Karthos panted as he crushed the dirt beneath his boots. Blood dripped from where the Dragonborn shoved an elbow right into his face. The Blue helm he wore did nothing to protect him. None of the armor did; every crevice was filled with dirt and sweat.
The moderator blew his whistle and Karthos sprinted for the disc. He huffed and puffed as the other team also bolted from the other side of the field. The white chalk beneath his feet blurred as his legs thrust his body forward. He leaped for the disc, as his fingers latched onto the curved edges, he tucked his limbs inward as he turned his momentum into a roll. As he came out of the roll, he was greeted by a leathery heel to his ribs. He coughed as all the wind was knocked out of him, and the disc flew from his grasp and right into the small arms of a halfling assassin.
Sindara clutched the disc under one red-gloved arm and bolted to the Blue goals. She situated it behind her head and flung it high into the air.
Shane jumped with an outstretched red glove as the disc drifted right towards him. Eyes locked on the target, he failed to see the Blue knee that drove home to his gut. He flopped to the ground in shock and Evaline caught the disc, immediately throwing it deep into the Red territory.
Colby ran up a small boulder in the middle of the field and flew into the air to complete the pass, landing gracefully into a full run. His blue arm band swelled and flexed as he held on the disc tucked into his chest. He felt the ground rumble beneath him as he crooked his neck to see the Goliath Barbarian, draped in a red tabard, close on his heels. He was so close, just one, quick flick and the disc would fly home into the mouth of the net. He felt his boots dig deep into the soil and launching him ever closer to the red nets. His heart was hammering in his chest, and his lungs were burning. 30 steps- 25 steps- 20 steps away, Colby began developing a tunnelvision on the net in front of him. To his demise, A fist built like a tree trunk collided with his face and knocked him off of his feet, but it was too late.
High in the air, spinning wildly, was the disc. Light bounced and flew off of the shiny surface as it carved a path to victory. It slowed as it reached the apex of it's journey. It began to fall, drifting slowly at first, but quicky gaining momentum as it fell. Rexus, the Goliath, ran, standing in front of the goal like a tower guarding a mouse, faster and faster the disc spun, Rexus' outstretched hands bracing for the impact of an interception when-
The stadium roared in disbelief.
Never had a game like this been seen.
Friday, February 5, 2010
I raveled up the scroll the messenger had just delivered me. 12 kings in one castle, and the weather was looking grim. I couldn't have asked for better conditions. I uncorked a small brown bottle and a noxious green cloud rose into the air. I slowly poured the mixture into a bowl, careful not to make any contact with it. Covering my mouth with a loose cloth, I unsheathed my blades and dipped each of them into the liquid. Cautiously, I sheathed each knife, one by one. I poured the fluid back into the bottle and corked it tightly. The next room over held a vast array of weapons, grabbing my wristbow, I strapped it to the underside of my arm. The 6" bolts circled my arm and were automatically fed into the bow. I pulled my cowl up and walked out the front door, locking, unlocking, and then re-locking the bolt-lock.
"My Lord, you must heed this message! The Virant have sworn against your life! This party must not commence; Or I shall accuse you of TREASON!" The king stopped in his path and turned to to face his advisor.
"You shall do no such thing. You are under my orders, and as of this moment, I command you to"seek out the assistance of those... Adventurers. After what happened with that excavation, I shall see that they are kept in my aid."
"Sir, you would put your life in the hands of these vagrant... Mercenaries?"
"I shall do what I must to protect this kingdom! Brynthorn will not be tarnished because of the suspicion of some... Assassin!"
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Matheus scratched his shoulder absentmindedly. The punctures in his shirt and skin were a sharp reminded of what had just occured.
He was still in shock.
Sweat dripped down his face, despite the snow that blanketed the ground. The world around him was blinding. His breathing was getting heavy. He felt an indescribable pressure building in his ribs. He clutched his chest as he stumbled into the quiet town. His vision was becoming blurry now, the buildings in front of him were spinning in a white haze.
"HELP!" He was screaming at the top of his lungs, "HEEEEEEELLLPPPP MEEEEE, SOMEBODY HELP!" His throat was burning from the cold, his mouth growing dry. He took a wrong step and fell to his knees.
Matheus looked down at the snow as best he could. Whipping his head back, the momentum brought him crashing down onto his back, knees still folded. He was tearing at his shirt, digging into his chest.
Veins were throbbing in his neck, his skin tone fading, almost matching the snow around him. He let out a blood-curdling wail, his nails piercing his skin.
People of all ages rushed out of their homes to see what had caused such an inhuman cry of pain.
Matheus dragged his nails, still deep within his skin, across his chest. The
familiar crimson of blood stained the snow. Shriveled clumps of skin filled his hands and he threw it to the floor, writhing in agony and howling in torturous pain. He scratched and scraped, deeper and farther across his skin, scooping the organ from his body like fondant from a cake.
The townspeople watched, crying from a distance as the nightmare unfolded in front of them. No one had ever seen anything like it. They had never heard cries of pain like the ones he uttered.
As Matheus kept digging, no one believed what they were seeing; tufts of silver fur, covered in blood, beneath his skin. Suddenly things grew worse. The sound of bones shattering resonated through the stone streets of the little village. His body was convulsing, the remains of his skin seemingly boiling, warping around what was becoming a monster.
Matheus opened his eyes, his skull widened, the skin tearing under the stress. His arms grew long and thin. His face stretched forward into a thick, muzzle-like form. His kneecaps exploded under his skin, his feet, now long and slender, grew thick talons on every toe. Women and children escaped inside, hoping to hide from the hellish creature that was evolving on their innocent city street
His skin, a seemingly molted flesh, lay in taters around him. His wails of bone-chilling pain grew deeper, intermittent snarls punctuating the silence between howls.
The stranger the townspeople witnessed entering their village had disappeared. In his place, a titan of primal power stood, brooding at the world before him. He took deep breaths, drool flying from his mouth and explosions of hot air accompanying every exhale.
The entire village was silent, save for the howling wind. No one dared be the first to move.
But no one needed to.
The beast had already bolted towards a man who stood with a pitchfork in his hands. Leaping at his prey, the beast landed on the innocent man, toppling him backwards and into the snow. The nightmarish creature slashed away at his face twice before lunging in with his massive canines, tearing off a chunk of the man's cheek.
It was the dawn of a new terror.
The age of the Werewolf.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Pheyiyo barked in laughter. Harbek had jostled the group with a hilarious joke. Lidda watched the room, there was glittering gold and elegant jewelry all over the room. Laurenae cut into the chicken breast that was on her plate, gracefully attempting to avoid staining her polished chestplate. Kregor was flipping through a vendor's inventory list, budgeting his gold and planning his future purchases. Patrons of all races drank and ate as the moon rose high in the rainy night. A bard weaved a tale of a mighty dragonslayer called Argus the Solid. He waved his hands as if wielding a sword, slashing through the air in front of the group that was hanging on his every word. Half- orcs sat around arm wrestling and arguing, while elves whispered softly amongst each other. The entire pub was bustling and brimming with laughter and joy, even the tieflings were nudging each other and snickering.
"I don't care what you say," Pheyiyo grumbled, "Argus, 'the Solid', never ACTUALLY killed a dragon." He haphazardly reached for his ale, it's froth almost spilling out of the mug, and gulped it down.
"'Ey, ya don't know what ye' be talkin' about lad! Argus 'er So'lid 'as killed o'er five dragoons,
mate! Ya's never gon' catch up ta 'im, ya dragonborn fool!" argued Harbek.
"Not if we keep sitting around pubs like this!" Pheyiyo slammed his fist against the thick, sturdy table.
"You two need to calm down over there," Laurenae chipped in, "Pheyiyo, patience is key. We have plenty of time to fight more dragons. Harbek, everyone knows Argus the Solid didn't kill a single dragon in his lifetime. That's what Bards do, you know that." She returned to the delicate process of eating her chicken.
"Hey, you think that ol' lady would notice if I took her bracelet?" Lidda was on the edge of her seat, drooling over a ruby studded bracelet that was dangling on the wrist of an old mage. Kregor peered over his compendium at the bracelet.
"If you do," he stated, "could you spare me a few coins? Arryn's shop has this new belt I want, and I only need-"
"Fine, shut up, I'll give you some of my gold!" Lidda snapped.
"No one is stealing from anyone in this pub!" Declared Laurenae to the table. Pheyiyo and Harbek each grabbed a third turkey leg; between the two of them, they practically ate an entire rafter. A shaggy wolf with a satchel cast over it's back wedged it's nose in between the door and the frame, trying it's hardest to squeeze itself in. It trotted over to the table where the party sat and suddenly morphed into the shape of a young woman, not missing a beat as it sat in the open chair.
"'I'll ne'er get use ta you's doin' that, ya crazy shapeshifter..." Harbek's stomach began to churn. He picked up his strong, pungent stout and tried to drown his nerves in it.
"I'll have you know, it's a sophisticated magic that you Dwarves could never understand."
Autumn snidely remarked. She turned to the rest of the party, "Arryn gave me a great deal on this new belt!" She pulled a thick leather belt out of her satchel and laid it on the round table. Kregor's eyes grew wide as gazed at it.
"That's the Ironhide Belt I wanted! How much did you pay for that!?" he cried. The two went on arguing about the belt, Laurenae just shook her head.
"And as Argus the Mighty, Argus the Bold, Argus the Solid brought down his sword sword," Preached the Bard, slashing his hands downward, "The dragon hath fallen, and with a final breath uttered, a single- A final- a cold, harsh word;
'Curse you Argus, you pox on my kin, forever shall you be damned with this mark on your skin!'
And so it was done, with the dragon's last breath, He murmered a cantrip as he felt the cold touch of-" There was fierce slam like thunder at the front of the Pub. Everyone stopped. Some
were chewing, their mouths gaping, the food toppling onto the table. A few were drinking their ale, frozen as it slid down their cheeks. All were gazing at the door, which had been kicked open by a silhouetted figure.
The stout, rigged figure limped into the tavern, ferociously scanning the room for something in particular. The adventurers stood, staring at the scarred Dwarf. As he gazed upon them, a cold, sobering shiver ran down Harbek's back.
It was his brother.
Harbek ran to the injured Dwarf, "Calden, what in Moradin's name ar' ya doin' here?"
"'Arbek," the dwarf gasped, "I came... From the Twin Peaks... They... There's an open... Mine Shaft..." He fell to his knees, exasperated from the pain. Laurenae ran to his side.
"Here, let me help." She placed her hands on his chest and leaned in close. A soft blue aura Radiated from her hands and sunk deep into his chest. His scars slightly faded and his fresh wounds closed. It was as if she was breathing Life back into him. She lifted her hands and Calden opened his eyes.
"I be thankin' ya much there, ma'am. Those Bandits in 'er mine shaft made quite a fool o' me."
Harbek helped his brother to his feet. "Now what be this you speak of a minin' shaft? E'erone knows those 'a been closed for o'er ten years!"
"No brother, 'ere be one open in the mountainside!" His deep, raspy voice was filled with angst, "I was up 'ere just this morn, headin' up to the Mountaincart Clan when me eyes be catchin some movins near the ol' Fort Bryn'ill shafts! I's curious, as ya know, and I headed up there jus' as quickly as I could! And wouldn't ya believe it, it was as Moradin 'imself 'ad cleared a path to Fort Bryn'ill. 'Arbek, from Brick to Brick, I be thinkin' it wasn't the Mountaincart clan that collapsed the tunnels all 'ose years past. 'An ya look into it for me?" The party watched as the two argued.
"What is 'ere to look into, Calden? Fer o'er ten years now, all o' us Ironbarrel Clan knows it was the Mountaincart clan that collapsed them tunnels!"
" 'Arbek, I ain't often wrong about me gut feelin's, an' me guts be tellin me that the Mountaincart Clan wasn't the ones who did it! I be thinkin' lately; Even though they be on the o'er side o' the mountain, they still be our brothers! 'Ey wouldn't do damage like what we saw!" Calden's eyes were wide with trepidation. Harbek scratched his thick, scraggly beard and peered over to his friends. They nodded their heads.
"Ay. We be lookin' into it, then." Calden thanked all of the adventurers as they packed their things and mounted their steeds.
As they rode to the mountains, They could begin to see frame of the Mine shaft Calden spoke of.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
It was cold. All of Escarus was frozen in thick, permanent ice. Howling winds whirled around the globe relentlessly. A fledgling planet created by the Gods millions of years ago, and ignored by those same Gods until the Day of Light.
The Day of Light was the single event that brought life to Escarus. The mighty Pelor stood with Escarus in the palm of his hand; the moving, shifting globe no bigger than a pea in his awesome presence. Pelor leaned in close to Escarus and breathed a deep breath of life upon it's surface. Ice melted, grassy meadows growing in it's absence. Trees grew faster than their shadows, Oceans crashed on the shore, life had begun.
Bahamut felt this breeze through space and traveled to Escarus.
"And this is where I shall begin new life." Boomed Bahamut's deep, slow voice.
And as he spread his wings, fire leaped from his throat and 10 meteors crashed to the ground, leaving a group of his children on the planet; five noble and five corrupt.
The five evil dragons were as follows:
One fledgling White dragon, to remind Escarus of the Ice in which it was once encased,
One nasty Black dragon to rule the Boggy swamps,
One Vile Green dragon to control the deep forests,
One Harsh Blue dragon to reign over the storms,
And the vicious Red dragon to keep the fire deep within the earth,
Their Righteous brothers struck the Planet in five different locations.
One elegant Brass- to protect the Desert's secrets,
One admirable Copper- perched in the mountains,
One honorable Bronze- to watch over the Oceans,
One exceptional Silver- Defending the arctics,
And the superior Gold dragon- deep within seclusion.
And from the eggs of these dragons rose the Dragonborn, a race whose history was deeply rooted in draconic ways. Raising kingdoms and waging wars, the Dragonborn were a fiery race that always thirsted for more.
King Kildarien led the Dragonborn in a battle against the Dwarven race, for control of the Crystal Bend Mountain Range which ran it's course along the entire Eastern coast.
The Dwarven people were a hearty and steadfast race. The first Dwarf was honed from the purest of metals by Moradin, the God of Creation and Patron of Artisans. Those who followed made their living with mining and smithing in the mountains. When the Dragonborn encroached on their territories, the Threatened Dwarves, led by Karigan Kilgore, their king, declared all out war, swearing to push the Dragonborn back to- and well beyond- their Windy Valley homelands.
The Dwarves succeeded.
With the grueling defeat hanging over their heads, the Dragonborn secluded themselves deep within the Antilor Desert, with few tribes defecting to a small group of Tropical islands off the
North coast: The Atlas Draconus.
Pelor didn't leave Escarus after he brought it to life, he was one of a small handful of Gods who stayed and watched over it's inhabitants.
Kord arranged the wars, set up the pieces to be knocked down by both sides. He had no alignment, caring not for who won his battles. He saw it as lesson he taught. The art of War was just that, an art; And the only way one could better themselves in an art was to practice. In Kord's eyes- that practice was never over.
Melora kept the forests green and the oceans wet. She can be both the wave that drowns and the Tree that shelters. A neutral god who keeps civilization from overstepping it's boundaries.
The Pantheon kept their distance, though they prided in what had transpired through the centuries.
The development of Human Civilization had seen it's rise in the last ten thousand years. From the Battles of Grundy the Strong, over 7,ooo years ago, to the National War just centuries past. History continues to pave it's stories all over Escarus, shedding blood just as quickly as it makes unions. Unpredictable and Capricious is human life that it takes many forms- Paladins
who fight for their gods, Sorcerers who curse life with their spells, and even Thieves who pillage stores for their wares.
But Humans, Dragonborn, and Dwarves aren't the only ones who occupy Escarus.
A dark pact and an ancient, grim reminder keep the Tiefling away in the shadows. With the
Tescardo Family reigning over the entire race, times were thick with rebellion.
Long before Pelor introduced the sun, Amion Tescardo, a human- the first human king, to be exact- made a pact with the Dragonkin. Kaiser Amion asked the Dragonkin to grant their
abilities to his people. When the Kaiser's people found out they split into two groups- those who followed their leader, and those who despised his
audacity. The mighty Red Dragon, self-named Karthatos, whose fiery tendrils could easily be spotted from miles in every direction, snidely agreed to this pact, swearing that forever would Amion's people be reminded of his bold actions. Disgusting by the Human's request, Karthatos gave the Kaiser and his followers the worst qualities of his kin; Tainted skin, twisted horns and a constant reminder that Dragons will not be triffled with.
These, and thousands of other creatures inhabit the world of Escarus. An everchanging place of trade, travel, knowledge, and power. Cities of massive population and tribes of simple people.
A continent filled with kingdoms and promises.
A land teeming with murders and mysteries.
A world riddled with Dungeons & Dragons.