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Chapter Fourteen: Stoking the Fires of Preparation

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Nothing crept up the dismal tunnel SkySting watched over. Nothing dared.

The cliffside you camped upon was lit fairly well by aged mosses and lichen that glowed with soft illumination, but this was not enough for your draconic company. TZZAAAP!! With a flick of her tail, SkySting brought down two sudden and inescapable bolts of shining lightning. They struck the base of the column violently and left a great heat warm enough to cook on and a kindly teal glow that made your Felane shadows dance along the great cavern walls. Within your feline fur, the chill of the caverns could not touch you and the serpentine wall that was SkySting was clearly proof against any unwelcome guests. You could all train and eat and rest and wake and eat and memorize in peace. Preferably in that order.

Oscar climbed over to Bren's knee, looked up, and found the paladin taller than ever. "Bren? If you would place me on your shoulder that I may address everyone?" Once this was done, Oscar briefly examined upclose Bren's new whiskers and eyes and all of the feline features he had gained. Oscar the Sage then looked to each of you. "You have an opportunity, my Wayward Wanderers. The magic that has turned each of you into mighty Felane has an added effect - you may alter your adventuring professions to any class that I can teach you, if you so choose! As Lord Sarabina here was once a fighter and ranger, but now a paladin, you may start again as he did and become something slightly or grandly altered! But once chosen, the profession remains!

"But such decisions must not be made on empty bellies! Let us now rest, contemplate, and plan for success!"
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
This, but with blue eyes.


To find himself so unexpectedly returned to, as Otiorin had put it, the fullness of his puissance (and what a grand word that was!) was almost so wondrous as to distract Bren from the fact that his physical self had altered. Almost, but not quite! And such a change! He flicked his ears just for the sensation of it, twitched his tail for the same reason. To be free of Loviatar's curse, even one aspect of it, was worth becoming Felane for a time, to his mind, for he truly believed it was for a time, and in any case these new forms had been given to them by a friendly deity, not an enemy one. Then his mind caught up with what he was overhearing from Otiorin and Powerpaw, and he realized suddenly that such a change wasn't to be welcome, or even comfortably tolerated, by all in the party -- and he recalled what Nivirea had said only moments ago. "Not being myself is what hit me the hardest," she'd told him. And now the poor sorceress had been forced through another change. He moved to stand next to her, not sure what to say or do, but offering himself wordlessly as a friend if she needed one.

When Oscar requested that he lift the scholar-turned-red panda up, Bren automatically complied, setting Oscar on his shoulder and turning his own head slightly to keep him in view as he listened. "It is a great gift we have been given," he replied, "odd though it may be, and uncomfortable though some of us find it. No offense, Powerpaw!" He smiled reassuringly at the one true Felane in their midst. "But as Otiorin says, we have only just regained our own true forms after Loviatar cursed us to exchange them with another, and this is an even greater change, though it be from a friendly source. Let us all follow Oscar's advice, and come to terms with our new temporary forms, for so I consider them, as I'm sure we'll return to ourselves at the proper time."
 
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Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"Ohhh, yeah!' Powerpaw flexed and batted away Bren's apology. "Bren-face iz right! You'se guys can't be Kitty-faces forever - only I can be dat cool! Ha ha! MOOOOOAARR!" He pulled his maul forth and went about swinging and smashing looking as deadly-cool as he could for a moment. He did not fail in this.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
1c1096f5b009fdc253058de0b4c0ea02.jpg

Being a Felane is a new experience for Oreleth, but overall it is a pleasant one. Purring is a strange feeling, but kinda nice. Her chief complaint is learning how to fire her bow without catching her claws on the bowstring as she looses her arrows! With a bit of practice, she is able to overcome that issue, and soon she is confident that when combat ensues, she will be able to rain arrows into their foes without any troubles.

As she trains, she learns how to focus her mind and body into being able to being able to release elemental energies on her arrows, making them even more deadly than before. Oreleth smiles in satisfaction at the progression of her abilities. Someday, when she reunites with Dendarian, she will be able to show her old teacher a few new tricks!
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
87d4e3e2a6222d91a6bed09caa8e5441.jpg

As she works with Oscar, Luna is amazed at her new level of understanding of the art of pyromancy. What had eluded her for so long now seemed so obvious as her mind now unlocks a new level of magic.

The new form of being a Felane is almost of no import to her now, considering that it was not a curse that was inflicted against them by an evil power, but a gift given to them to help protect them from the cold and harsh conditions of this world, and will most likely be easy enough to get back to her normal form once they return home.

In the meantime, Luna is quite happy to be reunited with her dear friend, Sparkle. In between times training with Oscar, she tells the little dragon the harrowing tale of what they have gone through here in this snowy hellscape, how they met SkySting, deciding to break the curse on the ancient dragon and restore her to true life, and finally, deciding to try and break the curse on Bria and getting everyone turned into Felanes!

"Just think, with my new claws, I can give you extra good scritches on your scales! Isn't that a good thing? I missed you sooooo much!"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Sparkle licked and lovingly nibbled on Luna's temporarily-feline fingers. "It is a fine and delightful thing, Pyri! But finer still to understand these curses upon you?" After it is explained to Sparkle that the Wayward Wanderers had indeed defeated two-out-of-three of Loviatar's unholy attempts at crushing them, Sparkle stood up in Luna's palm with the readiness of a dragoness prepared for action. "Perhaps some scouting is in order? What bars your way from the third curse?"

SkySting waved an aimless claw down the tunnel of destroyed ankhegs. "Down there, little pseudo-dragon... Bear right as the tunnel forks for to bear left is to send thy soul straight into oblivion."

"My soul," Sparkle squeaked in the presence of this great dragon, "is in the arms of Bahamut, greatest of all dragons!"

But SkySting stretched and yawned. "As thou sayest, loyal one. No danger lies between here and the doors to the dungeons of the blasted Castle Anguish."

"None?"

"Nay. One peek and methinks thou shalt see a benefit to thine new forms." She chuckled. "I would like to see the human who could scale that craggy climb!" With that, SkySting turned away from Sparkle and faced down the tunnel, her gaze waiting for fresh prey.

"Your word is fact, mighty SkySting." Sparkle bowed meekly toward SkySting in gratitude. In reply, the Undying One silently flicked her tail in boredom.

Sparkle looked up to Luna. "You are in the midst of training, my dear. Shall I camouflage myself and see this entrance for myself? I would help now since I have been unable to up until this point."

Powerpaw slowly twirled his maul while watching Oscar speak softly with an eagerly-nodding Bria. "I'll go wif ya if ya wanna, Sparkle-face. I wanna see dis entrance for meself, too!" Powerpaw turned to Bren while Sparkle turned to Luna for answer. "Whaddya say, Bren?"
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna looks down at Sparkle and gently rubs her paw over the tiny dragon's head. "I just got you back, and now you want to go flying off again? Well, I would think that, out of all of us, you would be the sneakiest with your camouflage to go and take a look." She looks to Bren for his input.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Sparkle looked up at Luna with aged, concerned eyes. "I have just spent the last past while being able to do nothing but worry, While others, more resourceful and experienced that I, put their heads together to get you where you are. It was awful. Now that we are reunited, I want to do something useful."

Powerpaw clanked over to Luna and Sparkle. "Iz you sure you wanna go alone?"

"Yes, youngster" the familiar replied. "I spy best when I am on my own."
 

Captain Hesperus

On Vacation
Supporter
Oti'paw'rin Taletreader


Otiorin resisted the urge to arch his back and hiss at SkySting's sudden use of her lightning, but the warm glow from the striken pillar attracted him more. He stalked over and gently took Bria by the paw, then lead her to a point that was comfortably close enough to the heat before settling them both down and wrapping his cloak about them.

"I will say this much,", he purred into her ear, "As long as you are as pretty as a Felane as you are as a human, I could happily live life as a Felane."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Otiorin's words warmed Bria's heart more than any fire SkySting could produce. She leaned into him, closed her brown eyes, and smiled. "I don't know if my prettiness will compete with your hunkiness, Mister Scoundrel, sir."

Remembering the ways of cats, Bria pushed her whiskered cheek affectionately against Otiorin's chest, placing her scent upon him. She patted his chest with her paw and left it there until a sudden thought surprised her.

"Oh dear!" She pulled her paw back and examined it. "I have to remember we have claws now. Oh, I hope I don't accidentally scratch anyone!" She pulled her paws close across her chest in earnest worry.
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
This, but with blue eyes.


Bren watched his party train even as he engaged in his own training. It was so odd to see all of them in their new forms, but doing familiar things. It was so odd to be in a new form, doing familiar things. Or somewhat familiar, at least. From fighter/ranger to paladin to Bria-type novice healer to Bren-type novice paladin and now, back to full paladin lord, but Felane instead of human. He was glad he knew himself well enough to keep steady through all these changes, and thankful moreover that he had his faith to keep true to, no matter what his form, class, or ability. Throughout the training, if anyone seemed in need of encouragement, he made sure to provide it.

Listening as Luna explained things to Sparkle, Bren's ears perked forward when the discussion turned to scouting ahead. He walked over to the two (and Powerpaw) to hear better, then nodded. "So long as you keep yourself safe," he warned with a smile. "There may be no danger on the path to the dungeons, but I'd not have you seen once you arrived, either." He glanced at Powerpaw, then continued, "If Sparkle prefers to go alone, I think we'd best abide by that. She knows her own abilities best, and you're not exactly small." He grinned and added, "Nor am I, at present, for that matter. Return when you can, Sparkle, and call if you need anything."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter

(Dungeon Master note for all: This post is separated into three parts. Enjoy!)

Location: Near the Dungeons of Castle Anguish
Time/Date: Unknown. Last you knew it was mid-afternoon, Monday, 22nd September in the year 1118.
Weather: Snowy in a Loviatar-wants-you-to-die-here kind of snowy. Really, just don't go out there. =)

Powerpaw chuckled at Bren's addition concerning size. At Bren's order, the Felane warrior growled a little, then pouted and nodded in understanding. He addressed Sparkle and pointed at the ground he stood on. "Well, I will be givin' a listen right here! So squeak or sumthin' if yer in danger, okies?"

"Or," the purple dragoness uncoiled and stretched her old wings and limbs, "I could send a call to Luna and request help our way as Lord Sarabina has suggested?"

"Yeah, yeah! Do dat! Good idea!"

Sparkle glanced up at Luna and Bren and shook her head. In some ways, Powerpaw was a wonderfully simple person. "Lord Sarabina, my dear Luna, Bria's Fuzzy Goof," she bowed her head in farewell to each of you. She leapt into the air, wings unfurled and as she did, her scales took on a brownish and grayish hue like the ground around her. She seemed to fade from sight and sound and within the span of a dart's throw, Sparkle the Pseudo-dragon had completely vanished from eye and ear.

* * *​

"Luna? Brendoran? It is time." It was Oscar. The furry scholar had somehow made it to the bottommost perch of one of the unheated stone columns and there he stood, roughly your new heights, and directed your training. He so perfectly kept apart matters of Wizards and Paladins as to convey to each of you the entirety of what you had become and how to best make use of your recovered, and newfound, abilities.

"Luna, you must be extra-careful of how spell selections function now. If you wish to, say, use a 3rd-level spell like Fireball, you can. But at the cost of your new 6th-level spells, you can Heighten that same spell to double its damage. However, with Spell Substitution, if you wished to do away with your 6th-level Fireball, you might (if your party agrees) spend 10 minutes and empty your mind of that spell, replacing it with a 6th-level spell or another lower-level Heightened spell from your spellbook. While there is no limit to how many times between rests you can perform this, there is a limit to every party's patience." Oscar glanced toward the younger members of the party.

"Furthermore, your Wizardly Spell Blending can work to terrific effect if you require a higher-level spell at the cost of two lower-level spells. Or a single spell of any level can be substituted for a pair of ever-useable cantrips. Do be very careful then about which spells you wish to be held in your spellbook."

Oscar spoke, his right paw raised in thought. "Brendoran, you are now a Paladin in name and in title. As such, you might succeed in attracting the notice of a Squire. This person will very likely be wholeheartedly devoted in Mielikki's causes and they may carry no small amount of admiration for your many good deeds. They might be a Paladin-in-training and as Paladins, they might take on a quest to find you, so it is important to understand this Squire might appear at any time, perhaps through the will of the Mistress of the Forest. The Squire will be competent (4th-level character), well-geared (for their experience), and likely willing to do nearly anything for tutelage under your good name."

Oscar paused in thought, then continued. "It is entirely up to you if you wish to take them on or refuse them. If you refuse them, they will likely continue to serve Mielikki in their own way. If you take them on, you must take time to train and teach them while in turn they will act as a true Squire to you, performing all manner of duties. If you lack for duty ideas, I imagine one might make for a fine protector of our Adventurers' Wagon and keeping you informed of the latest news regarding Mielikkians. Whatever you choose, understand they place their life into your hands until they are near or at the plateau of paladinhood themselves (8th-10th level). Perhaps they might stay longer." Oscar concluded. "As with any matters of divine destiny, I humbly recommend you pray on it." His red panda features curled into a smile, something he did uncommonly.

"Do both of you understand what I have told you and how else might I serve you in your training?"

* * *​

Bria calmed most of her worries in part by keeping her paws curled and close to herself. She curled into Otiorin's warm chest again, cleary very happy to be there. "We should enjoy these moments while we can. Not long from now, we'll be in icky dungeons probably filled with traps and dangers and all kinds of awful things trying to prevent us from breaking Loviatar's third curse. But, oh, is it nice to be restored!" Bria looked up into Otiorin's eyes. "Did we ever tell you?" Ko monks often thought in terms of we.

"Bren and I used to be stronger than this. I used to have this lovely spell. Repulsion!" She weaved one paw in a somatic stopping motion while Otiorin was treated to the truly calming and pleasurable sound of a Bria purring. "It used to keep all of our foes at bay or at least out of melee. Oh, and what I would do for my old Staff of Healing! It was a living tree branch. I used to go through Highwind's healing tents and just pray and heal everyone I could with it." She sighed fondly, her eyes starry and filled with good memories.

She nudged him. "You've completed some of your own destiny too, Oti. How does it feel to have your Elvish blades reunited?"


Red Panda from newnaturewallpapers.com.jpg
(Image credit: Wallpaperswide.com )
GAME DETAILS Location: Pohjola, on a cliff not far from Castle Anguish.
Mode: Exploration
Click Blue Box for Ambiance =)
"D&D Ambiance - Dark, Dank Cave" by Sword Coast Soundscapes

 
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Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Oscar spoke, his right paw raised in thought. "Brendoran, you are now a Paladin in name and in title. As such, you might succeed in attracting the notice of a Squire. This person will very likely be wholeheartedly devoted in Mielikki's causes and they may carry no small amount of admiration for your many good deeds. They might be a Paladin-in-training and as Paladins, they might take on a quest to find you, so it is important to understand this Squire might appear at any time, perhaps through the will of the Mistress of the Forest. The Squire will be competent (4th-level character), well-geared (for their experience), and likely willing to do nearly anything for tutelage under your good name."

Oscar paused in thought, then continued. "It is entirely up to you if you wish to take them on or refuse them. If you refuse them, they will likely continue to serve Mielikki in their own way. If you take them on, you must take time to train and teach them while in turn they will act as a true Squire to you, performing all manner of duties. If you lack for duty ideas, I imagine one might make for a fine protector of our Adventurers' Wagon and keeping you informed of the latest news regarding Mielikkians. Whatever you choose, understand they place their life into your hands until they are near or at the plateau of paladinhood themselves (8th-10th level). Perhaps they might stay longer." Oscar concluded. "As with any matters of divine destiny, I humbly recommend you pray on it." His red panda features curled into a smile, something he did uncommonly.
Becoming a Felane, however temporarily, had done nothing to change the fact that Bren's emotions were generally right there on his face for all to see. And so, anyone who happened to be watching would know that the idea of a squire had completely taken him by surprise. For a few minutes he could only stare at Oscar and listen to the scholar's words. Finally, a moment or three after Oscar had finished, Bren nodded (though it was more of a bow of thanks than an agreement) and said, "That sounds like excellent advice. I will indeed ask my Lady of the Forest for guidance, though I think I will do so once we're out of here. I will need some time to reflect on it myself." He shook his head bemusedly, clearly still adjusting to the concept. While almost none of his adventuring career had been accomplished solo, his companions had nearly always been of his own level of training in their own paths, and in any case had been companions, not any kind of subordinate, despite his leadership role. A squire such as Oscar described was a responsibility, and one not to be taken lightly.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna takes the words of advice from the tiny sage with a nod. "There is much to learn with the new level of knowledge. But I look forward to mastering it with gusto as I ply my pyromancy against our foes and destroy this Bridge, break our third curse, and get us back to Highwind."
 

Captain Hesperus

On Vacation
Supporter
Oti'paw'rin Taletreader

Bria's scent filled his nostrils and Otiorin's mind blazed with the subtle nuances that made Bria's scent so unique to her, even beyond the scent of other women. There was spice there, unnamable but delicious, fresh forest scents, herbs and, beneath it all, the raw, unmistakable aroma of a woman in her prime who was perfectly comfortable with him. He breathed deeply in her scent, ingraining it into his being as if it were more precious than the air itself. He forced it to adhere to his memory, his soul so that he would never be without it. Without thinking, he reciprocated, gently nuzzling her head with his own cheek, scent glands working unbidden to deposit his own musk on her. Claimed and claimed.
It was her question that drew him back and forced him to think on things other than her.
"How does it feel?", he sighed thoughtfully, "I... I don't know really. It seems almost too much to process. When I first left Waterwind, I was afire with the stories of the hero who bore the Sunfire Blade and the Moonlit Edge. I wanted to stride forth and do battle to whichever foe still held this most precious sword. Over the years I was away from home, I guess I became too enamored of life outside Waterwind, mingling with races other than Elves, experiencing things far removed from the Elvish norm. I became less interested in following my initial desire, more interested in the banal and transient life of those who don't share the longevity of the Elves.
"But when I first saw the Sunfire Blade, as it fell from that warg's saddlebags, my heart skipped a beat. I knew that it was what it was; my soul, despite being in a body not my own, rang to the sound of the blade striking the ground. And now, I possess it and I feel... I feel in turmoil. What do I do now? I hold in my own two hands the weapons of legend, The Sunfire Blade and The Moonlit Edge. This two swords forged from the same rare metal and enchanted together with sorceries unknown. Weapons wielded by a hero so great and powerful, he has a shrine in the temple back home and his tales are still sung by minstrels and balladeers at festivals.
"Should I keep them? Use them to forge a legend all of my own? It seems that Fate has laid a claim on me to bring the two together after so long, it would be foolish not to. But yet... but yet my mother stole The Moonlit Edge from the temple shrine, told me to keep it secret, keep it safe, until such time as the two are reunited. I had a craftsman make a facsimile of it, so I could wield a weapon with the same dimensions and heft without exposing it. These weapons are important artifacts of Waterwind, of one of her heroes lost to antiquity. They belong in his shrine, or even on the belt of an Elven hero to carry on the legacy forged so long ago in the past. The original wielder was an Elf, not a Half-elf. Can I truly bear and employ them, knowing that one was stolen for me and that the two together should be wielded by an Elf of Waterwind? My mother, she will have borne punishment, there would have been repercussions for her theft. Should I continue to adventure with them with the knowledge that returning them to Waterwind would at least remove the veil of shame and guilt she would be covered with?"

He lowered his head, rubbing his brow against his lover's, "I want to continue this way. I want to forge a hero's legend, to be the one to aid the Wild Elves in restoring what was lost to them, to be one who brings light and goodness to the world. But can I do that, knowing that carrying these swords lays a burden of shame and distrust upon someone who loved and cared for me while surrounded by those who looked down upon me? It's a painful, hard decision and I can't for the life of me decide."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth lowers her bow as she is training her archery as she overhears Otiorin talking to Bria about his magic blades. Her elven (now Felane) ears hear more than most give her credit for. She wonders what it might be like to actually be in possession of something that you have been searching for for years and now, not know what to do with your life. I have searched for the Songbow for decades, with little to no thought to what I would do once I found it. It brings up a good question of, just what will I do with my life once I find it? IF I ever find it? I had long thought I would just continue to be an adventurer, but who knows what fate will call me to do?

Enough woolgathering, girl. Time to train.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Bria listened long and thought longer to her beloved's worries. She immediately knew what she would have done, but just as instantaneously, she put aside her own feelings and focused on the needs of someone else.

"Perhaps you might ask Oscar? He's Highwind's greatest sage; he even has the ear of the king and queen! I think if anyone knows something pertaining to the Moonlit Edge and Sunfire Blade, it would be him. I just can't recall the number of times we've gone to him for information about unusual items, adventuring history, and wondrous legends... and I think your pair of swords contains all three!"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Resting comfortably against Otiirin's chest, Bria watched Luna and Bren as Oscar assisted them with their rise (or in Bren's case, return) to this plateau of adventuring experience. She hoped Luna was happy with her attainment of 6th-level spells while Bria saw quite a difference in her own profession since last she had this experience and ability to call upon.

Careful to keep her new claws sheathed, Bria affectionately caressed Oti's "hair". Looking pleased, she said, "I really like how you handled yourself with Powerpaw during your spat, Oti. He doesn't value just anyone's opinion, and that he values yours so deeply clearly clearly means that he cares about you. Isn't love wonderful?"

The peaceful healer was about to continue that train of thought when Oscar proclaimed. "Oreleth! Nivirea! Otiorin! Powerpaw! Attend me, if you please." With open paws, Oscar motioned for Luna and Brendoran and Bria to spar one-on-one for three-minute rounds until they rotated while the selected other members formed under the column. For the next hour, Oscar trained each of them with exacting precision and no small amount of toughness in the teaching.

@Kaerri @Psychie @Wolf Rawrrr @Captain Hesperus @Sherwood

Once everyone was worked and practiced into new fighting forms from where Oscar learned none of of you could tell, he let you rest for an entire ten minutes.

The only thing that remained left in the training was spell selection for those who chose their spells. Oscar folded his paws and spoke. "SkySting's generous offer to safeguard us lasts until morning. Then we are on our own against the unknown." He paused to smooth a stray whisker. "I recommend you make the most of these hours.

"Oreleth, Otiorin, Nivirea, Luna. You are all non-divine spellcasters who largely choose your paths to power. If you will take the advice of a simple sage, you have two roads before you. The first is to select your known spells on your own and grow as individuals. The second is to select them together and grow as a team. We have that opportunity now for you to talk about it.

I will select Otiorin and Nivirea's spells based off of their Pathfinder 1.0 selections until you have the time and opportunity to do them yourselves. At that time, you may select what you will, defining your character as you see fit. These changes will appear in a new thread called "Pathfinder 2.0 Character Upgrading".

Oscar then plopped down on the stone column, about eye-level to each of you. "I have assisted a great deal of adventurers when I was human and their experiences and perspectives were not lost upon me. The difference sometimes between success and failure lies between just how well a team knows one another professionally. The Wayward Wanderers are linked well by their hearts, now if you wish to see your fellowship made stronger as a whole, it is time to do the same with your minds. If you feel the same..."

From his high perch, Oscar watched you carefully.
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
"Oreleth, Otiorin, Nivirea, Luna. You are all non-divine spellcasters who largely choose your paths to power. If you will take the advice of a simple sage, you have two roads before you. The first is to select your known spells on your own and grow as individuals. The second is to select them together and grow as a team. We have that opportunity now for you to talk about it.

Oscar then plopped down on the stone column, about eye-level to each of you. "I have assisted a great deal of adventurers when I was human and their experiences and perspectives were not lost upon me. The difference sometimes between success and failure lies between just how well a team knows one another professionally. The Wayward Wanderers are linked well by their hearts, now if you wish to see your fellowship made stronger as a whole, it is time to do the same with your minds. If you feel the same..."
Bren spoke up. "I think we should follow Oscar's advice as regards sharing with each other some thoughts about magic and spells. Though my magic is granted me by my goddess, Mielikki, and I don't have nearly the number of spells that you four do, I do have some choice as regards certain spells, and so I thought I'd lead the way in this, if you don't mind." He smiled. "As any paladin, I have the lay on hands spell, which grants a small measure of healing and can add to your defensive abilities for a few seconds as well. I have also been permitted access to two spells of the sort that clerics call "domain spells," reflecting aspects of Mielikki's nature. In this case, as I prefer protection spells to offensive ones, I've chosen protector's sacrifice, which allows me to redirect injuries from someone to myself under certain conditions, and protective sphere, which creates a 15-foot aura around me to limit the severity of injuries to me and any of my allies within it. " He looked around the group of spellcasters. "Would any of you like to share your own preferences in spellcasting? You needn't be as specific as I was if you don't want; but having so few, I thought it wouldn't take much time to explain."

Lay on hands heals 6 HP and grants allies a +2 status bonus to AC for one round. There's stats for heightening it, but I'm not sure how one heightens Focus spells yet.
Protective sacrifice requires that the injured ally be within 30 feet of Bren. The injury is reduced by 3 and Bren takes those 3 points instead (but not any conditions or other effects).
Protective sphere gives resistance 3 to all damage to Bren and all allies while they're within the aura.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter

Location: Near the Dungeons of Castle Anguish
Time/Date: Unknown. Last you knew it was mid-afternoon, Monday, 22nd September in the year 1118.
Weather: Snowy in a Loviatar-wants-you-to-die-here kind of snowy. Really, just don't go out there. =)

Seemingly materializing out of thin air, Sparkle quietly returned from her scouting through the dark Pohjola caverns. Her dark eyes were awhirl with thought and trouble. "We have two sets of problems. I have found the entrance to the dungeons, but... it is best you see both troubles for yourselves."

Oscar replied. "Will they wait for the morrow?"

"They will wait forever. It is we who must make the first move." Sparkle curled up on Luna's lap and made for a nap.

"Then rest we shall." And you did.

When you turned in to sleep, there was one blue dragon. When you woke, there were two...

THE FOLLOWING SCENE IS ALL PSYCHIE'S FAULT.

You hear me?

All. Psychie's. Fault. =)
SkyFang - Blue Dragon at 6IEEdotcom.jpg
(Image credit: 6IEE.com )

"Shhhh!" the new dragon said in a quiet male voice to SkySting as they tiptoed out of your camp. "C'moooon! Let's go quietly, sis! Yuh don't wanna wake the nice, little two-leggers, now do yuh?"

SkySting quietly bemoaned some heavy predicament as yet unknown to you. "Do not call me 'sis', you foolish and incompetent dullard! Thou of all people! Thou art the biggest simpleton I hath e'er known!"

"Aw, you still talk funny! Peeps don't talk like that anymore, don'tcha know?"

"If but one of these adventurers were awake now, I might teach them polymorph just to turn me back into a bridge! Why didst thou wait so very long to find me?"

The male dragon paused. "But I DID find yuh, sis! I did! I was polymorphed inta a human when yuh asked me yer riddle!"

"Whaaaaaat?!"

"Yeah! You got all mad at me when I tried ta be silly an' answered 'UNDERWEAR!'" The male dragon held his belly and chuckled.

SkySting cringed and bristled. "That was you?! AAAAAGH!"

"Shhhhhh!" He put his claw to his snout. "Soes I left an' let somebody else rescue yah! Boy! The whole family's gonna be so happy you are comin' on home!" He weaved strange magic with tooth, claw, and tail - magic unknown to humans - and a great and colorful bridge appeared to elsewhere. He put his claw around her shoulder and they walked toward it together. She shrugged him off so he entwined his tail with hers instead.

"Get me out of here this instant before I change my mind, SkyFang!!"

Then they were gone.

Oscar rose and Bria and Powerpaw waved quietly at them as they went.

* * *​

After you had breakfast and prepared yourselves for the tasks ahead, Sparkle spoke. "The entrance is not on the ground but high on a wall with holes in it. It must be scaled to reach it. There are a number of smashed skeletons left undoubtedly by those who tried the climb and died. Your new bodies seem much-better suited to this task."

"Speaking of new bodies," Bria chimed in. "Now that we are restored to our previous power and trained, I've been studying us with Detect Magic. These bodies are not only temporary, but refuseable."

Oscar perked up as he chewed on some grapes. "Indeed?"

"Indeed," Bria told you. "If I'm not mistaken, any of us can refuse this transformation at any time and return to the bodies of our birth. But once the form is lost, you don't get it back."


Young Sparkle.jpg
(Image credit: Pinterest.com )
GAME DETAILS Location: Pohjola, on a cliff not far from Castle Anguish.
Mode: Exploration
Click Blue Box for Ambiance =)
"D&D Ambiance - Dark, Dank Cave" by Sword Coast Soundscapes

 

Captain Hesperus

On Vacation
Supporter
Oti'paw'rin Taletreader

Otiorin considered Bren's words regarding his magic and how he intended to use it and frowned. Oti had never considered the usage of the spells his sorcerous arts manifested, they had always just formed themselves, unbidden, unlooked-for and joined with his mind. But if Oscar had some ability within his fuzzy body to augment the magicks to better serve Otiorin and his friends then...
"Much of my magic has been centered around my grand-sire's draconic nature, the element of ice. Freezing the ground, directly attacking someone with a dart of ice and so on. But I suppose if I had a spell or two that assisted me in moving quietly and unseen, since I don't have Bren or Powerpaw's resilience, that would be helpful."
He pointedly didn't mention his various larcenous cantrips and their ilk. Best not to, all things considered.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter

Location: Near the Dungeons of Castle Anguish
Time/Date: Unknown. Last you knew it was mid-afternoon, Monday, 22nd September in the year 1118.
Weather: Snowy in a Loviatar-wants-you-to-die-here kind of snowy. Really, just don't go out there. =)

Oscar brushed his whiskers back and yawned with one paw over his snout. As usual, his deep voice belied his small countenance. "When we rest tonight, the spells available to all of you will form, and for those of you who memorize and prepare spells, you will have them at your disposal - a new, different arsenal than before. And speaking of arsenals..." Oscar waddled a little closer to Otiorin and peered at the swords on his hips. He gazed at them for long moments, a dozen different thoughts twirling around in his ever-productive brain. "The Sunfire Blade and the Moonlit Edge," he proclaimed to his half-elf compatriot.

"Would it bore you terribly if I shared with you what my collection of elvish tomes on legends contain about them?"

If Otiorin was open to the furry sage's wisdom, Oscar of Highwind told the following...

From Unearthed Arcana (1st Edition, page 104, by Gygax in 1985).

"Sun Blade swords are all of great size and must be treated as bastard swords. Their dweomer is such, however, than an individual possessing a sun blade may wield it as if it were a short sword with respect to encumbrance, weight, speed factor, and ease of use. In other words, the weapon appears to all viewers to be a bastard sword, and it inflicts damage as if it were a true sword of that sort, but the individual using a sun blade feels and reacts as if the weapon were a short sword. Any individual able to use either a bastard sword or a short sword with proficiency or expertise will be able to use a sun blade. In normal combat, the glowing golden blade of the weapon is equal to a +2 magic sword. Against evil creatures, its bonus is double to +4. When it is used against creatures from the Negative Material Plane or those that draw power from that plane (such as many of the undead), the sword will inflict double normal damage, regardless of whether the bonus of the weapon is +2 or +4. Furthermore, upon command, a sun blade can be swung vigorously through the air, and the blade will shed a bright yellow radiance which equals full daylight. The radiance will begin shining within a 10-foot radius around the sword-wielder and will spread outward at 5 feet per round for 10 rounds thereafter, thus englobing an area of 60-foot radius. Thereafter, the radiance fades to a dim glow which persists for another 10 rounds before disappearing entirely. This sunray power of the blade can only be used once per day. All sun blades are of good alignment."

This is one of those items I mentioned years ago that would not be nerfed by later editions of Dungeons & Dragons, but instead kept and possibly improved upon in its original 1st Edition form.

The Sunfire Blade is in all respects a true sun blade as described above except that it glows with fire (meaning also that its sheath is proof against those flames) and the sunray power may be used thrice per day (possibly because it has been reunited with the Moonlit Edge). Consider Otiorin enlightened by Oscar with all of this knowledge.


Sunfire Blade Pinterest.jpg
(Image credit: Pinterest.com)
GAME DETAILS Location: Pohjola, on a cliff not far from Castle Anguish.
Mode: Exploration
Click Blue Box for Ambiance =)
"D&D Ambiance - Dark, Dank Cave" by Sword Coast Soundscapes

 
Last edited:

Captain Hesperus

On Vacation
Supporter
Oti'paw'rin Taletreader

Otiorin couldn't help his ears pricking up (literally) at Oscar's words.
"Most assuredly, Master Oscar, I've heard tales of the hero who bore these swords, but never much on the lore about them themselves.", he replied, unsheathing the two shortswords from their scabbards and laying them gently in his lap, steel to steel.
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
This, but with blue eyes

Credit: All by gugu-troll on DeviantArt
Ears attentively forward, Bren also listened while Oscar told of the Sunfire Blade. He liked that it could be easily wielded by his roguish friend despite its size. He glanced curiously at the paired swords on Otiorin's lap, wondering what powers the Sunfire Blade's mate held.
 
Last edited:

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter

Location: Near the Dungeons of Castle Anguish
Time/Date: Unknown. Last you knew it was mid-afternoon, Monday, 22nd September in the year 1118.
Weather: Snowy in a Loviatar-wants-you-to-die-here kind of snowy. Really, just don't go out there. =)

"Most assuredly, Master Oscar, I've heard tales of the hero who bore these swords, but never much on the lore about them themselves.", he replied, unsheathing the two shortswords from their scabbards and laying them gently in his lap, steel to steel.
Laying the swords this way, Otiorin failed to burn himself. The Sunfire Blade, as before when it did not wish to be sheathed, burst forth a sunny-orange glow of violent fire when drawn forth, but when close to the ever-cool steel of its mate, those raging fires softened, calmed, and by the time the swords touched, the fires had descended into a mellow glow while the iciness of the Moonlit Edge also seemed not to be so cold but instead, comfortable and cool. Thus they rested upon Otiorin's lap like a miniature sun and moon, gathered restfully. They stayed there glowing and winking together as if keeping some secret unbeknownst to the rest of you.

Bria stared with childlike eyes full of wonder at this show of magic. "Oooh, I didn't know they worked that way..." She opened her paw for him to take and stared at the pair of blades. "Did you just figure that out now, Oti, or did you learn that from somewhere?"

* * *​

(Enjoy a Sharseyan tale, friends! =) )

For all of the minds out there that refuse to behave and stay put. "L'enfant" by Vangelis (remastered by Vangelis)

In the moss-glow of the Pohjolan caves, Oscar stood from his perch on the column where you could easily see him and asked all of you. "Would you prefer this tale told in Common or its original language?"

Powerpaw raised his paw. "Uuuuhh, Common? Not evwiebody speaks elfie, little-face. Heck, dey don't even haz elfie-faces in Shamballah!"

Oscar nodded his understanding. "Then Powerpaw, at your pleasure, I will paraphrase my own humble thoughts to aid with everyone's comprehension (like this)."

Bria rejoined Otiorin and snuggled herself beside him. "Ooooh! Story time... I like it when he reads books that aren't there. It's like he's peering through time or something."

Oscar seemed to be doing just that. His tiny black eyes looked far away like a man lost in a dream. His paw reached up and out and seemed to grip something rather large, so he used two paws to pull at it. For those among the wise, this was no theatrical display; this was a man traveling through the depths of his own mind, through well-trodden portals only he knew, recalling experiences he had lived in his previous life as a human. As his tiny black claws flipped through the pages that were, his eyes gazed upon a memory. Through the sole power of his highly-unusual mixture of intellect and natural gifts, Oscar recalled. Oscar began his recollection and even a little dragon in your party perked her ears and listened as the Sage of Highwind's rich voice spoke eloquently of a tale none of you knew.

"'The Swords of Sun and Moon - A Bard's Perspective of the Facts' by Gander Ganderflash of the Gnomes.

"The Sunfire Blade. The Moonlit Edge. Thus are they named now. But they were not always so. They are swords forged by Waterwind hands. But they were not forged in Waterwind."

Oscar turned a page. "(In the human year 803), two elves, not one, forged the Swords of Sun and Moon. Mistarias Alarias of Waterwind, called "Featherlight" for her grace and birdlike nature, a historian and follower of Aerdrie Faenya (the Elven Goddess of Air and Weather). Kelfas the Metalsmith of Waterwind, a rogue and cleric of Erevan Ilesere (the Elven God of Mischief and Chance). Both young elves. Both full of life and imagination. It was they that, in their love, sought to create something new, something beloved by their gods, and something good to add to to the world. While most Waterwind magic users of their generation sought to master and refine the spells and magical powers of old, Kelfas and Mistarias were two never to follow the rules for long. Kelfas was looking for a masterpiece of a lifetime to bring into being. Mistarias, a tale of her own to add to the history of the Waterwind elves.

Mistarias was hot-blooded, passionate, and had a wrath that burned like fire. Kelfas was the shadow that soothed her anger and made her think. Kelfas's faults lay in his feelings of terrible loneliness and lack of light for himself in his heart. Mistarias was the sun that brought him light and warmth feeling of happiness.

But while they loved each other, they also mistrusted one another.

"Both desired something worthy of their god's attention, but neither could do it alone. And so they prayed together from aeries high and in the pools of moonless shadows to Aerdrie and Erevan with offerings pleasing to both deities. Long did they scour the libraries and bard-songs and tales of the elves to reach their goal. In time, the gods became pleased with their doings and each bestowed upon them a long-lost secret. Each secret was worthless on its own, but if the couple trusted each other, then they would put together the puzzle they longed to add to the world.

But it was not to be. Being young, neither trusted the other enough to will themselves to speak it. They kept their secrets, and in doing so, they unknowingly brought their dream of creation to a halt that lasted for years.

"And so it was, in the compassionate land of Waterwind, that they grew much in love as adults. They continued to follow their paths, their sacrifices to their gods, and their dream. One day, for the chaos of it, they visited the lands north of Summerset where no elf had trodden for a human's age. The wilds ran everywhere and tribes of creatures fought daily for their land and thus their survival. There, they discovered hobbits. At first, they mistook them for gnomes, but the friendly hole-dwellers were not offended. Instead, they took in the elves and in the safety of their deep tunnels, and there they showed Kelfas and Mistarias the reason of their safety - an underground forest the hobbits called 'The Helping Hands'. 'For hands that aided were hands that loved' said they.

"After at least two dinners, some cups of brookwine, and a lit pipe or three, Kelfas and Mistarias learned that every hobbit living in the Helping Hands trusted the other with their lives. And there were many dangers. To go out topside was to invite doom from the treacherous gnolls and greedy-handed kobolds. To go near the lakes and rivers was to invite disaster by the Kuo-Toa (before the extinction of that race at the hands of the dragon, Grimauldin). The hobbits trusted each other and their wood to survive. And so they lived their daily lives, only going topside when they needed to gather what little the wood below could not provide.

Oscar turned another page and continued to read from memory alone. "The hobbits had succeeded in bringing Kelfas as Mistarias closer together than they had been within Waterwind's walls. In return, Mistarias taught the hobbits the elven ways of how to listen to the birds who knew danger better than anyone and Kelfas taught them roguish strategies that would help them evade would-be predators from above. 'Thank you,' one hobbit had shook their hands heartily. 'These secrets will indeed bring us prosperous times!' Mistarias turned to Kelfas and remembered her own secret gift from Aerdrie and he remembered his from Erevan. They shared their secrets and quickly saw their dream reignited! They knew from the wisdom of their two gods that they would have much to do and many adventures to do it with. These adventures took many, many years, but years for an elf are like stars in the sky, and thus time was with them. Their challenges strengthened their love. Their victories brought them growth and understanding.

"Their adventures took them beyond Cratia to the Frozen North where the blood-freezing cold made even the human barbarians loathe to roam. There, in the deep of the night, in the frostiest of winters in a dwarf's age, under a sky that hid a new moon, Kelfas forged the Sword of the Moon for her - a lady to serve her lady. Its cold served to bring peace to her angry heart and the coolness that reminded her to think with the moon's radiance and that she was the woman whom he loved more than any treasure or mischief.

"Then they crossed to realms beyond Averlund where the land knew no greenness nor water, where the ground was naught but a sea of lifeless sand, during a summer where the sun was brighter than anyone had ever remembered, during the afternoon when the sun was at its highest and hottest. It was then that she forged the Sword of the Sun for him - a lord to serve her lord. Its unbridled heat would warm him in the darkest of nights and provide him light to see into himself the things she loved most about him.

"At long last, they returned to their beloved city-on-the-sea, the jewelled Waterwind, where they were accepted with open arms and minds, where eager friends lended their hearts to their every need, for the travels of a dangerous world are not easily trodden, and the passing of time draws one only forward, not back, even for Corellon's children.

"Mistarias and Kelfas then created a monument in the honor and appreciation of Aerdrie of the Sky and Erevan of the Shadow. They called forth their brethren to celebrate and many an elf came with joy in their faces and gifts from their hearts. There, during this ceremony of thanks, Kelfas and Mistarias reached to their hips and drew forth their swords before the elves of Waterwind. The Sword of the Sun lit ablaze like a dragon's fire. The Sword of the Moon glowed like a living piece of ice. Thus the swords were dangerous and uncertain when apart. And for the very first time, Kelfas and Mistarias laid the swords together. They laid beautifully for a single moment upon the joined altar. But before elves of many ages, a great wind filled with huge shadows did suddenly descend upon them all.

Oscar turned a page.

"The children of Corellon Larethian cried out in fear and dismay for fear of the night and the evil that often lurks within. 'Aie! Shadows of darkness are upon us!' but Kelfas stood forth and calmed them, sparing their fears with the wisdom of Erevan. And the old ones of Corellon cried out in caution and terror, for the wild, lashing winds of the coastal city of Waterwind had laid many a creature and boat broken and low, but Mistarias, the dear of Aerdrie, sang to them with the songs of birds and mystical feathered creatures, and reminding them that wind could be read, and thus, followed, replacing their woes with wonder.

"The shadows lifted. The winds made their way onward. And there upon the joined altar lay the Swords of Sun and Moon, glowing softly together, each bringing peace to the other.

"A young knight of Corellon Larethian and friend of Mistarias and Kelfas stepped forward and bade his elves take heed. 'Harken! Look you there! What do your eyes see but two joined together in love? By my beating heart, these swords are lovers true!' And so the swords gained a different name, 'The Lovers.'

"And so it was that the Swords of Sun and Moon stayed always on the hips of Mistarias and Kelfas. Where many folk across many ancestries use rings or jewels as tokens of adoration or promises of marriage, Kelfas and Mistarias wore them as their own vows until the year where they passed away together. But the Swords of Sun and Moon carry on their legacy today in Waterwind. The couple willed them to the young knight of Corellon Larethian, now the proudest of paladins of the God of Elves - the fabled Malakye of Waterwind, Right Hand of the Queen, and Sword of the Nine whom, with The Lovers, has laid many a terrible evil low and put more goodness into the world than perhaps even Kelfas and Mistarias ever dreamt. The End."

Oscar closed his eyes and put his paws together as if closing a book. Then he sighed and looked to Otiorin and what he bore upon his lap.

"There, of course, is now more to the tale, Wanderer Taletreader. Since that time, Gruumsh the foul God of Orcs sent his army to despoil Waterwind in an act of vengeance for Corellon Larethian taking one of his eyes in battle. A single elf stood in the chasm. A single elf with two swords." Oscar watched Otiorin with great seriousness. "That elf was Malakye, the grandest and most heroic of all of Corellon's paladins, by statement of Queen Illidimirith of Waterwind. Indeed that day, Malakye fell and the Sunfire Blade and Moonlit Edge gained those names in their separation. But Paladin-Lord Malakye held on until the forces of light reached the passage and thus was Waterwind and its community saved from pillage, torture, and the other evils orcs are well-known for.

"Now, in your hands, in this moment, are The Lovers reunited. I know not how the Sunfire Blade came to Pohjola, land of Loviatar and other gods, but it is here and today a legend is reborn.

Oscar sat down, tired but unfinished, like most good sages throughout history. "Know you that Malakye has been reborn; this from my highest and most-trusted authority on the subject. You may bet your last coin The Blessed One will learn of the separation of The Swords of Sun and Moon. And you may wager your last drop of blood that he will make it his life-quest to find and reunite them as you have..."


Sunfire Blade Pinterest.jpg
(Image credit: Pinterest.com)

The Moonlit Edge - silvermoon_blade_by_njpoulin at arcadia quest.jpg
(Image credit: NJ Poulin at ArcadiaQuest.tumblr.com )
GAME DETAILS Location: Pohjola, on a cliff not far from Castle Anguish.
Mode: Exploration
Click Blue Box for Ambiance =)
"D&D Ambiance - Dark, Dank Cave" by Sword Coast Soundscapes

 

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