left by the molten flow of the impurities poured out from the forge through an apposite opening at the base of the forge, Kairn observed his father as that callous hand raised from the ground holding a fistful of dirt, "lool Kairn, look" esortated by his father Kairn got closer, then he could notice little irregular shining spheres in the dirt, smiling he looked up to his father that was smiling back, a very rare sight, "These are the seeds of steel", said Dhurgal in a soft voice, "when put in the molten slag they will accrue and grow."


    Kairn now was awake, his gaze fixed intently the rune in the entrance of the cave while memories of his childhood slowly faded away, that was a rune of ward, strangely modified tho, probably what Valdyr did the night before was some sort of shamanic ritual, Kairn wondered when and where he learned it.
    Suddenly he turned his head just in time to get a glimpse of Valdyr diverting his eyes and exiting the cavern, it was well after dawn and Kairn raised from his resting place and followed the others out, greeted by the pale Northern sun.


    Shamir was seated by the bed of his master, three days had passed from that fateful night and the mage was still unconscious, the apprentice was frightened remembering what he saw and heard, or what he thought to have seen and heard at least, in that crimson haze inside the circle, how he helped Mordek to get up and reach his bed, the terrible stare in his eyes, and the expression disfiguring his face.
    Worse, he was in fear of the king, twice already he sent away with an excuse the guards that had come to their quarters asking for a response, and now he was lost unsure on what to do next, then a coarse voice called his name startling him, the mage was finally awaken.
    Mordek slowly passed his hand on his face, as still unsure if he was sleeping or not, slowly he turned his eyes towards the apprentice, his facial features resemled the ones of a toad, swollen, with deep dark circles under the eyes, "I am back," he said in a whisper, "Yes, I am back" said now with more convinction "back from where no one has come back before", now he was looking straight in the eyes of shamir that looked horrified at the sight, "I have come back from .. the Abyss...yes, yes, I did.", there was triumph now in his voice.
    "Bring me that bottle of black wine from Ophir.", the apprentice immediantely raised up, "Yes master.", and in saying so he left the room.
    Mordek shivered in his bed as memories flickered behind his closed eyes, the inesorable figure chasing him up the slope, the lights of the nine sisters going off one by one, and then the brink of the precipice and the fall, no he didnt want toremember the fall, what he had passed through and the bottomless pit that swallowed him.
    But now he was in his bed, unreal as it felt to him, shamir returned with the bottle and he eagerly grabbeb it taking a big gulp from it, a wicked smile of satisfaction appeared afterwards on his face, yes, the wine was helping, but he needed something more, his eyes onbserved intently the apprentice, "What do you think?". Shamir seemed uncertain, "About what master?", Mordek grinned, "About what you saw and heard, very few had the privilege to give succh a deep look into the Abyss, as a pursuer of magic you should be thankful for such a rare opportunity."the kid didn't seem very thrilled to be honest, "Go, leave me alone now." said the mage dismissing the apprentice without awaiting for an answer.
    When alone Mordek took another long sip from the bottle, pondering that was about time to complete shamir 'apprenticeship'.



    It was dusk when Kairn and his companions finally reached their destination, for all day the excitement and anticipation had grown with eaxh step and now they couldn't restrain themselves anymore, crass jokes and insults flied as well as burst of laughter, an now they practically howled in seeing the frame of the tavern in front of them, "Come out Antoninus, filthy Aquilonian renegade, your best customers are here." they shout.
    "Finally I will see my Gertrude", said Unnarr, at this word the door of the tavern opened and the fattest woman Kairn has ever seen appeared, Cimmerian women usually were lean and strong as their men of which shared the hardships, "Look what we have here, a band of lonely pups begging for food and affection.", in saying this the woman advanced towards them waying her hips, an astounding feat considering her mass, she was clearly an Aesir with two long blonde braids, Unnarr exploded in a loud laughter, "Yes sweetcheecks, I am in desperate need of your affection.", in saying so he encircled her with his arms firmly grabbing her buttocks and squeezing them, she acted all offended, feigning a modesty that she clearly didn't have, "Behave like a gentleman, you rude bear.", Unnarr let her go, "Sorry honey, is just the happiness to see you again.","Sure, sure, 'happiness' he calls it, by the way don't stay here in the cold, the other girls and I will prepare a warm bath for you all, follow me.", in saying so she headed back to the tavern with Unnarr closely after her, the others followed.

    Kairn joined the others inside the big wooden tub that occupied a large room on the right side of the tavern, in doing so he had to overcome his reluctance to let go of his weapons, besides he wasn't used to warmth baths, he still preferred the cold clear streams coming down from the mountains, while the others were enjoying themselves throwing water at each other and mocking each other's manhood Kairn's diffident nature made him took place in a corner where he could have in sight the whole room and his companions as well, so he noticed that while all of them sported the scars of many battles two of them were an exception even if for different resons, Valdyr's body showed the most terrible scars, clearly procured by torture and others that only a slave could have, Kairn quickly turned off his gaze, afraid of offending him, the other was Ulfir, his body didn't show any visible sign of wounds of any kind, quite strange considering that he was obviously a seasoned warrior, Kairn wondered briefly how that was possible before returning to meticulously cleaning himself with one of the rags that the girls brought into the room.

    After the bath they all wore wool tunics and clean underwear offered by the owner of the tavern while their clothes were washed and the furs cleaned with soap and ashes in the lavatory, Kairn, as the others, secured the belt with his weapons at his waist and took place at a long table in the front room of the tavern where a big fire was lit, over it a pork was roasting.

    The dinner was rowdy but with little talk with them all too busy eating a real meal after so long and drinking beer, now, near the end they all began to eye the girls which services obviously didn't end with meals and baths, Unnarr winked to Kairn that was seated in front of him, "You can't say you have been with a woman until you sleep with a fat woman, there there is enough for the two of us",he said nodding towards Gertrude,"what do you say?".
    "You don't know what a real woman is." said Ulfir chewing the last bite of his meal, "Like you have any idea considering that you only love blood.", mused Ramiras, "With 'your' tastes you'll better shut up." retorted the Vanir.

    "Enough", said with a cool voice Valdyr, "remember that we are among friends here there is no reason to fight.", he didn't look directly at them but his commanding tone clearly sorted its effect.

    The others meanwhile were busy discussing about which girl they would chose, Kairn had already noticed that other than Gertrude where was three younger girls , Aesir and Vanir, and two older women, one from the Borderlands and a Brythunian, he also noticed that the wife of the owner had set his gaze upon him, she was a mature beauty with a streack of gray in her hair, noticing that Ramiras leaned towards him whispering, "Seems that you catched her interest, she likes to 'service' the customers from time to time if they strike her fancy" Kairn turned towards the Zingarian, not very pleased at that show of comeraderie, Ramiras continued,"you are lucky, this time is your turn, Antoninus doesn't mind, so don't hesitate."

    A boy and a girl came out of the kitchen and began to clean the table,the girl was probably seventeen years old with two long braids of black hair, Valdyr looking at her stiffened, the girl noticing his look stopped what she was doing and asked in auncertain Aesir, "Do you want to sleep with me tonight sir?", her attitude was meek almost as of resignation, was then that Kairn noticed the marks of shackles on her wrists and neck, a slave, Antoninus came quicly at their table, he was heavily sweating, "Don't be silly Nora I have told you to stay in the kitchen and not disturb our customers.", he grabbeb he by the elbow and directed her towards the back of the tavern, "Sorry guys she is new and has not learnt well what her duties are so...", "Antoninus.", Valdyr voice was cold and sharp as a blade, his eyes spoke of a terrible rage.
    The owner turned towards him visibly pale, drops of cold sweat rolling down his cheecks,"Vaaldyr, don't misunderstand...", at this words the warrior raised up in all his height, "You know how it is, I needed help and...", Valdyr was walking towards him and the girl, every step tense and heavy,"Look, it was for her own good, if I hadn't bought her w-w-would hav-v-ve been worse and...", Antoninus stuttered and then stopped talking, now Valdyr was in front of him, for long instants he looked him in the eyes then turned towards the girl, their gaze met and many unspoken words were said between them in those few seconds, at this point Valdyr's back impercettibly relaxed, "The girl comes with me.", he said heading towards the bedrooms upstairs, she immediately followed him, Antoninus couldn't hold back a sonorous sigh of relief when they disappeared from sight.

    "I will go to bed too", said Ulfir rising up, "alone.", and then left.

    The boy ended cleaning the table and seated near Kairn, "You look younger than me", the Cimmerian looked at him coldly, he was rarely in the mood for chit-chat, and he disliked the boy, he looked 'soft', something that Kairn despised, then he relized something else, the boy had a smell similar to the girls in the tavern, perfume he realized, "Would you like to sleep with me tonight?", asked the boy giving a furtive glance to Ramiras, visibly afraid of him, this completely surprised Kairn that didn't know what to answer, "Hey, Kairn", Unnarr attracted his attention, "the others had already chose", he said indicating the lively group going upstairs, "so, ready for Gertrude?", here the Aesir winked again.

    ___________________________________________________________________________________

    A)Go to bed alone.

    B)Bring the boy with you, he will sleep in a corner, this will piss off Ramiras but who cares.

    C)Bring the boy with you, he will 'sleep' in your bed, in this case Ramiras can even forgive you.

    D)Go with Unnarr and Gertrude, an unforgettable experience awaits you.

    E)Antoninus'wife is very attractive and very experienced.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
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  8. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    Why does Ramiras forgive us for choice C? I'm guessing he wants the boy here.
     
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  9. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    Because if you get the boy for your pleasure he would be more understanding than just taking him away from him, besides was just a smatass remark, Kairn at the moment doesn't feel very friendly to anyone, actually he doesn't feel friendly in general, his attitute could change based on the choices made,
     
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  10. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    E
     
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  11. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    About atheist in a world of real gods.

    It's a matter of personal will, same as our world. You choose to believe that no god can have real effect on your action and life. Real belief, mind, not indifference. You set up a system of beliefs that support your atheisms. For example. the gods lie. They dont have that much influence as they say they have. They just use their overwhelming power to make use, exploit, and lie to us.... things like that.
     
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  12. GreyViper Arbiter

    GreyViper
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    B So hes to become instrument of gods? Interesting times in horizon.
     
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  13. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    :necro:

    I know, I know, the update will be ready but there are only two votes:
    B
    E
    Should I await for more votes, flip a coin or choose myself?:M
     
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  14. oscar Tacticular Staff

    oscar
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    Bumping this great LP
     
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  15. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    Thank you, all right, I will wait twenty-four hours, if the votes don't come in I will use the Codex built in function and pick from a list.
     
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  16. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    I never knew this was ongoing.

    I will try to catch up and make an informed vote by tomorrow.
     
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  17. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    B. Spite the homo.
     
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  18. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    Paging Grim Monk maybe he is interested in this vote.
     
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  19. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    All right, here it is:

    B won.
     
    Choosing from a list

    From the options:

    • B
    • E

    Random selection is: B

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  20. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    White Night



    Kairn raised up from the table directed at the stairs ignoring the awkward stares of the others, halfway he turned around looking at the boy for few seconds, "Come with me.", the boy happily hurried after Kairn, both Antoninus' wife and Ramiras gave the cimmerian a very dissappointed look, even if for different reasons, the boy took a lamp from one of the girls and lead him to a room at the end of the second floor corridor, after entering Kairn secured the lock and walked towards the bed.
    "I am Jeanyl, what's your name?", asked the boy clearly excited at the opportunity to speak with someone of similar age.
    The cimmerian gave him a weird look, "Kairn.", in saying so he took one of the furskins from the bed and throw it in front of the door, "You will sleep there."
    The boy visibly surprised asked, "Don't you like me?", he seemed hurt in saying so, "I don't like Ramiras.", was the answer.
    Intimidated by Kairn' stare sheepishly the boy curled up on the floor covering himself with the furskon laying there, the Cimmerian snuffed the oil lamp and layed himself under the furs covering the bed, the sword at his side and fell asleep immediately as he was used to in the long nights hunting alone in the wilderness.





    Mordek was seated at his desk in the biblioteque, an ancient grimoire open in front of him, he managed to postpone his encounter with the king for another week and he wanted to complete some research before that, Shamir was standing in a corner.
    "As I told you is time to complete your education.", said the mage to his apprentice,"Expecially after what happened."
    The boy nodded hesitantly,"Let'see if you are prepared.", continued the mage, Shamir didn't know what that charade was about but readied himself in fear of the ventual punishment if his answers displeased his master.
    "What's magick?", the question was uttered in a perentory tone.
    "True knowledge not hindered by hipocrisy or delusions." was the confident answer.
    "How it works?"
    "True the intimate understanding of what constitues nature."
    "How operates?"
    "Through the dynamic relationship between the four elements, Air, Fire, Earth and Water."
    "How is that achieved?"
    "Through the quintessence that binds,regulates and transforms the elements."
    "What's the quintessence?"
    "Life."
    "Who we are?"
    "The ones who walk on the path of the sage, through our own devices we harness the power of gods and demons and pay homage to none, we bend nature to our desires but are not bent ourselves."
    Mordeck layed his back against the seat with a wicked smile, "Yes, that's who we are and what we do.", there was satisfaction in his voice, he continued and the spite could be clearly heard,"Not like foolish Mythra's priests that bow to their 'compassionate' god while practicisng the same magick as us, only they use their own life and blood to fuel it, we know better."
    Shamir was relieved, it had been easier than he thought, then the mage spoke again and the apprentice stiffened.
    "Tell me, what can change the nature of life?"
    The boy had to control himself to avoid his jaw from dropping and look like a fool, "Nothing can change the nature of life, even death will only release the quintessence that will return to its primordial state ready to transform in something else.", that was the hasten answer followed by immediate regret and fear.
    Mordek laughed, "Yes, you are right, not even the gods can do that.", now he frowned inspiring sheer terror in his apprentice, "But yet I have managed to unravel one of the most intimate secret of the universe, and now I can change its nature at will."
    In saying so he took out a little silver dagger,with a swift movement he cut his own hand and let the blood drop in the wine cup in front of him.
    The apprentice was astonished, his master always preached to never use your own blood because it makes you vulnerable and ties you to your own deeds, something that should be avoided, always, but his stupor only increased when he saw the purple fumes raasing from the cup.
    "Drink it.", said the mage with an imposing tone while handing him the cup, Shamir didn't dare to disobey, a simple look at Mordek's eyes was enough to sap out of him any will of resistance.
    It was the most vile thing he ever tasted in his life, unsteady on his legs the apprentice was lost in a purple haze, the contours of the room around him seemed to endlessy change, overwhelmed by nausea the boy concentrated his gaze on the cup in his hand, it whispered to him so sweetly such monstrous secrets that he forgot them as he heard them, then he started to caress the cup with the longing touch of a lover, prying it delicately but decisevely until his fingers deeply penetrated 'her', the cup screamed as he started to violate her, undoing her and remaking her, tearin and ripping her apart with infinite love, remaking her anew, frreing her true essence.
    Reality regained its sharp crudeness as Shamir felt a terrible hung over as after drinking for days, a fragant red rose was now in his hand, still wet with morning dew, bewildered he left Mordek take it out of his hand and stared as the rose transformed in a charcoal black cube that the mage put on the desk in front of him.
    "This is what passing through the abyss granted me.", coldly said the mage, "This is the final step in your apprenticeship, if you so desire, by tansfering my essence into you in the proper way will make what you experienced for few instants permanent, the requirement tho is performing the ritual of Abraxyel."
    Shamir was still confused by the experience and this last words made things worse, it wasn't the first time that he had submitted to his master vile desires but that was too much even for him, yet, yet, what he always desired was grant to him for few precious instants and cruelly took away, maybe this was why he mustered the courage to utter such unthinkable words, "I have to think about it."
    To his incredible surprise Mordek nodded, "Take your time, the ritual has to be performed in three days if you so chose, no matter what, beyond that term I will relieve you from the duties of apprenticenship, it's up to you if we will part as equals or not."
    Shamir still in a daze nodded and left heading for his room.





    Kairn was fully awake in the darkness, his keen senses fully alerted, the hair on his neck standing up, his barbarian instict was warning him of some obscure danger, cautiously going out of the bed he looked around with circumspection at the room faintly illuminated by the light of the full moon filtering through the window.
    After ascertanining that he and the boy were alone in there he reached the window and peeked through the wooden lists, there he could clearly see Ulfir running across the snowy fields completely naked then disappear in the woods.
    Startled Kairn wondered what was happening.


    ------------------------------------------------

    A)Go after Ulfir.

    B)None of your business, return to bed.

    C)You don't feel as sleeping anymore, go down in the tavern to see if you can find some wine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
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  21. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Can we tell if Ulfir was running away from or towards something?

    Could it be that whatever he is running from is in the tavern?
     
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  22. Kz3r0 Arcane

    Kz3r0
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    He is running towards something.
    You have no reason to think that.
     
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  23. Nevill Arcane

    Nevill
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    Well, now I am awfully curious what you could chase naked in the snow. A.
     
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  24. Grim Monk Arcane

    Grim Monk
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    A
    Let us stealthily follow and see what he is about...
     
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