After The Fall - a forum RPG

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MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

(For out-of-character discussion go to the OOC thread, and for information about the fantasy world of Maailma see the campaign wiki)

After The Fall

Taikasaari is a magical place. The light on top of the highest tower of the Arcane Palace, the World Beacon, can be seen on the mainland across the Second Sea, for it reaches up a mile like a golden lance plunged into the heavens. Around this spire lay the circular city, its uncounted splendours built on top of a great black rock ringed with high towers that make it look like an obsidian crown raised from the deeps of the sea.

The city is a marvel of organization, ingenuity, and sheer magical might. Colourfully paved streets radiate from the centre like a spider’s web teeming with wealthiest and mightiest people in the world. Amidst the fantastically varied and opulently decorated mansions one can find unheard of entertainments and the most wondrous of luxuries. Taikasaari is a true monument to mortal ambition and accomplishment.

It is the mighty Arcane Colleges, societies of the most powerful wizards, alchemists and other adepts of the Art, that have ensured the prosperity of this great city for millennia. One of the oldest of these is the venerable Velhohovi, whose eponymous home rises next to the Arcane Palace, the golden dome of its Great Hall big and bright during the day like a second sun.

But the girl dubbed Nelja sees none of this magnificence from her cell beneath Velhohovi. The walls around her are seamless volcanic glass, her only illumination the faint glimmer of sinister runes on the thick iron door that seals her in. The runes are ever shifting, their light reflecting from the walls to ripple like water on the forlorn figure caged inside.

It would be hard for anyone to envision Nelja’s dismal surroundings when on the surface, where the midday sun shines merrily over the free citizens and visitors of the fair city. One of these is Vee, a soulforged. The metal plates of his body shine bright as he stands at the foot of the grand marble stairs leading to the entrance of Velhohovi. It is here that he was told he might see Jorn Stargaze, a famous expert of the arcane who had a hand in the creation of Vee’s kind, a practice since forbidden. Vee has managed only a few steps when The Fall begins.

Suddenly the sun’s light turns bleak and cold. Everyone on Taikasaari turn their heads toward the sky as one, marvelling at the pale, dim disc of the sun. It is as if, all of a sudden, the sun had lost its radiance, and with it so had the city. For a moment the opulent city is drained of colour, but is then bathed in a orange glow as a pillar of fire appears at the foot of the watchtower on the north rim, and with an almighty crack the tower topples with all its length toward the city below.

Before the tower reaches the ground Vee sees flames flash again at its base, and is then almost thrown to the ground by the searing blast of a pillar of fire covering almost the entire cupola of Velhohovi. The fire coalesces into a tall, plate-clad man with flaming hair and a great burning sword. More than see, Vee can sense the presence of this warrior with his soul, and his soul knows that this is Kosto, the God of Vengeance himself. Vee’s teachers would consider his paralyzing awe as merely appropriate.

Kosto raises his sword and plunges it into the golden dome. The Great Hall’s stained glass windows burst out in molten chunks ahead of divine flame, and as Kosto twists his blade the entire edifice of Velhohovi splits in two, and a great crack appears under Vee’s feet.

Nelja is just about to drift off to sleep when she feels a presence, a will so strong its fiery wrath could be felt through fathoms of rock. She wakes with a start just before the cell shakes terribly, tossing her around like dice in a cup. Just as it seems the walls are about to bludgeon her to death, a crack wider than a man is tall opens up in the ceiling, and the shaking ceases.

She hears a clanging sound coming down the crevice and sees a humanoid form made of metal, wood and stone tumbling down amidst a cloud of debris, away from a terrible inferno raging aboveground. The soulforged lands noisily atop a heap of rubble, followed by a few more bits of rock that plonk off his head.

So Vee and Nelja find themselves in a broken cell whose floor tilts slightly toward the iron door that is starting to glow from the incredible heat of the fire on the other side. The crevice to the surface half a dozen meters deep and climbable for a strong individual. Above, the worst of the flames are dying down, revealing a smoke-stained, steel grey sky.

Welcome to The Fall. What do you do?

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

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Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

When the poor Soulforged appeared with a rumble down the cell, Nelja giggled. Went next to him and as if nothing was happenig she smiled... Her fragile figure and the painted runes on her body along with the bad light almost made her look alien.

She looked at the cracking door and at the gap leading up to the surface.... "Well we cant stay here!" She shouted and placed her hands on her tiny waist. "You look like a strong guy, I go first and you follow. If i slip you catch me,ok?" said and started climbing like she already knew his answer... as if all this was a game.

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

Sapient
Soldier (Level 12)
2268 XP

Vee was woken out of his revelry and awe by the sound of Nelja's giggles. He almost wanted to lie there a bit longer, just to absorb the magnitude of what he had just witnessed. What would brother Ilramon do in this situation? The pale green light in Vee's eyes flickered as dust and rocks bounced off his metallic head. He found his resolve, and the light in his eyes glowed proud and steady. "I give praise... that I am here to tend to those who remain." He stretched up, not even bothering to dust off his voluminous brown robes or check for any damage to his wooden sinews, iron frame, or silver plating. The soulforged turned his head to regard the small female.

Posted by IoannaShe looked at the cracking door and at the gap leading up to the surface.... "Well we cant stay here!" She shouted and placed her hands on her tiny waist. "You look like a strong guy, I go first and you follow. If i slip you catch me,ok?" said and started climbing like she already knew his answer... as if all this was a game.

"Yes, of course!" Vee was pleased that the female seemed at ease in his presence. It would have complicated matters otherwise. He lowered his bulky torso and extended an arm to help boost her higher. And somehow-- although a part of him felt it didn't make sense and he should in fact be terrified right now-- Vee shared in her contagious optimism. Whatever happened, they were witnessing something truly momentous, and that made Vee feel very much alive. The excitement was obvious in his voice. "What an amazing city this is," he said.

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

Nelja skitters effortlessly up the rubble-strewn crack to the surface and sees utter destruction. Velhohovi is but a flaming ruin. its once great dome dripping down its sides in rivulets of molten gold. The streets are littered with charred skeletons. Across the plaza to the north lies the Arcane Palace, its magical wards trying in vain to hold off the fiery whirlwind that threatens to engulf it. At the centre of all this, at the foot of the World Beacon, she can just make out the distant forms of Taikasaari's finest war wizards battling the shining figure of Kosto. He charges through a crackling torrent of magical forces into the wizards, sending their torn bodies flying.

Vee gets up just in time to almost get hit by a badly burned, robed corpse as it concludes its flight from the Arcane Palace with a sickening crunch against the ruined steps of Velhohovi. As Nelja and Vee’s gaze is drawn back to Kosto standing on top of the Palace, they get the distinct sense that he’s looking right at them.

The sky darkens to near-black and an ominous silence falls as all three moons emerge - the large Vil’anoc strangely dimmed, the small Mo’la’ka more felt now than seen, and Salimaar with its tail flickering restlessly - as if to bear witness to Taikasaari’s fate.

This disconcerting lull is felt even by the lone spectator on the windy top of Gustheight Rock, a bleak promontory that marks the mainland's closest point to Taikasaari. From the midst of the weathered stone ring at Gustheight’s top the World Beacon is clearly visible, and on any other day the splendour of the city would glimmer in the horizon. Today, however, a lonely observer witnesses a dark shadow stretching across the island and all three moons looming threateningly low in an unprecedented procession. It is as if earth, sea and sky were holding their breath in suspense.

In this endless-seeming moment Nelja and Vee can hear the low roar of burning mansions, the muted rumbling of collapsing towers, and somewhere in the distant the desperate cries of survivors. A lonely bell chimes in the harbour to the south, and although weak and forlorn, its sound snaps Nelja and Vee back to the reality of the moment.

What do you do?

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

Nelja stands in awe. It seems difficult for her to understand what is going on...

"that's the first time I see it that way... the city... is wiped out...And he seems angry, very angry"

She helps her newly aquired friend to get rid some of the ashes on his armor and smiles again to him.

"We should leave don't you think... my master will be looking for me, he always comes."

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

Stunned by the loss of lives among the inhabitants of the city, the witness at Gustheight Rock rises slowly. Before walking towards the waterline, the figure picks up a circlet made from the flowerstalks of Angelica, dropping it into the campfire.

After sending a prayer for the suffering with the quickly rising, white smoke, the shape continues its way down to the shore. There standing, arms erect, prayer after prayer is spoken and sung in the trust, that those who are supposed to survive, will.

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

Sapient
Soldier (Level 12)
2268 XP

Posted by IoannaNelja stands in awe. It seems difficult for her to understand what is going on..."that's the first time I see it that way... the city... is wiped out...And he seems angry, very angry"She helps her newly aquired friend to get rid some of the ashes on his armor and smiles again to him."We should leave don't you think... my master will be looking for me, he always comes."

Vee points in the direction of the harbor, extending one large metallic finger southwards. "Go to the sound of the bell. You must hurry," he said solemnly. His head swiveled back and forth, checking for survivors among the wreckage. But all he could see were charred skeletons.

The divine carnage was truly impressive. But if Kosto had spared him, might he have spared others? Against all odds, Vee dared to hope.

"Jorn!!!!" Vee yelled, then listened.

Moving quickly, the soulforged grabbed a slab of marble and began heaving it upwards with all of his strength. He could have sworn he heard someone calling for help. Whoever it was, Jorn or not, he couldn't just leave them behind.

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

"Alright I will leave but you should hurry, too" Nelja starts walking towards the sound of the bell...

"If you find my master tell him I am that way. OK?"as she was going away Vee could listen to her mumbling and calling for her master.

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

Vee heaves up the marble slab, and underneath he finds the arm of a soulforged poking out of the rubble, struggling to dig out the rest of it. With Vee's assistance the form emerges - or what's left of it: the legs and hips are gone, as is the right forearm. The soulforged was obviously designed as a household servant, and its dainty remnants are effortless for Vee to lift.

The servant's eyes look at Vee thankfully, but are suddenly diverted towards the Palace. There, Kosto has raised his great sword and swings it into the side of the World Beacon, and as the blade makes contact a wave of force ripples outwards. Vee and the servant are sent tumbling down the street for a couple of dozen meters; Nelja, however, is torn away like a piece of down in a storm, and just manages to glimpse the devastated city from above before losing consciousness.

From the shore, the observer sees the World Beacon start to buckle, but slowly, as if trying desperately to postpone its inevitable fall.

What do you do?

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

A rasping gasp gets whispered by the sight of the mighty structure, toppling over. Unable to avert its eyes or to stop the destruction at Taikasaari, this lone witness continues to stare ... paralyzed ... in awe ... and worry.

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

Sapient
Soldier (Level 12)
2268 XP

Posted by MuadMouseVee heaves up the marble slab, and underneath he finds the arm of a soulforged poking out of the rubble, struggling to dig out the rest of it. With Vee's assistance the form emerges - or what's left of it: the legs and hips are gone, as is the right forearm. The soulforged was obviously designed as a household servant, and its dainty remnants are effortless for Vee to lift.The servant's eyes look at Vee thankfully, but are suddenly diverted towards the Palace. There, Kosto has raised his great sword and swings it into the side of the World Beacon, and as the blade makes contact a wave of force ripples outwards. Vee and the servant are sent tumbling down the street for a couple of dozen meters; Nelja, however, is torn away like a piece of down in a storm, and just manages to glimpse the devastated city from above before losing consciousness.From the shore, the observer sees the World Beacon start to buckle, but slowly, as if trying desperately to postpone its inevitable fall.What do you do?

Vee raises himself up off the body of the injured soulforged beneath him. A horrible thought occurs to him. Had his fall crushed its body even further? "Don't worry brother. I'm going to see you through this!"

With a tender care that belies his form, Vee traces with one finger along the most damaged plates and sinews of the injured soulforged. His finger comes to rest upon a cracked area with an exposed obsidian organ. The sharp black shardstone glimmers weakly, shooting purple sparks of animating magics. "St. Martha, I need thy strength: What has been broken, shall be made whole... MEND!"

Whether the spell succeeds or not, Vee knows he cannot afford to tarry here much longer: he lifts up the soulforged and begins making his way south towards the sound of the bell. As he goes, his head swivels back and forth, hoping to catch a glimps of the strange young female he met earlier. "That poor, poor girl," he mutters softly.

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

Vee struggles to channel Saint Martha's divine favour, as if his ravaged surroundings made her harp's song echo oddly. But just as he is about to give up, he hears Kosto's victorious shout reverberate throughout his being, and the force of this shout gives Martha's soothing song the push it needs to break through whatever it is in Vee that constrains divine power. The soulforged in Vee's arms grips his arms with increasing force, and as the shardstone in its chest comes to full life again, Vee hears in his patient's gasps an echo of Kosto's voice.

The run for the harbour feels like an eternity, and the bell falls silent at the halfway point. The devastation all around is thorough, and it appears whoever couldn’t flee was consumed in Kosto’s flames. The soulforged in Vee’s arms peers around in fascination, anger, and perhaps some satisfaction, all the while remaining completely silent.

Finally they see the harbour below them. Its ruins surround a cove which the last intact ships are just now leaving for the open sea through Meriportti - the Sea Gate - that penetrates the cliffs that protect the harbour. The sea beyond is restless, and even Taikasaari’s experienced sailors seem to have trouble amongst the waves.

As Vee looks for a way out, he notices his surroundings are brightening: like an orange sun had were being unveiled above his head, and moving from north to south with increasing speed. Looking up, he sees the World Beacon, its golden form ablaze with the reflected light of the burning city, part thick clouds of smoke in its majestic fall toward the ground nearby.

The sound of the impact is thunderous, and Vee can feel his weaker seams crack in the blast, and would surely have suffered grievous damage were it not for the elegant wooden warehouse he’d ducked behind with his patient. The air fills with dust and the rumbling of shattering rock, and suddenly the ground slams against him with dizzying force.

At the foot of Gustheight Rock the observer witnesses the toppling of the World Beacon in its entirety: the stubborn quivering of the spire that preceded its unnaturally slow, soundless fall, and final impact that cracked the island’s solid rock into a dozen different pieces.

The dust from the World Beacons mighty fall is still billowing upwards when the sea around Taikasaari reaches up above the burning city like gargantuan hands rising from the waves. For a heartbeat the waters hover over the city like the hands of a priest blessing the journey of the dying. Then, with a roar the waters crash down onto the island, tearing its shattered pieces apart and pressing them slowly beneath the waves.

The enormous waves sent out by this spectacle dwarf the fleeing vessels, and many do not stay afloat. As Taikasaari descends into the sea the few ships that remain seaworthy head for the port of Greenwater Cove.

Even as the waves break upon the colourful coral of Rainbow Reef and gently approach the beach beneath Gustheight Rock, the sun shines bright once again on the Second Sea and the lingering columns of smoke that mark the place where Taikasaari had stood splendid and unperturbed for thousands of years.

In the noonday sun the observer spots the glint of metal on Rainbow Reef, a little over a hundred meters of shallow water away.

Nelja is awakened by a strong, fresh sea breeze and the warm light of the sun on her face. As she opens her eyes she sees beneath her the sapphire waters of the Second Sea lapping over the bright multitudinous hues of a coral reef that stretches far westwards along a tropical forested coast.To the east she sees a city built on the slopes surrounding a calm bay.

As she floats lower, a familiar figure draws her attention. Lying on top of the colourful coral is the brown-robed soulforged who had fallen down into her cell, and he’s still holding onto the mangled servant he had found under the rubble.

Suddenly, a violent gust of wind sends Nelja tumbling through the air. Vee regains consciousness just in time to see the girl from the cell fall in strange stops and starts into the blue water between Vee and the beach at the foot of an imposing promontory. On the beach stands a tall, dark figure, who is hidden from Vee’s sight as Nelja comes up to the surface splashing and spluttering.

“Where are we?” asks the soulforged on whose arm Vee still has a deathgrip on.

What do you do?

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Sapient
Soldier (Level 12)
2268 XP

Posted by MuadMouse“Where are we?” asks the soulforged on whose arm Vee still has a deathgrip on.

"Safe, for now... I think." The soulforged cleric tries his best to approach more stable ground. "If the gods wished us dead, we would certainly have died. But now, who is this?"

Vee gave a hesitant greeting in Islish to the tall, dark figure by the shore. "Stranger, I am Vee of the Soulforged. I regret to intrude on your lands, but we wish only to seek shelter for our wounded. Then we will be on our way."

Vee's wet robes clung to him tightly. He felt a bit silly as he floundered about in the surf. Truly it was miraculous that they had made it this far alive.

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

Nelja struggles to stay in the surface.

She tries to swim to the shore. As she makes a few strokes in the water her eyes get wide open "This is really happening!" she shouts.

As she coughs a little water "definitely NOT a dream!!", She doen't make much sense but it seems she actually believed all that was happening was merely a dream of hers.

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

As Nelja floats lower, the shape on the beach lifts one arm towards it's head and bends slightly forward, trying to spot some clue about the shape that floats through air like a flying sqirrel without wings. After this gliding humanoid tumbled towards the water surface, the observer puts a bag on the dryest spot within a few paces reach and starts its way towards the splashing.

Recognizing the spluttering and yelling of the dunked "creature" as noises of someone trying not to drown, the observer hastens as much as possible, while avoiding the sharp ridges and spikes of the corals close to the beach.

The approaching person is a large, brawny, definetly female being with skin as black as a ripe olive, dark hair, a pair of tusks, wearing small patches of clothing and boots. Other features are quite a number of scars, most notably a huge one on her left arm, a number of jewelry-like items and several filled sheaths for daggers as well as a number of pouches on her belt.

The noises of the rising, robed figure with a metallic head slows this person down a little. One of her hands begin to rise towards one of the sheaths as she replies in Islish: "Me not ... us ground. You help fire this?", while pointing with her other hand towards Nelja.

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

MuadMouse
Captain (Level 20)
11511 XP

"What did she say?" the crippled soulforged asks in refined Islish and seems a bit disoriented.

Nature has returned to downright banal normality, as if the mightiest city in Maailma had not just been destroyed.

A committed user and abuser of roleplaying games. Based in Oulu, Finland.

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

Nelja makes a few more strokes and reaches the strange female on the shore. As she approaches she replies "You saw the fire, too? It burnt everything... I lost my master..". As soon as the could reach the bottom with her feet she tried to stand and her head was finally out of the water.

Her hair was black and there was a shaved area right over her left ear where you could see a tatooed rune. Her pale complexion made her green eyes look even bigger, they also had a strange glimmer, they were wet but not from the sea. The poor thing was crying...

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com

Sapient
Soldier (Level 12)
2268 XP

Posted by IoannaNelja makes a few more strokes and reaches the strange female on the shore. As she approaches she replies "You saw the fire, too? It burnt everything... I lost my master..". As soon as the could reach the bottom with her feet she tried to stand and her head was finally out of the water.Her hair was black and there was a shaved area right over her left ear where you could see a tatooed rune. Her pale complexion made her green eyes look even bigger, they also had a strange glimmer, they were wet but not from the sea. The poor thing was crying...

Upon reaching the shore, Vee gently lays down his first patient, then turns to inspect his second. He frowns visibly, and the pale green light from his eyes looks deeply into Nelja's eyes, his own green light reflecting from the deeper green of her pupils.

"It was... quite terrifying," Vee confesses. "But please, try to relax. And tell me where it hurts. I have... some little healing ability." He takes out a small silver holy icon which hangs from his neck, and holds it over her. One side of the coin features a harp, and on the other side it depicts an elegant hairpin.

While doing this, he casts an occasional wary glace at the tusked one. Her dialect is strange but he is more concerned by her unusual and potentially threatening appearance.

Werwolf
Soldier (Level 12)
2197 XP

Finally standing close to Vee, the black-skinned female looks intrigued at his gesture towards Nelja. She then starts to look very examining at his head, then at the crippled Soulforged. Suddenly, with shocked eyes, she takes a large step backwards and utters something, that sounds to the others, as if she throws up violently after eating one of them.

The left arm of the strange one touches the badgers paw at her throat. Her other hand points, almost shaking, at the two Soulforged. Then she says "You... You not child! You no hurt. Me all fire you." and starts pointing towards the upper part of the cliffside, with the left hand still at the paw.

"Games are an interesting diversion from everyday life. Games give you a chance to excel, and if you're playing in good company, you don't even mind you lose because you had the enjoyment of the company during the course of the game." Gary Gygax

Ioanna
Master (Level 23)
15960 XP

Posted by Sapient"It was... quite terrifying," Vee confesses. "But please, try to relax. And tell me where it hurts. I have... some little healing ability." He takes out a small silver holy icon which hangs from his neck, and holds it over her.

Continuing to cry Nelja mutters "You want to heal me? Nobody can... Without my medicine I will propably disperse into thin air in no time anyway." As Nelja's new friend was taking a closer look to her body he could see the runes on her body and strange marks on her, propably needle marks...

Posted by WerwolfSuddenly, with shocked eyes, she takes a large step backwards and utters something, that sounds to the others, as if she throws up violently after eating one of them."You... You not child! You no hurt. Me all fire you."

"I think she doen't like us.." Nelja says and wipes her eyes a bit...

I have a banning whip and I 'm not afraid to use it! *I am bluffing*

jewellersapprentice.wordpress.com