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 Where Shadows and secrets lie...

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PostSubject: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:31 pm

The moon broke through the twisted branches that covered path leading into Wraithmarsh. Novier wrapped himself up in his crimson cloak, peering over his shoulder every couple of seconds making sure nothing was about to sink its fangs into him. Novier was making a trip into the heart of darkness tonight to shed some light on a couple of rumors started by some travelers who had recently passed through on their way to WestCliffe. The travelers were horrified by what they had apparently seen. Warriors rising from the grave only to bear their armor that hung over their skeletons. Women dressed in robes, herding packs of demonic children.

There was something evil within this region, Novier could feel it just by standing around near the entrance which had an arrow and the description "Wraithmarsh" on it. At first glance Novier had not noticed the skull staring up at him from the mud. As soon as Novier realized what it was he jumped and then quickly stomped the skull, shattering it to pieces. Luckily it was no undead warrior. But Novier was hoping his friend would arrive soon. Cyril was a brute of a man and had been friends with Novier for years. Growing up in the guild they were an odd pair of friends. Both opposites in terms of masterys.

Novier and Cyril both graduated at the same time when it came time for them to leave the training of the guild behind and move on to making their marks in the world. But for now Quests were a bit low in demand and Novier thought it might be best to get out and do extra curricular adventuring. Cyril was not too keen on exploring one of the most dangerous areas of Ablion but Novier convinced him with the thought that we could come out of this ordeal wealthier and some renown added to their names for all to glorify.

But Cyril had not arrived and there was something foul in the air. Maybe it was cold sting of the weather. Or perhaps the whispers that filled Novier's ears telling him all of his worst fears...





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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 1:42 pm

Cyril looked to his sides cautiously as he walked towards the entrance to Wraithmarsh, he really didn't want to be here. Novier's words had seemed so convincing in the guild, but now that he was here he just wanted to leave. Every branch and puddle looked like it wanted to kill him, eat his flesh, and then reanimate his skeleton.

Cyril sighed with relief when he saw Novier in the distance...at least he hoped it was Novier. He step on a twig which snapped loudly, he jump and quickly started running, fearful of what it could have been, a swamp troll rising out of the puddle he passed? A hollow man stalking him quietly? He had lots of thoughts like this, his most fearful thought being a Banshee and her child minions following him. He dared not look back, nor did he dare stop running until he got to Novier.

He sprinted until he finally reached Novier, panting loudly by his side, hunching over himself to catch his breath and slow his heart. He looked over at Novier, "Is there anything behind us?" He asked him nervously, he suspected no but he still dared not look back and see for himself. The forest was too dark and cold, unnaturally dark and cold. Not dark and cold like a regular forest at night, but darker...and colder. The chill that reaches down to your bones and clutches them harder than iron, the darkness that invades your mind and fills it with sorrow and regret.

A balverine howls in the distance, sending a chill down Cyril's spine. He stands up straight after regaining his composure, checking his surroundings.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:06 pm

Novier turned slowly, opening his eyes revealing the glowing sky blue eyes. Cyril was acting very frightened for a warrior and Novier was hoping that was going to be the opposite. "I'm pretty sure if we had been followed they would of devoured our corpses by now. Don't worry Cyril. With our combined masterys nothing can pose too much of a threat. Unless a white balverine comes along. Then we might be in some trouble."

Novier chuckled quietly to himself for a moment but where they were was no laughing matter. Reaching around underneath his cloak, Novier brought out an unlit torch. He quickly remedied this matter by bringing his hand close to it and charging up a sphere of lightning in his hand. He quickly discharged the weak bolt over the torch and ignited the torch, giving them source of light in what seemed an eternal darkness.

Novier then handed the torch over to Cyril, wrapping himself up once more in his cloak. "I need to have both my hands free to cast will. So you will have to carry the torch. The path before us is not too far. When you spot a statue of a Gargoyle then we have met our destination." Said Novier as he stepped behind Cyril.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:15 pm

Cyril took the torch in his left hand, unsheathing his cleaver with his right and swallowing nervously as he started to venture forth. Cyril didn't feel any warmth from the torch, and the light seemed to be swallowed up by the darkness of the forest. This discomforted him greatly, the white balverine comment from Novier hardly eased his nerves.

It's not that Cyril was afraid of fighting, it's not that he wasn't brave, he was just absolutely terrified of undead things, balverines also bothered him, because he knows that if he takes too much damage from one, he could turn into it. He didn't like the idea of being undead or a balverine, so he sought to avoid both.

Cyril feels his foot engulfed in cold, his face goes pale as he looks down, his foot in a small puddle of icy water. The water felt unnaturally slimy and sick. He continued walking uncomfortably, his fingers numb from the cold, even the cold metal of his cleaver is warmer than the air itself. He finds comfort in the weapon he wields, he finds security.

Cyril looks up, noticing a Gargoyle statue, he stops suddenly, turning to Novier, "There's the statue." He says quietly, trying not to disturb anything nearby. His voice sounds awkward and wavering, as if he's not comfortable speaking.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:03 pm

Novier examined the stature for a moment. It had its right hand deep in its mouth, yanking it downwards with his left hand pointing off into the darkness. Novier then took the lead and began to charge up another lightning sphere within his hands. He carefully walked in the direction that the gargoyle had pointed out, focusing to keep the spell maintained. Every once in a while an ark of lightning would shoot off in a random direction though posing no danger.

Eventually they began to tread through water reached their knees. Sludge washed about with each step as they progressed forward until finally reaching an old wooden gate, half way submerged in the water. Above it read "Oakvale", Novier knew stories of a serene town named Oakvale but from what he had seen this town is no longer a peaceful haven.

"Cyril can you break this gate down? I would destroy it myself but a bolt would light it on fire. Then we would have to put it with the water or let it burn out."


Said Novier as he powered down his sphere of lightning, allowing him to regain the mana that he had lost to maintain the sphere and causing the torch to be the single most source of light.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:14 pm

Cyril feels his legs warmth draining quickly as the trudge through the sludge and water. Cyril didn't expect any comforts in this quest, but he didn't expect this much discomfort either. He had to sheath his cleaver in order to wade through the water, which made him uncomfortable, he hated not having a weapon in a place he didn't trust, even if he trusts Novier's will.

When Novier asked Cyril to break down the gate, Cyril examined the gate closely, he nodded slightly. "I can break it down, I think. The gate is old and rotted, it shouldn't be a problem." Cyril sets the torch in a small holder beside the gate, mounted against the arch. He then backs up, sprinted at the gate and ramming his shoulder into it, he feels the soft wood bend but not break, some of it splinters to reveal the other side, but Cyril backs up again, charging at the gate again and ramming his shoulder into it.

A the wood cracks and snaps apart, a small section of the gate bending over, Cyril grabs it and pulls it into the water, revealing a hole big enough for them to pass through. Cyril grabs the torch and steps through the hole, checking the surroundings quickly before waving Novier through.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:29 pm

Slipping through the whole, Novier almost fell face first into the water but quickly caught himself from falling into the murky, ice cold water. Here the moon was shedding enough light over the time stricken town that decayed constantly. Some of the houses were half way swallowed up by mud and water. In the center of the town sat a water well which was covered in vines that sprouted thorns from their sides. Novier trekked through the water and made his way to the ancient Well.

Peering down the well, Novier spotted a blood red glow. Novier had found what he needed. Searching through the nearby vines, Novier found a wench for the bucket which held the object he needed. Slowly turning the crank, the bucket began to raise. But the ancient grinding of the wench echoed through out the area. A howl much like a Balverine sounded through out the area! Novier gasped and scanned the area, searching for the beast! "Cyril! Cover me while I bring the bucket it up!" said Novier as he began to speed up on turning the wench.

The Balverine ripped through the front gate in which the two heroes entered through! Pieces of debris flew in all direction! The creature roared at the moon and set its gaze upon Cyril. His fangs dripped with saliva and small droplets of blood as he growled towards Cyril. The creature then charged and leaped with its claws wide open and aimed towards Cyril!
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:37 pm

Cyril grabbed his cleaver when Novier shouted to cover him, his heart raced and his eyes darted around.

When the balverine crashed through the gate he turned to see it lunging at him. Cyril ducked down, raising his cleaver and keeping the torch low, trying to avoid dipping it in the water by accident. The balverine can't stop itself, the cleaver cutting into it's leathery hide and fur, splitting it's torso clean down the middle from the chest down to the stomach. The balverine splashed in the water, howling in anguish as it's crimson red blood seeps into the icy waters, the balverine falls silent, laying motionless.

Cyril takes slow breaths, standing up and walking over to the balverine, he raises the cleaver and swings it down at the balverine's neck, severing the head from the body, just to make sure it's dead. He walks back to the well, getting ready in a defensive position to defend Novier, "We better be gone quick, more balverines are sure to come." Cyril states nervously.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:48 pm

Novier had just finished pulling the bucket up as Cyril decapitated the beast for safe measures. Taking hold of the bucket, Novier pulled out what seemed to be a seal. The markings on it were indecipherable and most likely as old as the Kingdom. The edges were sharp to the touch and stained with blood from those who had picked it up with bare hands unlike Novier who wore leather gloves.

"This is the key to finding the fabled Shadow Court. If we did not find this then I would have thought for sure it was nothing more than superstitious tale. But this...Changes everything. Let us return to the Gargoyle. From there we go the opposite direction."

Said Novier with eyes constantly set up on the seal. He could hardly control himself when it came to such artifacts. He then tucked it away in a small pouch and awaited for Cyril to lead the way once more. Cyril had definitely proved that he was no mere warrior to be trifled with. Slaying a Balverine is no small feat. Others would argue that it would be easy for a Hero. But Heroes bled like the rest. And the chances of death are that much higher. Being a Hero came with a great cost indeed.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:56 pm

Cyril examined the artifact along with Novier briefly, he remained quiet, he wasn't so fearful of balverines now, but he was fearful that if they did find this Court, then what would be in it, and what sacrifices would have to be made to get to the Court?

Cyril held the torch in front of himself, his cleaver in his other hand as he knew there would be more balverines now. He carefully trudged through the water, climbing back through the gate and wading through the sickly ice water. The gargoyle was within' sight now, it's silhouette set against the moon, a small figure is seen leaping across the moon in the distance, it's very wolf-like. Cyril stops at the gargoyle, scanning the trees for balverines cautiously.

His fingers are numb and he trembles lightly, all the cold water and the air about the place don't bode well with him, obviously. His face, clothes, and his cleaver are stained with the balverine's blood, the rustic blade slightly chipped at the edge from the leathery hide of the balverine. His breathing is slow and heavy, he tries to remain calm in the face of fear itself. There could be no scarier experience for Cyril, and yet he believes he must push on, for his friend and to complete the quest, who knows what riches and rewards could be hidden in the Court! He could write a book about the adventure, "Rissatore and Vihar: The Court of Shadows" he would name it, and write every detail. Assuming he escaped this adventure alive, that is...
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:15 pm

Vihar kept his eyes set upon the path laid before them. The Balverines would not tress pass any further onto the ground they treading on. One of the beasts crawled behind the statue and merely watched as they moved forward. The beast whined for a moment and ran off into darkness. Vihar was no longer sure if this was truly worth it. Dispelling a rumor?! Or was it now just sealing their fates? Vihar was now scared literally out of his mind. But now they were at the point of no return. A large gate sat before them. Runes covered the door with three skulls sitting over the top. The skulls almost looked as if they were watching them.

Vihar took the seal from his bag and examined it again. The markings matched those on the door. This was the right key and possibly the way into Hell. Vihar pressed the seal on a mechanism that jutted out from the door. The mechanism snapped! Snatching the seal back, securing it in the middle of the door. The seal then began to rotate and soon enough the door's lock opened! The seal then dropped into the dirt before Vihar as the door separated into two pieces, sliding away to allow passage.

Picking up the seal once more, Vihar tucked it away. He sighed at the thought of what may hiding within the darkness. Novier then stepped behind Cyril once more, allowing the brute to lead once more. It seemed logical the man with a cleaver and torch should lead the way into the unknown.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:19 pm

Cyril stared into the dark abyss for several minutes before he started walking forward, holding his torch far out in front of himself, the cleaver held out at his side as he ventured into the darkness. He knew little what to expect, and even less what to do. The torch light showed the tunnel they were walking down had runes all along the walls and floor. There were ominous statues and the occasional skeleton. Cyril swallows nervously and watched eat skeleton and statue closely, expecting them to leap from the wall and attack him and Novier.

They reached a small fork in the pathway, three tunnels, one straight ahead, and two on either side of them. Cyril turned to Novier and asked him, "Left, right, or forward?"
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:40 pm

Vihar's eyes darted about magnificent ruins. The symbols could tell unremarkable knowledge but yet he knew not what origins that derived from. As they neared the multiple paths, Vihar was unsure. It was not the mere fact that he was indecisive about things like this but rather the possibilities. One path could to a trap, leaving them stranded only to starve and eat one another. Another could lead to a tomb where hundreds of Hollowmen could rise from their graves impale both Vihar and Cyril with their ancient weaponry. Or maybe they would run across an underground lake and be swallowed alive by a Kraken! Vihar had to stop thinking so negatively. But how could he think positive when darkness surrounded every thought?

Vihar motioned to the middle passage and uttered a small phrase. "Unto the breach once more." said Vihar trying to keep his composure. As they traveled down the hall, whispers became less faint. Soon it began to sound like someone was talking right behind you. But every time he went to look back he was greeted with nothing but shadows. But Vihar noticed something. His shadow seemed to move irregularly. Not repeating his movements. The walk was different. Hunched over, dragging its feet. Then without any warning the shadow grabbed hold of Vihar's right leg! Vihar slammed into the ground and yelped in pain!

"Cyril! Help me!"

Cried Vihar! Suddenly another noise was heard. The groaning of an undead warrior shambled down Cyril's view. The warrior was missing his left arm and wielded a great battle Axe! Vihar mustered a quick spell of Will and shot out a bolt from his right hand at the shadow! The bolt struck the shadow causing it to scream in pain! This only enraged the shadow all the more and began to drag Vihar into the darkness...
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:49 pm

Cyril swung his cleaver at the shadow in an attempt to prevent it from dragging Novier away. The shadow shrieks angrily at Cyril, attempting to claw at his face. Cyril quickly swings his cleaver at the shadow's head, causing the shadow to waver and then disappear, but before Cyril can confront the hollow man behind him, he feels a sharp pain in his left arm, dropping the torch, putting them in darkness, the only light being from the moon reflecting down the hall dimly.

The hollow man pulls his sword out of Cyril's arm, screeching loudly. Cyril turns quickly, swinging his cleaver down at the hollow man's neck, taking it's head off, but it swings his sword again. Cyril ducks and sweeps his cleaver across the hollow man's legs, finally killing it and releasing the forsaken spirit. Cyril goes over to Novier, helping him up as he sheaths his cleaver, wrapping his hand around the cut sorely.

Cyril ponders where the blade's been, if he's gonna die because of the cut. The warm fluid seeping out of his arm, the only thing warm in the entire forest was blood, but even blood runs cold eventually.

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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:15 pm

Entering the lit room almost felt like a mistake. It was more like a shaft with thousands of tombs built into the walls. Where they stood now was a balcony that sat over what seemed to be an endless pit into darkness. Novier broke free from Cyril's helping grasps and noticed his wound. Novier quickly placed both of his hands over the wound and concentrated for a moment. A bright blue light illuminated from underneath his hands and repaired the damage that had been wrought on his arm. The spell drained Novier most of his mana for the time being.

"Luckily I was here. Those weapons would of caused your arm to rot off."

Said Novier as he scanned the room. He then eyed the three large tombs that had their own platform which sat over the abyss. Torches illuminated the small area nd must of had some importance. Suddenly a voice echoed out from the middle tomb.

"Why have you traveled into the darkest depths of this forest? Such bravery is often rewarded by death. And yet you have the seal...The Thief must believe he can simply rid himself of such an object...Return it to us mortal...And you shall have safe passage out of the forest...Just this time."


Spoke the cryptic voice. Vihar knew not what to think. The afterlife was speaking to him and Cyril! Vihar pulled out the seal once more and debated giving it back. What if it was a trap? What if giving it to them would be their deaths? Vihar turned to Cyril and glanced at him...

"What do we do? Do we take it's word? Or keep it and face the consequences?"

Said Vihar who stared down blankly at the strange seal.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:22 pm

Cyril looked between the seal and the room, such an artifact would be worth incredible sums of gold, but keeping it sounds like it would be an impossible challenge for them, and retrieving it if they gave it back even more impossible. What if it wasn't giving back though, what if the voice had never had the seal? What if it was a demon who needed to seal to unleash himself upon Albion.

There were too many chances to take with something like this, and not enough answers...Maybe they could ask the voice why it wanted the seal, but perhaps it would anger it. Cyril was far too worried about all this, maybe if they just gave the seal back the voice would get them out safely and he wouldn't have to face balverines or hollow men...but the riches and fame if he and Vihar kept the seal and escaped with it were unimaginable.

"I don't know Novier...there's too many things that could go wrong, not enough answers...do you think we could risk asking what the voice is, and why it wants the seal?" Cyril asked Novier nervously, he wasn't sure if the voice could hear them.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:42 pm

The voice heard every word and chuckled aloud in an almost demonic voice.

"A man by the name of Reaver made a deal with us long ago. He brought himself before us and wished for immortality. And here the bargain was made. For eternal youth he brings us one individual to sacrifice their youth. But lately he has refused...And it is near time that we speak with him and remind him our deal...Least he pay the consequences."

Novier had never heard of such magic before. To take the youth of run and transfer it to another? The possibilities were endless with such an art. But Novier knew learning such knowledge would have an price to pay. The words uttered by the spirit seemed to be true. If the spirit was fabricating a lie then it was a mighty good one. But the end result of his lie would only mask a much more evil plot. And Novier could not stomach something more dastardly than what it had said.

Novier made his choice on the matter. He then tossed the seal across the room causing the seal to land right in front of the middle tomb. The seal sat motionless for a moment but then began to move! Slowly it was lifted into the air by an unknown source. It span around in circles before finally vanishing with a flash of light! The voice chuckled with an evil laugh...

"Thank you Heroes...The path you seek is now lit and clear of all those would you seek to harm you..."

The hallway behind them was then lit with a light by countless torches. The way was now opened. Novier sighed and motioned for Cyril to follow. The way out was filled with nothing but silence. And the sun was now rising only shed a faint light over the cursed land.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:52 pm

Cyril stared at the small artifact, mourning it's loss quietly, but also glad to be rid of it. He followed Novier, glad for the lit path and safety, but he didn't full trust the mysterious voice, and he doubted that this was going to be his last encounter with it. Cyril wanted that artifact, the glory and greed filled his eyes. His personal quest was set, he wanted the artifact more than anything.

But he continued to follow Novier, unwilling to turn back and face the voice, it was far too powerful for him right now, he could return at a later date...

He looked up at the dim sun, he was glad to see it, he felt like he'd been in the darkness for weeks. His legs were weak, his fingers were numb, and his arm stung. He didn't think dark thoughts of greed and glory, or of the artifact, instead he thought of his warm bed and the tight embrace of the blankets around him, the gently touch of the pillow against his pained head, and best of all, the warm bath and hot meal.
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PostSubject: Re: Where Shadows and secrets lie...   Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:58 pm

The two heroes had walked into the heart of a tainted land. Killed a ravenous beast, fought off an evil spirit along with an undead warrior and met the voice of the shadows. Only Heroes could of made this journey alone. It was their blood, skills and strengths that caused them to survive. And with such an adventure they were on the paths to greatness...

But what paths were they? A road to greed and power? The drive to become legends? With any path there will be temptations. The temptations to partake of a fruit of power that can cause even the mightiest Hero to fall...

(End Adventure)
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