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Thread: Lost Loot of Lornius

  1. #11
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
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    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    The dwarf stood motionless, still gazing down at his palms as he had throughout Judicis' explanation and my question. He suddenly glanced around with surprising urgency, scurrying about the small study as though looking for something. “A mirror. Do ye have a mirror?” I frowned at the desperation in his tone, realizing the poor fellow hadn’t seen his own visage in ages. If he had, it’d been warped and deformed. Judicis conjured a full-length mirror and left it suspended in the air just an arm’s length from the man. We watched as the dwarf’s eyebrows rose in a mix of anguish and relief. Tears began to stream down his face, quickly lost in his fiery beard. His rough hands cautiously reached for his face, feeling the unfamiliar that had become so lost. He must have felt like he’d come face to face with a long dead memory.

    Judicis and I sat patiently, letting the man take a moment to process whatever he’d been going through. After all, we had forced upon him neither an experience that he had not asked for, nor could have been ready for in any capacity. Quiet minutes passed, the two of us sipping tea while the dwarf continued staring into the mirror. Finally he moved away from his reflection, somber steps guiding him to the remaining armchair. He sat down, his feet too short to reach the ground, and I offered him a cup of tea, still hot by the grace of Judicis’ realm. He nodded, adding a polite smile before sitting back and taking a sip.

    “I don’t know who ye are, or where I am. Maybe I’m dead. No matter. If ye want to hear me story, I’ll tell ya what I remember o’ that day, so very long ago.” He paused, his gaze lifted to the darkness above. For the first time, in as long as I’ve had Judicis, I witnessed that darkness change. Like a massive projection of the dwarf’s memory, the narration took form like a moving picture on display. “The war raged on. More’n two centuries and Raiaera and Corone still fought o’er the isles. But our work continued. This workshop had become a haven for some o’ the best mechanics and engineers we’d seen in ages.

    “We’d designed and built loadin’ systems for cannons used on ships, mechanical clocks for citizens all over, sewin’ machines for our tradesfolk. Our work had been revolutionizin’ life for not just dwarves, but could change life for all Althanas. And it all happened here, tucked under an isle o’ Lornius. And we’d been workin’ on somethin’ amazin’! Somethin’ that could change it all!

    “That is . . . before the accident.” His tone changed as he spoke, and the images above shifted abruptly from hopeful and proud to tragic and dark. “It all happened so fast, and I still couldn’t tell ya’ what it was that went wrong. We had e’ry safety in place we could. We all knew the work came first, and took it seriously I tell ya! But somehow, the generator blew.” A flash above showed the brief moment when the dwarf had been struck by an orange and black wave of magic, rushing through him with incredible speed. “Soon as I felt that wave, it all changed. I felt like my insides had been burnt and crushed. I felt dizzy and sick, falling to the ground. My body shook, and I nearly choked to death on me own retchin’. Then I blacked out.” As though right on cue, the images vanished, and we turned to face one another.

    “I couldn’t tell ya’ how long I was out. When I woke, e’rythin’ was dark. My body . . .” he paused, looking down at his hands again. “My body looked like it did when ya found me.”

    “So you don’t know what caused the explosion, or the strange effects on your body?” I prompted.

    “Nay,” he shook his head. “When I woke and started to move around, e’ryone was dead. Their bodies had been cooked up, turned black like mine, but worse. Not sure why I lived, tell ya the truth.” His gaze fell again, a brief pause before adding, “I wish I hadn’t. Shoulda died with me kin.” My brow furrowed, empathizing with the man’s feeling. I had felt similarly many times throughout my life, and knew the thought to be a heavy one.

    “I’m sorry for your losses. And please, forgive me, I just realized we didn’t actually introduce ourselves,” I said apologetically. “My name is Artemis Eburi, and this is the sentient being known as Judicis.” I offered my hand to the man in greeting, which he grasped firmly in a rough hand.

    “Oi,” he added suspiciously as he rotated my hand, “How’d ye get me ring?”
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-24-17 at 07:21 PM.

  2. #12
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
    10
    GP
    16,708
    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    His question struck me like an ogre’s maul. I could feel my heart drop down into the pit of my stomach, and the sudden implication of his question left me reeling. My mouth fell open as I looked at him more closely and saw the familiarity in his face. The burnt orange hair of the Norlond brothers, from ages long gone, sat across from me. My grip fell weak as my eyes shifted to the ring I wore.

    “It was a gift,” I said softly, barely able to make a sound.

    “How exactly do you know it to be yours?” Judicis prompted, sensing my distress. “Is that not the mark of your clan? Wouldn’t there be others?”

    “Aye, the symbol atop it marks me clan, but we all made small changes as we saw fit for our families. Ye see the design etched on either side o’ the hammer and anvil of me clan?” He released my grip, pointing to the design on the ring. I had never thought much of it. On either side of the clan’s mark, a tankard with an eye in the center had been delicately and intricately engraved. “The Perceptive Tankard is the mark o’ me family, whereas the hammer and anvil marks me clan. I did the work meself and added a teeny gem for the iris o’ each eye, in honor o’ me two boys – a sapphire and an emerald.”

    I closed my eyes as my memory drifted back to all the moments I’d spent with Bazzak and Nalin. Bazzak’s blue eyes and Nalin’s green eyes always watched critically as I apprenticed under them. My body tensed at the notion that I now sat in front of a man they long thought dead.

    “Their names,” I said softly, barely above the whisper.

    “What was that?” the dwarf replied.

    “What were their names?”

    “Me boys? Ah, Bazzak and Nalin,” he said with a proud smile. I hunched over in my seat, hands holding up my head as the overwhelming truth had finally been spoken plainly. Silent seconds passed as now I processed the moment. Thankfully I had Judicis to step in for me.

    “They are friends of Artemis’. He works for them up in Salvar, in Knife’s Edge. They apprenticed him years ago and gifted him this ring to assist in his work. Eventually, he absorbed the magic of the ring due to . . . an interesting turn of events to say the least. Now he wears it more as a memento.” Judicis took a sip of his tea before running his fingers over his goatee. “You must be their father – one long thought dead.”

    Everything went quiet for me in that moment, like a wave had crashed over me and dragged me under its current. Thoughts raced through my mind. The memory of my own struggles with my father bubbled up, and the mistake I’d made with my assumptions; how wrong I had been. I imagined how I’d react if I’d known he’d died before I’d reconciled my error. Would I have held any regrets? Would I have died hating him, however unjustified my anger? Would it have mattered?

    Now this dwarf sat before me, and if he’d responded or not to Judicis, I would not have heard in that moment. The father of my friends, lost to them since they were my age – which is quite young for a dwarf – was still alive. Yet his existence seemed distant from being truly living, and the likelihood of healing him seemed too far gone. Would they want to know their father lived, tormented all this time, while they lived on assuming him dead? Would they be better off believing him dead and not reopening old wounds? It was just too much to process, and a decision far beyond what I should make alone.

    As I regained my bearings, I looked up and saw tears in the dwarf’s eyes once more. He looked at me as though I could be his hope – his legacy. I could only frown, feeling like there was nothing I could do for this man. I felt like I had already let him down, and so many others, as a wave of despair crashed over me once more. The strings of fate and destiny wove an unbelievable fabric of reality; always full of surprises. Past and present sat across from one another, bridged by my presence.

    He reached over and placed a hand on my knee. “I’m sorry to ask this of ye, but when ye see them . . . can ye tell them how much I love them?”

    My vision blurred as my eyes filled with tears. I swallowed hard and looked at him, realizing how powerless I was yet again, and gave a single nod.
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-21-17 at 05:31 PM.

  3. #13
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
    10
    GP
    16,708
    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    “You still haven’t given us your name,” Judicis added playfully, breaking the tension.

    “Dalbur!” the dwarf replied happily, sniffling as he wiped the wetness from his eyes, “but the boys just called me Dal for short.”

    “Well Dalbur, you have two fine sons carrying on your name.” Judicis lifted his teacup in a toast with a warm smile.

    “Can ye tell me about em? Me boys?”

    “What would you like to know?”

    A look of peace settled on the dwarf’s face, whereas an overwhelming wave of fury and helplessness struck me once more. The voices of Judicis and Dalbur began to muffle, turning into white noise. The expedition had kept my mind mostly distracted from all the turmoil I’d been sifting through for weeks and months; even with the fleeting musings that sprinkled my thoughts, I’d mostly felt at ease. Now it all came back, as though breaking down the dam that had held it all at bay. I knew, in my core, that I couldn’t help the father of my friends any more than I could help the others I’d lost.

    I buried my face in my hands as they shook with emotion. I knew that my anger served as a crutch for all the pain and sadness I refused to allow myself to feel. Yet this dwarf reminded me again of my small existence. He too was a victim, stolen from this world, from my friends, by someone else's whim - someone else's conflict.

    First the loss of my mother, then defending a small town from a war on their doorstep as bodies fell one after another. The first woman I’d ever felt strongly for died in my arms that day, and I couldn’t save her, or so many others. Then a vengeful gunslinger left me fleeing for my safety only to end up on the island of Se’Lutia, engulfed by yet more loss as war waged for months, and now another war loomed.

    'More death. More tragedy. More blood. It never ends.

    Is it worth even trying to intervene? What can one man even do?

    Even if I get strong enough . . . even with the adamantite to help make a blade that can cut through anything, including the machines being built by Alerar, will it ever matter? Winning the battle won’t stop the war.

    Maybe I can find a way to protect those who cannot protect themselves. Somehow. Maybe not all of them, but some. To help those who simply want to live. To create that haven I dream of.'


    “Ye alright, lad?” Dalbur asked, a clear look of concern upon his face as he finally noticed my posture. Judicis on the other hand simply looked over, knowing full well my thoughts and leaving me to process on my own.

    “I’m fine. I’m sorry Dalbur, but I can’t stay here much longer. I’m here looking for something, and I need your help. Please.”

    “Aye.” the dwarf nodded slowly. “Judicis was just tellin’ me of your mission here. He mentioned schematics and plans and such. All that’s in the archive.”

    “I expected that, but the way seemed blocked. Do you know of another way?”

    The dwarf shifted in his seat, setting down the teacup he’d been holding in his lap after emptying the strong black tea. “Aye, but I don’t go that way. A large beast lives there, blind and angry and very territorial. If ya really need to, I’ll show ye the way, but ye need to be ready to fight, or be ready to die.”

    “Show me the way. Let’s get what we need and leave. Maybe we can even find a way to cure you of this mess after we get out of here.”

    Dalbur nodded, determination written all over his face. “Aye.” As the word left his lips, Judicis’ world dematerialized and the deformed dwarf and I stood once more in the long lost workshop beneath Lornius.
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-24-17 at 07:25 PM.

  4. #14
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
    10
    GP
    16,708
    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    Once back in the pipe-filled room, the probable epicenter of this tragic event, I stood face to face with Dalbur in his corrupt form. His visage, and the cold dampness of the air, pulled me back to reality. The comfort and sanctuary of Judicis’ realm immediately became distant, like a dream, and the soothing smell of tea and the warmth of campfire were replaced by death and decay.

    Whatever fragment of Dalbur’s mind remained, it seemed enough for the time being to hopefully accomplish my goal and leave this tainted place. He turned around and started for the steps back up. I paused briefly to grab an orange shard of magicyte from the ground, slightly bigger than an egg, and slipped it away into a pocket. If nothing else, I could probably bring it back for further research by Daros. Maybe he could shed more light on the events that happened here. I followed Dalbur up.

    We returned to the fork in the path and he led me in the direction I’d yet to explore. He slowed his steps and moved more quietly; the subtle reminder of the danger lurking had not been lost on me. And given the state of the stonework as we progressed, I could understand why.

    The walls were cracked to the point where large blocks of stone had fallen from them and the ceiling, blocking most of the way. Thankfully, there remained enough room to maneuver further in. At the end of the hall we came into what looked to be a storage room that had been cleared out. Empty shelves, most broken, lined much of the wall. More cracks in the ceiling and walls left me wondering about the stability of the place. That thought only became more pronounced at the fact that the wall to my right, leading to the archives, had a hole in it big enough to fit a forge or two. More than twice my height, even John Cromwell and his near eight-foot-tall frame would have no trouble plodding down this tunnel, and with room to spare at that.

    Dalbur stopped, turning to face me, and pointed down the tunnel. I didn’t need more than that to know my role. “Wait here. I’ll come back for you after I find the plans. The beast won’t even know I passed.” The dwarf plopped down on his rump in reply, his short legs kicking out from under him in one swift motion.

    I gave him one final nod before turning toward the opening, and climbed the crumbled stone and dirt that had spilled out onto the room’s floor. The little light from the storage room soon fell away as I crept along the darkness. I shifted my vision to darkvision, turning all I saw into shades of indigo while giving me a crisp view of the pathway as it wound and turned. My boots pressed into the soft dirt, leaving footprints behind as I moved in slow silence. The uneven stone and soil of the walls was covered in scratches and scrapes. Given the size I imagined the beast that made these markings had to be quite large. Nearly thirty meters in and the path split in various directions, with one showing a single massive and deep scratch into the stone.

    ’The archive is likely more to the right, given where we are.’ I could sense Judicis’ agreement at the thought, but he did not add more; even he felt silence might be the best option.

    A rumble began to echo down the tunnel with the scratch, getting louder as though approaching. I didn’t bother to wait, and began to move down the right path as quickly as I could while remaining quiet. Hopefully I could get to the archive and back without issue.
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-24-17 at 07:36 PM.

  5. #15
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
    10
    GP
    16,708
    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    Despite my urgent pace the rumbling approached quickly, and was closing the distance. The creature must have sensed my presence, racing after me. Thankfully the path I’d chosen took me to where I’d hoped, opening up into yet another stone room lit with blue-white light, also filled with dozens of shelves like a library. I switched back to the visible spectrum, immediately noticing how the light bounced off countless tubes of mithril, many of which had fallen to the ground.

    “How the hell am I going to find these blueprints?” I mumbled in frustration. I raced to a shelf and started looking at the containers, hoping to see some sort of markings or denotations. However, everything had been written in the same old Dwarvish script that I couldn’t read or recognize. My heart pumped with anxiety as the rumbling continued to grow, like a bomb ready to detonate at any moment.

    ’Artemis, keep searching! I have Dalbur’s memories. I know what we’re looking for. I’ll tell you when I see it, but you have to look at as many of them as you can!’

    I noticed small images were drawn on the tubes as well, on their caps, with notes beneath them. Thankful, I started to quickly glance at each one, realizing full well that I had no clue what an engine even was, or what it might look like, but trusting Judicis.

    “Damn it!” I yelled, as I rushed from shelf to shelf and scanned my eyes across all the lids. Precious seconds ticked away. The room rang with the approaching thunder of the beast. The mithril tubes jingled up against one another as the very ground vibrated. Shelf after shelf and I’d heard nothing from Judicis. Just half way through my search, I turned another corner and looked down the enormous hole only to see what looked like a massive boulder barreling down the tunnel.

    “Shit!” I yelled, lifting my arm and summoning Judicis into his form as a bow of raw energy. I drew back on the string of magic, conjuring a clear and colorless mist, and letting arrow after arrow fly. As they soared through the air toward the boulder, the mist solidified into crystal arrows as hard as prevalida; they struck their mark, but bounced away as if they were wooden branches I’d thrown in its path. It burst through the portal and into the room, knocking down shelves and scattering tubes. Miraculously, many of the vessels maintained their shape, likely in large part due to the metal itself, and maybe some magic as well.

    As it rolled onward and struck the opposing wall with a loud crash, the boulder unfurled into a monstrous and repulsive beast the likes of which I’d never seen before. On hind legs and hunched over, with stone armor covering its back, it moved much like an ape with its front appendages providing support for its bulk. Those front arms boasted plating of rock that turned its hands into two long scythes, and were likely responsible for that large scratch I’d seen in the tunnel.

    I saw no eyes, but rather a mouth and an enormous snout sniffing the air. Lengths of filthy and repulsive hair reached down from its torso, dragging along the ground and blacker than coal. The monster shook off its collision, whipping a heavy tail around before turning toward me with hunger. It tucked itself back into a ball, and prepared to roll toward me.

    Somehow, it knew where I stood.
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-21-17 at 06:12 PM.

  6. #16
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
    10
    GP
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    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    The monstrosity barreled toward me, forcing me to dive to the side and narrowly avoid its enormous bulk. It looked like it weighed more than an Eiskalt whale, and would crush me beneath its weight with little trouble. I landed in a tumble, scattering tubes of schematics as I moved. In desperation, I activated my magical cloaking that made me near impossible to see. Though I hadn’t seen any eyes, perhaps it still used sight.

    I hurried across the room, also utilizing a sphere of silence to engulf me and anything I touched. No sound would come from near me, making me even harder to detect. I hadn’t seen any ears, but perhaps it still used sound.

    Hidden, my eyes scanned the room as quickly as I could, staying focused on the task at hand and counting on Judicis to call out when I saw the correct tube. However, in the seconds I had to search while the beast recovered, I heard the rumbling and banging as its body turned toward me; my precautions were pointless. I rushed away as it leapt forward, massive arms raking the air with fury and hunger. Its stone appendages slammed and crashed, breaking the room apart.

    “We don’t have time for this Judicis!” I yelled in my zone of silence. I dropped its power and the invisibility, considering it had little effect.

    I scurried away and turned toward the beast, wielding the bow of energy once more and drawing back a crimson arrow. A trio flew forth as they struck the beast with explosions that did little more than irritate the monster. It shrieked in fury, sending spittle flying as my ears rang. It lunged forward once more at me, raking a claw across and then slamming the other down where I’d been. Despite its bulk, the beast’s speed proved too much, forcing me to shadowstep past the monster and toward the wall.

    I found myself standing next to a large table that had been set against the wall, plans laid out as though they were in the midst of being used. Two dwarven skeletons lay crumbled and blackened at the edge of the table.

    ’That’s it!’ Judicis shouted into my thoughts. ’Those are the plans! They were unrolled and in use at the time of the accident!’

    I raced to grab the document before the monster rolled over and destroyed my only chance at completing my mission. I glanced back, the lumbering frame of the confused beast waddling as it rotated. I reached for the edges of the parchment, hurrying to release the clamps that held it in place.

    ’Damn it, there isn’t enough time!’ I scrambled, panic setting in. I could almost feel the claw of the beast about to rake my back and slice me in two. Then a roar echoed to my left as Dalbur rushed into the room. He held a pile of orange magicyte in one arm and threw a shard at a time with his other. It drew the beast’s attention, and explained what the beast used to track me.

    I didn’t waste any time, releasing the last of the clamps that held the scroll. I rolled it up as quickly and carefully as I could, and grabbed a tube that lay on the floor beside me. I popped open the lid, dumping its contents, and stuffed the engine schematics into the mithril casing before slamming the lid shut.

    “Run Dalbur!” I screamed, but too late. The beast rushed over to him, a massive claw striking him at the side full force and launching him across the room.

    “Dalbur!”

    The beast roared in fury, flailing wildly over the pile of orange magicyte, as though madness had overtaken the monstrosity.

    Without hesitation I shadowstepped over to his body, and with one hand holding the scroll, and the other holding him, I teleported the two of us out of this cursed place, and back to Knife’s Edge.
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-24-17 at 07:43 PM.

  7. #17
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
    10
    GP
    16,708
    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    We landed on the front lawn of Daros’ home, its thousands of grass blades shimmering with tiny magical emeralds that disintegrated when disturbed. I knelt among them, dropping the mithril tube to the ground and holding Dalbur with both hands. An enormous gash across his torso oozed black pus, and his entire body started to melt in my arms. He coughed black blood, and I sensed him fading quickly. He lifted a shaking hand and placed it on Judicis, his final act, as his eyes went blank and his body liquidated in my lap. A rancid miasma dispersed into the air, its wispy silver strands of vapor rising into the air; it looked as though his spirit were leaving his body for the heavens.

    Daros rushed out, storming through his front door wearing his trademark blue robe and slippers. “Artemis!” he shouted, fumbling his glasses back onto his face. I knew he had a field around his home, and the moment we entered he’d come running. He brushed messy chestnut hair out of his eyes and raced down the stairs. “Are you alright? Where did the person you came with go?”

    I sighed deeply, feeling Dalbur’s essence literally slipping through my fingers. The dark fluid seemed to lash out, alive in its final moments and refusing to die, before finally ending in a pool beneath me. Silent seconds passed as Daros awaited an answer, and I just had no desire to reply. I reached into my pocket, pulling out the orange magicyte and tossing it to the wizard. He clumsily caught the stone as it lit up, tugging on his magical energy.

    “Oh boy,” he said, juggling the shard like a hot potato. “You know this stuff is dangerous Artemis. Even from the blue fragment you brought me, this stuff can drain magic pretty easily.”

    “Do you have any way to get this black liquid into a container?” I asked, not looking up.

    “I . . . suppose so. Like a suction device? Sure, let me go get something.” The wizard shuffled back into his home, vanishing briefly and giving me a moment with my thoughts.

    ’Artemis, he left a message with me for Bazzak and Nalin.’

    “I expected as much,” I said softly, answering Judicis. “I just don’t know what to do with that.” I dropped my hands to my side, letting the events of the afternoon sink in. Do I tell my friends that their father had survived, suffering for nearly two centuries, only for me to find him and bring his body back in this state? If Daros could put these remains into a container, perhaps we could give him some kind of proper burial. I could bring them into Judicis’ realm and show them their father; pass on his final words, before he faded from the wound received while protecting me.

    “More death. More tragedy. More blood. It never ends.”

    I reached for the mithril tube and stood, glancing up at the evening sky as the sun began to dip over the horizon. The clouds glowed with the last signs of daylight, with golds and purples and pinks all intermingling into such beauty.

    “It never gets easier,” I said softly.

    “What doesn’t?” Daros asked, returning with some strange contraption in his hands.

    “Nothing,” I sighed. “Daros, can you put this dark fluid into a container and put it somewhere safe? I’ll explain later. And if you can, see if you can take a drop and find out what happened. Do some tests on the magicyte as well. Maybe there are traces of energy lingering in the stone. I’ll check in later this evening. I just need some time alone for a bit.”

    The wizard nodded, brushing hair from eyes once more, and crouched down with his device. I turned and walked away as the machine whirred into life, trusting Daros to take care with his tasks. I pulled out a small trinket Antiope had given me, to let her know when I’d completed the task, and activated the beacon. Perhaps Daros would have answers for me before my meeting with her that night.
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-24-17 at 07:51 PM.

  8. #18
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
    10
    GP
    16,708
    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    I sat alone at The Bearded Gnome, the inn that I called home. I had sent a message out to Antiope to meet me here, and I knew she had the resources to arrive – especially given the importance of what awaited her. I sat at a table, with the fire still burning in the fireplace. The dimly lit room still smelled of roast potatoes from the evening’s meal. Harki, for once, couldn’t be found behind the bar. Those who had rented a room here were long asleep as the clock soon approached three in the morning. Moonlight spilled through the windows on this clear night, giving the large room an eerie glow.

    I sipped at a hot cup of tea, staring down into the golden brown liquid and processing everything that had transpired. Daros had made some preliminary findings and shared them with me before I’d come to the inn. He found traces of necrotic magic within the orange magicyte, as well as in the liquefied remains of Dalbur. It seemed like someone had sabotaged the reactor, overloading the crystal and causing an explosive wave of corrupted magical energy. He even hypothesized that the ensuing liquefaction of the dwarf would have happened with or without his wound; the proximity to the source of necrotic energy likely served as an energy source of sorts, keeping him intact.

    Knowing Daros' enthusiasm, the man wouldn’t sleep this night. All the better for me, as I could use a diversion once everything wrapped up with the trading guild. Perhaps he'd find out more about the magicyte, maybe develop a way for me to use its power.

    The mithril tube lay on the table in front of me, set between myself and where Antiope would soon be. Its bright white metal, glinting with the gold flames of the fireplace, shone against the earthy browns of the tavern. A dozen thick tables of walnut decorated the space, set upon floorboards and walls of old oak.

    Just then, the door to the inn cracked open and Antiope walked in, quietly closing and locking it behind her as she came in. “Artemis. It’s good to see you.” She approached with soft steps – surprisingly so given her enormous frame. Her eyes immediately went to the mithril tube on the table. She came over and sat down on the bench, which I’d set for her expecting that a stool would shatter beneath her bulk. “I take it you found the plans.”

    I gestured to the tube as I stood and walked over to the bar where I’d been keeping a cup of coffee hot for her. I brought the mug over to her and set it down, appreciating the hazelnut smell before returning to my seat.

    “Thank you,” she added politely, reaching for the cup and blowing on the hot liquid. “So, how did everything go?”

    Such a simple question, and one I had been mulling over for hours for my own sake; despite that, I still had no easy answer for her. “Are those the plans you sought?” I asked, lifting the porcelain cup of tea to my lips and taking a sip.

    Quietly, she set down her coffee and reached for the tube. She popped open the lid, pulled out the scroll, and unrolled it on the table. Her eyes flickered with excitement, reassuring me that at the very least I had accomplished my goal.

    “Yes they are,” she said with a deep inhale. She looked over at me, taking in my expression for a few moments before rolling the scroll back up and putting it into its mithril tube. She adjusted the adamantite bracelet she wore, my eyes staring at the metal that had been the driving force of this entire project. “Well, we made a deal. We’ll send the adamantite you need for your project to the Norlond Forge, along with the materials you’ll need to heat the forge properly to reshape the metal. As agreed.” She reached for the cup, sipping at the coffee for a few seconds before continuing. “Were you able to find any other plans? Perhaps we can . . . add more to the deal.”

    I shook my head at the woman. “Most of the plans are probably destroyed at this point, if not all of them. When I left, there were . . . complications. I doubt anything else can be recovered. And quite frankly, I’m not eager to go back and look. And before you ask, no, no one is going to get back into that workshop, I assure you.” I didn’t bother adding any more details. If she wanted to try, she could, and would fail. My part of the job had ended.

    Antiope nodded slowly, continuing to sip at her drink quietly for a few moments before standing. She set down a single gold coin, marked with her guild’s symbol. The woman reached for the tube and began to walk over to the exit. I heard the click as she unlocked the door, pulling it open. “Artemis,” she said, drawing my attention away from my tea as I turned toward her. “Thank you. And we owe you. If you ever need anything . . .” she finished by pointing to the coin on the table, then turned and walked out.

    A few quiet minutes passed as I stared at the coin, wondering yet again why I bothered with all of this and whether it mattered. Alerar and Raiaera teetered on the brink of war, though most remained blissfully unaware. Soon, the hidden machinations of the powerful would lead to endless death. I couldn’t shake that truth, no matter how much distraction came into my life. Nor could I shake the overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t change a thing about it.

    Fate had a way of toying with mortals. My life was no exception. From what I’d encountered, despite my desire to live a peaceful and relaxing life, the Thaynes had other plans. While I’d rather work my forge and be with my loved ones, time and again my growing strength forced me to intervene. I had power, and as it continued to grow, so did the burden of responsibility I felt to use it for good. Maybe it was just chance that kept landing me in the path of tragedy. Though I felt that nothing I did mattered in the grand scheme, my heart compelled me to try.

    I had to try.

    Eventually, I walked over to the door and locked it. Once I finished my tea, I’d return to Daros. Perhaps he’d have more insight on what happened. For now, I still had half a cup of tea left to decide what to tell the Norlond brothers.
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-24-17 at 07:52 PM.
    2011 Althy Winner - Most Realistic Character
    2016 Althy Winner - Best Contributor & Player of the Year (tie)

    Artemis Eburi Wiki Page
    Current Character Profile

    Solo Quests:
    Hidden Beneath The Canopy (75)
    Lost Loot of Lornius (74)

  9. #19
    Hand of Virtue
    EXP: 87,149, Level: 12
    Level completed: 79%, EXP required for next level: 2,851
    Level completed: 79%,
    EXP required for next level: 2,851

    AP
    10
    GP
    16,708
    SirArtemis's Avatar

    Name
    Artemis Eburi
    Age
    28
    Race
    Human (+ Dovicarus)
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dark Brown and Gray
    Eye Color
    Piercing Blue
    Build
    5'8"
    Job
    Smith

    Out of Character:
    Spoil Requested:

    Adamantite Beam Blade

    Using the adamantite received from the trading guild, as per their agreement, Artemis has reforged the metal into a shortsword. The blade splits from the hilt into two parallel lines of metal before converging back together near the tip. In the hilt of the blade, the orange magicyte has been cut and set, though currently its effect is dormant. Due to its adamantite construction, the weapon is indestructible, with few exceptions. Its blade appears black, coated with a powder of red magicyte that gives the weapon a reddish twinkle in the right light. The red magicyte allows Artemis to channel his magic through the weapon with a boost to its power (details TBD in ROG). On the pommel of the blade, Artemis has added the symbol of the Norlond Family - the tankard with an eye in the enter. He set a bright blue Sapphire in the center of the eye, representing his own.


    Dormant Ability (due to magicyte not being fully released) - Currently, Daros has not developed an effective way to charge the orange magicyte. However, the wizard speculates that once successful, Artemis will be able to activate a powerful beam of energy that will channel through the red magicyte dusted on the blade. When active, the beam will be able to extend beyond the edge of the weapon's tip, likely two to three times its length, and will be able to cut through nearly anything. The duration of this ability and its recharge will be determined with further research. The damage it will do will not be magical, but pure energy, and thus will not be affected by magical mitigation.


    Please take into account the bazaar thread, the score of this thread, and any potential discounts for pricing the weapon. Then deduct the remaining cost from my gold, and convert AP if necessary. It should be sufficient. Please price in the dormant ability as best you can, though if need be, when magicyte is officially released I will pay more gold for the difference in a bazaar thread. Whatever works.





    Out of Character:
    A really big thank you to those who reviewed and provided feedback,
    most of all to Ebivoulya and Flames of Hyperion for providing such an in depth scrub of my work before submission.
    Last edited by SirArtemis; 04-24-17 at 06:44 PM.
    2011 Althy Winner - Most Realistic Character
    2016 Althy Winner - Best Contributor & Player of the Year (tie)

    Artemis Eburi Wiki Page
    Current Character Profile

    Solo Quests:
    Hidden Beneath The Canopy (75)
    Lost Loot of Lornius (74)

  10. #20
    Lyre-Bearer
    EXP: 57,929, Level: 10
    Level completed: 36%, EXP required for next level: 7,071
    Level completed: 36%,
    EXP required for next level: 7,071

    AP
    70
    GP
    6,755
    Philomel's Avatar

    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    28
    Race
    faun
    Gender
    female
    Hair Color
    violet (dyed)
    Eye Color
    grey
    Build
    6ft / 156kg
    Job
    Matriarch (Gilded Lily, Feminist Guild)

    View Profile
    Name of Thread: Lost Loot of Lornius
    Judgement Type: Full Rubric
    Participant: Sir Artemis

    Plot ~ 22/30

    Story ~ 8/10 –

    Overall the story here is compelling and has the sense of several classic plots to it including a mystery - with the idea of the corruption that came to the mines – and adventure – what your lone wanderer is getting up to. The story is balanced also with the commentary added by Bazzak, giving an alternative perspective to the scene. Often first person stories can fall into various traps of making the character near omnipresent for essential descriptive tasks, but you manage to keep this within check also. Some story and plot points do not quite make sense, such as when your character notches one arrow and three fly with little explanation (“drawing back a crimson arrow. A trio flew forth as they struck the beast” post 16, change from singular to plural). The ending, however, of the entire plot is exciting as thrilling as the plans are found in the middle of the attack, and bring it to a highlight before the final posts.

    Setting ~ 7/10 –
    Scenery is set simply, but well, with a good description of posts 1 to 3, and then later with the mine with a highlight in post 6. Finding the entrance on a seemingly abandoned island was clever, and added a deeper layer to the mystery element to your story. The opening of setting description was weaker, but as you developed the story it too became a central part of your plot, and thus it strengthened. Opening setting well is very important, and it is for this reason that points were deducted. But also setting was powerful when described later, with the fantastic changes for the spirit realm of Judicis’ comfy room that mirrored the mines well, and the fact it was set on Lornius gave a gritty, hardened feeling to it.

    Pacing ~ 7/10 –
    Pacing was excellent for this thread, with enough high and low moments of tension to grab the reader. From the mystery to the explanation, then the final dealing of the plot, it flowed well. There was perhaps an unexpected moment with the sudden attack of the creature in post 15 that could have been handled differently, rather than it appearing in the middle of a paragraph. Using new paragraphs and sudden punctuation can help in times of these. This being said, when the fight got into swing you used shorter clauses of action to power your attack and assist in pace, and you used the excitement of the ending well to complete your character’s mission of finding the plans.

    Character ~ 23/30

    Communication ~ 8/10 –

    In a way you were very clever here, with fitting in dialogue. For the large majority of the story your character is alone, so in this way communication could have been very lax. However, the small dialogue elements, such as the talking face in post 4 and 5, and the mental link with Bazzak from post 6 onwards, manage to balance the usual large chunky paragraphs of a description-based plot. The tone your character used was consistent also, and importantly was understandable for the word choice and flow for a man who knows about engineering and smithing (“Based on the water levels and tides, the algae growth levels, and my general intuition…” post 4). You even give Bazzak’s voice a distinctive ring (word choice of “da” and “ye”). Talking to himself added further delights to your character’s communication, and overall there is very little to complain about.

    Action ~ 7/10 –
    Action was used very subtly for the most part of the thread, with not many overarching ones, but rather small ones that helped with the plot. Simple things described well can really add to a story, and you have managed to do this brilliantly. Example here being post 7 with, “I reached out, turning some of the pages of the book and then flipping the cover to see if there was a title.” Further actions when in times of motion and more tense situation became more necessary and were distinctive. Though perhaps action was not used as prominently in the thread as communication and persona, it was done well.

    Persona ~ 9/10 –
    Overall your persona is brilliant in written form. Writing in first person gives the reader a very clear view of the character, and what actions they are doing. It gives insight into the deeper thoughts and thought processes of your character. The addition of personal thought (example, post 4, ‘This looks like a door, or a gate maybe. An underwater gate?’ I swam a bit deeper, looking for the glimmer I’d first seen.’) allows the reader to see into the character’s mind in a personal way. In post 4 also there is the question asked, ““Who am I to think I can do anything to change that?” which is self-reflective, wider understanding of the world, and thus gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of your character. In short, the persona in this thread is highly-skilled and crafted, and gives not only an insight into the mind, but also the moral compass and future wants of your character.

    Prose ~ 22/30

    Mechanics ~ 8/10 –

    There are little to no recognisable spelling mistakes, and this is excellent to see in a rushed read, then even a more thorough read of the thread. A strength of yours is being able to use clever punctuation, such as semi-colons (post 7) and hyphenisation (post 8) to strength your description and readability. Major paragaphs could be broken up for ease of read, but this is a minor point. Keep giving it a quick read through before you post and you have good threads here.

    Clarity~ 6/10 –
    There were a few times where the reader needed to go back and remember what had been said, such as in post 6 when the idea of “he” came into play as spoken by Bazzak. Just who “he” is, who owned the ring, is not explained well, as there is no circular mention of “him” by the narration or clear mention before. Plot-wise this makes sense, but with a first person narrator there should at least be some questioning. The introduction of Judicis also was surprising and for a reader who does not know your character well, unclear. Other than this, the general plot was clear to follow, and it is these small details that lead to some negative feedback. Imagining yourself as an ordinary outside reader can help to ensure you explain everything for the sake of clarity might be something to consider in future.


    Technique ~ 8/10 –

    This was one of your great highlights of the overall story with some excellent descriptions placed in. The judge here was very pleased to see some fantastic similie use in post 3 with, “The waves splashing against the shore sounded like the steady breathing of a sleeping giant”. The strength here only grew with very apt and atmospheric scene-setting in post 6, that is essential to the story, and an ease of tone when changing scenes. Overall there could have been perhaps more of the linguistic techniques used in the larger parts of descriptions, but this is a minor point to consider.

    Wildcard: 6/10

    A fantastic plot that was a mixture of man classical genres that flowed well and made a beautiful story. The inclusion of Bazzak, and then the finding of his father is important, as you did not just drop a random character (the father) in, but introduced him well through Bazzak. This clever use, as well as the mystery element, the adventuring element, the battle element and the line of family concern made for a compelling tale.

    Total ~ 74/100

    Rewards are based on the full rubric as requested. This post has also been posted as a workshop as requested.

    Rewards:
    Sir Artemis receives:
    3707 EXP
    0 GP

    2330 GP to be taken from Sir Artemis' account, as approved by him, for the spoil.
    A further 100 GP to be taken from Philomel's account for the spoil.

    Sir Artemis also receives the following spoil:
    An adamantine short sword with dormant ability as described below. The ability will remain dormant until the release of magicyte. The short sword already contains high-level enchantment costs for the retaining of this dormant ability.

    Description:

    "Using the adamantite received from the trading guild, as per their agreement, Artemis has reforged the metal into a shortsword. The blade splits from the hilt into two parallel lines of metal before converging back together near the tip. In the hilt of the blade, the orange magicyte has been cut and set, though currently its effect is dormant. Due to its adamantite construction, the weapon is indestructible, with few exceptions. Its blade appears black, coated with a powder of red magicyte that gives the weapon a reddish twinkle in the right light. The red magicyte allows Artemis to channel his magic through the weapon with a boost to its power (details TBD in ROG). On the pommel of the blade, Artemis has added the symbol of the Norlond Family - the tankard with an eye in the enter. He set a bright blue Sapphire in the center of the eye, representing his own.

    Dormant Ability (due to magicyte not being fully released) - Currently, Daros has not developed an effective way to charge the orange magicyte. However, the wizard speculates that once successful, Artemis will be able to activate a powerful beam of energy that will channel through the red magicyte dusted on the blade. When active, the beam will be able to extend beyond the edge of the weapon's tip, likely two to three times its length, and will be able to cut through nearly anything. The duration of this ability and its recharge will be determined with further research. The damage it will do will not be magical, but pure energy, and thus will not be affected by magical mitigation."
    Last edited by Philomel; 06-23-17 at 10:27 AM.
    "Tol. Mela. Othor." "Versh. Sai. Memnae." Come. Love. Conquer. - Philomel in Tolkein Sindarin, Faunish and Tradespeak

    Very grateful winner of 2015 Althies Awards: Friendliest Member, Mrs Althanas, Best IC Rivalry (with Doge), Best Judge and Most Helpful/Friendly Mod and Admin Award of Moderator of the Year.

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