Martyrs of Mahtar

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Ben
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Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Ben » Fri Aug 12, 2011 4:36 pm

Far to the east of Ingolé, the ruined city of Mahtar stands covered in Glooms. It seethes with blackness, an undulating, writhing mass of the creatures…they seem…angry.

This anger seems directed towards the very centre of the city where the Haran’s Keep stands and here the Glooms seem more active than ever, swirling around the base of the Sentinel Tower, the tallest building on Velmaneth.

Built by Harwood, first Haran of the Larkant, the tower was designed as a watchtower to allow the inhabitants of this once great city to see for miles in all directions and at the very top, several lanterns burned.

A dozen men stood solemnly in front of a tall, pale man in leather armour and chainmail. He looks haggard as if he hasn’t slept in some days. Behind him, a sword stands within an alcove, in front of it sits a bowl containing the dried remnants of quite a lot of blood.


“Haran…” one of the men begins.

“General. We’re all fighting men here.” Comes the reply from the man in front of them.

“General. What are your orders?”

Uthred sighs. “Stand easy.” The men relax almost imperceptibly, their hands never going far from their belts. “We have to hold out here for now. We demolished a large part of the stairway half way down the tower, the Glooms can’t get anywhere near us and if they can’t get near us, they can’t harm us. We have food and supplies for about three months, we’ll just have to wait it out.”

“But General,” it was one of the younger men, still a gleam in his eye for battle, “we have rift, we can take the fight to them.”

Uthred shook his head “Not this time. There’s just too many of them, get close enough to strike one and you’re close enough for twenty to draw your soul from your body. No one can survive that, not even me.” A ripple of amusement goes round the men before he continues. “You all did well, we formed a distraction so that others could head west towards the Telerfret and south to Fort Drake. Hopefully they got through and are now safe.”

There’s a cough from one of the men, an older man, tall and heavily built “And what, general, do we do in three months time?”

Uthred smiles “if no better option has presented itself then we each grab a rope, jump off the tower and go out the way we came in: kicking and screaming.”
In days gone by, there would have been a cheer for a line like that, this time though it was greeted with grunts and nods from faces solid with determination.
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

Tome of Magic 6.0

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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Ben » Fri Aug 12, 2011 6:09 pm

On the top of the tower, the tall, heavily built man looks out over the city before heading inside. He returns after a few minutes, dragging a large wooden door recently liberated from somewhere inside. Wordlessly he strains, pulling the object up to the parapet before putting it down while he catches his breath. As he does so, Uthred enters through the doorway and takes in the scene.

"Just...why?"
Drake smiles "Give me a hand and you'll see."
Uthred helps the other man lift the ancient wood onto the ramparts, "You're going to drop a door on them?"
"Well, yes and no. Hold it steady."

Uthred's muscles strain as he takes the weight of the door, trying not to drop it and Drake mutters under his breath for a few moments, finishing with the words "True Alchemy". As he finishes, the wood of the door takes on a metallic tinge and becomes noticably heavier. Uthred's eyes widen and, unable to hold it any longer, the door drops from his grip. As it begins to topple, Drake stretches out, just managing to touch the door and say the word "Shatter". Suddenly, no longer is a metal door falling towards the ground, instead several thousand tiny pieces of metal are falling, spreading out in a greater and greater circle.

Several hundred feet below, the rain of jagged rift edge cuts through two dozen glooms, destroying them instantly and leaving a small area of grey in the blackness that the other glooms refuse to enter.

Uthred doesn't take his gaze away from the scene below for several long seconds before turning back to Drake "How many times a day can you do that?"
"If I sleep for six hours, cast it forty times, meditate for five hours, cast it 20 times and repeat...about 120 times a day. We may run out of doors though."
Uthred looks back over the parapet where the thousands of pieces of rift edge are reforming once more into a wooden door, "if we tie ropes onto that one, couldn't we just keep dropping the same one?"
Drake looks back over the side where the door is no longer visible as the Glooms have already filled the gap briefly created, "It would certainly give the men something to do..."
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:20 pm

Supplies were running low, everyone knew it. Even with careful rationing there wasn't enough food and fresh water left for more than a month. Surprisingly, morale remained surprisingly high; it was as if the men had already accepted death and saw these few months as a respite before their inevitable progression to the Hope Wastes. They continued about their daily duties, maintaining weapons and armour, keeping the tower spotless, guarding entries and keeping watch. They were pointless activities really but they were fighting men and they would die as they lived, with military discipline.

One evening as Bourne and Chard sat on the parapet taking their turn on watch, they spotted movement to the south-east. They watched for a few minutes until they had some idea of what their eyes were seeing through the low light of dusk and the inky blackness of glooms. The men looked at each other before the younger man jumped to his feet and ran down the spiral staircase to the general's office. Stopping at the door, the man took a deep breath before knocking and entering.

Uthred stood up from behind his desk and the men exchanged salutes but Uthred could see the worried expression on the man's face. "Problem Bourne?"

The young man nodded "Sir. Zombies to the south east. Thousands of them."
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Sproglet » Sat Jun 09, 2012 7:49 pm

Months later, looking tired and drained uthred paces around the parapet... Alot of his men were weak now. Drained from keeping a constant visual and a lack of food. Worse than that they were nearly out of fresh water. The well at the centre of the tower, running several hundred yards up the vertical shaft was starting to dry up.

There is a look of desperation in his eye... He had long ago given up on surviving this personally but his men deserved to live... On top of the glooms there was now this zombi horde milling around outside, the creatures barely even acknowledging each others presence. He had come up with several plans for escape and at best they all ended with a everyone dead a few hundred yards from the tower.

Uthred sighs heavily and begins to think about friends he has lost along the years, littleman, killed by that infuriating moron malfurion, Aquila, dead, back, dead again, back again.. To be fair for all uthred knows Aquila may be alive again and king of the world by now. Moss, the healer, he had been missing for years by now. Traveller... Good man but let's be honest one less telefret isn't necessarily a bad thing...

And then there was Drake, he gve his life for the tribes, Uthred was there when he did it and he mourned for a long time, but now he was back and Uthred had never been sure how he felt about people returning from the grave, it just doesn't seem right somehow. But in the end he had his friend back and that was all that really mattered.

But worse than all of this was being out of the loop, Uthred had no idea who had survived outside the tower. Inglebert, Dellam, Mutley, Bubbles, Quayle... So many friends an no word at all. He needed to get out, something had to be done about the current situation and Uthred felt it was time for him to get off the sidelines and get busy.

Which brought him back to his original point, how to get out......

General Uthred
"You have my mace" "And my hammer" "And my magic"...
"And my pillaging shovel, and my bear arms, and my fork of truth"......
"But not my kidney hat, it's made of real kidneys"

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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 09, 2012 8:15 pm

**Drake's corpse appeared in front of Uthred. It was no longer a shock, this was the fourth or fifth time it had happened. After a few seconds the contingency of Resuscitation was invoked and suddenly the man would take a deep intake of breath before getting to his feet unsteadily. Teleporting through Glooms seemed to be somewhere between extremely dangerous and fatal as the teleporters soul was ripped from their body, sometimes people were lucky...sometimes not.

It took the Jehovern several days to recover and although he had done it a few times to bring back food, water and information in the early days, he had stopped doing it until a few weeks ago. They hadn't talked about it, there was a silent understanding that it was beginning to affect the Celebrant and unless they were on the verge of death, they wouldn't ask him to do it again. But he had left to learn how to teleport more than one person at a time, it was worth him going because if he succeeded he would be able to get them all out of here...of course, he would have to Resuscitate all of them upon arrival.

As expected, Drake took a deep breath, his eyelids opened heavily and he pulled himself to his feet before speaking in a hoarse voice.**

"I think we're ready."

Drake
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Sproglet » Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:02 pm

Uthred pours Drake a brandy from what is left of his collection.

'You know, this isn't one of our better ideas. I men we have come up with some truly crazy plans before but this takes the biscuit.'

Uthred then helps him to a chair. Looking tired but concerned for his friend, Uthred fetches him a blanket.

'Are you sure about this Drake, you can get us all to Ingolé? It's a long way and you seem pushed already. We could try a sally from the tower, lesson the distance a bit?'

Uthred seems sceptical at the idea but feels he has to try and lesson the burden on Drake in any way he can.

General Uthred
"You have my mace" "And my hammer" "And my magic"...
"And my pillaging shovel, and my bear arms, and my fork of truth"......
"But not my kidney hat, it's made of real kidneys"

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Ben
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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:07 pm

**Gulps down the drink and grimaces before unrolling a map**

Image

"It's only 30 miles as the crow flies and even if we could fight our way out, I don't think a couple of miles would make much difference. Besides, we can't stay here...the good alcohol is all gone from the taste of this stuff. Is it cooking brandy?"

**He smiles briefly before looking serious again**

"I've located Dellam in Ingolé, he's got a base where he's training a specialist force. I'll have a contingency of resuscitate on myself, I'll put one on you as well but I can't put one on each of the men so in case I don't make it I've set up a contingent glyph with enough charges to resuscitate every one of them just in case I don't make it. The glyph is an X, 20 feet across, that's what we'll teleport onto."

**He smiles again**

"What could possibly go wrong?"

Drake
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Sproglet » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:17 pm

Uthred smiles a tired old bitter smile....

'well compared to the apocalypse probably nothing too bad.'

Something then seems to finally register with Uthred..

'Dellams alive?! That is the best news I have had in a long time. Ok Drake, your the export here, when do we do this?'

General Uthred
"You have my mace" "And my hammer" "And my magic"...
"And my pillaging shovel, and my bear arms, and my fork of truth"......
"But not my kidney hat, it's made of real kidneys"

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Ben
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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:22 pm

"We all come back...it's not that we don't trust you on your own, we just feel we should keep an eye.

This has to be done before sunrise otherwise the glyph will fade, so if you want to rally the men as soon as possible, I'll prepare the magic."

Drake
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Sproglet » Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:52 pm

Uthred laughs as he stands, the first genuine joy in his voice or a long time.

'very well, I will assemble the men.'

30 minutes later Uthred strides onto the battlements, wearing his full war gear followed by the surviving 17 members of his elite household guard.

'Uthred smiles at Drake, we're ready when you are... '

General Uthred
"You have my mace" "And my hammer" "And my magic"...
"And my pillaging shovel, and my bear arms, and my fork of truth"......
"But not my kidney hat, it's made of real kidneys"

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Ben
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Re: Martyrs of Mahtar

Postby Ben » Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:48 pm

**Drake lays his hands on his own chest and begins to chant**

"I call upon the power of metamagic to flow through me, to hold a spell for future use. May the power of the jewel surround me, cradling this spell to be cast upon my death, Contingency. I call upon the power of Life magic to flow from me into this layer of metamagic. May it summon the soul back from the Hope Wastes and rejoin it with the body, allow the heart to beat, the lungs to breathe and life be restored, Resuscitate."

**He then moves over to Uthred and lays his hands on his chest**

"I call upon the power of metamagic once more. Flow through me into Uthred and hold a spell for future use. May the power of the jewel surround him and cradle another spell to be cast upon his death, Contingency Other. I call upon the power of Life magic to flow from me into this layer of metamagic around Uthred. May it summon his soul back from the Hope Wastes and rejoin it with his body, allow his heart to beat, his lungs to breathe and life be restored, Resuscitate."

**He turns around and addresses the men**

"We're going to teleport out of here. The reason we haven't done this is before is that teleporting through Glooms is dangerous...it could even be fatal. However, I can bring people back using a spell I developed years ago. I've cast on Uthred and myself but I'm sorry it's not possible to cast it on more than that in advance. However, I have set a glyph on the spot we're teleporting to which will cast it on you all immediately. Hopefully I will be alive to cast it if anything doesn't go to plan. I understand if anyone doesn't want to risk this and if anyone wants to stay here then we'll be sure to send supplies back."

**He grabs Uthred's Rift Edge sword from the alcove and shatters the cup holding the blood sacrifice, breaking the ritual that granted everyone's weapons the power of rift then hands the sword to the general**

"Everyone who wants to come, make contact with me. May the power of metamagic, the purest essence of the jewel flow through me and create a bond with each of these people. May the power flow through us and take us forth from here to Ingolé, may we be transported to the glyph I drew earlier. Metamagic find that X which marks the spot and take us there. Mass Teleport."

**There is a rush of magic and Drake, Uthred and the men disappear to arrive here**

Drake
"And unconscious people always count as willing"

Tome of Magic 6.0


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