FR Scales of War
Netherese Dusky-skinned Sword Mage
Galidion Savanarius, level 6
Build: Shielding Swordmage
Swordmage Aegis: Aegis of Assault
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 19, Wis 10, Cha 13.
AC: 24 Fort: 16 Reflex: 18 Will: 17
HP: 59 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 14
Intimidate +9, Arcana +12, Insight +8, Diplomacy +9, History +12
Acrobatics +3, Bluff +4, Dungeoneering +3, Endurance +5, Heal +3, Nature +3, Perception +3, Religion +7, Stealth +3, Streetwise +4, Thievery +3, Athletics +5
Human: Intelligent Blademaster
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard sword)
Level 2: Weapon Focus (Heavy Blade)
Level 4: Weapon Expertise (Heavy Blade) (retrained to Focused Expertise (Bastard sword) at Level 5)
Level 6: Armor Proficiency (Chainmail)
Bonus At-Will Power: Sword Burst
Swordmage at-will 1: Lightning Lure
Swordmage at-will 1: Greenflame Blade
Swordmage encounter 1: Flame Cyclone
Swordmage daily 1: Burning Blade (retrained to Whirling Blade at Level 4)
Swordmage utility 2: Host of Shields
Swordmage encounter 3: Incendiary Sword
Swordmage daily 5: Enervating Slash
Swordmage utility 6: Swordmage’s Decree
Adventurer’s Kit, Sunrod (2), Counterstrike Guards (heroic tier), Sunblade Bastard sword +2, Eladrin Chainmail +2
Blue Flames, sweeping across his field of vision. Blood, soaked into the ground at his feet as he desperately tries to scramble back. Terror claws at his heart….
Galidion’s eyes snapped open as his head slipped off the cupped hand that had been supporting it for the last few minutes. The noise of the filled tavern roared back to his ears as he came back into the real world out of his memories, memories that scarred his mind much as his body bore the scars of their creation.
Rubbing a calloused hand over his face, Galidion quickly surveyed the crowd. A few dwarves, an out of place Dragonborn, and a large collection of local farmers and merchants piled around several tables pushed together, interested in the dice and card game that caused the quick exchange of coppers and friendly insults. No one sparred a second glance for the stranger that occupied a far corner with a half finished ale in front of him. As long as he kept his head down, Galidion hoped it would stay that way.
Rubbing his eyes, Galidion felt what small benefits those few moments of rest quickly leave his aching body. Once more the oppressive headache set in, pounding behind his eyes. His body, slightly under six feet tall and hard from years of combat and lean living, seemed as tense as a bowstring. He could almost hear the cramp in his shoulders as he moved slightly, stretching arms above his head. As he shifted, he caught a quick glimpse of himself in the mirror that covered almost the entire back of the bar.
Thick black hair hung down to his ears in a tangled mess, the cut being the best that a dagger on a roadside could produce. Skin slightly darker than dusk was scratched and dirty from long roads traveled with little luxury, while his face was handsome in a hard way. The effects of his life for the past years showed in the wrinkles on his brows and the crows nest at his eyes. He would have been easily mistaken for a very simple traveler or perhaps an escaped fugitive, as long as no one looked into his eyes. The irises of those eyes were mercurial silver, and as he looked into the mirror he watched as they seemed to swirl continuously around his pupils. While his dusky skin and features would have declared him a Shadovar, hailing from the Empire of Nethiril, he eyes marked him as someone, or something, much less appreciated or wanted in this day and age.
Galidion sighed slowly, concentrating on thinking of anything else than where he got his startling eyes from. As he shifted his view down from the mirror, it settled on the scarred Dragonborn, who at that moment happened to be looking directly at Galidion.
Not good, not good at all. Galidion quickly dropped his eyes from the copper scaled humanoid to his ale mug, but not before he could tell the creature had already seen his face, and more importantly, his unique eyes. He heard, more than saw, the creature rise from his seat, the poor quality wood groaning as it was released from the ponderous weight. Footsteps were muffled by dirt and hay as the creature unsteadily walked over to stand next to Galidion, a shadow barely proceeding the strong smell of dwarven spirits as the creature poked hard into the side of Galidion’s shoulder, scratching the fine suit of leather armor that seemed more dusty than damaged.
“Whas wi’t your eyes, Human” the creature rumbled in its deep bass voice, quickly followed by a belch whose stench probably took a year from Galidion’s life, he mussed. When Galidion didn’t immediately respond, the creature poked him harder, actually pushing him in his chair slightly. Once more the smell of hard alchohol preceded the dragonlike humanoid’s statement. “Shoo yur eyes to me, Shade.”
‘Shade’ was a derogatory term outside of Netheril, used to address someone from Netheril that was disliked. Within Netheril however, a Shade was an honored and exalted member of society, endowed with the essence of darkness that had protected their people for dozens of centuries within the Shadowfell. Only great heroes and members of high esteem with Netheril ever became Shades.
Not that I’ll ever have to worry about being mistaken for a great hero if I ever go home, though Galidion. As that thought passed his mind, darker memories surged forward, struggling to overwhelm him. He closed his mind and focused, and after a moment felt once more in control. While only a heartbeat had passed, when Galidion opened his eyes it felt like he had been struggling for hours. As he raised his head to answer his questioner, the only warning he had was the whistle of air as a club connected behind his ear, accompanied by the drunken snarl of “stupid scarred”. Darkness swam up to claim him in its soft embrace, only to be driven back by a wall of blue. The last thing that Galidion heard was the scream of the flame in his head replaced by the screams of the inn patrons around him.
DR 1478 – 17 of Thesk
Galidion gripped Amurax in his right hand as he shifted back a step. The creature, some plagueformed spawn that faintly resembled a gnome snapped its extended jaws shut a few inches short of Galidion’s knee, saliva spraying forward. It’s hunched over posture and naked body was covered with weeping blue sores, red hair stood up in spikes from its head. The creatures eyes, all four of them, glared at Galidion as the creature swiped at its dodging target.
“Fifty” came the count from Lord Isharu. Galidion spared a glance at the Umbriri team leader. Nearly a head taller than Galidion, Lord Isharu, third rank of Netherese Swordmage’s known as the Umbriri, was a man whom seldom laughed, but seldom yelled either. Short and curt to a fault, the Swordmage master often found the most inopportune times to test his charge, this being one of them. Currently he and the rest of the senior team surrounded Galidion in a rough circle, five in all. They had just recently stumbled upon the plaguetouched creature during their excavations of some ruins deep in the plaguelands. These ruins supposedly held some magic device that would be of use to one of the Princes of Shade, and thus Galidions’ first mission with an Umbriri team was here and now. Galidion quickly rolled under the plague gnome as it launched at him, jaws first.
“Seventy Five” Lord Isharu intoned, his voice expressing no emotion. As soon as the creature had been spotted, the command from Lord Isharu had been for Galidion to fight the creature for a slow count of 100, allowing the creature to touch neither Galidion nor any of the other team members, and drawing no blood from the creature until after the count was completed.
As Galidion rose from his crouch, his weight evenly supported on his bent legs and Amurax, his Shadowcrystal wrought sword held flat side out, he mentally sighed as the creature, obviously fed up with the game of catch, launched itself at Miran, a squat member of the team whose raw power with his greatsword was awe inspiring.
Galidion whispered a few arcane syllables and mentally pulled at the distance between him and Miran. The world seemed to stretch, streak with black, and suddenly Galidion stood immediately to the left of Miran, who maintained the same bored expression as before. The gnomish monster was already airborne, so Galidion simply slapped the flat of his blade into the creatures midsection and pushed, flinging it into the dirt a few yards shy of the center of the circle. It quickly hoped back up on its legs, and reared back. “Rowrrr, I’m a monster” the creature growled in a high pitch voice. It then went back to all fours and scuttled towards Galidion like a bug.
“One Hundred,” Lord Isharu announced just as the creature came within the reach of Amurax. Galidion smiled as he stepped back with his left foot, turning his body slightly so that his right hip faced the plaguetouched. Galidion dropped his sword arm down so the Amurax’s edge was in line with his rear leg, his sword and arm making a single line. His off hand he pushed out perpendicular to his body, fingers spread wide. At the last moment, as the creature’s claws and teeth closed within inches of his exposed right side, Galidion shouted out two words: “Etrasukal! Reshudar!” Immediately a blue field formed in front of his hand, curving in the form of a slight shield. The creature bounced of the magical shield to land on its butt, as green flames raced down Amurax’s blade, casting warped shadows in the fading light. As the creature shook it’s head to clear it from the stinging blow, Galidion swept his sword upwards at a 45 degree angle, turning his cocked right hip, and spinning on the ball of his right foot. The result was an increase of power just past the middle of the swing, rather than a lessening.
Amurax, flaring with green flames, caught the creature under its right arm and cleaved completely through its body. The sick smell of burned flesh and blood reached Galidion’s nostrils as viscara flew through the air to slide of shields formed by the other members of the team. The flames on Amurax quickly burned away any blood left before fading away. Galidion sheathed the bastard sword with a quick but careful movement as he turned towards Lord Isharu, waiting for the inevitable suggestions for improvement. The stars above started to shine in the growing darkness.
As Galidion stepped towards his waiting mentor, a bright flash of blue light and a clap of thunder crashed into the circle, lifting Galidion and the other members off their feet and slamming them back into the ground yards away. The night filled with a crackle of blue and a smell of burnt ozone and the odd combination of lavender and ocean water. As Galidion’s eyes started to clear from the sudden burst, the ringing in his ears was replaced by the sound of yells, clashing steel, loud chants of arcane might, and over it all a whispered voice that seemed muffle all the other sounds.
She weaves…she cries…she whispers for what was lost…you wake her…you cause her pain…sleep is her only respite…she must sleep.
Drifting twenty feet above the ground, in where the center of the circle had been just a few moments earlier floated a being of light and beauty. A blue pillar of light defined into hard angle scale armor formed of blue steel and ice. Hair the same color drifted around in a nimbus of light over a face that was featurless except for a pair of glowing eldritch eyes. Blue wings formed of blue light and semi-translucent gently fanned from behind the creature, lifting dust into the air. Its left hand held a greatsword aloft with ease, blue flames crackling along its edge. Its right hand held the end of a shaft of a blue crystal spear. That spear point was buried in the ground, and the shaft itself was covered with blood and gray matter as it went into the mouth of Lord Isharu and out the back of his head. The Lord’s arms and legs twitched slightly as his body slid down to the ground as the angel turned slightly as Triah, another member of the team, yelled out a war cry and flame burst from her falchion, sweeping around the angel ineffectually.
Galidion quickly scanned the area around. Hadra and Pudrak, twins who had entered the Umbriri at the same time, lay together on a small mound of torn dirt, their heads a few feet beyond. Blood ran from their neck in a river, forming a small ocean at the feet of Galidion, the hot smell of iron burning his nose. Terror gripped his heart as he realized how close death was, and he quickly scrambled back just as a blast of blue ice cold flame enveloped Triah, just as she rushed towards the divine being, her falchion raised overhand. Galidion watched in horror as her flesh turned snow white, an expression of surprise and horror quickly freezing onto her face as she realized her doom. That expression quickly disappeared as her body crumbled to small shards of ice and water.
“Come on boy” snarled Miran and he raced towards the fray. His greatsword, Yurt, alternated between being sheathed in flame or crackling lightning. Galidion pushed his feet under him and scanned the ground for Amurax. It’s dragonhide bound grip lay a few feet away, blade stuck slightly into the clayish dirt. Keeping his eyes on the mounting battle, Galidion sidestepped over to his blade and quickly grasped it, shaking the dirt and drying blood from it. As soon as he gripped it he felt the slight presence which had always occupied the blade send a small feeling of satisfaction. Not sure how satisfied your going to be in a minute here, Galidion thought as he started to mouth the words to a shielding spell.
Miran in the meantime, seemed to be holding his own against the angelic being. Heavy darksteel blade darted and slashed with increasing speed, causing his opponent to attempt to keep the great blade from piercing its armored skin. The clash of the blue steel sword wielded by the angel and Yurt, wielded by an angry Miran, was deafening. Suddenly the angel swept his wings forward in a powerful blast, causing Miran to hold up his off hand to protect his eyes and at the same time moving the angel back several paces, away from the danger of the sweeping danger of the terrible swordmages’ weapon. A dull thrum echoed through the clearing and ice once more shot forth from the creatures hand, encasing Miran.
The effect of the blizzard spell was diminished however, as Miran managed to chant a quick protective charm before the blast. His bald head gleaming with Ice, the heavy Netherise warrior barreled out, forcing the angel to turn to meet him.
Galidion, who had been maneuvering for the best position to join the combat without getting in the way of the more experienced Miran, stopped short. Where the front of the creature had been perfectly formed, if of hard angles and sharp lines, the creatures back was a mass of weeping wounds. Wounds formed and reformed themselves into shapes that could only be letters, spelling out something that continually changed. Moving through the wounds like fish swimming under the creatures skin were five glowing stars, moving without apparent purpose but always visable. Blood that resembled flaming ice trailed down the creatures back in a steady stream, disappearing into the energy that composed the creatures lower body.
“Boy, if your going to do anything, now would be the time,” yelled Miran as he desperately set about parrying both the angels sword and small bursts of energy that was sent his way. He quickly backed up as he moved, his weapon held up vertical in front of him almost as a shield.
Galidion shook himself from his reverie, even as something tickled the back of his mind about the stars. He stepped forward quietly, mouthing the words to the most powerful incantation he knew, Amurax held point forward. As his finished, a cyclone of flame formed at Amurax’s tip and speed forward, engulfing the creature in a tornado of white hot flame. The creatures scream ripped into Galidion’s ears with painful intensity, just as Miran shoved Yurt deep into the center of the maelstrom. The creature stopped screaming instantly, dropping the ground with the sound of shattering crystal. Flames smoldered from it’s hair and its hand twitched.
Galidion breathed a sigh of relief as the obviously plague-scarred creature, once of the Astral Sea, stopped moving. Miran, echoing Galidion’s sigh straddled the creature, gripped the hilt of his sword and raised it above his head, point aimed at the head of the defeated foe. Miran looked at Galidion across the distance, and with a slow nod, indicated his respect for the well cast spell. Galidion smiled slightly as he enjoyed the first sign of approval from Miran he had ever seen. He was still smiling when Miran simply disappeared in a pillar of ice and blue fire that stretched up into the sky. The pillar linked the sky and earth for one heartstopping moment, and when it finished, no trace of Miran was left. Instead, a fully healed angel floated several feet off the ground, wings slowly flapping, glowing eyes firmly settled on Galidion.
Weariness and despair filled Galidion as he gazed around at his ill-fated team. Each of the members who lay dead on the ground had years, if not decades, of combat and arcane training beyond Galidion, and they had been dispatched with sickening ease. What chance did he have?
As that thought passed through his head, shame filled him. Even if he would die, he would die a proud Shadovar, a citizen of the Empire. Amurax steadied in his hand and he shifted to a defensive stance, legs spread slightly wider to absorb blows, gripping Amurax with both hands and raising the handle above the blade so it was cocked over his left shoulder, edge towards his enemy. He breathed shallowly and the world slowly fell away until nothing remained but a field of darkness, the angel who had destroyed his future and would most likely take his life, and him.
“Reshudar,” Galidion breathed the word, and the magic responded, bathing Amurax in green flame for the second time that day.
The Angel did not advance or make any sudden gestures. Instead, it cocked its head and gazed in what Galidion could only describe in confusion. Come get me you spawn of Cyric, Galidion seethed, you won’t be confused about my intentions for long. However, the creature just floated there for several long moments, until Galidion finally heard a soft whisper, like silk over steel, repeating over and over.
She wakes for a moment…she cries for possibility…are you it?…can you be?….
She wakes for a moment…she cries for possibility…are you it?…can you be?….
Over and over the words seemed to press into Galidion’s ears, causing a growing pressure. As that pressure built, he realized that the creature probably was killing him slowly, just for fun.
With a scream of frustration and rage, Galidion charged towards his doom, Amurax burning in his grasp, hoping that his sacrifice would be honored by his family, if they ever found out. Those prayers disappeared in a sudden world of blue flame and pain. His last thought as he drifted away into the darkness was that five stars was the ancient symbol for an evil goddess.
Galidion swam up from the darkness of his memories to the smell of burning wood, heat and high shrill screams. Opening his eyes, his first view was the burned corpse of the very same dragonborn who had sucker hit him, laying across his body. The front of the creature had been burned to the bone, while the rear half was spared any damage. Galidion hoped he had died quickly, as apparently a large portion of the people in the inn had.
Several wounded and burned individuals attempted to drag themselves outside into the grass and cool night, their exit a large hole in the west wall that had not existed earlier that day. Bodies and pieces of bodies lay piled against the walls, intermingled with the furniture that had been smashed and broken from the initial explosion, the explosion that had centered on Galidion’s unconscious body.
The shrill scream came from one of the bar maids, one whose petite form and fine face Galidion had been whistfully thinking of earlier. Both those attributes were still intact, but where here arms were, instead two tentacles made of blue flesh flailed around out of control. Eyes wide, the young lady kept screaming and screaming in fear and revulsion as she failed to grasp what had occurred to her. Spellscars of that nature had not been seen for nearly a hundred years, and were now mostly tales told by parents to their children to scare them.
Groaning, Galidion pushed himself up from the ground, shifting the burnt corpse off him. Amurax had landed awkwardly and he knew that he would have a bruise from where he had landed on the sword. Slowly, but with lengthening strides, Galidion quickly moved out of the tavern and away from the growing lights of lanterns headed to discover what had occurred.
As his strides turned into a gentle run, he felt rather than saw five glowing stars swim underneath his skin, traveling from his cheek down his chest, slowly fading into darkness.