The Forbidden Post
(All players starting or arriving at "The Forbidden Spit" must post here.)
One way or another, you have miraculously escaped punishment in the city of Etzos. It is not the same for everyone, for everyone here has been tried, convicted and sentenced to a variety of different fates. But clearly, yours was severe enough that when the Black Guard procession was conducted in secret, and departed the city from a hidden underground passage, you made no complaint. Six mounted men awaited you when you exited the passage, with an extra mount for you. Your hands were kept in irons behind your back.
The sun rose before you every morning as you traveled with your escort, so you knew you were heading east, toward the ocean. The guards accompanying you laughed and talked among themselves, including you in their banter as long as you asked nothing of where you were being taken. "You'll find out soon enough."
is all they'd say, other than perhaps adding "If you'd rather go back and hang, we can do that."
It is likely that you declined that generous offer and continued on, making light conversation in spite of the increasingly untamed look of the landscape around you.
Now, after several trials, one of the guards motions above and you become aware of a bird circling overhead. The leader of the squad pulls out a whistle and gives a long note as the squad comes to a stop. They help you down from the mount and remount their own, leaving you standing there, probably confused. You see no one around. "Stay here, if you know what's good for you. There's nothing for you back in Etzos but a headsman block or a noose."
is all that the squad leader says as they turn their mounts to begin the journey back to Etzos, leaving you alone in the hostile wilderness.
After a few breaks, your imagination in full force, you feel eyes on you, and every snap of a twig, every hiss of a leafy branch in the wind, seems to herald the approach of a monster. It begins to get dark, and just about the time you decide to defy the guard's last instructions and run, another wind rattles the nearby shrubs. When they settle, you realize there's a man standing there. You have no idea now how long he's been there, nor what his intent may be.
"HOUNDMASTER" RAIDEN VALANCE
Animal Training (Dogs) - 80 / Animal Training (General) - 54
Animal Husbandry (General) - 66 / Weapon: Shortbow - 65
Stealth - 67 / Teaching (Animal Care and Training) - 53
Outside of an impressive suit of dark leather armor and cloak, you can see only his eyes. But the intensity in them rivals the ferocity in the eyes of the Shadowhound
with him. It looks as if the charisma radiating from this man is the only thing keeping the beast from tearing you apart. "Follow me."
is all he says. He turns and starts walking into the forest, his companion taking up position behind you.
You travel through the night, feeling both threatened, and safeguarded, by this savage pair. When morning broaches the sky, you come to a waterfall, which forms a river that runs at the base of a cliff. You see no passage beside the falls whatsoever, yet the man seems to disappear into one anyway. The Shadowhound growls at you, motivating you to go forward, and you find that the stone gives way to your presence to reveal a cavern beyond.
You follow a small creek off the river that descends to the floor of the cavern, which is surprisingly well lit. When you reach the bottom you observe two things. The first is that the cliff facing must be at least partially illusory, because light comes right through where you only saw a rock cliff face from the other side. The second is that there is a small base built here.
The grim ranger motions towards the main stairway and guides you to an office where you find a man dressed in Etzos military. From the emblems and colors, you guess him to be of "Sheildarm" rank.
The ranger departs, leaving you alone with the Shieldarm, and he offers you a seat. "Good morning, I am Shieldarm Bassett."
He holds a file of documents in his hand, and surprises you by reciting an official account of your name and the charges against you. He surprises you further by standing and announcing the official account of your sentence having been carried out, but it in no way matches the truth of your arrival here.
There is a strained pause as he gives you a pointed look. He then smirks and tosses the file on his desk and retakes his seat. "Now, that can still be the truth, and I will be glad to be a witness to it. Or, you can stay with us and serve those who have intervened on your behalf. If you know who it was, do not tell me. For if I knew who it was, I would not tell you. But all things being the same, if you agree, you will now serve an indefinite term in this...little known...branch of the Army of the Etzori. Or your sentence can still be carried out first thing tomorrow morning. While you decide, why don't you tell me your side of it?"