Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Swords of the Storm God

"Wux tepoha thric tiichi"

John speaks Draconic. He looks at me with a completely straight face, and then hits me with a string of gruff, dragonborn gibberish. The best bit is, he doesn't translate. There's always a pause, and I'll have to say "uh... meaning?", and he'll mutter something like "I will smite you down and display your ruin for all to see what the treachery of blood costs" - and I swear he looks a little disappointed that nobody got it first time.

John gets his translations through the draconic translator. If he's tapping away on his phone between turns, he's usually cooking up another dose of draconic. His character once had a long conversation in draconic with an ancient storm dragon. Beforehand he'd shown me a list of questions, I'd prepared a bunch of answers, and he'd written some lines he could drop in if things went badly. All the way through, we were passing these notes to each other, explaining what we were saying. It was crazy.

Anyway, John plays "Sephirius", a dragonborn paladin of Kord. Way back when we were playing H2: Thunderspire Labyrinth, Seph got a hold of the Orb of Light, an undead-slaying artefact that embedded itself into the blade of his sword. I had this idea for bringing a lich into the game, and the Orb seemed the perfect way to lead them to it. But as the final confrontation loomed, I had a dilemma: how could I maximise Seph's chances of dealing the final blow (which I knew John would love), and - with the quest coming to an end - present an epic "consolation prize" for when the Orb moved on to a new wielder?

The circle is complete. Now crack open the crits.

John's big on Kord. When the going gets tough, he's even been known to assemble the "Circle of Kord": a dice-rolling pen designed to channel the power of the storm god. Seph himself is the quintessential paladin: like his diety, he's quick-to-anger and at times ruthless, but always fights with honour. Seph's journey began with earning his spurs as a paladin, and I figured that it was time to up the stakes.

When the lich dropped to a quarter hit points, the powerful Orb of Light opened a portal to the Astral Sea: hurling Seph and his opponent into Kord's arena, high atop Mount Venya. Here, before his god, Seph fought the last rounds alone.

Sephirius Stormclaw in the Arena of Kord

Sephirius triumphed, and as a prize, the god of storms himself hammered out a great warblade. Seph named it "Kluurok Uuenbir": Divine Thunder.

Check it out below: it should work in any game. Oh, and many thanks to John for letting me use his artwork this week!

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