Episode Eighty-nine - Dragon Marked
Born upon the tide of an apocalypse, he had risen to a strength greater then that of his peers. Now Tirith has been chosen by his god, Heironeous, to embark upon a great quest, for which he has striven many months. Long has he traveled, far has he gone. Road weary, he finally approached the Keep on the Borderlands with a secret in his mind that he knew he had to forever protect, even from the god of secrets himself, Vecna. His god whispered to him in a dream and bid he knew that when the gods of the Old World were defeated; they were not slain but captured. In the earliest days of the New World, of recreation, fifteen dragons burrowed deep into the earth and went to sleep protecting the magical prisons of the defeated gods. Over the false eons that the New Gods manufactured, elaborate underground dungeons were formed above and around those dragons. Those dungeons became habitats for a wide variety of different monsters and repositories for vast treasures. Chief among concern in his dream was that his god Heironeous had become aware of one of those dungeons. Tirith was then directed to the borderlands of the Kingdom of Fraellan to seek out his next vision. Thwip's days had been hard and her life laborious. She was the downtrodden of all her people, she was the forgotten. Low she remained. She clawed forth, stole, burgled, and begged but alas destiny knocked upon the only door she ever owned; her own soul. Rumors of vast wealth to the north had spread like wild fire as rumors of an orc horde bite at her ears. There was no stopping the horde, they would come and they would kill and conquer but she knew that they would do worse. Her people laughed at her when she warned them, she was not respected but she, even if it was to be alone, intended to survive as she always had. Call it flight, call it adventure, call it whatever they wanted, for she did not care; all she wanted was to live. As Thwip approached the crossroads before the famed Keep on the Borderlands of men, she was pleased for there was not an orc in sight. In this time the Álfheimr invaded, stepping forth from a weak point between worlds she still felt Loki's warm words like a hot breath upon her neck. His promiscuity and sweet promises empowered her to bring her bow forth like a vikingr or drengr of Midgard or a Valkyrie from on high. Though she felt as if no Valkyrie would take her for she was the capable ward of the great and noble Red Arrow Clan. She felt like a god with a bowstring to her cheek and the seer had foretold that she would ride dragons. Bree of the Red Arrow had always stepped like a breeze and her arrows were like the bite of winter's wind. She was foe slayer and soon to be dragon rider. As the warmth of the Æsir directed her north, she knew what she had to do; she knew she had to find Thenedain Erewan, exiled son of the clan that adopted her, and learn what he knew of his uncle, the Horizon Walker Norquinal. She did then as Loki had commanded. Having emerged from a forest of fir and pine, she took a hardly worn road and delivered herself ever northward. Traveling some twenty-one miles, by her count, she finally arrived at a crossroads that offered some signs of life upon that world. Some few days earlier, a shrouded figure painted a horrid visage. Clad in bleak, skeletal armor and a skull helm; the dark knight then turned and fled, their blood red cloth adornments sailing behind them. Whipping in the wind the cloth painted a picture of the foolhardy effort of the one whom gave chase and told the tale of his likely outcome but never the less, he gave pursued. Varian chased his quarry nearly seventy miles south; he lost them then, two days on. That morning he assumed his quarry must have broken camp some time before him and put a few early hours upon the road he found himself upon, the Deep Road. Continuing on, he saw a man walking alone, his keen eyes spotted his pointed ears and he knew that he'd finally found familiarity after so long without his family but comfort did not come as his attention turned. In fact, as each of the four of them neared an intersection a screech rend their attention to the sky. Two massive dragons, one black and one red, clashed with an even larger red dragon. The great wyrm ripped the black dragon away and focused on the red but a host of younger, smaller red and black dragons filled the skies. Amongst the young, the red and black battled one another and it carried on for an hour. Few among them fell but after an hour blood rained from the sky. As the gargantuan red fled, so too do the massive red and black and they retreated with the black younglings to the mountains. A portal then opened in the sky and all the red disappeared through it but a limping black youngling fell. Its twisted and twirled through the sky and landed some few feet ahead as the four finally met at the intersection. Varian, had almost caught up to the man ahead, he seemed to be an Eilvenkin and he'd long since noticed Varian and kept a keen eye on him. Tirith also spotted a large bird in clothes ahead and an elven woman even further on. Thwip saw the two men with pointy ears when she reached the intersection and behind her she'd been aware of the woman. Bree only saw that the person ahead, as it turned, was no Álfheimr or Midgardian but a bird. Between them all, they all noticed the dying body of a black dragon. Bree was quick to act, she rushed up and attempted to calm the dragon but it only barely eased. Tirith was next and he readied his greataxe. Thwip hopped on a tree that blocked the road and watched the three with interest as Varian then approached. Tirith then told Bree to distract the dragon, make a motion, and be quick about it but the Kenku gave then a dragon's roar. Seizing the moment, Tirith bid mercy to the dragon and cleaved off its head. Deciding first what to do with the dragon, Bree mentioned knowing of the Kenku species from her world as Varian stooped down to carve up the monster. Just then, a tremendous boom quaked the earth beneath their feet. A surge of magic blasted through them all as a knot in the fabric of this world's magic unraveled within their bodies and the wave passed through. The surge of energy shifted the winds and sent wildlife fleeing in all directions. As if the dragon's soul had made an exit, the power enfleshed within electrified their veins and then boiled down into a concentrated, hot mass on the flesh of their left wrist. Burned into them was a dragon mark, like a tattoo, and as they question it, their thoughts were cast into one another's minds but those thoughts then faded as soon as they came. With little time to react and talk it through, kobolds appeared and cast their thoughts forth as well. Tirith then bid they stand down; even though a few did, a combat soon ensued. As they lurched forward, Bree was the first to act. She fired an arrow into a kobolds shoulder as Tirith cut a charger in half, its blood hot on the hardly lying snow. Varian then took stance beside Tirith and pointed his finger at a kobold. The crescent emblem on his head began to glow and a starry light exploded forth and crashed into the kobold he pointed to. It cut a flip and existed no more then as Bree climbed a tree and was joined by a kobold. Thwip then dropped a kobold with her shortbow and declared, in a burly man's voice, "stay down." Bree stepped back on her branch with ease and fired as arrow. It went through the mouth and out the neck of her target. As that kobold flipped out of the tree, Varian thigh was beaten with one of the kobold's clubs. In retort, he missed but not poorly as he sliced the tongue of that smiling kobold. That creature then ripped out its own tongue and smacked Varian in the leg with his club. Bree shot another kobold and it screamed as Tirith battered its head with his axe. Shimmering light then cast from Varian's blade as he cut the throat of that smiling kobold. The kobold whom was initially hit then came running up to Thwip and slapped her in the left arm with its club. Thwip retorted with an, "ah fuck you," before slashing its neck. Bree then forced one of the two remaining kobolds to surrender as Tirith killed the other. As the group then gathered around that surrendered kobold, Thwip fired and arrow from some distance and sent it through the neck of that creature, fearing its access to her mind. Finally taking the time to introduce themselves as Varian carved up the beast, they shared the wealth from their battles and swapped concerns in true adventuring fashion. Cutting into the beast, much was gained. From flesh, to blood vials, and a breath pouch and within Varian learned that a second pouch was dormant in the dragon and reasoned that maybe others dragon types may use the appendages. It was decided then as he finished, as they were all heading that way, that the lot of them would travel to the nearby keep together. Outside the famed keep on the borderlands, Norden Keep, the party were asked their names and they were taken down by scribe. The Paladin Tirith of the chivalrous Heironeous was noted, Bree of the Red Arrow was noted, Varian claiming the famed Silvermoon family was noted, and Thwip was noted and marked as a birdperson. Guided to a tavern by a scribe, the group paid the tavern owner for some rumors and learn of the Fallen Citadel and several rumors surrounding it. Most notably, to them, they learned of the dragon cult that once held it and that a Lady Dazran was seeking dragon books from that place. Varian told the tavern keeper all he knew of the situation in Forlorn Hope, namely the goblin king's death, the battle, and the Champions of Destiny; as they both traded back and forth two silver for their information. Not long after, a woman was revealed to be Varian's quarry. As a fight was sure to ensue Mistress Emerald Dazran's sister, Lady Ruby Dazran burst into the tavern having seen her sister from outside. As the pair battled, the group combated two skeletons that issued forth from the tavern's stone floor. Varian was stabbed in the stomach by one and nearly killed but as the skeletons were defeated and the death knight fled, Lady Ruby stabilized Varian and Tirith used divine magic to restore his consciousness and staunch his bleeding. Tirith and Lady Ruby then gave chase and found the woman to be in custody. Shackled, she was escorted away as Tirith bid mercy from Lady Ruby given the cold weather. As the woman was imprisoned, Lady Ruby offered to take the group for healing and saw to it that the quiet priest of the keep gave them the healing they all needed. Though they realized he was reluctant, given the nature of the keep's situation, they were restored; though Varian would one be restored to a scarred and bruised state. The ash of the skeletons having been swept away, the group then shared a drink at Lady Ruby's expense and she hired them to retrieve some book for her from the Fallen Citadel, though Tirith reminded her that he was going there for his own purposes. Then Tirith asked what the rest intended and they all agreed to remain together for a time as they sorted out what their dragon marks meant. Traveling to the trader, they brokered a deal where he would find a buyer for their dragon parts. They then began to prepare for their adventure.
Quest Dungeons and Dragons Started, Subquest Fallen Citadel Started, Sidequest Castles and Crusaders Started
Notable Party Damage:
- Bree is pristine.
Noted Effects: None
- Thwip is pristine.
Noted Effects: None
- Tirith is pristine.
Noted Effects: None
- Varian has a hole in his chainmail and a scar at the lower left abdomen from the shortsword of a skeleton.
Noted Effects: Minor Scar. The scar doesn’t have any adverse effect. Magical healing of 6th level or higher, such as heal and regenerate, removes the scar.