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The Hole Uncovered: History Repeats

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The Hole Uncovered: History Repeats  Empty The Hole Uncovered: History Repeats

Post by Ronson on Sun Aug 01, 2010 3:38 pm

Vol. I-III

Ognit Eznertob, Dabner Drednever and Dagda Icefury had spent the last several days spelunking in the Hole and the ruins of the old city of Paineel. The ruins were an eerie, dusty and dark place. Strange and terrifying sounds echoed throughout the once splendorous city, like wails of torment from souls suffering in eternal agony. Though Ognit seemed unfazed by the atmosphere, Dabner and Dagda were very skittish about their journey down into the Hole.

Dabner swore that the sounds were none other than the ghosts of Erudites slain during the great war that destroyed the old city years ago. Ognit hypothesized that the strange noises were caused by undercurrents of wind wafting from the surface above and were nothing to be concerned about. Dagda knew not the cause of the sounds but she was sure that the three of them should not be in that place.

After spending some time exploring the ruins and wandering deeper into the cavern, the three came across the very thingfor which Ognit had been searching. Before them stood The Hatch and the wall of Living Stone. The Living Stone is an artifact of great power created by Brell Serilis the purpose of which was to stop the creatures from the Plane of the Underfoot from entering into the world. The residents of the old city once conducted experiments on the Living Stone, attempting to find a way to harness its power. The experiment damaged the wall of Living Stone and creatures began to breach the wall and threatened the city. The Erudites constructed The Hatch, a sort of life suppport system that kept the Living Stone strong after the earthen Lord Yael escaped and threatened their destruction with his army of elementals.

Ognit sought to study both The Hatch and the wall of Living Stone. He felt that the Erudites were simply not qualified for that sort of study and indeed it would take the delicate adn careful touch of a gnome to properly study the artifact and perhaps find a way to harness its power. History has a way of repeating itself.

Ognit considered the first of his experiments successful. He found that the wall of Living Stone was able to release enormous amounts of power, as evidenced by the tremendous earthquakes he was able to cause simply by infusing the Hatch with just a small amount of magical energy. Indeed, it seemed the two worked together like a transformer, turning small amounts of energy into tremendous surges of power. Though he had no idea how one could harness the released energy, he was impressed with the results nonetheless.

Dagda was terrified and believed that the gnome was tinkering with powers beyond his comprehension. She threatened to leave them both down there, particularly when the experiments began to cause earthquakes of greater and greater magnitude. Against her better judgement, she stayed.

Ognit saw the greater earthquakes as a sign that his experiments were going well. He was getting even better power output for the same amount of energy. Dabner eventually began to become frightened too and started to side with Dagda, urging the wizard to abandon the experiment. Ognit was incensed and no amount of convincing would deter him from his experimentation.


Finally, the inevitable happened. Ognit channeled just a small amount of energy into the Hatch. It wasn't much, not even enoughto kill a moss snake. However this time, the Living Wall began to shudder spasmodically and took on a pale, sickly color. The earthquake that resulted was truly terrifying. Chunks of stone began falling from the ceiling and the ground itself began to be ripped apart. From the huge gashes in the earth, the three saw terrifying creatures emerge. All about them were sounds of shrieking, crying and bellowing. The noises were both of exclamations of excitement for finally being freed and rage for being imprisoned for such a long time. The three began to flee the hole in terror as the creatures began to swarm around them, their ears ringing from the unholy screams.

As they made haste toward the surface, they came across a figure that looked to be an Erudite. The Erudite was walking slowly and limping slightly. He was filthy, covered with dirt and soot. His skin was pallid, as one who had not stood under the glare of harsh sunlight for ages. He wore a robe that was a splotchy brownish color. It was difficult to tell if this was the robe's original color or if it was the result of the filth that covered it. He turned quickly and upon seeing them, he spoke. "Gnomes,and a barbarian woman of all things! I don't know whether I should thank you or draw the full sum of the life-force from your bodies right here and now!"

Dagda pushed her way past the two gnomes, putting herself between them and the Erudite. Facing the strange man she asked, "Who are you?"

He folded his arms across his chest and smiled slightly. He raised an eyebrow as he spoke, "My name is Dartain of the Dark Truth. I don't suppose you have any idea of what you have just done? Or perhaps I should say undone, do you?"

He seemed to stare through their souls with eyes fierce yet lined with weariness. "Your meddling has caused the Wall of Living Stone to weaken once again. Though your actions have finally allowed me to break free after being trapped for so many a year, you have also allowed many of the denizens that were imprisoned behind that wall to escape into the world again as well."

Even in the dim light, Ognit's face became visibly paled. Dartain continued, "The Hatch is still unharmed and appears to be functioning as it should. I believe the wall will repair itself again in time. While the breach remains however, there will be a steady flow of creatures escaping from the underfoot. I suggest you make haste out of htis place and take warning to those above, so that they may prepare themselves."

As he finished speaking, murky shadows made their way from the floor and encircled the dirty robes the strange man wore. As he disappear from view he softly muttered, "Finally I am free."


The trio said not a word to each other, and continued at a dead sprint toward the surface as the sound of an army of creatures rumbled directly behind them. Reaching the top of the ruins, they held their breath as they jumped into the cold water and wriggled their way with panicked speed through the rocky underwater cavern that lead into the new city of Paineel.

After emerging from the water,the first breath they took was used to issue forth a scream of terror. All around them, terrible creatures of rock and stone wandered in the open throughout the streets of the new city of Paineel. Already, cries of alarm could be heard being raised from deep within the bowels of the city. Even more alarming was the fact that the earth still seemed to be shaking, even after all this time.

Dagda in an effort to warn the Heretics of the impending danger shouted, "Horrible creatures from the earth have broken loose! Run for your lives!"

Dabner exclaimed, "Brell Serilis help us all! They are everywhere!"

Dagda gave both gnomes a shove forward and yelled, "Go! Run!" The three began at a dead run once again. She kept behind the gnomes to make sure they were both still alive and running. As he ran, Ognit smacked himself in the forhead screaming, "Oh gods! What have I done! Just keep running everyone!"

Guard Menbuknar and Heridion stood near the entrance to the new city of Paineel. The pair of skeletal sentries stood staring out over the grassy alcove through hollow eye sockets that were long without flesh or blood watching over the new city of Paineel in eternal service to their Heretic masters.

"Nooiiissseey," Menbuknar said with a quiet disembodied voice like sandpaper in response to the sudden shouts.

Guard Heridion took several steps forward and pointed, "Rooockssss." Hefting their swords above their head, the two skeletal guards shambled clumsily out into the courtyard and began to fight against the intruding earth elementals.

As he swung away against the creatures made from earth itself, Menbuknar sniffed the air with a nose that wasn't there and rasped, Gnoommmessss."

The Hole Uncovered: Elementals Attack Vol. I-II

Al'Kabor had been spending his time researching in the Qeynos area. Though he preferred the superior research facilities and libraries of Erudin, he found the locals in the Qeynos area more then eager to assist him with trivial errands for a trifling handful of coins. Indeed, labor was cheap and the people generally hard working and honest in this law abiding town.

One such errand runner, a half elf, had just returned carrying a vial full of a certain rare and difficult to obtain ink he was sent to fetch. He flipped the half elf a gold piece and said, "You are dismissed". The errand boy looked at the coin, smiled and then left Al'Kabor's flat happily.

The ink was needed for a scroll he was nearly finished scribing. He had run out of the rare and precious ink just before he had completed his work on the scroll. He very carefully uncorked the bottle and set it upon the fine table of marble. Gently unrolling the precious scroll, he smoothed it lovingly out on the cool surface of the stone table. He dipped the quill, made from an enormous griffon feather, into the ink. He put the pen to the parchment and began to once again scribe the ancient runic symbols onto the parchment with slow and deliberate care.

It started lightly, almost imperceptibly. He first thought that perhaps a mob of angry people were stomping up the stairs to his flat. But suddenly, everything was shaking violently. Books began to fall from their shelves, fine glassware fell to the ground and smashed. Gripping the heavy marble table to keep his balance, Al'Kabor watched in horror as the very bottle of very expensive and difficult to acquire ink rocked back and forth, rolled on its side for a moment and then tipped over. Frozen in shock, he watched as the ink spread out over the scroll.

He slammed his fist onto the table as the realization dawned upon him, "Five days of work and components worth a mountain of platinum pieces, ruined by yet another one of these damned earthquakes!" He grabbed the ruined scroll he had been laboring upon for nearly a week, crumpled it up in his hand and tossed it out his window.

In crumpling the scroll, he had inadvertantly covered his hands with the ink. Another earthquake hit, this one more violent then the last. Stumbling a bit, he caught himself on his coat rack in the corner of his study. The ink on his hands smeared onto the robe that hung upon the rack. Throwing his hands into the air he shouted, "I've had enough!" He wiped his hands clean on the old robe and threw it out the window too. Putting his best robe over his shoulders, he stomped downstairs out of his flat and into the streets of Qeynos.

Tramping through the streets, he shouted, "How can anyone get any work done around here with all these earthquakes? This is completely unacceptable!" All around him, people were running and shouts of alarm filled the streets. Walking toward the gates of the city, he was oblivious to the broken glass on the ground and cracks in the fine stone masonry, all evidence of the quake's severity.

Enraged, he grabbed a wood elf by the lapels as he tried to run past and yelled in his face, "You! Elf! What is causing these earthquakes? Hmm?" The elf looked back at him in fear and said nothing. "Oh why do I bother talking to one of your kind!" Releasing him, the elf ran away.

Stepping through the city gates, he turned and inquired indignantly to the heavily armoured Paladin next to him, "How am I supposed to think when every five minutes I have the full contents of my library on the floor, woman?" The Paladin gave him a sideways look, apparently offended, snorted to herself and then walked back into the city shaking her head.

"Bah," he said making a dismissive gesture behind the woman as she left. He began walking down the path out of the city. The stones that made up the path were uneven, some raised up higher then others, no doubt due to the earthquake. "They should get someone to fix this," Al'Kabor muttered to himself.


Suddenly, Al'Kabor found his feet had sunk into the ground a good foot or so and he was unable to walk. Surrounding him on four sides were small creatures that appeared to be made of earth itself. They grabbed at his robes and began pummeling him with their fists of rock and dirt.

Without even thinking, blinded by the sheer audacity of these creatures to even dare assault the might Al'Kabor and dirty his best robe, he bagun to summon forth the magical energy to unleash his wrath upon these creatures. The small elementals, standing no taller then the shortest halflin, were each blasted to bits by the sheer power of the energy released in all directions by the mighty wizard. Clods of dirt and pebbles flying through the air were the only evidence that the creatures were even there a moment before.

"Why are these elementals all over the place?" He pulled his feet free from the ground and walked over to a cleric of Rodcet Nife who was tending to another victim of the elemental attack who faired far worse then the wizard. "You! Cleric! Did these elementals rise from the ground or did somebody summon all of these?"

The cleric finished bandaging the wounded traveler and said hurriedly, "Sir, I have no idea. Excuse me, many are hurt or in peril from this attack. I must take my leave."

Al'Kabor shouted to no one in particular, "Bah! I'd gather more information from a wall then I would from you people!" He continued to walk up the stone path. Here and there earth elementals were assaulting folks outside the city in the hills of Qeynos. The Jagged Pine Treefolk from Surefall Glade were on full alert. The rangers and druids that called the glade home were doing their best to stem the tide of the elemental invasion.

Wandering the hills, Al'Kabor walked about blasting any elemental he came across to kingdom come. He did this not in defense of the hills nor for any sort of loyalty to the fine city of Qeynos but more in retaliation for his days of lost work and as therapy for the general feeling of rage and displeasure he was experiencing. Today was not a good day at all and it was about to get much worse.


The Hole Uncovered: Ognit Arrested Vol. I-IV

Al'Kabor was furious. He had lost nearly a week of hard work, lost research components that were expensive and difficult to find, had one of his favorite robes ruined and was assaulted by a gang of small upstart earth elementals. His day was not going well and was about to get worse.

He took a walk to the hills outside of the city of Qeynos as the elemental attack raged on and minor aftershocks from the huge quake rattled the lands. He annihilated any of the earthen beasts he came across. He did this not in defense of the hills nor for any sort of loyalty to Qeynos but more in retaliation for his days of lost work and as therapy for the general feeling of rage and displeasure he was experiencing that day.

In the distance he heard people calling out his name. "Good, perhaps now I will have some answers," he thought to himself. Walking back toward the city he saw a crowd of people running quickly toward him.

"Al'Kabor! There are two gnomes and a barbarian woman that are looking for you. They said it is very important," they told him.

Al'Kabor muttered, "Them. It figures." Then loudly he said, "Very well. Take me to them," he made a shooing gesture with his hands, as if to push the commoners along.

He followed the crowd back to the gates of Qeynos. There he saw the barbarian warrior, Dagda Icefury. With her were the gnomes, Ognit Eznertob and Dabner Drednever. Upon laying eyes upon the wizard, they ran right up to him. Their voices were panicked and they were all talking at the same time. It was impossible to tell who was saying what and why they were so upset.


"We have terrible news!"

"Odus is in danger!"

"There was this wall and things from the ground and.."

"Something went wrong!"

"I didn't mean to do it!"

"They were everywhere! It was terrible and.."

Al'Kabor said, "One at a time please." He waited and still their frantic raving continued. Finally he screamed as loudly as he could, "Quit talking all at once!"

The three stopped suddenly. The wizard Ognitspoke. "I'll tell him. This was all my fault anyway."

Rolling his eyes Al'Kabor said, "Speak then, gnome."

Ognit began, "Well, we were all down in the ruins of Old Paineel. In the Hole. And you remember that Wall of Living Flesh that is way down there? Looks like a big face, you know?"

Al'Kabor balled his fists at his side. "Fool. Tell me that you were not meddling with The Wall!"

Ognit smiled sheepishly and continued, "Well yes. Actually I was to tell you the truth. I came across some writings that told of how your ancestors were trying to find a way to harness the power of that artifact and I thought I would try to continue that research."

Al'Kabor spat, "Ingrate! My ancestors were not Heretics! I've slew hundreds of those fools during the Great War so many years ago!" He glared at Ognit, his eyes flashing with a hideous fury, "You are no better then they it seems!"

Al'Kabor's hands began glowing with a deep red color and the sudden updraft of wind that swirled around them revealed the immensity of the power the wizard had at his disposal. The hairs on the back of Ognit's neck stood on end as the energy began to course and build around him. Ognit winced, expecting to be blasted to bits.


Al'Kabor took a deep breath and the energy that was gathered from the sheer rage of the mighty wizard dissipated. "Fool! Continue." Dagda turned a worried gaze upon the wizard, her hand slowly moving to her sword, just in case.

Dabner fidgeted nervously, shuffling his feet and wringing his gnomish hands. "Wow Al, you're really mad about this aren't you."

Ignoring the last few stressful moments completely Ognit said, "Ehem, yes. So anyway, I found that if I infused that Hatch thing that's attached to the wall with just the tiniest bit of magical energy it would act like a transformer and release HUGE amounts of power!"

Al'Kabor clenched both of his fists and relaxed them once again. "For your information gnome, that Hatch 'thing' you speak of was put in place to protect the Wall of Living Stone and to keep it alive and healthy!"

Al'Kabor continued, "The Heretics damaged the wall of Living Stone by trying to do the very same experiments! After they damaged it they put the Hatch in place to keep the wall alive and strong. The Hatch and the Wall of Living Stone prevent the creatures that inhabit the Plane of Underfoot from entering the world ever again. Your meddling has obviously weakened both."

Ognit nodded and said, "Well yes, of course. My experiments were going really well and I managed to get an amazing power output on my last attempt. That's when things turned badly."

Al'Kabor put the back of his hand to his forehead and asked in a tired voice, "So you damaged the Living Stone, weakened the Hatch and suddenly you were surrounded by denizens of the underfoot breaking loose and running pell-mell to the surface correct?"

"Well, that's about right," Ognit answered.

"No doubt those creatures were all waiting with baited breath for the moment the wall would be weakened sufficiently allowing for their escape again. I'm sure they were alerted the moment you've begun this madness," the wizard hypothesized.

Dabner raised his hand. The diminuative cleric of Brell Serillis said, "Ognit, tell him about that Dartain guy. He seemed pretty nice, except for that bit about draining our life force and stuff."

Al'Kabor turned a murderous glare upon the gnome, "Gods strike me dead now!" His voice dripping with sarcasm and spite he ordered, "Yes Ognit, please tell me about Dartain!"

A rather large crowd of people had gathered around the group and were listening intently to the discussion. One person in particular, another Erudite, seemed very interested in what was being discussed. So interested in fact, that he was writing furiously in a small booklet apparently recording every word that was said.

Ognit said nervously, "Yes, well, this Dartain fellow was an Erudite, like you."

Noticing the anger of Al'Kabor building again upon the comparison, Ognit corrected himself. "No! I take that back! He was nothing like you actually. Not like you, uhh, he was kind of spooky though. Not like you're not scary yourself."

Ognit stopped and stammered, "Umm. I didn't mean that like it sounded. Let me start over. Ok, so this Dartain guy was an Erudite." Al'Kabor took in breath as the name was repeated and his teeth ground audibly.

Ognit laughed nervously and then said, "Yes. So he said he was trapped for a long time in the Plane of Underfoot but he seemed really happy to finally be out of there. One the bright side, he told me that The Living Wall would heal itself in time. And he said that The Hatch was still functioning properly. So everything should be ok."

Ognit smiled, "You see, no harm done! A few days and everything should be back to normal!"


Al'Kabor was utterly silent and his face expressionless. A slight twitch in the corner of his mouth was his only movement.

Ognit asked, "Al'Kabor?"

Al'Kabor raised his fist, his eyes flashing in murderous rage as he looked upon the gnome, "Now I shall end your miserable gnomish life!" Wind charged with electricity seemed to blow directly up from the ground itself and enveloped the crowd as the wizards hands began to glow with sheer power. People began to take a few tentative steps backward.

At those words, the Erudite that was writing quickly put his book in his vest pocket and interposed himself between the gnome and Al'Kabor. The Erudite shouted, "Stay your hand wizard! I shall take it from here!"

The wind subsided as the energy drained away harmlessly. Al'Kabor recognized the man that shouted and he smiled to himself. Ognit saw that it wasn't a good smile. It was a smile that told him that is may have been better to have been blasted to bits.

The man identified himself, "I am Warden Lius of Erudin. I have been following these three since this catastrophe began!" He turned to the gnome and said in a commanding voice, "Ognit Eznertob! You are hereby under arrest for the crime of treason! You have imperiled the continent of Odus and have relased unto the world a heinous criminal, the heretic of old Dartain!"

The Warden bound Ognit'shands and feet in heavy chains. "I doubt that there will be a need for a trial. By your own admission made here this day, it is evident that you are guilty. Surely it will be 'The Hollowing' for you." Pushing the gnome roughly he commanded, "Move along criminal!"

As Ognit was led away, Dagda was surprised to find tears falling from her face. She knew that Ognit was guilty, yet she was not sure if execution was the just course of punishment in this situation. As a follower of The Tribunal, she was torn between her notions of justice and her loyalty and vow to protect her two gnomish friends. Indeed, she would rather that it was she who was being led away. At least she may have had the strength to break free and perhaps escape. She knew that the physically weak gnome would have no such chance and given that the Erudites are the most experienced and schooled in the use of magic, she had no doubt they would take every precaution to prevent his casting any spell. She felt truly hopeless.


Dagda wiped her eyes and brought herself up to her full height. She asked Al'Kabor, "Who is this Dartain?"

Al'Kabor answered, "Dartain is one of the heretics. A heretic of old. He was among those that put The Hatch in place to repair the Wall of Living Stone. Through his own misfortune, he managed to get sealed on the other side of the wall in the Underfoot, while his companions were slaughtered to a man. He was able to complete the ritual from the Underfoot side and The Hatch was put in place successfullly. The Underfoot was sealed off from the rest of the world and the danger ended. Everyone assumed he was dead afterward, of course."

Dagda looked confused and stated, "He is certainly not dead. We saw him this day with our very eyes. Though he appeared pale and weak, I know that hot blood filled his veins. By what magic is he still alive after all this time?"

Al'Kabor looked up for a moment thoughtfully. He then hypothesized, "The Altered Planes are much different from our world here. It is indeed possible that by virtue of the elder magics that course throughout all of the Underfoot and the other Planes, that mortals age differently there."

Then he added, more to himself then to anyone else, "No doubt the Heretics will gain in strength with his release and I will not stand idly by while this happens. I must go and prepare. I can not allow Dartain to remain in this realm while I draw breath."

Al'Kabor stopped for a moment and stroking his chin reflectively said, "Perhaps some good will come of this. Maybe the denizens of the Underfoot will finally destroy the heretics in Paineel before The Living Wall is able to heal itself." He then walked away back through the city gates.

Dabner grabbed Dagda by the hand and cried, "Oh Dagda, what are we going to do? What about Ognit and Odus and Dartain and everything!"

Dagda was numb. "I don't know Dabner. I am at a loss and I can not think." Dagda began to walk into Qeynos through the gates leaving Dabner behind. Her sword hung limply in her hand.

"Dagda! Where are you going," he asked running after her.

She turned and facing him said, "I am returning to Toxxulia forest. I intend to fight the beasts from the earth and to try to keep them at bay until that wall is able to repair itself. Perhaps some combat will help to clear my head." Together both entered the city, making a beeline for the docks to book passage to the continent of Odus.


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