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  • Okay - here's the premise. Once in a while the members of Oberin meet here to tell campfire stories. Introductions and tales of the past.

    * Stoking the fire with the smoldering branch of a Bracken, Rygarth introduces himself *.
    "Great to meet you. I'm Rygarth, once dubbed as a bare foot barbarian. A great wizard took the time to show me how things work in Oberin and we slayed countless skeletons at the Leri Cem. I used to know an Earth Elemental named Earl....."
    * Stokes the the fire and passes along the branch *
     

  • * Takes the branch from Rygarth, stabs some mandrake root onto it and holds it over the flame*
    Greetings to you all on this wondrous night, I am Ariki, I have tales of adventures dating back eons of years. This scare on the left side of my face, the wonderful Eye Priestess gave me this as a message to the old King to leave Duldrus alone. I was too stubborn about that message though, I wanted Duldrus for myself.

    * Pulls the mandrake off the fire and begins to eat it then hands the branch on to the next person *
     

  • * takes the branch and starts waving it around *
    ~ embers trail out, sending sparks from the slowly burning end of the Bracken branch against the starlight night `

    "Jedd!"
    Rygarth carelessly waves the smoldering branch in an attempt to signal Jedd.
    An ember falls on Mirg and a hole burns into his black robes.
    Mirg jumps up, patting his robes. "Idiot!"
    While Rygarth apologizes, Mirg continues to berate him. "No one wants to be at this stupid campfire. You are an idiot."
    "Just wait." Rygarth says. "Jedd will show up eventually and tell us stories of ghosts and dragons. Maybe even tales of long forgetten treasures and who knows what else."
     

  • * appears in front of the fire and takes the branch *
    I once had a race with Aethon, the wind caused by our running made everyone unable to move for several long moments
    * passes the branch back to Rygarth and disappears *
     

  • You approach the campfire. A group of familiar faces sits in a circle. One of them, a green-robed fighter holding a branch, appears to be in the middle of telling a long-winded story.

    "...I woke to the sound of seabirds chattering, with the sun on my face. I did not have to look around to know that I was alone. As expected, Sailor Gerry had departed for the southern waters under the cloak of night. Never was I to see him again, but Goddess knows I won't soon be forgetting his help.

    "I decided to spend the remainder of the day on that rocky promontory. It had now been almost a month since the journey had begun. One month, and not a single clue as to the whereabouts of the secret temple. I could only hope that Sulovir's search was bearing more fruit than mine. Thankfully, there was still one hundred days left before we were scheduled to reconvene at the Crescent Isle and share our findings. In any case, I could now rest knowing that the Elixir of Zimm was safe.

    "These days, the Elixir sits in the Vale, still glowing a steady blue glow. But sometimes, when the wind is warm and the moon is full, it seems to glow a little brighter. And as it does, the faintest echo of songs of the sea, sung sad and slow, can be heard on the wind. But then the glow fades away, and so do the voices."

    Jedd looks down at the smoldering branch. Somehow, it seems to be the same length as it was an hour ago, while twice now he's already had to add more wood to the firepit. He takes a deep breath.

    "Early the next day I set out on my raft. I didn't have any particular destination in mind, nor was I even sure that the temple would be anywhere on the ocean. All I knew was that when I had met the Knights of Silver, it had been on the high seas, not far from the volcanic atoll. And neither of the Knights had been to that island before, so there was no use looking there. And let's not forget, no one had seen or heard of these Knights and their temple for centuries.

    "The days were long and quiet, and the nights restless. Often I would just keep on sailing straight through the night, only to stop when the sun rose again. It was on one of these sleepless nights, as the blue moon waxed full, that I swore I could hear the songs of the Mhara once more, billowing across the seas.

    "I suppose it's possible that the long voyage had caused me to lose control of my faculties. But I chose to ignore the seasongs just the same, as it would be folly to stray from my quest. You see, the Ice Flight had just descended upon the mainland, after spending five years silently rebuilding in the Frozen Wastes. The Second Ice War was beginning. And it seemed that the Knights of Silver might be the perfect ally to stem the frozen tide. That is, of course, if we could find them in time.

    "And so the journey continued. One clear day, on the Temple Island of the southwestern seas, I ran into a hunter gathering shark fins for the festival of the Blue Moon. I offered her the collection of fins I had amassed during my many days at sea, and in return she offered me lunch. We sat and sipped on shark fin soup and ginseng tea – all fresh, mind you!

    "Over the course of the meal I got caught up on political happenings and other current events, not to mention the rumors. Those all proved to be false, bar two or three. There was the one that said the Grand Auction would be featuring a ring that allowed its bearer to command the elements. And there was one involving a tormented ghost wandering the halls of the Ice Dungeon, defending its inhabitants – more on that later. But the rumor I was most interested in at the time told of a portal, in the depths of that same dungeon, through which the Ice Flight could attack the cities of Oberin.

    "With the meal finished, I thanked the hunter for her hospitality and set out once more, with a heightened sense of urgency. My first instinct was to head to the Frozen Wastes by myself and see what there was to see. I quickly realized how bad of an idea that was, but then the thought hit me: if the waters would offer no answers, then perhaps the continent would. And so I set my course for the mountains of Duldrus, unaware of the dangers there awaiting me..."

    At this, Jedd stops talking and passes the branch to the person on his left. It was high time he take a break and listen to some other tales.
     

  • *Squinting the fire smoke from his eyes, Rygarth takes the fire stick.*

    I remember the "mora" words. I've heard those words spoken. The Ordo Chao guild used to practice those words.
    My half brother, Mirg, joined up with them. I don't agree with what they have done, but he's my kid brother so I help him out.
    One dark and stormy night, I was dropping off a load of ash at their guild hall when I heard them chanting. 'Mora' this and 'Mora' that, and so on.
    A deep and thick mist settled over the land.  I stood at the guild hall gates and made a small fire. With fish sizzling, I waited patiently for Mirg to claim his demand.
    The chanting grew louder. I stared at the mist, which made a swirling wall, and saw skeletal faces snapping their fleshless teeth.
    The chanting grew louder, even as I ran away.
    Stay away from that place. Evils were conjured in that unholy regiion.

    *holds the smoldering 'story staff' for the next*
     

  • Nial takes the stick and begins without introduction.

    "I, too, have witnessed the damage caused by mishandled black magic. It was many moons ago when a group ventured forth to recover a certain Voodoo Doll from the Marali cemetery."

    At the words "voodoo doll," Nial's voice picks up an irregular trace of respect. Behind that, a more astute observer might notice something more: fear.

    "As one would expect with black magic rampant, the situation rapidly spiraled out of control. A l-..." Nial pauses. "A crowned, cackling monstrosity appeared, nearly halving our ranks in the span of minutes. Thankfully, the good clerics set to work, restoring us to health.

    "It took too long, and many more died, but we gradually drove the twisted mage back with silver and spells. Soon after, with the voodoo doll now secure, we were able to complete our quest."

    Nial scratches his head.

    "That...that's about everything I can remember, honestly."
     

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