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Shadows of Magic: The Beginning
#1
Traveler of Karn
Joined: 2006/9/29
From Howling Bluff, Senton
Posts: 363
Creation Points : 1244
Hit Points : 2 / 31
MEP or PEP : 121 / 3438
Earned Skill Points : 77
Offline
Greetings folks. I thought I would post a few of our group's weekly story updates for all to see. The full story (up to date and those that follow) and all support materials (like maps and images) as well as the replies of the players/characters can all be found within the site once you join. This is just a sampling of what we include on a weekly basis while we have a game running.

The following is the first post I made to introduce the players to the story before we started. I wasn't even sure who all the characters were going to be at this time, so I had to leave parts vague. Enough talk, let's get to the start of the story.

Prologue

There are people in the world who are professional traveling caravan drivers and escorts. Those who guide and protect groups of travelers and merchants from one place to another. They have to keep schedules and make sure needed supplies make it to their destinations in time, as well as protect the people and goods under their care. This is their jobs and what they do. One such organization (known for its unorthodox hiring practices and good records for travels through the fringes of the kingdom) was run by Earnest Helios, and was centered out of Old Senton City.

Some travelers from the capital (including the niece of an old friend of Earnest), some merchants looking to trade in the north, and some others all came to join the Helios Caravan as it departed from Old Senton City and headed east. It was a fresh summer morning and by the afternoon they were off the main road, heading up the Castle River into the woods. This was not unusual, as the Helios Caravan rarely took the main roads to its destinations, allowing for many other opportunities for the merchants along the way and travelers who were planning on going to more distant locations.

As is common with these caravans they had the timing of the trips planned out perfectly, to allow most evenings to come as they approached the next destination Inn (for those who did not care to sleep under the stars). After three and a half days they reached the village of Teshion (often called Mud Water by the local trappers) along the shores of Murky Lake. This was the first destination for some of the travelers and the first real opportunity for some of the merchants. As such they stayed the rest of the afternoon and the night before leaving in the morning.

In the middle of the sixth day they left the Castle River behind and started up the road along the North Twinwood River (which would be the main road they would take half the way to Bushton). This road and river served as the official line of what Senton claimed control over as their eastern border. The land beyond the river was still claimed by the kingdom as ownership, but was not actively controlled by any official office. The woods became thicker and the hills a little more prevalent. As such, the travel also became a little slower and more cautious. The passengers who were unfamiliar with the travels were warned of the dangers they could be facing in the eastern woods, but were also told that the caravan has made this trip for years and was quite capable at warding off such troubles.

After several more days of travel, and several more villages passed through, they caravan arrived at its second destination along the shores of Tenree Lethno (Frenal for 'Great Lake' or 'Holy Lake'). The small trade town of VooethaMan Tic (Frenal for 'Village of the Honored House') played home for the caravan for two days, during which the nobles and Earnest stayed at the mansion of the Earl of VooethaMan Tic. A pleasant host, Earl Rooeno Minasela Celvooaerol (often just called Rooen, or Foxy, by his friends), made sure all his guests were treated to the finest meals and trappings his meager village could afford.

Once the trade deals were done they said their farewells and headed north once more. They were informed there would not be another destination stopover until they reached Tall Lake, which was about a week away. That was also where they would meet up with the King's Road for the rest of the journey to Bushton. It is two days out of VooethaMan Tic when we start our story, in the middle of northern end of the vast East Twinwood Forest and along the eastern border of Senton controlled land. It's been just over two weeks since they left Old Senton City and the caravan slowly plods along.
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Dragavan: Land of Karn - Dragavan Games - Lootin' Wizards - Dragavan's Den
Posted on: 2007/4/19 23:53
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Re: Shadows of Magic: The Beginning
#2
Traveler of Karn
Joined: 2006/9/29
From Howling Bluff, Senton
Posts: 363
Creation Points : 1244
Hit Points : 2 / 31
MEP or PEP : 121 / 3438
Earned Skill Points : 77
Offline
After our first session I made this post to recap the events that happened.

Start of the Story

So the story has started, so let me set the scene. The caravan set off and was in the middle of the East Twinwood forest. "Princess" Jocelyn was sharing the carriage with the Doctor and her pet cat was in and out of the carriage. Her bodyguard was riding up top with the driver. The rest of the caravan was mostly merchant carts and escort guards and help. Chief (the Butchwing) was leading them as the scout and Rocky the large Kalbash (also know as Rock Troll) was following behind.

With a sudden crack, like a tree struck by lightning, the carriage lurched and the back then fell at an angle to the ground. The rear axel broke and took both wheels with it. The caravan was halted, the guards quickly scouted around for signs of trouble or ambush. Once those concerns were extinguished they got down to the problem at hand. Ernest had Rocky lift and move the carriage so it could limp to the small village that Chief saw ahead, over a bridge and down a small road through the woods. Although it was on the other side of the river, outside of Senton controlled lands, it was the only option within range.

The carriage, escorted by Ernest and three of his men (including Rocky, who is still half carrying the carriage), take the passengers across this bridge and down this short road to the east. All the way from the river this road is flanked to the north by a large stone wall with a locked iron gate in it. Through the gate they see an unkempt trail and thick woods with a darker and thicker appearance than the forest on the other side of the road, but they pass on by it to get the village.

Upon reaching the outskirts of the small village Rocky sets the carriage down and immediately sits on the ground against it, exhausted. The village would seem uninhabited if it wasn't for the smoke coming from the chimneys and the occasional peeking through a window. Ernest and one of his guards, a Dwarf who just goes by "Red", walked up to what looked like the main building of the village to talk to the locals about repairs. The town Reeve, "Lord" William Miller, seemed agitated to have visitors in the village at this time eager to get them out of his hair. He sent off his son, Brant Miller, to inform the smith to expedite repairs and get them on his way.

In the meantime, the "Princess" remained in the carriage awaiting news of what was going on. She is surprised by a sudden intrusion of a young girl from the village begging for help. She said her name was Jessica Tablesmith and she had to escape from this place or bad things were going to happen to her. She didn't want even her parents to know about it, in hopes they would not get in trouble either. The "Princess" immediately started to dress her as a member of her staff, like she was a full sized dress-up doll.

Having secured repairs and needing to get the merchants moving again, Ernest leaves Chief and Red in charge of things here and takes Rocky back to the rest of the caravan. The blacksmith takes a look at the damage and says it is likely to take days, so the rest have to secure lodgings in the village of Turlingham for at least one night. Chief and Red head up the main house to talk to the Reeve and arrange lodgings for their passengers. Returning to the others to find out that the party has grown by one servant that "has always been there".

While all this is going on the Doctor, who looks important compared to the others he has seen, is pulled aside by the blacksmith and asked to take his daughter away from here when they leave. She is in great danger and if she is not gone in the next few days she will be lost forever. The Doctor agrees and the smith gets to work.

The "Princess" and her entourage are set up in the manor house, along with the Doctor. Chief and Red are staying at the smithy's with the carriage. On this first night "Princess" Jocelyn's cat, Mao, snuck down to spy on the locals. His prowling around the house lead him to overhear a conversation between the Reeve (William), his son (Brant), and his grandson (Winston). Winston seems to want to use the Princess or her handmaiden instead of one of their own. William does not want to bring more people here, which troubling with a Princess would surely cause. They do not agree, but the young man (in general terms, he does appear to be in his mid 20's) accepts his grandfather's advice for the time being.

Fearing what would happen to his master if the smithy's daughter was not be found, Mao attempted to play with the Reeve's dreams to see what would happen if the girl was to be found missing. It showed that they whole town would search for her and it was quite serious, but it also caused the seed of worry to be planted in the Reeve's mind. Mao returned to his master and informed the "Princess" of what he learned and what he may have done.

Attempting to buy everyone time she did her best to occupy the Reeve's time the next day, not giving him time to immediately follow up on his troubled dreams. The rest of the group meets down by the carriage and realize they need to talk to the "Princess" about the girl or her absence could be notices and cause all sorts of problems. They sent for her, by acting as though she sent for them, and together they all head down to the cart to talk and make plans.

As the group heads down to "check on the carriage" they notice Brant and Winston being sent by the Reeve somewhere around back of the village. Mao heads off to investigate (because he's got these investigating feet), following them as they round behind the village to check on the blacksmith's place. Seeing they are checking on the Reeve's worries (caused by the dream) he makes one of them see the girl walk past a window, buying them some time. Mao then slips past them and warns the "Princess" (and by doing so, the others) that they are about to be spied on by locals, so they should stop their talk of the girl... But do they have a plan in motion?
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Dragavan: Land of Karn - Dragavan Games - Lootin' Wizards - Dragavan's Den
Posted on: 2007/4/19 23:57
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Re: Shadows of Magic: The Beginning
#3
Traveler of Karn
Joined: 2006/9/29
From Howling Bluff, Senton
Posts: 363
Creation Points : 1244
Hit Points : 2 / 31
MEP or PEP : 121 / 3438
Earned Skill Points : 77
Offline
After our second session I made this post to recap the events that happened.

Dark of the Woods

After the group meeting, the "Princess" went back to have the local "nobility" take her on a horsy ride, further occupying their time to prevent them from taking any actions that could lead to the discovery of the missing girl. Mao and the girl stayed in their room with Red keeping watch at the door. Chief and Doctor Fate head over to talk to the Tablesmiths, to find out what they can about the coming sacrifice.

"Lord" & "Lady" Miller, their son Brant and his wife, and a few others escorted the "Princess" and her guard east through town and down to the river trail. She noticed that the further she got from the town center the more abandoned houses and building they seemed to have, some even appearing to be falling down after generations of neglect. Even many of the gardens and fields have been overgrown with neglect, although there are some still growing fields to support the village.

Both the Doctor and Chief found out similar information while talking to the Tablesmiths separately. Every couple years a black coach drives into the village with a hooded coachman on top. A young member of the community gets into the coach and it pulls away into the woods. They are then free of trouble for the next two years. Once, around fifty years ago, the community refused to give up one of their own, but they were attacked by demons from over the wall. The attacks ravaged the land until something stopped them.

After talking to each other about what they learned of the village history and the black coach they decided to sneak behind some buildings over by the wall and do a quick flying scout mission. The Doctor makes him invisible and Chief takes off over the wall at an angle. His flight discovers the forest over the wall is wild and unnaturally thick (at least within the relatively close range of the wall he was able to see in about fifteen minutes). To avoid any risk he flew directly back towards the road and not back towards town.

When the "Princess" returns from her ride she gathers her entourage and heads out to find the others. They find the Doctor waiting back by the wall and find out the Chief took off to check out the woods and should be back shortly. Just as they are about to give up waiting the Chief shows up, walking in from down the road. Amazingly, everyone shares what they have all learned and both Red and Mao seem eager to go over the wall and check things out. Instead the group decided to walk down to the gate and see what hey can from this side, without risking anything on the other side.

Chief goes to take care of the horses and the rest head off down the road. About half the way down the road Red decides to turn back and get Chief because of what the others seem to be talking about. Once reaching the gate they talk about the possibility of building a wall across the gate to prevent anything from coming through. The "Princess" can do this instantly with magic, but doesn't mention that to the others. Instead she excuses herself and goes behind a tree, where she attempts to cast a "See Magic" spell. The first attempt fails, but the second works.

The "Princess" comes out from the behind the tree and lets out a gasp of pain, spins around, and starts to faint. Her bodyguard catches her and she starts to cry about the pain of her headache in a very dramatic fashion. Unbeknownst to the others, she was been blinded by the sure power of the magic coming from the wall and above it. It was like she stared into the sun for a moment as she rounded the tree. The doctor gives her something for the pain and the lot of them head back towards the village.

After telling Chief what was going on (as far as he knew), Red started off heading down the road towards the rest, but decided to slip behind a building and do some reconnaissance on his own instead. Stacking some things against the wall he rolls over it and lands in the woods on the other side (with no way to climb back over). Without pausing he starts to run along the wall towards the gate, as fast as he can. About halfway there Mao hears him and tells Jocelyn, who pulls the old "Do you hear that?" routine to get the others to notice what she didn't. After a brief yelling chat with Red they tell him they are going to get a rope for him and he takes off towards the gate again. Mao runs along the top of the wall and follows.

Once reaching the village they inform Chief of what Red was up to and he grabs some rope and heads down the road with the Doctor to get him. The "Princess" finds the "Lord" and arranges for more privileged activities to occupy their time.

Meanwhile, in the woods, Red has reached the gate. He takes one quick look out of the gate and then, without missing a beat, turns and runs down the overgrown trail into the dark forest. Mao shakes his head with annoyance and hops down off the wall to follow him. Freaked out and alert, Mao does his best to keep an eye out for trouble. Luckily (or unluckily, depending how you look at it) he notices some kind of dark movement in the woods. Red shows no signs of seeing it and just keeps moving.

Suddenly Red hears a voice in his head strongly demand he stops. Red freezes and looks up, thinking his god has spoken to him. Circling around he sees Jocelyn's cat scamper up a nearby tree and prepares for battle. Mao looks around and sees some large black creatures out in the woods slowly circling in on them. With no time to waste Mao knows he has to act or this could be the end of Red and possibly himself. Red suddenly hears his "god" again, telling him to run to the gate. He runs.

Mao watches as the black creatures turn to follow Red at slowly decreasing distance, like a hunting pack. Mao jumps down and follows at a safe distance, but keeps Red in range. They finally reach the gate and Red backs against it. Mao notices he has a beast coming for him and heads for a tree, barely running up it before the beast gets him (feeling the claw slap his tail). Red starts to move forward to help the cat, but his god tells him to stay at the gate, so he does.

Mao sees the creature below, some strange thing like a wolf sized all black badger with no eyes and slightly longer legs with claws. He knows there are more out there circling and moving in, so he does what he can to get away from at least this one. Suddenly the eyeless creature is hit with a blast of an illusion of a bear or something moving in on him. It reacts complexly confused, staggers around, careens off a tree, and stumbles into the underbrush. Mao wastes no time and runs down the tree and through the gate to safety.

Just then Chief shows up with the rope and sees Red with his back against the gate. They throw the rope over to him and smack him in the face with it. He refuses to leave until his god tells him to climb over. He deftly makes it over the wall and lands on the other side. After explaining what happened in there they all head back to town as night approaches.

Later that evening Red remembers back to his moment deep in the woods, where that raccoon ran up a tree near him and Ralgor spoke directly to him. Mao walks away from the smiling Red with a pleased look on his face.

Night has fallen on the village of Turlingham.
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Dragavan: Land of Karn - Dragavan Games - Lootin' Wizards - Dragavan's Den
Posted on: 2007/4/20 0:01
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Re: Shadows of Magic: The Beginning
#4
Traveler of Karn
Joined: 2006/9/29
From Howling Bluff, Senton
Posts: 363
Creation Points : 1244
Hit Points : 2 / 31
MEP or PEP : 121 / 3438
Earned Skill Points : 77
Offline
After our third session I made this post to recap the events that happened.

Into the Woods

After the activity of the previous day, and the pain (and blindness) of one (after seeing the magic of the wall), the group settles in for their last night in the village. Chief makes sure the carriage will be ready in the morning and everything looks good to go. The princess's cat, Mao, wanders the house at night to see that everyone seems to be on guard and watching all the doors. The night passes, but not comfortably.

First thing in the morning the group is getting everything packed, as the carriage is nearly ready to go. Unfortunately there is a commotion in the village as the dark carriage pulls up the road into town and the blacksmith's daughter is discovered to be missing. The villagers begin to search the village, quickly heading towards the main mansion (where our group is located). The bodyguard heads them off in the hall, blocking their path and buying time for the others. Chief and Princess Jocelyn join in the "discussion."

The young girl is turned invisible and taken to the back of the house through the Doctor's window. She runs off as soon as she hits the ground. Unfortunately she is now out of the sight of the others. As the house becomes a muddle of confusion and action, Red leaves everyone else behind and is gracelessly out a window, on his way to meet his destiny. He runs right passed the dark carriage and down the road towards the gate into the woods.

Unbeknownst to all of them the girl is spotted by the driver of the carriage and pointed out to the villagers, who grab her and throw her into the carriage. This takes some time and struggle, but soon enough she is in the carriage. This last part is seen by Mao and reported to the princess before he takes off after the exiting dark carriage.

Once news of the girl's capture reaches the rest of them is no pause and Chief is out the window, flying in pursuit. Mao, who is running slow and quickly losing the carriage, notices the bird man above and calls to them. The sudden mystery voice booking in his head nearly causes Chief to crash out of the sky, but he manages to land. Looking around he sees the cat the voice spoke of and stuffs it in his back before taking flight again.

The doctor checks on the others, finds out what is going on, and then takes flight himself. This leaves only Jocelyn and her bodyguard in the house with guards at all the doors. The bodyguard attempts to "persuade" his way out the main door, but makes a fool of himself in the process. Luckily it is enough of a distraction to let Jocelyn sneak out a window, where she runs over to the blacksmith's and takes off after the other on one of their horses.

Red makes it to the gate and finds it open. Not pausing he runs off into the woods and down the road. Not too far down the road he is struck from behind and knocked out. He failed to not only hear or see a team of horses bearing down on him but to remain conscious after a single staff blow to the head. Soon after Chief came flying overhead and only slowed down enough to brush him with a foot in hopes of rousing him.

Chief catches up to the carriage and takes aim. Mao strains to send an image to the driver, but fails. Chief strikes perfectly, but passes through the apparition of what was the driver and crashes onto the horse in front of him. Rolling off (and luckily being missed by the carriage), Chief and Mao crash into the dust beside the road and lose sight of the now speeding up carriage. Dusting off and collecting their bearings Chief grabs the cat again and takes off in the direction of the carriage.

The Doctor zooms down the forest trail and sees Red back on his feet, but staggering as little as he runs. Landing to help, the Doctor is shrugged off by Red, who is still running down the road. Giving up on him and focusing on the girl in trouble, the Doctor takes off again down the road and meets up with Chief. After a quick exchange of information they send the Doctor ahead to catch up to the carriage.

Back in the village there is confrontation between the Reeve of the village and only member of the group still there... One pissed off Dwarf. He discovers very little new information, but garners the help of the village getting the carriage ready to leave immediately. He is even given a new horse to replace the one his boss took off on. Unfortunately he has no cart driving skill to his ride isn't exactly neat, but he is lucky enough to control then onto the forest trail.

Chief has to land at an intersection to study the tracks and try to follow the others. While busy looking at the ground a Shadow Badger strikes out from the woods and slashes his back. Luckily the track was seen and the wounded and bleeding Butchwing takes to the air again, although not as neatly as usual. The Doctor meets up with them, having come from ahead, and takes a quick look at the wound.

Jocelyn catches up to Red and blasts past him with little more than a nod and a wave. She then catches up to the flyers as they discuss the wounds and trouble finding the dark carriage. Mao notices that as they wait there a moment and discuss there are dark shapes circling them, moving in for the strike. To avoid another attack they take off down the trail again, Doctor zooming ahead and Chief (after returning the cat to the "princess") staying with the horse and rider.

Red finally wears down and nearly collapses in the roadway, stopping to rest up. Again unnoticed, he is struck from behind. This time by a nearly out of control carriage that throws him into the underbrush before crashing into it itself. This time he remains conscious and sees that it's his company carriage with a befuddled Dwarf driving. They work together to get the thing back on the road, and this time Red drives and leaves the navigation and tracking to his new partner.

Hours pass and many diverging trails are found heading off to different areas of the woods. The Doctor keeps zooming ahead, but always returns to Chief and the others to make sure they are following the trail. Slowly the Dwarven carriage follows their trail from behind.

All around them hundreds of packs of Shadow Badgers are drawn to the presence of these outsiders as they pass through their land.

No longer are left to battle and feed on each other.

They have new prey.
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Dragavan: Land of Karn - Dragavan Games - Lootin' Wizards - Dragavan's Den
Posted on: 2007/4/20 0:05
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Re: Shadows of Magic: The Beginning
#5
Traveler of Karn
Joined: 2006/9/29
From Howling Bluff, Senton
Posts: 363
Creation Points : 1244
Hit Points : 2 / 31
MEP or PEP : 121 / 3438
Earned Skill Points : 77
Offline
It was at this point I stop and leave things to be continued inside. Feel free to join the forums and see where things have gone since then, as well as all the extras. You can also join in the chat with the Travelers of Karn themselves. Enjoy.
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Dragavan: Land of Karn - Dragavan Games - Lootin' Wizards - Dragavan's Den
Posted on: 2007/4/20 0:09
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