June 16 2021

The Howling Wind of Spindleskog – by Akandriel – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with the first chapter of a wonderful story from Akandriel, entitled

The howling wind of Spindleskog

Background music by Smartsound

 

The sound of the unseen entity manifested like fire and scorching judgement and punishment all in one.

It was a simple screech that broke the silence in the dark forest with a chilly gutterance.

The chill started from Twistar’s spine, searing it’s way too his arms and leaving his hands cold as soon as the piercing cry hit his ears.

Through his entire being was the agony of a painful panic gnawing into the depths of his consciousness and finding no resting place.

There was no escape from his tormenting desires, desires that had brought this on him; vengeance.

“I know you’re here!” he yelled.

The signs had been there etched in his mind from when the fang struck deep into the chests, injecting its venom into its prey, and incapacitating the victims with poison that flowed through their bodily tissue, capillaries, and veins.

The poison accelerated decay, liquefying the victims’ internals into a mush, leaving behind a burned and empty carcass husk.

All his companions lay dead

Twistar wasn’t able to prevent these traumatic events. His brain is swollen from reccurring thoughts of the disaster.

Continuous use of inhaling smoke from burning stimulants and drinking ale did little to calm his shaky nerves

The ray of light passes through a crack in the forest trees, unveiling a moon hung from the sky by an ancient orb. It’s this specific light that only reveals the entity during the night; the creature that made him angry and full of spite.

Twister’s revenge is buried deep inside, but its strength resurfaces from time to time sparking his desire to find the creature that slaughtered everyone during the fight.

The area is partially illuminated by fragmentations of light hindering Twistar’s sight, but he sees a peculiar shadow that isn’t completely concealed by the darkness of night; it may reveal the creature nearby

He navigates through cobwebs, twigs, and leaves using his stealthy expertise, sneaking closer to the shadow’s form, preparing himself to unleash his raging storm.

Twistar feels an odd sensation when he arrives at the battleground, feeling the essence of the horror; not forgetting just how he felt when the creature handed its strike without making a sound nor revealing any identifiable presence at night.

He remembers the silence, then the attack that surprised them when the creature displayed its form, a faint shadow exposing a familiar size, and a blurring screech that echoed off the mountainside.

“Please make it stop!” Twistar pleaded.

Twistar’ s head points down as he cries when recalling images from that night. His eyes watering and his mouth fills with saliva while the liquid in his throat dries. He shivers in his own perspiration, and his subtle vibrations shake the stains of sweat off his skin.

“I know you’re here!” he yelled.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
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Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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June 16 2021

The One-eared Rabbit of Breamar – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a wonderful story from Womby, entitled

The One-eared Rabbit of Braemar

Background music by Smartsound

 

When night falls and the busy town folk retreat to the tavern to relax and socialise, conversation often turns to the strange and inexplicable. Stories of lost kingdoms hold perpetual fascination, while tales of mysterious crypts and the walking dead cast a pall of fear over those who hear them. All this is nothing, however, compared to the sudden hush that comes over the assembled crowd whenever someone mentions an encounter with the sacred One Eared Rabbit.

“Did he empty your purse?” they ask, in hushed tones. “Yes” comes the inevitable reply. “I barely glanced at him and when I got home, sure enough, all my gold coins were missing.” “His secret hoard must be somewhere near there!” someone exclaims.

“How long has this been going on?” asks a stranger. “Since before The Fall,” comes a chorus of replies. “The amount of gold that rabbit has collected must be enough to fill a huge cavern.” “Why has no one found it?” asks the stranger. “Oh, we can’t do that” replies a wizened old man. “The rabbit is sacred. To disturb its lair would be sacrilege. We try our best to leave it in peace. In fact, we’ve made a map of the locations of all the known sightings, so that strangers such as yourself can avoid the area.”

“Of course,” replies the stranger. “I wouldn’t want to disturb the sacred rabbit. May I have a copy of the map?”

“Certainly,” replies the old man. “I can sell you one for 100 gold pieces.”

“Done,” replies the stranger.

Yes, thinks the old man. You certainly have been.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
Visit The Caverns Website.
Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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June 16 2021

The Strange Case of Thaddeus Mange – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a wonderful story from Womby, entitled

The Strange Case of Thaddeus Mange

Background music by Smartsound

 

It was around a year ago that Thaddeus Mange, long term resident of Kingsport, disappeared with nary a trace. Nobody thought too much of it at the time. What with the rise of bandits, the newly encroaching undead, and the loss of shipping contact with Novia, residents of Kingsport had other things on their minds.

What did attract their attention, however, was the gradual disappearance of his house. Piece by piece, item by item, parts of his dwelling have been mysteriously disappearing. Naturally thieves were blamed, and the local guard Douglas kept watch. To his disbelief and horror, items appeared to walk off and vanish before his very eyes, resulting in him locking himself securely in the watchtower at night.

Soon these strange disappearances became public knowledge, and as is often the case when the ignorant are confronted with the inexplicable, his neighbor formed a cult. Naturally, this cult interpreted the disappearances as a message, although the exact nature of the message was the cause of much argument within the cult. A split formed between those who believed that the disappearance foretold a final cataclysmic end to the world (the Enders), and those who interpreted the disappearance as a sign that all Avatars would one day suddenly vanish (the Avatarians).

Disagreement between these two factions has recently turned violent, with both sides fighting for possession of the site.

Meanwhile, Thaddeus Mange has almost completed the transfer of his house from the Hidden Vale to Novia by row boat, and hopes to move the last few items any day now. He uses an invisibility spell and works at night so as to avoid having to talk with his neighbors, whom he cannot stand.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
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Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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May 24 2021

The Graveyard – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another wonderful story from Womby.  It is entitled

The Graveyard

Background music by Smartsound

 

In a quiet corner of Ardoris, mostly unnoticed by the residents, a tiny graveyard can be found.

Apart from the occasional small child acting on a dare it is rarely visited, and it is a complete mystery who or what may be buried there. Rumor has it that the graveyard pre-dates Ardoris.

In any case, the inscriptions became illegible a long time ago, and all that remains in the way of information is a strange tale that has been passed down for generations.

Nobody believes it to be true, but it is nevertheless retold on stormy nights whenever strangers seek shelter in the local inn.

According to the tale, the oldest grave is the resting place of an ancient and powerful creature.

Many centuries ago after a prolonged and bloody battle, the creature was finally trapped and bound there by a powerful spell.

It was not possible to kill the creature due to its immense power, however it was hoped that over the centuries its power would gradually drain away.

A long time later when the battle was on the cusp of being forgotten from history, a mage was told of the creature and the nature of its entrapment.

The mage gave it some thought, and decided that he could take advantage of the creature’s predicament.

The grave that housed the creature was still in an open field at that time, and after travelling for two days accompanied by his faithful servant of many years, the mage arrived.

After his servant had set up camp, the mage offered him a mug of ale that had been infused with a powerful drug.

The servant fell asleep instantly, and the mage quickly positioned various artifacts and uttered numerous incantations.

Finally the moment arrived and the ritual was completed. At first nothing appeared to happen, but then suddenly a deep and powerful voice was heard.

“For what purpose do you disturb me, mortal?”

Cautiously the mage replied, “Oh great and powerful one, I seek the gift of true wisdom. In exchange I offer you the life energy of a human.”

The creature replied:

“I shall grant you the gift of true wisdom, but only if you offer me the person that you hold most dear.”

The mage could not think of anyone that he held dear, but his servant was the single person in the entire world that he despised the least, so he replied “Agreed. You may take the life energy of the person that I hold most dear, in exchange for great wisdom.”

“Very well. The deal is done,” replied the creature.

And indeed, it was at that moment that the mage acquired true wisdom as he felt the life energy drain from him. He had been wrong in thinking that he held no one dear.

In his last conscious thought he realized that in fact he held himself dear, and cared naught for anyone else.

Eventually his servant awoke and found a desiccated corpse wearing his master’s robes. He assumed that whatever ritual his master had set out to perform had gone horribly wrong, and decided to bury him next to the existing grave where, unknown to him, the freshly nourished creature had resumed its slumber.

Later, as the dutiful servant that he was, he procured a small headstone that he erected next to the creature’s resting place.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
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Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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May 24 2021

Interview with a Ghost – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another wonderful story from Womby.  It is entitled

Interview with a Ghost

Background music by Smartsound

 

Recently the rather spoiled son of a local duke announced that he was going to be my apprentice. This came as a surprise to me, as was his announcement that his initial outing would be to interview a ghost, thus making history with his first story.

Here is the complete transcript of his interview.

“Greetings, ghost. How are you?”

“I’m dead. And it’s Sir Ghost to you. I am – or was – a knight.”

“Indeed. Of course. How insensitive of me. Tell me Sir Ghost, what did you do before you became a ghost?”

“I used to be a writer.”

“So now you’re a ghost writer?”


For some reason the interview appears to have been discontinued at this point. The interview notes were sent to me by a person or persons unknown, and the reporter who conducted the interview has disappeared without trace.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
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Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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May 23 2021

Bluster – by Fetid SirDidy – narrated by Asclepius

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another wonderful story from Fetid SirDidy. It is entitled

“Bluster”

Background music by Smartsound



It began with a low hum.

The schoolmasters head shook so fast that it appeared to be vibrating. Because the area in which he reverberated was so confined, the violence with which he shook lent to an affect that appeared like slow-motion. Beads of sweat shimmered as they filled the air around him like tiny frozen stars. Veins arose and protruded in thick spidery webs across his face and forehead and blood oozed like sludge from eyes, nose, mouth and ears. He was a tuning fork made of flesh.

A stench like death and vomit emanated from him as his bowels and bladder emptied. Their contents streamed from underneath his robes and fanned out creating a Rorschach of human waste. A noise that had started as a low hum was now deafening as bolts of energy cracked and whipped about and upon the man.

In a sudden crescendo the schoolmasters head bulged and then popped. Chunks of flesh and brain and bowel sprayed out in a 360-degree ark spackling everything around; ceiling, walls, floor, and the twenty or so students still frozen in shock as they looked upon the madness with a mixture of horror, bewilderment and disgust. The tendrils of energy subsided and their accompanying wailing ceased.

In the back of the room a young man looked down at his hand, admiring the Suutaks bluster as it dimmed and then went dark. Pocketing the artifact, he pushed open the door at the far end of the room, and left.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
Visit The Caverns Website.
Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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April 18 2021

Creepy Dolly – by Fetid SirDidy – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another scary tale from Fetid SirDidy.  It is entitled

Creepy Dolly

Background music by Smartsound

Small fingers tugged at thread.
The first stitch always fought the most. This she knew.
She tugged a little harder and the knot cleared so that she was able to complete the stitch. Her hands trembled and her knuckles felt large and dull.

She spent most of her days sewing. All her days really, she thought, pausing for a moment although that wasn’t quite right. It’s as if she’d been sewing for one day. One long day.
She wasn’t even sure when she had begun to sew or where she had learned. Perhaps her mother had taught her. Perhaps she had learned on her own.

Her mother.
She tilted her head for a moment while completing another stitch. She could no longer remember her mother. Come to think of it, she could no longer remember herself.

Small fingers tugged at thread.
Most of her days were spent sewing because that is what she did. This she knew.
She completed another set of stitches.

Just then a black door opened and out of that door something emerged. First the points of horns appeared. Swirling spears of bone that curled and reached high slowly revealed themselves. Next to materialize out of the dark void was a hoofed foot which stepped forward and clapped down on the floor. Another few seconds and He emerged completely. He who was ancient came forth carrying a squalling infant no more than a few hours old. He placed the newborn on a pile of coal next to the girl.

Tying off the final knot she held out her dolly so that He could take it.
She threaded a new needle and grabbed the child he had brought.

Small fingers tugged at thread.
The first stitch always fought the most. This she knew.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
Visit The Caverns Website.
Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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April 18 2021

Supper – by Fetid SirDidy – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another scary tale from Fetid SirDidy.  It is entitled

Supper

Background music by Smartsound

The butcher’s massive knife descended with a grace that would rival even the best swordsman. The blade gleamed while it made its descent, reflecting pearls of sunlight that sparkled off the iron cookware that lay scattered about his worktable. It cut through scale and bone with ease and made a thwack sound as it came to rest on the wood before him where a monstrous fish lay. With a flick of his wrist, the butcher flung aside a large plated head which landed on the ground a few feet away from him. Two mangy dogs who had been soundlessly watching pounced on the head instantly and began tearing at it with tooth and nail.

Placing the large knife down, the butcher reached into the belt at his side, unsheathed another one that had a long slender blade, and proceeded to deftly fillet the ancient looking behemoth. When finished, he gently placed the thick strips of meat into a leather sack and held it, along with his other hand, out. A man with a pointed and lordish looking face grabbed the sack and tossed a few coins on the table. The butcher only nodded and wiped the blade off on his blood-stained apron.

Throughout the rest of the day the butcher received all manner of creatures which he cut, quartered and divided up skillfully. The coins piled up ever so slowly and the blood on the table increasingly pooled along with them.

At last the sun began to dip toward the horizon and the butcher made his way home. Before entering, he removed his blood-soaked apron and dipped it into a barrel of water beside the door. The clear water in the barrel darkened, creating a pool of radiant hues of pink that matched the sky as the sun set. The butcher stood for a moment and watched as the sky brightened for a moment in a dazzling flash of brilliance and then went dark. With a few strong twists he wrung out the apron and went inside, closing the door behind him.

A large steaming cauldron hung above the fireplace hearth, and the butcher’s stomach rumbled as he stirred the pot with a long-handled spoon. The fire crackled and cast shadows that danced on wood and stone. Aside from a polished dark table that sat in the opposite corner and a cage on the floor next to it, the room was mostly bare.

Filling a bowl, he shuffled to the table and sat down. As he ate, he glanced at the cage on the floor beside the table. In it, a gagged man with eyes wide, murmured softly. His left arm had been removed at the elbow and had stitches caked with dried blood. His right hand, with wounds far more fresh, was missing all of its fingers.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
Visit The Caverns Website.
Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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April 18 2021

Souvenir – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another wonderful tale from Womby.  It is entitled

Souvenir

Background music by Smartsound

The badly mutilated body revealed a tale both silent and eloquent. The shattered sword in its hand told of a fierce battle, while the head resting some distance away spoke of a particularly brutal end to what must have been a terrifying struggle for survival. A battle that was lost, unwitnessed, in this impossibly convoluted series of underground passages.

Something caught Womby’s eye and he bent down and retrieved a note lying next to the body.

“To the person reading this note: I guess if you are seeing this then I must have been killed. Shed no tears for a reckless adventurer. It was bound to happen one day. However, should you ever find yourself in Ardoris, I beseech you to inform the guards of a criminal who goes by the name Fluffington. Glib of tongue he is, for he managed to extract my life savings in return for a worthless map that has resulted in my death. May he suffer eternal torment!”

Womby Fluffington pocketed the note before returning to the exit. Another souvenir for his collection.

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns

 

 


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
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Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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April 18 2021

Journey to Kingsport – by Womby – narrated by Asclepius

 

Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another wonderful tale from Womby.  It is entitled

Journey to Kingsport

Background music by Smartsound

 



According to his hastily scribbled map the tavern was located in Kingsport.
It had taken hours of torture to extract that information from Lord Xychra. Not much of a result after investing all that valuable time.
Still, Lord Xychra had mentioned an associate who ran a tavern in Kingsport. Perhaps he could be fooled into leading him to the stash.

After locating the tavern nestled by the Kingsport docks, Dhank stepped inside to discover a small, dimly lit bar that had obviously seen better days.
The only occupant was the bartender, who paused what he was doing to glance up. A slightly raised eyebrow demanded an explanation for this intrusion.

“Lord Xychra sent me” said Dhank. “He has directed me to collect some items from his stash, and asked me to show you this as proof”.
With that he dropped Lord Xychra’s ring on the bar. The same ring that less than 24 hours earlier he had removed from his Lordship’s lifeless body.
Slowly the bartender picked up the ring and examined it carefully. “Very well. Wait here while I fetch the key and write down some directions.”

With that the barman left the room, and Dhank replaced the ring on his finger.
The barman eventually returned with a rough parchment and a large iron key.
“Follow these directions and they’ll take you where you need to go.”

Following the directions was straightforward, as the location was only a short walk away, beneath the docks.
The key opened a door into the town sewer and Dhank slowly made his way forward, cursing his oversight in not bringing a torch.
He could no longer see the map and inched forward, first following the wall on his left, then the wall on his right before becoming hopelessly disoriented.

Eventually the passage he was in led to a small platform overlooking a large channel filled with a dark and menacing liquid.
It might have been water, but Dhank wasn’t about to bet his life on it.
Suddenly he found himself rooted to the spot as he was struck by a spell cast from somewhere behind him.
Dhank heard footsteps circle around him, then a torch flickered to life revealing the bartender who had sent him here.

“Lord Xychra would never have parted with that ring. It’s a shame that you killed him. He used to send me the ingredients for my special meals.”
The bartender came closer as he spoke, and Dhank could see that he wore a butcher’s apron and carried a large set of knives hanging from a leather belt around his waist.
On the opposite side of the platform, visible for the first time in the light of the torch, Dhank could see a butcher’s station.

“I guess you’re the last.”

Echoes From the Caverns

Echoes From the Caverns


Posted by Asclepius - Email Author
Visit The Caverns Website.
Please note: This is a SotA community run project, and any and all content may deviate from the fictional canon of the game.

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