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Subject: The Year of Awakening - IC rss

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Ratibor
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No one knows whither came He-Who-Devours-The-Worlds, the great Skeletal Dragon. He came to Stiðegrund to destroy it, but the Guardians came to stop him. Many a day raged the battle, and the Guardians prevailed. But their strength weakened, and was not enough to destroy the dragon, so they put him to sleep in the very middle of Stiðegrund, in the cage wrought of magic itself. Once every 1000 years the cage starts weakening, as the great dragon stirs in his sleep, and then the cage starts drawing more and more magic from the world to keep itself intact, and the magic in the world withers. The wizards refer to this as "The Year Bereft of Magic". When the dragon stirs, the undead come to his silent call, as he needs aid from within to fully awake.

So the legend has it, but everyone knows it is no mere tale. As sure as winter comes after autumn, so every 1000 year He-Who-Devours-The-Worlds is sure to again try to escape his imprisonment. Every year peoples of Stiðegrund send their armies to stop him. So far they always succeeded.

Every living person knows the story. There's no nook in the entire world unfamiliar with it - bards have been singing it at every corner for hundreds of thousands of years. It's the song every bard starts his apprenticeship with. It is the song the bards must never alter, not a word of it. You try once, your voice will hoarsen until you sing it right again. You try it again - your wingers tremble. No bard wants to try it three times. And thus the song goes unaltered, telling of the events of past too distant for anyone to remember.
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Ratibor
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One morning of your army's long march to your destination in the Dragon's Waste Commander Satavar calls you five to his portable table. He sternly surveys your colorful group, and spreads a map before you.

"So, boys, here's what I want you to do. Here" - he points to a group of hills on the map, "lie the ruins of Ard-Rakskel. They are 20 kilometers from where we now stand, to the west of our course. I want you to retrieve the staff that is hidden there. It is made of bones, has a carved skull on its end, and is covered with spiral carvings of skulls all over it. To destroy it, cast it into the fire and leave it there burning for five whole hours. If the fire dies out, you'll have to start it all over, and wait for five hours again. Any questions?"
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Eetu Vuokko
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Rising his eyes from the spread out map Adogar speaks up.
Well, sounds easy enough, Commander Satavar. What are we to wait for inside the ruins? Guards? Traps? If it was just sitting inside someone might have just taken it. Ah, but of course it is hidden. So how do we find it? If you know anything, please tell us.

Just in case diplomacy d20+11 = (6) + 11 = 17
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  • Sun Aug 26, 2012 6:14 pm
Terence
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Mog-Ur wonders for the hundredth time today what he was doing in this army and following this underwhelming "Drunken, Wasted Commander Satavar".

Mog-Ur's spine stiffened as this so called "Commander" called him a boy. He mutters darkly to himself, "He called me a BOY! I was working the forge even before you started learning to read. Go fetch this, go fetch that...what am I? An errand BOY? I've killed men for lesser insults, BOY!"

Mog-Ur harrrumphs loudly and asks the "Drunken, Wasted Commander", "Honorable, mighty and learned Sir, I have a few questions regarding our fool's errand mission-of-grave-importance:

1) If this staff is so "hidden", how do we find it?

2) Is there some sort of deadline for completing our mission?

3) Can you tell me more about this AARDARK SHELL Ard-Rakshel? What is its history? How did it fall?

4) This staff sounds like it might be more powerful than a +2 Arse-scratcher. What exactly does it do? Why is it so important? And why in Mog-Ur's name are we retrieving it? Don't we have more important things to do?

5) This staff is made of skulls, topped with a skull and covered in skulls. For all we know, it probably craps skulls too. Does anyone know what the maker did with the rest of the other bones? The big mountain of bones might be a dead give-away as to the location of this staff and would make finding it a cinch, so please ignore my question number 1 above if this is the case.

6) All this baking instructions about the fire is all well and good (although I think you forgot the marinade and the spicy kick-ass chilli sauce). But are we required to actually DESTROY it as part of our mission though. If it is, then the RETRIEVING part of the mission is abit difficult to comprehend. How do you DESTROY something then bring it back? I mean I can DEMOLISH a leg of boar and the RETRIEVE the bones for you, but this blasted thing is already all bones!"

7) And by the way, does Mog-Ur the Great Healer, Scourge of the Goblins, Great Bear of the Forest, Slayer of Ogres look like some sort of short-order cook to you? Hmmm?"


As one can guess, Mog-Ur is a "conscientious objector" and was drafted into this joke of an army after a drunken night of revelry the ending of which he still cannot recall. Damn Bestla and her blasted surprise parties! He has a real nasty "surprise" of his own if he finds her giggling, frivolous, trouble-making hide again. And it is made of knuckles sandwiches, topped with a big headbutt and covered with bruises.
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Ed R
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"Commander Satavar, what else can you tell us of the ruins of Ard-Rakskel?"

Lyans tries to remember if he had ever heard or read anything about this place.

History Roll 1d20 + 1 = (13) + 1 = 14
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  • Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:05 pm
Ratibor
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Commander patiently listened to all this, grinned and turned to Adogar:

"How to find the staff, you ask? Turn over every stone in the place. Guards and traps - possibly, or should I say - inevitably."

Then he considered Lyans' question for a minute:

"I have no certain knowledge of the ruins. Perhaps it was a town, perhaps a cloister. For what I know, this place is marked on the map a thousand years old, that is, the map from the last march against the dragon."

As far as Lyans himself can tell, before the land in the middle of the continent turned into Dragon's Waste, folk used to settle there in towns, so maybe one of such towns of old lies there in ruins.

Commander wisely ignored the tone Mog-Ur addressed him in, and just gave him his answers:

1) The deadline indeed - 2 days to find and destroy it. If you fail to locate it till the dawn of the day after tomorrow, you can as well stop looking for it. But if you cast it into the fire only at dawn, it may still work.

2) This staff is one of 10 "keys" for the cage that holds the dragon. You must understand, therefore, that you are one of 10 groups sent to find and destroy those 10 keys. The more staves we eliminate, the more boys in this army will come back home alive. Every staff destroyed makes the dragon's army weaker.


He gave Mog-Ur a grave look, for it was no weekend trip.

3) And these staves are not made - they grow from those bones.

4) You if you don't like the word 'retrieving' - call it 'detecting', or ' discovering', or use any other word you do like, just go FIND AND DESTROY IT!


Satavar ignored the rest of Mog's grumbling, much to dwarf's disdain.

"Any other questions?"
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Terence
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"What sort of cage holds the dragon? Wouldn't destroying just ONE key be sufficient to ensure the dragon stays locked up? This doesn't make any sense.... Not that I am trying to make any bones about it... Bwhahahaha!"
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R. Heathertoes

"So, Commander, what's in it for us...I mean other than saving the world and all that. Gold? Jewels? Wenches?"
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"Mog-Ur, you are welcome to discuss this matter with He-Who-Devours-the-Worlds, and advise him as for the number of keys to use for his escape. As for your personal boon, little one, you may keep whatever treasure you find in this endeavor."

"Now, if you have no questions that matter, you may as well be off."


With this he calls for the errand boy to bring you your supplies for three days.
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The huge woman was silently towering over the company all this time. If you didn't know she was alive you could easily mistaken her for a rough stone-hewn statue. Now she spoke for the first time, asking quite optimistically:

"Commander, where do we come back to, I mean, after we do it? You do want us to come back, right? You gave us food for three days..."
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"You'll find us in the camp at the Waste... I hope. And yes, I do want you all to come back."
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Eetu Vuokko
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"I'm ready to go, seems there isn't much we can learn here about the ruins."
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Terence
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"Well, let's get out of here! Can't stand another minute in this stinking camp. Can you believe it? "You can keep any treasure you find"? I can do that treasure hunting on me own! Well, at least I am getting 3 days of supplies out of this. Don't forget the fire starters! I sure hope it doesn't rain..."
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You start in the direction of the hills, at a relatively quick pace, but not too quick actually. Not very far from the camp you notice a group of skeletons silently watching you go. They do not approach, just lurk around, not very effective at hiding themselves from you.
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Terence
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How many skeletons are there? Can the party kill them?
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Mog-Ur noticed 5 skeletal figures among the bushes, and Adogar could bet there were six. However, when you try to approach them, or even hint at heeding them, they flee away rattling.
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Eetu Vuokko
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"Skeletons running away? That is weird."
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Ed R
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Lyans looks at his companions then says with a laugh, "Id run away from this lot too."
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Robin H.

"I'd just as soon leave the skeletons alone...we don't need trouble with that lot."
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Robin Heathertoes

"So I take it we all agree it's best to leave these things alone? If so, let's get a move on...they give me the creeps."
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[Sorry for delay, you all know I cannot comment without Nad at hand ]

You proceed with your journey, and after a while you go uphill, and down there on the other side of the hill you see your destination. Groups of ancient buildings lie there almost completely ruined, and by their number you can tell it really might be a whole town. Stone parts are the only to survive, though it can hardly be called survival - the decorations are long gone, and the remaining low walls and cobbles of possible streets are wind-eaten.
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Terence
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Mog-Ur tries to see if there is any movement in the ruins...

Perception 1d20+11 = (17) + 11 = 28

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  • 176211. not2fear
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  • Mon Sep 3, 2012 4:04 pm
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"A desolate place it is." Lyans says under his breath not meaning for the others to hear him.

A little louder he says for the others to hear. "What treasure can be found in such a place?"

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Mog-Ur peers down the hill at the ruins, but the only movement he detects is the dust born by the wind.
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Gerd concentrates and listens to the earthen spirits around, maybe she can feel any natural dangers of the place.

Nature 1d20+7 = (13) + 7 = 20

[Btw, is the place sinister? Like, do feel the creeps? Oh, and what season is it?]
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  • Tue Sep 4, 2012 6:40 pm
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