Xour now sitting in the Inn with his first tankard of ale finished in three large swallows so when Highnar offers another he accepts. He is glad the days battles are over and they have time to relax at least for the night. He looks around the table at the gathering of both old and now some new friends and the ranger can't help but feel at peace with this group. They worked so well together in battle today that the others who came upon them afterwards had a hard time believing that the seven of them had done so much damage.
When Brianna stands up to make her toast to them all she takes the words right from his mouth they had work well together, and when she salutes him he returns the salute to her with a smile on his face.
After her toast Xour turns his attention to their two newest members who had helped in todays battle, the mystic Cerric and Vatta who was protecting the mystic. Turning his attention to Cerric he speaks to the Mystic Well good sir I have not really had the time for a proper introduction, but let me say first that you fought well today, anyways I am Xour and I welcome you to our happy little group, also if there is anything that you prefer to drink other than this fine ale I would be pleased to purchase it for you.Most of us seem to like this fine ale and as he speaks he raises his tankard and with a nice long slow swallow finishes off his tankard. When gone he sets it to the table and wipes the foam and moisture from his lip with the sleeve of his left arm. Then with a smile he slaps Highnar on the back Is that not true my friend we adore this fine ale Then raising his hand to summon their waitress and pointing to their table and making a circle sign around the table Please bring us another round of ale and if anyone wants anything other see that they get what they want.
He has not felt this comfortable for a long time and Xour was enjoying the company of his friends. As he is sitting and drinking here in the Inn he can't help but think back to that day, which seems so long in the past now, In an Inn where he had been drawn and where he first meet Highnar, Brianna, Lorae, Logan. He remembers how uncomfortable he had felt being indoors at that time being a ranger and a loner with his wolf Draug as his only company. How things had changed since that first meeting. Now he felt comfortable here inside the Inn drinking and celebrating their victory being with his friends.
With his tankard now full once again he takes a good long pull and it then decides it is his turn to salute and toast his friends. Standing at his chair he spreads his arms wide as if trying to embrace his friends in a large embrace Friends both old and new, today we once again put to their proper end an unrelenting evil that continues to plague those of us that seek justice and good for our fellow beings. Everyone of you around this table fought valiantly, and to each of you I say “job well done” and lastly to those ones that will remember when we first meet that day at that small Inn in Shadowdale, I must admit that day is now one of my fondest memories and has turned out to be a great turning point in the life of this ranger so I say to you “an coia a' ilya” ( elven for ”long life to all” )
With that Xour raises his tankard and takes a long drink in toast to his friends sitting down he finishes his drink and orders another.
While Vatta waited on the meal to come, she did indulge in a little drinking, though she would not be imbibing as much as the Brianna or Highnar for sure. She ordered a simple mug of ale for now and watched and laughed as the others celebrated their victory.
Vatta raised her mug to Brianna’s toast and drank heartily. They did indeed make a good group and they had overcome superior odds though strategy and bravery. She had to admit that they warriors were all superior to many she has seen so far, and no doubt most of the praise was theirs this day. True, her bow had helped, but other than that her skills had mainly gone unused on this quest. But she had survived again and that is what mattered.
She chuckled at Cerric when he asked about the spoils, “I didn’t think you valued such things,” she said jestingly, “I thought your order prized knowledge and books, but I don’t think we found any of those today.” She winked at him to show she was only kidding.
Vatta laughs at Xuor’s big toast and hopes the ale hasn’t already gone to his head; she raises her mug in toast and drains the last of it. She gestured to the maid to bring her another mug of ale; she would be patient about her meal as it would arrive in due course. For now she might just sit here and have a few drinks and maybe get to know these people who are still a little more than strangers even after what they went through today.
Cerric nodded to Xuor, whose toast was a fine one, and then turned his attention to the elven mercenary Vatta, who was teasing him over his overly zealous concern for meaningless valuables. He rose from his seat to hover over her, brushing his hand down her arm as he said. "You are quite right dearest mercenary. Though in truth, you may be remisce in one minor detail. The books of knowledge I so endlessly prize, happen to be among the most expensive items a man could ever buy!"
He looked to his comrades gathered around in celebration and sighed. "Perhaps," he began, with an air of reluctance, "It is a question for another time."
Laughing in his throat he called for the waiter to bring him some ale. He took the seat next to Vatta, and struck up conversation with her while he awaited his refreshments. "You were truly astonishing out there. I do not believe I've ever seen a shot so fine! I suppose it is true what they say about elves and bows..." He smirked at this minor stereotype, hoping to get a rise out of the lady. He was beginning to enjoy her company, as opposed to his lack luster solitaire. The life of a wandering scholar. A sage who was far too young to be known as such.
Vatta smirked slightly at the scholar’s familiarity and the way his hand brushed down the smooth, soft, yet finely toned muscles of her arm. She took another sip of her ale as he took a seat next to her then she leaned forward slightly towards him.
“You have a lot to learn young sageling,” she said with a chuckle, “books can be valuable to the right buyer, but that does not make them the most prized items ever.”
“A man dying of thirst in the desert,” she says to him sounding like a teacher speaking to a young student, “would gladly give up that book of knowledge for a drink of water.”
“When you have lived as long as I have,” she says with a grin, “maybe you will see that knowledge is great, but maybe it is wisdom that a man should truly seek.”
Vatta chuckles at Cerric obviously flattery, “Why thank you noble sir,” she responses in jest, “I was just doing my job in protecting such a valuable vessel of knowledge.” She laughed aloud and took another sip of her ale.
Lorae had been thoughtful on the trip to Ashbenford, it had brought with it, memories of there first entrance into this world and the lost of friends and compatriots. Brianna had lost her long time friend Jered, the half-Giant and Lorae, herself, had lost a very dear friend and battle companion the dwarf Prince and rogue, Logan Goldshield.
She moved with the group to a table and took up a mug of ale with the rest of them, but other than the toasts she nurse the single frink taking only sips. Her own thoughts were of a place and time now gone. The longer they were here in this world the more faded the memories of her homelands.
Lorae longed to enter the Goddess's Grove and play the harp for her, but she had no idea if Tara still lived. Try as she might to recall the events leading to the cataclysm of their being sucked from their world by the whirling maelstrom, she could not piece together what was transpiring between the Goddess and the Dark One while they She , Brianna, Logan and Jerred had Death Knights and other monsters of the Dark One's summoning as they were transported to this new world to continue the fight until the enemies were vanquished. and Jerred and Axel lay dying in the bloody glade.
The had just recently left another bloody glade, but this time the enemey lay dead upon it and their new friends and companions were living still.
Lorae stands, "Here is to the Valiant and the Brave who fought Evil this day, and to those who have passed that have fought Evil before." She looks to Brianna as she speaks. "To the Bravehearts that fought overwhelming odds. Each in our way, saved the day."
Lorae tilts her mugs and drinks deeply and then takes another drink, "For you Jerred and Logan." she whispers as she sets the mug down again leaving it as an offering to those now departed.
Posted on 2008-02-05 at 21:33:45.
Edited on 2008-02-05 at 22:11:06 by Dragon Mistress
A large kettle of stew in brought to the table with deep bowls and a ladel. A tray of 2 loaves of crusty bread and a half wheel of cheese comes with it. With the influx of people coming to the inn it seems the cook extended the stew with whatever meats she had been preparing. Chunks of beef, pork, and chicken filled the pot along with chunks of root vegetables, and other vegetables, peas, beans and corn as well. Despite to conglomeration of ingredients the stew is delicious and the gravy thick and rich.
Slowly the locals return home leaving the inn to travelers including their own group, refugees from Eventide and a scattering of Riders now off duty,
Logan sits at the inn, alone watching the joyous festivities that are going on. Drinking his ale wondering what the next day will bring. Hoping that whatever info they were able to get out of the goblin is of use to them going forward and more importantly, to this town. He sits alone because that is what he is inside, alone. Having lost to many friends to count, he hopes to be with his current companions to the end, but is unsure so he is trying to keep himself distant but finding it more difficult with each passing day. He knows he knows in his own heart that he will make friends again. He smiles to his companions when they look his way, but the smile quickly goes away when there gaze is not on him.
He beckons a bar maid over to his table and gives her enough gold peices to pay for a pint of whatever liquid beverage his friends are having, finishes his ale and walks out side to find a semi quite place to mull over what to do next.
After Vatta had said, “A man dying of thirst in the desert, would gladly give up that book of knowledge for a drink of water.” Cerric had the compulsion to interject with the fact that he was more than a simple scholar, and in fact a priest of Oghma, such a man who could create food and water from faith, and that power came from the knowledge of his patron. He didn't however, though it may have seemed at first to the elven lady that he had wanted to say something, he bit his tongue. It was unwise to progress an argument for the sake of ill will. She was right, in all manner of ways that did not involve him, but perhaps he should be humble, and heed the lessons of an ageless beauty.
Smiling at Vatta, he instead replied,"Perhaps," and with his last words he looked into her amber eyes and winked,"there are more important things in life."
When his ale arrived, he took a sip, and then stood for Lorae's toast. These people were still quite foreign to him, and with Vatta aside, who had come with him from Asbenford, all the others seemed well acquainted with one another, though Logan had chosen to sit alone. He looked to the table where he had been sitting, and noted the man's departure from the tavern. A slight of concern fell across the priest's face. There was so much he didn't know about these people. There was much he did not know at all.
After he sat back down beside Vatta, he raised his glass to her in toast. "To wisdom, and to long life... though I suppose I will never know the meaning of that as well as you."
Vatta was watching Cerric closely to his reaction to her words; she smiled at the little pause and the flash she saw in his eyes. She could imagine that he was going to say that a priest such as him would use the book to create water and hence would not be dying of thirst. What he didn’t realize was that she was not referring to him or any priest. Of course a man able to create water by magic would not die, what she had said was directed to any ordinary man. She saw him give up on the argument even though he didn’t complete agree with her.
“Yes,” she said to him, “there are more important things but I what you to know I did not say these things to slight you or your faith. If I have offended you, I apologize.” She bowed her head slightly but her face still maintained the slightest little smirk that said she didn’t think she had offended him but offered the apology anyway.
Vatta too raised her mug to Lorae’s toast, and even to the whispered one that her keen elvin ears picked up. She didn’t know these people what Lorae mentioned but she could tell by the reverence the woman had for them that they were dear to her and no longer with her. She too had many fallen comrades, most she didn’t think about any more, it was best not to dwell in the past.
She too noticed Logan’s solitude and watched as he left the Tavern. She almost thought to follow him but then shrugged it off, he obviously had issues he needed to deal with himself and wanted to be alone. He might resent anyone intruding upon his privacy.
Vatta chuckled at Cerric toast to her, she nodded to him and raised her mug and drank again. “You never know, “ she said softly, “long life can be a curse in some ways.” She smirked.
When the large kettle came in she got up and grabbed a bowl, “Am I starved!” She said as she dished out a heaping bowl and returned to her seat. “Dirty work always makes me hungry.”
Lorae partly fills her bowl and eats it, giving Logan some time for himself. When she empties it, she fills it again and another she fills for Logan. She tucks a part of a loaf of bread under her arm, and heads out.
Logan was off to the side on a bench under a large spreading chestnut tree. "Stew is better warm, she says handing him the his bowl. "May I join you in your place of peace?"
"Ofcourse you may Lorea." Logan says with a smile as he take the bowl from her. "And thank you for the soup, I was starting to feel a bit hungry. Please forgive me for not being very social, I'm simply trying to make heads or tails of al that is happening. I have lived a long time a marked man and a human. How I have managed to live this long while saying good bye to countless friends both in death and life is something I'll never understand or get used to. Can I tell you something and ask something personal of you Lorea?" Logan ends his conversation for now as he waits for her reponse and enjoys the soup and bread she has brought with her for the both of them.
"Please feel free with your questions, But before you do I would like to mention this. Saying good-bye to friends is always hard, whether they are parted from us in life because paths dffer or in death where our paths for a time are aparts. But think on what you might have missed if they had never been your friends at all."
With that she falls quiet and eats her bowl of stew-soup beside Logan in companionable silence,. She occasionally dunks her bread in it to gather the juices. She waits listening for whatever questions he wanted to ask of her.
Posted on 2008-02-10 at 23:32:17.
Edited on 2008-02-11 at 01:56:45 by Dragon Mistress
"Lorea, remember when we first met at the inn?" Logan starts. "The light that ementated from under my hood was from a mark that I've had since birth. This mark has been a blessing in some cases, a course in others. It is the mark of the God Paladin where I come from. I don't recall ever sayng exactly how old I am, but my apearence is that of someone approaching 30. Truth be told I am closer to 150 and yes I am human. I have seen friends and people I have never met die in my visions. But I have also seen life brought into it. I have had the pleasure to see victories come to fruition and the distain of seeing close, dear friends die befoer it has happened. I have lost 3 lovers, 2 wives and 1 child. I've lost mre comrads than I can truely count, some I have a hard time bringing their name to my lips even now it was so long ago. I have lived a long life, dont get me wrong, I dont want it to end any time soon. But I would like to know what greater purpose he has intended for me. And because of this mark, on my world, I'm mark for death on site." Logan sets down his half finished bowl and bread to undo his shirt to show her the rest of the mark the runs over his chest. It appears as a much like a tatoo that starts in the middle of his chest as a solid circle with two dash line type tails coming from it, rotating around it then both leading up to his head where oddly enough, both tails break just below where his shirt callor before starting again under his thick beard.
"As you can see, I have gone to great lengths to hide this mark as best I can by using thick shirts and armour, growing a thick beard," Logan continues while buttoning his shirt back up, "and wearing heaving dark cloaks. My questions for you Lorea are simple ones. How long have you been alive? How long have you and Brianna been together? I only tell and share all this with you as a matter of habit and because I trust you. I have always choosen 1 comrad within parties I'm with to share this with, I dont know why, I just have. I guess its so I know I'm not totally coming off as being totally secretive and so that someone knows what I'm about and why I'm the way I am." Logan picks up his bowl and bread to finish his meal and to enjoy the rest of the time with his trusted friend.
"I was conceived long ago, and have know no ledge how long my mother carried me before she learned that I was bound to the Prophecies that predicted the Doom of the Dark Lord and finally bore me. I have lived two lifetimes from child to young adult about a couple of hundred years. One of those lives was within the Sacred Grove of Tara, Goddess of Nature, so who knows what time had passed in the Grove, compared to the world in general. Later it was deemed that I needed to be more independent and self reliant, so I was diminished in age and with no knowledge of my previous life, I was left as a orphan in a human city where I learned to survive, until an Elf spotted me and brought me back to the Elven Forest. I relearned what it was to be Elven and was drawn again to Tara. I so wanted to be her bard, to play for her and ease her heart, but she had another path for me. In my quest to endear myself to Tara and set out on a mission to retrieve a fabled sword. I fought a hydra for it and barely escaped with my life. The sword was cursed and while I had it, it would change my sex, male to female and back.
I meet Brianna when a group was gathered by a famous wizard and we were sent to affect the release of an Elven Lord held in a ruined castle guarded by ogres and giants. All of those called were subjects of the Prophecies, even as you are now. In the rescue I fought an Ogre with a holy sword and he broke my blade. I was born a boy and was a girl at the time the sword was broken. I will remain female as long as I live, and that might be for some time due to my bloodlines."
"Tara replaced the blade of my sword with the the one of green wood, anhd named me her champion and with the sword and the help of the others we killed the Ogre Mage and his anti-paladin. The Elven Lord we saved was the very man who had taken me from the streets of a human city and into the forest to be brought up amonst the Elves, and he was their King."
"After that we were set upon one group after the other of those trying to kill us, until the Dark Lord came himself to destroy us. Tara came to our aid and there was a standoff between she and the Dark Lord. Of the group of 7 only 4 remained alive, do the the Death Knights that had come with the Dark Lord. Then we were swept up into a whirlwind and we came here."
"Soon after our arrival we were attacked by Drow. We lost two companions in that battle, Jerred, a half Giant and good friend of Brianna's, and I lost a good friend, Logan, a Dwarven thief, who was the uncrowned king of an abandoned Dwarven Holt."
"So it is that others have taken up the places of those that were lost. You, yourself are the One Marked by Darkness as written in the Pophecies. As is Vatta the Rogue with Higher Purpose. Or Cerric, as the Voice of the Gods. Highnar is Great Warrior, Brianna is the Bringer of Truth and Justice. Xuor is the Man of the Wilds." and other than Brianna and myself, all of you have taken the places of those who were prophecised to destroy the Dark Lord forever. Others are mentioned by the propohecies, they may join us or they may replace us."
"Like all prophecies there are ambiguities. Other groups in history came together to destroy the Dark Lord, only to be destroyed themselves. What gives me hope is that the Dark One personally did his best to stop us and that had never happened before."
"So in some ways, we are more alike then others might think, would you not agree Lorea?" Logan returns. "It could be said I am dark because I have lived so long,much longer than one of my kind should ever be allowed to. The longer I live, I find that Elves take more a liking to me, especially those who now about me and that I'm more inclined to live with them and why they prefer to tend to there own kind. Atleast on my world that is the case."
Logan stop for a second and then continues.
"If I make it thru this, if I'm not wisked away back to my own world, I think I'll want to stay with elves in either place. Think I would be welcome with you and your people Lorea?"