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LORE: Nemeses Continued
Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:12 pm
This will be the continuation of the banefall anthology. More posts to come.
Re: LORE: Nemeses Continued
Posted: Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:35 pm
The Tragic Stasis of Dalrosz and Nora
Paras the Pensmith
Author Note: Diary entries best dated from between 205 and 200 years before present day
Diary of Erin Renault – Entry 678
Only a month has passed since the Stasis Fiend provided me with the means to treat the scars upon my body. Only a faint pink of new skin reveals their original placement. The creature says only two more weeks of treatments will be required before the evidence completely loses its trace. It will be a relief as the stench of the paste for which is dabbed upon my skin is heinous and its ingredients barely above the word themselves. The return of my previous form seems to greatly encourage Master Dalrosz. In fact, he has been allowing the demon greater freedom than Master Talathar may think judicious if he were consulted. However, the results in inquiry seem to have granted Master Dalrosz almost complete anonymity. Amongst the researchers, he is the only individual to work exclusively with only one summoned being. There are times I think he does not even bother with properly placing the divine or arcane barriers upon the subject as if he were simply inviting such a wise and powerful creature to join him for an afternoon tea.
Diary of Erin Renault – Entry 844
Master Talathar entered the research chambers today during the visit with the Stasis Fiend without notice. It seems there was an accusation against Master Dalrosz by another of the research fellows that his relationship with the Stasis Fiend was clouding his judgement and putting the School at unnecessary risk. The Master had made all the proper preparations today as would be expected before the arrival and both Masters spoke at length after the demon was dismissed. While I could overhear very little, it seems my master worries about undo interference with his experiments because of the jealousy of other researchers in the department due to his results. Master Talathar seemed to do little to dissuade such an accusation, though he also did not confirm it either.
Diary of Erin Renault – Entry 848
Today a letter arrived for Master Dalrosz from the City of Splendors. It was marked with a merchant’s sigil upon the enclosure and looked to be made with finer paper and ink than we possess here at the School, except for official documents. Both he and Master Talathar seemed quite pleased with the contents, but met alone in the chambers and have yet to tell me of its contents.
Diary of Erin Renault – Entry 850
Master Dalrosz has informed me that he has turned our resignation into Dean Sharahaster. While I wish he had consulted me, as his apprentice there seems little I could have done anyway. We have seven days to copy our laboratory notes and books prior to submitting all of the texts to the School’s library before taking our leave. The Master has especially had me focus only on the notes that include Statis Fiend and to skip all others. My first task however is to copy all of the notes of the recovery of my scars into a compendium for future use for which he will present to the School as solely my creation. I think he does this as a small attempt to apologize for not consulting me of our move or the reason behind it as such a text approved for the library would be a great boon to my young career. He has also said that Master Talathar will be sure to steer it properly through the committee.
Diary of Erin Renault – Entry 852
The merchant’s sigil upon the letter is of the powerful Kothont family. It seems the head of the family was only blessed with a daughter before the recent death of his wife. According to his letter, he has heard of the work Master Dalrosz has done directly from Master Talathar. While I know not of my master’s origin, he does not seem to be of a wealthy family from his rather meager trappings and his hording of his own personal funds. Thus, I am not surprised that he would agree to the arrangement presented to him. The daughter of Alauos Kothont suffers from a strange curse or medical condition that is slowly draining her of her energy. Merchant Kothont is offering his house to Master Dalrosz through marriage with his daughter and taking the family’s name. In exchange, Master Dalrosz will be tasked to cure Nora Kothont, the merchant’s daughter, through any method required, even if it is to ask the Statis Fiend for assistance as had been done with my scars. The management of the merchant house will continue under Alauos, Nora, and the other members of the household. It seems we will have almost unlimited resource available for the problem in front of us and all future ones that strike my master’s interest as the merchant house is hundreds of years old and one of the most wealthy and respected in Waterdeep. I look forward to my first glimpse of the City of Splendor!
Re: LORE: Nemeses Continued
Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:36 am
Kharnnath the Destroyer, the early years.
Please be aware the following contains violent trauma. Reader discretion is advised.
Corded muscles wended their way down the arms of a powerful young orc, rippling as his hands gripped at a massive blade. With a blade forged of volcanic metal and a haft of bone, the weapon felt good in his hands, despite it's awkward balance. His strength was great enough that the balance of the weapon mattered little, for he could turn anything of suitable size into a formidable weapon. Still, he preferred the visceral pleasure of a blade slicing through flesh, or the invigorating screams a severed limb elicited. Kharnnath enjoyed making people suffer.
Before him stood a chained human male, middle aged, with fear stricken eyes. Having wandered into his tribes territory while hunting, this man made the perfect target for practicing his new techniques, taught to him by the chieftan of his tribe. Holding his long blade low, and grinning wickedly at his target, Kharnnath brought the blade up and swung it over his head, keen edge coming down at the shoulder of the bound human. His bound target screamed into his soiled cloth gag, and his eyes were wild with fear and pain as the edge of the huge weapon bit into his shoulder, crashing through ribs and flesh, before finally becoming stuck in bone.
“Good, Kharnnath. Good strike, but 'da 'umans have strong bones. Cut across chest, stab da belly. No bones dere, an' 'dey bleed like a stuck pig.” A powerful, elder male orc stood above him, black hair coarse and matted with blood. His gray skin was crisscrossed with scars, and his eye gleamed with a sadistic wisdom. Chieftan, Dorgan Bloodmantle had seen countless battles in his 25 years of life, and he had taken Kharnnath under his tutelage as an infant. Kharnnath looked up to the old orc, even respected him, as he had taught him all he knew about combat.
“Da innards fall out if you cut like 'dis. 'Dey can't fight wi' deir guts hangin' out.” He drew a line across the belly of the chained man with a pointed finger, from side to side. “Do it, an' listin to da pansy wail!”
Kharnnath did as he was instructed, bringing the blade 'round in a mid body swing, where it smashed into the abdomen of the man strung up before him. Biting into his belly, the weapon struck true and a cascade of blood and intestines fell out of the man, pooling below him in the dirt. The strike was strong enough to destroy the lower spine, and he tugged the weapon free from his nearly bisected opponent. His targets body began to convulse, and the life quickly left the eyes of the errant hunter, as the trauma of his injuries was too much for his body to bear. Kharnnath grinned, elated at his success.
“Good.” The elder male patted him on the shoulder, looking at the pooled gore before him. “Youz comes a long ways, son.” He turned to walk away, leaving the sagging corpse for Kharnnath to clean up. Smiling inwardly, the young orc undid the shackles binding the wrists of the partially dismantled body. He allowed the carcass to fall to the dirt, accompanied by a wet thud. Blood began to seep into the already sanguine colored soil.
Kharnnath turned away, walking back toward the chieftans hut, when a low growl sounded behind him. He recognized that growl, and inwardly he winced. From the doorway of a nearby building, a foul, acrid smell accompanied a wheezing figure, bent and gnarled. Standing there, shrouded in smoke, the shaman of the tribe made no other sound. She turned to shamble back within the confines of the only stone structure in the village, and Kharnnath knew he had been summoned. Pride was replaced by fear, and obediantly he followed into the depths of the smokey temple.
The haggard priestess, once a powerful warrior in her own right, had long since passed that part of her life. She now dedicated herself to the worship of Gruumsh. Her once muscular body was now wrinkled and drooping, green flesh turned gray. Sparse gray hair dangled from her scalp, bald in places where it had been torn out by the roots. Her skin was crisscrossed by scars both ritual and battle, some jagged and angry, others smooth and tribal. All served to make her a fearsome figure, despite her advanced years. Shining eyes pierced out at Kharnnth, cruel and evil, calculating just what his punishment would be.
The stone structure was filled with grotesque ornaments, bones and weapons pulled from hundreds of sacrifices adorned the walls. A blazing fire burned in a brazier that stood below the sign of a bloodshot, wide-open eye. It lit the stone icon with a haunting light, and whever one stood, it seemed to stare at you. Hanging from the ceiling were bladders and jars of dark fluid, unidentifiable concoctions used in rituals to prepare victims to The One Eye. Kharnnath knew this place well, and he both loved and hated it.
“Kharnnath, you have grown into a fine weapon. Today, it is time for you to take the first step into your fate.” She motioned to a stone slab raised a foot or so off the ground, where shackles lay. He had lain on this table before, whipped or beaten for one slight or another. Obediantly he lay on the table, silently staring at the ceiling above him. He felt cold steel latch over his wrists and ankles, binding him in place. He stoically waited for whatever punishment he would endure.
“If you make a sound, I will leave you to bleed on this table, then start again when the wounds have closed.” The priestess snarled, and produced a ritual dagger, blade twisted and nicked, handle wrapped in the rotting hide of some unfortunate creature. The sudden smell of hot metal began to fill the the room, and soon the blade glowed orange under the grip of the priestess. The smell of burning flesh joined the scent of heated metal as her skin blistered and burnt. She began to cut the clothing from his body, discarding it on the floor as it smouldered and burned.
Seemingly unheeding of her flesh burning and blistering under the dagger in her hand, she brought it down to the flesh of Kharnnath, and dug the blade into his skin. As soon as it pierced into his body, the wound was cautorized closed behind it, as she began to trace sacred patterns and tribal etchings into his flesh. Cut after cut, the searing pain made him wish to cry out, but his years of torture on this table had conditioned him to endure the pain silently. Cut after cut, symbol after symbol, the wicked woman prayed the entire time the blade etched his flesh.
Finally, after hours of searing carving, the blade let up. He dared not shift, dared not move, dared not speak, for he knew the punishment had only begun. Soon, cold liquid burned over the fresh, angry scars. It was not soothing cold, but icy and angry, seeming to cause his flesh to freeze where the liquid touched. Soon, it was spread all over his naked torso, and the shackles came off. In the dim light of the single torch, he looked down at the handywork of the cruel priestess. Shimmering scars reflected the light, and his once brown skin was angry and red.
“You're ready now, to begin your true journey, Kharnnath. You are the chosen of The One Eye, and as such, you must prove yourself worthy His blessing.” She scowled at him, no love or patience in her eyes, only calculating cruelty. She nodded to the blade that now rested against the door frame. “Take your blade, and prove that you are worthy of His sight.”
Kharnnath rose, and in the firelight, his movements seemed to cause the scars to writhe and twist of their own accord. Speaking not a single word to the priestess, he simply turned to walk out of the door, pain still screaming it's song in his mind. He took his blade in hand, clenching the haft with anger.
Many would die this night.
Re: LORE: Nemeses Continued
Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:28 pm
Stallach the Banelich,
A recap of parts 1-4:
In the beginning, Walpurgis was born to serve Bane. Walpurgis performed his duties as a page for the Knights of the Black Gauntlet. He learned early on that failure would not be tolerated and was often flogged, beaten and pitted against other pages whether for punishment or for the sadistic enjoyment of a depraved knight.
As humans began to push forth into once elven dominated lands of Cormanthyr, knights bound to the orders of Tyr and Bane take up crusades within Cormanthyr determined to purify the region with a holy fire. Divine providence as their justification, these Templars brought devastation to the lands. A Tyrran Knight known as Sir Quinton Feldham pledged that the wicked within the region would be converted or face death. This Tyrran Templar had great success with his campaign as he drove the knights of the Black Gauntlet near to their breaking point.
In a great battle where Sir Feldham destroyed the forces of the Bane Knight Menzebul, Walpurgis, who was still a page, was taken captive. Walpurgis would endure great tortures at the hands of his Tyrran purifier and in the end his will would be broken, much as any mortal’s would. As a convert, Walpurgis would be conscripted into Sir Feldham’s forces where his prowess and devotion soon caught the eye of his superiors. Walpurgis was the epitome of the basic idea that ran Feldham’s crusade in Cormanthyr. However, nothing is ever that simple when it concerns the god Bane. For He has eternity to scheme and claim what should be his, and soon He would set a single piece of this puzzle into place. That piece would be Walpurgis.
In a later battle between Tyrran crusaders and the demonic forces spawned from the labyrinth beneath Zhentil Keep, Walpurgis again found himself a prisoner of war. Though this time he would be taken to Stallach de Benadi, the first High Imperceptor of Bane and creator of the once vast empire beneath Zhentil Keep. It would be Stallach Benadi that lifted the veil of lies shrouding Walpurgis’ eyes. Benadi bestowed upon Walpurgis a great light, showing him the error of his ways and cleansing the Tyrran perversions from his mind. Walpurgis paid for his sins to Bane with flesh and blood, enduring torturous redemption at the hands of zealous maniacs residing in the depth of Stallach Benadi’s fortress. For all must suffer for their sins or forgiveness is empty.
Walpurgis as he was meant to be, uncorrupted by Tyr and born again by Bane’s will, emerged battered and tortured from the fortress below Zhentil Keep, set loose by Benadi. Walpurgis would eventually find his way back to Feldham’s army, broken and battered. Sir Feldham saw what he wanted to see, a convert so driven by the power and virtue of Tyr that he could endure unspeakable tortures at the hands of depraved Banites, and yet still maintain the willpower to escape their villainous clutches and return to fight once again. The trap that would lead to Feldham’s demise had been set. On a moonless night so dark that it seemed as if the black hand of Bane had plucked the stars from the sky, Walpurgis sprang the trap which allowed the hellish army of the Black Gauntlet to enter Tyrran fortress and utterly destroy everyone inside.
Re: LORE: Nemeses Continued
Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 11:33 pm
Stallach the Banelich, Part 5
The rise of Walpurgis continued…
It wasn’t until the very end that Sir Feldham of Tyr finally saw his folly, he was face to face with it after all. Walpurgis stood there before him, a cold and calculated look was the only expression he displayed when his dagger sunk deep into the Tyrran knight’s abdomen. As the dark red blood from his liver dripped to the ground, Sir Feldham was forced to watch the slaughter in anguish until the woeful cries of his mutilated soldiers eventually ceased. Walpurgis had no words for the knight, no prayers, no pity and the knight had none for Walpurgis in return.
There were only a few sounds that could be heard now, like the clicking and clinging of crows’ beaks as they picked apart the bloated bodies strewn across the field and the heavy, undulated breathing of a mortally wounded Tyrran knight. Sir Feldham’s labored breaths were quickly turned into a grotesque gurgle as Walpurgis methodically carved through the flesh and viscera of his neck. Sir Feldham’s severed head firmly in Walpurgis’ hands and the defeated Tyrran Knight’s body slumping lifelessly to the ground finally signified an end to the night from hell.
However, this was not Walpurgis’ victory and Sir Feldham’s head was not his trophy. So, the dutiful son of Bane returned to Zhentil Keep and relinquished the disembodied prize to Stallach Benadi, its rightful owner. Walpurgis’ role in the triumphant victory over the Tyrran Crusaders would not go unrewarded though.
Stallach Benadi bestowed upon Walpurgis a great accolade, and when Walpurgis rose a Bane Knight he became something more than just evil. His was filled with an unquenchable thirst for blood and fueled by an unrelenting hatred. He was now more than just a murderer, he was a cold and calculating serial killer. He was more than just a crusader, he was the embodiment of Tyranny. And while Benadi’s hopes were more than high for his newest knight, even he could not have foreseen the astonishing terrors that Walpurgis would bring to Cormanthyr.
What follows is the first-hand account of an elven defender fighting against the crusading forces of the Bane Knight Walpurgis. The elven warrior wished her identity to remain anonymous:
"I have never felt it before, something so primal I can only describe as true fear. The source of which was a man wreathed in constant shadow and standing triumphantly upon the mangled corpses of his vanquished foes, my brothers and sisters. His pale armor was marred and stained with blood, yet through the viscera I could see it was emblazoned with a black gauntlet grasping a templar’s crux. In his iniquitous hands was a massive sword consumed in flames from the reflection of the inferno around him. The flickering of the hellfire only ceased when the blade was drenched in elven blood. Finally, I felt his cold, malevolent gaze fix upon me. I knew then only to run."