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O-gon-cho
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An obvious suggestion from the G-d of Love, considering what the AllFather always claimed his most powerful attack would be...

But still a good one. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great posts Murrin. I'll add more later, but just on a couple of things you mentioned:

Putus: My first contract. Very Happy

Nor Yekith wrote:
"There is an acolyte in my lands attempting to disrupt my purification experiments. His name is Putus - "The Pure One". If you will rid him of me I will assist you in the future or give you my most skilled Houka."


To The AllFather, Vadhaka wrote:
I have accepted a commission from Nor Yekith to assassinate Putus, "The Pure One" a follower of Maeror who is attempting to disrupt Nor Yekith's internal affairs.

In exchange, Nor Yekith will provide me with a holy Icon of Enhancement that will allow me to grant such enhancements as night vision, acute hearing, and stealth to my worshippers. In addition, he will gift my Prophet with 20 Houka bonded only to Pathikah and fanatical in their devotion to me.

Therefore, with 1 DRP, I dispatch a skilled assassin to Nor Pupae. He has strict orders to secretly eliminate this Putus, and make it appear an accident.


The AllFather wrote:
Your assassin finds Putus and manages to kill him in his sleep by using a powerful but odorless inhaled poison he slips into Putus's room. Upon learning of Putus's death, Nor Yekith sends the Icon of Enhancement and the 20 Houkas to your Prophet Pathikah.


Untharl: He was sorta my problem:

The AllFather wrote:
A warlord named Ultharl, a worshiper of yours, has raised an army in Maeror's lands, claiming to be a worshiper of Maeror's, and is leading it into Adomorn's lands to raze, pillage and destroy. Secretly, he gathers his most trusted followers and tells them of the great lord Vadhaka, the Lord of War.


I responded:

Vadhaka wrote:
With 1 DRP, I empower one of the Eyeless, in the company of some Illusion Wraiths, to seek out Ultharl on the pretext of giving him a message directly from me. Once he is in his presence, he is ordered to kill the Warlord without hesitation, and to inform his followers that I do not seek the mantle of the Lord of War.

The Eyeless is then to reveal Ultharl's true allegiance to those who believe they follow Maeror, and order the army disbanded immediately, with the Wraiths exacting my vengeance on any who hear but do not obey.


This didn't work so well:

The AllFather wrote:
One of the Eyeless, together with some Illusion Wraiths, seeks out and finds Ultharl; they murder him, exhibit his head to his followers and claim you do not seek the mantle of God of War.

Ultharl's followers, however, driven into frenzy by the death of their leader, savagely attack your delegation, and even the Illusion Wraiths - despite the fact they kill many - eventually succumb, together with the Eyeless.

The Eyeless's body is torn to pieces and a piece is sent to each of your cities, along with a message claiming that revenge will be had for Ultharl's murder.


But it stopped his crusade with Maeror's followers.

I'll post some stuff from my story-line that I really liked a bit later. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did my guards ever catch that thief of yours? I remember the bounty, but I don't think Xar ever said anything to me about him.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, he got away clean. Very Happy And filled the staff of your standard with lead to increase it's weight. Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vadhaka wrote:
No, he got away clean. Very Happy And filled the staff of your standard with lead to increase it's weight. Laughing


I KNEW it.

I was wondering about my prophet's mobility in that last fight....

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for sharing.
Keep 'em coming.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fist and Faith wrote:
Murrin wrote:
Removing Mox's followers ability to heal themselves was Bhakti's idea. Thumbs Up
Aw, garsh... Embarassed


Big Grin *bows*


Why I oughta... *Shakes fist* Laughing

Well played, good sir.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vadhaka wrote:
In exchange, Nor Yekith will provide me with a holy Icon of Enhancement that will allow me to grant such enhancements as night vision, acute hearing, and stealth to my worshippers.

Oh. Oh wow. That is hilarious. (You'll find out why soon enough.)
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sheesh...keep me in suspense why don't you? Laughing (My next (very long) post is almost ready. And I'm just covering the really great parts. Laughing )

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, okay, I give in.

The AllFather wrote:
A fisherman who worships you, in Grief, discovers something unexpected when drawing back his nets: the Icon of Enhancement, an artifact capable of imbuing a being with greater stealth skill. It bears Vadhaka Chorah's mark.

It was created because you did something to harm me? Ha.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Damn...I lost that while sending it to somebody...to Bhakti. The ship it was in sank. Very Happy No wonder Undine couldn't find it for me. Laughing Is a nasty thing...hope you did something safe with it. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nasty?
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(You coulda told me you know. Very Happy That harm was in what..turn 2 or 3? I regretted it later, I really did, after we ended up working quite well together.)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murrin wrote:
Nasty?


Well, it wasn't made by a kind and loving deity...You'll see as soon as I make my best of post...it didn't always do what you wanted. (Although I did want what it did do actually, the principle remains.)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I decided the Icon could be useful. Thought I might as well keep it to myself.
I considered giving you the Icon in exchange for killing the Hand, but I think you said you didn't need payment, heh.
And as for that harm... well, it was Nor Yektih really, wasn't it? Commissions and all that.

I never investigated what it could do. I left it alone for quite a long time, then eventually made a small use of it, which will show up in my next 'best of' post.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly. Very Happy Glad you see it my way.

Not asking payment was partly because I felt bad. (ish) (sorta) (you know what I mean.)

Ah well, it was certainly useful to me. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First, I gotta repeat what a lot of fun this has been, and make clear again my admiration for Xar’s creativity which has really fleshed out this world. In this post, I’m going to follow a few chains of events, rather than looking at everything that happened in chronological order. Lines across the page represent another story-line.

I’ve already posted about my first contract, the assassination of Maeror’s follower for Nor Yekith, and the payment he made to me. This was the start of two story-lines that remained among my favourite, the one generated by the Icon of Enhancement, and the one generated by the Houka.

Immediately after receiving the icon, Xar wrote:

Xar wrote:
The Icon is stolen from its resting place! Somehow, a thief managed to steal it without being noticed by anyone!


Vadhaka wrote:
I announce among the dens and stews of the Thieves Guilds that the theft of the Icon has not yet aroused my anger. Instead, I am amused, and pleasantly impressed by the obvious skill of the thief.

The thief has until the next turn to return the icon to my Prophet. Should he do so, his skill shall be rewarded by elevation to the status of Important Worshipper, and leadership of the Thieves Guild.

Should he spurn my generous offer, then I shall spare no effort and no power to have him hunted down, and his dying will be long and agonising.

Second, as an object lesson, I order the eyes of the men who guarded the Icon be put out, and that they be re-employed in the Guilds as teachers of awareness to students. If they serve well, and I recover the icon, they may hope for their sight to be restored.


Well, the thief (who turned out to be a she) brought the icon back, and I kept my word. She remained the leader of the Guild, and my most accomplished thief for the rest of the game.

The Guards had their eyes torn out, and a couple of turns later, I ordered my prophet to use the icon to restore their vision:

Vadhaka wrote:
I order Pathikah to restore the Eyeless with the Icon of Enhancement. Since no permanent harm was done by their failure, I decree that they have suffered enough, and that their devotion has won them my forgiveness, demonstrating my care to my followers.


Xar wrote:
The sight of the Eyeless is restored in a most gruesome fashion; despite Pathikah's efforts, the Icon didn't grow new eyes to them, but rather changed their senses and perceptions so that they no longer need eyes to see what surrounds them. Although colors are forever lost to their new senses, they are much more alert now than they ever were before, and their appearance, with gaping sockets where their eyes once were, is suitably frightening.


I was thrilled with this. Despite Xar presenting it to me as a failure by the prophet, this was sorta what I’d been hoping for. The Eyeless, the Messengers of God, were born.

They performed numerous important tasks for me, and their appearance was perfectly suited to making known my will. I was to use them many times in the game, often successfully. Towards the end, they even provided me with probably the only spontaneous bit of writing that sprung from my character. In turn 17, one of the Eyeless kills my prophet!

Xar wrote:
Pathikah is slain by one of the Eyeless! The murderer, who planned the whole murder with perfect efficiency, drags Pathikah's lifeless body into your temple, throwing it in front of your altar and calling upon you to make the Eyeless your new Prophet, since your old one wasn't good enough. This causes the remaining Eyeless to split into two factions - a smaller one supporting the murder, and a larger one condemning it. Heated arguments give way to fights, and several of the Eyeless are left dead: rumors of this struggle reach the common folk, who are terrified and saddened that the Eyeless - the most fearsome group in your service - are broken, believing this to be a sign of your displeasure.


(The story I felt moved to write for this appears in the game thread, titled The Rise of the Second Prophet, and is the only thing I wrote creatively for fun in P2.0 Because I’m lazy. I participated in all but the last contest though. Very Happy Wanted those worshippers. Laughing Only missed the last because I had RL issues.)

I praise the Eyeless and make him my new prophet, naming him Agraga, (Leader), the Voice of God. (Pathikah meant “Wanderer” btw. I was very literal in my use of names. Wink All taken from Sanskrit, with the help of the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon.) Then I spend a few DRP whipping the rest of the Eyeless into line. That pretty much ended their role in my game. But they were great worshippers. Very Happy

____________________________________________________________________

The second story-line that springs from this, that of the Houka, was one that also showed them as great worshippers. I put a lot of effort into making sure they were unconditionally mine, I enhanced many of them, and I built them their own city/whatever where they could live without bothering my other followers, who were made a bit nervous by them.

As fully trained and enhanced assassins, they were great. They bred like crazy, and were fanatically devoted to me, especially when I arranged a paradisiacal afterlife for them if they died in my service, (after a bit of prodding Maeror...), and made sure they knew I esteemed them as much as my other worshippers.

But, though they showed their worth in a thousand ways, not least in extracting my child of destiny from Nor Pupae, it was a much later event that really made the story interesting. A Houka was born with the strange ability to turn itself invisible.

Too many turns later, I paid Argothoth some DRP to speed the passage of time in a certain location, aging my child of destiny, the Houka, and two volunteer mentors, 14 years in one turn, making them immediately useful. Of course they weren’t. Very Happy The game started ending just after that, so I never got to really use them. Laughing

_______________________________________________________________________


The other exceptional, and probably best, story-line started in turn 8. Norn’s prophet had been murdered, and to demonstrate my innocence, I agreed to help her find the Murderer. Combining our DRP, I discovered:

Xar wrote:
An expense of Norn's power, coupled with yours, allows you to learn that the murderer of Norn's prophet was a mythical unaligned assassin simply known as "The Shadow", whose true identity is unknown and who is considered by most to be just a legend. "The Shadow" is, however, apparently untraceable at the moment.


A mythical assassin? No way was I gonna let that drop.

Vadhaka wrote:
Using 1 DRP, I send emissaries to seek out The Shadow and convert him to my worship, promising him a high place amongst my faithful.


Two turns later and no word:

Vadhaka wrote:
I devote 2 DRP’s to empowering the emissaries searching for The Shadow.


Turn 11:

Xar wrote:
The emissaries seeking the Shadow find it unexpectedly; as they prepare to sleep in an inn somewhere in southern Olaern, a voice echoes from the shadows where no creature is standing. The disembodied voice, claiming to be The Shadow, asks of them why they sought it, and what might the God of Assassins desire of one such as him.


Vadhaka wrote:
Via my emissaries, I tell The Shadow that because of his legendary and almost mystical skill, I would like to offer him the leadership of the Assassins Guild. This will automatically also make him the leader of the fanatical Brotherhood of the Black Dagger, and bestow upon him all the rights and privileges thereof, including the promise of Maeror for an eternity of Paradise as reward for service to me.


Turn 12:
Xar wrote:
The Shadow listens to the proposal, but requests some time to decide. He will give his answer next turn.


Vadhaka wrote:
I inform The Shadow that I understand his caution, but add that I hope he will choose to convert to my faith, both for the sake of his skill, and the honour and recognition he deserves and will receive as the Hand of God, which would be his title and position, even as Pathika is the Voice, and the Eyeless are the Messengers.


Turn 13:

Xar wrote:
The Shadow gives your messengers a message for you: "Though I respect your god, my allegiance must be earned. Thus, let your god know this: if he wishes me to be his Hand, let him send assassins after me. Should any of his assassins succeed in striking me unaware, I will become his Hand. But I shall dispatch any assassins who fail at their task, and in so doing, I shall winnow his followers, removing the weak and leaving the strong. These are my terms. Let your god decide whether he accepts them or not."


Vadhaka wrote:
I send The Shadow the following message:

"Most worthy Shadow, I accept your challenge. Even in this way do you serve me though by winnowing the weak and unworthy from the strong. I shall set my most skilled assassins on your trail, to succeed in gaining your admiration, or to die gloriously in my service. In the spirit of fairness, I give you one turn's grace to cover your trail. The contest will begin at the start of the following turn. May we both be enriched hereby." *bows*


I then give the following message to my worshippers:

Quote:
I call a meeting of the greatest assassins of The Brotherhood, and amongst the Houka, including the Houka who has recently returned after his successful contract. I explain that a vital mission awaits whoever is bold enough to undertake it. But, I emphasise, the price of failure will be great also.

As a result, I ask only for volunteers from among the most skilled and daring assassins. Any who try and fail shall be assured of glory and an eternal paradise as thanks for their service. Success will be rewarded with riches beyond their wildest dreams.

I shall provide further details in the following turn regarding the challenge and what needs to be accomplished. For now, I merely wish them to think upon what I have said, and decide if they are willing to risk all for the greater glory of themselves and their god, and for the good of their faith.


Turn 14:

Xar wrote:
The Shadow receives your message. After receiving it, he agrees, and leaves the lair where your assassins first found him.
As your greatest assassins learn of a mysterious and dangerous but rewarding task you wish them to perform, many of them - undeterred by your warnings - offer as volunteers. Altogether 13 assassins - both Houka and other races - volunteer for the task.


Vadhaka wrote:
I inform the 13 brave Assassins of my bargain with the Shadow. He was last seen in an inn in Southern Olaern. They are tasked, singly or in pairs as they choose, to find this legendary assassin, and do no more than touch him unawares. However, any who are discovered, he will slay if he is able to. I shall empower the maker of the first "assassination" attempt with one of my Divine Rank Points.

Who succeeds shall be named a Divine Emissary, who tries and fails shall be rewarded with eternal paradise.


Turn 15:

Xar wrote:
The 13 Assassins hear your assignment and receive your blessing, after which they spread out seeking The Shadow.


Turn 16:

Xar wrote:
One of the assassins sent to seek the Shadow is slain in Archel.


I order him buried with honours.

Turn 17:

Xar wrote:
The body of the assassin slain by the Shadow in Archel is returned to Shama, where he is buried with all honors. Two other assassins of the original thirteen are found dead in Amador.

[quote=”Vadhaka”] I allocate 1 DRP to empowering the volunteer assassins in their search for the Shadow.[/quote]

Turn 18:

Xar wrote:
The assassins seeking the Shadow are empowered. One more is found dead in Linver.


Turn 19:

Xar wrote:
Another two of your assassins are slain by The Shadow in Linver.


Vadhaka wrote:
With 1 DRP I empower the next attempt on The Shadow by my agents.


Finally, Turn 20. 12 turns, 7 DRP, and 6 skilled assassins later:

Xar wrote:
Akalar, one of your agents - empowered by your power - finds the lair of The Shadow and confronts it. Surprisingly, the Shadow does not slay him, but welcomes him in his lair. "The time is upon us when the fate of the world will be decided. Your God has shown persistence, determination, and your brethren have shown skill. I could kill you where you stand and continue this chase, but I find that I grow weary, and that the world has no longer the patience for such games. Tell your god this: I accept his patronage. He has my pledge: from now on, Vadhaka Chorah is my god as well."


Vadhaka wrote:
I welcome The Shadow into the Church of Vadhaka Chora, and appoint him immediately as the head of the Assassins Guild, and the leader of the Order of the Black Dagger. He is given the title The Hand of God, subject to no will but my own.

The praises of Akalar are sung by the clergy, and his deeds and courage are held up as a shining example to the faithful everywhere, as are the tales of all those who died searching for The Shadow.


In the very same turn, I order the Shadow to take out Maeror’s bearer of the Hand, as shown in his post. My orders:

Vadhaka wrote:
With the 3 DRP assigned by Maeror, I empower The Shadow and dispatch him on his first task: He is to seek out a being known as The Bearer of The Hand in the city of Bassina, where he is to put an end to the torment of the former High Priest of Maeror, remove the Hand of demonic influence from him and to destroy it utterly, preferably by immolation in fire. I instruct him to use all possible caution, and every ounce of his mythic skills as the Bearer is likely guarded, and the Hand has powers of its own.

I equip him with one of my mystical medallions to aid in his protection against any hidden forces, and charge him to exercise the utmost caution. I have every confidence in his ability, but instruct him that in the final accounting, his life is more important to the Church than this mission.


(Sorry Maeror…after all that trouble, I didn’t want to lose him on the first shot. But it worked out well. Very Happy )

Next, I send him out to take out some fire-wreathed bear that’s plaguing Aikul. But en-route, he bumps into Nephirthos’ minions:

Xar wrote:
The Shadow, empowered by your might, sets out to slay the flame-wreathed bear near Shama. He travels quickly and purposefully until he reaches the island, and has no trouble finding tracks of the monstrous bear. However, just as he is about to strike, a white-hot comet streaks across the sky and slams into the island, causing an earthquake and scaring the bear away.

The Shadow survives the concussion and hurries to investigate, but even he is taken aback when he sees a white-hot darkness in the form of a man emerging from the comet's crater. The creature's eyes are cold, green slits of power, and the entity seems to be looking at Shama purposefully.

The Shadow feels malice emanating from the creature, and recognizes it for what it is - a minion of destruction. He has his orders, but he will not let such an entity roam unchecked; thus, he carefully studies it, trying to discern a weak spot. Then, realizing his time is limited, he draws his silver dagger and, focusing his thoughts to a deadly edge, springs out and attacks the entity!

The creature's power is great, and it bears such might to bear upon the Shadow, but the assassin is persistent and strong by himself, even though he is not a Prophet. He is the foremost assassin of the world, and he will not be defeated by such creatures.

"Desist!" The creature orders, amusement in its voice. "You will find your death to be faster and less painful, for I cannot be denied. My Master claims dominion of all things!"

The Shadow looks into the eyes of the creature... and grins coldly. "It is you who would do well to surrender. I am not as weak or defenseless as you might think, Cold One... nor is your Master as powerful as he believes he is!" With this, not caring about the frigid flames of the creature, the Shadow lifts his dagger and slams it into the creature's eye. The entity screams in pain - though the dagger is mere silver, it is but a tool of the wielder, and the Shadow's power is greater than that of a mortal, especially when empowered by you - and staggers back, so the Shadow jumps back onto the ground skillfully.

"Now you see at last that the people of Vadhaka are not easy prey, creature?" He says, before springing forth and slamming the dagger into the creature's chest with all his strength, and focusing the empowerment you bestowed upon him into the dagger and into the creature. The entity shivers, shudders, and finally shouts in pain before exploding, flinging the Shadow away and scorching the ground, but sparing Shama. The Shadow bounces off a tree and lies unconscious, but the spark of life still burns within his chest, and he savors his victory as he recovers.


Damn! That rocked. Just stopped what he was doing and wiped him out. Very Happy Awesome!

In turn 24, the Shadow is contracted by Bhakti / Jove to eliminate the prophet that Nephirthos drove mad.

Vadhaka wrote:
I recall The Shadow, and empower him with the 5 DRP I receive to hunt down and kill Dionache, Joves maddened prophet, before he can do any more harm.


With 5 DRP in him The Shadow is unstoppable.

Xar wrote:
You empower the Shadow and send him to slay Dionache; filled with divine power, the Shadow quickly makes his way to Londir, and once there, to Jovian.

When he beholds the city in ruins, his cold eyes simply scan the area until he sees Dionache fighting against some unknown foes; silently, he wraps himself in his skills and your divine help and creeps until he reaches Dionache; exploiting the maddened Prophet's lack of awareness of his existence, the Shadow bides his time and then, as soon as Dionache leaves himself open to attack, strikes at him with a silver dagger coated with poison.

Dionache's agonizing scream echoes throughout the ruins of Jovian and he turns his ruined face - two bleeding, gaping wounds on his forehead - towards the Shadow, but he is already behind him, slashing at his throat with the dagger. Gasping and bleeding, Dionache collapses and eventually dies, while the Shadow draws away, not having even been seen by Dionache's other foes.


In the final turns, knowing the end of the world is upon us, I release the Shadow, and the Houka, from my service, bidding them seek their own happiness and safety.

_______________________________________________________________


Well, that’s my real best of’s. Tomorrow I’ll post a few smaller, shorter or once-offs that I really loved as well. The liberation of the Monastery of Elder Assassins, the eventual self-sacrifice of the Elder Assassins, the debacle that was Veria. Very Happy

Can’t believe how long this is. Very Happy What a great game.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some intersting stuff, there! Your mention of Nephirthos' minion made me realise I've entirely left out anything about that in my posts... Luckily there are only two or three bits to post about it--no more ridiculously long posts.


While I'm here....

Topic Four: Creation

Maeror wrote:
The great rising of the dead: Millions of bodies torn from their graves, abused, used to boost the extent of one god's power. The world is flooded with more of the undead than the living... A balance that must be redressed.
Maeror knows this, and yet, his hand can only reach so far with those that are neither dead nor alive. He must find some way to bridge this gap, to bring the cycle of Life and Death back to these creatures--but to do so, they would require their souls, far too many souls that should not be disturbed from their rest in the afterlife.
The solution would seem to be to provide new souls, fresh, that can abide in these bodies of the deceased and restore to them some level of life. But still there are far too many, more than Maeror could ever craft individually; a way must be found to bring it about naturally, to plant a seed of life that could then grow, on its own, to encompass legions of the undead... Slowly, a plan begins to form in the mind of the Lord.
*
Early winter. The first snows fall, and in Olaern a lone figure shambles across a white field. Mindless, it had found itself seperated, briefly, from the group that had harried Adomorn's people for a time; soon the compulsion that drove it would send it staggering back to rejoin its kind. Too late--the opportunity had been noticed, and the Lord took it.
The scene flickers, and now a hooded figure stands before the walking corpse. A hand shoots out, press against the undead chest; and Life floods the animate form. It roils, tumultuous, chaotic, drawing on the power that animated the body and then driving it away. The power then begins to bend, to shape itself guided by the dark hand on its form, and from this mass of Life a soul is formed. To those who can see such things, the flame of this soul burns bright, brighter than any thing yet living unless it were the Prophets of the gods themselves. The body seems to transform in only instants: decay is driven out, flesh regenerates, the decomposing body is once again whole--though its visage has a quality still somewhat inhuman. As the body becomes whole, so does sentience flood the mind: knowledge floods the creatures brain, of who, what it is; of its ability and its purpose. The dark figure places an object into the hands of the creature, and a whisper runs through his mind: this Icon of Enhancement will be of great use. The scene lasts only moments, and then--flicker--the hooded figure is gone, and the new creature, fully cognisant of its role in the world, stands alone. The words come to the creature's lips: " I am Wampyr."
*
Wampyr--beacon of Life, soul burning bright across the planes; a soul that will be broken and reformed thousands of times, the fragments snaring new bodies, growing into flames as bright as the first.
Wampyr--the bridge from Undeath into Life, the closing of the circle. With each fragmentation of the soul, a new Wampyr is born, and the flesh is rescued from Undeath.
Wampyr--Life's own creation, her children, bearers of her power. Her hope--that the balance might some day be restored.


The Wampyr

The Wampyr were the culmination of an idea I had stirring in my mind since the early days of Pantheon 2.0. I had devised, back then, the idea of souls as weapons: of crafting a being from the souls of the dead that would jump from body to body, draining the lifeforce from it before moving on, leaving a dead husk. Aware that that idea would probably spiral out of control and affect more than the original target--Nor Pupae, I had intended--I decided I would only try it as a last resort.

Much later, the dead rose, and I was left to think of a way to reduce their number. The iea of the vampire came back again, only this time I would craft it to inhabit the undead, to leech away its necromantic power and with that strength restore the body to life. Of course, this entity would be a little too powerful, so I had to refine the idea.
Here's how I put it to Xar, once I'd worked out the basic idea.
Murrin wrote:
My thought is based on one I think I might have described to you on MSN a long while back. A vampiric entity. My thoughts go along the lines of a soul crafted with very powerful life essence: It begins dislocated, but seeks out an empty shell to occupy--which is to say, undead with no mind or soul (but having no interest in completely empty, dead flesh). Specifically choosing those that are more whole than others, when it finds such a form, it takes ahold, and the life force begins to cause the remains to regenerate somewhat (hence the most decomposed bodies are useless for them. There needs to be a little bit of flesh on it). This 'living' vampire has a kind of compulsion to seek out other empty shells, and when it comes into contact with one, a small fragment of its essence attaches itself to the body; feeding on the energies that animate the body, it slowly comes to reach a similar state to the original form, taking over the body and repairing it.

This, still, was a little too all-powerful in its ability to overrun the body of the soulless undead. That is were the limitations came in, which I worked out with Xar in chat.
The Wampyr was a soul with very powerful lifeforce, occupying the body of the undead. With the strength of its Life, it could break a piece of its soul and attach it to another undead--so long as the undead was empty of its own soul, and with flesh whole enough that it could be restored to life. The process of "infection", however, would require some time of maintained contact: five to ten minutes, in fact. When a Wampyr had infected the body of another, its soul would take time to regrow to its original strength--it could not infect another for around half a day. The infected body itself would be immobilised by the infection: all of the necromantic force which animates it is occupied in fighting the Wampyric soul fragment, which slowly absorbs the necromancy, repairs the body, and takes control. A day or longer after infection, the new Wampyr is whole.
These limitations required specific tactics by the Wampyr: they began so few innumer, that they relied on stealth to hunt. They would find undead that were alone and far from aid, overpower them, and begin infection. When their numbers grew, large bands of them would be able to enact ambushes of undead forces, increasing their numbers exponentially--but that point was far off, for now.
The AllFather wrote:
from deep into the occupied lands, a flickering light of life reappears – a small group of beings who call themselves Wampyrs strike against the undead time and again, and each undead that falls is taken by them. With each attack, the Wampyrs grow in number, and many of the undead in Argothoth’s armies recognize that those who once were among them now somehow have returned to life and become Wampyrs in turn…


Early after their creation I arranged with Adomorn to join the Wampyr with his troops, so thata small group of soldiers would guard the Wampyr while the process occured, and help to prevent the body being destroyed before infection was complete.

The Wampyr did surprise me by devising new ways to use their essence:
The AllFather wrote:
Your Wampyrs join Adomorn's army; along with Melirelle's unexpected help, they are able to slowly push the undead back. After Astavyastataa Kadna and Argothoth establish the Embrace of the Omega to annihilate the corpses of destroyed undead in order to prevent their resurrection it is found out that those who have been infected by the Wampyrs are not Embraced by the Omega. Furthermore, a Wampyr of yours has learned a meditative technique which, if performed in battle, allows him to cause his regenerating soul to "explode", infecting all undead and dying soldiers in the vicinity. The downside is that this leaves him vulnerable to attack, and also it takes days for his soul to regenerate.


I had this Wampyr teach his technique to the others as they all joined the attle in the final turn, alongside Adomorn and Melirelle's troops and my prophet.

What I am most intrigued to see is what Xar does with the Wampyr in the next game.

---------------

The Worm

The Worm began as a simple attempt to meddle, with no idea where it might lead. I wanted to have leverage over some part of Nor Yekith's power.

Maeror wrote:
In Immeril there is drawn a line across the earth, on one side nature; on the other, the creations of malice. The line is in flux, shifting back and forth as the gods of Immeril play amongst themselves games of territory. In one such place, the touch of Yekithii has but recently fled, and the earth still feels the memory of that twisting power.
It is remarkable what can be found in a thing as simple as dirt. A handful of soft earth contains everything, all the ingrediants necessary. A twist, a pull, a nudge--the right power applied in the right places--and- Well, I suppose I am twisting the rules a little. In my hand, from dirt grows... life.
A simple thing--a worm. Strange, in its way--but that is the result of the power that lingers here, on this spot. And vicious--that too, a remnant. It will devour. It will multiply--rapidly. In the strange energies of Yekithii, it will thrive, living on the flesh of what lives there now. I have seen to that--it will blend with the creatures of that realm until it is far too late to halt its spread.
A nasty, hateful creature, but oh so perfect.
I stand at the border of the lands of Malice, and from my hand, I let fall their future.

[2DRP to make it, and in such a way that it is resistant to mutation and blends in with things inside Yekthii. The first exercising of my domain of Life, and hopefully to some good effect.
Just to clarify--the worm reproduces asexually.]


I placed this worm--infested Yekithii with it--but did not really know what I was going to do. I could command it to begin devouring, and destroy all the lived there. I could excercise my power through it, manipulating or changing Nor's mutated creature. But I didn't. Nor Yekith soon left, and I considered on many occasions doing something with it--or destoroying it entirely. But I didn't. I left it, and did nothing.

Finally, the last turn came around, and I thought it was now or never--I did not know what would happen if the worms remained there through until th next game. But rather than kill them immediately, and waste the effort I'd gone to to place them, I hit upon an idea. I ended up latching onto this idea so mcuh that I took DRP away from my other final actions to make sure I could do it.

Maeror wrote:
And finally, Maeror chose to find use in an old mistake. Reaching out to the land of Yekithii, she sought the creature, her creation, that lurked there--sought out the Worms, the many million descendants of the one made by her hand that lurked within the life in that region. She had no need for them there. With a small flexing of her power, she took hold of these simple creatures, hers entirely, and changed them. And they began to move.
Slowly they crept out from the flesh of millions, leaving the mutations unharmed, and squirmed southward--south, and south, for weeks, until they gathered together at the edge of the the water. The seething mass of these creatures then poured forth into the ocean, growing as they did into long, slender form--life molded as if clay in her hands--and flicking their lengths, they swam. Guided by the Lady's thoughts they moved steadily southward, to the land of Necrontir, and there they crawled upon the land once more. Into this realm they dispersed, and soon the change the Lady wrought in them became clear: they fed no longer upon the living, but the dead.
They spilled slowly across the land, devouring undead flesh as their numbers grew and grew, leaving only the living untouched. For weeks their growing mass of writhing shapes spread further and further, until it seemed as though they must surely keep growing to cover all the land and spill back into the ocean; but as the season came toward its close, one by one the creatures began to wither, and die. Their lifespans cut short, soon the growth had turned to a rapid decline, as they perished faster than they could multiply, until, on a Necrontir stripped bare of the undead, the worm was no more.


Of course, it turned out that I was a little too late with my effort: everyone else had reached Necrontir first.

The AllFather wrote:
The yekithii worms, changed by your power, swarm over Necrontir, devouring any undead they come across, destroying all that has not been destroyed by Melirelle's troops or Pourzoleh's creatures. Eventually, only the city ofAi-Tomb remains inhabited, but besieged by Melirelle, as the yekithii die out.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shadow freakin' rocks!!! Nice to see the full story, Av. Thanks!


Murrin wrote:
Oh, okay, I give in.

The AllFather wrote:
A fisherman who worships you, in Grief, discovers something unexpected when drawing back his nets: the Icon of Enhancement, an artifact capable of imbuing a being with greater stealth skill. It bears Vadhaka Chorah's mark.

It was created because you did something to harm me? Ha.
I figured it would turn up somewhere. Heh.
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2007 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably my last best of post here...I've covered the stuff I really liked best I think.

As promised, (does anybody read this stuff? Laughing ) here’s a few other things that really caught my imagination:

The Elder Assassins

Turn 10

Xar wrote:
A group of your elder assassins abandons mundane life and retreats on a mountain peak near Rajas, where they found a monastery.


Vadhaka wrote:
I give my blessing to the Monastery and its monks, and promise them the full support of the Temple. Any assassin tiring of the rigours of life may retire to the monastery with full honours and a generous pension.


Turn 11

Xar wrote:
The Monastery is built and completed, and a few more assassins join it, seeking peace and quiet after their hectic and dangerous life.


Turn 14

Xar wrote:
A group of epic adventurers passing through Aikul manage to sneak into the tower of one of your most powerful mages…Realizing what they have done and the consequences of their actions, they steal a ship and hurriedly leave Aikul, chased by other ships.

Two months later, through a combination of luck and purpose, the adventurers resurface near Rajas, where they storm and take the Monastery of your elder assassins, through guile and powerful magic.

There, they decide to settle down, and while some of their members begin to execute your elder assassins, others begin to use their magic to strengthen the Monastery and turn it more into a fortress where they can protect themselves from your wrath.


Vadhaka wrote:
With 2 DRP I empower the two most skilled enhanced Houka to stealthily slip into the Monastery and rescue the Elder Assassins.

As the Elder assassins are freed, they are together to hunt through the shadows of the Monastery that they know so well and strike down the adventurers one by one with all the skills of their secret and deadly arts.


Turn 15

Xar wrote:
The most powerful Houka are empowered to slip into the Monastery and rescue the Elder Assassins.

Through a combination of guile and skill, the Houka manage to infiltrate the Monastery and free the assassins, who - despite their advanced age - help them greatly against the usurpers.

At the end of a heated day of fighting, the heads of the usurpers are torn from their still-twitching bodies, stuffed, and placed hanging from the walls of the monastery by their hair, so that other would-be attackers might know what awaits them.


And finally, in turn 23, with Nephirthos’ powers wreaking havoc across the world:

Xar wrote:
The people of Rajas wake up in the night, shaken by nightmares of fire and terror; a strange cold and a shrill sound that resembles far too much a laughter echo across the deserted streets. When the Rajasians look upwards, their blood freezes in terror as they see streaking comets of white-hot darkness crossing the night sky and heading towards them - the doom of Linver is far too vivid.

Hurriedly, they gather in the streets, pressing against each other in an attempt to escape, even as the shrill laughter grows stronger, and malevolence emanates from the quickly approaching comets in unseen waves. Frenzy gives way to blood, as the whole city panics, save for a few - elder assassins all, once retired, they have felt the coming of the comets too, and now stand on the battlements, looking at the advancing doom with unflinching eyes.

They are old, these assassins, their bones are frail, their muscles wasted - but their spirit is still strong, it burns like a star within their breast. They look at each other, not a word is exchanged: all know what must be done.

Solemnly, the assassins link their hands together, and as their piercing gaze crosses the sky, staring deep into the green, powerful eyes of the comets, they begin chanting a song in unison, drawing no longer on their body or mind, but on the spirit that burns bright within them.

Using magics once forgotten, or perhaps only newly discovered by them, the assassins chant as the comets approach; and the more they chant, the more smoldering pinpoints of light burn on their chests, the more their forms become insubstantial, until at last where thirteen elder assassins stood, thirteen newborn stars shed a radiance that dazzles the citizens of Rajas and calms them down.

The stars that once were the assassins merge together, until a giant star glows with a radiance to equal the sun; then, without a word, it streaks away from Rajas, meeting the comets in mid-air.

The explosion is such that the outer walls of Rajas are rent asunder, and many people die; still, when those who survived shake off their confusion and stand on their feet, they see to their amazement that most of Rajas survived... but of the elder assassins, or of the comets, there is no trace left.


That was a bitter pill. Real bitter. But they went out so well I do not exaggerate the tear in my eye.

Veria: Hands and Heralds

I first heard of Veria in around Turn 7, and in turn 8, Chisi contracted me to rid her of the troubling necromancer.

Vadhaka wrote:
Using the DRP Assigned By Chisi to me, I despatch one of the most skilled of the Brotherhood to assassinate Veria, the renegade necromancer who has been troubling her.


Xar wrote:
Maeror is unable to provide you with informations on Veria's whereabouts; your assassin starts seeking the necromancer out, but thus far he has no luck.


Vadhaka wrote:
I inform the Assassin on Veria’s trail to keep searching, promising more aid as soon as it can be spared, while equipping him with an Amulet.


Xar wrote:
The assassin on Veria's trail has disappeared. The amulet doesn't answer if you attempt to contact it.


Turn 10

Vadhaka wrote:
I devote 2 DRP’s to empowering the assassin searching for Veria


Xar wrote:
The assassin seeking Veria hears that she might be in Khenstorn, where the war between Nor Yekith and Queeaqueg has begun; he sails there.


Turn 12

Xar wrote:
The Assassin hunting Veria has disappeared.


Then nothing, until in turn 14, Adomorn contracts me to kill Veria’s Hand:

Vadhaka wrote:
With the 2 DRP allocated to me by Lord Adomorn, I empower two highly skilled members of the Order of the Black Dagger to ambush the renegade Necromancer Veria's Hand near Linver.

If at all possible, they are to take him alive by stealth, and interrogate him as to the nature and whereabouts of his master before executing him. If not, his death will be an acceptable, if inferior, outcome. They are then to report the outcome to Adomorn's garrison, that they may take action appropriate in mopping up his now leaderless forces.


Xar wrote:
The two members of the Black Dagger are sent to dispatch Veria's Hand... and somehow fail. You aren't sure of what happened, though.


Adomorn told me:

Adomorn wrote:
Power is given to Vadhaka in order for his assassins to find and apprehend Veria's Hand. Unfortunately, the assassins fail to return; discovering this, your empowered troops begin marching towards the alleged location of Veria's Hand's camp. Once the place is reached, though - a narrow valley through the mountains north of Rajas - the camp is found to be deserted, except for the skinned, bloody bodies of Vadhaka's assassins, hanging naked from wooden poles and horribly reanimated so that, as your followers first see them, they shout through bloodied lips, while ravens pick at their eyeballs, "Veria has been roused. Beware, for life is but a candle, easily snuffed out. Return to your mortal cities, and hide in the lap of your feeble gods, while waiting for the moment in which Veria will destroy all."


I order the two assassins buried, but don’t think I gave much more thought to the matter until, in turn 16:

Xar wrote:
An army of undead, led by a mighty lieutenant who carries Veria's banner - a black flag with a grinning, jeweled skull - and proclaims to be the other Hand of Veria, marches towards your cities, undaunted by weather, terrain, or fear. They lay siege to Rajas.


Now we, (a bunch of us) conceived of an apparently brilliant plan to get rid of the army. Argothoth assured us that the undead were powered by a connection to a plane of negative energy, so we enlisted Norn, and gave her quite a few DRP, to sever their connection to this plane. After instructing the besieged to withstand their enemy for 1 more turn, Norn unleashed her spell while Adomorn prepares to launch a physical attack:

In Turn 17:

Xar wrote:
Adomorn's forces travel south to Rajas and lay in wait, expecting Norn's power to crush the undead army.

Then, at the appointed time, the air shimmers, as if a terrible heat were concentrated upon the incoming army; they see the undead trembling... but they do not fall!

Adomorn's troops await the appointed time and attack the undead, beginning a bloody battle which pits the living against the undying. But even with his blessing, his forces are shaken and beleaguered, while more and more undead arise from the bodies of his own fallen; for well-hidden amidst the unliving army are magicians or necromancers who apparently take advantage of the deaths of Adomorn's valiant soldiers to strengthen the unliving army.

Adomorn's men fight valiantly, and manage to whittle down the unliving army somewhat, but even they can't stand endless waves of the dead; soldiers attack from Rajas, hoping to strike the undead from behind, but they only succeed in momentarily opening a corridor for the survivors of Adomorn's infantry to flee to the relative safety of Rajas, while his cavalry - including the Knights of the Ebony Hammer - is forced to retreat.

The undead army suffered many casualties, but now the corpses of his dead fight among their ranks, and the siege of Rajas continues. However, a faint, brilliant light cast by O-gon-cho upon Rajas and the field of battle, while unable to hamper the undead, helps your people to take heart, and steel themselves for the battle ahead.


The army turned on Adomorn, and eventually, we helped Argothoth convert Veria and thus end the undead rampage.

--A
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