Shielding Alliance

persistent past

“Why is it that a few of you cant let the past go? Did you not also harm some of your compatriots in the past?”

Turtle has been dragging bodies into a corner, dropping anything she finds into a pile. She listens as she works, waiting for the others to finish. “We were not looking for riches Pertinax, but rather hoping to prevent reinforcements from surrounding us. Too often we have fallen into the Enemy’s ambushes, blundering about. It would have been foolish to not at least try and avoid the next trap.”

She piles another stripped body on. “When I was young, my father brought my sisters and I along on a caravan run going to the Deep. Long story short, on the way back, there was a large orc raiding party that was closing in on our group. To save everyone, my father made us all shoot the horses of the last wagon.” She tosses a weapon into the pile. “We sacrificed one for the whole caravan.” She pauses, catching her breath. “It is either foolishness, or, worse, naive idealism that says all lives are worth the same. We are in a war with the Enemy, and they choose to move their pieces to best effect. We must do the same.” She throws another captured weapon, it landing with a clang. “Unless you truly believe in the principle which holds that the Hommlett trader’s life is worth trading one of ours for. I don’t see him or any other innocents down here, battling against the darkness.” She grabs another set of lifeless arms, and begins to pull. “If you try to save everyone, you’ll end up saving no one. Be assured, the other side has no such qualms.” The dragging noise resumes.

“I feel like risking someone else’s life in our particular situation, for the sake of our safety, is the easy way out for us. We may philosophize that our lives are more important because we aim to save the whole of Hommlet but that is a tricky moral position to take.”

try to save everyo! ne, you’ll end up saving no one. Be assured, the other side has no such qualms.” The dragging noise resumes.


“You are just finding a nice philosophically defensible position, and I respect that. I feel differently though. Had it been the trader in there I still would have attempted to stop the ceremony. You also gloss over a big element of your story. It was an obvious losing proposition that your father faced and wisely he chose to sacrifice something so that the rest may live. We were in no such obvious situation, particularly as we have fought fairly well against the forces of this temple. Besides, facing danger is essentially what we do. We may try to control the amount of danger and indeed it would be smart to not act rashly and foolishly, but under the circumstances we faced I felt we delayed unnecesarily. We are not some merchants or children on a caravan. We are a group of warriors who invade this unholy structure with the express purpose of stopping the evil deeds that occur here.”

Furnock looks over at Turtle with a curious expression and then grins “weel then you won’t mind when its YOU who is that last wagon you spoke of… Me, I’ve been the last wagon… I ain’t a been a good man… but when me luck a’ran out in Hommelet this ‘ere caravan could use one last wagon?”

“Florant what are you talking about to the half elf about? Back up lad, that one has a burning rage against… against… well… everyone methinks. But he is a VERY diplomatic angry, that why you aren’t dead already”

a new convert?

“We have done well today, regardless of the outcome, and how the gods had deemed it to be played out. We have prevailed, but now we must tend to this poor creature…”

I am glad to ‘ear you speak of the gods, Trevelyan. Per’aps you are coming to see the wisdom of ‘Elm and the grace of the Protector. ‘e is always open to new believers, mon Dieu is. You would also benefit from from confession and reconciliation, with all of your amis you ‘ave been shooting lately… (Florent says this with a wink to Furnock).

Before you respond, know that anger only communicates the depths of your longing…”

Florent, Helm is a fine and respectable God.. I already follow my goddess.. Chauntea, Mother of the Earth.. a wise and all encompassing Goddess. She has kept me safe in my travels. How is it that I need to confess? There is nothing I have done that I have not admitted already. Perhaps you should consult Helm to see how he feels about your inability to forgive me. Why is it that a few of you cant let the past go? Did you not also harm some of your compatriots in the past?”


“Treveylan, Florent said it in jest. Indeed, he has unleashed the power of his mighty flail upon the back of Turtle’s head.”

bag it

Turtle stomps over and decapitates the fallen cleric with an edge of her shield) “Fools rush in. If the gnome died so that we may have a better chance of succeeding, than that is the price. We fight to defend a whole village, if not a region. Far more worth than saving a single captive. I will not run in blindly again.”

(she holds the head grimly) “Anyone have a bag?”

Pertinax says without lifting his head: “You do what your conscience dictates. I will do what mine says is the right thing to do. No innocent life is worth less than another life. Next time I will not go down any side corridors looking for riches while evil ceremonies are being held.”

“ave you no seen the glory of ‘Elm, shield sister? I no know which God you follow, but surely the Protector must resonate with your experiences of battle.”

Florent casts a cure minor on the gnome in an attempt to stablize him/her before tending to his own wounds and that of the party.

” I will always charge in to protect the innocent, for this is part of greater good we seek. Chanting by evil priest is always bad, mon pere used to say. Who knows what evil magique they accomplish if we wait.”

The cure minor is an attempt to stablize the sacrifice, if the gnome is not too far gone. I will then do a heal check to sense how bad the other party members are.

Treveky, “Turtle, if you think that one life is worth no more than the next, then how valuable is your own life?? You have spoken on being successful, but yet allowing an innocent to die is no way to measure our gain. My conscience will not allow me to stand idly by if I can do something to help an individual who needs me. The riches you spoke of mean what, if you allow someone to die, merely for your own gain?? All the riches you attain cannot be carried with you to the heavens…

We are only perceived as good, by the deeds we do… running blindly to someone’s aid is no mere mark against us, it shows our resolve to thwart the evil that permeates this place. I agree that running blindly into a situation is not to our advantage… but we have proven that we can stand up to the resistance that we may encounter. I feel that the gods are in our favor and shine brightly upon us from the heavens… even here in this dark womb of evil.

Florent, I do question your reasoning, as you seem, or seemed as mad as the fanatic we transported back to Hommlett. What has happened to you since your conversations with your elders of the church? Your sense seems to have waned greatly and you have gone against the tactics we have devised to protect ourselves… which also seems to nearly have cost you your own life. Perhaps in the future, you will adhere to the wisdom of your elders in this group, while trying to rid this temple of the vile putrescence within. I share your desire to work against this evil… but do not allow your devotion to blind you to common sense.

We have done well today, regardless of the outcome, and how the gods had deemed it to be played out. We have prevailed, but now we must tend to this poor creature…

He walks to the alter and attempts to assist Florent and Pertinax…

after effects

Sending a half elf to do a man’s job: 50gp Flanking your opponent and stabbing them so their innards spill upon the floor: 100 gp Watching Florant do the Charleston in the middle of combat: 200gp Knowing Pertinax popped that whip fucker in the hall as he ran away: priceless

For everything else there’s the characters’ we could have rolled up if we died…

That was soooooo cool last night guys! Awesome time slugging it out with the earth Temple.

In game:

Furnock confidence grows with his flurishing fashion statement. His new allies are fast becoming friends. He hurries out into the hall to vomit his guts out and take a leak to help recover his nerves… he looks down at his leather gear and is suddenly glad it is easy to clean. His self absorbed musings sweep away momentarily as he sees Pertinax calling for Florant and kneeling by the gnome…

I had a lot of fun storming the temple! My favorite part was when the evil cleric was going down in flames screaming “the Fire Temple has betrayed us! Avenge me!”. Fire indeed!

Special mention to Treveylan’s diplomatic ways which have gotten us banned from the trader in spite of his fantastic +15 diplomacy modifier. I have to admit that Treveylan is starting to get to the rarefied air that Rhaynoss inhabits. Rhaynoss is one of the most entertaining characters I have ever witnessed and Treveylan sometimes reaches those heights. Here’s to the elven alliance inside Adventuring Party #9! Xenophobia at its best.

Furnock gets braver and braver. He is also looking for those tactical sweet spots much better than he used to.

Florent was the Florent we all know and love last night. Falling down, dropping his flail, failing to roll over, doing his imitation of an armadillo, all raging hormones. Awesome!

Turtle kept her ambition in check long enough to allow us to interrupt whatever evil deeds those nasties were doing (even if we almost had to drag her out of that hallway to check out the screams).

Sulmia + haste = death raining down on our enemies.

Pertinax channeled his inner maelstrom of arcane destruction. It felt good. I should name a spell that.

IC: Pertinax walks over to the altar and examines the gnome hoping that he is still alive. Guilt is noticeable on his face as he thinks that the party delayed far too long, ignoring the chanting.

“It was obvious that some sort of evil ceremony was taking place. Yet we hesitated and that may have cost this poor gnome his life and perhaps even worse. Florent, please see if you can still save him with Helm’s blessings.”

Elven curse words

As far as naming the group I have this compilation of Elven curses and swear words for us to choose and combine. The word for the number six is Llain, two is Draa and four is Quent. Vell is The and is Dro. Pluralize words by adding either -ra or -in.

Warg Kisser: Otuuk Fe`Saign
Outsider: Gotii
Less Than An Outsider: Egotti
Elf With No Family/Clan: U`Raanu
Mud Crawler: Athuum
Fuck: Jukkete
Ass: Ud
Asshole: Ud`Raan
Bastard: Kuu`Datto
Tree Slayer: Taig`Sleanra
Non-Person Or Non-Elven: N`Tel`Quess
Dark Friend: Barad`Ellil
Demon Soul: Tanar'ri`Jaless
Tit: Alaa
Bitch: Xhan
Cunt: Ekee
Cock: Guuta
Slut: Hukaa
Whore: Ittee
Damn: Nuuta
Prick: Utaa
Moron: Botuu
Thief: Coraanu
Ork Lover: Dukkoti
Idiot: Haaku
Oath Breaker: Lobuu
Lunatic: Mutami
Traitor: Dhaeraow
Jerk: Nuuko
Shit: Traako

My initial suggestions are Vell Llain Ud’Raanar or Quent Guutain Dro Draa Ekeein. Vell Mutamin or Vell Nuukora work too.

Comment from Luke: what’s the elven word for arguing like a pack of school girls as we trapes about temple basements and forests in the areas around Hommelet and Nolb.Trevelyn and every one else who enjoys life? we need something that strikes fear into the hearts of our foes, like Helm’s Holy Vangaurd, or Hommelet’s Hunters. Any name is better than adventuring party #9.


Naraceel stared down from the gloom of her perch as Romag swept his hands back and forth in front of him, keeping her pets at bay with his treacherous faith. She wiped a clawed hand at the red strands of hair hanging in her face, and lifted one leg upward to scratch at a nasty itch on the side of her neck. Watching the priest use his magics to hold the ghouls from his flesh brought a heat of resentment to her, even though he would do them no harm. She hated to think another, in mere moments, could control through evil divinity what she had gained through years of hard-won coercion.

A pair of soldiers had followed Romag into her hall. She had hoped the human would have come alone. The better to rend the fool to bits with talon and tooth and leave a shattered carcass at the feet of the others to show she was worthy of more than a thin, exiled existence fed of pitiful hostages and rotted gnoll-meat.

She spit to the floor twenty feet below, and it struck noiselessly on the polished stone; Romag had brought his silence as well. Naraceel heaved her shoulders with a sigh. She pulled a single pinion feather from beneath her left wing and dropped it absently. It floated to the floor with less noise than her spit, her sign that she was in mood for parley with the priest of the Earth Temple.

“The priest of the Hand brings his followers deeper into our midst, Naraceel,” he said. He had dropped the sphere of silence he used to protect himself from the harpy’s influential songs. He began to pace within the small circle he had created in her chamber that had become protected from the ghouls. Long spears in the hands of his bodyguard swept left and right, poised to impale the gaunt figures that teetered on the edge between ravenous undead hunger and sudden fealty to the cleric. The shadows of the entryway hid an archer who trained a crossbow bolt and a canny eye on the harpy as she sat in the shadows of a fresco high above them.

“I hear the many screams of men, Romag,” Naraceel said. “How many of yours have they slain?”

”Not so many that I cannot replace them in time,” Romag said.

The harpy laughed, her giggle a rain of shattered glass echoing throughout the pillars of the hall. “You have no time, priest, else you would not come for my aid.”

“I demand your obedience, you winged witch,” he replied. “I’d sooner remove your pawns to the earth from where they came and leave you to survive on the rats.”

Naraceel growled and her wings flared behind her. “Meddling, pitch-fouled bastard! I could sing you to sleep and you’d awaken with my craw deep in your ropes while you watched in glee at your own devouring.”

“And that would leave you with no benefactor in these exultant halls, Naraceel. We can pose for the ten-day, but it will come no nearer to ridding the Temple of the Helm priest and his thralls.” Romag turned his hand, curling the fingers into a fist and quickly spreading his fingers out. A ghoul that had snaked his way nearer to the priest suddenly lurched back and cowered, the pikeman stepping forward and urging it further from Romag.

Naraceel cursed under her breath and scratched at the stone she sat on. It would do no good to deny Romag his favor. He alone held the upper halls, and could easily chase her from its corridors and out into the compound. The thought of fighting the huge crows for scraps was one she not wished to see returned to fact.

“What does the high Master of the Soil wish of me, then?” she barked with sarcastic rage.

“Enter the battle for your home,” Romag commanded. “Your last foray was selfish and meek. Show the intruders what dulcet tones you provide while your undead flay them for your feast.”

Naraceel tapped at her teeth with a single ragged nail. She had intended to take the prowlers from behind a second time. She was only agreeing to what she wanted, after all.

“We get the choice of the meat, and to the abyss with your gnolls,” she said.

Romag nodded. “That will replace the soft townsfolk your ghouls let free.” He hoped the reminder of her ghouls’ destruction a ten-day ago and the loss of a fine larder for her stomach would cut deep. And he would not tell her the platoon of gnolls and been killed. No sense allowing her to deduce any weakness.

“It is agreed,” she said.

Romag bowed. “A token, for you Naraceel, of my faith in you.” He whirled and suddenly ran from the chamber.

The pikemen’s eyes went wide as the ghouls leapt to the attack, the hold Romag had held on them dropped with a thought as the priest retreated. The archer slammed the door fast and lay his weight against it as the pair thudded against it from the other side. Screams rose from behind him as Romag stalked off to the north, screams suddenly made silent as paralysis took the voice of the soldiers.

helpful humor

OOC:If this was Izzi he would respond “We are a sordid band? Cool!! I’ve always wanted to be in one of those!”

Pertinax chuckles again.

“I actually think the attempt at humor is quite skilled and brings up a good point. Internecine conflict does us no good and I am responsible for more than my share of it. You see, I was brought up to think elves are superior, if only implicitly. We all do certain things better than the others, and in the grand scheme of things it is obvious some races are better at some things than others. The humans are hardy and resourceful and I am impressed. This fine elf would be dead many times over if it wasn’t for all of you. I aim to repay the favor many times over.”

“Oh, and Treveylan, what do you find sordid about our band? I think our purpose is true, for the most part, and as far as I know we haven’t partaken in any foul practices.”

“I had meant it as literal statement… we as a band are quite filthy… it was meant as an innocuous term… my error “

Turtle & Trevelyn square off

” mind your tongue when you speak ill of me.”

*Turtle kicks a stone around with her boot. “That is indeed good advice. Perhaps you should follow it, especially given that most of us here are ‘foolish humans.’ Trevalyn, we owe no more to your guidance than we do to Florent’s faith, my shields, and the farm queen’s bow. Or Fernock’s lock skill for that matter.” The stone gets a boot, scattering into the darkness. “You are also forgetting that the magic item responsible for helping all of us garner better deals was not only my idea, but financed 100% with my coin, so please do not take credit for that.” Her foot finds a new stone to move around. “This all being said, we do appreciate your expertise, diplomatic and otherwise, just as I’m sure you appreciate ours. Now, shall we move onto the matter at hand? There is little to show for this current expedition, particularly of reward.”

OOG, I don’t know when this conversation is occurring.

“I know what you all are.. I have made no error in realizing your heritage… I am NO elf… and if it were my choice I would not be a damned half-breed as I am, but I had no say in my conception, and therefore I falter between the two worlds of Man and Elf, finding no purchase in either world. You of pure bloods have no understanding of what it means to be left out of all things in life… humans generally distrust me, because of my Elven heritage, while Elves distrust me for my Human heritage…

I spoke quickly, and allowed myself to speak without complete thought, I will say no more on this subject. Consider my end of this… argument??... complete.”

He steps away from the group, scanning the fallen bodies… quiet ramblings to himself, “Even here… even here across the sea… nothing changes… is there hate and mistrust in every corner of Oerth? I had hoped not… but it seems I will have no place on this Oerth where I will truly be accepted… so be the way of it…”

post-combat regrets
Furnock watches, listens, and mutters

Furnock watches the others and listens to the arguing about him. Finally he mutters almost to himself but alittle too loudly. “Go or stay, let’s choose! Staying in one place too long brings trouble legal and not so legal if we linger… I do not trust that ranger (but then again I trust no one) leaving me to the skeletons and then shooting the elf… Suddenly Furnock realizes he has said this aloud and drops back into his stupor just muttering ”... stupid farmers… it should have worked… mom always said I was a fool… I should never have left home”

His face stern and grim, an expression of fury, yet calm, “You should know, that I warned you to run, Furnock… it happened quite quickly… you were right behind me in seconds. Should I coddle you and carry you the whole way too?? You seem able enough to walk and run, as well as fight. Further, Pertinax, the ELF, shot ME!!! I am a HALF-ELF… get it right… foolish humans that cannot see the obvious differences right before their own eyes. Whether you choose to trust me or not, is your own issue. I have done nothing to cause you to mistrust me, rogue… I do not hold any grudge toward you, and all of you have survived in this wilderness because of my ability to lead us through this forsaken land, as well as bargain a better deal for your gear. So, If you think you can do it on your own, try. We shall see how far you get. If I had wanted you dead, Furnock, it would not take much to do… but as I do not wish it, nor have I ever wished wish harm against you, you have nothing to fear… so mind your tongue when you speak ill of me.”

Furnock responds:

O great and venerable ranger it is you we all look too! Have mercy upon my weak foppish person. I am incapable of holding up my wrist let alone my sword. Your calm, stern, guiding, stalwart, visage guides and bargains without compare. Your indominable aim points the true way. Take pity upon this poor gambler’s uncouth tongue. I am but a weak human rogue, foolish in the ways of the world and totally below the notice of your brainy, mighty, greatness, save for my ability to open stubborn doors so your flaming bow of rightiousness make speak its doom upon the foul elements of evil. (with lots of deep bowing and much scrapping)

Your attempt at humor is poor, but that is fine enough with me. I regret allowing my anger to get the better of my tongue… We each hold an integral part of this sordid band, and none could last with one of us missing. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and we try to work around them to best employ our skills to the scenarios at hand…

The foolish ploy of inability does you no good… you are most adept at stealth and the machinations of the dungeon realms, I grant you that. There is none better than you that I have met that can do so well… I am from the wilds and therefore the “natural” world is more akin to my blood and temperament… my retort was quick and not well placed… my error on that account. Now quit acting the fool and stand up… I am no king nor do I deem myself higher in rank than any of you… stand up…,” a perplexed look upon his face trying not to laugh.

Ambush Aftermath

After dismissing the noxious cloud that helped turn one of the flanks the elf looks around at the rest of the band.

“How is everyone doing? It would seem we stepped right into their ambush. Whatever they are protecting, they seem intent on not allowing us to venture further. Which , of course, means we have to find whatever is in the depths of this complex.”

“So, the first question is, how do we avoid further ambushes? The second question is, could we have done anything differently? One thing I would suggest is that whenever Fernock can surround a creature we give him preference since he is quite adept at finding soft spots in most creatures when they focus their attention elsewhere. The rest of us can find different angles.”

“I believe we did a good job of forming two fronts and keeping the enemies at bay. Treveylan alertly returned to where Sulmia and Fernock could give him support. As a band we are adept at missile combat, with Sulmia being particularly skillful. Turtle and Florent took out a significant group of gnolls, which is no easy feat.”

“Alas, unharmed I may be, but I am also drained of High Elven Magic.”

“I am… cough… hurt, but seem OK… I lost nearly half of myself back there… (a pained grimace and watery eyes comes across his face as forces 3 arrows through himself from his back with ) they certainly were ready. I agree we did well, but the shield wall only seems to effectively protect the heavily armored directly… I am not saying it is not effective, nor does it protect us indirectly, I am just curious as to how could we better prepare for a fight on 2 fronts… I myself cannot wear armor like yourselves, and will not wield a shield, as it seems to cumbersome for me… And I agree that Furnock should have prime position to take full advantage of our enemies flanks… I was ready to fight and saw that Turtle and Florent may need some help… it was my error.

I will survive, but will need a little healing if we are to continue on… but I will only take it after others have been mended first…”


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