Crimson Dawn
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Crimson Dawn

The Story:

Chapter 1plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 1: Scouts

It has been two months since I took a position as healer for this army. Perhaps my ideal profession would be to work as a temple priest, but those jobs are in short supply, especially for a man my age who still has the title of Brother, and I need money to survive. While not ideal, this work is respectable enough, and it allows be to delve deep into a question that has bothered me for years. In war, each side sees themselves as good and their enemy as evil. Whether aggressor or defender, this vi…

Chapter 2plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 2: Ip

It's always the dwarves. Stubborn. Impulsive. You can always rely on them to throw the best laid plans into chaos.

It has been a long time since I’ve concerned myself with matters of war. But what I remember from back then still holds true today: the incompetence of your allies is a greater threat than even the most cunning enemy.

Chapter 3plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 3: Breadguy and the King of the Troglodytes

I’ve never been much of one to keep a journal. Azi assured me that despite the risk it would help me focus, but I left the little books blank. Of course, now that I have the urge to write my impressions on paper I cannot afford to do so. I doubt the supply officer would even know what I was asking for.

Chapter 4plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 4: The Trial of Uruk Ta

Long have I held sway upon my people, manipulating the course of our history as had been passed down by my father before me, Balik Ta. He had bequeathed unto me the secret of our power. And better still, he had taught me how to manipulate hearts and minds, even the physical elements that surround us, with but our thoughts. And lo, we are but limited by the sun’s deadly light. Within the caves, we dwell, hidden in shadow and secrecy.

Chapter 5plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 5: Better off with Federov

Since I joined the army, I've had a somewhat privileged position. As someone who can heal using both mundane and magical means, I'm in slightly higher demand than the average soldier. However, it's been made clear to me that I, like everyone else, am expendable and replaceable. In the end, I'm one soldier among thousands, so why have some people put so much effort into protecting me? I restored Federov to his half-life. When he got into a fight, I explained his purpose to him and thought he was …

Chapter 6plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 6: ...

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Detailed summary by Hanah'rah

Crimson Dawn

Chapter 4: The Trial of Uruk Ta

Previousplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 3: Breadguy and the King of the Troglodytes

I’ve never been much of one to keep a journal. Azi assured me that despite the risk it would help me focus, but I left the little books blank. Of course, now that I have the urge to write my impressions on paper I cannot afford to do so. I doubt the supply officer would even know what I was asking for.
IndexNextplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 5: Better off with Federov

Since I joined the army, I've had a somewhat privileged position. As someone who can heal using both mundane and magical means, I'm in slightly higher demand than the average soldier. However, it's been made clear to me that I, like everyone else, am expendable and replaceable. In the end, I'm one soldier among thousands, so why have some people put so much effort into protecting me? I restored Federov to his half-life. When he got into a fight, I explained his purpose to him and thought he was …
2018-08-21
Author: DM
Long have I held sway upon my people, manipulating the course of our history as had been passed down by my father before me, Balik Ta. He had bequeathed unto me the secret of our power. And better still, he had taught me how to manipulate hearts and minds, even the physical elements that surround us, with but our thoughts. And lo, we are but limited by the sun’s deadly light. Within the caves, we dwell, hidden in shadow and secrecy.

Until that day that the soldiers came upon our peaceful realm. Though we venture out for flesh and meat, we do not venture too far from our haven of stone and temple. We do not and have not violated humankind’s kingdoms and they have not come upon us. But when the soldiers came, our world had changed forevermore.

They call us Troglodytes, cave-dwellers, even vampires! We are all of these, and yet none. In the past, my people had been called Ventr’Azi, created by the Drow to fend against Thoraci hordes. And yet, we are no longer those creatures, mindless in pursuit of destruction of a once-formidable army. We are no longer needed for such things and our masters have retreated into farther depths of the Abyss, never to task or whip us into acquiescence.

So when the soldiers came and brought their own hordes of men and half-beasts, they opened our realm up to other foul invaders. Kreegarians and Goblins! When the soldiers of the sky creatures escaped, it was the Kreegarians and Goblins who slaughtered us. My people bled and suffered! The children! The children were butchered and destroyed. Innocents who would know no pleasures beyond their early years, taken from this world by a mere act of brutality. Conquest? The usurpation of land? Trade disputes? I know not what courses other races may take, but my people were innocent and they died. Their minds touched mine and I heard and felt and wept with mothers who watched their children slaughtered, mere moments before they met their own demise. I saw it all in my minds eye and felt their pain, their suffering, their anguish. At once and in unison they had called to me and I had not strength enough to stop an army.

And when they had completed their pillage, I was alone. Surrounded by barbarians, unable to communicate with their version of savagery, I was shackled and taken. The few that fell by my mind gave their officers the sense to bind my head and arms and I was taken to the light! Disoriented and confused, I gave in to my fate.

But then the soldiers of the winged beings returned. They came and slaughtered the very invaders that had vanquished my people! I felt as if I had been saved. I would be freed. I would know the fate of my people and I would rejoice in repopulating my kind. And then, as the soldiers gathered about me, I knew that this would not be so. Curious as to my origin and power, the soldiers took me. Not the same ones that had first discovered my realm. Not the healer, the orc mage, the desert princess. These soldiers were different. They did not know. They did not see how my people had suffered. These soldiers were no different than the Kreegarians, lusting for a power they could not control.

But back in their encampment, the healer, the orc mage, and the desert princess came to me once more. I touched their minds and I knew they could help me with my freedom! Their leader, a winged being of power, came and touched my mind, to seek out my source and my origin. And though he was strong, I was stronger still. With effort, I convinced the captain to order the healer to touch me. The healer did. Gladly. And with masked illusion, I did but drain what I could to secure my freedom!

I escaped. I ran. I run to my realm, to know of my charges’ fate. Looking back, I know that the three friends are curious as to my own source and power. And I know theirs. I know their secrets, having touched their minds but for a moment. They yet know not their own power, their own source. The desert princess and the orc mage have untapped power still brimming to be released. When they learn of their energy, they will unleash forces far beyond my own. All they would need is proper instruction, a teacher patient enough to guide them to the light. I would see to this, but I am bound to the darkness. I must return to my own dwelling and recover that which was taken from me.

And the healer? He has a source unmatched by all other healers of his kind. His god, so he had professed, sees him not as the vessel that releases souls. I fear that this healer is fated for many a great and unfortunate things…


Detailed summary by Hanah'rah

EXT. BATTALION CAMP. NIGHT

Tephna and Hana'rah are walking back from Feyn's tent.

Tephna hears a telepathic cry in her head. It's loud and anguished. A painful groan and banging. It seems to be coming from the center of the camp.

As they head towards the center of camp, Hana'rah can sense it too.

They head through the camp to a large tent with guards out front. The camp's stockade.

The psychic anguish is coming from within. The banging continues telepathically. They can hear audible bangs now too. They go around the tent to the back where the sound seems to be coming from.

A guard follows them and asks what they’re up to. Hana’rah says they’re from 3rd Platoon and were checking up on a prisoner that they lost track of. They think he’s inside. The guard reluctantly lets them in.

The tent is filled with cages carrying prisoners. At the back of the tent, there is a pale prisoner clamped to a cross with an iron masks locked to this head. A guard holds a pole with a rock dangling from a string at the end. He continuously whacks the iron masks with the rock– the source of the clanging. With each clang the pale figure in mask groans audibly and telepathically.

Hana'rah tries to ask another guard about the prisoner, he is more interested to know whether Hana'rah and Tephna are relieving them. Hana'rah says, yes, for twenty minutes. The guard hands Hana'rah the pole, then the two guards leave.

Hana'rah reaches out psionically to the prisoner. She sends an image of them meeting the Troglodyte King. The prisoner screams telepathically, hurting their heads. It is clearly the King under the mask.

The King asks Tephna (telepathically) to free him. Tephna asks how they caught him. He was captured as the E.L.F. attacked the Kreegarians at the caves.

Hana'rah brings in two of the guards (with the keys). They start trying to convince the guards they're ill-prepared to deal with this kind of prisoner. As the guard demonstrates whacking the prisoner on the head with the pole, Tephna makes him miss and fall over (psionically).

They try to argue with the guards to convince them to release the prisoner to them. Hana'rah rolls several ones, so they give up.

EXT. STOCKADE. NIGHT

As they walk away from the Stockade, they see Caidis returning from Feyn's tent.

They call him over. They ask if he knows who Cpt. Frankel (the guards C/O) is. He knows that he's part of Intelligence.

Tephna tries to get Caidis interested in liberating the King. Caidis isn't convinced it’s their problem. Tephna is pushing for letting him go. Hana'rah is wavering.

The clanging continues. The King appears to be weakening. He's on the verge of death. Hana'rah suggests they wake Cpt. Feyn. He's the only one who can intervene.

The three go back to Feyn's tent. There's a sargent outside that won't let them in. Hana'rah gets Tephna to 'wake' Feyn with a psionic blast. She does, a little too strong.

Feyn emerges, angrily. Hana'rah explains the situation. Feyn is intrigued. They all head to the Stockade. Feyn can feel the King from outside the tent. They all go in.

INT. STOCKADE. NIGHT

Feyn examines the weakened King. Feyn seems to be communicating with the King.

Just then, a guard comes in with CPT. FRANKEL. Frankel says that he's got in under control and Feyn is over-stepping his bounds. He can discuss it with Feyn later.

Feyn submits to Frankel and says the group should leave. Telepathically, he tells Hana’rah, Tephna, and Caidis the King could use some healing, and specifically acknowledges Caidis.

Caidis offers to heal him, Frankel allows for it. The guards unlock the cage and everyone but Caidis, Hana'rah, Tephna, and the two revenants walk out of the tent.

Caidis opens the cage and walks in. He reaches out and touches the King. The healing doesn't seem to work. He gets closer and tries again. Tephna can sense that the King has not only been healed, but he's become, very strong.

The guards come back in and ask everyone to leave. They pick up the pole ready to start striking him again. Caidis and Tephna try to get them not to hit him.

INT. 3rd PLATOON TENT. NIGHT

Tephna has a very vivid dream. She has a vision of the two guards switching out of the Stockade. New guards come in, bang the King once, then put the pole aside and go to sleep. The King psionically blows his mask and restraints off. The cage opens. He does something to the guards, they slump over. He walks out into the night.

EXT. CAMP. DAY

3rd Platoon is on patrol, walking the perimeter of the battalion camp.

Caidis has been summoned to see Feyn instead of patrol duty. Duri sees Caidis hanging back and gives Caidis trouble for spending so much time with the Captain. Caidis asks Duri what he thinks of the dead coming back from the dead. Duri says he doesn't believe in that religious mumbo jumbo. He says he'd never want to come back from the dead.

EXT. FEYN'S TENT. DAY

As Caidis approaches, he sees Feyn outside his tent with some officers, practicing with his sword.

Feyn sees Caidis and tells him about the prisoner's escape. He says he has to go talk to the battalion commander about Cpt Frankel's negligence.

He introduces Caidis to LIEUTENANT ALEXANDRA, a female Seraph with long blond hair. Feyn says the two of them are to head to the infirmary to deal with the matter they discussed last night.

Lt. Alexandra says she's heard of Caidis in his short time in the army. He is dismissive.

INT. INFIRMARY. DAY

Medical staff dressed in blood stained white. The smell of gore and death.

Lt. Alexandra leads Caidis to a cot with a body under a sheet. She says this soldier died the day before last and the Captain would like him to try and raise him from dead. Breadguy and Shee-shar are following Caidis as usual. Lt. Alexandra starts asking him questions about them. She asks if they eat. He says no. She asks if he holds some kind of psionic control over them. He doesn't think so.

She asks him to have them stand guard in the door. Caidis is amused by this. He incredulously asks them to. They both do. Lt. Alexandra asks for their names and tries to order them back into the tent. Neither listen to her.

She asks if they can be destroyed. He tells her about Sarry's second demise. She questions Caidis a bit more. She's surprised to learn he worships the God of Death.

Eventually, she pulls back the sheet to reveal a ~20 year old male human corpse. It has been dead for a while. Rotting and bloated. Caidis asks if she knows his name or anything. She doesn't.

Caidis touches the corpse's chest. He tries to probe it with his magic. He can't detect any sense of the being's life.

Lt. Alexandra asks what's wrong. Caidis says it's like he was never alive.

Caidis tries harder, probes deeper. He gets a brief glimpse of a battle and the soldier being stabbed and dying violently. He died at least a week prior. Caidis asks if she can find out any more information about who this man was.

Lt. Alexandra fetches a doctor and returns a few minutes later. The doctor sorts through his notes to try to find out who the soldier was. He find the name: PRIVATE FETTEROV, 6th Platoon. The doctor complains that they need the bed space and they'd love to get rid of this body. The body came in dead.

Caidis asks if the 6th Platoon is in the camp. It is. Caidis says he needs to learn more about this person before trying to raise him again.

EXT. PATROL. DAY

The patrol is circling the perimeter. Duri stops to talk to some soldiers from another platoon. They're gossiping about the Troglodyte King, vampires, zombies, etc. Hana'rah goes over and tries to dismiss all the rumors as nothing more than stories from bored soldiers. She tells them the Kreegarians have big lizards and they should be more concerned with that.

As they leave, she tells Duri to keep his mouth shut.

EXT. 6th PLATOON CAMP. DAY

The lieutenant from 6th Platoon doesn't know too much about her dead soldier. She does know he was bunkmates with PRIVATE SIMPSON. She calls him over.

Caidis asks Simpson about Fetterov. Simpson says he was reclusive and creepy. He enjoyed slaughtering the enemy a little too much. Simpson mentions that Fetterov had a tendency to slip off without orders. He had a bad temper. People avoided him.

Caidis and Alexandra depart. She asks if he got what he needed. Caidis says it was helpful.

EXT. PATROL. DAY.

3rd Platoon is at the edge of a small village on the outskirts of the battalion camp taking a lunch break. The village inhabitants have heard that the battalion will be moving out soon, and they're worried their little boom town will suffer. They’re asking as much as they can about where the battalion is moving next.

A villager says that OLD MAN SMITH's son was abducted by a vampire last night. Hana'rah and Tephna go over to Smith to interrogate him.

Smith takes them into his son's cabin. The window is broken. There is some blood staining the sheets of the bed. Smith keeps insisting that a vampire broke in and stole his son.

Hana'rah examines the room and finds a rusted Kreegarian scimitar in the corner. She starts overturning things and finds a Kreegarian shield as well.

They take Smith outside and call in Gorbus. Tephna clues-in to the probing questions the other villager was asking and when he's called upon he tries to run but is grabbed. Both Smith and the other villager have gold coins in their pockets.

INT. INFIRMARY. DAY.

Back in the infirmary with Caidis and Alexandra.

Caidis performs a ritual prayer, wraps his arms around dead Federov's torso. He says, this man may not be worthy of the afterlife. After a longer than usual incantation, the body begins to stir. The eyes blink open.

Lt. Alexandra gasps. She says, 'What manner of abomination is this thing?'

Caidis camly asks if Federov can stand. He slowly does. Caidis drapes a blanket over his shoulders.

Caidis looks him in the eyes. He seems more alive and alert than Breadguy and Shee-shar. Caidis asks if he can speak. No response. He asks him to nod if he can understand what he's saying. No response.

Caidis tries to heal him. Open gash wounds on his body close a little, not completely. Caidis is pleased. He tries again. He's healed even more, though his skin is still grey. Caidis tries further. Now, he's fully whole. The wounds look like nothing more than scars.

Caidis turns to Alexandra and says, “I don't think this is an abomination at all. I think Vil wants this person to do something.”

Alexandra's look says otherwise. She says, “We need to bring him to Captain Feyn.”

EXT. 3rd PLATOON CAMP. DAY

Back at the camp, Hana'rah and Tephna see Caidis with Fetterov. They both instantly recognize (psionically?) that this individual is not like Breadguy and Shee-shar. He is intelligent and malicious. Caidis is unaware.


Previousplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 3: Breadguy and the King of the Troglodytes

I’ve never been much of one to keep a journal. Azi assured me that despite the risk it would help me focus, but I left the little books blank. Of course, now that I have the urge to write my impressions on paper I cannot afford to do so. I doubt the supply officer would even know what I was asking for.
IndexNextplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_bigChapter 5: Better off with Federov

Since I joined the army, I've had a somewhat privileged position. As someone who can heal using both mundane and magical means, I'm in slightly higher demand than the average soldier. However, it's been made clear to me that I, like everyone else, am expendable and replaceable. In the end, I'm one soldier among thousands, so why have some people put so much effort into protecting me? I restored Federov to his half-life. When he got into a fight, I explained his purpose to him and thought he was …