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1st Hammer; early night; at the Wizard's Wand Tavern (Wizard Ward) in Calimport

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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:54 am

"Oh, I'm beginning to like you."

Ashara's head turned slowly toward the bard, and with clenched teeth, she leveled a cautionary glare at the exotically beautiful woman. The warning was brief, and the priestess chastised herself for her juvenile behavior by tugging a braid as Nianya spoke to Therogeon.

She was a bit shocked that the mage had simply disregarded the bard's question. It was understandable that he had no reason to yet trust her, but treating her in that way would garner no good will.

After listening to his comments, she was concerned. "Therogeon, we haven't even heard what your study of the dagger has taught you yet, and I don't think your mind could handle another assault so soon! You just woke up after having passed out for two hours!"

Glancing at younger of the half elves, she gave him the tiniest shade of a smile. "It seems my own experiences have influenced my judgement a bit. I believe Elric is right. As much as I want to save all of those affected by this monstrous curse, if we can, we should focus on finding those priests responsible for it, and stop them from creating more murderers. Then we...you...will have the time to work on a cure."

Ashara turned an apologetic eye toward Nianya. "As to your earlier question about the gem, though I cannot add any more info regarding the shadow magic that has tainted it, I can tell you how it came to be so." Still not used to her mithril plate mail, she shifted her weight uncomfortably and pulled her legs out in front of her, crossing them at the ankles. "Lathander gave us the task of lifting an ancient curse that held an entire dwarven stronghold in thrall for five millenia. The shadow that enslaved the dwarves was wrought by Shar, and to break this curse, we needed to destroy her servant...the demi-god known only as The Shade. As we approached the lair of the dark power, Elric was looking through the gem in order to see truly what lay before us, when suddenly the thing was ripped from his grasp. It was as if The Shade had a string tied around the item, and he had jerked the cord violently to bring it into the room with him. We don't know if he himself ever touched the gem, as it lay on the floor some distance away from him when we made it into the room, but it's possible. The Shade, indeed all of the dwarven stronghold was awash in this shadow magic. It was by the grace of Lathander that we were able to defeat the demi-god and break the curse that held the dwarves."

She paused a moment before continuing. "We know from questioning his dead priests, that Cyric is allied with Shar for some nefarious purpose. Shar must be involved with this shadow magic if her demi-god lackey was able to surround himself with a shield created of it, and we know that these priests of Cyric are using daggers created with shadow magic to carve the magical symbols into the chests of their victims."

"Please excuse the crudeness of my story-telling skills," Ashara smiled genuinely, "but sometimes the truth doesn't need to be elaborated upon."

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Nianya

Post  The Sub-Creator on Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:14 pm

"Forgiven, of course," Nianya returned Ashara's genuine smile with one of her own. Apparently, the mage had not appreciated the answers given for his three questions, because suddenly he decided her question not worth answering. So be it. The others were more than accommodating, and perhaps she could gleen the answers requested via his conversation with them. In the meantime, the demi-god-destroying priestess had mentioned something of specific interest to her . . .

"Cyric in league with Shar," she stated, though it had originally been framed as a question in her mind. "That's . . . intriguing. I've heard many rumors in Calimport's many taverns and khundaqs that foul priests and denizens of Shar are prevalent in the Muzad, particularly beneath the eastern portions of the city. If a Cyricist wished to stay hidden--even from those of like mind--within the City of Glory . . . " she let the thought trail, arching an eyebrow at the Morninglord.

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Therogeon

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:01 pm

"The mad god is indeed working with the lady of loss, and unfortunitley, these daggers prove it." Therogeon looked appraisingly at the young bard before continuing to speak, "You say we are bartering with information, well then you have indeed come to the right place. This Shadow Magic is Shar's magic. In laymans terms it is an excate shadow copy of the Weave.

The half-elf brought his hand up to his chin and lightly rubbed it while speaking, "What I learned while gazing at the dagger confirmed alot of suspicions I had. The Shadow Weave is the shadow of the Weave. What one can do, the other can do. Because of it's opposite nature the two are naturally resistant to each other. It is therefor much harder for me to counter shadow magic but the reverse is also true. It is hard for a user of Shar's Weave to counter mine." He looked towards Elric, "Harder, but not impossible. I will touch more on the gem in a bit.

"One cannot use or even really learn about the Shadow Weave without Shar's permission. Just before the mask was placed over my head I saw, literally saw, Shar's influence reaching from the magic in the dagger into my head." The wizard could not help but shudder at the memory. Taking a deep breath, he continued, "Without her leave, Shadow Magic is fatal to all. We know that the priests are Cyric's. We know they use shadow magic. It is obvious that the connection is there. What their end purpose is, that is anyone's guess."

Therogeon brought his hand back up to his chin again, once more lightly rubbing as he spoke, "As for me being able to find these priests, theoretically yes....and no. I have some theroies that should allow me to find at the very least, the daggers. However without a lab, creating or altering the necessary spells will take me that much longer. With a lab, possibly in as little time as a day or two, maybe less." He shrugged slightly and slowly looked around the room. Suddenly he was very thirsty and hungry. Not seeing anything out in the open to eat or drink he turned back to his audiance.

"The gem should not have been able to have been corrupted. The nature of the magics of the two Weave's should have caused an explosion at worst and not functioned at best. The fact that it did get corrupted means either that whomever corrupted it was very powerfull, or that there is a way for the two magics to work together. If it is the former, we may be in trouble. If it is the latter, that could provide inumerable answers to many of the problems haunting us currently." Therogeon closed his eyes briefly, "By Mystra I pray it is the latter. If it is that means I change the nature of the Shadow Weave like I can change the nature of the Weave. I could unmake any item made of shadow magic, I could break the curse. Far, far easier than I would have originally thought. So yes, the gem will provide an ample test subject."

He again look directly at the young bard, meeting her gaze unwaveringly, "I trust that answers your questions about this 'new development' my dear." He smiles slightly, the very tips of his lips curling, "I had hoped you would be willing to aid us because it is the right thing to do and it would help save this city you love. Unfortunitely that is not the case and you wish to barter information. We have now given you much, much information. It is time to respond in kind, if you please, " The half-elf bowed slightly at the waist to the bard, the gesture seeming sincere, "If you would, tell us of these rumors you have heard of the Sharrans in this Muzad."
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Nianya

Post  The Sub-Creator on Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:37 pm

Shar has created a Weave of her own? The thought repulsed Nianya, and she struggled mightily to keep it off her genuinely beautiful face. How could such a thing be possible? Why would Mystra permit such an affront to her godhood?

“That is dire news indeed, master mage,” the bard proclaimed, her visage truly serious for the first time since they had started this little gathering.

Nianya focused her attention back on the final statements about the rumors of Sharrans in the Muzad. “The Muzad exists below even the sewers that run beneath the city. Few, if any, are certain of the depths to which it descends, but many adventurers come to Calimport specifically to roam its ruined halls. Many meet unfortunate ends there, their bodies never again found, while others garner the treasure they sought going in. Horrors and mysteries of all kinds inhabit the Muzad, you see, as well as many criminal elements that infest the City of Glory.”

The bard took her hand from the lute and rested it on her knee instead. “Those who venture into the eastern Muzad—and return to tell of it—tell of run-ins with black-clad priests wearing silk veils that mask their faces entirely, shrouding their identities in secrecy. I have spoken with clerics aligned to good gods who claim their magic suffers while there, as if some unholy force leeches its power. None could identify the source specifically, of course, but where evil power holds sway, it’s not uncommon for powers of good to weaken. Little else in known, except that the stench of death permeates there, and the cold touch of those who shunned death await any eager enough to walk those ancient passages.

“If you seek more information about the Muzad, you would be best advised to find the Nadhari, a brotherhood of escaped slaves that call the Undercity their home. I don’t believe they could be more helpful than myself in answering your questions, but one never knows. I can tell you there are few who will know the labyrinthine ways of the Muzad like the Nadhari, which may in itself be most beneficial to you. To find them, I would suggest entering into the sewers beneath the Shackles Ward, and seeking a way deeper from there. Beware, however, as even in the western Muzad the dangers are great, and you will undoubtedly need to convince the brotherhood of your good intentions . . . not one of them are interested in returning to slavery, after all.”


Last edited by Ao's Boss on Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:49 pm

of course, but where evil power holds sway, it’s not uncommon for powers of good to weaken.

That caught Elric by surprise. He looked over to Ashara. "Is that true?" He tried to remember what had happened back in the dwarven mines. If there was truly such a place where Evil held sway, that was it. She didn't seem to have any difficulties there. The healing spells had flowed freely, Plenty of light and never forget the ability to Raise the Dead!

"Did you feel anything like that in Dagadar?"

As he looked at the priestess his eyes once again were drawn to the Mace of Lathander, himself. 'Dagadar was only the test.' she had told him. With a chill down his spine, he started to have an idea what that might mean.
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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:59 pm

"Is that true? Did you feel anything like that in Dagadar?"

Ashara followed Elric's eyes to Dawnspeaker, and she rested her hand on the mace, taking strength from its power.

"Three times." She stated softly, after a moment's reflection. "The first when we fought that strange golem that nearly killed Gwilly. He cast a dark aura that seemed to affect my healing spells. A few times during that fight, my spells seemed to be absorbed into the darkness."

"The second time was when we began delving into the second level of the mines. Remember how the air looked...grainy almost? It was as if we were peering through a black fog. While we were in that particular darkness, the light from my spells did not extend the distance they usually do. Whatever it was, The Shade seemed to exude it."

"The third time was when we were battling the demi-god. He cast that same sort of aura as the golem. We were fighting in that globe of shadow, and Kaber was badly wounded, so I tried to Heal him, but the power of the spell was absorbed. He would have died from those wounds had his soul not been stolen by that sinister axe."

The priestess lifted her eyes to the minotaur and smiled. "I can't tell you how grateful I am that Lathander freed you and brought you back to us, my friend. You as well, Gwilly!", she added, with a wink to the pixie.

She turned her attention back to Elric. "It would make some sense that drawing near to Shar's temple would weaken the power of good. She is one of the oldest, most malevolent and secretive dieties, and her power increases where the light is diminished. Just as the darkness seemed to gather as we approached The Shade, it could likely be the same if we approach Shar's seat of power."


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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:41 pm

Elric nodded thoughtfully. He remembered trying to see through the darkness. At times it was almost like looking through gauze. Ashara's light usually cut through the darkness, but something was very different then. He hadn't known about the difficulties with healing. When his two friends had died, he shuddered a bit at the memory, he was still in the fight of his life. By the time he was able to acknowledge it, they were back and fighting again.

Still if he had known... "I guess, I assumed the darkness was a result of the shadow magic. The whole 'magic that isn't magic' thing. Therogeon's spells weren't as effective against it, I figured yours weren't either. I suppose that's as Evil a place as there is in this world. Considering..." Elric stopped himself suddenly. He trusted the bard well enough, but not well enough to mention the throne of Shar. That didn't need to be put in a song.

"Considering what we found down there." He finished a bit awkwardly.


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Ashara

Post  Penelope on Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:39 pm

"Yes..." Ashara added quickly, trying to head off any questions about what else might have been down there. "Between the Shadow that protected King Thenden's tomb, the temples to Shar and the Shade, and The Shade himself, the evil in Dagadar was palpable."

She broke into a brilliant smile remembering that moment when the demi-god fell, and the Light of the Morninglord exploded through the mines and the city above. "But the curse has been broken! The dwarves have been freed, the Eternal King reigns once more, the shipment of weapons and shadow orbs have been stopped, and we all still live! THAT particular evil has been dealt with."

The reverie abruptly ended as her mind drifted to the task at hand. She would have been a liar to say that she wasn't afraid of dealing with the evil that must lie at the rotten core of the 'City of Glory." Shar represented the polar opposite of everything Ashara believed. Darkness. Secrets. Loss. She hoped that the priests wouldn't have taken refuge in her temple...

"It would still be helpful if we could find some way to track these priests of Cyric. I'm guessing that it won't be easy to find one of these shadowy assassins down in the darkness of the Muzad. Perhaps the Nadhari may know something of them. Either way, if we intend on descending into the darkness again, we'll need to be prepared. For my part, I'm going to need to purchase some Heal scrolls and potions, since we've no time for me to create them."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:52 pm

Elric nodded his agreement. "Regardless, I don't think we should Charge in blind... this time." He added almost as an afterthought. They barely survived Dagadar, and all indications were that this would be worse. Therogeon saw something. Something that was bringing him closer to breaking this magic.

"Therogeon said he may be able to learn something in time. We don't have much, but if he can find out something..." he let the thought hang for a moment. "A couple of days with a lab?" He looked around the room, especially at the bard and the mage himself. "Is a workable lab something you can find or rent in this place? We are in the Wizards Ward after all."

Looking at the rest of the group. "I think we could spare a couple of days if it gives us an advantage. Worst case scenario, we make too much noise and the priests come to us."
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Nianya

Post  The Sub-Creator on Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:59 am

The bard considered the strong-man's question with a hesitant nod. "It's . . . possible, I may be able to help with the acquisition of a lab temporarily. There are a few mages in this city I know who still owe me favors. I can't guarantee they'll have the requisite information the master mage here will need for his specific purposes, but it'll give you a place to work. Give me a little time--say, until tomorrow morning?--and I should be able to return with a location."

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Therogeon

Post  MrPrettyPretty on Fri Nov 06, 2009 12:02 pm

"Tomorrow morning would be perfect my dear, thank you", Therogeon stated. "That will give me enough time to gather the essentials that I need and get some very much needed rest."

So saying the young wizard again brought out the now corrupted gem and stared intently at it, as if willing it to impart it's secrets by sheer force of will. He tightened his fist around the gem and looked up towards the pretty young bard. "Your information has been invaluable and if you can help secure a lab, well then indeed we shall owe you one, as the saying goes."

He sighed softly, seeming suddenly exhausted. "I apologize for my earlier actions and words. I can only say by way of apology that I am tired and have only a little while ago been through something that affected me greatly. It is no excuse I know. I still do not know why, mere moments after urging caution my family would trust a complete stranger, but I do know that whatever your words of self service you care about what happens in this city. That in and of itself is enough for me." Therogeon bowed deeply, gracefully enough for any court appearance to Nianya, "thank you my dear, may your songs live in immortality and your beauty outshine that of even the Firehair's."
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Re: 1st Hammer; early night; at the Wizard's Wand Tavern (Wizard Ward) in Calimport

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:27 pm

Elric looked between the mage and bard. "I see we're all friends now, that's nice." He gave Nianya a brief smile. "While everyones apologizing, I hope you don't really think I was critizing your ability earlier. I thought we had spread the warnings near and far, and was... Am... disappointed that they hadn't gotten here yet."

"Certainly a bard of your stature, can fix that? How long do think... in your professional opinion, it would take to spread the word as far as you can?" He couldn't disguise the concern in his face, and he didn't even try. "People need to know. If they find a body with strange markings... Don't try to read it. Don't even look at it! Cover it up with a blanket or something."

Before Therogeon made another comment about trust he gave him a quick laugh. "These guys operate in Secret... I want them drug in the light. Right now I'm considering having scribes make copies of the tale and dropping it from a flaming chariot over the whole city!"
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Nianya

Post  The Sub-Creator on Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:33 pm

"You are the most apologetic company I've ever spoken with!" Nianya laughed. Her fingers unconsciously meandered back to the instrument where they plucked at a melody once again. "Anyone else wish to toss an apology my way? You're supplying me with loads of material here!"

She regarded the mage with a sly smirk. "I do care about this city a great deal, master mage. It is my home, after all! But we all do what we can for our homes in a fashion best suited to our talents. Yours involves meeting the challenge head-on, while I choose a much more circuitous route. I would not deem to tell you how to go about your business, just as I expect none to tell me the same, because only we know ourselves well enough to understand where our talents will best fit in.

"Which brings me to your inquiry," she turned her gaze to the strong-man. "Information travels at its own rate, my friend. Why the news of these clerics never reached our ears here in Calimport is a mystery to me, as well. However, I will say this: sometimes, there are those who seek to prevent information from ever making its destination--intended or otherwise. If there are forces at work with the power that you speak of, it's quite possible someone has been waiting for it to arrive with the intent to stifle it.

"This leads me to ask a question of my own: You've seen the paranoia that plagues the City of Glory with your own eyes; how does it compare with the happenings in the North? I've heard you reference it often, but, judging by how strangely you all react to the disaster here in Calimport, I can only believe nothing there comes close to this."

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Elric

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:54 pm

Elric sighed. "Not even close. This place is a special kind of crazy." He leaned back and searched his memories. "The places we've come to really should have been more chaotic, to be honest. They were smaller towns and cities..." He tried to think of a polite term. "Unused... to such violence."

"Two, three, maybe four bodies in a small town should have had the place at each others throats." A grim look appeared on his face. "Actually, in hindsight it was pretty bad. Little things that didn't seem so important seem important now. Riatavin for one." He glanced over to where Gwilly was working on her arrows. "A careless word nearly got us lynched there. Trademeet was another. The guards and the Tormites were at each others throats. Nothing violent, but if it had gone a few more weeks..." He left that thought unfinished.

"Fortunately we uncovered enough to defuse the situations. Riatavin was solved with words, Trademeet with deeds. We found one of the guards that was doing some killing and turned him into the authorities. With a killer in custody things calmed down." His voice got very quiet. "We didn't know he was a victim too back then..."
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Eddick

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:10 pm

Eddick listened intently to everything that was said. Sometimes it was best to watch and listen as being directly involved. In that sense, he was a bit more like their new bard friend than the rest of them, well, except for Gwilly. The question he had wondered about at the beginning had worked itself out. Therogeon was tired, and he was willing to subject himself to "his family's" judgment, even when he did not understand. This spoke volumes to the druid.

Therogeon really had made some changes in his life over the past couple months. His entire outlook toward the group was changing. He was more cordial, apologetic, and kind to everyone, especially Gwilly. Somehow it seemed that his relationship with the pixie had reinspired him to his original motivations for living life all over again. Eddick looked over at the pixie, visible in the room. Gwilly was much more at ease with him now. Before, she was always hiding, even to the point of Therogeon putting together expensive scrolls of detect invisibility just to see her. Now, she was freely visible. Gwilly was just as good of a judge of character as Eddick was, although she never used logic. In her own way, she is showing all of us that we really have come together as a family.

Perhaps the time has come to let Therogeon know about the Harpers. Eddick resolved to take him aside and speak with him about it soon. Kaber too. They were a family. Family should not keep secrets from each other. Eddick knew that better than anyone.
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Re: 1st Hammer; early night; at the Wizard's Wand Tavern (Wizard Ward) in Calimport

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