As the zombie in front of him avoided the blade, Galen couldn't help but think, Why am I trying to be so accurate anyway? I'm out of practise, and I'm just trying to be a distraction so Ben survives a bit longer...
Thankfully, with that as his deemed objective, it was successful, for the zombie swiped a fist at him rather than Ben. He was about to consider another slash attempt when something broke his train of thought. Specifically, a loud shout from beside him.
"Go help the others, that guard back there is looking rather pale!"
Galen had half a mind to say there was no need to shout... but then again, this was combat, and although there was no steel-on-steel clashes, there could very well be later on, so it helped if one got used to shouting anyway. Unfortunately for Galen, he did not possess a voice suited to shouting, so he decided against a reply, letting his actions speak for him.
Watching the zombie in front of him carefully, Galen timed himself so that he stepped back right when the zombie went to punch. Once out of arm's reach of the zombie, Galen turned and quickly sprinted. Thankfully, although track and field was never his forte, he was a decent sprinter for relay and other short runs. He quickly ran up to the other mounted guard, but on the opposite side of the zombie, since even if the zombie was mindless, being in such a position would be beneficial to both the guard and himself.
Once in position, Galen steeled himself mentally, panting slightly as normal from the run, but holding up his blade to be ready for an attack.
(Alrighty, taking the 'withdraw' action, and running up to the square 'L-2', so that I'd be flanking the zombie with the guard. I counted squares, and I can run around the zombie avoiding his threatening range. No other action this round, but next will obviously be an attack on the zombie)
"Lady Emerita, I am going to see if I can get to the front and help slow down or stop this vehicle. Brace yourself in the event that we fail." He probably sounded saner and more heroic than he felt as he spoke, but that didn’t matter. Only not dying in a carriage crash mattered at this point, and the frayed nerves of the mares driving the catastrophe couldn’t be relied on for a safe finish.
I hadn’t found the reigns yet when Ray called. I looked back over my shoulder, not hearing him working his torso out the open window, and gave up on my search for the reigns. I crawled back onto the wooden roof with its low metal rail and waited for a sign to tell me which side he was planning on coming up.
Some hundred feet back, at the crossroads, Ruiel and his mare fought tooth and hoof and steel sword. One hoof in the chest as the great horse dropped, then a sturdy bite in the shoulder, topped with a slash that rent open the throat of the corpse and almost seemed to be a lethal blow in the timing of the attack with the final collapse of the shuffling corpse. (1 hoof, 4 bite, 5 sword damage in all)
Aeth looked to his guard who was fighting the zombi mage. The pale look in his guard’s skin caused his blood to run cold. He glanced over his shoulder and judged where his presence was most needed. Without further hesitation he sprinted with his hands drawing back his elegant sword. With his full momentum, he dug his sword through a layer or two of tissue as his target dodged too slowly. (5 damage)
Knowing that his enemy was as good as dead, Ben sent Galen’s aid to the ailing guard. Galen didn’t respond—even in the tumultuous heat of battle his voice didn’t like shouting—but he obeyed. With a glance over his should to make sure the way was clear, Galen backed up without exposing his back to the zombi. Once safely out of the monster’s reach, he turned around and ran to Barig’s assistance, strafing a wide circle around the mage so that he could attack it from behind.
As Galen left, he abandoned the zombi who was formerly so devoted to attacking him. This time without another person to fill the space to attack, the zombi had to check its programming, and instead had to choose from the remaining closest targets. This zombi, for whatever reasonless reasons it may have had, chose to swing to the right with its mighty backhanded blow, narrowly missing Ben.
Ian saw his chance right there and just as the zombi’s knuckles skimmed past Ben, Ian buried the edge of his sword between its shoulder blades and drew down. (5 damage) Ben raised his sword two handed above his head to return the favour of the attack, only to find the monster drop at his feet. Though pleased to see the monstrosity fall without further harm, he had a twinge of regret that he hadn’t been able to finish it himself. With a nod to Ian, he ran off to join Aeth in surrounding the zombi. Ian followed shortly, delayed by the exertion of his kill.
As Ben ran he raised his sword again, prepared to satisfy the unfinished attack. With his full charging momentum he followed Aeth’s lead and delivered a two-handed cut into the mage zombi’s thigh. It was not as destructive a blow as Aeth’s but it was another straw on a breaking camel’s back. Or, at least it was if you were going to be doing mid-battle metaphoric analogies. (4 damage)
With his ailing body throbbing in pain, Barig grunted and swung his sword and the zombi, which dodged this one attack of all. As his last ditch attack sailed harmlessly through the air, Barig tugged with his left hand on the reigns to draw his horse away from the skirmish. He reasonably decided that there were more than enough people to handle the zombi now that he had distracted it from attacking the driver for so long.
With his primary target removed, the mage zombi with the sack over its head had to choose a new target. Not too surprisingly, it only had to slightly alter its direction and it found the first man who came to save the guard. With his only concern being to save Barig, Aeth let his guard down a little too much when his hireling was clear of immediate danger, and didn't dodge the club fist that invaded the area of his ribcage at a violent rate of speed. The bodyguard winced, but his face showed no other outward sign that he was hurt. (4 damage)
Meanwhile, Ray’s hand appeared above the left side of the carriage interrupting my moment long run through the usefulness of my cantrips. I moved to grab the hand, but instead he took a hold of the metal railing. I looked for a way to help him up, but with my relatively poor upper body strength, I saw no useful way to help. Ray’s head appeared over the edge as he moved to stand on the window sill. At this point he quite clearly saw that I was otherwise alone, no Galen, no Gamet. From there it was a fairly simple matter for him to pull himself over, with me uselessly looking on. All that was left to do was to stop two horses blind with fear from running us into an early grave.
Ray 7/7 (4 PP) ---- Ben 15/15 ---- Jeremy 4/9 ---- Ian 6/11 ---- Galen 8/8 (O:4, 1:3) ---- Owen 5/5 (0 SP)
Defensive Precognition: Ray (4/10 rounds)
Aeth – decreased to Yellow Status
Emerita – Uninjured
Gamet – Very Red
Ruiel – Uninjured and diseased
Barig – Red Status, diseased and enspelled
Spare Horse – Yellow
Front Mage Zombi is injured and presently about to be gang-banged Back Left just rang Death's doorbell and got an expeditious replyBack Right got his throat slashed open, which wouldn't have killed the bugger had he not already been horse-stomped three or four times over
I oculd practically do another round right away that describes the beat down that the last zombi is about to receive. The only one present who doesn't know that it is inevitably coming is the mindless one itself, who doesn't have the capacity to weild such foresight, or even the sense of self-preservation to care if it did see it.
With the normal undead out of the way, Ruiel turned his horses lead toward the mage one, which was looking far less impressive surrounded as it was. With a shout he lead his mare between Ben and Galen to join in on the beat down. The zombi, whether it somehow recognized the hopeless situation it was in or not, put up a good show of trying to dodge the blades starting to come from all sides. Ruiel missed, but as he did so Aeth drew a gash through the corpse’s abdomen. Then Galen shifted to get a better shot from the bag-head’s blind spot and cut a neat line through a kidney. It flailed back at Aeth once, who dodged with ease. Ian moved in across from the guard but the zombi saw him in time to turn another cut into a superficial wound. The scut was put down finally by Ben, who neatly rent open some pectoral and deltoid muscle. A living being of flesh and blood would have fallen from such wounds long ago, but the dead felt no pains of death. Only destruction could end them, and so this zombi was finally ended. (5 from Aeth, 5 from Galen, 5 from Ben. It was kind of odd, actually, since Galen has a smaller damage die and less Str, but it was straight even all the way)
After the corpse fell to the dust, Aeth pointed out very finely drawn runes over the flesh of the zombi, which would look like dried skin from just about any distance but point blank. “I’m no witch, but I’d wager those’re behind the magic we’ve been seeing.” Ruiel said, as he stirred his horse into a canter down the straight west road to follow the carriage. As he passed Jeremy, the youth stopped his hopeless run and slowed, finally returning to the crossroads where Aeth was having a look at Gamet and Barig.
He treated his guard on the spot while waiting for the carriage to return safely, though it was plain by his frequent glances down the road that he was anxious about the fate of the runaways. Gamet explained after he had been magically tended to by Galen that the riders shouldn’t be in too much trouble. Once the initial panic had worn off the mares and fatigue set in, they should calm down and come to a stop, from which they could be easily led back by Ruiel. (Gamet +5 and full)
After Galen had applied his magic to Barig and Jeremy, healing the former to a decent state of health and the latter entirely of his shoulder wound, he could feel the onset of mental fatigue similar to what I was experiencing currently. He moved on to Ian, pouring a couple smaller packets of restorative energy into his body (Barig +6 and Yellow-Green (I’m not sure which would calculate right now)) (+5 Jeremy [9/9]) (+2,+2 Ian [10/11])
With small protest from the man, Galen flushed some of Aeth’s bruises with small bits of energy. He complained that the horses could probably use some of that energy, considering how much they had been worked today, but he didn’t refuse. (+2,+2 Aeth, Green Status)
Though Gamet expected the runaway carriage to turn out to be ultimately safe, it still seemed like no small matter to those involved. Ray and I eventually found the reigns hanging precariously where they could still be reached, which was a boon. After that, as far as either of us could tell, we made every effort to stop the horses. We tugged on the reigns hard but we were at least not foolish enough to just keep yanking when the horses didn’t immediately obey.
We pitched at every dip in the road, hoping the new wheel would hold and the shift wouldn’t be enough to take down the vehicle. Soon enough, not that we knew it hadn’t been ages, the mares slowed their pace and were more receptive to the tugs on the reigns.
One of the guards, who used lighter mounts for greater speed, caught up with us just before the final moments of the chase. He rescued us from having to pass any medieval driver’s test in carriages, and led the nervous animals back to where the others waited. Aeth wanted immediately to know how Lady Emerita was, who quickly responded that she was fine—if a little well mixed. After ensuring the safety of his lady he checked Ray and me.
Though no one was happy to go any further, it was quickly agreed upon that no one wanted to wait any longer at the curst site. The carriage was led down the south road a decent distance before everyone practically threw themselves at the roadside for a good night’s rest.
But rest didn’t come right away for all. Aeth fulfilled his promise to the guards and treated their illness. They camped a short distance away from the main group, to prevent the odds of the disease spreading through proximity.
Also, I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but one thing that came to my attention was that Lady Emerita didn’t set herself up inside the carriage again tonight. Seemingly following habit she cast her bedroll on the grass and arranged herself on top of it. If Aeth was going to complain he was too tired to bother with an argument.
You had to admire a nobleperson who didn’t believe themselves too above the common riffraff to live outside their frills and cushions, I thought. I wondered just how prevalent such nobles wer in Narnia. Gaellus, rather, I didn’t need to keep calling this country after whatever fantastical name entered my head. If most nobles acted the way she seemed to be acting, this world would look a utopia by comparison. More likely, though, especially judging on Aeth’s attempts the previous night to maintain her air of nobility in the presence of strangers, most nobles were expected to treat the common folk like dirt under their feet, like Goodwin said when Tunstall fell for the warrior-lady Sabine.
I would have to note later the amazing soporific effects of exhaustion, and its ability to treat insomnia. For the second night in a row, I fell quickly into a deep, comfortable sleep, as I’m sure most everyone else did after our night. I can’t rightly remember if a guard was ever posted to keep a watch for further trouble, just that I didn’t wake up until the next morning with a sore but well rested magic-muscle.
Ray 7/7 [18/18](4 PP) ---- Ben 15/15 [27/27] ---- Jeremy 9/9 [18/18] ---- Ian 10 (full 11 by morning) /11 [22/22] ---- Galen 8/8 [16/16] (O:-, 1:-) ---- Owen 5/5 [10/10] (0 SP) Defensive Precognition: Ray (for all intents and purposes: over)
Aeth – Green Status
Emerita – Uninjured
Gamet – Uninjured
Ruiel – Uninjured and recovering from disease
Barig – Greeny-Yellow, recovering from disease and drained, but morning brings him into full Green, though still stiff
Spare Horse – Yellow, though by morning the creature looks healthier and Green-Status-ier
Zombies: All destroyed. Encounter over.
Though there’s no way that encounter was worth more than 200 XP, guess what? So that I can just go things the easy way and give this game the illusion of progress, you all just levelled up! I’ll be setting everyone to 1000 XP regardless of former count (you’re welcome, Ray). It makes things easier on me and it’s late, so thinking so much is not liked. Feel free to post your own morning levelling up events and to send me a line if you want to orchestrate anything, or send one of these fellow creatures you’ve supposedly been playing with this last year a line and dramatize your level that way. (Hey, Ben heads up! Ray’s about bug you for something!).
In your level up modifications, just tell me what on your sheet changes and I'll implement it. If all current skills increase by one point, go ahead and say that. Remember my make-it-simple rule is that you keep skills as class skills even when you multiclass, I'm looking at you, Ray.
Don't forget max HP this level; don't forget that you gain skill synergies this level.
No map this time.
If I forgot anything.
Posted on 2009-07-03 at 06:53:56.
Edited on 2009-07-03 at 07:04:46 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Being the least fatigued of everyone I decide that I will take first watch. It gives me time to reflect on the last few days.
I have been running. Running from ghosts, from thieves, and from plants. I have yet to take up a weapon and actually stand up for myself. For all the talk that I might be, when actually dealing with physical encounters, I am nothing more then a hindrance. I want this to change. I told the lady that I was protecting her, guarding her, but were these my actual intentions? Perhaps it was merely a cowards way of saying, “I want to stay where it is safe”. This was not my formal intentions... but what lurks deep within the id is subliminal, and disguises itself in many ways...
I reflect on my companions: Owen, a caster, has managed to have more of a back bone then I, though he seems far weaker on the outside. Galen, the quiet one, uses a sword for God's sake! And Ian, whom I have always thought of the weakest of the group, has a remarkable battle prowess that caters to his shining intelligence. I want to be like my comrades. I want to be less of a coward and more of a warrior. I want to be a true guardian of this world, live up to the expectations of the deities that summoned me; I desire to be someone that can really be looked up to, a leader, a real knight of justice and good.
I sigh as a I turn to the orbiting moon, and all her accompanying stars. I clench my club which I have been carrying around with me this entire time, and a I make a vow to myself... I will be what I could not before, my determination and dedication will carry me through. I will become acquainted with the sword, and I shall fight alongside my friends instead of being a spectator on the side lines. And it starts now!
I remember what I can from old movies and stories about training in the ways of combat, and then using my own creativity, apply practices in ways that will not awaken the others from their slumber. The first that came to my mind is a movie I saw of Ivanhoe, where as a young squire, the king (in disguise) tested his will by making him stand on one foot whilst holding two blocks of wood outstretched for an clarified amount of time. I stand, and after applying a few stretches as to not harm my muscles in the coming exercise, I grab some near by rocks of general equivalent size and do this pose.
After a time, I grow weak but still I hold true. Moments pass like hours, and my muscles burn in agony, I start to sweat and my arms shake uncontrollably. This is a battle of will, and I continue for a time more. I make sure that I make no harsh sounds that may startle or awaken my friends from their slumber, and slowly, I let my arms down. I bend down and allow my clamped hands to slowly let the rocks go. I do a few more stretches to loosen my arms and legs, and then pick the rocks up again, using them this time as dumb bells. Again after feeling an intense burn, I let the rocks go, and do more stretches. Feeling that I have done enough work with my arms, I then take to the outskirts of the camp to do some patrolling while I get my legs going. I do a particular exercise where I bring one knee down to the ground slowly, then bring it up, take another step and bring the other knee to the ground. I do this until I get tired, then just walk to allow my kegs to stretch again. When I feel that these exercises and stretches have been executed properly, I make for the camp fire and rest while keeping to the rest of my watch shift. When I start to feel real fatigue come over me from these activities, I decide that it is the next persons turn. But since we were given no real order I am at a loss for who to awaken next.
Then it hits me. I creep over to Ben and nudge him with increasing intensity until he awakens from his REM. After a few moments of grumbling, he awakens and I tell him that I have designated him to take the next shift. But as he gets up, and I ready my bed roll, I pause to make my request.
“Ben, do you think that you can help me out with my weapon skills? If you wont mind teaching and sparing with me, I will do it.” I presume he wants to know why this is coming up all of a sudden, and I tell straight out. “I have been playing the part of the pussy these last few days, and I want that to stop. I want to be dependable, and I believe that proper instruction in fighting might waver me from my path of fleeing.”
With his answer, I go to sleep. But I repeat my vow to myself. I will become stronger and be all that I could not in the mundane planet Earth. Whatever happens between me and Ben, and the answer he gave me. I will learn to fight, and so I will always do the exercises and stretches that I did this night every night. This will not be a fad, this will be a life style.
Posted on 2009-07-04 at 00:00:18.
Edited on 2009-07-04 at 14:55:37 by Shades331
Galen didn't speak much the remainder of the night. His blade had tasted blood, if the ill ichor that may have remained within the zombies could be called that, and it wasn't something he was proud of. On the online game, Ragnarok, he had slaughtered numerous zombie monsters and wraiths and other undead creatures, specifically with his high priestess, but this was different. It was surprising that his emotions hadn't rooted him to the spot in combat, yet the drive to survive was one thing that overrode all else, and drove him to attack. Still, he was thankful... at least those things weren't alive... and so he didn't kill anyone.
And suddenly his train of thought shifted along a very different route.
Death... the thirteenth Arcana. Harbinger of change, among the largest possible being death. The other largest... being something he sought. One does not lightly change what they are...
In that regard, he was very much alone... to be alone, number nine... the Hermit. Galen looked at the card in his hand. Although he didn't mind the picture, it wasn't the best. He chuckled inwardly... then again, only a few things truly did match his tastes. He shrugged. What else was new? But, if he guessed right as to what the card would allow him to do, he hoped he would be able to use the card soon.
Galen glanced toward the sleeping form of Lady Emerita. Having been on the top of the carriage, he didn't really see her at all... He sighed. If he was to be honest with himself, he was avoiding her. Envy? Perhaps that was it... he probably was a bit envious of her. Although, if he thought about it, it really shouldn't have been unexpected.
Before falling asleep, he looked up at the night sky. It was one thing for people to seek power, but what do they use that power for? Galen knew what he would use his for... the only thing he wanted to do, and the only goal he had so far in this place. If that made him selfish, so be it. People were entitled to have some selfishness in their lives, so long as it didn't severely hurt others.
He felt a bit of a change, as though a key had unlocked a door in his mind. At first it was bizarre, but thinking in retrospect, he began to understand. The power to draw upon one's will to bring wishes into reality was based on one's understanding of oneself. By being honest with himself, and acting accordingly, he'd be able to grow stronger... and hopefully would be able to assert himself more... and then... he'd be able to fulfil his wish.
Ben-sensei, something he never expected to have added to his name.
Ben awakes, displeased that his dream had been disrupted. Never the less, he quickly forgot about it after being surprised by something that Ray was about to ask him.
“Ben, do you think that you can help me out with my weapon skills? If you wont mind teaching and sparing with me, I will do it.” Ray says, following up with his reasons, “I have been playing the part of the pussy these last few days, and I want that to stop. I want to be dependable, and I believe that proper instruction in fighting might waver me from my path of fleeing.”
"Sure Ray, in the morning we shall, though you may be asking the wrong person to be a teacher," Ben replied, making an attempt to smile.
Moving to the edge of their camp area, he thought about how he would go about teaching Ray how to use a sword properly. Teaching certainly wasn't his forte, but he didn't wish to discourage himself so he resolved himself to do his best.
Ben recalled about his own Sensei back in the previous world. His methods were pretty easy to follow, if Ben were to use those he would certainly have an easier time teaching Ray the way of the sword. He then remembered a recent skill that his Sensei had taught him, though he couldn't really get a handle on how to do it at first.
"How quickly you draw your blade can potentially determine the end of a fight, if you can master this ability then you should have no problems at the start of battle!"
His Sensei's words rung through Ben's head as he stood in the moonlight and grabbed the hilt of his sword. After a few moments of silence he drew his blade as swiftly as he could, moving into his battle stance at the same moment. He now had the feeling of how the flow of drawing his sword was meant to be, and in order to keep that feeling fresh in his mind, he tried it a few more times before making the next person take their shift.
"I wish for you to join Ray and myself tomorrow, I am sure you are still not too familiar with a sword yet either," he awoke Ian, telling him of his morning plans, "Oh and it is your turn to keep watching, I'm going to get some shut eye"
With that he moved to his roll out bed that had been lent to him by Aeth and the others.
Posted on 2009-07-05 at 23:05:55.
Edited on 2009-07-05 at 23:06:26 by Tispers
Ian grumbled around for a while as Ben woke him from his peaceful rest. He realised after a moment it was his turn to take watch, rubbing the sleepiness from his eye he listened.
"I wish for you to join Ray and myself tomorrow, I am sure you are still not too familiar with a sword yet either," Ben explained, so Ian would be filled in for the morning practice, "Oh and it is your turn to keep watching, I'm going to get some shut eye"
“Thank you. I need some instructing, that would be of great help.” Ian was grateful for the innovation and got up out of bed. “Right, night watch, was there anyone other then you and Ray?”
after receiving the answer, Ian went and stood around the camp watching the moon. As the time passed, he paced around the camp careful not the wake anyone. Sometimes he would sit and look around, enjoying the breeze when it came. -So morning training huh, okay I’ll try my best to be the best I can be. Mr. Gould or maybe Ben-sensei... meh Ben’s good enough.-
After the watch Ian thought about who has taken watch and wandered over to Jeremy wake him.
“It's your turn next for watch. I’m going back to sleep.” Ian informed Jeremy, “By the way so far it’s been Ray, then Ben and Me who have watched and the sun should be up soon.”
(PLEASE tell me I spelt it right! Your last name.)
Posted on 2009-07-07 at 20:29:58.
Edited on 2009-07-07 at 20:31:42 by Okron
I awaken the next day, grumbling because I am now sore from my training I did that night. But still, it was a good thing. It meant I was growing, my muscles were building and fortifying themselves. The pain was not to extensive because I had done some stretches before and after the exercises. Again, I decided to stretch so that the practice with Ben would not be as bad on my poor body.
After a time, I decide to rededicate myself inwardly. My psionic abilities are coming to me via my inward journeys of belief and will. And so, I think deeply.
We are here because we have to be. If it were not to be so, we would be elsewhere. We are doing what we are doing because we are bound to do it, for if this were not so, we would not do it, nor be able to. If we starve today, it is alright, for it was meant to be. Everything has its place, both the events that we like and dislike. It is all part of a plan, and we need not worry about it, for there is nothing we can do to change it.
But I am one step ahead of the game, for I have the power of the mind at my disposal. The enigma that rivals even that of the future is the deep recesses of the mind. This power is almost all-powerful and all-knowing. Indeed, some philosophers believe that we do not even learn “new concepts, rather, we simply uncover them within our own minds. This promising attribute will allow me to move forward in a splendid manner, allowing me to see what others cannot see, know what others may not know, and do what others may be unable to do. My mind is at the ready, the greatest weapon devised by nature, to serve both myself and my friends.
I then take a deep breath in. To serve myself and my friends...more like protect, not serve. I remark in my head. I do not wish to use my powers simply to do my own bidding, but to save this world. That is my purpose, assuming that these deities of mysterious light told the truth. So I am not here simply to do great things on my own accord, nor that of my friends, but everyone and everything that exists on this world. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I lecture to myself Don't let this power control you. I nod to myself. I am ready for practice.
I am partially surprised to see Ian at the ready as I greet Ben. But I am more then understanding that Ian can benefit from these practices just as much, if not more, then I. I chuckle to myself as my own words hit me: We are here because we have to be. If it were not to be so, we would be elsewhere. Oh what a hypocrite I am, I must become more in tune with Fate than this if I am to be able to use more of her powers...
After a few moment of talking and joking, we get right to it. We do some basic poses and attacks for starters. I am amazed to see that Ian and Ben both have an adept ability in the martial realm, but then I remind myself We are doing what we are doing because we are bound to do it, for if this were not so, we would not do it, nor be able to. Again, I find myself contradicted by my own thoughts. Third times a charm? I ask, but hold nothing to it, for I was supposed to think these things, lest I would not have. Its funny in the present situation, but later, these beliefs will be able to aid me in times of grief, despair, and worry.
After a good 2-3 hours of practice with short break intervals, I decide that my butt has been whipped enough by my friends for one day. I primarily focused on the defensive stances, as I was still new to the whole concept of swordplay, and I did not like the idea of drawing blood... I am not that violent of a person, no matter how much I might talk.
We get back to camp and await our meals. And, I think to myself, If we have no food for now, its alright, because as I said earlier: If we starve today, it is alright, for it was meant to be. Everything has its place, both the events that we like and dislike. It is all part of a plan, and we need not worry about it, for there is nothing we can do to change it.
I smile, for I know that we are in good care, and that as the sun rises and sets, so to do our times of peace and war. And just as it is certain that the sun will do its patterns in the sky, so too will our times of joy and melancholy be ever constant, changing and yet unchanging, secure and yet sporadic, and always what we need when we need it...
+1 Level (Fighter)
Ben awoke the next morning with a stiff neck, which also happened to be his greatest weakness. He stretched it as well as he could and then walked around the camp grabbing things he would need for the training with Ian and Ray. When they were ready Ben reached his hands forward to the both of them.
"Ian, hand me your blade, sheathed, Ray here is yours," he told them, handing Ray a sword with a rope tied around the hilt, binding the sword to the sheath.
Ben took Ian's sword from him and tied a rope around his sword as well, then handed it back to him.
"A sword doesn't choose its opponent," Ben started his lecture. "An immature swordsman will cut things that don't even need to be cut with his unskilled blade, like themselves, like what they are trying to protect. Until you're able to only cut what needs to be cut, do not untie that knot."
Ben pushed them through a 2 hour practice, showing them offensive and defensive techniques as well as proper footwork that would aid them in battle. He also showed them several stances used in battle.
"As a warrior, I'm sure you two will discover your own techniques and styles, grow and develop your own style of fighting, use your strengths to your fullest, and further more, know thyself, know thy enemy, and you will always come out victorious!" he added, ending their training for today.
When they began to set out, Ben claimed his place on the roof of the carriage and invited Ian to join him.
"Ian, as we continue on our journey, I am sure we will come up against invisible, or rather, stealthed enemies. We will need to learn to trust our senses other then our eyes," Ben explained to him, "close your eyes, learn to sense movement from within."
Ben closed his eyes, and attempted to feel the flow of movement around him, to no avail however, as much as he tried, he just couldn't seem to get it under his belt yet. Though he continued to try for the remaining journey until their stop in the city.
Posted on 2009-07-08 at 03:56:20.
Edited on 2009-07-08 at 04:00:37 by Tispers
Whoops, longer than expected. Too bad only two of you take the time to read the whole thing.
I almost decided to go back to sleep when I first woke the next morning. I would have gone through with my plan had I not realized that I was lying on a bed of plains grass in another world. Some part of my mind weighed the benefits of sleep and wakefulness and sent me an extra boost to help me get up to experience another day in this exciting new world.
Only Aeth and Gamet shared the morn with me when I got up, but before I did anything, Ray also woke up. I looked to Galen, to see if he was going to be up in the next moment, but he merely lay as silent as ever in deep slumber. I realized that he might be out for a while longer, considering how much magic he poured into healing last night, not to mention that he was involved in the fight also.
Ray let out a groan as he got up. From the way he pushed himself up I guessed he was sore also. As for myself, I no longer felt drained from my magical exertion, thanks to the rest, though my magic still ‘ached’ (if that was the right term) when I flexed it. I knew that I wouldn’t have the strength to power a full spell. In fact, I had barely enough power to cast the handful of tricks I had. The night’s rest restored my energy, but I wasn’t ready to use it yet.
I picked my book up and laid it flat across my lap. Slowly I inhaled, filling my lungs from the bottom first, then top, as they taught in band class. Using half-remembered meditation techniques combined with intuition, I slipped into the right state of mind for my magical energy. Or ‘mana’ I guess—what did one call it?
By the time I finished my meditation, I felt as if I might have just woken up again feeling fully refreshed. What’s more, I was back at full magical strength and the ache had disappeared, which was wonderful.
After that, I opened the arcanabula in my lap, and flipped through the pages, each containing the full details of casting that spell—both in the mind and when it came time to unleash it on the world—as well as a few notes in plain English to accompany the nonsense. I paused on the page for the Prestidigitation cantrip. What did that do again? It changed the colour of things and made them float or what not. Magic tricks. I looked over the notes scrawled in any free space around the page—true to my own fashion. With a little study, I discovered that the spell could be used to clean or dirty things, among a small variety of other tricks.
With a pointed thought at the reddish brown bloodstain covering my abdomen alongside those three claw holes, I decided that it was worth a try. I added it to the prepared spell ‘bubbles’ in my mind upon discovering that I had more room today. How did this happen? Was it because I was getting stronger? Perhaps this was the equivalent of getting harder muscles after exercising for a while? Whatever the case, I also prepared another spell, spending ten minutes total setting them into my memory.
Around me Ben, Ian, and Ray had taken up hitting each other with sticks while Galen meditated over his cards. Gamet had taken to grooming his poor mares while Aeth spoke with him quietly. Lady Emerita sat with her head bowed and her hands folded in her lap as if she were praying or meditating herself, or something similar. Our mounted guards watched the three exchange blows.
I cast the spell and started by focusing on cleaning the area immediately around where I was wounded. Almost immediately the bloodstain leapt free of the cloth as if the two were oil and water. I was impressed by the effectiveness of the cantrip, and finished shooing away the blood on my clothes, then went to show the fighters my new trick. As for Galen, his clothes had nothing worse than a few days of dust and maybe a small grass stain clinging to them. Ray, on the other hand had been scratched twice in the abdomen, and Ben was positively covered in his own dried blood—and perhaps a bit from his enemies. I thought about offering my services to Aeth and them, but they were in the same condition as Galen, mostly, not to mention that I didn’t want to draw attention to myself by asking.
The morning was much more laid back than yesterday. We were apparently close enough to Corazon that we had nothing to fear from taking our time on the way. Aeth even took the time to join the fighters, so there were two even pairs. Before long we set out for the south. Gamet commented that we would probably see the city long before we actually arrived. “You can see somebody sneakin’ up on you from three days away here,” he said, “and the tallest thing for the next mile and a half in any direction is him as stands up, lest he sees a tree.”
We travelled south at a leisurely pace for mercy on the horses. To either side of the road lay miles of flatness and farmland, with the occasional path branching off that likely led to the homestead of the peasants working that patch of land. It was about an hour before Corazon was actually spotted, then for another two or three after that until we arrived at Corazon’s north gates. I personally spent most of my time continuing the notes I made about a pair of new spells that occurred to me yesterday, and marvelling at my newfound ability to use a quill.
Because it is already very late and I have to sort through my last description of the Cat’s Cradle Inn before we redo it, I will post more at my earliest convenience. You could possibly do something while you wait, but there isn’t much you can do, nor do I expect anything anyway.
Also, for Galen, it seems like an hour of meditation is pretty much universal for divine casters, so it seems only fitting to give the Metapsyche the same.
EDIT: I'm still doing this in two posts, even though it's not really that late. I thought of something else that I should mention here, but it has been lost.
Posted on 2009-07-08 at 07:58:16.
Edited on 2009-07-09 at 03:22:40 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Has anyone else noticed that when I do a 2-post update, I take forever on the second post?
Twelve of the Clock
3rd Day after Arrival
Corazon – Capital of Gaellus
On the cobblestone streets of the city, the careening antics of the carriage were noticeably lessened to more of a steady roll. Three days after waking up in this foreign world, we had finally come to civilization—its sights, and its sounds, right down to its smells. As we passed in the streets, civilization bore down on us, though we found it to be not unbearable. The folk in the street parted a respectful distance while going about their daily business, but otherwise ignored our presence.
I wondered where we might be dropped off now that Emerita no longer required us. The deal was that we get a ride to the city in exchange for guard service over the journey, but now what? My stomach let out a warm-up snarl, which made me wish that we had put more time into planning what we would do once we arrived.
Gamet casually tugged this way or that on the reigns, guiding the carriage through the streets. As he drove, he talked at Ben without need for reply, as he usually did. “I have a favourite place to stay when I come down to Corazon, and my lady asked that we go there first. She’s somethin’ else, our lady—she takes more after her father, our lord Victor, than her mother. Ah, here we are. Just around the next corner and we’re there.”
The establishment sat on its own with a stable, surrounded by the street on all sides. It was two stories tall and had a solid base of stone for the first floor, with a wooden second story, painted dark brown and cream. A sign sticking out into the street above the door as well as an identical one on the face of the building proclaimed this to be the Cat’s Cradle Inn and Drinking Den, with a picture of a cat curled up asleep above the letters.
Gamet let us off at the front door, which was set off the street by a short path, and took the carriage and guards around to the stables where they could get some attention for their horses. We didn’t wait long for them to return and soon entered the Cat’s Cradle with Gamet leading the way.
“Hey, Katrina!” he called to a short, shrewd-looking old woman with her greying hair done up in a bun sitting at the front desk. She looked up and recognized Gamet. “Is the back room free right now?” he asked. At her answer, he led us to a door in the back. “Thanks. Could you see if you can get one o’ them sons of yours to serve us up some lunch? For eleven.”
The room featured first and foremost a pair of pushed together tables in the centre, with enough chairs to accommodate a group several people larger than ours, and an orange tabby sunbathing on a side table. Everyone took their seats around the table, with Aeth never straying far from his lady Emerita.
After a short while, lunch arrived with a knock, carried by a young man with pair of trays. Several times during lunch Gamet left the room to see to some business or other.
(Anyone wish to chat during lunch?)
After lunch was finished Aeth presented Ruiel and Barig with small pouches that looked to be well weighed down with their burden of coins. The guards accepted them with thanks and left with smiles on their faces. Before anyone else could try to stand up, thinking it was time to go, Aeth closed the door behind them. “If they’re smart, we’ll never get to hire those two again,” he told the door quietly. “At least they won’t go telling any stories.”
Aeth stepped to his chair, but remained standing behind it. “As such, we shall be needing guards for our return trip to Miel, after my lady is finished with her business in Corazon. Also, my lady has chosen to take the shorter, more direct route for our return, so we shall only require at most two guards. We are prepared to pay part in advance as a symbol of our agreement that you will remain in Corazon to act as guard when needed and we will hire you. Does any one of you wish to take the job?”
(Discuss amongst ourselves first shall we, then the two most eager (by which I mean Ben and a second person) will take the job, if any, earning ten gold nobles each as advance pay. Aeth notes that he expects not to leave sooner than a week has passed, so the contracted individuals have pretty free range during that time.)
“With that business concluded,” Lady Emerita spoke up, “I think it’s about time we went our ways. Aeth will see to your payment for services rendered, and I thank you, my impromptu guards, without whom I’m afraid we may have been overcome. But let’s not think of what might have been. Since you are new to this city and even this country, I give you Gamet’s recommendation of these lodgings to stay at whilst you remain within the city. In fact, I have such strong recommendation I had Gamet purchase rooms for the night, and the following two days, for each for you.” The lady seemed to have a slight mischievous gleam to her eye as she said the last part.
“I don’t mean to pry, but it seems that an example has already been set,” said Aeth as he placed the last pouch of coins before Ben. “I would advise that you first purchase new clothing, as you would easily be singled out as foreigners in your current attire.” By this time, everyone had risen from their seats. “Actually,” Gamet told us, “I would advise that you first get yourselves to a bathhouse. You lot look like you’ve been dragged behind the carriage, rather than ridin’ it. There’s one around the corner, and a tailor’s just beyond that.”
“Next we shall stop at the temple of Gemini, if you would be so kind as to guide us there, Gamet,” said Lady Emerita as we left the back room behind. Gamet bid to see us later as he went around to the stables to fetch the carriage. As they climbed into the carriage, the lady and her bodyguard bid us goodbye. Within very short order, we were once again alone in this world without guidance. I didn’t even know where to begin until a pair of keys were thrust into my hand by the short woman, Katrina, with the comment, “Second Floor.”
(We’re just about there. Literally only one or two DM posts away from being where we were when we restarted a year and a bit ago. I’ll describe our rooms again in the next post, but I figure I’ve given you guys plenty to respond to as it is. Be sure to leave a note which section you’re backposting to (lunch, Aeth’s offer, just after Emerita, or as we’re standing here in the common room of the Cat’s Cradle) I would recommend sending e-mails to each other if you are trying to co-ordinate yourself with anyone else. Anyone who peeks in their baggy finds fifty gold nobles, though I'd wait to get to your room before counting this windfall.)
Posted on 2009-07-15 at 06:29:20.
Edited on 2010-04-28 at 21:04:32 by Sibelius Eos Owm
Ben contently ate his lunch as he listened to Aeth's conversations. He wanted to learn the customs of this land so Ben tried his best to pay attention to everything that was going on.
Aeth stepped to his chair, but remained standing behind it. “As such, we shall be needing guards for our return trip to Miel, after my lady is finished with her business in Corazon. Also, my lady has chosen to take the shorter, more direct route for our return, so we shall only require at most two guards. We are prepared to pay part in advance as a symbol of our agreement that you will remain in Corazon to act as guard when needed and we will hire you. Does any one of you wish to take the job?”
Almost as quickly as Aeth had asked the question Ben raised his hand in the air to volunteer himself.
"I would be grateful if you allowed myself to accept this task," he almost blurted out.
Ben looked around at his friends to see who would be joining him in the quest. He was almost certain that Ray would be the next to volunteer, as he felt that Ray had a strong sense of justice, though he could be wrong. Taking the bag of coins, he divided them equally among his friends so that they would have 50 gold a piece. Realizing that he had no idea how the currency of this world might work he turned to Aeth for assistance.
"Um Aeth, I am unfamiliar with this currency, how does it work in this country?" he asked and listened as Aeth explained to him. "Oh so it goes like this then? Ok thank you."
He hoped that his friends were paying attention to that little conversation. Ben really didn't want to have to explain it again, it would be too bothersome.
"A bath is sounding pretty nice right about now, though should we check out our rooms first?" he asked Owen, not sure what to do first.
Posted on 2009-07-16 at 08:03:08.
Edited on 2009-07-16 at 22:39:06 by Tispers
While eating the filling food at the Cats Cradle Inn, it catches my ear that Aeth and Lady Emerita will want two out of the six of us to act as guards on the way back. After swallowing the mouth full of food which I was presently chewing on, i decided to speak up. This, was however, after Ben had announced his own interest in guarding the two.
I look to Lady Emerita, the wonderful young lady who had essentially saved our lives, and respected us to the point of treating us as equals. She was most certainly a person to admire and look up to. If I could guard her well being, I would consider it a privilege. I would say that she is one of the few that has gained my respect, and she has done it within such a short time period.
"Lady Emerita." I whisper to the young lady as the other continue to consume their food and make casual conversation. "I wish to... well, redeem myself from my past performance. I believe that I have gotten better in combat and believe that I can now be considered qualified for the purposed escort mission Aeth has mentioned. I am begging you to allow me to join your party." I then await her answer. upon which I thank her and continue to finish my meal while making other plans for the next few days.
I think about this new city, and how different civilization might be from our own. I am a bit hesitant at first, for I do not really know where everything is, nor what dangers urban life might hold. Will I find myself in an alley way with cut throats, or perhaps break some unknown rule and have trouble with the guards? A whole bunch of problems could occur. I decide to initiate a proposal to my comrades.
"Gentlemen, we should do as Gamet said. We should all head down to the bath house and then to the tailor. Once we have accomplished these objectives, we should go shopping for supplies, but go in groups. I would suggest that we go in the following:
Galen and Ben
Ian and Owen
Jeremy and Raymond
This way, we have a sort of combat balance, in case the worst should arise. Alternatively, we could shop by our interests:
Ben, Ian, Raymond
Galen, Jeremy, Owen
This way we could get our materials more efficiently (presumably) and still be in rather safe groups. I suppose we could all go as one, but that would be rather inefficient, and we would cover less ground.
Posted on 2009-07-17 at 04:16:45.
Edited on 2009-07-20 at 04:09:39 by Shades331
I has a money, but I don't know what to do with it.
"Um Aeth, I am unfamiliar with this currency, how does it work in this country?" Ben asked Aeth.
Aeth raised an eyebrow at Ben. "It works no or little different than the currency across most of the world." He picked a silver coin out of his own pouch. "First of all, Gaellan coins have the profile of our King Eddemus on one face and a crown on the opposite, with the name 'Gaellus' printed on both rims of the crown face, and 'King Eddemus' on the portrait face."
Aeth reached into his pouch again and drew what appeared to be half of a gold coin. "Naturally, the price of copper, silver, and gold will vary, but barring times of crisis, ten coppers make a silver noble, and ten silvers make a gold noble." Holding up his half-coin, he says, "Obviously half-nobles are worth half the price of the full coin." Putting the coins away, he continued, "Coppers are everyday small-item currency, Silvers are used most often in transactions and wages, with Gold being reserved for large dealings and nobles' fortunes. If you ever see a platinum royal, those coins are sure to attract attention--they're worth ten gold each, under normal cicrumstances--and are usually only seen in very large scale transactions and in fairy tale treasures."
"Now, is that everything you needed to know, or did you need me to go over the process of exchanging currency for goods from merchants?" Though his tone remained level, the rare smile spreading across Aeth's countenance revealed that this was seemingly his attempt at a joke.
"Oh so it goes like this then? Ok thank you." Ben was satisfied.
Posted on 2009-07-17 at 04:51:34.
Edited on 2009-07-17 at 04:52:31 by Sibelius Eos Owm
"Um, I'd suggest the latter, Ray." Galen piqued up, his soft voice probably hardly reaching the others amidst the ambient noise, "Going in twos would be a bit slow for simply shopping, and the main thing is that we don't go alone. This is the city after all, so if trouble arises, the main idea would be to avoid it and leave it to the city guard or whatever."
Yet, as Galen spoke, his mind was elsewhere. Clothes. Yes, denim pants coupled with a shirt and sweater were everyday clothes before, but here, in a world where industry only reached the level of linen, cotton or silk, they stood out like someone wearing one of those stereotypical superhero costumes. Galen rolled his eyes inwardly. He never did really fancy that sort of thing... the powers could be interesting, but ultimately, there were too many repetitive aspects of that sort of fantasy.
But that was getting off track... Galen refocused on clothing... he honestly wasn't sure about what to get. It was a bit premature as well, since he hadn't found the key to shapeshifting yet in his cards. Even so, he would try to get clothes along the boundary. A skirt was out of the question, since he didn't think he passed that well as a girl, and of course, he wasn't entirely sure about the reactions of the others. Maybe a tunic with a lower hem...
He sighed inwardly. He had initially thought that transition would be easier in this world, since he was new, and thus didn't truly have connections yet to any of the residents, but it didn't seem like it would be. He would still ultimately have to face the reactions of his friends. He didn't have the courage for that either just yet.
Galen stood up, his plate only half empty; he didn't honestly eat that much, as most of the others knew.
"I'm going to head to the bathhouse. I'll probably end up taking the longest anyway because of my long hair; I want to give it a thorough wash." He told the others, before heading down the hall. Inwardly, he hoped that there would be separate stalls.