The Battle of Honor Shrine

Discussion in 'The Salty Dog Tavern' started by Baerron Jael, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Baerron Jael

    Baerron Jael Well-Known Member

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    From deep within his stygian prison, Richard could sense the daemon on the surface. The daemon, for the first time really that Richard could sense, was scared and hesitant. The daemon wanted nothing more than to eviscerate each and every last virtue-worshipping gnat, but something larger, more powerful told him to keep to his task. Fighting these humans was a distraction from breaking the remaining seals.

    But the daemon did not listen. The daemon wanted to taste blood and guts, fire and steel.

    The Virtuemongers gathered in the Spiritwood. Their stench was strong on the air as Baerron Jael stood downwind. There were many of them, maybe ten. It was hard to tell. There were horses, too, no doubt to carry the supplies to cleanse the Shrine of Honor (see here: Breaking the First Seal). Lord Soth stood silent and cold near the daemon, a stark contrast to the burning fire Richard felt coming from the beast. Lord Soth's minions would be vital to the battle ahead.

    A shift in the wind carried a stronger scent. The lightbringers were on the move, no doubt heading south from Paws along the road. Lord Soth and the daemon cut through the woods and brush to the east to intercept them. The Death Knight awakened the dead bodies in the ground, long-since rotten. The battle of Honor Shrine had commenced.

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    The lightbringers fought their way through Lord Soth's minions in the initial encounter. The daemon and the Death Knight claimed several of the lightbringers, but Lord Soth suffered a critical blow in battle and fell. The brief but highly kinetic melee broke, both sides withdrawing. The lightbringers rallied their horses and wounded in the nearby city of Trinsic, safe within the walls protected by the fabled paladins.

    Death did not stop Lord Soth. The Death Knight arose in spite of a terrible hole in his chest, oozing semi-frozen blood.

    Some deep, dark, echoing voice exploded in Richard's mind. It was a language he could not understand. Baerron Jael diminished briefly in the onslaught of the voice. It was the master, and he was not pleased.

    But the daemon did not heed the master. The daemon was insistent upon continuing the battle.

    Baerron Jael sniffed the wind. The foul stench of the paladins intermingled with those that came from the Spiritwood, but their scent became fainter. They were moving away towards the Smugger's Gate on the south-east side of the city. They would avoid another confrontation by escaping out the back... so they thought. The daemon and Lord Soth circled around the Hidden Valley mountain. The lightbringers, with no road to follow, would most likely travel along the edge of the river... And that is where Lord Soth and Baerron Jael awaited. The Death Knight summoned forth the dead and the daemon brought forth minions of the Stygian Abyss. The second engagement began.

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    During the second engagement, the Project Sanctuary Guildmaster, Lord Krake Vestahl foolishly engaged the daemon on his own. Recovered from the fallen leader's corpse was a map plotting the route of the caravan. This information would aid greatly in setting the ambush.

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    As the daemon went to engage the remainder of the lightbringer forces, a sharp, debilitating spike of pain crippled him. A red hellish scream filled him, his skull felt as if it were fracturing rapidly. The daemon Baerron Jael receded nearly as deep as Richard was imprisoned. The daemon was in intense pain and had nowhere to run from it. The master punished Baerron Jael for his insolence.

    Baerron Jael blinked. Black ichor oozed from his eyes, ears, and nose. In his delirium, the second engagement of the battle had winded down with the lightbringers pushing Lord Soth and what remained of his minions back. It made no matter, with the map, they would be able to regroup for the final encounter.

    The Death Knight and the Daemon rode hard and fast through the southern jungles to ensure they outpaced the slower-moving lightbringer caravan. With what remained of their now waning strength, the two summoned forth from the depths of purgatory and hell what fiends they could.

    The final engagement of the Battle of Honor Shrine commenced.

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    The third engagement proved to be exceptionally fierce. The lightbringers had their hands full with the likes of liches and demons, while Lord Soth and Baerron Jael harried those who broke from the strength of their group. In the midst of such fevered battle, the daemon held his head and screamed.

    The feeling of his skull crushing like an egg under a brick violently shocked both Richard and Baerron Jael. The master would have no more of the foolishness that was this battle. As if with the snap of a finger, the master severed Baerron Jael from Richard.

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    The world turned forcefully red, then faded to grey.

    Richard blinked.

    There were webs of dark blood on the edges of his eyes but he could see the blueness of the sky as he looked up from the ground. He gasped, his rotting, perforated lungs tasting air for the first time in longer than he could remember. Every inch of his body felt as if it were on fire and covered with monstrous ants. Every flayed nerve ending sparked. He coughed up a large clot of blackened blood.

    Tilting his head to the side, a motion which sent shockwaves up and down his neck and spine, he saw the battle waning. The remnants of the undead and demon forces were being dealt with, and the lightbringers began cleansing the Shrine of Honor.

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    Richard began a slow wander through the jungle. His mind, for the first time, was empty of the crimson hell. His body did not cooperate well, and faltered often. A raven landed on his back and picked off several strands of rotten skin and swallowed them before flying away.

    He did not know how long he walked. The trees of the jungle were gradually replaced by deciduous trees and, without a thought or even the acknowledgement of the passing of time, he found himself in the Spiritwood.

    A man that Richard thought he recognized found Richard as he pushed through the brush towards Paws. It was then Richard became aware that he was profusely bleeding black ichor from numerous wounds and rotten, sunken indents on his body. The familiar man helped Richard into the Healer's Hut of Paws.


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    A fair maid entered the Healer's Hut. Her presence was soothing to Richard's mind, and her voice reminded him of the rustling of the leaves.

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    The familiar man and the maid helped Richard to the shrine in the belief that the Virtues could aid him. A searing pain shot through him as he touched the Ankh. The daemon Baerron Jael might have been severed by the master, but his effects were deep and lingering. Richard's screams drew a crowd.

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    The pain in his mushy bones violently tore through him. Why was he still alive? If the daemon was gone, then so was the unholy power that kept Richard alive all this time. Why was he still here in spite of the extremely dire state of his physical body? Richard pleaded with the strange faces around him.

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    The man in the grey robes rushed to Richard. Before Richard could understand what was happening, the man in the grey robes pushed him through a moongate.

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    Richard stumbled through the gate and fell to the ground. He coughed up a black jelly-like goo.

    When he could muster the strength, he looked around at his surroundings. He was in a worn-down house filled with cobwebs and old books. He sniffed the air. The unforgettable scent of a demon was on the air. Where did the grey robed man send him, and why? And why was he still alive?

    Somewhere deep within his skull a red flicker emerged. Baerron Jael wasn't gone. He was cowed, hurt, afraid, but most of all angry. The master punished him severely, and it weakened him to a point that Richard had never seen before. The daemon's power held little influence over him, but it was only a matter of time before he regained his strength...

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    (Out of Character Note)

    Thank you all for participating in this battle, it was a tremendous amount of fun and I look forward to more such events.

    It took me forever to realize what was happening to me in the middle of battle. I died 3 times in this big battle. The first time I died, I went from full health to nothing in the blink of an eye and got the odd message "You anger your god with your..." (can read the full message above). I thought a GM was messing with me or something. Then I rezzed and was immediately killed by the lightbringers while trying to get my stuff (hah!). Then the third time happened at the final engagement area and it was the same exact scenario... had full health then suddenly... dead, with the same message. I didn't figure out until later that it was probably because I accidentally harmed one of the undead creatures. A skeleton or something must have walked into a poison field and that angered the gods. At any rate, sorry if this odd mechanic detracted in any way (so don't pat yourself on the back too hard, it was the gods that killed me!)

    In all seriousness, great job to everyone involved. I believe the scrub brush used in the cleansing of the Honor Shrine is put on prominent display in the Vesper Museum.

    If anyone has additional pictures (I didn't get a chance to get very many during much of the actual fighting unfortunately) or want to add their own story regarding this epic battle, please feel free to do so here.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  2. Lord Krake

    Lord Krake Well-Known Member
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    I appreciated our duel, that lasted a fair amount of time, while the caravan continued south. Jael ended up being the victor in that, but I feel I held my own well enough against the daemon!

    Very fun. I look forward to the next installment.
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  3. Vishakt

    Vishakt Well-Known Member
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    Yub. Dem panzee sky gawds ged mad agh gib payn wen de miti Budchok'hai clompun shardees tuu. Nub led dat stup uu. Week tings need clompun.
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  4. Ragar

    Ragar Active Member

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    It was a good time fighting off the spawns with the extra spice of the drive by attacks from you and Soth. I was prepared to write something up from my point of view but it turns out I have no screenshots. I was "forced" to play on another machine in my house. UO was installed from previous usage back in the day and I swear I checked that the hot key was set up for screenshots but I got nothing. :oops:

    Oh, and please note: Don't pat yourself on the back too much for killing me! I died fighting an ancient lich got me while I was crosshealing another and not watching my own health, which unfortunately seems to be a fairly consistent pattern of mine. Soth nearly had me once though (to 4 hp).
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  5. Jupiter

    Jupiter Well-Known Member

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    In my defense, I was role playing an old wizard who sends others into senseless battle. The only reason I didn't die is uhh. i mean, well i'm certain I died.. well..

    lets move on to another topic...
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  6. Jupiter

    Jupiter Well-Known Member

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    ***In answer to the beacon of Paws, several experienced warriors gathered at the steps of Paws Tower where Fender Fellhammer kept an everlasting watch***

    “Suflare Vitale,” Ragar saluted Jupiter with the familiar greeting, “what is this gathering at Paws?”

    “Our breath and life, indeed both will be challenged this evening Ragar,” Jupiter responded with an uncharacteristic melancholy. He looked up to see Private Parts and the spark of his jovial nature flickered in his eye.

    “Private Parts, when are they going to promote you to Captain, you ol’ bleeder!”

    “You know me, the eternal deck hand,” the Private chuckled.

    “Now, I’ve asked you all to come here to assist with the recent reports of corruption that is spreading around the shrine of Honor,” Jupiter was never one to be vague or omit crucial points of detail. At least not when it wasn’t necessary.

    “And for so long we thought them incorruptible,” Lord Krake murmured, “even the wind of time has of yet been unable to prevail upon them. What dark magic is this that could be doing this now?”

    Murmurs rose among the group in question and doubt. As though it were easier for them to doubt the reality that the shrine was indeed darkened.

    Jupiter raised his hands to quiet the group, but before he could regain decorum, a blast shot forth out of the clearing of trees.

    “YOU GREY FOOL! I TIRE OF THIS!” Baerron Jael roared, “Still you do not seem to accept your part in my game! A game which I must tonight!”

    He opened a charge directly at Jupiter, who stood with cane held high to receive the blow. But suddenly the Baerron diverted, his charge a ruse from the onset and Jupiter felt the wrenching pain as a bone hand seized around his ankle and began tearing into this flesh. He swung is cane down in a spin sending shards of bone scattering in the dust.

    “SUFLARE VITALE!” Ragar charged and the rest of the warriors flew into action, the skirmish was over in only a few moments, but the decoy had allowed the undead to slaughter a few of the horses in the stables before the warriors could clear the area.

    As they looked around at the carnage Jupiter turned to face the group, “You see now what powers we face. Should any of you wish to turn back now, you would not be thought the lesser for it.”

    Silence was the only answer to his proposal.

    “Then we shall waste no further time. I have here these brushes obtained from the stables of Minoc. It is fabled that the bristles of these brushes came from the mighty horses of Augeas’ stables. It is my hope that these brushes, combined with the water from the Sapphire Pond, should provide a purification solution that should undo whatever dark magic Baerron has seeded at the Shrine of Honor.”

    Jupiter turned to Krake, “Krake, you will lead our vanguard along with the Private and your trusted Axman, Bloodlust. See that you defend our caravan, but do not let this dark man lure you too far. He seeks to isolate, and then destroy.”

    Krake clasped Jupiter’s shoulder, “Together our lights burn brighter, and our lights shall not dim in this great hour of need.”

    Ragar rode aside Jupiter. Very little escaped the patrol man’s keen eye, “We have more capable help than we’ve ever had, we are almost guaranteed success, and yet your mind is clearly unsettled.”

    Jupiter nodded, his focus never leaving the each step before him, “There is only enough water in the pond to cleanse one shrine. Should we prevail, we yet have 7 more shrines to cleanse and I’ve no idea how to go about it. For now, all I can do is take one step forward, until we reach the shrine. Beyond that….” He shook his head and kept walking.

    ******************
    With the duties assigned, the group began their perilous journey. Thrice they were assailed by the dark forces of Baerron and the Death Knight , Soth. Each time they managed to repel the assault, but with great casualties.

    The first assault was heard without the city walls of Trinsic, the battle won, the group was welcomed by a throng of curious onlookers and grateful guards (who were of course saved the duty of repelling Baerron’s attack).

    With the City Walls, Jupiter took the only moment they would be allowed to catch their breath. He checked the water supplies and proved they were not tainted during the skirmish.

    The second assault was more fierce, and almost seemed confrontation of desperation. There was something different about this fight, it seemed a distraction, but not one meant for Jupiter. It seemed with each battle, the Baerron’s control over his forces slipped. Yes they were there in numbers and they had power in spades, but they did not seem compelled to fight in any logical formation. It seemed the undead and demons were contented with attacking whatever morsel of flesh was immediately perceived.

    The third battle erupted just before the shrine. All horses intact, all they had to do was clear a path to the shrine.

    Krake’s vanguard punched a hole through the ranks, and the rest followed in to form a wall to push the demons and lich lords out. Using the Baerron’s strategy of isolation against him, all of the forces fell leaving only the increasingly more despondent Baerron and his Death Knight who were easily repelled while Jupiter and a few others commenced cleansing the shrine.

    The rot of the corruption was powerful, and the brushes, even though expertly crafted and made of the toughest materials, all decayed and fell to pieces after only a few scrubs. After cleaning the shrine, only one scrub from the Augean stables remained, and not one drop of the water from the sapphire pond was left pure. The Shrine was cleansed, but at great cost…

    *******************************************************
    Several hours? Days? Afater the skirmish (it’s hard to tell time in virtual reality)

    Jupiter strode over to the shrine to discover the cause of commotion he heard over the communication stones. To his surprise he found the visage of the man he’d come to know as Baerron Jael, only far more docile than he’d ever seen. He still looked like he could make man reconsider a bar fight, but he was restrained somehow.

    Dun Scaith and a Dryad stood near him at the shrine, holding him as he wretched out black ichor on the shrine’s pedestal. The man screamed and writhed, but did not seem to try and break free.

    Jupiter saw in him then a familiar struggle, and one which would only be worsened should he be compelled to choose a path he did not believe in.

    “Rel Por!” Jupiter quickly appeared beside them. He had no time to focus on a specific location, as he spoke the second spell “Vas Rel Por!” The wizard, despite his aged appearance, was swifter than any man, and quickly shoved the shrouded man through the portal and closed it.

    What was lost to the perceptions of all, except maybe the Dryad, was the small sapphire gem that Jupiter stuck in the man’s satchel, and the words he spoke as he shoved him, “Even if it takes a thousand ages, the struggle is worth it. Fight on!”


    The introductions and first leg of march to Trinsic
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    Brief stop in Trinsic
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    Jungle battles
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    Shrine Cleansing
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    Patriot Lagers
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    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
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  7. Jupiter

    Jupiter Well-Known Member

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    This story has been added to the oral history of Paws.

    MEMORIZED!​
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  8. Baerron Jael

    Baerron Jael Well-Known Member

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    My comment was tongue-in-cheek regarding my own ignorance of the mechanics surrounding my affiliation with the damned. But don't worry, I do not pat myself on the back for your death for two reasons: 1.) As the orc pointed out, weak things require clomping, and 2.) I am pretty sure I didn't hit you much with anything at any point... Your death probably had nothing to do with me (maybe Soth or just monsters?) Most of my fights were with Krake, Bloodlust, and Private Parts, with the occasional bouts against the others.

    Don't let the lack of pictures stop you from posting your story.


    @Jupiter - I enjoyed the pictures of your group attacking and killing each other in the chaos. It happens to me, too. On at least one occasion I blew up Soth during one of our engagements.

    Also, there was an IDOC at the first engagement. What used to stand there was a cabin, which was a tavern owned by Akiro, a member of the Great Council, if anyone happened to retrieve any personal effects during the battle.
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  9. Jupiter

    Jupiter Well-Known Member

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    ah I forgot to tie that into the story! haha i had noticed that too! we are all going grey, and then our attack nearest grey hotkeys were causing havoc!

    it was a great fight.
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  10. Fraggle

    Fraggle Well-Known Member
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    The best way to end a Paws adventure is a frothy stein of lager at Paddy's Pub with added merriment!


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  11. Dun Scaith

    Dun Scaith Well-Known Member

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    That husk of a man puked up quite the mess all over such a fine pair of boots.
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  12. Artex

    Artex Well-Known Member
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    Awesome story and pictures! In one of Jupiter's pictures... it appears Dun Scaith had fallen under a strange spell by Baerron Jael that convinced him to end himself! Happens to the best of us.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
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  13. Cullinarn

    Cullinarn Active Member
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    Best story yet, Baerron! I especially appreciate the map, which was very well done. Stuff like that really brings the world to life. Apparently I need to catch up on my reading...

    Oh, and Dun: Sometime soon, you and I are going to have a serious chat about vandalizing wild game. ;)
  14. ShadowJack

    ShadowJack Well-Known Member

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    The darkened blood highlighted photos are rad
  15. Alex Caember

    Alex Caember Well-Known Member

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    I too particularly enjoyed Dun Scaith's bold and innovative tactic of blowing himself up. I will be keeping an eye on the battlefield to see how that tactic plays out long-term!
  16. Halabinder

    Halabinder Well-Known Member

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    "Private Parts! When are they ever going to promote you to Captain Parts?"

    So many lols. So much WIN.
  17. Aragorn - OCT

    Aragorn - OCT Well-Known Member

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    I missed this? NOOOOO!

    Very well done. Bravo.
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  18. Jupiter

    Jupiter Well-Known Member

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    what's your ICQ handle? lol

    But srlsly if you do get in IRC i try to send out mass notices before any impromptu adventures. Just let me know your usual IRC names and I'll add u to the list.

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  19. Aragorn - OCT

    Aragorn - OCT Well-Known Member

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    This has caused me to finally mess with IRC. Never used it before. I'll watch now.

    Thanks for communicating these, Jupiter.
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  20. Dun Scaith

    Dun Scaith Well-Known Member

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    So this is where you've run off to.

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