The Chronicles of Entheo: A Rise To Power

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Entheogen
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Re: The Chronicles of Entheo: A Rise To Power

Postby Entheogen » Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:58 am

The carriage ride was more to his liking than the stiff saddle of the horse which carried him down this road just a few days before. If only the young woman would cease her endless chatter he might even be able to enjoy the trip himself. Gods it was as if she feared silence itself Entheo thought to himself. He answered her torrent of questions with a stoic professionalism. "M'lady I hail from Sembia to the west, across the Sea of Fallen Stars. My father was a trader and we moved frequently between the port cities of Selgaunt and Saerloon." ... "No m'lady I am not married." ... Looking down at himself he couldn't argue, his armor was hardly presentable. It was a thing of purpose, born completely of necessity and nothing else. "I apologize m'lady that this attire displeases you. Armor is meant to be practical, not ornamental. That isn't to say it can't be both." He let the words hang, not quite sure if he answered correctly. ... "I will keep as much distance as is safe to do so m'lady." And he pretended not to hear the jest to his age, though he winced internally.

As the carriage suddenly halted, Entheo was nearly thrust from his seat. Instantly he put out an arm to stop the tower shield, his riding companion in the seat next to him, from falling over and injuring an unsuspecting foot. Expecting trouble he chose to strap the shield on then followed by his helmet, an open sallet with a neck and face-guard of chain mail. Just as he was finished donning his equipment the carriage door was yanked open to reveal the footman whose head suddenly departed his body. Not a moment later the dying cries of the coachman were heard, and Entheo turned to the ladies speaking in a concise manner. "Stay low in the middle, keep away from the windows." Then he burst through the archway slamming the door shut behind him.

Taking up his most defensive posture outside the carriage door he drew his blade resting it atop the shield with his elbow high, ready to thrust a swift strike or shift and parry a blow from his sword-arm side. It was then he spotted the creature, cold steel grey eyes met those yellow feral reptilian orbs. The lizardman chewed slowly, tauntingly even, on the face of the coachman. Facial bones crunched a most sickening sound as blood and brain matter dripped from the jaws of the monster, its eyes firmly locked on Entheo's as he did so.

Entheo knew little of lizardfolk beyond the facts that they lived in marshes and swamps and they were a savage tribal race with little intelligence. He familiar with what strength it took to decapitate a man however and it was not an easy feat even for someone such as himself wielding a razor sharp edge. For a brief moment he wondered just how intelligent these creatures were and thought to try speaking to it, to perhaps negotiate the bodies of the fallen in exchange for passage. Then he remembered whom it was he escorted, and he had the gut feeling she would not look favorably on him if he did so. No, this creature must die he decided.
Entheo Genesthe - Sellsword, Explorer, Adventurer
Umbra - Thief, Scout-Informant, Assassin

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Kilaana
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Re: The Chronicles of Entheo: A Rise To Power

Postby Kilaana » Thu Mar 12, 2020 12:58 am

((The following combat sequence was a collaborative result between player and DM, along with relevant skillchecks to determine outcomes at certain points of the scene. Thanks to Entheo for his enthusiastic cooperation!))

The lizard-thing began to circle right, eyes fixed upon Entheo. It appeared to be making for the carriage, by now grounded to a complete stop as the horses bled to a rapid death. The creature uttered a guttural sound in its throat as it canted its head, bird-like, to examine its next prey. Unable to get past the man, it suddenly lunged forward in a lightning quick motion, long black talons swinging at Entheo's head.

Just the movement he was waiting for, a reckless rush. Bringing his shield up he dropped to one knee momentarily, ducking his head well below and out of sight behind the shield. The sword arm no longer able to thrust from this angle glided along the edge of the bulwark, from the top to side. Then Entheo extended his arm to place the sword firmly across the front of his shield. As the creature drew near, he used all his combat experience to tell when the lizard-like thing was within striking distance as he gave up sight of his enemy to lure him in. Not yet... Not yet... Now! And Entheo unleashed a savage swing of his own reckless making, utilizing the leverage of the sword against the shield as a fulcrum of amplified power. Adding to it the force of all the muscle in his body from foot to arm, as he furiously pushed up off of the knee tensed with energy. The air hummed as the blade cut through the air in a wide arc.

Entheo's blade caught the creature at the peak of its momentum. The clawed hand missed its target entirely. The blade's steel drew a thin, savage line across the mottled, wiry torso, splitting the bluish-grey scales open and bloody at once. The creature staggered back with an earsplitting shriek of pain. Its makeshift weapon, a crude skull club, clattered to the ground. Pressing the attack he stepped into the creature's retreat. Once more in that defensive posture his shield raised with sword poised to thrust from atop, then it does. Once, twice, and he stepped back to gauge his foe and to protect the carriage door again.

Entheo's twin strikes found purchase in rapid succession. The first stab missed the creature's heart by several inches, and the second punctured its lower body, opening deep wounds. Momentarily stunned, the lizard beast struggled to keep its balance as it retreated a few steps from the warrior. Abruptly, a livid blue vein-like pattern began to suffuse the surface of its greyish skin like a rapidly spreading disease. Then it happened all at once. The creature raised its head suddenly, eyes snapping, a strange sound working in its throat as its jaws drop open to release a jet of hot bile at Entheo's face. Acrid fumes would prove nearly choking, as Entheo narrowly missed the creature's sputum. It would have left a permanent mark where his face had been a moment ago, but now the only reminder of that would be a thick dribble of acid running a pockmarked river down the front of his shield.

The lizard-thing gave a cry of anger - if it felt emotion at all. If anything, it seemed to have met its match in Entheo, and its frustration was showing. It darted unsteadily to the side, bleeding from three wounds, its whip of a tail poised to sweep Entheo off its wake. In a single bound, it prepared to leap for the carriage. Entheo prepared to strike. The tail swept in but found only shield firmly planted in the earth, and braced at that by a leg behind. Entheo's blade lingered behind him now, point to the ground. A position which would foretell of a coming overhead strike to a trained foe, though Entheo doubted this creature was well instructed in sword technique. So he took his chance, arcing the telegraphed movement of a powerful overhead slash into the creatures trajectory.

The sword's razor-sharp edge bit deep into scaled flesh with a force enough to dismember it three quarters of the way from its body. The creature promptly collapsed onto its side, shrieking madly in a growing pool of dark blood. It flailed wildly, kicking and screaming in its death throes as its tail dangled pathetically by a ribbon of skin still attached to its underbelly.

Then finally, all was still. The door to the carriage opened, and a white-faced Arabella stepped out, a small court dagger clutched in one hand.
“Violence is the mark of the amateur.” ― Garrett, Thief: The Dark Project

Kallian | Delorwyn Lle'quellas | Wilhemina Alencar | Zalika Maszim Zartusht
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Entheogen
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Re: The Chronicles of Entheo: A Rise To Power

Postby Entheogen » Mon Mar 23, 2020 3:17 pm

Turning to address the women, the older man takes a few deep breaths to recover himself from the conflict while he speaks. "Lady Arabella ... I believe it is safe now ... I did not catch sight of any more of these savage lizard-folk ... but we should not linger here." Looking to the horses and back to the women, he adds "Pack as much weight as you can into one container and I will carry that. Unfortunately the rest will be up to you if you wish to bring it with us now. We can send a man back for what remains once we have you safely in Filur. Come now, waste no time that may have only been a scout."

Entheo climbs atop the caravan then, peering around at the distant tree cover and foliage seeking anything that might be out of place in the otherwise natural landscape.

Arabella, for all her haughty arrogance, appeared surprisingly in control of her own fear. The young woman bade her female companion to do as Entheo asked, and the two women made short work of packing only the most essential and valuable items for the rest of the journey into a single valisé. This they handed to Entheo, and Arabella took the opportunity to examine the dead creature briefly as Entheo prepared them to go.

"Here." She said to him quite peremptorily. "Help me cut off one of its fingers. I want to show Leonnick just what trouble we got into."
When he stared at her, she rolled her eyes at him. "Well? Do it!"

When Entheo was done, she wrapped the gruesome artifact in one of her silk scarves, tucking it with the rest of her belongings.

The bridge they had stopped at was almost midway along the road to Filur. Having been this way at least twice, the warrior would know that there would still be three-quarters of a day's walk to their destination - and this was at a quickened pace, unhindered by the dense brush and purple heatherfields that carpeted this countryside. Some of that walk would almost certainly also be in knee-deep mud, for the Spring rains had been abundant of late.

It was going to be a long journey.
Entheo Genesthe - Sellsword, Explorer, Adventurer
Umbra - Thief, Scout-Informant, Assassin

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Entheogen
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Re: The Chronicles of Entheo: A Rise To Power

Postby Entheogen » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:59 pm

Lifting the valise that the women had packed, he thought to himself that it was still very light. Though to someone used to swinging an arming blade for many years, that did not come surprising. It was not long before the group of three began to continue down the road to Filur. With any luck, bless Tymora, another caravan or cart would be coming along behind them soon enough. At least he hoped so given the Spring season.

Hours churned on without any sign of another living soul anywhere in the world. The women conversed in hushed whispers a safe distance behind him. Unconsciously the veterans eyes scanned the brush around them, occasionally his mind even shook him to point at something for which required his full attention. A bend in the grasses off the road, a broken tree branch in the distance, a curve ahead with the setting sun in just the right position... for an ambush. Though none of these were for they were just possibilities and he let them come, recognized them, and let them go.

As his unconscious mind kept a sharp eye, his conscious mind played a game to pass the time. It was a game he began playing many years ago in the later years of his youth, where he would fight himself in the theater of the mind. Breaking his active thoughts into two groups whose intentions were unknown to the other, he played and replayed bouts of combat.
At first it was single combat swordplay one on one, but as time progressed sometimes he fought with other weapons too. After some months, or perhaps years, the opponent would often be a creature and not a man. In the beginning it was something he had faced before but after years and years time it became things altogether unknown and alien. He made up horrors that only a well traveled man who has seen more than his fair share of battlefields, corpses and monsters could. When his thoughts were exceptionally strong and clear he even played puppets, as he called the exercise, with groups of combatants fighting each other in chaotic frantic skirmishes.

Having grown tired of nearly always succeeding in his simple bouts of men, he began to fight these unknown horrors for which he would almost always fail. He felt no emotion in failure of this nature for failure was just an opportunity to learn something new. At first he began these games as a way to memorize the training in sword technique he received in his youth. As he continued to play them though he realized that they were a sort of exercise, one that kept his mind sharp and had application in actual combat.

He had just died a particularly gruesome death to a bulbous many-tentacled thing with no eyes when his subconscious mind jolted him to look behind him. The creature that killed him had mouths with hooked teeth at the ends of its appendages and it floated in the air in a dark labyrinth. But he was not in a labyrinth and and there was no creature, and he was not dead. He came fully into his senses then and turned to look behind him. He could see past the silhouettes of the two women in the fading light of the evening a cart rolling their way in the distance, lead by two horses.

He ushered the ladies to the side of the road, and stood in front of them as they waited for the cart to approach. It was a simple cart, driven by a man of similar age to himself he guessed with what was probably his wife next to him. The cart driver pulled in on the reigns to bring the cart to a stop next to the trio. Most likely from the vale or one of the other tiny villages or homesteads dotting the landscape.
Entheo Genesthe - Sellsword, Explorer, Adventurer
Umbra - Thief, Scout-Informant, Assassin


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