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Author Topic: Shadow War campaign In-Game: Epilogue  (Read 1414 times)
« on: December 08, 2012, 10:44:30 AM »

The Shadow War


Harvest Season has come quickly to Gallia. The Eye shines upon you with the promise of a prosperous day and dreams yet to be fulfilled.

The journey out of Mandrinvale has been instantaneous and free of danger. You have been fortunate enough to not only save the multiverse but to revive the souls of all those whom Maldomkin had taken.

Bedlor Enghart, you have known the power of the gods, your mind having awakened to the infinite possibilities that lie in the adventure you have played. And, having used that power to erase all possibility of such divine power ever again, the omnipotent "God Slayer" has returned himself to the more simple but no less noble self where you began that adventure.

Tren Moonstride, you have followed an even darker path. Having lived two lives in Hell, you have seen more death by far than all your compatriots combined.

The weight of those years still holds you and part of your resentment toward Bedlor's choice may be bitterness that he could so easily forget the death of loved ones and the price you have so often paid. But Serena has been revived by Bedlor's actions and there is no price too great for that.

Taken by Maldomkin from the Grey Realm to empower his release from Mandrinvale, your love has been restored to full health. Her wounds are gone as if they had never been and you find her soul to be as dark and beautiful as you always knew her.

Your party has seen many people in the last two months since your return from Mandrinvale. As you have returned to West Wellington directly from the distant planes you have begun to see more and more people, gathering to the city as if it were a mecca.

Word of your deeds has spread quickly and the many races have come to see the ones who have brought peace to this world after 1500 years of war. Though a few sages argue on the greater repercussions and effects of your deeds, none can deny that the world is a better place...for now.

The many disparate races of Ashearea have begun to talk, and listen. In those conversations they have discovered they are far more alike than different.

Treaties have been signed and unions have been formed. The world is quickly being less defined by region and race, instead coming together as a collective where all are welcome and equal.

It may not hold. Peace and trust is ever a tenuous thing. But you cannot help but feel rewarded as you witness the fruit of your sacrifices.

Your names have swiftly come to be known across the world. Statues have been erected in many cities, despite some of your protests. They say it is to remember you, not as gods or even as heroes, but as examples of what one might achieve if they see the adventure of their lives through its course with courage and noble intent.

The warm air wafts over the gently rolling hills of Gallia. You have spent time at more than a few farms where congenial farmers have been so kind as to offer you a fresh carrot or a pint of cool water.

They listen to your encouragement toward embracing this gift of freedom to better the lives of, not just themselves, but all. Tren, you and Serena have seen enough of the darkness in men's souls to doubt the permanence of Bedlor's wish. But, for now, there is peace and you have learned to take that in small measure wherever you may find it.

More so, you have discovered that Serena was indeed with child when she was slain. Now restored to the moment before she perished, that child has grown within her.

Her smooth belly protrudes now, requiring the skills of a delightful half-folke named Martha to make alterations to all of Serena's gowns and to put away her corsets. Though your beloved witch scowled heavily as she packed away her stitched leather corsets, her face brightens into a smile every time she mentions the future with you.

She assures you your child will be a girl, though you have yet to choose a name. She also assures you your apparent daughter will be a powerful wizard someday...maybe with some roguish skills on the side, she laughs.

But your stomachs rumble a little as your party all gather into the local inn.

The Oak Haven Inn is a luxurious establishment with a welcoming feel. It is crafted to resemble the interior of a great oak tree.

Natural woods comprise all walls, the floor and ceiling. The great room is semi-circular within, with a greater circumference on the outside walls so that you appear to be entering toward the center of the "tree".

Benches shaped right out of the oaken walls line the outer area, with narrow tables between them to form cozy booths. The main area of the floor has an arrangement of movable tables and high backed chairs, also seemingly carved from a single piece of wood.

The bar area is at the back of the room, circular to match the scope of the back wall. Stools line the front of the bar with goblets and wine glasses hanging above.

There is no ceiling to the main area. Instead, you can see all the way up to the ceiling of the third floor. A spiraling staircase rises on either side of the room at the back to a balcony on both the second and top floor. The staircase, third floor ceiling, balcony, and bar overhead all have what seem to be living vines woven delicately over them.

The end effect is an image provided to this human city by the Elves of the Forest of Ages. Aerik Dayspring, now Chief of all the Elven Tribes, has deemed it the first gift of many to celebrate the newfound unity between the humans and the Elves.

Abigail Starling, no longer driven into the world by the need to save it, is behind the bar. The auburn-tressed beauty with high cheekbones and bright green eyes, is serving customers at the bar from the kitchen that lies behind her.

One of them you recognize as the former City Guard, Samm Dean. Now Sheriff, he has his back to you and is making conversation with some locals.

Erika sits alone. The young woman may have been forgiven by her brother and by most of her friends. But the guilt of her actions cannot be undone by simply wiping them away and so, having relinquished her position on the City Guard, she nurses both her mead and her heart.

There is another woman who is a shorter but curvaceous blond with braided pigtails, a round face, and a green apron. She is hustling around the room, taking orders and trying to help newcomers find a table.

She sees you and smiles, a genuine smile despite her hectic movements. She beckons you in and sweeps her hand toward a few tables that are mid-sized so as to be fairly accommodating to both the Half-Folke and human-sized patrons.

"Welcome back," she beams at you. "Make yourselves comfy and I'll be with you soon."

Her name is Heather Donnell. Though she has been your waitress for the months since your return, she is excited because you hear she is starting her own school here in the city. She seems to have found faith in her potential thanks to the example set by all of you and is about to realize that as she broadens the minds of any who will come to her.

Bedlor, you find yourself smiling very much over this. You don't remember why, save for tales recently told to you by your constant companion and new friend, Moira Rashai.

Moira has kindly and patiently told you every detail of your time since leaving Carrigan's Pass. It is an astounding tale and you find it would be impossible to believe it was true were you not seeing the evidence of it on a daily basis.

She has helped both you and your magically-sentient hammer learn of everything. The hammer does not like the name "Warsong", however, proclaiming it too militant. It asks you for your suggestion on a new, more fitting name.

Yet you slowly become aware that Moira brushes by the parts of the story concerning the love the two of you apparently shared. You know of this though from your talks over foamy mugs of ale with Vinnrog Redclub.

You and he seem to have instantly bonded and he has told you of your relationship with Moira. You believe Moira has spoken little of it for one reason only; she wants you to love her for what you know of her, not because of what you are told you are supposed to feel.

You all find your spot at the table, which is near an open combination of a stage and dance floor. The table top is covered with a soft dark green cover, made to resemble moss.

You find menus, freshly printed, propped up on the table next to your utensils. A glass pitcher of clear water sits next to a small glass at each of the four place servings.

It feels like home by now, having spent many days reflecting in fellowship about your chosen table in the great room. With you, Bedlor and Tren, are Moira, Serena, Liv, T'Ning, Rachel, Donovan, Vinnrog, Inoke, Coby, Aphra, Kofi, Jean Pierre, Victor Storme, Jackson Forge, Thomas Knox, Aldina Gilkerson, and Aerik Dayspring.

You have also made the company of a most pleasant-natured minotaur who is as much an artist as he is a blacksmith. His name is Drade.

Vinnrog takes a long swig from his mug of ale.

"Me been real happy to spend last two months together. Rest and ale good reward for all we done but friendship is best of all, uh-huh."

"Me grow a bit restless in human city though. Me think it time for Inoke and me to move on."

"Orc tribes in north need good leader now to keep them in line and friendly. Me think that be me, uh-huh."

He looks at the rest of you.

"We save the universe. Now what will you do?"
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 09:22:12 AM »

Jean Pierre Baptiste smiles at Vinnrog and Inoke.

"Since before I was a child I remember the war between Illumian's holding and the orcs who worshiped Damrogann. I am pleased to see Damrogann's former followers will have a new voice in you, Vinnrog."

"The Redclub Tribe will always be welcome in these lands if I have anything to say about it. As it turns out, I do."

"With the ending of the war, Pontiff Rashai and Lord Commander Enghart have been relieved of their office by the will of the people and held responsible for their crimes. The same will of the people has left a calling for me and Victor to return to the offices we once held."

"The people struggle with understanding how to live life on their own terms and not to blindly follow the preaching of Pontiffs and the militant 'patriotism' of Lord Commanders. For the first time the people look, not to gods, but to themselves, yet they need a wise hand to help them on this journey."

"So it is that Victor and I are returning to Hallow Hold. Even with the religious context of my training stripped away, I have dedicated my life to helping people live in peace and wisdom. That has not changed."

"I will be assuming the office of 'Advisor' while Victor will remain as Commander of the Luminators. But his role will be to begin helping all citizens learn self-defense. No citizen should be afraid of their own military because they cannot defend themselves against it."

Jackson raises his eyebrows but nods.

"I hadn't thought of it that way but it's true. Bedlor's right, Jean Pierre. You really are a wise man."

"Still, there might be trouble from time to time in Hallow Hold and Victor will be busy traveling the world with the Luminators. I don't reckon you'd have room for a new Captain of the Guard and Mystic Chancellor in Hallow Hold, would you?"
he asks, taking Aldina's hand in his.

Baptiste smiles, "The gates are already open, my young friends."
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2012, 09:39:20 AM »

Thomas Knox considers Jackson as he finishes a morsel of soft warm bread with honey-butter. He replies.

"Like Jackson, I spent all my life wanting to be a Knight. I dreamed of traveling the world and making a name for myself as a defender of the weak."

"Now, having traveled the world and actually being a Defender, I realize I miss Forest Falls. It was always home and still is."

"They had been hit hard by Dark Tomorrow's attacks. Frankie has everything settled down but I agree with Jean Pierre that the people should be able to rely more on themselves."

"I'm heading back to town to resume my place as Constable. And, really, you can skip some of the formalities with this 'Thomas' thing. Just call me Tom, okay?"

Aldina smiles at her former town-mate as Coby rubs his chin.

"Whelp, never was one for all that fightin' anyway. I'm a lover, and a good one too if you believe the rumors I start."

Everyone laughs, carefree and full of mirth. Coby grins.

"There ya go! This has been a wonderful story and I don't want anyone to forget it over the next few years. Remembering our past, good and bad, helps us make better choices now and build a brighter future. That might sound a little cheesy but, hey, I like cheddar and pepper jack."

"Faerun took off on us. He said there was still too much to learn about the multiverse to stay too long in any one place."

"I may not be a Nexus but I am a Bard. If I can't travel the multiverse I can at least travel Ashearea."

"I'm gonna happily spend my days visiting everywhere I can. I think folks might like to hear about the 'Shadow War Campaign', don't you?"
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2012, 09:20:40 AM »

"Aye. I be knowin' I be enjoyin' 'earin' 'bout the stories o' all o' us. E'en meself, hohoho.

But these stories be makin' me antsy. All this doin' an' none o' the knowin'. Be like 'earin' tales o' others instead o' livin' it an' seein' it wit' me own eyes.

Sure'n I be seekin' some adventure o' me own. Oi, but I need to be checkin' on me people. Sure'n they could be usin' folks that be knowin' the all o' what be goin' on, guidin' 'em an' such if'n it be needed.

Me only problem be that I not be knowin' the all o' what be 'appenin', least not from anythin' but stories. I'll be needin' someone to be comin' wit' me who be knowin' such."

Bedlor glances toward Moira

"Sure'n I can be findin' someone to be joinin' me. Maybe, o'er time, they can e'en be 'elpin' me to recall certain things I be forgettin'."

Bedlor lights his brand new pipe and lets the smoke encircle his head as he grabs his pint of ale and takes a drink

"After I be checkin' on me people? Oi, I not be knowin'. Sure'n I be settin' out to see the world...'aps I'll be findin' me way back to each o' time."

Extremes are always wrong.
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2012, 09:43:54 AM »

Moira smiles at you. She places her hand over yours and you feel a warmth pass through you. Perhaps it is the ale, but you are beginning to think otherwise.

Liv Eia nods at your words and places her own hand over Donovan's.

"I hear you about reconnecting with your own people. Finally seeing my true parents, Cynder and Ashe, I really wonder what the other planes are like."

"Things must be kind of upset there too with all the gods gone. I think Donovan and I are going to head up to Sacrosanct."

"I wonder if they have turnips in Heaven?"
she laughs.

Donovan smiles, still a rare case for him.

"I don't know what sort of garden you plan on growing in Sacrosanct, Liv. But there is something I want to start I think is long overdue."

From the vest of his black leather tunic he produces a pure platinum ring set with a large princess-cut sapphire set. He takes a knee next to Liv's chair and places the ring on her finger as the warrior-maiden's mouth drops open.

"I love you, Liv. We have literally been through Heaven and Hell together and I want you with me on my journey through the rest of my life."

"Liv Eia, will you marry me?"

Liv's face flushes pink with happiness and hers is not the only tearful eye at the table. Coby blows his nose noisily on his handkerchief as Liv throws her arms around Donovan.

« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2012, 10:48:31 AM »

Aldina claps as the newly engaged couple embrace.

"Ooh, you can have kids like Jackson and me are going to have. Maybe they'll all be adventurers someday too!"

Donovan blinks.

"Whoa, girl! One thing at a time!"

Everyone laughs at the exasperated Donovan as Drade speaks up.

"Though I have known you all for only a short time, I feel as if we have always been friends. It is this fellowship, oblivious to race or profession or nationality, that holds such great promise for the days ahead."

"Liv. Donovan. ... If I may requst a small favor?"

"I have long wondered what wonders Sacrosanct and the other planes hold. Might I accompany you to the heavens/ I believe my brush would find tremendous inspiration on my next canvas."

Liv and Donovan nod in unison.

"Of course, Drade. Even the Angels would be lucky to have you as a friend," says Liv.
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2012, 11:10:56 AM »

Tren, silent this whole time, looks over at Serena all the while rubbing his arm where the shard used to be.

He cannot seem to feel empty. He lost something dear to him when Serena passed and she has returned but he still felt that part of himself was missing.

The years he spent attached to the shard. It had saved him so many times he could not begin to count. Part of him was gone now and he missed it. He glares at Enghart. The one responsible for taking it from him. Removing an aspect of himself. Who was he to judge who could have power. He sat that with a talking hammer for christ sake.

He looks to Moira. Wondering if Enghart could feel the same pain he felt now if he murdered her right then and there. Bedlor should know the pain he had caused. Pitiful.... but he wouldn't. Not here and not now maybe later but eventually Enghart would know what he did to Tren Moonstride. These people think they will make the world better but they all forgot. Tren had seen what happens to men without deities. Without fear. The sheep would see themselves wolves. They will need direction. Whether they knew it or not.

Tren looks again to Serena and motions his head for the door. He stands up and makes his way towards it.

I got souls, they multiplyin'
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2012, 11:12:58 AM »

Baptiste nods thoughtfully, holding out one hand to slow Tren's exit.

"I had been working on Rings of Planar Travel during the war. Please accept these as my gifts to you," he says, handing each person present one of the magical rings.

"They are quite powerful. With them you may traverse the ethereal plane up to three times per day as well as travel to any outer or alternate outer plane twice per day."

"Not only that, but I will modify them before you leave. You will be able to contact anyone wearing one of these rings at will, even across the great planar divides, whether that be exclusive communication or to our group as a whole."

{Please update character sheets to add Ring of Planar Travel.}
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2012, 11:15:47 AM »

Serena rises with you, Tren, as does Kofi. Surprisingly, so does Aphra.

The Hound takes four of the rings from Baptiste, handing them to each of you.

"No place here for me. I'm a hunter with nothing to hunt."

"Have room for one more in your Pack, Tren?"
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2012, 11:26:58 AM »

Tren nods at Baptiste as he takes one of the rings from Aphra.

"Of course Aphra."

He turns and continues walking away.

I got souls, they multiplyin'
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2012, 11:31:07 AM »

Aphra looks to you, Bedlor.

"You're wrong to think men will ever rise to hold the good of all over their own selfish needs. This world might be better for what you have done but it is not 'right'."

"You made the decision to change things with good intent but, for good or ill, no one could have stopped you. A day will come, someday, when someone else will hold the power to force his will on his lessers."

"We may not call them 'gods' but I will call them wrong. And I hunt those who do wrong against others...wherever I find them."

She steps to Tren's side.

"May you find what you hunt as you wish to find it, Bedlor."
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2012, 12:56:07 PM »

"A Pack...?"

"... Ackshully, that's probly as plausible an awkward segue as any to something I've been thinking about. Master Ng-Lau always taught that the Path of the Lone Pine is the path to finding oneself. I spose there's a first time for everything, cos I'm thinking maybe I should take his advice. Literally, in point of fact."

"Rach, sorry about not talking to you about this before now, but I wanted it to be a surprise. I talked to Faer before he left, and I've been working with Moira a bit since, doing some research on Planar meta-fizzies or something. Sposedly, it's possible that some fragments of the old world are still out there. Bedlam, you've built an amazing world here and now, and part of me would love to stay and build the life I have started here. But the memories I have of being a crazy insecure gnome monk playing and fighting and falling in love with a crazy beautiful Kaazradi girl are a part of me too."

"'Sides, being a lycanthrope DeadWaker with a shadow-dancing girlfriend was ackshully pretty sweet!"

"Living here and accepting that I'm human and always have been would feel like choosing one me over the other. And you know how I deal with hard decisions: I specific'ly refuse to settle for either choice. And I think I've found my third option, if you'll come with me, Rachel, my love."

"I want us to go find ourselves. Nobody can know for sure, but I believe there is a path through the Planes to the old world's Fields of Damali. I want to seek T'Ning D'Cairn of the Lone Pine, and Raechelle Kimbler of the Kaazradi."

"What do you think, Rach? Tath t'Io ta sharash?"
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 01:02:03 PM by sab39 » Logged
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 01:05:04 PM »

Rachel chews her lower lip but you can see the infinite possibilities of discovery and adventure light up in her green eyes.

"Ouis, T'Ning. Ouis etta tath," she replies.

You and she each take one of Baptiste's rings. She slips hers onto her slender finger.

"Sure'n I canna shake t'e feelin' t'at t'ere be a whole ot'er 'me' aboot oot t'ere. As I be recallin' she danced in t'e shadows like night and gave ye a smile like t'e sun."

"I may be 'alfway t'ere, but we both 'ave a long life to be livin' an' I be wantin' to live it all. I say we go find some trouble toget'er, eh?"
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 02:15:35 PM »

"You and me? Find trouble? That's not going to happen."

"... trouble will find us first!"

"Maybe with that DeadWaker power T'Ning D'Cairn will be able to put us 'back together' again, put our souls into a single body each. If he... I... can shift between gnome and wolf, maybe human would be just another shape to shift into."

I lean over and whisper into Rachel's ear mischievously, "Before that, though, I daresay we could praps spend a little time exploring the possibilities of two Rachels in the same place, wot?"
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 02:16:39 PM by sab39 » Logged
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2012, 02:18:58 PM »

Rachel looks at you with feigned shock, shoving you hard on the shoulder. Then she grins and raises one fine eyebrow.

"Maybe," she promises with a wink.
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