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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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Just wrapped up the finale to the longest game ever.

I'd shared bits of it in the past, firing from the hip with my bad memory and worse writing skills, but I promised the bros I'd make them something special. Spans a few systems, homebrews, and we took turns DMing over its lifetime. We saw countless players and double as many characters come and go.

There's a couple versions of key events, depending on which character you ask and how truthful they are.

But, trouble is, only one character from the original group actually made it, all the way to the end.

Two, if you believe in the cult of Daies the Undying.

Who would like a storytime?
you know, OP, you don't ask a drunk if he wants to drink, same as asking if /tg/ wants Storytime, because we ALWAYS want Storytime. fucking tripfags like you only ask for attention like this, so just fucking go on with it.

fucking tripfags.
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Storytime it is.



My name is Dowjin, and I'm the sole survivor of The Old World.

In my people's language we called it D`nesathia, but now it's gone, and so are they. It was a world rich in magic and wonders, and a lot of people who liked to call themselves gods - whenever they got too old or too powerful. There were so many of them walking through our everyday lives, real and active. I know worlds which suffer from silent and sleeping gods, but this was not one of them.

Back then we went through a lot of crazy things together, even I found it hard to believe and I was the one living through it. But I met a lot of really amazing people, and today I'll tell the truth about what happened, believe it or not.

My childhood was spent with my father, a dark elf, and that is about as evil as they come back where I'm from. I hated his guts, and he 'raised' me if you could call it that in the dark elf undercity of Shalba De`Aise. I wish I knew my mother, but all I have are some stories here and there. I do know she's the one who gave me my silver wings and my tail; that makes me part dragon, and from mother I inherited everything that's silver and good.

Life was about as depressing as you would expect. I grew up around a lot of diversity but myself and everyone around me were slaves. Beyond keeping my head down so I didn't get sucked into The Game Of Favor - which was really just a thinly veiled House War - about the only interesting thing were all the court wizards who would visit my old man. He used to be someone important back in his military days but I grew to hate him and all his friends too; especially after they started to include me in their experiments.
>Main Title: The Prince of Elysia
>Part 1: D`nesathia

I suppose that's where it all really started. Nobody really cares who you are until you have something they want. But the more my father wanted something, the more I got hurt.

It was the first time I felt bitter, and felt hatred. I seriously began to think about how cruel the higher realms were. After receiving no help at all from the light aligned gods, those very same higher realms had condemned me and all of us - like being stuck where we were was our fault - and we just had to 'deal with it' with no one to turn to but the dark gods. Worse, were all the legends about how this war between light and dark was on-high's doing in the first place - and yet they blame us? For a long time I tried to rationalize why I was here and why things had to be this way.

In time I was set free from that life, around when my innate and magical power began to mature; though not by any feat of my own but because of my half-brother Sahzralaith. He broke in to save me along with his friends, him a full-blooded silver dragon and his friends all seasoned artifact hunters. He called me by my full name, Dowjin Qui, and seemed to know everything about me even though I'd just met him. Father and a bunch of people were fighting to stop us, and all hell broke out for several minutes.

But when Sahzralaith met him he just said 'this is for mom', and then a supernatural silence cursed the area. My brother beat him to death without even drawing his sword.

They lead me to the surface world, and to civilization. They tried to teach me the value of good and honest work, but without their added charity I realized it wasn't really feasible and their only answer to all my hypothetical questions was to sacrifice, and 'just deal with it'. This is also when I was first taught the way of the sword.
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I grew under their shelter and especially the tutelage of Sahzralaith as he traveled in human form, but the rest of them were not family and the wisdom they gave me only lasted as long as their company.

They had other things to do, and were divided amongst themselves, and so I watched one by one as they left for other callings. Their former camaraderie seemed hollow after that, and so did their lessons. Only Sahzralaith remained, and he insisted on a better way of life. It was kind of natural for me to end up following someone as wise and stoic as he was, in addition to our blood relationship.

I didn’t understand a lot of his teachings, but I’d always felt that behind them was the spirit of how things were supposed to be. Charitable and kind, he wielded not only the draconic arts but also a blessed and pure power, he was a different kind of warrior. His life was one of avenging himself and his family against the dark elves, but it seemed like now that he had me he was fixing to retire and put the sword down.

He said there was an archmage in a land across the sea, and that man owed him a favor. His plan was to take me there and exorcise whatever fell influence the dark elves had put in me. I was glad to have family that for once wasn't abusive, but at the same time I was sad, because everything he offered me came with conditions and rules. I probably annoyed him with all my complaints.

I went along with it anyway though, and the ship ride was pleasant - at least in the beginning. I knew we were heading west, and the voyage would take two weeks.

It was supposed to, that is. What actually happened was a violent storm, out of a nice clear day too. Took all of us by surprise and knocked us all around, and we were in such confusion for a whole day that no one even noticed.

Sahzralaith was missing.

The mood after that was tense, and the last couple days to our destination confusion gave way to suspicion; until everyone aboard began to accuse me of killing Sahz. By the time we arrived I learned they planned to hand me over to the local knighthood so I ran.

I ran for a day and a night, completely lost. My only direction was the limit of my stamina, and it brought me to a foresting town named Loggerun and a tavern called Lan's. Exhausted, I got a room there, and once again found myself alone.

I had some of our money, and it was enough for three months if I was careful. So I was spending a week laying low and considering my options, when I was approached by an orcish warlord named Sethuk. He told me that the best place for half breeds and monsters like me was together, under his banner, in a mostly orcish warband.

I came to learn that the people in this country had a love-hate relationship with him. They loved to pay his company to win their wars, but they hated actually letting the more suspicious races reside inside the civilized territories.

The last time they'd intermingled too much with the 'corrupted' races, news went that 'His Blessed Radiance' the elvish god had come down to 'scrub away' the impurity with tornadoes made of pure acid.

Supposedly, Radiance was now living it up in the souther cities, but would come and go to otherworldly places as much as his divine realms called out to him. Others of the divine caste were around too, but he'd made quite the local impression.

The ideals I was taught before were nice and all, I didn't forget them; but that wasn't the hand I was dealt and you can't eat wishes. So I went with Sethuk anyway, and joined his company.

This was after all the place where I could be safe, no one was going to piss off a whole warband just to get to me. And if we ran across one of the living-gods it really wouldn't matter where I was anyway. Here I could get strong, I could get paid, and all I had to do was kill some people in the name of the King. It's not like there was a clear 'good guy' in this country to begin with, it was as simple as 'us-versus-them'. Like an animal living only from day to day for survival, I would eat, and drink, and fight. I got pretty good at it too.

A little regeneration, a little hand eye coordination, and a lot of aggression - I took to swordsmanship like a fish to water. I also took to drinking like water, along with all the bad jokes and rowdy camp life that came along with a fraternity of warriors.

The recurring belligerents plaguing us were an old sore of the local king. Some nephew and uncle rotating in and out as if the nephew was supposed to be the true crown prince - and he had some family backing. I didn't really care about all that, but it was during that campaign I made friends with Aecus Rockbiter who was in the warband with me, and that's how I got in with the dwarves, which became really important later on. At the time he was the kind looking for a drink and someone who would understand.

Turns out they were the exiles of a fallen undercity back where I came from, and so I made them a few promises as I climbed the ranks through field prowess and the occasional duel. They'd help me establish myself and watch my back if I then used my higher position to steer the warband into taking a bid against the dark elves, and thus set free Aecus' brethren who were still held in slavery.

Through this time I'd survive things that I wasn't meant to survive. I threw myself into the warband’s battles as if it were the only thing that gave my life any meaning. By the time Aecus started to talk seriously about how much money his clan had been saving up for his reclamation movement, I'd been raised to unit captain. It was then I requested to be put over Aecus and joined the Heavy Arms division under our division commander Guardok, Sethuk's right hand man. Or orc, as it were.

I don't know why Guardok was always so angry; but the boys in camp made the best of it, and the goblins always had a stash of wine for us.

I remember one time around supper, Aecus was talking with Lunchsack (a dwarf named Justus) and Killjoy (a witch named Heather) about how while the able men of his clan took the field with Sethuk, the rest of his clan who couldn't fight served in the camp to earn a keep; and how glad they all were to know that Aecus came back alive each battle. Friends and family were all this guy would talk about, so I asked him straight, "What are you doing here?"

He looked confused, he told me they were fighting for coin and favor. And he said if they wanted to make progress here as anything more than slaves, they’d need a good word and a deep pocket. He told me they’d either strike it big and make a bid against the dark elves, or settle the families here after giving it their all.

The region here wasn’t intolerant, but outlanders typically got the worst deals, or at least the most expensive ones. So I knew how hard it was. But I told him he shouldn't be gambling with his life, and that unlike me, he still had a living family. I told him he didn't belong here.

Then he told me they had no where else to go.

I debated telling him to just suck it up and accept servant life and the poorer jobs until they could get established, but I knew to him that was a slap in the face. What else was I supposed to say? Just forget about the rest of his brothers in slavery for another whole generation? Might as well just write them off as dead.

A good word, or deep pockets. That's what it took to change your lot in life. And if you weren't born into it, it had to be earned. There was also the option to sell yourself into a greater power, but that too was slavery, just of a different kind.

Soon after that, we were asked to hold the Black Hills. The warband was going to go around it and hit an enemy advance from behind, and the plan was to rally against a keep on their side of the county line after catching that formation from a bad angle - slaying the offending company at evening before turning to hit the garrison by the next morning in one move. What made this possible was several units from the Heavy Arms division, mine included. We would be left behind at the narrow part of the valley.

Our action would delay the Mederian family long enough for the hammer and anvil plan to work and eliminate them completely from supporting the false-prince.

That left Aecus and I in the woods off to the side of the path going through, idling by the many hours until the late afternoon since that was when enemy would overtake our position, they wanted good visibility if they were going to force us out - and they had enough heavy cavalry and mages to make them bold enough to try it. It was predicted they wanted the hilltops on our side so they could establish a forward camp from a defensible position, with the prime real estate of a valley to fall back on. Controlling it, heck even contesting it, would defend their duchies for another year since that was the best supply line through.

If they actually took it, they might gain some momentum to turn this around, but that was a very big might. They were too far gone, and merely holding on to a stubborn and dying wish at this point.

The warband had left most of the shaman cults with us, each in a camp behind our positions in the valley; east-hill, center-point, and the west-hill. Each had a fallback camp for supplies, healing, and entrenched as best we could get it in short time. Siegemages, ballistae, and heavy crossbows would be our primary assets.

We also had some sisters of Gorgon on the west side, and the middle was supported by ogres. The east side had me.

When we could see the Mederian ranks come around a bend deeper in the valley, we buttoned up and got ready. I took off my cloak and pack, and adjusted my field armor to tightness. It was mostly gambeson, with some chain and a few plates where it counted ringed in. I had my old man's bastard sword over one shoulder, it was a runed blade with a little extra magic kick in it for monster slaying. Or in this case, armor smashing.

There was a lot of tension in the waiting. One side would have to make the decision, how close was close enough to begin launching projectiles or siegemagic. You had time to wonder which part of your side would be chosen by the enemy as the part that needed to go. And surely a committed mage would make it happen.

Tight shield discipline was needed to guard the first two ranks, and this meant being crammed in between a legion of dwarves and orcs.

You get used to the smell.

A flare of light went up from west of the enemy center, arcing high into the sky, with all of the blistering death and power of mana mixed with fire. It ponderously lobbed closer to our side, an explosive clod of transmuted rock easily ten or twenty feet across.

For a few moments it could have been going anywhere.

And then it fell on the center line and crashed with great booming against the emerald fields of our side's barrier magic. It crackled after a moment, and then the defensive magic popped like a dropped wineglass. A bellowing came from the enemy, and they were jogging, getting ready for the charge, humans and half-humans. Three more blinding lights came arcing up from the enemy to compete with the sun, before coming down upon us. Those impacts shook the earth, but our mages brought up more barriers in time, enough to stop two of them. The ogres ate the third one.

Smoke was now everywhere, concealing the enemy we could hear getting closer.

The louder their war cry got, the closer you knew they were, and when you could heard their stampeding, you knew they were right on top of you. I gripped my sword in both hands and took my place between two shieldsmen, getting ready to be broken upon by whatever madmen they had in their van, willing to hit an orcish line.

The moment those shapes burst from the smoke and dove into our striking range - our swords and maces came down upon them. My own swung down, catching an enemy helmet and we staggered a good half of them, but their momentum hit us and the line buckled.

Axes and halberds had the job of splitting open anyone stuck in the crunch. I rotated between stabbing into the men stalled against my orcish comrades, and either kicking or stepping forward to strike down the next in line before they could put on too much pressure. Whenever a hole opened up I filled it, and I was pretty good at spreading out my movements so I could keep two or three of them off us at a time. A couple shallow spear stabs got through to me, but my armor saved me from the worst of it. I had the strength to keep fighting, I was a different breed than them after all.

A major thing I learned from my time on the field was how much bigger a war was, than you were. Which remained true no matter how powerful someone got. There was a limit to how many places you could be at one time, a limit to how many lives you could save. A little over an hour later, I was still introducing my sword to Mederian faces, and enjoying the satisfying whump of friendly spells audibly hitting the enemy caster unit - one of the major duels of any large engagement - when I heard cries for support because the far east side was starting to fall to an enemy mounted charge.

That was my side, and Aecus’ people.

I sent our goblin scouts to get help from the centerline units and ask them come to where I was; and then I sent our supporting pikes and crossbows all to the east end to assist the dwarves in pulling out.

One thing I liked about dwarves, was their tenacity to hold on, even after grievous wounds they just didn’t quit. This meant a lot of wounded we could recover, which meant a lot of soldiers we could put back on the field later.

In the process of falling back from the east line to east camp, the center units spared us some humans of the King's auxiliary royal guard, The White Willow Chosen, along with two gangs of orc and half-orc from the Cedar Valley Clan.

We were barely at the east fallback camp after recovering most of the wounded, having switched out with our relief, when we were told they were going to fall back further to the center camp. The Heavy Arms were going to give them our flank in favor of buttoning up again. A wise trade for them, since we already had confirmed kills against their armored cavalry from the ballista and crossbow crews.

But it was bad news for us, since there was no way we were going to get all the wounded moved again that quickly.

Aecus was down with a broken arm and had lost a lot of blood from arrows, but he was conscious. I figured I could get him and a handful who could walk out of here. Aecus was cussing about our fate, as I wracked my brain on how to come out ahead on this one.

The fighting was getting close enough that we could see it, and the retreating units started passing by. We had the fit soldiers of our unit go with them, two for every one wounded, until it was just me left with half a unit of half dead dwarves. The conscious ones were defiantly holding crossbows or whatever else they got their hands on, but they weren't going anywhere.

I asked Aecus if he was ready to die in this place, him and his remnant clan. He cussed at me some more and told me of course not. I said that I'd told him, he didn't belong here. That he couldn't accomplish his dream or reunite the families if he was dead. He was coughing a fit and told me to leave him alone, that he was just catching his breath for a minute. It was a long minute.

I asked him then if he really wanted to live through this and free his lost brothers. He said he did.

I asked him how much he would give me if I made it happen.

He looked at me funny, but then he saw I was being serious, he told me he didn't know how we were going to do that, but he'd give anything and he meant it. So I told him he'd better remember it, he told me a dwarf never forgets a promise. I sighed with mixed feelings over the burden I'd just taken upon myself, and what a pain it was. As I walked to the edge of the hospice tents he asked me where I was going as if it wasn't completely obvious already that I was going in the direction of the enemy.

So I told him I was going to the place where monsters belonged.

The entire fallback line was gone, which basically meant I was the line at that point. I could have retreated, in fact that would have been the smart thing to do. An entirely mortal feeling of fear begged me to do just that. But that feeling was tempered with resolve, maybe I got sentimental over the dwarves, maybe I just didn't value my own life that much - likely a bit of both. What met me a short walk from the edge of the camp however was a deuce of Mederian spears, together with sword-and-board.

They came toward me from the edge of the advancing enemy unit, and I saw they'd lost line discipline, owing to the trees and the absence of defenders. A few more of them saw me, and a few more after that. I knew where this was going.

They told me to drop my sword and surrender, I grinned, and asked them to come and take it from me. They got closer to me and on their guard - and they asked me again, like I was dumb enough to do it.

Then I blew all of the firebreath I could, setting the spearmen ablaze and singing the shieldsmen pretty bad. They all started to take me pretty seriously after that, rushing over to engage me and trying to pat out their irreparably burnt friends.

I remember entering the melee by crushing the buckler-arm of an incoming swordsman with a hefty chop, then swinging back the way I came to bat a spear aside. I grabbed the spear left-handed to keep it between me and his comrades - giving me time to hack down into head of a guy on my right. I caught an arrow with my left arm, and then maneuvered around the spearman like he was my center-point, a piece of cover.

I used my draconic arts to paralyze some of them with my gaze and a roar, and only the bravest of them charged me. It wasn't ideal, but it thinned them a little whenever I did that, giving me a little breathing room to work with.

Every step was a swing then, parrying and then chopping. After running my sword through the spearman I'd grabbed, I rotated around a shieldsman and a tree to get out from being surrounded. I re-engaged them from the side, glancing their blows off with my own and then thrusting. Every time I did, another Mederian soldier fell. I took a stab in the back from a spear, but it didn't go too deep thanks to having to get through my wings first. It all became kind of a blur after that.

I remember my wings getting the worst of it, in general, and a few sword slashes that actually cut my body- mainly the blessed or magicked blades that my gambeson and light plate was no match against. I collected a handful of arrows, a couple in my leg, one in my stomach, I forget the rest. My helmet had saved me from blows to the head but I was swimming in a haze of violence.

There was no critical thinking, just a sensation like being punch-drunk and the mechanical slaughter of every Mederian who got near me.

The adrenaline, and the bloodlust, eventually just took over - and time was on my side, I caught a second wind quick with my draconic blood, and it just kept coming. The pain, and the blood loss, you just accept it, you just eat it and ask for more.

Whenever four or more got close to cutting me off I went around a shield, a spear, or a tree; the wise move was keeping one guy in between you and the others. They got me in a tight crunch more than a couple times, and I either kicked them off or ran them through, depending on how well I'd parried. But still, for all the regeneration and draconic strength, you could only hew apart so many people before you start to wear out. I was getting slower, but I roared to pump myself up and force myself to jump farther, swing harder, and move faster. The tiredness came in waves, and each was worse than the last after pushing myself. I'd gotten stabbed a few more times in the process, but I couldn't say how for sure.

I remember huffing and puffing, not knowing how much time had past - nor how much more was needed. Just drenched in blood, half of it my own. I remember it was just about twilight, with the moon out, when the enemy formation started yelling and then turned around. I just kind of fell to my knees, and dug my blade in the dirt to prop on it - who cares, I was tired.

I was chuckling about being ignored, wondering why now when I was on the ropes, and losing focus, that they'd abandon finishing me off.

I watched the whole enemy company turn around, only to receive the main elements of our warband smashing into them from behind.

I took a break, tried to focus on not moving or bleeding, and started to feel real sleepy. I wondered if this time I really was going to die. I remember there being nothing for several hundred feet around me then, except the woods and countless dead bodies.

Guardok came to get me later, after the enemy had been dashed to pieces from both sides. He confirmed my suspicions about the fight, and said the enemy family made way more progress than we'd expected because some divine blessing had been bringing their soldiers back from the dead on several occasions to fight again. But Radiance was on the King's side, even if not ours directly, so we guessed some other small fry demigod was probably responsible for the false-prince. I also got confirmation that the eastern fallback camp had been relatively untouched, so the dwarves had made it.

He asked me where the rest of the eastern units were. And I told him I was it. He asked who'd killed all these Mederians in front of the camp here, then. I didn't feel like getting up from where I was so I told him to take a guess.

He didn't have a sense of humor.
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Aecus met me the next day after I'd healed up; the process was superficial at first and left one with a deep inner soreness until true healing took place, as if everything was all fixed with you but you still felt raw. So Aecus and I talked about what was needed to accomplish freeing his brethren. He swore oaths, and his remnant clan committed their lives to me, and me to their cause at that point. He was just one clan leader, but that was only the beginning of my getting all the dwarves deeper indebted to me. At least if it was me who they owed, it would all turn out ok.

A lot happened before we could fulfill our overseas plans however, and along the way I made a few more friends, and met a lot more women.

It was the women that really got me into trouble though, and it then it was me who got everyone else stuck in it.

My disdain for the higher powers coupled together with me getting in bed with some fairly dark aligned she-devils created the perfect storm for what would happen later. I didn't realize at the time what I was getting myself into but it began with a vampire named Rosa and really only escalated from there.

I was a free spirit back then, and wasn't faithful by any means, to her or any of them. It hardly mattered to me if I lived or died, let alone hold a stable relationship. It was all meaningless and I just kind of went through the motions hoping that one day I would feel less lost, or gain some kind of purpose of my own, not someone else's. So after carousing with my friends during the peace seasons I'd find all sorts of company. Taryn, Ebony, Altra, Aya, the list goes on. I told myself I would help these people, and try to remember at least a few of the virtues that Sahzralaith had taught me.

Among them Rosa was the first, and perhaps by that simple merit I had a closer relationship with her than anyone. She always had my back, and got healers like Taryn involved in my line of work.

Then I met a succubus, and learned how meaningless my temporal wishes really were.

Her name was Havarra, and she marked the beginning of my consorting with darker powers. She was the first of many, each more powerful than the last, and somewhere along the line I sold my soul for reaching too high. The intervention of the local divinities would become the least of our worries, and it all stemmed from this one decision.

At first it seemed like a novelty, a spicy romance. She was more mature, but fun loving in a casually gracious way. Then another succubus appeared, Tabitha, which was suspicious to say the least. But things didn't get really interesting until I met Ildash. I guess the three of them smelled blood in the water.

I started to suffer from the occasional headache, hallucination, and nosebleed. I blamed it on them at first, but after a while I started to feel like something else was going on. It was thanks to those prying questions however that I learned about their true nature. I mean not that it wasn't already kind of obvious, I'm used to half-breeds, angelborn, demonborn, all kinds. Like I said the Old World was a place where wonders were common, and we lived in an age where powerful bloodlines walked the earth unchecked.

But what did surprise me was that even among them, Havarra was the princess and ruler of a nether realm called Nebaron and Ildash was one of the prodigal daughters of some self proclaimed Dark Goddess. But by the time I’d learned that; the trap had already snapped shut, I just didn't know it yet.

One thing I do remember, is that they seemed to know in advance what would happen to me. And they had some sort of confidence in my future that I wasn't really aware of. They stuck their own hands into my life so I guess you could call it a self fulfilling prophecy, but it felt like there was something I was supposed to realize - or wake up from. If I'd known then what I knew now, maybe I'd have been able to stop it.

Tragedy later struck several of my former lovers, who were either found dead or who went missing. I dealt with loss by confirming the uselessness of monogamy and several other virtues. I was forgetting my brother day by day, and I wondered if that too ever had any meaning.

I was always in a state of wondering when the next person I cared about was going to bite it, or if I would be next. It later gave birth to a macabre sort of acceptance of the world, and a confidence fueled mostly by grit.

It was about then things were getting heated between Havarra and Ildash, and I began to realize some kind of conflict was going on behind the scenes. I returned from the warring seasons; to this. I remember because it had begun to winter and we'd migrated into camps by company. But the off season was anything but peaceful.

I knew they wanted me to pick sides, I knew they would probably eat me up and use me; in order to gain an edge over the other. Ildash seemed to go between seeing something worthwhile in me, to no nonsense criticisms. what she wanted to use me for I never did find out; but her critical eye on me made her company seem a lot more authentic than that of my other 'friends'.

For some unfathomable reason I found myself on the menu as the deciding point between their goals in this little slice of the world. But what else do you expect from a succubus and a lust devil? You know that thing moths do when they see a candle's flame? Stupid, right?

It was during this time Rosa got a contract from some mysterious and wealthy people, their identities a secret even from me; to protect Aya. Aya's 'very important friends' had forseen omens of ill tiding - along with whatever vague answers Rosa was allowed to tell me - and so I started to see Rosa less as she traveled with Aya to conduct 'business'. She appealed to my emotion and asked me to trust her and her lack of explanations. So I did.

It took me meeting a man named Hitsito, however, to realize the scale of what was changing around me. I was invited one day to meet him, he was waiting for me in the private den at Lan's. It was everyone's favorite spot for a variety of reasons, some more sketchy than others, and the crossroads naturally funneled travelers into it.

Now, I'd been jumped a few times before - but Hitsito was something else. He announced himself by name from where he sat in his armchair, facing away from me. Then he asked me who I was and confirmed it. And just like that, there was a click and rhythm of bolts and before I knew it he'd shot me with a couple crossbows he'd concealed under his coat and the fight was on.

It was his smaller sabre to my bastard; the furniture and distance were also working to his favor. His skill with a blade wasn't up to mine, but I was fighting through wounds and got stunned by the ice enchantment on his blade when it hit my guard and frosted my hands. He gained the advantage and disarmed me, never would have happened if I had gauntlets or even gloves on. But he pinned me to the wall by the virtue of his sword at my throat - and started yelling at me, about how I was responsible for the death of his village and his wife. It sounded like things the warband had done, and that I’d participated in, but he threw out names I'd never known. Thanks to how hysterical he was he missed the chance to end me and then eventually started trying to talk himself back into killing me, like he'd lost the nerve for it.

The story goes, that my unit's symbol was painted in blood over a lot of the walls of his old town, and that it was a mixed band of orcs and sorcerers who did the deed. Only the strange thing was, I'd never been to his town. After talking him down, and then getting my wounds dressed - I kept it from escalating further by telling a few of the good ol boys who were about to jump in at that point to calm down, because I was going to help Hitsito.

I don't know what possessed me to do that, but there was something about him. He had something I didn't. The way he lamented and fought was like he'd tasted a true love, grown up in a different land with a different family. It seemed like how things were supposed to be, and his righteous fury moved me. I remember now, he did always use to be like that. A strange man. But sincere, and passionate.

When I asked Ildash what I should do about it I was expecting some kind of wisdom in how to approach sorcerers who might be involved in this conspiracy; I've never been good with magic outside of my natural abilities, so I just assumed her diabolical connections and the work of sorcerers might be up the same alley. Instead we got into it about where my loyalties lie. As Havarra was now identified clearly as her enemy, from here I made a resolution to take her out in order to win Ildash's favor.

In the end I couldn't do it. I refused when I had the chance, and I just ended up feeling more conflicted. Where Ildash held on to powerful principles, Havarra was something else. She just accepted what I was, and was eerily calm when I explained how I found myself playing for both sides. She won me over with her love, even asking me to be her champion in spite of it all. With her, it was ok to just be me.

To this day I don't know if that was the 'right' decision or not. What followed kind of felt like throwing Ildash to the wolves - when I realized what kind of elder beings would later get involved to gobble up the losers who never made it big. Then again, maybe I got out of it myself just in the nick of time.

Ildash and I broke up soon after, but not before she used a carnal power of hers to take a bite out of my spirit and effectively end any chance of me having kids, like she ate the part of my soul that could pass on life, but left everything else about me just fine like I was a hollow mockery.

Despite that one very specific bit of damage to my spirit I was basically unscathed, and I felt rejuvenated once again after resting with Havarra. She would begin to enchant me over the course of time, like she was preparing me for something, as her 'champion'. I turned to her then on what to do about the sorcerers and she introduced me to Lynchbolin, an 'ally' of sorts of hers who, 'coincidentally' already served as a shaman in the warband I served in.

I went to go see him and he told me two things. One was that a spirit of possession was responsible for the conspiracy against my name, and Imsh was the half-fiend ogre it would use to complete its scheme.

The second was that even after helping Hitsito, I would need to find and free a vampire named Daies because he was the only one who could set me 'free'. It seemed pretty cryptic to me, but I knew that behind Havarra's scheme and the terrors of her realm lay a vision like mine, and the determination that this world of suffering had to change.

At the time, I thought that the meaning of Daies setting me free would be fulfilled through surpassing the tyrannical forces that governed our world. I was naive to have thought so simply.

Imsh later ended up baiting me out like he was on to me, by involving Rosa and Aya. I should have seen it coming considering he was already plotting for my position in the warband. Confronting him at his camp cost me my left eye in the ensuing violence. We'd given each other some hefty wounds - he was slashed up bad, and his mace had crushed my knee. But until then I was quicker than him even if he was stronger. His response to me hacking off his right arm just below the elbow was to grab me and stab me in the eye with the bone. I ran him through before he let me go and he finally fled before I passed out.
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The girls found me, bandaged me, and gave me an eyepatch; then Hitsito and I hunted Imsh down. We caught him trying to migrate his camp to another division after sending a messenger to Sethuk to lie about me and say that I'd gone rogue. His unit was crossing a shallow part of where one of the local rivers thinned, we waited till they were halfway across and then descended upon them, with Hitsito, myself, a coven of mages borrowed from Lynchbolin, and about twenty loyal dwarves. Imsh didn't have a word to say until he was on his back, and on his last breaths, then all of a sudden he tries to convince them that I was somehow stabbing him in the back. Hitsito said not to worry about it, and that Imsh had it coming anyway - we executed him there.

Rosa and Aya left soon after. We met at my lodgings in Lan's and they said things around me had gotten too dangerous. I asked her not to go, that I was building a stable future for us, one that could never be toppled, and where no one could ever hurt us. Imsh had tried and failed, I told her that was the evidence, that it might be a dangerous world but that she was safe with me. She said I couldn't see what I was dragging everyone around me into, but that she did love me and hoped I realized it before it was too late to give up and come back. I remember taking it pretty hard, and being hardly able to hold back feelings that were unusually strong for me. I asked her again; not to leave.

So she stopped trying to explain it, and just said goodbye.

I refused to face the fatality of it and told her I wasn't ready to say goodbye, but I was talking to myself at that point, she'd left the room and that was the last time I saw her.

It didn’t really feel like I'd won a victory after that.

To top it all off, ever since then healing magic hadn't been working on my wounded eye. Imsh had clearly tainted it with the sin of his fiendish blood, so I had to learn how to live with that now too.

Following that, Hitsito become an ally of mine. I guess you could say he was my first true friend. Not that Aecus wasn't a friend, or any less loyal, but it was a more brother-in-arms friendship; whereas with Hitsito it was a more personal friendship. He was the first person I opened up to and we talked a lot about our inner thoughts and the wisdom of this and the wisdom of that. Maybe it was because I talked to him right after Rosa left, probably opened me up in ways I didn't usually share.

I thought my curses would be over now after having distanced myself from Ildash and taking out Imsh, but no luck. The odd headache, and visions, still haunted me from time to time.

I enlisted Hitsito's aid in forging new gear, as that was his specialty; and Havarra's in traveling to mythical realms as that was her’s. The succubus herself knew where to find gates or even create new ones and she seemed oddly interested in my personal quest to find and free Daies; I gladly took her generosity for granted.

She was the one who helped me infiltrate the celestial zone of banishing, where Daies was held. I thought of seizing that power, and proving that you didn't have to choose between a dead end life, from one fraught with danger. With a little strength, and a lot of courage - we could really go somewhere. It was a nebulous idea; who 'we' was kept changing on me, and I didn't have a clear destination except 'higher'.

But I dwelled on that hope, and it filled me with determination
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>Food Break
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Daies' banishment area was a beautiful place, if small. No guards, only a matrix of barriers that locked it away, each tiny realm it's own little prison and it's own cell. A tiny dimension like a bubble floating through Limbo - old and forgotten. But Havarra was good with old and forgotten things. I didn't really know what I was looking for when I got there but the endless skies and the flowering hill were obvious enough. The red leaves of the tree before me blew in the ethereal wind, and fused to the front of it was a rosy quartz looking crystal growth. It was sealing a desiccated corpse of some kind that I wasn't able to identify outwardly, but this supposedly was Daies.

Surprisingly, the whole affair was pretty easy. I'd been given a scroll which contained an incantation for unlocking angelic seals, which basically required a prayer from one who was both mortal and carried the blood of a noble dragon; literally the most saintly thing you could find in the normal world short of an actual angel. To get someone like that, here past all security forces, and willing to do that deed; would have been hard enough. Havarra had said it was an amazing coincidence that I happened to be just the right person, and that she was so glad to have been able to help me. But I can't blame only her, my mortal side also came from dark elves so this string of bad decision making was par for the course for me.

I wasn't stupid either, I knew it was odd to be receiving all the blessings and aid I asked for, and I wasn't really buying the story that busting Daies out would go unnoticed. I really wasn't so much ignorant as much as I just didn't really care. If angels were going to pop out and smite me then so what? Bring it on. My quest for purpose wanted to make a scene. I hoped someone would oppose me; or perhaps I just wanted the attention, to make some waves and be noticed. To be somebody.
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Not finished reading but bumping anyways, let's see where this is going.

Daies really seemed like the perfect answer if this all panned out. And the sky was the limit when it came to how far he could theoretically take me with all of the ancient wonders he would be bringing back to life with him. Or, un-life, I suppose.

While I was inside that realm I found security to be pretty light. After Havarra had helped me penetrate the difficult outer boundary, setting him free was an anticlimactic measure of some simple dispelling. Then I blacked out and the dimension I was in vanished.

When I came to, I was in a summoning circle back in Nebaron, and with the deed done I was free to return back to my mortal realm - having been promised that Daies would find me within the year. The only problem was that my memory of him resembled some dried up ghoul; but I was also promised that in future times he would come and tell me his own name - so I just kind of accepted it.

Another summer on the campaign trail took us north as we annexed white elf territory. They weren't all white really, but the different types aren't worth breaking down. The point is I got my pick of the litter among the keeps we cleared, and a shiny promotion to field commander.

I met some new faces, and said goodbye to some old ones, people I used to eat with. I could almost call them friends. I didn't let myself get too attached but it was a little hard, after laughing at the same jokes one moment, and dragging them to a mass grave, the next. Chewed up and spit out over broken treaties and some iron mines. We did learn a valuable lesson about mages however, field cannons could break barriers - and a flintlock pistol to the head would slay them faster than their countermeasure spells could trigger. One was hard to lug around and the second wasn't always accurate, but it was good to know.

Returning to Lan's was made easier at this point since I kept a mage and a third-circle druid on as my honor guard. Besides enchanting or healing me, they'd translocate us wherever we needed to go. I got around after that, did my usual drinking and womanizing, put Hitsito in contact with Aecus, and let them start making preliminary plans for this great big freedom movement of theirs.

I didn't know what kind of forces were moving behind the scenes after my little dip into the High Planes, but right afterwards was when I met a tall, elegant, and darkly dressed woman. I didn't ask a lot of questions, we just went for a walk to the lake after I met her, talked a lot about me, and let nature take it's course. Khe`lanya had a way with few yet meaningful words, and after she went along with whatever you had planned you'd find it was her idea all along and you'd wonder how that happened.

Come to find out after going my own way and carousing the town for a week later, that Ildash had left a message for me back at Lan's and was pissed as hell. I go and see her after that, intent on finding a way to recover what she stole from my spirit, by force if needed - but I never got the chance. She went into cussing me out as she proceeded to quantify the exact level of my intelligence and the quality of my wisdom. That woman I just met was Khe`lanya, her mother, and that she was the big bad Dark Goddess that even Havarra and Ildash herself feared. My spirit reeked of her and I was to believe that she basically 'owned' me now. Whether because I was part of some greater plot, or if she'd merely done it to spite Ildash, I didn't know.

Ildash stormed out after that, with her parting words warning me that not only should I forget about her ever forgiving or helping me, but that I should forget about anyone at all ever coming to help me with anything. She said I'd been tainted for life and that's all anyone would ever see in me.

That was the last time I saw her.
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I remember Havarra later being oddly calm about it, and I kind of realized that whatever she wanted from me wasn't really affected by my long term destiny. Or at least, it didn't make her doubt my destiny. I had the feeling she was planning something soon though, as she suddenly started to get very busy and harder to get ahold of.

This was fine for me anyway because I was able to use the off season to talk to the leader of our warband. I was able to get a quad of orc gangs and a warrior mage coven in on a smash and grab deal against the undercity Aecus had always been focused on, as well as some outlying targets. Hitsito was going by the nickname "the Armory" at this point after his forge and artifact work. Between his supplies, Aecus planning and knowledge, a clique of spellcasters and some of the boys - we were ready to finally bring the hurt on my old homeland. Or at least, cripple a couple houses, and make off with riches and slaves; the latter being Aecus' brethren.

I'd like to say it went off without a hitch, but we lost the coven during the dark elves' countermagic actions, and a handful of our orcish honor guard. The rest of us just smashed face after overwhelming them and completed the mission.

Aecus left the warband after that, but stayed on as a retainer of mine and an ambassador to the dwarves. This netted me a few units of dwarven warriors, and a promise of the Clan's whole backing if ever a dire need arose. I told him to focus on resettling, and just spread the word to the other clans so I could get in touch with them.

Things were looking up.

I was later in the throne room I'd set up in my new fort, back on the mainland during the aftermath of all of this, when a sentry from my unit came rushing in to deliver an urgent report.

We were under attack, intruders were in the keep.

I sent the general combat order out to rouse my men and was putting on field armor behind the throne I'd set up, when I got a second message - the intruders were making a beeline for my location.

So I ordered enveloping actions from the side halls and rear while I prepared to meet my mysterious assailants face to face. Imagine my surprise when a five-eight maybe five-nine shortstack of a human man comes kicking in my newly engraved and dragon stylized doors. I roared at him about how dare he raid my domain, and if he even knew who I was.

His reply was "a dead man" and charged me. He'd broken in and murdered my guards for a chance to get at me, and he wasted no time pressing the attack. There was no talking, only tension, as we traded blows, his feyforged espada against my elvin hand and a half sword. He had a peculiar amount of strength for such a small body, and he wore no armor.

When I broke his hands by nearly cutting them off, he was saved by the single gauntlet he wore, and he gave me a few good licks with it before I ran him through and kicked him over onto his back. One huge overhead swing chopping straight down and I split him from skull to sternum.

Not much to say after that, we imprisoned his cohorts; and they were less than helpful. Some kind of mental or spiritual force was dominating their minds and blocking them from divulging information to us.

I sent all the auxiliary units back to the company camps after that, and was left with a skeleton crew of my vangaurd unit.

Aecus later left with the promise that he and the title holders among the clans would spread my fame amongst the dwarves. We came out of our adventures with a bounty of goods, but Aecus was adamant that still there was no way he could repay my unit for what we did for him. He was moved to tears to have his brethren back, family ties and all.

I had a feeling I hadn't seen the last of him, but in the meantime I still felt empty after the wealth and the position I'd gained so far. Perhaps it was Khe`lanya and Havarra's influence, perhaps I just knew I could do better. But I had to keep grabbing for something higher, like it may somehow fill a life that still felt empty.

It wasn't even two days later, I was grouching about being bored and waiting for Hitsito to journey my way - before we could head to Lan's. And generally in a bad mood as I made my honor guard stand at attention and suffer with me - even with regeneration the cracked bones in my face would still take a few days to heal. So I was nursing it with a cold rag and comforting myself by sitting on my throne when, for the second time, that same short human who'd lead a suicide charge against me not two days earlier, kicked in my chamber doors in the same exact fashion, and compared me to ungracious body parts.

I roared at him about how impossible it was, and that I had killed him, and he just glowered at me and said "Yeah. You did. It hurt. A lot."

He was pulling out his sword again - how he was able to get it back I had no idea, and he seemed ready for round two. My guard was stepping out to meet him when I raised my hand to stop them and asked him who he was and why he was so possessed to fight me.

He said his name Daies, and that I’d ruined his plans for revenge.

He wasn't what I was expecting, I mean I'm a full head and shoulders bigger than this 'ancient vampire' and I just recently mopped the floor with him. So I told him I set him free, and to explain himself.

Come to find out he was betrayed by seven heroes of legend, well - his legend really, I never heard of any of this, and I doubt anyone else would remember it as old and untold as his story is - who became Kings by throwing him under the proverbial cart after having been adventuring companions. He made a deal with a demon that it could have the land if he were to be set free to kill its kings, and several eons later here we are.

The complication was that nothing remained for him to take revenge on. But I promised him that if I could inherit that same covenant, then we'd help him find as many ruins as we could that were connected to his old life and give him the first rights to plunder their artifacts.

He was a bitter, paranoid, and crazed man. Full of gallows humor that he smiled just a little too much about. I could tell he was evil to the core but I couldn't help but have sympathy for him. He and I both were the products of a heaven that had abandoned us. No justice, or guiding light. No mercy or help, only revenge and the endless cycles of war.

He understood it, and we understood each other. And it filled me with a lot of distress to endorse him, as wicked as he was - but as he demonstrated the full extent of his vampiric arts I knew he was the only one who could break the chains of our bondage with all the wonders of a true Nosferatu. He made what common vampires did look like parlor tricks, and no one had to sell their soul for us to employ it. Only sate his appetite. I realized then that slaying his body carried no real meaning.

With this hope we no longer had to be servants in a warband, or having our destinies toyed with by the dark forces, and no longer looked down on by the higher realms.

Thus began my most complicated friendship.

We established certain ground rules in our pact, as well as some rules of engagement to curb his more heinous behaviors; and he seemed happy with the direction I was taking. He seemed especially cooperative after I told him about our benefactors, Havarra and Khe`lanya. He got to meet Hitsito, and at once they got into an argument, I forgot about what - I had been drinking way too much. But I was sure one of them was about to kill the other - and right before the fight got serious they started laughing and making up like the only way you could truly get to know someone was by fighting them.

I turned down a calling from the warband that winter, and that was where I left the mercenary life. I told the ol' boss I knew how to deploy forces that could regenerate better than he did. The true value of such units was not merely surviving battle or putting them in where the odds were worst to hold something for a long time. It's not wrong, per se, but it's not right either. Any warrior with skill, fervor, and some healing could do that. Their true value was stamina, and being able to melee after the types of insertions that would break lesser creatures. Diving onto or into a position via translocation and taking a tumble didn't bother them, a three day March didn't bother them. Being cut off from supplies or healing didn't bother them. But he was an old-school horde commander.

My strategies, as most people in the warband knew, typically reduced our losses by about a fifth, but ever since the time I'd lead a flanking attack into an ambush he'd stopped listening to me. I yelled at him about what nonsense that was when he could, today, make a wise decision. I was no stranger to people dying but I really let him have it over how little he cared about his own warband if he allowed such meaningless deaths and that he knew it.

He was never big on second chances, said the dead don't get one so why should I? So that path was a dead end and I left. Those loyal to me broke away in order to stay with me but while half a division sounds like a lot, it was still too few in number to do much. I began to wonder what I really wanted to accomplish. After clawing my way into a position of power all I had learned was everyone else's wishes.

But, it's not like I could just force everyone to like each other and give up this age of strife. Defeating a people physically was one thing, but it seemed like the deeper nature of this world just wouldn't give up on greed and revenge.

I resolved to encourage Hitsito and Daies to train together and do a little digging into Daies' past, while I meditated on our next move over at Lan's. Being in the same spot for about the next year proved nearly fatal however as old enemies from various lords made a try for me. Through that I discovered that Khe`lanya had her agents watching out for me, so I was spared the worst of it.

One time I was captured by a dragonslayer I remember, a dark elf who went by the name Dominic. One of Khe`lanya’s hand maidens came to infiltrate his coven and get me - before he and the Costa De`Aise undercity matriarch finished their plans for me. They were working together with Shalba De`Aise. The story was that I was a sacrifice, with dragon and dark elf blood in me, but I always felt like there was something more to it. But that handmaiden got so mad, after putting on all these airs to get to me, when we were finally alone - she just went off, yelling at me to take this seriously as I laughed about it. It was all too much. This dark goddess, rather than snap her fingers to curse both cities wholesale, was playing with secret agents. I guess Khe`lanya wanted to step lightly around the domain of the other dark gods dwelling with the dark elves.

One handmaiden, and one mission, to get me out of Costa De`Aise alive.
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Here she was, the literal rescue party, warning me that none of my friends nor anyone else was coming to save me.

She slapped me so hard for not listening to her, I was dying. I told her not to worry about it so much. To not just look at the surface of what was going on, but understand what it meant. If they went through effort to capture me and keep me alive, then why would they use lethal methods now? If really no one was coming then why was she here? If really I couldn’t break out on my own and wreck them, why did they have to send a dragonslayer after me? They reeked of fear, but my comrades and I were not so easily shaken. I told her that I might not know their end goal, but their plan was easy to fathom.

I asked her to think about why they’d want to send me back to Shalba instead of staying in Costa? Why not the mages from Shalba come to us, either? I sobered a bit and told her, this plan of the dark elves was so fragile - it was going to snap and break, sooner rather than later.

She said I was so lucky that she was there. I smiled and said maybe. She effected my release a few days after that, a tense business of her getting things unlocked, us taking out the right guards, and then a lot of running until we could dispel the translocation suppressor and gate out.

I’m pretty sure I went through all that without ever knowing anyone’s real name.

For reasons beyond me, Khe`lanya then took a personal interest in destroying the Crimson Blade guild that my father used to be a part of.

For reasons even further beyond me, Daies later decided that the survivors of that same guild were the ones he would conscript by force and his arts of domination.

Daies was always paranoid about what Khe`lanya was trying to do, and sticking his fingers into her and I's business - but the dark goddess herself didn't seem too bothered by it.

I didn't appreciate everything Daies did, but out of all the forces at work doing me favors, he always seemed like the most selfless, in a weirdly honest, and roundabout way. Like I could trust his nature and he wasn't really hiding anything. It was as if he was outwardly ugly and undeniably evil, but some inner feeling moved him to do these things for me and remain at my side. Like a brother you hate everything about, but still he's your brother. That's the kind of relationship that started to grow between us.

It seemed through our adventures however that he was changing for the better; under the vision that we could create our own future.

With Khe`lanya though, something did always seem - just off. Even though she seemingly did all the right things, at all the right times. Like you just knew something else was going on behind the veil. But despite my better sense I felt compelled to know more about her; maybe one day I'd be able to do something for her.

Ildash's warning really resonated with me whenever I thought like that, and I found myself missing her, and wondering again if I'd made the right choice.

Havarra eventually called upon me for the task she had been grooming me for. Not to make her sound bad - she wasn't manipulating me in the strictest sense.

We had a pretty close relationship, and I always had this feeling like the answer I was looking for lay in her realm of Nebaron. That's why I went along with being her champion, to get closer to her. I won't deny feeling a bit jealous to discover another champion of hers at the same summoning that day, along with the knowledge that she had who knows how many others. The feeling passed over time, as I didn't let myself dwell on it.

One thing that did become clear was that she had been guiding certain individuals of either raw latent power, or unique skill, into a cabinet of heroes - antiheroes, villains? The line was starting to get real blurry here.

What she wanted, was to get her daughters back. Previously, she'd married them off in political bids to the other warlords and demon Kings neighboring the realm of Nebaron; then used her abilities as a succubus to stay on top. Generally speaking she was able to avoid the blood wars entirely because of that. In contrast, her neighbors were spread thin because of it, and we had finally reached the tipping point where we could capitalize on it. We would conduct a series of expansions by force, against key demon lords who would suffer the most from being destabilized, and rescue her daughters through the cover of those armies as we did. We wouldn't do them all at once, but in a series which aimed to cause a chain reaction of border failures.

My comrades and I hadn't got mixed into it all until this time because the nether realms are as hostile and unforgiving as it's people. The skies in those worlds are always painted in gloomy colors, and the harsh ashy air would catch up to you if you breathed it for too long. This would be the definitive moment where we began to meddle in the affairs of other realms.

Havarra too had outgrown the valley she'd settled in, and had no more need for the 'protection' of her neighbors - if - she regained custody of her now fully matured coven of daughters and - if also - she had some intimidating names filling out her standard army. That's where we 'champions' came into play.

We were going to butcher the forces responsible for keeping the peace in order to liberate her daughters. And I wasn't supposed to feel too bad about it because they were all hellspawn anyway. Given the breathing room they wanted, they likely would have later brought untold disasters into my world, it being in their reach and all. Not that Havarra was a different creature, but she was on our side. Kind of. Like I said these lines get real blurry.

At first glance it seemed like trading one mercenary gig for another, but there was one fundamental difference; we weren't being paid in gold. The promises of a demon princess were worth far greater things, and I knew it was the only chance I was going to get at bringing upon my world a force it couldn't resist - to enact some real and tangible changes. I didn't know how exactly, but I had a vague idea, a dream at that time; one that could only be fulfilled by someone with great power.

To wish for peace is nice, but it means nothing if you can't bring justice. To talk about putting others' needs first is nice but unless you have power or resources to give - then that too is just another an empty word. You can't eat words. I'd once survived on Sahzralaith's charity, and I recognized it for what it was. Charity. The only reason any of those ideals of his had even the tiniest chance of success was because he was there with me holding me up.

Whoever was in power, had to take on that role. Greed had to be destroyed, it and all it's tyrant kings. I think that's why I gravitated so strongly to Havarra's approach, on some level I really believed we shared the same dream.

There's a saying, that mercy is the privilege of the strong.

So if we really wanted to create a golden future, it was obvious what we had to do.

I counseled with Hitsito and Daies about what we were about to get involved in, and at first Hitsito was against it. We won him over in the end with the promise of mythical crafting materials and for the most part, simply by wearing him down. Daies was already familiar with the abysse and was more than excited to get back into his element, so the conversation went better than expected.

Looking back I realize Hitsito never did have a lot of reason to stay. He could have buggered off to any odd corner of the world and peddled his trade until he died old fat and rich; but he's not that kind of guy. He was always asking me what I was doing and nagging me about the wisdom of my choices. He wasn't the type that could sit still either; he was thirsty for the secrets of the universe. But more than that he was looking out for us.

So there we were, the heroes of a mortal unit in Havarra's hellish army, that had sold it's innocence to buy favor wherever we could find it. Our first target was the caldera fortresses of Mhunilus. It sounded intimidating because it was, but our aim wasn't to be in a full blown feud with this guy, just capture an important keep along the leyline of a planar road.

Lucky for me, I had the special task of separating from the main force after they engaged, leaving them to capture it as I monopolized on all the dark blessings Havarra had given me in order to infiltrate his realm and use my link with Havarra to then dispel whatever was binding her daughter, bring her back under our control, and then exfiltrate.

Her name was Tel`ryn and she had the most vibrant magenta hair.

To hear it told, it was the most harrowing and nerve wracking quest I'd ever braved. It was my first experience in going toe to toe with forces so beyond my league it wasn't even funny. Any mis-step, an errant sneeze, and I'd be lunch for a pit devil.

People ask me sometimes when it was that I lost my perspective of what's truly dangerous or not, and it would be that day. Dead is dead, whether you're afraid of a human Archer's errant arrow, a devil tearing you apart, or a god smiting you. I came to see that its really all the same; but people don't get that, and shake in fear just because the tool getting ready to kill them was bigger than the last one they saw. In the same way, if a good opportunity presents itself, then it doesn't matter what kind of force you're up against, from flanking the lowest army, to breaching the highest realms. That translated a lot into how we thought about divine beings later on.

In practice, however, it was a lot more boring than it sounded. It amounted to two days worth of clandestine traveling, hiding, moving very slowly for hours, and even after infiltrating - trying not to get caught between enchantments that would kill you before you even knew you were dead. Your only knowledge that you did a good job - was that nothing happened. It was a whole lot of nothing.

When I finally did meet Tel`ryn however, she was deeply enthralled and tried even to cast her sorceries upon me. This backfired spectacularly - Havarra's own blood magic had warded me, which basically reflected the full force of Tel`ryn's own charms back upon herself.

So here I am, warping back into the safety of my unit, their hard fought battle having long since laid claim to the prized gate and keep, with me basically unscathed and leading a half naked succubus through an encampment full of warrior clans licking their wounds. And she's just head over heels for me the whole time.

You could taste the salt in the glares I got, but the mission was won.
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>END **D`nesathia**
>NEXT TIME: **Nebaron**


The only core character that wasn't introduced before getting into the mid-teens level-wise was Destamona, but she appears shortly.

Almost all the named characters were played by players.

Hope you enjoyed the read /tg/

Related stories, out of chonological order, basically a highlight reel:

Daies The Vampire~ http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/17625459/

Van The Turncoat~ http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/18180000/

Stefan the Troll~ http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/17663445/

Captain Tyranis~ http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/26245330/
I am loving this.
If you expanded it into a novel or even a series, I would buy the paper version and read the hell out of it.
Even the Cliff's Notes version you're giving us has me hooked.
Pleeeeeease start fleshing it out into a novel. This is bringing back good memories of Earthsea and Elric and Amber and the Sunset Warrior. There just isn't enough good-flowing epic fantasy these days.
Ill gladly wait for neckbeardia to do a text to speech video 2 years later thank you very much

The biggest problem with that is IP's.

The second biggest problem is remembering everything clearly to do all the scenes justice.

But fret not. This is the first part of 6 (7 if I split 6 up), but I am still cleaning up the logs from the final arc.

Ill think about how to squeeze some cash out on a side venture if it gets popular but my primary objective is honoring a veeeeery old promise I made to Daies' player. Hitsito, Daies, and I having been BFF's even despite pc conflict, oocly we loved it.

I feel like part 1 dragged without a concrete sense of direction but, literally so many hints about future events got dropped in-between all the blind-ambition and the whole "were gonna save people! And vaguely make the world a better place!"


Signing off, see ya'll next time.
I think a lot of writers these days have based works off of old RP campaigns.
I don't know the specifics of other players' rights to the characters, but if you can't get their blessing, just change the name.
If you're worried about IP holders of the systems you're using, again, just fudge the names of creatures and settings and spells.
As far as not remembering, just make it up. You're writing it in character, and your boi sounds like an unreliable narrator anyway. More autobiographers just make some shit up to fill in the gaps than people like to admit, I'm sure.

Does anyone else know other authors who've based works on campaigns, and how they approached it?
>Does anyone else know other authors who've based works on campaigns, and how they approached it?

I think Record of Lodoss War was based on the authors' homebrew campaign. I also know that the original three Dragonlance novels were written in close conjunction with the 15 or so Dragonlance adventures written by TSR at the time.

Here's something to watch for when doing "campaign novels". Campaigns don't always make narrative sense. Because the characters don't have plot armor, any of them could die well before their character arcs are completed, and not in some logical, satisfying way like Ned Stark at the end of Game of Thrones (book). The PCs might just get nailed by random goblins or monsters during some random fight. Also, character decisions might not make sense without the meta-context, sometimes. In OP's own campaign, PCs came and went due to a big revolving door situation with actual players. In one of my own campaigns where I'm a PC, we're experiencing a similar situation, with people having to leave for various life issues (one girl is on hiatus because she just got married, I've been off the grid for months due to work overload, etc). Hell, even one person missing a single session might have to be explained as "your PC is lost in the woods" or something for that session.

The point I'm trying to make is that if you do a "campaign story", don't feel the need to strictly adhere to how events played out in the game itself because campaigns can deviate from good storytelling for a number of reasons. Take authorial liberties to make the story make more sense. Maybe that promising PC who was killed by random goblins actually survives all the way to the end of the story, or dies at a point that makes more narrative sense for their character arc. Maybe you don't have a revolving door of 30+ main characters come and go throughout the story and the same 4 man band is at the center of the action.

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