Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Sat Apr 07, 2018 12:41 am

Derik watched the ceremony of Adallan and Rania getting married, hands clasped behind his back under his cloak. While he tried to focus on the events, myriad things ran though his mind as well...


Perhaps 2 10-days ago, Lannia's brother Donnel had been rescued from one of Marius' bases. It had clearly been a setup, the retrieval was far too simple. The man was in a coma for nearly a week and had awoken with no memory of even the rescue. Obviously, this was bait for a trap

He had been taken to the Halls of Inner Light for help, and had awoken. But when given the choice of disenchantment and possible madness as well as possibly waking up and NOT being Donnel Tannen, if he was a plant or decoy, he chose instead to flee into the wilderness. This broke Lannia's heart. It had enraged Derik's.

Add to this that Derik's father Marcus had sent word that one of the Copperglenn raiders had been found that was received that same day., there was a significant amount of stress in the household.

However, more information came in the form of Rania Arowaven. An Oracle of Selune she had scried her patient's whereabouts and he was somewhere on the North Tradeway near Soubar. The married pair made preparations to retrieve him so he could at least live at the Anchor, but then the Sending from his father came. The Raiders were moving out. Suddenly. Without warning.

It was clearly related. And clearly a trap.


The couple decided to split. Derik gathered with him Ronja, his blade-sister, her fiancé Gunthar, who wielded magic that would come in fantastically handy against these strong opponents, his friend Adallan and Rania, who was his fiancé. Lannia gathered others to her, but Derik did not know the details of whom other than his sister Tellae. He didn't have time.

".... promise me you won't go alone..." he had said to her, and he had to trust that she would take someone she could trust with her.

His group assembled and teleported outside of Waterdeep to meet with his father Marcus, ready for action.


A small village near the City with a small fort was their target. The Raiders had set up camp in there and were now evacuating, taking everything that wasn't nailed down, and probably some things that were. The group advanced, the fighting was intense. The enemy was skilled and resilient. The enemy also had position and numbers. His father was a mighty warrior, but getting up in years and starting to show his age. Derik paused to heal him with wands a few times after taking a hit or two more than he could manage.

Nearly to the final fortification, one of the shadowed assassins leapt at Marcus and gravely wounded him. Marcus Ranloss cleaved him in half for his troubles, but he could no longer continue. Even magically healed, such a blow required rest by even the heartiest of warriors. So the companions moved on as Marcus took up a safe place in one of the houses to recover.

During the fighting the enemy had called out a name. "Zathrian". Derik had no idea who it was, but some pieces were starting to come together.

Soon they were at the top and there was a sight. A large orb or crystal suspended, rotating. A masked mage stood near a man whom he called Harrick. The man that had led a group that attacked the Anchor only a little while ago.

A man who Derik very much wanted to kill.

"I will deal with this scum!" He boasted to the mage, whom he called Zathrian.

"I know you will, Harrick. With the power of the Ne'Tal'Takal in you, you will destroy them." And with a flash, the mage and crystal were gone, leaving Harrick and two lesser mages who were clearly channeling some sort of magic.


"End those mages!" Derik cried and the battle was on.

Adallan ki-stepped behind Harrick to attack the mages, barely missing a strike from the huge man's massive blade. The pugilist pummeled the mage, but did not drop him. Rania launched lightening at the enemy warrior and Derik himself faced off with Harrick, but powered as he was through some incredible means, nothing they did made a scratch and Derik took a grievous wound. Ronja stepped into shadows and moved to attack the other mage. Meanwhile Gunthar tried to dispel the effects on Harrick to no avail. They immediately refreshed.


The battle raged. Adallan and Ronja continued to attack the channeling mages while Derik fruitlessly traded blows with Harrick. Rania used a healing ring to keep him breathing.


Gunthar managed to deliver the final blow to the last mage and the wards around Harrick ebbed but didn't fade right away. He remained invincible. His blade whirled, biting at Ronja, Derik, and Adallan.

Gunthar was able to get another Disjunction off. Harrick's wards shattered like so much glass.

"NO!" he shouted even as he let off an whirlwind attack at everyone nearby. "This is impossible!"

"You.... are.... mine..." Derik replied, the battle still heated. "You came to my home. Twice!" he snarled at the man, referring to Copperglenn, and then the Anchor. "You hurt my family and friends. I will bring war to you and yours! To their very threshold!"

While he and Derik traded blows, Ronja appeared from the shadows, her blade doing what it does best, biting deep and hard. Harrick staggered, and then was suddenly held by a magical hand. One of the Bigby's spells cast by Gunthar with a scroll.

"Consider this an early birthday present." he had said.

"NOOOO!" Harrick howled, struggling helplessly as Adallan's blows knocked him cold.

Derik through a glare at the ex-monk for a moment. Now he was unconscious and helpless.... Derik couldn't kill him like this... Tempus forbids such things... but the anger soon passed.

Derik thanked those with him and began searching the unconscious man, stripping him of any dangerous equipment. Marcus arrived at this time, clearly relieved that they all stood. Derik found a note stashed into one of Harrick's pouches. He slipped it away and would read it later.

Conversation struck up... Marcus had friends that would be able to take Harrick and get any useful information out of him. Derik was pretty sure he knew who those friends were... other militia from Copperglenn that has survived... and did not envy Harrick his soon to be very unpleasant existence. Thanks were made all around and Marcus mused that without the group, this would have not likely been successful and was glad this was the family Derik saw fit to bring. Soon, plans for dinner were made at the Ranloss house. His mother, Katie, would be overjoyed to feed such a group as this. A dinner, an evening of rest, and returning to Ulgoth's Beard light-hearted and full of victory in the morning.


However, Gunthar had brought up a question in the victory celebration.

"Does 'Heart of the Wyrm' mean anything to anyone?" He had asked. Derik and his father had exchanged glances but not expanded other than a few minor detail.

Ne'Tel'Takal... it was Elvish, that's what it translated as. That's apparently what that orb was. With channeling mages, it made one invincible, even unable to be dispelled

That's what that crystal was. Things were starting to fall together but there were still missing details.

But now he stood at the wedding of two of those people who had helped him, merely an hour after returning home on the beach down the way. Lannia was out on errands or something and was not there to see it. He had a feeling she would be really annoyed with all of them for doing it when she wasn't available.

But then, she also needed to explain to Derik why there was a strange man gagged and tied to his safe in his office...
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Deputy Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor

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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:48 am

((Note: This entry is based off of a quest that took place in two parts. We were instructed not to RP the first half until the second half took place, however, the beginning of the second part was a fast-forward 7 days. There is server-side RP between the two events that would "contradict" this some, but yay, comic book time! Sorry for any confusion. In any case, the event was FREAKING INCREDIBLE, thank you DM Mimic.))

Derik sat on a chair not too far from his bed. He watched the young woman he called his wife sleeping there, peacefully, a smile on her face.

7 days. She had been gone 7 days. And it had been Hell Realized.

Derik closed his eyes as images returned in his memory. Donnel. Lannia's brother. He had been taken over to Relentless Storm for keeping. It had a brig and the Anchor didn't. Lannia had researched possible methods to do a Mind-Walk with him, to help him naturally break through his enchantments. But it had gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Vala, Ronja, Reineke, and himself had all accompanied her in the ritual for moral support. They expected the enchantments to manifest as something hostile. But what they found was so much worse. Marius had not used enchantments on Donnel Tannen. Instead, a combination of torture, manipulation, and conditioning had turned him into a weapon.

The group watched as a spirit that could only be described as his Hope or Innocence led them through grizzly scene after scene, memory after memory, from childhood to adulthood. Each time it grew smaller. Each time they tried to console it, encourage it, give it strength to keep fighting. The final memory was only a few weeks old, the aftermath of when they had rescued the false-Donnel that Marius had planted as a set up. Then suddenly, the vision ended.

And the worst thing Derik could imagine happened.

When he awoke, bodies of crew and drow were everywhere. Marius' forces had scried out their location and attacked while the ritual was taking place.

Lannia and Donnel were both missing.

Everything screamed inside Derik's mind and soul. Rage, Terror, Vengeance, others.... they all reared up and ready behind Derik's eyes.

He stood motionless. His voice even. "We need to try to find where they've gone... time is of the essence." He handed a few scrolls to Ronja and Vala to help raise the crew. While they tended to the crew, he and Reineke attempted a scry and sendings.

Nothing happened. Nothing was found. They were being shielded.

Derik nearly lost his mind. In the days to come he became frantic, trying anything, everything he could think of to find a way to locate them. Locate HER.

And then a sending came, unfamiliar voice in his head, short, "Lannia. Underground passage by the ruined building south of Soubar. If I don't see you, tell Lannia I'm sorry."

It could be a trap, but it didn't matter. Gathering those closest to him and Lannia that he could reach in short notice, they set out. Vala, Ronja, Gaven, Miz, and himself.

Derik was ready to cut through half the Underdark if he had to.

He didn't have to though. As they arrived, a battle was already taking place. Magic rocked the caverns, causing cave ins. Drow fought drow. A voice echoed across the air "Marius is dead! The master is defeated!" This is probably what sparked the battles, for Marius had those deadly loyal, and those who wanted to break free.

The group moved on and ran almost literally into Lannia herself. Free, and fully armed. Derik had rushed to greet her with a kiss, even dropping his weapons. Fortunately, Vala retrieved them in case the group had to run before he retrieved them. It was foolishness, but the relief Derik felt was like nothing in his life. Reason wasn't exactly in the forefront at that moment.

The group pressed on. A few squads of Marius' loyal were encountered, but nothing that stood in their way long. The group came across an older man in white robes who had been stabbed multiple times. He died in front of a scrying mirror. Some of the group investigated while Ronja, Vala, and Gaven kept watch. Derik recognized him as Zachary from the visions he had shared with Lannia, and she confirmed it. It was likely he who had warned Derik where Lannia could be found by scrying Derik in the mirror then sending for him. A note to Lannia in his own blood was his last thought, sorry he could not do more. He did not respond to a raise spell. His soul, wherever it was, was at peace enough it did not wish to return.

After a few more skirmishes they found Donnel in a similar state, cut down and in a pool of his own blood. This time the raising magic worked. The man was healed and started to lead the party out, for the way they came in had collapsed in the magical tremors.

However, on the way out an apparition met them. Marius himself, now an undead spirit of dark energy. Lannia had managed to trick the fool into eating a poisoned fruit, but he had set up contingencies, and now stood before them as a vengeful spirit.

The battle was hard fought, the drow-spirit's magic nearly claimed the lives of many of the group. However, victory was theirs and Lannia banished the spirit from the realm. Elated, they left the caves back into the sun...

Donnel had opted to travel for a while, to search himself out in his new found freedom. So be it, he would always have a home. Vala, Ronja, Derik, and Lannia traveled back to the Anchor for a small victory party. This mostly consisted of them laying on the rug and eating some fantastic sandwiches that Vala made while Lannia told the story of her imprisonment.

Lannia then fell asleep, exhausted, and Derik took her downstairs. He had done some work in the office, but now he sat in the suite, watching her rest.

Standing, he moved over to her and kissed her forehead. "Welcome home, my beautiful Turtledove." He whispered to her ear. The then laid down, draped and arm across her lightly, and joined her in sleep.
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 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:13 am

Having consumed an invisibility potion or two, the Tempurian warrior trudged through the snow of the Cloudpeaks. Every so often a yeti would pick up his scent or tracks and manage to attack him... much to its later dismay... but then he would drink another potion to make himself invisible and trudge on.

Unlike normal, he stayed away from the most commonly adventured areas and avoided as many fights as possible. He was not here for a fight.

Not yet.

His eyes kept watch across the frozen rocks and ridges. Periodically he took out a sketch and held it up, comparing it to the landscapes he observed. He trudged high and low across the mountains, even a bit up towards the peak of Speartop to find his quarry.

Hours and hours of arduous searching. And then finally, something matching. He moved closer, comparing the sketch again.

A cavern, well hidden and back, but there it was, in a secluded spot well out of the way. Likely never to be found without actively looking for it. An armored figure moved out of the cave, went about a few moments of business and went back inside.

"Found you." he thought to himself silently. "You may expect me at some point, but now I've got you. I can come right to your front door..."

The raiders who had killed his Patrons, his teacher, his cousin, and been responsible for the eventual death of his home town some months of decline later. He had found their lair. He had once thought them Zhentarim from the badges their dead had carried at Copperglenn, but now he knew them as a different name.

The Wyrmsoul Cult.

They had artifacts of immense power, were planning some ritual with the Heart, Wings, and Breath of the Wyrm. Who knew what exactly it could be? It certainly wasn't good, no matter what it was.

However, now he knew where they were. He trudged back down well away and out of sight from the cave and sentries vanished from sight with a teleport scroll back home.

"I know where you are now." He said to himself as he entered the Last Anchor in Ulgoth's Beard, far to the north. He went inside to inform his wife and make plans. Oh yes, he knew where they were. He was coming back.

And this time, War itself was coming with him.

Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Deputy Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor

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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Sun May 06, 2018 9:27 pm

Derik rolled the crystal shard in his fingers as he watched the firelight dance through it.

It was over. It was finally over.

As he watched the refracted light from the shard dance across the walls of the bedroom, memories of the day's activities flashed through his mind...


Lannia and he stood in the lower meeting room of the Last Anchor. Oth arrived, then Miz and Gaven, then Wren. He had called for their help to deal with the Wyrmsoul before they could move or finish their ritual. He'd have liked others too, Vala, Ronja, and Gunthar notably, but they were not available. Gone, on other tasks, or asleep.

Gaven stood attentive and steadfast as always as Oth fretted and Miz wandered about looking at the books in the room. Wren was pissed at something Greil Nightgale had done and was busy punching Derik's shield as it leaned against the wall to burn through her anger.

He took some time to explain to those that didn't know what was going on. Many of them had heard bits and pieces, but none knew the story. He explained who the Wyrmsoul were, the people who had attacked his home so many years ago. He explained what the Heart, Breath, and Wings were and what they were for. That Pax was a favored of Tiamat and he had a cadre of mages led by one Zathrian to attend him. They were going to steal a dragon's power and make Pax invincible.

They traveled via magic to the Cloud Peaks and went invisible via skill or spell. Marching through the snow to the place where the cave entrance was they found it gone... until true-sight was used, then it became apparent it had been hidden. As was a strike force waiting for them. The battle was on, Lannia was grievously wounded. The Cultists had shed any illusion as to what they were and were now openly dragon disciples, and they fought as hard as hell.

But they didn't fight hard enough....

The team regrouped and trudged into the cave, encountering another group. Another fierce fight, this time Gaven fell injured. Tending to him, a dimensional lock was found but it was decided not to destroy it at this time, so that the enemy could not escape that way.

Traveling further into the cave network, a third group was encountered. Oth was hurt this time, but Miz managed to dominate one of them and get information. The ritual was almost complete. They had captured an already-wounded adult white dragon. He was instructed to destroy the crystals, but mentioned they could not be damaged by external means. He went to try anyway, to his death by the hands of his fellows, compelled by the magic.

Derik knew the crystals were supposedly invulnerable already, and that the Pax would be immortal should the ritual complete. The mages had to die.

The group ran in, and indeed, mages surrounded Pax and Zathrian, a massive white dragon near death while the crystals sapped its life force. Pax was massive now, easily between 3 and 4 meters tall, energy radiating off of him.

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Handing out acid flask, Derik, Wren, Oth, and Lannia threw them at the mages, hurting them significantly but not ending the ritual. The mages threw up defenses, including a stone wall. Gaven and Miz went off to the flank to try other tactics.

Lannia blew a hole in the wall, allowing for Wren to disenchant the mages from their protections and allowing for Derik and Oth to sew more chaos with more flasks. Miz had summoned some sort of magical clones and they were causing even more issues with the mages.

Then, the ritual completed. The dragon died. And Pax was invincible.

It was a nightmare.

The mages were finished off, but to little effect other than to keep them from slinging spells. Zathrian started to counter the group's magic users as well, throwing his own spells. Lannia tore into him with arrows while Gaven gained Pax's attention and started fighting him to little effect. Miz threw magic back, conjuring more clones for the battle. Eventually, Wren managed to engage Zathrian up close. All this while, Derik wracked his mind with how to stop the crystals and Pax. Without destroy them, Pax would never be defeated.


"... cannot be damaged by external forces..." it had been said. Derik dashed to the crystals, trying to find a way to destroy them internally. Lannia would soon be joining him, trying to find a way to rebuke the spiritual energy, if any, inside the crystals. Meanwhile, Gaven did not fare well against the giant-sized cult leader, though Wren finished off the archmage.


After watching Lannia unsuccessfully dispel or rebuke the crystals, it occurred to him. External forces. Pax's power was OF the crystals. He could destroy them. He just had to be tricked into doing it.

Turning around Derik, back to one of them, Derik began to taunt his opponent. Tempus disliked such things, disparaging foes, and he wasn't very good at it. Pax ignored Derik for a while, "It will be your turn soon, Interloper." he replied to Derik's ineffective words. Derik stepped up his game.

Eventually he struck a cord. With a sweep, Pax left Gaven for dead instead of finishing him off. He took a leap into the air with his wings, diving headlong at Derik who rolled backwards underneath the crystal to the other side, bringing his shield up....

Pax's sword pierced the crystal, shattering it. "NO!" he screamed.


Wren dashed to see to Gaven, Oth stood back to keep from Pax's blade. Derik lept up to stand by another crystal, taunting again his massive foe. But Pax was on to him now and simply smiled cruelly.... That was until Lannia caught on and her own words bit into his ego.

He lept at Lannia, sword raised to cleave her into halves. From his position, Derik could only watch. He couldn't reach her in time. And Pax might have if the now-healed Gaven hadn't come from behind, to shield some of the blow himself, taking another wound but likely saving Lannia's life in the process.

The second crystal shattered as Pax's blade caught it on the follow through.

After another bit of sparring and jostling for position, soon the whole group stood by the final crystal. Another few choice words from Derik and Pax flew into a rage, unleashing a devastating whirlwind attack....

And with the sound of a shattering mirror, his power was broken...

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"NOOO!" he shouted. "NO! You're ruined everything!"

He now stood, normal sized, a skilled by very mortal, very alone opponent before the team.

"You are MINE!" Derik snarled as the group attacked as one, scoring several hits. "For Copperglen, for the Patrons, Theren Grax, for Steven! YOU.... ARE.... MINE!"

Lannia, seeing her husband's rage stepped back to let him have his enemy, knowing full well the desire to put down a nemesis. Wren simply cleaned her nails and flipped Derik a two-headed coin of Hoar.

Seeing himself overwhelmed, Pax tried to flee, Derik and Gaven scoring more hits. The dimension lock kept him from teleporting away. Lannia summoned a dragon knight to block his passage, Oth attempted to restrain him.

Coming to a halt before the angered dragon summoned by Lannia, he was easy for Derik to catch up with. Dropping his shield, Derik's hand grabbed Pax and pulled him into the oncoming point of Warwake, the blade protruding from the other side the body. "You die now, like you lived. A coward, in the shadows..." he said to the dying man.

"Tiamat... mistress... I have failed you..." Pax let out with his dying breath.

"Tell your mistress I said hello. Again." Derik replied, letting the man fall to the ground, withdrawing Warwake, which flashed an odd color red for a moment.

Derik stared at the man's body for a moment, then collapsed to his knees, propping himself up with his sword. He was silent for a long time.

"Is it over? Is it finally over?" he asked.

"It is." Lannia assured him as he stood up, tears on his cheeks he didn't know he was crying.

Wren reminded him of the coin, which he placed in the man's mouth, still numb from the experience.

Victorious, the group helped themselves to the dragon's hoard. Derik also took several pieces of each of the three crystals. They could not be allowed to be remade yet again. He would keep some and give some to others so that they could be hidden away far from his knowledge.


Derik sighed and brought himself back, placing the shard away for now. It was time to get some rest.

Tomorrow an army of trolls was expected. He needed to not miss this. Battle was his calling... and to battle he would go.


((Would like to throw a special Thank You shout out to DM Mimic for the conclusion of a masterfully woven story arc that he took over from DM Hera and made his own. It was an incredible, wild, and fantastic ride! Thank you so much!))
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Deputy Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor

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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Mon May 28, 2018 11:36 pm

Derik pulled Warwake free of the deadweight of Yuani-ti Abomination archer, rolling his shoulder slightly. The blood on the blade sizzled and burned off from the fire that enshrouded the weapon.

He paused a moment to reflect as he looked down at the now deceased opponent. Almost a 10-day now he had been at this nearly non-stop. People usually called it "hunting" or "training", but let's face it and call it what it is, it was a raid, pure and simple. Striding into a sentient being's home, claiming their possessions, and putting down anyone who attempted to stop you. Certainly, a goodly number of these things that was being claimed came from the Yuan-ti's own raids into surrounding countryside or hapless adventurers and explorers that were unlucky enough to find themselves in their territory at the wrong time, but that's not the point. Adventurers did to them exactly what we all claimed was wrong to be done in their own lands. Of course, motivations varied, but that didn't really change what it was. It was a raid, pure and simple.

In this case the raid wasn't even about glory, or retribution for crimes, or anything of the sort. It was about profit. He needed coin and a great deal of it for the Bladestone Foundation facilities and for the renovations of the Last Anchor that just took place. Resources were as good a reason as any for a battle, they'd sparked more than one major war, but these Yuan-ti had done nothing to him personally to deserve his wrath. Neither had the Sharptooth Orcs, the Yeti, Lizardmen, and Frost giants up at the Cloudpeaks, the Gnolls, the goblins in the mines near Beregost...

Hm... Wrath. No, that was wrong. There was no wrath here. This was cold, calculating, they had something he wanted and he was going to take it. He needed to provide for those depending on him to raise this money so things could go forward, so he was going to do it by the only way he really knew how.

He was going to fight someone for it. The Yuan-ti just happened to be today's lucky choice.

There was a noise around the corner and two zealots and an abomination warrior rounded into sight, drawn by the sound of the conflict a few moments ago. Derik hefted his shield and lifted his sword, taking a few steps towards them to meet them head on. They stood no chance, but they didn't know that. They were protecting their home against a lone intruder, so he had to give them credit for that...

… and it was over almost as soon as it began.

Derik stepped over the now fresh corpse of the last zealot to fall as he made his way towards the chamber with the Hydra. Sorry fellas, it's nothing personal, this time it's just business.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Deputy Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor

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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:04 am

Derik Ranloss sat in the dark in the suite of the Last Anchor, the inn he and his wife owned in Ulgoth's Beard.

He sat next to the bed, leaning forward on his knees, the only light in the room the dim glow of the low-burning fire in the hearth, now mostly just embers. Under the covers lay the red-headed, blue-eyed woman that was the most dear thing to him in all of existence. Lannia Ranloss, his wife.

And she was very, very ill.

They had gone traveling to surprise their friends, Ronja and Vala. But something was wrong... something was terribly, terribly wrong. They had expected some adjustments with her powers and the local spirits for the shamaness, but as she started to reconnect she had fallen ill. Weak. Exhausted.

They had stayed as long as they could, but she wasn't getting better. He had then brought her home back to their inn, hoping she would recover.

She simply stopped getting worse. Something was the matter.

Something happened out there in the unfamiliar, and he had to find out what so it could be fixed. He had wanted to go there to meet with Ronja and Vala.

This was his fault.

And now he had to fix it.

"Lylan was asking about you, Turtledove." He whispers to her sleeping form. "She was terribly worried. And Dove still needs your help, so you have to get better. You're the strongest spirit I know.. you have to get better..."

Brushing the sleeping woman's cheek and kissing her forehead, he stood up and glanced at the huge spirit-wolf that lay by the fire, watching him with glowing eyes. "Keep her safe. I'm going back to find what has done this and put an end to it."

Na'qpote, or Cider as they often called him, gave Derik a sound as if to say "well duh" to the man. The wolf's eyes stayed on Lannia as Derik left the room. In the meeting room outside the suite and through the office he encountered Mara. Mara was the middle-aged cook for the Anchor.

"Keep her from being too bothered." He instructed her. "But keep her fed, and healthy. She's not getting any worse it doesn't seem." Mara nodded as Derik continued. "I'm going to head back to where she got ill. Cider knows where that is, if something happens before I come back, he can be sent to get me. Otherwise, I'll return every few days at least to check in."

"What's wrong with her? What happened?" Mara asked, the motherly woman's eyes filled with concern.

"I don't know..." was the only reply as the large warrior strapped on weapons and walked towards the stairs.
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Deputy Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor

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Posts: 570
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:07 am

((FYI: Journal entries and other RP posts concerning Lannia's illness is a mostly off-camera or PM player driven RP that is mostly there to help RP-explain Lannia's server-side absence due to some RL stuff and cutting back gaming overall. They are not explicitly tied into any other primary or secondary events on the server as it were.))

Lylan had spotted Derik leaving the inn on his trip back to the place Lannia fell ill. She had been helping one of the fishermen with rigging or something when she saw the warrior heading out.

"Heading out to the Serpents?" she paused. "No, this is something else, isn't it?"

Derik regarded the Sun Elf quietly for a moment.

"This is something else... As you know, Lannia is very weak right now. She's not getting better, but finally not getting any worse. That we can tell."

He rubs bloodshot eyes with two finger.

" This is my fault... I wanted to go to those stupid islands to surprise Vala and Ronja... now she's sick, or worse, has some sort of spiritual parasite... if we hadn't gone, this wouldn't be happening. "

He sighs, dropping his hands, looking beyond exhausted. "whatever it is, it's something there... so... I've got to find a way to deal with it there... I don't even know exactly what it is and what it's doing to her. No one does."

"And I'm terrified..."

Lylan'Synor looked deep into Derik's eyes for a long moment, then wraps her arms around the man pressing her face against his chainmail.

"Then you wont be terrified alone. I'll just go make a bag and get my gear. Whatever it is. We'll get to the bottom of it."

The huge warrior would give the much smaller elvin woman a hug.

"Thanks Lylan... we can teleport there... then, it's mostly conversations and investigations to find out what exactly is going on... I was told that a druid or shaman traveling to this area sometimes has these problems, but not to this extent, so there's something wrong..


The pair would end up in a spot that seems a bit exotic compared to the Coast. It has a bit of flora more like a tropical area, but isn't quite as hot or humid.

Wandering into a village, you can get the sense of ancient-ness. The stonework is old and worn, but very clearly sturdy and solid after who knows how long. The people nod to the pair of warriors, a couple greet Derik by name.

Eventually the pair arrive at a house occupied by a half-elf woman, perhaps 5-7 months pregnant, and a rather outlandishly dressed elf. They are introduced as Danae and Argent.

Danae seems to have much knowledge of spiritual things. Derik relates to her some details of a vision he had apparently had while falling asleep in the wilderness during a conversation with Ronja...

Of a place of sickly green ground and black trees, the sky a hazy purple, filled with shadows and shades that paid them no mind... in the middle there was a large, bottomless crater and floating on that nothingness was a small island with a black, shadowy figure. Next to that figure was a Tortoise surrounded by a red nimbus of lights. The creature had its hand towards its captive and was connected by a tendril, pulsating and dark.

The crater was surrounded by a ring of 9 posts with a torch. The poles were cold to the touch. Ronja and Derik shouted at the creature, but did not gain it's attention... They sought a way across, but there was none. Then Derik noticed the Tortoise looking at the nearest pole. He grabbed it, the cold almost burning him through his glove, and yanked it from the ground.

The creature then looked at them, hatred flooding over them, and then the waves of shadows, endless, no matter how many Ronja and Derik felled.

"Wake up" echoed in both their heads, and they had instinctively known it was the Tortoise. "Wake up!"

And so they did.

And the pole from the dream was still in Derik's had when he had awoken. A pole with a stone tip that seemed to constantly drip incorporeal blood.

Danae sat and listened, as did Argent. There was further discussion about possibilities of spirit visions and dreamscapes, and it was determined that this creature was either a shadowy undead creature that had latched onto Lannia and her Spirit Guide, the Tortoise, or another spirit of some sort. Either way, it was leeching power from her connections.

Plans were then made, to gather some together, using the pole as an anchor. The unknown creature may be too powerful to face head on, but if the rest of the poles could be disturbed, the cage may fail, allowing Lannia's Spirit Guide to flee, thus ending the immediate threat to her...

The next morning, the pair teleported back to the Coast and Derik disappeared below in the Anchor...
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Deputy Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor

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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:56 pm

Warning, this post is long. It is a collaboration of all those who have taken place in the off-camera and forum RP regarding Lannia Ranloss' IC illness. Thank you for all who participated, it was a blast! Other posts of this RP can be found in the Ulgoth's Beard rumors and Last Anchor RP posts.))

*Derik sat at a couch in the suite of the Anchor's lower level. He drank from a glass of red wine as he watched the flames dance. Today was his 30th nameday. There was no fanfare or special party like the last few years and that's ok. Ronja had gotten him that silly hat and way too many drinks, but that was about it. He watched the flames dance, and that's what he wanted to do right now. He almost didn't have on this Nameday that which is most important to him. His mind faded to a recent memory...*


As agreed upon, to help Lannia overcome the spiritual parasite, a group traveled from the Anchor to the islands where the issue started during some travels not too long ago. Lylan and Niy, Dove, Teris, and Iris. They were introduced to the elf Argent and his half-elven wife Danae, two of the natives of this place, and both magically skilled. Danae, also a shaman, had offered to help guide with her powers to the dreamscape it was discovered that the spirit attacking Lannia resided in. Argent would provide the power. However, it had to be done at the place I the wilderness the infestation took place to the best of the knowledge. A dangerous wilderness. As the ritual would render those participating asleep, it was decided that Argent and Danae would help guard those sleeping from any bandits or wild animals.

Derik then fully explained the situation to those who still didn’t have all the details. An unknown spiritual parasite had latched on to Lannia while they traveled through this island. Lannia’s powers had been light and weakened by her unfamiliarity with the spirits about, so it was figured that was why whatever creature was able to do so. Derik and Ronja had, at one point while investigating, fallen into a sleep and been taken to a sick-green landscape where there was a crater with a floating island. On this island was a large figure before a tortoise in a red-nimbus like cage of light. A tortoise was Lannia’s Spirit Guide. It seemed to be feeding on it. Around the crater were several rune covered poles. Derik had taken one out of the ground and suddenly the pair had been swarmed by shadows and spirits and been forced to “wake up”. Now the group’s goal was to return to this realm and disrupt the rest of the poles so that the tortoise could escape.

The group traveled to the wilderness location, a field of flowers near a lake. Danae and Argent prepared, and soon the sleepers fell into a deep sleep, eyes closing.

When they opened them it was in a nothing... just black... no light, no sound. A form approached, possibly even blacker than the emptiness around them and everyone made ready.

"Did not expect thisss one back so soon."

"Then you made a mistake... and you are?" Derik replied, hand gripping his weapon and readying himself. The others also preparing

The creature moved about the party, his obvious jubilance dripping off every word. "He does not recognize Twi? I have been away from the mistressss too long."

It all suddenly clicked for Derik. Twi, the creature Lannia had told him about from her visions. She had met him ... her..? Derik's mind settled on "it".... when Lannia was regaining her memories. It had been there as a hindrance, a tempter to let the status quo be, but Lannia had not chosen that path, and so it had been struck from her presence.

The conversation continued. Twi had become strong, obscenely so, through whatever it was doing, which was demonstrated by simply causing Teris to be... elsewhere... and then returning him from nowhere. It had been stalking, waiting, biding time, and when Lannia came to to the island, her powers diminished, he struck. Now he sought to replace the Tortoise as Lannia's spirit guide, to infiltrate her soul, to enslave her memories once again.

One by one, the group was taken to their past, Twi offering to lock away unpleasant memories, that which caused each person pain. A memory of regret, due to an action taken, or inaction.

The first victim was Teris, seen by the spirit as the easiest target. As the scene solidified, the Druid looked horrified, deep humiliation starting to cross his features.

As the scene of the memory unfolded, they would see a beautiful woman with dark skin and long black hair. She is lying in a bed, barely conscious, with Teris seated on the floor holding her hand. The room is filled with women dressed in priestess garb and wearing symbols of Ilmater.

The priestesses speak, but their voices seem odd and distorted. Despite some of their words being impossible to understand, they make it clear that the woman is extremely ill and needs urgent care.

The healers go through several treatments, magical and otherwise, even making use of healing herbs that Teris supplies, but the woman's condition only seems to grow worse.

The priestesses reveal that, if they are unable to find a cure, the woman will likely have to spend the rest of her life basically as a vegetable.

The scene suddenly whirls dizzily to another location.

Teris is outside at a market trying to trade a wooden donkey for some healing potions. A voice calls out to him and he is waved over by an old woman by a wagon.

The woman has wild grey hair, boney fingers, a wrinkled face, and stands hunched over with a blanket over her shoulders. Despite how ancient she appears to be, her bright blue eyes look extremely young on her face.

"What are your troubles?" she asks.

Teris responds to her, but his own words sound distorted and confused as if he can't quite remember what he actually said, eventually amounting to the woman he loves is dying.

The old hag nods in understanding and tells him that surely his love is under a death curse and no normal magic or healer can save her.

She then proclaims herself an expert on said curses and offers him a strange black ring in exchange for what is probably ALL of his money, informing him that it holds the power to break the curse if he lays it over the woman's heart.

Suddenly back in the room the memory started in, the healers have left for the moment after finally managing to revive the woman enough for the two to speak together.

Teris explains what the old woman had told him, in a much less direct manner, rambling on about it for a while, then eventually expressing last minute doubts about the whole thing.

The woman seems concerned at the idea her illness may be the cause of a curse and expresses a willingness to try using the magic ring. Teris is nervous that he might not use the ring properly, but the woman takes hold of his arm and gives him a weak smile. She speaks to him, and for once the words are extremely clear, as if that moment of the memory were burned in more than the rest.

"I trust you."

Teris places the black ring over the woman's heart, as he had been instructed to, and it begins to glow with a soft white light.
The light turns to pink, then to red, and what follows is a disaster of horrific proportions.

Instead of healing her, the ring begins to disintegrate the woman slowly, absorbing her ashes into itself. She screams and Teris tries to grab the ring off of her, but his fingers pass through it.
He continues clawing at the ring, screaming "NO!!!", but to no use as the woman is absorbed more and more.

The room seems to fade as the focus of the memory is placed entirely on the scene between the two.

The healers' voices can be heard faintly as they charge in somewhere unseen and try to stop the disintegration with their spells.

Eventually, Teris realizes there is no way for him to pull the ring off of her and, with no power to combat it, he decides to wrap his arms around her and hold her close as she is slowly eaten away, trying to give as much comfort as possible to the wailing woman.

Because there is no hope left.

During the memory, Teris continuously begged the shadowy form to stop. Twi merely let the scene unfold. At the end, Teris is a small quivering heap kneeling on the ground. The spirit put its hand on Teris’ shoulder.

“Thissss one can make it all go away…. Will forget it ever happened. Will be at peace…” it whispered to what it believed would soon be its prize, ignoring the cries and voiced objections from the rest observing the shadowy scene. Teris quivered and looked up, acceptance nearly on his lips. “Can make thisss aaaaall go away… and then you can move on, and forget any pain the Mistress may have as well…”

And there it made its mistake. At the mention of losing Lannia as well, the meek Druid goes instantly from capitulation to intense rage.

“NO!” He shrieks, pulling away from the form and the figures now turning to watch him. “You are evil! EVIL! "I won't listen to you! I won't let you take her ever! I WON'T LOSE LANNIA! YOU EVIL THING! LEAVE ME ALONE! LEAVE HER ALONE!”

Taken aback, Twi regards the now enraged druid. The memory version of Teris melts away, a rune covered pole stuck in the ground in its place. Seeing it, Teris plucks it from the ground. “YOU EVIL THING! YOU WILL NOT!”

With a shriek of rage from Twi, the vision fades…

The next vision started to fade into view. With a gasp, Dove recognized it as hers… thoughts and memories become form…

The disorientation left Dove reeling. Where was she? She had been at the Anchor hadn't she? No, no. Somewhere else. Was it related to the Anchor? All she knew was there was something important to be doing. Someone who needed her.

Othaias? No...important, but not my heart...someone who...

Dove shook her head as she tried to clear it. Hugging herself tightly, she began to look around trying to get her bearings. Perhaps her memories would clear once she'd looked around a bit more. Maybe there was a clue somewhere here.

There was a fire nearby. A campfire. She knew it, didn't she? The stones and the tripod holding up the pot. Yes...yes, those were familiar to her. She walked over and ran her hand along the grain of the wood of the poles. This was an anchor. She needed more of them. More to center her.

Her gaze moved outward as she looked around. Benches...and an awning. Yes, this place was very familiar. She knew it now. The caravan stop outside Baldur's Gate. Her body ached in the memory of the long hours spent there on a hard bench offering the blessings of Eldath.

That's what I came here to do, isn't it? Always more blessings. But the people...the people are who I came to soothe and heal for my Lady.

Dove's gaze drifted upward and she flinched as her eyes found the morning sun. It felt too bright and burned to look at it. Some part of her shriveled up inside at the burning gaze from above. Shame? Fear? No...regret. Why would she regret this sun?

"Oh, it's alright, Fiquarlanitae, I know your heart. You must look after your friends. Please...shield them and come back to me."

Dove's gaze snapped back down and towards the speaker where she saw herself held in a quiet embrace by Oth. A sinking sensation began in the pit of her stomach as the wheels in her mind began to turn., it couldn't be that day. That was a memory. She couldn't be back there.

Her feet moved almost unbidden as she approached the frozen image of her and her husband-to-be those many months ago. They didn't move or seem to notice her at all.

When did I look so young?

Carefully raising her right hand, Dove reached up and began to trace the scars on her face. They felt as they should like she'd felt for so many years. There was a glaring absence though. Three talon marks didn't run down her face and body yet. This was before then. It had to be that day. As she withdrew her hand, the scene shifted briefly and she saw herself breathe and speak again.

"Oh, it's alright, Fiquarlanitae, I know your heart. You must look after your friends. Please...shield them and come back to me."

The words were like a knife in Dove's heart and she began to look around in a panic. More of the scene feel into place. There were others just outside the ring of the fire preparing to go. Juno. Elspeth. Ak'hab. The Knight. It was the moment she had told Oth to go and protect them at Dragonspear. Before the infernal geas, before she became the Quiet Guide, and before she broke down.


Dove's shouts shook even her for a moment. She hadn't meant to say anything, but seeing the scene again all she could feel was the pain and dread of knowing what was to come. The sinking feeling turned into a violent wretching as Dove fell to her knees and began to heave.

This was the place where so many of her worries and fears of late had been born. The moment where she might well have damned her husband and friends. All she'd meant to do was assure him that she'd be waiting for him when he got back. Oth and Dove's hearts beat as one when it came to protecting their friends.

How could she have asked him to do anything else? He'd have fretted all day and if they hadn't returned then...Eldath only knew what sort of state Oth would be in then. For all Dove, knew he might have fallen apart in despair at the death of friends.

"Oh, it's alright, Fiquarlanitae, I know your heart. You must look after your friends. Please...shield them and come back to me."

"Lady...why? ...why did I let him go? So much pain and suffering has come from this..."

A cool, unsettling voice cut into the repeated scene.

"I could make some of it go away."

It took only a moment for Dove to spin and see the tall figure. Her stomach continued to quiver as she looked up at the being wreathed in shadows. Its red eyes seem to stare down at the small elf as if in judgement.

"Wh-who are you?" Dove flinched back from the being.

"That's not important, I think. What we're seeing is. And...that I can offer some relief."

"I make no bargains with fiends!"

"Twi is not a fiend. Twi is a friend...looking after a mutual friend. If Twi can fix you, Twi can help fix her. Really we both get something out of this."

Dove began to squeeze herself tighter and did her best to will her gorge not rise. The aura about the being wasn't a fiend, but it wanted something. That much she could tell. Red eyes looked back unblinkingly as Dove took another step backwards.

"And what? You wave you hand and all of this never was?"

"Oh no, it was, don't have to feel the guilt of everything that comes after. After all, then it wasn't you who sent your lover to Dragonspear. It wasn't you that put him in the situation to be placed under a devil's geas. simply get to be a loving wife free of the burden of guilt. You really are too hard on yourself. So one little memory for a bit of peace of mind. Surely that's a small price to pay?"

Hundreds of thoughts began to race through Dove's mind. All the pain and worry of the long months rushed in. A seemingly endless parade of seeing Oth broken and crying in her arms, times of helping him wash blood stains from his clothes, and the times of holding his hair back while he vomited from the things he'd seen and done.

It was all there. In every last moment of it all, there was the guilt of this moment. She had never been able to shake it even when asked. Sometimes she thought it might become her companion for the rest of her summers. The moment where she sentenced good people to suffer and die under an infernal geas without knowing. A stain on her mind and spirit forever.

In all that chaos though, one memory won out. She remembered the day deep in the Misty Forest where Oth had seemed like his old self before the geas. The dawning horror in her heart as she realized his memories had been taken. Pieces of her lover were gone for it and in that emptiness she'd seen herself reflected back endlessly in all the moments she'd not known the faces of her family.

He is his memories. I am my memories. I've lost so much already...who is this...thing to ask for more? WHO DARES ASK ME FOR MORE?!

Something within Dove shifted and a steely look entered her silver eyes. There was no sense of being ready to wretch anymore. She didn't even feel the guilt. There was simply outrage as the elf's body burst into an effigy of herself made of living flame."


Dove surged forward and the flames of the campfire rose up to create her as they rushed the shadowy figure in a tide of flame. The flaming tides ran into one another in a brilliant explosion, but did not find their targeted. Coalescing back into the flaming effigy, Dove looked around for any sign of it, but only saw a pole where the campfire had once been...and a single thought crystallized in her mind.

Burn it for Lannia.

And so, she reached out for the pole...the flames of her hands burning all the brighter with her outrage.

Twi hissed once more as the memory faded to the black nothingness that had been before. And once more the shadows began to form. Once more the voice of the tempter could be heard. This time it was from the mind of the young, redheaded tiefling mage…

This memory is from shortly before Niyressa left Neverwinter, it was the night before she lost her familly and was forever marked by the unfairness of her ancestry. This night leads up to the moment that ends up with her, father who she loved, dead and with her mother, who hated the girl and caused her only pain, being dragged to an executioner by Niyressa's very own hands.

That night, she was preparing with other members of the Cloaktower and city watch to strike at a hideout of a cult that was murdering and disficuring anyone of extraplannar blood in the city, believing they are "cleansing" them and her mother was one of her targets, having been supporting the group, even participating in their actions.

That night she went home, just before the assault was supposed to start, only to find her father also putting on his adventuring gear which he laid to rest years ago. She told him about his wife, about her mother, she could not hide it but...her father saw it differently, he still loved the woman and hoped she could be saved. That's when Niyressa and her father had a huge fight. The young tiefling started he has to see how she was always awful to her, how she hurt her and beat her, how her mother blamed him for their daughter, because as she used to say "My familly has always lived in this city, you are the one who doesn't even know his grandparents". She tried to persuade him, to keep him there that night...maybe if she didn't hate her mother so much, maybe if she told her father she will try to bring her back safely, if she didn't scream...he might be still alive.

But she stormed out of there and headed for the meeting point, her father that night got to the hideout sooner, believing he is the only one who can save his wife, but the cultists killed him shortly after the assault started in the erupting chaos. Her mother survived the fighting but she herself dragged her to the executioner.

She always regretted how for her anger towards the parent she hated, she lost the one she loved and that the last conversation she had with her gentle and loving and caring father was one filled with hatred and harsh words.

Niy stood tall as the memory played out, her eyes never leaving it. While no tears fell, her body quivered ever so lightly from the effort to give in before the others that watched with her.

“Your lassst moment with him.” Twi hissed in her ear. “Say the word, I will make it go away. Your last memory of him will then be a happy one of joy and love…”

She hesitated for a moment, then turned on the large, shadowed form. “No! Get away from me!” She backed up a step. “I will not sacrifice ONE MOMENT of my father to you. Not you, not anyone, not now, not EVER! This has led me to where I am! To appreciate those that I have now, whom I love and who loves me!”

The vision began to fade, leaving another pole visible. Niy’s form shifted and a vicious claw rent the pole into pieces. As she shifted back, she glared at Twi, the vision crumbling about the group. “Not you… not anyone… ever…”

This time, there was no outraged cry, just a shift, a new vision appearing.

Lylan'Synor Syr'Asiryn's feyish blood willed all its strength to resist the penetrative vision. A sudden jerk of her muscles pulsed her standing on the the points of her feet. The Elf's eyes began to glow, terrible and violet. Her hair swirled around chaotically like an explosion of shimmering gold, tracing an aura around the blade dancer...

... And a heart beat later, it faded with a pained shriek of resolve broken. Twi breaking through her mental barriers to cause Lylan'Synor to fall down to her knees. Head bowed in shame and trembling, under the malicious undertones of Twi's caring and fatherly laughter.

"Now child, lets explore this 'golden' heart of yours. She who is true to her heart should have no regrets."

The Sun Elf raised her head. Eyes slant with fury then her brow fall. "Please.. Don't."

Twi voice sounded almost as if it was smirking. "Ahh! Where to even begin? all the winding corridors of aversion, all the excuses, the distractions .. you are just a cesspool of regrets aren't you!?..." It continued delighted at each word. "And they build up.." the voice says to a pair of gentle, solemn footsteps. Soft shoes paced elegantly on the floor. White marble and emerald crystal, as if grown naturally into intricate patterns. "Shall we review?"

A shadowy form stepped towards Lylan'Synor, revealing itself as a middle aged Sun Elf. Even framed by a more masculine face and silhouette, the resemblance between her and her father was apparent.
Material Components to cast Light manifested falling from her hands, spreading on the ground.
"Failed again." Her father sighs. "Lacking focus. Are those novels filling your head this time? Or is it imaginary music again?"

Sighing again, Twi's voice layered her father's. "A disappointment."
Twi laughs then and breaks from Lylan's father's visage. Dissolving into misty smoke and reforming as Derik.

"But you found another father figure, one that can be proud of you. Of our own talents. Regret averted. Perhaps lower of standards, he is human. And that's just not as good is it? You feel it by the way the other Elves treat you. But as long as you have no regrets..." Twi laughs teasing, as everything turns to ash and fall.

The salty smell of the sea and the rotting wood mixed with the pungency of seagulls droppings, cheap alcohol, lacquer and tar that marks every dock swirled wildly, into the next scene playing out. But this scent, it carried a loneliness reminiscent of a frightful memory.

She was up on the Crows Nest under the moon's crescent gaze. A beautiful Moon Elf climbed aboard, huddling next to her with his arms around her waist.

"D'aeirilyon? No, please. Not you!" Tears welling up in Lylan'Synor's Eyes. Helpless but to re-live through the touch that used to be her everything. Sighing as she did back then, trying in vain to be true to both her love and her conscience.

A fight ensues between the two. She tells him he is wrong. The money is safer with the bank.
Her refutes, telling her to trust him, that he is doing everything for them. To not disappoint him.
Lylan Tried to argue, she had counter points to all of his arguments. But every word just hurt him more.
When he drew his blade to challenge her love. She gave up. She loves him. Through tears, a chaotic moment of still clarity came to the Elf's mind.

"I knew the Bard did not stad a chance against Me, and he did too. What monster I was in her own mind. To bring him lower than to beg, and for what. for my love he should have had?" Lylan wills herself to speak in a discernible effort, taking control of her own narrative. "He ended up getting me drunk and running away with the money. But I'll never regret choosing Love. I used to.."

"So you did!" Twi interjects speaking through D'aeirilyon voice, breaking her contest. "And your whole crew suffered for it. 'But It was worth it', you were going to say? Correct?... Correct. Because he showed you how to truly Love. Because it brought the perspective to mend you heart. Because no one is ever going to control you like that.. Another regret averted, as you sail guarding your freedom to love..."

D'aeirilyon and the crow's nest turn to ash and Lylan'Synor falls down landing naked into a shallow straw mattress, covered by velvet covers.

One wall of a ship's cabin stands beside the mattress, against a larger image. A dock by a large ship being made set to lift its anchor.

Men and Women from different civilized races were stepping out of the bed, boarding the ship. To each Lylan kissed goodbye, promising to always love them. While Twi went on against the sky, nights and days passing in heartbeats.

"...Without even a lingering thought of decades of breaking hearts. Poisonous empty promises to cherish names you barely remember! Too self absorbed to even feel a tinge of shame over those that might still be longing..." Twi Laughes "Even those nearest to you..."

Niyressa Dawncrow's form manifest behind her. Laying a hand on the Elf's shoulder, watching with Lylan the last person leaving her bed; The Tiefling, Reiker Vexx.

His image walks away towards where the real Niyressa is standing as Lylan breaks out of the bed, hand extended. The covers twisting around to reform her clothes around her. She steps clumsily on a crack in the floor and fall hard on her knees, crying.

"You bastard!" the Sun Elf curse, head to the ground.
The Tiefling turns around and laughs flicking his tail. Speaking with Twi's voice."What's the matter, did this one touch a soft spot?..."

Lylan looks up to see the beach on village, The campfire by the east gate, the cave by the waterfall, the rooftop overlooking everything and a few others around the coast before setting at the beach again. She looked different back then, as did he. "So many wasted opportunities." Twi told told Lylan in Reiker's voice"So many chances to tell him you love him. Before his Druidess, before his Ex came back even... What would he have said?" The sets coalesce into one to create the seven suns around them as Twi goes on, in Reiker's image. "So many what ifs towards The first person you ever missed see going since D'aeriliyon."

Lylan breaks apart weeping. "No!.. No!.. I love Niy!.. I love Niy!.."

Niyressa's Illusion sit by her, and starts speaking in Twi's voice. "Of course you do. Regret averted then.. well not really, but there's time..."

Niyressa winks and the shop shifts to a caravan stop along the Chointhar, hidden away by natural rocks.
Niyressa's form changed into Ferrick Card, the brown haired druid with laughter in his eyes.
"No matter how hard he tried, you still broke him. He is your fault Lylan. No escape, and you regret it. You regret you ever loved him, because he was so close.. just not there. Your fingers lain a taint on him and it is a reason you will hate yourself for as long as you live. My my Lylan'Synor. You are an awful person. But.. Regret averted. Because you did find your true love.." The vision falls to ash again and reforms in hazy smoke.

Only Niyressa stays a lingering moment. "We said we would get back to the 'not really' part, remember?"

An upper class Inn. The Elf looks in horror through her tears. Gazing at herself sitting by Reiker in the bar of a high class inn. "You Chose Niyressa. Of course, you made your decision before then in your silence. Each and every time he took your breath away."

Lylan'Synor's face goes completely pale as she sees the surrounding and understand what’s about to happen. Shrieking in horror she crawls to the back of the room to watch as they sat around, drank and flirted. Before being interrupted into action.

"A simple diversion act while you were guarding the door, but you got lost in his smile didn't you?" Reiker's image smiles at Lylan by the wall. "She counted on you Lylan!" The voice tease. "She thought you were her friend!"

"I Am!" She defied in anger through her sobs.

"You lie to yourself!" Twi hisses through Reiker's teeth.

"You could never absolve yourself for failing your friends when they needed you. Not again!! She is Broken Lylan! Because of YOU!!!" His voice booms. Causing Lylan to cower, covering her head with her hands as if the ceiling was to fall on her head.

The vision change again, Twi's voice is calmer, soother as Niyressa's image kneel by Lylan and takes her chin in her hand holding their eyes together. "Dont you want this regrets that build up on each other that could never fade away. Don't you wish them to just, Vanish? You could be back on your trail."

Lylan raised a fumbling hand to Niyressa's visage, then stopped.

"You failed your own logic." Lylan smirk, her wits assembling for her the will to resist."They do build up." Her eyebrow raises.

"And they are many, too many to count." With a nimble motion she leaps to the air as her hair swirled in golden aura and her eyes glow violet. "but there was no gold lined anywhere." Lylan lands by a support beam "And in the path of the Golden Heart" Both her hands grab on the support beam and break apart a pole of all her regrets. The tip of it, her biggest and last regret forming a vicious broken-off spear tip.

"All those regrets, and what I will never regret." She takes to the air again "are the story a heart goes through, mending itself to perfection. " Tumbles to a table and bounces up to hang from the beam "And I may suffer many more regrets claiming my story..." She jumps from the beam, spear charging from above. "...But each part of it.." Lylan lands as she impales the pole through Niyressa’s form into her chest. "The good and the bad..." She twists it and, using him as counter balance to back flip she lands, finishing."Are the path my heart must go to reach my goddess promise." As she watch the pole and the vision disintegrate, Lylan Flared. "And dont you dare bring her up. This regret must burn in me to fix. No matter what!"

Lylan'Synor looks exhausted at the real Niyressa in front of her and smile faintly before falling to one knee, nearly fainting.

Once more the scene changes, becoming a thing that Iris, the Great Bard is familiar with…

A joyous laughter escapes her smiling face and the woman takes another drink from her mug. "Drake, you're a dog, you know?"

"I'm only being honest, it's not every day I meet someone like you. You've a lot of potential, you just need to get out there and show the world." A rather roguishly handsome fellow replies, grinning at her. His hair is dark and his manly figure also handles a large mug over the table between them. On the table is splayed a small feast of roasted pheasant, smoked fish and oysters along with bread and a large jug of some unidentified drink -likely alcohol-. It appears

"Or show you, more like it, hmm? Your insistence is noted, but what am I to tell Marie? She is sweet on you and has confided in me," Iris responds. "I can't say I've not thought about the idea, but Marie is my friend, she would not like this idea."

"She is not here. You and I are... have an oyster, they're fresh."

Iris grins at the fellow over her mug and picks up a half-shell, downing the shellfish and discarding the shell into a small bowl. "Okay... they are good," she giggles. "But to the matter at hand, you ask too much, ser."

"I only ask for you, for a few days, to show you what you're missing," he explains, grinning over his cup at her before finishing off the mug. "Iris... stay tonight, I've a room, and tomorrow we'll head to Marsember to meet some of my friends. Lay with me, and enjoy life to its fullest. Though, I warn you... I shall not keep you, for I am the wind."

She downed another oyster and looked across the table at him with squinted eyes, her mouth curling into a dashing smirk. A quick look to the door and then back to his grey eyes; her own sparkling in the candlelight between them. "Defy," she said plainly, challenging him.

"Yes, but my dear... Dare All." He stood and held out his hand to her.

She looked at him, looked at his hand, looked at the door outside, then abruptly stood and took his hand. They were off, him in the lead, up the small stairs and down a hallway to a private small chamber where they both rushed inside. Lips met in passionate kiss and fingers fumbled over laces and buttons. Drake kissed along her neck and Iris pulled off his tunic over his head, catching on his chin, so that he would have to break away. His hands pulled at her corset, tossing it free to the side to lay with his tunic and her light shirt falling over one shoulder, which he greedily caressed with his lips whilst gathering up the hem of her own cloth to make ready to join the others, discarded. Her fingers running through his hair, urging him onward in passion.

Iris froze in place. The look of pleasure on her face turned to fear and concern as her hands stopped moving. Drake continued for a moment, about to lift her silks free over her head when he backed up a hand-width and looked at her. "Iris?"

She turned to look at him with a horrified expression, and promptly vomited down his front. "Oh... sorry," she managed to whisper before heaving again unto the floor and falling to her knees.

"Uhh..." Drake stood as a statue, frozen in the dim room, nose turned in disgust and slowly looked down at the sickened Iris on the floor. "Well, that's... a... first." He stode out of the room, returning with an empty bucket, a water bucket and a cloth, tending to the woman.

The scene then fades and comes back with them both laying under the linen sheets with qulited blankets atop them. Clothes have been discarded on the floor and the morning's light streams through the window. Their shoulders bare to the crisp morning air, Iris reaches over to touch his face "Thank you, for last night."

"Well, that was... something," he replied. "I think you're the first I've taken to bed and yet... not bedded." Drake sighed and made a strange face at the ceiling. "You're a terrible tease."

"Sometimes, I guess... though I feel better now." Iris said quietly and rolled on top of him, pulling the blankets over their head, creating their own little cave in which the outside world did not matter and could not touch them.

The scene fades and Iris grits her teeth before the visage of her own memory stolen from her mind. Twi hovered over her. “Sssay the word, and Twi will take this from you, yess…?”

She calmly replies, raising her chin with measured affect, "Never... for without this I would not be whom I am... I would not know that oysters and cider do not mix well with me, and I would not know the pain of betraying a friend. Begone, and leave us be. You are an invader and a poison."

There is a violent hiss of rage, but quiet, almost seething as the scene shifts yet again. This time, it was for Derik.

A younger version of the warrior, perhaps very early 20s walked along a wagon with an older man in his late 30s. Another wagon was visible ahead of them, moving slowly over a rough, muddy road. The pair talked and joked. Jared was the man’s name, and clearly there was a teacher-student relationship of some kind, a close bond of such, forged in hours together and having each other’s back in rough moments.

Derik watched quietly, eyes wide for a moment. “No….” Is all he whispered as the wagons came to a halt because of a tree. The wagon drivers got down to start to move it. Jared, clearly experienced, drew a blade and the younger Derik followed suit. A pair of other guards also did so, watching the woods on either side.

And then the woods were alive. Orcs swarmed the two wagons. Derik and Jared took their positions back to back. No orcs came near the wagon they defended, felled by the practiced pairing of the two swordsmen. The other wagon was not so fortunate. Orcs got onto the driver bench and started the wagon moving.

“GO!” Jared told the younger Derik, who turned and dashed off. The wagon was slow to start due to the mud, and he was able to get onto the back of it. The would-be thieves were quickly dispatched.

When he returned however, Jared lay in the mud, the mud stained red from the wound that had slain him. Without Derik there, he had simply been overwhelmed, giving his life to protect the other caravan driver.

While watching the scene, the real Derik extended his hand. “No… Jared… Jared I’m so sorry… I should have stayed…” Twi hissed almost a laugh, seeming to sense a triumph coming.

The vision shifted to a house, a woman there with a boy no older than 12, nearly a spitting image of Jared. Young Derik stood in the main room, the dead man on the table, looking almost at peace. The conversation could not be heard, even though the mouths were moving. It was clearly heated and one sided. Young Derik just stood there, mute, numb.

“…your fault!” was suddenly audible, the voice from the child, a look of utmost hatred across his face as he stared at the warrior. “This is your fault! My Da TRUSTED you and he died! THIS IS YOUR FAULT!” The mother tried to hush the boy, but it was too late.

The vision of Derik winced and seemed to shrink at the words. The real Derik mirrored the same wince as he moved forward to kneel next to the table. “Oh gods… Jared… Madeline, Kevin… please… please forgive me…” he almost sobbed to the visions.

“This can all go away….” Twi offered as he swooped in on the compromised soldier. “Twi will take thissss pain from you.” A hand rested across Derik’s shoulder. The warrior’s eyes opened, standing up and whirling on the shadowy form.

“No! This… this moment, this is the reason and the time I decided to become the one in the middle, to NEVER again, if it was within my power, to let another suffer what I had already, a family lost. THIS is the reason I stopped those thugs from kidnapping a young woman on the beach. THIS is why Lannia is my wife… THIS IS ME!”

The vision faded at his words, leaving a pole where the wife stood. Derik plucked it from the ground…

And suddenly, the group was at the sickly-green landscape where Twi’s ritual held the Tortoise. Twi's voice echoed through the air, "Please, go no further. The mistress will be happier once I am done. It's almost complete, you wouldn't want to see her get worse would you? Twi give you one more chance... then Twi will have to remove you from the dream!"

"TWI!" Derik shouted. "I'M COMING FOR YOU! TWIIII!"

The air giggled, "YOU'LL NEVER GET TO ME!"

And the battle was joined. Wave after wave after wave of shadows and such creatures broke against the group. Teris shrank from the battle as much as he could, but there was no where to go. Soon he was cornered and the shadows found that the seemingly frightened druid was not so simple prey after all. Dove’s magic flew from her hands, warding and healing the combatants, the undead sizzling in her holy flames. Derik, Lylan, and Niy struck with blade and shape-shifted claw, cutting down wave after wave via flaming bastard sword, acrobatic flourishes, and sheer ferocity. Amidst this all Iris’ voice lifted high in a song to inspire courage and fearlessness in her companions, waves of sonic energy radiating to tear foes asunder while her rapier and axe flashed. Finally an opening was made and Derik made a mad dash for the crater, Teris hot on his heels, eager to rescue Lannia, the rest of the group soon to follow.

During the fight, Twi tried to make another offer to Derik, to give up the pain of leaving the first time in failure. To forget he had failed to save his wife that day and the pain in had wrought him. However, the words did not make it to Derik's ears. The Tempurian now battled for that which was most precious to him, to be reunited with she who was being kept from him, and the gods have mercy on whatever stood between them...

... because he would not.

Soon the battle raged with Twi itself on the edge of the crater, only one pole remaining, steadfast in the ground despite attempts to dislodge it. While Dove, Iris, and Niy held off the swarms of the shadowed horde, Derik and Lylan sparred with the creature itself. Teris, enraged from before, dropped wave after wave of Greater Ruin on the creature. The press of the shadows seemed to be overwhelming. However, when Twi fell with a cry, turned to dust, and blew away, the rest of the spirits stopped fighting and simply wandered way. The pole fell to the ground. So did the nimbus keeping the weakened tortoise in place.

"Phew. Had more fight in him than I expected....but...what now?" Niyressa asked, followed by the observation of Dove, "There is still a wound..." referring to the landscape.

"Now... we wait to see if the tortoise escapes..."

The pole wobbled in the ground and simply fell over. The last of the nimbus cage that was holding the tortoise winked from existence.

"Thank you..." a nearly silent whisper reaches all their minds.

"... I will always protect you." Derik said to the air in reply to the voice "Always."

The spirit took a few moments to regain its composure before it slowly fades out, or perhaps back into existence.

"... We're done here." Derik declared as the party relaxed. The party helped themselves to their spoils of battle, and then simply grouped together to wake up...

And were once again on the island this all started. The stories were told to those who had diligently guarded the bodies, some time relaxing was had, drinks, conversations of other things.

Then the time came for the group to leave. A teleport scroll and they stood outside the Last Anchor.

He entered his home, moving through the main room with slow, tired movements. In the last 4 days he had perhaps a total of 9 hours of sleep. The staff greeted him, but did not stop him as he descended the stairs to the meeting room, then through the office to the suite he shared. There he found Lannia, wrapped in warm blanket, asleep on the bed.

"Na'qpote." He addressed the empty room. "I know you can hear me. It was Twi this whole time. I don't know if you could have told me that earlier, but Twi was trying to force his way into her soul as her spirit guide. He's weakened now."

"And he's all yours..."

He pulled a chair over to the bedside, taking Lannia's left hand in his and kissing the fingers of the sleeping woman tenderly.

"I'm here, Turtledove..." he whispered to her. "I will always be here..." Holding her hand, his eyes closed, and soon he was asleep in the chair.

Her left hand closed around his gently, though both were soundly asleep. A howl was heard, echoing across the spirit realm as the great hunter, Na'qpote, began his vengeful hunt.


*Derik came back to reality, looking over his shoulder to the woman resting in the bed across the room peacefully. He smiled. He had all that he needed for this Nameday. That was enough*
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Sat Mar 02, 2019 2:00 am

Derik sat in his favorite couch, Warwake sitting across his lap. He watched the fire dance as his fingers drummed on the hilt of the Tempurian weapon. He could hear Lannia in the other room humming to herself as she completed whatever task it was she had set herself to. He smiled and let himself listen for a moment, distracting him from his previous thoughts and musings.

His eyes focused on the fire again. It danced, but only the flames. He didn't see the spirits of the fire dance and leap like Lannia did, but that didn't stop him from considering it beautiful at times. He looked down at Warwake, then back up. Tomorrow. Tomorrow it was time. Tomorrow was another step against the Devils from Dragonspear and their forces.

He had helped lead the attack on the captured city of Tyrmount with Aaron while others had led various sorties and lines to draw Devils from the city. The whole operation put into motion by Duke Eltan had been a resounding success and struck a rather vicious first blow in the Gate's offensive against the Dragonspear lines. It had even won the Bladestone a bit of renown as the leadership had participated in the operation with the siege engines. It was a good, clean victory and gave a lot of people hope that something could be done. But it was only a first step, there was much more to do.

For instance, the Lizardfolk in the High Moors. They had been driven to their sacred hatching grounds, all the tribes together. It was a roiling mass just waiting to go bad, as these tribes didn't always get along. However, they held their grounds against the Devil forces and the thralls. Derik had spoken with Eltan about providing support for them, it would have the effect of both weakening Dragonspear by defeating the forces they had in the field and denying them another army of thralls. It might even get the Gate another ally in this fight. What was needed were several items for the High Shaman to summon a great guardian, which would then free the majority of the Lizardfolk to sally forth. From what it sounded, it was unlikely that Devil forces would be able to take the grounds once the guardian was summoned, likely some sort of avatar. Derik was unsure if all the items had been gathered, he knew several had, but it didn't matter, we were out of time.

Tomorrow, groups traveled to the hatching grounds to help the Lizardfolk push the Dragonspear forces back. It was now or never. Tomorrow.

He looked down at his sword, fingers still drumming along the hilt. Time for him to keep his word and help. He looked back into the fire. It would be a fantastic battle...
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Sat Mar 02, 2019 10:40 pm

Derik arrived home at the Anchor and went downstairs to remove armor and get cleaned up before heading to the Upper Parlor with a bottle of wine and a goblet. Once there he sat in the couch directly across from the fire and watched the flames as he drank said wine with a mildly annoyed look on his face.

Ok, so he was just straight out sulking....


The group of adventurers assembled at the Arena outside Baldur's Gate and the Fist Battle mages opened up a portal to the High Moors, the sacred hatching grounds of the Lizardfolk tribes. There the large group met with Orbis of the Shadowy Cloak and several groups of Lizardfolk preparing for the imminent attack of the Dragonspear forces. This was the help that had been promised to the Lizardfolk to keep them from being overrun by the Devils and their thralls. They had to hold long enough for the Lizardfolk shaman to summon the guardian of the hatching grounds.

Orbis showed the group the two choke points up the hill at the steam vents and the far side of the crest, as well as the siege engines that had been put on the crest to help repel the attackers. Everyone was briefed, wards were set, and places taken. Then they waited.

And they didn't have to wait long. Soon Devils and Trolls hit their positions, skirmishers then heavier infantry. A few small flier attacks were launched on the siege engines. All broke on the defenses of the adventurers. There were some wounded and casualties, but these were taken back to the triage area and dealt with easily.

During a lull, a massive form is seen to fly overhead out of range. The enemy general taking stock of the line's defenses. This could be bad. However, as the creature landed there was a massive sound and an earthquake. A cry went up that the Guardian had been summoned. A massive serpent broke ground in the Devil lines, as large as the general itself. At the same time, through a magic portal a huge golem appeared. The gnomes hailed it as a creation of their own nobility that had been in the area. The two great things struck the Devil line with earth-shaking and devil shattering force, and the Dragonspear line dissolved into chaos.

At least for a moment.

The Devils regrouped and swarmed the golem and the guardian. Derik's side of the line advanced, having to cut through some lesser devil infantry. The main line watched just out of range as the devil General tore the guardian apart while its soldiers destroyed the golem, then crashed against the line of adventurers. Derik and his team were too slow...

However, weakened as it was, the Devil line buckled. The General fell, and the line broke. The remainder scattered and stragglers were picked off. Derik fumed at himself. He should have acted sooner. Now the guardian was lost, as was the golem. He turned and went back to the tribes to face their representatives.

He met Qist Glimmerscale, the Lizardfolk ranger who he had spoken to before. The Guardian was lost to them, it was not a spirit in the traditional sense and could not be recalled. Derik questioned Sane from the Elder Circle, who would take it to discussion to help the Lizardfolk find another Guardian. In the meantime, the Lizardfolk were grateful. They had survived, and will continue to now. The adventurers left as the Folk went on their hunt for stragglers, the Folk shaman tending to their own wounded.


"DAMMIT!" Derik, tossing the empty goblet across the room for a moment. "Dammit, I screwed up..." He talked to no one in particular, just to himself. "Now the Lizardfolk are safe from immediate threat but vulnerable if Dragonspear commits another force. Should have acted sooner. Should have supported the Guardian sooner. Dammit..."

He sighed, picked up the dented goblet, and went downstairs.
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Re: Derik Ranloss, Caravan Guard and Sellsword.

Unread post by artemitavik » Mon May 27, 2019 12:24 pm

Derik woke up in the middle of the night. He was normally a light sleeper due to his years on the road as a mercenary and caravan guard, but this time there was no creeping enemy or stalking animal. This time he was awoken by his own thoughts.

He looked down at the figure curled against him, sleeping peacefully, her hair completely wild and every which way across the pillow. Gods, he loved that so much. His finger traced Lannia's freckled shoulder before the hand moved to lightly stroke her hair. He would fight for this woman. If needed he would cut his way through an army to keep her safe. He would live and die for her. But the truth remained that after the last several months of trying, he had been unable to give her what they both wanted: A child.

His eyes closed as he remembered her plea after her return from her spirit walk in Ruathym, her begging him not to leave her because she hadn't conceived, pleading that he not cast her aside to look for another woman who could give him children. As if that thought had ever crossed his mind. She was his Strength of Purpose, his Gem, his Flame. He would never leave her side as long as she permitted him to be there. His concern was just the opposite, that she might have cast him aside to seek a mate that could continue her family's legacy. He wasn't even sure how to approach that subject.

And then there was Ronja, who had a child, who's joy regarding her pregnancy seemed to have drained from her eyes recently. She had been so thrilled, but then her relationship with her husband had fallen apart and Derik had watched his blade-sister's resolve and joy for her child slowly seem to crumble as she spoke of giving her child away to her grandparents on Toril for raising as some spoiled nobility. It tore both he and Lannia apart watching it unfold, unable to do anything but cry with her, really. They had discussed it at length between them, and Derik still wanted to discuss Ronja's plans with her. Maybe this trip about on the Relentless Storm would be the ideal time.

Derik opened his eyes again and kissed his wife's forehead, again stroking her hair, chest vibrating with a soft purr as he gazed at her adoringly.

"I'm so sorry, beloved. I'm so very sorry..."
Derik Ranloss: Thugging for GREAT JUSTICE!!!
Deputy Headmaster, Bladestone Foundation.
Proprietor, The Last Anchor

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