Memories of a Warrior

  • Now that the loss of Shallyah is finally settling in, I've been looking through screenshots I've taken from some of the things she's been part of. Unfortunately, I'm forgetful and for every screenshot I've taken, there are three that I would have wanted to take and I didn't.

    I hate myself especially for not having a screenshot of her last battle against the Goristro and his army, or one of the last farewell by the shrine of Tempus with all those PCs gathered up. If anyone has screenshots with Shallyah in them, I'd really love for them to be shared in this thread, or at least in a PM so I can save them to my HD.

    For now, I'll add an image now and then as I find them, sort them, and do any necessary edits, along with a small story for each screenshot.

    Here we go, Memories of a Warrior:

    Start off with a little secret.

    I like to mention sometimes Shallyah's undying-ness. The two-handed weapon melee non-caster frontline PC that never died and reached level 16? In Narfell? Yeah, right.

    Well, it couldn't be that good. Truth is, she did get into the Fugue a couple of times. Got one TR in a laggy duergar event of Lagermane in Mintas Rhelgor's tower, in the very early days of Shallyah. She also "officially" died in the Bugbear assault on Norwick, when Norwick was lost. In that event over twenty people died if I remember well, and the DMs probably noticed it might have been a bit over the top, and gave everyone their death XP back. It still counted as a real, IC death.

    But here's the one that pretty much nobody knows about. Can you imagine Shallyah dying to kobolds? I guess even back then, at her naive level 6-7, The Red Knight already saw something special in her, and decided to give her a second chance. 🙂

  • In conclusion, for Shallyah Narfell was a place where sometimes you felt safe.

    Sometimes… not so safe.

    Sometimes, you made it safe… at least for a while.

    But in the end, what matters is to be in good company.

    "For us there is no victory. There are only battles and best you can hope for is to find good place to make your stand. And if you are fortunate, you will find someone willing to stand with you."

  • @3ec225e8df=cardamon:

    Heh, I remember that fight with "Death"…I think that's Sirion off to the side casting another Shadow Shield.

    It ended like all good fights with Death should end. Lots of build up, then a whimper.

    I actually remember Death being decently durable, had some nasty AC and protection spells, the bugger.

    The most funny part of that screenshot is that he threatens the group "First you face my most powerful summon!" and he summons a Shelgarn's Persistent Blade that gets instantly killed. 😛

    I thought to post a few screenies centered around the place where Shallyah parted. They take place in different times each, and contain a quite sizeable sample of some of the PCs that have been shaping Narfell during the last few years. 🙂

    A Known Devil:

    Wrecking Crew:



  • Heh, I remember that fight with "Death"…I think that's Sirion off to the side casting another Shadow Shield.

    It ended like all good fights with Death should end. Lots of build up, then a whimper.

  • Just a few curious/funny moments this time, will write a bit about them when it's not 1:30 am and I'm about to go to bed. 🙂

    Somewhere over the rainbow:

    Just in time:

    Peculiar visitors at the Temple of the Triad:

  • On the surface, Shallyah was rasp, harsh, cold and elitist, especially about her profession. It was many times that she belittled 'adventurers' or refused to delegate any responsibilities on them when travelling towards dangerous places. At times she straight out refused their aid, or vetoed some individuals from joining a group because she believed they would be a liability, a variable that she didn't need to deal with.

    The same way as a doctor that has studied medicine for the most part of his life would feel disdain towards some usurper putting on a white coat and calling every disease a cold that can be cured with hot soup and some rest, Shallyah felt certain disdain towards those that picked a sword or a spell and tried to be the heroes of the day without any discipline or tactical training.

    She couldn't help it. She really appreciated the effort of those enthusiastic "adventurers" that jumped blindly on a hezrou just to be swatted off and killed, but for her it took more than tossing raw food into a pot to be a real cook. Because battle too is an art, one that you can't make mistakes with, because it's not that day's lunch what is at stake. It's real people, real lives.

    However, that attitude earned her many dislikes. And although Shallyah never doubted that she was doing what is good and what is right, and even knowing that her goal wasn't to please, but to protect, at times those voices of dislike grew louder, and made her wonder if she was doing something wrong that she was too blind to see.

    She took pilgrimages to the temples and monasteries of the Order of the Red Falcon, and to the Vaasan tundra where she'd seek wisdom from her mentor, the man that raised her and shaped her into the project of the warrior that she became.

    Those trips cleansed the feelings, but it somehow kept always at the back of her head, like an invisible needle that didn't affect her way of acting, but didn't let her be completely comfortable either. That was until one day when everything in Shallyah's life made so much more sense.

    The Red Knight brought Shallyah to show her the world through her eyes. From an advantage distant point, the world became a tactical map, a struggle of forces pulling in different directions, key points in heated conflict, others about to erupt, coupes being planned, fortresses being taken, armies being wiped out, everything moving in real time.

    "_Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and warchiefs, so that in glory and triumph they can become the momentary masters of a fraction of this sphere.

    Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this map on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

    Their posturings, their imagined self-importance, the delusion that they have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged from this distant point of view. Toril is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In its obscurity, in its vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save mortals from themselves.

    There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of this tiny world. It is your responsibility to preserve that which you know and cherish.

    Before too long, you will be presented a choice, Shallyah. You shall have in your hands the opportunity to preserve much of what you know and cherish. It won't be an easy choice.

    But you have come so far, Shallyah. Today, I choose you. When your time to choose comes, you'll know it.

    Until then, don't forget what you have seen here, what you have learned. Use it to become not only a better warrior, but also a better being. Do so, and I shall give you that greater purpose you seek."_

    Little tribute to Carl Sagan aside, what Shallyah saw and experienced that day allowed her to grow deeply into what she had always believed and repeated like a mantra. Her purpose was never to kill or destroy. It was primarily, and almost exclusively, to protect and to preserve in whatever small or big way she could the only home that humans have - the world.

  • Another of those great memories comes with the couple of screenshots, about the quest to destroy the demon Ansistris, in the Helm of Discordant Echoes plot. It was a very long plot for which Shallyah unfortunately became a bit "too powerful", so she kept to more background roles such as defending the city from demons while the main party did the questing and the adventuring:

    Anyway… that's just some demons splattered all over Peltarch, nothing too rare these days. 😛

    One of the most epic moments I can remember from those in which Shallyah was actually allowed to participate, was in a meeting with Chasi, a Silver Great Wyrm that was aiding the good guys. Not only because of having a Silver Great Wyrm as a friend/ally is great itself, but because after that talk, Chasi took the party for a ride.

    It's one of those things you just can't imagine hard enough to really picture it. How incredible would it be to soar through the skies on such a beautiful, gigantic and majestic creature? We'll never know. Shallyah and her friends did. 🙂

    And yes, Ashena travelled IN Chasi's maw.

  • @ca3a53e0bd=Marrow:


    But Maero was more worried about getting a bowl of hot soup while the rest of the party walked up the main street…

    He was also more worried about seeing what the dragon had in his hoard than fighting the actual dragon…Unlike all those "true heroes" like Shallyah, Maero has his priorities straight!

    Maero was quite the little hero himself all along! Don't have to be upfront and brave to make a difference. Besides, no hero party is true without a Bilbo Baggins. 🙂

    Adding here the picture of the Silverfang monument since I noticed I forgot to do it in the last post. Funny thing is there was a dire wolf statue in there, but as the party got close it started attacking them. :lol:

    So the dire wolf had to be removed, but the monument remained:

  • @780942cc96:

    But Maero was more worried about getting a bowl of hot soup while the rest of the party walked up the main street…

    He was also more worried about seeing what the dragon had in his hoard than fighting the actual dragon…Unlike all those "true heroes" like Shallyah, Maero has his priorities straight!

  • Along the same plot as the previous post, there was a point where the party decided to visit Jerrick atop the mountain, for they needed his advice. For that, they had to cross the icelace, and get through Praka, where they were welcome as heroes. Some of them were part of the expedition that had previously saved the city from being flooded and destroyed by some corrupt druids of Auril. But Maero was more worried about getting a bowl of hot soup while the rest of the party walked up the main street…

    As the party went into the core of Paraka, they found that the Prakans had built a statue to the "Silverfang", a giant wolf that was their guardian atop the mountain - that being Jerrick himself. After receiving the praise and best wishes from the Prakan leaders, the party went up the mountain trail.

    However, the enemy had been there first, and the party was tricked into taking a portal to another plane where their enemies had set up a trap for them to get stuck in there for eternity. The feeling grew real as the party found the remnants of other visitors that had been similarly missled to end up in there, and they had turned into statues.

    The places was chaotic, filled with all kinds of monsters and hallucinations that tried not only to kill the party, but also drive them mad. But through strength of arm and force of will, they managed to get through the forest and find a couple of sprites, that were willing to help the party to escape the place. They offered a favour for a favour.

    An ancient being of evil was nested nearby, and it held the passport out of that realm of chaos and magic. Only its ancient cursed blood was powerful enough to forge the spell that would open the portal to their freedom. Xaxonatro'zaphyr, the Great Wyrm of the Ancients, an ancient and tyrant Black Wyrm, held the key.

    So the party made their way to its lair. Once there, many necromantic and signs of powerful evil magic were found, and soon a large number of Xaxonatro'zaphyr's powerful guards emerged forth to stop the party's advance:

    Eventually, the heroes managed to push through, reaching the ancient and powerful being. It turned out that the dragon wasn't actually much of a zealous force of evil, but in all its years, it had amassed a great wisdom and intelligence. It offered quite a dialogant and respectful approach to the party and the party returned it.

    Both sides respected deeply each other, but both also knew that there was only one outcome to their encounter - a fight to the death. Even in the last moment the ancient Wyrm offered the party to simply turn around and leave in peace, but he knew they couldn't do that, because that would mean that they would stay doomed in that place forever. Besides, the creature, even if wise and dialogant, was a tyrant, and a vile necromancer with no shame about admitting it.

    The fight was as fierce as intense, taking a toll on several members of the party that were -very- close to not living to tell the tale. The combined efforts of the party kept them all alive, and in the end Shallyah managed to deliver a decisive strike that ended the dragon's life quickly and without excessive suffering. A great honour for a great enemy, that now rested in peace.

    With that, the party took the vial of blood they needed, got back to the sprites, and conjured the portal necessary to return to Toril where they could continue their campaign to stop the yuan-ti and their vile plans to take over Narfell.

  • The following screenshot is one of the those that I am most fond of. I wanted to save it for later, but yesterday the topic of "Rocky" was just brought up at the commons, and I felt like going with it.

    Rocky was born out of randomness and player initiative, it's one of those things that the DM had never planned, but it just went that way.

    The yuan-ti were carrying some mining operations, as they were powering up some exo-suits similar to the old empire armors, but empowered with strong yuan-ti magic, and made out of myrkandite, a very powerful magical metal. It was found that the yuan-ti had located a few deposits of Myrkandite in a cave near Ormpur and were mining in out to carry out their sinister plans.

    So the party of heroes assembled to prevent them from extracting the Myrkandite. The fight was bloody as it can only be when yuan-ti and the stronger saurials are involved, but eventually the victory was achieved. And discovered that not only they were mining Myrkandite. They had found Adamantium too! But the party had a big problem. None of them were miners with even remotely close to the skill required to mine out the deposits of Adamantium and Myrkandite that were found, and they carried no explosives either.

    The party decided that there was no time to go back and shout out for some master miner to come and claim the ores, so a more immediate solution was necessary. The group did spot that a few lumps of Myrkandite and Adamantium had already been mined out and could be carried, and I think it was Shallyah that mentioned that there was another cave nearby where there are some sort of elemental creatures that eat minerals.

    So, wild idea, but as good as any, the party picked the myrkandite and adamantium, and went to the dire animal cave. After clearing it decently, Shallyah took out a lump of Adamantium and waved it in front of one of the elementals there, as if it were a hot cake waved in the nose of a child.

    It seemed to work! One of them became particularly intrigued and approached the party, reached out, and chomped down the ore. Then it extended its hand to ask for more, so the party began to run, using the ores as a trail of bread crumbs for the elemental to follow up to the cave with the Myrkandite and Adamantium deposits.

    In that short voyage, the elemental began to become quite demanding, seemingly enjoying the Myrkandite and Adamantium a bit too much and at one point there was only one lump of ore left. The elemental was was catching up with Shallyah and she couldn't just leave it behind ilke the others, she needed the elemental to follow all the way to the cave, so she passed the last lump of ore Talindra, and they kept passing the last small fragment of ore back and forth until they managed to lure the elemental into the cave, where Rocky feasted on the deposits. That event earned Shallyah the nickname of "Rockette".

    However, Rocky, our now new elemental friend, had grown four times his size after eating the Myrkandite and Adamantium deposits. Not only that, he also gained some kind of sentience, as he looked down at Shallyah and Talindra, the ones that had fed him and in a way gave him birth. Rocky spoke a single, heartbreaking word. "MAMA?".

    From then and on, Rocky became a kind of gentle giant, a guardian for the party. As more deposits were found in the hands of the yuan-ti, Rocky was summoned to help his mamas, and eat all the minerals. At some point he ate a couple of veins of Onyx, with gave him a shadowy texture. With each vein he grew in size and in intelligence.

    Rocky however, did his ultimate sacrifice protecting the party from Slanur-Hathoon the Destroyer, an ancient balor king. It's not that he was ridiculously powerful, the issue is that this balor had accumulated the rage of ages, a being of infinite amounts of pure and primal hatred that upon its death would blow up like a hundred balors… nobody would be able to survive that, if not because Rocky jumped on it to suffocate the explosion with his body. Rocky became a myriad of fragments spred across the chamber, but he saved his mamas and their allies.

    Rocky lived on in the weapons that the lizardfolk crafted for each member of the party out of his remains, powerful alloys of mainly Adamantium and Myrkandite as Rocky himself was. A nice memory I have of that is that Talindra and Shallyah's fragments kept a reminiscent of Rocky's conscience, due to the tight bond he had with them, and at times he talked with them. For Shallyah, only holding the axe's handle was enough to make her a more warm and gentle woman than she usually was.