NOVA

Ill Omens...

“Take care Roberts, we’re coming upon the Watcher’s Isles, few are the ships what have sailed this course, and come out the other side. Some say it’s the sandbars, and the reefs, but there are many a tale of horrid beasts which inhabit these parts.”

“The Dread Pirate does not fear them!” came the predictable response, “Why in fact this reminds me of the time I hunted a band of corsairs through a.., and with.., hahahaha…..” The sailing seemed normal for a while, but as they sailed deeper, a sense of forboding fell upon the ship. And a dense fog engulfed them, making it impossible to see anything more than a few yards away, Roberts was no fool, and he slowed the ship to a crawl.

“Fan out, ready your crossbows,” Roberts whispered, meanwhile loading his own. The tense silence continued for some time, when out of no where a shadow swept across the deck, one of the crewmembers let out a scream, but then he was gone. Shortly thereafter, another shadow, another scream, and another man gone.

“Everyone, tighten up, gather together!” Roberts surveyed the deck as the crew drew closer together. A shadow swept past him, then another and another, Roberts twirling about trying to keep track of them, but they were simply too fast. And then, from the fog all around came a blood curdling shriek. And the monsters were aboard! One of them lunged at Roberts from behind, its sharp beak striking at his back, but his armor held fast, and Roberts turned about. He loosed his bolt without a second thought, but the beast was no longer there. On the main deck, a large, toad-looking humanoid sent a spear through a crewman’s chest. Another of the men was snatched and dragged overboard. Most of their bolts went awry, though one of the men did meet his mark, giving the beast pause, for it was not often that the swift creature felt the sting of a blow. And it was not for long, before the beast could move, it fell to Cailen’s hammer, fog engulfed the body, and it disappeared. Hearing the commotion above decks, Oris leapt up, brandishing Pelor’s Light. He thrust his weapon into the air, shouting some incantation, and a blinding light split the sky. The fog was driven back and the monsters disappeared. As they sailed on the fog retreated even farther, and the sun began to shine once again. Even still, they could not shake the persistent feeling that clung all about them, it was a strange feeling, one of ill omens…
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The Search Begins...

The adventurers, first searched the village for anything salvageable, Roberts recovered his cutlass from beneath the water trough, and Oris found a wicked scythe, known as Pelor’s Light, within the town chapel of Pelor. Then, with their new found friend, Cailen Theras, they began their journey south in pursuit of the Orc band that had taken their friends and family. They were leaving Llanowar, and heading to the nation of Telatium, and within it the capitol city of Telatium, for Telatium is known for its slave trade, and perhaps someone there may have been doing business with orcs. They traveled cross country for several days, until eventually they crossed into Telatium, and met up with the main road to Telatium City. Another day’s journey brought them to a rather unassuming minor crossroads. There were a few boulders strewn about, and what looked to be an old gaurdpost nearby. Just as they were approaching the crossroads, a rather diminutive little man jumped out from behind one of the bolders, he was a Halfling, carrying a rapier that seemed a tad disproportional.
“Haha! Enguard, or surrender your coinpurse!” The Halfling exclaimed brazenly.
“HA! What’s this!? Hahaha!” Roberts could hardly contain himself.
“very well then…” the Halfling readied himself, “NOW!” he exclaimed.
At that instant, a band of bandits jumped out from behind the boulders, and surrounded the party. There were now four bandits, and a Halfling staring down the heroes.
“Now, ongaurd, or surrender your coinpurse!” A smile spread across the Halfling’s face.
“Allright!” Roberts issued a Divine challenge upon the Halfling, and drew his cutlass.
At that the bandits dove in upon the party, one ran up to Brom and they engaged, another came hurtling in at Oris his mace flailing wildly. One of the Bandits rushed at Z, and another jumped in to flank Roberts. But his shield was too fast, and the Bandit did not harm him. The Halfling jumped in at Roberts, his rapier finding its mark. Suddenly Oris muttered something under his breath and thrust Pelor’s Light into the air, and a penetrating light erupted from the weapon, blinding all the bandits, but providing no hinderance for his allies. Cailen took the opportunity to lunge forward and get a solid hammer strike on the Halfling’s shoulder. Roberts’ sword flashed in the sun as he spun about, eviscerating the bandit to his side, and drawing blood from the Halfling. This caused the rogue to rethink his plan, and he ran for his life. Roberts quickly drew his handaxe and gave chase. Brom, finally bested his foe, cutting the man clean in half, before he ever had a chance to surrender. Oris did the same, separating a bandits head from his shoulders. Not to be outdone, Z blew his foe’s head clean off with a magic bolt, and the body fell, its neck smouldering. Roberts began to gain ground on the Halfling, and just as he caught up with him the rogue performed an incredible sidestep spin, and drove his rapier into Roberts’ back, drawing blood. Roberts came about flailing his axe, and nicking the Halfling’s shoulder, but before he could do any further damage, the Halfling had turned about, and climbed to the top of the guard post. Roberts’ had no hope of being able to follow him, weighed down as he was by his heavy armor. But Oris was not so encumbered, the deva came running at the wall, and threw himself forward, seeking a handhold, but instead he met the stone wall with his face, breaking his nose, and sending him sprawling on the ground. Z, at his companions’ behest turned and loosed a magic missile at the rogue. His aim was true, and the impact was felt by the Halfling, it threw him off balance and he came plummeting to the earth, upon landing he began begging for his life.
“Wait! Please, please, don’t kill me!” the rogue pleaded, “If you spare me I can make it worth your while. There is a hidden trove in the forest, within it 2000 gold pieces, all are yours if you spare me.”
“500 gold apiece, that’s not quite enough,” said Roberts speculatively.
“A-a-and, you fine gentlemen don’t happen to be traveling to Telatium do you?”
“Where else would we be going on this road?” Roberts’ patience seemed to be wearing thin.
“Well, whenever you get there, I can get you another 2000 gold pieces, just pleeease don’t kill me..” The Halfling begged.
“Information is what we need, not money.” Roberts deflected.
“Information? I’ve got plenty of that. What do you need to know?” the Halfling stammered, clutching at straws.
“We’re looking for our countrymen, taken as slaves by a band of orcs, we believe that they are going to be sold to some Telatium slavers.”
“Oh yes, I can certainly help you with that, just don’t kill me, allright?”
“Allright, now stand up.”
“Okay,” The Halfling struggled to his feet, “Eeh, oh, ow, hey im losing a lot of blood here, ah, could I, ah, have some bandages or…, something.”
“Sure,” Roberts bent down and patched the man up.
“Thankyou, now, shall we be off?” and with that, they set out for Telatium.
On the way Roberts decided the would get to know their newest team member.
“So, do you have a name?”
“Why as a matter of fact, yes, yes I do,” The Halfling had quickly reverted to a good mood when he learned that he was not going to die any time soon, “And it is Kor, I’m a lower-class merchant of Telatium.”
“Speaking of Telatium, what can you tell me about it?”
“well, for starters, Telatium has a very regimented society. There are distinct social classes apparent throughout the city, and even the nation as a whole. The low class lives in the slum district. It’s a cramped and disorganized district located on the northern side of the city. Just south of there is the area of the Middle-class, the more respectable merchants. Those who don’t openly trade slaves or anything illegal, not that they don’t sell those things, they just take extra care not to get caught. South of that area a river divides the city in half, on the Southern side of the river, is the academy, the Institute, the Fort, and the slave barracks, as well as the high-class housing and shops. The middle and upper-classes never trade with orcs, only the lowest of slavers stoop to that level, and they all keep their slaves in the warehouses by the Slum docks, but in the Slums, its one of the only ways to get by. I happen to be one of the more powerful of the Slum merchants, though I am not the one who bought your friends.”
“If you’re a powerful merchant, what are you doing out here robbing travelers like some highwayman?” One of the others asked.
“I said I’m a powerful slum merchant, which just means that I’ve got a lot more mouths to feed. So, When things get tight, I do what ever I can to raise money. If that means robbing affluent travelers, then so be it.”
“Allright, so I think I have a plan for this operation. All I need is a ship…” Roberts said thoughtfully
“With that, I can help you. You see it just so happens that I have a ship we could use.” Said Kor, a dangerous twinkle in his eye, “What’s your plan?”
“Well, we sail into the slum harbor, then we release all the slaves, aside from yours of course, to create a distraction. The slaves riot, giving us a chance to find our friends and sail out of there.”
“Not a bad plan, but there are a few complications. If the slaves start rioting, the army is going to be sent in. Nobody, wants the army in the slums, its bad for business, especially when they start asking who the rioters are, and where they came from, and then they start checking the warehouses, and the next thing you know, I’ve got an appointment with the gilloutine. Nobody wants that…”
“Well then, what do you suggest?”
“What if I told you I could get you into the warehouse where your kinsman are being kept, quietly, no questions asked?”
“I’d say I think we’ve got ourselves a plan.”
The tiny schooner slipped quietly in to dock at the slums, and the adventurers went ashore. Kor met up with a few shady looking characters, asked some questions, parted with some gold, and led the heroes to a small warehouse, a bit further in from the wharf. The party descended the stairs, into the building a small group of thugs stood between them, and the door to the holding pens.
“No, I will deal with these ones,” Kor chimed as he saw Roberts reaching for his cutlass. The Dread Pirate simply shrugged his shoulders and let the Halfling step forward.
“Evening gents!” The Halfling came on jovially, he exchanged a few hushed, parted with some gold, and the thugs stepped aside. The heroes came on.
“um, perhaps we should leave someone outside, to keep watch in case any guards show up.” Kor volunteered.
“Allright, lets see, Z, how about you keep watch outside?” Roberts dictated, Z turned and proceeded back up the stairs, without a word. Everyone else continued further into the warehouse. The inner chamber was divided, the holding pens being on the other side of the room. Kor elected to remain where he was while the others went to collect their friends. Roberts assigned Brom to remain with him. Everyone else made their way to the pens, Cailen leading the way. Their eyes scanned the thronging crowds, each searching for a familiar face, but alas even after several minutes of intense scrutiny, it was to no avail.
“Hey! Roberts, Roberts! We have a bit of a problem, there are guards on their way here now, the warehouse is to be raided! We need to leave now if we wish to live. I’ve already sent Brom to collect the mage and told him to meet us at the ship, so collect your friends, and let us be gone!” Kor seemed more flustered than they had seen him since he lay bloodied at their feet.
“None of our kinsmen are here, but take the others and get to the ship, I’ll meet up with you later.”
“Right!” and Kor, along with the others, was off.
The schooner sped full bore for the open sea, its sails taught in the wind. The tiny ship was fast, and it seemed for a moment as if she might escape, but she was not fast enough. Two Telatium war cruisers sped after her, gaining noticeably. A third broke off from the southern end of the docks, speeding forth on an intercept course. Just as all hope seemed lost, one of the cruisers veered sharply to starboard, colliding roughly with its sister ship, sinking both. But it was not enough, the third ship, pulling forward at even greater speeds, came alongside the schooner, and unleashed a fury of flaming arrows and bolts, the small ship was overwhelmed, and, erupting into flame, sank to the bottom. But Kor was not to be outdone, as just then, a small galleon broke out from the docks, sailing up alongside the Telatium cruiser, passing the massive warship. And there, at the bow of that warship was the infamous Dread Pirate Roberts, fending off a dozen men with his fearsome cutlass.
“Avast!” He bellowed, “Ye shall all remember this day, as the day that you failed to capture the infamous, Dread Pirate Roberts!” And with that he grabbed a rope, and, slashing its ties to the deck, swung forth, over the side, to the galleon. Alas, Roberts had made one miscalculation. His plate armor was simply too much for the rope, which snapped. Roberts did not cut a graceful swath through the air, but instead he plummeted toward the water. But it would take much more than that to kill the Dread Pirate, in fact, he never even touched the water, instead colliding with the galleon’s hull. Still, he was not yet out of harm’s way. Arrows from the warship began thudding into the hull all around, and things were looking rather grim once again. But Brom had other plans in mind, fearlessly reaching over the side of the ship, he managed to pull his friend aboard, and their ship sped off toward the horizon. Some of the freed slaves had agreed to come along for the journey, and were now manning the ship. Still, the adventurers could not shake a feeling of defeat. There kinsmen were lost, perhaps for ever, and their quest had failed.
“Say Cailen, why the long face?” Kor approached the large man.
“Because, slaver,” Cailen spat out the word like poison, “My wife is still in the hands of some vile monster, and I don’t even no where to start looking! But mark my words, Halfling, I will not cease in my search!”
“That’s good to hear…,” Kor spoke slyly, “for I know where she is.”
“What!? How? That’s impossible!”
“Ah, on my way out of that warehouse, I managed to grab the shipping manifest, and your kinsmen are on the list, just a few days ago they were shipped off to the island of Eileen a’ Ceedich.”
“HAha! Roberts! Set a course, full ahead to the west, we’re back on the trail!”
“Right, you hear that you land lovers?! FULL IMPULSE!”
And off they sailed, into the sunset…

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Off to war...

At the crossroads stood the intrepid adventurers, Argos, Roberts, Z, Brom, the deva named Oris, and two of the village militia. At Malton’s behest they had collected Oris to come along with them, as many people harbored a dislike for the Deva, and this seemed a risky operation, if it failed, Malton figured, at least he would rid himself of one problem.
“Allright, everyone listen up,” Argos began, “This is a dangerous mission we have been given. If that man was right, we could be heading into the midst of a massive Orc army, while I doubt that we should keep our wits about us none the less, now, anyone have any comments or concerns before we set out?”
“I do,” Roberts spoke up, “Perhaps we should split our force, send one group up ahead as scouts, keep the faster group as a reserve, the archers perhaps. That way, if the first group runs into an ambush, the second group can follow up and ambush the attackers.”
“A valid point, but no need.” Argos dismissed him, “scouts have already been dispatched ahead of us.”
“Well then, why don’t we just let the scouts find out whats there?” someone interjected.
“Because the council has ordered a reconnaissance en force, so we are going to do that, now, any other valid concerns before we set out?” he was met with a reserved silence, “good then, lets get a move on.”
The party had been traveling through the woods for a short while when they came upon a clearing, as they proceded through, they heard a commotion coming from the other side. Just then, one of their scouts came bolting out of the forest, into the clearing. He made a beeline for Argos, stopping just in front of him. And there the scout fell dead at his feet, an arrow protruding from his back. At that moment before anyone had any idea what was happening, five goblins leapt from the forest, one of them looking rather sinister, with a spear and a sheath of javelins. Before anyone could react the goblins fell upon the party. One of them charged at Z, bellowing a savage war cry, thankfully however, his sword missed its mark, and Z was unscathed. Another of the goblins charged at Oris, its sword came in at a wicked angle, but Oris’ scythe deflected it just in time, he took a nasty gash to one of his fingers, but was otherwise unscathed. The leader of the goblins took an opportunity at that moment to hurl a javelin at the unfortunate Deva, the projectile collided squarely with the Deva’s chest, but it did not skewer him, still it left its mark. Two of the Goblins charged Roberts, intent on drawing his blood. The first brought its sword down, seeking The Dread Pirate’s skull, but he was able to bring up his shield, and deflect the blow. The other goblin had then gotten behind, and sought to slip its swords between his ribs, but Roberts was just too quick, he brought his shield around just in time to avoid a messy demise. Robert’s retaliation was brutal, he spun about, and in one fell swoop stole the life from both his foes, in his vigor, his blade nearly connected with his ally Argos. With Roberts’ strike the goblin’s force had been quite diminished, but they were far from defeated. As at that moment, a goblin blackblade leapt up from behind the adventurers, and jumped upon Brom, knocking him to the ground. Brom was fortunate however, he was able to bring his sword to bear just in time to stop the goblin’s thrust. Brom then, using the momentum of his fall, continued rolling backwards. He pushed off on the goblin with his feet and flung it off him, in the process he completed his roll and regained his feet. Oris then engaged his foe, he swung his scythe at the goblin’s head in a broad arc, but his foe was just to fast, and the goblin ducked its head, just beneath the deadly blade. Z struck out at his attacker with a magical blast, most of which was absorbed by the goblins armor, which was in turn all but destroyed by the blast. As Brom regained his feet he kept up his momentum, bringing his sword downward in a powerful strike, the blow collided with his foe’s shoulder, drawing blood. But before he could strike again the blackblade flickered in some incredible feat of agility that Brom’s eyes simply could not follow, suddenly befor him he found the goblin who had recently been engaged with Oris, and Oris saw before him the Blackblade. Argos then went charging at the Goblin leader, however his attack failed and the Goblin lept back, outside the range of his sword. Roberts muttered to himself a quick, but powerful, prayer to Kord, God of Battle, and he charged at the Goblin himself. Unfortunately, luck was against him. As he failed to see the root what entangled his foot, and sent him sprawling. His sword collided with the ground, and a massive concussive force shot out, spraying dirt up in all directions, including that of Roberts’ mouth, Roberts was unhappy. As Roberts’ sword struck the ground, Oris felt a sweet soothing sensation wash over him, an effect of Roberts’ prayer. At this Oris struck out at the goblin that opposed him, the blackblade was agile however, and the scythe failed to find its mark, still Oris, clever and crafty as ever, followed up with a sharp kick aimed at the goblin’s face, but that fell short as well. Still, it was for the better, as when Oris unbalanced himself with his misguided kick, it caused the javelin expertly aimed at his head, to sail wide, by a millimeter, taking some of his hair with it, Oris was sad. The javelin’s role was not yet over however, as it continued on its destined path through the air, a path that ended with it impacting painfully with Brom’s side, but thanfully deflecting off his scale armor. In his rage, Brom swung his greatsword in a mighty arc, severing the goblins head from its shoulders. Z also dispatched his foe, by blasting away the greater part of its torso. Roberts was quick to regain his feet, but before he could reach the goblin leader it had disappeared, to be replaced by the blackblade, who had once again used its agility, in an attempt to escape the ever seeking blade or Oris’ scythe. But that day was not that goblins lucky day, as he appeared directly in the path of a not-very-jolly-roger. Roberts eviscerated the unfortunate goblin with a single swipe of his furious sword. A combination of blades, arrows, and magic bolts, sent the final goblin to his final rest. And with that the battle was ended.
“Allright, anyone wounded? Is anybody bleeding?” Argos began to take stock of the situation.
“Me, me, im hurt!” Came Brom’s call
“Are you bleeding?”
“…Nooo…”
“then you’re fine, anybody else?”
As it turned out, at some point during the battle one of the goblins had gotten a strike in on Z, and he had in fact lost a little bit of blood, still they quickly had him bandaged, and continued on their way.
The Party approached the smoldering remains of Wheatfell.
“Allright, you two archers,” Argos addressed the militiamen, “set up out here, and act as a rearguard.”
“should we really be using the archers as a rearguard?” Roberts challenged.
“They will be able to give us warning if anything approaches our backs, and besides, their bows will be of little use within those buildings, so lets carry on then, shall we?”
The stoic adventurers proceded cauitiously into the remains of the village, rubble lay strewn about haphazardly, and the smoldering husks were all that remained of the village buildings. As the party crossed through the gate, two figures emerged slowly from behind a pile of rubble. One, a dangerous looking mage, the other, a no-nonsense dwarf.
“Halt! Who goes there?” The mage demanded imperiously
“They don’t look that tough do they?” Roberts began to loosen his sword within its sheath.
“What is your business here?” demanded the mage.
“I am Argos, of Fieldan, and we are here to investigate what has happened to the village of Wheatfell, may I ask who are you and what, exactly, are you doing here?”
“Stay your hand or loose your head fool.” Came a severe sounding voice from behind Roberts, who had the goodsense not to turn around to see who it was, though he did happen to notice the sword laying against his neck.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa…” Brom came sauntering over to Roberts’ side, and found himself at the tip of a sword as well, “Hey! Watch it!”
“Come no further, and unhand your weapons.” The voice threatened in Roberts’ ear.
“how bout’ you get your sword off my neck, and then we’ll talk, okay?” Roberts could have sworn he heard the voice growl.
“We are here for the same reasons as you to investigate the attack on this village,” The dwarf spoke then.
“Well then why don’t we—“ But before he could finish his thought, Argos was cut off.
“QUICKLY! Quickly! Smoke rises to the West, from Fieldan!”
“Oh no, did I leave the stove on again?” Roberts whispered, “Allright, how about you call this guy off, and then we all go and see whats happening in Fieldan?”
“Roight.” The dwarf marched began to march off toward the road. It was then that Roberts realized both the sword and the voice behind it had already mysteriously vanished.
The party encountered no dangers on their return journey, but the flames continued to rise on the horizon. As they approached the village they spotted four well armed men standing at the crossroads.
“Aha! But we are better armed!” The Dread Pirate Roberts bellowed, and began waving his arms about, “ooooooooooooooooooooo…”
“oooh, aaaah, oooh, aaaaah!” Brom began waving his arms from behind Roberts, giving the Dread Pirate the illusion of having four arms. Impressing as there display was however, the four men standing before them were men of the village, and had come to expect as much from these two, they were not impressed.
“Ho there! Argos, you have returned, and with some stragglers, but these two look a bit too well armed to be refugees fleeing from Wheatfell?” Cailen Theras stepped forward.
“Greetengs thar, oi am Orik, oof tha army oof Bahamut. Wheatfell esnt tha ferst city to haf been attacked. Orcs haf been rampaging awl ovar tha coontrysaid. Oi em har to envestigate.” The Dwarf introduced himself in his thick accent.
“Greetings Orik, I am Cailen Theras. I was at my home when the attack began. These men came to collect me, and we went back into the village, to see who we could pull out.” Cailen began, “When we got there, we found a large number of Orcs, and everyone in the village was either dead, or in shackles. So we returned to my home to gather some supplies. When we got there, we found it had been ransacked, and my wife had been taken.”
“Well,” Argos announced, “I am going with the Army of Bahamut, to the capitol city, Enoch, to ask the King for his support,” as had already been decided between Argos and Orik, “We could use as many first hand accounts as possible in describing what happened, so I ask that you all come with us.”
“How can you say that!” Cailen leapt forward, “all our friends, our families, our loved ones, have been taken by a band of Orcs, and you want to go see the King!? You do what you wish Argos, I am going south, after those beasts that have my wife, and ill go alone if I have to.”
This drove our four remaining heroes into debate.
“I don’t like Argos, but his plan is sound, if this is about a larger threat than just the orcs, as the Army of Bahamut believes…” Roberts spoke.
“Protocol dictates that I go with Cailen,” Z said non-comittally.
“I say we go kill somebody!” was all that Brom had to add.
“We should go with Cailen, we can’t abandon these people.” Oris remarked, which was surprising as most of those people didn’t much care for the Deva.
“I say that we go with Cailen, we cannot let our kinsman be made slaves.” Roberts said with finality.
At that point Cailen, who had heard a bit of their conversation spoke up, “Allright,” his voice rang out, “You three,” he pointed to the men who had been standing with him at the crossroads, “Will go with Argos, you were in the village, and you can give the best account of what happened. You four,” he pointed at the heroes, “Can come with me, and we shall go in search of our lost kinsman.”
“Right” The response came out more or less in unison.

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Humble beginnings...

It was a normal day in Fieldan, a rural farming village in the northeastern region of the nation of Llanowar, home to an unlikely band of ususpecting heroes. First, let us introduce these chief characters. For starters we have a man by the name of Argos. While not a native of the village, Argos has become a good friend of the Malton, head of the Council of Elders, for Malton is the only person with whom Argos has ever shared his deepest secret. Moving along we have Brom, a rather umremarkable fellow at first glance, Brom is more than one might expect. He is young, but not without experience. He is practiced with a blade, but there is something more to him. Upon his birth Brom was deemed special, a shaman of the earth declared him the “Chosen One” and fortold of a prophecy, that led either to his triumph, or his damnation. Though one wouldn’t know it to look at him, as Brom is about as carefree as they come, and always quick to laugh. Still, Brom is not the strangest of the group. The lead in that category is closely contested. We shall begin with the eldest of the group. Wil Turnner, better known as the infamous, Dread Pirate Roberts, is certainly the most traveled of them all. He has seen many a distant land, and his previous deeds are a tale all their own. Perhaps as a result of his many misadventures, Roberts’ is not without his demons. He is possessed by a strange voice that inhabits his thoughts. At times it goads him to do things, sometimes terrible, however the consequences of disobedience can be far worse. Moving right along we have Oris, the black sheep of the bunch. Quite literally, Oris’ skin is virtually all a deep midnight black, with patterns of gray dispersed all over his body. He is a Deva, and that trait alone marks him as an outsider. One day Oris awoke, finding himself all alone in the middle of a wheat field, the only memory he possessed was that of the sounds of battle and a bright, all consuming light. He had just reincarnated, though he knew not how long it had been since his last life. For devas do not die, but rather upon the end of their mortal forms they are reincarnated within another, sometimes instantly, and sometimes not for millennia. Oris, upon waking, began to wander, he eventually wandered his way into the village of Fieldan, though since he had just been through rebirth, he had none of his old possessions, and as such no clothes. The Council gave him some tools and linens, and set him off to the outskirts of the settlement, to build his own home, and till the fields. So he has been doing ever since. Next we have Z, simply Z. He was part of an experiment, an accidental part, which drove the wizard that created him to abandon him as a child. He led for the most part a normal life, though he was shunned by most of the village as a freak. This led to his almost constant presence within the library, studying all the creatures and lore he could find. And finally that brings us to Cailen Theras, a woodsman who built his cabin within the peaceful forest nearby the village. He lives there with his loving wife Gelena. And so now we return to that fateful day, when all the village went about their normal routine, Z intent on his studies, Brom wandering about the village center, and Roberts in his usually place standing in the horse trough, singing sailor’s ditties.
“YO-HO, YO-HO, A PIRATE’S LIFE FOR ME!” came the raucous singing of the fearsome Dread Pirate. But this was no new occurance, and as such the townsfolk payed it little heed. But there were indeed intent upon what happened next. At that moment a horrified man came running into the square. He was covered in gore, from head to toe, and began shouting wildly. The man demanded to see whomever was in charge, and finally Argos came to take him to the council. Meanwhile the madman’s rantings had set Roberts into a fit, and he began running about the square, flailing his greatsword to a fro. The man had brought a crowd, and even Z came out to see the spectacle. The man had been so drenched in blood that much of it was still present on the ground, just as the crowd began to speculate on what had happened, Robert’s believed that an orc army had attacked the neighboring village of Wheatfell, and had slaughtered everyone there. When Malton emerged from the building.
“We have just learned of a great tragedy,” he announced, “It seems that our neighboring village, Wheatfell, has been attacked by an army of orcs, who slaughtered everyone there. As such I have appointed Argos to lead a volunteer company to investigate these reports. Is there anyone here willing to join him?”
The Dread Pirate Roberts lept up with gusto, “I shall go!” he exclaimed.
“Ooh, me too!” Brom was not about to be left behind.
“Protocol dictates that I must go…” Z volunteered,
“Well then,” Malto continued, when it seemed no one else was about to step forward. “I shall have a contingent of the militia meet you at the crossroads, good luck to you all”
And with that the party set forth.

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