Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

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Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Talos » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:59 pm

Image
This anthology will be an ongoing collection of vignettes and short stories, designed to flesh out the opposition in the realms.


Image

As penned by Diritas.

(Warning, image size large.)
Last edited by Talos on Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:53 am, edited 5 times in total.
A goblin, a trickster, a warrior? A nameless terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. A most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop, hold, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Diritas » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:17 am

Talos wrote: text version coming soon.


It appears to be an entry from a journal, written on tanned skin paper with what is hopefully just ox blood.
I have decided just this morning, as the sun rose and I lay my head to rest, I am leaving. I have to leave. If I don't, I will only ever be "the Count's Daughter", and I am better than that. I have been creating and manipulating the servants of this castle since I was truly a little girl, in my first life. That my father would not let me leave the castle until I had been a century dead already, coupled with my Embrace occurring while I was only barely more than a little girl, draw to reasoning that I am not an heir to him, nor am I to be an equal. I will appear as hardly more than a child for all eternity, because that is what the great Count desired. That is what he wants for his daughter,
a little girl. A doll for him to look at.
Mediocrity will not be my fate. My name will cal as much fear to heart as his own, but not here. I have found my way out. An old text in my father's library that discusses those who walk between planes as our prey steps through a doorway. My study has been taxing, but I have made a breakthrough and tonight will mark my departure from the prison that is my father's castle, and the beginning of my reign in a place called Faerun.
Oh but how I already ache with the thirst for the blood of new prey from a different realm. No matter, I'll know it's taste soon enough.

Well, the time is come. Goodbye Father, I have enjoyed playing at daughter, but I will enjoy being Queen all the more. With all the affection our blood allows, I do love you.

Ekaterina von Zarovich... Leaving Home
The truth is… you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Dranso » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:14 am

Stallach the Banelich, Part 1

We often search a person’s history to find a certain point, some extraordinary event that led to the eventuality of their malevolence. It is because of our good nature that we search for this deeper meaning, when in reality we blind ourselves to the horrible truth. Walpurgis, as he was known before his first death, is the epitome of this truth, that evil is born and bred much like you or I.

Walpurgis was spawned for one purpose, to serve Bane. A few years after his birth he was given to the church of the Black Hand. Here Walpurgis performed his duties as a page and squire for the Knights of the Black Gauntlet. He learned early on that failure would not be tolerated and was often flogged, beaten and pitted against other pages whether for punishment or for the sadistic enjoyment of a depraved knight.

Here in lies a few journal entries that survived the purge of Zhentil Keep written by the knight Menzebul.

Fifthday of Summertide

We toy with the minds of the young pages to pass the time and to separate the wheat from the chaff. In this fashion, Sir Talias planted some stilton cheese in the cedar chest of a promising young page named Walpurgis, one of good stock and obedient to the letter. This particular cheese is found in Meril’s kitchen, only accessible to Knights of the Black Gauntlet. Upon inspection of the pages’ quarters, the cheese was found in Walpurgis’ chest which led to his swift and severe caning


Seventhday of Summertide

Even the smallest of sparks can create a wildfire. A simple rumor has incited more strife amongst the younglings than I could have ever imagined. Because of this rumor, Walpurgis has seemed to single out a young page named Shrenzul as the culprit who planted the contraband in his chest. The two have a perpetual animosity towards each other finding themselves to be rivals in many things. It has been decided that they will be brought into the amphitheater so that they may learn a great lesson. The victor decides the truth.


Eighthday of Summertide

We gathered in the amphitheater to watch the two young pages pummel each other, it is quite good sport. Walpurgis’ skill in the martial arts is unsurpassed by any of the other pages. The fight was quick and ruthless. In the end, Walpurgis had pinned Shrenzul face down. We thought he might finish it there but we were pleasantly surprised when Walpurgis began to slowly twist Shrenzul’s neck, turning his head over his shoulder and making it so that his chin was in line with his spine. He stared into Shrenzul’s dead eyes for a time, not out of astonishment though. More that he wanted to savor every second of this moment.


Twentiethday of Leaffall

Sir Talias was found dead in the stables this morning. It seemed as though he had been kicked in the head by a mare. I had never known him to be anything but exceptional around horses. Perhaps it was an unfortunate accident but I cannot help but to be troubled by the bits of stilton cheese found in his satchel.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Talos » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:55 pm

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A goblin, a trickster, a warrior? A nameless terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. A most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop, hold, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Diritas » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:27 am

Transcribed to text.

It appears to be an entry from a journal, written on tanned skin paper with what is hopefully just ox blood.
This world is amazing. Fresh flowers in bloom lending a sickly sweetness to the clean air. One thousand beating hearts pumped away near the clearing I had arrived in, begged to be opened. A deer was first. Such a common animal and yet the way its blood mingled with the air was intoxicating. Its blood was so red, the forest so green, it was as though light shown free while the dark was over-powered by it. So very different from home. Even magic seemed to flow with greater ease here. An ounce of blood was enough to raise the deer as a ghoul to send it hunting its fellows. A world begging to be conquered.
The city was interesting. So much prey, so close together. Other would-be predators as well. The first of these local vampires was as surprised to see me as I it, though on sight we could recognize one another. It was, for me, a meeting a creature more akin to a human than to what I have come to know a vampire to be. For it, I imagine it was a new experience to be hunted. Diablerie was certainly a new experience for me, the exhilaration as I finished draining her, the rush of knowledge her blood fed me. I chased that rush, preying upon some of that cabal for a time, each feeding me their ounce of power... and then He came to me.
My beloved Lord Velsharoon. His grin was so handsome, and standing next to him made me feel more powerful than I have in my entire life. He spoke such lovely words to me, words of power and praise, and in time He revealed that He was even less a mortal than I. He taught me things. Powerful magics that even my father could never have known. He also taught me about an enemy to both of us. Kelemvor the Usurper. Thankfully,
he is wise and knows how I may help Him, I need only find a mirrored shield of Tempus and a vial of Sharp's Elemental Darkness.

Ekaterina von Zarovich... Hand of Velsharoon
The truth is… you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Talos » Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:12 am

Image
A goblin, a trickster, a warrior? A nameless terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. A most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop, hold, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Diritas » Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:57 am

A third journal entry, this one written on a strange papyrus that seems to take well to the blood being used as ink.
It isn't fair! They ruined everything! The mirror was so beautiful and they smashed it to pieces! It is all still a blur. The Black Mirror had been as perfect as my beloved Velsharoon had promised me, lifting corpses to their feet all across the region. A beautiful legion of the dead, my very own army lead eagerly after the Usurper's Forsaken Abbey... but it was as though all the world turned against us. Still! We came so close! My army had been crushing them all and depleting the abbey's defenses. I had turned the corpse of one of the Usurper's own against Him, creating a powerful Death Knight to lead the charge, but even as I finished the ritual I saw my new toy's form, a duplicate perhaps, charging from the gates of the abbey with a group of all the others who had fallen to my legion and back into the fight!
The battle was quick to turn then. They cut a swathe through my army, carving a path directly to my beautiful mirror and I. Feebov had not arrived, and alone against the group I did not have enough hands to stop them from smashing the mirror. What is worse, as the Mirror's Geas fell, and my army fell with it, I suffered the indignity of being forced to retreat from the mortals. They will be made to suffer for this travesty, I'll hunt them each with pleasure.
That wretched Feebov came to me a time later, asserting that the mirror somehow interfered with his own army. His failure cost us the plan, Lord Velsharoon's plan, but I don't have the time to look into it and know that while Feebov may have his faults, he would not risk the Lord of Liches' ire by lying. What worries me now is my dear Velsharoon's silence. He watches, I can feel it. He watches and he plans, but hasn't come to me.

Ekaterina von Zarovich...
Fleeing the Forsaken Abbey.

(ooc note: I like the way this one turned out post-photoshop more than the others. Well done Talos.)
The truth is… you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Dranso » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:16 am

Stallach The Banelich, Part 2
The Conversion of Walpurgis

The time of elves is fading, humans and their gods lay claim to the wilds of Faerun now. After the follies of Myth Drannor, Cormanthyr finds itself at the forefront of this human manifest destiny. These lands, rich in resources and history, become heavily contested by several factions: a unified Sembia from the South, the Dalesmen from the Southwest, and Bane, ever the opportunist, uses his command over the evil brooding within Zhentil Keep to pressure the region from the North.

Knights bound to the orders of Tyr and Bane take up crusades within Cormanthyr determined to purify the region with a holy fire. Divine providence as their justification, these Templars wreak devastation on the lands.

The following is a few passages from the journal of Tyrran Knight, Sir Quinton Feldham.

I am the Holy Sword of Tyr and by his will I claim judgement over all I see. I will not tolerate the wicked. Conversion or death.

...Sir Feldham upon announcing his crusade into Cormanthyr


Several months later, Sir Feldham falls under ridicule from his peers for not producing tangible results. He forgoes the small skirmishes and switches tactics, sending his full force against the Bane Knight Menzebul.

A hard won, yet decisive victory today. Our cavalry finally broke the line of Menzebul’s forces. Even as I took the head of that iniquitous knight, his men would not retreat. Some squires and pages of the Black Gauntlet formed a phalanx to make a last stand which was dealt with quickly. I underestimated their resolve and we have sustained heavy losses, but the Bane Knight’s forces have been annihilated. Any who stand in the way of Tyr’s righteous judgement will know His fury.

The resident Jergalite has tallied the losses.

Sir Feldham of Tyr’s forces:
Two hundred and ninety five dead.
Thirty two left injured.

Sir Menzebul of the Black Gauntlet’s forces:
Five hundred and fifteen killed in battle including Sir Menzebul.
One hundred and fifteen captured or injured.

Of those one hundred and fifteen, ninety were sentenced to death by the judgement of Sir Feldham. The remaining twenty five are to be converted. The list follows.


1. Armhen, Descrelo- Page
2. Aronholt, Fegelius- Page


24. Tyberion, Welham- Page
25. Walpurgis- Page


These twenty five pages were transferred to the Tyrran Purifier Bahemit. It was believed by these purifiers that every man is bound by law to seek true and just religion, embrace it when found, and conform his life to its principles. Purification of the soul was necessary so that it may find just religion. Sufferance for one’s sins was the first step towards redemption.

What follows are reference to Walpurgis from the journal of Purifier Bahemit.

I have been on many inquisitions and converted many souls in my time as Tyr’s purifier, but I have not met many with the resilience as these who have served the Black Hand. They say the one called Walpurgis rallied his fellow pages and squires to form a phalanx which then charged straight into Feldham’s cavalry at the end of the battle. He is the key, a natural leader. If I can purify his soul the rest will fall in line.

~
The pages of the Black Gauntlet which were brought to me have been branded with the mark of the Lion, the symbol of a convert. Four so far have not been able to endure the punishments, their souls unredeemable by the rack. Walpurgis still resists, though he will see in time that the torture he is subjected to is meant to save his eternal soul. One must suffer for their crimes or forgiveness is empty.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Talos » Fri Jul 07, 2017 8:15 pm

Image
A goblin, a trickster, a warrior? A nameless terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. A most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop, hold, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Diritas » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:52 pm

Talos wrote:Image


Another journal entry, this one visibly influenced by time spent in a plane of Shadows. A stain, spilled ink or blood, has ruined the bottom of the entry which in and of itself remains unfinished.

They were ready for me this time! Those mortal bastards attacked and yet again I was forced to flee from the paltry creatures I am meant to hunt.
Now I'm trapped here, in my mirror plane, pursued into a corner by them.
This has been my home away from home, a place where I should reign supreme and be well beyond their reach, and yet I felt them enter in pursuit.
They're destroying my guardians, smashing my statues and reliquaries,
and drawing closer with each passing moment. And myself? I feel two things I have not felt in over a century... terror and mortality. My enemies come to kill me, and I face the knowledge that I cannot stop them. Even now I feel them moving inside my realm, destroying my treasures as they approach in their hunt for me. Is that what I've become Father? Prey?
I should never have left you. So many plans... I was to be a queen,
and yet all I have now to think of is my coming final death. What will come for me? Nothing? Paradise? Velsharoon, why are you still so silent? Why do you not take me from here? Even Feebov would be preferable to dying alone.
Damnation! They're getting close! All but upon me now, and yet still no salvation. Left to die with nothing. Alone but for my journal. My father would call me pathetic, and he would be right to. What have I become?
This feeling... that's terror I feel. Gods, what have I become?
Velsharoon my love, please come! They're here! Please stop them! Please,
I don't want to die! Please don't let it be like this. You promised I would live forever, don't let that be a lie Father! Don't leave m---
The truth is… you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Talos » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:55 pm

Image
A goblin, a trickster, a warrior? A nameless terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. A most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop, hold, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Diritas » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:37 pm

Sorry for the delay on typing this one up.

A hastily scrawled entry written in a black ink with a hidden purple sheen.
I awoke to agony. My body was as a withered husk and the Thirst was so completely consuming it almost tore me into nothingness. Almost, but instead the frenzy overcame my being. It was a temple, I had realized, just as the Beast in me won over and began the slaughter. A score vampires and twice that many humans gave up their sanguinary quite unwillingly, and yet even as that sea of blood passed my lips, I could feel my Thirst only grow. My body swelled, recovering its proper form and then bloating until I felt the blood pour from my eyes, ears, and nose, even as I drained the last morsel foolish enough to linger. Their blood filled me as a bladder but did not sustain me. Did not slow the Thirst.
The pungent odour of blood-wine lead me to an altar to Velsharoon upon which a basin of it rested as an offering. The blood wine gave off a sickly grey light, but I could not wrest control back from the Beast until I drained the basin in full and then smashed the altar upon which it sat with a savagery I'd not known myself to be capable of. The sickly light had poured from the shattered altar and filled me as the blood had not. It softened the pain of the Thirst and when I looked about I realized that the glow clung to all of the iconography of the place, to the symbols hung from the necks of empty husks I'd left in my wake. I was quick to realize I could take the energy of that glow by destroying all it had seeped into. Only when a priest came running did I realize the source of this new energy. The divinity of faith, it seemed, is all the could slake my thirst; the priest glowed with it... and as I began to drain him of that divinity I realized its glow was upon me far more than anything else I saw.
That priest's last words trouble me as I sit in the Temple's rubble.
"He is gone."
I feel it.
Velsharoon is gone. And... yet I feel him inside me somewhere.
Ekaterina von Zarovich. Thirst for Divinity.



Talos wrote:Image
The truth is… you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Dranso » Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:54 am

Stallach the Banelich, Part 3

The conversion of Walpurgis continued…

There is never any doubt that the spirit of mortals can be broken, it only takes time. Walpurgis, before his death, was no exception. He endured years of arduous behavioral conditioning at the hands of his Tyrran purifiers. These religious zealots were only satisfied when they had fully corrupted the mind of Walpurgis making him bend to their twisted will.

This perverted form of Walpurgis was conscripted into the service of Tyrran Templars crusading to bring order to the chaotic region of Cormanthyr. Sir Feldham, chief among these Templars, continued his devastating campaign against the forces of the Black Hand establishing his strangle hold on the western and northern lands of the region. All the while, the name of a conscripted convert began to gain recognition amongst the Tyrran crusaders.

The following is another journal entry from the Tyrran Knight, Sir Quinton Feldham.

As I cleanse the corrupt regions of Cormanthyr with this great host of Tyr, many acts of valor worthy of praise are brought to my attention. Yet, there is one name that rises above the rest, that of a convert named Walpurgis. He is truly skilled with the blade and a clever tactician. I have thusly awarded him several commendations and I feel as though he has yet an even larger part to play in this crusade. With this convert as example, we shall impose the righteous and just will of Tyr on the peoples of this land and all shall come to know the truth.

One by one, the Bane Knights fell to the overwhelming forces of the Tyrran Templars. It seemed as though Sir Feldham would eradicate the Black Gauntlet from Cormanthyr altogether, but nothing is ever that simple when it concerns the god Bane. For He has eternity to scheme and claim what should be his, and soon He would set a single piece of this puzzle into place, Walpurgis.

The following entries are from the journal of the Black Gauntlet Templar only known as Ysef.

The reinforcements from Zhentil Keep have finally come. We were close to another setback. I do not know what has taken them so long but I dare not question the Black Lord’s motives.


These men fight with a passion and skill I have never before seen. I heard rumors that they had been sent by the Stallac himself from the darkest depths of the fortress beneath Zhentil. It would not surprise me, I can sense some sort of divinity exuding from them that chills even my bones.


Once the bridge was won, we swept through city with a vengeful determination to destroy the Tyrrans and their collaborators. The city was sacked, though little of value save slaves was left. We killed the men and took their women and children as servants. Any man that was a convert and had been branded with the symbol of the Lion was taken by those dark warriors back to Zhentil Keep. We had something special in store for the remaining captured Tyrrans. Their hands and feet were taken from them and placed in wicker baskets to be shipped to Sir Feldham. The deformed prisoners were then set free… from the top of the bridge and into the river.


Walpurgis, again, found himself a prisoner of war. Though this time he would be taken to Stallach de Benadi, the first High Imperceptor of Bane and creator of the vast empire beneath Zhentil Keep. As a Banelich, Benadi had such great power he had no need to derive his energy from the devine to cast devine spells. It would be Stallach Benadi that lifted the veil of lies shrouding Walpurgis’ eyes. Benadi bestowed upon Walpurgis a great light, showing him the error of his ways and cleansing the Tyrran perversions from his mind. Walpurgis paid for his sins to Bane with flesh and blood, enduring torturous redemption at the hands of zealous maniacs residing in the depth of Stallach Benadi’s fortress. For all must suffer for their sins or forgiveness is empty.

(Edited some things to make it a bit clearer)
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Talos » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:33 pm

Image
A goblin, a trickster, a warrior? A nameless terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. A most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop, hold, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Diritas » Thu Aug 10, 2017 4:15 pm

Talos wrote:Image

A journal entry written on a borrowed sheaf of papyrus.
Everything is different now. I carry the last free spark of my beloved Velsharoon held dear within my breast, feeding it carefully with what scraps of Divinity I may spare. In return, He sends me visions revealing old and powerful memories of rituals and research by his servants throughout history.
He feeds me knowledge and drives me to find Him a new form to adopt.
Shadows, necromantic energy, and the very souls of creatures touched by the faintest Celestial spark, these things have provided great insight into the secrets He has sought to whisper to me. I feel I stand at a precipice to the answer.
Those shadowy soul grinder prototypes have been a perfect distraction,
each one burning out quickly but not before their Aasimar forms confuse and upset my enemies into the wrong conclusions and not without each of them providing important data to help the next last a little longer still.
My enemies still think me dead, former allies as well, making it a simple matter to root out sects of the Cult of the Dragon's many hide-aways. Their research has propelled my own forward rapidly, and I have been able to supplement my advancements with their own. These recovered notes and journals have surprised me as well. Not simple ramblings but concise and well-reasoned evidence supporting a belief that a dracolich's form is best suited to powerful itself, and doing so efficiently, on captured souls. On the very soul grinding magic my research now focuses upon. My research will need to continue, but I sense I will soon be ready to give Velsharoon a new form.
I've stumbled upon writings about a dragon called "Thalthentoth", information about his habits and life. When I am ready, I will use these notes to find him.
Ekaterina von Zarovich, Harnessing Souls
The truth is… you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Dranso » Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:55 am

Stallach the Banelich, Part 4
The Rise of Walpurgis

Belief is one of the most powerful forces in this world, for good or for evil. However, belief that is unyielding and resolute constructs its own reality. Those that hold this type belief view the world only as they wish to see it. Sir Feldham of Tyr was one such man. A man of unwavering conviction whose fervent belief in his own righteousness and the undeniability of Tyr’s dogma blinded him to all else. Stallach Benadi would use Feldham’s unquestionable belief against him and Walpurgis would be his means to bring about the knight’s inevitable end.

Walpurgis as he was meant to be, uncorrupted by Tyr and born again by Bane’s will, emerged battered and tortured from the fortress below Zhentil Keep. Set loose by Benadi, he wandered through Cormanthyr until he stumbled upon a camp of Tyrran crusaders. Appalled by Walpurgis’ grievous wounds, the crusaders escorted what they believed to still be a conscripted convert to Sir Feldham’s castle within Cormanthyr.

Inside the massive stone walls and impregnable reinforced gates of Feldham’s castle, Walpurgis’ wounds would be healed and his resolve tested. Sir Feldham, more out of curiosity than suspicion, called his favored convert before him to be questioned. Having spent some time in the knight’s presence before, Walpurgis was aware that Feldham had an impeccable ability to sense the motives of others even if he was not expecting lies. So, Walpurgis spoke the truth only of his capture and brutal torture by those faithful to Bane. This allowed Sir Feldham’s irrefutable beliefs to create narratives about the rest of the story. Sir Feldham saw what he wanted to see, a convert so driven by the power and virtue of Tyr that he could endure unspeakable tortures at the hands of depraved Banites, and yet still maintain the willpower to escape their villainous clutches and return to fight once again.

A month filled with light duties and generous praise passed by quickly within the fortified castle for Feldham’s tragic hero. When the summer wind began to chill and the leaves turned to golden brown on the trees, Walpurgis knew it was time to end the charade. On a moonless night so dark that it seemed as if the black hand of Bane had plucked the stars from the sky, Walpurgis took up his guard post by the gate. He offered his companions some whiskey to warm themselves, but the toxins laced within had another affect. While the gate guards writhed on the floor choking on their own blood and vomit, Walpurgis unlatched the oaken doors allowing the hellish army lingering in the black of night to enter unimpeded.

The following journal entry is the account of a butler who was lucky enough to escape the battle that ensued.

All of a sudden, I heard men yelling and then the guards rushed off down the stairs. I paid no mind to it at first and went about my duties. I had become accustomed to the hustle of an occasional skirmish. But the yelling soon turned to horrifying screams and the sound of clashing metal and mutilated flesh was all too near. I drew back the curtains of the dining room window to reveal a nightmarish hell scape. The disfigured bodies of Sir Feldham’s crusaders were strewn about on the field below. Fires raged inside the compound and cast ghoulish shadow puppet shows on the stone walls depicting monsters ripping men limb from limb. It became obvious rather quickly that what battle there was had already been lost, and the vile Templars of Bane were slaughtering anyone residing inside the castle without prejudice. I’m not sure how I escaped. I kept my head low and just ran. Perhaps it was pure luck.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Talos » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:37 am

Image
A goblin, a trickster, a warrior? A nameless terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. A most feared being in all the cosmos. Nothing could stop, hold, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Diritas » Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:02 am

Talos wrote:Image

It worked! Thalthentoth was foolhardy prey, easier for his being blind to the truth of what I am. It is equally convenient and frustrating to be underestimated but in this instance I suspect I should be somewhat grateful. Thalthentoth was an ancient creature, powerful and cunning. Had he bothered to prepare for me he would certainly have been a challenge; his foresight let him fall quickly to my magics, lacking as it was.
My magic left him a withered husk in death, but in unlife his form is far closer to that of a dracolich. Far different still however. My dear Neo-Thalthentoth devours souls for fuel, growing larger and more powerful with each mortal spark it adds to its reservoir. Progress began slowly, as with fire, devouring fuel faster and faster but needing more fuel to sustain it- fuel that takes more and more planning in order to sustain a supply that allows the rapid and continued growth that my Velsharoon demands. He grows tired and impatient of waiting. Pleased by Neo-Thalthentoth but annoyed that his new form is not ready.
Silverymoon, Waterdeep, even that forsaken abbey is warded from Neo-Thalthentoth's attacks, but Harrowdale and countless other settlements were not. So many sources for him to reap souls and yet it feels the rate of growth had begun to slow- until my most recent plan that is. The dead outnumber the living by a hundred-fold and more, so I sent him to reap the unprotected souls of the Fugue, then to assail the City of Judgement itself. The mirror wall repelled him, but preying upon souls in transit to and from, laying a sort of siege, has allowed him to grow to impossible size. He is almost ready.
As for myself, I've been researching a potential threat, something I need to find before entrusting Velsharoon to that Vessel. Something called the Earthsea Artifice.
Ekaterina von Zarovich, Reaper of Souls
The truth is… you're the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But I'm trying, Ringo. I'm trying real hard to be the shepherd.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Hadwyn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:50 pm

The Tragic Stasis of Dalrosz and Nora by Paras the Pensmith

Author’s Forward
The contents of this collection of letters, notes, diaries, and reports were collected across a number of libraries and personal collections, including the Old School of Wonder, New School of Wonder, the Font of Knowledge, and the records of the Waterdeep Watch. I apologize for any ill translations as the various entries had elements of Abyssal, Elven, and various dialects of Common, including many misspellings and grammatical errors for which I have corrected where I believe appropriate. I have also ordered these documents based on the likely chronology of events I have left all my primary sources with the publisher for future reference by those researchers that take interest in this tragic love story and for reference as I work to start a next collection of this ongoing saga.

Publisher’s Forward (Page Obviously Added to Original Binding)
The original manuscript and primary material were mysteriously stolen at night only a few days after the author provided the materials to the publisher and the first copy of the manuscript was reproduced. Both the watchmen of the publishing house were mysteriously drained of all the blood from their body upon their discovery in the storage room of the materials. The contents of this telling will have to be judged on its own merits going forward as the original materials are lost unless the author kept additional copies elsewhere.
Last edited by Hadwyn on Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nemeses Anthology -|- Banefall

Postby Hadwyn » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:52 pm

The Tragic Stasis of Dalrosz and Nora by Paras the Pensmith

Chapter 1

Author Note: Lab notes best dated from between 210 and 205 years before present day

Dalrosz Laboratory Journal – Entry 1
A week has passed since I have arrived at the School of Wonder. It is a great honor to be given such a prestigious appointment under Dean Sharahaster in the Department of Research, specifically under Master Talathar in the Summoning Section. My previous research upon the summoning of extraplanar beings was noted as the specific reason for my appointment by Master Talathar. He believes my use of time-altering spells as primary barriers within traditional containment wards will assist greatly in the study of such beings, while adding another layer of protection from potential catastrophe when less experienced wizards misspeak or mistranslate summoning spells that bring creatures to our plane that are far beyond their ability to control before assistance can be rendered to send the creatures back to which they came.

Dalrosz Laboratory Journal – Entry 23
We have finally found success in mixing my magical techniques with the containment wards to the desired effect. The lesser demon (Subject 1022546) we summoned was kept in almost complete stasis, as if the time within the field passed at a quarter of the time outside it. All attempts by the creature to breach the wards were easily thwarted with minimal effort as the speed for which it attempted to act allowed those researchers maintaining the wards to cast the counters prior to the demon ever finishing the casting itself. While slow in study generally, it also allowed specialists of that particular fiend to grasp new powers previously unknown or misunderstood, as well as, a new weakness. My next line of inquiry will focus on summoning a greater powered being to determine if the effect remains, the time slows less, or if there are limitations based on the ability of the caster. Our success has also granted me the use of a research assistant named Erin for which she is to become my apprentice. Her mind is quite keen, especially given her extreme youth, but she is quite timid. However, she should be an excellent pairing as her skills will be a good test for the abilities of an apprentice versus a full-fledged wizard.

Dalrosz Laboratory Journal – Entry 78
Today’s experiment was a near disaster. The lesser demon (Subject 10334009) for which was summoned overtook Erin’s spell almost immediately and the containment wards nearly fell apart as the demon almost immediately found a weak point within them. It is almost as if it knew it would be summoned and the wards themselves. The creature met its end however upon my staff after causing significant acid burns upon Erin’s face, neck and arms. The priests are seeing to her injuries and she will need much rest to recover. I fear however she will not be the same and the loss of her, even for a brief time, is a loss of great magnitude to my own studies. However, I have noticed, the power of the wielder providing the stasis spell will directly come into play. It is six times now that a lesser being has broken through Erin’s castings, while my own never fail to have the same effect upon each subject.

Dalrosz Laboratory Journal – Entry 126
Subject 13118924 has now been called on a third occasion. With each summoning, the hold of the stasis spells seems greater, which has not happened on previous subjects. Either my abilities to cast the spells have greatly improved or there is something specific to this abyssal creation that causes the spell to take greater hold upon each summoning. It would be an unusually strange trait indeed, but such may happen in the world of magic, I suppose. The demon seems to almost revel in being summoned to our plane. He openly answered questions posed by researchers and was particularly keen in exchanging riddles. He has made no attempt to overcome the wards during each summoning, which is also singular to the experiments we have conducted. While he refuses to give us a name, he introduces himself as the demure lord. It is the first occasion of his meeting with Erin as it is the first day of her return from the infirmary. He was particularly keen upon the scars of her face and neck that still remained. The subject even offered advice to Erin upon a medical treatment to completely cure her scars. I doubt very much his earnestness in offering such aid freely, but so far his advice on spell wording, potions, and other simple items have tested true.
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