The Shattered Spectrum: The Next Generation

Undead Lord

Dark Lands

The Val'Kushir Brides
As recounted by Theophrastus Bombastus Paracelcus Von Hohenheim, pulled from the mind of Angbok Pallad

The Val’Kushir Brides

Who watches the watchers? The Val’Kushir Brides do. These are the former concubines of the Dark Lord himself. Magically and surgically sterilized as to not diminish the power of the Dark Lord by passing his power onto any potential offspring.

As individuals who have directly felt the influence and touch of the Dark Lord; they are magically imbued with his boons. Unnatural speed and agility, the ability to remain unseen in any setting, and an exceedingly keen mind are common traits of the Val’Kushir. While they are in the company of the Dark Lord and living in his halls, they train in the art of assassination, magical ability, speechcraft, and many other pursuits. Though the caste of the interior holds many spies, the Val’Kushir Brides are the masters. Either unseen until the split second a dagger launches itself from the shadows, or the center of attention and the life of the party. Whatever the quest requires, the Val’Kushir Brides excel in the skills to accomplish it.

These are the personal agents of the Dark Lord. This is an honor revered above all others, once a bride takes the blood pact and gains full rank and status in this group, all history and evidence of their former life is erased and destroyed. And the memory of them by their former loved ones and friends slowly fades until they are but a dream, that you can’t seem to grasp onto the clear picture of any longer. They are simultaneously the most sought after position in Dark Lord’s Empire, and the monster of a bedtime stories mothers in the dark empire tell their children to keep them in line.

The head of this group is the original Bride herself, the dragon concubine of the Dark Lord. Though she knows she will never truly ensnare the Dark Lord as her mate, she tries eternally to earn his favor.

Map of a Bygone Era

I forget if I have sent this out to everyone before or not, but here is the original map I have as a cover sheet.

Feel free to print or use or whatever, but it is not up to date as of this campaign. Because I don’t know how to art.

Light heart, heavy heart. Rogue walking in the tower.

(Sorry I haven’t posted for a while. I just remembered the password in our game chaos)

the moment is: Charisma disappear into the lich crown
She wanted to scream and flail her limbs, yet fall limp all at once. Her grey eyes seized in panic.

Her heart was filled with sadness at the loss of their beloved monk. But the pure shock and sadness made it overflow at the taking of Charisma.

Her feet, normally feeling fleet and ready to move at moment’s notice, felt bound. Her body was heavy. Her heart ached right to bone. Braith was encumbered with grief. Sullen and stagnant, the burden of sadness was too heavy.

She looked at the gun slinger, the soldier, and the ranger. The rogue saw them, she saw her family, sick and wounded. Braith felt the weight in her heart press harder.

Her grey eyes lilted to the spot where their Mage should be standing.
She realized she lost her sister.
She realized what these people meant to her.
And how she cared not what happened to her own flesh or even riches.
She wanted her family, banded together again.

The heaviness in her heart lit afire. The heaviness burned and raged. This burning presseure lifted a bit, and her feet felt slightly untied. She moved, but it wasn’t with light steps…..

The yellow and the purple... the call of Thorek...
The call of Thorek

With the business in yellow completed and the orcs on the march , we have decided it’s time to move onto purple … using a teleport spell and rough location Charisma teleported us relatively close to our location . Few days of walking and we were at the gates of one of the biggest castles in the land of the purple … as we approached we were greeted by the griffin knights of the purple … ( AIR CAVALRY HERE WE COME !!! ) … Almost drooling all over myself at the sight of the magnificent and noble creatures I stumbled with my speech when we met mr. Shiny armor knight … we were escorted to the living quarters and told that we will meet with the king tomorrow morning … the next day morning we have met with the king … he sits on a throne in a giant room on top of the hill ( by the way at some point we have to donate some golems to these poor people … they are still using manual labor to operate the elevator … ) surrounded by knights on each side and with griffons flying in and out of the room … the armor he wore was magnificent … rivaling that of a dwarven smiths if I dare to say so … to my surprise though the conversation with the king was done by some sort of weird device that operated on tapping .. the amount of taps signified either words or letters and the knights present were interpreting the taps for us in the form of words … ( the king was mute for reasons unknown to me at that time ) . After short discussion to which I am so used to at this point … we ask for help , we get told we will help you but you have to do a,b,c for us … we were tasked with slaying a water dragon that took residence in the nearby area and one of the knights of the pink volunteered to assist us with the task , Sir Pike was his name if I remember correctly , upon my first look he looked like a scrawny little turd who never saw real combat face to face and he carried himself with that prancy nobility manner ( like Charisma does sometimes ) so I put him in his place really fast by calling him out ( I had to know if he has enough balls to take on a dragon ) to my surprise the skinny lad had a pair on him and unwavering resolve to kill that dragon … to my surprise I noticed Wisp among the people in the audience … good to know there are still people whose heart and dedication is still in the fight. After the meeting with the king we met with Wisp , updated her on the current situation and progress and she in return provided us with tools necessary for our dragon hunting escapade ( harpoons and some water breathing potions , protection potions ) . We departed the castle and searched for the dragon for some time, finally by afternoon we found the lake where the dragon decided to make his lair. We tried many tricks to drag the dragon out on the land but the beast was smart (and hibernating) and didn’t fall for our tricks … As the idiotic members of the party made futile attempts to try to lure the dragon onto the shore , Howgr decided to just charge into the lake in a typical Howgr fashion… he charged in and started to make out with a bunch of kelp … not sure if that is some Orcish tradition or if he got insanity sickness from Ashford but something is not right with this party … one shits his pants then slams his dick in between the pages of the book , and now our Orc decides to make out with a bunch of kelp … Being a ranger I knew exactly what was going on and I put 3 arrows in that kelp(ie) after which Howgr finally came to his senses … I noticed that Pike went off to the side and was already formulating some sort of a plan to get to the middle of this lake while avoiding all the kelpies … Howgr , Pike , Summaris and myself went to the near abandoned village and took a boat from there … with no previous experience in sailing I somehow managed ( by bending the 5th dimension ) to put the sail up and soon enough we were sailing toward the middle of the lake … We got toward the middle and all of us dove in … Howgr holding the magical harpoon that Wisp gave us , Summaris turned into water elemental and scouted ahead in the murky waters , Pike and I ever so graciously drank the potions of water breathing and dove in … soon enough the battle ensued the beast was large … and fought fiercely trying to scorch us with overheated steam ( thanks to Wisp for those potions ) … we smacked it hard between Howgr spearing it with the harpoon , Summaris slamming it with spells , and me hitting it in the nutsack with the holy hammer of Thorek … the beast finally went down … we took what we could from the beast ( some scales and skin and Howgr chopped off its head as a trophy ) .

After that was done we headed back to the city to hear what part 2 and 3 of our quest supposed to be , for part two we were told we will be going into an old mage tower where some crown that supposed to lift the curse placed on the ruler of the purple resides in possession of a mad and crazy demi lich … but it was part 3 that surprised all of us the most … Charisma was to get married to the “ shiny knight “ and seal the alliance between Purple and White … Charisma took that request with a slight shock and disbelief as the rest of us cracked some jokes about her … she took it seriously and started to think of the repercussions and consequences of such a choice …

We rested overnight and in the morning I received word from Armok that the dwarfs are not doing good and that he himself is on a verge of death … he also notified me that Theophrastus made him an offer to put the souls of the fallen dwarfs into golems … to which I told him NOT TO TRUST THE MAN !!! ( hopefully that stubborn old dwarf will listen ) .
We have gathered whatever supplies we deemed necessary ( mostly holy items and scrolls of powerful holy magic ) and delved into the tower of the mad demi lich …

The tower was 7 stories high with 2 basement levels as far as I remember from the debriefing that Ashford gave us earlier in the morning , its filled with traps and magical glyphs that can kill a careless person in an instant … we proceeded with caution even though time was ticking mercilessly against us … we went through the first floor relatively fast facing some skeletons on the way and guardian suit of armor , we dispatched the enemies with ease and proceeded onward … with the guidance of the journal based on the recollections of the only survivor who ever entered the tower and came out alive ( although crazy ) we made slow progress up the stairs … we managed to solve the puzzle of an ever changing labyrinth ( pretty cool idea and if I ever have my own kingdom I will surely implement that ) … and then we entered a room where we were greeted by a Jester … that little prick started to throw cards at people and each card had a different magical effect associated with it … some of them were positive some negative … charisma got to fight a wraight in one on one combat … Ashford got lucky and managed to draw a card that somehow allowed him to turn back time and neglect effects of one negative thing that happen to him … Braith got super lucky and managed to get two magical items … ( rogue life paid off ) …

Ashford without missing a beat blasted the Joker to shreds as Charisma finished up the wraith , Howgr in the meantime decided to get horrified and run away from the room like a chicken with his head chopped off , I tried stopping him but I wasn’t successful … on his way out he triggered every single rune … and after the combat ended we found him on the bottom of the stairs sleeping … Charisma did the only sensible thing to do and tried my old trusted dwarf approach and slapped Howgr back to the land of non – sleeping ! … We continued on feeling the pressure of time at the same time trying to be as careful as we could … we reached a level with some skeletons and slimes at which point I have cast hide from undead ( my clerical knowledge and power can’t match Asiris but I do with what I have and it worked ! ) none of the undead noticed us sneaking by … we made it to another floor with an imp and 3 clockwork golems … now that would be trickier … I took down the imp in one swift attack … it’s leathery wings flopped for the last time with 3 arrows sticking out of its chest … it was the golems I was more worried about … Howgr charged one of the golems and immediately got himself in troubles by becoming grappled by the golem … I had to act quick … with a quick thinking I launched 3 smoke arrows in hopes to blind the golems … and to my surprise it worked … Charisma cast haste on us and we sprinted up the stairs pass the confused golems …On the next floor as we were about to climb up the stairs we saw a river of blood and heard cries of a newborn babies … I thought for a second that my mind is playing tricks on me but when we entered that room all become clear … on the stone tables giving birth to a newborn babies lye 5 women … right next to them stood headless assistants who ripped the babies out of the mother’s womb skinned the babies and then tossed the mangled remains onto the pile of thousands of already dead babies … the imagery of such malevolence and just pure and utter evil must have stirred flaming rage within Asiri as he just charged in without any regard for his life and started casting consecrate … the monsters howled in fury as he finished casting and battle ensued the mothers , the dead babies , the attendants they all turned to face us … Asiri took majority of the first blows and become nauseated by the poison and disease that the undeads carried … the rest of the team slowly engaged and the glorious battle raged on … after few minutes I had a clear picture that we had no idea how to approach this threat … my comrades were becoming useless as the monsters surrounded them and poison and disease spread through their bodies … I decided to take different approach and blasted the monsters from afar with my enchanted arrows … the battle was fierce but without the help of our party members who were puking their guts out … it was clear as day that we rushed in unprepared ( due to Hawgr pinching Charisma’s ass and her yelling in surprise ) … the tide of battle slowly started to look grimmer and grimmer , my comrades wounded and barely able to move … Asiri down on the floor unconscious , Ashford scrambling to get his shots off , Braith surrounded by swarms of dead babies , Charisma surrounded by dead babies as well … Howgr trying to hold his own but slowly losing ground … the situation become even more dire when the dead babies clawed at the eyes of my party members and blinded them temporarily … I was the only left standing trying to fend off the enemies … clutching my Thorekian hammer I went into a frenzy trying to save my comrades … that’s when I heard whispers of the Dark Lord “ you can save them young dwarf , embrace the darkness and all will be good , they will live … make the right choice … “ With all my willpower I rejected the whispers I steeled my resolve called out to Thorek to give me strength and started to swing my hammer … I managed to kill two swarms of the dead babies … but there was way too many enemies for me to kill alone … I accepted the fact that this is the end of my road but like every dwarf I decided that if I go down … I will go down swinging … I was ready for battle ! And that’s when unexpected happen … Charisma barely conscious … called out to the dark lord … she allowed the dark lord to take her light … in exchange to heal all of us … Albeit noble sacrifice … her action was stupid … yes we won the battle and people lived but at what cost …
Howgr immediately grabbed his sword and charged at Charisma … it literally took all of us to stop him although in my rage and confusion I wasn’t sure what to think anymore … here she stood in front of me the Lady of the white … the one I decided to follow to unite the spectrum , the one I put my trust into to be the guiding force behind this adventure … and she betrayed me , she betrayed our cause …. So that we could live … anger mixed with relief stirred in me … I didn’t know what to think , part of me wanted to kill her right there on the spot , part of me could not fathom what she did , and part of me understood why she did it … I was torn in so many directions at once and in no direction at all , it felt as if I lost direction for a second … then I remembered who I was , who we were , why did we do what we did … I remembered the sacrifice of every single person that passed away in this conflict … I remembered our conversations with Okenna … I stopped Howgr telling him it’s not the time nor the place … if he wants to kill her I won’t stand in his way once we leave the tower but for now … we still needed her … I know Charisma tried to explain why she did it … tears rolling down her cheeks … she said “ I did it because you guys are my family … “ that hit home and it hit home hard … “ family “ that word resonating within my soul … it’s the same word I used when I spoke to Ashford not so long ago … I understood what she meant and yet I was torn between forgiveness and hate , distrust and anger at how easily she abandoned her convictions … although now in retrospect I believe her choice wasn’t that easy … “ family “ the word resonated within me once more … I told Howgr that he will not kill her just now and if he needs somebody else to swear to protect that he can protect me … I am not sure how much good that did with the Orc but it seemed to calm him down … we regrouped and applied some first aid and moved onto the nextfloor of the cursed tower at this floor we saw piles and piles of gold … good thing we learned from previous experiences … not all that glitters is gold … we moved onward ignoring the riches … on the last floor we entered a semicircular chamber with nothing in it but a chair with a skull and a crown … Howgr barely holding his rage and anger at the choice that Charisma made minutes ago … decided to throw his sword at the skull and follow with a charge … without preparations we were caught off guard when the skull rose from the chair and the battle with the demi lich ensued … after what seemed like an eternity we managed to defeat the lich but at a cost … The party is riddled with curses and disease … our strength drained by the liches powerful spells … Charisma turned to dust as the Lich drained her soul … ( maybe even for the better … as I really didn’t know what would happen to her once we left the tower … ) we stood there in silence for a moment each one of us lost in their thoughts … After what seemed like eternity with new found conviction Tavok stands over the crown that now holds the soul of Charisma a once noble and devoted lady of the white … clenching his hammer he mutters a silent prayer to the always lit forges of Thorek … almost as in whisper… he says " I forgive you " as a single tear rolls down his cheek … " I will not forget " he says in a voice that matches Armaks mighty voice … he grabs his hammer clenches his fist around it … looks at each and every one of his teammates … with a stern but decisive look as if new fire was burning inside this little dwarf … " shall we finish what we started so that her sacrifice doesn’t go in vain ? " he clenches his hammer tighter and tighter as if squeezing it somehow strengthened his resolve… his knuckles white from the strain … he gives one last look at the crown … " I will not forget " he mutters the words as if remembering the words Okenna told him once not so long ago …

The Record of the Survivor
The Last Testament of Royal Sorcerer, Sir Kinsley

The Record of Examination – Survivor’s Log, Royal Sorcerer Kinsley

(Sir Kinsley was found rambling and tearing out his hair, naked, by a patrol on routine anti-undead rounds. From our estimation, it had been two days since his escape from Durvasan’s Tower. He had been slowly making his way towards the Griffon Tower.)

Interviewer – Sir Kinsley, let us begin from the start of it. I know this is difficult, but many lives can be saved if we learn everything possible.

Kinsley – I know, I know, don’t you think I know? Please just get me more water, it’s too hot, everything is too dry, I need more water.

I – You can have some more after we move forward, you are going to hurt yourself if you drink much more Kinsley.

K – Fine, fine, so you know about the moat. Of course you do, everyone can see the fucking damned moat. We had a horse spook, we were all spooked of course… Can I have a glass of water?

I – No Kinsley, please continue.

K – The horse, went into the drink. And we saw them, still at a distance, I think. If I remember right. Definitely animated dead, water lizards of some breed.

I – How large were they?

K – It wasn’t natural, I’ll tell you that. Damn thing, I don’t know how it fit in the water. Must have been sixty feet long. Swallowed the horse whole before it hit the surface.

I – But you still crossed the moat?

K- Of course, we couldn’t turn back because of some wingless rotting wannabe dragons could we? Kekeke, no of course we didn’t turn back. We made him lower the bridge for us.

I – So the doors opened?

K – Of course they did, must have been beautiful once. The energy there though… The aura was so dark, so evil. The whole place must have some kind of desecration on it. Unhallowed perhaps. It made my skin want to crawl off and run away without me.

I – So the foyer?

K – Empty.

I – No monsters to greet you?

K – No, it was totally empty. And so quiet.

I – So what did you see?

K – There were three doors ahead, one on the ground level, we found out that led to the reception hall.

I – And the other two?

K – They were up stairs, one was destroyed and crumbled, the other was locked.

I – So you went into the reception hall?

K – Yea, the reception hall. He was waiting for us there. The Marshall of the Forsaken King. Sir Raime. He introduced himself.

I – He could speak?

K – Yes, he was quite well spoken.

I – What did he say?

K – He made his case for the curse being good for our people, and gave us the opportunity to leave peacefully.

I – You refused?

K – Of course. We had to save him. We had to bring back the Ivory Crown. We didn’t have any other choice. He attacked, suddenly there were skeletons, dripping with blood, everywhere. We weren’t sure where they came from. The main doors slammed shut, we heard that at least.

I – You were trapped.

K – Yes. But we proved our mettle. We cut down the horrific animated corpses like the rabble they were.

I – And Sir Raime?

K – He disappeared.

I – Disappeared?

K – In a blast of smoke and debris. When it cleared he was gone.

I – How?

K – Jaison suspected a hidden passage, I didn’t sense any magical transmission at least, but we never found it… Oh poor Jaison.. Oh gods, oh gods, they… they… please, PLEASE! I need some water. Give me some water.

I – Yes, of course, a glass.

K – No! You don’t understand! I need more, give me more!

I – You need to go on Kinsley, please.

K – Don’t you see! Can’t you smell it? Oh gods, please, please, please, please, please, please, please.

I – That’s enough for today, we will resume tomorrow.

(He continued pleading for six hours until passing into unconsciousness.)
I – How are you today Kinsley?

K – I’m dying! You fucking evil bastard. Please, give me more!

I – Kinsley, please, calm down. We are doing everything we can.

K – Then give me more water, you monsters. You’re all monsters. Monsters. Monsters.

I – You’re hurting yourself Kinsley, now please, let’s pick up where we were… Sir Raime escaped, where did you go next?

K – Fine… We went through a passage to the left of the throne, there was a passage on the right as well. And there was a second floor. That was where the other doors from the foyer led. I forgot to mention the archers yesterday.

I – Archers?

K – During the fight, undead archers attacked from the balcony. I protected us from their arrows, levitated up, and blasted dozens of them.

I – So you went through the left passage?

K – Yes, it led to a ball room, well, it was once a ballroom. Gods, it must have been magnificent at one point. It had been converted into a mess hall for the soldiers during the siege. There were doors, and rumblings behind them.

I – Did you investigate?

K – No, we saw the stairwell up, straight ahead, leading to the third floor.

I – Not the second?

K – No, we could see some of the second though, from the balcony. The balcony came in from the reception hall, and wrapped around the entire area. There were two elegant rises from the ballroom, one on each side, that went up to the balcony. Bedrooms there we figured. So we decided to take the stairwell to the third floor.

I – What was on the third floor?

K – Please… Please… Please…

I – Kinsley, stay focused. Remember your code, Sir Knight.

K – I’m sorry, I’m sorry, the third floor would have been a library… was a library, it must have been public access during peace times. We took a moment, Sir Poliunt healed our wounds, loyal Poliunt…

I – What was there?

K – Magic, and curses, so many curses. I knew better, I warned them. Obligan… he didn’t listen.

I – What happened?

K – He died, what the fuck do you think? In an instant. He picked up a tome that caught his eye, and it… such dark magics… I told the others not to touch a damn thing, not a single. damn. thing. We found a stairwell up.

I – To the fourth floor?

K – There was a voice, laughing. So much laughter. I can still hear it, in my bones. I could feel it in my soul, it echoed through the whole floor. The fourth floor would have been a study, Durvasan’s private study I would wager. There were three rooms, one we came up into, and we found the stairwell up. Up… we never made it up… we never made it up… we never made it up…

I – What happened? Please, stay with me Kinsley.

K – We never made it up… we never made it up… we never made it up…

(This continued, session ended for the day.)
(Sir Kinsley managed to blind both of his eyes before his caretakers could stop him, using the spoon given with his morning’s porridge. He has since been placed under more stringent watch.)

I – Kinsley, we need to continue.

K – I can’t. I can’t. I can’t…

I – Kinsley, if we don’t, their lives will have been lost for nothing.

K – … We saw him. We saw it. A red robed Jester.

I – A jester?

K – They made it, somehow, I suspect it was a prisoner, a rebel knight of note perhaps, tortured and twisted into a monster for his sick pleasure. Maybe it was vengeance, retribution for the Forsaken King.

I – What happened?

K – I’m not sure… people panicked, it was… so evil… so wrong… It wouldn’t stop laughing. People broke, two charged it, it was so fast…

I – What happened then?

K – A trap went off, no one noticed it, too distracted by The Jester.. Three dead in an instant.

I – How? Magic?

K – A symbol of death. It ran out of energy just before it hit where I stood. Jaison and I were the only ones left standing. We fled. Another symbol, triggered as we tried to leave the room. I… I think I’m insane…

I – Stay with me Kinsley, what happened next?

K – It didn’t chase us… at first… I think it… I think it ate them… But, it’s dead, it couldn’t digest them, they are just rotting in its bloated belly. Rotting. Rotting. Rotting. Rotting.

I – Kinsley!

K – Water… water…

I – A single glass, here, please Kinsley, stay with me.

K – We went back towards the stairwell we had come up, but I noticed it in time. More symbols, triggered if we went down, you couldn’t have noticed them coming up. They were there the whole time, just behind us, who knows how many we missed. We didn’t know where to go, but we found a secret entrance, to the servant’s passage.

I – Servant’s passage?

K – Yes… It was there the whole time, wrapping around the outside, spiralling around the entire tower. Who knows how many ins and outs we missed. They could have been watching from the walls the entire time…

I – They?

K – Yes, there were more undead, inside the halls. We struggled our way down, down and down, spiralling slowly. We made it all the way to the basement, I think, I lost count. We just ran.

I – You and Jaison?

K – Yes… we made it out. We found the pumps, harried the whole way, I cast invisibility on the two of us.

I – You used magic?

K – Yes, invisibility and silence, I had a wand… I wonder what happened to it…

I – So you were in the basement?

K – I think so, there were terrible, terrible monstrous beasts there, and chains, so many chains. I think they kept prisoners there… maybe not at first, but during the siege… and… after… We found a pool, somewhere, I was so lost, we were just running… It was how they fed them, grew them, got them so big, it led to the moat…

I – You swam out?

K – Yes… We could barely squeeze through, but with two castings of Reduce Person, we made it into the passage to the moat. But… They could smell us, the silence, the invisibility, it didn’t matter. Jaison, he had taken a wound. They could smell the blood. They could smell the blood. They could… They could smell the blood. They could smell the blood.

I – Oh gods… Sir Kinsley… I’m… I’m sorry. Please… Please continue, what else can you remember?

K – They could smell the blood. They could smell the blood. They could smell the blood.

(Sir Kinsley began to forcibly bash his skull against the chair, flailing against the restraints. He persisted in this state for three days, until he successfully chewed his tongue, bleeding to death before a healer could arrive. May the gods have mercy on his soul.)

You won't like me when I am angry ...

Hm… You say the party doesn’t care for you … hm… well well lady of the white I believe it’s time you and I had a serious conversation… you have started as a very strong and motivated leader when I first met you , I even saw hope in you not only for my people but for the people of the realms … but ever since that dreadful day when the lady of the white perished from this world you haven’t been yourself … and trust me I understand the loss of your homeland and people you love more than you can imagine … after all I have given the order to slay my own kin when we were under the mountain … I sank my blade into their flesh and watched their life vanish from their eyes right before me… there is no greater torment then to slay your own kin … not only that but I had to burry a young dwarfling even though he was innocent in all of this and had his whole life ahead of him … trust me when I say this the deaths that we caused so far weight heavily on my shoulders and the burden we all carry, it’s weight is a constant reminder why we must carry on, why we must succeed with this mission at all cost , for we lost so many good people along the way , destroyed so much to create something new … we sacrificed pieces of ourselves to bring the necessary changes but we also destroyed, sickened and caused mayhem … we have become both the messengers of unity and the raiders of destruction for wherever we went we have destroyed peaceful lives and created chaos in the name of uniting the spectrum and standing against the dark lord … a noble goal indeed and one might even say it’s a goal of a generation but at what cost ? How much blood will we shed? How many more will perish? How many nations will be destroyed? …

While traveling with you all I have discovered many things about myself and the world to finally have answers to these questions … I have decided to stand for something greater than myself … I have decided to stand for the people… Okenna out of all of us saw that long time ago, he tried hard to convey that message to us, but we never looked that way … we were too occupied with our own thoughts and problems, each one of us worried only about their own end of the stick to realize that ultimately if one of us falls the next one to fall will be they themselves….one doesn’t have to look far … just look at the Orange and Green … the war lasting for millennia decimated once great nations , weakened them to the brink of extinction for what ? for some petty squabble that happen long time ago ? When we went to the green they finally started to listen to reason rather than emotions and even then the feelings of hate and distrust were clearly visible … when we woke up Armak and I told him about the alliance with the green I thought he would murder me right there on the spot … (thanks be to Thorek he didn’t) and yet he somehow saw benefit in the alliance military one but benefit nonetheless (maybe with time I can convince him that pointy ears are beneficial albeit weird) .

Anyway I digress … what I mean to say is that if you want respect Charisma, if you truly want to unite the spectrum, if you truly want to become the leader of your people YOU HAVE TO BECOME THE LEADER!!!! Act like one, carry yourself with dignity and pride of your people … stand in the face of evil no matter of how big or small … show the world that you are Charisma of the white and that you will bow to no one! you used to be like that when I met you … but then … then you changed … you have grown weak … your spark of leadership your spark of adventure gone … it’s almost as if the “ will “ of Charisma died and with it , you died … not literally but metaphorically speaking of course … You always laugh at me when I say I will become the king of my people … surely enough before I was saying that in a jest … but now I am convinced I will sure as Thorekian hammers and the fires that forge our weapons claim my right to be one … for I have grown Charisma … sure I am still the same goofy Tavok sometimes but now I see the purpose and I see it clearly , I have a set goal and I’ll be beardless dwarf if I’ll let anybody or anything stand in my way of achieving it … let yourself believe in something Charisma , you have to otherwise you will perish for nothing in the pages of history … do you prefer to be a speck of dust on the pages of history or do you prefer to be a book itself !

I have put my faith in you since day 1 … and so did many others don’t disappoint us , lead us , lead the people and the realms like you suppose to , show us that Charisma of the white is the leader , show us that you will bow to no one and that you will stand in the face of evil against all odds … and then you will have my respect and my loyalty back … or you can cover in fear at the sight of any troubles and hide from your destiny , blaming the whole world around you for your own choices and consequences of thereof … that will only lead you to self-pity and you will wallow in your own misery … I understand a lot has happen , I understand you care for the people but care for them by being strong … not by being weak … where were you when we were fighting the dragon … you wield magical powers that others can only dream of … and yet you were nowhere to be seen … heck Pike the new guy from purple risked his life for a GROUP OF STRANGERS … and even though his talents were kind of useless in the water he did his part … he had the courage to stand in the face of enemy and do what had to be done ( although I wish we could have become allies with the dragon - well maybe next time with another dragon ). Show me the strength of the white , show me the resolve you had when we started adventuring and I swear by the mighty hammer of Thorek this dwarf will stand beside you till the end of days as your friend … lead us , lead the people , lead the spectrum by example of pride , honor , loyalty and most importantly unflinching resolve in the face of adversity … for that is the Charisma I remember …

Charisma of the white ...

Charisma is a half elf by birth, and now a full elf by reincarnation, magus. At the age of 7 she started to train under the white lady so that she would eventually be her replacement. The country of the white is isolated and everything that she knows about the world she knows from history books ( that were written by scholars of the white) so even though she is knowledgable of history it is based on a white narrative. Going out and bringing back representatives of other nations is the first time she has ever been around others who do not share the same ideals and have different opinions. When the lady of the white was slain she not only lost a mother figure ( being closer to her then to her own mother) but she also realized that she is expected to be a leader before she is ready, her training is not complete and the lady had taken many secrets to the grave. With the destruction of the tower anythings that she had written down are also lost. Charisma has been internally dealing with the destruction of everything that she has known and is trying to find a new identity, she is lost and feels as though her companions could care less about what she is going through and is trying to fix a world that is coming down around her. The only thing that has been going right is getting her light back, which she had lost when she was reincarnated, but when she was finally about to harness her light was told off for having dispelled dark ones that were apparently “helping” the red. She is extremely perspective of the world around her, which was part of her training in identifying those who are dark touched, but again in feeling like she is nothing to her group they only listen to her when they want her to use her gifts. She feels like she should just wait in a corner and just come out when they want to know if someone is dark touched, that is why when she was proposed to and the party was laughing and joking she was devastated that no one had come to her to ask her what she wanted . How it would feel to get married and stay in a foreign land with no family or friends, she is just an object to be used to get Griffins for the party. She is just considering when she does marry the prince to go with him to the front, then she would have a chance to go rescue her people and she doubts that anyone would miss her.


…It’s funny how quickly you can notice the little differences. I woke up this morning without the smell of brewing tea on the air. You don’t properly notice a lot of the things you enjoy in life until they’re gone. It was only a week ago that Okenna abandon- no, departed from us to go to the Dark lands. Things have changed without him. Like I said, it’s funny how quickly you notice the little differences. Traveling all day leaves a man much time to think, too much time in fact. We’ve been moving nonstop ever since we got to the blue, and so much has happened since, that now it feels strange to have time for thought.
As the travelers press ever north, the Dwarf and the Elf lead from the front deciding the best path through the forest. The Orc, the Lady of the White, and the young rogue follow closely behind, each lost in their own thoughts. In the back, The Gunslinger walks, and stops a moment. He turns his head west and watches the sun set upon the eaves of the green wood. He knows that somewhere not far beyond the beautiful sight before him, the Darkness looms, and that there beyond that walks his friend… Ashford Hughes takes the moment to light his pipe, but he is interrupted by a call from Charisma, beckoning him to keep up lest he fall behind, and so he finishes his ritual and continues his march northward. His feet fall into a slow steady rhythm. His mind is left to wander, and to reminisce…
I still have the dreams about that day, and just like it did in reality, it always turns into a nightmare. Things hadn’t gone perfectly to get where we were, but we had a clear purpose. It was the day we were to speak with the council of the Blue. We had a plan that involved using Charisma’s unique talents to purge the council of those who would serve the Dark Lord. Some things went our way, such as the council’s decision to open communication with the Green, and to provide aid to the Dwarves. Some things did not turn out as we had hoped, such as Agmertis deeming it necessary to invoke martial law. Okenna was particularly vocal about the event. Of course he was. He always did have a way of standing up for the little guy. Rose would’ve liked him. Of note to me was the council’s decision to utilize their “Doom Cannon” A dramatic, if appropriate name for a devastating weapon. I was a fool to not have seen the following events coming. The Dark Lord’s plan was executed flawlessly. It was a night I’ll never forget.
Rain falls upon the floating isles and lightning strikes the sky, illuminating the corpses of the fallen. A father holds his son for the last time. Memories of love and laughter flood the mind of the father. “I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you…” Ashford closes his eyes and pulls his son close, finally answering the question in his mind of if he is even capable of doing what he’s about to do “I love you…” There is a loud boom, and a flash of light, but it is not the weather. There is then a silence, accompanied only by the sound of rain. “…Dad…Why?” The last words of Jon Hughes come weak. His eyes are absent of the Darkness that was there only a moment before, as blood come out of the corners of his mouth. A tear cuts across the spatter of blood and grime on the Gunslinger’s face. The body of his son falls lifelessly from his arms.
I barely remember the rest of the disaster around me at the time. Just…images. Nolkan, fallen in battle. Charisma, completely still on the pavement, her blade broken in two. Tavok, kneeling over her, screaming at the sky. Braith, standing next to the Dwarf, tears falling from her eyes. Hawgr, staring at the blood on his own hands. The weapon we would use to try and save Tavok’s people, gone over the edge of the cliffside. I have never seen so much devastation in one place. It was then I saw Okenna with a shocked look upon his face, coming to speak with me. “No,no,no…” He said “What have you done?” At what he told me next, I felt a rage such as I have only felt for one other man ever before. “I could have saved him… In my meditations, I’ve-” He pauses. “I’ve learned how to save someone from the Darkness.” My knuckle was sore for the rest of the following week. The Monk’s skin is like stone, but I couldn’t hold my rage. It took all I had to keep Nox Terminus holstered and stop myself from ending Okenna’s life right there. Maybe I should have, but enough lives had been taken that day. I was done.
“I could have saved him.” The words repeat in Ashford’s mind as he looks down at the crumpled piece of parchment in his hand, the note Okenna left behind for him.
It was one hell of a way to get the last word in. The monk did always try to do so in his many debates with Charisma, Tavok, and even myself on more than one occasion. I may not have always agreed with his ways, but Okenna never failed to stand his ground when he truly believed in something. I know our decisions have made him consider leaving us in the past, especially during his argument with Tavok after we left the library under the sea of glass. It always frustrated Okenna greatly whenever he thought we were dismissing what he had to say. I know I didn’t always heed his advice. Most recently, he didn’t approve of the way I left things with Rissa during the tribal festival, which is amusing in a way considering he’s a monk. I know he just wants me to try and be happy, but I can’t afford such distractions. Or is that just what I’m telling myself? By the gods, I miss you Rose… I can’t just move on. I didn’t expect Okenna to understand that. What I did expect him to understand was that even if I did not always follow his words, I did always listen. It’s why I was able to forgive his decision not to tell me about his…ability to save my son before it was too late. He told me what it would cost him, his own soul, forfeit to the Dark Lord. He told me he would’ve made that sacrifice given the chance, but couldn’t tell me about it because he was convinced I would’ve stopped him. To my shame, I wasn’t sure he was correct, but now…Forgive me Jon, but now I believe Okenna was right. I would’ve stopped him. Hell, I would have killed him before I let him willingly give himself to the bastard who took my family from me. Kind, beautiful, Rose. Jon, brave and enthusiastic. Amelia, kind as her mother and smarter than her old man will ever be.
Ashford takes the crumpled note, smoothes it out, and places it back in his bag. He closes his eyes, trying, and failing as usual, to manage his grim thoughts. The ever present surge of power in his right side isn’t helping either. He doesn’t know how much time he has before… The Gunslinger lets out an exasperated sigh, as one does when they realize they’ve been unconsciously holding their breath for whatever reason. He’s reminded of how much the burden of stress was eased by the antics of the Monk, like his addiction to brewing tea, and all his talk about meditation and tranquility. The briefest of smiles crosses the corner of his lips before returning to the usual frown, as he scolds himself for again getting caught up in the memory of someone he’s lost. It only brings pain after all.
Okenna, I hope you know I… I do trust you. That’s hard for me to say after what happened at the Floating Isles. Hawgr and Charisma see what you’ve done as a betrayal, and though I do not see it the same way, I cannot completely say that they are wrong to feel the way they do. For Charisma, it’s the emotional aspect of it, as it often is. For Hawgr, well… You know how he is about the warrior’s path he walks. I hope you know what that means for him should you ever return… Summaris is mistrustful of you, though I doubt that’s any different than it ever was for him. I don’t think he fully trusts any of us. It’s his intentions that I worry about the most, which is odd to say considering you’re the one among us who is in the Dark lands. Braith was… well, you hurt her Okenna. You were always there for her, in a way the rest of us can’t really be. I was also affected by your departure. The three of us, Humans amongst the like of Dwarves, Elves, and Orcs, we really had something. It’s hit her pretty hard, but ultimately I think she might see as I do, and as Tavok does. Tavok reminded me today that we… That we’re a family. He sounded like you, and despite the quarrels you’ve both had in the past, the young Dwarf has placed complete faith in you. Indeed he seems to have become quite a man of faith as of late. He has truly grown, and though he’s ever still a bumbling idiot from time to time, I see but a mask concealing a keen wisdom and a cunning intellect. Qualities developed over time through trial and tribulation, but also honed in part I’d like to think by my own counsel and by yours. I’ve seen the effects of your lessons on him regarding the consideration of every life shaped by our actions, and my thoughts become dark at the notion of what kind of potential king he could become without your influence in his life.
As for me, I cannot help but feel as if the decision you’ve made now, to leave so suddenly, feels very much like your choice not to tell me about your ability to save my son. Now you’ve gone to my daughter, this time before I’ve gone and made a mistake I can’t take back as you see it. I know that what you’re trying to do, you’re doing for the world, and now you’re doing it for Amelia as well. I will always be grateful for that, but there is something I need you to understand. My children are gone… I finally realized this when I first saw my son’s eyes after he tried to kill me. They were devoid of any life, any joy, any love, any sign at all that the boy I raised was still there. The Dark Lord took Jon, and left only a murdering, obscenity screaming, hateful abomination in his place. Only when I destroyed it, was my son released from his torment. That freedom is all I want for my daughter, and for myself, but not before I complete the mission. I know you want to bring her back from the Darkness, but even if the cost weren’t too great, even if you were to somehow succeed, and even if one could truly return to life as normal after being Val’s slave, what would she come back to? Her home lost, her mother and brother slain, and her father dead in all but the most literal sense. I’m…not the man I used to be. I know the pain of losing my family, and it is a pain I hope my Amelia never has to feel. No, after all she’s been through, Amelia would be returned alone, to a world literally tearing itself apart. I’ve lost them Okenna, my wife, my son… and my daughter, and I hope you haven’t lost yourself trying to change that. I’m not ready to lose my brother as well.
A rumbling of the earth and a call from Tavok up ahead brings Ashford’s focus back to reality. Summaris has taken to the sky in avian form, scouting it seems. The terrain here is unstable, and the Ranger must use his skills to lead the travelers safely through it. It is a long and arduous journey rife with the violent and ever present tremors of a suffering world.
I don’t know if we can stop this. I think I’ve begun to comprehend what Okenna was trying to say in the letter he left behind. About unifying the Spectrum. The whole Spectrum… I think Tavok and Summaris understand as well. I may understand it, but I don’t know if I can accept it. I don’t think I can, but what does that mean? For Okenna? For the world? The mission is the only thing that matters, it always has been, but what if it’s compromised? The world needs the Spectrum. The Spectrum requires unity. Unity requires peace. Peace requires…
As he marches onward into the night, the Gunslinger wonders if he will have the strength to make the decision he knows he must, when the time comes…
[[:okenna | Ashford Hughes]]


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