Tormeron's events: the Stories

It's happy hour, the alcohol is flowing. It's time to pull up a tankard of ale, bottle of wine for the ladies and regail tales of heroism and grandeur.

Topic/Postby Gergel » 12 Jan 2016, 11:21

Joe. The Skeleton.

Weird dude. His life (undeath) would probably be ever so much easier if he were to think about what he's doing for a bit.

Then again - skeleton. No brain. Not much to use for thinking. It's a miracle he's managed to get this far and not be all "hurr durr death to the living!"

So a few folks got together to have a nice picnic and chicken dinner with Adrenus. Insanity, yes, but those people seem have a morbid curiosity that forces them to join Adrenus in the adventures which inevitably end in battle. Well, Thelarwen probably joins the adventures because they inevitably end in battle. 'Cause, y'know, death knight. Chepi and Heretic probably just immensely enjoy Adrenus' company.

(There was no Serendipity and there was no Clara. This will be an important plot point later.)

Anyway, Adrenus in his infinite wisdom decided that the night would be excellent for a quiet (hah!) peaceful (hah!) dinner. The best place to have that dinner? A pub in Stormwind? Nope. Peaceful greenery in Darnassus? Bah, no way. Because what could be more relaxing than sitting among blue dragon corpses in the battleground just below Dalaran, right?

So Adrenus fired up a fire and chickened up a chicken. Which he then tried to cook on aforementioned fire. It only took... let me see now... Three minutes. Yep, three minutes from the moment Adrenus first mentioned "chicken dinner" to the moment an arrow landed in the middle of the group. An arrow fired by a human who quickly dropped his disguise and revealed himself as Joe the Skeleton. Apparently he had been looking for Adrenus and his compatriots.

Note to Joe: starting a conversation by firing an arrow at the people you wish to converse with? Not a good idea. It's not like you didn't recognize these people. You knew everyone in the group. So why shoot an arrow?

Anyway, no harm done fortunately. No one got skewered by an arrow. Conversely, no one reflexively shot a fireball at Joe in retaliation, or a tower of holy fire, or holy smite, nor inserted a big dreadful runesword between his ribs.

So Joe began to describe what had been happening in his unlife recently. Apparently he had decided to take up farming. Cows. In Netherstorm. Whatever gave him that idea, we may never know. Well, it's probably better than going on a mindless rampage. Except poor Joe could not enjoy his cows for too long, because a group of humans wearing Stormwind insignia had shown up one day and set Joe's farm and cows on fire. As he described it, they had been chasing and hunting him ever since that day. They were clearly very zealous and triggerhappy, calling Joe's cows "plagued". Joe's guess was that these wonderful folks were renegade paladins and priests that had obviously viewed the Scarlet Crusade as excellent role models and decided to emulate them.

Note to Joe: Netherstorm? Not the best place to start a farm. Admittedly there are the eco-domes, but those are also homes for unpleasant predators. We recommended Pandaria instead. Just hand out free beer to the local Pandaren farmers, and you should get accepted in no time.

Then Joe asked if Adrenus and Co. would be so kind as to find the group responsible and... convince... them to leave the poor skeleton alone.

Of course no one else had anything better to do (because the chicken dinner was by that time burnt beyond repair... kind of like Joe's cows) so the group decided to look into it. Unfortunately Joe had no idea where to start looking. But, as the culprits were human paladins, the logical place to start would be the Stormwind Cathedral.

It would have been an excellent time to put Serendipity's diplomatic talents into use, discussing the matter with the head paladin Lord Grayson Shadowbreaker. Unfortunately Serendipity was missing in action (she does keep saying "I could have been in the pub" all the time, so apparently she in fact was in the pub that evening). So Heretic took the lead instead. Lord Shadowbreaker was indeed aware of this new cult of zealots, but sadly he had no clues as to their whereabouts. He did mention, however, that an SI:7 agent had come to the Cathedral recently asking the same questions about the same splinter group.

So far so good. Adrenus and Co. made their way to SI:7 headquarters next. It would have been an excellent time to put Clara's connections or Serendipity's diplomatic talents into use, discussing the matter with SI:7 head Master Mathias Shaw. Unfortunately Clara was missing in action (probably hunting treasure) and the lack of Serendipity was already mentioned before. So it fell upon Heretic to do the talking again.

At first Master Shaw was rather brusque and disagreeable, referring to Joe as a member of the Scourge and a potential threat to the Alliance. Heretic and Thelarwen attempted to convince him that even if Joe was a threat, surely a lone skeleton in Netherstorm was less dangerous than a large organized group of extremist paladins who had, according to Lord Shadowbreaker's information, already attacked other Alliance settlers as well. Despite these attempts at persuasion, Master Shaw's tongue remained rather tied.

It didn't help that Heretic made a rather major diplomatic blunder by treating the SI:7 head as a simple person-of-roguish-persuasion and offering him a bribe of gold. It took a lot of apologising to mollify the obviously insulted Master.

Fortunately Shaw decided to become a bit more helpful from there. He did indeed know the approximate whereabouts of the extremist cult: Horde territory in Kalimdor. He recommended that Adrenus and Co. should meet up with one of his agents in Ratchet a week later. The seas were rough and stormy, it would be sensible to wait for them to calm. With that information divulged, Master Shaw dismissed the group.

Now they just needed to wait and reconvene next week.
What kind of sick individual burns a book full of perfectly good dark arts?!
- Darkscryer Raastok
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Gergel
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Topic/Postby Gergel » 13 Jan 2016, 11:41

The trip to Ratchet was long and difficult and wrought with peril. The ship almost drowned several times while weathering the dreadful storm in the ocean.

The trip to Ratchet was easy and fun, everyone enjoyed the cruise in warm sun and strong yet gentle breeze.

The trip to Ratchet was fast because a little friendly gnome mage teleported everyone instantly, without saying anything. Ever.

The trip to Ratchet in the seabottom crawler machine was exciting and full of opportunities to learn more about deep-sea life.

Or something like that. Because the trip happened offscreen so we don't really know much about it.

In any case, a group of people led by Adrenus gathered in Ratchet. As they were discussing their next steps, a woman jumped out of a tree and identified herself as Alleena. Everyone obviously assumed that she was the SI:7 agent that Master Shaw had told them to contact. The woman directed Adrenus and Co. to the north. Their quarry, according to Alleena, was six people on horseback and six on a caravan wagon.

The group rode off without further delays. Their path took them across the savannah of the Barrens all the way to the Crossroads, which they avoided for obvious reasons. Just after passing Crossroads, they encountered an Orcish road block. A guard came up to talk to them. It was surprisingly nice not to be attacked outright by the Horde - it looked like Alliance/Horde relations had indeed been improving over the years.

The Horde guards turned out to be quite amicable. The group was immediately allowed to pass once Lilandris and Thelarwen had explained the group's direction and purpose. They rode on without an incident.

It only took a few more minutes' worth of riding to encounter a lone smiling orc. He complimented Chepi on losing weight, which immediately and irrefutably identified him as Joe the skeleton in another one of his disguises. "The caravan is moving north," he said with a wink. "I have done some work for you. You'll see."

The meaning of Joe's words became obvious shortly, as the travelers discovered a detached wagon wheel at the side of the road. Several arrows were sticking out of it. Clearly Joe's handiwork. Why he hadn't shot any of the cultists while he was at it, or why there was no sign of cultists shooting back, we may never know.

In any case, the caravan was no longer there and so Adrenus and Co. also continued forward. Only a few steps away they began to hear mumbling and grumbling coming from nearby bushes. The obvious first guess was, of course, an ambush. Aroona cautiously went to check it out with Thelarwen following behind.

There was no ambush. Just a rather confused gnome arguing with his little robotic gnome toy. He claimed that he was on his way to have dinner with Vol'jin and had lost the way, so if the adventurers would be so kind as to escort him to Orgrimmar?... The adventurers were not so kind. Instead they pretty much decided to ignore the distraction and ride on, in search of their prey.

And then, a short distance away there were clear signs of a caravan having gone off the road. Faint track marks led off into distance, but no one was a competent-enough tracker to follow this almost-invisible trail now. It looked like the quarry had escaped into the vastness of the savannah.

The only visible landmark anywhere nearby was a small Tauren structure of some kind. A small camp site with a few simple walls and totem poles. Oh, and the smoking, steaming, broken remains of a metal caravan wagon. Just as the adventurers approached, it let out a loud rising whistle, a large puff of smoke... and failed to produce a massive devastating explosion, instead just falling apart gracelessly.

Having survived the non-explosion, the group investigated the wagon's remains. There was a burnt corpse in the middle of the wreckage. The man's face had burnt to be unidentifiable, but he was clearly wearing Stormwind insignia. It could have been a cultist (who disguise themselves as Stormwind guards), or a real guard killed by the cultists - there was no way to tell for certain. Lilandris discovered a scroll tucked into the man's boot, with a "person implosion" spell on it. Thelarwen, in turn, found dog tags with the name "Baramir". Upon removing the pendant, the body suddenly began to emanate a strong aura of magic, then promptly exploded.

Fortunately no one was injured in the explosion.

The caravan had by now been completely lost. Alleena the agent took this opportunity to reappear and confirm this: according to her, the cultists had disguised themselves and escaped into Orgrimmar where there was no chance of getting to them.

Once the agent had performed her disappearing act again, people were becoming somewhat irate for having wasted a lot of their time with nothing to show for it. Harsh words were directed at Joe. This appeared to have the effect of a summoning spell, because next thing they knew, Joe indeed showed up. He explained in his usual mysterious riddling half-truths vague way that he had "mobilized assets", that "<the cultists> are now fully aware of you" and "they have learned from <Joe>" (illusion magic, apparently). And that the person they had thought was an SI:7 agent was in fact an impostor, because the real agent had been dead for days. And Joe happened to have her head.

Joe offered to use necromantic magic to make the head talk in order to gain information. That idea was immediately shot down by Lilandris, and no one else was even remotely interested either. The dead agent remained dead and Joe wandered off after a few more vague remarks.

The trip ended with a decision to keep an eye on Joe for now. Just to be sure that he was not up to any mischief or evil.
What kind of sick individual burns a book full of perfectly good dark arts?!
- Darkscryer Raastok
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Gergel
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Topic/Postby Claresta » 13 Apr 2016, 15:41

Chepi scribbling notes again.

Today the world was almost deprived of the wonders of Chepi as we sought a dangerous opponent in Stromgarde.

Chepi crosses this out, "Hmm, perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself. I should of course start from the very beginning".

To recap this adventure actually began in the Pig and Whistle of all places where a small group of us decided to meet up. Tormeron was trying to warn us of a threat to the north, in the form of an old apprentice of his. A Gnome of past acquaintance was causing trouble and rumors were abundant of Demon attacks. We were to get ourselves prepared and meet up in the Arathi Highlands when ready.

Naturally I being the ever resourceful Gnome had decided to seek help on this particular adventure and attempted to make some lucrative contacts that would be useful on this trip. If nothing else at least they could provide a distraction while I got things done.

Unfortunately tracking down these people proved more difficult than I thought however I was able to enlist the help of Kal'dorei and her Tiger companion. Armed to the teeth with her bow and various Illidari artifacts, I was more confident than ever.

Tormeron had asked Adrenus to join our group which included me, Clara, Dippy, Juste and also Lantara at Refuge Point in Arathi. After our usual greetings and "friendly" banter, we were directed towards Stromgarde. No sooner had we arrived when ominous signs seemed to appear from all around us, which included a large creature flying somewhere above. As we made our way through the ruined streets we encountered an unfriendly imp, as the little sod threw a fireball at me. Naturally I dodged it by moving behind the nearby wall. Somehow this pathetic creature was able to hold us up as he evaded our sight and kept up his relentless attacks. Lantara and I brought his annoyance to an end with a well-timed flanking maneuver. I could've just used a banishing spell to deal with him but decided a nice bit of incineration was more of what it deserved. Back to the Nether it went.

Continuing on we heard a scream from further down the street and came across a Human woman who looked all messed up with signs of charred flesh, a missing hand and profuse bleeding. Somehow she was still alive and Adrenus did what he could to heal her wounds. A mistake as it turned out, as we were led into a false sense of security. Shortly after explaining to us of how a group of Demons had attacked her village and brought her to an altar, she turned against us. The woman’s eyes flashed with green Fel light and she muttered the word "Swap". Lantara who was close by was the most immediately threatened but in typical animal loyalty her Tiger leaped to her rescue. I too also tried to push the woman away. Both Tiger and I were for our efforts treated to an intense wave of heat and forced us back. At this point she turned her full attention to her clearest threat. Me.

Chepi pauses writing for a time as she considers how best to describe this.

Intense burning and boiling of my own blood. In my times spent trying to understand what many would consider forbidden magic or at least once considered, I've come across and even used spells that cause great pain on my opponents. A curse of agony does exactly what it describes and this is perhaps the best comparison I can make. With time I too would like to learn the spell craft of such a spell as this boiling blood. I know little of what occurred after the woman cast this on me, as all I could do was try to bulk up my magic defenses. I definitively felt a spell was unleashed from Dippy and various other muffled noises. I must've collapsed as when I opened my eyes Dippy was kneeling over me and Adrenus was nearby too casting his healing spells. I was able to get up and continue on but that spell had fatigued me greatly.

We turned our attention to the nearby house where we believed the woman’s real soul was located. Adrenus wanted it freed but Lantara suggested burning the building down. I was in agreement with Lantara on this but seeing the determination in Adrenus's eyes and too tired to bother arguing we proceeded on. Adrenus asked me and Dippy if we could sense magic within the building. Dippy could sense something but I could barely even feel my own hands let alone anything else. Adrenus stormed in and disappeared as soon as he entered the door. We could then hear the sounds of roaring from within. Juste, Clara and Dippy moved in quickly with Lantara and me following. What I saw next was Juste in mortal combat with a towering skeletal warrior. Everyone but Adrenus who was missing joined in on the battle as best they could and the skeleton finally fell. The roaring was coming from upstairs and Clara made her mistake of the night by charging up the stairs in the hope of aiding Adrenus.

Chepi puts her quill down for a moment and mutters “We really need to improve our tactics in these moments of crises". She picks up the quill and starts writing again.

Once I finally managed to stumble up the stairs I saw both Adrenus and Clara trapped by a pentagram on the floor. Worst still were spotted two Doomguards at the other end of the room. We now had only a matter of time to destroy the Demons and the pentagram before both Clara and Adrenus were killed by the shadow magic blasting from the trap. I did what I could to try to disable the pentagram while Dippy, Juste and Lantara dealt with the Demons. Had I been a full strength this would've not been so troublesome but all I could do was weaken it for now. I did not witness the whole fight with the Doomguards but I do know a well shot arrow struck the head of one of them. The other Doomguard got away. With the Demons influence gone the trap on the floor finally weakened enough to be removed. Once again we treated our wounded.

We located in the next room a soulstone presumably still holding the woman’s soul. After a while of trial and error we were able to shatter the stone and release the soul. We were then alerted to a noise just outside and made our way back down the stairs and waiting for us was a letter containing a seal from Embrace. It seems that Tormeron has been busy too and requests our next step should be to the North in the Hinterlands.

In truth I'm not certain what exactly is going on here and why. What started with just a chase to find a Gnome has quickly developed into something far more sinister. Who is this Gnome really and is he actually involved? What other part does Tormeron play in this? Why are these people experimenting in swapping souls?

Chepi places down her quill and mumbles to herself “I must continue to try to get in touch of with my contacts. Something is going on here and I need to learn more".
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