The Fallen Lands: The Ruins of Numinis
Resourceful Presence Warlord
Dark haired, middle aged human male of medium build and height. A natural leader, especially in the role of small scale combat (directing the actions of a team or squad). Adorned in well used chain armor over leather padding. Most interesting are his choice of weapons. Across his back is a special harness containing several shorter and longer spears designed especially for throwing or fighting in melee. The use of spears in combat is said to predate even the Empire, and his father taught that mastery of this weapon creates the perfect warrior. A small pennant of his home city, Duran, hangs from his preferred weapon, the tratnyr, or “wingspear”. During times of need his piercing rally cry will accompany the waving of this banner.
I was placed in a position by fate to save a few of my companions. When faced with a decision to spare my life or risk death, I choose courage and scooped up the unconcious bodies of my fallen friends. I feel that the Emperor revealed himself that day, and gifted me with a weapon worthy of a warrior of the Empire. The craftsmanshiup of this weapon is easily evident, and shifts in my grasp at will to assume whatever form I desire. As a tratnyr it is deadly, as a sword it strikes true. I have named it Kvar’kesh, a Dwarven word which roughly translates to “the path of many deaths”.
The foul creature, “Harrison” or whatever it is, which was responsible for releasing the shroud was assumed dead, but was sighted fleeing at the slave auction in Shitetowne. What this sinister monster is plotting has still not been fully revealed. And facing him down again was no easy task. In a place of strange energy where a portal stood, we destroyed this being again. We have acheived much, yet only created more questions on our search for the truth.
Now all the good we have accomplished is becoming undone by foul copies of ourselves which are on an agenda to thwart us from helping this place. Many of our friends lie dead, and our names are now tarnished. I will stop at nothing to discover the truth, help these lands and crush these foes. I hope that our loss is somewhat offset by the knowledge that we have hurt these plans badly, for wherever we uncover the vile efforts of these otherworldly creatures,we have slain them and closed their doorways. There is also another comfort to be found in that some force appears to be aiding us. Lina’s relative, or an image of her, was sent with the purpose to guide us. This brings me hope, for aid has been so little, and fear that we are in over our heads. Powerful forces are converging on this land, and I feel that the strongest seek its submission or destruction.
Duran has been a place of sadness for me. I never thought to return there, but necessity has me and my friends attempting to destroy our copies there. I sought out my old friend and superior Nico Valain for help. It was sad to see how far such a strong man had fallen. Now, he will not have to wallow in his misery any longer. I am sorry old friend that I was not swift enough to stop your killer. There is only a hollow satisfaction in knowing that the vile man died as well, my friends avenging your death as I would have done were I not busy with the killer’s allies. And what allies are these…more horned fiends? We are now hunted by the killer’s gang, by another group seeking Rangrim, by our copies, and probably by the Duran watch. What other trouble can we get ourselves into?
The hunted becomes the hunter…a combat move my father taught me many years ago. And it becomes relevant once again. Mortimer the sage was able to crack open the tracking magic surrounding the cursed Numisian coin and reverse it. The magic led back to the city of Duran, and it was there that we found our doubles. A chase ensued, and we were able to follow them back to an abandoned warehouse. As we debated our next move, the doubles brought forth a gateway and a hunched figure emerged. We decided not to waste any more time and immediately smashed down the door. The figure was enraged at being summoned, and in a display of sheer power erupted in a huge blast of fire. Dusting ourselves off, we found that the creature had not only destroyed many buildings around us, it had also grown many times in size. A creature from the darkest nightmares, it was made of fire, and bore a sword and cat-of-nine-tails made from the same substance. As one we charged in, knowing that this would probably be that last fight of our lives, but willing to sell our souls to destroy Valneas once again. The fight was as bad as any we had ever fought. Satisfaction at knowing we had destroyed all but Lina’s evil twin. Rhio was the first to fall. I saw him go. As the fire surrounding Valneas grew unbearably bright, I moved away to engage with thrown spear. The dwarf’s hammer crashed into the beast’s back, and with an angry bellow that shattered the very air around us, the demon exploded in a burst of white-hot flames. Moments later, I awoke, surprised to be alive, even more surprised that many of my fellows were also alive. I witnessed the blast catch Lina’s double and destroy it. But to my regret not all of us survived. Rhio’s withered body was found resting were I had seen him fall. For the first time I had failed one of my companions. My rage at Valneas and whatever powers were behind his schemes is growing with each death.
Mortimer’s wisdom appears to be without boundries. He has used the ancient scroll we found at the beginning of all this to reverse Rhio’s death. In a sacred and solemn ritual which took place behind the very waterfall where the coin’s magic was undone, he reunited Rhio’s spirit and restored his body. I have vowed to him that I will always do my best to prevent such a death, and would rather fall first myself before losing another friend.
My father always warned that “War will eventually change even the most honorable and steadfast man. You must always keep your emotions under control” Often I scoffed at him; what place do emotions have in combat? I had in the past faced what I had ignorantly believed were the worst dangers a man might face in this world. I should always remember how wise my old man was. The horrors we have faced over these last weeks have left me completely at odds with myself. In the final fight in Duran, when my spear dove into the chest of my twisted double, I screamed out in pure rage. I never thought myself capable of losing my senses so fully. It was not the thrill of combat. I have not had the luxury of that emotion since fighting simple goblins what seems like ages ago. No, this was the shout of a man who is losing another battle inside. The loss of my friends and family to the tainted beings in this world have led me to act rashly and erupt into fits of anger and moodiness. I need to come to grips with these feelings, or they might very well lead to my demise. I hope that is not what I secretly seek, for I still have friends in this world who need me.
Magic has become a constant in my life these days. While growing up in Duran, it was seldom that you ever saw the real thing. Old wives tales told of powerful witches who could turn bad childen into toads. Watchmen told tales around the fire of powerful weapons, forged by the dwarves, that could shift the tide of an entire battle. I knew that it had existed, had seen for myself the few true wizards who would come and go through the town gate on the Emperor knows what sort of business. But it was never significant enough of a presence to be anything more than passing interest. As we make our way through this land, magic continues to make itself a presence wherever we go. Mortimer was at the time the only person I had ever been around who could really use it. Now Ginni enters our group, and although she does not blast our foes with fire and ice, she is nonetheless as powerful as he. The items we have found in our travels are also potent. Each I’m sure has a story to it’s making, a tale which might reveal a past filled with protection for it’s owner, or participation in many battles. Magic infuses us at this time. We have all taken on the guise of orcs. Were I not to have seen so in a pool of water I would not have believed it, but it is true. We even speak their languange by means of a potion. There is so much irony in the thought that we now appear as our enemies do, to learn more about them and ruin their plans. I do not know how far we can take this, where it will lead and when we might consider our mission complete. I do know that the longer we spend like this the more dangerous it gets. We were accidently included in the most vile of rituals. Many captured thugs were slaughtered, to fuel some sort of “blood magick”, as Ginni had later described to us. The power released by this ritual overcame us, and I came close to losing the personal struggle of anger and doubt within myself. To her credit, Ginni later revealed the secret that she was hiding, and although it was nothing we can use yet, I’m certain that these things are happening for a reason. I won’t punish her for witholding, for we are all entitled to our secrets, aren’t we?
p. Our course is set now, for good or ill. We go in search of our old friend Mortimer, but really we go to the seat of the dwarves in the mountains. We need their aid more than ever before. The army of beasts is gathering once again, and at it’s head is the mythical Gruumsh. We can do nothing to stop this army or it’s leader, and the people of Duran are scarcely capable of dealing with this threat. The dwarves are our only hope. If we can appeal to their sense of honor, and also convince them of the force that is no doubt heading their way next, we can perhaps gather an army that the beasts will not be able to contend with. Our decision to go there is not easy. We will be facing winter’s wrath in the hills, and we will be leaving Duran behind when it needs us most. I can only hope the dwarves see reason and will muster to return with us in time to make a difference.
A solitary man kneels in the shadows cast within the main Temple Hall at Bridal Falls. It is early in the morning, and dim multi-colorered light filters in through the panes of priceless stained glass. He is praying, and thinking about the journey that led him here. “There is so much sin out there, and so many strange events that go unanswered. Who is the Lord of Light? Where did his followers obtain such strange power? Were there more out there to be found?” Matthew casts his mind back to the strange encounter in the mines at Silverton. The darkness was terrible. It felt so familiar to him when he first entered. He thinks back to the exact moment he felt the chill in his bones, when the hair on his arms stood ridgid. “When I crossed the threshold…” To his right, Rangrim, with his Craghammer brandished, shouting challenges into the darkness ahead. Rhio, ever calm, stalking the trail, surveying for hidden danger. Ginny, the seeress, powerful, yet untried and potentially a danger to us all. Matthew hears laughter on the wind, he pulls his weapon from his belt…and is startled to find not a sabre but a short, ornate spear of unusual design. He turns it in his hands, bemused, where it melts and changes form to his trusty sword once again. His unusual companions are gone, replaced by the walls of the chapel. The darkness, the damning memory of another life, gone also, evaporating into the solid rays of Light, which fall upon the alter with the ever-present sign of the Tree.