Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Arioch Tales

A Blue Tale: It Begins
by Daniel "Baron Diamond" Diamond

Ok “Blue”, the magic sword / extraplanar malevolent entity / trap for the greedy, was spotted at Feast of Chimeron recently. More importantly we know how to end the threat, but it won’t be easy. So it is only right you know how the it all started: You still get to choose how it ends. I’m Baron Diamond, and I’m the only one left active who was there and I bear more responsibility than most for what happened. So I’d appreciate it if we can fix what went wrong that day.

It all started in March of 996 with a rose, offered with evil intent and accepted in innocence. Accepted by the caring Lady Gwendolyn, who later went on to lead Thorn Valley.  Black rose, nice tournament.  But no day is nice when you lose your soul, and we soon learned that is exactly what happened to Gwen.  When that happens to one of your own, you do something about it, so that’s what we did. First, we had to figure out what had happened, so divinatory magic was needed. We asked for help, and got it. To that end, Meerkat of Chimeron was critical. We learned who had taken her soul and where it was. “Red”, and in a closed off plane of darkness which acted as a prison. We took steps to get there, and by June we had everything in place.

Gwen, Darwin, Veros, Bardin, and myself of Banecroft. Meerkat of Chimeron, and Sir Gonvf of Eagle’s Rook whose knightly power was our way in. We were joined at the last moment by Sir Randal, whose wisdom was a welcome addition. We found ourselves in a shifting, impenetrably dark area. Pools of colored light were the only landmarks, and they gradually drifted into and out of sight.  I was worried about Bardin: he’d been having signs of multiple personalities and had chosen to wear all black in a plane of blackness.  Better for sneaking, even better for being lost.

Each pool of light had a tricky entity which wanted out. We pretended to listen to Green’s lies, we overcame Blue’s Savage attack. We needed magic to affect these color creatures, so I put Blue’s sword in Sir Gonvf’s hands, but I made it clear we were not to take it out of this plane. We’d been warned the colors wanted out, and we were on to the trick.  If I’d planned on taking it out of the plane, I’d have been tempted to keep it myself. I should have kept it in hand temporarily to keep an eye on it.

White fancied himself a leader, and had the minions to prove it. When diplomacy failed, we beat them down, but White didn’t go down and the minions kept getting up. So I swiped his papers and we fell back. The crowd of minions hid the fact that Barden was missed in the darkness. When we regrouped and realized this, only a few feet away, it was already too late: the light went out and it was impossible to navigate back to him.

Red had Gwen’s soul and was willing to trade, but only for another’s soul. I was contemplating doing a lord’s duty, but at that Gwen flatly refused and threatened resignation if I didn’t drop it. I thought she was being heroic, she actually couldn’t open tell me she’s already recovered her soul while the rest of us had distracted Red. When negotiations ended, he attacked. Sir Gonvf and Blue kept Red back while others frantically searched frantically for the soul, and Gwen called for us to retreat. I didn’t want to give up empty handed and after another’s loss so close to our goal, and was immensely relieved when she revealed it hadn’t been in vain.

I’d given White’s papers to the wisest among us, and their conclusion was that the remaining colors were very bad news. It was time to contemplate escape. I’d been given to understand that Meerkat or Randal had the power to get us out, and when I asked them to get ready to do so I was flatly told that they couldn’t. That was bad. If we couldn’t get out, we had no choice but to go on. Hopefully we’d find Barden.

Big mistake. Of the colors that remained, we reluctantly set off towards the one whose White’s Papers described as marginally less dangerous. I began as I always did, by talking. That was a step too far: I was drawn into the light and completely paralyzed. I could hear plainly as the rest of my people fell into the classic trap: each one tried to save me and ended up in the same boat. Darwin’s plan had the most common sense: as talk had doomed me, he tried to simply silently carry me off. Veros and Gwen had their turn and shared our fate. Meerkat tried too, and his magic barely protected him. Finally, they decided to cut their losses.

I could hear them decide to leave, and that they could in fact leave the plane. They further debated my statement on leaving Blue behind, and decided otherwise. Of course, once they were back in the Realms proper Blue revealed himself from his sword form and escaped to wreak bloody rampage across the Realm. Those few who escaped the Rainbow plane spread the word and later organized a successful rescue effort, for which I am grateful.

For part 2 I’ll tell of our efforts to return Blue back to captivity. Until then, know that we finally have hope to end Blue’s bloody temptation. And of course may Arioch enjoy the tale. Let’s handle that obligation quicker than that of Blue’s, whose reckoning is 20 years overdue.

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