mysticrealms
Aug 11, 2017

Tyrs - August 2017 - Prologue

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Edited: Aug 11, 2017

Holdfast, Exton

 

Wednesday Morning:

The small town of Holdfast was nestled on the edge of Exton. A thick smog covered the worn brick buildings of the town, but then again there wasn’t any place in Exton that wasn’t. The soot extended past its borders and deep into the forest next to the town, settling on the ancient tomb stones of the graveyard deep within the forest. The rivers and lakes of the forest were polluted with factory run off as well, tinging the largest lake a deep green. It may not be beautiful, but it was home to dozens of denizens happily serving the Empire.

 

Mayor Sydney Oswell stood on the balcony overlooking the town’s Main Street. The streets of the town were fairly quiet as many denizens were currently working in the factories. An elderly ghoul in ragged clothing mumbled to himself as he pushed a broom down the street fighting a losing battle against the never ending soot.

 

Off in the distance a dark grey cloud lurked over the farthest parts of the town. Sydney squinted at it as she stroked her chin. “Odd, it doesn’t feel like rain.”

 

Wednesday Night

As the day went on, the grey clouds crept over the town. Fearing rain, the denizens of the town retired early taking cover in their brick hovels. As the candles were extinguished throughout the town, an eerie darkness fell over the town.

 

The Holders, worn out from a long day of work, were fast asleep and did not hear the rattles of the bones, smell the stench of rotting flesh, or hear glass breaking and wood shattering until it was too late.

 

A dozen undead hobbled down the street breaking into the first row of houses. Men, women, and children shrieked as the undead broke into their homes taking their loved ones. As suddenly as it began, it ended.

 

The cries of Holders filled the streets. The town constable came as fast as he could, but the chaos of the Holders in the streets made it impossible to track the undead back through the woods. Slowly the townsfolk made their way back into their homes, sobbing over the loss of their loved ones.

 

Thursday Night

The town was silent with mourning all day. With no lead the townsfolk believed they would never see their friends and loved ones ever again. They mourned together as a community and held a candlelight vigil at dusk, where most of the town folk were gathered under the overcast skies. As dusk waned and night began, the unspeakable happened. A fresh wave of undead traipsed recklessly through the streets looking for their next meal. As one young man mourning the loss of his sister looked up he saw one of the skeletal undead ambulating towards the group. He yelled at warning and panic and chaos washed over the crowd. More undead rushed the vigil, grabbing at Holders trying to escape. A young girl tripped over a broken cobble stone paver and was grabbed by a skeleton and drug away from the crowd. Others were dismembered, beheaded, or beaten as they tried to escape their captors. In a few minutes it was all over.

 

Friday Morning

The remaining town folk gathered around the Mayors estate. They were screaming and pleading for help. The Mayor stood on her balcony pacing back and forth unsure of what to say to the town.

 

After about 20 minutes the Mayor tilted her head side to side before looking up at the sky. “When is it going to rain, it’s been overcast for days?” She thought. Sydney stopped at the edge of the balcony staring at the forest. She turned towards her weetle adviser “When did the storm clouds set in?” She asked cautiously. The weetle twitched her whiskers and flipped through a thick journal. “Wednesday morning.” She squeaked.

 

The mayor nodded in understanding. “That’s the first night these disgusted undead broke the sanctity of our town. Those aren’t rain clouds….it’s a haze of some sort.”

 

The Mayor turned away from her adviser and towards the town. “Everyone, listen up. The undead came to our town following this haze. I am requesting that any Imperial Appointee or Citizen travel to Holdfast to help us investigate and put an end to this plague.” The mayor did not wait for the crowd to react before turning away from the railing towards a door. The weetle contemplated her words before speaking to the Mayor. “But Mayor, by my calculations, the earliest any Imperial Appointee living outside of Exton could get here is tomorrow morning. What should we do tonight?”

 

Sydney stopped as she reached for the doorknob into the manor. She turned teary eyed to her assistant and said “We pray to the Father, for the strength to survive the night.”

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  • Jarod T.
    Feb 21, 2018

    PHILOSOPHER PO QUAY, EVERMOORE SUMMARY: Po sends a group of angry Shorians home and reaches out to the guildsmen of Evermoore to patrol the roads around the Ring Fort to try and deter the Stick-Killer from striking again. DRAMATIZATION: The mob of angry Shorians surged forward. Their leader was a big man, dressed in a fur-rimmed conical hat, a fur vest, and deer hide breeches held up by a belt of flat metal disks. He was from the steppes of Shoria and carried a large heavy curved sword with jingling rings set into the back edge. The others in the mob were Shorians from the northern coast wearing cloth jackets held closed with little knotted ties and Shorians from the southern coast wearing their jackets held closed by sashes around the waist. All were armed with make-shift weapons, mostly farming implements. Po Quay stood in their path and raised both hands. For a long moment he thought the mob of angry Shorians would try and push past him, perhaps even trample him in their frustration, but at the last moment they yielded, stopping an arms distance from him. “We are hunting the Stick-Killer!” shouted the man in front. “The murderers of our people must be found!” Other voices cried out in support. ‘What good will your anger do?” Po raised his hands to try and quiet them. “You are a mob who will do violence to anyone you find in these woods.” “We must do something,” shouted a woman from back. “Your anger is righteous,” Po told them, “but it is not productive.” The murders had started a month ago, Shorians and Asgarns killed on the road, by a maniac who left sticks at the scene of the crime. The bodies were beaten to death and horribly mutilated. Investigations revealed little. The killer or killers had wiped away any forensic evidence of their identity with swishing branches. The only clues were the sticks and the violence of the scene. “You will not find anything wandering these woods as you are.” “The land around the ring fort belongs to the Northern Confederation,” the big man looked down at Po. “We are going to question travelers.” “You do not need clubs, pitch forks, and axe handles to speak.” Po met their eyes, one by one. “We do if we meet the Stick-Killer,” boasted the big man. “You’ll never meet the Stick-Killer,” countered Po. “We have a right to patrol.” A small man stepped to the front of the group and addressed the big man. “Peng, Philosopher Po is right. We are doing no good out here, blundering down these trails. The killers will see or hear us coming and move into the shadows.” “Shut your coward mouth, Xing,” Peng raised a meaty fist. Xing was not intimidated. “Your anger is more than justified. Peng, your brother was among the slain. We all feel his loss, but truly, the only people we will find out here will be innocent travelers. We will accost innocent people to no purpose. While we are out here, our families are in danger.” “Xing has the right of it. Go home to your families,” said Po. “The guildsmen of Evermoore will be patrolling your roads. While you are out here uselessly wandering, your families are undefended. Protect them and leave the hunting of the Stick-Killers to the guildsmen of Evermoore.” “Let us all go home,” Xing implored them. “We can protect those who we love and let the guildsmen handle the roads.” Peng looked around him. Already his support was fading away. “Philosopher.” He spoke the word like a curse. “You talk overly much. Those of us who want action have sent for the Oathbound. There have not been Oathbound in Evermoore in many years so others think us easy prey. That will change when the Oathbound arrive.” Peng and the others left. Xing remained behind to confide in Po. “Peng is a sore man, but he speaks the truth. The Oathbound will not allow our people to be killed without an answer. They will demand blood for blood. Whoever did this will pay dearly when the Oathbound arrive with their retinues of honor and glory.” Po knew Xing spoke the truth. Though the Oathbound were honorable men and women, they took honor very serious. Their whole lives revolved around their oaths of service to a person or sometimes a cause. There were not as many Oathbound in Shoria today as their once were, but there are enough to make them a force in their society. Those who remained carried on a heritage established in the Age of Life. Their lore is steeped in mysticism and the people of Shoria idolize them. They wear colorful armor of cloth, cord, and laminate and carry two special swords pushed through a belt tied at their waist. The Oathbound would be hard to handle, but they could be managed so long as their honor was not offended. The real problem would be the Oathbroken. These are men and women with broken oaths coming for a chance to atone for their dishonor. They will come to Evermoore as well, following on the heels of the Oathbound, seeking to end their disgrace by doing some act of glory. Many Oathbroken are drunkards and criminals who have fallen far from the honor they once held. They are an uncontrolled, desperate element of Shorian society. “Perhaps we will be able to have the situation in hand by the time they arrive,” Po said. “That would be best.” Xing agreed. “You had best go home.” Po bowed to Xing who returned honor and withdrew, rushing home to his family. Po pulled his mana mirror from the pocket of his pants and began typing out a message, “Guildsmen of Evermoore. I spoke with many of you last market day and you promised to help patrol around the ring fort to protect the Shorian and Asgarn who live in the area. I would like to coordinate our efforts. If you will be spending the time between this market patrolling, please send me a message on this thread.” “I know many of you are already busy. Groups are researching the sticks to try and find out as much as possible about the Stick-Killer from academic sources. Others are dealing with the Karthydian problem, examining the maps discovered during the Sunday morning raid into the Tar Field in order to determine the locations of the nodes the Karthdyians will be trying to convert to Chaos. These task are very important and will likely require your full effort, but there were over 100 guildsmen at the last market and at least a dozen of you promised to help me.” “Guildmasters not researching the sticks or examining the map, gather your guilds and bring them to patrol. Those of you who have military orders, please assemble them. We may not stop every attack, but we can try. Guildsmen assemble!” [Out-of-Play Note: If you want your character to participate in the guarding of the roads around the Ring Fort send Philosopher Po a real-time, in-play message on this thread and your character can then roleplay at the event that you spent the intervening time protecting Shorians and Asgarns. The number of Guildsmen "patrolling" will affect the number of attacks that occur between the events so your between event activity will have a direct relation to your world.]
  • Jarod T.
    Feb 21, 2018

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Shannon cleared her throat and regained her serious tone, “We’re freeing the remaining Tradesmen of the fight pits who are still imprisoned. Sabine has agreed to guide us there. We leave tomorrow afternoon.” Tristan nodded, “I’m in.” And so the plans were set. And their mission was clear. But that night Sabine didn’t sleep. Was it the silence? Ionnes’s furious voice was no longer filling up her mind for the first time in 6 months. He knew everything about her since he had been pretending to be her for so long. He had access to every memory, every fear, every dark corner of her, and even the food she liked and her favorite song. Was it wrong to say she… missed being so known? “No! No! No!” Guilt, shame, remorse; wash, rinse, repeat. The morning came and she rose out of duty, ready to begin her first day of atonement. Sabine stood in front of the Roasted Dragon Inn, waiting for Shannon, Xanatos, Rex, and Tristan as they said goodbye to their comrades gathering into their caravans to leave the Market Day. She absent-mindedly kicked the gravel to distract herself from her nerves. Knowing she’d soon look into the faces of those she had hurt… she kicked and kicked and kicked the stones. “Um… what are you doing?” A gentle, inquisitive voice asked. Sabine looked up and saw Lydia [ Valerie Fairchild ]… but it was Wisteria who looked back at her with a puzzled look on her face. “I’m, I…the rocks…” Sabine stammered lamely, caught off guard. Not a moment too soon, her party arrived. 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The warm light of the lantern cast down onto empty cells, doors swung open. Sabine’s eyes widened and she fell to her knees on the earthen floor. The rest of the party caught up to her and examined the dozen empty cells. “Where are they?” Asked Shannon. “I don’t know…” Sabine replied softly. Shannon saw the devastated look on Sabine’s face and asked gently, “Are they somewhere else? Do you have more holding cells? Who else knew about them?” Sabine replied, “No more cells, I’m sorry, I don’t know…” she stared with unfocused eyes at the cell before her. “Could this help?” Lydia/Wisteria’s gentle voice chimed in from the dark. She walked over to Sabine and held out a note. “It was tied to a cell.” Illuminated under the lantern light, Xanatos crouched down next to Sabine and read the note aloud: [Attached as Image] Shannon was the first to speak, “Freya [ Kat A Lindia ]… I helped to dispel her subservience last night. She inspired me to come here with you, to save these Tradesmen.” Sabine still seemed to be in a daze. Xanatos spoke up in the dark cave, his words almost haunting, “She wasn’t looking for reconciliation when you dispelled her, Shannon. She was looking for revenge.” Shannon’s matter-of-fact response rang in Sabine’s ears: “Yeah, pretty obvious. She said she wanted to kill Sabine…”
  • Jarod T.
    Feb 2, 2018

    Aiden Skalgi Isle of Asgarn 1 Febris 1018 A.Order The long ship with the red dragon prow was still sliding along the dock when Aiden Skalgi leapt over the rail. He landed on the wooden planks and pushed through the crowd, hurrying toward the shore. His guardsmen followed him, one falling, the others cursing as they tried to keep up with him. Aiden laughed. It was good to be home. He passed a group of soldiers from Shorian and Kell. He paused to thank them for coming to protect his people. A Shorian officer saluted him. Instead of returning the salute, he clapped the man on his shoulder and told him to come by the great hall. “There will be celebration tonight.” Aiden knew where he would find his family. They would be far from the docks, likely outside of the city, gathered in a camp with others from their town. Poor folk from the outlying communities didn’t have money to purchase rooms in town, so he headed out of the city with his guardsmen trotting behind him. His old friend, Gistav, had picked the guards, all young axmen from noble families wanting to become great through association with him. He did not know them well, but there would be time to win them over and ensure their loyalty. If not, Gistav intended to use them as hostages against their fathers should any raise their axes against Aiden’s claim. None of that was important right now. The only thing that mattered to him was finding his family. He asked directions at the first ramshackle camp he found and was told where to find the people from his village. He could no longer jog. The pace was not fast enough. He broke into a run. He crested a hill and saw a familiar tent. He recognized faces, people from his village. He hollered down to them and his run became a sprint. A few people looked in his direction. His guardsmen hurried to keep pace, some of them falling back. He didn’t care. Thora, his wife, stepped from the tent. She brushed a strand of hair out of her face, looking around to see what the commotion was. Then, her eyes met his. She started to run. They met on the road. Embracing. Kissing. She held his cheeks. “Don’t ever leave again!” she told him. “I won’t,” he promised. His son, Arvid, reached them and wrapped his arms around them both. “Father,” he cried. There were tears on the boys face, but Aiden did not chastise him for being weak, as he generally did. The boy would never be a fighter and that was all right. He had decided that if Arvid wanted to be a scholar, then he would send the boy to Guildhall. Aiden looked toward the tent. His daughter Disa was limping toward them on her twisted leg, carrying a practice shield and wooden sword. After a short distance, she dropped them in the road in order to hurry. Disa wanted to be a shield maiden, so she would never cry in front of him. He could see the emotion in her face as he embraced her. She was his favorite. His tough little girl, crippled at birth by the gods so cruel, but never giving up on her dream. His family stood together, holding each other for a long time. The fighting men and women of their village started to trickle in. Other families joined in happy reunions, knots of laughter along the road. A few would not be returning and he heard the grief stricken wails. Their sorrow cut him deeply, but he pushed it away. It was not his fault. He had forced no man or woman to accompany him on the raid to the Dale. They had come on Gunther’s promise of riches and died for that mad fool’s greed. Aiden had picked up the pieces and brought them all home. If not for him and the Guildsmen of Evermoore, they’d still be killing and dying their way across the Dale. “Let’s go home,” Thora said to him, she looked longingly toward the high mountains, far inland from the coast. Towards the village he had once ruled. It had been a poor place and he had no wish to return there. “To our drafty house?” he asked her with a grin. “To our farm of rocks?” She would not meet his eyes. “Let’s just go home and make do,” she said at last. “Arvin?” asked Aiden. “What about you wanting to be a scholar.” The young man shook his head. “I’ll help on the farm. You and mother can’t do it alone.” “Let’s go home father,” said Disa. “I can practice sword and shield anywhere. I’m ready for you to teach me some more of your tricks.” “I am sure you are.” He tussled her hair. She dodged away, stumbling slightly on her leg. A stumble like that in a real fight would mean her death. “I practice every day,” she insisted. “She does,” affirmed Thora, but there was a sadness in her voice because she knew that a crippled girl would never be a shield maiden. She would never pass the tests, and if she did, death would find her quickly. “Then let’s go home,” he told them, smiling large to hide his concern. They gathered their things. Aiden helped them, stuffing threadbare blankets, an old pot, five chipped plates, and mis-matched flatware into one sack. Some worn clothes went into the other. The bedding was tied into bundles and soon they stood in front of their tent. Arvin and Disa moved to take it down. “Leave it,” Aiden told them. “Let’s go home.” He started walking back toward the city. His family did not follow. “Come along,” he motioned. “Father,” said Disa, laughing. “Our house is that way.” “No,” Aiden said firmly. “In that direction was the place where four of my children starved, sickened, and died. Our home is this way.” Thora sighed, shook her head. “Aiden,” she said in the voice she used when he carried a joke too far. “We are done with raiding. You were right. Let’s just go home. Children take down the tent.” Arvin and Disa pulled out the stakes and the cloth fell in on itself. Aiden crossed his arms and waited as the children worked. Gistav walked up with another group of raiders returning to their loved ones. Gistav had never married. He always said, ‘why have one woman when you can have many.’ He was Aiden’s oldest friend. His house was down the street from theirs. He was a carpenter by trade, but fancied himself a bard. He’d spend so much time with Aiden and his family that Thora often remarked he was like another child for her to care for. “Thanks for waiting on the docks,” grumbled Gistav. The large man was out of breath. “I bet you ran the whole way.” “I did,” Aiden replied. “I guess I would have run too if I had Thora to come back to.” Gistav laughed loudly at his joke. “Hello Thora.” “I’m glad you’re not dead.” Thora told him. “What are they doing?” asked Gistav, pointing to the children. “Packing our tent,” Aiden shrugged. “I see that,” Gistav shook his head. “But why?” “My wife told them too. They always listen to her more than they listen me.” The people in the village were beginning to gather around them. Strange looks of awe on their faces. Some were talking to Aiden’s guardsmen. Others were gesturing toward Aiden and looking back to the town. “Children,” said Gistav. “Come over here.” “We are working,” Disa said, indignantly folding the tent. They never listened to Gistav. Gistav walked over and stepped on the cloth. “You don’t need this old tent.” Disa stood up. “You’re in the way.” Her voice was cross, but she was not angry. Gistav always teased her. “We need that tent to get home.” She pushed his ample belly, but he did not move. “You are home child,” Gistav told her. “Look there.” He pointed to the high house on the hill overlooking the town, dead king Harjen’s Hall with its beautiful woodwork and magnificent views. “That is where you live now. Your father is our King.”

2017 by Mystic Realms, LTD.

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