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Churchill, Cavalier

FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
edited August 2016 in Challenges and Playthroughs
Raised in Candlekeep by his foster father, Gorion, Churchill's early life is one of complete structure. Law, Order, Truth, Justice; these are the values Churchill is dedicated to. Lets see how well he does in the brutal anarchy of the sword coast.

I've been playing this character for about a month. So most of the early posts will be very incomplete and less accurate than my other CHARNAME fanfics.

Edit: I think this story needs some explanation. This is a roleplay's version of a playthrough. A playthrough that focuses on the moral justification of the choices a Paladin makes in the game rather than an exposition of tactics. Churchill is not at all a players handbook Paladin. In fact, he's maybe more of a lawful stupid, zealot. However, he is firmly on team good. Oh, and he also has the essence of a dead god coursing through his veins, pounding a steady pulse beat of "kill Kill .... kill Kill ... kill Kill" in his ear, which he mistakes as Tyr's guidance to punish evildoers.

Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
JuliusBorisovEnialusMeliamnelolienBelgarathMTHButtercheeseTenreccCaradoc
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Comments

  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited April 2016
    On that first especially cruel dawn, Churchill and Imoen visited the place where Gorion was slain. His last lawful order was for Churchill to run. Against all impulses otherwise, Churchill obeyed his father. Of this, they could both be proud. He thanked his foster father for saving his life. He vowed to bring his father's killer to justice. Churchill and Imoen then took what possessions the could recover from Gorion, and continued to the Friendly Arm Inn.

    EnialusMeliamnelolienBelgarathMTH
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    On the way to the Friendly Arm Inn, Churchill encountered two strangers on the road. Sensing the evil in them, he drew his sword and struck them both down. He had never killed humans before. But after the events of the previous night, he learned that there is no difference between an evil man or an evil fiend. Evil is evil. Evil must be destroyed.

    EnialusMeliamnelolienBelgarathMTHTenrecc
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    No, Churchill never encountered shank or carbos. (Is that right names? Them who what make the attempts in candlekeep.) He was told by his father to get some supplies and return to him, so thats all he did.

    EnialusMeliamnelolien
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited April 2016
    Next, Churchill was attacked at the entrance to the Friendly Arm Inn. I believe he faired well here. He probably cast protection from evil on himself and him and imoen perhaps got a few good disrupting hits in. I don't remember if that mage casts horror, but a cavalier is immune and can quickly dispell imoens fear if he did.

    Inside. Churchill met with Gorion's friends, Jahiera and Khalid. Churchill was especially fond of Khalid, as he sensed that they were both of a like mind. Jahiera, on the other hand, was more doubtful of the path of true righteousness. Her actions, however, were that of a good person and so Churchill decided that she was not in danger of corrupting him.

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
    EnialusMeliamnelolienBelgarathMTH
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    Churchill gave the so called seasoned adventurers some tips on what weapons to equip. Ones that fit with their skill sets better than what they were currently wilding. He sold a diamond he found in a crook of a tree and equipped the group as best they could with the money. Then, Churchill, Khalid, Jahiera, and Imoen made their way south to Nashkel.

    On their way they stopped in Beregost. A frightened mage needed help, and detecting the evil in her attackers, Churchill defended her. Jahiera cast enganglement, which trapped two warriors. With bows and slings, the group focused attacks on the remaining mage. Churchill was within striking distance with his greatsword.

    Taking the wild mage in, the group faced a single dwarven bounty hunter, which they dispatched with arrows. An evil actress tried to hire them, but churchill saw through the thin facade and killed her. He then killed the bard accompanying her. Although he didn't sense evil in the young man, his compliance in the scheme could not be tolerated.

    EnialusMeliamnelolien
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited April 2016
    A cold wind from the mountain pressed against Churchill's back, nudging him forward. He looked up at the beautiful face carved into the cliff side. The curve of her jaw, graceful. Her elegant neck receding into the jagged stone that protected the modesty of the rest of her form. How could a form so soft be hewn from rock?

    Prism, the sculptor, had been given a rare gift. His magic was unique, singular even. Entangled by vines imbued with agency, Prism struggled still. He would not stop until his work was complete. Churchill felt deep kinship because of this.

    Prism's conviction was inspiring Churchill to follow through with his own duty. Wishing to deliver a merciful death, Churchill managed to avoid the vines and step around the frail little man. Now facing against the wind he swung with every ounce of strength that his massive body could summon and cleaved through both neck and shoulder.

    A short funeral service commenced immediately after. Together, Churchill and Jahiera dug a grave underneath the masterpiece. Churchill thanked Prism for his inspiring conviction. He pronounced him a hero, dying so that the laws of the land may be upheld. On the cliffside above the grave, the team used prisms chisels to inscribe his epitaph:

    "Beneath this spot lies Prism. Forever embraced in the arms of the beauty he sculpted above."

    lolien
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    Dynahier scowled at Churchill. Angrily, she tried to whisper and nearly succeeded, "What are thy saying? Thy brought us here even-"

    "Dynahier please." Churchill interrupted; urging her quieter.

    "Thy brought us here knowing that man was evil," she continued in more measured tones, "and now thy want to kill these people who may be our only chance of getting out of here?"

    It was true. Churchill had already agreed to the task before learning that Mendas was evil. He had ordered the theft of the sea charts in order to keep his word. He had loaded his companions on a ship, subjecting them to the whims of Umberlee. Though evil, these people had established an order on this forgotten island. Surely that should be respected.

    "The mistake I made was in agreeing with Mendas before sensing his evil. I've made no such agreement here. They're evil, and their plans must be wicked. There will be no cooperation. Now if you please... Dynahier?"

    Branwen, Rasaad, and Alora looked on in passive anticipation. Perhaps allowing their own doubts to be decided for them with Dynahier's answer. Perhaps just curious.

    Dynahier shifted her hips. Returning to her usual proud posture from the previously before unseen defensive one; weight on the rear foot and looking at Chruchill over her shoulder, a pose billowing up from the smouldering embers of her long suppressed younger, angrier self. It was decided.

    "Fine."

    Still angry, she cast the fireball straight at Churchill's chest. Telegraphing it enough for him to duck, but causing him to retard his charge for a moment while recovering his footing. The fireball exploded on the far side of the cabin and its flames enveloped Kaishas and Tailas.

    With this initiation of hostilities, the group witnessed the true depths of the evil in the village. As if an illusion dispelled by flames, the seemingly simple villagers were now exposed for their true wolfen form.

    "Werewolves!" Branwen shouted, stunned.

    "I knew it smelled like dog here." Dynaheir remarked, disgusted.

    Churchill and Rasaad ran to engage Kaishas. She escaped through the door. Rasaad switched his attack to Tailas while Churchill pursued Kaishas. Not quick enough, however, because upon exiting the building he saw no sign of her. He stepped a few feet onto the steps and paused, bewildered. Looking left, looking right. Hearing the brawl inside, Churchill turned back to regroup with his friends.

    JuliusBorisovlolienbrus
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    Thanks for the like @bengoshi. I appreciate it.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited April 2016
    On the far side of the tunnels, they were welcomed first by the sea air. Their pace quickened and soon the midday sun welcomed them as well. The cave let out into a protected cove. On the far side of which they saw a docked ship with a large werewolf onboard, glowering at them.

    "Kaishas," stated Churchill plainly.

    A short walk over the rocky beach later they were face to face with the werewolf. She attempted to scorn Churchill for not participating in her plans, but he laughed it off. Soon, words were done, and badly out matched Kaishas fell to the deck. Soon thereafter her body was discarded to the sea.

    Pleased for all that Helm had provided, Churchill let out a hearty laugh. The others were relived. Finally, they could put this misadventure behind them. They hadn't been ashore a full day and already they were all willing to put back to sea.

    "Excellent. We have secured our passage home. Now lets make back to town to see what supplies may be had. After a hearty meal, we may begin our exploration of the island."

    The collective jaw of Rasaad, Dynaheir, Alora, and Branwen, dropped at the revelation of Churchill's plan. Dynaheir, ever Churchill's foil, injected what was obvious to her.

    "What? No. There is NO need to carry through on our task for Mendas. Don't thou remember the strange way in which he talked? It is the same as these peoples. He must be one of them. We must go."

    Churchill moved close to Dynaheir to hold her shoulders, disarming her with his gentle touch and warm confidence.

    "Dynaheir," he began, "Mendas' nature withstanding, I made a deal and I am bonded by my word."

    "That makes no sense," Dynaheir snapped back, rearmed. "You are an imbecile if thou thinks words can form bonds to the faithless."

    The point stuck. Churchill took back, considering. But unable to rectify he pivoted.

    "Dynaheir, my word matters. I intend to keep my word. And you, do you intend to keep yours? You embarked on this journey of your own accord. Will you see it through?"

    "I made no such promise, " she returned. The boat stopped its gentle rocking. The waves and the wind stood still, not wanting to interrupt what came next. Soon Dynaheir too realised that there was more still to be said. She continued, "But yes, I will follow thee still."

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
    JuliusBorisovlolienEnialusMeliamneChad
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited April 2016
    The food of the village was satisfying; salt cured fish, smoke cured small game, vegetables from the garden. The group ate like lions and, when satisfied, most lounged in the shade until their bellies felt comfortable again.

    Rasaad, the exception, ate with moderation and then practised his dance fighting over the unstable ground of the tilled garden. His gentle feet were careful not to trample the vegetables, though his gentle soul knew there would be no one to eat them once they left. Branwen watched him fight his invisible foes and was moved to sadness by the subtle communication of his body.

    With the sun still high, but nearing the hour that they would feel it abate, the group took a final swig of the strangely appealing sour brew found throughout the homes in the village and left through the north gates.

    Churchill's enthusiasm had retrenched itself in the spines and hearts and bellies of his comrades. Looking forward now to adventure not much different than raiding the depths of the cloakwood mines. The difference being that falling here meant that their bodies would remain in a strange, cursed land. That difference being just an added piece of titillation to the young and immortal, or just a manageable thorn to the experienced and careful.

    It was not long before the group was lured into its first ambush. Or, to be more precise, to allow itself to be led to more werewolves to slaughter. The second ambush was similar to the first. This time a pretty young woman pleading for help for her husband. When the group was in position, the couple changed into their wolfen forms. Battle commenced, but not like before. The husband was stronger than the others.

    Rasaad squared off against the male, and was doing the worse for it. A few good hits and Rasaad found himself within an inch of death. Quickly, he gulped an invisibility potion and stepped aside the fray.

    Churchill, Branwen, and Alora were making short work of the female. Dynaheir used a wand to shoot a jet of flame at the male, who upon losing his target ran to support his wife. The flame followed the sprinting werewolf and Rasaad was caught in its path. Weakend, he succumbed. His death broke the spell of invisibility and he appeared directly in front of Dynaheir, whose expression instantly turned from a crooked smile of righteous vengance to a wide eyed gasp of horror filled guilt.

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited April 2016
    The group spent the remainder of the afternoon gathering wood for a funeral pyre. Branwen offered prayer to Selune as best she could and the pyre was set alight at sunset. After a quiet meal of rations, the group made camp in the light of the burning pyre. Branwen took the first watch, which turned into a night long vigil.

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,083
    Keep up the good work @FinnTheHuman , we can't let @bengoshi without something to read.

    FinnTheHumanGozetaJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited May 2016
    Shortly before dawn, Alora woke.

    "Good morning," she smiled at Branwen.

    Branwen smiled lovingly back at the childlike girl. A long night of contemplation settled Branwen into a peaceful calm. It was sadness and solitude and love. Her heart of space; infinity in a vase. But soon the rising sun would give form to objects in the void; Alora's face, the horizon, a boat. Objects to crowd that wide open space, forms to fixate upon.

    Churchill woke with a start, fear stricken by his dereliction in duty. He had slept the whole night. Now bolt upright the scene was set: Alora, Branwen, Churchill, fire, ashes of Rasaad. Bleary eyed cheer, placid fatigue, fearful and heaving, hot, there. Connecting the elements, it took only a second to realize that Branwen had take all that night's watches.

    The power of Branwen's aura was palpable. Still, something needed to be said.

    "Branwen, did you stay awake all night?"

    "Yes," she replied patiently.

    "We all need rest, Branwen. We need you to be at your best, " Churchill continued. He was about to pick up pace, but before he got into a full roll about the importance of being alert for the watch, Branwen offered more.

    "I could not sleep, Churchill. You must rest for me last night."

    It was probably the only thing that could have diverted his flow. Their collected duty and the established order versus her sacrifice last night and the sacrifices they must all make that day when Branwen began to drag. Churchill served her breakfast.

    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited May 2016
    After breakfast the group broke camp and made their way northeast. There they found a weathered cabin, and in it an ancient mage named Dradeel. He was kind man, if slightly touched by his many long years in solitude. He offered them to share his shelter.

    Dradeel had been of the crew of Balduraan. He explained how the island came to be inhabited by werewolves. It was a curse brought back with Balduraan from foreign adventures. On landing on the island, a portion of the crew changed and began to slaugher the rest. Wounded after the initial attack, Dradeel had been trapped in the cabin without the his spellbook, protected by the light of Selune.

    On learning how Selune protected this mage, Branwen broke down. The serenety she had found the night before was too fragile to withstand another reminder of Rasaad. The sudden emotion had caught the attention of the group. Churchill turning his head from listening and Dradeel slowly trailing off from telling his story.

    With a sudden urge to leave, Branwen rushed to the other room, slipped on wetness, and fell headlong into the small pool located there. Stunned at her leaving, the collected group froze in place. But when they heard the splash, they followed.

    Both Churchill and Alora had to chuckle when they entered and saw Branwen struggling to crawl from the water. She flipped to her back to see the beaming faces of her fellows, laughing at her expense. Laying her head down on the edge of the pool, resigned, she closed her eyes.

    Churchill strode into the shin deep pool. Branwen opened her eyes to see him offering his hand. Still smiling, but with gentle eyes, Branwen could hold no ill will for being the object of their laughter. She took Churcill's hand and allowed herself to be hoisted up.

    As she came to a stand, water gushed out of her plate mail in various flows which comically arced to the ground. Alora burst into full belly laughs, attempting to tell her between gasps how she looked like a watering can. Finally giving in to the moment, Branwen looked down to see the last of the full streams turn into a trickle, and began to smile back at Alora.

    Branwen looked back to Churchill. As their eyes met, tears returned to Branwen's. Churchill pulled her to an embrace, clinking together armors. She would not cry for long before her warrior spirit reemerged. No words were wasted as Branwen told them it was time to collect the spellbook and free this mage from his prison. Within seconds they were heading north to the site of Balduraan's grounded ship.

    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,083
    This getting to be my favourite playthrough recently.

    FinnTheHumanJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    High praise indeed. Perhaps soon I'll explain something relevant to the game.... nah.

    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited May 2016
    The form of the ship was imposing. Its placement was impossible, more than a bowshot from the high water mark of the tide. Whatever power could take responsibility for moving the boat so far afield from the sea was as cruel as it was immense. To strand it so helplessly as to rot within view of its one true home.

    The group stopped a short distance from a hole in the bottom of the hull; apparently the main entrance. Churchill called the play.

    "Ok. We fan out here. I'll go in and draw out whatever is in there. Dynahier, as soon as you see me you lay down webs. I'm wearing my fire rings, so if I call out for fire be ready to cast a few fire balls. Wait for my signal though."

    Unusually attentive, Dynaheir gave a curt nod. Feeling guilty for the death of Rasaad, she had total focus. There would be no more mistakes.

    "Branwen, Alora," Churchill continued, "Slings, Arrows. Stun anything not caught in the webs"

    More nods of understanding.

    "Are we ready?"

    "Ready." The three said in unison. The rhythm of the moment being set by the cadence of Churchill's instruction. As choreographed, the three put several paces between themselves in an arc around the opening. Churchill dashed quietly to the the side of the ship and put his back to the hull. He closed his eyes, adjusting them to the darkness in which he would soon find himself. Alora notched her bow. Branwen fed her sling. Dynaheir drew a deep breath. Churchill prayed for protection from the evil in which he would now walk.

    Swinging himself around and in he opened his eyes. There in the dim interior he saw several wolves stand and growl. Further away on both sides, more wolves and wolf men stirred from their rest and joined in the aggression. Charging in ready, Churchill's sword was raised above his shoulder, ready to slice. As he was not being attacked immediately, he lowered his sword, stood up straight, and then showed them his back as he turned to saunter back out to the daylight.

    Raising his hand to signal 'hold fire' as he exited. Churchill kept it raised as he trotted three paces and turned back towards to opening. By this time the hoard of wolf men were charging out, ready for a chase. When he could see their dark forms nearly breach the hull, Churchill dropped his arm. Dynaheir released her spell. By the time the hoard was upon him most were trapped by the webbs.

    Spotting some vampiric wolves in the pack, Churchill directed focus on these first. One by one the wolfs and werewolfs were cut down by the group. A few here and there escaping the webs temporarily, always one false move from being hampered again. Spider's Bane keeping Churchill free from impairment.

    When the first wave was massacred, Churchill returned to the ship to retrieve more for the slaughter. Wave after wave he led the remainder of the pack into their trap. Deck after deck he climbed until he came to an enormous werewolf, Kaurog. His entire pack was killed with only Kaurog remaining.

    He was led to the same trap, but not the same fate. Churchill sliced, Alora and Branwen shot, Dynaheir cast missles. They hacked Kaurog to no effect. The blade of Spider's bane bouncing off his body like a wicker paddle. As the last of Dynaheir's webbs lost effectiveness, Churchill switched to a sword he picked up inside the boat. A special blade enchanted for killing lycanthropes.

    Now the blood started flowing out of giant gashes. But then the flowing blood was followed by hair and skin and sinew. It fell into place to make the beast whole again. Branwen called down pillars of flame from the heavens, burning Kaurog, but shortly the blisters on his burnt skin would smooth and become recovered by thick black fur.

    They had put enough steel on him as they did the whole rest of his pack and still he was none the less for wear. Dynaheir's spells were nearly exhausted. Churchill called for the retreat.

    "To the cabin," he yelled. Branwen, Alora, and Dynaheir broke off and rushed back to Dradeel's. Turning his back to the boat, Churchill allowed himself to be pushed in. He broke off his attack and rushed up the stairs. Kaurog close behind, looking forward to killing his trapped prey, he followed Churchill up the stairs.

    He didn't didn't count on Churchill's enchanted speed, however. On reaching the top, he couldn't keep Churchill from rushing back down. Down down down he ran. Straight to Dradeel's, where Kaurog could not approach. Churchill was almost to the cabin when he heard the anguished howl of a creature having lost it's everybody. He felt Kaurogs rage toward him and smiled. He had dealt a crippling blow to the creature. He enjoyed punishing the monster. Already he was beginning to formulate how to end him for good.

    The following morning the group arrived outside the boat as before. Prepared with a new plan, Churchill fetched Kaurog from the belly of the ship once again. There was no web to trap him this time. Instead upon exiting the ship a doom spell from Branwen and then a slow spell from Dynaheir were cast upon the monster. Resisting the first attempt of slow, Dynaheir tried again. To this he couldn't resist.

    The hasted group switched to full attack. Dynaheir and Branwen with flame, Alora popping in and out of visibility to stab at Kaurog with an enchanted dagger. Churchill with his sword. The difference in speed was enough. The group could deal more pain and Kaurog was less able to recover.

    Soon, the beast was dead. Soon after his body dismembered. Whether warranted or not, special attention was paid so that the head could never again be reunited with the torso. The torso cast to the cliffs on the east side, and the head hacked and forced into a rabbits burrow in the hollow beneath an upturned tree.

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited June 2016
    When the head had been lodged sufficiently deep, Churchill began to second guess himself. He insisted upon waiting beside the upturned tree, listening intently for any sign that Kaurogs dismembered head had regained consciousness. Alas, no murmuring was heard for nearly an hour. With Churchill suitably satisfied that Kaurog would stay dead, the foursome made their way to perform a thorough search of the abandoned ship.

    In the top of the ship, what looked to be the Kaurog's own quarters, they found a small child swaddled in bedclothes. Searching for traps, Alora was the first to spot the boy. As their eyes met the alert toddler began a low whimper. Alora's mouth opened and forehead wrinkled at the cute little thing. Instinctively she strode forward to pick it up, but the sudden movement startled the lad and he began to snarl and shake.

    Stopping cold at the abrupt unnatural behavior, she noticed the smears of dried blood surrounding his mouth. Churchill came behind her to see the boy.

    "Churchill, its a baby?" Alora asked, needing confirmation about at the impossible, and obvious, spectacle before her.

    "Apparently?" He replied, no more sure of himself than Alora had been.

    In short order, Branwen and Dynaheir, joined Churchill and Alora in their standoff with the now quiet baby. Dynaheir was the first to propose a solution.

    "We leave it here." She said matter of factly, then waited patiently for the outrage.

    "We can't just leave it here. It will die." Replied Alora. Her words felt hollow as they slipped uncritically from her mouth. Of course it would die. They had just finished slaughtering every living thing that might take care of it. All Dynaheir needed for an effective rebuttal was a slightly raised eyebrow.

    "No," said Churchill. "We offer him to Umberlee."

    If the collected group had not been preoccupied with mentally resolving leaving a poor youngster to die of starvation they would no doubt have been more resistant to physically sacrificing him in the name of an evil deity. Responding to the silence, Churchill explained his reasoning.

    "We shall not raise him to become a monster like his forefathers. We shall not leave our cleansing this island unfinished. We may gain good favor from the Bitch queen as we trespass her realm once again. It is the most prudent-"

    "Shut up. Just shut up. No. We can't..." Alora interrupted and trailed off.

    Churchill's eyes met hers. Her gaze softened from steely to vacant and veered off into the distance as she once again lost conviction in her own outrage. He then looked to Branwen, who avoided eye contact, turning her head. Finally Churchill looked to Dynaheir, who seemed to him the most favorable, but who also looked away. Sure now that this course was correct, but that the others lacked resolve for what must be done, Churchill gathered the once again snarling boy and tightly swaddled him in a blanket.

    When the time came to make the offering, Churchill waded out from the shore with the swaddled baby.

    "Mistress of the Deep, Queen Umberlee," Churchill began. "I humbly offer you this werewolf child. The last of its peoples here on this lonely island. May you be pleased and grant safe passage to myself and my crew."

    Then he plunged the child under the water. It writhed and struggled to break free of its swaddling and the powerful grip of the massive hands holding it beneath the surface. The limited intelligence of its developing brain was more than capable of experiencing the horror of the situation. Every nerve firing in desperate resistance. The relentless build of panic from not breathing. A burning gasp of salt water and the coughing spasms that followed. Finally a bubble of darkness growing from the depths. Now the panic and fear inside the bubble as it floats away leaving only the darkness.

    Churchill let go of the now motionless package. He reminded himself of duty. He told himself he did it for the group. He stumbled to shore. He plodded down the dock and untied the docklines from the ship. He pushed the boat along the edge of the dock and pulled himself aboard. With Alroa at the tiller, he hoisted the main half mast. He said nothing. He looked at no one.

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,083
    You are lucky, that Gorion was not so practical.

    FinnTheHumanJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    Alora was rocked to sleep on the deck of a great cradle rolling gently on the waves. Her mind was restless, but her unconscious soon surrounded her. Under the moonless sky with countless stars and above the endless black water hills, Alora closed her eyes.

    She was taken back to the island. She was picnicing in the shade with her companions. Churchill had a large basket out of which he pulled meat pies and fruit to offer joyfully to the others. Noticing that Rasaad was missing, Alora stood up and asked,

    "Where is Rasaad?"

    Branwen's head snapped around to look directly at Alora, eyes welling with tears. Churchill knelt down beside Branwen, pulling a sapling from the basket and presenting it to her.

    "The roots go in the ground, so that its branches may hold up the sky," He said, pointing to the roots and then the sky. The trio of Branwen, Dynaheir, and Churchill settled back to enjoying a peaceful lunch, oblivious to the missing Rasaad.

    Alora looked around. The sun was high. The sky was blue. A warm breeze touched her neck. She looked to the garden, expecting to find Rasaad practising his movements between the tilled rows. She saw only a motionless form lying on the far side.

    She stepped closer and the shape began to resolve itself as a body. With a sinking feeling developing that this was Rasaad she felt the sensation of being pushed from behind toward it. She turned to look behind her, only to see her friends in the distance basking in the glow of a warm light, laughing in good company. Scattered around them were a dozen dead bodies, heads and limbs dismembered or dangling by flaps of skin, patches of hair sloughing off like cheaply made wolf costumes, dead eyes looking to her in judgement.

    Being pulled now from behind, she turned away, back toward the garden body. It was not Rasaad, but a young woman lying before her, partially on her side with her back to Alora. No longer being pulled this way or that, Alora stopped. The baby was there, on all fours with its mouth pressed against its mothers breast, making grunting sounds like a suckling pig.

    The baby stopped its suckling and looked up at Alora. His eyes were twinkling and his mouth was smeared with fresh blood. The mother rolled onto her back to reveal her shirt torn open and a bloody pit where her breast should have been. The baby's eyes rolled back and he began to gag. FInally the vomit came. But it was not as Alora had feared. Instead of the gore filled contents of the baby's stomach came a thick torrent of fresh smelling ocean water.

    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • lolienlolien Member, Moderator, Translator (NDA) Posts: 3,083
    That's almost as scary nightmare, as when i go to my cupboard and find, that the cookie monster ate all the chocolate. *Goes to the cupboard checking the chocolate store.*

    JuliusBorisovFinnTheHuman
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    That is scary. Wake in a cold sweat, pulse pounding. Lie in bed telling yourself it was just a dream. As the fear subsides you start to feel shaky; your blood sugar is a little low.

    "Hey, I know the cure for that," thinks @lolien.

    Making his way to the kitchen cupboard in the dark, his bare feet crunch a foreign substance. Another few steps to the light switch, another few crunching footfalls. His pulse quickens as he knows what he'll see with the light. His sweaty palm fumbles on the wall. Finding the switch, his fear is confirmed: the remains of his store of chocolate chip litter the floor.

    From the other room he hears the a booming thud of a monsters foot step. Crash

    "Me want COOKIE." Cookie monster peers around the corner, crazed eyes on a blue head.

    "What? You already ate all my cookies," retorts Lolien, indignant.

    "COOKIE"

    "Hey man, did you even get any in your mouth? There's crumbs everywhere."

    "Me..." Crash. The cookie monster stalks forward.

    "Want..." Crash. Eyes fixed on Lolien.

    "Come on man, I don't have any more cookies." Lolien backs to the wall, cornered.

    "COOKIE"

    lolienJuliusBorisovbrus
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    Cookie Monster is a terrible room mate.

    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    Alora opened her eyes. The crescent light of a waning moon was on the horizon. Dawn would be lightening the sky soon. The wind blew steady. The smell of fresh ocean air filled her nostrils and she remembered the baby.

    "And you? Are you a good person, Churchill?" Branwen was asking. Churchill manned the tiller. Branwen sat beside him.

    "Yes," came his answer. Simple. Definitive.

    "And the baby you murdered? Was that good of you?"

    "Yes," came his answer. Simple, definitive again.

    Branwen frowned. She felt little. No need to convince him otherwise. Only faint curiosity into the workings of a righteous monster.

    "I see." Churchill continued. "You know as well as I do that that baby's fate was set, but you wonder how a good person could possibly commit the act. Yes? It was hard, Branwen, but my duty is to good and Torm gave me strength to carry out my duty."

    Churchill and Branwen sat in silence. Alora lying awake listened.

    "You know how it feels when you call upon Tempus to detect evil within your sight? Well I also get that feeling, well, a similar feeling, when I call upon Tyr for guidance. I feel it, deep down to the bone, that evil must be punished. I see evil and I feel--I know--that it must be stricken from our world. I am compelled...divinely, Branwen. Do you understand?"

    "I understand." Dynaheir chimed in, she too had been lying awake, listening to the conversation unfold. She sat and turned toward him. Tapping into her deep reserves of contempt, she continued, "Thy feel a divine compulsion to murder."

    "Murder is unlawful killing, Dynaheir."

    Dynaheir laid back down, unconvinced. Branwen adjusted to a more comfortable position and looked to the stars. Alora remembered the twinkling face of the blood smeared baby and how the ocean water washed away all that wickedness. She had a vision of swelling waves overtaking the island, and the ship of Balduraan set free as the the island was pulled down beneath it. She stood and streched, walked to Churchill and sat close next to him.

    "So," she said, "whats next?"

    bruslolienJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    What was next was to deliver the log book to Mendas. And to slice him down. And to relax at the Ulgoth's Beard Inn until their sea legs wore off and the ground once again felt stable beneath them.

    From there they journeyed to Durlag's Tower, far in the south, to retrieve a dagger precious to a dwarf in Ulgoth's Beard, and to excise the blight from the land. On the road along the way they met a young Paladin named Ajantis.

    Churchill had never spent time with another Paladin. Learning of them in Candlekeep from stories and books, their moral precepts struck a cord deep in his soul. Devoting himself to goodness, he prayed to the gods of The Triad daily throughout his teenage years, and practiced chivalry whenever he could.

    One morning, after a morning prayer high on the walls of Candlekeep, bent on a knee he raised his head to look out among the forests of the Sword Coast and the waking day. A shimmering ray of light broke the horizon and an avatar of blinding light stood before him. Churchill rose and the avatar placed a hand on his heart, forming a connection to the divine at the seat of his convictions.

    That was the day his foster father would call on him to leave Candlekeep. That was the day whose night would see his foster father slain.

    Ajantis was duly impressed when Churchill relayed the story at camp that night. For him, becoming a holy knight was far more mundane, involving well traveled paths of tutelage and ceremony. A paint by numbers route wherein the outcome was nearly certain if the guidelines followed.

    It had also been the first time any of the other collected companions heard the story. In their own way, each noticed how they had been following Churchill and how they were somewhat helpless to stop. How they had been pulled in his wake and hadn't even realized it. His connection to the divine was organic. It was preordained. Blindly, they had lost autonomy, but all was as it should be.

    JuliusBorisovlolienHudzy
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited January 2017
    The company of Churchill reached the keep in the evening, meeting back with a tour guide whom they commissioned in Ulgoth's Beard. Shortly after entry the tour was met by death in the form of a demon knight's fireball. He dared Churchill to follow him to the dungeon's depths. Churchill needed no such prompting.

    In the cellar, a secret door was found and opened by a wardstone purchased from the tour guide shortly before his murder. A short distance from there was a trapdoor down to the next level, but locked and warded and guarded by 4 ghostly guards.

    They offered riddles. Answers to the riddles being the keys to the wards, Dynaheir suggested. At once they left the warders to search the dungeon.

    Meticulous they stepped. Alora in the lead, searching carefully for traps. Only taking a few steps every few seconds before pausing shortly. On encountering the Ghouls and other dark creatures she would fire her bow and lead them back to the rest of the party who would be waiting beyond the next bend for an ambush.

    At last, with the halls cleansed and sanitized they returned to the warders. A gong was rung to awaken Fear, a jewel for Avarice, heroic deeds recited for Pride. Finally, wine was offered to Love.

    Branwen, Ajantis, Dynaheir, and Alora, stood on guard behind Churchill. Knowing that something was bound to happen as the final warder was satisfied, but not knowing if it would be violent or merciful. However, when the wine was taken, the four warders took an aspect of electric focus which ran up the spines of the living gathered there.

    Love held out the bottle to Churchill, as if to offer. Churchill stepped back. What treachery was this? The cold fingers loosened, one by one. Index. Middle. Ring. A pause before the last finger let the bottle drop. The only motion in a painted world. Silence pervaded. For miles around, birds stopped their chatter. Rabbits in their burrows bowed their heads.

    The eventual impact of the bottle and ground loosed an explosion. Acid billowed fourth with a storms surge. The wall of yellow cloud rushing to meet Branwen, who welcomed it in. For her, this was the inevitable end of all things. Hair shrivelling, skin boiling. She breathed a normal breath and watched dispassionately as her body went into convulsions and vomited. Curled on it's side, the body's bladder released and the shaking stopped. Branwen's last thoughts were of Rasaad, and with a whisper her last utterance, "Selune," held the intent for a prayer to remain by his side.

    The rest were not ready to give up. Alora dove and rolled. Dynaheir shielded her face, holding her breath and closing her eyes until she could make her way to the stale air of the dungeon.

    The cloud reached Ajantis last of all. Churchill had kept him near the back of the troop due to his inexpierence. Instructing Ajantis to use his cross bow until the enemies were close and then lend his sword after Churchill had engaged them in melee, Churchill hoped to groom Ajantis; allowing him the experience of combat without the danger of being attacked himself.

    Wide eyed, Ajantis was caught off guard. Ready to fire at physical threats, the dissonance of his instinct to fire at the cloud versus his logic telling him how ridiculous that was was a split second of confusion he couldn't afford. As the cloud surrounded him, his last thoughts were of his two older brothers. They shouted for him, telling him to run. But he didn't know which way to go. And they were too far away.

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    edited January 2017
    Ajantis and Branwen were stripped of their armor and items, heaped on top of some broken barrels and crates, and set alight by a fireball of Dynaheir. The group, now a trio, stood silently by the fire. Soon the thick black smoke filled the room. The burning essence of the fallen mates threatened to overcome the survivors and drag them down to the land of the dead all together. Quickly, Churchill led Alora and Dynaheir back up the stairs and out of Durlags's tower.

    "Never fear," He reassured them as they left. "We will return. In fact, I happen to know of another fighter and healer which will rise to the call."

    Post edited by FinnTheHuman on
    lolienJuliusBorisov
  • FinnTheHumanFinnTheHuman Member Posts: 404
    A short journey later they found themselves in Nashkel.

    "Hail and well met. Khalid. Jahiera. It's good to see you." Churchill greeted his former companions.

    "Its good to see you too, Churchill, how have you been?" Khalid returned, happy to see Churchill. His good tidings were cut short, however, by his wife's more serious tone.

    "What do you want? The last we saw you you were wandering into the woods with that idiotic ranger."

    "Yes. Yes. We rescued his witch, Dynaheir, here."

    "So what, have you forgotten about the troubles plaguing the coast? The bandits, the iron crisis? You said you'd be back and we would continue to investigate. It looks instead that you just wandered off on a series of petty adventures. I thought you were a force of good."

    "I am a force of good. A powerful force of good." Churchill, was taken aback by the challenge.

    "Jaheria!" Khalid exclaimed. "You're being rude to Churchill."

    Not one to boast about his feats he had to ask quizzically. "Have you not heard about all I have done? My raid on the Chill and Black Talons? My liberation of Cloakwood mines?"

    "Your murder of the heads of a merchant consortium? You're wanted in Baldurs Gate. How could you? In Candlekeep of all places?"

    "Jahiera, those men were evil. They manufactured the crisis. They were monsters. I could not let them leave. To plot further harm to the population."

    "I see, and you of course have evidence against these men."

    "Yes. Of course. My word."

    Jahiera's temper flared. She lunged at Churchill. Pushing him. Then an open palm connecting across his face with a loud SNAP.

    "Idiot." She yelled. "You have no evidence. And now no one knows the truth. You are called murderer..."

    Jaheira was close to breaking. Knowing his heritage, that association was hard to bare; Amu, murder. Gorion had trusted her to keep Amu safe. He had faith that Amu could be more than the son of the lord of murder. And now all that he had wished for his son was washing away.

    "I'm taking you back to Baldurs Gate." She said.

    "That's a bad idea Jaheira. I like you and Khalid and I wish you no harm."

    SNAP. "Idiot!" Another lout slap across the face. "Gorion, did not raise a murderer. Is that how you want him remembered?"

    With a move that was partly a double palmed strike, but mostly a push, Churchill sent Jahiera to the dirt.

    "Hey... you... you..." Kahlid put his hand on the hilt of his sword.

    Churchill pointed down to Jaheira, his lip quivering as he stepped back. "Gorion would have me do what's right."

    "Fine then, go do what's right. We're done."

    Churchill stood silently. He would do what's right. There was a demon knight in Durlag's tower posing a great threat to the sword coast, and he would stop it. Then he remembered why he was there and the grim humor of the situation revealed itself to him. How perfect his fate. How fitting the sacrifice...

    With quiet dignity, he issued fourth his humble plea. "Jahiera, Khalid, I need your help. A great evil resides in Durlags tower and threatens to spill out into the countryside."

    Khalid and Jahiera looked at eachother.

    "Please." Churchill said. "It's right."

    Jahiera gave Kahlid the nod he was hoping for.

    "Ok, Churchill. You promise to come with us to Baldur's Gate and we'll accompany you to Durlag's."

    "Very well, Khalid." Churchill said, grabbing his outstretched hand, then walking over to embrace Jahiera.

    lolienEnialusMeliamneJuliusBorisov
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