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Icewind Dale 2 -- A Sorcerer's Tale.

Discussion in 'Creativity Surge' started by el timtor, May 28, 2005.

  1. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Cyrus Bell leaned against the cold stone flank of the Targos lighthouse and gazed across the choppy gray waters of Maer Dualdon. The setting sun was a dull orange, cloaked in the gathering fog. Reaching down, he pulled a bottle from the snowdrift beside him and lifted it to his lips.

    "Good wine," he mused. "I’ll be sad to drink the last of it."

    As the wine flowed down his throat, thoughts of the day’s events flowed through his mind.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The sun was a hand’s breadth above the Dualdon when the Wicked Wench made landfall in Targos. Hedron Kerdos, master of the ‘Wench, turned to the man standing beside him on the quarterdeck.

    “Well, here ye are, straight from Bremen to the scenic shores of Targos herself.”

    “It was a good voyage, Master Kerdos,” replied Cyrus Bell, meeting the grim look on the shipmaster’s face with a tight smile. “Though we could have done without that excitement down Bremen way.”

    Kerdos grunted in affirmation. “Aye. Nasty business, that. I lost many a friend to those greenskins.

    “Having you on board was a gift from above. Never met a mage as handy with steel as well as the Art.”

    “I had plenty of motivation, I think. Besides, I swim poorly.”

    Kerdos nodded again. “You’ll be wantin’ to see the lord of this place. Ulbrec’s his name. A right enough fella, fer a lord.” An outstretched arm pointed to a winding stair cut into the cliff face. “Scale the cliffs to the main town. His manor’s up there.”

    “Again, my thanks, Shipmaster,” smiled Cyrus. “Are you off, then?”

    “Nay. Ulbrec’s paying good coin to keep the ‘Wench in port, in case the town has to be abandoned. If it comes to that, Cyrus Bell, know that you’ve got a place aboard.”

    “Until our next voyage, Master Kerdos.” Cyrus gripped the man’s hand, then stepped off the quarterdeck. He skirted the sailors working on the main deck and made his way down the gangplank. The other sell-swords, the handful that survived the massacre at Bremen, had already debarked. As he walked up the pier, he wondered at the profusion of gutted buildings and the smells of smoke and blood in the chill air.
     
  2. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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    Lets see more. Try not to describe your fights in detail. We have all been there. :heh:
     
  3. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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  4. The Irreligious Paladin Gems: 7/31
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    I like where this is going. . .
     
  5. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Yeah, I realize a lot of you have played IWD2 umpteen times, but this isn't intended to be a walkthrough or anything. It's really just a way for me to hone my writing skills and get some constructive criticism. I just thought it would be nice to share...

    So, here's a bit more:

    I found out soon enough, thought the sorcerer.

    All was chaos at the docks. Goblin and human bodies were scattered among the ruined buildings like toys abandoned by a careless god-child. Cyrus encountered goblins, singly and in pairs, slaying them with blade and spell. From time to time he came across the scattered, frightened remnants of the town guard. Jorun Tamewater, a grizzled dwarven shipwright, gifted him with a crossbow and a score of quarrels, Cyrus having helped fight off some greenskins.

    Incredibly, a handful of drinkers at the Salty Dog tavern had not even known of an attack, nor did they rush to help.

    And then I met Hedron's mother.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The air inside the shack was heavy with the odor of too many cats. Feline mewls, yowls and hisses played counterpoint to feminine screams. Three goblins were ranged about the room, cold eyes fixed on the old woman cowering in the corner.

    The nearest one took a quarrel in the side and was dead before it hit the floor. Cyrus dropped the crossbow. His left arm jabbed toward the enemy while his right hand closed on the hilt of his sword. An apple-sized ball of red fire shot from his left palm, punching another goblin off its feet into a comic backflip. The last got close enough to inflict a nasty slash on Cyrus’ right thigh before he drew and spitted the thing.

    “Out!” The old woman bore down on him, brandishing her cane like a sword. “Out, ye filthy cur, afore I cane yer hide from here to Bremen!” she shrieked.

    “Quiet!” Cyrus barked. He was tired and irritable, his blood still up from the fight. A cold glare stopped the old harridan in her tracks. “Your lack of gratitude is shameful, and cuts deeper than this wound!”

    He bound his leg, then turned, muttering,” I’ll go back to the Wicked Wench and leave you to your cats.”

    “The Wicked Wench! Why, that’s my son’s ship! Hedron, that filthy, lice-ridden crag cat, he can’t even be bothered to check on his own mother! I regret the day I squeezed that boy out, I do!”

    Cyrus sighed and walked to the door. “I’ll tell Hedron you’re all right,” he said over his shoulder. “And perhaps he’ll show a bit more gratitude than you.”

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On the way back to the ship, Cyrus ran into another trio of goblins. These fell also, but after the fight he was too exhausted, mentally and physically to weave any more spells. He was glad to set foot on the ‘Wench once more.

    The shipmaster was shocked to learn of the goblin attack, though he was grateful that Cyrus rescued his mother. The coins that weighed the sorcerer’s purse were proof of that. Hedron had even fed him and let him sleep belowdecks. The brief respite allowed Cyrus time to bind his wounds properly and gather his arcane energies.

    Because I definitely needed everything I had when I entered those smuggler tunnels...
     
  6. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Good stuff. Who says Icewind Dale II doesn't have a good story?
     
  7. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Jets of flame burst from outstretched fingers, washing over the goblins. All but two died, the unfortunates writhing in pain and beating at burning clothing. Cyrus dispatched them with quick sword thrusts.

    How many of these little green bastards are there? he wondered. The shadowy confines of the smuggler tunnels had allowed Cyrus to sneak about, sniping with his crossbow. When the greenskins came at him en masse, they were forced to crowd together, allowing the mage to use his Burning Hands to deadly effect.

    Peering around yet another bend, Cyrus spied more goblins, ten or so clustered around two larger fellows. A portion of the tunnel had apparently collapsed, and the greenskins were arguing about what to do next. He eased back out of sight, reached into a belt pouch, and drew out a glass flask triple-wrapped in heavy cloth, handling it like the sleeping dragon it was. A gentle underhand toss dropped the flask into the mass of goblins, Cyrus ducking hastily back after the throw.

    The explosion rocked the cavern, causing dust and pebbles to rain from the ceiling. Eight goblins staggered out of the smoke and dust, one falling to another well-aimed crossbow bolt. There was more cat-and-mouse, more sniping, until Cyrus ran out of quarrels and only one goblin remained. It was one of the big ones, and it had cornered Cyrus at a dead-end.

    “Rukwurm will avenge his brothers. You die now, human,” croaked the greenskin. He slashed with a wickedly curved scimitar. Cyrus fell back, bleeding from the gash in his chest, his concentration spoiled.

    Cyrus’ vision swam, he struggled to stay on his feet. He knew he had one chance. Fighting pain and nausea, he wove and threw two orbs. The first struck Rukwurm’s left shoulder, spinning the goblin sideways. The second punched into its head, the lifeless body falling like a sack of meal.

    He was suddenly tired again. Cyrus sat down on a large rock and fumbled in his belt pouches. Now where did I put that healing draught...

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The wine bottle ran dry, bringing him back to the here and now. Wiping his mouth with a sleeve, he smelled grilled fish, and his stomach rumbled. “First a meal, then I’ll see Ulbrec.” The thrown bottle arced over the water, catching the sun’s last light, a red orb exploding it as it fell. Cyrus Bell lowered his arm, turned, and ambled across the snow towards the Salty Dog.

    [ June 08, 2005, 23:45: Message edited by: el timtor ]
     
  8. The Irreligious Paladin Gems: 7/31
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    Don't stop the rock. I'm not sure how to suggest transitioning between flashback and present, but I know I got a little confused at the end of that last one.
     
  9. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    @ Irreligious Paladin

    You're right. The first sentence in that last paragraph was rather ambiguous. I've fixed it, I think...

    I'm sure if I'd put the Prologue up in one whole block it would have made more sense, but I'm actually trying to recall everything that happened (in-game I'm actually at the Shaengarne Dam) AND write it in a way that would seem kind of fresh and different to those who've already played the game (but in their infinite kindness still take time to read my story).

    BTW, thanks to everyone who has looked at it and commented. More on the way soon...
     
  10. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    This is cool. :thumb:
     
  11. The Irreligious Paladin Gems: 7/31
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    Well, el timor, you've succeded. I can't recall how it was before, but I do know it's pretty clear now. Expand these talents. I need some good fantasy writers whilst the old favorites regurgitate the same old drow out of the underdark story over and over again. Not that I'm naming RA Salvatore's name or anything.
     
  12. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Cyrus Bell slammed the tankard down on the table and stuggled to keep from vomiting. "That's five," he gritted through tight-clenched teeth. "That charm's mine..."

    Guthewulfe Hegehelm's eyes widened. None but dwarves had ever been able to stomach more than two mugs of braehg at a sitting, yet this southlander was matching him drink for drink. He downed his fifth and moved to set the mug down. At that moment, his stomach lurched, and the contest was over.

    Cyrus threw himself from his chair as the big river trader doubled over, vomiting explosively. Amid jeers, catcalls, and cries of disgust, and fighting his own rising gorge, he grabbed the wolf amulet and staggered for the door.

    "Shorry about the mesh," he slurred to Gohar, the barkeep, tossing a gold coin in the fat man's general direction. Once outside, Cyrus looked carefully about. No one was in sight, and the moon was behind the clouds. He ran for the shoreline, boots kicking up sprays of snow.

    Falling to his knees on the snow-covered sand, the man who saved the Targos docks from invading goblins heaved the contents of his stomach into the Maer Dualdon.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Braehg. Fermented mare's milk and boar's blood. Ugh. Vile drink. No wonder the northern barbarians are so mean. I'd be, too, if that's all I had to drink...

    A cold swim and a meal had helped clear Cyrus' head that morning. Clothing scrounged from one of the warehouses replaced what was ruined in battle yesterday. He made his way up the cliffside steps to the "upper" town.

    As he walked, he was struck by how empty, how dead, the town felt. The only noises Cyrus heard, apart from the moan of the wind, was a distant sound of hammers and saws, and soldiers at drill.

    He paused in front of the Weeping Widow Inn and wondered at the broken window, upper floor center. Was that a pale woman looking out, briefly glimpsed then gone? I'm seeing things. Head's not on straight yet, he thought.

    He skirted around a large man haranguing two Targos guards about a broken crane or some such, bypassed the Gallaway Trading Post, crossed a footbridge spanning a small crevasse, and knocked on the front door of the Mayor's home.
     
  13. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I'd forgotten how great the Targos area was the first time I played it.
     
  14. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    On the way out of Ulbrec’s home, Cyrus spotted the other mage. He was an unkempt man dressed in a shabby robe, and Cyrus had the impression of an unpleasant odor.

    Could this be Phaen, the mage the Iron Collar band spoke of? he wondered, as the man let himself into a house two doors from Ulbrec’s, casting furtive glances about him.

    Cyrus walked to the house the mage had entered, knocked twice on the door, and let himself in.

    The man turned and glared. He was tall, slim, sporting a hooked nose and a thin-lipped, cruel mouth. Lanky strands of hair framed his face, and the odor of a body too long unbathed hung on him like a second cloak.

    “I had thought this house was rented to me, but as you’ve barged in without so much as a by-your-leave, I must be mistaken.”

    “I apologize for the intrusion,” replied Cyrus. “You are Phaen, correct? I had hoped to ask you a few questions.”

    Phaen’s eyes flicked down to the scroll in Cyrus’ left hand, then met the sorcerer’s once more. “Yes, questions. It seems that neither of us is at a loss for those. However, I have other matters to attend to, so you may simply leave. Now.”

    Cyrus paused. He had seen Phaen’s look when he saw the scroll, and now he could smell a faint odor of brimstone over the other man’s funk. There was also a scroll, disturbingly similar to the one he held, on the table he and Phaen stood next to.

    “Again I apologize. Before I go, I’m curious—why are you dressed in rags?”

    Phaen rolled his eyes skyward. “If it will put an end to you prattling, I will tell you. I wear them to mark my fall. In Cormyr I found myself on the wrong side of the political fence, as it were. Now I am here—“

    “Cormyr?” interrupted Cyrus. “The Iron Collar band said you were from Luskan.”

    “Too much drink loosens tongues very well, yes? I must stab hot knives into those fools’ eyes when next I see them.”

    Phaen’s voice rose as he continued. “I had hoped the Horde would have taken Targos by now, but it seems Tymora has forsaken me. Now I must make my own luck.”

    “I don’t like your tone, Phaen—“

    “This was to be my hour of glory!” Phaen was shouting now, spittle flying from his lips. “Your actions ruined everything! But no matter. I will kill you, then find another way to sunder Targos’ walls!”

    “Suppose I just walk away,” Cyrus temporized. “That would leave Targos open for you. That would no doubt please your master. What was his name…?”

    “Harshom the Beastlord—“ Phaen shook himself, then an evil sneer creased his face. “It seems I’ve said too much. No matter. The dead keep secrets well, and that fool Myrkulite will not live long enough to speak to your corpse.”

    Phaen snatched the scroll off the table, opened it, and spat a short incantation. Around him, six columns of purple light appeared, then were replaced by an equal number of goblins.

    Cyrus’ right hand swept out, flinging the oil lamp on the table at the other mage. A bolt of flame leaped from his left palm, exploded the lamp, and struck Phaen in the chest.

    Goblins died as burning oil drenched them. Phaen, shrieking madly, charged out of the conflagration, hair and eyebrows aflame, as Cyrus whipped his swords from their scabbards.

    Phaen’s wildly swinging staff was parried by the heavier blade in Cyrus’ right hand. The short sword, held sinister, slid into Phaen’s midsection, angling up to pierce a lung. The mage folded, pulling the sword out of Cyrus’ hand. Phaen dropped to the floor, coughed once, and died.

    One goblin lived long enough to slash at Cyrus, but a burst of flame from his empty hand sent it the way of its brothers.

    The fire was out and the corpses looted by the time the door burst open, admitting a trio of Targos Guardsmen. Cyrus pressed a small bag, coins jingling, into one man’s hand. “For your…timely response. Please clean up this mess.”

    He was out the door and headed for Ulbrec’s, leaving them scratching their heads and wondering what had happened.
     
  15. The Irreligious Paladin Gems: 7/31
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    OOO, Methinks this has more excitement than little yellow men dodging the Nards of Doom. (Sorry about the MXC reference, but it was good.)
     
  16. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Very good, el timtor. I'm actually finding Targos interesting.
     
  17. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    "If you're working in tandem with another spearman, he can lance in while you defend. Sergeant?"

    Cyrus stepped back as the sergeant re-arranged his men and began their drills. See, Sergeant Lober, I was paying attention. He looked skyward and smiled, remembering his old squad leader.

    "I'll be damned if that isn't a good tactic," grunted the Targos Guard sergeant. "Never seen a mage pick up a spear, much less fight with one. Or with two blades, for that matter.

    "Say, aren't you the fellow who saw the goblins off down at the Docks?"

    Cyrus gave a polite nod. "If Tymora hadn't smiled upon me, I would have been one of the bodies hauled away from the Docks. Several times over.

    "As for my fighting skills, my father was a captain in the Phlan Guard, and he insisted I learn arms. I also served with the Flaming Fist for a time, down in Baldur's Gate."

    "Aye, never again will I say nothing good comes from the southlands," affirmed the sergeant. He flashed a gap-toothed smile, which disappeared as his eyes flicked over Cyrus' shoulder.

    "Look sharp, Master Mage. Here comes the commander."

    As the sergeant returned to his men, Cyrus turned to meet Shawford Crale, commander of the Targos Guard. Noting the frown that etched the man's face, Cyrus couldn't help but wonder What errand does he have for me this time?

    Three days later, the goblins attacked.
     
  18. Shrikant

    Shrikant Swords! Not words! Veteran

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  19. el timtor Gems: 13/31
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    Three and a half feet of steel bearing the inscription Heart of Cyrus Bell plunged into the goblin shaman’s gut, changing the greenskin’s chant into a bubbling death-wail. Cyrus watched the life fade from its yellow eyes, drew the sword out, and let the corpse fall.

    Silence descended, for perhaps the space of a breath. Then the sough of the wind began anew, carrying with it the moans and cries of the wounded and dying and the all-too-familiar smells of spilled blood and burning wood. Gaps in the pall of smoke showed Targos Guardsmen shuffling listlessly about, others just sitting and staring into the distance. The Palisade’s front gate was shattered, and two other breaches showed where the first and second goblin waves had attacked.

    If they hit us again, Targos is finished, thought Cyrus. There's no way we could stop another attack.

    A young dwarf at the head of a quartet of Guardsmen came up to him. “Ho, Cyrus Bell! Did you leave any for us? My hammer still cries for goblin blood!”

    Battle fatigue was an oppressive weight on his shoulders. “Stand there,” he waved toward the gaping portal. “If the goblins attack again, they’re yours.” He left idiot out for politeness’ sake, even as tired and irritable as he was.

    Cyrus recognized familiar faces on the trudge back to the command post. “Black” Geoffrey and Blanchard Pike of the Iron Collar Company stood over the body of Kickshaw, fallen to goblin axes. Anson, of the Crossed Spears, sobbed over his dead friends Tarran and Illigmar. Another soldier, Niles, caught Cyrus’ eye, threw aside the bottle he’d been tipping, and scuttled off behind some tents.

    He saw Maxiel of Silverymoon wave to him across the grounds. She still favored her injured leg, but her blade looked to have tasted goblin blood. The priest of Wuakeen, whose name Cyrus had forgotten, had left the command post to minister to the wounded and dead.

    Swift Thomas burst through the door as Cyrus walked up to Shawford Crale’s “headquarters,” forcing the sorcerer to jump back. “Beg pardon!” the boy tossed over his shoulder as he sprinted for the town gates.

    Inside, the Guard commander was splashing water from a washbasin onto his face. Gore and grime from the battle still clung to his armor. He looked up, motioned for Cyrus to enter, then toweled his face dry.

    “I hope there’s some extra coin for me, Shawford,” spoke Cyrus by way of greeting. “It was not an easy battle.”

    “Lord Ulbrec has authorized an extra amount for your efforts,” retorted Crale, tossing over a leather purse. “I forget that, above all, you are still a mercenary.”

    Cyrus gripped the purse in his left hand, a ball of flame forming in his right as it rose. His eyes flicked to the hand, then Crale. The flame died as his hand dropped. “Mind your tone…Sir.”

    Crale’s hand left his sword hilt and he shrugged. “My men tell me you threw flames about like a dragon. AND you took down all three goblin leaders. You saved this town. I find it hard to believe that you did that simply for gold.”

    “No one deserves the evil the Horde will bring if Targos falls. And I’d be trapped here under the shadow of the Horde. Yes, I fought for Targos. Yes, I fought for gold. Most of all, I fought for my survival.”

    Crale nodded. “That will have to do, then. But before you go, Cyrus Bell, I feel I must say one thing…

    “The mercenary’s life is not unknown to me. Over the years I have served in many companies in Neverwinter and throughout the Realms. During that time, the only pleasure I’ve received is when I came here and the people of Targos were placed under my protection.

    “So you see, gold makes a fine reward, but simply finding one’s “place” in this world can be worth more than any mercenary’s purse.”

    “A fine sentiment, Shawford, which I will take to heart. I ask your pardon for my earlier tone.”

    Crale waved him off. “Battle fatigue. Get a meal and some rest. Thomas has gone to inform Lord Ulbrec, so there’s no need to see him right away. You’ve done well. I have a feeling that with you on our side, Targos has a chance against the Horde.”

    Cyrus made his exit. What comes next? he wondered as he walked away.
     
  20. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    What a great game this is.
     
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