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Author Topic: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-36 Decisions, Decisions  (Read 321219 times)

Felius

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-12
« Reply #1425 on: December 23, 2012, 09:57:15 pm »

Again, we should consider animating a rat or a small insect, controlling it and having it actually go see what exactly the necromantic energy source in the temple is.

Kill the animal without leaving marks so, in case anyone sees we interacting with it afterwards, it's special elven magic for influencing animals.
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Angle

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-12
« Reply #1426 on: December 23, 2012, 10:26:44 pm »

Let's hold off on necromancy for the time being, it'd be real awkward if we set off the wards and revealed ourselves as a necromancer.
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Felius

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-12
« Reply #1427 on: December 23, 2012, 10:29:45 pm »

Let's hold off on necromancy for the time being, it'd be real awkward if we set off the wards and revealed ourselves as a necromancer.
Cast it away from the village("We are going to scout around a bit."), and don't get near it while inside the village. Unless the priest is a necromancer himself and the only one in the region (not including us), at the worst they will detect a small undead animal and be paranoid of small animals for a while.
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"Why? We're the Good Guys, aren't we?"
"Yes, but that rather hinges on doing certain things and not doing others." - Paraphrased from Discworld.

bombzero

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-12
« Reply #1428 on: December 23, 2012, 11:09:12 pm »

Let's hold off on necromancy for the time being, it'd be real awkward if we set off the wards and revealed ourselves as a necromancer.
Cast it away from the village("We are going to scout around a bit."), and don't get near it while inside the village. Unless the priest is a necromancer himself and the only one in the region (not including us), at the worst they will detect a small undead animal and be paranoid of small animals for a while.

So basically with your plan we either...
A) find out what the source is without revealing ourselves. (likely)
B) Discover a potential ally. (unlikely)

Sounds good to me.
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Felius

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-12
« Reply #1429 on: December 23, 2012, 11:12:44 pm »

Let's hold off on necromancy for the time being, it'd be real awkward if we set off the wards and revealed ourselves as a necromancer.
Cast it away from the village("We are going to scout around a bit."), and don't get near it while inside the village. Unless the priest is a necromancer himself and the only one in the region (not including us), at the worst they will detect a small undead animal and be paranoid of small animals for a while.

So basically with your plan we either...
A) find out what the source is without revealing ourselves. (likely)
B) Discover a potential ally. (unlikely)

Sounds good to me.

Well, there is a risk, to be honest, as if the priest is in fact the necromancer and detect our scout, it doesn't mean he'll be friendly to us. But even so, we should have enough time to try to skip town if needed.
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NoahTophatz

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-12
« Reply #1430 on: December 23, 2012, 11:35:15 pm »

the priest may not be the only person who works at the temple we should carefully ask about the amout of people at the temple
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Felius

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-12
« Reply #1431 on: December 23, 2012, 11:40:01 pm »

the priest may not be the only person who works at the temple we should carefully ask about the amout of people at the temple
Small village temple. Maybe some caretaker that by one reason or another isn't fit for other work or an altar boy to help the priest, but most likely he does all the routine work with village folk/kids with spare free time occasionally helping, specially when there's need for heavier maintenance work.
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monk12

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-13
« Reply #1432 on: December 24, 2012, 01:58:07 am »

The plot thickens! Well, now this is interesting. Watch and wait, watch everything, the priest, the temple, the necromantic source, see what he does with the girl, and when possible, bring Omo in on this little secret. When you're outside the temple, of course.
+1
+1 again.
+1.

Watch over the kids too, it would be a shame to see them die in the hands of an evil double agent or something, after all the trouble we had bringing them here. We can say we're worried about them.
the priest may not be the only person who works at the temple we should carefully ask about the amout of people at the temple

"Nym?"
You regain your composure, covering the lapse with a wide yawn. "Sorry, just tired." You carry the girl over to the cots, setting her down next to her brother. You keep your mind on the unexpected source of Necromantic Energy, but it does not seem to move at all, not even a little. You stand still for a moment, considering this information, before uncertainly lowering yourself onto the next cot over. It certainly feels good to be off your feet, and you stretch, trying to catch Omo's eye to signal that he should be alert- unfortunately, your friend is sprawled out on the cot on the far side of the children, kicking off his boots and making himself comfortable.

Eko Cleanvise kneels in between the children, rummaging around his robes until he withdraws a short stick of white chalk. Carefully, he draws an inverted triangle on the girl's forehead, then a circle inscribed within it.

"What are you doing?" You ask curiously.
"I'm casting a spell to divine the nature of the child's... affliction." Eko murmurs, concentrating on his task.
"Oh. So what's the weird symbol for?" You ask curiously.
Eko blinks in surprise, then shrugs. "Well, technically, nothing. It is an aid to concentration, which will help me cast this spell in a reasonable time frame. Order magic requires your thoughts to be very clear and exact- orderly, I suppose you could say." He chuckles. "Sorry, just a little Wizard humor."
"Wizard? I thought you were a priest." Omo says, rolling over to observe the spell.
"I am a Wizard by virtue of my inherent magical ability and training at the Wizard's College in Atkilpeme, and I am a Priest of Atal by virtue of my theological training and commitment to community service. Not all Wizards are priests, and not all priests are Wizards. Forgive me, but I must clear my mind of distractions to successfully cast this spell."

So saying, Eko focuses his attention on the comatose girl, steepling his hands before him. At first, nothing seems to be happening, but then you notice a faint, nearly imperceptible white light enveloping the child. Slowly, the light intensifies into a bright, even glow surrounding the girl from head to toe, almost seeming to radiate from her. Suddenly the light flashes, causing you to blink from the brightness. It flashes again, then again, then four times in quick succession. A few moments after the final flash, the glow fades away and Eko sighs heavily.

"Well. It is as I feared- there is no physical cause for their stupor. She hasn't eaten or drank for almost two days now, and she's borderline hypothermic, but that's nothing a few days of bed rest won't cure. I'll confirm that Rismal is in the same state as Nelti, but I'll have to wait until tomorrow morning to be absolutely sure- that spell is a bit involved, and I do not have the Mana to cast it tonight." Eko shakes his head sadly, producing a small brass flask from beneath his robes and taking a quick drink.
"You said you thought you knew what was wrong. That this is what happens to the people who enter the forest." You prompt the priest.
Eko nods, wiping his mouth. "Yes. Aloclesno is a cursed place, cursed by Balkoth the Necromancer more than a thousand years ago."
"Balkoth?" You say, surprised.
"It happened in the final years of the Golgothan War... well, just a moment." Eko says, standing. "The story is a long one, and the children need food. And you as well, unless I miss my guess." He says wryly as Omo perks up. "Give me a few minutes to warm up some soup, and I'll tell you all about it."

Agreed. Play it safe. Inform Omo. Don't make waves or tell the priest. We do need to identify it, but it's possible that whatever it is might have been there for centuries, and the priests might not know about it. If it's some ancient zombified whatever that was buried after a battle then the temple built on top of it...it might be best to leave it buried.

When we have a discrete moment, use our necromantic sight to view through the eyes of whatever it is that's down there. Try to identify both it and its surroundings.
I have yet to see a convincing argument that the necromantic energy source is something that we wish to come into direct contact with. At least wait to see if it charges at folk and sucks out their vitality, felling them mid-stride...
Let's hold off on necromancy for the time being, it'd be real awkward if we set off the wards and revealed ourselves as a necromancer.

Eko disappears through the doors opposite the entrance, the swinging door giving you a brief glimpse of a small, well-furnished room beyond. Carefully, you wait a moment to be sure he's well away. Looking down the line of cots, you check on the sleeping man you noticed when you came in- he appears undisturbed by the conversation in the room, breathing deeply and evenly. Even so, you get up and walk over to Omo, leaning over his cot.

"There's something in the basement." You say softly.
Omo looks at you in confusion before comprehension dawns on his face. Sitting up quickly, he puts a hand on the quarterstaff he had set on the floor. "Something... you're familiar with, right? One of those?"
"Right." You nod. "I don't know what, exactly."
"Can't you tell?"
"Well..." You chew your lip thoughtfully. "It could be our friend from the forest. It could be something that's been there for years, and they just don't know about it. It could be an artifact. It could be something else entirely. If it's undead, I could try to Command it, but that's hard to do when you don't know what exactly you're commanding. You need a certain amount of empathy for that. I could guess randomly, it might work, I suppose. I could even make a little spy for us, but I don't know if any of that would give us away. I don't know enough about his wards, and if it's something unexpected down there, well..."
"So what do we do, then?" Omo hisses.
"It hasn't moved an inch since we got here, so I don't think it's an immediate threat. Just, keep your eyes open. We don't know what it is, and we don't know if our host knows about it."
"You think the priest might be...?"
"I don't know, okay? Just play it by ear."

You return to your cot as Omo lowers himself back onto his, grumbling under his breath. You lie down- the cot is surprisingly comfortable, and you are quite tired. Before long, Eko returns with a steaming pot in his hands, his head nearly obscured by the blankets he has draped over himself. After setting the pot down, he gives you and Omo each a large, thick blanket and a wooden bowl. You identify some kind of crusty bread at the bottom of the bowl before Eko ladles hot broth over it with a long wooden spoon, as well as some bits of meat and vegetables he scoops off the bottom of the pot.

You eat in silence while he serves Omo- the soup is quite good, if plain. You suspect the chicken that provided the meat was a bit past its prime, but after a long day of nothing but trail rations the hot soup is quite welcome. You finish the bowl while Eko repeats his earlier spell, this time checking the boy. He shakes his head upon completing the spell, then ladles a small spoonful of broth out of the pot. After carefully blowing on it, Eko gently feeds the boy, rubbing his throat to make him swallow.

"Thank you for the meal." You say, breaking the silence. "Do you cook for yourself a lot?"
"For the most part, yes. Usually I'm the only one here- sometimes a goodwife will bring me some dinner if they're feeling charitable, but normally I fend for myself with the stipend the Empire gives me. This particular meal, however, comes to us courtesy of Ado Drunkenstumbles' wife." Eko nods at the sleeping man at the other end of the room. "I always eat better when I'm tending to the sick, and for a while after, too- while their gratitude lasts, anyway."
"Mmm. So is that what you do here, then?"
"Tend the sick, teach the children, officiate ceremonies, the usual, yes. That, and maintain the wards." Eko replies, feeding the boy another spoonful.
"I heard you mention the wards earlier. What exactly do they do?"
"They keep the undead at bay. It's an important duty, especially with Aloclesno so close."
"Yes, but how do they work, exactly? I heard they didn't work for some reason, on the farms last night."
"They worked, as far as I can tell." Eko scowls. "They're still up, still working. It should have been impossible for the zombies to get past- the wards block their sight, and create something like an aversion. They should have avoided the place, and certainly not seen anything within the wards to attack. I need to find out how they bypassed those wards- until I do, the whole village is at risk."
"All they do is block sight? What if the zombies just blundered in?"
"It's possible, technically, but unlikely. Certainly not for three separate attacks. From what I understand, the undead aren't very bright and they simply do not have curiosity- those farmhouses should have been no more interesting than a roadside boulder, something to walk around, not through." Eko finishes feeding the boy, and moves on to the girl.
"And these wards are around the forest, too? Aloclesno?"
"Yes. Aloclesno... well, I'll start at the beginning, back during the Golgothan War. When Balkoth invaded Thrimesdur, his forces were divided in two- an army of mostly undead led by Balkoth sweeping up to threaten Atkilpeme from the south, and a larger force made up of the Golgothans and Balkoth's lieutenants who fought their way from the East. The bulk of the Imperial forces were tied up on the Eastern front engaging the much larger army there. Balkoth smashed the first army sent against his force, and drove the remnants back into Aloclesno."
"They retreated back into the forest? Just like these children did."
"Indeed, but at that time Aloclesno was just another forest, a fine source of lumber for the surrounding villages, nothing more. The leader of that army was one of the Emperor's sons, and he was known as Girus the Fox for his cunning in battle. Although he could not defeat Balkoth in the open field, he knew he couldn't allow Balkoth to march to Atkilpeme uncontested. Girus rallied surrounding villages to make up for his lost numbers and began waging a guerrilla campaign, slashing at Balkoth's flanks, disrupting his supply lines, and using the farmers' knowledge of the surroundings to strike hard at zombies away from the main army before falling back to Aloclesno."
"Supply lines? How many supplies does an army of undead need?"
"There were enough Golgothans with his force that the disruption was quite costly, and even the undead couldn't loot all the equipment they needed to fight effectively against the seasoned veterans awaiting them in Atkilpeme. In any event, the threat from his rear was enough to stop Balkoth's advance. He was unwilling to spend the time and resources it would take to root out Girus and his army from their position in the forest, where the defenders would have a decided advantage, and he was also unwilling to leave such a large, competent force at his back while he marched on the capital. So instead, he took a third option. Balkoth released a monster in the forest."
"A monster? What do you mean?"
Eko shrugs. "Nobody knows. Nobody saw it. Nobody is even sure that it was a monster- it could have been some kind of Necromancy never before seen, never used since, though anecdotal evidence suggests that it was a creature of some kind. All we know is that soldiers living in the forest started to... well, they didn't die, is the worst part. They were as the children are now- unresponsive, seemingly lifeless but still breathing, still alive. The Living Dead, some scholars call it. It spread like a plague- first a handful of soldiers, then another dozen, then a company. Every morning, men would rise to find more of their comrades already awake, but unaware."
"But, what was wrong with them?"
"They didn't know at first- cripplingly, their Wizards had died in the initial confrontation with Balkoth, and by the time they knew what was going on it was too late. After a few days, desertion was rampant, and Girus was forced to withdraw from the forest with a fraction of his army. Hounded by zombies, he withdrew to the West, hoping to raise another army before Balkoth could sack Atkilpeme. They managed to bring some of the afflicted to the cities on the Great River, and the Wizards there were able to identify the problem- the soldiers had had their souls removed." Somberly, Eko raises his flask to his lips.
You are silent for a long moment. "Uh... what's a soul?" Omo asks, scratching his head.
Eko coughs, spluttering on his drink. "What's a.. what's a soul? Did you pay no attention to your priest, boy?"
"We're, ah, from far away." You say carefully. "Maybe we call it something else."
"Far away..." He gives you a considering look, then stabs a finger at you. "You, my dear, are an elf."
"I- well, yes. We don't advertise the fact- we prefer to keep a low profile."
Eko shakes his head. "I should have figured it out before now- your clothes and appearance are enough, if I hadn't been distracted by the children. I'm sure you have a story to tell, but you're my guests, and I won't make you tell it if you don't want to. Well. The soul is... it's the animating spirit, I suppose you could say. Everything living has one- humans, elves, animals, bugs... well maybe not bugs, I've never asked. Think of a zombie- they walk around, their bodies move, but they aren't really alive. They don't think, they have no ambition, no personality- they're just empty shells. Your body is just a sack of meat that carries you around, and the part of you that is uniquely you is the soul."
"Oh. And those soldiers, these kids... they lost that?"
"Yes." Eko says heavily. "In some way, these children are already dead. With daily care their bodies could go on for years, but there's nothing really there, inside."
"But they're otherwise fine, right? If they got their soul back, they'd be good as new?"
"Well, I suppose, but somehow I doubt there is still a soul to return, even if there was some way to do it." Eko says, taking another draw from his flask.
"So the wards around the forest are there to keep the monster in?"
"Yes, and also no. It wasn't clear that the forest was still dangerous until after the Golgothan War, when some of the farmers and lumberjacks who entered never came back. They were found in the same state as the soldiers had been, and the forest was quickly declared off-limits. Nobody has ever been attacked outside the forest, but just for safety the forest is ringed with wards maintained by local Wizards, and many of the nearby farms and settlements have an additional ward as well. Every now and then somebody will go into the forest for some fool reason or other, but the result is always the same- they never return, and those that aren't given up for dead are found like this."

The priest sadly watches the children for a long moment, then visibly collects himself. "Well! I've rambled enough with my old stories- I'm sure you would like to get some sleep tonight. I'll be just through the next door here if you need anything. Sleep well." Moving around the room, Eko dims the lanterns in the corners, leaving only one burning low before retiring deeper into the Temple.

Yawning, you burrow into your blankets, the priest's story churning through your mind. It doesn't seem right that the children will die anyway, after all you did to bring them out of the forest. You ponder the nature of Balkoth's spell- if it was Necromancy, then it could be something you can replicate, if you can piece together how. The Necromantic presence beneath you still hasn't moved- another mystery. With another yawn, you drift off to sleep, already thinking about what you will do tomorrow.


Spoiler: You (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Spells (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Omo Thunderjaw (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Notable Figures (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Planned Experiments (click to show/hide)
Spoiler: Maps (click to show/hide)

NoahTophatz

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-13
« Reply #1433 on: December 24, 2012, 02:15:34 am »

Ok the fact that it hasn't moved means that it is eather an artefact, has no orders at all, is unable to move (is too rotted or tied up or covered with something)  or worst of all has orders to move when certain conditions happen.

If the farm is abandoned then we can head there and experiment on the wards
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LordBucket

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-13
« Reply #1434 on: December 24, 2012, 02:30:41 am »

Add to planned experiement list:
 * Remove someone's soul. Try to store it for a time in a living thing like a tree, or confine it in a mana crystal, then put it back later. See if they're functional.
 * Attempt to swap souls between two different bodies.
 * Carefully attempt to displace our own soul from our own body. See if we can move around apart from our bodies, like astral projection. See if we can cast while in this state, enter other occupied bodies like a possession, then return to our body later.

Ancre

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-13
« Reply #1435 on: December 24, 2012, 02:59:31 am »

Playing around with souls sounds like a bad idea.

Can we control the kids as if they were zombies ? I don't know how useful this could be, but perhaps we will find something. Then again it's probably a bad idea as well.

I'd say we focus on discovering what's the necromantic source first.

Then maybe go and look out for souls in the forest, if we deem it worth the risk.
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Cellmonk

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-13
« Reply #1436 on: December 24, 2012, 03:04:40 am »

I'm debating whether we should disclose that we can sense necromancy, and reveal what we sensed in the forest and under the temple. We should first ask him about necromancers, so we can get an idea of whether he would know that sensing necromancy implies being a necromancer. If nothing else, we should disclose that we have large mana stores, in case he has use of them. He seems rather trustworthy and vital to gain the confidence of, but tread carefully.

EDIT: If he is a necromancer, don't be quick to antagonize him. He might just be another closet necromancer, like us. Maybe they are more common than is recorded.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2012, 03:06:28 am by Cellmonk »
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LordBucket

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-13
« Reply #1437 on: December 24, 2012, 03:32:46 am »

I'm in favor of investigating the necromantic source, I just propose we do it remotely and magically rather than by showing our hand to this priest, thereby endangering ourselves just to ask questions he might not even know the answers to.

As for the kids...right now we don't know how to help them. If we spend some time experimenting with soul magic we might be able to track down their souls and put them back in their bodies. If you guys think it's too dangerous or just generally a "bad idea" to be involved with that kind of magic...then there's nothing else we can do for them.

We have more important things to be doing than mucking around in this village. We either discretely try to find out more about the necromantic source beneath the temple, and/or we look into soul magic to try to help the kids...or if we're not going to do either of those things, then let's just leave and resume our journey.

I don't mind staying if we're accomplishing something or being helpful, but I see no reason to endanger ourselves by telling people that we have ties to or abilities that relate to necromancy.

Ancre

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-13
« Reply #1438 on: December 24, 2012, 04:27:29 am »

Yeah, I don't think we should reveal ourselves as a necromancer too. Let's investigate the necromantic source quietly.

The problem with experiments on soul magic is that you need a soul to experiment on. And for some reason I doubt anybody is going to willingly let us play with theirs. Especially if we don't know what we're doing and trying stuff just to see what happens.

Fakedit : Thinking of it again, we might be able to experiment that on little animals or something. Hm.
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Grek

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Re: You are a Necromancer! Chapter 2-13
« Reply #1439 on: December 24, 2012, 05:12:31 am »

This is our big chance to prove that we're on the side of Good. We should be able to turn the curse afflicting Aloclesno back upon itself with a single spell: Just find spirit we encountered in the forest, cast Command Undead and order it to do what it had been doing to the living to the undead instead!
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