Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

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artemitavik
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Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

First Name: Derik
Last Name: Ranloss

Appearance: A young, powerfully built man with brown hair kept back in a pony tail. Wears heavy armor and uses shield and sword usually in combat. Out of combat he wear fairly practical and sturdy clothing. He almost always wears copper and brown.
Race: Human
Age: 29
Height 6'6"
Weight: 235lbs
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown
Facial Hair Style: A short, well groomed full beard.

Personality Profile:
General Health: Healthy and fit, very athletic.
Deity: Tymora Tempus
Profession: Soldier/Mercenary.
Habits/Hobbies: Hanging out with friends, reading (usually alone) and other random things that catch his attention. Known to enjoy a good jest, turn of phrase, and sometimes just straight up silliness.
Weapon of Choice: Bastard sword. Also uses tower shield.

Family: Father, Marcus Ranloss. Mother, Katie Ranloss. Younger sister, Tellah (alternatively pronounced Tellae). All residents of Waterdeep. His Father is a dockhand, his mother a seemstress, and his sister works as a servant for an older noble family.

Background: From the small hamlet of Copperglenn. This is a town that was nestled in some hills a ways outside of the northeast side of the High Forest. It was called that because of the small but functional copper mine that produced most of the town's trade and the few wheat farms that provided most of the town's grain.

Due to the mining industry, trade with Dwarves was common, and due to the proximity of the High Forest, so were visitations from the Elves. Caravans coming in and out for the copper ore and dropping off supplies meant there was a semi-steady supply of external goods and visitors to the town. For that reason it had a fairly good-sized militia to keep the peace in town and bandits from trying to raid the towns moderate wealth (for a Hamlet anyways).

Derik's father was a militiaman, so he was apprenticed to the town's Swordmaster Therran Grux at age 10. Grux believed and taught all things with both skill and knowledge should be balanced. Offensive and defensive techniques were shown to all recruits and basic education was also taught such as reading, writing, etc.

When Derik was old enough (18) he joined the militia as was expected. His duties were mostly to escort caravans in and out of the Hamlet's territory and patrol the outlying areas.

A few years ago, a very large caravan arrived with an equally large number of heavily armed guards. This wasn't anything out of the ordinary so they were welcomed into the town's inns and taverns. The caravan was a plant however, and the caravan guards were powerful and well equipped soldiers of Zhentil Keep. When a large portion of the militia, Derik and his father included, were on patrol or escort duty these men attacked, killing the town's patrons as well as Grux and a good number of the militia. They took some treasure or artifact, and retreated home to tend to their own casualties.

When the remainder of the militia trickled home they found their companions dead and some of their most valuable treasures gone even though most of the populace was unharmed. Soon, the undermanned city force was becoming stretched thing and overwhelmed by groups of bandits or other unsavory folk that moved in to take advantage once the word had spread.

Slowly people just left to seek lives elsewhere. The Ranloss family moved to Waterdeep. After a few months Derik left his parents and younger sister there to go find his way as a soldier or mercenary. It was the only life he knew.

A few years of wandering and he hopped off a wagon in front of Baldur's Gate...



Possible RP Hooks:

Derik spent some 8 years as caravan guard and mercenary before arriving in Baldur's Gate. He's fairly well traveled. It is a possibility he is familiar with someone who is from a similar life, be they merc, merchant, or guard.

For his wandering years, Derik was not a Tempurian, he was a Tymoran. Nor was he always concerned with honor and being the fine, upstanding warrior he is today. He has rogue levels for a reason and has participated in more than a few questionable dealings when he performed when he was in longer layovers in a few towns here and there and didn't have any paying work. He also did a fair amount of gambling. In this way, he might also have a few contacts scattered about in the less than savory businesses and professions.
Last edited by artemitavik on Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:35 pm, edited 10 times in total.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor
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artemitavik
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

One of them had been found. And he was staying around the Northern Tradeway.

A letter had come from his family and the survivors of the incident at Copperglenn all those years ago.

One of them had been found. And he was staying around the Northern Tradeway. And he was alone. Apparently, he had angered his own patrons and was sent away. Now he was making his living as a bandit. And Derik just happened to be making a living in that area.

He was supposed to be at a tourney right now in the ruins of Triel. This was more important. The woman he loved was at that tourney, her heart in pain over something completely unrelated. He should be there to help her. But he had to do this before the man moved on, while he had the chance. Blood screamed from the ground and dust for vengeance. He could always hear it, but now that a piece of that vengeance was so close, it was nearly all he could hear.

The armored man strolled along the Tradeway, his shield fitted to his left arm. It should be around here. A small grouping of hills with a cave. The scout had found it and reported it, but wasn't skilled enough to take action alone. Derik was, at least now. Years had passed and skill had grown, and his quiet, ever-present rage at the destruction of his life and so many others threatened to boil over.

There. The landmarks in the letter. Derik turned and went cross-country. He didn't bother really to be sneaky. He wasn't very good at it anyway. Soon he crested a hill and the camp was there, nestled back and out of site. And it was full. Several men milled about, armed and armored, going over the spoils of a recent action. And they saw him, cloak billowing behind him, against the sky. His prey wasn't alone after all. He had found some followers. It didn't matter.

"Oy there lad!" One of them called out as they turned as a group, grinning sadistically and drawing weapons. "Nice of ye to come and contribute! Too bad ye didn't bring friends!"

Calmly Derik drew the dark-energy shrouded blade from his back, pointing at the man in the back with it in black platemail. "Give him to me, and the rest of you can leave. Stand in my way, and you all die. Now."

A few sadistic and unbelieving laughs told him that they didn't believe him. They advanced. Most were poorly armed with clubs or short blades and lighter, tattered armor, but they had numbers. Derik slowly, calmly descended the hill.

The battle didn't take long, really. These men were mostly just town ruffians who had finally taken it too far and were wanted for various crimes. They were little match for the armored warrior against them who had been training for moments like these since he was 10. A few fled. He let them go. He stepped over the corpses of the rest. The older man, still wearing the armor of the Zhentarim, though without the insignias, backed up, reading himself.

Steel rang out against steel as blows came down on blade, armor, and shields. He was good. He was very good. But he was also older, slower, and unprepared for the sheer fury of his opponent. Soon he was laying on his back against the rocks, weapon torn from his grip and shield shattered.

"I yield!" he cried. "I surrender! take me to the guards!"

"No." Came his answer quietly, quiet enough only he could hear. "You showed no quarter to mine. I show you no quarter now."

"Who...? Why? Why are you doing this? What have I done to you?!" he bellowed, trying to shrink back from the blade Derik held.

The answer came silently as Derik merely moved something on his belt so the one-time bandit leader could see it clearly. His eyes widened with sudden understanding. "Oh... gods..." he uttered. "You're...." he looked up at the brown eyes staring at him with pure hatred from the helmet. It was the last thing he saw as his head was removed from his neck.

"No gods to help you now..." Wiping his blade and retuning it to the scabbard on his back, Derik turned and walked out of the camp. He took nothing. Let the scavengers and the lucky have what could be found here. He had other things to attend to.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor
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artemitavik
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

Derik sat alone, in the dark for a while. He rested casually, sitting on the bed with his back against the wall in what he now considered his favorite room in the Blade and Stars if not all of the Gate.

He stared at the door across the room through the darkness. He could see the outline of light from the hallway peaking through from below it. He would have to be going soon. It was his turn to watch the two children at the Theater. However, he had just gotten back from a trip through some ruins with Vala to look for a lead to where Herran might be and a trip to fight some Yuan-ti with Ashan. Needed to be alone, to bathe, rest a little, and sort his thoughts.

He shifted slightly. Something across his lap slid a little and he looked down. A peace-bonded hand and a half sword lay across his lap? Right, because he had put it there. The test. A small smirk crossed his lips. He and Ashan had squared off with one of the Yuan-ti Queens.. or leaders... or Matrons... whatever they're called. He had used this weapon. The test. Stood his ground, no tricks or ruses. They had brought it down, the two of them. It had felt good. It felt right.

His mind went back further though and the smile faded. He, Vala, and Ash had gone to look for signs of Herran. Moron of Bard managed to get himself kidnapped or traded or whatever. In any event he was missing, and they didn't find any obvious signs or leads in that set of ruins. Herran may be his rival, but the bard is also his friend. It concerned him greatly regarding Herran's well being. Vala was going out of her mind it seemed. This, the kids that needed to be watched, and other situations were compounding. It tore him apart watching her like this. It literally took everything I him not to simply try to just hold her as still as he could and whisper that it'll be alright to her over and over. Instead he helped her as he could. Just tried to be... there. And he had meant what he had told her.

They would find Herran. He would be well and safe. If he wasn't, the hell that would be unleased would make the bard's captors long for the soothing comforts of the Abyss instead.

He stood, strapping his weapons and throwing his pack over his shoulder. Now he needed to get to the theater to meet Vala so she could get rest herself and so the kids would be protected as well.

He opened the door and stepped through looking back, memories flooding through his mind as the door closed. He breathed a sigh as his eyes narrowed slightly and he turned and left the Inn.

Time to go to work....

Time to stand be in the middle...
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor
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artemitavik
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:22 pm

Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

The time had come. The enemy was found. Battle was ready to be joined. Vengeance and justice for the last few weeks of hell.

It was time to go get Herran.

The party assembled marched out behind their guide, a man called "Pete". His real name was never asked. Several hours of walking through the wild-lands.

At last they arrived at the cave. Gold was exchanged for services. "Now... get out of here. And disappear." Derik warned the man. He had been part of the company that had caused this problem. It would be unwise for him to be seen by any of these folk again.

Light spells cast and marching order established, the group proceeded into the caverns. Soon multiple directions were available and the group spread a little to search. However, after Michael and Derik pulled Vala back out of an exploding room, it was quickly decided to stay together. Michael scouted for traps .... and found a whole mess of them. "Is anyone a burglar here...?" came the question from the ranger.

Silence.

"I'll do it..." Derik replied, kneeling down. "Everyone step back. And for the record, if I die horribly, this was officially a bad idea..."

First trap. Ice darts to the chest. Nope, didn't work. Second trap, bear-claw to the leg. Ouch. The rest are smooth and done though...

And now, there were men, standing in their way. This was more like it.

"Give us our man and you can leave. Otherwise, you die here and we take him anyway..."

Some banter, it's not important.

"5"

Threats exchanged.

"4"

More banter, insults.

"3"

"2"

"1"

All hell broke loose. Somewhere in it Derik lost track of Vala. Then everyone in their way is dead. Someone mentioned Vala got teleported out with the leader. Fenix ran a trace while Michael made sure it was safe for Derik to unfasten Herran's bonds.

They knew where she went. Adelaide had scrolls. She offered to look after Herran.

"Go..." rasped the bard.

Derik hurried to Michael and Fenix. A flash of light to teleport out. Vala's body on the ground before him in a forest.

"VALA!" He dashed over her her. "No. No no no no no no no no..." A raise scroll. She breathed. "Please... open your eyes..."

"... necromancer..."

She fell unconscious. Healing magic was applied. Derik picked her up, standing himself, cradling her head to his chest.

"... Let's go..."

He had him. He had her. For now, that's all that was needed.
Last edited by artemitavik on Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor
User avatar
artemitavik
Posts: 715
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:22 pm

Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

Once more he sat in his favorite room in the Blade and Stars, lights dim as he often preferred when thinking.

Choices. So many choices lately. Some good, some bad.

A while ago he had met her here. They had talked. He wasn't her choice. After everything he had given her, all he had done, he wasn't her choice. For the first few moments he had felt anger, and betrayal. He knew why he wasn't her choice. He had known for some time if he had really thought about it, he just had been too stubborn to let go. But they continued to talk, and he realized that while there was not to be romance between them, there was still love. He still needed her in his life, and she wished to be there, but in a different fashion. She wished him in hers. In a way this was restorative. Healing even. They parted, but not for long. He could love her still, but it needed to be a different way. While she hadn't chosen him in one way, she had for another. His choice was to accept it. He would love her the way she needed him to love her, not the way he had thought he wanted to.

Choices continued.

The Bladestone. Ashan was who knows where, but the school persisted. Ronja and Talas wanted help to revive it. A consideration and contemplation. The Bladestone. It had given him much the last few months. Stability. Skill. Now it would seem, at least until Ashan returned, it needed him like he had needed it. He told them he would help. He would teach. The Bladestone would once again be on it's way to becoming a proper school that could teach more than just a few adventurers here and there. His choice was to rise to it. The school had given him much and now it would give him one more thing, purpose.

The Muse. The last couple of months it had become almost like a home to him. His friends often went there. Ronja, who was like a sister to him. Luke, Talas, Wendy, and Adelaide. Even Alejandro. But now through some sort of misunderstanding Wendy seemed upset with him. He wasn't even sure if she desired his friendship anymore. This of course escalated his feud with Fingal. It has almost come to blows very recently. This was foolishness. This was the man his blade-sister loved. This feud was built on nothing more than stubbornness and misunderstandings, there was nothing real here, no substance. Tempus teaches to consider the consequences of your battles before you engage in them. No matter who wins this, him or Fingal, they all three lose. Valued relationships on both sides may be damaged beyond repair. It was the last thing he wanted. His choice was to end it. His new family and his friends were too important to let something this foolish come between any of them.

Other choices were looming still. Of life, of love, of faith, of every imaginable kind. He moved to the bed and lay down, pulling the covers over himself as he let his eyes close.

Choices. So many choices lately. Some good, some bad.
Last edited by artemitavik on Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor
User avatar
artemitavik
Posts: 715
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:22 pm

Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

He stared at the fire, an ale in hand as he thought about recent happenings. There was something different this time though...

The last few months had been a whirlwind. Rescuing the girl at the beach which started this whole mess with the Pink Scarves and the kidnappings of the Seers and Shaman. He had been hired to be a body guard for the girl at that point.

It was a blur for the next few weeks. She was in danger from something else. Her memories were... wrong. Blocked. Thinking on them caused her pain. He knew the signs of mental tampering. He'd seen them before. This was purposeful. This was malicious. He had set out to find a way to help her.

He didn't count on falling for her.

It was confusing for them both, really. His attentions were wanted, but not wanted. Expectations on both sides were skewed. Meanwhile she got worse. He continued to track the kidnappers as well. It might have been a coincidence, but they might be connected to the people who did this to her as well. He was both professionally and personally engaged in this mess now.

The school continued to grow as well, which also took up time. It was a good thing, the school, and he didn't mind. It had helped him so much, now he teach others.

And then the argument. A misunderstanding... or perhaps not. New rules with her. New boundaries. Not a bodyguard anymore. For a few days he wasn't even sure if he was a friend. But he still had a job to do. Had to find the kidnapped shaman. Had to find a way to help her as well. She continued to get worse, so he still traveled with her, protecting her how he could. Teaching her to defend herself. With assistance, he also sought to arrange a way to remove the enchantments, but it was slow arranging everything. He was her advocate in this by her, yet the coordination of those skilled enough to help her was proving to be near impossible.

A breakthrough came for the rescue mission. A cave near Roaringshore supposedly housed them. A group was gathered, and the cave penetrated. It wasn't what he was expecting. There were no survivors. They were all husks, drained. The people paying the kidnappers weren't drow. Not anymore. They were... plants. Changed. Nature itself in the cave was wrong.

It was just like the Grey Seer's lair. Right down to the worms under foot.

There was some sort of ritual being done, draining these poor people. But he didn't see them when he looked down. Every body he saw, every dead and drained captive, he only saw her. If he hadn't been there on the beach that day to stop the kidnappers. If he'd been just a couple hours later.... she'd have been one of the first to this circle of death. This attempt to bring back the Grey Seer. Or to control her spirit. Or whatever it was.

All he could think of, was that all these dead people were partially his fault. He'd helped kill the Grey Seer. It was necessary at the time he thought. But this was beyond horrific. It was his fault these people were dead. And she was almost one of them. He had almost missed everything she was.

Something had snapped. It was too much.

She had been on the mission as well, seen the death, the carnage. He took her back to her inn. Neither could be alone with this so fresh in their minds. It had gotten into their heads. He could stare dragons in the eye and not flinch, but this was just... wrong. Everything about it. And she had her own issues with the scene. She knew how close she had been to being in that pile of corpses. So this night the comforted each other. Nothing untoward, nothing romantic, just present for each other.

The next morning was different however. A smile brushed across his lips remembering it. They woke up, looked at each other, and realized... it was done. They were done denying to each other and everyone else what they meant to one another, after all these weeks, they both understood.

The argument, the step back and reassessment, those had been good things in the long run. It had given time to really think and consider as well as feel. And a few days later, a breakthrough. With the help of powerful and specialized casters the wards and enchantments on her memory were removed. It caused great pain, but it was done. She was a whole as such a thing could make her now. She was out of that danger at least.

Again, the next couple of weeks were a blur. Everything was culminating so fast, so much. Training, getting priorities rearranged, the summons from the Temple and the trip to Ravensvale. So much so fast. His mind was still trying to sort it all.

But this time, as he stared at the fire, this time there was something different. There was hope. There was love. There was a certain security now, with the people who had become his family. This place, that had somehow become his home.

He finished his mug of ale, putting the mug down and returning to the other room of the apartment. Not an inn. Not any more. An apartment, rented just earlier today. His apartment. THEIR apartment.

He bent down to slip back under the covers. She had fallen asleep almost instantly when the had gotten back from Ulgoth's Beard and he had woken back up himself a few hours later. Now it was time to get back to sleep.

Kissing her forehead he whispered quietly to the sleeping woman, "Good night Lannia, my love. I'll see you in the morning."

He closed his eyes, and slept, a content smile on his face.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor
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artemitavik
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Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:22 pm

Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

It has been a busy day of adventuring. Derik had run across Wisp, someone he hadn't seen for some months, and was enjoying adventuring with her again. The first trip to the Cloudpeaks didn't go so well, but thanks to Urth's spells of travel and wards, a second trip through went remarkably well. Sadly, Urth wasn't able to travel with them on this second venture. When returning from the Cloudpeaks the trio consisting of Marnie, Wisp, and Derik had make a quick venture into Naskel mines which also turned out rather well. Urth rejoined them afterwards at Nashkel.

Now Derik had bid farewell to the other and was heading northwards again. It was time to head towards home for a little bit. Time to see the woman he loved and shared a home with and perhaps aid her in her training endeavors for a while. He loved watching her train.

As he passed Beregost, some commotion on the side of the road caught his attention. It would appear a family wagon had gotten stuck off the road in the ditch, tilting sideways. What was probably a farmhand pushed vainly as the farmer spurred on the pair of mules to pull the wagon out of the ditch while two youths, a boy and a girl, looking on. Meanwhile the load of fresh produce bound for market teetered dangerously on the wagon.

Approaching, Derik held his hands out showing now weapons and introduced himself. They would be very glad for the help to get the wagon unstuck. Placing his pack and shield on the ground he moved to the back of the wagon with the farmhand. Here he found the pair of weapons strapped across his back awkward, so he unstrapped them and put them on the back of the wagon so he could put his armored shoulder to the wagon and push.

Slowly, surely, with the children cheering on and the whip of the farmer cracking, the wagon pushed up and out of the mud and back on to the road. The farmer hopped down and the farm hand went to give Derik a handshake. That's when the rock hit.

The rock easily the size of the farmhand's torso hit him square in the side of the head, taking it off. Derik whirled, the children screamed, the farmer yelled and pointed. Another rock from another direction impacted the back of the wagon, shattering part of it to splinters and sending Derik off his feet into the nearby mud, his weapons now scattered as well.

Dazed, Derik struggled up and noticed three figures. Two ogres and... an Elder Ogre? From the Trollclaws? What was it doing this far south? It didn't matter at this point. One of the ogres made it's way towards him quickly while the other headed straight towards the family. The Elder ogre laughed as it watched, shouldering its massive club.

Scrambling to get up and ready himself, Derik's hand brushed the hilt of one of his swords. He instantly wrapped his fingers around it. It stung him. The Blade of the Bleak Heart. The force of the impact and scattering has torn the peace-tie off. Where was his other sword? With the ogre bearing down on him he didn't have time to consider it. The cracked, darkened, jagged, corrupt mithril blade sang from the scabbard as Derik rose, two hands now on the hilt. The ogre never knew what killed it as the blade bit deep, eviscerating him. He dropped like a stone. Dashing past the body, the second ogre readied his axe, coming down at the now armed warrior. The clash of weapons was temporary as Derik rolled out of the strike in a crouch and brought the sword across the ogre's hamstring. As it fell to a knee with a roar the Bleak Blade flashed again, severing the head form the shoulders. It hit the ground with a dull, wet thud.

There came a dull cry from the farmer and anther scream from the kids. Derik turned, breathing a little heavily, covered in mud and ichor. The elder ogre held the farmer by his throat off the ground, standing over the boys with a dark grin. "Warrior strong... I will smash them to jelly!"

"Put. Him. Down." The words came out of Derik in a calm voice, but a tone that was clear what the consequence would be if he didn't comply. The ogre regarded the man for a moment, dropping him to the ground.

"I not need silly little squish to keep me from killings you!" Raising his club, the ogre charged. Holding his sword a ready Derik also stepped forward. The blade rose and came down...

... And with the sound like heavy glass shattering, the world exploded into white...

Derik came too a few moments later with the farmer kneeling over and shaking him. "Sir..? Sir...?"

As he sat up, Derik realized he was about 10 feet from where he had met the elder ogre. He could see the corpse of the ogre, torso seemingly blasted apart, also knocked back from where the pair had clashed. There were dark pieces of metal, shards that looked like splinters of broken glass covering the area, melting into the ground like snow.

As the farmer talked, describing the explosion of magic as the Bleak Blade had bit into the Elder Orger, Derik looked down in his hand. Where the Blade had been something else sat. A red-hot blade etched with runes and depictions of battle, flame licking the edges. A gold colored crosspiece with the symbol of Tempus. The liquid blood-red jewel was gone, replaced by a pommel of solid cold-iron.

As he listened to the Farmer, himself standing up, a voice echoed in his head. A voice he knew to be from the Bleak Blade he had been carrying. Only this time it wasn't urging him to kill, to slaughter.

"I am returned. I am Warwake. I am yours to command."

It was done. The contest of wills was finally over. It was the warrior that controlled the weapon, not the weapon that had made the warrior.

He had won.

Derik finished assisting the farmer and his family get to safety with their goods then went on his way, feeling more free than he had in months.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor
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artemitavik
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

It was done. After so long, all these months, all the effort and pain of those involved, and it was finally done.

Samara was gone.

Months ago Vala, at the time the object of his affections, had acquired that stupid orb. The one with the dragon spirit in it. And it started to talk to her, in her head. To get her to do things, to get her to bend to its will.

He and Herran, the other man contending for her attention, had done everything they could to keep her from the influence while trying to find a way to get her separated from it. Other friends of course had helped...

And then Herran got kidnapped by the Viper's Eyes, and it all went straight to the Abyss.

One thing led to another, Vala's stress level climbed as the group now also tried to find and rescue Herran. However, during this time Vala had to flee the city with the Orb. He was one of the few people who knew where she hid. He spent nights with her in hiding, doing everything he could to keep her from seeking comfort from the Orb while trying to find Herran.

During this time Michael had come into the picture. He too was helping, but also was a third player for her affections. It made tensions run high at times.

Eventually, as Herran was rescued, and for weeks, Samara turned Herran's, Michael's, and his own words and affections against them and her in Vala's nightmares, causing her to fear those closes to her that loved her the most. To shy away from them.

Vala overcame with help after time. Choices were made, and relationships had to be redefined. Life moved on.

But Samara was still there.

She was contained, but always there, always in Vala's mind. And it ate at him, watching her suffer this ... thing.... this creature's touch.

There were plans made. Perhaps going into the Orb's pocket plane to collapse it and destroy the dragon spirit. But only if a way to destroy the Orb from the outside without releasing the creature.

He trained for the time the group dove into the Orb if it came, to be able to contend with Samara to keep her form using the pocket plane's environment against them.

He prepared himself to die if he needed, to make sure they made it out safe.

News came some weeks later though, as he trained. A method was found to collapse it from the outside.

And so Derik went. He wanted to be there.

He had to be there.

Deep within the bowels of Candlekeep, the box holding the Orb was open, and the assault on Vala's mind began anew. While the Archivist performed his magic, the Thayan Knight stood guard, the Guide watched warily from outside, and Michael kept Vala from grabbing at the orb, Derik grasped the hilt of Warwake and focused. He touched the mind of the creature, felt her pushing against her prison walls... And then he pushed back.

Through the next couple of hours he struggled to keep her busy, to keep her focus split, and to push her back so she could not assert influence over Vala.

Eventually Jane Price showed up. Better late than never he supposed. Magic could not collapse the Orb safely from outside, but Jane had something that was supposed to.

To hear her talk, it was some great ritual and scientific procedure, but mostly it was just hitting the Orb with a stone that stopped planar portals and travel while in the possession of a Dragon Shard. Not exactly finesse or the great mysterious procedure Price made it to be.

And then it was done.

The Orb shattered, and Samara was unable to escape. Her prison breached, Tiamat was waiting for her rival, and he saw the last thing Samara did after nearly 30,000 years inside the Orb... Tiamat's maws waiting to devour her... And then nothing.

She was gone. After one last grasp at Vala's mind, Samara was dead.

Afterwards he spoke with her. She was almost sad Smara was gone. There was an emptiness. She has become used to the presence in her mind, the struggle. It was something he could relate with... the emptiness after something so close was gone, even if it wasn't welcome.

Michael returned. He had left a few moments to deal with some of the others that had been in the group. Drawing him aside, Derik told him if Vala's words, then after a hug to the woman he turned to go.

"Thank you. You saved me. You saved me many times..."

Derik stoped dead, closing his eyes for a brief moment, swallowing a swell of emotion, pulling it back under control once more.

"I will always be there to help you if you need me, Treasure" he said to her with a smile over his shoulder. Then he turned again to go. To leave her with the man she loved. Michael would help her sort it out in her mind. It wasn't his place anymore. Derik had his own love to return to now.

She was safe. She would be happy. Right now that's all that mattered. He realized anew that to him, with Vala, that's what had always been what mattered.

It was time to go home now...
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

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The last couple of months had been busy... especially the last few weeks...

Derik Sat in the common room of an inn on the island of Ruathym waiting for the meal he had ordered. He was an outsider and low priority, but that's alright, it gave him a few moments to reflect.

So much had happened. Some months ago he had become engaged to Lannia Tannen, who was in hiding as Lyria at the time. Vala and Michael had become engaged as well, within days if not hours. Now that pair was married, it was a fantastic ceremony, beautifully done. Herran and Freya had gotten married too. Lannia was becoming anxious over it...

Then she was in that battle with the demon cultists and her identity came out. No more Lyria, now Lannia his Fiance. As much as it increased danger, he had to admit that there was satisfaction in introducing her as thus.

Since then a whirlwind of activity. Training with Lannia, she joining with Ronja, Vala, and Freya in the party planning team, teaching with the Bladestone, the trip to Selune's Bracelet to name a few. Even a short trip back to Ravensvale.

Then there was the planning of the trip to Ruathym. It had taken ages to find a ship, and then had to find a different one. And then once in the Moonshaes, finding a ferry to Ruathym itself. It was stressful and aggrivating, but had finally happened. Lannia had been both excited and nervous. Derik had been ... wary but hopeful. He wanted to find her family. He wanted her to be happy. He wanted to ask their permission to marry her. He desperately wanted to be worthy of her...

Upon arrival at the island, everything seemed to be going well till they got to the town's Tempus shrine. Then everything had started going straight to Hell.

Her family name was a curse. Called mad bezerkers and cannibals who had turned on their own and destroyed themselves in one night. Luke and Ronja found that her brother was alive and rumored to be working for Drow and completely mad. Derik watched his beloved's heart sink with every word. They did have two leads though. Her Great Uncle supposedly guarded the World Tree, and the location of the destroyed village. They went to the village first.

Here spirits were found, spirits that fled from them. And the spirit of her Grandfather, killed this 17 years ago. They talked. Derik marked a rune, she marked a leaf. The group learned the Uncle was not to be trusted, not approached yet. There were things to be done. The brother was under the sway of Marius, but a sister also lived and was safe.

... a fog began to roll in...

Derik asked if he could have the spirit's blessing, but a task remained. He had to face someone worthy. He would know who, the spirit said.

.... the fog for thicker, and Derik sensed trouble as the other spirits fled. But Lannia was still conversing. The rest of the group began to be uneasy. Derik should have said something. Called the warning in his head. But he did nothing.

Then it was too late. Men arrived. Sent from the spirit's brother to find him, they had followed the group. A beam of divine energy stuck the spirit. He vanished.

The men paid with their lives as the group unleashed fury. Derik then them and their leader was an Umberlant cleric. But sent by the Great Uncle to destroy his brother once and for all.

Lannia had watched her grandfather die ... again. And it was his fault. He should have said something when the fog warned him. He had failed her. Totally and completely.

And this new information, betrayal from the family, stung her even more.

Derik had tried to comfort her back at the port in the inn, and now he sat, waiting to take her breakfast.

He had failed her. He was not worthy of her.

But now there was a brother to save and an uncle to kill. He would follow her to this.

But first... He would take her breakfast...

((Typed from phone, please excuse odd mistakes))
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

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Derik leaned back in the cushions that surrounded the low table in the dining area of the home he shared with Lannia. Taking a break from some paperwork, he watched her cook in the small kitchen that was kitty-corner across the house from him. "House" being a stretched term, as it was mostly just a one room apartment with a partition for a bedroom, but it served them well and met their needs.

As he watched the auburn haired shamaness work, humming quietly to herself as she did sometimes a slow smile crossed his face, images and emotions flashing through his mind at a whirlwind's pace.

He had failed her at Ruathym. He had not called out a warning and her Grandfather was gone now, the spirit banished, possibly gone for good to oblivion. Neither of them had taken it well. Upon returning she had spent days practically starving herself trying to master in a week "the Sight" that even with training took most everyone who had it months if not years to master. She had grown more withdrawn and depressed with each passing moment, stopping only when Derik had interrupted her and forced her to eat something.

And he could do nothing to help her.

It tore him to pieces watching it, helpless.

Finally she declared the plan she was going to surrender herself to drow to be taken hopefully to Marius for a bounty. There, alone, stripped of all useful equipment, she planned to trick him into revealing her brother to her, then essentially kidnapping her brainwashed brother and fighting her way back to the surface. It was of course suicide and foolishness, but she was desperate. She had no way to find him via the Sight.

Derik had convinced her to see Fierlith. Fierlith had helped him with visions before, not the same as a shaman's dreaming, clearly, but still it was a starting point. They had met and it seemed after another few days Lannia had come to a decision to test herself. To try to move on past her Grandfather's shadow.

Fierlith had told Derik what the major block was, Lannia felt guilt and self-blame for what had happened to both her Grandfather's spirit and to her brother. She had to fight through that, to forgive herself, to realize she was not her Grandfather, that her power was different than his. And she was very specific: Derik could not help her.

So he watched, every fiber of his being screaming inside as he fought down every instinct, every compulsion to go to her, to give her advice, to stand with her in her trials.

It tore him to pieces watching it, helpless.

But Lannia was nothing if not determined. He watched as she pushed through, designed points for herself to test her abilities. He had taught her the blade, he had taught her tactics, he had shown her how to defeat enemies the best he knew how. Now, like when Adelaide battled the Mother Night, there was nothing for him to do. He had to step back. He had to watch. Succeed or fail, it was now her battle, and he could not fight it for her.

She had sought tests for herself, two at least so far. He was there in the inn with her when she told the stories. She had decided to confront a Yuan-ti matron alone. The first time she had not succeeded, being driven from the throne room. But the second time she changed her way of thinking, changed her tactics. She adapted, learned, and emerged victorious against a foe that Derik himself had not yet defeated in single combat.

The second challenge was to be the front line in an even harder battle, the Frost Keep. She had joined a group of lesser trained and skilled adventurers, was their shield and healer through the keep, until the throne room of a Jarl. There, she gave instructions to her team and they stormed in. She fought bravely. She fought fiercely. Expending resources she kept the lesser experienced alive through their blunders and mistakes and eventually the Jarl fell to her blade and spells. A tremendous use of resources had been made, but she did it, none of her party had fallen, and the enemy was defeated. The second test had been passed.

Derik could not have been more proud. He smiled, remembering how excited she was during the story telling.

He was also more than a little sad.

Derik stroked his chin, feeling the beard that was growing in. Not a long one mind you, but something gnawed at him still....

.... The measure of a man...

The folk of Ruathym had mocked him some for having no significant beard to speak of, noting that the beard was the measure of a man. Even the Grandfather's spirit had mentioned it. Of course, he put no stock in that, he knew his own heart's valor, the strength of his arm, and the might of his blade. But yet, here he was, growing one in direct response to such words. Why? What was the need?

Even as he asked himself those questions of himself he knew the answer. When they first met, he had become her bodyguard, then her teacher, then her fiancé. Soon they would be wed and he would be her husband. But as she began to surpass him in all things there was a part of him, in the back of his mind, a voice that whispered to him.

"You are not worthy. She is beyond you. She lowers herself to be with you."

As he watched her, in the kitchen, he felt it. She was stronger than he in everything that mattered. Spirit. Conviction. She had learned from him skills and surpassed him in abilities. She was with him because she loved him, but he had nothing to offer her in return. The night of the story telling, Gunthar had asked him to tell the story of how he met "this woman you clearly don't deserve." Gunthar had been joking of course, but he was right.

Derik didn't deserve her. Not in the slightest. Even as he smiled and blue a kiss as his brown yes met her blue eyes across the house, this repeated over and over in his head.

And it tore him to pieces...
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

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((story built with DM Hera's notes, who went on Hiatus before being able to complete the second part of the event. Also direct tie in to 9/16/17 post of Lannia Tannen, viewtopic.php?f=153&t=56171&start=15))

Derik stepped into the house he shared with his fiancé Lannia with a bundle of things from the market. She was already home, but in a suit of armor he did not recognize. He gave her an odd look as he put the items down "New armor, or just reworked what you had?" he asks her.

“It’s ceremonial,” She answered, “No time to explain. Gear up. We are going to Rauthym.”

Derik paused and frowned. "What? Now? I'm not sure that's a good idea." He began in protest. "We are hardly any level of prepared." However, she continued and strapped her shield across her back. After she explained that she had more visions and Cider said it was time, he began to strap on his gear.

"We should at least take a couple of the others with us." he reasoned as his own weapons were being strapped on. He remembered the prior vision of Cider she had told him about, the spirit wolf she often traveled with in combat. While hopeful, it also had been a warning. "This is sudden and reckless and if we don't watch our step over there, it'll be the last steps we take and nothing will get accomplished."

She slid her greatsword, her longsword, and her best bow into place across her back. She packed healing kits, potions, and an arsenal of arrows. She looked to Derik and said, “You have always believed in me… Believe in me now. It is time to face him and to stand before the world tree.”

Derik smiled back at her. "I always have, and I always will. I will go with you, and I will support you."

As the pair walked outside she spoke about her latest visions. She told Derik her entire family tree, from Arlen Jerrogeon to herself. She grabbed ahold of him and whispered, “We will have more time to talk when this is done my warrior.”

"We will... " he smiled. "Let's get done what we need to do..."

She touched the plant by their home and the pair disappeared in a whirlwind of leaves to travel to the island of Ruathym. Once again they found themselves in the port village. Lannia walked to the town center. She had no fear this time, looking upon the faces of her people. She was no lost girl. She was a woman, a shaman with a divine purpose.

“I am Lannia Tannen!” She announced confidently as ripples of disgusted whispers spread through the crowd.

“SILENCE!” She howled, “My family is falsely accused and I demand my right to trial by challenge! I call out Uther Jerrogeon! Bring the snake to face me!”

While this took place, Derik's brown eyes scanned the crowd and their reactions. He stood a little to her right and behind her. He was no Northman, but the powerfully built and heavily armed warrior's demeanor and gaze left little doubt to any onlookers that any attempts to refuse the right she claimed and remove her from the village would not be met by her alone. His right hand twitched slightly as he caught the eyes of one such possible threat with his own and a look that almost dared him to try it. The man stared back at Derik's level gaze, then looked away. The moment had passed. He turned his attention back to Lannia, who was still addressing the crowd.

All around the pair the shocked whispers of the populace were heard. No one dared to challenge the head of the temple of Umberlee. Everywhere they spoke of how small she was. The madness must indeed be deep in her veins to challenge Uther.

Still, some time passed and a ripple of activity shook the crowd in the distance. Finally people parting before a procession. At last a group of barbarians baring the symbol of Umberlee broke through the crowd into the square. The first two stopped, looked at her, and laughed. The taunted her for her small frame, and she snarled. Derik started to take a step forward to deal with the taunters, his fingers curling around the hilt of Warwake over his right shoulder, but was stopped as Lannia spoke up first.

“I will prove my strength,” She growled, “Stand aside and let Uther face me… If he is not a coward.”

Derik let his hand drop and stepped back to his previous position.

The guards filed into the square and created a human perimeter. One crossed Derik's chest with the haft of his spear, pushing the man back towards the rest of the crowd. The man's eyes narrowed, a quiet and low growl coming from his chest and throat. Lannia knew what that was and what it meant. Catching his eyes, she smiled at him and he relaxed, allowing the guard to put him in the front of the crowd some ways away from the redheaded woman.

Finally, Uther emerged. He was as big as any northman. He stood almost two heads taller than her and he drew a great two-handed axe from his back. He looked at her and chuckled.

“When they told me my mad brothers mad grand-daughter was back from the dead I laughed at them,” Uther said as he laughed, “But as I look on you now, there can be no doubt. Little Lani… How about a hug for your dear old great uncle?”

The tone was mocking. He spread his massive arms holding the two handed axe in one hand and flexing muscles upon muscles. Lannia stared at him, unflinching. She drew her longsword and her heavy shield and she said, “You set the drow, Marius, upon my village. You betrayed your own blood and he destroyed my village. He uses mind magic to hold my brother as her held me… As he forced my grandfather to slaughter his loved ones.”

Uther looked upon her with a cocky half smile, “Quite a story, little Lani.”

“Don’t call me that!” She shouted, “You -never- call me that! You were jealous of your brother, and WEAK! You called him upon us and now you will answer for your crime.”

She called the spirits of the storm and fire to her. Lightning licked from her form, twisting around flames as blinding as the sun. The crowd and the guards took a step back and she watched Uther’s expression lose confidence. She called the howling frozen winds to her blade and held it at his eye level.

Derik just smiled, knowing full well the capability of the young woman when she called such spirits to her aid.

“I am Lannia Tannen,” She said confidently, “Daughter of Imogen and Carlin, granddaughter of Arlen and Tamara. I am a shaman like my grandfather before me. My grandfather… Who’s love was powerful enough to break the drow’s enchantment and save me that I might return to face the man who soiled my family name. I am here for you, Uther. I am here for my family name!”

She took a single step toward him, the ice on her blade crackling, the flames and lightning snapping around her, and blinding furious light pouring from her eyes. Uther took a step back and his voice cracked, “W-wait… I am much bigger than you, little girl, you sure you want to do this?”

Truly a fool and a coward, thought Derik, or he would know size does not equal valor. Lannia, who fought yeti, yuan-ti, and giants, would destroy him in seconds when weapons clashed.

“Trial by challenge,” she chanted and took another step the crowd joined her.

“Trial by challenge, trial by challenge, trial by challenge!”

Derik's voice joined the chorus. This was how such thing should be done, how battles should be fought. To the heart and head of the enemy. Quickly, decisively.

“I am the head of the temple of Umberlee!” He squeaked, “I am twice your size, don’t be a fool girl!”

She flew at him, her sword came down as his mighty axe came up. He shrieked as the blaze around her burned his forearms. When the lightning cracked at his weapon he was forced to drop it. It hit the ground with a clang and he hit his knees, “M-Mercy… MERCY! I yield!”

She brought her sword over her head snarling at him. He held his hands up over his face and began to beg, “I admit it! I gave information to the drow named Marius. I swear on the waves that did not know what he would do with it. I didn’t know you were alive! I swear I would have come for you! Please! I swear I didn’t know! Please!”

The growl resonated from deep in her stomach, and her sword began it’s decent.

Derik quickly realized she was about to kill the man. The man who had just yielded. Kill him in front of an entire village of witnesses. It would be tantamount to murder and would confirm her family name as cursed berserkers, not clear them.

"LANNIA!" He shouted out. At the last moment, her sword diverted and the tip struck the ground but Uther.

She breathed deeply as the spirits left her. She looked into the terrified eyes of her uncle and said, “I will not lower myself to soak my blade in your filthy blood… Serpent, live in your shame, live knowing you couldn’t touch me, not even if you spent the whole of your existence trying to amass the power. You are hereby relieved of your post guarding the sapling of the world tree. If you are seen near it again, I will personally hunt you down… and end you. When you close your eyes, when you look into your darkest nightmares… Remember my face.”

As Uther cowered before the young woman half his size, eyes flicked to his side just momentarily. Flush with victory and the restoration of her birthright, Derik wasn't sure Lannia noticed. Derik did however, and his eyes flicked to his left where he spotted one of the original two barbarians who had taunted her. He was in a line almost directly behind Lannia, slowly drawing a dagger from his belt. A dagger that gleamed with a damp, greenish sheen.

Taking the two steps to his left that covered the distance to the man as he reached the front of the crowd, Derik's hand clamped down on his and tightened. Derik might not be a Northman, but his own strength was considerable and the barbarian's knuckles made a few popping sounds, eliciting a wince from the would-be assassin.

"I don't think that would be a good idea." Derik whispered to him quietly. The barbarian nodded, the dagger disappearing back into the sheath as Derik let go of the now bruised hand.

Meanwhile, Uther crawled away and his followers scattered after him as the crowd began to cheer and become rowdy. Lannia held her sword high and howled as Derik watched the assassin slink away to then turned to regard his fiance, “I go to the sapling of the world tree." she called out. "My sight is true and will lead me! If any remain that doubt the purity of my family name I invite them to come. Bear witness as I am judged and carve my name beside the name of my grandfather. Arlen Jerrogeon!”

And so a procession followed as much to be a part of the party that would surely erupt as to see if she would be judged pure by the world tree. The whole of them stood at its mighty base. As far as she looked to the right and to the left, she could not see the end of its massive trunk.

She removed her glove, and by some magic she found herself directly before her grandfather’s name. She placed a hand upon his name and wept...

And so her name joined his on the great tree, she left raised upon the shoulders of her Northman brethren, carried off with Derik to drink and celebrate.

During the party Derik never left her side as she received toast and praise after praise and toast. He said little really, though he often had his arm around her. One thing he did say was a soft whisper, only for her while they danced to the merry, hardy music of the Ruathym islanders. "I am so very proud of you, my beloved Flame of my Soul..."

The next morning Derik teleported them home. There were only two days left before their wedding.
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

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Derik stood in his tent in the northern farmlands and smoothed out his doublet after fastening Warwake this his hip. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, then adjusted the leather headband that decorated his brow. Closing his eyes he reflected on the last few days.

After a magical trip to Ruathym, he watched Lannia restore her family honor and name, restoring her own confidence and spirit in the process. ((see prior posting)).

Just yesterday a man, Haldred the Axe, had arrived also pursuing Lannia's hand for a marriage of convenience. A massive, hulking Northman warrior who sought to ally himself with her bloodline to bring renown to him and his offspring. Derik had of course taken exception to this and there had been a formal challenge and a friendly fight according to the Ruathym tradition. A fight Derik had won. ((viewtopic.php?f=153&t=56171&start=15, 9/19/17 posting)) Derik smiled to himself. That was the fight that Lannia's grandfather's spirit had spoken of to gain the family blessing on marrying Lannia. He would know, the spirit had said, when it was the proper time. Now there was no denying it from any tradition, she had chosen him, he had proved himself, and it was his right to marry her.

The signal was given and Derik stepped out of his tent to the walkway that was lined with softly glowing globes. Turning to his right he saw those lined up, friends and family, Gaven, Vala, her parents, Cillian, Gunthar, Wren and Max, Fierlith, his parents and sister, numerous others known for a long time or recently met. As he proceeded he fixed his eyes on the alter inside the gazebo. Freya stood there behind it, waiting. He stopped just before the alter and stepped to the right, turning to face the middle. His left hand rested lightly on Warwake's hilt as he turned his head back down the walkway. Music started.

The first to approach was Ronja, the Maid of Honor. She was adorned in an elegant red gown with black trim. Derik had to admit, she looked pretty good in that. Ronja stopped and took her position to the left of the alter and slightly behind where the bride would stand. Shortly thereafter two more forms started down the walkway. Aidan Thatcher strolled down with Lannia on his arm.

Derik's eyes fell on her and his heart skipped a beat. She was absolutely exquisite, adorned in a flowing white gown with golden trim. Her hair still windswept but decorated by a golden tiara holding green gemstones. The rest of the world faded as she approached.

The fading of music and a female voice snapped him back to reality.

"Lurues grettings." Freya began as she looked Aidan, smiling warmly. "Who comes to give Lannia away into marriage to this man?" Her look pointed to Derik.

"I, Aidan Thatcher, her father." Came the reply. Derik mused slightly at the now legal truth in that statement. Less than an hour before the ceremony Aidan had asked Lannia to sign some papers that named him legally adopted father. Though only 5 or so years younger than the Sunite, she was now his daughter in a very real and legally binding sense.

Freya smiled and motioned to Aidan, who then brought Lannia to the alter fully and stepped aside to take his place opposite Ronja as the Best Man in the ceremony. Derik turned to face his bride and once again, the world consisted only of her, her gorgeous blue eyes, and bright smile.

Freya then looked to the gathered people, still smiling. "Dear relatives and friends of Lannia and Derik. We have come together to be witnesses of a wonderful occasion. We’ll celebrate the commitment they share with one another by the Handfasting, the wedding between these lovely two."

This once more snapped Derik to reality. From the corner of his eye he could see Vala's incredibly wide smile and Wren, who was as directly opposite him in the crowd as could be give a silently mouthed "Way to go, neighbors!" from behind Lannia's back.

Frey then offered Lannia a smile. "As Chauntea likes it you planted something in Derik with love, like a tree it will grow stronger as it already is." then smiled to Derik. "Tempus helped you, to win the battle for Lannias’ heart and will always give you the strength to keep it." She looked at both, "And Lurue has seen, through all dangers and adversities in your lives, you made the impossible possible. You are standing here under the sight of the gods. Please join hands."

The couple stepped forward to the center of the alter taking hands. Again Freya's look shifte to Derik as she wraped his hand and wrist tightly with a silver cord. "Derik, now speak your vows to Lannia."

Never taking his attention from the blue-eyed gaze before him, Derik began, "Lannia, we met upon a beach, not looking for anything from another. Yet as I grew to know you, I realized that you were a part of my soul that I did not know I was missing. "

As he spoke, Lannia's smile grew even brighter. Derik continued, "You are my Strength of Purpose. You are the reason I go to war, and why I fight so hard to return. My shield will ever be your shelter, my blade ever stay off those who would harm you. I am for you, now and always. My strength is yours to command."

A single tear rolled down Lannia's cheek as Derik indicated silently to Freya his vows were concluded.

Smiling brightly, Freya then shifted to Lannia, binding her hand and wrist together with his, with the same silver cord. "Lannia, now speak your vows to Derik."

Lannia nodded to Freya and began, staring into Derik's eyes. "In the time we've been together, from when you saved me on the beach until now, there are infinite little moments I coudl have picked to illustrate and make this vow. " her voice trembled with emotion as she continued, "But the moments till now are just a prologue, and what really matters is everything that is till to come. Simply, if ever there came a time you didn't want me near, I would just have to love you from whatever distance you demanded. When I am happiest, I share my happiness with you. When I am sad, your are the arms I run to. When I want, need, or crave, yours are the only lips that satisfy. When I think of my future children they are yours.

Derik gazed into her eyes, smiling broadly and squeezing her hands in his as she concluded, "Derik Ranloss, I am yours. I am for you in every moment. Every happiness, every disappointment I share with you. All that was and all that remains. Ours is a love that will be always. We are a team and all that really matters is looking back at me. ... that and, you know... The dozen or so grandchildren Aidan has demanded."

This elicited some chuckles and quipped comments from the crowd towards Aidan who stood behind and to the left of Derik. Derik and Aidan also chuckles as Lannia gave them a wink and indicated to Freya she was done.

"Your promise lives in you." Freya said. "It will live on in your children and their children. What the gods bring together, no one shall part. By Lurue and Chauntea and Tempus, you are now husband and wife." A wave of her hand and a wave positive energy rolled over the place.

Freya winked to the groom and grined, overly happy for them both. "You may smooch your bride!"

Derik pulled her to him for a long, deep kiss amongst the clapping and cheers of the crowd of their family and friends. Linking her arm into his, he turned and strolled from the alter, leading the procession to the dancing area for the beginning of the reception.

Soon the dance began, a lilting song that invited the couple to keep a close hold. They didn't need much encouragement. A song about love and stories. It made Derik chuckle quietly as he whispered to his bride,

"Heh... song about stories... I have read a lot of books you know..." The reference to Derik's taunt of the three pirates that were trying to kidnap Lannia on the first day they was not lost to her.

"It was that line that near instantly sold me on you, you smoothy" Came the whispered reply.

"Yeah, thought it was pretty clever actually."

"It was..."

As the tune came to an end, Derik kissed Lannia yet again, whispering "Can always give the pirates their due... they started the whole "classic hero" stuff..."

"Time for the father dance dear..."

"Yes, I know." Derik murmured quietly to her as he stepped away from her and to the ring of the onlookers.

Shortly after, a surprised Aidan is being nudged into the dancing circle with Lannia by Antje while Derik took up a spot next to Talas with a smirk. The Sunite had not been told this was taking place. Chatting lightly with the Hoarite paladin, Derik watched as Aidan danced with his adopted daughter, now Derik's wife. He chatted with Talas about the beauty of brides, heard Wren and Max banter about how it was hopefully soon their turn and that they had waited long enough. He watched his family and friends, and he was beyond content.

As the floor opened up for others wishing to dance, Aidan called out to the crowd, "Antje and I have a toast, rather an announcement. We were trying to decide what to get the bride and groom, as a wedding gift."

Eyes turned to regard the man as he spoke.

"And we've known for a while that Lannia is an amazing cook." He continued. "So we were trying to decide how to get her a better kitchen. We did a bit of looking, and we think we found one."

"She is NOT moving in with you!" Derik heckled from the crowd, standing next to Lannia.

"One catch." Aidan said as he kept going, more or less ignoring Derik's comment, "Sadly.... unfortunately... It's attached to the Last Anchor. So our wedding gift to you Lannia, Derik.... We're gifting you the Anchor."

Lannia's jaw dropped and Derik blinked, having been caught totally off-guard. "<Holy Damn...>" Derik recited quietly in Draconic to himself.

"I told you, there was a reason the adoption was important, dear." Aidan explained as Lannia squealed and tackle-hugged Aidan and Antje. Derik just blinked a few more times, giving Aidan the satisfaction of being one of the few times the swordsman was caught completely off guard and unprepared, to which Aidan just smirked at him.

There were other reactions from the crowd to this news, but Derik didn't really register them until Talas tugged his arm, "Aye, can I borrow you, Derik? Ronja said something about some sparring. Just wanted to go over what you had in mind."

"Oh, sure Talas." Derik responded and followed him to the Arena. There they chatted a bit about how spars would go and what rules if any would happen. Derik made some rounds, greeted guests, and eventually returned to the Arena to speak more to Talas. A bit about Bladestone was discussed. Derik mentioned that the Moradin blessed axe that Adelaide had used to defeat Mother Night before she was herself struck down and carried off by some unknown Celestial some months back had begun to glow brighter. Derik had kept his friend's weapon on his wall, and the magic had always caused it to shimmer, but now it was brightening noticeably. Talas was very interested in that, but neither of them knew what it could mean.

At some point in the conversation, Ronja arrived to announce she was there to take Derik to a wedding surprise. Talas sighed a sigh of relief, "Ye sent a paladin to distract someone Ronja. Ye know that was gonna end poorly."

Derik looked confused as Ronja stepped forward, taking his arm, "Come! You are kidnapped."

She took Derik to a bench by a fire, on which he plopped down as ordered, munching happily from his plate of food.

"Que the drummers!" Ronja called. "Drummers?" Derik asked, looking between Vala and Ronja. "What did you two do?"

And then he saw his surprise. Adorned in a somewhat revealing, deep red ceremonial outfit, and carrying a sword, Lannia appeared from a tent. Derik's eyes were immediately riveted to her.

She dropped a tomato across the blade to show its razor edge...

Sirion and Gunthar summoned massive Omni-elementals to the surprise and astonishment of the crowd.

Derik just put down his plate.

And then the dance began. A dance somewhere between a traditional tribal belly dance and a weapon kata as Lannia moved around the fire, the elementals mirroring her as much as possible. Derik's eyes simply followed, completely entranced. He leaned, chin on fist, elbow on crossed leg as he watched his wife dance for him. He commented a few times on her loveliness, part of an ongoing game of flirting whenever one did something like this for the other. A few of the crowed looked at each other in confusion though as it appeared Derik had forgotten to say those things in the Common tongue. Instead he spoke a smooth Draconic, never taking his eyes off the dancing woman.

Halfway through the dance, she balanced the flat of the blade on her head, performing several spins and shimmies with it there before retrieving it and resuming the dance as she had before. It ended with the blade sunk into the ground before Derik's sitting place, her foot on the hilt as she leaned over towards him.

"<Hello there, gorgeous>" The Draconic words were spoken as Derik leaned forward, hand now in her hair behind her head and pulling her down to give her a long kiss.

The rest of the night... pretty much was a blurr from that point. Lannia soon departed, completely exhausted from being up very, very early to help set up the ceremony. Derik stayed to host the guests. There were several spars, mostly the Hoarites fighting each other. Ronja beat the snot out of Talas, which was amusing. Then some idle chatter. A lot of food eating, though Wren kept stealing things from his plate. The Hoarites had some sort of internal political and philosophical debate, most of which Derik ignored, chatting with other folk at the arena. At some point Gunthar popped over to them and they had some sort of screaming match about letter verses spirit of the law, and Gunthar declaring himself above the law in his actions. Derik had no idea what was going on so wasn't wholly concerned.

The party winding down, Derik made his last rounds. The decorations were cleaned. A few more conversations were had and idle chatter made.

Then, Derik decided change into traveling clothes at the townhouse and stop off at the Muse on his way to Ulgoth's Beard and the Last Anchor to join Lannia for their wedding night and departure for their honeymoon. He strolled up the stairs and pushed the door open.....
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
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Proprietor, The Last Anchor
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

....Derik decided change into traveling clothes at the townhouse and stop off at the Muse on his way to Ulgoth's Beard and the Last Anchor to join Lannia for their wedding night and departure for their honeymoon. He strolled up the stairs and pushed the door open.....

... And stopped dead 10 steps into the room. The tension was so thick you could cut it. Ronja and Luke were on the far side of the bar, Ronja still dressed from the wedding. A Red Knight devotee named Aaron sat at the bar. Luke stalked towards the stage and Derik's eyes followed. On the couch sat Cillian and one other, and for a moment he thought he was seeing ghosts.

Adelaide van de Saer.

As elegant as ever, though perhaps a bit more frail looking and tired, she sat on the couch with the half-elf rogue. Luke stopped at the front of the stage, eyes on the woman. Cillian got up and crossed the room to the now-frozen Ronja, drawing her into the kitchen. Derik stood transfixed as he watched, though he couldn't really focus on the conversation. She asked Luke to come sit with her, though he refused. There was some yelling. He was angry. Angry that she had gone to her death knowingly, angry that she was now back after he had managed to come to terms and move on. The conversation continued. Derik's mind whirled as he put details into place.

The Celestial. The one that had taken Adelaide from his arms after the defeat of the Mother Night. It was her ancestor some generations back. He had taken her to the Plane where Sune resided. There, some sort of restorative magic was done, something that couldn't have been done on the Prime Material. His head swam, and he glanced over at Ronja and Cillian. Leaving the conversation to Luke and Adelaide he went to his Blade-Sister.

She was frozen and numb, terrified that this was the end of her relationship with Luke. Cillian and he tried to reassure her as well as they could. Cillian made tea. Poorly. Eventually Luke stormed downstairs.

"Go," Derik said. "Go to him. He needs you right now." Cillian agreed and finally Ronja moved and followed Luke Darius downstairs.

Derik moved to speak to Adelaide. The conversation was brief, mostly to assure himself it was indeed Adelaide. Part way, Cillian excused himself.

Derik welcomed her back to the realm of the living as it were. Adelaide assured him this was not the situation she wished, and there was no desire to cause such pain for either Luke or Ronja.

Giving her own blessing for the pair, asking him to tell Ronja privately and then she departed with one more statement: She would not approach the Muse without direct invitation from Luke so that more pain was not caused. She asked Derik to deliver the message, and he agreed, going downstairs after she left.

Luke and Ronja stood in the middle of broken and shattered crates, presumably due to the club that was now laying on the floor. They were talking quietly as Derik was given the wave to approach.

Derik gave Luke the message regarding Adelaide and the Muse, and asked to speak to Ronja. He agreed and went into the office, soon asleep. Derik and Ronja spoke in quiet whispers. She was a wreck, every bit as much as Luke. She doubted everything.

"I don't know which way is up..." she whispered.

"Do you love Luke Darius?" Derik asked.

She nodded, then Derik pointed to the office door behind him. "Then up is that way...."

More discussion was had, and the pair of adopted siblings went upstairs, Ronja feeling guilty that it was Derik's wedding night and here he was, trying to keep Ronja emotionally together. That got him at least a stout.

This is of course, as life would have it, Lannia showed up in full array of kit. Likely ready to tear Derik apart. "What's a girl got to do to have her husband come home at night?"

"I have a good excuse. Would you like to hear it before you kick my arse?"

"Sure." Lannia sat down.

"Adelaide is back."

This stopped his bride dead. "What...?"

Things were further discussed and it was decided that a trip to the Last Anchor was now needed, as the newlyweds now owned it.

So the trio went... and got Ronja royally smashed. They placed the woman on the couch in the study so she could eventually get up and leave as she wished, then retired to their new suite.

"Poor Red..." Lannia lamented. Derik nodded.

They talked a little while longer but, this was their wedding night... and they were leaving for Selune's Bracelet in the morning via teleport so... things progressed from that point as one would expect...

They would deal with the rest of it when they got back.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

Derik sat in the townhouse at Baldur's Gate he still owned with his wife Lannia. He was alone in candlelight, cleaning armor that had sees a great deal of use this day. This was the day he had gone with Lannia, Adallan, and Ronja to a stronghold in an unknown place, underground, to get Lannia's brother Donnel away from the Drow Warlord named Marius.

He paused to reflect for a while.

6 months. He had been married to Lannia Tannen, now Lannia Ranloss for 6 months next week. It had been an amazing time. A great deal had happened. So much that Derik hadn't properly chronicled it in his memory, let alone managed to write anything down. He was so horrid at keeping records sometimes.

For a good portion the first bit of time, it had been fairly care-free. Newlyweds, a honeymoon in the Islands of Selune's Bracelet, learning to run an inn, that sort of thing. Lannia had taken in Teris, who was now able to talk and such. He was their gardener and animal keeper at the Anchor. Pretty good too when he wasn't being completely neurotic about one thing or another. It hadn't stayed ideal though... so much had happened.

((you'll be able to see some events that are discuss here in more detail, and from Lannia's point of view here: https://www.bgtscc.net/viewtopic.php?t=56171))

Ronja had broken it off with Luke. After a while she got together with Gunthar. Derik still wasn't sure what he felt about that, but, she seemed happy so it was what it was.

His sister Tellae had gone to work at Ronja's grandparents' estate of all places. Supposedly she was dating a young man named Aldred, a blacksmith's apprentice. He'd have to stop by and meet the man at some point.

Then there came the three threats at sea. The Warsworn, a huge pile of mobile corpses, the Nightwave, a 100 foot long, flying, undead shark, and the Ghost Ship, a ship crewed by spirits of the damned and alive itself with the head and tail of a great shark.

The Warsworn had practically called to him. It was an abomination, an affront that dishonored all that had died in battle by absorbing their corpses and trapping their souls. He had managed to get together a coalition to fight it, the Darius Holding Company, the Relentless Storm, and the Flaming Fist. After a massive and pitched battle, they managed to destroy it.

The Nightwave was fought by the Relentless Storm's crew on accident, looking for the Ghost Ship, some weeks later. It was a fight the crew wasn't prepared for, a massive, dark black beast in the form of a shark that swam and flew in the air, summoned giant undead bats, and shrieked death magic. The crew fought superbly though, despite being often flung into the unnaturally icy water or struck by the creature's body or bitten at by teeth. Hells, at one point, Derik had even gotten swallowed whole and had to cut his way out. Not exactly an experience he'd like to have. That creature was defeated too.

The Ghost Ship, some sort of living ship made of bone with a shark head and tale, crewed by the damned, was fought as well yet another while later. This fight didn't go as well. Though the creature was destroyed and the spirits released, the Relentless Storm was sunk. All crew rescued but the ship was lost. Vala was going to salvage it, but... that would take money and time.

Still, there was something out there in the ocean... it called. It was in his head. The only word he had to describe it was "wrong." It had to be put down.

Meanwhile, during all of this mess, Michael had broken off his marriage with Vala to be with some little trollop. Gods know why. Something happened and it got hard. Instead of pushing through it, of growing closer together, Michael ran. He didn't know all the details, and it wasn't his business, but it left Vala broken for a long time. He and Ronja had even gone to Waterdeep to fetch Tellae to act as a caregiver for Vala, who had been catatonic for days before finally recovering enough to care for herself. Vala was doing much better now, but the scars remained.

Then of course, there was Osric, who had managed to become possessed by a bunch of depressed, hopeless spirits. Trying to determine the nature of the possession had nearly killed both him and Lannia...

And then there was the vision. He, Lannia, and Marnie had shared some sort of vision. It showed Lannia where her lost brother was, and the identity of him. Donnel, the brother immediately up the sibling chain from her. The gentle one. The vision showed him being tortured, calling out to her to save him. Derik also learned that the torturer had been at the attack on Copperglenn that had killed his cousin, his teacher, and his Patrons. Marius had been involved in the attack on Copperglenn!

They knew where Donnel was. He was calling to her to save him.

It was clearly a trap.

They had made preparations and with their friends Ronja and Adallan, teleported in to find him. They had fought members of Marius' forces. Then, before them, was the huge man who had done the torturing from the vision.

Derik and he had sparred with words. He was clearly waiting for Derik, even calling him by name. Derik had remembered him from the Caravans though, so was not surprised. He demanded to know why they had attacked, ambushed the third of the militia that was there to guard the town, comprised mostly of the youngest, least experienced members. The one relic they took, leaving all other treasures... why? It was usable only by two types, and he and his master were not them. The man had just laughed, mocked that Derik didn't know what it was that the Patrons had kept. Clearly they new, but no one told Derik after the raid what the relic did. Or they didn't know either.

Battle then took place and Derik was soon drawing his blade from the dead man's chest. He took the man's sword for a trophy and found a note. A note from "Z." Likely Zachary, the human mage enslaved to Marius. Garth, the man, was to not confront Derik until "our arrival". Zachary and someone else had been on their way. They mentioned Derik by name in their orders. No mention of Lannia. Him.

Why him? What was their interest? What was the relic for? Marius couldn't possibly use it... he wasn't of the right heritage... right? It wouldn't work for him, whatever it did. Marius couldn't possibly be.... thoughts swirled in his head when he thought about it.

They found Donnel further down through a hidden passage. He was absolutely crazed and delirious. They had to knock him out. Derik set some bombs and blew up as much of the facility as he could while they ran. He would deny Marius as many resources as possible.

Marius' image had appeared on their way out, furious with Lannia. Derik interrupted his rant, furious himself. He should have let Lannia goad him, might have gotten more information. He regretted that. Marius had started to drop rocks onto them, collapsing the cavern. Derik was able to teleport them out.

They had taken Donnel to the Halls of Inner Light. The Halls helped Lannia once with similar mind enchantments, they hoped the Halls could do the same for Donnel. Rania confirmed the presence of the mind-altering, memory changing enchantments.

Still, something was wrong. Rescuing Donnel was too easy. He clearly knew they were coming, he could have had 10 times as many guards, 100 times as many. What was Marius up to?

Lannia stayed there with Donnel. Derik had to retreat from the Halls. Sune was a primary deity of the Halls, and ever since he had purified Warwake, he had been supremely uncomfortable there. Sune was not fond of Tempus.

So here he sat, cleaning his armor in the Townhouse on the other side of town.

He blew out the candles and got ready for bed.

He'd go back in the morning.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
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Proprietor, The Last Anchor
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik »

The book's page turned.

Derik sat on the couch nearest the fire in his lower level suite. The treatise on the economic trends of trade, craftsmanship, and shipping during prolonged conflict was held by one hand. He browsed the book, reflecting on the past few days.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The images and the desires, the whisperings of destruction and chaos were finally gone from his mind.

The group had gone to the center of the fog to find the reason for it. They found waves of hatred and desire for bloodlust that blew right through their high-end mental protections as if they were nothing. But they resisted and carried on.

They found themselves in a sort of cavern composed some of stone, some of wood salvaged from ships. And some traps, but those were easily dealt with. The traps were old, disused.

A second room and corridor. This one contained an alter and three chambers.

Garagos. The alter was Garagos.... and the three chambers contained summoning circles. One for the Warsworn, one for the Nightwave, one for the Ship of the Dammed. It was starting to come together.

A treasure room. A stash of the Ironjaw pirates.... very possibly cursed. At least until the issue with the source was dealt with.

And then a throne room. On it, a sword with a demonic eye. Soon fiendishly corrupted pirates appeared. Their captain took up the sword. The Sword of Endless War, a weapon of Garagos. The captain had been completely transformed into some sort of half-fiend creature.... massive, with 6 arms. Like Garagos.

The fight was fierce and hard, magic, arrows, and blades whistled through the air. Soon it was done.

The sword laid at his feet. The demonic eye stared up at him. He could feel it still, even subdued and in surrender. Its malice and hatred. Its desire for bloodlust. Without a word he inverted Warwake in his hands.

"Everyone move back..." He looked down. "Die..." The sword point came down.

Once. The eye cracked.

Twice. The eye cracked more.

Three. The blade shattered into shards. A vortex ripped space and spirits wailed as they escaped, nearly taking his own soul with them...

It was gone

The rest of the day was... looting the treasure room and a discussion with the Theskians that came to nothing.

After arriving home, there was an argument regarding what happened. It was supposed to be turned over, not destroyed...

Despite departing in anger, the next couple nights were the first nights in weeks he'd been able to sleep straight through.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

He sat at the fire, talking to Ronja. He tried to apologize. He utterly failed at it.

A conversation then about Bladestone and the Mage guild having some joint classes. Seemed intriguing.

Derik went home and laid down in the office on the couch. Lannia wasn't far behind.

He got a bit of a lecture. He really deserved it. He may have done the right thing, but he did it the wrong way... he should have discussed it first.

Shortly after, Gunthar showed up. It started off well enough. A great deal of apologizing going on, since they both admitted they'd screwed up. Was pretty good, even joking for a while.

Then it went to hell fast. Blame laid on Lannia in equal parts for a simple misunderstanding. Derik lost his control. Names were called. Derik stormed out back downstairs while Lannia stayed to talk to Gunthar.

Lannia came downstairs to find Derik reading, her discussion had gone little better, then she left to find Ronja to clear up misunderstandings.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Derik stood and with a snarl threw the book with all his might against the snake statue across the way from him. It impacted with a thud, then fell to the floor. He stood glaring at the statue for no reason whatsoever for a very long time.

He was losing family over this stupidity and there wasn't anything he could do about it.

The Darkness was coming, and he would fight it. But if it cost him his family, it had better run for its gods-damned life...
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor
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