Milamber's Journal

Page 2 of 2 Previous  1, 2

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Casey on Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:10 am

Chapter 7


Because we were now traveling with Babushka, we had to move at a snail’s pace, and take frequent breaks. Milamber was kind enough to put her on the back of his horse; he engaged in polite conversation with her. It was a long four days to get back to Sukiskyn. Milamber speculated that Vlack had kept Babushka alive for the sole purpose of slowing us down. He might be right.

We arrived at Sukiskyn in the early evening. Pyotr was pleased to see us, although still somewhat distressed by the news that we had not rescued Stephan. There were four stinky kilt-wearing Dunmen there who had volunteered to help defend the household. They said that they wanted nothing more than to kill some Orcs, but they refused our invitation to accompany us into battle. Irina was quite happy to see me. It seemed that there was a pile of logs that hadn’t yet been chopped into firewood. I slipped away for a bit and after about twenty minutes of chopping firewood I straightened my tunic and returned to the manor.

When I got back, Milamber was questioning Pyotr and his family about the location of Xitaqa. None of them had heard of it. Agrippa decided that it was time to cast Seeker again. He sat on a bench at one of the tables, holding Stephan’s map in his hands and concentrating.

The spell succeeded, but not as he expected. Instead of seeing Stephan, Agrippa saw a man sitting in some sort of a study. There was a desk with books, pens, ink, and so forth. The man looked tall and thin, with long black hair and dark features. He was wearing yellow robes. The man looked at Agrippa. He began to mock him, telling him to come back when he became a real magic user.

Agrippa – perhaps unwisely – followed up that spell with Trace. Again his spell succeeded, but instead of his mind being led towards Stephan, his thoughts were bent to the east. He had visions of passing over forests, plains, steppes, small villages, farmlands with the White Mountains to his left until he saw the Ephel Dúath and the Black Gate come into his view. Agrippa ended the spell. He merely told us that there was some version of Skryguard on Stephan, and didn’t know where he was.

It was late. Pyotr suggested that we continue discussing a plan in the morning. Once again we were treated to his hospitality with liquor and food. We kept watch that night. I had some matters to attend to, and Milamber kept watch for me for a little bit.

The next morning we breakfasted. Deorwine had been awake for some time, caring for his armor and practicing with his spear. Pyotr discussed with us some locations where there might be some Orc lairs for us to attack and gain some intelligence. He indicated on the map these locations. He pointed out the locations of a mine operated by hobbits,  but Pyotr suspected that there was a Goblin lair nearby; there was a ridge with standing stones on the top that might conceal the entrances to a lair; there was a lake with an island on it, with rumors that anyone who ever went there never returned.

Agrippa became our business manager, and Pyotr offered a quarter of the profits for the horses should we look for him and not find him, half should we find his body, and three quarters should we find him and bring him back alive. Pyotr offered to provide us whatever provisions that we needed for our search.

We grabbed whatever gear we thought we needed and rode out, heading for the standing stones on the ridge. The ride was pleasant, with a cool breeze and a few clouds to make the weather comfortable. We got out of the forest and into more grassy hill land, with spots of small woods here and there.

Several hours into the ride Milamber and Agrippa were still arguing about using magic. I was ignoring them, keeping an eye on the terrain. I spotted the smoke from a campfire a mile or two off to our left in a little spot of forest. Milamber decided that he would scout it out. He dismounted and walked off. When he returned about twenty minutes later – with a subdued and badly hurt Orc over his shoulders – he told us his story.

Milamber had quite easily snuck up on the camp – for camp it was, of half a dozen Orcs. Two of them were awake, but not paying any attention at all. Milamber got to within striking distance of them without them noticing a thing. He drew his weapon and slew both of them before they had a chance to react.

Now he was in a quandary. There were four sleeping Orcs lying at his feet. Naturally – this is Milamber you see – he couldn’t just kill them while they were defenseless. So he woke them up, fighting all four of them at the same time. He killed three of them and hurt the last one so badly it lost consciousness. He bound its wounds, slung it over his shoulders, and came back to us.

It was time for another conversation with an Orkish prisoner. Because he was so badly hurt, I cast Major Healing on him and woke him up. We told him in the Black Tongue to tell us everything he knew about Xitaqa, where Stephan was, and where the other Orc tribes were in the area. He replied to us in Westron, telling us that he would tell us everything he knew if we would kill him quickly when we were done. Agrippa and I agreed quickly.

He told us that the only thing that he knew about Xitaqa was that was where the man in yellow lives. I showed him the map, and indicated to him the position of the standing stones. He told me that that might be Xitaqa, but that he had never been there. He indicated on the map of the location of his lair and also the lair of the Viper clan. He told us that his clan was commanded by King Vlack to assault the homesteads in the area.

That was all the Orc knew. Milamber went for a walk. When he returned the Orc was dead. Killed while trying to escape, or that’s what we told him anyway.

We moved on. We got to Cherkass that night and camped near there. Because of the inaccuracies of the map, we decided to head to the river and follow it as a navigation aid. I let Milamber and Agrippa argue about that. I don’t know anything about maps and directions and stuff like that. We didn’t get to the river that next day, but camped within a distant sight of it.

The next day we arrived at the river and began to follow it. We kept going, and on the third day from Sukiskyn the river split, and we were in rocky, craggy highlands. We were moving more slowly because of the terrain, picking our way through the rocks on our horses. The next day, we struck out from the river, now traveling within sight of the mountains. Early in the afternoon, we saw what we were looking for: three large standing stones on a high ridge. I wanted to go explore the goblin lairs right then, but Milamber sensibly suggested that we set up camp and hit them after we were rested.

We went to the top of the bluff and made our camp within several hundred yards of the standing stones. The night passed quietly. In fact, it passed too quietly. There were no birds, small animals, or even insects. We reconnoitered the area. The stones were several hundred yards apart, arranged in a line north to south. For several hundred feet around each one there was a blasted area, with a blackened surface on the ground. Who knows what caused it – unholy fire, pestilence, or curse. The stones were about 30 feet high and had a bronze door on one side.

Milamber looked around. He found no tracks of any sort, not human, not animal, not Orkish. We decided to go into the middle stone. There was a large bronze door on the north side of the stone. Anticipating the darkness of Orc tunnels, I cast Continual Light on a few small objects.

We entered the blasted circle. As we stepped foot across the threshold, day turned to night. In the light of the stone, we saw a couple hundred bodies that had fallen locked in a fierce close combat battle. Some half of the bodies were dressed in the style of Númenor. The rest of the bodies were of some lesser race of men, shorter than the Númenoreans and stocky. They were in full armor and arms. Some of them had prominent jewelry and gold plated weapons and armor. The stench was overwhelming. I was a bit surprised, but Agrippa did not loot the bodies.

Milamber said the Final Ministration prayer over every single Númenorean body there. I remember that prayer from growing up with the Dúnedain, but it had been ages since I’d heard it. It took a couple of hours to complete. Agrippa grew impatient and left the circle.

After he was done with his prayers, we went into the standing stone. The large bronze door – despite its large size – opened easily enough into a tunnel. Deorwine went first, followed by Milamber. I was last. The tunnel sloped downwards as we went further. After about fifty feet or so it ended, with another door on the left. Deorwine opened the door. On the other side of the door there was a strange octagonal room. There were piles and piles of bones. Some of the skeletanous forms wore armor and clutched weapons. On the opposite side of the room was another door.

We moved to that door. Once again Deorwine opened the door. The door was another odd octagon. On the other side of the room were two tall shadowy figures, clad in grey hauberks and wearing flowing black robes with longswords at their sides. They were holding red glowing spheres in each hand. Two broken crypts were in the room. Deorwine heard in his mind – in Westron – a voice in his head. It calmly said “If you give up the Elf, you may return to the land of the living.”

There was a moment’s pause as Deorwine told us what he had heard. Predictably, Agrippa thought that they were being pretty fair, and that we ought to take them up on the deal.

Sensibility prevailed, and I was not turned over to the evil undead. Milamber and Deorwine rushed into the room. The wights (if that’s what they were) unloosed a volley of their spheres. They exploded when they struck the ground. Milamber was pretty bad hurt, but still engaged the creature on our right. He was bad hurt by the explosions, but still engaged the thing. It drew a longsword and fought with him. In the end the wight took out his leg. He lost consciousness shortly after that.

In the meantime Deorwine had engaged the other one. He fought with it, and drove his spear deep into its undead heart. His magical spear glowed blue, and the creature was finished. Its robe, armor, and weapon fell to the ground, empty.

Agrippa and I tried to engage the one that had taken out Milamber. It did a decent job keeping us at bay with its glowing explosive spheres, but soon enough I got close enough to fight with it. Agrippa and I had been hurt by the explosions, and I desperately defended myself against the thing. Deorwine ran over and again thrust his spear into its heart. Its gear fell to the ground, without a trace of whatever had been inside.

I went over to Milamber and did first aid on him. When I was done, Agrippa cast Major Healing on him. Having fought the battle and cast several spells, he was spent, and sat down in a corner, leaning up against one of the smashed sarcophagi.

Milamber came to after a bit, and he did first aid on me. Milamber then treated Agrippa as well. After that was done, Agrippa checked out the armor, weapons, and cloaks left by the creatures, casting Detect Magic on all of them. Everything was magical. We grabbed those things and left. The dead were still there. We left the circle of the damned and found our horses, grazing peacefully on the grass on top of the ridge.

By this time, it was mid-afternoon. We decided to camp there that night and go into the other crypts in the morning. In the meantime, Agrippa started casting Analyze Magic on the items from the crypt. The swords each had two levels of the Puissance spells on them. They were also of the best craftsmanship. Milamber snatched one of them. It became his primary weapon, and he stored Croiche on his horse.

The mail had four levels of Fortify on them. They were long hauberks with the sleeves integrated into them. Milamber grabbed one of them also. Agrippa wanted the other one real bad, but it was heavy, so I put it on. The cloaks were also magic, and some sort of non-standard Making and Breaking enchantment on them. The armor and weapons had that same spell on all of them. After a bit of experimentation we figured out that they were self-repairing. The links of the chain could be broken, or the cloth of the cloaks could be ripped, but it was like running your finger through water, and as soon as the weapon was removed they were whole again.

We slept peacefully that night, anticipating our fight with more ancient terrors in the morning.
avatar
Casey
Admin

Posts : 614
Join date : 2014-02-14
Location : No place for a hero

View user profile http://cwrpg.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Wed Oct 28, 2015 6:33 pm

. Irina was quite happy to see me. It seemed that there was a pile of logs that hadn’t yet been chopped into firewood. I slipped away for a bit and after about twenty minutes of chopping firewood I straightened my tunic and returned to the manor.

Yes. I'm sure Irina and Vanimo made an awful lot of firewood that night. Enough to keep the fires burning at Sukyskin for a few years and some logs left over to build a community of log cabins. Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil    


Agrippa – perhaps unwisely – followed up that spell with Trace. Again his spell succeeded, but instead of his mind being led towards Stephan, his thoughts were bent to the east. He had visions of passing over forests, plains, steppes, small villages, farmlands with the White Mountains to his left until he saw the Ephel Dúath and the Black Gate come into his view. Agrippa ended the spell. He merely told us that there was some version of Skryguard on Stephan, and didn’t know where he was.

Whaaaaaaaa? Agrippa do something impulsive and perhaps a little foolhardy? Never.
avatar
Better Quell Jorel

Posts : 759
Join date : 2014-02-17
Location : Salt Lake City

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Casey on Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:36 pm

Chapter 8

Hi it’s me again, Vanimo. Milamber has been a bit introspective – kinda to the point of being introverted –  as of late, so I’ll continue the story. We had all healed up after our assault on the ancient crypt. Early in the morning hairy Peludo found us. He had brought along a friend, Demrun Smoketree. He was a Man who was interestingly raised in the Grey Havens. A capable archer, this guy surprisingly survived our misadventures for a while. We filled them in on what we had been up to, and that we were about to assault the next tomb. We decided to go into the north tomb.

Milamber was against us going in. He pointed out that we weren’t going to find Stephan in the tomb, and that not only would we be wasting our time, we would be needlessly endangering ourselves. I wasn’t inclined to listen to him; I really wanted to go in the tomb and see what was there. I convinced Demrun and Peludo that we should go in there. I should have listened to him. Milamber’s point of view was vindicated, and the most annoying thing was that he ended up saving all of our lives.

As soon as we stepped into the blasted circle, it became pitch black. I pulled out one of my light stones. We could barely see the outline of the standing stone, the door providing its own illumination. Demrun stopped and lit a lantern, and then we were on our way again. Milamber once again urged us to leave. In the unnatural darkness in the glow of the magical rocks, Demrun’s lantern, and the evil glow of the tomb’s entrance, Peludo asked me again to state the reasons of our entering the crypt, and suggested that maybe we should leave.

It was too late. I was in the back, and saw the shadow of Milamber and Peludo rise up, becoming three-dimensional beings. Because I was holding my glowing stone in my left hand, my own shadow was behind me and I didn’t see it rising up. Of course Milamber was able to react immediately as his shadow rose up; I attacked his shadow also. However, my weapon seemed to have little effect against them, passing through them as though we were, well, attacking shadows.

The shadows counter-attacked. They had the same weapons that we did. We found out very quickly that their weapons passed through ours just as our weapons passed through them. This meant that we were not able to use our expert skills of defense against their attacks, and had to back away and dodge. Terrifyingly, instead of cutting into us, their blows fatigued us, and with each strike it felt as if we had just ran for miles and miles. I, of course, was attacked by my shadow from behind, and felt wiped out pretty quick. That would have been a good time for me to cast a spell or two, but I had no strength left to do so. I turned around and fought my own shadow, and was cut down quickly. The rest of the fight was relayed to me by Milamber after I had come to in the sunshine out of the wretched circle.

Milamber’s magical sword seemed to actually effect these things, and so while the rest of us did our best to defend ourselves, he destroyed them one by one. The rest of us were sleeping not-so-peacefully, utterly spent from the shadows’ attacks. Milamber had been hit a few times, and exhausted as he was he had to spend quite a lot of time resting before he could do anything. Fortunately, we were not attacked again as he did so. Peludo woke up, and the two of them dragged Demrun and me out of the darkness.

Our bodies were strained to the point of extreme injury, and Milamber cast Major Healing on each of us. When I was able to, I also cast it on the others.

Stupidly, I was undaunted. I wanted to go back. We took a vote. Milamber was still against it. Peludo and Demrun agreed with him. However, I had an idea: we would go back to the tomb, but this time we wouldn’t bring a light source. No light, no shadows! I felt that my idea was brilliant, no pun intended. My argument convinced Peludo, but not Milamber, who correctly pointed out that we were almost killed the last time we went in. Still, he said that he would go in with us, just to save our lives again. Peludo grabbed the other magical longsword that we had gotten from the previous tomb, and Demrun readied his magical arrows. That way if my wonderful plan didn’t work we could do a bit better in the fight with the shadows. So back in we went. For some reason we decided to go in with our lights anyway.

The sun disappeared, and we were in near pitch darkness. We walked the distance to the standing stone without any trouble. Once again the massive bronze door was ahead of us. We pushed the door open. A tunnel delved sharply downward before us. It was narrow enough that we were required to go single file. But for the light that we brought, it was darker in the crypt than it was outside.

The tunnel looked as if at one time it was finely decorated. There were frescoes on either side of us as we went down, paintings of jackal headed priests performing forgotten rituals in ancient temples. At the bottom was a door. Milamber listened at the door, and wryly told us that he heard nothing, that it was silent as a grave. He opened the door and we went in.

It was the burial chamber of an ancient high king of Númenor. The walls were skillfully decorated in relief with false pillars, pastoral scenes, hunting groups and the like. In the center of the room there was a large coffin set on a black marble base. The coffin was made out of crystal, covered in centuries of dust. Milamber told us that – besides the jackal heads – everything was done in the style of pre-downfall Númenor.

Demrun wanted to loot the tomb. Milamber and I were very against it, yet Demrun continued to insist. While we were arguing with him about the merits of not becoming grave robbers, Peludo started to push against the lid of the tomb. The rest of us noticed this; fortunately he wasn’t able to budge the lid. Milamber and I told him not to do this, that we should respect the dead, but of course Demrun was all for it. Peludo wiped the dust off of the top, and we all peered inside. There was the skeleton of a king inside of it, dressed in royal burial vestments of a golden robe, jeweled belt, with a golden crown on his head. His hands were crossed on his chest, and underneath his arms was a golden scepter.

After a long discussion, Milamber and I surprisingly were able to talk Demrun and Peludo out of looting the tomb. We headed out of the crypt and back into the living world. It was still early in the morning, and after a short discussion we decided to head to the island on the lake.

It was a pleasant two day travel to the lake, riding through gullies, hills, grasslands, and small woods. When we got to the lake, we spied four cloaked figures standing at the edge of the lake. They were a couple hundred yards away, near a clump of willows at the edge of the water. They were looking out across the lake, with their backs to us.

It was decided that Peludo and I would ride up to them, while Milamber and Demrun would leave their horses in the trees and sneak up on their flank. As we got closer to them, I could tell that they were Elves. I shouted out to Milamber and Demrun – wherever they had set themselves – that it was all right and that they could stop hiding.

The Elves heard me and turned around. I could see that they were blonde, and as I got even closer my suspicions were confirmed: they were Vanyar Elves, straight from the Blessed Realm. They almost shone with a light, and their youthful appearance was betrayed by the many millennia of wisdom in their eyes. Demrun – because of his upbringing in the Grey Havens – hailed them as friends in Quenya. Milamber introduced the four of us in Sindarin.

One of them responded. He didn’t actually say anything out loud, but we heard him speak from his mind. He directed himself to Demrun, and referred his speech to the language of the Kinslayers. That’s just like one of those high and mighty Vanyar Elves, they have to make everything about them. No wonder why some people think that we’re aloof. Still, he was polite after the manner of his kind. He directed himself to me, calling me Melkor, and told me that I was also descended of the Kinslayers (true), yet I was also their kin (also true – through Fingolfin son of Indis). He called me a Prince of the Noldor. I’m not sure if he was being ironic or sincere. Maybe he was being both.

He told us that his name was Gloridel, and that his companions were Alandi, Burundi, and Fionwë. They told us that they were searching for Ingwion, who had come to Middle-earth against the will of his father. Ingwion in turn was seeking a woman Elf who lived in Middle-earth that he had seen in his dreams. Gloridel didn’t say it, but Ingwion is the son of Ingwë, the High King of the Vanyar, the First Born amongst the Firstborn. It was Ingwion himself that led the hosts of Valinor in the War of Wrath that overthrew Morgoth. He’s also my cousin, a few times removed. Ingwion, that is. He’s my cousin, not Morgoth. Stop reading Milamber’s journal Agrippa!

They told us that they had gone out to the island to look for Ingwion, but that it was cursed against Elves and they fled, leaving two of their other companions behind. Their companions  – Delinar and Vendimir – had gone mad and attacked the others. So that they would not slay their brethren, they fled the island. He asked us to go to the island to help his kinsmen. Naturally we agreed, but Gloridel told me that I would have to stay behind, lest I get cursed also. That didn’t make me too happy, because I would have to stay with these hoity-toity Elves. Yeah, not my idea of a good time.

Anyway, the Elves had constructed a boat. It was a magnificent sloop in the shape of a sea bird. He told us that they made it from the willows, and had asked the trees to become a boat for them. He told them that the boat would take them wherever they needed to go.

In exchange for helping them, Gloridel offered to help us. We told him of our mission to find and rescue Stephan from the Orcs. Gloridel nodded. He waded out into the lake until he was waist deep. He bent over and seemed to speak to the water. Then he returned. He told us that if Stephan could be found by the power of water, Ulmo would help us. Dumbfounded, Milamber, Peludo and Demrun walked to the boat and got in. Silently, the sails filled with wind, and the boat slipped away from the shore and went to the island.

I obviously wasn’t there for the next part, but when they returned they gave me an accounting of what happened, so I’ll write it down, because I’m pretty sure Milamber would rather forget this part ever happened. It took them an hour or so to get to the island. The boat beached itself, and they disembarked. The island was fairly small, just a few hundred yards across, but it was covered with trees. They left the beach and went into the forest.

As soon as he set foot on the island, a strange malady came over Milamber. He became deluded into thinking that he was an ancient Númenorian lord. He seemed a bit embarrassed about it afterwards, and didn’t really explain much how the change came about. Peludo and Demrun didn’t hold back telling me that Milamber started to act like an ass, ordering them about and such like they were suddenly his inferiors. Naturally they didn’t take this from Milamber, and told him what they thought of his orders in rather clever – yet colorful – terms.

Their discussion about who orders about whom was interrupted by a disturbance coming from the center of the island. Milamber ran towards the noise, with Peludo and Demrun trailing behind. They had quickly realized that there was something wrong with Milamber. That was actually a pretty astute observation, given the times that Milamber has insisted that things be done his way.

A hundred yards in or so Milamber found the two Elves. They had gone feral, for lack of a better word. Their clothes hung in tatters, and their skin was scratched and bleeding. They saw Milamber and shouted at him. One of them threw a rock at him.

Naturally enough Milamber, with Peludo and Demrun watching a way behind, shouted at the Elves, giving them orders in Adûnaic. They don’t understand the language, but they still knew that he was trying to boss the Elves around. The Elves just ran off. Again Milamber followed them, with Peludo and Demrun following.

They got to a clearing that had a small building in the center. It was like a pavilion, with pillars supporting a roof, but without walls. In the center they could see an altar. Milamber knew that it had been a shrine to Yavanna during Númenorian times. It was run down and overgrown.

Milamber walked into the building. Peludo and Demrun joined him. Next to the altar on the ground there was a metal plate with a ring attached to it, like a door to a root cellar. Ignoring Milamber’s antics, Peludo told Demrun that they needed to find out what was making Milamber go insane. He felt that evil magic might be emanating from the ruins. Peludo grasped the ring and pulled up the trap door.

There was a ladder that went down into darkness. Milamber told the others that as he was Prince Halbarad he would go first. Demrun lighted his lamp, and Milamber descended into the darkness. Milamber saw that he was in a brightly lit chamber, styled as a small palace. There were pillars on the side, with carved vines spiraling around them. The floor was perfectly smooth, white marble. There were carvings of branches and birds in the ceiling. On the other side of the room was a very large mirror, suspended on chains. On either side of the mirror were life sized statues made out of pure silver. Their eyes were made out of jewels, and they were holding swords. The statues were alive, and were looking at Milamber. Somehow he knew that they were his high priests. Milamber began to walk across the room and looked into the mirror. He saw himself as the regally dressed Prince, complete with robe and crown.

Peludo and Demrun began to descend. The room was dark except for Demrun’s lamp and the bit of light coming in through the trap door. The stone pillars had mostly rotted and had partially collapsed, with mold growing in patches on the walls and floor. Pieces of rusted wall sconces were lying in heaps on the floor. They also saw the silver statues with jeweled eyes.

Peludo got to the floor. Demrun stayed up several feet on the ladder and tied himself to it, readying his bow. In the meantime, Milamber had approached the priests and began to converse with them. He dismissed Peludo and Demrun, ordering them to leave this stately place. Peludo – rightly so – started to talk back to Milamber, and so Milamber ordered his priests to throw him into the dungeon. Obligingly, they started moving towards Peludo.

Demrun didn’t hesitate. He aimed at one of the eyes of the priests and loosed an arrow. He had prepared one of his very powerfully magical arrows, and struck it right in the eye, burying itself up to the fletchings. The statue exploded, scattering shards of molten silver about the room and injuring Milamber.

With Prince Halbarad – I mean Milamber – shouting orders, the other priest ran full out at Peludo. Peludo hesitated about as long as Demrun had, and thrust his magical Elvish bastard sword a good two feet deep into the priest’s jeweled eye. This one exploded also, and the fight was over, or so it would seem.

Milamber was furious. These two men of lesser races had destroyed his high priests. He pretended to ignore his two companions, but his mind was racing to think of a way to make things right.

Peludo walked up to the mirror. It seemed to have been made of polished obsidian. Instead of seeing his own reflection in the mirror, he saw the twisted and tormented faces of Elves crying out to him from the mirror. Demrun shot the mirror with an arrow, but it didn’t do much.

Milamber, enraged by the attack on the mirror, tried to draw the broadsword that still hung at Peludo’s side, but Peludo was able to block his attempt. Milamber and Peludo began to fight, with Peludo trying to knock Milamber out and Milamber trying to grapple with Peludo. Demrun, in an epic effort to join the fight, cut the rope that was holding him on the ladder and fell to the ground, injuring his ankle in the process.

Milamber changed tack. He tried to cast an illusion spell to create what would like a demon, to attack Peludo and Demrun and act as a distraction. Instead of successfully casting the spell, he failed horribly, and actually created the skeleton king from the crypt that we had seen, complete with scepter and crown. The skeleton came out of Milamber’s flesh, as if it was Milamber’s skeleton itself.

The skeleton attacked Peludo, who began to fight with the thing, which expertly used the scepter as a mace. Peludo was injured by the creature, but continued on. During the melee, Demrun snuck up behind the skeleton and shot it with another one of his very magical arrows. It disappeared without a trace.

Milamber gradually started to come around. He was dazed and had a hard time believing what the others told him about his actions. Little by little though he started to remember what he had done. Understandingly, both Peludo and Demrun were pretty upset with Milamber.

They quickly decided that breaking the obsidian mirror would be a good idea. Milamber used his magical sword to cut through the chains holding up the mirror. It fell and broke into a thousand pieces of ordinaray obsidian.

Their task there completed, they went back up the ladder, with Peludo going first. As he neared the top, he saw one of the Elves reaching down to help him out of the chamber. Peludo gave him his hand, and the Elf lifted him out, followed by the other two as they came out. The Elves externally looked the same, with their tattered clothing and cut flesh, but they were no longer wild, and had regained their noble composure. They were quite apologetic.

The Elves saw to the companions’ wounds, drawing out the pain and injuries with their magic. Demrun gave each of the Elves a cloak, which they accepted with thanks. They all went back to the boat, which returned them to the other shore. Gloridel was overjoyed to see his kinsmen, and he was grateful for our help. He told us that they continue to search for Ingwion, and they parted ways with us.

Now we’re sitting around talking about what to do next. The most obvious thing to do is go find those Halflings who set up a mine in the mountains. There are supposed to be some Goblins around in the area. Sounds like fun. Demrun has had enough of us and our adventures for now. He told us that he was going to go back to Sukiskyn to help defend it.
avatar
Casey
Admin

Posts : 614
Join date : 2014-02-14
Location : No place for a hero

View user profile http://cwrpg.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:10 pm

Hi it’s me again, Vanimo. Milamber has been a bit introspective – kinda to the point of being introverted – as of late, so I’ll continue the story.

I'll say. 'As silent as a Deorwine,' or so the saying goes.
avatar
Better Quell Jorel

Posts : 759
Join date : 2014-02-17
Location : Salt Lake City

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:23 pm

It was Ingwion himself that led the hosts of Valinor in the War of Wrath that overthrew Morgoth. He’s also my cousin, a few times removed. Ingwion, that is. He’s my cousin, not Morgoth. Stop reading Milamber’s journal Agrippa!

Well, Vanimo's other name is Melchor after all, so he might as well be a close relation to Morgoth—also a Melchor.

Also, would Vanimo really take the time to write in the scolding he gave to to Agrippa for reading in Milamber's journal, a journal that would be in Vanimo's possession at the time of his writing the mild rebuke? Does our elf have some kind of magical dictation device and simply didn't see Agrippa sneak up out of nowhere, causing the elf to blurt out the permanent remark?
avatar
Better Quell Jorel

Posts : 759
Join date : 2014-02-17
Location : Salt Lake City

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Casey on Thu Dec 24, 2015 2:34 pm

That was a preemptive comment that came about when Vanimo was proof reading his text. He realized that it wasn't clear to whom he was supposed to be related, and since he writes in ink, he can't just erase it, so he added that comment marginally just in case Agrippa ever did read it.  Wink
avatar
Casey
Admin

Posts : 614
Join date : 2014-02-14
Location : No place for a hero

View user profile http://cwrpg.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:53 pm

That was a preemptive comment that came about when Vanimo was proof reading his text. He realized that it wasn't clear to whom he was supposed to be related, and since he writes in ink, he can't just erase it, so he added that comment marginally just in case Agrippa ever did read it. Wink

Good way to cover all your bases. You'll never know if Agrippa or Morgoth will read that journal. If it were Morgoth, he would be reading it over our dead corpses.
avatar
Better Quell Jorel

Posts : 759
Join date : 2014-02-17
Location : Salt Lake City

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Casey on Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:28 am

Chapter 10

As we sat around the entrance of the cave, with that Dwarf plying us with bacon and beer, Sean caught up with us. He had been at Sukiskyn, helping them refortify the homestead. We filled him in with what was going on, and then we all had some more bacon wrapped in ham wrapped in bacon.

The bottom line is that we were fresh out of leads on where Stephan could be. Our only idea was that we hadn’t attacked the lairs of the Viper and Red Blade goblins yet. They had participated in the attack on Sukiskyn, and so they might know what had happened to Stephan and where Xitaqa was. We decided to head to those lairs, even though it was a pretty thin hope that we would actually find him in one of those places.

We finished our bacon, packed up our stuff, said our farewells to the Hobbits and Dwarves, and rode off. We descended the foothills of the mountains, and found ourselves in the moors. It was a bit chill with an overcast, and at times we had to pick our way through the boggier areas.

Sometime around mid-morning, we saw a group of three horses off in the distance. They might have been wild horses, but they were walking parallel to us, which is not normal behavior for wild animals. One of them was a very large pure black stallion, very majestic with beautiful poise and bearing. Still, they were acting weird. The large one even stopped to look at us directly from time to time. We discussed what kind of horses they must be, what they might be doing, and what we should do about it. Deorwine seemed disturbed by the horses, and he and Milamber discussed ambushing them, but in the end we decided to continue on for the time being.

After about an hour of them still tracking us, we decided it was time to see what is was that the stallion wanted. We found a clump of trees and tied our horses there, and started walking towards the three horses. They trotted up to us, coming within about a hundred yards or so before they stopped. The stallion started to whinny very loudly. Our horses responded, and they all started to neigh and whinny together, creating quite the racket. It seemed that the horses were talking to each other, but what they might have been saying was beyond us.

The noise stopped after a couple of minutes. Sean disarmed himself and walked most of the way towards the horses. The stallion looked at Sean, but did nothing. Sean bowed to the horse, and spoke a few polite words in Elvish. The horse still did nothing, and Sean returned to us. We again returned to the discussion on what to do with these horses, but came up with nothing useful, so we rode off. Strangely, however, Sean walked, leading his horse. For about another half an hour the stallion and the two other horses kept up with us, and then they ran off.

Nothing happened the rest of the day, and we found a nice little dell to make camp. The next morning, we found ourselves travelling through low rolling hills covered in lush grass and with the occasional lonely tree. The air was cool, yet the sun was shining, and before too long we had all shed our cloaks. Then – silently as is his wont – Deorwine pointed to a distant hill. We all looked, and saw a mounted figure, a few hundred yards off. It was standing on the top of the hill, silhouetted against the sky. It had already seen us, and after a few moments the rider began to move towards us. Undaunted, we also started to ride towards him. After he had gone about a hundred yards or so, he dismounted. Whatever it was, despite the distance we could still tell that it was very large. We continued, and as we did so the thing started to take off its armor, for it appeared to be very heavily armed and armored in full plate, similar to Deorwine.

We hadn’t gone too much further when we could tell that this thing must be a Hobgoblin, for it was too large to be an Orc and too small to be a Black Troll. It was riding an enormous Warg, much larger than even our warhorses. After it had stripped to nothing but a loincloth, it started to walk towards us, leaving its Warg behind.

Milamber also dismounted and walked towards the beast. The rest of us followed. Milamber told us that it must wish to parlay, and that we should see what it wanted. I felt that it would be a better idea to let it get close and then attack it while it was most vulnerable. The Warg stayed up, and paced back and forth, clawing at the ground and every once in a while emitted a blast of smoke or vapor from its mouth, clouding the area around it.

When it got closer, but not too close, Milamber told it to stop, which it did. It was holding some small objects in one of its hands; what they might be we couldn’t see, but they didn’t look like weapons. Milamber shouted at it and asked what it wanted. It told Milamber that it had a message for us, and that it wished to engage us in civil conversation. It asked if it could come closer to speak with us. Milamber told it that it could, and that we would not harm it unless forced us to, and that it would have safe passage. I liked that idea, because the closer the Hobgoblin got to us the easier it would be to kill it without it being able to run back to its mount.

It did start to walk to us, and it seemed to get bigger and bigger until it stood before us, a hulking monstrosity at least eight feet tall. Its skin was almost completely black, with random stripes of grey and green going round its body. It was completely hairless, with a well-balanced face and clean, even teeth. I could definitely see that this must be a cross between an Orc and a Troll.

It spoke in a low, smooth voice, in perfect Westron. It spoke slowly and deliberately, and sounded as well educated as any nobleman in Minas Tirith. It told us that it had something for us, and gave Milamber a green daffodil, telling us that it was a symbol of peace amongst Orcs. I immediately saw the irony of the gift: there are no such things as green daffodils, not that exist naturally anyway. It introduced itself as Narcissus, and seemed to know who each of us were by name. He then reached into the small leather pouch that he was carrying and gave a letter to Milamber.

Milamber read the letter aloud. It was from Vlack. If you want all the details I’ll just have you read the letter, as Milamber stuck it in the back of this journal. The letter was poetically written, and spoke first of our deeds in the Grand Duchy, and then declared his hatred of Sauron, his disdain for the Valar, and his loyalty to Melkor and the hope for his return.

That was quite the revelations, for a number of reasons. First of all, this creature’s knowledge of lore was immense and his intelligence – as barbaric as it was – would be formidable. That he openly spoke against Sauron and for Morgoth was astounding. Never before in my darkest dreams had I thought that this could be possible.

Milamber asked Narcissus to return a response to Vlack. He seemed shocked, and slowly inquired if we indeed were not going to kill him. I kept my mouth shut, because the only correct response when a creature of darkness asks if you’re going to kill him is “yes”. Still, Milamber told the beast that he had promised him safe passage, and that he would honor that promise. Narcissus tensed up, and almost seemed to be in a very calm rage. Picking his words carefully, he eloquently asked Milamber to state his reasons why he wasn’t going to be killed.

Milamber told him of his personal code, and the necessity to abide by the laws that we create. I’ve heard that before, and my mind wandered to the vulnerable throat of the monster. My finger caressed the fletchings of my already nocked arrow. Deorwine was the voice of reason, and for once spoke at length and gave all the reasons why we should slay the creature while it was unarmed and unarmored. Narcissus seemed pleased with this, and looked at Deorwine with appreciation.

Nevertheless, Milamber wouldn’t allow us to fight. Narcissus was shaking with rage, yet continued to speak calmly and smoothly. He explained his desire to die, and his theological desire to find out what would happen to his soul – should he have one – after his death. He had a clear understanding of the legends and pantheons of Elves and Men, and asked us in what he should believe. He couldn’t seem to understand Milamber’s reasoning for not killing him. Frankly, neither could I. He insisted that we kill him, either in a fair fight, one on one with matched weapons, or to slaughter him as he stood. Milamber still continued to refuse to kill him, and in the end he returned disappointed to his Warg, put on his armor, gathered his equipment, and rode off. Deorwine was furious, and forcefully made his opinion known to everyone, especially Milamber.

We returned our thoughts to the contents of the letter, and their import. If Morgoth was trying to get back to Middle-earth, it would be important to make that known to others. We decided to head back to the haunted lake, to see if we could communicate our news to Ulmo. We set off immediately.

For the rest of the day we travelled, and camped that night. The next day we got to the lake and camped on the north shore. The next morning, we got up and went to where the boat was on the west shore. It was still there, just like we had left it. Milamber climbed in and spoke to it. The boat sailed off, heading for deeper water. The boat stopped a couple of miles off shore. Milamber leaned over the edge of the boat and started to talk to the water, addressing himself to Ulmo. While he was doing so, the boat suddenly capsized, dumping Milamber into the water.

Encumbered by his gear, he began to flail about, grabbing the side of the boat. He felt a hand reaching up his leg and then his torso. The hand grabbed onto him and then pulled him under. He went down, down, down, to the bottom of the lake. He saw an unearthly beautiful woman. She was above him in the water, moving her lips like she was saying something, but Milamber couldn’t hear anything. He realized that he wasn’t drowning. He said that it was all very sensual. That’s probably the most action he’s had in a long time. He tried to talk to her, bubbles rising from him. He tried to give her the information about Morgoth and the Hobgoblins.

The nymph whispered in Milamber’s ear, and this time he heard her. She told him to seek out Loshad, describing him as a trickster. Suddenly Milamber was back on the upright boat, completely dry, heading back to the shore. When he got back, he relayed what had happened to him. None of us had heard of Loshad.

We thought that Pyotr might know more about who Loshad was, so we headed back to Sukiskyn. We camped that night, and again the next night in a small forest. That night, I was awoken with a shout from Sean, who was on watch. Everyone was grabbing weapons and reaching for armor. The campsite was bathed in a faint light that was not from the glow of the embers of the campfire. We had seen this glow before, yet at a lesser radiance, and I knew what it was and whom should be visiting us. Sure enough, an Elf walked into the camp. He was very tall and broad, wearing a simple white tunic and breeches with gilt embroidery. A sword and knife hung from his belt. Similar to me, his hair was golden and his eyes were green. He seemed quite amused at our histrionics.

I knew who he was instantly: Ingwion, son of Ingwë, Prince of the Vanyar, and Commander of the Hosts of Valinor. He shone with the radiance of one who dwells in the Blessed Realm. The breeze through the trees seemed to sing thoughts of glory, beauty, and peace, echoes of the Ainulindalë from one who has heard the echoes of the notes.

He looked at all of us in turn. When his eyes met mine, I knew that he knew who I was, what I had done in my life, and who my ancestors were. Needless to say, being the only living descendant of the only Elf who willingly and wholeheartedly had served Morgoth – for the purpose of raping his cousin, no less – this was not exactly pleasant. Nonetheless, there was no judgement in his eyes.

He spoke to us in Westron in the usual manner. He asked us if we had seen his woman, Artanis, who had been captured by Orcs. Deorwine, nonplussed, took of the breastplate that he had just put on, pulled his blanket over him, and went back to sleep. Milamber told him that we hadn’t, and then in a rapid fire manner told him of our quest, the things that we had found out, and whether he knew who Loshad was. Naturally, for someone who lives in peace in Valinor, he was quite startled by the state of affairs in Middle-earth. He had also not heard of Loshad, so he really wasn’t much use to us. He asked us to return Artanis to her people in Rifflian should we find her.

He was with us only briefly before he made his leave. I took watch for the rest of the night, as I had some things to think about. Thoughts about my father, my heritage, and my drive to fight against the darkness that has been present since the creation of Arda.

Two uneventful days later we got back to Sukiskyn. Pyotr was pleased to see us, but he was unable to conceal his disappointment that we had not found Stephan. While Milamber told Pyotr what we had been up to, Irina found me and reminded me that I needed to finish some chores.

When Milamber asked Pyotr about Loshad, he told them that he was a spirit of the moors, and a master of wild horses. Because Pyotr catches, breaks and sells wild horses, they don’t get along very well, and when they see him they will shoot arrows at him and his stallion bodyguards to drive them off. Deorwine told him about our strange encounter with the horses that we had had a couple of days ago. Pyotr guessed that that was indeed Loshad, and said that he had the power to make a horse unmanageable.

Pyotr said that there was an old wives’ tale to summon Loshad: go to the moors, and at midnight for three nights in a row, whistle a tune. Pyotr said that he wasn’t sure if that was true or not, as none of them had ever wanted to attract Loshad’s attention on purpose before.

We re-equipped and ate tons and tons of excellent food, prepared by the women of the household. I had a couple of glasses of wine, and others of our group indulged quite a bit more. I had a very uncomfortable moment with Darya – Irina’s mother – after she cornered me in the kitchen. Can you imagine the impropriety? She used a sausage link and a hollowed out loaf of bread to show me how “to do it”! I was so embarrassed! She told me how young, nubile, and fertile Irina was, and how any child she might have would be well taken care of while I travelled the world!!! I was mortified at the implication. How could she think that I was anything but completely honorable to her family while I was a guest in her home! She offered me a potion to “make sure it happens for sure”, which I promptly and firmly turned down. The nerve!

Anyway, we headed off the next morning. We didn’t have anything better to do than to see if Pyotr’s ideas of how to get Loshad’s attention would work. Before we left, for some reason that I don’t understand Pyotr asked me about five times if I would stay, and told me that Irina would appreciate the help around the homestead. I had no idea what he was talking about, and headed off with everyone else.

We headed northish, and two days later we got to some barren spot in the bleak moorish landscape. We set up a semi-permanent camp, as we expected to be there for a bit. We selected Sean to be our contact with Loshad. Not only was he the one who made polite gestures towards him previously, he also knew how to play the penny whistle. I sat down and relaxed a bit, while Milamber and Deorwine sparred for hours.

We spent the next three days there like that. Milamber offered to spend some time looking for bugs, grubs, and tubers, but since he was still fired from preparing meals I did all the cooking. I still let him clean up though. At midnight each night, Sean played lively tunes on his penny whistle.

At around mid-day on the day after the third night, we were lounging around in camp when we saw three familiar horses approaching us. As the large black stallion walked towards us, it gradually took upon itself a more human form. He was tall, with dark long hair, dark eyes, and a long dark robe. He walked up to Sean, who politely greeted Loshad. In turn, Loshad called us Oathbreakers and Kinslayers. He told us that he had been commanded by one of the Valar to assist us with our quest to find Stephan in Xitaqa. He said that he would help us, but that we must first do something for him. Not far from where we were, there were two things, aberrations of nature, ancient terrors, who had taken upon themselves the form of werewolves. Their names were Bailakask and her son Kalkask. He told us that they were demons, and that we were to remove them from their bodies, send them back to whence they had come, and bring them their heads. Loshad told us that they were almost directly north of us, and gave us directions to find their lair. He told us that we must leave our horses with him while we undertook this quest. He walked away, turned back into his horse form, and was gone.

We geared up, gathering the things that we would need on our walk, and then slowly plodded off. Heavily encumbered as we were – I was in my hauberk with long sleeves and of course Deorwine wasn’t going to leave his suit of full plate behind – it took three days to get to our destination. Heck, for once it wasn’t my fault we were moving so slowly.

This spot of the river was overlooked by high cliffs, with us at the top. Sean looked around and quickly found large wolfprints, intermingled with barefoot human prints. The newest set of prints was heading east, which is the direction that we were supposed to go. Milamber and Sean were easily able to follow the tracks, as it seemed that the werewolves were making no attempt to conceal their presence.

Silently we spread out into a skirmishing line. Sean and I had our bows at the ready, and Deorwine gripped his magical spear tightly with his shield strapped firmly to his other arm. Whatever it was that we were going to meet, we would be ready for it.
avatar
Casey
Admin

Posts : 614
Join date : 2014-02-14
Location : No place for a hero

View user profile http://cwrpg.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:21 pm

with that Dwarf plying us with bacon and beer,

Deorwine will miss those dwarves with their beer and plates of meat stacked to the ceiling. It was filling food; it was simple food—soldier's food. Visions of such meals dance in his head at night.

Deorwine was furious, and forcefully made his opinion known to everyone, especially Milamber.

Deorwine frustration stemmed partly from Milamber's stubborn need to be chivalrous mercy to whomever he feels like offering it to. (Unless they're peasants who work for lord Vlac) Deorine was mostly mad about the civilized nature of the hobgoblins, that they were able to reason and speak like freemen. Orcs were little more than wild animals; they were not beings capable of eloquent speech or feeling other than filling their fleshpots. Goblins were wild animals and were therefore easier to slaughter. Hobgoblins did not fit that pigeon-holed description. So Deorwine got angry. Angry at the hobgoblins and angry at the group for not acting like a unit as they had in the past.

I had a very uncomfortable moment with Darya – Irina’s mother – after she cornered me in the kitchen. Can you imagine the impropriety? She used a sausage link and a hollowed out loaf of bread to show me how “to do it”! I was so embarrassed! She told me how young, nubile, and fertile Irina was, and how any child she might have would be well taken care of while I travelled the world!!! I was mortified at the implication. How could she think that I was anything but completely honorable to her family while I was a guest in her home! She offered me a potion to “make sure it happens for sure”, which I promptly and firmly turned down. The nerve!

Wait a second. I don't remember this happening in game. Is Vanimo taking poetic license, writing about racy events that happened to him specifically in Milamber's journal? Perhaps the reincarnated Umbarian lord needs such interludes to help him get to sleep at night. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Twisted Evil
avatar
Better Quell Jorel

Posts : 759
Join date : 2014-02-17
Location : Salt Lake City

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Casey on Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:48 pm

The Son of Dior wrote:Deorwine frustration stemmed partly from Milamber's stubborn need to be chivalrous mercy to whomever he feels like offering it to. (Unless they're peasants who work for lord Vlac) Deorine was mostly mad about the civilized nature of the hobgoblins, that they were able to reason and speak like freemen. Orcs were little more than wild animals; they were not beings capable of eloquent speech or feeling other than filling their fleshpots. Goblins were wild animals and were therefore easier to slaughter. Hobgoblins did not fit that pigeon-holed description. So Deorwine got angry. Angry at the hobgoblins and angry at the group for not acting like a unit as they had in the past.


Aha! So Deorwine was externalizing his moral frustration and redirecting his anger at Milamber, the easiest target of his rage, as he represented one half of the turmoil that so unsettled him. It appears that Deorwine is not as simple as he would like others to believe.


The Son of Dior wrote:Wait a second. I don't remember this happening in game. Is Vanimo taking poetic license, writing about racy events that happened to him specifically in Milamber's journal? Perhaps the reincarnated Umbarian lord needs such interludes to help him get to sleep at night. Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Twisted Evil


Oh yes, this happened in game. It's just that because none of the other PCs was there, I took Vanimo aside for that part.  Wink  The reason why it ended up in Milamber's journal was to make sure that there is a permanent written record of Vanimo's innocence. He definitely didn't write about it to brag in a subtle manner to those who know the truth anyway....  Very Happy
avatar
Casey
Admin

Posts : 614
Join date : 2014-02-14
Location : No place for a hero

View user profile http://cwrpg.forumotion.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Better Quell Jorel on Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:03 pm

Aha! So Deorwine was externalizing his moral frustration and redirecting his anger at Milamber, the easiest target of his rage, as he represented one half of the turmoil that so unsettled him. It appears that Deorwine is not as simple as he would like others to believe.

Actually, Deorwine is still a pretty simple guy to figure out. The moral quandary forced him to face two sides of an issue he previously thought in single-dimensional terms. He didn't like having his perfect view of good and evil questioned. As expected, he quickly retreated back into the routine of killing the aggressor no mater the cost.

Philosophy and reasoning are Deorwine's greatest adversaries.
avatar
Better Quell Jorel

Posts : 759
Join date : 2014-02-17
Location : Salt Lake City

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Milamber's Journal

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 2 of 2 Previous  1, 2

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum