Thondrek wasn't really hungry, although he did manage to eat some before the servants took the remainder of the food away. Eating aside, other important matters had taken place during this meeting, with contact with the elves forthcoming and new instructions, the group would soon be ready to move on. Having been paid up front perhaps they would pick up some supplies before they headed out?
It was something new for her, this feast of food in a house that could have fit her whole village in it. All of the souls in the village that she grew up in could have lived off of the food that was present for atleast a good week in not longer, rationed properly and all. There had never been such good bounty for the peasants that she had come from. Alyssia saw this as waste but kept her opinions to herself on the matter, not wanting to be rude to their host. Besides, the others seemed to be enjoying themselves with no such discomfort.
Alyysia was really interested in why her goddess was leading her on this path. There were others in other places that needed tending to, or was all this for the one soul that she could see who felt so much pain within, the darkness that was eating at him. Not evil perhaps, but something warring within his soul that screamed to be released. She felt more than anything else, that was the reason her mistress kept her on this path rather than redirecting the arrow that had already been released from the bow.
The woman sat quietly and ate in meager proportions while the others conversed and their words passing by her ears. She seemed not to hear them as she watched their lips move. It was time for her to judge her new companion and maybe see what he was about, this syl. That is when it hit her, her attention coming back into focus.
"...is that why you call forth one of evil, dwarf," the syl's words hit her and hard.
Alyssia thought about speaking in her companions defense but knew that Draven would not appreciate her doing so and kept silent through the proceedings until its ending. She smiled brightly when Draven accused the syl of only judging what he did not understand in fear, but it quickly faded away when he then again challenged the syl to what could lead to one of their deaths.
The rest of the night was pretty much uneventful with the group only receiving some coin, which she left on the table, along with instructions for their journey. She had always refused coin and the crystal was of no use to her, able to provide her own light into dark places. So it was off to bed for her and her companions, a certain weariness tugging on her body and refusing to withdraw its clutches. This syl was not off the hook with her even though a certain line had been marked and a truce drawn. When morning came, she would be sure to have a word with this man new to their party.
(and so she is off to bed until morning, when she will stop tann's syl before he has really much of a chance to do anything really.)
The reward that Guland offered had satisfyed Draven, who had remained silent for the remainder of the meal, and had risen from the table and headed to his quarters without a word.
When morning came, or rather, when they were told it was dawn, he reappeared. His long black hair was wet and glistening, and his goatee was drawn into a fresh braid. The intricate patters that adorned his black armor were clean and glossy. As he strolled into the common room, he pulled his single gauntlet over his rigth hand, but not before what appeared to be a strange marking on the back of his hand could be glimpsed.
He would remain silent, unless spoken to; and he would head directly to wherever the food is, and eat his fill. He will take his rations and his part of the money, and he will leave the building, to wander the premise. He appears...distracted.
Loda woke up, and shook Gothard as she seen the servant who just tried to wake her leave the room in disgust of her deep sleeping. She waited till she left, and then hurried on her clothes, and went down stairs, where she suprisignely was not late.
She was not hungry since of all the food she ate last night, but she picked up an apple or two for the walk out of here anyways, just because apples are her thing.
She checked all her gear and made sure she had everything,and decided to keep her gold and not buy anything, for she had all the things she needed right there. The only thing that was off that morning was the note from Tobin, which promplty read that he was leaving, for one of the roads cannot stay to long on one path. She smiled, and thought of the funny little rolls and what not he always did, and what mischief he was causing now. She appreciated his help, and was glad that he had fulfilled what he had wanted to do, and now as off, maybe to help another party of adventureres, or maybe to feed some cows. Who knew with him. All she knew was that there was one less person in their party, and the most entertaining member was gone. She set the letter back down and walked outside the building, and looked around, deciding to meet the rest of the group up at the ground entrance. She felt much more comftorble, even if she was a dwarf, ubove ground, where her druidic knowladge and skills would be more likely suited.
Elessarae rode on knowing that it was useless to dissuade a Moonhorse from its mindset, and he followed.
Just crossing the River of Light brought joy to her heart, and seeing the outsides of the city and riding into it caused the joy to blossom into something much more, elation, and pride, in its beauty, grace, style, arrangement, the balance of nature and Elven-made abodes. Here was the epitome of what the Elves stood for, Elf and Nature in perfect harmony. Most Elves living outside the area of the City made a pilgrimage to the Aerie of High King at least once in their long lives.
As much as she longed to see her parents, the scene at the river gave her a different purpose, not even taking into account that that she was s Bladesinger, it was the forlorn, last look of the mare on her colt that sent shivers up her spine. What hellish power had build such a look of despair. Above all, now, she wanted answers.
She turned from her path and rode to the Royal Guard Headquarters. It was also possible that her mother was there. Elessarae rode up to the gates of the Royal Guard and announced, “I have urgent business with the Guard. With that she rode in straight to the main office, not waiting for a yea, or nay. She jumped off Gharion, deftly loosened girth, and then grabbed the bag with the dead bird from the back of her saddle. With this she marched into the building and up to the first office of high rank she saw. A thud of hooves of the wooden floors told her the colt followed.
Elessarae moved up to the man’s desk, a beautiful slab of naturally shaped oak burl, luckily clear of papers, “We are minus one Moonhorse mare,” she says without introduction, as she unties the bag and empties it contents on his desk, “because of this hellish owl and two others like it, unfortunately they got away, but not uninjured.
Side-branch of Rilma Duin
26th day of the 7th month: Pfier
The captain of the guard jumped up from his desk at the rudeness of Elessar’s entrance. He took two hesitant steps backwards and peered at the fiendish creature that was now polluting his desk. His confusion soon ebbed away though, and he came closer to inspect the dead owl. Bend over he prodded the thing with a feather pen, then looked up at the bladesinger with interest. He opened his mouth to speak, but suddenly became aware of the small crowd that was gathering around his desk.
“Don’t be alarmed, brave soldiers of the high king. This creature is dead. I shall take care of it, and you shall return to your duties.”
The crowd didn’t move.
“I said, RETURN to your duties!” The captain burst out. Then he turned to Elessarae and wiped a braided strand of hair from his face. The rest of the guards left the area, glancing at the young moonhorse as they passed it.
“My apologies, my lady. We have had several incidents with distorted creatures such as this, and they were very unpleasant I can tell you. A walk through the woods isn’t so calming anymore when squirrels the size of a small horse sink their teeth in your skull.”
He picked a cape from a chair nearby and threw it over the owl. Then he started wrapping the creature further in the cloth.
“I’m glad to hear there are still able fighters such as yourself, defending our forest. It’s hard enough keeping my men focused now their families are unsafe. I’m sorry to hear about your moonhorse. I see that you managed to save one. Let’s go find Urvanial the druid. He’ll be able to tell us more about this thing here.”
He walked away from the desk and headed for the door. Just before exiting he turned around.
“Where are my manners! My name is Telliri Evandus, captain of the city guard. Pleased to meet you.”
He guided Elessar out the building, past Gharion and onto the forest floor, where towers sprouted upwards like corn from a field. They walked for several minutes and Telliri informed the bladesinger of the occurrences in and around the city. They hadn’t been frequent, but definitely apparent. Transformed animals with glowing eyes and a drive for blood. There was also time for Elessar to tell her own tale. But as soon as it was over they had arrived at their destination; a tower of white stone, shaped like a stalk growing high and proud.
As the doors opened, they both entered a dense jungle of plants and damp air. The floor was covered in moist dirt, and a chirping and singing invited them into this indoor land of green. There was no path, but Telliri seemed to know his way.
“Look for a flight of wooden stairs. Its position is different every time I come here.”
Warrens of Caelbo
24th day of the 7th month: Pfier
And so morning came, and the desire to leave rose in their hearts. Malius woke up to find a beautiful young woman in ragged cloths waiting outside his door. She felt a need to talk to him, and being her future party companion he listened politely.
Later that morning the group gathered and left their employers home. Some were eager to see the mission accomplished, others had goals of their own that coincided with the journey.
The streets of Khordal were busy as ever. The Warrens of Caelbo were a vibrant and happy part of the Khordaldrum kingdom, as far as Khords ever get happy. Merchants were loudly praising the quality of their wares, bursts of fire rumbled from smith’s furnaces and the clinking of metal on metal broke the continuing underground stamping of feet through the stone streets. Khrods halted and pushed, crowds split as carts rode by, and even in the quieter tunnels there was always a Khord or two ready to tell you to piss off.
There was much of the city they hadn’t seen. But that was perhaps for another adventure. They had found their mission and had no time for distractions.
The way out was very much a reversed version of the way in. It lead past the big open space where daylight sprouted from the very stone ceiling, where the highest temples of Khordaldrum society were situated. The smooth and wide tunnels that lead to the exit of the city were more crowded this time, especially with the Khord-pulled wagons that ran up and down over the rails.
It was a steep climb, but eventually the warm light of the Antaron sky shone on their heads, and they could shake off the itch of stone walls closing in on them. The guards that waited outside looked at them and smiled.
“She’s bright today! No rain for a few days. Now y’all come back sometime, alright?”
Posted on 2007-04-20 at 12:03:18.
Edited on 2007-04-21 at 11:04:24 by Almerin
East base of the mountains
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier
The very night of the banquet at the Granitefingers residence, Tobin had made up his mind. As the others laid themselves down to rest, the Cidal was anything but tired. He had heard his goddess’s calling. The Khordaldrum kingdom had much to offer, but the little ants under Tobin’s skin directed him out of the dark tunnels and onto the surface of fresh air and free flight.
The morning sky of late summer welcomed him onto the mountain, and he chose his path. A nice day was rising with the sun, and the Cidal’s path ran quickly under his feet. At midday he had reached the top of the mountain, and it gave him a most spectacular view. Far in the distance lay the forests of Alloryen, the northern Sylvari Kingdom. Behind him stretched the vast jaw of Antaron, the teeth of the mountains piercing the sky. His trip would go downhill from now on.
Later that day he left the mountains for the hillsides on the east base of the Kharolis Peeks. The forest was still far away, and already the sun was going down. He decided to camp under a tree, and continue the next day. He had been walking for a long time already. He ate some of the rations that Guland’s servants had left him.
The next morning the small hero got up with the birds. He passed several farmhouses and crop fields, where corn was starting to spring up. The farmers were working hard, but paused to stare at this lone person passing.
When the sun was already beyond its highest point, Tobin reached the first thin growth that would soon heighten to the forest of the Sylvari. Between the trees the sun played shadowgames with the little Cidal. But suddenly Tobin saw something that the sun did not conjure up for him: a big column of sand rising up from the forest floor. In front of the column creatures were busy gathering things from the forest floor. Some of them came from the deeper areas of the forest, to enter the big column in a big opening at the bottom. From a distance they looked like ants, standing as high as Tobin. As the Cidal drew closer, he realised they were ants, although some of them wore sparse clothing. It was a very strange site indeed.
She nods to the man as he intoroduces himself, "My name is Elessarae Isiliri daughter of Captain Almara Isiliri of the Queen's Guard and the Bard Arensilendyl Isiliri. I am on an overnight pass from the Megilindar Nost, having been assigned to a quest. I was hoping to see my family before I had to return, but the creatures which attacked the moonhorse have taken presidence over that."
"As for the Moonhorse," she pauses at a pang of regret, "she was not mine, but on of the free ones."
Elessarae follows the officer to the Stalk Tower. She had heard of the Druid, but never had the occasion to ever visit his tower. Now as she stepped into the natural setting of the place she let the peace of it fill her. She took solice in the ambience of the Tower.
Elessare moved along between the ferns and other growing things to find the stairs. Pushing aside a drape of willow branches she finally found the stairs. All the while the silvery-white colt follwed her. She mounted the steps and began to climb upwards. She did not think the colt would try to tackle the stairs.
Posted on 2007-04-21 at 21:00:22.
Edited on 2007-04-21 at 21:04:50 by Dragon Mistress
The journey out of the mountains was good for Tobin; while he had no problem spending significant time under the earth (indeed, he had spent nearly a month traveling through the ruined khordish mines of X’undagh with good ol’ Borric), the cidal still preferred the light of the day over the artificial light of a torch or a gem.
The midday view from the top of the mountain was breath-taking, and Tobin paused to eat a light meal and readjust his gear. As he rested, he whistled gaily to himself and looked expectantly at northern forest of the Syls. What have you in store for me, Mistress?
The journey became somewhat easier as the cidal began moving out of the mountains. As night fell, the littlest hero of the people found shelter under a large tree. As he ate of the rations he had received earlier, Tobin thanked his mistress for her provisions and said a pray of blessing for Guland. Sleeping under the open sky, with the light cool breeze of late summer, was refreshing for both Tobin’s body and spirit.
The cidal broke camp with the sound of birds in his ears. Before pressing on towards Alloryen, he left a small gift of seeds and bits of dried fruit for the feathered choir. “Just a token my friends for the gift of joy you have given,” he called out to the song birds.
The day’s journey took Tobin passed some sigies worked diligently in their fields or around their homes. The cidal smiled broadly and waved as he made his way on towards the sylvarian woods.
As he began to make his way through the lighter brush of Alloyen, Tobin was forced to pause by a new wonder that crossed his path – a large column of sand rose up before him in the distance. It was interesting, for sure, but what really piqued his curiosity was the giant ants which seemed to be using the massive dirt pile as their shelter.
The sight of some sparse clothing worn by some of the ants was almost too much for the little cidal, and Tobin had to stop himself from rushing over and asking the ants a hundred and one questions about themselves. Instead, caution tempered his wonder, and he tried to creep closer without intruding, but in order to get a better view.
OOC: Tobin will attempt to move silently and hide amongst the brush, moving towards the column so that he can hoping overhear what the ants are saying. He will not have any weapons drawn.
Posted on 2007-04-25 at 15:15:57.
Edited on 2007-04-25 at 15:16:23 by Blammm
Alyssia stood before the door of the elf's room, having been up for some time now, thinking of what awaited her in the near future. Her goddess's will was not always so clear to her.
She stood from where she had been sitting with her leg's crossed upon the floor when she heard the door of the syl's room open. He stood tall and proud, his arrogance plain in his features. Or maybe arrogance is only what she saw.
"So, syl," Alyssia started in calmly, "what may I call you."
"My name is Malius Darkblade and you are?"
"Darkblade, so you wish to judge others upon their appearances without taking the time to see their true character. What is it that you see in me, if I may ask that of you?"
"Honestly...nothing. I do not know you or of you and by the manner of your dress I know not what to think. As for the other of your party again I do not know him but I feel within him a darkness, mayhap not evil, and for that I will agree I may have misjudged him. But I tell you this, his darkness be it pain, anger, hatred or the evil I at first feared, may in the end cause us no amount of trouble. If I have answered your question and there is nothing else I must prepare my horse and gear to leave."
With a nod of his head the Syl moved away.
Those words she had spoken were not those of the commoner that she was but the ones that her mistress had guided her to speak.Having her answer she watched the Syl walk away.
Posted on 2007-04-26 at 05:12:03.
Edited on 2007-04-26 at 05:12:38 by TannTalas
"Your reply to my question was a wise one, Malius Darkblade," Alyssia replied before the syl could walk away. She drew upon the power that dwelt within her sould, bringing forth a halo of light around her body. "Most would judge me as a poor common woman, but I am not. Know that not all can be judged by their appearance alone, and Draven has proven himself on more than one account.
"Lysora has set me upon my path with him as my companions. I believe that it is her will that his pains be healed, and I will find a way to do that however I must. If you make one aggressive move towards him, I will bring whatever wrath upon you that my goddess has granted me. Merciful as she may be, I will not let you harm my charge."
Alyssia's face was as cold as stone in that moment, her look stern with no etch of a smile on her normally joyful face.
(OOC: used nimbus of light. Also, tann, dont know if you'll want to edit your last post for a response.)
Posted on 2007-04-26 at 05:31:14.
Edited on 2007-04-26 at 05:50:22 by Vesper
As Malice turned to walk away it seemed for the moment he would not be having the last word. Turning back he listened and watched as the female human seemed to have something to prove, her body now incased in light.
"Your reply to my question was a wise one, Malius Darkblade, most would judge me as a poor common woman, but I am not. Know that not all can be judged by their appearance alone, and Draven has proven himself on more than one account.
Lysora has set me upon my path with him as my companions. I believe that it is her will that his pains be healed, and I will find a way to do that however I must. If you make one aggressive move towards him, I will bring whatever wrath upon you that my goddess has granted me. Merciful as she may be, I will not let you harm my charge."
For a moment he said nothing then looking straight into her eyes he smiled and responded in a low voice only she could hear.
“I will, for the moment, disregard your threat as one unfamiliar with decorum. As for Draven in the end his actions will speak for themselves as to his true nature. And lastly as to your little light show, I’m not impressed”
With that he turned and walked away any further words from her dismissed as he had no time for ideal threats and childish shows of magic....
Posted on 2007-04-27 at 14:04:10.
Edited on 2007-04-27 at 14:06:04 by TannTalas
Elessasrae stopped part way up the stairs and turned to look back at the Moonhorse colt. Unlike regular horses, Moonhorse foals stayed with their dam's until they were 4-5 to learn what is was to be a Moonhorse and to use their inate magical abilities.
Elessarae thought back to the scene as the mare moved to her foal and communed with him, then after that she left, and the foal did not follow his dam, but Elessarae.
It suddenly hit Elssarae that the mare had made her the the colt's guardian.
"Come, Little One, and she moved back down to guide the colt to mount the stair with her.
As she and the colt moved up the stairs she could not help but think of how convuluted her path had become. Her visit to her parents was for nought, for now was added the incident of the altered animals, and the the guardianship of a Moonhorse colt. Above it all was the quest set for her, by the Bladesingers.
Draven was waiting outside Granitefingers abode, when at last the party was ready to depart. He didn't speak; didn't seem to notice them as they aproached, but he strode beside them. As they walked, he payed little attention to their conversations (unless spoken to). He was all too wrapped in his own thoughts. His bare left hand rubbed absently at the gauntlet that covered his right.
He could feel the tugs, like a million little threads in a million different directions. Some were stronger then others, and those caused the most ache. A million different ways to replenish what he could already feel of himself slipping away. A memory sparked, and with it, his eyes flashed in the dark, like two beacons. Possibly drawing the attention of his companions.
Allowing his eyes to dim once more, he also tried to ignore the hunger. There would be a time and a place for that.
They soon reached the gates to the outside and as they stepped into the sun, Draven winced painfully, drawing his hands up to block the sun, and blinking through the blinding sparkles that danced over his eyes. The first words he spoke all day was.
"Gods forsake you, cursed sun!"
"Shes bright today! No rain for a few days! Now Y'all come back sometime. Alright?"
His sight now restored, he flashed a glare at the guard, and muttered what could only have been a mocking imitation.
Aerie of the High King
26th day of the 7th month: Pfier
After a bit of searching the large overgrown room, Elessarae found the stairs Telliri had asked her to look for. They were made of wooden beams sticking from the stone wall. Both wall and stairs were covered in ivy. Years of people climbing up and down had smoothed out the unevenness of the roots though, and it was impossible to tell where ivy stopped and stair started.
Halfway the stairs, the elven woman stopped. Telliri, standing a little below her on the stairs looked at her, but her attention was not on him. She had experienced a sudden revelation, a realization of why the young moonhorse was following her. She seemed willing to fulfil the task appointed to her, and called the horse to join her up the stairs.
Passing into the next level was like reversing gravity. Although they had walked upwards, it felt like they had descended into the earth. The wooden beams didn’t end beyond the ceiling of the overgrown room, they grew into a rocky stairwell with wooden steps. It was not a room Elessar entered, but more like a tunnel that lead up first, but bended even into a horizontal walkway, barely high enough to stand in. The walls were made of rock and dirt, roots hung overhead, and the smell of earth was everywhere.
The darkness of the tunnel led into a room where a single lantern illuminated a desk. The atmosphere was that of a badger’s burrow. In a corner a hunched figure was digging at the earth, but when they entered he turned. It was a Khord, covered in dirt.
Telliri passed him with a nod and moved through the room into the next tunnel and started climbing a rock wall. Elessar could follow him, but the colt would not be able to manage the steep climb.
The next room was bright white, and carried several large windows. In the middle stood a pedestal, where an old elf was caring a flower covered plant.
“Welcome Telliri, good to see you again. Any changes? Oh, you brought company! Welcome, youngling. I am Urvanial Westwind, druid of Sillarion.” Kharolis Mountains
Entrance to Khordal
24th day of the 7th month: Pfier
They left Khordal over the same route Tobin had taken earlier that day. It took them up towards the last mountain rim of the Kharolis Peaks. A few hours later they were granted a breathtaking view, as the rock before them gave way to a spectacle of sky and forest as far as they could see. Below them, the mountain rolled down into a blanket of hills. In the distance the elven kingdoms awaited.
Beyond the mountain top the walking got easier. The downhill paths were even and clear. A few rests and a lot of walking later they arrived at the base of the mountain. The sun was already casting a long shadow over their heads, and night was waiting to take over.
Camping happened at the base of the mountain. As they were eating they were suddenly surprised by a singing voice coming from the road that lead up the mountain. A man dressed in black with a thick blanket over his shoulders stood in the distance. He addressed them as he walked closer. In the light of the rising moon his face looked old under his grey hair.
“Hello there! Care for some company? I’ve been walking all day and hadn’t had anything to eat for hours. I’d appreciate some of that dry meat of yours.”
He walked closer, supporting himself with a stick. One of his legs was limping a bit. Although he welcomed himself, he seemed cautious to approach. Alloryen Kingdom
West brim of the forest
25th day of the 7th month: Pfier
Tobin’s interest was triggered, to say the least. The overly excited Cidal had to do his best no to jump out of joy. He didn’t know how the ant creatures would react to his presence. Therefore he softened his steps and aimed for the shadows of the trees and bushes.
Sneaking closer, he noticed how the ants were gathering food. Most of the ones that were walking around didn’t wear any clothing. None of them seemed to notice the little hero from his hiding place, and he had plenty of time to observe this strange scene.
The ants that did wear clothing also wore helmets made of some kind of metal, and carried nasty stingers on their bodies. After a while of peeking at them Tobin observed a pattern of activities. The clothed ants walked certain routes to disappear into the big pile of sand. The workers also ran in and out of the hole in the sand pile, carrying sticks and edible things they found in the forest.
Suddenly a movement on the pile of sand caught Tobin’s eye. An ant that looked slightly bigger than the others came running down the pile and stopped right above the opening. It looked straight at one of the clothed ants, and it responded with a nod, even though they weren’t looking at each other. Then it ran straight at Tobin.
(OOC: It seems that you’ve been spotted. The ant is looking straight at you.)