Blane, the insane

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Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Wed Jul 20, 2022 11:30 am

Blane was a slightly short wirey man in his early forties. Scars littered his hardened tattoed skin and his facal features were also scarred and stout. Unkept stubble grew out of his jawline and a heavy brow sagged over his dark brown eyes. His face was framed by a rustle of dark hair that was tied back into a short ponytail. His woodmans outfit was little more then a singlet and booted brown pants which exposed his well cut seasoned muscles. He wasn't a huge man, but he was strong and quick as many a foe had found out the hard way.
He sat at a wooden round hewn table in the Port Llast local tavern, a place he knew very well, for he had spent most of his life in and around Port Llast. The smokey room was filled with the chortling of local patrons and a bard singing to a played tune.
Sitting accross the table from him were his long time companions. A huge lumbering overweight halforc by name of Skallen in a plain dark smiths apron and overalls. To his right sat Mr Haze, a cryptic hooded fellow in black that favoured the shadows. When he did speak, it became clear to those who listened that his mind was not overly simple, but definately not that of one you would call sane. Reggie the militiaman sat otherside, he was a thin youngish bearded fellow with a beer that wore his bronze fullplate to the tavern, he was on duty after all.

Blane stared at his companions with an intense expression before he began.
"Skalyard, no where will you find a more wretched hive of scum and villiany!" He ended the statement with a drink from his ale mug. He accentuated the point by continuing to stare at his companions over his mug as he drank.
Skallen looked upwards a moment in thought, then with narrowed eyes at Blane he inquired.
"That's a frost bitten frontier town on an island up north init?"
"Aye, it is just that" nodded Blane.
Mr Haze drew a concealed dagger and stabbed it upright into the table top beside his ale.
"Who dies there for the steel of the master?" The others looked at him a moment then each other and shrugged. Ignoring that, Reggie spoke up.
"Yeah Skalyard, what about it then?" He inquired then took a drink of his beer.
Blane looked at the three intensely.
"That's where i'm headed!" he declared and then drank. The three looked at him momentarily and then burst out laughing.
The laughter died down as they realised Blane was serious and Skallen looked at his old friend with a meaningfull expression.
"You can't expect us all to just pull up roots now and go to Skalyard? Why? Your not makin' any sense!"
Blane shook his head, "no friend, this is somethin im doin on my own." Blane shot Mr Haze a look.
Mr Haze took his dagger off the table and concealed it. Skallen raged.
"Are ya daft man? Sure you used to be a bounty hunter of some renown...but that was decades ago! You cant look after yourself like ya used to."
Reggie interjected. "Skallens right, i've heard only bad things about that place. With no one to watch your back, you'll quite likely end up dead like..." Reggie stopped with a look of shock on his face that one who just slipped up wears. Blane glared at him.
"Like Jess you mean? He inquired sharply. Reggie gave Blane a remorsefull expression.
"We all loved her too" Skallen declared. Diffusing the situation. Blane glared at them.
"I may be a bit rusty, but don't go writing me off just yet. Look, I sail in the morning on the seasonal merchant run. Got a job as a rigger under captain Vance.
Skallen nodded thoughtfully. "Tough old bird that guy, he knows the sea"
Blane looked at the three with a conceding expression.
"Look guys, i've sold off the farmstead and settled my affairs. I'm movin on, this place, it ain't the same since she died." Blane glanced about, "just a bunch of painfull memories now" he added before taking another drink. There was a reflective silence for a moment before Mr Haze spoke. "This night measures the end of us then, not by dagger or sword, but by the love of a woman" he declared philosophically.
The four reflected on that a moment before Blane broke the silence."Lighten up Mr H, im just...taking a holiday is all!" The three looked at Blane, unconvinced. Skallen raised his hand and yelled.

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Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Tue Jul 26, 2022 9:36 am

Blane stepped out of the Skal lodge and blinked up at the bright white clouds above as a light morning dusting of snow gently drifted down to the white snow covered ground.
Instinctively, he looked accross to the gates, counting the guard, then accross the town up to the northern elevation spotting another, then he blinked as searched through the foggy air, finally spotting the guard doing his rounds on the western elevation. He nodded approvingly, by extension he saw what the guards saw in terms of trouble, and in terms of trouble, that meant there wasn't any of significance to speak of.
He stretched a little then with a hot beverage in hand, made his way down the main road toward the trade post.

He passed the towns central Nexus, avoiding the smell of an ox and glancing briefly at the motley crew of adventurers and sellswords around the campfire. Some discussed plans for expeditions into the wilds while others told stories of adventures had. Blane regarded them positively. He considered telling stories of when he was a soldier then freelance bounty hunter, and a greataxe called Valtraxis, Flowing steel. But then, everyone would just start calling him crazy again.

As he passed the stone temple where the pastor gave his aid and supplies, he spotted more bodies strewn about, hopefull companions having delivered them through the night, hoping for divine intervention. Among them were two more corpses killed and decapitatated by the town it seemed, messages scrawled on notes left by their lifeless piked heads.
He nodded to the pastor as he walked by.
"Busy morning I see pastor!" Noted Blane. The pastor stared at him with a mirthless expression of conviction.
Blane shrugged and continued to the trade post. He pitied that pastor. The man was constantly bombarded by an endless sea of would be adventurers corpses.

Blane entered the trade post and fired up the forge, it was time to make a new axe. As he worked the raw material into shape, he lifted and turned it, lifted and turned it, beating it into shape with his hammer.
He gazed at his work with a gleam in his eyes. He brought the molten metal up close to his face and whispered to it.
"I name you Ren!" He stated as he stared at the molten stump with a satisfied crazed smile. He brought it down onto the anvil. He whispered rythmically to it, almost songlike, as he beat it in time with his forging hammer.
"Ren the lucky!" Clang!
"Ren the couragous!" Clang! He stopped a moment.
"Ren, to Rend the enemy!" He finally announced. With a growl he brought the hammer down hard. CLANG!!!

Days later, Ren had almost fully taken shape. A sharp crescent shaped double bladed greataxe which Blane now methodically smoothed and finished with a wetstone, constantly he worked the now shiny metal into perfection.
"They used to call me Blane, the insane." He told the axe as he worked it,"No doubt, they will around here too once they find out how I talk to my creations. You will be the bane of all enemies. Swift, and sharp, you'll cut through flesh and bone just as cleanly as you cut through the air. The saviour of your wielder, you'll bring all foes to the ground. Lakes of blood drawn by your edge shall form in your wake, and still, you will thirst for more!" Blane told it reassuringly, working the edge carefully and skillfully. He stopped a moment and reflected on a memory. It brought half a smile to his face. He snapped out of it and continued working the near finished Ren. He continued talking to it, heartfully, as a teacher guides its pupil.
"Perhaps one day, when your strong enough, you will even leave your masters hand and fight of your own will should the need arise, as my Valtraxis used to. Oh, what an axe he was, flowing steel!" Blane stopped once more, reminiscing in awe, as a nearby local regarded him with a concerned expression.

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Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Fri Aug 05, 2022 11:38 am

Blane gave a broken toothed grin to Vanessa, who sat accross from him in the Skalyard tavern. He'd met the commoner only hours earlier in the Skalyard tavern and Blane had bought her a drink. Oddly, she found Blanes roughly hewn features alluring, and he wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth.
She stood up and gave him a peck on the cheek as it was time for her to go rest. It was early hours and she had work in the morning.
"Meet me tomorrow?" She inquired. Blane gave her a nod as he sculled his mug of ale and burped, then wiped his mouth with his forearm.
"You can count on it!. The mayors pleaded with me to sort out some giant mushroom in the upperdark...I'll be back by the morrows nightfall." He said confidently.
"How exciting! Do be carefull." Vanessa replied. She smiled and left.
Blane grinned as he watched her leave. He sighed and looked at his axe.
"Come on Ren, lets get this writ done then." He said as he picked it up and hefted it over his shoulder.

Hours later, Blane had crossed the snowy Skalyard surroundings and entered the expansive caverns of the upperdark below. He had traversed them for hours now with little success, they twisted and turned and he was unable to reach his objective. The creatures which stalked the caverns attacked him constantly, and he began to tire of it all.
Just when he was about to give up and head back topside, fortune struck. He ran into a group that had work to clear the area. They knew the caverns well and invited Blane to join them.
They helped him complete his writ and he lent his axe to help them complete theirs. They were friendly decent folk, powerfull mages among them. Many a foe fell in their wake untill they had finally made their way to Dunmarle castle.
Blane was dirty and tired, he'd had enough of it and wanted to get back to Skal quicker then the travel charter his companions sought.
Luckily, he had a potion of attunement in his backpack that he had been saving for such an occasion. He had consulted a mage in town about it who had told him that drinking it would instantly return him there.
He popped the cork of the bottle and toasted his tired companions who eyed him curiously.
"Enjoy the trip back to Skal guys, im'a take a short cut!" He gave them a broken toothed grin and he drank the potion. A flash of light blinded him momentarily as he vanished before their eyes.

Blane felt a strange sensation as he was yanked from one place to another instantaneously. As his vision cured, the deserts bright endless sandy horizon came into focus all around him. There was sand and sun as far as the eye could see, and there was not even a hint of snow or anything that even remotely resembled  Skalyard and its surroundings. It was also hot. First the shock, then the horror of realisation hit him as he recounted what had just happened. He balled his fists and yelled up at skies

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Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Fri Aug 12, 2022 12:22 am

After raging and cussing for some time, throwing his helmet and kicking the sand, the situation slowly sank in and Blane eventually calmed down. He picked up his helmet,  climbed and stood upon a dune with his hands on his hips squinting around at the desert he now found himself in, with no idea where he was or any magical means to teleport out.

Then he spotted it, hidden in a depression in the dunes a partial ways off, what appeared to be an obscured wall of a structure. Licking his lips hopefully he made for it and it grew into a wayward temple and ruins,  sand blasted and partially buried.
There he came upon zealots following what appeared to be some kind of desert priestess. There was little in the way of supplies, but at least they were not hostile and structures offered some releif from the hot sun.
These zealots seemed almost bewitched by the priestess they called the Oracle. The little information he managed to garner from one of them was that he was in the lost desert, and that if he was to hope to walk out to civilisation, to head east by the fellows reckoning.

This was a serious situation that could easily lead to catastrophe if not handled carefully. He drew on his past experiences as a foot soldier, and his old commanders words returned to him.
"When heading into unknown enemy territory, hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Gather as much knowledge as possible before departing.
Stock up on provisions and leave fully replenished.
Maintain a scout ahead with heavy backup closely behind. Secure the flank at all times with spotters."
Wait, he was alone, not all of it was of use. He remembered something more relevent.
"Maintain defensive formation untill contact is made and assessed. Check rations, calculate days and monitor them closely.
Once rations are depleted to three days, split allotments in half, then half again at 2 days.
That may buy you an extra week give or take at hard march but you'll be weak towards the end. Whatever needs doin, get it done by then."
Blane sighed. He checked his provisions. 2 weeks worth. He slung his greataxe that he normally travelled with, grabbed his shield and drew his sword. He assumed a defensive posture. He took a drink of water and then moved off in a brisk mechanical march eastward, using the sun to guide him.
The desert was hot and punishing. Creatures barring his path attacked him and sandstorms blew him around haplessly. On more then one occasion, he realised that the sands had tricked him into circling about, not wanting to give up their newest visitor.
Battered and blistered, hot and tired, after many a misadventure, Blane emerged from the desert a week later and took refuge in Sibayad. Now that he knew where he was, he was amazed at how far out the teleportation potion had thrown him. Sadly, he realised that it would be months before he could even think about returning to Skalyard and Vanessas dissapointed face flashed in his mind. Once rested up and fed, he checked the market stalls for any exotic goods and then made for the docks. He needed a port town now, somewhere he could plan his next move. Cordor came to mind.

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Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Sun Aug 14, 2022 10:12 am

The journey by sea involved a ship change and a few stop overs and was a welcome respite for Blane. Normally he was part of the crew, but on this occasion was a paying passenger, so he got to lounge about and just enjoy the smell of the sea and the rolling waves.
After a necesary tour of the shores of Arelith involving three ports, Blanes vessel finally sailed for Cordor port, his destination.
Blane eyed the sprawling sillouette of Cordor as it emerged out of the hazey horizon.  Smoke rose from her chimneys and glints of metal flashed at him as folk moved about the cities walls like ants. Then the smell of all that coexistence hit him as the ship neared the main docks.  The city was an impressive construction, but not the first Blane had ever seen, or worked in, having served in the Neverwinter guard during his time as a soldier. Such a position had made him quite cynical of huge concentrations of folk, and he eyed the city with his hands on his hips and narrowed eyes. He spotted an individual scamper out of a sewer ground entrance near others trading in foods and wares. He was convinced the city, like most cities, had a sizable rotten underbelly of rogues and villians, dealing in standover tactics, bastardry and just plain old crime.
"Goddam shithole!" He declared to himself, not wanting to be here. He much preffered small country towns where you could tell who was coming and going.
"Excuse me?" Questioned a voice behind him. Blane spun around startled.
He set his eyes upon a darkly robed halfling, his hood thrown back revealing a squinting reddened face. Now that the two made eye contact, the halfling asked again.
"Excuse me?"
With a half cocked smile Blane replied disarmingly.
"Oh nothing, don't worry about it." He said dismissively then went to turn back around, but the halfling refused to let it go.
"No no no, you put your hands on your hips and you said..." the halfling deepened his voice and mocked Blanes voice while repeating what he had said. "Goddam shithole!" The halfling glared at Blane. "Thats what you said! You said that!"
Blane glared back at the halfling as the ship came in to dock with a thump and the crew started tieing her up.
"What of it?" he snapped defiantly. The halflings expression soured further at Blanes lack of remorse. He called out over his shoulder to all the sailors and other travellers in earshot as the gang plank dropped.
"Oi everyone! this guy just called Cordor a shit hole. This guy thinks hes too good for all us lowly Cordorians!"
The announcement drew venomous stares and rude gestures from offended sailors and folk as Blane raised his hands and gave them a disarming broken toothed grin.
"I was kidding!" That did nothing to disarm the crowd as a sailer spat on the ground while glaring at him..
"Shithole you say?" Called an angry traveller who appeared to be a noble. "...i'm sure the palace guard would love to hear your insights of the city." He said ruefully whilst making his way down the gangplank.
Blane raised his hands and shook his head.
"No need for that!"
"Maybe he's an Underdark spy!" Called another.
Blane glared down at the halfling, this was his doing. The halfling gave him a gloating lofty expression. "Call MY home a shithole will ya?"
Blane sighed. "Look pal, I said it in passing. It's a lovely city okay!, biggest i've ever seen!"
The halfling eyed him, snorted at the insincerity then nodded and shrugged.
"Oright, guess your sorry enough then. By the way, thanks"
"Thanks for what?" Blane asked him with a furrowed brow.
"Oi you!" Blane looked up at the two guardsmen approaching up the gangplank. He raised his hands.
"Oh seriously?"
"We heard there was a trouble maker on this vessel, looks like we got our man!"
They wrestled Blane off the vessel as the folk about called for his lynching.
Some time later, the guards let Blane go after checking and searching him, leaving all his possesions in woefull dissarray. Finally clear of that fiasco, Blane sighed, finally he could head into the city to buy himself a bed and an ale. After he reorganised all his equipment, he continued on. Looking about for an inn, he grabbed his purse.
He furrowed his brow as he checked his coin. He was sure that he had a lot more then what was there when the ship had left Crows nest.
Then something dawned on him. The halfling that had thanked him. He now realised that the halfling had thanked him for his gold.
He glared around at the city with his hands on his hips.
"Goddam shithole!"

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Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Thu Aug 25, 2022 3:25 am

Blane sat alone in the Nomad tavern in Cordor, enjoying the show the local bards were putting on whilst sipping at his bottle of ale.
He reflected on the past few weeks he had spent in Cordor and how begrudgingly, he had started to warm to the place. All manner of activity was constantly churning within its walls and the multitudes of merchants and transport options was of unsurpassed convenience. The gardens and well built stone structures also offered some aesthetic beauty with their cleancut engineering and artistic embellishments.

He sipped his ale as he recalled the time he had gotten lost in the Arelith forest whilst trying to complete a writ for some coin. A friendly druid had happened upon him and offered to lead him out to the road. The two had travelled for a while together and had slewn all manner of hostile forest creatures along the way.
The striking thing about that encounter Blane thought was that the druid was infact a fish man, for lack of a better word. What in the hells a fish man was doing in the middle of the Arelith forest he had no idea, and was sceptical at first, but the druid had shown Blane the gills on his neck as proof, which he kept protected under a scarf. Blane had gawked in astonishment as the druid had mused to him that he never thought he would leave the sea and be walking the lands. Blane was glad that he had that day.

Blane chuckled to himself as he recalled learning to ride a horse. With a bit of guidance from a farmer and practise, he had managed the feat. The problem was that since he started using horses for transport, he had already been thrown off twice during travels between settlements. There was alot more to riding then just learning how to get up and sit on a horse and give it direction. He was unsure whether he should practise more, or just abandon the whole thing and use the magical portal network that existed. He would think on it.

Blane finished his ale and with a sigh rose to his feet and put the empty ale mug onto the bar. He exited the rear of the tavern into the chilly night air of the cultural district and stretched. He surveyed the enormous structure cloaked in shadows that was the arena, directly ahead beyond the bank. It was the massive centrepiece of the district, with its high walls and embelished archways, it was hard NOT to see it. Oddly, he spotted a flash of magical light come from within the arena, then another, but there were no spectators about, no scheduled event was underway as far as he could tell.
Curiously, he made his way up the arenas stairs and through an archway into the deserted spectator stands. He looked down into the fighting pit and saw a small group, some of them in official Cordor guard colours. It seemed that elements of the Cordor guard were practising their combat in the deserted arena and Blane blinked, he was sure one of them was the Justicer himself.
"This should be good!" He said to himself with his arms folded as he watched.
He watched two combatants ward themselves in preparation, then the combat began after a countdown. Powerfull barrages of magic were thrown back and fourth. Magically enhanced blade strikes were exchanged and Blane witnessed some tactics that he had never seen before, nodding thoughtfully as he absorbed it all. The combatants would call their magics gaining them shortlived but brutal strengh. They would strike and evade. Cast and countercast each other untill finally, one succumbed to the other. But there was no malice or gloating at the end. The fallen helped up by the victor and tactics discussed, both assessing weaknesses and strenghs to be addressed during the melee.
During his time as a soldier, Blane rarely used this style of heavily focused fighting. As a footsoldier, it was more about skill with the blade, defense and adopting a fighting technique that could be sustained for days if not indefinately.
What he saw here was very impressive, but also very costly in resources and magics. It was a more specialised pointed method of fighting, with powerfull but shortlived magics culminating in ferocious and deadly attacks and counterattacks, all supplemented by jarring magics. During his past and current bounty work, Blane did employ this method of fighting from time to time to bring down powerfull leaders which would otherwise be invincible, but never to the extent he was witnessing here, and he watched with great interest.

"Hmm, I wonder if its invitation only." He said matter of factly as magics flew about and combatants meleed.
The greataxe slung over his back burst out laughing, it was odd though that Blane was the only one that could hear it.
"You want to challenge the Cordor guard? Perhaps the justicar himself?" Inquired the axe with a dull gruff voice then laughed heartily.
"...Your a pug, a witless hack compared to that talent. You go down there, and your literally going to get murdered." Mused the axe.
The sword sheathed by Blanes side added in a nasally voice.
"Axe is right, they got better gear, better tactics, better skill, better magic....they are just, better..." the sword continued, accentuating every next word.
"Stabbers right, no chance at all." Agreed the Greataxe. After a moments silence, Blane responded.
"I..know! That's the point!" He retorted defiantly, in a dark tone that also ended the conversation.

Blane left the spectator stand and made his way through the arenas fight staging halls and up into the arenas sandy pit.
A huge halforc guard was conversing with the Justicer and another while two other guards were discussing tactics.
"Umm, is this invitation only?" Blane asked, getting the attention of the guards.
"Why not at all!" Replied one of the guards cordially, while they looked him up and down.
"Who would you like to fight?, take your pick!" said the guard.
Blane looked at the enormous halforc guard apprehensively, then the Justicer who had one of the most brightest burning swords he had ever seen. He looked back at the guard.
"Umm, what about you...maybe?" He finally replied. The guard nodded.
"Very well, lets do it" he looked at his companion.
"Count us down" he said as Blane and the guard took their places.
"Just street wards, we dont have all night" mentioned the guard. Blane nodded.
After they warded the countdown began.
The guard immediately threw a spell at Blane, then another as Blane charged him, axe held high. He swung wildly at the guard but the guard evaded and repayed him with a few quick sword strikes. As Blane swung again the guard darted away, threw another spell at him and before he knew what was happening, was on him again, his blade, magically enhanced striking Blane again and again. Blane swung wildly figuring if he could just get one good hit in but once again, the guard evaded with great skill, punishing him with further attacks and darting away. Another spell cast by the guard and the two lunged at each other again. This time the guard cut Blane down, and he awoke moments later with a mouthfull of sand, battered and bruised.
Blane spat the sand out as the guard offered a hand and pulled him back up to his feet. Blane nodded to him. "Thanks for the lesson"
The guard made no big deal about Blanes crushing defeat but rather proffesionally offered Blane some advice on his combat in a matter of fact way, then turned to the other guard waiting on the side line. "Right, we going again?" The other guard nodded as Blane left the arena limping.
Although he had been bested this day, he now saw a new approach to battles and savoured his new found experience, gained at the hands of this profound beating. There were a few things that needed changing, and at least now, he could see it.

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Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Fri Sep 02, 2022 1:42 am

Blane walked north along the Bendir trade route still thinking about recent lessons learned. It was lovely and sunny here and the nature was a welcome sight after staying in the stone collosus that was Cordor. The birds chirped and the trees rustled in the curling breeze. An occasional distant lazy moan of a bear added to the chorus of nature as Blane walked, his fullplate armour clinking and grinding rythmically with his foot falls. He breathed in the fresh country air with relish, a profound contrast to regular smell of flame, exotic foods and other that Cordor presented. But for all the beauty here Blane knew there was also danger, and he was constantly on the lookout for trouble. Sure enough, up ahead on the road he spotted movement and he narrowed his eyes. He cussed. More orcs it appeared, he counted five, looking for an unfortunate traveller no doubt to kill, rob and probably eat. He gripped his axe and made for them, breaking into a charge. As he neared them he realised they were busy with something on the ground. It was a traveller!, laying prone on the ground.
Blane burst into a rage and slammed into the small orc band ferociously, cutting them apart easily with devastating skillfull swings of his axe. He was a seasoned fighter after all, and although outnumbered, this rabble posed little contest.
Once the work was done and the last orc fell, Blane came to examine the body of a darkly clad traveller laying dead on the ground in a pool of blood, still clutching a sword. There were arrows in him but it seems that a blade to the gut had finished him off.
Blane sighed, it looked like another hapless adventurer, ill prepared for the dangers these hills harboured. Then something occured to him, he had found a powerfull magical rod in the depths of a cave a while ago infused with the power to resurrect the dead. Having never used it, he decided to test it out.
He retreived the rod and triggered it at the dead man and then watched curiously. Nothing happened and he frowned. He looked at the rod thinking it was a dud, or perhaps required extra components or abilities he did not possess.
Then, a magical yaw sounded and Blane saw the dead limp man slowly float back up to his feet. The arrows in him slowly pushed out and fell to the ground, his wounds sealed and then his eyes opened in a remarkable manifestation of divine intervention.
Although slightly disturbed by the eerie display, Blane nodded approvingly at the magics as the fellow took a deep laboured breath and panted. He blinked and looked around at the orc bodies whilst patting himself down where he had been previously mortally wounded. All that remained of the wounds were scars and big red blood stains on his ripped clothing. Realising what had happened he looked at Blane.
"Thankyou sir, thankyou!" The fellow was extremely agitated and told Blane what had happened very excitedly. New to the area, he had gotten lost. He was trying to travel to Cordor when the orcs had attacked. He had been travelling in the wrong direction Blane noted as the fellow thanked him again and then looked around nervously.
Blane pointed back down the road south.
"You were going the wrong way mate. If you want to get to Cordor, head south, just keep following the roads south. The way behind me should be clear for a while if you get moving."
The fellow nodded, got his bearings, thanked Blane once more and ran off southbound.
Blane shrugged and continued on. At least he now knew the rod worked. Onward he continued northward, there was still a writ to complete and coin to be had.

A few days later Blane found himself in the Earthkin village. He liked it there, the place was full of greenery but was a well established settlement of predominantly gnome and halfling folk. They knew how to exist with the land he noted approvingly, unlike his own kin that conquered the land with sprawling cities of endless stone.
Blane was looking for a dwarf smith and finally, had come accross one in the village. The problem was that he had found schematics for the most powerfull greataxe he had ever seen. But it was of dwarven design, and the forging of it utilised alot of abbreviated dwarven smithing techniques he knew nothing about. Although he was a smith himself, he was unable to follow these schematics. He needed a dwarf smith to decipher the methodology and initiate the forging, after which he could work the composition himself to completion.
The dwarf he found was very gruff and difficult to understand, but a nice enough fellow. He was indeed speaking common, but his accent was so heavy that Blane struggled to understand only every third word. Some sentences were lost on him completely and he stared blankly at the dwarf, not knowing what to do.
He had shown the dwarf the axe schematics and the dwarf seemed to get riled up somewhat, patting the weapon on his belt menacingly and demanding what Blane thought was some kind of accusation and demanding an explanation. He wasn't sure but knowing a thing or two about dwarves, Blane explained himself.
"I'm gonna head north to kill giants. I need that axe to get the job done."
The dwarf examined him up and down a moment with a squinted eye then gave a grin and nod. This answer appeared to please him. The dwarf then gave what Blane understood was a terse warning. It appeared the dwarf realised Blane struggled to understand so slowed his words closer to how human folk talked. It helped only a little. The warning Blane understood was something to the effect that if he ever used the axe to harm dwarven kin or do any kind of wrong at large, the dwarf would hunt him down and kill him.
Blane nodded as he hid his ire at the threat, which was almost an insult. The dwarf had his heart in the right place Blane thought, and he was going to help so he let the threat go. The fellow was a dwarf after all and Blane had always known them to be surly folk that rarely minced words. In light of that Blane forced a wide grin exposing his fight broken teeth. He nodded in understanding. "Well if I ever went feral and started doing folk wrong, I'd hope it would be you to put me out my misery good sir." Blane retorted.
"I'd make it quick lad!" The surly little dwarf replied with a hearty laugh. The two then travelled to Brogenstein where Blane watched the dwarf perform his skillfull magic at the forge untill finally, a roughly formed axe emerged.
"There ye go lad. It might take some time, but ye should be able to finish it off from there!"
Blane thanked the dwarf dearly and the two parted amicably.

Blane continued to work the axe for more then a week over many hours and sessions at the anvil before it was finally ready. During this time he had chosen to stay in Whidershin village and use the anvil nearby the resident smith, who occasionally watched on with vague interest. Once the axe was finally finished, Blane breathed a great sigh of releif. The adamantine within was exceptionally difficult to work he discovered. Now finished, he held it up with a wide open mouthed grin, its magically glowing blade slightly lighting up his face and broken teeth. It had a light, well balanced weight, and a sharp magical edge. It was impressive. Blane could not help but think of the dwarf who had helped him make it. He held it up and said upwards to nobody as he thought of the dwarf.
"Thankyou very kindly good sir!" He said with a thankfull salute.

"...I shall name you Adam, for the adamantine used to make you." He told the axe as he rolled it around in his hands, checking for any imperfections.
The axe slung over Blanes back spoke in a gruff standoffish tone. "Adam huh?"
As Blane continued checking the axe over and polishing it he finally replied in a matter of fact way. "Yeah, Adam"
"Boring name. Still, better then mine, Axe. Very cerebral that one"
Blane gave half a glance over his shoulder, sensing jealousy from Axe.
"Don't be jealous Axe. There comes a time where you need to leave the roost, just like some of my other creations. Find yourself a master that could really use you. You've been a GREAT axe, but...but I need something like this..." Blane held up Adam," get me through the hoardes I'll soon be facing."
"I see, so that's it then. Back to the weapon rack I go, waiting for someone else to take an interest in me."
"Oh stop sulking, you'll find a master soon enough." There was silence for a short while as Blane wrapped up his new axe and stowed it. It still needed one more finishing touch.
Axe spoke again, in a matter of fact way.
"You see Blane, here is the problem." Blanes eyes widened, Axe had never ever called him by his name before.
"Firstly, what if I dont want to go? What if I like it here?." Blane shrugged.
"...Secondly, and more importantly, you never made me Blane, that was a man who's creations were ten times greater then your pitifull excuses for smithing." Blanes eyes widened, thats right, he had bought Axe. Axe was different.
" bought me Blane. Do you know how long I sat on that merchants rack before you happened by and took a fancy to me?"
Blane grinned as he remembered the day he bought Axe.
" you mean to send me back there, discarded, like I was some form of refuse. Before I wound up on that merchants rack, do you know what it is that my old master used me for?"
"BEHEADING PEOPLE!" Thundered Axe as it leapt from Blanes back and slashed for the side of his throat. Blane caught him at the last instant holding him fast, but blood was already drawn, a long gash started bleeding down the side of Blanes neck as Axe forced himself deeper into the flesh.
"Stop it!" Gasped Blane, but Axe was strong, and dug deeper into his neck.
"...HE WAS AN EXECUTIONER! The greatest master an axe could ever hope for! Not clueless riffraff like YOU!" Announced Axe as he forced himself deeper into Blanes neck.
"Don't!" Gasped Blane, his muscles bulging and cording barely holding Axe back, the blade almost at the jugular vein.

The blacksmith placed a bronze helmet in his display after he had finished polishing it, then tended his stock, polishing and adjusting the various pieces. Now and again he glanced over at the fellow he had come to know as Blane, working the anvil nearby trying to finish his great axe project. It was high noon so he left for a drink and a feed at the nearby tavern. When when he returned, he saw Blane with a greataxe in his hands, straining his muscles and holding the axe at his own throat like it was attacking him.
"Stop it!" Yelled Blane. The blacksmith burst out laughing.
"Ahaawhaawhaaw...nice one Blane, if mine come alive, ima gonner!" He joked as he motioned to all the blades in his racks. He then noticed the blood starting to gush down Blanes neck.
"What the hells!"
"Don't!" Gasped Blane at the axe.
"Are you crazy? That aint funny no more!?" Yelled the Blacksmith unsurely. The blacksmith had no idea what was going, but by the blood, this was clearly not some joke. The blacksmith ran up and gripped the axe as Blane strained to hold it, slowly cutting his own jugular which would inevitably kill him.
The blacksmith put his foot on Blanes gut and gave a mighty yank backwards as he kicked. The axe left Blanes hands and was thrown away as the blacksmith and Blane both fell on their butts.
The two sat on the grass both panting and looking at each other in dismay. Blane held the gash on his neck as he eyed the inanimate greataxe laying on the grass apprehensively.
The blacksmith yelled in a rage.
"Are you fricken crazy?" Blane looked at him unsurely.

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Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Tue Sep 13, 2022 6:33 am

Blane sat in his stone cottage at the dimly lit down stairs writing desk in his mini study, overlooking the kitchen table and fireplace, bordered by a bookshelf and wall. Reflecting on recent events he examined the somewhat spartan but cozy interior of his newly aquired cottage with satisfaction. The candle lights flicked shadows accross the room that tussled with the other shadows in the night made by the fire that gently crackled away in the stone fireplace.

*In a letter to a quarter in port Llast, the following message is written in old handwriting with black ink on yellowing parchment*

"Well my friends, I sit here writing to you in a cottage I have recently aquired just north of Cordor. Aye thats right Cordor, the very one on the isle of Arelith. I know the last ye all heard I was headed to Skalyard and I was there too. But you know how things go with little understood magic and all the rest of it.
Drank a potion and went and teleported myself into the middle of a desert. That was an experience i'd prefer to forget let me tell you. From freezing snow and snowflakes to dry and very hot sandy desert in an instant. You can probably stop reading here till Skallen stops laughing and picks himself up off the floor.
Anyways, I couldn''t get back to Skalyard after I managed to walk out of that wasteland, the routes were iced over, so here I am.
Nice little place I got here. It's in a sleepy modest country town, just how I like it. The roof leaks abit when it rains heavy though, and the lock on the door may as well be a welcome sign. But regardless the place serves me well when I am in need of respite.
I caught a strange darkly clad fellow in here once after returning from some commissioned work that involved a snake cult, the details of which trust me, you dont want to know.
He was a well mannered fellow and hadn't actually taken anything, so I turned a blind eye to his intentions. Now I know what Reggie must be saying right now, I should of taken him down hard and then handed him over to the local militia for them to adjust his attitude with their own special treatment. Back in days of old perhaps I would of, but oddly enough, a holy warrier I met in Skalyard, set my ways of thinking different to these things.
We had been both robbed by some thief with sticky fingers that found their way into our purses. I wanted to find the blighter and show him some what for with me axe, but this paladin, he wasn't angry, he didnt even seem bothered at all.
You know what he said to me?
He said theft is usually a sign of hardship and poverty. He wanted to find this thief, and see if he required further aid. Can you beleive that?

I felt like some company anyhows so I offered the fellow a drink. He cordially declined and left like he was late for a meeting with some buxom lass. He probably thought I was crazy, which funnily enough wouldn't of been far from the truth by the reckoning of those that know me well enough.
Case in point. One of my axes tried to kill me again recently. Mr Haze wern't here to help me stop it and I thought I was done for, but luckily there was a nearby blacksmith that saw the commotion and got it off me just in knick of time I gotta say. He looked at me like I was insane, but like everyone else, he just doesn't understand. A nasty axe that one, I sold it cheap just to be rid of it. Had a real bad attitude, not one of mine either so dont fret on that. Whoever made that one did so with hate and bloodlust I gotta say.

Skallen would be interested to know my smithing is coming along well. I can work adamantine now and Damask weapons, no word of a lie. I recently completed a Damask sword as good as one can get.
I recently came into possesion of a handy shop that I've been using to sell some of my wares for quite a tidy profit I have to say.
As for my bounty work there is no shortage of writs here to earn some coin. This island is largely untamed and hostile creatures infest most of the parts away from settlements in great number.
I've made lots of coin and equally have seen lots of bodies of unprepared adventurers that have tried to do the same.
I suppose im lucky in that I've done this kind of work before, with you lot as company to keep me alive. I now know how to pick the easy coin.
Well all the best to you lot and heres to health. Hope alls well in those parts and hopes we'll meet again soon.

Blane, the insane"

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Location: Australia

Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Sun Oct 09, 2022 10:29 am

Blane finished his last mug of ale and stumbled out of the Mayfields tavern humming a tune to himself. He enjoyed his time off doing bounty work and just living life in the village that was his new home. He finally entered his quarter after falling over repeatedly in the grass and staggering off sideways to the laughter of the local guards that watched his tenuous progress. Once successfuly home, he pulled himself up the spinning stairs to the upper level via the handrail and then two feet from his bed stumbled down onto the floor coming to rest flat on his back looking up at the beams which held up the ceiling. As he watched the beams above spin he laughed aloud to himself and decided to stay put, figuring he was close enough to his crib and it was just too much work to try to make it the rest of the way.
He laughed aloud and looked around with a jovial quip ready to be uttered at his companions. It was at that moment, like an ominous bell tolling, that he realised with great dissapointment that he was alone. His mood sobered as his true loneliness in this place fully revealed itself and his thoughts drifted back to his circle of close friends in port Llast. He longed to be with them once more, and he questioned what he was doing here in the first place, so far from the place he used to call home.
He had made some peripheral aquaintences here, but nothing like the brotherly life long friends he had in port Llast. The mirth drained from his face and at that moment he felt more lonelier then he could ever remember. He wondered how things were going in port Llast as he drifted off to a disheartened sleep, reminiscing about how things once were, when he was home among his best friends and...she, his greatest love, was still alive.

A much younger man all those years ago, it was a pivotal time in his life Blane remembered once more, always with the dissatisfaction of remembering also, those questions unanswered.

Blane sat on his bed in the caged infirmary of the large cloisteted temple. It was a place where those deemed a risk to themselves or others were kept.
The walls, floor and ceiling of the large chamber were made of grey cobblestone, and the windows and one side of the long infirmary were barred, to prevent escape. Rows of beds were lined up each wall of the large chamber, which Blanes was one. Blane and a score of other occupants wore simplistic tan gowns. Some muttered endlessly to themselves, some just hid shaking whilst others held conversations with imaginary people.

Blane watched the gate guard who was a large heavyset priest unlock the access gates and in walked three men wearing soldiers full plate. Their weapons were left on the other side of the bars as the priest locked the gate behind them.
The foremost was an older fellow with no helmet  showing his aging face and a greying beard. He appeared to be the leader in rank as his armour appeared more embelished. The other two wore their steel helmets and appeared to be his guard, following rigidly behind him.
He strode up and stopped a foot short of Blane and stared down at him with his hands on his hips.
"On your feet soldier!" He barked sternly.
Blane glared back up at him, slowly replying in a surly tone. "Who the Snuggle a Bugbear are you?"
The hardened soldier was taken aback by this and concern grew accross his weathered face as the three of them looked at each other with reservation. The leader turned back to Blane who now stood up to meet him eye to eye.
"Do you remember anything about the guard?" Inquired the leader hopefully, searching Blanes expression. Blanes brow sagged over his eyes.
"This again? Guard? What guard? Why does everyone keep asking me about this goddam guard?
The only guard I remember is that one over there by the exit that WON'T let me out!. Now let me the Snuggle a Bugbear out of here, for the last time, I don't remember anything about no goddam guard!"
The leader, a hardened man, appeared visibly saddened and shaken by this outburst. He looked Blane up and down one more time, as one would in a final farewell to a dear friend, then turned and left.
"What about Blane?" Asked one of the leaders guard as they left abruptly.
"That is no longer Blane." Announced the leader sadly. "He died in that cave, doing what he did best. Perhaps we should of left him there, it seems that would of been kinder." He grunted as they left for the last time.

Some time later, Blane had another visitor, it was one of the head priests. The priest approached and told him he was free.
"You are to be released my friend. Nobody in the guard will divulge what you did, or what you were involved with, but it seems some mission of great import succeeded at the cost of your life.
Remember it or not Blane, you were once part of the guard as a soldier but you did something.
Many very influential people made sure your healing was the best available, and that you were returned from the dead..." the priest shook his head in dismay, " ...despite your many many very grievious injuries. Really, you should be dead. One could even conclude that you are no longer truly this Blane that once lived, but rather the parts of him that we could salvage and bring back to life, to honour him." Blane listened to the priest unmoved with a sunken brow as he continued.
"You've been awarded a lifetime pension, compliments of the guard. You need not fret for coin ever again. Go home and try to heal good sir, perhaps one day the question of all this secret and shadow shall reveal itself from the clouds in your damaged mind."
Blane stared at the priest.
"I ain't going"
"What? But you are free!" the priest pointed out startled. "It's against my advice but its what you wanted isn't it?"
Blane pointed into the far corner of the infirmary where a thinly framed pale individual watched them through a sagging fringe whilst hunched over fretfully.
"Mr Haze comes with me, or I dont go."
The priest looked at Mr Haze. "Sadly, Mr Haze has lost his faculties of reason, he is a danger to both himself and others. It would be reckless to say the least to allow him freedom once more." Blane grabbed the priest by the lapels of his garment and looked him in the eye sternly.
"I'm the Guards hero guy remember. You give me what I want or the Guard will come for you. Mr Haze goes with me." Reiterated Blane.
The priest nodded at Blanes threat impressed, then sighed, "sadly my friend, the Guard, allbeit with great sadness, has forsaken you as lost. If you refuse to leave, it is no concern of mine. This after all, is a place of healing. All are welcome to stay here as long as they wish! Lets try this again tomorrow!" Said the priest smiling thinly, then turned to leave. The two then noticed what appeared to be a much higher ranked priest standing at the exit gate. His robes were much more embelished and the large amulet around his neck hinted at great rank. The priest in front of Blane clearly shocked by this appearence, bowed respectfully.
"Your eminence" the figure eyed him emotionledsly a moment then motioned to Mr Haze with his chin. "Allow it." is all he said before turning and leaving. The priest bowed respectfully. "As you wish your eminence"

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Location: Australia

Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Mon Oct 10, 2022 9:32 am

Blanes eyes opened and he looked around. He realised suddenly that he was laying on the floor beside his bed, had a splitting headache and was shivering cold. He rubbed his temples with his hands moaning.
He rolled up onto his feet and made his way downstairs. He stoked the dying fire in the fireplace and warmed some food. He ate some food, drank some milk, took some herbs, returned upstairs and went back to sleep, this time in his bed.
A day and a half later, Blane was up and about again. Wearing a woodsmans outfit, he headed out to tend his shop and pick up some supplies from the tavern.
He opened his front door and there was a prudish looking middle aged lady in a flowing teal dress forcing a smile at him through glaring red painted lips. Her fair hair was wrapped up in a tight bun on the top of her head. It appeared that she was about to knock but now lowered her hand.
Blane rubbed his eyes as he looked her up and down.
"Can I help you lady?"
Blane blinked at her with a wrinkled nose as she rattled off an explanation.
"Good morning citizen! My name is Roseanne Goggins and I represent the good folk of Mayfields and Whidershin village but not the arcane tower as that is a seperate entity to the towns hierarchy even though it is techincally part of the town, it actually is not so far as I can ascertain in all due logcal course, though I may be mistaken."
She smiled at Blane as Blane looked back at her with a furrowed brow and squinted eye.
"What?" He asked, before raising hand. "wait, scratch that. What is it that you want?"
She smiled through her red lips and pointed to a list she flashed at Blane.
"Im glad you asked good citizen. I represent the good folk and am aspiring to run in the upcoming elections and part of what I represent is health and prosperity for this town of which you seem to..." Blane cut her off.
"What is it that you want lady? Need somebody killed?, a goblin infestation maybe?"
She pursed her lips and and gave Blane a ruefull look then pointed to her list again.
"Well, I was hoping you would do your part for the town and help make it safe." Blane shrugged.
"Well sure, I got..." this time she cut Blane off.
"..and how you could assist in our endeavours to make this town safe is to remove the identified hazards associated with your property"
Blane gazed at her in somewhat disbeleif, trying to ascertain as to whether this was some kind of a joke. "hazards you say? Such as?"
"Well the committee.."
"Comittee? What commitee?"
The lady pursed her lips.
"Yes, the committee has identified that you recently installed a smithing forge beside your property"
"So? What of it? I do smithing work"
"The advice we have been given is that it has been installed too close to the tree line and represents a fire hazard"
" is that so?" Blane retorted, his brow sagging.
" indeed, we also identified that you have a strychnine tree at the back of the house. Anybody could just walk up to it and take a bite of its fruit."
"Why would they do that?, its my tree, on top of that, its a goddam strychnine tree."
"They could be a thief, looking for a free lunch. They could be killed."
"Then good, if they wind up dead for their trouble stealing from my tree, its no concern of mine."
" that's not a neighbourly attitude to take sir."
" and stealing from my tree is?" Growled Blane, hands on his hips.
"If you refuse to comply with this action report,  we may be left with no option but to push for your eviction."
"Eviction? Really?" Blane glared at her. "Im sorry, you are again?" He asked cordially whilst reaching round behind his front door.
"Roseanne Goggins, at your...oh my"
Blane produced a glowing greatsword he had recently aquired and waved it around abit as Roseanne took a few steps back.
"This is Edgeworth, Roseanne!" Said Blane with a crazed expression. "...and I think he wants to meet you!"
Roseanne wailed and ran off in terror as Blane chuckled, lowering his weapon.
"Pity you didn't follow through." hummed Edgeworth. Blane looked at it with a slight look of concern. He was concerned that the sword seemingly talked, and that he could hear it.
"You cant talk, its all in my mind" Blane told no one, looking distantly.
"Ahh, Now you truly are deceiving yourself" Edgeworth retorted dryly.

Posts: 39
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Location: Australia

Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Tue Oct 25, 2022 2:43 am

//(This entry describes an accidental pc kill. I think i clicked KD in the chaotic melee and caught party member by accident. Once again, apologies to fellow. Even though this event fits incredibly well with Blanes story, on my oath it was unintentional.)

A few days earlier, in the lead up to Blanes drinkfest...

Blane returned south on his trusty steed to Mayfields after another successfull writ. The warhorse was a good strong companion, and now that he had some experience riding, got him around places without nearby portals much quicker. Even so, the ride had been long and he dismounted almost falling down as his legs had gone to sleep. He headed into his cottage and slammed the door behind him. There in the lower living area was a darkly clad fellow standing at his bookshelf in the open mini study enjoying a read. The slamming door startled him and turned quickly. Not knowing what to do he merely said. "Oh hey!" And put the book he had been reading back. Blane rolled his eyes, not again he thought. He was too tired to deal with yet another intruder that had let himself in.
"Evenin!" he greeted the intruder tiredly and made his way upstairs to the fellows astonishment. He washed his face and took off his backpack, stretching and massaging one of his shoulders which was aching abit. He rubbed his gut and made his way downstairs. He didn't bother checking his valuables as he never left anything valuable in the cottage other then some ore and ingredients, easily replacable. As he had expected, the intruder had seen himself out and he was glad for that. Tiredly, he sighed and had some supper. He reflected on another great gain and thought about where he could make some coin next before heading off to rest.

Blanes Greataxe that he had named Adam was performing exceedingly well. It seldom spoke but when it did, Blane could hear and feel the blood of dwarves emanating from its accent and being.
Adam hated giants and their kin with a passion, and its zeal at striking them down gave Blane great satisfaction.
That is until Blane decided to travel to Sibayad to see if he could turn some coin there. The writ agent there had mentioned trouble with the local orcs and the coin was right so Blane decided to take it on.
Nearby, was a group of adventurers preparing for an expedition. Blane overheard their conversation as he checked his own gear, they were planning an assault on the orcs themselves it turned out so Blane introduced himself and joined them. One of the members of this group was a half giant and Blane should of heeded the fact that Adam was humming with rage, being in the vicinity of giant kin.
The work started out well enough with the group felling orc enemies as they pushed further and further into the orclands, completing each writ objective well. The half giant in the group was a powerfull fighter and bashed his way through enemies, barred doors and just about anything else with immense strengh. Blane fought alongside him with confidence as the fellow was like a giant rock guarding his side.
Then came the fatefull moment. A huge melee errupted between Blanes group and an orc ambush. Magic and lights were exploding everywhere as more then a dozen orcs joined the fray and the spells and flashes were blinding. Blane fought side by side with the half giant cutting a swathe through the orc rabble. Blane felt Adams magic edge guiding his thrusts as he raged and swung wildly, bringing down enemy after enemy.
With all foes despatched, the melee settled and calmed, a huge pile of bodies, blood and limbs  littered the floor. Blane made his way out of the chamber glancing about for the half giant curiously. Outside was waiting the leader, an arcanist summoner. Blane waited beside him for the others to finish their looting and emerge.
Amongst all those orc bodies and blood, Blane had not noticed the dead body of the half giant he had been fighting with. The fellow had been struck down by an opportune blow. The half giant had been raised by his companion and both emerged to confront Blane in front of the others in the courtyard outside the chamber.
The half giant glared at Blane, weapon ready."Is there a reason you targeted me with that glowing axe of yours?" He demanded in a surly tone. Blanes eyes widened.
"Oh shit!" He whispered to Adam. "What did you do?"
Adam replied with triumphant defiance in his dwarvish accent.
"I got 'im is what I did. Waited till the orcs weakened 'im and cut his gizzards out! The worm. Ha! Didn't count on a raise scroll though. Lets cut him down again, that felt so goo...."
Blane stowed the axe over his shoulder and raised his hands disarmingly.
"Umm, if that happened I apologise whole heartedly. It was an accident."
The arcanist summoner inquired curiously of the half giant.
"Is this true? He struck you down? Should I desintegrate him where he stands?" He asked, starting to build an incantation with his hands.
The giant was silent a moment then spoke.
"No, leave him be. He claims it was an accident."
Blane truly felt sorry about what had happened and was furious with Adam.
"Your welcome to take a swing at me, to even the scales."
The half giant shook his head.
"No" was all he said and the group moved on. Blane felt terrible. He stayed away from the half giant and did not use Adam again. He instead resorted to ranged support with his throwing axes.
Needless to say, the rest of the writ was completed but despite the desert, the air was horribly icy due to Adams indiscretion.
Back in Sibayad and the spoils sold, it came time for the splitting of the coin.
The half giants friend who had been collecting the loot handed Blane 1200 gold.
Blane eyed her confused as the arcanist summoner inquired.
"What? That is all we made. After all that work and looting.?"
It did sound VERY suspicious but it was on her word. Short of cutting open her pack, the truth of it would never truly be known.
"Yes, thats it" she maintained.
An incredulous look of ire on the arcanists face, he retorted.
"Well then, that being the case, I would rather rub feacies on my face then do all that again. Good day to you all!"
Blane gave her an accusing look and left, the only thing stopping him from contesting this obvious robbery was the fact that he had felled the giant and felt penance for it. He resolved with sadness that Adam had to go. He headed home with the intention of getting very very drunk.

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Location: Australia

Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Mon Nov 07, 2022 11:34 am

Another day in Mayfields and Blane sat out the front of his cottage on a bench with a cup of coffee, reviewing the Smithing blueprint manual he used to guide him through the methodology of forging various items, mainly weapons. There were a few popular items he had memerised and made regularly as they were good constant sellers for his shop. But this time he was thumbing through the pages looking for something a bit more exotic, just for the hell of it.

A devastating maul, no, a deadly greataxe, no definately not. A powerfull longsword, maybe later...
But what was this.
A mechanical crossbow self repeating magically imbued with unlimited ammunition.
Blane nodded approvingly as he studied the schematics. With an upturned lip he nodded to himself. Not that hard to assemble really.
He read off the required materials.
Yep, yep, yeah ok, yep. Uhoh.
Blane rubbed his bristly chin in thought. An Ettercaps silk gland. He furrowed his brow. He remembered that there was some in the Neverwinter wood and native to the island of Skalyard, but he didnt recall ever seeing any here, on Arelith.
Well, he did know where there was a spider infested cave up north through the Arelith forest. He decided to set out in the morning.

Upon his trusty warhorse, Blane travelled up to the Minmir hills at a gallop. Regularly attacked on the road by all manner of folk, giant and beast, he made easy work of them with his advanced skills and advanced equipment.
His latest weapon, a greatsword whom he called Edgeworth after aquiring it from a stall in Cordor, seemed to be a good fit for him. The blade was somewhat chaotic, but good intentioned for the most part which Blane found reassuring.

Once in the lush hills halfway between Guldorand and Minmir, Blane made for a cave he knew was spider infested. He had taken a writ once to clear it out of spiders including a giant one that had taken up residence there. He didn't remember seeing Ettercaps in there, but it was a good place to start.
Whilst enroute he ran into a large party of Reavers that were travelling along the road. They attacked him on sight, knocking him off his horse. After a tough fight, Blane stood wounded amongst a dozen Reaver corpses panting. He bandaged himself up while surveying the surroundings for more ambushers, then proceeded to loot the corpses of his kills. It wasn't the most pleasent of chores but it was a tough world. Kill or be killed, feed or be fed upon. Where ones very existance in the wilds was constantly challenged, resources, and the ability to take from those that would otherwise take from you, was key to survival.
The grizzly work done, Blane left the corpses in the sun for the scavengers lurking and watching from the shadows, waiting for him to leave so they could pick the bones.

Blane mounted his steed and galloped on through the green tree dotted plain to the rocky mountainside where he knew there sat a cave entrance.
Once he arrived, he surveyed the area then the cave entrance. Looking at the cave resolutely, he dismounted his steed and then gave him a pat.
"Your staying out here my friend!" he told the horse as he prepared himself for a delve into the cave on foot.
"Hello!" Called a small but slightly gruff voice from behind him. Blane turned around almost clumsily in his fullplate startled.
Standing a short distance away was a heavily warded halfling, a blurred shimmer within the magics that protected him.
With his glowing greatsword on his shoulder Blane faced and nodded at the fellow.
"Well met, hello." He replied unsurely. Blane squinted as he surveyed the fellow more closely. Wait a minute, that was no halfling, it was a...kobold!.
Blane gripped his sword more tightly and assumed a readied stance. He surveyed the surroundings discreetly through the slit in his helmet visor for an ambush.
"Your a kobold!" he declared, refocusing on the fellow.
"Yess, does this surprise you?"
"Well, yeah. Every kobold i've ever met has always attacked me on sight!. Your the first one that's ever, bothered to talk, which kinda makes me suspicious." Blane gripped his weapon tighter.
"Dont worry. I don't want to fight. I am friend!"
"Friend you say? okay." Blane glanced around again before refocusing on the kobold. "...So, what are you doing around here?" Blane quizzed, still dubious of the creatures intentions. He knew kobolds, and he knew they could be very sneaky, so remained alert for a trap.
The kobold showed Blane a magical bag full of various timbers he had collected.
"Oh me just here collecting wood. Lots here, very hard to find where I come from."
"I see, and where would that be?" Asked Blane with a furrowed brow.
"Down below!"
Blane thought a moment as the kobold continued.
"...very deep."
Blane nodded slowly with the realisation that there was only one place the kobold could mean. The kobold then proceeded to cordially introduce himself. He told Blane his name and declared he was part of the Shadowclaw clan from Andunor. Blane had never heard of them, but he had heard of Andunor. He found the kobold to be quite bold in divulging this information so freely and nodded approvingly. Not be outdone, he reciprocated.
"Names Blane, from Mayfields."
"Oh, I know that place, nice there." Responded the kobold to his surprise. Then Blane had a thought. 'To hells with it' he thought, it was worth a shot.
"Say friend, I dont suppose you would know where to find an Ettercaps silk gland? I was about to check in this here spider infested cave."
The kobold perked excitedly.
"Oh yes, I know where you can find such a thing. Maybe in that cave but if not, down below."
"Down below?"
"Yess! Down below!. if you are strong, you can make a name for yourself there! Be boss! Rule the below!" Replied the kobold, then proceeded to give Blane some rough directions about strange places deep beneath the surface where Ettercaps lived that he had never even heard of or imagined could exist. It all sounded very intruiging, but Blane was no fool. He'd heard tales and legends about the underdark, and how dangerous, horrible things resided down there. But then again Blane thought as looked around, the surface wasn't the safest place to be either. He shrugged.
"Yeah ok, I think I got all that but how do I go there? I've no clue how to reach down below. Where is it?"
"Oh, there are many ways down. You said you are from Mayfields yes?" The kobold then proceeded to point out an entry point near Mayfields and handed Blane a key. Blane up untill this point had no idea he had been living near an access point to down below. Intruiging.
"The door is heavily warded, but this will get you through!" Grinned the kobold. Blane took the key and nodded to the kobold with great thanks.
"My thanks for this friend. I only wish I had something to repay you with in return!"
"No mind. You didn't attack me. This is thanks enough big friend."
"Very well." nodded Blane and the two said their goodbyes and parted ways.
A while later Blane emerged from the spider cave in the late afternoon. He had collected plenty of spider silk, but no Ettercap silk glands. He took out the key the kobold had given him and examined it.
"Looks like I'm going on a journey..."
"Smashing!" retorted Edgeworth.

//said meeting really happened...

Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2022 7:02 am
Location: Australia

Re: Blane, the insane

Post by Fume » Sun Nov 20, 2022 8:38 am

Blane awoke in his cottage bed and sat up with a groan holding his side. With a sunken brow he remembered the events of the night before. He'd been robbed of his coin blatantly right in front of his eyes and had attacked the perpetrator that stood before him in response. It was a lesson in reality that he sorely learned.
He struck the first blow as Tempus would demand, but it was the perpetrator that had struck the last and fled gleefully with his booty while Blane lay on the ground unconscious, bested in combat.

Oddly though, in hindsight, he had found the fellow to be somewhat honourable. They had exchanged names and it was by a roll of the dice of all things that this fellow had decided his actions. It was Blane that had been first to draw the blade.

This, event was merely the last in a string of poor luck Blane had been having of late and he thought deeply about what he was doing here, on this isle far from his true home.

He poured some water into a wooden bowl on his dresser and washed his face before staring into the murky mirror on the wall and giving a deep exhale in exasperation.

And there he was. It was him, but not him. The mirror reflected an image of him with blood soaking his face and hair. A myriad of open cuts accross his face. Blood covering his broken teeth.
Heavy black lines under heavily bloodshot eyes.
Normally Blane looked away when he saw it, and then when he looked back, it was always gone.

He forced himself to stare at it this time. And the image, his reflection stared straight back at him. Blane surveyed it more closely now, every cut, every run of blood. It was alien to him, but also somehow familiar.

Then something odd happened, the reflection, of himself although bloody, up untill now had mimicked him, such as  a reflection should, that is, untill now.

A spitefull bloodcovered broken toothed grin grew accross the reflections face.
Blane stared at it shocked as it started moving of its own volition, looking him up and down with disdain. Finally, it asked.
"So, your finally ready to face the ghosts of your past?" Blane considered the question.
"Your me, right?" Blane finally asked.
"What gave it away?. To be precise,  I was you. Or rather, you were a part of me." replied the reflection dryly. Blane looked at the bloody face.
The reflection stared back at him tiredly.
"What happened to me?, or us" Blane finally asked it unsurely.
With a sigh the reflectuon replied.
"I am solely burdened with that knowledge and it must remain as such. For if I were to reveal that to you that now, we two would be once again as one. Our torment would touch our soul once more and we would be driven mad by the agony we endured at the hands of those whose kin we vanquished."
The reflection stared at Blane fearfully and a memory began to shimmer out of the fog of Blanes mind.
He suddenly felt the agony of a thousand insect bites slowly consuming him, from in and out. He felt his entire body burning whilst enduring the cuts of a thousand blades, all at the same time. The tentacled face of an iliithid projecting into him materialised and he was about to scream in agony from the unspeakable pain and sorrow he felt and then, the memory was gone. Like an enormous unbearable weight lifted.
Just a distant vague thread now , his reflection looked upon him with eyes of sorrow.
"This, is the burden I carry. Much horror was endured before death, for the blow we dealt our enemy was bitter and final to their long prepared plans. We died a thousand times befoe our true passing at their vengefull hands."
Blane gulped as he looked at the bloody reflection of himself.
"Perhaps you shouldn't tell me what happened after all. But what about the weapons? Why can I hear them talk? Am I mad?" Replied Blane.
"That is beyond my knowing." Began the reflection slowly, "Whether these are further factions of our splintered mind at work trying to manifest themselves, or some residual psyonic ability embossed upon us by the long and deep repeated attacks of the illithid minds, is for somebody else with knowing of these things to answer."
Blane rubbed his temples. He looked at the reflection with a furrowed brow.
" I'm struggling here. Were we ever any good at fighting? because i'm not seeing it. Ive got some broken memories about being a hero once."
The reflection looked at Blane with a wretched smile. "I watch you and  your ways with the sword and I lament, a shadow of what we once were. Nothing more then a shadow, mocking what we once were."
The reflection reminisced proudly as Blane listened.
"...for once we were mighty! We were one with our blade, a master of it, and it drank the sweetness of our enemies blood more times then I can remember." A memory began to form in Blanes mind of things long passed. Bodies and death on the battlefield everywhere, fighting and killing. He felt great satisfaction as his blade drove into hearts of his cowering enemies. They all fell before him as he fought on without relent and it made him feel proud.  Monsters, Beasts, soldiers, men, woman... children! His initial feeling of pride transformed into one of horror as a grotesque collage of the blood and slaughter of everything in his path filled him with sorrow. There was a time when he cared not for what it was he killed.  Blane looked away in discust, he was a...murderer.
"Stop" cried Blane. The memory vanished and the reflection gave deep a sinister laugh.
"Now you understand. Why it is that I was better then you, better then you could hope to ever be. Why it was that I was able to slay that which others could not."
Blane looked at the mirror in shock.
" enjoyed it. You craved it! You were a monster devoid of all morals and remorse! You killed for lust. We killed...for the want of it."
Blane searched the reflection as it simply nodded. That indeed was the truth of it.
"Enough!" Blane screamed and turned away. "That is not who I am any more. I am...good! I fight to save life, not destroy it."
"That is why, you are weak, and forever shall be so."
Blane looked back at the reflection angrily but now saw only his own mirrored reflection again. His alter ego was once again gone. He looked at himself considering what he once was with dissapointment, then turned and left.

Days later, with a new outlook on his life Blane packed up his things, sold off his cottage and shop. Took one last look at Mayfields and bid it farewell. He was bound for Port Llast, it was time to leave this island and go home.

The End

....or perhaps just another beginning

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