Storyboard 12/29/2017 via Keith Head

For ease of access, I’ve consolidated all 5 pre-January 2018 event storyboards into this post. To clarify since I’ve gotten some questions, if you as the player choose to allow the storyboard apply to your character, then you do so with the story written as is in its entirety, and ends in the same way described. The “actor” and “soothsayer” NPC’s are vague and non-descript for a reason, but none of you ‘recognize’ them, or have run into them before since they’re just a medium I’m using to tell a story. You can find the storyboards in order below, and are free to pick and choose which one(s) if any apply to your character:

Pre-January Storyboard No. 1

(OOP: The following only occurs to your character if you as the player decide for it to, and if your character would be in a situation that would allow for the occurrence to happen)
Over the past few weeks, your nights have grown somewhat more restless. It started with simply waking up in the middle of the night, having trouble getting back to sleep. Eventually, you begin to remember some of the dreams that you wake from. Images without context creep their way into the back of your thoughts: The sound of stone crumbling, a skeletal hand with black ichor flowing from its bony fingertip onto a stone pillar covered in chains, an immense feeling of stress from when you’re pressed for time and you simply don’t have enough of it.
This night, in particular, is different. Tonight you wake up with panicked breathing, feeling as though you’ve almost just drowned somehow. You remember a set of eyes looking to you, glowing with blue and purple energy, and filled with a mixture of anguish and worry. You remember the eyes slowly fading behind the black ichor, eventually going dark entirely. The last thing you see is a circle of sixteen candles, each half black and half white and with a purple-blue flame. A skeletal hand appears from outside the circle, and with it’s outstretched finger extinguishes a single flame with dripping black ink. You wake as the eyes re-emerge and ignite with nightmarish red blaze, followed by a hollowing scream filled with pain and fury.
You’re not able to sleep for the remainder of the night. You try to busy yourself through whatever means you employ to idly distract yourself. Morning comes, you make your way out of your sleeping area, and are welcomed by a grey and cold morning. Off in the far distance somewhere far westbound of the Sutherlands and across the Sea of Tears, you see the sky is darker than what would be normal, and a storm begins to churn.
Each night you experience some semblance of the same dream. Each night an additional candle is extinguished by a skeletal hand. Each night the Gathering of Heroes draws closer, and time is running out.
(Keep an eye out for more over the next week. January is coming, get pumped!)

Pre-January Storyboard No. 2

(OOP: The following only occurs to your character if you as the player decide for it to, and if your character would be in a situation that would allow for the occurrence to happen)
-A Letter, Tacked On A Local Village Message Post-
My Dearest Water-lily,
I hope this message finds you, even though I must not use our real names.I know I sent you away for your protection, and it was for that protection that I made sure I wouldn’t ever know where to find you. Oh how I wish I had learned the higher circles of magic so that I could message you directly, but there is no time for that now. I’m being sent into a storm on the horizon, instructed to command a contingent of our Displacer Beast. I was told I would receive my exact instructions when I arrived on Friday.. but I worry, because there was scarcely enough food stored for the journey there.. And surely nothing left for the journey home. I’ve been having terrible dreams lately, and I get the nagging feeling that what I’m about to do is related to them somehow. I know we’ve been through so much, and I’m sure you resent me for sending you away but please realize it was because I love you and I wanted to protect you and our child. I wanted them to grow up in a Kingdom that has plentiful harvest and fair leaders, not like us that remain here with such scarce food supplies for the soldiers, much less the citizens. Maybe if I do well in whatever my mission is, I can ask to be released into retirement. Surely after all I have done for our leaders, they will see my merit and grant my request, I just know it. Truth be told, I only ever picked up a sword to earn the rations that I was able to supply us with when we were together. Know that no matter what happens, we will fight fiercely and I will do whatever I have to in order to return to you. If for whatever reason I don’t make it, I hope that by sending you away with our child will afford you both a better life, a better chance. There is a reason I sent you to the Kingdom of hope. My business should be concluded by Saturday morning, January 6th, at Sunrise. If I am able I will send word to you, and arrange a way for us to meet. If you do not hear from me by then, and must assume the worst, you must petition the leaders of whatever city you reside in for work and board as I will no longer be able to send coin to support you. If the worst should happen, tell our child that I loved them.. But never tell them what I did before I was conscripted. They deserve to grow and flourish without the Sins of the Father weighing them down like shackled weights. My time is short and I must go. I’m sorry I won’t be able to send this month’s stipend as I’m allocating it to copy this letter in duplicate and sending it to every major city I imagine you might be. I hope this message reaches you, and I hope my actions will ultimately lead to your happiness.
Eternally yours,
Summer Sun
(Still more to come, keep your eyes peeled! Also, we always encourage everyone to be in-costuming and in-play as soon as possible. Get ready to LIVE IT)

Pre-January Storyboard No. 3

(OOP: The following only occurs to your character if you as the player decide for it to, and if your character would be in a situation that would allow for the occurrence to happen.)
As you mill about your day, plying your trade, traveling, or studying and the like you catch wind of a play to be performed starting shortly. Curiosity gets the better of you and you approach the show.
Each of the actors look weary and apathetic, with absolutely no air of charisma or authority. Infact, these are probably the two worst actors you’ve ever seen, each of them even reading their lines from a script in their hands. They wear no costumes or masks of any-sort, and instead are dressed in plain traveling clothes.
One of the actors speaks.
“ And when, LOYAL FRIEND, should I visit you as you work on the daunting tasks of your master?”
Another actor speaks, almost purposefully and looking directly at every member of the audience.
“ The time must be the BEFORE SUNRISE of the day of our GREAT DINNER, for any later and surely my ‘master’ will find more tasks for me to preform. Once I am done cleaning, polishing, and adorning HIS GIFT for the one he HOPES TO WIN”
The first actor spits as the second mentions the term ‘Master”, and then speaks.
“But you were once a great defender and our great bearer of our ADAMANTINE SHIELD, why must you perform the disdainful acts of your master, like polishing and GIFT GIVING ?”
The second actor retorts, showing no emotion and reading from his script.
“ It is because I placed my trust in someone who betrayed me, and handed me over to him. They were a LIAR. LIAR, LIAR, A LIAR, I say! And now I am subjugated to do the tasks for that crippled hoble-footed man until my freedom is earned”
The first responds with finality to the second.
“The surely you SHOULD EXPECT true friends to appear, and then you can shrug off your tasks and duties and perhaps this woman your master hopes to win will scorn him. I know of this woman, and she is regal and willful, and surely does not entertain the idea of your master purchasing her affection with such a CORRUPTING GIFT. Alas, as your TRUE FRIEND, I will help you earn your freedom BEFORE the SUN RISES on the SIXTH DAY OF THE MONTH…”
The first actor then turns to the audience, and continues to speak:
“Unless I am , in fact, no true friend of yours, and am only a LIAR, LIAR, LIAR!”
The two actors take a slight bow, signifying the end of their very terrible play. The second actor cheers up, and puts forth a warming smile as he addresses what little crowd remains.
“ Do not feel the need to show gratuity for our play, for we have already been well paid by our troupe patron to bring you this.. entertainment? Though strange as it was our benefactor did not reveal his name or his face, only a weighted purse and the instruction to perform far and wide.”
With that the crowd begins to boo the performance, some of them throwing rotten food. The two actors hastily leave the area, and continue out of town.
(I hope everyone is getting amped up. There will be more in the next few days, I’ve gotta keep all of you on your toes. Oh yeah, something something “The Only Wrong Decision Is To Make No Decision”. I dunno why I’m saying that, but somehow it seems relevant? Cheers, folks!)

Pre-January Storyboard No. 4

(OOP: The following only occurs to your character if you as the player decide for it to, and if your character would be in a situation that would allow for the occurrence to happen)
To the West, past the Sea of Tears the storm has grown and darkened, with arcs of black lightning reigning down from the sky over the land in the distance. As looming as it may be, the storm doesn’t cross the sea and the various peoples of the Sutherlands are able to go about their day to day lives without much interruption. Most people only show a mild wariness of the activity, almost as if they hope it will just go away if they pay it no mind. You’ve perhaps experienced some odd occurrences over the past few days, however. Things that have caused you to be more on edge than usual. From terrible plays, haunting dreams, and even an overly keen awareness of the going-on’s of your local area.
Perhaps because of this paranoia, a Human dressed brown and tan traveling clothes stands out to you. They look as though they’re dressed for life in a desert of some sort, and are huddled in blankets. You approach, but at almost the instant you move the Human looks towards you.. Or rather he would if he had his eyes exposed. Instead, he wears a thick black cloth tied about his covering them entirely. He smiles politely and motions you towards him. You approach, and he speaks.
“ Ahhh, you’re one of the ones we’ve been looking for! I’m so very glad to have found another. Now then, I have a message for you. Before I give you this message, I must insist this message is only for you and your kind, those who carry the touch of the Nexus in the air about you. Now then, down to business.”
The Human turns his head as though he would be looking off into the distance were his eyes not covered. His body relaxes and he starts speaking as if reciting from memory.
“ Each of us should have remained sealed, forgotten entirely as our final deed in order to protect the future from the ruinous ones. Now the ruinous ones, the Bane of civilization, are all but gone and SHE has been remembered. We do not know our own names, but we know hers and we know her defining deeds. In her final hour, she invoked the Will of the Martyr and helped to erect the great wall to seal away those who would destroy the survivors of our Kingdoms. She gave her life for all of our people, and so in turn we will help to save her from her most consequential liberator. Time is short, and we can feel what remains of her essence fading. Know that Friday evening on your gathering at the Nexus, one of us will appear to offer aid should any of you value courage over life. “
The Human shakes his head, and his usual posture returns and he speaks in an apologetic tone.
“ I’m so sorry, but that’s all that I have to relay. I hope whatever it all means, that I’ve been able to offer some measure of assistance to one who has helped free our people from isolation. Now, unfortunately, I must be on my way for the night is coming and I don’t fare well in the cold or without the sun. “
The traveler excuses himself and wanders away leaving you to your thoughts and choices.
(One more on the way before the event. See you Friday the 5th Folks! LIVE IT)

Pre-January Storyboard No. 5

(OOP: The following only occurs to your character if you as the player decide for it to, and if your character would be in a situation that would allow for the occurrence to happen)
You’re not quite sure what you were just doing, but for now it doesn’t seem to matter much. Before you is a poorly lit room, and even more obscuring is some fashion of semi-transparent cloth covering over your head. You try to move, but are strangely unable to. It’s not as though something is holding you down, but rather there seems like there is an absence of control.
The room comes more into focus, and you see double-headed eagle regalia adorning the walls. Further back you can vaguely make out humanoid shapes, each with a set of eyes burning like red-hot coal. Other humanoid figures move about, ones without glowing eyes are whispering.
Suddenly you’re aware of a presence, almost like someone is standing directly behind you, breathing down your neck, but you’re unable to turn and face them.
Out of the peripheral of your motionless form you notice a pillar adorned in bones, and atop it is a swirling mass of black energy, rippling with small arcs of black lightning and dripping with an ink-like ichor. You perhaps recognize this pillar as being nearly identical to one that appeared Sunday in Clanthia during the previous gather. As you begin to speculate, your thoughts are cut short by the sound of voices speaking louder with a tone of frustration. Though you can not make out who is speaking, you can tell that one of the figures has a set of glowing red eyes.
” Unfortunately, we were not able to collect enough energy from the Nexus to re-purpose for a new wraith-wall to protect us. They were able to beat back our forces, though they had to use one of the Great Mages orbs of power ”
” There isn’t enough power to do so on it’s own, but once the energy is weaved to perfection, it will be presented as a gift to her Majesty, and with her newly empowered throne we will have more than enough to raise up another sort of barrier to protect us, and then enough to move the Tower to our new region.”
Both figures turn to face you, looking at you curiously.
” Our Lord helped to free her from her prison, and despite her being a spirit of sorts he still does not have full control over her. She seems to be resisting, even now.
” Do not concern yourself, restless spirits often fight against re-entering the world but we have the means to fully restore her.. provided we are certain she is secure here.”
” She may wander, but never too far from her anchor here on the throne. We just need to ensure that she accepts our Lord’s gift to her the moment before she is freed, I think the power will be far too tempting to pass given her waning resistance against him.”
” Of course, once she does, then we will b-”
One of the speakers suddenly cuts off and looks to the other, then back to you. Slowly the one with our glowing red eyes begins to approach.
” Did you see? The faintest glow from her eyes. Do you think she can hear us?”
The figure with glowing red eyes approaches now, and outstretches what is now a clearly skeletal hand and speaks with spite.
” What cleverness are you up to, your Majesty?”
Your sight goes dark, and you feel as though you are floating in an ocean, submerged and drowning. Fear grips you, and yet you refuse to wake from this waking dream.
A voice echoes into your mind, this time it is a female voice.
” You who are so close to what was once my source, the staple of Keimthal, the Nexus. Know that I am coming, and all who oppose me will tremble and cower in awe.”
Suddenly you come to in a cold sweat, firmly in the reality you knew and in the middle of whatever task you were performing before the experience. In your minds eye, you recall other thoughts that have been lingering over the past few days. You are overtaken with a feeling of urgency and dread at the approaching possibilities of what is to come. ”
(Alright folks, that’ all we’ve got before the event. In case you didn’t catch on, you should try to be in-play Friday night because we’re going to start this year off with a bang. Dress warm, hydrate, make decisions, and LIVE IT!)

via Keith Head on Facebook