I’m just gonna say this now, this is going to be a multi-part story and its going to be long. I am a player in this campaign that has been on going for the past year and a half. I am also going to start at the beginning and work my way to the end of what i have written down then slowly post as I go. The story will be written as the characters point of view and if you have any questions feel free to ask.
Grodak approached the gates of Whitewater just as the sun started to set behind him. This will be interesting, Grodak thought as he eyed the guards stationed at the gate.
“Halt.” A guard shouted. “State your business.”
“I am here to speak to your king-“
“Another for the quest.” The guard shouted to the others, interrupting Grodak. “Alright,” he said turning back to Grodak, “come with me.”
Grodak hesitated for just a brief second before following the guard. “So,” Grodak said as they walked, mostly to fill the silence that seemed to stick to him like sweat on a hot summer day, “what are we supposed to be doing for this quest?”
“You will find out from Tyril, our king.” The guard spoke with pride as he mentioned the king, he held a hint of what almost sounded like a son praising his father. Grodak looked the soldier over, he appeared to be no younger than his mid to late thirty’s, Grodak could only imagine what the king must look like then.
Grodak didn’t have to wonder long as they came upon a white spiraling castle that touched the sky. Grodak gasped at the beauty of it, he had always seen it from afar, but it looked so different up closely. The doors, big enough to welcome dragons into its great halls, where wide open, allowing the citizens to come and go as they please.
“Wait here,” the guard said, suddenly snapping Grodak out of his trance like state, “I’ll inform the king that you have arrived.”
Grodak stood at the doors admiring the craftsmanship that was put into the building. A few minutes go by then the guard returned. “Alright,” he said with a wry smile, “you may enter to see the king.”
Grodak entered the great halls and followed the guards as they guided him to the throne room. Grodak stepped into the large ornate room and looked around at the trinkets, he didn’t have much taste for valuables but even he knew that these were all worth twice his weight in gold.
As Grodak looked around he spotted two other figures standing in front of him. One was a human with blonde hair and whistling a strange tune, the other was a Dasari who, strangely enough, didn’t have his dragon by his side. As Grodak took these two in a shift of movement caught his eye.
Grodaks eyes jerked to the source of the movement, cursing himself under his breath for not realizing sooner that there was a third man in the room with them, and caught his breath. Sitting upon a golden throne, looking bored, was a young man with white hair and red eyes. Grodak felt a chill come over him, this man struck Grodak as unnatural.
“Is this everyone, Isaac?” The young man asked, his gaze never leaving the group.
The guard gave a sharp nod and replied, “Yes, my lord.”
“I guess this outcome is better than I had hoped.” The young lord spoke in a soft tone that carried years of sorrow and wisdom upon it. “I am Tyril, king of Whitewater, and I welcome you to my humble city.”
Grodak watched as the two in front of him bowed their heads to this man and started to follow their lead but stopped as Tyril raised a hand. “There is no need to bow before me. You have accepted the request I sent out so you may consider me an equal.”
Grodak straightened up and watched the king, he did not dare to look him in the eye for fear of what he may see. “If you have the courage to do so,” Tyril continued, “then you must take the challenge.”
There was a loud click from behind the throne as three hounds with white fur and red eyes appeared. “Defeat these hounds,” Tyril said with a hint of amusement, “and we will discuss the details of the request after.”
Grodak brandished his sword and leaped upon one of the hounds, decapitating it in seconds. He spun around and found that the other two with him had defeated their hounds just as quickly, the human with a sword and the Dasari held a glass beaker with a strange liquid dripping out onto the melted corpse of the hound.
Grodak then looked to Tyril who was watching. “Maybe I made it to easy on you.” Though Tyril spoke quietly, his voice echoed out into the throne room loud enough for all three of them to hear. “Matters not,” he said raising his voice louder, “for you have passed the test. Now follow me and we will discuss what is needed for this quest.”
Tyril pointed to a piece of parchment that laid on the table. “This is where I need you to go.”
The group took turns trying to decipher the piece of parchment, arguing amongst their selves about what it was and where they needed to go. “It’s meant to be used to smoke some plants.” The human shouted.
“No.” The Dasari shouted back in horror. “It’s a map, I just can’t seem to grasp the ancient writings on it.”
“There’s no way this is a map.” Grodak shouted in anger. “This must be a parchment to wipe your ass with.”
The arguing continued for almost an hour as Tyril stood off to the side laughing at the silly group. At last, Tyril, tired of the arguing, came forward and took the parchment out of the group’s hands and laid it on the table.
“Let’s try this again.” Tyril said in a strange tone that bordered on anger and calm. “This is a map of Whitewater, the town you are currently in, and it’s bordering territories. I need you three to head here,” Tyril pointed to a small area on the map that, now that Grodak has had a good look at it, was a tower, “and kill some unwanted visitors that have made their selves at home.”
Grodak pondered this for a moment, looking over the map. He had seen his father going over maps and planning attacks on enemy forces several times, almost to the point he could recite the troops movement in his sleep, but Grodak wasn’t one for war or strategy, that was all his brother, the previous chief of his tribe.
“We should enter from two points,” Grodak said analyzing the map carefully, “here, on the western side, and here to the east. With the position of the sun it would be wise if one of us enters from the eastern side, creating a distraction while the other two attack from the west, pincer them from both sides so that they cannot escape. If we succeed, we will not only cut them off from escaping we will also manage to attack without much to any damage on our side.”
Everyone stared at Grodak in astonishment, this big dumb brute managed to come up with a fine plan of attack, yet he was unable to read a simple map. Tyril laughter echoed throughout the room, startling everyone. “That sounds like an excellent plan. I’ll be waiting for you at the stable when you’re ready to leave.” Tyril turned and disappeared through the door.
“I also think that’s a good idea…. What was your name again?” The human said with a jolly tone.
“I am Grodak and thank you.”
“I’m Adrian,” the human announced all proud, “my goal is to one day own one of each kind of animal.”
Grodak grunted and looked to the Dasari who stared intently at the map. “Anything wrong with my plan?” Grodak asked.
“No,” the Dasari said as a matter of fact, “I’m just trying to measure up the possible numbers we are going against.”
“That’s Impartis,” Adrian whispered to Grodak, “I just call him Imp, I met him on my way here and he always give off the air of caution.”
Grodak nodded his head in acknowledgement then turned to leave. “I’m going to head to the stables,” he said, “if we postpone this too long, we will lose the advantage we worked for.”
Imp looked up from the map at Grodak. “We have yet to decide who will be the distraction.”
“I thought that was obvious,” Grodak said with a smile, “I’m the distraction.”
Grodak stood at the door of the tower his sword in one hand and the other on the door. Grodak knew that he had to time this just right to be able to get the most out of his advantage. As his shadow creeped up the door he watched until his shadows head touched the top.
Now. Grodak thought as he used his brute strength to force the door open. Twenty men in black robes standing in a circle, turned to see Grodaks figure in the doorway and the blinding sun right behind him. Grodak let out a loud roar as he rushed in and slaughtered two of the black robes. Blood sprayed on the floor screams echoed in the air, carnage had been let loose and there was no stopping it.
Grodak swung his blade viciously and wildly killing six more black robes before Adrian and Imp could come through the other door. Moments passed as the screams slowly died out. Blood pooled on the floor making every step hazardous, the black robes had been slain.
“That was too easy.” Imp said searching the bodies. “They didn’t even have any weapons, why were we sent to attack these unarmed men when…” Imp voice trailed off as he lifted a black book out of one of the black robe’s hands. “Necromancer’s.” He said in disgust.
Grodak, thinking fast on his feet, started grabbing bodies and carrying them outside. “We need to burn their bodies then.”
“Why?” Adrian asked.
“These men were unarmed not because they were defenseless,” Imp explained, “but because death is never permanent, just simply an inconvenience for them.”
“If we burn their bodies,” Grodak finished, “they cannot come back.”
The group worked together to carry the bodies out of the tower and toss them in a pile. As the last necromancer was tossed onto the pile, Imp tossed a clear flask on top of them and flames erupted. The group didn’t waste time staring at the flames and set about searching the tower, in case anyone managed to get away.
Grodak was the first to find her, an elven woman who carried the air of royalty, chained to the wall, blood splattered on her dress. Her as opened as Grodak drew near.
“Where am I?” She demanded. “Who are you? Where is my husband?”
She seemed to be in a state of panic and Grodak held his hands up to her showing he was unarmed. “I was sent here to clear out this tower of its occupancy, the necromancer’s, by king Tyril-“
“Tyril.” The elven woman shouted. “My husband sent you here. Please you must take me to him.”
Grodak looked around him and found Imp walking in. “Imp,” Grodak shouted, “you know magic.”
“Yes,” Imp said in disgust at the way Grodak spoke towards him, “I know how to use magic. What of it?”
Grodak pointed to the elven woman. “She claims to be Tyrils wife.” He said keeping a sharp eye on her as she twisted around trying to free herself. “Regardless if it’s true or not we need to take her with us, but-“
“You wouldn’t feel safe taking her until you knew for sure she wasn’t meant to be a trap.” Imp finished.
“I am not a trap.” The elven woman shouted. “My name is Elvyna and I am the wife of Tyril.”
“Not at your age, you aren’t.” Adrian said as he stood in the doorway behind Imp.
Grodak looked to Imp who was already speaking under his breath. “She is clean, though there is a hint of dark magic that has been used on her but not to cause harm to anyone, instead it was used to bring her back to life.”
“Alright,” Grodak said as he walked close to Elvyna, “then we free her and take her to Tyril.” Without another word, Grodak grabbed the chains that bound Elvyna to the wall and gave a mighty pull, ripping them out of the wall. “Now we return.”
Upon their return to Whitewater, Tyril greeted them and held Elvyna close, crying in joy. Tyril looked up to the party and said simply, “Thank you. I will distribute your rewards amongst you later, but first I would like to spend time with my wife. If you need anything, anything at all, feel free to ask.” With those words said, Tyril and Elvyna made their way back to the castle holding each other the entire way.
Grall stood in front of the gates that led to Whitewater. The town was in a bustle, being mid-day, and no one seem to take notice of the orc standing at the gates.
“Is my brother truly in this town?” Grall asked himself. Grall had become accustomed to talking to himself during his time away from his tribe, being alone for ten years did that to a man, or in his case, an orc.
“Hey! You!” A guard shouted as if finally noticing the slender orc standing off to the side. “What are you here for? State your business.” The guard smiled to himself as if this was the smartest thing he had ever said.
Grall looked the guard up and down and stifled a chuckle. “I am here to find my brother. Perhaps you heard of him? His name is-“
“You want to see the king then.” The guard interrupted. “If you are kin to an orc here then he is the one that saved our queen.”
“Then yes,” Grall spoke slowly as to not let his anger be known, “I would like to speak to the king to find my brothers whereabouts.”
“This way.” The guard motioned for Grall to follow.
Grall moved through the city of Whitewater, following close behind the guard. As they moved Grall couldn’t help but look at how the town ran in amusement. “Humans sure love their trinkets.” Grall said under his breath as they passed a very popular jewelry store that was packed to the brim.
As they walked, Grall noticed in the distance a spiraling white castle that looked to have been taken out of a fairytale. “That’s the castle, where we are headed.” The guard replied when Grall inquired about it.
“That’s the castle?” Grall muttered in disbelief. “Looks more like a temple to me.”
After walking for some time, they reached a pair of white marble doors that stood twenty feet high and wide open. “Are you expecting dragons to visit?” Grall remarked.
The guard snorted, as if having some information that he couldn’t divulge. “Just shut up and wait here, will ya.”
Grall bit his tongue to keep from telling this guard to hurry before he decides to enter and find this king on his own. The guard turned towards the doors and walked in, disappearing for a while and returning to guide Grall to the throne room.
The throne room was filled to the brim with priceless artifacts, just one would be enough to feed an army for years, Grall thought. In the throne sat a slender young man with white hair and red eyes. Those eyes, Grall felt such power coming from them, they shown age and experience where his body showed none. Just looking at this man sent chills running down Gralls spine.
“I am Grall, your Highness.” Grall spoke carefully not wishing to insult this man. “I have come here to-“
“To find your brother, right.” It wasn’t a question; it was an amused statement. “Yes, yes, the guard already told me. What makes you think your brother is here though?” He said with a peculiar smile.
“The elder chieftains told me.” Grall said lowering himself even more out of fear. Grall felt as though this man was drilling holes into his very soul as he looked upon him.
The smile upon the Kings face vanished. “Grodak is here,” he said causing Grall to look up in shock and horror, “but,” he continued ignoring Gralls expression, “I will not permit you to speak to him until you have passed the test.”
“Test?” Grall said fearfully. “What kind of test?”
“A test of strength.” Without another word, the king pressed a button releasing three hounds into the room. “Either fight and defend yourself or die before you even get a chance to speak with your brother.”
A small smile tugged at Gralls mouth as he thought, a battle? That I can do.
Grall unsheathed his one and a half-handed sword, oathkeeper, from its sheath. The blade, made by the very brother he was looking for, was Gralls only companion for many years and was one of the only things he still held dear from his childhood. Grall made a slight motion and with a single swing, he brought down two of the hounds.
Before Grall could attack the third hound, however, it leaped upon him attacking with claws and fang. Grall let out a small yelp at the pain. He pushed the hound away and drew back for a moment.
What is it with this hound? He thought, the other two were so easy, they barely even moved from the spot they stood at before I cut them down. Grall eyed the hound, looking for any sign of weakness, then the hound moved, it’s white fur and red eyes were but a blur in Gralls eyes.
Grall threw his weapon up and called upon the shadow world for help. It responded with his own shadow attacking the dog, running it through with a shadowy blade.
Grall let out a sigh, he hadn’t wanted to show his abilities just yet. Grall looked to the king who looked bored then, with a sharp motion he flicked the blade getting rid of the blood that coated it, putting it away in its sheath.
“Will done.” He said. “Now about yo-“
“Hey, Tyril, is there any… news….” A familiar voice trailed off behind Grall.
“Ah! There you are Grodak, we were just talking about you.” The king, Tyril, said, a hint of amusement in his voice.
Grall turned around to find his brother standing in the doorway, staring at him. “Grodak, I-” Grall was cut off as a wild left hook caught his jaw, sending him to the ground.
Grodak stood over Grall panting in anger. “How dare you show yourself in front of me!” He shouted.
“Grodak, listen to me!” Grall said struggling to get up, but before Grall could get to his feet Grodak was already out the door. “Wait!” Grall shouted. “Brother!”
Grall started after his brother but was stopped by a Dasari, a race of lizard like men, and a dragon, of which their kin where always around. Grall knew little of the Dasari, only that they were a dying race, and Grall, along with most orcs, didn’t care to learn anymore about them, that is if they stayed out of his way.
“Now do you think that’s smart?” The Dasari asked.
“Imp,” Tyril said giving Grall a knowing look, “let the boy pass. He has important business with his dear brother.”
Imp, the Dasari, stepped aside and the dragon followed his movements almost as if they were apart of each other.
Grall pushed pass Imp and chased after his older brother. By asking those he saw along the way if they had seen him and moving in the direction, they pointed he finally found his brother in a blacksmiths forge.
“Brother,” Grall called out over the familiar bangs and clatter of the smithy. “I need to speak with you brother.”
Grodak made no motion and spoke no words, he just moved his hands with precision over the metal work. as Grall watched his brother work, he thought back to when they were much younger. Grodak always loved being a blacksmith, he had worked hard to master the art and never wanted the responsibility of being a chieftain of the tribe, which their father was happy to hear.
In their tribe, only those that can speak with the chieftains of the past were able to take up the mantle of chief. It was a sign of approval, or so their father led them to believe. Since Grodak didn’t have the ability but Grall did, the responsibility of being the chief of the tribe was passed to Grall, the younger of the two siblings. Even though most siblings would fight over this and create a divide in their tribe, forcing families against each other, Grall and Grodak were close.
Grall subconsciously laid his hand on the hilt of his sword and thought back to those days. This very sword, oathkeeper was forged the day of his birth.
“I made this the day you were born.” Grodak had told him. “I named it oathkeeper to remind us that we are brothers and our blood is our oath to always protect one another.”
the distant memories faded as Grodak finished his work. For a long moment no sounds escaped the two of them.
“Father sent me to find you.” Grall said breaking the silence.
Grodak turned to Grall and raised an eyebrow. “Father?” He said amused, Grall had long hated his father for the way he chased him out of the tribe and even with the distance between them, Grodak knew that Grall could not ever forgive him. “How is he doing in the other world?”
“As well as a dead man can get.” Grall said flatly.
“I remember the day the soldiers brought his body back from the battlefield….” Grodak stared out in the open without seeing, as if he was staring into the past. Grall remembered that day as well, it was the day he decided to not only become the chief of his tribe, but the day he saw what a real chief was.
The smoke from that battlefield filled his lungs as the memory danced in his head. His father, chief Gryoon, was leading the charge against a group of humans who were trying to claim the scar as their own. Gryoon wielded his spear with precision killing many in those days, but the humans were too much for Gryoons small orc army.
The orcs were outnumbered a hundred to one. The only good thing about humans is their numbers, Grall remembers thinking. It had looked hopeless until Gryoon united the scattered tribes in order to protect their homes.
The sky was darkened with angry clouds roaring above. The smoke from the fires that littered the desert was thick. Gryoon was face to face with a man that made even orcs seem small. Gryoon moved to attack but stopped and fell lifeless to the ground. A single dagger that belonged to a fellow orc tribe protruded from his back.
“He was a good man, and a damn fine chieftain.” Grodak said pulling Grall out of the past and back into the present.
“He swears he died while fighting the Casarn.” Grall said laughing. “Can you believe that? A race that died out many years ago is the cause of his death.” Grall and Grodak laughed together for a bit.
“So,” Grodak said as his laughter died down, “why did father send you to find me?”
“Something about us needing each other.” Grall said in disgust. “Honestly, I don’t care what the reason is for. I just wish to get rid of this accursed ‘gift’ they gave me.”
“What?” Grodak said with a wry smile. “You don’t like being able to talk to the dead?”
“I don’t mind talking to the dead,” Grall said, “but, if I am to ever die, I need to rid myself of it.”
“You speak as though you want to die.” Grodak eyed Grall closely.
Grall remained silent for a moment, then when he was ready to speak, a human ran in. “Grodak!” The human shouted. “Look at my new pet!” He motioned to a black panther that was big enough to ride.
Before Grodak could speak Imp wondered in and started trying to talk to Grodak. Grall tried to listen to what was being said but the two of them kept speaking at the same time, making it difficult to understand either of them. Grodak suddenly slammed his fist on the anvil and shouted, “Shut up!” The two of them quieted and Grodak turned and mounted a reptile like creature that resembled a raptor and rode off.
“Brother. Wait.” Grall shouted after him before mounting a nearby horse and giving chase. Gralls horse could not keep up with the creature however and soon Grodak was just a speck in the horizon.
Grall continued to follow his trail for half the day. As the sun began to drift below the horizon Grall could feel the familiar pull on his body. “No,” He begged, “please not now.” It was too late. His body began to fall off the horse and into a murky black world where his father, Gryoon, stood waiting for him.
“Why?!” Grall shouted. “Why do you persist on hounding me? I am the chieftain no longer, you made that very clear when you abandoned me, why don’t you hound Grodak. He’s the chieftain now, damnit.”
Gryoon looked upon Grall with disgust. “You were the one born with this gift, so through you we communicate.”
“Is that all I’m good for now,” Grall cried out, “to be the puppet you speak through. You won’t even let me die so that another can take my place.”
“Your death would be meaningless, now hush. I have grave news to tell you.” Gryoons face softened a bit, he didn’t look upon Grall in a fatherly manner, but in a thoughtful manner instead, almost as if he wasn’t sure this was right. “Even a failure such as yourself can be useful in this manner. Now go and tell your brother that the cycles end is near.”
Before Grall could question his father further he found himself laying in the dirt looking up at the sky. “What did I do to deserve such torment?” Grall asked himself as tears slid down his face.