Blood's War

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Session 1

When I could see again, all was bright white. There was nothing but an old man sitting for as far as one could see in any direction. I moved to the man, and woke him.

“Good you’re awake!” he said.

“What is this place?”

“Others will show. I’ll explain then.” he said and went back to sleep. After a moment there was a glow from the staff he held. A woman I recognized from tavern appeared, mid-stab with a rapier. He stirred, looked at her and said “You’re awake! At least one more should show.” He started to doze again.

“You were in the tavern.” she said to me.

“Yes, what happened?”

“You shot him, I went to attack and then blackness. Where is this?”

I dropped my head. “I think we’re dead.”

“You’re taking this rather well.” The old man spoke, his staff glowed again. Another appeared, this time one of the strange catfolk. “Good you’re awake!” he said to the newcomer. “I’m afraid this is all that will join us.”

“What are we doing here?” I asked.

“I brought you here, it was a great strain. I need your help. You see, there are only two real gods in this world. Myself, who creates light and life, and my counterpart who creates darkness, and dead things. The man who you fought, works for a man who wishes to destroy me. This would also destroy darkness, for we are counterparts, and can not exist without the other. This, would also destroy all life, and all dead things, everything.”

“But we’re dead. What can we do now?”

“I create life, and therefore can not manipulate living things, but I can manipulate dead things, and grant them life, or return a life that was lost. If I do this, will you stop them for me.” He looked at all of us, but I answered first.

“You are asking the wrong man. I have failed at protecting everyone important to me.”

“But you’ve saved so many more than you’ve lost. You only see failure because you only think of the ones you’ve lost.”

“I’ll help you old man. I wasn’t really done with life anyway.” Replied the woman.

“I’ll go, but not alone.” Replied the cat.

“Did they have anything to do with her death?” I asked. The old man nodded. “Then I’ll go, if just to get my own back.”

“Good, this will be the last time we speak directly. I can not interact with my creations, but you will see another who can speak with me, and others who wish to help.”

After a burning sensation from his touch, I found myself stiff and blind. I went to flex a muscle and felt something peel away. I was encased in something. I cleaned it off, and once my face was clear I saw I was back at the tavern. It was burned to the ground, and there were ash statues of people. I heard movement from one and saw the woman who was with us start to crack. I helped her clear away and then moved to check others. Ustalv crumbled to dust at my touch, but Mellcath was alive in his own ash, not even missing fur. I went to the statue of the man that had killed us all. I let my rage smash his face. In doing so I heard a thump, and sifted through his ashes to find a medallion. I gathered it up and stood. The woman had helped the catfolk clear of the ashes.

It was then I noticed that not just the tavern, but part of town had burned. Also, it was day, and town was abandoned, and overgrown. After some brief of the overgrowth I determined that either something had accelerated the growth of plants and collecting of dust, or we’d been gone close to 50 years.

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The burning of Garabaldi's
Session 0 (Keyad POV)

I figured if whoever I was looking for was seen in town, there’d be someone at Garabaldi’s who would know. Maybe even the gnome himself, after all despite his oddities, he payed pretty good attention to who came in.

I stepped through the door to see a huge crowed. Of course, it was story day. Everyone was going to be boasting tales about their past and perhaps their family’s war tales. They’d also be from everywhere. Talk about good timing for the murdering bastard. I walk towards the bar and see Ustalv Garabaldi’s white hair bouncing. “Hey Ustalv.”

“What, one second.” He hopped on his stool to see over the bar. “Oh Keyadrune! How ya doin? You look, well you look like shit.”

“Yeah, came to talk about that actually, got somewhere quieter?”

“Sure, come back here. Hey Missy! Going back, come tend the bar!” he shouted to his only floorwench before hoping off the stool and leading me to the pantry. “What’s going on?”

“Unali’s dead, someone killed her and destroyed my lodge while I was out helping that goat herder with a wolf problem. Whoever did it came here to town after.”

“What, that’s crazy! How did they even find your place? I can’t even find your place.”

“I’m serious Ustalv, found her three days ago. Anyone strange around here about that time?”

“Lots of odd ones lately, tonight and all. However, there was one group.”

“Tell me.”

“Fancy dressed man, but his clothes dirty like he’d been roaming a little. Two men with him in robes and hoods. Payed well, but then his coin turned out to be worthless. Red tint to the gold, real, but no one in town will take it.”

“Got a few with you?”

“Yeah.”

I pulled a gold coin from my belt pouch. “I’ll trade one now, and others for more information if you get it.”

“You sure, no one takes it.”

“Yeah, I’m sure.”

“Okay, thanks. You not bad Keyadrune.” He said as he traded coins with me.

“I just want these guys, and if that tingle in the back of my head is right. Missy and Melcath aren’t getting along again.”

“Yeah we should get back, get your crazy cat out of the way so we can deal with the customers.”

We returned to the main room. Mellcath was indeed behind the bar, being a general nuisance. I called him to me and found a corner to watch the tavern for something or someone who might know what was going on.

After sitting a while, a dwarf started the local ritual for the night of telling a grand story of how he killed several dragons with his axe. He was obviously drunk and exaggerating. He took offense when someone challenged his story, but passed out mid charge. The man who challenged him spoke grandly of slaying demons with his odd sword. I sensed something amiss, and spoke out myself. He drew, stepped my way, and tripped… which promptly dispelled the illusion he was using. The now embarrassed twig of a man ran out of the tavern. Someone called for a true story. I said I had no true stories of heroism, only of pain.

Another insisted I tell. I frustration with life, combined with a little to drink convinced me to stand and silence this silly gathering with the truth of monsters. I told of the day a giant black cloud of death descended on the village I grew up in many years ago. How anything it touched burned, and how no one could stop it. Then I drew my bow, and explained how it, in the hands of my father, proved there was something killable in the middle of that cloud. Then, I warned them that the cloud had returned recently and was attacking creatures in the wilderness.

This didn’t have the effect I’d hoped for. Ustalv spoke about how my story was indeed true. He was followed up by another, a human in dark robes. The human spoke of how the thing was tied to a great war long ago. He spoke of heroes who were declared enemies. He said that he was chasing the darkness that had returned, and wanted to support it. Someone realized he was a cultist of the general from said war. Someone attacked him, the same darkness sprung forth from him and flung his attacker aside. Others attacked, and were killed for their trouble. I grabbed my bow, and shot. My arrow wounded him, but then he threw something from his hand to the ground. All was blackness.

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