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Playing a RPG.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Football in the groin...

One of the most interesting aspects of RPGs, is how attached (or unattached) some people get to their character. Take Lox for example. Now, I’m no stranger to combat, as in most things such as Magic: The Gathering, I favour Green, wanting big and stompy creatures to crush my opponent. In World of Warcraft, I play a Feral Druid. Not a pure melee class, but certainly up there with great DPS (Damage Per Second – Hitting hard and fast). Lox however, Lox is just pure beef. A Barbarian with a goal. No spells. No magic. Just pure, unlimited rage and combat skill. Yet I’ve come to love him. With Lox, I can unlock my arrogant side, merely smiling at dragons and head butting guards (see below). Something that I don’t get to do (obviously), but even in the real world, I would like to think my arrogance is kept in check. Lox just doesn’t give a rat’s ass.

When Isosceles, Kirsty’s Half-Elf, went missing at the end of the last session, Kirsty merely stood up and asked when we were next meeting, saying we should play on if we wanted, as she needed to dash off anyway. When Lox got his Axe caught in a Dragonkin that turned to stone, I went mental, refusing to leave until I reclaimed my blade. Over time I got my axe back, but when Kirty found Isosceles just up and vanished, she didn’t seem overly bothered. I had hundreds of questions running through my head…Is that it? Is she dead? Is she alive? What does this mean? Where’s the staff? What about the Disks of Mishakal? The Prophecy!?!

I’m obviously being overly dramatic, as I’m sure Kirsty wanted to know where her character was, but as I love my Feral Druid and my Green MTG creatures, I love Lox, and I’m sure he won’t be my last love (Sorry Lox!). Most experienced players have told me that you will always remember your first character. I can see this being true. I just hope that Lox, Isosceles and Minty get the run they deserve, as I can already rattle off a few tales of our little heroes.

Still in the chamber of the Dragon, our heroes are silent. No one knew where Isosceles had gone and no one dared to even whisper a suggestion. Lox, finishing his packing from stripping the dragon, notices something among the pile of treasure. Twelve disks, secured with a bolt through the middle of each, allowing the disks to rotate around. Each disk had unique carvings upon its rim. Lox knew the metal to be pure platinum, polishing a patch to see his face reflect back. Can these be the Disks of Mishakal, he thought? He found nothing alike through the horde of random coins and trinkets. Lox placed the Disks in a piece of cloth and wrapped them before putting it into his bag.

While Lox was busy, he hadn’t noticed the others scrambling around him, obviously taking his interest as an idea to take their mind off things. Each found nothing much. An amulet here, some armour for the Tiefling. Stuffing their finds into their bags, they made out of the chamber, taking one last look, as if Isosceles would be standing there.

It took the several hours to navigate the chambers and corridors of the dungeon beneath the Temple. Eventually finding their way back to the pot pulley, Lox climbed up the chains with ease, taking the smaller members of the group on his back. It took them about an hour to all reach the top, and from there, another few to find themselves in the main altar room. Sun light streaming through the front door. Knowing he had the disks, Lox led the troupe to the statue room, where Lox, Minty and Isosceles were told to obtain the said artifact. There was the statue, but it was different. It stood in a defiant pose. The Blue Crystal Staff, now one with the statue, held aloft by an arm of the statue, as if celebrating a great victory. At the foot of the statue, a figure lay, draped in the finest silk robes, with a hood, covering the head. It was as if the robes glowed. Deep and light blues almost swirled from the fabric, each gentle breath from the figure allowing the colours to breath. It was alive then, they all thought. Lox approached, using his axe to poke the figure, but nothing. He removed the hood. It was Isosceles! There, she lay, in clothing that was not her own, as if she were sleeping. Not scratch to her skin or a bruise was in sight. She looked perfectly healthy. She awoke and greeted her friend with a bright “Hello…”. Lox got her to her feet. In an instant, her companions were around her, hugging, greeting and making sure she was ok. She couldn’t remember anything apart from hitting the Dragon with the staff, then waking up. Our heroes spent the remainder of the early afternoon in the room with the statue.

Eight in number once more, they ventured towards Solace. They had a good 3 -4 days walk ahead of them. Lox, Minty and Isosceles were especially eager to get home. It was about mid-way, after a couple of days that they realised that they had heard or seen nothing of the local wildlife. The surroundings were still. Not a sound. Then they saw the dim shadows of what looked like smoke. With the smoke coming from the direction of Solace, they continued, hoping that their fears would not be realised.

Their home was burning. A forest town, it had no chance. Seeing that the worst was over, they approached to find twelve or so armoured guards. They didn’t recognise any of them. Upon are heroes approach, one turned, mentions something to the rest and leaves. Our heroes stopped, far enough that the guards would be able to hear them. As the heroes begin asking questions, the guard that left returned with a further eighteen armoured guards. Thirty against eight was not a number our travellers enjoyed.

Lox “enjoyed” a very frustrating talk with who seemed to be the captain of the guards. They heard as the guards explained that the new rulers of Solace had done this as Solace was in the way. The guards were loyal to Verminaard, the High-Lord, but as to the where about or to what Verminaard was, our heroes were still none the wiser. Not being silly, our heroes avoided a fight and merely requested passage through Solace, not giving away that it was their home town. The guards parted and the heroes proceeded. Isosceles tried to make out what was being said by the guards, as they murmured in their native tongue, but while trying to cast Comprehend Languages, one of the guards stopped her and warned her against it.

The guards!
They made their way to the pub, or rather, what was left of it. Making their way through the streets, many people were trying to prevent further damage. People sobbed as homes burned and lovers were lost. The pub was more of a tent now and was a shadow of the former building that was once poised up in the trees. Before entering, Shadowmeare was given the all clear. He vanished. He was to go and see what he could find out regarding the current situation.Walking in, all faces turned. Among them, Dragonkin, but they paid the heroes no heed and went back to their drinks, heckling at the locals, calling them names that no one should hear. Lox went to the bar and spoke to the Barman. The guards had attacked without warning, two days ago, flushing out families with fire. They let the place burn to the ground. The door flew open. The heroes stood up, realising that the Hobgoblin was the very same as the one who ambushed them at the very start of their journey. Six guards followed the Hobgoblin captain, quickly spreading out into the pub, doing as the captain ordered and making sure none left. They kept on coming. There were nearly over fifteen guards in the pub now, with more outside. Hearing this, Shadowmeare returned to the pub, following a couple of the guards. The Hobgoblin ignored the heroes’ questions. Nothing was being explained and names started to be called. Lox had enough. He launched himself across the table towards the Hobgoblin, head butting one of the other guards on the way, only to be kicked in the crotch, which made him crumble to the floor. With that, the guards acted, rounding up the heroes and escorting them outside, where they were loaded onto caged carts after being stripped of their belongings. Lox, Minty and Isosceles joined and elf in the first, Dominic, Dark Knight, Ruz and the Kender, were in the second which left Shawmeare to be loaded into the last, with three very unpleased looking elves.

Two and a half days passed. Nothing happened. Just the long and agonising ride in the carts. The trail was escorted by many a guard, making the idea of escape pretty futile, even if they could break through the bars. Isosceles and Minty had gotten to know the elf. His name was Gilthanas, and he knew Elric. Gilthanas knew that they were on the trade route to Qualinest, the very city that the heroes needed to get to, to deliver the letter.

The Elves split the party.
“About time!” Gilthanas exclaimed as they all heard a bird call. Arrows flew from the trees at both sides. With precision, they took down every guard and cart puller within seconds. As if they were part of the forest themselves, elves appeared from now where as they broke and opened to cages. The elves wasted no time in splitting the group into two. At one side, Lox, Ruz, Shadowmeare, Dark Knight and Hugon. On the other, Minty, Isosceles and Dominic. It came to light that the elves did not trust the first group. Racial mistrust is something the elves are usually pinned with. They obviously thought they meant no harm, as all the heroes belongings were returned, but the elves still demanded the word of the other three to vouch for their friends.

Word was given, elves from the forest were told to watch the ill trusted and on their way they went. Before long, they began to see spires, not unlike those in Ergoth, emerge into view from the tops of the trees. Qualinest. In safety they arrived and they were instructed that only Isosceles and Minty had free reign of the city. The others were told to go to the Silver Sun Inn. The elven guards left them in the Inn and told them to await Gilthanas, who will see to their needs.

During the peace, the group took to asking the Kender his name. His name was Hugon. He came from Kendermoore and could speak Elvish. With regards to other questions, he did not answer.

The Silver Sun Inn
Gilthanas returned at that moment. He requested that each asked for whatever they liked, as if they had free reign, and he would organise matters for them. Smiths were called upon. A sword here, a new war axe and hammer for Lox, dragon scale armour to be forged from the scales Lox had collected. New rope. An Alchemist to trade with for Dragon teeth and claws. A jewler for fineries that the ladies wished for. Gilthanas took note of all of these and left with Isosceles and Hugon to deliver the letter to it’s receiver. Solastoran.

Solastoran was happy!
Solastoran was certainly happy to see them. He explained his position in the city, calling himself the Speaker of the Sun. Reading the letter, he thanks his guests and requested that they deliver a reply. They accepted and went back to the bar. Finding the rest of the group in a near drunken stupor, Isosceles and Hugon merely shrug and go to join their friends.

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