Random Stories and Fragments

Discussion in 'Fall from Heaven Lore' started by KillerClowns, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. MacGyverInSpace

    MacGyverInSpace Monarch

    Mar 30, 2007
    a.k.a. a.a.5, toasters. . . .
    Nothing worth remembering . . . 'cept I don't think cockroach is good meet, a bit woody apparently. Other bugs are fine and more economically sustainable than imported mage beef. Casting spring to quench them is costly.

    My original though was something about how a certain sentence didn't flow right or something, probably personal preference too, so its good I forgot.

    Props on the Doviello one - and everyone remember, there's more than one pack so one with a score bigger than half of the leaders might go empyrean.

    About the Balseraph religion, remember that Perpentach is nuts - one day he hears the call of the crustaceans, the next the whisper of demons - I wonder if theres a poetic interpretation of the orders from heaven? Also, given the Armageddon mechanic in game, I imagine that during the age of rebirth there is a dark period were the veil spreads.

    P.P. Daddy's slave sounds like Faeryl. I wonder if she ever personally undertook a mission against Perpy to gain an edge over ol' Aren. . . Im mean here LH is wearing an over elaborate necklace.

    P.P.P. Unicorns used to be cool before the 1980's, USA happened. I still say Gorby shoulda pressed the button. I mean, what could be cooler than a mount that does the spear work for you? You know, one that the Balseraphs could put in their catapults for +%50 against god king civs? OMG....No more cowtapults! I want unipults! NOW!

    P.P.P.P. Never take anything posted under this account seriously. Unless it tells you to.
  2. Darksaber1

    Darksaber1 Secret Emperor

    Jun 5, 2008
    Where you least expect me
    Well, Octopus are cephalopod, not crustacean. Crustaceans are like crabs and lobster.
  3. Lance of Llanwy

    Lance of Llanwy King

    Mar 10, 2006
    Yeah, I find it hard to believe the Balseraphs have any sort of organized religion, especially since Mammon doesn't even actually like most of his followers aware of being his followers to begin with. I'd imagine Balseraph "religion" would just parody a different religion at different intervals, twisting them for whatever amusement Perp feels like at the moment...
  4. evanb

    evanb Prince

    Mar 7, 2006
    I suppose that doesn't please the conservatives in the respective religion. Imagine an Order priest being outraged at the way Perpentach is twisting the faith. Or maybe they're all plotting and scheming how to take advantage of Perp's religious mood swings.
  5. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Deity

    Dec 22, 2005
    Orange County, CA
    You, um, wish 300 M people dead so you could have unicorns in your computer game? (designed, incidently by an American for and American made game)
    I think you win the "ends justify the means" award of the century.
  6. cyther

    cyther Lord of the Dance

    Jun 9, 2008
    Fane of Lessers
    Incredible princess rule-1 all else-0
  7. jimi12

    jimi12 Half Jedi

    May 20, 2006
    WA State
    added the princess rule to the wiki under Game Concepts
  8. LetsBoogeyUp

    LetsBoogeyUp Chieftain

    Aug 3, 2007
    Shiny bits for the win indeed.

    Though, the Carnival story made me shiver :S, quite twisted.
  9. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Emperor

    Oct 6, 2007
    Some short 'n' sweet pedia entries for Nightmares and the several types of mana.
    Ideally, someone else with more imagination then me for non-real animals could add to the nightmare entry with a description of the beast itself. But I think I've summed it up pretty well...

    (Nightmare entry)
    It's a horse. We've fought demons, dragons and liches, and you're scared of a horse? I mean, really, a horse is a horse, even in these blasted lands. I'm just gonna offer her an apple and see what happens. -Private Mortimer, last words

    (Fire Mana entry)
    Mages. I used to laugh at them. Scrawny little buggers with words and chants and charms. Weaklings more interested in watching stars and experimenting than feeding their families. Then I saw one make it rain fire. I don't laugh at mages any more. -Thoros, Doviello warrior

    (Chaos Mana entry)
    Don't you see? Chaos is life! Without chaos, we would be nothing but clockwork men! But with chaos, life is interesting. Life is worth living. Some people waste their lives seeking order and stability. These people have no sense of fun. -Archmage Luke
    That was awesome... -Archmage Luke, last words

    (Entropy Mana entry)
    For any nonmagical process, you cannot get out more energy then you put in. At first, magic was assumed to be different; you could put in the effort of a few words and get raw energy out, more than you put in. Interestingly, we've been studying the inner workings of magic and have found that with every spell, a little power gets... lost. We even determined where that power ends up, and have recently managed to harness that "lost" power... -3rd entry in Archmage Fulton's journal
    We live such short lives. A single death, a hundred deaths, a million deaths... I'd sacrifice them all. People live their pathetic little lives and then die. Nobody really matters on this dying rock. But I'd like to at least enjoy my time on this wretched world before I go to Hell. -12th entry in Archmage Fulton's journal

    (Life Mana entry)
    Some mages want to play with fire, toy with death, gamble with chaos. They called me a coward for sticking with the powers of life. They're all dead now, some slain by an assassin sent by one of their numerous enemies, some killed in their mad experiments, some corpses upon some gods-forsaken battlefield. I, meanwhile, have a beautiful wife, a fine estate in the country, three children, and an excellent retirment pension. -Mirthan, life mage

    (Mind Mana entry)
    I used to be paranoid, yeah. I thought everyone was out to get me, without any reason. So I decided I'd learn some magic, so nobody could stab me in the back. Now I can look into the deepest thoughts of those around me. And they all thought I was paranoid. Which I was. Now, however, I know they're not out to get me. Because I'm out to get them. -Bjorn, mage and amatuer assassin

    (Body Mana entry)
    "Are all mages that... big?" "No, that's Tyr, the school's body magic specialist." "He must get a lot of ladies." "Actually, too much time around raw body mana has some unfortunate side-effects... You see, Tyr's actually a woman. Don't worry, it's a common mistake." -Adept Morin and his younger brother

    (Nature Mana entry)
    I tell ya, all the best looking girls in this school study nature magic. Don't ask me why, but they do. Now, I'd love to ask one out on a date, but the only time they're alone is when they meditate in the woods. Surrounded by woodland animals... including ones that would happily eat me. -Adept Morin

    (Death Mana entry)
    They say that a necromancer needs the curiosity to follow the darkest paths, the courage to keep going when he realizes where that path leads, and a bit of insanity to keep from having nightmares about what he finds on the other side. This is true. But I assure you, the most important part of being a necromancer is public relations. For some reason, raising the dead is unpopular amongst the common folk. -Dasan, Necromancer

    (Law Mana entry)
    The Law Magic class? By Oghma, I could barely stay awake through it. Those people are crazier than Balseraphs. No, I mean it. Anyone who, when given the almost limitless potentials of magic, chooses to can it up and bind it to a bunch of complicated and seemingly arbitrary laws is simply not right in the head. -Adept Morin

    (Earth Mana entry)
    You can tell a lot about a mage by their preferred sphere. Take Korven there. Earth adept. Not too bright, but honest. He's hardworking and a bit stubborn. He might not get the spell right the first time, but he'll try again until he can do it on a whim. It takes him twice as long to learn a spell, but when he gets the hang of it he'll do it twice as well. -Adept Morin

    (Air Mana entry)
    Why do I like studying air magic? Oh sure, you don't get to hurl fireballs or raise the dead. But it's great fun. More an art then a science, really, with plenty of room for creativity. You can completely wing it, not learn a single formal spell, and still do well just by willpower and ingenuity. Besides, controlling the wind has many suprising uses, especially considering the length of most girl's skirts these days. -Adept Morin

    EDIT: You might be wondering about several quotes by one "Adept Morin." He's just a typical Amurite adept learning magic. I noticed several of my entries had a common theme and attributed them all to one mischevious student. Anyways, I leave it to the team in general which ones to keep, which ones I should re-work or scrap altogether, et cetera. If there's interest, I'll flesh out all the mana types.
    EDIT 2: I've also been working on another story, but it got quite a bit bigger than I expected. I'll start posting it as soon as I've ironed out most of the wrinkles.
  10. thomas.berubeg

    thomas.berubeg Wandering the World

    Aug 21, 2006
    Ft. Lauderdale
    I like them...
  11. El_Duderino

    El_Duderino Warlord

    Jan 19, 2008
    great stuff, keep up the good work
  12. westamastaflash

    westamastaflash Lord Commander

    Nov 1, 2007
    Love the DEATH speaking in caps like in Discworld :-D
  13. Marksman77

    Marksman77 Aethernaut

    Jan 16, 2007
    Good entries :)
    It may make me name my next Adept Morin...
  14. thewyrm

    thewyrm Ambassador to Real Life

    Feb 9, 2008
    The Nightmare entry is too much awesome for my brain to handle. Great job.
  15. Pyr0mancer

    Pyr0mancer Prince

    Jan 18, 2008
    Those are awesome pedia entries. Perhaps put more than a name to the quotees (is that a word?), say "Private Mortimer of the 13th Bannor Militia" or "Adept Morin, student at the Nimarail Academy for the Arcane" or something.
  16. Tyrs

    Tyrs King

    Jul 18, 2007
    Northern Virgina
    heh, I like 'em. I hope no one is under the impression that I'm a massive female body builder though...
  17. KillerClowns

    KillerClowns Emperor

    Oct 6, 2007
    I told ya I was working on something big...
    Spoiler Part 1 :
    Two young men sat on the Innsmouth pier, looking out onto the bay. “At last,” Eric said to his friend Samuel, “we're finally able to call ourselves mages! Gods, it's wonderful! No more running errands like some common apprentice. Finally, we get to give the orders, we get to decide what we want to do with our lives!” Eric examined his certificate from the Innsmouth Mage's Guild. “'The bearer of this certificate is permitted to use the second circle of magic, and wield all powers gained by use of that second circle.' I was expecting something fancier,” Eric added, “but hells, I can finally do this!” And with that, Eric gleefully hurled a fireball into the waters, scaring several gulls. Eric looked like the younger of the two, even though he was he was actually older than Samuel. He had long, light, messy hair and a roguish look to him. He looked more like a young pirate then a mage, especially since he was still dressed in his civilian clothes and not his mage's robes.

    Samuel smiled at his friend's jovial display of now-legal power. He had his own certificate stating the same, but didn't care to show it off. Samuel was shorter than his friend, but looked older, with his dark hair cut short and neat and his gray eyes as quiet as the sea on a cloudy day. “So now what,” Samuel asked. “Because using unimaginable arcane power to scare away gulls seems kind of... anticlimactic.” They watched the ships for a bit, and then Eric smiled. Samuel knew that smile too well. Eric had an idea, one that was probably insane but also probably worth listening to.
    Eric had been an excellent match for the powers of fire. Daring, unpredictable, and brilliant, he took great risks and reaped great rewards from it. At first, Samuel had been hesitant to follow Eric's schemes, but he knew how to measure risk and never did anything truly stupid. He saw things opportunities, sometimes one nobody else did, and seized them with a devil-may-care attitude. Samuel, meanwhile, was more cautious, providing the voice of reason and tempering Eric's plots if they went too far.

    “You know what pays really well?” Eric said, and before waiting for an answer, “being a battlemage.” Samuel looked at his friend dubiously. “Battlemage? Sounds a bit...” “Risky? Dangerous? Well, of course. You know me well, old friend. I wouldn't have it any other way! Besides, what's the worst scrape I've gotten you into? That incident with the fire elemental? We got out of that fine, and nobody even figured out it was us! Although I know why only archmages are allowed to play with the third circle now...” Samuel remembered that incident well. As an adept, Eric had wondered why the powers of magic were so strictly controlled, why nobody was allowed near the mysterious tomes of the third circle. So one night, he and Samuel had slipped into the far section of the mage's guild library and found an old tome of fire magic. Feeling brave, Eric had decided to summon a fire elemental. Samuel talked him into making it a lesser one, the smallest in the book. As it turned out, summoning the creature was easy. Unfortunately, controlling it had proven beyond their skills. Since they were not the first adepts to try such a stunt, most of the valuable books had been magically protected and Samuel and Eric had covered their tracks well. Aside from a few suspicions, it had been generally assumed that the fire was natural and not magical. Of course, Eric and Samuel had barely escaped alive, and only because the fire elemental was a dimwitted one more interested in consuming everything in sight then punishing the arrogance of a pair of adepts.

    “Battlemage, huh?” Samuel said. “I've heard stories. They're treated like living siege engines, and every assassin's blade is aimed at their throat...” “Oh, sure, assassins maybe. But how many of those do the Bannor have? There will be legions of Lanun steel between those Bannor dogs and ourselves. Besides, you know I'm good with a sword if any assassin shows up, and I've seen you're competent with a knife.” Samuel sighed. There was no talking Eric out of it, and Samuel felt he should follow Eric along to pull him out of any trouble he got himself into. “Alright. This had better pay good.”

    Spoiler Part 2 :
    The Bannor lands were sweltering, and this particular settlement was barely even on the map, a town still surrounded by jungles. The Bannor had cleared out the orcs and lizardmen, but animals were as much a risk to the Lanun regiments as anything their enemy might throw at them. The Lanun marched through the jungle, complaining bitterly about the realm of the Bannor.

    “So, you're the new meat?” An old man, bald but with a massive beard and covered in scars, suddenly showed up behind Eric and Samuel. “Of course you are. Name's Dwayne. I already know yours.” The friends looked at him. “Yes, I'm an archmage, and yes, I can read your mind, and no, I don't care whether or not that's right. Caring is something I've abandoned long ago.” They continued to stare as Dwayne studied their thoughts. “Samuel's probably closer to being right then you are, Eric. This is no picnic. You're valuable enough to be protected, yes, but that's not what you should be worried about. You can hurtle a fireball easily. You're thinking you'll just down the walls with one of those while your friend blinds the enemy with a blast of sun. But it'll take a lot more than that. You'll be hurling the one after the other. It drains you. You get tired, hungry. And it hurts, having that magic flow through you like that. You can take the pain, you think. You might be able to, but nothing in your memories has hurt as much as this battle will. No, not even that incident with the fire elemental. I won't tell anyone.”

    “But even if you don't mind the pain... the worst part is holding the city. Remember, you'll be hurling fire at a city, and you'll hit innocent people. You're thinking you don't care, but you will when you hear the screams. At least, at first. But worse, the people will look on you like a demon. You'll be expected to hold a town where every mother with her baby might want to stab you in the back, because that's the way the Bannor are. They refuse to surrender. You'll have to assume every innocent civilian might want you dead. It's like a callus on the soul. You teach yourself to stop caring. It used to be that I tried to save the children during a battle. Particularly desperate Bannor would hide out in orphanages, knowing I'd be too scared to attack them, lest I hurt the children. Now I just kill them all. I don't enjoy it. I'm not cruel or evil. I've just stopped caring. It's been a pleasure having this conversation with you. No, you didn't say anything, but you thought a lot of things. And yes, I'm probably going to one of the hells. I might even drop straight down to Agares' hell. I've accepted this. I intend to postpone dying as long as possible. Lichdom is looking like a good idea.”

    Upon finishing his great speech, Dwayne left the staring mages to ask the scouts what they had seen. Eric looked at Samuel. “You know I'm not easily scared.” Eric said, “But that old archmage...” “Is that what will happen,” Samuel asked, “if we keep on this road? Will we become like him? Coldblooded, merciless, damned fountains of power?” Eric laughed. “I'm not sure if Dwayne there was ever normal. Playing with mind magic isn't good for your head, you know. Nah, we'll be fine.” There was a rare edge of doubt, however, in Eric's voice.

    “City ahoy!” yelled a Lanun scout. Most of the Lanun army was ill-suited for battle on the land; the scout had been a whaler, for instance. Without the powers of Dwayne, Eric, and Samuel behind them, they knew the Bannor would slaughter them. Attempts to regiment the Lanun army had proven failures. Simply keeping the archers behind the swordsmen had been a task in of itself. Each soldier was as interested in getting as much loot for himself as winning the battle, and ones that had found something particularly valuable were known to flee rather then risk losing their catch.

    “It's in the middle of a clearing. I'd say a mile at most of empty plain and farmland around the city, surrounded on all sides by jungle. Roads leading to the Bannor empire proper. Looks lightly defended,” the scout reported, “archers, outdated bows. No longbows. But they're Bannor, so they're ready for us. Great big, hulking walls. Two of them, both thick and tough. They seem to have spotted us already, I'd reckon. Dwayne's gone off, you'll be able to see his handiwork shortly. They've been made loyal by Bannor magic, so he can't control their minds. But...” the scout grinned as the sky grew dark. The Lanun watched expectantly, waiting for something epic. There was an ominous crack of thunder, and it began to rain... strange, small birds. “Not again,” the scout sighed. “Alright, fresh meat. Have fun.”

    Eric grinned. “Guess he wasn't quite the tough guy he said he was? You heard the man. Show time.” With that, Eric launched a fireball at the city. It hurtled through the jungle and hit the wall. There was a good sized hole in the outer wall, but the archers had avoided any casualties and were repositioned, some on top of houses. The Lanun swordsmen, without being ordered, began the charge towards the town, while the Bannor fired arrows into the jungle where they knew the Lanun to be. The Lanun archers returned fire, but they were no match for the regimented, and startlingly accurate fire of the Bannor. The Lanun swordsmen fell like flies. Samuel wasn't going to let that happen, however, and a sphere of light flew from his fingertips at the Bannor archers. It exploded in their faces, momentarily stunning them and giving the swordsmen a chance to continue the charge. Eric, panting, launched another fireball at the inner wall, which was badly scorched but refused to fall. “It'll never fall at that rate! Look for a weak spot!” yelled one of the Lanun. Eric scanned, and saw a likely looking spot, at which he launched several other fireballs. The wall crumbled after being severely pelted, after which Eric promptly collapsed. “Mage overloaded! Didn't last very long, did he?” said Eric's guard. “We'll be relying on the other guy or a miracle from Dwayne.”

    The Lanun swordsmen charged into the city through the opening in the wall Eric had opened up. Samuel continued working on the Bannor archers, this time launching a fireball straight at them. It hit a house, which quickly caught fire. While Bannor civilians, with military precision, began dousing the burning house, the archers began firing on the swordsmen now inside their city. But the swordsmen found ladders and climbed onto the walls and rooftops, dueling the archers in melee. A cheer rose up from the Lanun forces still in the jungle as they eagerly joined the fray.

    Spoiler Part 3 :
    The Lanun finally occupied the town. Eric had woken up and gone off to find some sort of amusement or some riches to bring home and supplement his already good pay. Samuel, meanwhile, was studying the town. Their architecture was different then Lanun styles. It was efficient, but not as brutal has he had expected. Everything was laid out with a neat and, Samuel had to admit, beautiful geometry. The paths were made of tiles laid out in intricate, complex, and magnificent designs that boggled Samuel's mind. And everything seemed to flow, somehow, toward the center. And in the center, a temple to the Order. The temple was a large, cubic building with a belltower on top, which made it the tallest building in the city. Samuel entered the great temple nervously. He looked at Junil's altar and, hesitantly, gave it a respectful bow. He then noticed a book upon the altar and, curious, began reading through it.

    “Are you a follower of Junil, then? Among the Lanun, who so often mock him?” Samuel had been reading the book for quite some time, and had not noticed the old man entering. He was bald and clean shaven, and dressed in white and red robes. “Allow me to introduce myself. I am Father Moses, Confessor for this good town.” Samuel looked at the man before responding. “I am Samuel, and I am not a follower of the Order.” Samuel said, “I simply show the gods the respect that is due to them. I don't worship any one in particular; the gods have done me no good deeds, but I haven't earned their wrath either.” Father Moses seemed disappointed, but he eyed Samuel with curiosity and hope. “Are you interested, then, in what you have read from the Code of Junil?” he asked, motioning towards the book Samuel had been reading. “Yes, but I don't think I agree with everything in here.” Father Moses shot Samuel an irritated look. “What, pray tell, is bothering you then?”

    “Well,” Samuel began, “it asks for unquestioning and unhesitating obedience to your superiors. I've been on ships before, as an adept. I know that on a ship, the captain is followed with unhesitating obedience... but only if he proves competent. It isn't unquestioning. If the captain is a fool, he is deposed. But if crews were to follow the Code of Junil, they'd be expected to follow the captain straight into a storm...” “If the captain was incompetent,” Father Moses responded, “he would not have become a captain in the first place. The Code of Junil rewards capability, skill, loyalty, and wisdom. There are safeguards to keep people from rising to power if they are incompetent. Even if this theoretical imbecile's father was a captain, that would not assure the son a position of power. If he was not a good captain, he would not be a captain at all.”

    Samuel nodded. “Fair enough. But what if, instead of incompetence, the captain was malevolent? Say he wanted to go on a raid that his crew were, morally, against. I know, for example, that several crews deposed their captain over the issue of slavery...” “Slavery is an abomination,” Father Moses responded. “If a crew wished to overthrow a cruel captain, that would be perfectly within the Code of Junil. Indeed, it would be their duty to do so.” Samuel thought about Moses' words briefly, then said, “But, then, that means they would not be giving their unquestioning obedience...” Father Moses flipped the book to one of the first few pages and began reading. “You are loyal first to Junil, then to your King. If your King is not loyal to Junil, and you must choose between the two loyalties, you must choose Junil.” “But what if Junil is wrong?”

    Father Moses stared slack-jawed at this suggestion for several moments before regaining his composure. Then, as if speaking to a small child, he continued. “Junil is the Angel of Law. Even if, for some absurd and unimaginable reason, he would somehow want to break the Code, by definition, he could not, any more than you could swallow a horse whole.” “What I mean, is, what if the Code is wrong?” Again, Father Moses looked at Samuel, as if genuinely worried for his sanity. “The Code defines what is right or wrong. Therefore, it cannot be wrong.” “But what if the code said slavery was acceptable...” “It doesn't, though, because slavery is wrong. Things aren't right or wrong because they're in the Code. Things are in the Code because they are right or wrong.” While Father Moses' tone remained cordial, there was a subtle hint of exasperation.

    Samuel decided not to pursue the topic any further. “Alright. But there's one thing I don't get. It says that the Order is not allowed to show mercy. But what if the criminal is repentant?” Father Moses sighed. “Every time I meet a follower of the Empyrean, they ask me about that. If you would continue reading, and not simply listen to those blasted Vicars, you would notice that the Code of Junil also says that the greatest victory is not the defeat of your foes, but their redemption. There is a difference between giving mercy and offering redemption, a difference the Empyrean does not understand no matter how many times I explain it to them. You, I hope, will prove smarter.” Moses cracked his knuckles and began what was clearly an explanation he had given many times. “Mercy is given. Redemption is earned. To give mercy is an insult to those the criminal has wronged. Can the murderer offer mercy to one he has already killed? To offer redemption is different. You are giving the criminal a chance to earn his freedom and his forgiveness. Whether or not he accepts is his choice. Even the most vicious of criminals could, theoretically, be reformed, if they chose to accept Junil and his Code. To be sure, accepting the Code of Junil will not allow them to go unpunished. That would be mercy, a specialty of the Empyrean. But by accepting the Code, the former criminal learns to accept his punishment without complaint, and come out of it a better man.”

    Samuel suddenly heard a familiar voice. “Gods! I was wondering where you were, Samuel! Tried putting my moves on some Bannor women... I swear to the nearest... no, make that second nearest god, every one of them carries a knife! I think I'll be leaving them alone. Hang on, who's the old guy?” Father Moses and Samuel turned to see Eric stride in and study them. “Lemme guess, some crazy old confessor trying to talk you into following Junil, giving up your freedom, your mind, your body, your soul, so you can earn your place in the most boring of all the Heavens ever created. Try not to call him anything too nasty. I hear these old Order codgers bite.”

    “And just when I was starting to think those rumors about the Lanun were false... you, at least, are as foul-mouth and blasphemous as they say.” Father Moses glared at Eric angrily, and then added to Samuel, “apparently, he knows you. You have my sympathies.” Samuel remained quiet, but watched his friend nervously. Eric, meanwhile, continued approaching the old Confessor. “So, what's Junil been up to? Not saving this gods-forsaken town, eh? Where is he anyways? Sitting back, watching his followers get whooped, wishing he could do something about it... pity he can't. Nope. He just gives you a hundred laws to follow and then says 'kill heretics, try not to get killed.' A wonderfully boring existence. What's the point in living if you don't have any fun, eh?” Eric grinned at Father Moses. “All these laws? Why? Who needs 'em? Here's what I say about your laws!” And with that, Eric spat upon the Code of Junil. Father Moses grabbed his staff and was about to attack Eric, but Samuel stepped between them. “I think we should go,” he said. Father Moses continued glaring at Eric, before stating, “yes, you should.” Then he added, in a friendlier tone, “if you wish to return, Samuel, by all means, do so. Just make sure next time, you tie your dog up properly. I hate having wild animals roaming around town.”

    [There's more to come... I've actually got something of an epic going on at this point. Well, relatively speaking. The parts are, I confess, a bit episodic. This was intentional; with the exception of the first, that sets it all up, I decided to make each part a story that could be read individually, or as part of a larger whole. Hopefully, this proves a wise idea.]
  18. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

    Oct 24, 2006
    Great work.

    Part 2 differs somewhat from how I picture magic. Way I've always figured it, the small fireballs and bursts of light that Samuel and Eric were using is adept level stuff - the small scale combat spells that allow adepts to be a match for companies of warriors (in mechanical terms, the reason both units have 3 strength). As they become mages and archmages they improve at using these magics, eventually becoming capable of taking on equally trained companies of metal-wielding swordsmen.

    The spells you cast on the field are in my mind long, complicated rituals that end with a spectacular effect. So casting fireball would involve the mage hunkering behind the conventional troops and drawing runic circles, gathering ingredients, lighting strategically placed candles - for a matter of hours or even days - then culminating it all by conjuring a . .. .. .. .in gigantic sphere of flame that zooms toward the wall and atomizes whatever parts it hits, or explodes on top of an army and causes casualties - massive ones, if the targets are poorly trained in scattering and/or badly equipped and/or seriously weakened already (combine these factors enough and the fireball could completely annihilate them in one go). Then the rank and file move in for the kill. Maybe the mage follows them and lends his small scale magic. Mechanically this would be the mage attacking after casting fireball.

    Ah, what a rant about only one detail, and one that I could be completely wrong about. Again, great work, I could really get into the rest of those stories. Eric telling off that retard confessor put a smile on my face.
  19. Monkeyfinger

    Monkeyfinger Deity

    Oct 24, 2006
    I got inspired to write my own story about how I envision battle magic. First, here it is in mechanical terms:

    Sheaim combat/death mage is on a hill. Enemy Elohim monk moves into a forest right next to the mage. Mage casts Summon spectre and defends. The spectre attacks and causes damage, but is beaten. The monk attacks the mage.

    Spoiler :
    Dist lay in a cleared out cave. He had been sleeping, but was jolted awake by a sudden sensation from the forest to the east. Things had been killed. Some animals, a couple humans... The Elohim were sending troops to... deal with him. He sat in the pitch dark, keeping his magical senses tuned for more signs of death. Not much detected. Must be monks. They believe in sparing as much life as possible and all that wishy washy crap. If anyone would be so careful to kill as little native life as possible and as good at keeping their own alive, it would be Elohim monks.

    The Sheaim's trump card, creatures of pure night, spectres, kept longer in this world by Lord Tebryn's mastery of summoning and dark influence, had killed conventional Elohim troops by the thousands. This order of monks, however, was a relatively new part of the Elohim arsenal. Quick, and skilled in the healing arts, these monks had so far spent most of their time keeping the Elohim rank and file in top shape, rather than participating in direct combat. They'd never faced a spectre before. It was time to see if this new order was composed of the same undisciplined, pacifistic weaklings fought so far, or if they actually had something to bring to the table.

    Dist exited his cave and stepped out into the shadowy night, armed with a ritual dagger and his spellbook. It would be a few days before the Elohim made it through the forest and up the hill. Plenty of time. Dist hunted for living beings, and killed any that he found. Small animals could be handled with just the dagger. Larger things like bears, and the occasional wandering human, needed a magic touch. Dark bolts, invisible in the night, would fly out of dist's hands and strike his targets, sometimes withering their flesh from their bones instantly, sometimes inflicting a disease that took a few hours to take effect. Regardless of method, anything he saw died, and its corpse was dragged to the mouth of the cave Dist has set up camp in.

    Several hours later, Dist slumped to the ground, exhausted from hauling all those carcasses. A mountain of stinking, maggot-infested death lay in front of him. He walked into the cave, lighting a campfire on the way in with a buff of flame from his hand. He carefully selected some reagents from his satchel, put them in a cauldron, and stuck the cauldron on top of the campfire. While his reagents cooked, he pulled a stick of chalk out of his satchel, and used it to draw a circle around his corpse pile, followed by a set of 13 runes on the circle. He returned to his batch of reagents, doused the fire, and brought out the cauldron. Carefully, he plucked certain reagents out of the cauldron and placed them on the appropriate runes. The circle began to glow a sickly green. Finally, he disrobed, rested his foot on top of his corpses, pulled out his ritual dagger, and slashed deep into his own leg, allowing the blood to spill onto the corpses. Otherworldly wails pierced the air, which grew colder - time to back off. The death mage ran from the corpses as their souls began to emerge and coalesce into a massive, formless black shape - success. The scepter moved menacingly toward the mage, who raised his hand and shot a tether of dark energy at the scepter, binding it to his will. The mage pointed towards the forest. The scepter flew off. Dist grinned wickedly, then collapsed from exhaustion.


    At the wooded foothills about half a mile from the end of the forest, the party of monks sat around a fire, eating, chatting, and attending to minor injuries when suddenly a chill draft of wind that smelled of carrion blew the fire out. The monks immediately grabbed their staves and sprung into a circular combat formation, waiting to see if the draft of wretched air would stop. It didn't. Survivors of spectre attacks never passed up an opportunity to talk about these drafts - they meant one of the foul creatures was nearby, scouting its victims out. "Stay alert." said the leader. "You never know wh-" his skeleton then burst out of his body in a spectacular shower of gore and sprung to life. The battle was on.

    The monks adjacent to the leader swung their staves at the animated skeleton, snapping it into 3 as the spectre flew upwards into the night sky, which camoflauged all but its glowing green eyes. The scepter flew about erratically, trying to shake the gaze of the monks. The monks intently followed the glowing green orbs as best as they could until a shriek of pain interrupted their gaze. They turned to see the torso of their former leader's skeleton with its hand buried deep into a comrade's back. Damn... a mistake, not taking the time to completely shatter the skeleton. As the monks ground the torso into dust with a few well placed staff strikes, the scepter darted out of the sky and into a treetop, then out of the treetop and straight onto an unlucky monk's head. It made its hands solid and dug them into the monk's eye sockets; the monk wailed, panicked, and blindly stumbled about swinging his staff around. He hit several of his comrades before everyone realized what has going on, snapping their bones and knocking them down. "The spectre's hands!" one of the downed monks shouted as he grabbed his broken leg. "They are flesh now! They're vulnerable!"

    A hail of staff blows barraged the blind monk's head, putting him out of his misery and snapping the spectre's hands clean off. It was the spectre's turn to shriek in agony and lose its cool. It began firing blasts of dark magic at everything it could see, and its entire body solidified. Some monks were killed by the magic, their skeletons re-animated by it. A chaotic melee ensued, as the spectre thrashed about, the skeletons attempted to struggle free of their cadavers, and the monks swung at anything that wasn't wearing blue. Skeletal claws rent Elohim flesh. Broad staff strokes shattered re-animated bones. Staff thrusts smashed into the spectre, punching large holes into its partly gaseous flesh. The scepter screamed and screamed, and stopped managing to hit anything with its wild swings and dark blasts. With the skeletons broken apart and the spectre crippled, the standing Elohim managed to reform ranks, surround the spectre, beat it into vapor, then perform a quick sacred rite on the air in the center of them. A fading scream and a sudden rise in temperature signified the banishment of the Spectre. It was gone for good. Most of the surviving Elohim bashed the bones that were still writhing for good measure, while a couple other hastily re-lit the fire. The lot of them threw the bones into the fire. They were well and truly dead.

    Torn by compassion for their wounded comrades, the party of monks nonetheless decided to press on. If they took time to rest and recover, the necromancer would have enough time to call another spectre, and that spectre would surely win. "This necromancer has caused Her Majesty Ethne untold grief, and he keeps growing in power." one of the monks said. "We must be strong. We must press on and catch him. We have no right to call ourselves defenders of Cahir if we do not try our hardest to end this threat."

    Dist jolted awake at the first sign of human death from the bottom of the hills. The spectre and the Monks had met. He rubbed his hands gleefully at the first death he sensed, cackled evilly at the second, started whooping and jumping for joy as subsequent ones rolled in, then abruptly yelped in pain and fell to the floor as his connection to the spectre was violently severed. It had been banished from this world, its souls laid to rest. "DAMN!" Dist had underestimated those monks. They were only a few hours away from him. There was no time to perform another ritual. Dist bit his lip, prepared his spellbook, and hoped that the damage the spectre caused was enough.


    "CHARGE!" After a couple hours of climbing and walking down hills, the monks spotted Dist's ritual circle. There was no mistaking what it had been used for. Dist observed them from behind the peak of a hill a couple hundred feet away, waited until the monks reached the peak of the hill they were climbing, then popped out from behind his cover and unleashed a strong wind blast at them, knocking three of them off the hill and down its rough face. Surely that killed them... but the survivors turned their eyes in the opposite direction of the gust, and looked right at the deformed, black robed man standing there. Spotted! Oh, HELL. I shouldn't have immediately retreated behind cover instead of watching to see how my wind spell worked... too late now. Can't outrun these guys... got to fight. Dist began chanting as fast as his vocal cords would allow. As the monks reached the bottom of his hill, an earth incantation sent rocks sliding down on the monks. A boulder crushed one of their skulls. Some smaller rocks buried another. The rest pushed on. A death incantation inflicted another monk with rigor mortis as the party got halfway up. He seized up, gasped in agony, then fell, hitting another monk on his way down. The rest of them stopped to try and grab their comrades, saving them from a death plunge. Stupid mistake. Dist focused on the monk he inflicted with rigor mortis - specifically, the monk's skeleton, which was granted a life of its own. It burst free and gouged out another monk's eyes. The monks panicked, let go of their comrades, and began swinging at the skeleton. On the hill's rough footing, they had a hard time aiming their blows, and it took them longer than they'd have liked to defeat the skeleton - too long. With the monks all distracted, Dist was able to start another mini-avalanche - and none of his enemies were able to dodge this one. The rocks cascaded down, taking all the monks and the skeleton with them, sending them on a 50-foot slide to the ground below.

    Dist surveyed the scene below him. He stared in disbelief for a good minute. He'd done it... he'd done it! Something was off, though. What, though? He felt the life force of all those monks leave their body so he clearly did in fact win... wait. What about those monks he'd hit with the wind spell? He took their deaths for granted, but come to thing of it he never actually felt


    3 Monks stood behind Dist. One of them had his staff embedded in the back of the necromancer's head. He withdrew it, and kicked the necromancer off. That fall... a normal human would never survive that, but a monk? All that tumbling practice during martial arts training wasn't just for show. Breaking their fall and going around the hill,then climbing it, was very, very hard, but it paid off. The surviving monks looked for survivors, found none, and collapsed on the ground. They prayed a prayer of thanks, then started to walk back towards Glens of Killybegs.

    (The monk unit won the attack with 0.6 strength remaining, lolol)
  20. xienwolf

    xienwolf Deity

    Oct 4, 2007
    Location! Location!
    KC: Don't suppose I can get you to work some of the Great People into your stories? Most of them are quite good and have a nice shot of making it into the Lore, so having a name which ties the world together better would be a bonus ;)

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