Sep 3, 2019

Master of Biazzan

The Immortal Cleansing: Backstory Chapter 5

23rd Year of Karameikos (993 AC) Kaldmont (December) 22nd

Jace Blackwater by TL Jeffcoat
  Jace watched the man in chains as he was pulled along the slush covered streets. The poor man's skin was cracked from the sun and his clothes were filthy and torn. The soldiers pulling the chains were dressed in the typical Thyatian legionnaire armor with iron helms, gold painted breastplates and an iron balteus. The ones not pulling the man poked him with spears to keep him moving.
  He watched, with disappointment in his heart. His childhood had been spent training to be a legionnaire but the life of a soldier was not what he wanted. His heart belonged to a higher calling. He wanted something more for his life than to defend the crown.
  When he told his father he was leaving home to go meet the prophet that had come to Biazzan, his father had given him the sword he had made for him when he was to join the Imperial Legion. Jace suspected that he would have ended up on the Isle of Dawn like his brothers.
  The name, Isle of Dawn, was misleading because the land was actually a small contested continent. The empires of Thyatis and Alphatia held the shores and the inland was under constant feud over who owned what. The war was political for now but that never stopped the occasional border skirmish.
  His father had lost a leg during one of these skirmishes with some alien beast the Alphatians had conjured up. Jace did not want that for his life nor did he want to live a peaceful life trading metals to the elves in Vyalia as his father did now.
  Jace watched the man he had come to meet as the soldiers bound him to a wooden pole with heavy chains. The kindling was lit and the flames spread quickly. His crime was necromancy. According to what Jace overheard as he had arrived was that the prophet had brought a man back from the dead without the aid of an Immortal.

Jul 2, 2019

The Dragonborn

The Immortal Cleansing: Backstory Chapter 4

10th Year of Karameikos (980 AC) Fyrmont (August) 3rd

The Portal of Draconia by TL Jeffcoat
The sky over Draconia was blue and cloudless. Zarest rubbed his scaled brow as the sun slipped across the evening sky. He watched through a tower window across the city that floated above the Dreemoth Ravine below.
Several land masses hovered before his view, carrying buildings and gardens. It was a magnificent city of the proudest people in the world of Exandria. The dragonborn of Draconia had built wonders that no other people had even imagined.
As Zarest gazed out of his study window, he pondered the news brought to him that morning. The city of Whitestone had overthrown an evil lord of undead without the requested military help from Draconia. Another mistake in Zarest's opinion as a potential ally was abandoned.
Many of the council felt their involvement was unnecessary and that the successful rebellion was the proof. Zarest felt it was a missed opportunity to make a true ally, something that Draconia never had with its isolationist views.
He rubbed the horn that sprouted forward from his blue scaled snout, which he often did in times of stress. Another bit of news that came from his diviners that afternoon was a disturbance from across the world. Something powerful and ancient had burst from a volcano recently. A volcano suspected of having a portal to the plane of fire. There were supposed to be druids guarding the volcano. Zarest pondered for a moment whether they had survived and had tried to meet with several Draconian nobles.
Those with the power to make that decision were uninterested once again in the struggles of people a continent away. Other than the people of Emon, the Draconians had not successfully made good impressions with other nations.
"The Dragonborn have no time for the goings-on of those who aren't dragonborn. Let them sort their own mess."

Jun 2, 2019

The Jaws of the Wolf

The Immortal Cleansing: Backstory Chapter 3

9th Year of Karameikos (979 AC) Flaurmont (April) 18th

Little Lura and Peiter by TL Jeffcoat
The horrifying screams of her brother still rang in her young elven ears. Valindra gripped tightly to her mother's bosom and squeezed her eyes shut. Her mother's arms strong from centuries of archery, held her like bands of iron.
She had not yet seen the thing that had attacked them but she had heard it howl like a monstrous wolf. It snatched her big brother into the darkness outside their camp by the road to Specularum before anyone had even realized it was there.
Her father had chased after it but was only gone for a minute before he had run back into the camp and pulled mother to her feet. His face was pale and he had his bow out before he followed after them.
Mother had not seen when he stopped and notched an arrow. Valindra could no longer keep her eyes closed and watched over her shoulder. Her gaze was drawn to the shadowy silhouette as it swept from the woods and onto the road on all fours.
Father released an arrow as the shadow pounced at him. The arrow had struck it where the heart should have been but the monster did not stop. He drew his sword and swung at the shadow as it enveloped him and pulled him to the ground with a deep chested growl.
In the light of the full moon it appeared as if someone had smashed a barrel of wine as liquid sprayed and splattered across the road. Father never cried out nor did he move again.
Mother kept running. She did not slow when they heard the sounds of whistles in the woods around them. The monster ignored the whistles and chased after them with a horrifying howl.
It drew closer and closer. The smell of metallic blood and wet fur filled their nostrils. Her mother knew what Valindra saw as it ran them down. She leaned forward trying to run harder.
Massive jaws rowed with long sharp teeth opened from the shadow and the stink of decay and blood washed over them like steam. Red eyes glared over the snout as it snapped at her mother's leg, toppling them both to the ground.

Apr 28, 2019

The War Mage

The Immortal Cleansing: Backstory Chapter 2

970 AC, Vatermont (February) 14th

Naivara Lantheral by TL Jeffcoat
  It was only a smudge but it covered just enough of the verbal component of the fireball spell to make it illegible. Naivara had not mastered a spell that could have restored the ink and now she regretted it. The fireball spell was far beyond her ability but one day she would ride into a battle and blast enemies with erupting explosions of heat and rage. In the meantime, she would have to settle for cleaning up her mess.
  Her teachers complained it was foolish to attempt to master more than one school of magic. The professors of Evocation and Abjuration both argued that she should concentrate her studies on one of their schools since she was determined to learn the arts of war. The way Naivara saw it, the tradition was foolish. Why limit yourself to one school of magic when you could be indestructible and destructive at the same time? It would not do her any good to be able to cast a fireball or bring the stormy heavens down upon her enemies if she was killed by a simple arrow before she could cast.
  In the end, her hard work would prove her path was superior. Naivara had studied for years, and the only friends she made were the books in the library. Now, with a simple drop from a glass of water, she had ruined one of her friends.
  She was different than the elves that lived in the Vyalian Magic School. The famous school was on the western edge of the Vyalian forest about twenty miles east of the Lake of Lost Dreams in Eastern Traladar. Most villages of the Vyalia Elves were so deep in their forests that no outsiders ever knew they existed. The only exceptions were a small town where humans came to trade with the elves on the opposite side of the forest and this remote school of magic. The Vyalia forest was a natural physical border between the expansionist Empire of Thyatis to the east, and the superstitious woodsmen and farmers of Traladar to the west.
  News had come a few years ago that Thyatian troops marched into the largest city in Traladar and claimed the country as a colony of the Empire. Most Traladarans had not cared since those troops had not killed anyone in the invasion and had not marched into any other part of their country. The Vyalia knew it would only be a matter of time before that changed and the Empire would swallow up their beloved forest.

Mar 29, 2019

The Twilight of Navi

The Immortal Cleansing: Backstory Chapter 1

775 AC, Flaurmont (April) 15th

art by TL Jeffcoat
Navi Moondragon - by TL Jeffcoat
  Life in the Feywild was perfectly serene until that satyr came to the Twilight woods. Navi ran her diminutive purple hands through the soft black fur of the panther. On a branch above the purple and green undergrowth of the forest, the panther purred as Navi buried her face in the softness. Her tiny pixie body was weightless on the proud animal.
  Moonbeams shined through the eternal twilight of the forest. This part of the Feywild was forever trapped in the moonlight just beyond sunset on the edge of the seasons between summer and spring. A sky that never turned black but was filled with deep blues and sprinkled with stars.
  Navi's troupe had lived here for many millennia between the great Fey courts of Spring and Summer. The lords of both rarely ventured into the shadows before total darkness. Here, the village of Twilight had existed in solitary peace.
  About a century before, a satyr named, Al'faerill befriended the elders and told stories of the distant parts of the infinite Feywild. After a few years, the elders gave him permission to pass through the barrier that the magical stones produced.
  He was always gentle and friendly, never stepping on any of the toadstool homes scattered around the clearing in the center of the barrier, but Navi never trusted him. She was always very shy, even for a pixie, and had never spoken a word to the strange horned creature.
  When he visited, she would leave the village and pretend to practice her druid training. She never really tried too hard, preferring to just explore the woods, and visit the two hamadryad sisters that lived a few miles away.
  She had been on her way there when she found this lazy panther lounging in the trees just a few yards from the barrier. She dreamed of transforming herself into one of these nocturnal hunters and tracking the satyr back to wherever he had come from. Navi always wondered about the origins of the Satyr’s stories that her sister excitedly shared after Navi would return from her wandering.
  Tonight was one of those nights. The music from the satyr's panpipes drifted on the breeze. Usually it was fast and exciting but tonight it was slower. The notes urged her to close her eyes, until the music was drowned out by the purring of the magnificent bed.
  Navi dug into the fur, completely hiding her body, with only her purple butterfly wings slowly opening and closing above the blackness. If anyone had passed by, they would have seen what appeared to be a giant butterfly resting on a panther.
  After a few minutes, the purring stopped abruptly and the panther jumped to his feet so quickly Navi nearly tumbled off. She caught herself midair and searched the area for whatever spooked her friend.
  After a few seconds, she noticed she did not hear the music anymore as the panther climbed higher into the massive tree. Navi hid behind leaves and listened to a strange sound. It approached fast and careless with the sound of branches snapping.