The Dark Man saga.

Denver, Co

The Dark Man saga.

Postby Geryon » Thu May 02, 2013 1:37 pm

I went back through facebook and archived all the stories and games we played related to the 'Dark Man' series.

An old stranger hobbles into town in the dead of night, his face tight with desperation. With a shoddy makeshift cane tucked under one arm, he stumbles towards the nearest building showing signs of life at this late hour.
The doors of the Frosty Peaks Tavern are flung open hastily as the old man staggers in. The sparse patrons of the tavern turn towards the source of the commotion.
"They took her... my daughter.... they took my Clara !!"
A small group of sympathetic adventurers will hear the plea of the old stranger, and seek out the highwaymen that abducted his daughter. But what was to be a simple encounter with bandits takes a twist. Can the adventuring party find Clara? Will they survive the trial that awaits them?
Tomorrow! At the Crown Lands!
"Highwaymen took my daughter...hours ago...I need fighters who will help!" A Healer and his friend, a monk, rise from a nearby table and come forward. "You need to sit down" said the healer, Eggman, as he began a Healing spell on the exhausted and wounded man. Jack the scout, Arvos the Monk, Zander the Assassin, and Jake the young druid soon joined the table and heard his tale. "We were returning to the city from our monthly trip to the neighboring town of Pueblo when they ambushed us. I drew my sword and advanced on them but they took a guarded position and carried my Clara away...Oh I am so Clara!!" he broke down into tears. The party decided to aid him and seek out his daughter. The old man led them to the cities southeast entrance, and into the forest to a narrow woods path.

Upon stepping foot into the narrow wooded path, the party was set upon by a group of goblins hiding amidst the trees. The adventurers hacked and slashed at the weak creatures, blood and gore showering the battlefield. One of the goblins, facing the enemy attack, screamed, "we must warn the master!!" and fled in terror. Jack the scout was unable to strike the cowardly creature before he fled into the foliage. The relentless goblins seemed infinite. From the trees they jumped and slashed, occasionally able to strike a mortal wound on the adventurers. "We must push forward!" exclaimed Eggman, "there is a Shaman!" The party members tightened their ranks and pushed through the trees towards the goblin shaman at the edge of the narrows, Jack the Scout hacking and thrusting the pathetic creatures to pieces with his long and short swords and Arvos providing ranged support with his sling shot. Zander the assassin used stealth and his twin blades to dispatch the goblins quietly and Jake the druid effectively kept the goblins at bay, using nature magic to imprison the enemy in vines with his entangle spell. The powerful healer Eggman both provided healing and combat support with his sword and shield as well as offensive magic. The closer they pushed towards the shaman, the more difficult the task, as the goblins they struck down were brought back to life with even greater frequency. Finally, after sustaining quite a few mortal wounds, the adventuring party pressed the goblin shaman and struck her down. Seeing their master vanquished, the remaining goblins fled screaming into the thick of the forest. Steadying themselves, the party continued the path for what seemed like more than a mile until they happened upon a large, shoddy compound.

"Looks like they're here lads!" comes a rowdy voice from within the compound. The squealing goblin had apparently made it back to the compound and warned the bandits of the advancing party. The bandits stood prepared at the front entrance, fully equipped and wearing hard leather armor. The adventuring party struggled at the front entrance as the agile and armored bandits taunted and thrusted at them, keeping them at bay and inflicting wounds. Eggman kept his fellows healed as Arvos did what he could to fire projectiles at the bandits. Whenever Jake was able to entangle the leader of the bandits, the rest of them suddenly became afraid and fell back from the front entrance. The party members sustained a few deaths, Jack the Scout was struck down and exhausted, and the situation looked bleak for the party. Suddenly, a local soldier named Polaris, wielding sword and shield and wearing chain mail, stormed into the compound and began striking down the bandits, the party gained momentum and advanced towards the back room of the building. "What is all of this commotion??" shouted a pale skinned man emerging from the back room. He wore only pants and his body was covered in blood and gore. "Get the hell out of here!" The pale man began casting spells of wounding and shoving, striking the leg off the soldier Polaris and removing Eggmans arm. The surviving bandits rallied to their employer and pushed the party out of the building, wounding and killing some of them. It seemed as though the remaining bandits and the pale man were on the verge of finishing the adventuring party when suddenly the pale man screamed in pain "orrraaarrrghhH!!" and slumped forward to the ground. Arvos the Monk had connected with a perfect shot to the chest with his sling shot. The adventurers pushed forward and killed the remaining bandit, Kota, who fought with great style as he was overrun by the overwhelming force.

The adventurers made their way to the back room, where the pale man had emerged. The party shuddered as they found Clara, the old mans daughter. She hung suspended from the wall, torn from the torso, her blood and entrails dripping into a bubbling cauldron. The smell was putrid. "He's gone, his body, it's gone!" the body of the pale man had vanished. With heavy hearts, the weary and discouraged party trudged back to the city after a difficult ordeal. They now had to explain to the old man what had become of his daughter only a few hours earlier. A murder so vile and dark has not occurred in these lands for many years, and the element of human sacrifice brings omens foreboding. For what reason has this darkness emerged? And how long until it strikes again?

News of the grisly death of Clara, an old shopkeepers daughter, has spread like wildfire throughout the Crown City. All around the city, doors are locked and windows shuttered tight earlier and earlier in the day. The air of fear permeates what was only weeks ago a stalwart, fortified holding. From every corner is heard cautious whispers of the Dark Man, a magic user who appears to have murdered Clara and used her body in a ritual of the dark arts. Although an Iron Mountains dispatch was able to strike the man down, he was somehow able to escape while the party was distracted with their findings in his den: the remains of Clara and an array of tools and concoctions.

Apparently, a local goblin tribe and one of their shaman had been deployed to serve as scouts and as a front line of attack against the advancing party.

In what appears to be a move to calm the populace and bolster resolve in the wake of the recent horrific incidents, General Eggman Villainous is expected to address the public and announce his plans to dispatch a highly skilled guard captain from the Desert Winds, Yoshi, alongside a party of local militia, and storm the goblin tribe's home quarters.
General Eggman draws his sword in a lightning-fast motion and holds it before the crowd for a few moments, his face a resolute mask, the sunlight glistening off of the amtium blade. He resheaths his Iron Mountains Generals' Sword in a motion equally fast. The crowd goes wild as he exclaims, "We will show these pathetic creatures the power of the Iron Mountains! That we are NOT to be crossed!" and with a flourish, turns on his heel and exits the stage.
As General Eggman vacates the stage, Yoshi, alongside his adventuring party, replaces him to more raucous fanfare. Kordrellin the renowned berserker, for many years has his ferocity served the Empire. Jaxx, the relatively new but highly determined Scout who has never passed up a chance to serve the Imperial Militia. Arthur MacGregor the Monk, wielding his mighty glaive and paired swords, blood stained from years of inflicting brutal wounds. Sir Zumat, a fledgling wizard who has had unfortunate encounters with the law of late and thus lost his license to carry any weapons. A young pole-arm wielding warrior(sorry man I never caught your name), and Yoshi the Guard Captain, a highly talented swordsman visiting from the Desert Winds realm. The citizens of the Iron Mountains were in a blood-rage, craving the lives of any creature who dared to partake in such a vile offense against them. Many of the people knew Clara. She was a hard working young woman and a gentle soul, and vengeance for her death was at a fever pitch.
The citizens of the Crown City cast flowers and shouted encouragements to the departing party as it exited the western gate, the gate that leads into the mountainous and mysterious landscape that defines the Empire.
For many hours they traveled. Jaxx was easily able to discern the sloppily left trails of broken foliage and lead the party in the general direction of their quarry.
A fetid stench consumes the party as their footsteps become more difficult in a thick bog.
From the dark of the woods around the party erupted a chorus of violent hissing sounds.
Reptilian creatures, walking upright and wielding clubs, were creeping towards the party. Lizardmen!
Without hesitation they attacked. The thick swamp that limited the movement of the adventuring party was no obstacle for them. Their skin was thick and strong, deflecting some blows as they advanced. Yoshi and company sprung into action, making sure to avoid the thickest patches of the murky terrain and keep their footing. Yoshi moved straight into the invaders, deflecting blows with his shield and cutting them down with quick, precise slashes. Sensing the danger of the situation, Kord was driven into a berserker rage. He sprinted straight toward an approaching trio of lizardmen. He made short work of them all. Absorbing only a few wounds, his short swords left the reptilians in a bloody mass as he moved from enemy to enemy. Arthur hacked and thrusted with his glaive, hardly allowing them to get within striking distance of him with his footwork. Zumat, unarmed due to lawful decree and only able to defend himself and his party with apprentice level wizarding spells, stayed well protected by his comrades. His spell casting had noticeably improved with his time spent in wizard school, as he efficiently executed the heat weapon spell to burn the clubs from the enemy hands, and the Shove spell to force advancing lizardmen back and create room for his team to operate. The young warrior fought with great courage and ferocity with his polearm alongside Jaxx the Scout, who used throwing knives and his long sword to kill with cunning. Finally it seems the wave of attackers has been put down. The party took only a few serious wounds in the encounter.
Another wave of lizardmen is heard splashing relentlessly towards the regrouping party when suddenly a high pitched sound rings out. The tightly-formed party holds their defensive position as the lizardmen begin to fall back, their demeanor transformed from unyielding to subjugated. As they slink away and take their own defensive posture, the outline of a large figure manifests from the mire. It is the largest lizardman that anyone of the party had ever seen. Wearing the headdress indicative of a lizardman Chief, he held a brutal-looking contrived sword in one hand, and carried a shield of hide and bone in the other. His corded muscles rippled through the pale green skin, and his powerful tail swung from side to side in fierce strokes. Halting only 20 feet from the party he spoke in the common tongue, “Why have you tresssspassssed on our land and attacked out people….?” The party looked to eachother, when finally Jaxx spoke, “We need to get through this land, we are looking for something.” The Chief was not impressed. “Ssssooo, you attack my people for only thisssss reasssson? What do you ssssseek that is sssssooo far from your dwelling?” Zumat the wizard stepped forward. “We did not mean to trespass on your land, and we were merely defending ourselves from your people. We are in search of a group of goblins, they assisted in terrorizing our city recently.”
The Chief considered him for a moment. “Goblinssss you sssay?” Zumat nodded. The Chief became visibly frustrated. “For yearssss they have come, ssstealing from ussss in the night. Meat, materialssss, the eggsss of our young…I hate them.” The Lizard Chief saw that the party was honest in their endeavor and chose to assist the party, guiding them directly to the path that lead to the goblin holding.
From a patch of brush outside the goblin camp, the party watched them engage in a dancing ritual. Yoshi turned to his party. “Go! Let the crimson rain fall!.” They stormed the goblins as they danced.
The goblins barely saw them coming and dove into the foliage, but it was a fruitless effort. They attempted to ambush the party from the bushes but found themselves being drawn out into an open patch of forest. “Noo! Noo you fools! GET BACK TO THE TREES!” screamed the goblin shaman as he was eviscerated by Arthur's blades.
It was a blood festival, the pathetic creatures didn’t stand a chance.
The goblin shaman screamed his final death knell as the party finished them off, leaving one of the shivering weaklings alive for information.
They grabbed the poor creature and tossed him violently to the ground. “Bind him.” Said Zumat. The party members tied the goblins and feet painfully tight with rope, as it struggled in vain. Arthur then took one of his swords and cut deep into the back of its feet. He cut slowly as the creature screamed and pleaded, blood spurting from the sliced tendons.
The creature miserably gave as much information as it knew. Not much to speak of, but enough to sketch out a rough general locale of a few other goblin encampments.
“End him.” Zumat said, and the party drove their swords into the creature.
Many months have gone by with no more signs of the Dark Man. There are cautiously hopeful rumors that he met his demise to the felling blow. The business of the Empire has returned to normal.
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