Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Vassago's Leveling (2)
Here is something I banged out to provide some depth as to what happened when Vassago trained  to level 2.

Game mechanics:   He gained his Font of Power. Gained the spellpower Magic Missile and gained 8 hitpoints


Somewhere in the woods near the outpost...during first night watch.

Vassago gazed into the darkness beyond the glow of the campfire behind him.  The night as uneventful so far, and he amused himself watching the graceful stride of the Sylvan elf maid, Caelynn, moved almost inperceptably among the flickering shadows cast by the distant campfire.  He smiled, drawing on his pipe-weed, as he saw her make effort to conceal her movements, yet she stood out in base relief to his dark adapted eyes, their inky blackness drinking in any and all light from the surrounding gloom.  He mused that be she a rogue, he might have difficulty in seeing her stealthiness, but even then, her movements would betray her to a master of shadows like himself.

It had been a long and hard won ride to the outpost, especially when the hordes of the dead attacked the night before.  He had been injured, nearly killed, and his shadowy ties to the realm of death had failed to spare him their scourging.  Revived by this fair elf now striding through the shadowy wood, watching for foes, he at first perceived it was none other than the Queen herself come to protect him, but that glamour was replaced by the flaxen haired Druid's smiling face as his strength returned.  It made him thoughtful...and he had begun this night turning over thoughts of the true mystery that lay ahead, as well as the machinations of his Lady-faire, who was acting agent through the healing magics of nature that Caelynn had used.  Such pondering sought to maybe ferret out that this lithe elf before him might actually be the Raven Queen herself, in one of her many guises, but if so, why keep her presence a secret to him, one of her most trusted and loyal?  The question nagged at him for sometime before he chuckled to himself absently.  This was not the Queen, but a fellow adventurer, striving, like him to discover what had truly happened, and that he had let his imagination lead him astray.

Caelynn turned at the sound, and saw the dark shape leaning against a stump.  "What is so amusing, Vassago?"  her face drawn up in an inquisitive smirk.

"Nothing to matter your pretty head over, my lady." His voice carrying out from under the hood he wore.  "Just the absent musings of this addled fool."  His smile was visible below the shadow that covered his upper face.  "Just woolgathering with no apparent objective."  The glow from his pipe lit up his face as he drew in another breath.

The elf studied her friend for a moment. Then laughed as he pulled his hood off..and gathered up his mass of unruly hair and bound it in a train between his horns.  She paused for a moment.  Vassago was such an amicable person, one easily forgot he was a Tiefling.  She had heard stories of the Accursed race, but Vassago was unlike those stories as one could get.  Quick with a compliment, a joke, trick or pantomime, the rakish Sorceror was quite a showman, and she had come to think of his antics as amusing.  She also found that she had come to think of him as a friend, something she would have been surprised to say six moons previous.  No, Vassago was indeed not at all like those stories made Tieflings out to be.  "You need to trim that tangle, my friend," she smiled anew, " before that black mane of yours surpasses even your skilled attempts to tame it."  

Vassago sighed in exaggerated pantomime, drawing a giggle from the elf, "Such is my lot." he lamented half halfheartedly, "The power of the Shadows seems to have infused it even more than it has infused me."  He fussed with is hair more, "And lets not get started on these...protuberances..." gesturing to the small low-set horns running from his forehead over the top of his crown.  "Always in the way.  Providing Anchors with in which it can get into d in such a moriass that I have to resort to the knife."  He feigned exasperation.  "What ever did my ancestor do that warranted this?"

Caelynn chuckled again, then resumed her patrol.  The Zombie attack the previous night had taxed everyone to their limits and she was probably the only one who did not feel the fatigue the others felt, well except for that demented Drow.  She had yet to fully trust the dark one, but he had never given her any chance to further her distrust, and he did fight with them as a fellow.

Once again, alone with his thoughts, Vassago watched the interplay of light and shadow as his mind wandered.  His power over shadow had helped him blast down the shambling assailants last night, it was not enough, and he was defeated by the rotting ones.  His shortcomings  gnawed on him.  He was powerful. That he knew, yet he had limitations.  His skill with shadow was a waxing ideal, yet he felt at a loss as to where it would take him next.  He sat and toyed absently with the flame in his pipe.  He would have to unlock yet another mystery within him, yet he had no idea where to start.

"Why, at the beginning." a whispery seductive feminine voice filled his mind.  "Really, Vassago, you can be so dense sometimes."  The coy amusement in the voice assured him that the voice was just teasing him.

"So, you are there." he replied in his mind, "and here I thought you had forgotten me."

Laughter filled his mind, "Oh Vassago, I would never forget you." the chuckle in her voice evident, "Not you, my dear Shadow Given Form.  Not ever." the voice paused, "Besides, you are embarked on the task I set before you, so I am paying close attention to you, my sweet."

He looked upward and about into the darkness, but could not make out any form he could discern.  "Silly boy!" she chastised mockingly, "I am not there, nor anywhere close, as I do not need to be." she paused again, "The shadows stretch throughout the world itelf, and I can see and hear everything said or done in their presence."  The mirth slipped a little, "The Raven Queen is the Mistress of Shadows.  None can deny her."

"Forgive my insolence, my lady." Vassago quickly replied, "I just long for your beautiful face is all."  He smiled impishly.

More laughter, "Oh you charmer, you" the mirth and coyness returned, "I begin to wonder what I saw in you.  Was it true potential..or that your devilish charm had overwhelmed my common sense?"

"A little of both, perhaps," he replied, "I am quite the 'catch' you could say."

"Oh you!!" the voice mockingly chastised him before yet more laughter filled his mind, "My love, you do so enrapture me sometimes," she paused, "probably more than what is prudent, but still, I am the Raven Queen, and one such as I has lofty expectations..." the voice trailed off before the laughter resumed

Vassago shared in the laugh for a few moments.  When they had both caught their mental breath, the voice continued, "Now, back to why I am speaking with you in the first place. " she paused, then quickly continued, "Now, stop that!  This is important, you rake.  Behave and let me finish."

"If I must." Vassago intoned disappointment.

The voice giggled, "You are terrible!"

"Just how you like it" he replied.

"Stop it, you imp!" the voice continued,  "I mean it this time."

"Okay...okay" he relented, "You were saying.."

"Yes," the Queens voice continued, "I gave you the power over Shadows.  Your gift allows you to weave their substance into your powers. However, you are still not entirely skilled in their use." She paused, gathering her thoughts,  "What I need you to see is that the shadows are power themselves.  You need to see that you do not need to weave them, but use your mind to channel them into what form you desire.  Once you achieve that, your power will flow freely within you, allowing you to re-sculpt anything you desire without weaving."  She paused again, "That is what secret I am here to help you unlock."

Time seemed to fly by as images and words came at breakneck speed.  Vassago's understanding of how his power worked got rewritten upon his soul and he could see the true source of his power at last, a dark roiling well..that he could bend and twist to how ever he saw it.  In the end, the Raven Queen's final words to him filled him with new vigor. 

"Now, my dearest," she praised,  "you are one step closer to the power I wish you to have.  Your skill and power will now be only limited by your own experiences, and it will become as powerful as you are capable.  Few will be able to match you, but do not be reckless."  A tone of hurt entered into her voice, "I would hate to lose you, Vassago.  So please be careful."

"I will be, My Lady-faire," He replied, "but now, I know you are there should I need your assistance.  What more could one ask for?"

A note of caution entered into her voice, "Yes, I can hear you, but my omniscience is not all encompassing, and thus I may not see your query for several hours, or even days.  I will do my best, but you have to rely on your own ability and wits to get through most challenges."

He stood up and looked into the darkest part of the wood, there he could just make out two midnight blue-purple eyes staring back at him.  "I will, my lady." He said aloud, "Be well and care not.  I will be safe."

"You better..." the voice trailed off as the eyes faded.

Caelynn turned back after taking only 3 steps, "Did you say something Vassago?" she was surprised to see him on his feet so quickly.  

Vassago turned to the Druidess, realizing only moments had passed, while hours seemed to have.  "I said be careful and be safe." he replied. "I would not like to see my savior injure herself tripping over that root at your feet.

Caelynn looked down, seeing the root for the first time, and marveled at his perception in near darkness. "Thank you."  She replied.  "I guess I was a little preoccupied with my own woolgathering."

Vassago chuckled.  "Careful, it's contagious."
Hi, I'm from the Erathian gaming group, consider this the first drive by in the turf war you started!  Okay, I'm being a @%$k.  What I really wanted to say is thank you for sharing that story, welcome to the forum!
Be it that...or not....I enjoy doing here is the next installment...Level 3 Metamagics of Extend and Embolden learned...and Shadowblade

With the setting sun now behind the distant hills, our party was winding down from the days events and preparing for  the night.  It had been a long couple of days and the last battle against those strange creatures atop the Ruined tower of the Necromancer had over taxed us all...myself included.

Musing as fatigue washed over me, I reviewed the events of the last few days.  I was still exhilarated in my new found ability to tap into the raw energies of the shadows but still had some doubt as to where to proceed next.  The Raven Queen had opened my eyes, revealing that my journey to greatness had just begun, so I knew I would find my way despite any misgivings.  After a moment, I chastized myself for would all work out.

As the sky grew darker, I pondered many things as my first vigil saw the rise of the moon, a full crescent as it illuminated my surroundings in a soft silver sheen.   Soon, my vigil came to a close as the beauteous Caelynn rose and took my place,

Lying on my bedroll, gazing at the reflected moonlight on the small pond nearby, I observed the interplay of light and darkness as the surface rippled slightly in the cool breeze and my eyes lost focus as sleep took ahold of me,

My sonambulistic sojurn was not what I expected.  I found myself standing on the shore of the same pond, the moonlight rippling, yet there was no moon in the sky to produce them.  I paused a moment, trying to fathom out what I was seeing.  Then I saw her,  The Raven Queen,  standing at the waters edge, a sly smile upon her face.

"I was beginning to wonder." she said coyly.  "Wonder if my slugabed would show up for his next lesson, or would I have to come roust him out myself."

I smiled impishly, "The thought of you in my bedroll does have some pleasant implications."

She laughed, "That is what I adore about you, my dear Vassago. Despite all the troubles I face, you can always make me laugh"  She beconned me over.  "If you can spare me the attention...I have some more to show you."

"For you, my queen, anything." I said, striding over to her.  She eyed me from under her long lashes, drawing another smile from me.  She truly was stunning and it was very hard not to be attracted to her.

She must have caught my expression, "Now, my dear shadow, I said I have something more to teach you," she shook a finger at me, "To do that, I need your undivided attention."  She looked at me, "Seriously now.  It is an important step and you need to pay close heed to what I show you."

I interupted her momentarily, "If you wanted to show me the next step, then why not come to me as you did before?"  I paused, "Why wait until I I was asleep?"

She smiled, "Because I can not manipulate the power in the way I need to demonstrate to you in that world."  She drew a breath, "I can easily show you in this realm as I am a mistress of it, in a way.  I do not rule it, but I control it, at least locally.  Plus, I am unable to reach you as easily as before."  She looks at me and smiled anew, "And I figured if I got you asleep, you might not be so flirtatious," She chuckled at my broader smile, "But I see that is not possible."  She laughed again, "You are so utterly hopeless..." she admonished me with a smile.

"What can I say?" I replied, "It's a gift." She laughed again, then pecked my cheek.  "Oh dear," she continued with a exagerated expression, "You need to shave." 

 I rubbed my face vigorously, making scratching sounds with my gift of thurmaturgy, "I suppose I do...but that was for the morning." I looked at her questioningly, "You were talking about a lesson..."

She smacked my shoulder lightly, "Jester!" she teased.  As I looked pained, she let out an exagerated breath, "What am I going to do with you?"  As I opened my mouth to answer,  she interupted me, "Now hush!  None of that!" again the admonishing finger, "You are incorrigable!"

"And that is why you like me so" I retorted, with another smile.

"Guilty." she said, "but that is not the issue here."  She turned and pointed at the ribbons of light, "This is what I need you to see." she paused again, "The interface of light and dark, the boundaries that are shadow."  she gestured, "You see them?"

I gazed intently at the light as it plied accross the dark water.  I could see more and more definition as I held my eyes to the ribbons.  So intent on them that I failed to see the water fade away, leaving just the bands of light and dark.  I watched as the boundaries between took on a particular blue-purple sheen I was now familiar with since learning of the power.

"Excellent!" The Raven Queen praised, "I can see what you see in my mind.  You are ready for the lesson."  She stretched her hand out over a particular ribbon of glistening shadow, "Your abilities are more than you think." she looked at me and smiled, "You perceive the true power you have access to, and can draw upon it for formulate your will.  But, you can do more than that."  

She gestured with her off hand and I watched as the ribon folded over on itself, the folded again, returning to it's original course, though there was a substancial thickening as the folds now merged back into the ribbon.  I could see the motes within glittering intensely.  I raised my hand toward it and could feel the power racing as it strove to be released.  She looked back at me, her eyes sharing the same motes, "This is one of the ways you can shape the power." she drew her hand up under the ribbon, draping it in her palm as she began to shape and mold it into a attack form. "I have made this effect embolden the outcome, to inflict a higher yield in destructive power."  she turned her hand over and let the ribbon fall into nothingness.  "You can do it as well.  Try it."

I paused momentarily, a little unsure of myself.  As she urged me on, I reached out to another strand, and gently willed it to fold over on itself, like she had done.  Though there was a little resistance at first, I found I could do it with minimal effort soon enough.  I took the strand and shaped it into my much favored "Bolt of Chaos" and directed it out and away.  I was pleased to see that the brighter motes were visible withing the bolt as it carreened away out of sight.  I smiled to myself. 

"Impressive." The Raven Queen praised, "I was right about are a something exceptional."  Her beaming smile made me slightly embarrassed at her flattery.  I was never one to easily deal with it, no matter the source. "Thank you, my lady" I intoned.

She seemed to not notice my awkward reply, beginning her next demontration.  This time, instead of folding the strands, she wove them into a lattice like pattern, then cast it adrift where it slowly faded away.  "This is how one prolongs the effect of a power.  That simple form woiuld double the duration.  A More complex form would be required to double it again, and again, up intil a fill day cycle was the result."  She saw my eager expression, "Okay, you try it."

Again I streched out my hand and felt the energy ripple slightily,  in respone.  I then wover it in and out and then shaped a barrier effect that I used, and released it.  The barrier took hold, and then wrapped over me, the lattice fading into the form.  I knew it would last me for a   full morning and afternoon with that affed effect. I grinned, "This is exhilerating!"

"Yes it is," she replied with a grin of her own.  "This power...this raw our life's blood...our essence" She gestured about, "We live within it... bathe in, drink and breathe it."  She turned back, "It is why we are what we are, manifestations of that raw magic, given a purpose.  My guidance gives this power a conduit through the shadows,and your skills learn to harness the shadows and bring them to your bidding."

I gazed, slightly enraptured.  Her beauty only seemed to intensify as her passion grew.  I understood what she was saying, but reveled in how she was saying it.

"Wizards never grasp the power like we do." She continued, "Learning complex and rigid formulations that give them access to it, but they can not feel it." She took a breath,   "Warlocks only gain a few benefits from their patrons, and though freer than wizards, they still do not share our skill."  She paused, noting my expression, "What is it?"

"You." I smiled at her, " I so love to hear you speak in such a passionate way."  Some color appeared on her pale cheeks.  She smirked slightly, "And that is something else that makes you, you."  She chuckled, "Making even a goddess blush.  That takes some skill."

I chuckled softly.  "I am glad I can do that."  I looked into her black within black eyes, "Even a Goddess deserves a to feel a little human emotion."  

She stepped over to me, wrapping her arms arround me and kissed me.  Again, the traces of fire and ice upon contact with her lips.  She lingered a moment the drew back.  "Thank you." she said softly.

I smiled as she disengaged herself, then she started speaking again, "What I have taught you is what some call Metamagics...the way to manipulate the power itself."

I nodded, "So what is the next one?" I asked.

Her face took on a slightly sad cast.  "I am sorry, dearest, but you only can get those two, for now." As my face contorted a little in disagreement, "I mean it." she contined softly, "You are still new to the power and your skill will not allow you any further teaching, but you will learn more as you hone your abilities...and I will be here to teach you."  She saw I was still disappointed, "But we are not quite done." she said with a smile, I have one more thing to show you."  She took my hand and had me hold it like I held one of my daggers, "Now," she continued, "The signature ability of a Shadow."  She took her hand away and mimicked my gesture.  In a moment, a band of rippling shadow sprung from her hand, extending to the length of a common sword and she smiled, "Your turn."  

I held my breath as I considered what would be needed to manifest a blade of darkness like hers. I felt a gentle prodding as my mind worked through the shaping, "That's it...carefully...focus.." a Blade shot out of my hand.  I starred at it, breathing again.  The blade form rippled but was substancial enough.  I could touch it and it did have some form to it, but the blade had no weight.

"The Shadowblade,"  she explained, "Is a manifestation of the shadow power and will act just like a real weapon, damaging anything it strikes, and yet it requires not real skill to wield it, as the power guides itself pretty much....and one more thing..." She threw the blade like a knife, and it flashed quickly into the surrounding gloom, only to reappear in her hand seconds later, "The blade can be thrown, and it will reform in your hand instantly upon command," she paused, "for the duration...and can metamagic it fully."  She let her hand relax and the blade faded into nothingness.  "You will never be unarmed with his skill."  She flexed her lithe fingers, "Just recall it is a more complex form that what you are used to using, so it will require more energy."

I was amazed, and overjoyed.  I wondered what my companions would say when I produced a blade out of nothing with but a simple act of will.  I chuckled softly as I pondered that, failing to note that it was getting brighter.  When I realized it, I looked at the the Raven Queen.  Her eyes had a slight sadness to them, though I doubt no one but those like me could tell.  "What is it?"

"I must go, dear one." she intoned, "My attentions are needed elsewhere, but I am reluctant to leave."  She smiled sadly.  "You are such a breath of fresh air to me, that I find I loathe to part...but I must." she walked over to me and embraced me again, "Be safe, My Shadow, be safe."  As I was about to reply, I awoke to the sounds of morning.  I could still feel her embrace as the dreamstate faded.  I too felt a little remorse, as I cared for her as much as she cared for me, and I pondered just how lonely her existance must be as she was drug all over the world and beyond.  As I got to my feet and started to pack things up, a single raven feather fell from my bedroll, making me smile anew.  A new day had dawned, and I was eager to test my new found skill.  Perhaps I could make the Drow jealous.....
Basic changes.  HP are now 32.  Charisma is now 18 thus increasing modifier.  New spells: Cantrip:  Swapped BLADE WARD out for SWORD BURST, Added in CONTROL FLAMES & Since I miscounted cantrips PRESTIDIGITATION  Level 2: AGANAZZAR'S SCORCHER. 

Sitting back down in a shadowed corner of Inn after breaking the siege of the fort and polishing off several tankards of Ale and finishing a well appreciated meal, as well as several expressions of appreciation, of which, I surmised, were truly heartfelt.  The locals seemed to be looking past their preconceived prejudice those of my nature, judging me for the man I am, not the feared and reviled creature many felt towards a Tiefling.  Progress indeed.

Accross the way, the diminutive Hobbit bard was playing a catchy tune.  Though a recent acquaintance, she was an accomplished performer, and charismatic in her own accord.  I realized my tail was thumping along with the rhythm of her song absently, which made me chuckle.  I looked at her and thought she was cute, but I had only few dealings with Halflings, and they all tended to be at least a little cute.

The shady human that seemed to be her close friend, was obvious to me, a rogue of some sort, as, though in a calm environment, kept his back to the wall, failing to be convincing to be at ease, my Shadow augmented vision could see his eyes darting about furtively.

A Loud bellow and call for yet another ale from across the room, drew his gaze to the other new arrival.  With the firelight glinting off his bald pate, beard appearing to have shared a little of the libation he had consumed,  the Dwarven cleric was banging his now empty tankard on the table, toppling the half dozen or so others that he had racked up.  A well skilled combatant, despite his obvious divine trappings, the dwarf seemed to share his races love of ale and boisterous personality.  He called himself Frost, he had proven himself, standing up, next to Hrafin, to counter the charge from the giant and his cohort at the gate, earning at least a modicum of trust.  I felt pleased that company had support for the graceful elf lady Caelynn, in seeing to the well being of them all.

The thought of the Druidess, drew my gaze her direction, sitting at a nearby table shared by the elder Drow, Ryndaris, pipe set firmly in his mouth, framed by the unusual frilly beared he sported, the burning pipe weed filling the room with an oddly familiar aroma.  Despite the music, the Drow was rambling on about something that I could not make out.  Caelynn was nodding aimlessly, obvious not really paying attention to the Drow's words, as she watched the performance from the hearth.  A smile came to my face again.  At least he was not the only one who drew anxious, fearful looks when new folks came upon the company, but I knew the Drow, though still somewhat mysterious, was loyal to the rest of the group, but I knew that the "dotting elder" routine the Drow used to disarm most apprehensive reactions, was mostly for show, though the thought of the strange pipe weed smoke did bring some contemplation about the Wizard.

As for Lady Caelynn, her senses noting my gaze, turned toward me and raised her goblet of mead and smiled.  A dazzling smile from the blond elf was quite something to see.  Smiling back, I was of mixed thought.  She was my savior at least once during the past few weeks, and all elves are beautious to most eyes, the women even more so, and she was pretty.  I took another sip.

"So, I have a rival for your attentions, now?" a familiar female voice sounded.  "I do not know if I should be hurt, or not?"

Taken aback momentarily, I nearly spilled my drink all over myself as I nearly fell off the rocked back chair I was sitting on.  A lilting laughter filled my mind as I awkwardly recovered both the tankard and my balance.  "What?  I caught you by surprise?" the smile quite evident in the voice, "That is a first."

Gazing around the room to see if I could ascertain where the voice was coming from.  Caelynn looked at him questioningly, aware something had disturbed her friend.  I quickly waved her off with an awkward smile of embarrassment.  She smiled and shook her finger admonishingly as if to chastise me for drinking too much.  I shrugged, still looking about for the source of the voice.  Thinking fast, I used my Thurmaturgic gift to cause the sound of loudly passing wind to erupt beneath our large warrior Barbarian friend Hrafin, drawing bouts of moans and hoots of laughter as those around him as his chair toppled over in his haste to try to determine the source.

"Silly boy." the voice continued mirthfully, "You think I am in the room with you?" Another chuckle,  "You know me better than that, my dear shadow."  I noticed a movement of the shadow at the back entrance of the Inn.  "Very good!  There may indeed be hope for you yet."

Smirking mischievously, I got to my feet, drew the cloak over my shoulders, and with a wave off to Caelynn, made my way outside.  Gazing into the gloom about him, I saw a silhouette of a lithe figure in the shadow across the man square of the town.  My eyes soon made out the pale form draped in pure darkness, Raven feathers woven into her long sable hair, a smile gleaming in her shadowed face.

"My lady," I began with a mock admonishing tone, "do you enjoy causing your agents misfortune?" I strode calmly across the square.  It had begun to rain lightly, though the sparse droplets failed to reach me.

I looked about, before returning at her smiling face, "Yes, my doing." She said her eyes sparkling, "better to keep our congress from being interrupted."  She paused, looking at my face, "And, as for the misfortune.  If I think it appropriate," she looked again at mr before laughing again, "Or deserving."

I gave her an impish grin.  She stopped laughing for the moment, "Oh dear.  Did I err?:  Seeing my grin grow broader, "Should I be afraid?" she said, before chuckling again.

I drew myself up and gave her a stern look, "That remains to be seen." My tail betrayed me however,  swishing slightly under the hem of my cloak, betraying my deception.

She laughed harder.  "Oh no...the Ravenqueen, Mistress of Shadows, is going to pay for teasing one of her shadows."  She smiled, "The world will come to an end." Her arms came out and wrapped around my shoulders."  She looked into my eyes, seeing the depths within their jet blackness, "And I am sure you have a price in mind." she teased.

I enfolded her in an embrace, "I am sure I can come up with a few."  Drawing her in. I nuzzled her hair.  "I have missed you."

"Indeed," she replied, "as have I you."  

The sense of her form pressed into mine was enticing.  "And to answer your initial question, though Caelynn is a fair one, and she is a friend and companion, she is not your rival."  I paused as she hugged him a  little tighter, "You know better than that."  Pondering for a moment, savoring the closeness. "So, what has you so bothered?"

She pulled back, and I noted they both were shrouded in writhing tendrils of pure shadow.  "I don't know...I just...I was...." She stuttered, "I felt some sort of distress emanating from you, and I raced over here to see the last moments of battle at the gate."  She paused to draw a long breath,  "I was ready to whisk you away should you be seriously hurt, but you and your friends seemed to be dealing with it." Another pause, "I tried to discern the motivating force, as that Giant was some sort of aberration, but whom ever it was, had concealed him or her self to thwart a cursory examination.  I was about to go in more thoroughly, but your group had dispatched all of the creatures that were under the compunction."  She eyes lost focus, "I am trying to find them, but it does not matter for the moment."  

She raised her arms out to her sides, "What does matter, my dearest one, is you have reached yet another plateau.  Your experiences and your perseverance have outpaced what I had expected, so I am here to assist in your progression."

I smiled a little sheepishly,  "While your presence and aid are always a plus, my lady."  He paused,  "I think I may have achieved some of that already on my own."

She eyed me curiously, "Is that so?"  Looking me up and down,  "I see the shadows have grown within you, but I see something else." She paused, "Flames?" she asked.

"I can not tell you, my Queen." I answered, "My perceptions of the power are not as precise as yours, but yes, I believe my heritage has asserted a little influence, as I can do this now."  I looked about for a suitable target, drew upon my power and focused,  A jet of Darkness shrouded flames erupted from my hands, blazing across the courtyard before striking the errant pile of debris I had targeted.  The flames quickly grew brighter as the debris caught fire, despite the dampness.  I looked at her puzzled expression.  "It came to me the previous evening, though this is only the second time I have done it, as I had a hard time getting it to work the first time."

She looked at me, stilled puzzled, "The hint of fire in your aura seems to have spread to your power." She paused, then continued, her expression showing a revelation.  "A Tiefling!" she exclaimed, "Of all my Shadows, you are the only Tiefling!"

I thought about it too.  The curse of my noble bloodline had marked all who descended with an Infernal mark.  I knew I could call upon some of my bloodline for the gift of Thurmaturgy  and could cause a foe to be caught alight after he has harmed me, though I had not used that yet, I knew I was resistant to flames having caught things alight with my experimentation with using my fire bolts and barely felt the flames as I snuffed them out, but I never thought about focusing the flames into a blazing gout of flames like I just demonstrated.

The Ravenqueen smiled, "Amazing, my dear one.  Your heritage has merged with your power, obvious as your flames were so dark red as to be nearly black."  She looked expectantly, "You do know how to surprise me sometimes."  

I knew my fire bolt was also very dark, but had not put two and two together.  It made sense, somehow, but not entirely so,  

She looked expectantly, "Anything else?"  

Smiling I again gestured at the flames while calling on my power.  The flames wavered and changed color.  The light given off by them flared bright and then dimmed considerably.  The fires grew in intensity and volume before being snuffed out completely without a trace.  I turned to look at her for a response.  her face was almost aglow with delight.

"Amazing, once again!" she beamed,  "I would have never guessed." she grabbed up my hands and wheeled about in a dancing celebration.  "My dearest one, you are very unique."  

"I feared you might be displeased in some way." I said cautiously, "That you would be angry that I did not await your teachings"

"Angry?" she asked incredulously, "Far from it!"  She stopped whirling us around and drew me back into a fierce hug. "I am delighted!  You are a unique man, my dear one!" she smiled, "I love it!"  She pulled back with a beaming smile. "You  are even more than I hoped you would be when I chose you." She laughed again.  "You are far above your fellow shadows, and I was right to have made you one."

"My fellow shadows?" I asked, a small twinge of jealousy laced my words.

She kissed me.  "I do have to have other shadows, in all the realms my power extends."  she smiled, "I cannot do it all myself, but you need not be jealous, dearest.  You are my favorite by far.  Always have been."  She looked at my expression, then reached out and ruffled my hair vigorously.  "You goof.  I adore you like no other!"  She kissed me again, "Whom else can make me laugh so easily?  Can take my mind off my concerns, if even for only a moment, with his antics?" She kissed me again..this time for several moments.  That familiar lava and ice sensation returned with a passion.  It was almost too much.  "And," she said breathlessly, "Whom else makes me feel wanted for me..and not my power?"  She met my eyes.  "You are that person! No one else has ever done that to me before.  Not since I took on this mantle of the Ravenqueen."  

I looked into her eyes, "I knew you were someone before being the Ravenqueen, but had no ideas how you felt, my lady."

"Moirahe." she said quietly.  "My name..or it was...before.:

"Moirahe." I repeated softly,  "Mystery..Mysterious.."  I smiled, "An old tongue...very old." I looked at her closely, "You do not look to be over 2000 years old.: I said with a smile.  

She looked abit shocked.  "You know the older tongues?" She paused, "And I am not over two thousand years cad!"

"That tongue had infernal yes I understand it...though I could not read it."  I smiled, "And I said you did not look to be over 2000 years old."  I chuckled, "there is a difference."

She paused, then laughed.  "You see!"  he poked me in the chest with a finger, "Who else could do that?"

I just stood and gazed at her for a moment.

"What?" she asked.

"Just taking you all in." I replied, "I know you have to leave me soon."

She looked sad, "I know," she lamented, "If only I could stay..."

"But you will be back.: I quipped, "That is a plus."

She cheered, "Yes, but next time I will strive to spend a while with you."  She pecked me on my cheek.  "You can count on that."  

My pantomime exaggerated leer made her laugh harder.  "You Imp!"  She drew in her cloak, "Farewell, my dearest.  You have my love..always." And with that she was gone. 

I turned around and walked back to the Inn.  The sounds of shouting and crockery being broken met me at the door.  chuckling I asked aloud, "Who started this one, lady Caelynn?"  She was standing in the shadows nearby.  "I have no clue." she smiled.  "alcohol and boisterous personalities."  A roar in Dwarvish made me laugh. "I think I will stay out here."
Okay..I have to appologize for the delay on my life has had some serious upheavals since I last posted here.  But here is Vassago's Level 5 interlude.

Basic Changes:  Hitpoints now 40 Spells now include Fireball and opted to swap Scorcher for Shatter  Spell pool now 5


The sound of water splashing filled the air as I sat pulling the last bit of sticky webbing off my cloak, muttering in infernal a curse on all Spiders.  We had been abushed by 7 of the bloody things, and we all were feeling abit worse for ware.

As the last rays of the setting sun filled the sky with crimson flames, I felt weary, bone weary.  It had been a long hard day, culminating with the fight with the spiders, and I felt ready for sleep.

I turned to the approach of someone, only to see the Elf Maid Caelyn coming back with water for the pack horse, that one of our three new companions, the large human named Turicon, had just completed the removal of the pack frame.  I paused to ponder about the big man.  He was a easy going sort, though he could get down right furious when he called upon the power of his ancestry and culture gave him.  He was a welcome addition to the group, since poor Hrafin had been injured so badly. 

That thought gave me pause to consider where we stood as a party.  With myself, and Caelyn being the only originators of our little band of adventure seekers, we were sort of desperate for others to refill the void left by the Rhyndaris, Hrafin and the Dwarf Cleric Frost. 

Frost's departure was hardest felt, as healers were always in demand, but his faith had not allowed him to leave Hrafin to venture home unaided.  He mentioned he would try to return once Hrafin had reached his homelands, but I knew that to be a bit of a folly as the odds of finding us would be exceedingly slim.

Another shock was the sudden departure of the Hobbit Bard and her dark friend.  They had both left us in the middle of the night without explaination, though we were fortunately not in the wilds and this leaving us devoid of watch for several hours.

We were fortunate to find others who were looking for a group.  The Barbarian, was pretty easy to figure out.  As for the other two, there is some concern expressed.  Both had some oddness about them.

First was the diminutive Vlad.  Claiming to be one of the smaller common  races, his attempts to hide his scaly skin and draconic features were for naught for one with my eyesight.  He was a Kobold, which surprised me.  One would expect such a creature to be travelling the daylight world, as Kobolds had considerable trouble with Sunlight, thus his heavy hooded cloak of neutral colour.  He was armed with a Drow made hand crossbow, and sported a few knives and what appeared to be leather armor, thus he was one of the more roguish professions.  However, the small bird, he called Bela, that stayed with him, as well as my seeing his use of essence made him some sort of spellcaster.

Second, was the Young Woman called Jolandria.  Though she seemed to be a human martial warrior types, utilizing their ahand and feet, as well as weapons.  She was superior in her speed, even excelling Lady Caelyn, but that was not the most shocking thing about her.  He bright eyes had almost a glow about them, and darkness did not appear to have touched her in any way.  With our first fight together, my suspicions were confirmed.  She was an Angelic!  One of the Assemryi, as some call them.  A Hybrid like myself, but from the Order side.  I wondered just what sort of sad joke was being played on me by pairing me up with an Angelic, but she did not prove to be any sort of a threat.  However, I would still have to remain cautious arround her.

Roused from my musings as a bowl of stew was placed in my hands by Caelyn.  She smiled, noting she had caught me woolgathering again.  I smiled back with a slight shrug of my shoulders to acknowledge the situation.  I ate sort of half heartedly.  It was good, but since the druidess had made it, I knew it was to be vegetables and spices, but no meat.  I rummaged arround in my side pouch and pulled a strip of Jerky I had got from the last town to augment my meal.

As darkness settled in, I opted to take my usual watch, letting my mind relax and, though exhausted, was alert, thanks to a small draft of Anise and Ginger.  Even one who is a show alchemist, knows a few good combinations of root and plant extracts.

My shift passed without incident.  Rising as Lady caelyn exited her tent, I took the small bundle of webbing I had finally completed removing from my person, along with the trimmed strands from my overflowing mop, and tossed them into the campire, causing a momentary brightness, which drew a stern look from the Elf.  I stood and took a bow, which casued her to roll her eyes, making me chuckle a little.  I opened the flap of the tent, then paused and strode out of camp a few feet, feigning the call of nature.

As the last of the firelight dwindled to almost nothing, I saw a slight shimmering  beneath a large tree.  As I studied it, I hear the telltale feminine chuckling in my head.  "Yes," the voice said, "it is my doing." The voice paused, "Walk through it."

Hiding a  smile, I chimed in.  "Why should I do that?" I said with a bit of mock indignation.  "Some trollup tells me to walk into some sort of Magic manifestation," I paused for dramitic Effect, "and I am to just to walk through it no questions asked?"

An exagerated sigh came from the voice, "Why are you being so difficult?"  There was a slight pause, "A TROLLUP?!!  Oh my dear Vassago, you have crossed the line with that one!"  I could now see two blue black eyes glaring at me.  "I am no Trollup!!

I turned away from the eyes, fighting very hard not to laugh, " Well what would you prefer?  Hussy? Wench?... " I paused as I was stiffling a laugh, only to feel a hand on my collar and getting drug backwards through the disturbance and found myself, thrown into a heap,  in the middle of an immaculate room lit by gleaming Baelfires. 
There standing above me with more bright fires in her eyes, was my Queen.  "You Scoundrel!  You Miscreant! You Ca.." She stopped as I was now laughing aloud on the floor, having lost all sence  of control.  Looking down at me, she was perplexed.  When her expression changed from outrage to that of admonishment, I knew I was no longer in mortal peril.

"You Fiend!" she chastised me, "You insult me and then laugh?!" She looked on as I fought to regain control, with little avail, "I should make you pay for that."

"But.." I wheezed between laughs, "Whom else would you have to tease you so?"  I tried to meet her eyes but the laughter continued unabaited.  "I know  a little."  I rolled over onto my stomach to try to regain control of my breathing.  I was unsure how this revelation was going to be received, but was committed to the course, and she held my fate in her hands.

After a few moments, when my laughter dwindled off.  The silence was almost palpable, then I hear this sort of slight chuckle.  I made to turn over to face her again but she jumped onto my back and started swatting my backside.

"You Cad!" she intoned, each word accented by a swat, " ME!" The next swat was twice as hard as the last.  "Oh you are going to pay, buster!  She was now chuckling as she continued, "Calling me a Trollup?!"  She paused, "Vassago, you must really enjoy taking risks!"  She round off with another swat.  Before she could deliver another, I managed to surprise her enough to roll over and grabbing her wrists, I then rolled on top of her. 

"I am going to pay?" I continued teasing, "How about you are going to pay for tenderizing my backside?"  I held her fast, "When all I was doing was providing you a little change of pace."  I looked into her eyes as she mockingly struggled to get free.  "Now..let me think...what can i do?"

She looked at me square on, and noting my expression, "Don't you dare!"  She threatened. She started to try to free her hands.  "I know your mind well enough to know some sort of deviltry will result." she said as she struggled to no avail.  "NO!!" she shrieked as I dove in and started tickling her. She squirmed lithely as she renewed her fight for freedom, managing a briefly worded "STOP IT" between her writhing as I persisted.  "Noooooo!" she moaned as she squirmed and struggled before I finally let her lose.

Sitting up, I gazed at her as she gasped for breath on the floor.  "You..horrible horrible man" she intoned between breaths.  "How did you know?" she inquired as she also sat up.

"Purely happenstance" I replied smiling.  "I was at a loss..and not wanting to enrage you...thought what other than a simple gesture?"  I paused chuckling a moment.  "It was a pleasant surprise none the less."

"Surprise?" She looked at me with mock indignation, "You molest a goddess and you say you were surprised?"  She got to her feet.  "If I were so inclined, I would send you to the Umbral Mines for a decade or two." She paused to look at me sternly.  "By rights that would be what you deserve."  She shook her head, "But then who would be left to complete the task I set upon you?"  She smiled slightly, "And who would make my life that much less stressful?"

I opened my mouth to reply..but her finger to my lips stopped me.  "I do not need another joke, my dear Shadow."  She looked at my expression, "Hush!" She admonished as I went to persist.  "You need to be serious now."  She looped her arm in mine.  "We have work to do." We walked out on the veranda of the house we were in.  A great plain stretched away under a gibous moon.  In the distance a waterfall fed a small lakefrom a crag of stones one could just make out in the distance. 

"Beautiful." I commented, "Are we at the seat of your dominion?" 

"No,' she replied, "It is one of my havens in the Plane of Shadow." She paused, "I have several, but this is the closest to your realm." she smiled slightly...he eyes twinkled in the moonlight, "It has become one of my favorites."

I looked at her face, "Favorites because it is closest to your favorite?" I asked as innocently as I could muster.

She laughed, "Well, now that would be telling, now wouldn't it?"    She strode accross to a table and picked up a opalescent stone Sphjere and turned to me holding it upright.  "You have progressed far, my Shadow."  She paused, "And you have achieved this threshold of power faster than I expected." She released the stone and it hovered freely in the air, it's luminescence lit the immediate area. "It is a testamount as to why you were chosen by me." She smiled broadly, "You do me proud, My Dear Vassago, " she smirked abit, "even if you do cause me consternation from time to time."  She smiled again, "But that is your being. Clown..Charletan..Jokester..all are part of you as much as your ability with the power." She again paused, "You are a asset without equal in most regards and I am the better for having you."

I actually started to feel slightly embarrassed at her adulations, as I was nothing more than what she had made me.  She set me on the path those many months ago, and I owed her everything with my new existance.  "My Queen," I began, "I am what you set me out to be.  Everything I am...I owe to your boon."  I watched the stone slowly started to occilate up and down before she placed her hand upon it and it stopped, hovering rock steady. s

She had paused as she notice I was gazing at the stone, smiling at my comments.  "Good!" she clapped her hands once, "You are both humble and dedicated."  She paused with a smile, "Humility. An odd thing from one such as you.  I think I have your attention last."

"How could one not be attentive to such a beautious patron?" I smiled.

She chuckled, "And there it goes.  Subsummed by that flirtatious Jester I have come to love."  She sat in a chair that appeared out of nowhere, "Just as long as we both will be our secret." She smiled.  "Now...the new lesson." 

Her eyes grew wide and their dark luster was a flame in the darkness.  "I have watched your attempts as focusing your fire blast and seeing you have difficulty maIntaining the effect without it overamping and extinguishing itself." She made a gesture and a swirl of darkness formed before becoming like a dark mirrior.  And suddenly, there I was, falteringly trying to wrestle the fires of my infernal nature and focusing them into a useful ability.  Evidently my Ancestry was competing with my ability, trying to augment the blast beyond the ability I was able to focus.  I made several attempts and was able to manifest the blast most of the time, but the sustained flames were writhing with their own energies that made it more chaotic than I intended.  Thus, I had not made use of it much.

"I had worried about your self taught abilities not being the best path to let you walk." She paused to sweep the vison away. "I believe it would be better served if I showed you a better way to utilize your gifts."  She smiled, "I think you can now handle it."  She stood and strode over to me and came arround my right side to be able to guide me.  "Instead of trying to contain your fires, I think a better way would be to let them pool up in mass, letting them roil arround in a simpler volume, which will allow you to better focus on their power."  She drew her hands up and a ball of black flames appeared between them.  I watched as the flames whirled arround and wove back in upon themselves.  "It is far easier to manipulate them into a sphere."

Taking my ques from her I started focusing my flames, but instead of confining them into a consise blot, the flared and roiled into a small sphere like hers, though my flames were tinged red due to my infernal nature.  As I worked trhe sphere grew more uniform, and I found that it was indeed easier to focus.  "Excellent!" she intoned watching my efforts. "See, I was right, it is far easier for you to control, like I said."  I smiled in agreement.  "Now," she commanded, "Look accross the veranda.  See that Tree stump?"  I nodded in the afirmative. "Direct the sphere at it now, abruptly, yet holding it contained within your focus."    I did as she asked, and the sphere flew accross the lawn and exploded with serious vigor against the stump.  My expression was a mixture of wonder, bewilderment and some excitement.

"You did it!" she exhaulted. "You did not even falter, as I worried you might." she beamed, "You are truly amazing at times, my dear Vassago."  She looked at the flaming remnants of the stump.  "Congradulations!  You have just learned how to throw what a Wizard would call a Fireball."  She paused, "One of the most destructive manifestations of the power...and you did it without any added effort from me!"  She took my hands in hers with a beaming smile.  "You have moved into the new level of ability as if you were born to it."  She kissed me quickly.  "I am so very proud of you!"

Delighted..and a little overwhelmed..I relished that telltale of lava and Ice that her kisses always brought.  I once again remember just how lucky I was to have such as her for a Patron..and honestly...someone who made me feel so alive to be with her.  I thought back to the night I met her..and my sheer delight finding out just who and what she was...but she had captured my heart before she captured my essence.  I had to admit that to myself and it made me ponder just how lucky I was that she seemed to have similar feelings for me...

"What?" She asked, looking at my expression.  "Woolgather again?" She teased with a smile.  "You chose some of the oddest times to get lost in thought."

I looked at her and smiled, "Well..yes and no." I replied, "I had to just take stock of my lot here."  I moved to draw her close. "I figured just how lucky a man I was.  To not only have such a stunningly beautiful patron, but to have her seem to feel for me how I felt with her."

He expression darkened a little, "If only were it that simple." She said haltingly, "As the Raven Queen, I have so many responsibilities and duties, that what, if any time for myself is fleeting at best."  She paused lowering her eyes, "I knew it was to be when I accepted this mantle...but sometimes I regret doing so."  She slowly turned away...seeming to wilt a little.  I remained where I was and was silent...letting her take the time she needed.  After a few moments, she looked up at me and smiled a little, "But then I would never would have found dear man." She wrapped her arms arround me, "And I would never have the chance to experience your love and your dedication  to my cause."  She hugged me close, " And what sort of diety am I if I can not make time for my Dearest Shadow, my handsome, funny, yet sometimes frustrating, delight of a man, Vassago?"

I smiled, "I am sure you could think of something, my lady."  She looked at my expression and chuckled, "The Clown again, there to disarm the tensions." She paused, "But I mean it, you are that special to me." 

"As you are to me, my lady faire." I replied with a flourish, drawing yet another chuckle from her.  "I do as my Queen commands me!" I said as I stood at attention. 

She looked at me with a perplexing look, the flashed a wicked smile, "Anything I command?" she said coyly.  "Anything at all?"  She walked back towards me.  "Oh my dear are in for it now."  Before I could even begin, she jumped at me wrapping her arms about me tightly and spinning me half way arround.  "Anything my little heart desires?"

I laughed, "Anything...within reason." 

She drew back and looked at me her eyes flashing.  "Within reason?"  She said mockingly.  "I have just the thing...but that will have to wait for a few moments more.  One more lesson."

I had almost forgot she brought me here to teach me my new abilities, such was how entoxicating her presence was.  "Alright.." I said with a sigh, "What is next?" 

"This is just a way to utilize your gift in yet another manner that can prove to be useful." she paused, "Especially if find your way barred to you, or someone is using terrain as a cover."  She moved aside a bit then gestured with a flourish and a black mote grew and then raced off to hit the remnant of the stump...blowing it to splinters.  "The wizards call this Shatter." she paiused and turned to wards me again, "Good enough as any I suppose, since that is what it does, disrupt the object in question, liuterally shattering it."  She repeated the gesture more slow so I could see it clearer, "It will damage anything, including flesh in a pinch." She motiuoned me up and stepped me through the casting of this attack.  It came fairly fast to me, despite the distraction of her proximity, and she was pleased I mastered it so fast.

"Excellent my dear Shadow!" she beamed as I completed a third cast of the attack.  "You are truly worthy of my patronage." she said with a slight smirk. 

"One would only hope." I replied innocently, causing her to chuckle.

After a moment, she walked over to me and took my arm and turned me to accompany her inside the building.  "That is all I will teach you, for now." She walked past the main room and on into what could only be a dimly lit sleeping chamber.  "Now...let's see what we can do about your pennance."  Her smile gleamed in the near darkness. "I am sure I can think of something."

A few hours later I passed back through the portal my queen had created.  The memory of the hours shared still alight in my mind.  I often had wondered about the Diety and how they were different than the common man.  I now knew there was one thing we both shared and that memory would stay with me always. 

"Be well my dearest one." her voice followed me through.  "And stay safe." 

I turned to look at the portal and saw her face within.  "I will, my love." I said with all honesty.  I saw a slight color come to her cheeks.  "I look forward to our next encounter."

"As do I, my do I."
I know these are few and far between..but this is 6done...and 7 will be along here shortly...hope you like it.

I set my pack down as I settled into a chair next to the pub table.  We had been traveling all day and I was worn out.  All I wanted was a tankard of mead and a descent hot meal.

Nearby the massive Barbarian, Turacon noisy settled himself next to the fireplace, that Angelic settling in besides him.  I smiled at Caelyn as she made her way my direction.  She was my "Rock" in the party.  While all of my fellows were a great boon, she was the only one from the beginning.

I pulled out my pipe and snapped my fingers producing the flame to light it.  Caelyn rolled her eyes at my showing off, and I smiled.  I was the showman after all.

The evening went well...even the Kobold Vlad managed to keep his disguise going and did not cause the usual chaos that results.  As I went up to my lodging, I noticed the pub keeper's child, a barely out of toddlerhood, watching me from what she thought was an unseen vantage.  I popped a loud snap and flash of flame before her face that made her shriek slightly  I smiled and waved at her as I closed the door.

Seeing all in the darkroom as if fully illuminated due to my shadows augmented sight.  It was not much.  A adequate bed, a stand with a candle holder with barely a candle left in it, but no basin and water flask...but no matter.

I sat on the bed and wiped the road dust off my newly acquired bracers.  I also looked at the new boots I gained on recovering that bloody flower.  The Black Huron that had it was rather insane...and was not a easy fight.  The road dust seemed to not cling to them...but that is what magic is like...without much reason for certain things. 

I decided I best get a little light on the subject, in case I had some unplanned for observers.  If  there were, I pitied them for attempting to target me as I would love to expose them to what a Shadow Sorceror was like in combat.  As I lit the candle, I was aware of a oddness in the corner if the room.  I concentrated and prepared to defend myself, when a chill came to the room. A chill I knew.

"So, you are the one she has here"  A raspy whisper inquired from the shadows.  "And an arcaner Tiefling no less."

I cast about to determine the exact source.  "That would depend," I began abit defensively, "on the intent you have in my or the Lady's plan."

A raspy laugh, "Spirited too!" the voice continued, "I see why she likes you."

Still looking, "I am not used to speaking with hidden entities."  I was happy I had managed to reestablish my mage armor before coming up the stairs, but it had tapped out my I pulled in my final 1st tier ability and powered up my pool.

"Bravado...and paranoic." the voice continued, "That is quite foolish..boy." it paused, "I am way beyond your ability, more than you realize." The voice paused again, "but I am not here to harm you, Vassago.  I just need information."

Surprised he knew my name, but only for a moment. "You say that...and you seem to have me at a disadvantage.  I still do not know your identity."

A raspy chuckle, "There is that spirit again." A broader laugh followed, "Despite having no clue, you still are asking questions." He paused, "But true, one should be somewhat civil when having a conversation."  A single point of azure light appeared in the darkness... a glowing blue actual gemstone. "I have many names, so many that I may not recall them all...but you can call me Lord....Lord Vecna."

My blood ran cold.  The Arch-Lich Vecna was infamous in this world.  He was not unlike a diety in many ways.  And the lore says that Vecna had a large sapphire for one of his eyes...which was even more shocking.  I swallowed a couple times, trying to keep a reign on my fear. 

"Yes, Boy.." the voice continued, "That..Vecna"  Another pause, "You see, I too reside within the Shadow Realm, and I try to keep abreast of the Ravenqueen's, chess pieces."  The eye moved slightly, "I have noticed she has spent alot of time here, so I decided I should look a little closer as well."

I let my vision slide into the power and watched for any form of spell that the Lich would happen to throw...not that I would be lucky to dodge it...but if I was to die tonight, I would do so fighting.  "What do you want to know?"

"My Lord.." the lich added. 

"I have yet to acknowlege any dominion you have over me,"  I was surprised how determined I felt, "but to be polite," I made a flourish, "My Lord."

The lich chuckled again. "I like you." Vecna replied, "Most mortals would be a quivering mass if I were to speak to them."  He paused, "But, just carry on as normal."  Another pause, "Actually, you have almost completed what I needed to find out by your reactions"  I saw the eye flare as it rushed closer, a pale white glow flashed into view along side the sapphire.  "All I need is anything you know of the Ravenqueen...anything that I can use against her!" 

I felt the pressure of his will hammering my mind. "You..WILL...tell me!" the voice was nearly quiet yet bludgeoned my conciousness.

"HE MOST CERTAINLY WILL NOT!!!" A familiar voice entered my awareness.  "VILE NEKVARR!!" The new voice driped icy poison on every syllable.  "YOU HAVE NO DOMINION HERE!!"  My queen materialized out of the shadows, moving purposely to impose herself between myself and the Lich's eye manifestation. 

"Ahh my lady!" The Lich replied with the smirk evident in his voice, "I was just talking to your man here.."


The lich laughed again, "You are mistaken, my lady.  Vassago is an intriguing..and somewhat likeable fellow."  He paused again, "I was just getting to know him.  Nothing more.."

"LYING WILL NOT SERVE YOU, LICH!" The Ravenqueen continued.  "YOU BEST FIND YOURSELF ELSEWHERE, ABOMINATION!!" I could see the flares dancing arround her fingers as her voice grew even colder.  "YOU HAVE OVERSTEPPED YOUR BOUNDS.  I WARNED YOU ONCE!" She glaced back at me...her eyes roiling black/blue/purple vortecies.  "KEEP DEFYING ME AND YOU WILL GET TO FIND OUT WHAT NERULL DID SO LONG AGO!!"  She surged with incadescent dark fury, "THAT FORM MAY HAVE DEFEATED DEATH, BUT EVEN AN UNDEAD CAN DIE!"  I could feel the rage growing arround me.  My queen was a font of sheer destruction building to erupt explosively at any moment. "CARE TO TEST MY THEORY?!"

The mirth had drained from the Lich's voice.  "I can not say you don't have the power to push the limits of my existance...despite my own bravado...because I too know the limits of my existance."  The sapphire orb turned back to me, "But such a conflict would have vast collateral damage.  I suspect Vassago would not survive."  The mirth returned, "And I am not there in any event."

"THAT IS WHY I HAVE NOT USED YOUR ROTTING CARCASS TO MOP THE FLOOR!"  I felt her fury transform into a cold resolve, "AND, YOU ARE HERE IF I WISH IT!"  Her hand shot out to the eye and grasped just below, before starting to draw it back, a Bejeweled Skull of ancient bone held firmly in her hand...appeared out of the gloom

"Woman!" The Lich's voice had lost all humour. "You will let go!"  The malice now being palletable. "If I have to force my way free, your pet will die!"  I could see the power pooling between the two.  "I will only tollerate your touch for a moment more." 


It happened in mere moments, The Lich created a fireball and hurled it my direction.  I saw the weave, and I prepared to get out of the way ...though expecting another visit to the threshold of death, I steeled myself for the impending pain.  It never arrived..

As I watched, the Ravenqueen released her hold on the Lich and both her hands blurred as she rapidly did something to the weave.  In that slow motion one experiences as life faces a dire threat, I saw her tug, pull and twist the the weave of the Lich's spell and it vanished into the Ether. 

The Lich's eyes flared as his spell fizzed.  His skull faded as he sought to retreat.  "YOU HAVE NOT ESCAPED THAT EASILY, CORRUPTION!!" Her hand shot back out to grasp the skull.  Vecna gasped as he was wrenched back into her presence. "TO ATTACK ONE IF MY SHADOWS..MY FAVORED EVEN MORE FAVORED THAN MY SHADOW-KAI!"  She drew the skull up to her face...our surroundings flared into a writhing blackness.  "INSOLENCE I WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO NOT PAY FOR THAT TRANSGRESSION!!"  Her other hand came up and grasped the Sapphire in the right socket...and began to pull.  The Lich fought back, but her grip was unbreakable.  He started yelling and then shrieked as the Sapphire came free in a shower of magic sparks.  She let go of the skull and it quickly faded. 

My queen seemed to be unmoving for a moment, then she seemed to crumble.  In her left hand, the Sapphire gleamed.  As I feared that she would fall. As she teetered, I stepped quickly to catch her.  She looked up at me a smiled slightly, her expression revealing her great weariness.  I gathered her up close, "Are you alright, my lady?"

"Yes my love," she replied in a tired voice. "That Evil corruption has been growing more of a hinderance daily."  She drew a breath as she managed to get her feet under her. "I just did not think he would be so bold so quickly."  She placed a hand on my cheek.  "But he will not harm you."

I just held her close as her strength returned.  Her form feeling beyond pleasant as she lay against me. I felt her strength returning, but she only shifted to a more comfortable position within my embrace. Several minutes passed, then she slowly pulled back.  "That vile thing cares little for anything but his own ends..." she tossed the Sapphire into the air and  caught it. I noticed there was a slight glow to it yet."But this is something he will not forget.  I sent him reeling." She smiled, "It will serve him well to remember he is not as all powerful as he believes he is."

I said nothing as she seemed to gather her thoughts.  She seemed to be lost in thought as her breathing grew more robust.  The battle did tax her some...and I stayed quiet...thankful for her intervention.  Vecna was a god in almost every sense...and fighting his evil is something beyond my ability.

She finally looked at me and smiled.  I realized we were not in the room we started out in.  "Yes, my dear.." she answered my inquiring look.  "I have relocated to us elsewhere.  Vecna may be weakened but his minions are not, so I thought it best we were not where he expected us to be."  She turned slightly.  "And besides...we need to train you some more."

I smiled, "I expected you to be along soon." 

She chuckled at my expression.  "You Imp!" She waved a finger at me, "Your mind needs to be better focused."

I leered in an exagerated manner which drew a laugh.  "My jester!" She shook her head, "I may have created a monster here."  We both laughed.  "Seriously...we do need to train you."

"I know." I smiled. "I just could not help myself." She smiled again, "With such stunning beauty in evidence..." 

She laughed, " Flatterer.."

I moved closer and she took my hand. "You are such a relief."  She pecked me on the cheek.  "But, first."  We walked along..and the background blurred again.  The new setting was a structure that looked delapidated for a moment before it shown in a dark radience under a full moon.  I had seen that before.  The Shadowfell is normally a dreary place...but I figure my queen is making the changes as she moved.

A few moments passed as we stepped inside the structure, then she turned and cast some sort of spell..a very complex weave that left the door and windows with a sparkling black sheets covering them completely.

"Now," she turned to me with a smile,  "with that vile thing making trouble I want to give you a tool to use against his machinations."  She took my hands. "You saw me unravel his fireball as he cast it."  I nodded.  "That is what I want to teach you that."  She smiled, "It's a Counterspell.  It works to undo the spell as it is cast.  It may not always work...especially if it is cast by someone of greater power...but it should give you the chance to undo a spell cast at you."

She walked me over to a table.  "Here are the  somatic gestures you need to do."  She showed me the gestures a couple times, having me mimic her motions.  "You will need to be watching the weave to accomplish this."  She gave me another smile, "This will also be an order of the third tier...which, my dear Shadow, your advancement has expanded your ability as to not deprive you of the primary attack you like to use."  I was engrossed. "Now..I will cast a spell and have you counter it.  I will help you by instructing you to see the ways you can undo the weave." 

She stepped away and faced me. "Ready?"

I smiled and wiggled my eyebrows.  She laughed, " Vassago!"  She scolded.

"I Know..I know" I replied sheepishly.  "Sorry."

She eyed me. "You go to far, sometimes."  She smiled, " I can tell you are nervous.  No need to be."

She turned her back to me and paused.  I let my sight slip into the weave in time for her to final step of a standard Chaos Bolt spell.  As she spun to cadt it, my gands were already moving as if having a mind of their own.  The weave containing the bolt unravelled as soon as it left her hands, fizzling in the air between us.

"Excellent!" My queen intoned, "But you recognized the spell as I cast it.  Your mind already knew where to pull to unravel the weave."  She paused, "Not everyone will be so curtious as to cast spells you know."  She paused, "No...not curtious at..." She threw a spell I did not recognize."

My vision flashed into the weave and saw the pattern construct...and sought where I could disrupt it.  A quick pair of moves and the spell fizzled in front of me.

Delightful laughter filled the air.  In her next breath, she smiled and praised my action, "Excellent!"  She continued, "I thought I got you with that."  She smirked, "I thought a burning hands was safe as you are pretty much fireproof."

"Yes.." I said said a little more smartly than I intended.  Smiling, I continued, "You are being a bit unfair, distracting me with you beauty and all..."

She blushed slightly, "Oh you...." she smiled coyly.  Several moments passed. "Must you always catch me offguard like that?" She whispered as she crossed to me. 

"Just lucky, I guess." I said with a slight grin.  She hugged me tight.  "Don't ever change." She whispered in my ear.

Another couple moments passed as she held me tight.  She then slowly stepped back and drew a breath.  "You are a very capable study." she began.  "I watched as your perception shifted and your hands came up already working to unravel the spell.  I do not think we need to instruct you any more on that."  She looked up, " You just need to remember that you will not always be able to succeed."  She looked a little contempationary. "The higher order the spell the harder it will be to undue.  But you will at least have a chance."

Several hours passed while we enjoyed each oyher's company.  She filled me in abit more about Vecna and his apparent thuirst for power.  She cautioned  me that he or his agents will probably cause me trouble in the future.  To that end, she took up the Sapphire that was recently was Vecna's eye.  She held it up in front of me and released started to glow with a deep purple light as it slowly revolved.  The light intensified as the revolutions in creased.  I shielded my eyes with my hand as the light grew too bright.  There was an intense flash of dark purple..then it faded to nothingness.  The Sapphire disc was now a deep purple spindle. 

She took the gem aback into her hands and a soft glow returned.  She then produced a clasp that would easily fit on my focus chain.  "I can not do much at this time, but this will hum softly if any of his agent or abominations are near.  It will also alert me so I can come look in.  I have put that Nek-varr on notice.  He is to stay away from you...and I have hurt him...and though he is powerful...he now knows I can hurt him at will."  Even an abomination like him should feel fear sometimes. 

Things continued for some time...before I realized that it was already dawn back where my group was, and I may indeed be missed.  My Queen smiled sadly, but complied.  As her magic started, I saw the Lady Caelyn and the Cleric Oscar, standing in my room.  Shadows were still very long inside, but they appeared worried.  As our portal finished forming, I hear Oskar pondering aloud what could have happened to me.  As I was about to stride through it, my queen gathered me up on e more and kissed my cheek, "Until next time, my Shadow."  Her arms slid away from me as I stepped from the Shadow Realm into a long shadow at the corner of the room.

The portal hid me initially for a moment but when it cleared I was standing there in the Shadowed corner of my room.  "Caelyn, Oskar?  Is something wrong?"

The dwarf spouted a few choice words in Khuzdul.  "Where the hell have you been?" Caelyn also looked quizically.

"Off walking the Shadows.  Something I only recently figured out how to do...and lost track of time."  I sort of smiled sheepishly. "Sorry if I upset everyone."  I looked over at my stuff, noting my Bracers were gone. "And someone tell Vlad I want my property back."  I started gathering up my stuff...and noticed Caelyn lingering, her eyes drawn to my left wrist.  " must tell me how your night went.  By the look their is some story there."  I just smiled and continued to prepare for the morning.  Another day on the road lay before me.

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)