Helt Requiem

Arrival in Sanctuary
Kaicoran Dawn, Asuratea Dawn

It was good to rest for a moment after defeating the large ogre. The sun felt warm on my skin and made me feel glad to have escaped the enclosed darkness of the mountain. Being in a forest that was alive felt like home again. Perhaps we would make this our new home?  You did always prefer the outdoors.

The black winged creature awoke after the white winged woman I think she said her name was Mythia healed the wound to his head. He seemed confused and did not speak. I asked what he called himself but he only stared back blankly in return. He must have been hit in the head very hard.

We introduced ourselves to the confused creature and he seemed to understand that we were giving him names to call us by and answered us that his name was Dastan. Sister seemed to look at him strangely. I DID NOT

Kane seemed bothered by something as he meditated and I reached for my bent knife instinctively. Sister recognized the presence as a small fairy and I relaxed a little; sadly, we had already scared it away.  It was just saying hello.

In the distance, we saw a gigantic figure moving through the forest with its head above the trees. It was a giant at least three times as large as Ohm moving away from us towards the city. Ohm said that it was leaving a quarry and wouldn't hurt anyone. The city we were just outside of was apparently Ohm and Snaff’s home. How strange to die and come back home like nothing had happened…  yeah.

Before leaving the clearing Kane and Asche found another Sivryan resting in the sun. This one though was unlike any I had seen in Sivrya before with a squirrel’s ears and tail.  Her tail was so fluffy and cute! She seemed nervous at Asche’s cat-like nature and after moment ran off toward the city.  Poor thing.  I would be worried too in a place like this.  I wonder if she has been through the same things we have.  Would we trust something that looked like a predator?  Like that Giant?

We all followed her to the city and were met by the large guard who asked us about a cart leaving the city with stolen things. He seemed unsurprised at our appearance and at our story of having died and traveling through the mountain.  I honestly don't think he was paying much attention.  He was kind of impatient, and who just accepts that kind of story!? After telling us the rules of entry to the city, which I may not have fully paid attention to, Pretty sure he said no stealing.  Pretty sure you heard that part and ignored it.  we entered and followed Ohm to his home since none of us had any money for the inns.

On the way to Ohm’s house we passed the library which had been destroyed by the moving of the earth. Ohm’s death must have been very painful.  A golden eyed man dressed in an amazing thick black coat stopped us and asked Ohm many questions; after which he gave us a curious coin made of glass which he said would provide for our needs in the city for a while. The man also told Ohm that his home had been taken after the destruction of the library and that he would also need to find another place to stay so Ohm came with us to go an inn that the squirrel had told us to stay at before she ran away.

On the way to the inn a creature of earth rose out of the ground and seemed to be angry with us. Ohm then spoke very strongly and the creature seemed to obey him. Very curious…

At the inn, we were received and given rooms thanks to the glass coin. We bathed and were clothed by the keepers on the inn and then we slept. The next morning, we gathered together to decide on a name for our group since the innkeeper said that it would be important somehow. We were told of another adventurer that stay at the inn who might be willing to help us so I went to find him and bring him back to the group. After looking in several rooms, I found another Sivryan cat sharpening a sword who appeared to be the most adventure like person I had seen so I brought him back to the group.

We spent some time trying to come up with a name but were unable to decide on anything. Ohm suggested that we were all determined and Sister thought that something to do with light would speak well of the group. Eventually we decided on The Determined or Light Determined, Aralondil, until we felt something else was more fitting so we could move downstairs to discover what our first task was to be.

The innkeeper told us that we would need to prove ourselves to discover the tasks and that we would also need money to buy equipment. It seems the people here do not like being very straightforward in what it is we are supposed to do.  I don't know.  She was awful casual.  It seems like she has several assumptions that I don't think fit.

We found a blacksmith that could make the things we would need and she gave us the price for the equipment; it would take us some time to gather together that much gold.

There were jobs posted outside of the inn where we had slept that paid various amounts of gold so our group decided to split up so we could perform several jobs in less time. I went with Asche, Dastan, the white winged woman whose name was Mythia, and Sister to investigate what was described as cursed bread at a bakery of a man named Pike.

When we reached the bakery it was on fire and surround by people trying to extinguish it. They seemed to be unconcerned about the possibility of people burning inside. Mythia saw that there was in fact something still alive inside of the flames so I thought it would be best to prevent it from burning as well. Burning is a very painful way to die.  I am not going to talk about how frustrating your risk-taking is.

Asche asked one of the elementalists to cover me in a suit of swirling water to protect me from the fire which she did so after some convincing. Mythia then dropped me into the building through a hole burnt through the roof and onto the second floor where I was just able to grab a girl before she fell into the hotter lower half of the enflamed house. Dastan tried to go too, but I …stopped him.  Before jumping out of the window with the girl I thought I saw a face in the flames writhing and full of rage and pain. I felt sad for the fire, it didn’t seem to know that it was burning this girl, but the water was growing thin around my skin and steamed off rapidly so I exited the burning home just in time to be caught by winged Mythia and be let safely to the ground with the girl.

I was greeting by Sister with a cool bucket of water which felt somewhat refreshing after the heat of the flames. We learned from the girl that her name was Malea and that her parents had been consumed by the fire before we were able to reach her. We accompanied her to the monastery and the monks there took her in. It seemed like she would be taken care of there.

After leaving Malea with the monks we returned to the inn and met with the rest of the group who had delivered a letter to a giant near the quarry. They had also met another golden-eyes that did not seem to be a part of the rest of golden eyed men that enforced the laws in the city. He met us at the inn and took us up to our room to talk in private but before we could talk another pair of gold-eyes knocked on the door and summoned us to meet the Patron of the city. They didn’t seem to notice the other gold-eyes with us in the room.  You are really confusing people.  What is your obsession with eyes?

They took us to large tower that was covered in gemstones and inlayed with gold that reflected the light in fascinating ways. We were taken up to the Patron in a curious mechanism that lifted us up through the air until we reach the door to the hall where he stayed. He felt like a very powerful creature and looked at Sister in a way that made me unsettled.  It felt like he was staring through me.  It scared me a little. Not predatory, just… so calculating. He also seemed to take a liking to Asche.

He told us that he could offer us protection should we fail Death’s task and that he would reward us significantly if we were to bring the item that Death wanted to him first rather than to Death. After he finished speaking to us we excused us all except for Asche who he wished to speak in private with. Pyry was not willing to leave at first but eventually came down the mechanism with the rest of us to wait for Asche.

She returned after some time and was unharmed from what we could see. We returned to the inn and met with the other gold-eyes who told us his name was Kael. He explained that he was sent from Death to give us some instruction and aid and then finally he gave us the clearest instructions we had received yet on what it was we were supposed to do and where to start looking for this item.

He also told us of places and masters that we could learn from to become more skilled and better able to complete the tasks ahead. After he left we decided to see about the equipment that we had ordered from the blacksmith Jordanna.  She is nice. then split up again to seek out these masters and meet again the next day.  

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An Unsure Awakening
-Dastan Kiari

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Dastan was suddenly shaken awake. He felt as if a he had been hit in the back of the head. Hard. Wait… He had been hit in the back of the head hard, and his little finger lobbed off. Dastan tried to open his eyes and orient himself, to no avail. He could feel the closeness of a few people. He didn’t like having everyone above him. After the events of the day prior, Dastan exiting the room with the man he made a deal with… what happened?

Was it fatigue? Perhaps unconsciousness finally took him, and Dastan was just too focused to notice. Regardless of the cause of his slumber, he began to feel the tingle of his pinkie again; the throbbing of his head started to dull. As his eyes opened the first time, he saw a rather strange and diversified group. The winged human was muttering things under her breath that Dastan couldn’t understand. Whatever the Alaryan was doing, it was helping. Dastan slowly yawned as he felt the waves of healing pass over him.

With a shock of embarrassment, Dastan quickly looked himself over as best he could. He was wearing a black outfit, fitted and layered. Black slacks, with matching shirt, vest, and cloak covered him from head to toe. A small sigh escaped his lips as he was glad to avoid such an experience. It was about this time when he noticed that the group around him wasn’t so lucky. Many of them were missing articles of clothing. Dastan decided that it was best to divvy out some of the clothes he had to the party's needed members.

Dastan became suddenly very confused, as he noticed that he couldn’t understand any of the conversations that were happening between the now newly covered persons. It seemed everyone around him spoke in some foreign tongue. In fact, it didn’t seem that way, that was exactly the case. As he mulled over the possibility of communication he noticed that one of the new faces was staring intently at him. What did he want? The dark fairy, didn’t he know it was rude to stare? Just speak! Speak! What do you want!? Dastan’s impatience grew almost as fast as his confusion. The silence was suddenly broken by more gibberish.

Was this another test? It must be, I mean, why else would they speak this way? It was a puzzle! If Dastan could find out the words of the riddle, he would be able to pass the test. Dastan smiled as the dark fairy began pointing to different objects and gibbering. Dastan was skeptical of the possible meanings behind his gestures. He kept repeating, Kai, Kai, Kai, Kai, as he pointed to himself. Hm… Dastan thought. This must be the first clue to the test. Dastan felt it necessary to proclaim his name to his newfound helpers, elsewise they would never know who was going to pass the test. With a more unsure and fragile breath than he expected, Dastan spoke his name, which was repeated by the group before him multiple times. Dastan, Dastan, Dastan. Dastan began to chime in too. As the dark fairy pointed more, he began speaking other sounds. Ash, Asu, Ra, Mith, Ia, Kane, Kai. Dastan felt it important to repeat the words, and commit them to memory. A few them appeared to Dastan to be grouped somehow. Ash, Asura, Mithia, Kane, and Kai. Dastan thought it a good idea to consider them friends, after all they did heal him. So, when his new friends began to leave the area, gesturing for him to follow along, Dastan stood up ready to take on this new test head on. This was going to be easy!

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Second Session Review
SUMMARY

3rd Day of Juvius 

Upon scaring off a fairy and meeting a friendly Squirrel Sivryan named Vora, Our heroes continued on to Sanctuary.  The Raven awoke and the heroes discovered he couldn't speak common, meaning that Mithia and Ohm were the only ones who could communicate.  He disclosed that his name was Dastan, and that he was also on the Trial.  He agreed to join us, and became the subject of interest for Asura.  

Vora introduced them to the Sleeping Dragon Inn, and promised to return the next day.  Ohm led the group to his home in the Stone District and inspected the collapsed Library.  Ohm discovered that his home was tied to the investigation somehow, and was now the property of the Patron as he had been reported dead in the collapse.  A Goldeye informed the still underdressed party that the collapse of the Library may not have been an accident.  A Rock Elemental rose out of the earth and would have attacked if not for the unnaturally calming words of Ohm.  Instead the primordial calmed itself and was content to follow us for a time.  

A man named Luc at the Inn helped situate the heroes with clothes and a room (or a few) and a meal, courtesy of Brinna the barkeep.  The first real rest since Death was a good one, and refreshed, the party figured they would find out what to do next.  Kai discovered another adventurer already at the Inn also on the quest, and invited him to join the group.  Now that the group was 10 people strong, Brinna insisted that they pick a name.  Eventually they settled on Aralondil or The Determined Light as a tentative name, though at the time the Raven had no idea what was going on.  

The heroes rang up quite a tab in the Metal District with a kindly blacksmith girl named Jordanna, who seemed to be charging high prices for all of her commissions.   While she started on the orders the heroes started looking for work that they could accomplish easily to help pay for the weapons and armor.

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On Top of the World
Mythia Cross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoUxxQIUV7o

It’s a good day to be resurrected! So much has happened, and I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to get started! We got out of those wretched caves and into the sunlight, and found we were in the forest nearby Ohm’s hometown. I think he said it was called Sanctuary.

We made it into the city alright, and went to Ohm’s home, but unfortunately it seemed like it got sold away or something because, of course, he died, and that’s what happens when people die without leaving a will. I felt sorry for the poor little giant. But we got some favors from a golden-eye, I think he was called. I think the golden-eyes must be some kind of spies or police that watch the city—I really don’t know, but isn’t it fascinating to learn about so many things and peoples and places you never thought existed before?

I’m sorry, I’m getting off track again. Anyway, the golden-eye gave us a money voucher, then left. On our way to the Sleeping Dragon (the inn we were recommended to by a local named Vora) we were nearly attacked by an elemental, but Ohm calmed it down before it could do any harm. Now it’s following us around. I think we should call it Rockie.

Someone at the inn named Luc helped us and finally, I got some decent clothes. I spent entirely too long picking them out, but I didn’t care if the others got upset waiting. I can’t go out looking like a slump, now can I? I’d rather be naked, honestly. Not that I was walking around naked all this time—that cute raven-wing man, Dastan, he gave me his cloak, and I’ve been wrapped up in it all day, but when I found something worth wearing I gave it back because I figured it was only polite.

Anyway, we used the voucher to pay for our stay at the inn, and we all slept. We woke up the next morning and spent a good while coming up with a decent name for our troupe. I like “The Walking Dead”, myself—and why not? Technically, we are undead, aren’t we? We might as well make light of the situation. Snaf recommended we call ourselves “Dockswamp”—or was it “Dampsock”? Either way, it’s an acronym of all our names, and it means “freaking awesome” in Goblin, apparently. If more people in this town spoke Goblin, I might have gone for it. But the images it brings up to native Common-speakers isn’t the most pleasant or valiant.

In the end, we settled on “Aralondil”, or “The Determined Light”, or just “The Determined”. Not bad, huh?

After that we headed for the blacksmith. Each of us went around and asked for whatever gear we needed, and Jordana (the blacksmith) opened a tab for us. I ordered Alaryan armor and a Telanh—I can’t wait til they’re done! I’ll have the most beautiful, elegant Alaryan armor in all of Sanctuary, I just know it.  

Poor little Ohm was so guilty about the cost of his armor. Giant armor requires so many materials, you understand, so it was very expensive to order. But I tried to comfort him and reassure him that he was just as important as the rest of us and needed armor just as badly. I have a soft spot for that giant. He’s so good. I can sense it in him.  

However, the cost of all the armor left our troupe in debt—approximately 60 gold each to pay it back. Doesn’t matter at all to me. It’s worth it to be well-outfitted in the finest armor available. All we have to do is spend a little time working and the debt will be paid in no time. Already we found some jobs on the board in the inn, and we’ll get them done lickety-split!

I made the suggestion to split up in two groups to get the small tasks done, and then to come together for the big task of fighting the witch, and everyone seemed pleased enough with my plan, and they agreed!

Can you believe it? Me, helping to make decisions for the group? I never expected them to take me seriously. There were always other people around to take care of the important things, like my parents or my brothers. No one at home ever took me so seriously, except for maybe my mentor, Aeria Allium. But other than that, I can’t really remember ever being given responsibility like this. Now that I’m dead, I have some respect. Power. Feels good. I like it. Muahahahahaha! Tell me, Aurelian, Mercanis, Ferrous, who’s responsible now? 

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Oblivion
Mythia Cross

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeSi76ADGLw

Nothing seemed real. Nothing at all. I watched from the skies as more rebels and heretics swarmed the temple, preparing for some dark ritual—I hoped I was wrong, but it looked like they were going to sacrifice all those people. I could see the troops of the city guards and local militia closing in on the temple. I wanted to help—I had to warn them—

I heard a cry from below me, and looked down. I had only been gone a few moments to survey the land from the air, but already the demons were here.

They were swarming all around Kane. He fought, but I knew he would lose without help. I was the only one who could save him. It didn’t matter to me that he was little more than a stranger. I knew he was a good man, and I believed if it were me down there, he would save me. His life was in my hands. I didn’t think—I just dived. I spiraled down through the air as I had done a million times before, and reached my arms down to sweep him out of their clutches.

He reached up to me. A moment before my hand grasped his, he let out a cry, and he was sucked down out of my view, demons blocking the only hope I had of reaching him. Suddenly, a great pain erupted in my chest and in my right wing. Blood spattered my feathers and sprayed through the air. I careened toward the stone-paved street. My body struck it with a great smack.

Then, as if I had been startled awake from a nightmare, I was gasping in the darkness.

I stood. I was not alone—there were other shapes in the dark, of other races, other peoples. I shivered and put my arms around my body. I was so cold… and so confused. Why was I naked? Where was I? I looked toward the only source of light. It was shining from a tall gate; a group of people were gathering around it. I felt drawn toward the light, captivated by it and by the man slowly walking toward us from out of its cold blue depths.

I maneuvered my way closer, standing between humans and fey and other creatures I had never before encountered. The man in the light began to speak. I looked at his face, at his frigid blue eyes which stared back at us without feeling.

He was Death.

My spine shivered and my feathers and hairs all raised up in fear. I… I died?

No. This… This couldn’t be right… I couldn’t…

I couldn’t have died. I was Mythia Cross! I couldn’t have died. I was only twenty years old. I was only trying to save Kane. I was only trying to save my city—my temple—my friends—my family. Teonas, my mother, how could this have happened?

Tears rushed up to my eyes and I hugged myself tighter. I thought of all the things I had left behind. All the things I had wanted in the future. My life had barely begun. What now?

That’s when Death offered us a deal. If we fetched an item for him… if we went through the trial of the requiem… he would grant us back our lives. If we failed, we would be taken into the underworld. If we refused, we would be taken into the underworld. No one before us had been able to succeed. But Death had faith that we could.

If there was any chance I could be home again, any chance I could save my city and my temple and my family from the demons, then I would take it. What else did I have to lose? I had already lost my life.

I looked into Death’s eyes again, and when he asked me if I was willing to undergo the requiem, I said unflinchingly, “Yes.”

The others around me also accepted Death’s offer unanimously.

Then in a blink, just as it had happened when I died, I was again startled awake in a completely different place. Dark saltwater flowed all around, closing me in like a grave. Cold blue light filtered in above me, shining from the sun. I reached up, struggling for the sunlight and the air. My head and arms and wings breached the surface of the water and I inhaled sharply, water streaming from my sinuses. I wiped my face and eyes to see, bobbing along with the movement of the waves. A coastline was dead ahead.

All around me, other heads started popping up, too, and we all flailed closer to shore. Finally, when the water was shallow enough, and my feet could touch the sandy bottom of the beach, I stretched out my wings and glided the rest of the way to the beach.

The rest of them washed ashore around me. All of us were still naked, but I found that I didn’t particularly care. I wasn’t embarrassed. I had no reason to be. My body was beautiful; I had nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to hide. Besides, the sunlight and the breeze on my skin was most refreshing.

For the first time, I got a good look at my companions. There were races I had never seen before. Two fey, and a half-giant with a goblin on his shoulder, and a woman that looked like a fish, and a woman that looked like a cat, and—Kane! Oh, praise Teonas! I felt my heart leap with happiness. I could hardly believe he was still alive—well—not alive, I guess that’s the wrong word, but I could hardly believe that he was here, wherever here was, and that we both had a chance to redeem ourselves!

Our little band exchanged names, and hatched a plan to explore our new island for shelter and clothing and food.

I flew out up into the sky, soaring past the cliff that blocked the beach from the main land, and began to survey the ground below. It looked like it was covered in heavy forest, completely uninhabited. Far beyond in the distance, there was a great, towering mountain with clouds ripping across its top. I made that my landmark, and headed for it.

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Dead Air

Many creatures have felt the twinge of pain. The sharp, piercing, near-overwhelming sensation that fills you for just a second. Stubbing a toe. Having a feather ripped out. Falling from just a bit too high up. Not many creatures get to tell the story of the pain of their deaths. Many fantasize it is just a quick, silent moment of exquisite pain; over in a blink of an eye. Not many know the truth.

As the darkness, the ever-present and ever-growing nothingness around Dastan surrounded him, it became quite clear the pain he was in. You would have heard his screams if not for his inability to do so. Pulverized bones and flattened muscles are enough to bring even a battle-hardened Raven to tears, or would… if he could. It seemed like ages past, and at the same time as if time stood still. It is difficult to explain the sensation running through Dastan's mind more than just pain and confusion. Whether it was just a moment or eons, Dastan knew that his bones were reformed, his muscles filled in his body.  Dastan was standing on nothing, yet not falling. Casting his eyes around, he saw he wasn't alone. Spirits filled the dead air. All of them seemed as unsure as he did. They looked intently forward. A mesmerizing voice shot through the air. It filled every crevice of Dastan's frame. A slow turn to look at this voice. In his heart he knew what he was going to see, even if he knew nothing of what it looked like. He shivered. If you have ever heard a foreign sound in your home and turn to look expecting to see something there and wishing not to, you know this shiver. Now, imagine that when you looked, you stood face to face with Death.

Dastan couldn't move. The host of spirits cowered slightly at his penetrating voice. Dastan seemed unable to focus, unable to grasp what had happened.

"There are some of you," Death whispered with such a profoundness. "There are some of you, who have a choice. To move on, see what the next life has in store for you, reap what you sow… or, to resolve unfinished destinies by taking the test of Requiem."

With a quick motion Dastan spoke out declaring, "I will take the test. I must return." Death seemed rather skeptical of Dastan's abrupt disclosure of his choice. "This is not a test that will favor the weak young Raven." Death's words were penetrating and subtle but nothing inhibited Dastan's resolve. "If you go, you must bring back to me an object of high importance."

"I must go!" Dastan's words were met by the outstretched hand of Death. A deal to be made, in order to go back. It was Dastan's turn to be skeptical. Eyeing Death, he took his hand and grasped firmly.

And with the slightest motion from Death, a door opened. And without hesitation, Dastan was through it.

Dastan awoke in what felt like water. His body was heavy as if sand had been poured into every open nook. The pain again was back. It filled every gritty crease and pore of skin. As time passed, Dastan was able to compose himself. He crawled out of the water and heaved himself onto a sandy beachfront. Wind passed over him, chilling in his current circumstances. Death leaves not a single worm for the birds. An open cave stood before the dismal body trying to stand in the sandbank. A light of hope for Dastan. He was practically raised in caves, and knew their terrain well. He hobbled over to the mouth of the cave, searching for help. A tent stood at the entrance, a small fire flicking in the wind. Dastan was approached by a man within the tent. Words were traded and the man saw fit to grant Dastan a bit of meat. A crazy and unhelpful old man in Dastan's eyes.

Some time passed as Dastan searched the inner workings of the caverns. A small tunnel lead to a pitch black room. Dastan had traversed many a cave in complete dark, but this seemed impenetrable, as if having a light wouldn't have helped. As he circled the walls, a small but quick metal slicing sound came from the darkness. Traps or perhaps he wasn't alone; Dastan didn't mind either notion very much. He came to a door with no proper handle. In its place was a dial, with 4 holes. Several attempts to open the door came to no avail. Each failure only worsened the impatience boiling up in Dastan. In a swift movement, he stuck his pinkie finger in the hole and spun it all the way around, and with a quick unsheathing and a swift slice. His finger fell to the floor. Dastan cried out in pain, and felt a small jab on his head from something behind him. Now was not the time to get stuck, nor to be stopped by this door. Dastan spun the dial the opposite direction and the door swung open. Quickly grabbing his dislodged finger, Dastan stepped inside and the door slammed hard against the cave formation, with him bodily against the wood.

Only one way to go, forward. Dastan was in too much pain from his hand and head to notice much about these next rooms. It was as if he handed the reigns over and the body knew what to do instinctively. More traps and more perils yet nothing hindered his progression through them. He eventually found two torches fastened tightly to the wall. He took the opportunity to cauterize his finger back on. Not the best medical work, but it was satisfactory for the raven.

Dastan was getting close to the end room, he could feel it. He took a step into a very open room. A sort of man slept pedestalled in the center, with an ogre cage nearby snoring away. The man awoke as soon as Dastan entered. Some annoying speech of how he always lies, three levers control awful fates that can befall you, but one will open the next door and lead to freedom. Nonsense and confusion rang in Dastan's ears, but he went to the levers. Dastan didn't really care for the dangers except one. The Ogre. Still slothfully asleep, that seemed the least dangerous of them all, and it would at least buy time. "Which would release the Ogre?" Dastan slyly spoke. "The far left." 

Now Dastan had to evaluate the man. Was he one to lie? Or was he one to get things over quickly? So many questions, the blabbering of this man, the room itself only aided to confuse Dastan further. "The far right one is the lever for the ogre, the left is for the spikes."

Which is which!? Dastan was getting impatient again, and he wasn't going to die now. The last time he just went for it, he lost a finger. "How about you strike up a deal with me?" The man asked pridefully.

Great… another deal. Dastan barely listened to the particularities but joined the man at the center and shook his hand. "The center lever is the one to freedom." Without a second thought, Dastan left and pulled the lever. Freedom smelled sweet, the wind from the room beyond was refreshing to Dastan. Without even a look back, he passed into the next room and took a nice deep breath. If Dastan could finish this test, how hard would a test of Death be? How difficult could this test of Requiem prove?

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Ogres with Sticks up their butts

Lets just say today has not gone according to plan. It started out well enough. I did my morning ritual while Pyry and Asura trained in their magics and then Pyry and I went off to do our normal things, she to explore and I to train in my weaponry. When we came back…. Well, I'm sure Pyry filled you in on that already. It was awful. Pure evil… so much death and so much against my very being. And I, I could do nothing to stop that man from killing Asura, Kai, and Pyry. Even when it came down to defending myself, I couldn't bring myself to harm another living thing. I guess that is the first lesson I learned from today. Sometimes harm of one creature is needed for life to continue.

Lesson two is that Kai still doesn't know social cues. I woke up surrounded by others while I was naked which wasn't really a big deal since everyone was naked. The problem was that as time passed our death scars healed and Kai went around ogling all the women. I guess there are still some things we need to focus on in his "cultural" education.

And the third thing I learned was all about how to kill an ogre. I hear near death experiences change people. Protris always said that when we trained and then he would follow it up with "Never Change" in his stoic voice. Believe me, actually dying was never on my list of "to do's" for the day. But with the realization that sometimes harm of one creature is needed for life to continue, killing the ogre wasn't a terribly hard choice to make. Basically after we got through those caves the last room had an ogre. Kai and others that I guess we are stuck with now since we're on the same quest started to flank and attack the creature but nothing was working. Even the spear we were given by the "guardians" of the caves was not piercing. It was taking entirely too long and they needed help… so I grabbed the spear, saw and opening and struck. Literally, I saw an opening… the ogres butt hole. Then I repeatedly pounded it in with my pillars. I cannot even imagine the internal damage that occurred. I should have looked for a different way to put the poor creature out of his pain, but we made it through. I really need to cleanse myself after that. There's a lot of chaotic energy around me right now.

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First Session Review
Summary

The group opens the door to find a hallway with spikes lining the ceiling.  Cautiously they test for tripwires or other sources of activation, but eventually have to proceed cautiously.  They send the goblin.

Snaf makes it all the way across without triggering the trap.  So they send the next lightest, and the next, until finally Ohm makes his way across, head bowed.  No traps are triggered.  

In the next room they find a puzzle with water levers, channels, and rotating images, knobs, and a lever.  The door was smashed open, and in little words "Danger arrows left" was scratched into the frame.  In avoiding the trap, Ohm found an opportunity to break one of the wall spikes and get a makeshift weapon, but in doing so he and Asche bent the trap, making it unusable and triggering a host of spider-demons called Skulltugs to squeeze their way through the hole.  Pyry, who was the only one to stay behind to finish the puzzle, reacted quickly with a water spray to force the Skulltugs back into their hole.  She then quickly finished the puzzle, forcing the trap sealed and the Skulltugs safely back on the other side.  Before anything else could trigger, the party threw themselves on the other side of the door.  

In the next room was a well-dressed Tiefling, who greeted them thusly in a thouroughly bored tone, "Hello adventurers my name is Failure and I am cursed to guide new trial participants.  I would like to kill you and cannot be trusted.  There, have to say that first."  He then eagerly awaited something from above and gave sarcastic remarks about the three levers on the wall.  One he said would open the floor below them, another would set them free, and the last would unleash a maddened fifteen-foot Ogre from its cage.  After some debating on which lever would open the door, the tiefling made them a bargain.  He wanted one of them, if successful in their trials, to "bring back the 'book'" and use ti to free him.  Uncooked chicken was dropped from above and he seemed frustrated.  The party then offered to cook the chicken for him, which they accomplished quite ingeniously.  The Tiefling, true to his word and quite grateful for a meal of his preference in his cursed state, told them the correct lever and they were on their way.  On their way out the group promised to help him anyway.  Confused he gave them the name Ix, later confessing his name to be Brian, and he gave them a few tips.  Only choose one, and left immediately to rescue 'him'.  AS they left, no one noticed the fifteen foot ogre being let out into the room beyond them to lay in wait.  

The room to the right was littered with sliced and scooped skulls, bodies, finally some weapons and clothes, and the body of a Raven Cabraithian.  They took all they could and checked the body for life.  Upon seeing that he was alive they decided to carry him to safety.  

The next hallway had a complex series of traps and poisoned needles that jutted out from the walls at regular intervals.  Ohm held Snaf over a wooden plank shield they had found and she pressed the button on the far side of the room, making the room crossable.  They timed the strikes, predicted the pattern, and then crossed.  Everyone made it soundly across.  

A room held three priceless weapons, a blessed spear, dagger, and longsword of Ravennica.  The party chose to heed Brian's warning to only choose one, picked the spear and ran through the door on the opposite side.

And into the room with the Ogre.  They braced for a fight.  Asura, Mythia, the Raven, and Pyry stayed in the back and helped with supporting magic or protected the others, while Ohm, Asche, Kane, and Kaicoran attacked the Ogre.  Snaf ran for the door on the far side to lockpick it with her surprisingly long nails.  

Asche created a rock pillar for Kane to plunge-attack from while Ohm held his attention.  Kai tried to strike at the weak points but couldn't find an opening.  During the fight Pyry channeled a rainstorm that created more slippery ground and irrigated the ogre's face.  Snaf broke a nail.  After several turns of just not finding their mark, the party stepped up their aggression.  Kane attempted to sever the Ogre's spine and nearly got crushed, but managed to make a miraculous save, swinging himself around and pinning the ogre's hand.  Snaf broke another nail.  Asche struck the blow that turned the tide, thrusting the spear a place spears should never go, critically wounding it.  The spear was pounded in like a stubborn nail, and a sharp blow from Ohm's fist took the last of the Ogre's vitality, striking it at its weakened neck and jaw, and it fell to the ground dead.  Just as Snaf lock-picked the door.  

Relieved, the party walked through to the other side of the mountain, and looked down on the magnificent city of Sanctuary.

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In Which Pyry Flushes Spiders and Asche Spears an Ogre (Unfinished)
Go Asche!! You stick it to 'em!
  • We open the door-holes in the far door like a metal grate lets firelight in. 20 ft hallway to the next room. Roof is lined with spikes shining polished steal spikes 8 feet high and 3 feet long.
  • We tie a rope to Snaf and give the other end to Ohm. We all decide to hold the rope to help pull her back if necessary. I prepare to catch her if necessary.
  • She scrambles across, pauses, nothing happens. She goes to the door, opens it and goes in. 
  • We decide to send Asura to the other side. She rand and nothing happened.
  • Kai went next. Nothing happens. 
  • Asche goes. Nothing happens.
  • Kane went. Nothing happened.
  • I went next. Nothing happened. Ohm gave me the rope so we could pull him if necessary. 
  • Ohm makes it too. Nothing happened.
  • This next room is super tiny. We need to close the first door before opening the next door. 
  • Stone door directly in front of us. It's smashed open. Above it is scratched "Careful Arrows Left". 
  • I figure out the puzzle on the wall. It was suppose to be the Mother of Jolen, Jolenar. The woman by the water should be Altarin. I move things around but the last piece won't move. It's attached to a chain that is attached to a bucket that needs water.
  • Kai, Asche play with the arrows on the left. Ohm obtains a spear.
  • I use a lever to turn on water that tricles in to the bucket. The bucket fills and allows the last piece to move. I move it and a metal sheet falls down as if meant to block the arrows. Since the spike/arrows have been bent and broken, it isn't effective. 
  • Flat, evil spiders (Skulltugs) have come out of the wall where Ohm had pulled the spear from.
  • More spkers come out and go after me and all of us. I am separated from the group.
  • I use the water lever to get a water flow and use my Water Current to sweep all the spiders up and push them all back into the wall. -1 MP
  • Asche and Ohm rebend the spears so that they go back into the wall. The metal sheet falls down, holding the spiders in the wall.
  • We meet a tiefling in the next room. There are 3 levers on the wall. There are spike traps from above, a trapdoor below and an ogre in a cage. 
  • The tiefling has been there 100 years as punishment. At first he says we can call him Ix but before we leave the room he tells us his name is Brian.
  • He gets raw chicken from a shoot above him. We offer to cook his meat and he will tell us which lever ro pull.
  • He was happy enough to accept. Kai and Snaf work together to start the fire.
  • He gives some advice-choose only one and there is a poor soul trapped in a fake door to the right in the hallway beyond.
  • If we could bring him books or food, he would be willing to pay with knowledge.
  • He says that the 2nd lever is the right one.
  • Before we pull the lever , he asks if we have more questions he can answer. He answers them.
  • He calls to me on the walk to the door. He says I'm nice and asks my name. I tell him. He kindly reminds me what he told me about not giving my name to demons or people like him. Then he tells me his name is Brian. 
  • I bow to him as Ohm pulls the lever. The door opens and Brian's pedestal sinks into the floor and he waves. I wave back.
  • He told us that we would probably be back around sometime.
  • Asche had tried to see if Brian really would have turned to dust by asking him for a lock of hair. As soon as it leaves the the circle of the pedestal, it turns to dust.
  • I had asked him what he would do if he were free. After a list of atrocities, he quietly says he would go home. 
  • In the next room, we find the fake door. Inside is a party of about 15 people, dead. One is still alive. The others were killed by the Skulltugs.
  • I look at the body of the Altarin in the room. The only thing of worth to me is a gold band. I take it and ask Ohm if it has magical properties. It does. Some sort of protective enchantment.
  • I put it on and go to the man in the middle. He is breathing and alive. 
  • The Alaryan cares for him.
  • Others get items off the bodies.
  • We leave the room with the man and go down the hall to the door to the next room. 
  • As soon as we enter the room, the 3 cases of weapon in the middle of the room go up, revealing a decorative spear, sword or dagger. This is the room where we only pick one.
  • We decide to go with the spear. We pick it up and the other cases close. The door on the other side opens.
  • We go to the door. The hall is dark. 10 ft wide 20 feet long.
  • Kai uses a light to illuminate it. There are needles covering the floor, ceiling and walls. 
  • Across the way Kai sees a small button.
  • Snaf and Ohm work to throw a rock to his the button.
  • The needles retract. Then the needles start ejecting themselves randomly, one a t a time, slowly.
  • Kane does some acrobatics and makes it across to the door. He opens the door and the needles stop their movement.
  • We run through the hall and through the door into darkness.
  • Kai's light ball follows. The door slams shut. A grunt comes from the middle of the room. An oversized ogre moves beside a pillar in the middle of the room.
  • There are a lot of bodies in various states of decay and being eaten. 
  • He begins to move at us. 
  • The others move to engage but I stay to guard Asura, Mythia and the unconscious man.
  • Kane gets grabbed so I make a light rain in order to have water to use as a weapon. -1 MP
  • I try to Water Whip the key chain off of him. It doesn't work. -1 MP. First I tell the Alaryan to take the man to the other side. 
  • Asche shoves the spear up his butt and it lights on fire. The ogre turns and attacks Asche.
  • I use a Water Current to shove water in to his face an down into his lungs. I'm trying to take his attention from Asche. -1 MP. He chokes for a minute, spits the water out and deflects the current. 
  • Asche uses a rock pillar to shove the spear farther up.
  • Ohm gets him on the ground.
  • Kane slide tackles the spear farther up. Kai and Asche try to spear him in the ear with other weapons.
  • He gets up and slashes at everyone near with his cleaving sword. No one gets hit. Ohm tries to snap his neck. No good.
  • Kane attacks. I take Asura to the other side of the pillar. Ogre swings again. Hits no one.
  • Ohm backhands him and snaps his neck. He dies.
  • I find a satchel. It has a small clay pot, sealed.
  • Snaf picks the lock on the door across the way. We walk through it. We come out on the other side of the mountain and see a city down in the valley.
  • The day is the 2d day of Juvius. (Esentially Feb 2nd)
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Into the Dark
Kaicoran Dawn, Asuratea Dawn

I awoke to darkness and was greeted by Death.  It was cold.

I saw that Sister stood next to me and I felt less sad.  I'm glad we were together. I must have died as well by the Evil that had slain her. I wish I had killed him. Sister doesn’t mind as much when I kill evil things.  Evil things kill freely.  They have to be stopped.  I don't like it, but it makes sense…

Death began to speak to us and I noticed there were more beings standing with us in the dark. I saw Asche and Pyry and felt sad again; they would be missed by their parents. There were also several others that I had never seen before. Was this what it meant to die?  It was weird and cold, and I felt like we were… interrupted.  Like we didn't die the way we were supposed to.

Death’s words were cold and hard as stone. We had been chosen to complete a task for him in exchange for life, otherwise we would be taken by Death never to return to the realm of the living again. We all agreed to complete this task, although we still knew not what, and in an instant the dark room had disappeared and in its place was the feeling of cold water and bright sunlight from above.  The water wasn't that cold.  It was actually kind of warm.

There was a white beach, a forest, and a mountain; all empty of life. This place could be called beautiful in the same way a polished gem is beautiful; pure… but sterile.  Ooh. what a pretty and accurate description. You're getting better at this brother.  Sister sensed the lack of life first.  It was the quiet.  I spied a cave some distance up and seeing that the others meant Sister no harm I went to explore for any other possible life.

At the mouth of the cave there was a small tent and the remnants of a camp for one. Whoever had stayed here had long since left much like the rest of the life here. Inside the cave was long and ended beyond my sight, but a breath of wind whispered to me that this was no cave; it was a tunnel.

I went back to tell the others. The large one had broken some tree branches and had upset Sister but he seemed to be of a gentle kind.  I don't think he meant harm.  I couldn't hear the trees whisper anyway, it was like they were already gone… A strange creature sat on his shoulder and whispered things into his ears. I also noticed for the first time a winged woman and strong looking man.  Such beautiful people!  The big one called me "quite pretty".  Made me smile. 

We all made our way to the entrance of the tunnel and delved into the darkness. When it became too dark for even myself to see I created light in my hand, as I would sometimes to dispel the dark that often would frighten Sister, and found a door. Pushing the door open we found a small room with a hole in the center. In one corner of the room there was a dead body of a Sylvan, Poor man! in the other a barrel. The strange creature on the large one’s shoulders hopped down and crossed on one side of the room only to be nearly missed by a spike shooting out of the wall. This room was a room of traps.

I tried to cross on the other side but slipped in a puddle of black slime gross and would have nearly fell into the pit were it not for the large one that grabbed me before I could fall. We all made it across the room where another door waited with no handle but four small holes that could be turned. Using some sticks found among the old campsite we turned the lock and entered the next room.  It tried to cut our fingers off!  We went through several sticks.

We progressed much the same way through the next several rooms, solving puzzles and avoiding traps. There were spiders that crawled out of the walls in one room that frightened sister Oh Light don't even talk about those things.  They were so crawly and flat and hairless and scary!  very much but Pyry prevented them from harming us with her water. YAY PYRY.  MY HERO SISTER! We then entered the largest room yet where a pale man with horns waited for us.

In the room also was an ogre in a cage and three levers. The horned man was a curious kind of creature and Pyry asked him many questions.  I don't like the way he looked at me. The price of his knowledge to safety was a fire to cook his meat… very curious…  Yeah, he had chicken he couldn't enjoy because it was raw.  Who feeds someone raw chicken?  There are so many delicious things that is just… a waste!

We picked up another creature in the next room who was only barely alive but was winged like the woman; except this was a man with black feathered wings like a raven. He had a sword which I decided would be less useful to him so I relieved him of it.  But you're going to give it back, right?

After passing through another room of puzzles we were faced with the choice of a sword, dagger, or spear before entering what seemed to be the final room. Choosing the spear for its versatility and because it was GORGEOUS we entered a room as large as the one with the pale man but this time the ogre inside was not in a cage. On the ogre’s belt was a key and it became obvious what our final task was to be.  I decided to stay in the back near Pyry.

It was not an easy creature to kill, and Sister seemed to be upset as we hurt it, but thanks to a rather particular placement of the spear Ewwww by Asche we were able to bring it down. Just in time to see the strange small creature from the large one’s shoulder unlock the door on the other side of the room.

The sunlight beyond the door was full of life. A city lay below in a valley.  It felt so good, like this sun was warmer and friendlier.  I felt more alive once we were able to get back out into the living air again!

Yet it seems as if our tasks have only just begun.

Forebode!!!  Haha, dramatic timing ruined.

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