i try to prep some t1 on the side but i dont know if i can do it
I would like to join with my t1/t2 cleric.
Alright, due to popular demand, I shall recount the seminal tragedy that forever defined the path of Thalas:
Deep in the steaming jungles of Chult, Thalas stood on the edge of a large clearing. It marked the location of the sunken temple the party was sent to investigate - at least if their guide, a crimson-skinned frog-like humanoid called Watumu, was to be believed.
Their journey from Port Nyanzaru had been a taxing one; wading through the thick, insect-infested undergrowth had posed a challenge even for Thalas’ endurance. Naturally, he was quick to wipe away any signs of perspiration - he was of high elven decent, after all; such things were simply not becoming of a being such as him. Cursing his half-human side, like so many times before, he had continued onwards, suppressing any signs of discomfort.
Fortunately, the journey had not been delayed by hostile encounters and Watumu had done a decent enough job at keeping the endless swarms of buzzing flies and surreptitiously creeping vines at bay. He had been swarming around the party members, quashing fist-sized insects and employing his gnarled wooden staff to club the perpetual stream of floral tendrils into submissive pulp. Thalas very much doubted the little bugger would be of any aid in an encounter with a more dangerous foe, but was nevertheless grateful for the comfort of being able to concentrate on navigating the overgrowth without falling flat on his face.
After half a day of stumbling and cursing, the party had finally reached their destination: a wide clearing, unnaturally devoid of any flora taller than the knee-high grass. In the center loomed a large obelisk, its rough, dark-gray exterior contrasting starkly with the clear azure sky and the lush greens of the surrounding jungle. Its presence was unsettling – even as an immobile, dead object, it seemed to exude an air of oppressive maliciousness.
The party cautiously approached the large stone. The subsequent examination revealed a riddle involving the pressing of various stone slabs located on the edge of the clearing. Much to Thalas’ surprise, a solution was swiftly determined - not thanks to his contribution. Naturally however, he claimed a part of this small victory by exclaiming: “Well, that was even easier than expected!”. After positioning themselves at each of the mysterious stone panels, the party members commenced to press them into their sockets, one after the other, in the predetermined order.
This is the point, however, where the story gets derailed, when it refuses to proceed in the appropriate manner that Thalas had imagined in his mind: The obelisk gives way to a subterranean temple, the party storms to the central chamber, defeats the terrifyingly evil final monster and is rewarded with mountains of treasure. Oh and obviously his discovery of the bound but inexplicably unhurt and largely undisturbed, but exquisitely gorgeous elven maiden, who immediately swears her undying love to him.
This is how adventures are supposed to progress for the hero… this adventure however, did not seem to have gotten the memo.
It were these kinds of glorious visions that occupied my mind as the second-to-last slab scraped into position. Maybe I should have paid more attention to what was actually going on, but then I couldn’t have prepared for what was to come in any case. The obelisk began to emanate a faint, sickly yellow glow. Almost instantaneously, I felt the sensation of various parts of my body being enveloped. My attempt at graciously spinning around to face the source of the embrace was turned into an awkward stumble by the vines around my feet suddenly tightening their grip. The ultimate foe that finally emerged, presented itself as a green pile of plant matter and vines.
“Ha, a dung heap challenging a Lieutenant of the Moon Garrison, I commend your bravery”, I remarked mockingly.
Temporarily ignoring the plant pile in front of me, I swiftly assessed the battlefield. The sight sent a shiver down my spine: To my left, only about 30 feet away, two corpses rose out of the grass and staggered to their feet. Upon this sight, my mind was drawn back to a story I had heard not too long ago, huddling around a camp fire on the ridges of the Nether Mountains. Apparently, in a far away land, a group of adventurers had encountered spectral jellyfish from the abyssal plane, capable of reanimating dismembered bodies - not through the foul energies of undeath however. ´Well perhaps…´
My hand reached for the Moonbow amulet hidden beneath my chainmail. Silently, I uttered: “Moonlight, guide me”. The amulet began to glow bright-white. To my utter astonishment, I indeed felt… nothing. There was no presence of the undead. ´Perhaps we had been too quick to dismiss good old Kyrlon’s story, perhaps it had not been all too far fetc…´.
My thoughts were cut short by the burning sensation that was rushing though my body. ´That forsaken heap of dung…´ was the last thing running through my mind before freezing darkness engulfed me.
Soft, velvet blackness. The faint whisper of battle. Silence. Emptiness.
Suddenly, the void of my existence was penetrated by the hot sensation of an unknown energy. Instantaneously, my body felt pleasantly warm, the silk fabric covering my skin alluringly soft. In sharp discord, muffled sounds reached my ears: cries of anger, the rustling of leaves, sharp steel cutting effortlessly through… rotten flesh? With a surprising amount of effort, I slowly opened my eyes. Blearily, I recognized a lumbering dark shape. I attempted to focus on the blurry image of Erris, our furbolg druid. His massive arm seemed to point straight at me. Understanding eluded me in this dreamy state. Then, seemingly from far, far away, I heard Eisel’s soft voice speaking: “I wont let Thalas die”. ´A cleric´ exclaimed a thought drifting though my clouded mind, ´she can surely heal me´…´wait, why do I need healing, what…´.
A further surge of poison rushed through me. Even though I felt the burning, there was no pain accompanying it, not anymore.
´A steaming heap of dung denying my revenge on the High Marshal, quite fitting actually…´. These were the final thoughts of Thalas of Caldor, Second Lieutenant of the Moon Garrison, as the life slowly left him.
An endless sea of freezing darkness, stretching into eternity. Utter serenity filled my mind; there were no onerous feelings, no distracting thoughts, no bubbling emotions – just existence, undiluted and pure.
“Thalas”, a statement of absolute certainty, proclaimed as a whisper of resounding force.
Adrenalin filled my world, the blissful feeling of oblivion was erased in an instant.
“Turn around Thalas, this is no way to treat such lovely Ladies”, another voice, soft and warm, exclaimed with playful indignation.
I followed the request, half driven by fear, half driven by curiosity. The sight that greeted me left my mind grasping at comprehension. A calm sea of dark crimson, stretching out forever; meeting it at its horizon, a sky of darkness, utterly devoid of light. Out of the ocean of crimson blood rose an impossibly large, full moon, shining brightly on a dais carved of rough dark stone that supported two thrones of polished silver. Each throne was occupied by a slender female figure.
One dark, wearing a simple black dress accentuated by crimson trimmings, the attire contrasting starkly with her pale complexion and the bone-white hair. The other one silver, wearing a glistening gown of starlight, complementing her bronze colored skin, as well as her light-blond hair.
Both figures regarded me intensely, the dark one with a stern look of judgement, the silver one with a warm smile of affection.
The Silver Lady said softly: “Welcome my dear, so we meet again. Slightly sooner than I had anticipated, I must confess.”
Understanding dawned, I instantly recognized the voice.
“My lady!”, I dropped to one knee, lowering my head in shame. “I… I have failed you, my time was cut short, I did not achieve what you asked of me.”
The Silver Lady: “Of this I am aware. The blame is not yours to shoulder, however.”
“No, I should have…”
The Silver Lady cut me off: “Thalas, your time here is short, our meeting must soon come to an end. Listen my dear, listen to what we have to say.”
With fluid grace, the Dark Mistress rose from her throne. Sensing the movement, I dared to raise my head to meet her gaze.
The Dark Mistress: “Thalas of Caldor, your soul is mine to guide from the mortal plane. My dear friend however, seems to have taken a liking to you. She approached me to consider a shared interest of ours. A common foe of ours, Orcus the Vile, has recently been expanding his interests from the Shadowfell to the mortal realm. As a result, the undead are plaguing these lands in ever increasing numbers. Dozens of our temples have already been desecrated. This insult will not stand. Long ago, a sacred order of knights stood against the forces of darkness on this plane. As is the case with all mortal endeavors, their time came to an end. Though while their mortal shells were irrevocably torn asunder by the Daemonfey, their legend has endured. It is this legend, which we seek to revive. Although it is not apparent at first glance, your potential does indeed qualify you as a possible instrument to achieve this goal. We have therefore struck a bargain: I shall allow your soul to remain on the mortal plane - at least temporarily. In return, you will strive to be the instrument of our will. In essence, her plans for you have become our plans for you. That is, if you accept this bargain. You do, of course, have a choice in this matter.”
“Which knightly order? What… choice?”, I asked suspiciously and, to my shame, afraid.
The Dark Mistress: “Your first choice is this: you shall henceforth be known as the silver raven, holy knight of Sehanine Moonbow and champion of the Raven Queen. You shall give rise to the holy order of the Knights of the Eclipse, sworn to smite the vileness of Undeath. You shall accept our guiding hand in leading you to achieve this goal. Your second choice is… oblivion. We will afford you three moon cycles to make your choice. Then we shall meet again.”
“I…”, lost for words, I simply stared at them, unable to comprehend the gravity of their request.
Sehanine Moonbow intervened reassuringly: “You will have ample time to contemplate, my dear. Let us now speak of another matter. Do you remember the first time we met? I guided you in harnessing a portion of your magical abilities, so they might protect you on your journey. Unfortunately, it seems my actions did not have the desired effect. We have agreed that… more drastic measures are in order.”
The Raven Queen spoke more harshly: “In other words, my dear Thalas, in order to ensure that you possess the defensive capabilities required to survive until our next meeting, we have fully awoken the innate magical talents hidden deep inside your soul. Surprisingly enough, you do not seem to be able to do so yourself”, she informed me with more than a hint of haughtiness.
Sehanine Moonbow threw a sideward glance of mild disapproval at the Raven Queen. “I believe what my dear friend is attempting to convey is that, from now on, you will be able to fully utilize your magical potential.”
“I…I thank you. But I don’t understand…” For now, confusion was the prevailing emotion in my mind.
The Raven Queen cut me off unceremoniously: “Finally, Thalas, you shall curb your pompous tendencies, for they are unseemly of a servant of mine. Even a potentially temporary one.”
Sehanine Moonbow faced the Raven Queen imperiously, whilst remaining utterly calm: “My dear friend, please consider that he also serves me, and I believe that everyone should follow their own path, however it might run.”
“As I said, my dear friend, he shall merely curb his behaviour, for the moment at least. In time, I expect he shall see the wisdom in modesty.” The Raven Queen attempted to strike a compromise, much to Thalas’ surprise, given the reputation of the goddess.
Sehanine Moonbow relented: “Very well, such advice seems prudent. Thalas, please let this suggestion guide your path.”
“Uhm, as you wish my Ladies…” But after a brief moment of pause I reverted to the original subject pressing on my mind: “But, do you not already know how I will choose?”
The Raven Queen: “Would we afford you time to contemplate your decision if fate was predetermined and we already knew your choice?”
“I suppose not. Unless…”
Surprisingly, it was Sehanine, not the Raven Queen who interrupted me this time: “Thalas, you have already remained here for too long, time has come for you to leave us. I am looking forward to our next meeting”, she added with a warm smile.
I gave up on understanding what was happening for the time being. “Very well, I shall spend my time in contemplation”, I answered solemnly, bowing slowly. However, I felt my former self returning, unable to resist the temptation offered by this unique situation. The formal bow turned into a theatrical one, and, with a crooked, debonair smile, I hastily added: “Farewell my fairest of Ladies, it has been the utmost pleasu…” - before I was able to complete my mischievous remark however, the Raven Queen’s expression had turned into an icy glare, and with a wave of her hand, I was once again plunged into darkness.
A sharp sting of pain at the back of my head was awakening me to the uncaring reality of the mortal plane of existence. A fading whisper mockingly exclaimed ´Welcome back, my fair champion´.
Behind me, the croaking voice of Matumu complained: “Damn suqishies! Get up, get up, you are not done here!”
This absolutely made my day, thank you (especially the jellyfish shoutout…). Why the hell aren’t you DMing for us??
hello! I am back in town and I will be coming with a T1
Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it tonight after all, sorry. Have fun!
@Tiero what a great piece of writing!
I’ll be there with a tier 2 ranger for ToA if possible
I’ll be dropping a new T1 character this evening @Tersidian – what’s total head count? I’m at 18 (including myself) unless I’m missing something
If it’s not too late, I’d like to come too (T1 or T2)
i currently count 19 people, 4 DMs, with 2 pretty much needing T2 players… i somehow doubt there will be enough T2 players though (i count 7 T2 players atm)
Ok I’m really late replying but I hope to be there with my t2 cleric for ToA if there’s still space
I an joinging today and I will have a t2 cleric and a t1monk ready. If there is still space
t2 mom? sounds like one of the T2 tables is safe for everyone now
idk how I fumbled that
I’ll not make it after all.
Changing my maybe to a I’ll be there, as a player T1 or T2, TOA preferred.
I will not be able to make it today.
Have fun you guys.
It DID take us a while to sort out tables, but I hope it worked out for everyone in the end and you all had fun
Thalas most certainly did From now on, I believe he will take a special interest in tiefling chicks!
It was a super fun game, great story, and awesome voice acting, as usual - thank you @Lup
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