Crideas' Adventure Journal

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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sat May 26, 2012 8:41 pm

I wonder how it speaks of me that I just took a break from my research and chose to 'relax' by invading the beholder tunnels.

It had been some time, and part of me feared I might be out of practice.

Well, the Flow having finally run a course that allows the use of the Timestop spell, I needn't have worried. On those few points where I turned a corner to find a beholder elder's baleful gaze trained on me, I was able to quickly withdraw, freeze time, and safely rally an offense out of sight of the central eye.

Handy, I must say. Used to be a race to get off a disintegrate before having my magical energies rendered inert.

Did run into one patch that housed not one, not two, but three elders. Suffice to say I counted myself lucky, and proud, that I have effective magical defenses or that might have got messy.

Still, it's nice when you have the main threat of a battle grouped close enough to allow for some good old fashioned blasting. In this case, a quartet of empowered and maximized greater missile storms. Not as efficient as a Wail of the Banshee... But more reliable... And FAR more satisfying.

It appears my vengeance for all those humiliating defeats is still running strong.

Shame there aren't more eye tyrants like Occulanius. They would be boon allies against magic-wielding threats. One in particular comes to mind.

That does lead to an idea... Perhaps the temporary service of the eye tyrants might be procured for a price. Of course it would also require a magically binding Oath or Blood Contract. I'm not old and senile enough to trust a beholder at their word quite just yet...

Worth looking into, anyhow. Maybe for my next 'break'.

I don't suppose it is entirely fair that if they aren't amenable, I would basically be planning to kill a large number of them.

Tricky to rationalize that one... But they are, as a culture and species, predisposed to evil, slavery, amorality and a well-rationalized hatred for other sentients who they cannot enslave.

I suppose even with a weak justification, I probably won't lose much sleep over the slaughter. I admit I've done worse for less.

Somehow that unnerves me.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:01 pm

Knowledge holds a curious place in the realm of the Arcane.

Knowledge is sought continuously, as when combined with intellect it brings greater understanding. Each "plateau" of understanding becomes the foundation of the next quest for more knowledge... And so on.

This process is a main reason why the school of Divination is considered the foundation of Wizardry.

That is, until ones' understanding encompasses the static complexities of combination, variation, and logical extrapolation.

Then a curious phenomenon takes place. The search for knowledge changes. Instead of researching how a thing works, or how to produce a result... It becomes a question of Why.

Why does a certain rule apply? Why does a basic component, or combination behave a certain way under certain conditions and another way when conditions differ.

The knowledge of how is present and proven. The reason why, however, holds the key to surpassing the static limitations that govern the results of even the most convoluted and complex extrapolations.

Understanding the reason Why allows the questions of limitations to be answered. This understanding revolves less around factual information which was previously required, and resides more in the realm of surprisingly simple, yet dynamic, theoretical concepts.

The irony: after decades of intense, focused study... With the greatest heights of knowledge achieved.... The confusing mess of Magic is reduced to a "guessing game" of central, core, basic, and shockingly simple concepts.

Simple threads derived from a convoluted mess.

And yet somehow, none of it would make sense without intimate knowledge of the tangled ball of yarn.

This irony is often lost on me until a discovery. I remark upon it now in reflection of such a revelation.

I have found it. Finally I know the source of Veleron's invincibility.

I know his weakness. He can smugly hide behind the air of supremacy no longer.

After countless hours of divining, scrying, and research spanning many month - it appears that my strongest divinations to date have actually traced Veleron's demonic lineage all the way back to its origins in the Dark Realm.

His family line supposedly has an incredibly strong bond with that place, even when in Aenea proper. This bond, heightened by Veleron's vampiric and sorcerous magic, makes him practically invincible.

This mystical blood bond was created several thousand years ago, deep within the Dark Realm. Veleron's ancestors had used incredibly powerful magic to summon forth a pillar of bloody red crystal, and had willfully bound their bloodline to this object, anchoring the magical crystal as well as their entire bloodline to the blasphemous energies of that place.

So long as the pillar stays in the Dark Realm, the family members would be able to instantly bring themselves back to the Dark Realm and fully recover from any wounds suffered elsewhere, even those that would normally be fatal.

The bits of history seem to point to Veleron using the power of this bond to darken the sky of an entire kingdom to create the Kingdom of Night.

It appears that this crystal pillar's power has been altered, so that so long as it remains entrenched in the Dark Realm, it makes Veleron impossible to kill. If there were a way to get the pillar out of the demonic home plane, the bond would be broken and Veleron would become vulnerable.

The means to achieve this will be determined when my strength fully recovers. The cost of the spells to learn this much has been quite literally, staggering.

Lysis help me, his doom is destined to be soon.

With my last breath, I will see him fall. I will see him pay for the suffering he has inflicted.

Vengeance for the innocent souls he has violated. The free, goodly folk he would enslave.

We will deny him with the finality of oblivion. He will claim no more victims.

At any cost, we will suffer Not. One. More.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Aug 24, 2012 10:22 pm

I find it impossible to stay focused on Doom and Gloom continuously in my search to meet threats to the lands and defeat evil tyrants.

Thankfully, I still have enough of a normal person within me that I can make time for short sojourns to relax.

Sometimes I 'relax' by finding comfort in my well-honed battlemagic skills.

Other times, I allow myself to become immersed in my childhood love for elegance and beauty, particularly magical sources of beauty.

I believe my mother may have had some minor skill with sorcery, or perhaps she was a witch, I do not truly know. All I know is that her capacity for simple wisdom, her ability to take away pain and childhood injuries, and her knack for giving the 'perfect' gifts all seemed to my adolescent mind as something more than mundane.

She was a kind, graceful, elegant woman. I loved her, and I miss her. I cannot help but sometimes regret leaving her as I did in order to persue my studies. I attribute what little beauty and artistic acumen I have to her influence.

I think she would have enjoyed my latest diversion. I have found the means to temporarily bind elemental Air to provide breathable air along with artificial pressure, and elemental earth to provide artificial gravity. Such things make it possible to walk in the open across the smooth, solitary surface of Sharlo.

A wonder, such a perfect silence. To gaze up and study the tiny features on the distant surface of my homeland. To observe the swirling and swelling of clouds and oceans.

If I were to choose a sight to be the last vision my eyes ever see, I would want to die with this vista before me.

As I glide, gingerly, careful to tread lightly and respectfully on such a sacred celestial path, my mind reaches a place of comfortable solitude. My troubles seem unreal and insignificant... and my heart feels weightless and filled with joy.

Truly, the Angels themselves might envy this rapture. I find myself wishing to share it with souls who've parted ways with mine.



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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:28 pm

Do moments of immaculate beauty have any objective meaning?

They say that beauty resides solely in subjective perception.

How can such a feeling of intense joy coupled with deep longing possibly be merely an opinion?

How can a moment of subjective perfection, where an individual soul resonates harmony with acceptance of its place in the universe, and simultaneously yearns for greater sense of existence, the Truth of the Totality/Source/Void, possibly be so petty and dismissible from an objective perspective?

Does not the Totality, and hence each individual segment thereof, owe some reverence and fealty to something so profound?

When blessed with a state of true Quiet, my soul resolutely answers me:

Such a thing cannot be petty. Such a thing is owed the fullness of time, and shall recieve it in due course.

To my core this rings of truth. No matter how many times I have left to remember each such moment in my life before the end, somehow that subjective rapture must outlive my consciousness, for its existence defies the bounds of my mortal mind.

So yes, I believe there is more to moments of beauty, truth, rapture, revelation, and joy than one person can adequately encompass.

I think this is the reason we instinctively seek to share such things with others we trust. In hopes of grasping the fuller meaning of it through the perspective of another.

I must admit to being a sad, broken, and lonely soul.

I find such moments of pure awe more often than most... And I repeatedly fail to share them with anyone on a meaningful level, despite knowing enough of the value they would add to the Totality.

I am selfish. I hoard them for myself, and then suffer internally the guilt of my failure.

Eventually inadequately repentant for my selfishness - My feeble atonement is the "protection" and "defense" I offer to those less fortunate, which was never requested of me.

I hover smugly, evincing pride at my power, and extending my "generosity" expecting gratitude and appreciation.

I dare to act affronted if such is not forthcoming.

I respect and admire the fulfillment others derive from simple lives of family and toil, and yet somehow arrogantly feel such is not enough, indeed such is beneath me, as if I need and deserve more.

My heart wants to be true. My soul desires fulfillment, and yet somehow I have become something that denies such gifts.

What is wrong with me? Simple.

I have wanted, on an unspoken and barely conceived of level, arrogantly pined for the love and companionship of an entity so far beyond my existence and my comprehension that it would rend reality itself were I to gain it.

Knowing I will never have that which my heart desperately yearns for, I have rejected settling for anything less, much to the detriment of my emotional growth and health, and become obsessed with learning and mastering all than I can of my hearts forbidden desire.

As if she were my own possession, I have subconsciously sought to study, analyze, understand and ultimately force Mystara to love me back.

Hubris and madness. In me they have combined to make a pitiful man possessed of too much power.

It is not too late for me. I can heal. I must find my center, I must endeavor to swallow the bitter draughts of unwelcome truth the demons assaulted me with.

Only then may I know in my heart that I have defeated their attempts to cage my psyche in denial of its own flaws.

The lunar sojourns that Mystara has convinced Sharlo to allow have bestowed me with time, clarity, and inner peace enough to open my eyes. I may not like what I see, but I can grow beyond it.

I have begun the first steps to correcting my countless failures to repay the beauty bestowed on me. I pray I will find some Grace to balance this fetid sore in my heart.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:40 pm

Such a simple innocent thing it seemed.... to love a goddess. To love her and her gift of Magic. To seek to be with her always, and have my feelings returned in equal measure.  To yearn for a closer connection.

But not one of worship. No, my religious devotions are to Lady Fortune, Lysis. And she has been gracious to me. More than fair, I would say extremely generous to this arrogant hypocrite.

Where Mistress Mystara is concerned, my passion for Magic manifested as a sense of familiarity. The elements of Magic that I studied, although I had never seen them before, seemed to me as if possessed of an unearthly grace and beauty. I attributed this, correctly I believe, to Mystara herself.

How could I not fall for her? After she spared me from Jerriduth's betrayal, freed me from being used and sacrificed like a disposable minion, and granted me wondrous arcane dreams.

She changed my life, and my entire being from within. The spark of her gift fills me with wonderment to this very day. The more I learned, the closer I felt to her, and the more I wanted to learn. I have never met her in the flesh, but I wanted to more than anything, more than I ever realized.

This has been going on for decades now. My mind has known in some deep recess that I have allowed my heart to delude me, and this precious dream could never be. My heart knows the purest fear when confronted with this truth, and recoils at the idea of it. So much so that some deal must have been brokered between the two without my conscious knowledge, to hide the dream from my conscious mind.

Without the ability to see this in myself, I never knew why I rejected the idea of seeking a partner. I made excuses whenever the question came to mind. I was too old, my work was too important, I could never truly trust anyone, I could not inflict myself and my eccentricities on someone I cared for, it was too much trouble, doomed to end in tears, it would weaken my resolve.

All of it was rubbish. I see that now.

I have just been consumed by fear. Fear so deep I refused to confront or acknowledge it. Fear that I would have to let go of what Could Not Be. Fear that I must accept this part of reality, that no magic I could master would ever be sufficient to change it. No spell, or Miracle would save my forbidden dream.

I have been mentally and emotionally running in fear of this day for so long.... and I never knew it. Somehow, I am relieved to have finally realized it. Ashamed at what a fool I have been.

Mystara, in her infinite grace, has been as generous and understanding to me as Lady Lysis. I have not been punished by either of them. I know now, however, that I have indeed been punished. Perhaps in a worse sense than any other. I have punished and denied myself the truth.

What worse form of betrayal is there than betrayal of oneself?

My hands reach to my face, shaking uncontrollably, and my eyes burst. I weep. Heaving, pitiful sobs, as a child discovering the harshness of the world for the first time. It simply is not fair.

I ask why, over and over, sobbing until my breath is thin and labored. I know the answer, and I keep asking because my inner child does not want to accept, and thus hopes the answer will change of its own accord.

I know now, what I must have spoken of, what I must have related to the barbarian Barius Bloodclaw when we drank to excess that night long ago. Nothing in my life has ever reduced me to this. Now I know where those dried tears came from.

Only in the depths of alcoholic stupor had I ever before allowed myself to confront or speak of that which filled me with such deep, well-hidden sadness.

In those silent, quiet moments where my heart would sink, suddenly, unbidden by any stimulus around me, it was as if part of me was distracted by some horrible loss. I could never put my finger on the source.

I tried to block out, or dismiss the torments from the Demons who paraded this frailty before me. I rejected my reactions as delusional outbursts. They wanted me to break down and I clung to any method of denying them their goal. I embraced self-hatred to salve the pain of it.

How do sentient beings live functional 'day to day' lives with such darkness and pain lurking inside?

Ignoring, running, and distracting themselves with more positive content I suppose. It almost seems like a logical and sound solution.... until a moment like this one.

What am I to do? What comes next?

I grieve. I accept truth. I apologize to Mystara and myself for my terrible mistake. I walk on. I strive to do better. I do not surrender to fear or despair, nor give up on myself or my path. I know who I am, and he will not cease to be. He must grow from this, it can only be a boon to him.

Like a phoenix from the ashes, I will reignite.


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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:15 pm

I saw some thugs surround a Guardsman in Macedone last night.

It was just at the edge of my vision - My outrage surged with righteous indignation as I rushed over, brandishing my staff and murmuring the incantation to lay them low - they converged violently... and the guard, unable to fend the onslaught, fell.

Slowly, blood-dripping from numerous punctures, face-twisted in agony... his gaze slid in my direction as he fell. His eyes, wide with shock just a moment before, now drowsily, lazily trying to focus on me... his hand, now bereft of its blade, grasping feebly towards me... reaching for the hope I represented...

And then... the wet, sickening thud. His head struck the cobblestones. His eyes rolled back. His soul fled.

In the mere heartbeats this transpired, I completed my incantation. Sparkling projectiles of arcane wrath sizzled and streaked out from my chosen center point. The thugs' bodies rocked to and fro with the sound of rapid-fire bone-crushing impacts - one after another, building in volume to a crescendo that climaxed with the revolting sound of flesh ripping apart as their bodies exploded, bursting with gore, and splattering the street all around the fallen guardsman.

Too late. I'd managed only Vengeance. Too late to be salvation.

Shoulders slumped, I stared a long moment at the scene. Letting out the breath I had held since the release of my spell, I slowly shuffled over to the carnage. My anger gone, my hope of saving the guard in vain... I felt numb.

I reached down, looking over the guard's face. He was young, human, maybe early twenties. I did not recognize him, I did not know his name. Here lay some poor mother's son, and he died because I was too slow.

I wondered, my mind distracted, if it had been someone I knew - someone I cared for - surrounded like that, would I have cast any faster? Would I have acted differently? Why couldn't they have ambushed me, instead of him?

Why did he deserve such a fate? Lysis only knows... and she isn't telling.

Why couldn't I do better? Why couldn't I save him?

As my mind assaulted itself with such futile, hopeless, self-loathing, my mouth began to murmur more eldritch phrases. Simple divination, to find the leader. Too late, only vengeance... and only partial vengeance at that.

A problem I would solve, I thought, almost devoid of feeling. The concept had little, if any, impact on my psyche. It wasn't the killing that numbed me, I was used to that - I was good at that. It was the failure that rankled, that demanded response.

They beat me, and even though they died for it, the price was not yet paid in full.

My memory of the next while is a bit blurry, as I considered the situation and tracked down my prey simultaneously, so focused on my goal that I paid little heed to my surroundings. It clears about the time that I found them.

I blew the door off its hinges with a Searing Strike of the Silverblade variety. As I strode into the room immediately following the blast, they shot to their feet, drawing various blades and adopting threatening postures. Some tried to conceal themselves, unaware whom they faced. I forgave them such folly, and made no effort to relieve them of the illusion they were hidden.

It was time to explain myself. The leader's mouth was moving, his jaw sternly set as he seemed to shout at me, but I didnt lend any attention to his words. His words were just noise as his associates surrounded me. It seemed they had practiced much the same tactic as the fools who slew the guard.

I had chosen to stride in on foot, rather than to glide in while levitating. Some sort of perverse desire to invite them to underestimate me. I suppose it worked. They converged, flailing, stabbing, shoving.

I didn't move. I didn't even flinch. When their blades found no purchase in me, they drew back for a brief moment and hesitated, but only for a fraction of a second - likely they had learned that hesitation was death. They didn't realize it made no difference. Twice more they struck at me. Twice more, I simply stared at them, emotionless, finding it curiously amusing how their attacks affected me not at all. I felt nothing, physically, or emotionally. No fear, no urgency.

"What are you?!" I finally heard the leader gasp fearfully, as the others drew back cautiously.

That did it. That was what I wanted, what I came for. Satisfaction swelled in me. They were all afraid now. They were beginning to realize they were all going to die, just like the guard I failed to save from their partners outside.

The cold fury returned to me -

"I am an angry Wizard!" I shouted as I stepped closer to him, and he shrank back.

"I am an outraged Citizen!" Louder, closer.

"I am a Mother's Vengeance for her murdered Son!" At the top of my lungs, I was now face to face with him, his eyes bulging in panic.

Then I whispered, "And you owe all three of us a debt that can only be paid with your life. I've come to collect."

I raised my hand with an arcane flourish, releasing my Silent spell - as the shimmering ray of green light sprang forth, it struck his chest squarely. He froze, eyes still wide with terror, his mouth opened just for a moment as the green light washed over him, hungrily devouring the physical form that tied him to this life. In moments, all that remained was a pile of dust resting inside a haphazard heap of his possessions.

The shock of his comrades instantly broke into abject terror, they began to flee in desperation.

As they fled out of earshot, "Know that you have earned the ire of Crideas Bane. Know that I shall suffer your wickedness to trouble the citizens of this city no longer. Make peace with your gods, and make righteous your path, lest we meet again and the fate of this one become your own!"

Even as I shouted them, the words felt hollow. I wasn't going to police the streets every night, and I knew it. If they were determined to be wicked, I could not prevent it. More guards would die. I took solace in their fear. They did not want to die, and they had to know, if they kept at it, eventually... eventually I would catch them. Who could tally the cost in between, the lives and the suffering?

I let them go. The fear was enough. I hoped they valued their lives enough to change. If not, we would likely meet again soon, and they would have precious little time to regret.

Part of me admitted, it felt good. It felt justified, and I enjoyed it.

Another part of me was ashamed by that. My mother would have been thoroughly disappointed in me, and I knew it.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:01 pm

With time to reflect rationally, I can see clearly that I committed a murder - blatantly, and with premeditation.

Certainly not the first time I have committed an arguably unlawful act, but definitely the most clearly criminal.

I suppose I am very lucky not to be a Paladin - the consequences would be awful. As it stands, my conscience has been flaying me non-stop with questions... Did he have family? Why was he leading those thugs, what drove him to it? Was he perhaps just a misguided unfortunate who lacked vision to see other options? How can I have been totally certain he ordered the guard's murder?

I should have petrified him and brought him to the guard captain and rendered my testimony. I've done exactly that in past situations. There was no urgent need to take his life. I have no rational justification for taking on the role of arbiter and executioner... I just... felt it was needed, and I wanted to send a strong message.

It is not at all lost on me that I have crossed a very significant line. I have begun to tread on a path leading to a slippery slope.

I would be curious what the authorities might do with me if I were to turn myself in. Likely they could not convict me without a confession, no body after all, and only the testimony of criminals to accuse me... But to refuse to confess on these grounds would be pure bastardization of justice. I am sure some would revile me as the murderer I have become as a result of the act, others would allow the justification, but I fear they would be a minority... Rightly so, I think.

I could certainly rationalize it. Plenty of good deeds to balance it, but that is not the point.

The correct action was to allow justice to take its course. If that failed, I might have taken direct measures, but this is no justification for truncating the process.

I suppose I must pay my debt to society, but somehow sitting in a cell seems wasteful. And then, there is the fact that, despite my trespassing, they did attempt to kill me. I can't fully justify calling it self-defense, but I allow that is probably just enough to make a case for acquittal.

Perhaps I should begin patrols this very night, and if I happen upon any of the ones who fled... I will investigate the identity and the familial circumstance of the one I slew. If action must be taken to allay suffering and collateral damage, I must see to it.

And from now on... I must perform arrest by petrification as a first resort.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:20 pm

As I prowl, unseen, stalking the docks of the city... I ponder.

Killing the first four thugs was justifiable. I was attempting to stop the murder of the guardsman - thus lethal force was appropriate.

The thug leader did not present any such danger or threat to anyone at the moment I attacked him. Trying to kill me was futile, hence why it doesn't justify use of lethal force. I suppose if he had some powerful magic item or weapon that could harm me, then I could claim to have erred on the side of caution after suffering all the stabbing attacks.

Still, what if it had been a bunch of bandits in the wilderness? Would I consider it murder then? For some reason, no. Perhaps becuase there are no formal authorities and guards beyond the city walls. No one to uphold civil laws, just the occasional soldier to defend the border or fend off bandit attacks... And no one would bat an eyelash if the soldiers hunted and slew an entire camp of suspected bandits.

What if they had been Orcs? Again no one, myself included, would be concerned with matters of legality. If they displayed the slightest hint of hostility, or presented even the smallest threat, it would merit use of lethal force...

Bandits and Orcs are not citizens. They are afforded no protection by the law, they have no rights.

I suppose bandits who happen to enter a city might pass as citizens enough to merit the usual process of law, but why would the location of the confrontation justify such a large disparity in how the law is applied to the same individuals in the same circumstances?

I certainly am not a legal advocate, and I certainly do not wish for orcs and bandits to be granted equal treatment by the law... But I do struggle slightly to accept the differences while my conscience recriminates me for what I did to that thug.

I still believe his death was an appropriate punishment, but I recognize that since he was ostensibly a fellow citizen of the kingdom, it was not my place to summarily judge and sentence him. Doing so defeats and cheapens the protections the law provides to all other citizens, myself included.

And herein I discover a personal hypocrisy - if, in my opinion, justice had failed to adequately punish him, I might still have taken on the role of arbiter and executioner, thereby defying the purpose of those afore-mentioned legal protections. The whole point of upholding the law is to respect it's outcomes, even when one disagrees with them.

I suppose I must now admit that on some level or levels, I have come to see myself as outside the law.

Most troubling...
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:49 pm

I have decided. I am not going to beat myself up about the mistake I made.

Its over, I can't undo it. I was fortunate to find that the thug I disintegrated lived alone, and had no family that the other thugs are aware of. No collateral damage.

Turning myself in would be silly, and wasteful - I can repay society better by acting. Besides, sitting in a cell would be pointless... I could leave any time I wanted to.... which would make it a choice to stay there, not a punishment.

As for my hypocrisy - I have considered it... and I can't seem to find a desire to change my mind about it.

I can live with that particular double standard - truth be told, I could most likely take over the kingdom of Nektaria if I wished to.

That would mean I could make my own laws.... but my hubris is not so rampant as that.

The current king is doing a fine job, and I have no wish to usurp him, battle and kill his soldiers (or any of my friends who stand with him), or take on the responsibilities of the Crown.

It is not the first hypocrisy that I have learned to live with. I suppose I just need to be honest with myself about it.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:20 am

Seems there is a network of these street ruffians, apparently backed by a full-fledged criminal organization complete with logistics, acquisitions, and "security" divisions.

The city guard seems to know about as little as I do of the details... Which honestly is the main problem.

Removing such an organization creates a vacuum that will inevitably be filled by a new one - the solution is to breach the veil of secrecy and attach names and faces to the organization. Then it can be monitored and its activities can be restricted to a degree - deals can even be brokered to mitigate and avoid bloodshed.

Most importantly, when a line is crossed, there are clear paths to investigate the matter.

Unless the negotiators on the guards' side are intentionally misleading me and denying involvement - which I admit is a distinct possibility - I may be able to help create some sort of balance between this "guild" and the common citizenry.

The first thing is to get inside somehow. I have to give them credit, I have searched and found nothing thus far... Even from trudging the bowels of the sewer system for long hours. They hide well.

I have yet to unleash my more powerful divinations in this pursuit, however.

It may not even be necessary. I maintain amiable relations with a number of persons skilled in legerdemain and skulduggery.

I suppose it is time to make inquiries.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:18 pm

As a practitioner of an Art that most regard as strange and dangerously powerful, one might even say Arcane, I know well the furtive sideways glances, discomfort, mistrust, and concern that the uninitiated often direct toward that which they fear as unnatural.

I am spared the greater part of this, and also the truly repulsive manifestations of it - mobs with torches and such - simply because I rather publicly risked everything to help these folks on more than one occaision.

Even so, I understand from where this suspicion and fear springs. We all know in our hearts the draw towards power. We fear how it can corrupt and twist the most well-intentioned of us. Especially in my profession, the temptation to resort to gratuitous displays of power is sometimes very hard to resist.

Ironically, after my failure to resist while enduring Demonic torment, I have learned more of myself, my limits, and the depths of my soul and mind than most ever will - and the painful recovery from that nightmare has strengthened my resolve.

I feel I have done well in maintaining my humility, but even so, my hubris and hypocrisy are ever-present. Worse, such things are harder for me to see in myself than for others. I precariously try to self-examine while still pursuing greater power. I am fortunate to have trustworthy allies who, thankfully, have not yet had occasion to rebuke me - I pray they never do, and further I pray should they ever do so that I maintain a strong enough sense of humility to accept their words.

My own situation being what it is, I have studiously worked to avoid any sort of formal leadership responsibilities as I fear - rightly - that the combination of magical power combined with official political power might spur my hubris past the point of no return.

Now I have stepped closer to that precipice, and may even draw others with me. I have invited other adventurers to gather and work together to gain power as a group. As usual, there will likely be some modicum of deference to my reputation... And this combined with my authoritative manner will probably create a de facto leadership role for me which I will need to actively downplay. I have become accustomed to a degree, but would still much prefer a better qualified candidate.

Now, though, I must not only watch myself... But as I assist these others in discovering the heights of their potential - so few truly realize the sheer power they can tap and harness if they dedicate and discipline themselves - I feel compelled to warn and guide them against the corrupting influences of power and hubris as well.

Truth has presented me with no other option. To save the lands from the unseen storm that is brewing there must be others who rival my power if we are to survive. The only way to ensure these others are ready is to guide them to their potential - and this requires acceptance of the risks. Perhaps even acceptance of one or more betraying us all.

I pray it does not come to that. Indeed, I pray that *I* do not come to that.

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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Nov 02, 2012 11:54 pm

It was akin to watching helplessly as time seemed to dilate, the cruel blades piercing and slashing the flesh of the fallen guardsman in slow motion, splitting his body open to provide egress to the precious blood within... slowly robbing him of consciousness and life.

She wept.... inconsolably. Her son, Michael, taken from her.... his flame snuffed at a tender age, while faced with near limitless possibilities for the life that stood before him. The pain and loss pierced and slashed without mercy, and I watched all her boundless hope and love for her son as they bled out, trickling from her eyes as they drained out of the hollow, anguished space of her soul wherein her son used to reside.

My brow furrowed in disdain at the injustice of it, my eyes were riveted to her. Wide with intense but futile longing to heal this poor woman's wound, to fix this terrible travesty, I held back my own tears but only barely.

It had been at least a week... perhaps two.... and the image of it sprung to my mind fresh with biting clarity. I will never forget.

The guard captain, Kara, was a lovely lady just entering her thirties. It was obvious at a glance that her face had once been that of an exquisite beauty, but now it was marred by jagged scars. Though they could not hide the attractiveness of her features entirely, she bore them with a stoicism and confidence that made clear her dedication to placing her safety, and the safety of those in her charge, between the citizenry and harm's way. She must have sacrificed much to gain her post, and the guards showed an uncommon deference in her presence.

She had pulled me aside after I presented Orrin Shadowfingers' petrified form to her. She had recently come to knowledge of the situation regarding Michael the guardsman's murder - as the thugs who had fled my presence were later caught in some manner of mischief and pleaded for absolution by spilling the details in their entirety apparently hoping to bring consequence of murder down upon me.

I listened silently to her words, though they moved me deeply. Of all the ironies, here was this stalwart and fearless defender of the law standing before me... sincerely thanking me for the murder I had committed. She said that maybe I had gone too far.... and maybe the bastard had deserved what he got.... but in my position, she might have done the same, or worse.

Michael, that was the young guard's name, was well-liked by his colleagues. He had impressed Kara as well. She said his cheerful and positive manner had been a stabilizing force, and an anchor for morale. The blow of his loss was felt by all. There had been many reactions, but mainly sadness and anger. She said that my actions would not be investigated, and that she spoke for all her comrades when she said that what I had done was appreciated, that knowing I was out there, and that I cared enough to intervene and stand up for one of their own was important to them.

Though few, I have experienced moments where words have utterly failed me. Such a moment was both reassuring and humbling for me to the extent that I could merely nod, and bow my head in respect.

She had collected some of Michael's belongings, and asked me if I would deliver them to his Mother, and tell her that he was avenged. Again, I nodded, still dumbfounded. She produced a small footlocker which her men loaded onto a cart as she directed me to Michael's home in the commons.

I led the cart with heavy feet. Contemplating what to say with each leaden step. I had not known this young man, and did not feel at all qualified to speak of him. As I neared the door, I decided it mattered little. What mattered was that she needed to know. That she be provided with the Truth, and be permitted to grieve.

I was brief, and gentle. It took all of my will to stand there and watch, but I would not abandon her without permission, nor would I offer platitudes. Both she and her son had deserved so much better, and yet here I stood in this tragic moment, questioning the mechanisms and values of a world that permitted such.

I have power to do much, yet I could not alter this outcome. Indeed, how many other guard's had died in the line of duty in similar circumstance. Surely the situation was not totally unique.

This thought haunts me. I can watch this world from the safe distance of Sharlo's surface and view the grand collective picture of grace and beauty, but what meaning does such a thing have when that grand vista is composed of smaller pictures that include repugnant and cruel images such as this mother's helpless weeping?

I have erred, and glossed over the darker half of the Truth that I tell myself I hold so dear.



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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:01 am

OOC:

I normally don't do this, but the last passage had special significance for me. It was very difficult to write.

Just wanted to dedicate it sincerely to all the families and loved ones of those who were lost in the attacks on 9/11, and all the brave men and women from the armed services who gave their lives serving their country.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:37 pm








It had been weeks, and lust for battle came upon him suddenly, unbidden.

He was researching yet more arcane lore, as usual, and took but a moment to lean back from his tomes and collect himself. In that instant, he felt a restless pulse of arcane wrath within him. A rising wave of razor-edged battle focus and contention crackled like a thundercloud in his mind. It called for release.

Like a storm brewing, leading to an inevitable clash of lightning he felt it surge. He took a long breath, and drank it in. A potent nectar, it brought with it a taste of violence and power he had long ago learned to harness and control with consummate mastery of his mind and memory.

Letting out the long breath slowly, his hands at his sides, he nonchalantly turned his palms upward. With a murmured Eldritch phrase, his body smoothly lifted into a floating position, his feet nearly a foot above the tiles of his sanctum. His right arm then stretched to his side, his fingers moving deftly in a flourished grasping motion, and his favored combat staff materialized in his grip. He released the staff to hover patiently at his side, awaiting his need.

Leaning in a slightly forward angle, he glided quickly to the platform and was transferred instantly down to Aenea. Another murmur and the sealed magical doorway opened, yielding  to his passing, as he swiftly swept out the entrance hallway and out his front door.

Outside, with an intense look in his eyes and his brow knitted in concentration, he was already mapping the battle and his tactics in his mind - calling up the arcane sigils; the precise and measured movements of his fingers, wrists, and elbows; and the words of ancient power that would bring his wrath crashing thunderously down upon the mind and body of his prey as he reworked reality itself to seal their doom.

Passers-by recognized him instantly and shouted cheers of appreciation and admiration - he nodded sharply in response. If only they knew the wonders he was about to unleash. He smiled inwardly at the thought. He had earned this indulgence.

His hand slid down to his waist, just inside his cloak, and he tapped the slender silver rod slotted into his belt. Yellow shafts of magical energy cascaded up from the ground beneath him as he willed the rod to bring forth its stored dweomer and shift the currents of the Flow of Magic that he might ride them to his chosen destination.

An instant later, amidst another burst of yellow shafts of swirling light, he appeared on the wooden bridge he had envisioned a moment before. He smelled the musty, rotten scent of dessicated remains that permeated this ancient crypt - a temple to the Lord of Foulness and Lies, Sorgath.

He knew he was within the home of the ancient and powerful Dracolich, Vorshlag the Tarnished - the once-proud Silver Dragon, who had once upon a time defended the region against evil. Now a wretched and twisted abomination. He felt pity for the creature. Despite its incredible power, it had trapped itself in a cycle of stagnation, unable to truly live or create anything of true value. Endless rage, hunger, misery and suffering were all that was left.

The truth of it was that Anadon Vakanor, a cunning and insidious disciple of Sorgath had long ago deceived and manipulated the once great and noble beast, and engineered this tragic fall.

He scanned the darkness of his surroundings with eyes glowing from the magic of True Sight, but saw no motion - only stillness.  The fetid odor of death was all around him. Looking ahead on the bridge, he could barely make out the pinpoints of a pair of unnatural balefire torches at the end of the bridge. As he glided forward towards them, the faint shimmer of a necromantic dweomer presented itself off to the side of the platform beyond the bridge.

Eyes narrowed, he passed boldly over the threshold of the bridge and into the bounds of the necromantic effect. It was nearly pitch black, the shadows hungrily swallowing the balefire light, but somehow in that moment he crossed into the dim red glow of the dweomer before him, the shadows seemed to come alive and grow even deeper and darker.

A faint sound off to his left, like a claw scraping on stone, alerted him that he was no longer alone. Spinning fiercely, his eyes hard with steely determination, he sensed his prey had come to destroy him.

Not this day, he thought.

His hands began precisely weaving patterns to mold, tug, push, and intertwine the currents of magic around them as his lips rapidly issued forth complex eldritch commands to call those currents to bend to his will. The air around his hands quickly began to glow and hum with the sound of gathering arcane power. Moments later, with a flash, a huge shimmering disembodied hand appeared and streaked out towards the deepest shadows in the corner of the platform.

With a rasping hiss, the target growled as the hand struck home and locked it into a crushing grip. The dim shimmer of the hand was just enough to light the fringes of the target, revealing the bony skeletal frame of an ancient Dragon's remains. Unable to move, and struggling against the inescapable grasp of Crideas' magic, the Dracolich's red eyes narrowed to needle-sharp points of burning hatred.

"Think you I could not have located your Phylactery and destroyed it before now, Fallen One?" Crideas taunted, knowing his opponent was preparing to use its other weapons to assault him despite its immobility. "I *enjoy* proving the futility of your desperate grasp for power, Vorshlag. I made a similar error once, but turned back and repented before it consumed me," he said, holding up his skeletal left hand in demonstration. "I do not wish you obliterated.... I wish you to repent. I wish you to regret your folly. Only then will I release you permanently."

He paused, "Now.... BURN!!!!"

As his hand drew forth from his robes a clear red gem faintly twinkling with magic, a sound escaped Crideas' mouth, ancient and unknowable, but with an almost lyrical harmony... as if it were the final note of a beautiful celestial melody, and then he shouted, "Bane's Orbital Strike!"


The gem in his hand dissolved to dust instantly. The air somewhere near the ceiling of the chamber above the Dracolich suddenly flared to life with a near-blinding explosion of fiery white light as a beam of dazzling white-hot Plasma blasted down and slammed into the floor tiles mere feet from the Dracolich's position.


Trailing a molten river of liquefied stone as it traced the ground to find its target, the beam sliced into Vorshlag's body, burning with the heat of a star as it vaporized his bones and carved his ancient and magically fortified skeletal frame in two with the ease of a blade through naked flesh.


With a crashing thud, the now inanimate halves fell to the tiles, and the narrow red points of light in those hollow sockets dimmed until they faded completely away, the Dracolich's essence fled from its undead vessel to gather and collect in his hidden phylactery.







With a dismissive grunt, he turned away from the scene of devastation, his thirst for battle temporarily slaked. There we other 'visits' to be conducted. This was merely the Warm Up.


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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:19 am

Damn, Dave, you never cease to amaze! Excellent, excellent stuff - you actually make me want to play a wizard!
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:15 pm

Thank you, Eric, I'm glad you enjoyed it. As for playing a wizard, everybody should make one... You're missing out if you haven't tried it. Smile

I recently came up with a new quote I am considering adding to my signature:

"Trifle not with an Archmage, for your reality exists because he allows it."
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Sat Nov 10, 2012 7:25 am

Short, sweet and to the point!
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:32 pm


Trifle not with an Archmage


With a quiet swish, the egg materialized in center of the darkened gloom of the ritual chamber, as if it wafted into existence on an ethereal breeze. He turned, his scaly bulk scraping the stone cavern floor loudly, and snorted with disbelief when he spotted the newly arrived vessel of his transcendence.

He considered for a few moments the likelihood of what had just transpired. She was a resourceful one, and would be a useful tool for certain, but he had not expected her to manage this feat, nor to do it so quickly.

Something did not seem right. She had not made any sort of contact, just the delivery. He was certain the compulsion would have mandated that she speak to him through the planar link. His earlier attempt to draw her through the planar conduit had failed as well.

His yellow eyes narrowed momentarily as he quickly waggled his claws and blanketed the vessel with detection magic. For a long moment he stared, untrusting, as his magical senses played back and forth across the shadowy egg scanning its innate dweomer for abnormalities.

Crideas had been absolutely circumspect in altering the magical emanations of not only his trap, but also the false nature of the egg. As good as the Draconic senses of his prey were, they were no match for the subtle and quintessential willworking of the Aenean Archmagus. Little did the hapless fool know that Crideas' magic had already taken an invisibly subtle but firm grasp of his mind from the moment his eyes had first perceived the egg.

As the Sorcerer's detections returned a negative result, his eyes narrowed yet further into razor slits as he refocused his magic and pressed the full measure of his will into the Flow, commanding it to reveal the trickery at work. There was simply no way she could have done it this fast, especially after the conduit and his compulsion had been interfered with somehow.

Again he found no trace. His hubris being as potent as it was, he could not conceive of magic strong enough to completely trump his own. He slowly began to accept the result presented to him, albeit warily.

He shrugged his massive forelimbs and shook his head. After all, there were still many preparations to make. If he had somehow missed something, he could rescan his prize many times during the process of setting his grand plan into motion. If he began the summoning and transference effects, and if something were to be amiss, he would sense it before he committed his essence.

In his native tongue, he murmured an arcane phrase. His intent formed of magic, it traveled along the currents, riding the Flow through the fabric of reality to his servant's minds. Busy with various other tasks, his thralls halted abruptly as they received his new orders. Their minds long ago broken and now withered from atrophy due to years of magically enforced slavery, they unquestioningly obeyed their master's command to prepare the ritual chamber.

As he donned his ceremonial bone mantle, imbued with incredibly strong necromantic magics, he willed the shadows emanating from him as well as those of the ritual chamber to deepen and elongate. He would need to harness their energies to fuel his coming miracle.

The sound of shambling zombie-like footsteps alerted him that his servants had brought the materials and would arrange them each precisely according to his careful and elaborate mental instructions. Five points of the pentagram, five anchors of the soul, five points of new binding, five mysteries to be concealed in shadow. Blood, Bone, Flame, Hunger, and Wrath. A vessel of each was placed around his circle. When the last vessel was aligned, he sensed the flow drawing heavier, the tides deepening with power in his chamber.

His mind reviewed the process. He had memorized it in its entirety, it was like second nature to recall each detail. There would be no margin for error, but he was unconcerned, for his magic would be utter perfection. He would become as undying and powerful as the gods themselves. He would bind the energies of his soul to the very manifold of the planes, drawing power from the void itself. It would be glorious, and he would spread his dominion to all corners of reality. His ultimate triumph was at hand, and he would become the master of all.

At this moment, in the height of the Shadow Dragon Sorcerer's pride and lust for limitless power, Crideas' spell cinched closed around his target's mind like a slipknot drawing taught from the tension of its disposition. For all the Sorcerer's will and power, for all his circumspection and caution leading him to this moment, Crideas' spell gave his arrogant mind the gentle nudge it needed.

It was a sweet irony that Crideas had engineered into his trap. The Dragon had sought, unprovoked, to claim power over an unwilling soul undeserving of enslavement. To possess her without offering her choice, without her permission. He had compelled her to act out his will with no concern for her well-being. This offended Crideas on so many levels, and when he had uncovered this treachery, it brought forth the darkness lurking within him from the trials of his soul and the choices that yet haunted his dreams.

Crideas would not stand for it - not when the woman he loved hung in the balance, and not while this fiend still drew breath to threaten her. He had enemies enough of his own to shield his better half from, and as such, he tried to carefully hide his feelings to prevent them from making her a target. There was no tolerance in him for the designs of this power-maddened maniac to enslave her.

The irony came full circle now, as the Dragon was compelled by Crideas' magic, against his will and better judgement, to complete his ritual. His conscious mind slowly became aware that his body was no longer obeying his mental commands. Something had taken control of his primal subconscious, wielding his lust for power like a yoke against his free will, entrapping his psyche in it like a cage of vanity.

His mind recoiled with the shock of realizing that he must stop this ritual if he was to survive. As he vainly struggled to fight the compulsion, his will shattered and crumbled under the crushing power of Crideas' arcane mastery. Without truly understanding the details, deep down in his animal instincts he sensed the deadly trap , and knew the precipice of oblivion was looming before him.

If the fool wished to join with an egg, then he would indeed join with an egg... and regret it for the precious few remaining moments of his vile existence. These were Crideas' thoughts as he had painstakingly crafted his subtle arcane snare. The compulsion effect had fully overwhelmed the prey, and the Shadow Dragon's mind grew slack with futility as he observed in disbelief - each precise gesture, incantation, and thought required to enact his grand ritual of Transcendence. For long minutes, he suffered the anguish of purest despair as he helplessly watched his body inexorably follow the path to his own utter destruction.

His fear of death was greater than almost any other impulse, and while his mind writhed and quivered with the terror of it, he knew he was undone - with the last flourishes, his voice boomed out the final incantations, the shadows of the chamber receding as he drained their energy, darkness falling simultaneously on all five points of the circle. His bone mantle flared with dark red and black currents of negative energy, and the egg vibrated as tiny fissures began to appear in the flowing shadows of its tenebrous shell.

His body seized and his limbs shot out to full extension, trembling as if being electrocuted with currents of death and shadow. Black flames began to dance along the fringes of his physical body. Though the flames should have been cold and painless, he felt eruptions of piercing agony as the baleful blaze began slowly dissolving his being, pulling the vapors down towards the diabolical egg vessel and inside it through the growing fissures.

As his scales and sinews began to burn away with the spreading black flames of his own terrible magic, the pain and the awful revelation of his fate overcame him and he let out a primal scream of abject horror... the egg was not real, it was a finely tuned planar singularity keyed to his own essence which Crideas had sensed through the planar conduit he had implanted in the mind of his prospective thrall. No force in the multiverse could save him from what was happening. His existence, the very elements of creation that made him manifest were being rent apart and utterly destroyed as he was erased from reality by the magic of his own ritual.

Crideas' eyes momentarily shot wide and his back stiffened as he felt the shock of the Dragon's psychic scream blasting its way back to his mind, but he quickly recovered. He exhaled slowly. With a grim nod of satisfaction he telepathically reached out to his beloved's mind, sharing the faintest echo of the scream with her, and then with stark finality he intoned:

"It is done."
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:13 pm

I am toying with the idea of a manuscript dedicated to wielding magic to defeat brutish melee assailants.

I am torn on what the title should be, but I have a growing list of possible choices:

How to make a warrior wish they had refrained from attempting to beat you up

How to make an assassin cry

How to make a rogue soil their trousers

Spells for making a fool out of a blade-master

Magic for making monks pummel themselves for a change

Arcane steps to making a barbarian scream "uncle!"

Professional tips for out-cheating a blackguard

Ways to make a ranger wish they were hugging a tree



Somehow I don't think if the manuscript got outside the hands of the Wizard guild, it would make it's author very popular... I need an alias.

Rubius Crane, heh.


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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by RustyDios on Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:39 pm

Heh.. And I thought you'd go for the "obvious" Crubus... wow, been some time since anyone shot that name at Crideas.... wonder how MJ is?.......

Loved the monk and blackguard titles personally, have a certain ring to them....


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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by Elhanan on Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:05 pm

How about....

Oops! - The Exhaustive Version! cheers

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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:00 am

Alastair actually called Crideas by the nickname "Crubus".

MJ is doing ok I think, possibly working on a family thing, maybe.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by Eric of Atrophy on Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:40 am

Not to threadjack the thread, but as dave noted, MJ is doing ok. He's had some setbacks in RL that he's working through, but he has plans to return to us as soon as he's able.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by odbo255 on Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:15 pm

daveyeisley wrote:Ways to make a ranger wish they were hugging a tree

Hey now! Rangers aren't brutish melee assailants! Fren is a very composed lady filled with decorum who chooses to negotiate any situation at the end of her short swords.

Oh bother, nevermind.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sat May 24, 2014 9:29 pm

It appears Veleron may be active again - seeking to extinguish the live of those who have access to and can understand the lore that holds the key to his downfall.

The lore of the crystals which are anchored to the Dark Realm, and preserve his invulnerability.

He has contracted a Grand Corrupter of Sorgath's Great Temple, hidden somewhere deep underground, to slay all the scholars and loremasters in order to cover the trail of knowledge regarding the means to pull the blood crystals across the Dimensional boundaries from the Dark Realm and break the ancient Blood Magic ritual cast on his bloodline so long ago.

Sorgath's agents must be stopped in ther murderous quest. Then we must find the lore that Veleron wishes to keep hidden.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:20 am

It appears there has arrived, or come to maturity, a new crop of adventurers in the lands. Alas, the Academy is not yet finished, so they will face many of the same difficulties that I and others faced when trying to find our way.

Speaking with most of them has been pleasant, and a few seem to have their hearts in the right place. They seem to want to defend the citizens of Nektaria, Macedonia, the Kingdom of Light, and Calithia from the numerous threats we face... and also to stop Veleron.

They have been diligently seeking, studying, researching, and bravely battling to stop his most recent plot - so much so that it appears the populace and some Bards have taken note of their exploits.

Regarding Veleron - I have tried to communicate the level of threat he represents, but I fear I have not done an adequate job. They have not faced him in combat - where his invincibility, spells, and that fearsome twisted Soulfire Blade would surely drive the point home. Worse are his machinations, however - he is intelligent and crafty, and does not expose himself when there is little or nothing to be gained.

These adventurers are beginning to see what I have warned of, I think. Since the news that my suspicions were correct about the murders of the Scholars being tied to Veleron's goals. It was just a matter of peeling back the various layers - with him, it always is. 'Do-gooders' looking no further than face value is one thing he seems to rely on. The trap in this case is, seeing Veleron behind every shadow - even when he might be behind most, he is not behind everything.

The most obvious goal of the murders is to eliminate anyone who could expose the lore of Veleron's invincibility, and the crystals 'keys' that can be used to make him vulnerable. There may be more that we lack knowledge of, and I assume the little fiend prioritized the murder of those who held the greatest amount of relevant details.

I think it reasonable to say that his somewhat overt decision to resort to murder (for him it lacks subtlety - even if he followed his normal pattern of having others do the dirtywork - it was easily noticed and investigated) shows a hint of concern at our progress.

We stopped him for now, but I find myself worrying about how much lore we may have lost, and how important those seeds of knowledge might have been to understanding the proper way to permanently resolve the situation. He likely knows what he has deprived us of, or denied to us.... and I have little doubt he will use that to design some form of trap for us, based on our ignorance.

I know that were I in his position, I would already be thinking about the Endgame. If my defenses could possibly be stripped from me before my enemies tracked me down and cornered me... I would naturally begin devising plans to drive up the cost of destroying me to such unimaginable levels that my enemies would likely not be committed enough to pursue that goal. And I am not a centuries old, malignant and malicious manipulator - so if I have conceived of this, he surely has begun planning on it.

Let us all hope that he underestimates our commitment. I daresay he may find my own... surprising.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:00 pm

Crideas continues his research, divinations and scrying to trace the path along which Lord Highfang fled - using the residual
magical traces and planar resonance he recorded at the time Highfang teleported away:



Hope remains that Highfang might know who holds one or more of the other blood crystal key fragments...


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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Jun 16, 2014 6:31 pm

Highfang is canny. He is skilled in the ways of the Arcane. This fact fills me with a sense of concern, but also with a sense of challenge.

He knows how to cover his tracks such that tracking his movements requires more circumspect procedures - I find the notion appealing, that I will have to test my skills against his techniques of obfuscation. I believe I am up to this challenge.

We have discovered that he likely came to Macedone some four months ago on some errand to the Thieve's guild, to visit Orrin Shadowfingers, the leader of the Guild. Due to prior circumstances, I do not believe it will be too difficult to uncover the nature of Highfang's business (though I admit Orrin will likely not know Highfang by that name).

We have come up with some theories as to what the arrangement might have been. If my hunch that Highfang was entrusted with more than one Blood Crystal fragment is correct, then  I feel the deal may have been to hire the Thieve's Guild to sell off, or hide the other fragments for Highfang.

Where better to hide them than in plain sight, amongst the exotic collections of wealthy merchants and nobles?

The possibility also exists that the arrangement was for Orrin and his Guildmates to locate the other fragments for Highfang - perhaps to indebt Veleron to Highfang once more, or perhaps to give Highfang some leverage.

Whatever to arrangement, I feel we have two aces up our sleeve. There is significant sympathetic resonance between the crystals we have already acquired and those 4 we have yet to locate. Between Mina's skills with sonic vibrations and resonance, and my former apprentice Ranara's talent for empathic resonances - we should be able to easily devise a sort of 'witching rod' that will leverage both their talents to lead us directly to the remaining shards.

My role will be most likely be to identify and remove obstacles in their path, such as further obfuscation or shielding techniques. I am also more than prepared to invest a great deal of energy and magical components into boosting the sensitivity of our 'tracking devices'.

I was asked recently if I believed one such as Veleron, who might be considered unto a God, could possibly be defeated. If perhaps our efforts would be for naught, and we might only serve to delay his conquest....

My response was that I have worked long and hard to master the Art of altering reality with my mind and will - and such a reality as that is one that I am decidedly unwilling to accept. We will stop him, because we must stop him.

I am not a devotee of many of the Gods, though I respect their Domains. However, I feel very strongly that most of the Gods are supporting our efforts - indeed, Dalix, Mystara, Lysis, Gort, Borzig, Kalas, Terris, Aquar, Conflagral, Typhis, Andra, Asis, Jewel, Ralth, Torgat, and especially Zolaras and Prizimal must find Veleron's existence and actions to be abhorrent.

They cannot intervene directly, to be sure - as Cosmic Law dictates that the Gods are not permitted to War upon one another directly... thus, we are involved as a sort of divine proxy, struggling to disrupt and defeat the machinations of an entity who may have the favor of Sorgath, Ragnor, and perhaps Harcourth.

I feel the support of many deities will only enhance our chances of success. I hope I am correct that we have such support - I suppose it is a matter of Faith.

We will stop him, because we must stop him.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sun Aug 03, 2014 11:07 am

It appears that Highfang is indeed Undead, but is not a Lich or a Vampire. The sun poses him no trouble, and he has no phylactery that I can discern or divine with my spells. My next best guesses are a form of Zombie Lord or a Revenant... Both of which can be capable of sentience and intelligent thought.

He ruled a city of Drow long ago, and was a Warrior Mage of renown at the time... for centuries he led them. He was eventually slain in battle with a Gold Dragon. It gladdened my heart to learn of such a victory for a Regal Wyrm. Too often the stories I read are of evils that knew their enemy well enough to know what to do and how to arrange things to put the Dragon at a terrible disadvantage, making it nearly a foregone conclusion they would be struck down.

Unfortunately it seems Highfang's body was not sufficiently eradicated. His High Priests of Sorgath attempted to resurrect him - and succeeded, but only partially. He was not returned to life fully, but his body was made whole enough and his mind, memory, and experiences were intact. This would seem to lend credence to my Revenant theory. The drow ignored his unliving state and simply continued to follow his lead for centuries yet again.

We recently investigated Highfang's visit to the city of Macedone and were able to discover that he did visit, but not the Thieve's guild - or at least not Orrin Shadowfingers. Orrin was none too pleased by our 'harassment' but we did broker a deal for his aid. Truth be told, while I did make some pointed threats, I had no intention of actually following through and torturing the lad. He is too useful currently - but he need not know that.

We tracked down a tail-less Wererat named 'Scout' in the bowels of the Macedone Sewers and discovered that Highfang arranged passage on a ship named the 'Sea Lion' which was bound for Icereach. After locating the ship via the Harbormaster's office, we found the corpse of a recently slain Fire Giant in the hold. The captain had no earthly clue who came on board and committed the act, but he was cooperative (if offended) after I made the gravity of my concerns and determination to get answers clear to him.

I was forced to utilize some very taxing Temporal magics to shift my perceptions in the time-stream, but I was able to confirm Highfang had boarded the ship, and poisoned the Fire Giants food - he even explained that his reason was to prevent the Giant (whom we later learned from his Kinsmen was named Emberbeard) from sharing news of events 'back home' in Rockholm.

Ranara obtained a sample of the poison that she might bring it to Vandar the Alchemist in Watertown - in hopes its composition might give clues as to its origin.

I cleaned the smell from the Sea Lion's hold, and then paid the Captain some gold for his trouble. It seemed our path led to Rockholm at this point, to find out what Highfang felt was so important to keep quiet. We traveled to Forge and scoured Ice Peak for clues, but found no Fire Giants. No indications there of any events of significance in Veleron or Highfang's plot. We then doubled-back to the Pass above Forge, and investigated Traderock. Initially we found nothing, and the nearby peddler of Dragonhide and Dragon-slaying wares was none too helpful - he knew of no Fire Giants in the area.

We Investigated the surrounding area a bit further but seemed to be at an impasse, until we were reminded of a piece of information by a scaled Purple friend.The Captain of the Sea Lion had told us that the Giant arranged passage to Icereach at Silverbay, but had actually boarded the Vessel on an island south of Rockholm. This led us back to Traderock were we located a trail we had missed.

It was not surprising that we had missed it, but the trail led us to some rocky ledges ringing fiery lakes of lava. After traversing the rather tricky terrain, we managed to locate the Blackforge - a Fire Giant stronghold, and home of King Fireheart. We were attacked on sight, and my comrades laid waste to our assailants rather handily - during the battle, I spotted a one-armed Giant at the rear of the enemy ranks who was casting magics. I stripped his protections and bound him in place, quickly sealing the area from Teleportation (a technique I still regret not having used when we first located Highfang).

This Giant, Iron Tooth, was uncooperative - but he did initially indicate that Highfang had lost favor with Veleron. I was glad to hear it, but the implication that this Giant was in possession of who held or did not hold Veleron's favor was not lost on me. We had been attacked, and it seemed possible that the entire hold was under Veleron's influence. I reluctantly crushed Iron Tooth's will to command him to reveal what he knew. Thankfully, Iron Tooth was a traitor to King Fireheart - intending to forge and arm a massive force to make war on the Dwarves of Forge - and use the bloodshed to enact many blood sacrifices to Sorgath in Veleron's name. Allowing Veleron to harness the power of so much blood and death would have catastrophic implications.

At this point, King Fireheart himself made his presence known, responding to the din of combat outside his walls. My comrades initially engaged him (using non-lethal means to prevent more immediate bloodshed). I was able to gain the ear of the Great King, and I released him that we might parlay. He was furious with Iron Tooth's betrayal (I was rather upset about it myself), and was willing to avert the disaster of War since the Dwarves had shown no aggression and did not cause them trouble at Blackforge. Fireheart was unwilling to allow us to destroy the weapons cache due to the amount of time, resources, and effort his people had invested - so I negotiated for Fireheart to allow some of the weapons to be sold to other Kingdoms. I am willing to wager the Dwarves of Forge will be quite interested in the smithing techniques and properties of the materials used by the Fire Giants.

After allowing one of our Vampiric comrades to drink deeply from Iron Tooth, I petrified his body and arranged with King Fireheart to have his statue body deposited in a latrine pit as an indefinite punishment. I will need to help ensure that there are protective magics in place to prevent his stone form from being rescued or changed back into flesh. Fireheart agreed to interrogate Iron Tooth, as well as anyone he had contact with prior to these events to determine how extensive the ranks of betrayers in his Kingdom might be, and what else they might know about Veleron's plans - he pledged to share with us what he found as well.

We left on amicable terms, and I headed to speak with the leaders of the Dwarves of Forge to bring the news of the events and barely-avoided conflict. They deserve to know, and should be ready if the situation deteriorates. At this point, the question remains why Emberbeard sought passage to Icereach of all places...

And Highfang will soon become the single most important thing for me to focus on locating. It would stand to reason he is on the run from Veleron, and we may just find him a bit more cooperative (or dead) when next we meet him...
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:29 pm

More time has passed than I care to recollect since I recorded my thoughts.

In the midst of various pursuits, I find that I have taken some things for granted, and only realize it because I now find them gone.

Existence is a wonderful thing, but sentient beings tend to crave more than survival. I have sought many things, and by good fortune and the grace of Lysis, I have found most.

I wonder now, if finding and eventually losing something precious is better than never having found it.

I know the answer. It has the sting of Truth.

I know that I could invest my time and energies into chasing what I have lost. The urge is nigh overwhelming.

I know in my heart that I will always hold each memory dear, and the steps along the path that led to each gate which was passed through dearest of all. It is a powerful thing, to be changed by connecting with another and in turn see see them changed as well.

I rarely glimpse the future in dreams, and even more rarely understand what I see when the future visions come. I have no sense of what the future holds in store, but I have seen glimmers of hope and light. I imagine that such luminous dreams can only come to fruition after darkness is passed, and there is yet a great deal of darkness to be dealt with.


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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Mar 04, 2016 7:20 pm



The heart will not be denied....
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:58 pm

So engrossed I have been of late, in the brief breaks from the tedious monotony of my research into some personal matters, I find my thoughts drifting to the past.

Fond memories of friends and adventuring side by side. Faces, names, images of battles, and words spoken both wise and impassioned. Discovering new wonders and struggling for survival amidst harsh and adverse odds and conditions. Exploring and seeking knowledge. In the process, vanquishing evils and beating back the darkness. Restoring hope to the downtrodden.

Rose-colored lenses, to be sure. These fond memories are interspersed with a greater amount of violence and bloodshed. Ethical and moral arguments can be made to defend the justifications, of course, but even these topics can become overly complex and burdensome to discuss with honesty.

As I ponder, it seems reasonable that the quest and struggle to leave the world a better place than one found it is not, and cannot always be a clean and peaceful endeavor - though such is certainly preferable when possible. There are aspects of ugliness and brutality mixed with elements of beauty and harmony, and various mysteries and dilemmas in between.

In the end, at the core of it, I think there is some conflict involved in learning to understand and accept what can and cannot be changed. Elegantly, this concept also applies to the study of Magic.
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The Quest for Secret Knowledge continues, even unto the Dark Realm

Post by daveyeisley on Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:16 pm

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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

Post by daveyeisley on Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:30 pm

Fear is not our enemy. It can be our greatest ally. Fear is that function of sentience that creates the impetus in us to force our circumstances to change. Fight or flight. Fear is meant to stir us to action. It is not our enemy, but it can turn us into our own enemy if we let it.
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Re: Crideas' Adventure Journal

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