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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Rules-based RPGs --> Dungeons and Dragons --> The Embodiment - A FUZIONfantasy Game
Parent thread: The Embodiment Q&A
GM for this game: Bromern Sal
Players for this game: Vanadia, suicidolt, Blammm, YeOlde, gboy
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    Messages in The Embodiment - A FUZIONfantasy Game
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Bromern Sal
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Introduction

He could still hear it far behind him, howling its rage, and he shivered as he pulled his cloak tighter about his armored shoulders with a gloved hand. The lantern light danced a hypnotic pattern about the stone wall surrounding the portal where his companion crouched, and the cold mountain air caught with each breath causing it to mist in front of him.

“Well?” His voice echoed in the stone tunnel. It had been smoothed by long-forgotten artisans and it carried the sound of their every move as though they were sticks on the crests of waves.

Emald turned his thin face towards the leader of the expedition and rested his right arm across his knee as he looked up at the rest of them. He bore a bandage about his forehead that was stained a dark red from their previous encounter with a cavebear just hours before. Indric hadn’t bothered to heal him—D’Hurgen would rather see the rogue dead and in his halls, than healed and vibrantly alive—so, the smallish man had just endured.

“This ‘ere is trapped alright,” the sallow-faced man acknowledged. “Khord’s did it, er someone with jus’ as much stone knowledge as I figures it.”

“Can you disarm it?” Lontruno growled. The thief preferred to take his time with just about everything, and it was getting annoying to the Sendrian swordsman.

“I think so, though it’ll take time, an’ then we still don’t know if it’ll be magically trapped,” Emald shrugged and continued to watch with his wide eyes.

“Leave that to me,” Guliril said softly, her long, black hair flowing from beneath the cowl of her crimson red hood like silk to rest on her milky-white chest, reflecting softly in the pale yellow of the lantern Mescard held.

“I ain’t about to touch the thing ‘til you check against magic, Wizard,” Emald grinned wryly revealing a mouthful of rotting teeth. “I don’t fancy being toasted anymore than I fancied being torn apart by that damn bear.”

“You should learn to run faster,” Mescard chuckled. The man had led them here to this ancient tomb by following landmarks Lontruno’s studies had noted as well as providing a useful skill in wilderness lore.

“Get to it,” Lontruno ordered Guliril as he turned to squint back the way they’d come, unable to make out Adgenis’ form in the black where he stood watch some distance away. The man had a magical ring that allowed him to see in the dark, so it had made sense to put him at the back. “We don’t know how much time we have before we’re discovered, and I’d prefer not to have to fight our way out of here.”

“As you command,” the wizard lowered her head and stepped past him, her staff raised as she began to utter her incantation. Emald scrambled behind her, scratching at his disheveled mop of hair and eyeing the cold, beautiful woman with some unease. Her incantation spilled forth with lilting verse that caused her eyes to momentarily glow with a golden hue before settling to a thin membrane of bronze light over her pupils. She stared at the large, round wall etched with runes whose meaning was lost to Time for a moment before her lips slowly parted.

“There is magic here,” she breathed. Lontruno held up his hand unnecessarily to stall the thief from moving forward again, watching the only woman who’d joined him on this expedition with some interest as she continued to stare—as though in a trance—at the door blocking them from their goal. After another minute passed, Guliril spoke again, “It is a very powerful magic…ancient and potent.” Her face turned from the door to stare with those bronze-lit eyes at Lontruno. “It is of multiple schools of magic.”

“Then this is definitely the right place,” Lontruno smiled and scratched at his fresh beard as he turned his attention to the portal. After a brief passage of time, he shifted the large, leather belt pouch he wore at his waist to the front and pulled from within it a book bound in ratted leather. Stained and appearing to be ready to fall apart, Lontruno held it with the delicacy of a father cradling his newborn for the first time. He flipped through the brittle pages with careful patience before settling on one in particular near the back.

“…Though there be many to choose from, only the true tomb will bear the Mark of All; all that went into sealing it…ah, here it is. Did you prepare the spells I asked you to prepare, Guliril?”

“I did.”

“Then, I suggest that you begin.”

The wizard once again began her incantation, her staff held high, her left hand bearing a single, ornate ring, working strange symbols upon the air. Her words echoed through the tunnel with a ghostly resonance and then there was a flash of white light, and the runes at the bottom of the portal lit with a silver hue. Guliril took a deep breath and began to cast again. When she’d finished this time, the whole of the wall glowed yellow for a second before the magical energy ran down its surface like water to collect in the next set of runes making them glow silver as well. Eight more times, and for what seemed like an eternity to the others, Guliril cast her magic until all of the runes were glowing their liquid silver casting such a pale, overbearing light that even that of the lantern was diminished. When finished, the wizard settled against her staff and moved towards the wall neither expecting, nor receiving, a thank you for her work let alone a helping hand in her momentary weakened state.

“Your turn, Emald,” Lontruno motioned the little man forward with impatience while Indric, Mescard, and Guliril looked on in hunger.

“You sure it’s—“

“You were brought for one purpose, Emald, and one purpose only. Should you become a burden, I assure you there will be no returning home for you,” Lontruno smiled, though his narrowed eyes didn’t carry any warmth in them.

“Fine,” Emald sniffed and wiped the palms of his hands on his thighs as he approached the portal once more. He peered at the glowing, silver-hued liquid flowing within the runes out of the corner of his eye as he gingerly crouched within a foot of them. Muttering under his breath, he produced a series of iron and metal tools wrapped in simple burlap.

The stones at the foot of the portal were smoothly crafted, making it difficult to wedge his crowbar within their seams, and it took him longer than he’d have liked to achieve purchase. Glancing over his shoulder he raised his eyebrows at Lontruno before returning to the task of lifting the heavy stone. It was long, arduous work and he received no assistance from the priest of D’Hurgen, the ranger, the wizard, or their illustrious leader, all of whom just watched. Mumbling further, Emald began to address the system that had been rigged beneath the stone.

It wasn’t a pressure plate that he had to worry about, but something that would have activated once the portal was opened. He’d guessed that there would either be two stones brought together to crush those in the doorway and reseal the door, or blades. He wouldn’t know until they’d actually stepped through the portal, but he’d found a bit of stone chipped away near the door that had revealed the hollow chamber and what was surely the activating chains within, small as it had been.

It took close to a half hour for the thief to finish his work, during which time Lontruno had once sent Mescard back up the tunnel to check on Adgenis, but otherwise they’d all just stood around watching in silence as he worked.

“There’d better be a large amount of wealth behind this door,” Emald sniffed as he pushed himself to his feet and dusted his hands once again on his pants before turning to Lontruno and stepped back from the door. “Trapped no more, your lordship.”

Lontruno Neusiman stepped closer, the book still in hand.

“Epirro nia thi daii su naiya peyl!”



Lontruno coughed blood onto his sleeve and leaned against the wall, allowing his sword arm to hang limply at his side as he strained to see in the darkness. They’d lost Emald there at the portal. The words that had been scripted to open the door hadn’t just opened it, but they’d cracked the stone in half, toppling one heavy piece on the unfortunate thief. There may have been an opportunity for Emald to have escaped that gruesome death had it not been for Mescard pushing the little man forward in his haste to scramble out of the way.

Lontruno took a ragged breath deep into his burning lungs and pushed away from the wall, rising once more to his unsteady feet. There was very little light in this chamber, so deep beneath the mountain face…so far from that infernal door! He was alone now, having just left Guliril’s bloody, mangled corpse lying on the freezing stone floor where she’d fallen, her throat ripped out, her beautiful eyes burned from her skull. Mescard had been killed a few hours earlier, his intestines pulled up through his mouth by the unseen force that hunted them. Adgenis had died when they’d first encountered the cursed sarcophagus. The stout warrior had stood at Lontruno’s side as the transparent, milky white mist had tumbled from the broken seal to take on the form of a man made of swirling smoke and glowing red eyes. He’d raised his shield as Lontruno darted to the side, but it had been too late. The being had crushed Adgenis’ skull within his helmet causing brains and blood to spill from the rent metal like pudding from a toppled bowl. The warrior hadn’t even screamed, and his skull had seemed to put up no resistance to the crushing force of the creature’s strength.

That had been when Indric had yelled for them to run, and had begun a prayer to D’Hurgen. That had been when Indric had died. Lontruno hadn’t run like the priest had suggested, but had turned, sword in hand, to watch as the smoky being turned to face the bearded priest, and proceed to send pieces of his body flying in all directions as though he’d been drawn and quartered.

That was then…then…similar to the then when Lontruno had conceived of the plan to seek out this tomb and knowingly unleash this beast…this creature…this demigod. Power would surely have been his as thanks for breaking the creature from his ancient prison. Power and wealth, might and glory. He’d have brought Sendria into a rein like no other in all of Antaron’s history with the might he’d planned on wielding.

“Foolish,” Lontruno breathed as he slowly rounded a thick pillar to step further into the limited lantern light still left by his fallen companions. He’d thought himself prepared with the amulet he’d found in that rotting wooden shack deep in the Swamps of Kedesh where he’d first stumbled upon the book.

Before then he’d always thought of liches as undead locking themselves away in towers, or places such as this crypt he’s led them all to die within, and had never thought to come across one in a worm-filled shack nearly half submerged by thick, green, brackish water. He’d survived the encounter, but just barely—the first step towards this… this end. Anger welled up inside of him as he turned about, sword held ready in his tired hand. He’d had this creature sweep towards him in playful attack for some time now, and had experienced many minor cuts from what appeared as insubstantial claws, but were, in fact, appendages able to slice like a sharpened blade through his armor and clothing.

“Do it!” he screamed into the darkness. “Do it already! Kill me!”


He hurt. He was positive that this thing wasn’t going to let him leave the tomb alive, but was confused as to why it toyed with him. This fueled his anger, and caused him to scream violently at the shadows until his voice cracked and gave way. “Do it,” he whispered raggedly, his eyes darting about in search of that which harbored his end.

A chill climbed his back, starting at the base of his spine and rolling slowly, methodically, up to the bottom of his skull. He wanted to turn about, but he couldn’t. He was frozen in place. Only his jaw and eyes were able to move. He felt his lungs seize, his heart stop beating, and all he could do was grind his teeth and dart his eyes about frantically, aware that the being known as Bizarcat of the Bedlam was behind him, touching him, entering his body. A searing fire ate at the marrow of his bones and expanded into the muscles. Tears formed in his eyes as his body went rigid, his sword falling to clank loudly against the stone floor.

”I freed you,” he thought desperately as the corners of his vision began to darken. ”I freed you! And this is how you reward me?”
We need you. The words filled his mind, engulfing his consciousness in a repeated cacophony of voices that sounded as though they came from a massive hall. You have set us free, and you shall be rewarded. The sentence was a whisper amidst the chorus uttering the other phrase over and over again, and then, suddenly, it all stopped and Lontruno was returned to his pain, his suffocation, as his body began to lift from the ground, his back arching, his arms and legs spread wide.

Lontruno Neusiman’s voice was given substance and he screamed in such agony that it bore spirit and scarred the ceiling overhead. His fingertips, his toes, his eyes, his tongue, every extremity began to glow, and then shoot forth light in streams that extended to the walls, ceiling, and floor of the chamber.

WE NEED YOU!
You shall be rewarded.
His body exploded into hundreds of motes of light that darted about the cavernous expanse of the tomb in frenzy. Only two remained still: one where Lontruno’s heart had been, and the other his brain. These two drifted slowly towards one another until they touched.

You have been rewarded.
I have been…I am…you.



The D’Oro Estate | The Empire of Drannon | Outside of The City of Drefast | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:00pm | Abnormally Warm


The warmth of the fire was almost entirely unnecessary within the coziness of the drawing room, but Ethain had stoked it nonetheless. The room wasn’t the largest in the D’Oro estate, but it was one where Caterina could find relative peace. Where noblewomen of the Empire often spent their evenings embroidering, darning, or knitting, Caterina hadn’t been held to such expectations for some time. The way she occupied her time was unique and so soon after her loyal manservant and squire Ethain had served dinner, she was content to sit and watch the last traces of sunset kiss the rooftops of the distant Drefast through the clear, if somewhat distorted view, the picture window provided her.

Life for Caterina D’Oro had been filled with what some would call adventures since the murders of her brother and father. She’d made many friends, encountered many amazing things, and endured much hardship while serving Rydor, and some within polite society whispered in awe at her deeds. Bards sang her praise, painting her in a glorious, haloed light within their tales and songs, for she was The Right Hand of Rydor, a name she’d earned when the God of Justice had worked through her to bring about a swift end to the life of the man who’d slaughtered her family. Word of her righteous might had spread quickly from the bloodied halls of her neighbor’s estate where she’d stood over the body of a childhood friend who’d been overcome by jealous indignation to such a degree that he’d sought justice through the deaths of those he’d imagined had dishonored him.

She’d left her estates shortly after; unable to endure the looks of reverent awe, or even fear, those she’d hired to care for the place had cast her way. From that time she’d been unable to avoid her calling even if she’d tried. She remained humbly aware that it is Rydor who empowers her, and the people came to recognize her as a pillar of strength, a shield for the weak, and a sword against injustice across Antaron. She’d been unable to avoid the fame, unable to avoid the recognition wherever she went in her resplendent golden armor—the armor that had been her brother’s and that had been recast to her shape after it had been nearly destroyed in combat. The name, The Right Hand of Rydor, was now known all across the land, and Caterina reveled in the peace the Festival celebrations brought her as it had drawn all of her house servants to the city for the parades, shows, and revelries. It left her in peace, tended by the loyal and silent Ethain—the poor boy had been subject to a slash across the throat during one of their adventures and had been rendered mute despite Rydor’s blessed healing.

Caterina’s life hadn’t all been successes in the glory of Rydor. She’d experienced great loss, and recently as well. Her heart still ached though it had been over a year since he’d vanished without word, without a trace. She could still picture the sweep of his black hair across his brow, his kind, brooding eyes, his strong features: Zin Raida had been a recognized champion of the Empire, a landed knight who had taken an interest in Caterina and looked past her devotion to Rydor enough to see who she was inside. He’d courted her for some time in a loving, caring relationship that is a rare thing between people accustomed to war, and then, he’d vanished. His estates were still run by his servants, and his brother worked to keep it profitable, but Sir Zin Raida was nowhere to be found, and Caterina felt his loss explicitly.

Caught up in her emotion, even for the moment, the Right Hand of Rydor might have missed the sound of crashing crockery were it not that there was no other sound in the estate than the cracking and popping of the fire. Under normal circumstances she could have just ignored the sound as the servants cleaned up their mess, but Ethain was one of those meticulous individuals that never broke anything, and the crashing of plates to the floor was so alien that Caterina found herself rising quickly from the comfort of the oversized chair—her father’s chair—and gliding gracefully out the door to the balcony that overlooked the entry hall.

It was here that her experience came into play most judiciously. Most failed to carry a weapon while in their home, but after witnessing the murders of her unarmed brother and father while they prepared for celebration, Caterina always carried her sword. The weapon was touched by magic and bearing the inscription Justicia y Deber along its polished blade it was a recognized tool of Justice by any who knew her. True to form, Caterina carried the sheathed weapon with her as she exited the room, having picked it up from where it rested against the arm of the chair as she swept by.

It was on the landing as she stepped through the door, crouched over Ethain’s body. It was covered in a thin, fiery red fur. Its head was oversized and bore resemblance to that of a bull, though Its mouth was broader and filled with fanged teeth dripping saliva instead of the rounded, smooth teeth of an herbivore. Its upper body was massively muscled, with bits of blackened chainmail actually fused to its flesh, seeping yellow puss between the links. Caterina would have mistaken it for a minotaur were it not for the large black feathered wings protruding from its back like those of an oversized crow. There was a seething red glow to its eyes, and a strange symbol branded upon its forehead the likes of which Caterina had never seen.

As she stepped into the space between the railing and the door, the creature lifted its head, its fanged mouth opening; its lips curling as it slowly withdrew a black sword from Ethain’s lifeless body, causing it to shift and jerk, caught up in a violent spasm of nerves. In a moment, Caterina knew that the squire had been attacked from behind while he climbed the stairs, his spine severed, a desert of sweetbread, dried fruit, and red wine intended for her being carried on a tray. Now, the desert lay scattered at her feet, the tray against the railing, the wine staining the carpet along with Ethain’s dark blood.

“You are to die now, Knight,” the creature heaved each word from its mouth as though it were a pain-filled effort while it drew a long, thin black dagger from behind its waist. “This was intended for you: Compliments of the Eloquent Mask of Obarin.”




The Simple Sod Tavern | Pardinal | The City of Portua | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:00pm | Storming


Dinner had been served. It consisted of a nice kidney pie, two pheasant drumsticks, a couple of slices of cracked wheat bread with churned butter, a bowl of beef and lentil soup, and a mug of warmed honeyed ale. Sna’kti had the table to himself as he usually did. Despite his reputation (or maybe because of his reputation) he was still left alone by the majority of the human populace. He always drew attention to himself—that was about impossible not to do for a six foot tall felinian man of muscle, fangs, and whiskers. Especially since he wore nothing more than a dak’tar, steel bracers, and a sword belt to carry his sho’tal when most were bundled up against the raging storm outside.

The meal wasn’t necessarily cheap, but Sna’kti was no longer worried so much about expenses as his stomach. He could always find more coin, but the warmth of the tavern and the food hitting his belly wasn’t something he was about to do without. He’d been out in the storm recently and the black and gray fur that covered the whole of his body was wet. He emitted a particular odor—not that it bothered him, but those who’d been sitting at an adjacent table had found reason to depart within minutes of his arrival, so he had to admit that he smelled of wet fur. It was better this way. He would be allowed to eat in relative peace.

Just as he was digging into his first bite of kidney pie the door opened blasting the floor with cold, gray rain, and admitting four men in procession, each wearing the purple cloaks of city guard and the conical helmet with dull gray aventail sweeping their shoulders. As soon as the last of them was inside, the door was pushed closed once more and the men surveyed the room. It didn’t take long before all of their eyes fell on the broad-shouldered, well-muscled form of the kazari. There was no hesitation in their approach which told Sna’kti they’d been looking for him.

“You are Sna’kti Sarassi’ka?” the lead figure asked. He was a man of average height and build with brown to nearly black hair as evident by his broom-bristle mustaches and deep five o’clock shadow. The bags underneath his eyes and the crow’s feet at their edges placed him at middle-aged. The sash across his chest gave him the rank of captain.

“Is there another Kazari about?”

The captain narrowed his eyes at the dour question, but pushed into his purpose nonetheless. “You have been summoned by His Majesty and will attend immediately pertaining to matters of the utmost urgency. Your reputation precedes you…sir.”




Posted on 2008-11-01 at 23:52:23.
Edited on 2008-11-03 at 06:15:16 by Bromern Sal

YeOlde
Forever ♥
Karma: 86/11
1538 Posts


Sna'kti

The Simple Sod Tavern | Pardinal | The City of Portua | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:00pm | Storming
Sna’kti looked up from his kidney pie when the door open, a grimace coming to his face at the blast of the storm coming into the Tavern. He had just started to dry off from having been soaked by the downpour and though he might be stinking to the others in the room he at least was starting to feel warm again.

The rain had soaked him completely and chilled him to the bone; the blast of air from the open doorway only caused him to shiver a bit in remembrance. Seeing four men enter wearing the livery of the City Guard he raised an eyebrow wondering the they were after him for something.

Sna’kti had been known to be on the wrong side of the law from time to time; a creature had a right to survive and often when times were hard he had to resort to unsavory methods of obtaining money. Though he doubted it was anything like that this time as Portua was home to him and he tried not to do anything that would entice the watch to come looking for him.

When they closed the door and walked directly over to his table he thought that maybe he had been wrong.

“You are Sna’kti Sarassi’ka?” the lead figure asked.
Sna’kti glanced up and looked over the head of the guard patrol. He was a man of average height and build with brown to nearly black hair as evident by his broom-bristle mustaches and deep five o’clock shadow. The bags underneath his eyes and the crow’s feet at their edges placed him at middle-aged. The sash across his chest gave him the rank of captain.

“Is there another Kazari about?” Sna’kti said softly between bites.

He didn’t like being interrupted during his meal, especially since he had already paid for it. He had used most of his last bit of coin for this meal and a bed for the night and after what he had been through the last few days he needed some rest and good food.

The captain narrowed his eyes at the dour question, but pushed into his purpose nonetheless. “You have been summoned by His Majesty and will attend immediately pertaining to matters of the utmost urgency. Your reputation precedes you…sir.”
Sna’kti glanced up at the Captain again and sipped from his mug of warm honeyed ale as he mulled over what he had just heard. His Majesty? Who had he peeved off now? Matters of utmost urgency? It didn’t sound like they were here to arrest him, otherwise there would already be fighting. It sounded more like they needed his help? It peaked his curiosity.

“I am eating,” was all he said as he turned back to eating his kidney pie, and slurping his beef and lentil soup.

(Assuming a insistent response from the Captain)

The Kazari picked up his mug and took another sip of his honeyed ale as he looked up at the Captain and the determination on his face. He weighed his options; he knew he could probably take these four men with a sudden hand to hand attack, but then what kind of trouble he would be in.

Sitting the mug down after draining the last of it, he stood up and wiped his whiskers off on his arm. He had decided that his curiosity had the better of him; he had to know what his Majesty wanted for him.

“Well his Majesty had best feed me,” he said as he started towards the door, “I don’t like missing a meal.”

He stepped out of the Tavern into the storm again and waited for the City Guard to lead the way.



Posted on 2008-11-04 at 00:17:57.

Vanadia
Den Mother
RDI Staff
Karma: 111/12
1188 Posts


Distantly, trumpets blare

The crackling of the fire was a soothing counterpoint to Caterina’s thoughts. The room had always been cozy, the fireplace offsetting any chill from the large windows, glazed with precious glass, and was filled with memories of a patient girl, practicing over and over the tiny stitches for which the women of Aguilera D’Oro had been famous.

Had been. Every last member of the Aguilera D’Oro household had been slaughtered, save one, and years of swordwork had made her hands strong, but too inflexible to work a slender needle. Still, the room had been a favourite place, and since no-one had been actually killed in this room on that fateful day, Caterina could still find solace in its feminine air.

It was never easy being home, where Caterina had lost so much. Her family, the household staff (many of whom counted as family; so many generations had served), all had perished for one man’s pride, and while she’d managed to hire new staff over the years, they weren’t family. They feared her, somewhat, as many people did, for what had happened to her, and what she’d become. Caterina had survived a great tragedy, yet it marked her, and people avoided its taint when they could, as if tragedy and ill-fortune were contagious. And yet, they loved her, as the Hand of Rydor, the steely arm of justice and defender of the weak. Whether she wanted it or not, whether she deserved it or not, she was held to a high standard, placed atop a pedestal of adoration.

Neither the fear nor love had anything to do with Caterina herself, the person inside the symbols of tragedy and justice. Only two people had seen past the mantle of righteousness to the woman who wore it: Ethain as her squire-turned-manservant, and then Zin Raida. Even now, Caterina’s blood stirred at the thought of the man, his deep voice, bottomless eyes, and an intellect as keen as his sword. They’d much in common, being warriors of noble birth, and even as he pursued her with evident passion, he’d understood the responsibility of her destiny. Her life was not her own, given to Rydor and Merca, yet he seemed content to enjoy what time she had for herself.

That is, until he’d vanished, without a word, without a letter, with even his own staff silent on the matter. Caterina had suffered yet another loss, and while the people of Drannon saw only the serenely resolute visage they had always seen, Caterina ached within.

“Was I presumptuous, Lord Rydor, in hoping for love? Is there nothing of my life that I can call my own, that I can give freely of another?” she murmured, knowing the keep to be empty of all save Ethain. “I have been your loyal servant, forged of faith, tempered by training, and never have I asked for anything for myself. I have never regretted any of it, but some days, the armour weighs heavily upon me. Grant me your grace, oh Lord, that I may not question your Mercy.”

Even lost in her thoughts, a part of her remained alert, and the crash of crockery brought her back to the here and now instantly. Only Ethain had remained behind on this Festival night, and the careful lad was as likely to drop something this spectacularly as Caterina was likely to take up the scarves and bells of a courtesan.

Training took over, and Caterina glided to the hallway, sheathed sword in hand. Training kept her moving forward even as she took in the crumpled form of her dear manservant, nay friend, at the feet of a monstrosity. Her throat ached with the tears she could not allow, and she promised to grieve Ethain later, once she’d avenged him.

She drew her sword and tossed the sheath aside, and murmured a quick prayer to Rydor to steel her arm and harden her flesh to the blows of evil (Note to DM….not sure what benefit piety conveys on a god’s holy warrior…I’m hoping to cast the clerical equivalent of Armour on myself). She knew she would have to adjust her fighting style to account for her unarmoured and shieldless state, and the hallway would not make that easy. She’d need room to bring speed and agility into play against her foe’s bulk and superior reach.

“You are to die now, Knight,” the creature retched forth a challenge, drawing a long, thin black dagger from behind its waist. “This was intended for you: Compliments of the Eloquent Mask of Obarin.”

“I’ll be sure to repay the compliment, fiend, just as soon as I send you back to hell!” Caterina responded, darting forward as if to strike. Before she was in reach, however, she reached out to grab the dropped tray, then retreated, intending to draw the monster into the drawing room to battle.

(OOC: won’t take combat too far; that should be enough for the opening round).


Posted on 2008-11-09 at 16:57:40.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 145/11
3911 Posts


A Fight, and a Meeting

The dread creature’s nose wrinkled at his prey’s response, and as Caterina began to utter her prayer for Rydor’s protection it lunged forward and slashed at her throat with the black dagger. The paladin arched backward, some strands of her hair being severed as they flew before her face, but the blade missed, and unfazed, she continued her prayer.

She’d been forced to take a step backward, allowing the massive reach of this demonic being to cover the range between them, and as she continued her prayer, it lunged again, but its hoof found no purchase on the fallen fruit and sweetbread, causing it to misstep and the blade to slash the air to her right. Caterina’s voice remained unwavering as she lifted it a bit louder.

The creature snarled a word that sounded as though it were heaving phlegm from its throat and lashed out again at his target, but Caterina ducked under the blow, her prayer uninterrupted, as she went underneath and towards the railing.

It wasn’t finished, rolling about and slashing once more, gray spittle flying from its mouth as its elusive prey once again dodged its attack, moving within a couple of feet of the tray. It was then that the last of her prayer was uttered and the warmth of Rydor’s protection washed over her engulfing her body in the sensation of being embraced while the air about her wavered and momentarily filled with motes of golden light that fell gently to the floor.

Caterina darted forward, her magical blade held back as though to strike, while it held its greatsword before it with one of its massive hands as it readied a defense, the left drawing the dagger back, its wicked blade poised to be buried in his foe’s flesh. His narrowed eyes widened slightly as the paladin’s stance suddenly changed and she ducked low to snatch the silver tray by its handle, recoiling from the creature’s proximity.

It snarled another word Caterina didn’t recognize just before lunging forward and slashing at her with its dagger. Caterina’s sword turned the attack aside with a heavenly ringing sound. Rolling to the left the paladin slashed at the creature, only half intent on successfully striking it as she determined to take the fight into the drawing room. The creature was intent upon stopping her retreat though, and it lunged forward prematurely, unable to rotate its massive body out of the way of her slashing strike, and Caterina felt her blade slice easily through the muscle of its shoulder.

It snarled in pain and slashed at her once more with the dagger while holding the greatsword ready to defend once more. But Caterina deflected the attack once more with her own blade. She felt the metal connect and her arm vibrated from the impact. The creature was very strong indeed, as strong as a horse at least, perhaps the strongest she’d ever faced.

Stepping backward, Caterina slashed again, attempting to keep the baleful creature at bay as she retreated towards the drawing room, and in doing so, her next slashing attack went wide as the beast withdrew its belly from danger. The beast followed closely, its eyes wide as it flipped the dagger about in its hand and brought it down in an overhead strike that Caterina was lucky to deflect; this time with a full knowledge of the potential force behind the blow.

She was forced to step backward, navigating by memory as she kept the fell creature in her line of sight. Upon feeling the doorframe strike her back at the left shoulder blade, Caterina spun into the warmth of the drawing room, slashing at the advancing beast as she did so. The tip of her blade cut deep into the pectoral muscle of Ethain’s killer releasing a gush of brackish blackish blood that poured down its ribs and mated with the hair of its lower body. Unfortunately, the attack didn’t appear to phase it, and this beast was much faster than its size would have indicated, and it was right on her, pressing through the doorframe with all of its bulk, its wings folding in tightly against its body, the dagger, not the sword, held ready before it, its wounds apparently not deterring its determined assault. With a bellow that echoed through the halls, the creature slashed at her with the dagger once more, a blow that she was again able to turn, though it had to of been a combination of the protection from her god and luck that effected her deflection of the blade. Again, her arm ached as the power of the blow was carried through her blade.

Within the drawing room, Caterina stood with the tray in hand, her bloodied longsword held before her ready to continue facing down the angered and wounded beast bearing the strange brand and the black-bladed weapons.




Sna’kti glanced up at the Captain again and sipped from his mug of warm honeyed ale as he mulled over what he had just heard.


“I am eating,” was all he said as he turned back to eating his kidney pie, and slurping his beef and lentil soup.


“I noticed,” the captain intoned with a dryness that didn’t match his wet condition. “But that doesn’t change the fact that the king of Pardinal has summoned you, Kazari. When a Menbren summons you, it is my duty to make sure that you acknowledge the summons with alacrity.”


The Kazari picked up his mug and took another sip of his honeyed ale as he looked up at the Captain and the determination on his face. He weighed his options; he knew he could probably take these four men with a sudden hand to hand attack, but then what kind of trouble he would be in.


Sitting the mug down after draining the last of it, he stood up and wiped his whiskers off on his arm. He had decided that his curiosity had the better of him; he had to know what his Majesty wanted for him.


“Well his Majesty had best feed me,” he said as he started towards the door, “I don’t like missing a meal.”


The weather hadn’t relented any and the soldiers did their best to show some dignity in the face of its wrath as they led the way, two in front, two behind Sna’kti through the nearly deserted streets towards the rain-slick black walls of the castle. It was a long walk and the rain made it a miserable one at that, but the benefit of being escorted by the guards was that they weren’t hindered as they went through the gate, or up the wide, sweeping stairs, or through the huge, reinforced doors. The halls inside were cold-looking and sparsely decorated, but guards were all over the place standing ready to respond to the slightest indication of danger. Sna’kti wasn’t led into the throne room, but down a stretch of halls that bore very little in the way of invitation to a room that must have been in the very back of the castle. It was here that he first met with the king of Pardinal: Beraunnis Menbren.

Beraunnis was seated in an oversize, cushioned chair covered with a deep blue felt. He was thin, frail-looking, and had a blanket over his lap that was thick and quilted. His head was cradled by another quilt that wrapped around his shoulders allowing it to rest in the crook of the chair’s embrace. The king’s hair was white, thin, and straggly, damp with sweat and stuck to his forehead and hollow-looking cheeks. His chin and upper lip were spotted with a thin layer of white facial hair, and his eyes appeared to be sunken. His hands were skeletal, and his left gripped the arm of the chair while the right firmly held a slightly bloodied rag. He wore a rich blue smoking gown, and the only pieces of jewelry on his person was the amulet about his neck and the signet ring on his right hand. At his side stood a tall fellow with the expression of a mortician. His face was long and angular. His hair was cut in a bowl cut and was as black as a moonless midnight. A thick mustache covered his upper lip, and his beady eyes were narrowed as they took in the appearance of the rain-soaked Kazari and his guard escort. His outfit was wealthy and of various shades of gold and red, and unlike the servants who attended the fire and the various other needs pertaining to the room, he carried a scimitar at his waste and the amulet about his neck had a gemstone that seemed to catch the limited light in the room and imprison it deep within.

There was also a priest of Lysora sitting near the fire. The man was plump and bore a flushed face. He wore the traditional garb of a temple priest, and carried no weapon. When Sna’kti and the guards entered, the feline noticed that the man glanced at him, but returned his gaze to the fire after seeing who it was who’d arrived.

“This is he then?” It was the man at the king’s side that spoke, not the king.

“It is, Lord Ontzlere.”

“Leave us.” Ontzlere didn’t move his body at all as he spoke, and the thickness of his mustaches kept Sna’kti from seeing his mouth move much as he spoke.

The guards saluted and then sharply made their escape, leaving Sna’kti alone in the room with the king, Lord Ontzlere, the priest of Lysora, and three servants.

“I hear tell that you are something to behold on the field of battle,” Lord Ontzlere spoke crisply and articulated everything very carefully.

(OOC: regardless of the answer.)

“The Kingdom has a need for your services.” Lord Ontzlere continued to stare at the Kazari without expression on his long face. “It seems that there’s a cave near the city of Visden where a creature was imprisoned some centuries ago. The scholars that were consulted on the matter have determined it from a previous rule where creatures of some power and dubious intention controlled the country. Historically speaking, the people—ancestors to the great families of this kingdom—rose up and deposed their rule, but they weren’t able to kill the most powerful of these, and just succeeded in imprisoning her. As you’ve likely surmised, her prison was within this cave.

“Unfortunately, it has been brought to our attention that the prison has been tampered with, and certain events in the area have led us to determine that this being is building her power, and still operating from this location. Of course, we’ve yet to be able to determine whether this is fact, or assumption as our scrying has been defeated, and no scout has yet returned. This is where you come in. The king would like you to travel to the cave and ascertain whether this threat exists, and should you determine you’ve an opportunity to put an end to the threat, the Kingdom would be most appreciative. If you determine that the threat is too great for you, return and we’ll send in the proverbial cavalry.

“You will, of course, be well compensated.”


Posted on 2008-11-09 at 23:46:22.

YeOlde
Forever ♥
Karma: 86/11
1538 Posts


The Royal Treatment

Sna’kti allowed himself to be escorted through the raging storm to the castle and each step put him in a fouler mood as his fur, which had been getting drier back at the tavern, was now drenched. He said nothing to the guard or the Captain, they seemed in as foul a mood as he and frankly he didn’t think they would be very good conversationalist.

Arriving at the castle he was surprised as that his escort didn’t take him to the throne room; apparently this was some kind of clandestine operation going on and that piqued his curiosity even further. His eyes took in all the lavish surroundings and shook his head slightly; it certainly paid to be royalty.

Entering the antechamber in the presence of the King, Sna’kti suddenly wished he wasn’t soaked to the bone and smelling of wet fur. He studied the ruler of Pardinal ad frowned slightly at the old man’s condition; he didn’t look good. He had heard that the man wasn’t well and that his son, Prince Benedict, had been running things in his stead.

As he approached the King he continuing his appraisal of the room; noting the strange man standing by the King and the cleric of Lysora sitting by the fireplace. Stopping before the King, Sna’kti looked at the old man and raised his hands, crossing them over his chest with his claws inward towards his body and bowed his head; the traditional greeting of respect among his people.

“This is he then?” It was the man at the king’s side that spoke, not the king.

“It is, Lord Ontzlere.”

“Leave us.” Ontzlere didn’t move his body at all as he spoke, and the thickness of his mustaches kept Sna’kti from seeing his mouth move much as he spoke.

The guards saluted and then sharply made their escape, leaving Sna’kti alone in the room with the king, Lord Ontzlere, the priest of Lysora, and three servants.

“I hear tell that you are something to behold on the field of battle,” Lord Ontzlere spoke crisply and articulated everything very carefully.

Sna’kti eyed this Lord Ontzlere; it appeared that this man was going to be the one explaining about what was going on here. He had never heard of this man before and that was strange, and he couldn’t help wonder exactly how much power this man had over things.

He shrugged at the man’s comment, said nothing, and only smiled slightly revealing a row of teeth designed to rend flesh.

“The Kingdom has a need for your services.” Lord Ontzlere continued to stare at the Kazari without expression on his long face.
“Not surprising!” Sna’kti said as he turned nonchalantly and walked over to the fireplace. He nodded again at the cleric as he stood in front of the fire to dry himself while he waited for the explanation he knew was forthcoming.

“It seems that there’s a cave near the city of Visden where a creature was imprisoned some centuries ago. The scholars that were consulted on the matter have determined it from a previous rule where creatures of some power and dubious intention controlled the country. Historically speaking, the people—ancestors to the great families of this kingdom—rose up and deposed their rule, but they weren’t able to kill the most powerful of these, and just succeeded in imprisoning her. As you’ve likely surmised, her prison was within this cave.
Sna’kti turned from the fire to look once again at Lord Ontzlere, it was more to warm and dry his back then from any need to look at the man while he spoke. Water dripped constantly from his body to puddle on the floor about his feet. He didn’t seem to care about the mess it might leave on the floor.

“Unfortunately, it has been brought to our attention that the prison has been tampered with, and certain events in the area have led us to determine that this being is building her power, and still operating from this location. Of course, we’ve yet to be able to determine whether this is fact, or assumption as our scrying has been defeated, and no scout has yet returned. This is where you come in. The king would like you to travel to the cave and ascertain whether this threat exists, and should you determine you’ve an opportunity to put an end to the threat, the Kingdom would be most appreciative. If you determine that the threat is too great for you, return and we’ll send in the proverbial cavalry.

“You will, of course, be well compensated.”

“Damn right I will!” He said with a chuckle and he glanced towards one of the servants who appeared to be standing by waiting for something to do.

“For starters,” he said to the servant, “bring me something to eat. Your guards interrupted my dinner.”

“So tell me,” he said turning back to look at Lord Ontzlere, “Who are you and where is the Prince? Why isnt he giving this little recruitment speech?"




Posted on 2008-11-11 at 01:25:44.
Edited on 2008-11-11 at 01:34:39 by YeOlde

Vanadia
Den Mother
RDI Staff
Karma: 111/12
1188 Posts


Bull-fighting is a Drannese sport, yes?

Caterina paced backwards about the room, its layout etched in her memory, and shook out her swordarm. She still held the tray in her left hand, and realized that it had been foolish to risk injury in order to snatch it up. The creature’s strength made a mockery of her thought to use it as a shield, and she could only hold it by one end or the other, making it impossible to add her arm’s strength to its blocking power.

Still, her golden eyes narrowed as she considered her foe, watching as it prepared to advance, the creature was fighting with two weapons, and so, it was best if she did, too. It was attacking solely with the black dagger, using the greatsword solely for defence, and Caterina could only conclude that the dagger was either poisoned, or enchanted. The creature plainly wished to kill her, but by the dagger, not the sword. She had to use that against the creature, somehow.

She moved deeper into the room in such a way as to place a couch between herself and the creature, where her sword’s reach was still deadly but the dagger would be less effective, being at the far end of the creature’s reach. When the “bull-crow” slashes at her with the dagger, Caterina will swing at it with the tray, intending to deflect it, and bring her sword arm in and up in a thrust at it’s chest and belly.


Posted on 2008-11-16 at 17:33:19.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 145/11
3911 Posts


And we add another...

The Castle | Pardinal | The City of Portua | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:25pm | Storming


The servant glanced at his master, his eyebrows raised a little and his mouth open with an unspoken question. When Ontzlere gave him the slightest of nods the young squire darted about the room so as to avoid even close proximity with the kazari, and then he was out through the same doors that the guards had just exited moments before.

“I am Lord Ontzlere, recently appointed chancellor of Pardinal,” Ontzlere’s tone was brisk and full of business. “I am going to assume that the prince you refer to is His Highness, Benedict, and not the exiled Prince Gen—“ Not many knew that Sna’kti had spent years adventuring with the exiled prince after they’d encountered one another in a rather dangerous situation and saved each other’s lives. They’d actually formed an adventuring company together with a young priestess of Lysora named Herai Enko, but Sna’kti hadn’t seen either of them in a couple of years. “—Prince Benedict is…above negotiations concerning this matter. I trust then that you’ve no further questions concerning my credentials, or the whereabouts of any further of the royal family, and as such I’ll continue with your assignment.”

The king wheezed and choked a bit, still having never even looked upon the felinian man in his study. Ontzlere placed his hand on the king’s shoulder and gave it a comforting pat before motioning towards a table set near a window that was still being assaulted by heavy raindrops. Upon the table was a map, its corners held in place by two bronze candlesticks elaborately detailed and bearing tall, thick, white candles that were acting as pedestals for dancing flames.

“If you would join me,” Lord Ontzlere said, his voice like dry leaves on the wind. “I will show you the proposed location of the cave. After which, you may spend some time studying the map while you eat, but I would ask that you keep your time here short as the longer His Majesty has visitors the weaker he becomes.”

The map depicted the coastline of Pardinal with some detail from the Railir Peaks to just west of Visden. There were various bits of information pertaining to taxes, some boundary designations for nobility’s holdings, and a newly inked depiction of a cave right on the coast, in what had to be shoreline, about half a day’s journey to the east of Visden.

“It shouldn’t be difficult to find,” Lord Ontzlere managed to draw out the word ‘find’ in such a manner as to leave it hanging in the air like a tempting treat. “A recent mudslide revealed the columns of the ancient structure, and allowed for those who discovered it to tamper with the protections that were in place about it. From all accounts the farms outside of Visden have been suffering disappearances of a very costly nature: both livestock and family, and at least two farms were completely razed.

“I trust that this storm won’t deter you from setting out immediately, Sna’kti. It is, after all, of great importance that we remedy this situation post haste. Oh, and the matter of compensation…The king has seen fit to offer one thousand fusat upon your triumphant return.”




The D’Oro Estate | The Empire of Drannon | Outside of The City of Drefast | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:00pm | Abnormally Warm


The beast’s foul breath filled the warm air of the chamber like a putrid, rotting piece of fish. Its bulk engulfed the balance of the room and dwarfed the woman knight, but this did not affect Caterina D’Oro. She was looking for her opening, looking for a way to bring this encounter to an abrupt end, and as her plan developed she boldly straightened, inviting the demonic being to attack.

Obliging, the creature took a heavy step forward and lashed out with its dagger once more. Caterina flipped the tray up as quick as she could, and the subsequent ringing of the silver-caste tray against the black steel dagger sounded like a bell. Twisting her torso, the paladin set her jaw and drove her magical blade up with all of her strength, placing the point just below its exposed rib cage. The beast twisted in what could have possible been an attempt to put the pending injury in a least effective location, but Caterina’s aim was true and the thin, polished steel slid easily through the flesh, separating the muscle and sliding past the ribs, through the lungs, and piercing the creature’s black heart.

There was the briefest moment when the paladin met her victim’s gaze. Surprise and shocked pain registered in the demon’s red obs, and brackish spittle drizzled from its thick, black lips. Then, with a flourish, Caterina withdrew the blade and spun away from the creature she knew she’d just killed. When she’d taken up position again, the dented tray still held in her left hand, her bloodied sword held before her ready to be put to use once more, the creature fell heavily to its knees, gasping, trying to collect breath into its collapsed lung, its eyes bulging as the blood it so badly needed was failing to be pumped. It gasped, clawing away at the cushion of the couch, rending it as its wings jerked in violent spasms. Then, the symbol embedded into its flesh began to flare, and a sickly green fire encompassed the being. It arched its back in further anguish, but there was no air in its lungs to bellow forth its pain, and in a brilliant flash of light it was dissolved into small motes of lime green light that vanished as they fell to the ground. All that remained was the black dagger sticking upright in the arm of the couch where the demon had stuck it just before vanishing.




Taurwen | Rayther | Outside of The City of Rayther | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:00pm | Storming


It had been relatively peaceful these past few months for Sanya Miluiel. Rayther’s political scene had been her focus for some time now, but she’d just spent the past few months in Bayris working her charms on the Trade Council in relation to certain taxes that were making it more expensive than necessary for trade of southern wares to her city of Rayther. She’d been home at her tower outside of Rayther for barely two days, and now she sat at her dining table prepared to devour a rather succulent pheasant, content to let the winter blizzard rage outside her doors while she enjoyed the warmth and comfort of wealth.

The Sylvari sorceress maintained a skeletal staff for her tower. There was the rare individual one could trust in a wizard’s tower not to inflict themselves with injury, or sell the wizard’s secrets to those seeking greater power. Her servants consisted of Youdar who acted as the butler, Sabil the cook, and Nalin the maid. She’d seen only Youdar of late, and that when he’d brought her the meal that was now laid out before her: roast pheasant with a wine sauce and diced potatoes mixed with green beans which had been sautéed in onion and leek soup. A bottle of white wine, Perrymoor Hill 346ER, sat inches from her imported porcelain plate, her crystal goblet already partially filled with the delicate liquid.

She’d enjoyed barely three bites of her meal when Youdar approached through the side door as silently as a mouse. The old human had served her for years, and he moved a little less quickly than he once had. His long white hair was pulled back in a glossy ponytail, and his neatly trimmed beard and mustaches were like sheets over his wrinkled, weather worn face. He was a tall man at one point, having been at least six foot three inches, but now his back bowed and he barely cleared five eleven. He wore a deep blue tunic over black breeches and a pair of mink-fur lined black boots that bore a high polish.

“Ahem,” Youdar’s voice was still as strong as it ever had been. Sanya had long ago discovered he had a beautiful tenor singing voice, but she could rarely coax him into performing. “Your ladyship, the High Judge Jalber Cyeen is here to see you.”

Jalber Cyeen had been a recent addition to Sanya’s list of friends. He was a portly fellow with a sour expression on his face most of the time. He had a large nose that was mostly red, heavy jowls that reminded the sorceress of a bulldog, and though he was nearly bald on top, he wore a fringe of black hair that hung to his shoulders in stringy strands, and sweat quite a bit when indoors. He was also a newly appointed high judge in the recent restructuring of the Rayther judicial system. He had been instrumental in a number of her political dealings, and though his appearance was definitely slovenly, he bore a sharp mind. Of course, what he was doing traveling the miles between Rayther and Taurwen at this time of night, in a raging blizzard was an enigma, especially since he usually adhered to propriety and sent a messenger a day or so in advance of his visits. It wouldn’t be proper to have a man such as himself visiting a woman of wealth, and a bachelorette to boot, without announcement.

(OOC: assuming your instruction is to show him in.)

Youdar bowed—again, not as deeply as he’d once been able to do—and made his exit from the dining hall. Within a few minutes the butler had returned, and in tow was the fat judge, his nose almost white from the cold, and his jowls shaking with each step. His brow was furrowed, his hands rung together, and occasionally blown upon. There was no smiled greeting for his hostess, but rather, Jalber hurried to the fireplace and nearly stuck his hands, and his belly, in the flames.

“Praise Shinara,” he breathed heavily. “I was beginning to think that I’d never thaw.”

(OOC: again, assuming some question as to what brings him out this way…or silence…either way…)

“It is potentially a terrible thing, terrible news, no, a terrible thing and news,” Jalber continued to keep his wide back facing Sanya as he warmed himself. “Truly disastrous, and well worth the journey to your tower, Lady Sanya. Oh, well worth it indeed! There is trouble afoot. Trouble of the most heinous kind, I assure you! And it should need your direct attention. Yes, yours and yours alone, for there are no others to fall back upon at this point. Disastrous, I tell you. Disastrous!

“They’ve all gone, all of them—or at least some of them…most—any who could have done anything most assuredly. And the council? That council does nothing but preen and accept gifts. Oh!” Jalber struggled to remain facing the fire, but at the same time tried his best to find Sanya with his wide-eyed gaze. “The gifts are all secret, but I’ve seen some, and I tell you that I like none of it! I’ve had to practically lock myself away, a prisoner in my own home, Lady Sanya. A prisoner! I’ve been too afraid to even hold court, and I’ll open not a single package. No, not I. Glassy-eyed, and soulless, that’s what they become. Puppets! Oh, I’ll not be a puppet!”

Jalber turned quite suddenly and started warming his backside, his hands still held behind him, his great girth slow to follow his momentum. “I came as soon as I learned you’d returned from Bayris. Did you not receive my missives? I’d sent three. All by foot messenger, and the last was through my trusted servant Densam. Oh, what has become of Densam? Poor lad…I shall never forgive myself if he’s been harmed. Never!”



Posted on 2008-11-16 at 21:31:11.

YeOlde
Forever ♥
Karma: 86/11
1538 Posts


Proper Compensation...

Ska’tki grinned a mouthful of teeth at the servant as he skirted him and went out to fetch him some food. He turned back to gaze at the Lord as he explained his position in the castle.

“I am Lord Ontzlere, recently appointed chancellor of Pardinal,” Ontzlere’s tone was brisk and full of business. “I am going to assume that the prince you refer to is His Highness, Benedict, and not the exiled Prince Gen—“
At the mention of the exiled Prince, the Kazari smiled slightly at the memory of his friend. Gen Archais Menbren and he had adventured together for a long time and Sna’kti considered him the closest friend he had in the world. They had many good times together, and some bad ones, but they had always endured through the good and bad and managed to come out of them alive. Though with the thought of Gen he also wondered of where he was now; he hadn’t seen him, or their other companion Herai Enko, in years and he missed their company.

With a start he realized that this Lord Ontzlere was still talking; “—Prince Benedict is…above negotiations concerning this matter. I trust then that you’ve no further questions concerning my credentials, or the whereabouts of any further of the royal family, and as such I’ll continue with your assignment.”
Sna;kti didn’t acknowledge which Prince he had been asking about, though it had indeed been Benedict he had been asking bout, he only nodded that the man could continue with the details of his assignment.

He didn’t know what it was but he didn’t like the vibes he was getting from the Lord Ontzlere; it bothered him somewhat that the King didn’t appear to even know what was going on about him and that this man, recently appointed chancellor, was in charge. He felt something was going on here, but he didn’t know for sure and besides what could he do about it even if something was out of place.

“If you would join me,” Lord Ontzlere said, his voice like dry leaves on the wind. “I will show you the proposed location of the cave. After which, you may spend some time studying the map while you eat, but I would ask that you keep your time here short as the longer His Majesty has visitors the weaker he becomes.”
He followed the man over to the table and glanced down a the maps before him. He listened and his sharp eyes took in every detail about the map and the location of his objective.

“It shouldn’t be difficult to find,” Lord Ontzlere managed to draw out the word ‘find’ in such a manner as to leave it hanging in the air like a tempting treat. “A recent mudslide revealed the columns of the ancient structure, and allowed for those who discovered it to tamper with the protections that were in place about it. From all accounts the farms outside of Visden have been suffering disappearances of a very costly nature: both livestock and family, and at least two farms were completely razed.

“I trust that this storm won’t deter you from setting out immediately, Sna’kti. It is, after all, of great importance that we remedy this situation post haste. Oh, and the matter of compensation…The king has seen fit to offer one thousand fusat upon your triumphant return.”

Sna’kti’s eyes came up to look at the Lord and then glanced to the King and back; one thousand was a significant sum and it definitely made it hard for him to refuse such a mission. He looked back at the maps and studied the terrain, possible approaches to this cave, nearby farms, etc.

He studied them till the food arrived then he looked up at Lord Ontzlere and asked him about the imprisoned creature.

“What can you tell me about this creature? How powerful is it? How big is it? Are special weapons required to harm it? I need to know what I am up against.” He knew from experience that some powerful beasts were impervious to normal weapons and required special items to damage or destroy it; silver and Iron were common against such beasts but who knew. He thought it best to ask and find out everything before accepting a job. He would begin to eat while he listened to any information they might have to give.

(After any response)

Wiping his mouth on his furry arm, he nodded and then thought about the mission. It sounded like a good scouting mission, but there was more then that if he ran into this creature.

“It sounds like a very dangerous job,” he said as he chewed and thought it over then added, “I will go to the cave and ascertain the danger for one thousand… but if I have to fight this creature.. It will cost you an additional thousand if I kill it… take it or leave it.”

He turned back to the food and ate quickly as he planned to be out of here as soon as he could after they agreed, or declined his fee. He was not a haggler; he gave everything his all and demanded proper compensation. Facing some demon creature that had been imprisoned by magic sounded like a very dangerous mission and though one thousand was a lot, he thought two sounded much better.



Posted on 2008-11-16 at 22:51:11.

Blammm
Resident
Karma: 9/0
236 Posts


Looking to sort out the ramblings...

It is good to be home.
Sanya had that thought often when she returned from her travels, and it was no less true tonight, sitting down for dinner while the winter storm raged outside. She had spent the last day preparing documents and speeches for the Rayther council in regards to her most recent trip to Bayris. The members of the Trade Council of the western port city were a shrewd lot who would try to squeeze a leven out of a whorl. The negotiations weren’t complete, but Sanya felt satisfied that she had made some headway, and was confident that others from the Rayther council could finish up the work she had started.

The meal set before her was extravagant as usual. While the sorceress could easily be content with so much less, Sabil took pride in her labours and Sanya enjoyed allowing the cook the freedom to express her creativity through the preparation of the food. The elven lady also had to admit that the cook’s work had been instrumental in making many trade negotiations go smooth as visitors were softened by the pleasant food served to them.

She was just starting to contemplate that truth while eating the first few bites of fowl, when her loyal man-servant politely interrupted.

“Ahem,” Youdar spoke. “Your ladyship, the High Judge Jalber Cyeen is here to see you.”

Sanya looked up from her meal at Youdar, who promptly lowered his eyes in deference. “High Judge Cyeen, you say?” the lady asked.

“Indeed, my lady.”

Sanya’s right eyebrow cocked up with curiosity. “Interesting.” The elven woman thought briefly about the meaning of this. The High Judge was always quite good about sending messengers a day or two before to announce his intentions to visit. Sanya almost ask Youdar if any messengers had arrived while she had been in Bayris, but she knew her manservant would have informed her earlier if that had been the case.

“Show him in, Youdar,” she said, still trying to discern the meaning of the judge’s visit. As an afterthought, she said, “And then bring in another place setting. I suspect the good judge will not refuse a warm meal.”

Youdar bowed and left, returning a few minutes later with Jalber in tow. As the judge entered, Lady Sanya rose to her feet, a sign of honour to her friend. She was careful to note his demeanor as his came in and made his way straight to the fireplace. His nose almost white from the cold, and his jowls shaking with each step. His brow was furrowed, his hands rung together, and occasionally blown upon. He did not even acknowledge his host, so focused was his attention on the warm the fire provided.

“Praise Shinara,” he breathed heavily. “I was beginning to think that I’d never thaw.”

”High Judge Cyeen,” Sanya spoke, her voice soft but full of authority. “What brings you so far from home at this late hour and in this weather?”

“It is potentially a terrible thing, terrible news, no, a terrible thing and news,” Jalber continued to keep his wide back facing Sanya as he warmed himself. “Truly disastrous, and well worth the journey to your tower, Lady Sanya. Oh, well worth it indeed! There is trouble afoot. Trouble of the most heinous kind, I assure you! And it should need your direct attention. Yes, yours and yours alone, for there are no others to fall back upon at this point. Disastrous, I tell you. Disastrous!

“They’ve all gone, all of them—or at least some of them…most—any who could have done anything most assuredly. And the council? That council does nothing but preen and accept gifts. Oh!” Jalber struggled to remain facing the fire, but at the same time tried his best to find Sanya with his wide-eyed gaze. “The gifts are all secret, but I’ve seen some, and I tell you that I like none of it! I’ve had to practically lock myself away, a prisoner in my own home, Lady Sanya. A prisoner! I’ve been too afraid to even hold court, and I’ll open not a single package. No, not I. Glassy-eyed, and soulless, that’s what they become. Puppets! Oh, I’ll not be a puppet!”

Jalber turned quite suddenly and started warming his backside, his hands still held behind him, his great girth slow to follow his momentum. “I came as soon as I learned you’d returned from Bayris. Did you not receive my missives? I’d sent three. All by foot messenger, and the last was through my trusted servant Densam. Oh, what has become of Densam? Poor lad…I shall never forgive myself if he’s been harmed. Never!”

Sanya allowed a pause to hang in the air after the judge had let loose his barrage of words. It was meant to invite peace back into the room as much as to ensure the man was finished speaking for the moment. spoke, her voice was gentle and soothing.

“Calm yourself, Lord Cyeen” she said, her voice a gentle rebuke. Youdar returned at that moment, preparing a place at the table for the Judge opposite of Sanya, near the fire. “Come, sit at my table and take some small comfort in the warm food.”

[OOC: Assuming the judge takes a seat… or not… regardless…]

Once the High Judge had calmed himself a little, the elven lady continued, “Now, Lord Cyeen, please. Speak plainly to me this matter that has caused you so much distress.”

[OOC: Assuming Jalber continues with more details, Sanya will attempt to gather the following information – 1. What is the matter that he wants Sanya to attend to? 2. Who is “gone” that could have helped, and to where have they gone? 3. Who on the council is “accepting gifts”, and what exactly are these “gifts”, and what proved does he have that council members are accepting gifts? Who are they becoming “puppets” to? 4. Who has been sending him “packages”? How many has he received? Has he opened any of them? 5. Why does he feel as though he cannot hold court? Does he feel threatened? If so, by whom? 6. When did he send out his messengers?]



Posted on 2008-11-17 at 03:50:52.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 145/11
3911 Posts


All but Vanadia...looking for her post before posting for Caterina.

The Castle | Pardinal | The City of Portua | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:30pm | Storming


“What can you tell me about this creature? How powerful is it? How big is it? Are special weapons required to harm it? I need to know what I am up against.” Sna’kti started to eat as Lord Ontzlere took a deep breath and looked down his hawkish nose at the kazari.

“There was not a lot of detail given in the scripts we were able to decipher. I would assume that the creature is very powerful as it was nigh unto impossible to seal it away the first time. We regret that we cannot give you any further information concerning this. The texts were very vague in their reference to even the creature’s appearance, let alone the details of its powers. It was almost as though the individuals responsible for chronicling the event knew of it only by hearsay.” The tone of the man’s voice was tired, and drawn. “I do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, but I’m to remind you that the sum being offered is well worth scouting the area. You aren’t being asked to engage the creature unless the opportunity arises.”

Wiping his mouth on his furry arm, Sna’kti nodded and then thought about the mission. It sounded like a good scouting mission, but there was more than that if he ran into this creature.

“It sounds like a very dangerous job,” he said as he chewed and thought it over; then added, “I will go to the cave and ascertain the danger for one thousand… but if I have to fight this creature: it will cost you an additional thousand if I kill it… take it or leave it.”

Lord Ontzlere gave a slow, calculating nod. “So be it. While we don’t expect you to set off tonight, I would appreciate word the you’d left Portua by first light. The sooner we can put this concern to bed, the less the King has to concern himself with the matter.”

Taurwen | Rayther | Outside of The City of Rayther | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:03pm | Storming


“Now, Lord Cyeen, please. Speak plainly to me this matter that has caused you so much distress.”

Cyeen took a deep breath and brought his hands around to straighten out his fur-lined robe, the hem of which was now drenched as the snow that had clung to it was melted away by the fire’s warmth. “I do apologize, Lady Sanya. I’ve been struggling with this almost the duration of your absence, and all those who would be allies are either disappearing, or being swayed.

“Approximately two days after you’d left for Bayris High Speaker Hilrald Todraid of the Council of Elders welcomed to his estates one he called his cousin. The man’s name is Lord Anseem Rusah, and if you don’t mind me saying, they look nothing alike! At that point, High Speaker Todraid announced that there would be a ball held at his estate in honor of his cousin’s visit, and that all in the Council and of the High Judges were invited to attend.

“As you well know, a social gathering of such prominence is not to be ignored should you hold any aspirations towards advancement at all,” Cyeen’s jowls flapped as he ruefully shook his head. “So I accepted the invitation and when I arrived there was not a single person there who did not hold a seat of power or authority within Rayther. The evening’s festivities were grand enough, and Lord Rusah was a charming addition to the social clime. The women were smitten, and the men were admittedly enthralled. I later deliberated on all that I’d learned of the man, and could recall not one thing, Lady Sanya! Not one thing!

“All that I know is that he is Lord Anseem Rusah, and that High Speaker Todraid claims him as a cousin. I do not know from whence he came, I know not a thing of his family…and yet I am sure he discussed such things as polite conversation most certainly leads one down that path.”

“And it is he who is giving these gifts?” Lady Sanya gently prodded.

“No. No, Milady,” Cyeen shook his head again, this time with more fervor. “The gifts are from High Speaker Todraid—Thanks for attending his gathering. Mine still sits atop my desk in my study unopened, for I’d just been to visit the chambers of a fellow judge and had seen him doting over a ring with a giant gemstone set atop the crown, his present unwrapped and lying open upon his desk. He paid me hardly any mind at all while I was there, and we normally share in very lucid conversation concerning trials of late. I was so put out I left within minutes of arriving and went immediately to see another colleague. He, too, was enamored with a piece of jewelry, only this time it was an amulet, though the stones appeared similar. I tried three more of the robe that day, and all three were equally caught up. By the end of the day I was seeing assassins in shadows and starting at my own footfall.

“I returned to my townhome and haven’t left it but to come here, fearing for my well-being.”

“And who is it that is gone then, Good Cyeen?”

“At first there I took no real notice of it,” the judge made his way slowly from the fire just as the meal was brought for him. “I later learned that there was some sort of quest put out by the High Council and that all able-bodied adventuring sorts were jumping at the chance to win the prize. It was a race of sorts, something having to do with a cave in the forests that contained the prize: a decanter that dispensed magically with all varying types of liquids, both warm and cold. Supposedly it was a jeweled thing worth a king’s ransom, and the adventuring sorts were all very excited by it.

“I looked further into the matter finding it somewhat suspicious that the High Council had anything remotely like such a powerful artifact as that on hand to just give away as sport, and by the time I’d done my due diligence there was not a single adventurer that I could find left in the city, and a number of the guard had thrown down their mantles as well in order to pursue the prize. I began at that point to deduce that something more foul than I’d originally suspected was afoot, and that’s when I received the visitor asking if I’d enjoyed my ‘gift.’”

Cyeen began to eat as he spoke, continuing the tale around the food in his mouth. “I admitted to enjoying it very much, but I don’t think that the messenger believed me, and once he’d left, I locked my doors again, and refused to see anyone. My house is empty now, Lady Sanya. All of my servants gone, most having never shown up at their scheduled times after the messenger came.”

“When did you send your manservant to deliver to me a message?” Sanya’s voice remained coaxing and calm.

“Poor Densam!” Cyeen wailed despite the soothing tone of Lady Sanya’s question. “I sent him two days ago in the false dawn, for I feared that he might be picked up by whomever is behind this, and now I fear that is the case. I sent another messenger two days prior to that, but knew that you would return by magic were you capable and should the messengers have gotten through. Poor Densam!

“You must involve yourself this instant, Lady Sanya! You must pay a visit to High Speaker Todraid’s estate so that you can see the danger for yourself. You alone hold the power in the city to stand up to the threat that Lord Anseem Rusah and High Speaker Todraid present Rayther. You alone, My Lady.”


The Poor Sect | Alleyway | The City of Ethryn | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:20pm | Overcast and Snow-Covered


The information he’d received from his informant had led him to the hovels of the poor sect in Ethryn. Lloyd von Schrteider stood draped in his drab gray cloak, his hood over his head, the shadow on the leeside of the shack covering him in the cold of the darkening evening from the limited light being given off by the lantern hanging across the street. There weren’t many people about as most of the day’s chores had been attended to while there was still some warmth from the day present. As the winter’s night descended upon the capital of Ertain, those who could found their way indoors to the warmth of the fire and hopefully a filling meal. Unfortunately for Lloyd, he was seeking to collect on a bounty, something he’d need if he and his wife Cynthia were to ever get out of the rental they endured since their estate had burned to the ground some time ago.

He’d become aware of the bounty by messenger from the King’s Palace. His Majesty Jarom Strongblade had put a contract out for the capture of the assassin who’d attempted to take the life of His Grace, Count Painceit Urolin, one of Jarom’s favorites in the court, and a strong supporter of the King. It was worth five thousand royals, and five thousand royals could go a long ways towards rebuilding their home. So, he’d gathered up his gear, kissed Cynthia good-bye, and set out to gather what information he could.

Lloyd had always been good at getting people to talk to him, and over the years he’d developed the knack for figuring out where to find those willing to part with information for a bit of coin, a favor, or information he could offer. As a matter-of-fact, he’d built his reputation on it, and that morning after the messenger had arrived delivering the notice of the contract to him, Lloyd had spent the day tracking down just those kinds of individuals. He’d spent a little over twenty-five royals, swapped information with an old blind man who acted as a broker for one of the local thieves’ guilds, and conversed with more than a few guards to learn anything he could concerning their progress into the investigation. What’s he’d learned was the Count Urolin was barely being kept alive by all of the magic the clergy of Lysora could muster, and there was doubt that he would survive the night. Apparently the poisoned dagger used to wound him had only scratched the count as he was an active individual, a strong swordsman, and a fairly alert fellow, but it was a strong poison, and a kind that was apparently resistant to the magic so-called divine individuals could bestow. Jarom Strongblade was beside himself with rage, and there was more than one bounty hunter on the contract.

Lloyd had also learned that it was possible the assassin had holed up in the shack he was now keeping under surveillance from his corner roost. The shack was a single-story structure with a single door at the front and only one window. The poor often limited the number of exits heat could escape from their hovels as they couldn’t always afford fuel, and Lloyd had already done a sweep of the whole premise to make sure he wasn’t missing anything. The window was shuttered. There wasn’t any glass, but he also couldn’t see inside. The light was dim within, but there was definitely someone home as the lamps had not been lit until dusk had set in.

The street that ran in front of the shack was narrow, barely wide enough to fit a wagon down, but the hovel was in the middle of the block, so Lloyd stood in the alley between two of the shacks, huddled in his cloak waiting and watching; wondering when another hunter would show and force his hand.


Noble’s Ward | Treetop | The City of Davnor | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:30pm | Partly Cloudy and Snow-Covered


Shiften sat with his left shoulder resting against the cold trunk of the tree, the balls of his feet pressed against the branch, his cloak shrouding him further into the failing light. There was a soft wind blowing, but it was a cold wind, and the rogue had to pull his cloak about him tighter to ward it off. His narrowed brown eyes studied the lay of the estate from his perch high in an evergreen giant. He’d learned very little from his surveillance thus far as he’d only been there for a few minutes—since it had started growing darker. But he knew that there were regular patrols by heavily armored and armed men wearing black cloaks and hoods, working with mastiff dogs. The patrols appeared to be about ten minutes apart. He was also faced with the problem of the snow on the ground; not the most ideal time to try and pull of a breaking and entering job, but then, he had his reputation to think of. If he could succeed at this, it would only add to his legend, not to mention the welcoming he was giving the newest of Sendria’s nobility. He didn’t care if he walked out of that expansive manor with ten thousand gold, or if it was one pendant with priceless personal value to the new duchess. All that mattered was that she knew she’d been hit, and that he got the credit for the job. There was already talk on the street that he’d retired it had been so long since his last job. He couldn’t afford to let that spread too far or people would start forgetting who he was and not take him seriously when he needed it.

So it was that Shiften of Sendria crouched in a tree thirty feet above the snow-covered grounds in the Noble’s Ward of Davnor a mere twenty meters from the fifteen foot tall stone fence that surrounded Lady Sanuril Solan’s estate. From the fence there was approximately two hundred meters of ground to cover, most of it open with the occasional copse of trees to provide some relief from the sun during the summer. But once he’d reached the imposing gray of the stone walls, he’d find plenty of shadow to work his way through.

The best entry point would be the balcony on the second story. It was a south-facing wall, and the only light there was the moonlight. As he’d considered before, the only challenge at this point was getting across the open terrain without alerting the patrolling guards that he was there, or that he had been there, and so far, none of them had ventured within fifty meters of the manor that he’d seen. So that meant that he couldn’t walk in their footprints.

Alternatively, he could find some disguise to get him inside, but as far as he’d been able to tell, Lady Solan’s guest list was very elite…as a matter-of-fact, she’d met with Piers Aelfgar, the Lord of Davnor, at her estate, not at his. That meant that he’d attended her, and yet the only title she bore was that of Duchess, something that his sources told him she’d purchased with almost fifty thousand bulrin! Of course, there was always the servant’s entrance. He’d have to shift his surveillance, but he was pretty sure he’d be able to get in that way and not leave too many suspicious footprints depending on what the servants were up to that day. It was a huge risk because it meant defeating the natural skepticism of those who worked together frequently and making them believe he was either one of them, or a new addition.

This meant that the best way in would still be the second story balcony. The stonework of that piece would make for a fairly easy climb, and though the doors were closed, Shiften hadn’t had much trouble with locks for some time. The fact that Lady Solan was not entertaining that night…at least not yet…was both good and bad. It meant that security was less tight, but it also meant that the lady of the house was not distracted.

There were so many possibilities. Get in, get out, claim the praise from all who talked about it…quietly, of course.



Posted on 2008-11-24 at 19:44:46.

gboy
Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts


The Mission.

The wind was harsh, fluttering his cloak about. The night was cold, and bound to cool more. Snow covered the ground, making it possible to be snuck up on, but also easy to track those who were trying to hide. A smile creeped up on his face. Pondering the problems of life. Always interesting.

Cynthia... he owed her so much; definitely more than the five thousand royals he could get from this. Not that he could - that he would. He needed this. Ever since his house burnt down, things seemed to get a little rougher. With this job, he'd turn it around.

Inside his cloak, his rapiers rested on his belt. One from his grandfather, one he had purchased. They had aided him countless times before, and they wouldn't let him down now. Gingerly, he stroked their respective hilts, contemplating his course of action.

Money spoke. He had learned much from common mouth, and it only took a few of his precious remaining royal to get this information. This shack was the hiding place of the law-breaking coward who had attacked Count Urolin. He would be brought to justice, and Lloyd von Schtreider was just the one to do it. He decided to get a better view, and possibly overhear things going on inside the house. Pulling his cloak tighter, he began to walk silently, making sure his rapiers did not chink together and make sound, towards the shack, keeping his eyes out for traps or people who could hinder his mission. Inside his brain, the gears where moving, calculating every visible variable, quite a few invisible variables, and even some variables entirely out of the question. But still, there was no room for error in his job. Count Urolin would not die without being avenged.


Posted on 2008-11-25 at 02:59:59.

Vanadia
Den Mother
RDI Staff
Karma: 111/12
1188 Posts


Aftermath

As quickly as the battle had begun, it was over. Caterina only had to tempt the creature once with a seemingly foolish move, and it did exactly as she’d hoped; attacking past its natural reach with the dagger and therefore exposing itself to a sword thrust.

Still, as the creature shuddered upon her blade and began its death throes, the battle maiden stepped back pulled her blade free, ready should the creature rally. She felt a moment of almost compassion for the creature’s maddened pain, until she remembered that the blood on its greatsword was Ethain’s, not hers. She watched, resolutely, as it fought for life, and disintegrated into death. Whatever spell that had summoned it did not last past its death, and the creature disappeared back from whence it came, leaving only the black dagger, and its blood, behind.

Caterina let out the breath she hadn’t realized she was holding, and sank to one knee, dropping the tray with a clatter to clasp the pommel of her sword, its tip resting lightly on the bloodstained carpet. She bowed her head, raven hair falling forward, and opened her soul’s eye to look upon Rydor.

“My Lord God,” she prayed, “ I dedicate this victory to thy glory, for the Hand that stayed evil was Thine, the Will that triumphed was Thine, and I am humbled to have been your Vessel. Thou hast been my shield, my sword, and I lay my life once more at Thy feet in thanks and praise.”

A moment more spent in wordless prayer; a fervent wish that Rydor would forgive her haste, but her Lord God lived outside of time, and she was all too much held captive by its passage. She opened her eyes and stood once more, surveying the carnage wrought upon the room by the brief battle. In the end, they were only things, and replaceable, and Caterina dismissed sentimentality to clean her sword’s blade on the now ruined couch. Once she sheathed the sword, she took tongs from the fireplace stand and used them to pull the dagger from the couch, placing it gingerly on the now dented silver tray. She’d no idea whether the weapon was cursed or simply poisoned, but she was loath to touch it without the council of those wiser in such matters.

She then made her way back to Ethain, and knelt at his side. She turned him over gently, and tears began to flow as she closed his staring eyes with calloused fingers. “Let me wash away your sins and regrets with my tears, my friend,” she whispered as she hugged him close,” so that you may travel to D’Hurgen’s lands clean and renewed.” Bracing herself, she lifted the dead man in her arms and carried him to the family chapel, where she’d given her life to Rydor so many years before. She staggered a few times under the dead weight, but she was determined to do this.

In the chapel, she laid out Ethain before the altar, straightening his limbs and cleaning his face with her lace handkerchief so that he almost looked peaceful. The servants would return in the morning, and proper arrangements for Ethain’s burial would be made, but for now, Caterina stood vigil for her friend.




Posted on 2008-11-27 at 01:29:28.
Edited on 2008-11-27 at 01:32:06 by Vanadia

YeOlde
Forever ♥
Karma: 86/11
1538 Posts


Ready to go...

Sna’kti was not happy that they had no information about what he was to face on this quest; he hated going into a situation not knowing what he was up against but then that was often the case.

He studied that map as he finished his meal very quickly; it didn’t seem to matter that the most powerful men in Pardinal were watching him eat like an animal. Wiping his hands and face on the supplied napkin he tossed it atop the empty plate and washed down the last remnants of his meal spilling half of it down his chin.

“Scouting does sound like the best I might be able to do alone,” he said setting his mug down and standing up, “if this thing is as powerful as you say.”

Leaning over the map he studied it further, “I will need a small copy of this map and since I am on official kingdom business, I would like a writ stating such so that if I need aid along the way I will have the authority to request and get it.”

Lord Ontzlere gave a slow, calculating nod. “So be it. While we don’t expect you to set off tonight, I would appreciate word the you’d left Portua by first light. The sooner we can put this concern to bed, the less the King has to concern himself with the matter.”
At mention of the King, Sna’kti looked at the old man; he knew the King was indeed old, but he didn’t know the man was as infirm as he looked. Glancing over to Lord Ontzlere and lowering his voice so only the Lord could hear him he said, “Is the King unwell? He doesn’t look good to me.”

Could that be concern in his voice; he had never met the King before but he had heard much from Gen in their travels. Seeing the old man seemingly ill

(Reply)

“I will leave as soon as the gates open at first light,” Sna’kti said as he took his copy of the map and the writ, hopefully in scroll cases if not he will ask for them, and tucked them deep in his pack.

His business here concluded he would walk to the center of the room before the King and bow putting his right hand over his chest; straightening he turned to Lord Ontzlere and nodded.

“I will do my best, your Lordship.” He said with a slight smile, or maybe a sneer; he didn’t know what it was but he didn’t like this Lord Ontzlere and didn’t trust him. But he would take this mission because he was bored and he needed the money.

He would leave the Palace and head back to his tavern where he would pack the rest of his belongings, get a good nights sleep and be up and at the Southern Gates ready to exit as soon as they opened at first light.

He would head South towards Visden, alternating between jogging and walking when he needed to rest. Sna’kti didn’t ride horses for several reasons: one his people didn’t have horses so they also ran everywhere, and two, horses were naturally afraid of Kazari them smelling like predators.

(See Question about travel time in Q&A section)


Posted on 2008-11-30 at 21:12:54.

Bromern Sal
A Shadow
RDI Staff
Karma: 145/11
3911 Posts


Eavesdropping, Answer Seeking, and Night Time Visitors...Oh My.

The Poor Sect | Alleyway | The City of Ethryn | The Kingdom of Ertain | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 6:22pm | Overcast and Snow-Covered


(OOC: Stealth roll 19/Hide & Evade roll 18/Human Perception roll 33)

The snow fell under his boot to compress in a soft cushion, its icy surface crumbled away by the slow footfall as Lloyd left the secretive embrace of the shadows and made his way with the patient deliberation of a practiced man across the mud-covered and snow-packed street. Arriving on the other side, the bounty hunter swept his cloak about his body and merged himself with the engaging shadows of the target shanty. His footstep remained careful, the pressure he applied to the crust of the snow was light until he’d forced it to cave allowing him to address his concern for silence with measurable success as he made his way around to the single window he’d observed before. He made certain not to touch the rough wood wall as he crouched beneath the curtained opening.

Within the shack there supposedly resided the man who’d orchestrated, possibly performed, the assassination of one of the kingdom’s greatest patriots. Behind these walls there supposedly sat a man who had robbed the kingdom of a great proponent for the Ertainian way of life. Before he went waltzing inside and apprehended the murderer, he wanted to possibly learn something about what was happening in there. It paid to be in the know after all; that’s one way he’d managed to stay alive as long as he had. So, he crouched in the bitter cold wind, his bland gray cloak wrapped tightly about him straining to hear past the whistle of the wind in his ears at what occurred within.

“You promised I’d ‘ave a way outta the city, ‘fore dawn, Milord.” The voice was plaintive, and carried with it a definite note of worry, concern, and fear. Lloyd could practically taste the owner of the voice’s trepidation it hung so thickly in the air, but while this was valuable to note, the second voice was even more interesting.

“Do not pretend to educate me on our agreement, Tales.” The second voice, barely heard above the wind, was deep and resonate, like that of growing thunder. It echoed a bit as well, as though it came from someplace hollow and distant. “You’ve served your purpose here, and shall be rewarded accordingly.”

“But the Law’ll be closin’ in any time now, Milord,” Tales continued to whine. “I—I can already feel their eyes on me. You don’t want me t’ fall int’ their hands, do you Milord?”

The deeper voice chuckled, an affectation almost lost to Lloyd as the shanty creaked in the weather and a bit of snow fell from the roof. “No, my good Tales, I do not want you to fall into their hands. But do not think that you have anything you could give the authorities to compromise me.

“As you’ve said, I did promise you an escape from the city. Be at the western gate by dawn. There will be a man there to meet you named Madius. You’ll know him by the burn scar that covers his face. He will be your means of escaping Justice, Tales. Do not be late.”

“Thank you, Milord!”

At that point there was the sound of glass fragments striking a stone floor and then a very audible sigh of relief.




The D’Oro Estate | The Empire of Drannon | Outside of The City of Drefast | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 11:50pm | Abnormally Warm


The chapel at the D’Oro estate was constructed in the year 393ER. Caterina’s grandfather had been a devout worshipper of Merca, believing the fulfillment of duty to be the end all requirement for a good life. It had been constructed of rich red oak, hand-carved walls, a pale sandstone marble tile with a black ceramic mosaic in the center bearing the falcon of Merca, and an arched ceiling that bore the work of Blenis Piline, one of the famed artists of Drannon, in a mural depicting Merca granting favor upon Eswan Cosius, a knight of some renown. The singular purpose of the chapel had been augmented by Caterina’s father when he’d sworn his sword to Rydor in 411ER. At that point, Caterina’s grandfather had been dead for a few years—killed in service to his god—and the alter to Mercan had been moved to make room for the alter to Rydor. Both alters were placed at an angle to each other just off center, respectively, of the center of the chapel in the style of a forum. Rydor’s image had been added to the mural by an aging Blenis Piline on the other side of the room, granting favor to Sir Idaine Pharadine, and many of the accouterments had been replaced to equally represent favor from both gods. Caterina had left the chapel as it had been when her father and brother had been murdered: dedicated to both gods in equal part even though she’d declared her allegiance to Rydor, Merca was still a big part of her life.

It was at the foot of Rydor’s alter that she laid Ethain’s body and took the time to prepare him in state, and it was kneeling before him that Ulant, the house butler, found her when he returned to the estate close to midnight and discovered the bloody mess left by the attack. The white-haired, able-bodied man (still as strong as an ox) had flung the door open in a panic, terrified of what he’d find there. He’d nearly collapsed in relief upon seeing his master, but his relief had been short-lived at the sight of the humble, quiet squire lying in restful repose at the foot of the alter.

The D’Oro Estate | The Empire of Drannon | Outside of The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 6:00am | Abnormally Warm


As the false winter dawn crept across the Drefast skyline, Caterina set about making the arrangements to entomb her friend and servant. Ulant had returned to the servant’s quarters after confirming that Caterina was planning on remaining in the chapel for the remainder of the night. The revelries he’d partaken in took a heavy toll upon him, and it was Caterina who found him in the morning curled up on his bed snoring the sleep of a man who’d drank too much. The empty ceramic jug lying toppled near his outstretched arm stood testament to this fact. Was he was awake, Ulant was a great help in getting the rest of the servants together to prepare for the ceremony. One was sent to fetch a priest with urgency.

The D’Oro Estate | The Empire of Drannon | Outside of The City of Drefast | Claise 4th, Viladay, 452ER, 9:00am | Abnormally Warm


Ethain’s burial ceremony was attended by all within the household. It wasn’t mandatory. He was a loved member of the house, and his loss brought an end to the celebration. The priest who’d arrived was named Carin Sollance. She was a kindly woman whom Caterina had met before in passing, but there was no friendship there. Caterina had Ethain entombed in her family cairn. He’d deserved as much. And though she’d have liked the luxury of allowing herself to be overcome by her feelings of grief, the Right hand of Rydor was sure that Time was not on her side.

She’d instructed Ulant to take care of cleaning up the manor and packing up her traveling gear just in case, and then she’d donned her armor (now with the help of a young, solemn-faced squire by the name of Tilian), strapped on her sword, and with the dagger in hand she summoned Rico in his resplendent barding plate.

Caterina D’Oro struck cut quite the image as she rode into Drefast. Her sorrow-filled golden eyes caught those who gazed upon her up in wonder at what could make such a heroic figure so melancholy. Needless to say, by the time she arrived at the temple of Rydor she was expected.

The Master of the Iron Tomb, Manderes Fetrese stood at the top of the stairs, his royal purple robes were of the lighter make due to the unseasonably warm weather they were experiencing. Behind him stood his entourage of priests ready with scrolls and books bearing writs of law and the commandments of Rydor. His ceremonial sash bore many of Rydor’s greatest commandments embroidered across its length. Manderes was of the Order of the Iron Flame, and though he wasn’t of the same sect as she was, he was the head of the church in that area, so he represented all of Rydor’s interests.

“Lady Caterina,” He spread his arms wide, his sleeves falling to his knees as he did so. “It is truly an honor to receive you. We heard you’d entered Drefast and could only hope that you’d grace our humble halls with your presence. We’re pleased that this is the case.

“Do you require a private prayer room? A blessing, perhaps?”




The Castle | Pardinal | The City of Portua | Claise 23rd, Teladay, 452ER, 7:20pm


(OOC: Awareness/Notice (Smell) roll 35/Awareness/Notice (Visual) roll 30)

Leaning over the map Sna’kti studied it further, “I will need a small copy of this map and since I am on official kingdom business, I would like a writ stating such so that if I need aid along the way I will have the authority to request and get it.”

The statement had put the servants in motion once more. The flurry of activity about the kazari was lost to the adventurer as he continued to study the map.

Lord Ontzlere gave a slow, calculating nod. “So be it. While we don’t expect you to set off tonight, I would appreciate word the you’d left Portua by first light. The sooner we can put this concern to bed, the less the King has to concern himself with the matter.”

At mention of the King, Sna’kti looked at the old man. Glancing over to Lord Ontzlere and lowering his voice so only the Lord could hear him he said, “Is the King unwell? He doesn’t look good to me.”

Lord Ontzlere didn’t even bother looking at the king as he replied, “The king is being well cared for. The royal family will appreciate learning of your concern.”

The remainder of the evening at the castle was soon over with the kazari warrior’s promise to do his best still hanging in the air, Sna’kti excused himself from the presence of the sour-faced nobleman and returned to the rain-filled night.

He’d already procured for himself a room and it was to this that he returned intent on putting the rest of his things together. Arriving at his room a strange odor caught his attention. It was the smell of wet wool mixed with leather, and it was enough to cause the large felinian to pause at the door, hand outstretched to grip the iron handle. His yellow eyes slowly moved to the floor where he found the remnants of wet footprints, not his own. Whomever it was had left a puddle on the floor that had been there long enough that the water had either mostly seeped into the floor, or evaporated.




Posted on 2008-12-07 at 23:31:12.
Edited on 2008-12-07 at 23:32:17 by Bromern Sal

gboy
Wee Grugglet
Karma: 57/27
1669 Posts


So his name's Tales...

Lloyd smiled underneath his cloak. Tales... the name rang in his head like the bells in the clock tower. So Tales was the one he needed to apprehend.

However, who was the other person who was speaking? This would require looking into. However, one job at a time. And his job was now focused on Tales.

And also... Madius. This traitor's way out. Well, now that we've got that much... let's find out what his involvement in this is... Lloyd tears himself away from the man's house... how insolent he was. He would pay... Oh, how he would pay. However, those who conspired with traitor's were also traitors. And Madius was now marked traitor.

Swiftly, Lloyd walked toward the tavern. Drunk loose lipped people we're sure to have some, if any information about this character. Next he would hit the guardhouse. Any money he had to pay to find out about this man, he would make up with his reward. Two captured traitors were better than one. This rendezvous would happen, but Madius wouldn't be there to save Tales... nobody would be there to save him. But someone would be there. Someone with a burn scar on his face. And the law on his side. He would find this Madius, take care of him, then continue on to Tales.


Posted on 2008-12-08 at 02:45:06.

   
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