Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...













The Brief Chronicles of Veracity - Chapter 3


Veracity enjoyed living on Nick's country estate. He had set her up in a little cottage of her own, keeping the larger house for his own use. He'd hired half a dozen servants to tend the land, cook his meals, and clean for him. Veracity had no servants of her own, but enjoyed keeping Nick's servants in line while he was out adventuring without her.

Several months after she'd moved to the country, Veracity accompanied Nick and Knack on a little expedition to investigate reports of goblin raids west of Mansfield. With them on this trip were Hazen and Kress, as well as a cold Druidess named Eris, and a peculiar fighter named Baroc, who wore no armor and fought only with a dagger. When the party had arrived in the vicinity of the raids, they set up camp for the evening. In the middle of the night, they were attacked! A score of worgs went rampaging through the sleeping adventurers, while a huge elephant came charging up, with seemingly a whole tribe of goblins riding on his back. The scene was utter chaos. Just about everybody focused on destroying the wolves and avoiding being stomped by the elephant.

Nick looked at the elephant and decided to shoot a lightning bolt at the goblins riding on its back. He did so and destroyed them all, and also singed the elephant. It trumpeted in madness - and disappeared. Nick took careful note of where it had been, and then joined the rest of his party in destroying the pack of worgs.

Finally, the battle completed, Nick wandered over to where the elephant had disappeared, and picked up a small marble statue of such a creature. He called over Veracity to show her, and Eris immediately came up and asked him what he'd found. He showed it to both of them and offered to draw lots for possession. Eris won the magic item and wandered off. "That woman is dangerous," said Nick, to his sister. "She's as greedy as they come and is completely focused on her own advancement, Watch yourself around her!" Veracity noted his advice.

Born-again Ogres

A month later, to Veracity's surprise, Baroc and Eris fetched her to accompany them on a little trip. With the aid of Trinket and Ultraz, they investigated some ogres who had seemingly converted to the side of good, but were being beset by disbelieving dwarves.

The Demise of Bob

That is the last time that she ever saw Baroc. Less than a year later, the story came back that he had been on an adventure with Ivan and Eris in which they were all attacked by well-trained beasts. Eris had summoned forth her marble mastodon and all were battling when simultaneously the mastodon and Baroc fell. Eris immediately rushed over to cure her mastodon, lest it die and her magical item be diminished. When she then went to check on Baroc, she found that she was too late: because of her delay, Baroc had died. And, to her astonishment, when she was examining his body she discovered that Baroc had actually been Bob. The priests were not able to bring him back, so, Bob the Invoker was gone forever.

School of Nekros

Veracity relaxed on Nick's country estate while her brother continued to adventure. Six months after her last adventure, Elvira came by with Trinket, Arden Ridonik, and Malarky and fetched Nick to go help some halfling village, of all things. A week later, Malarky and Trinket returned with body of Arden and horrible news: they had all stumbled into some sort of underground complex belonging to some mages and Nick and Elvira had been converted into living skeletons! Arden had previously died of poison and it was all Trinket and Malarky could do to escape. Veracity was shocked, but neither Trinket nor Malarky felt like going back to rescue the captives, and neither was anybody else available, it seemed. Veracity felt uncomfortable about the fate of her brother, but gave up the idea of rescue, for the time.

For, she was busy. She'd been exhorted to keep the estate running and the servants "in line" - and was having quite a lot of fun doing just that. Nick's wench, Sarabet, had been initially surly and disrespectful, but was coming around quite nicely, indeed, under Veracity's discipline. Finally, nine months after Nick's capture, with Sarabet completely under her thumb, Veracity roused herself and decided to organize a rescue party.

School of Nekros - Rescue

Nick and Elvira had many friends. Veracity approached almost all of them, and succeeded in organizing a powerful expedition. Tigerblade, a priest of Sif, gave his aid. Ivan and Zeight, two dwarven cousins, were agreeable. Eris, Lygeia, Silsliv, and Chondara all offered to help. And lastly, Trinket agreed to take the party straight to the buried dungeon. Malarky, the other surviving member of the original expedition, declared himself too busy with his beehives to come this time, but wished everybody else luck.

The journey to the graveyard was uneventful. Not so the action once the party arrived and descended the hidden stairs in a tomb. Veracity, Chondara, and Lygeia, as the least experienced members of the party, stayed back, in reserve, while the other adventurers invaded the dungeon. Through a door, they could hear intense sounds of battle, both with arms and with magic. Finally, the dust settled, and the whole party regrouped inside the complex, which turned out to have been a school for Necromancers. The entire school had perished, as well as several members of the rescue team. Both Zeight and Ivan had died - Ivan twice, having been raised after his first death by Tigerblade's rod of resurrection. And, alas, Silsliv had died forever.

Nick and Elvira were found in the kitchen, along with several other living skeletons. Nobody had any ideas about how to restore them, so, after looting the entire dungeon, the party returned to Mansfield, four living skeletons in tow. There, soon enough, the proper set of spells was determined and all the captives were restored to flesh.

The Society of the Moon

Back in Mansfield, with Nick and Elvira restored, the adventurers divided up all the captured loot. Some of the most interesting items captured, to the mages, at least, were the spellbooks owned by the necromancers. Many of the non-mages simply wanted to sell them all, which horrifed Nick, Elvira, Veracity, and Chondara: all that captured knowledge, lost to the party! But, neither could those four mages decide on how to properly divide up these arcane riches.

They decided on an unprecedented arrangement: with Malarky, as one of the people who'd first invaded the School of Nekros, the two rescued captives and the two mages involved in the rescue would form an Arcane Society for the purpose of sharing any plundered spellbooks found by any of the individual members. The non-mages insisted that all the students's spellbooks be simply sold, but the spellbooks of the two arch-mages who had been in charge were granted to the Society.

Since each spellbook was marked with a glyph in the form of a half-moon, which the would-be reader could only deactivate by placing an identical arcane mark on his hand and pressing the two half-moons together, the mages decided to call themselves The Society of the Moon.

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Copyright © 2004 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com> Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
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